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We transcribed the population’s registers starting from year 1669 and we designed a huge genealogical tree of all families, with branches in the whole world.
Would you like to share your experience or simply find your roots? Do not hesitate to contact us. You won’t regret it!

La breve esistenza di questo blog ci ha già portato diverse soddisfazioni nel far relazionare fra di loro "corippians" che abitavano nella medesima città e nemmeno lo sapevano. Abbiamo trascritto i registri della popolazione dal 1669 in poi ed elaborato un gigantesco Albero Genealogico di queste famiglie con ramificazioni in tutto il Mondo.
Desiderate condividere la vostra esperienza o semplicemente trovare le vostre radici? Non esitate a contattarci, non ve ne pentirete.


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domenica 30 giugno 2013

Historical Surveys of the Districts of Ticino- Giuseppe Mondada

In this book, Giuseppe Mondada's detailed and handwritten histories of eight districts of Ticino are reproduced and translated from the original Italian to French, German, and English. Although Corippo is not specifically mentioned, understanding the history of the surrounding areas is very enlightening, especially since the Corippians traveled and relocated to a number of these areas.

Here is a part of the entry from Leventina, which has a connection to other branches of my family. My great grandmother's family lived here.

According to tradition the name Leventina is derived from the name of the tribe Lepontina which lived there before the Roman period. Many place names with the ending -engo are of Celtic origin. ( regrading Corippo,  "the suffix -ippo, was in common usage from an early time. When used as a proper name , it can be attributed to a culture and language from the age before Roman civilization." from the book Corippo, also by Giuseppe Mondada).

Roman colonization, (parallel at some point to Corippo, one can assume by the naming) of which there is evidence, as also been proved by recent discoveries in the small burial grounds at Madrano. The history of the valley is closely related to that of the Gotthard route(where my great grandfather later worked) and other passes. Only partly reliable are reports about the existence of a barbaric people. above all the Lombards, which G. Rigolo made in his " Descrittione geographica del Contrado Lepontico".

The Levintina, as an independent unit, appears as a historic fact in the testament of the Bishop Atto of Vercelli, and the testament was later supplemented by the donation of Archbiship Arnulf II. ...Toward the end of the 13th century Ottone Visconti of Milan took over the property on lease of tenure.

In the meantime the Gotthard gained importance, and as a result the Confederates cast passive eyes toward the Southern side of the pass. Thus began the quarrel over the valley between the Duke of Milan and the Confederates.

The decisive events:
1330:People of Uri came to the help of the shepherds of Orsera.
1403:Pact of the Three Cantons which resulted in Uri's dominion over Levintina.
1412: Temporary submission of the Verzasca under Levintina.
1422: Defeat of the Swiss at Arbedo and subsequent dominion by Milan.
1439: Confederates began campaign to occupy the the valley, confronting Milan.
28 Dec 1478: Battle at Giornico, in which Conferderates where victorious. Leventine became subject territory to Uri.
1755: Attempted revolt at Airolo. Beheading of leaders.
1799: French troops devastated the valley, people hard fight with pitchforks.
1803: District of Leventina became part of the Canton of Ticino.
1814: Unification with Uri failed.
1827-1830: Road built over the Gottard.
1882: Gottard Tunnel Opens. Valley became more prosperous.

The political events of Ticino over the centuries no doubt determined the activities in Corippo, making their isolation both a blessing and curse.



 
   

sabato 29 giugno 2013

Les Colonies Tessinoises En Californie

Les Colonies Tessinnoises en Californie- Maurice Edmond Perret-1950.

Les Tessinois de la vallee du Salinas sont actuellement ceux qui forment le groupe le plus compact en Californie. Il y a quelques annees, l'italian etait encore la langue que tout le monde parlait a la maison et meme dans les relations commerciales; a Gonzales, a Soledad, a Greenfield, les institutrices des premiers degres de l'ecole primaire devaient savoir l'italian pour fare entendre d'une partie de leurs eleves. Aujourd'hui on parle encore l'italien dans de nombreueses familles, mais tout le monde-sauf quelques personnes agees-said l'anglais et parmi les jeunes, les marriages entre Tessinois et Anglo-saxons ou Portugais ne sont pas rare.

