Carlo Martinoia / Charles Martin: “the wealthiest man in Sonoma and Marin counties”

From Marilyn Longinotti Geary, United States

Carlo Martinoia arrived in San Francisco via the Isthmus of Panama on June 15, 1852. Born in 1829 to a poor family in Cevio in the Valle Maggia, Martinoia began working at the age of 15 as a mason’s helper, first in France, then in Africa.

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Seeking information on the Scettrinis from Vogorno

From Carla Rezzonico, Switzerland

I am looking for information on Giuseppe and Paolo Scettrini from Vogorno, sons of Giulio and Angiolina née Gamboni, who left for America at the beginning of the 1900s. Continue reading

Looking for Cheda relations

From Barbara Reilly, United States

My great grandfather, Gaudenzio Cheda came to California from Maggia around 1860 and had the first dairy ranch. He married Antionia Calzonia and they returned to Maggia several times and had several children.

Gaudenzio’s brother, Pete had a son, Phillip Henry Cheda born in the US traveled to Maggia in 1922 and we are trying to find info on whether he stayed or if there are any Calzonia or Cheda’s that can be traced that I might be related to. My grandfather George Cheda hosted picnics for those living in California from Ticino on our family ranch in Tocoloma, Olema Marin County California. I can not id anyone in the photos.


Seeking info on Rotanzi family of Peccia

From Marilyn Longinotti Geary, United States

I am searching for information on the Rotanzi Family of Peccia. Three sons of father Luigi Rotanzi left in the mid-19th century. Francesco went to Australia in 1855 and became a manager of a gold mining operation. Continue reading

The Monighetti story continues

barb_mullen2by Barb Mullen, Australia

The Monighetti family story continues and here we explore aspects of the adult lives of Kit and Carlo Monighetti’s children. Every parent wants their children to have a life that is an improvement on theirs. Continue reading

I mazzafam

RezeptbuchThe “Hunger slayer” from Mesolcina

1 kg potatoes
500 g polenta (boiled cornmeal)
50 g butter
grated cheese

Boil potatoes with or without their skin. When cooked, dice and fry in butter. Add the polenta, continue frying (you can also use leftover polenta from the day before). Add grated cheese at the end.

This recipe is taken from “I mazzafam, fine original recipes from the valleys of southern Graubünden” by Gianni Bertossa, Desertina publishers.

Do you have a Swiss-Italian recipe you would like to share with us?

I was convinced she was a witch!

By Adrian Cerroti, Australia

Frequent visits for summer holidays since my early childhood have left me with a myriad of memories and experiences. In the 70’s visits to the village were usually accompanied by my Grandfather who was born there. Continue reading