Bien que les Tessinois soient si nombreux, rien dans la vallee, sauf les noms de famille et les types physiques, ne rappelle le canton du Tessin; Salinas, Gozales, Soledad sont des localites qui ressemblent a toutes les localites califoniennes; les fermes des Tessinois ne se distinguent pas des autres per leur disposition ou leur installations, mais...elles sont toujours tres bien tenue et tres soignees. (p. 125)

Depuis plusieurs siecles, les Tessinois emigraient dans les pays d'Europe, en particulier dans les Etats italiens. En 1852, par suite de querelles politques, la Lombardie, l'un des principaux champs de travail, decide d'expulser tous les Suissses de son territoire. La situation de la Suisse a cet instant est precaire, les Tessinois, surtout ceux des hautes vallees ou l'elevage de betail est la ressource principale, doivent chercher un nouveau but d'emigration. Attires par les bonnes nouvelles d'un ou deux emigres qui sont rendus en Californie et en Australie ou l'on vient de decouvrir des mines d'or, ils parlent en groupes pour ces contrees lointaines. Le travail dans les mines est penible et aleatoire, les Tessinois cherchent une autre occupation. En Australie, les ressources de l'agriculture sont maigres, tandis que la Californie offre de grandes possibilites de development: c'est cer Etat qui desormais sera le principal pays d'attraction des Tessinois. La cote de Pacifique leur convient, ils ne cherchent pas furtune ailleurs: c'est la que ce dirigera le flot d'emigrants. Sur quelque trente-cing mille individus ayant quitte le canton du Tessin depuis 1850 pour traverser les mers, vignt-sept mille environ ont abouti en Califonie (p. 212).







I Vecchi e La Montagna-Invervista 11

Corippo-On Our Mountain- Sul Nostro Monte


Sul nostro monte non c'era una goccia d'acqua, cosa vuoi bere Dio buono. Andavamo a prender acqua in due. con una brenta ciascuno, ma usandola un po' tutti, il brentello era subito vuoto. Contenevaca. 25 lit. Quest'acqua si prendeva quando eravamo intenti a far fieno di bosco, si doveva, fare un gran giro per arrivare all'acqua.

Mio padre partiva gia solitamente la sera e dormiva sotto un cech e quando arrivavano gli altri al mattino, lui ere gia sul posto. Giunti sul posto si decideva: tu falci questo pezzo qui, io falcio quello la. Per falciare il fieno di bosco si doveva pagare qualcosa ai patrizi, forse 2 franchi.

Si falciava, e quando il fieno era secco si tirava giu e si facevano i mucchi. Quandoun dato posto era falciatto tutto, il fieno veniva tirato insieme e si faceva i med. Si doveva scegliere un posto un po' affossato...(entra a questo punto il padre di Gugliamo, l'Andrea, dicendo: "Io d'estate andavo in Valle Maggio a fare il pastore, nei mesi di lugio, agosto e settembre, avevo 9 anni; mi davano 8 franchi al mese, ma dopo sono scappato alla fine di lugio. Ho scritto alla mamma dicendole che non mi piaceva e volevo tornare a casa e le ho fissato il giorno per inconyrarci. Ero presso certi Alloli o Allioli? Infatti ho preparato il sacco alla sera e alla mattina ho detto alla padrona che partivo. Lei mi ha dettp che volevo andare a casa a tettare la mamma, avevo 9 anni, benedetto Dio, 9 anni. Anche il mio figlio Celestino e stato pastore a Brontello, dal Fiori, in Val Bavona, lui mungeva 25 vacche, ma prendeva anche 20 franchi al mese mentre io ne prendevo solo 8. Sono partito alle 4 di mattina. Avevo l'appuntamento con la mia mamma al ponte di Tenero. Ormai quando si e ragazzi ce n'e dentro poco..., dopo ho girato il mondo a fare quel mestieraccio....

I Vecchi e La Montagne-Franco Bindi-1983
Intervista 11-Corippo- Guglielmo Scettrini and Andrea Scettrini



mercoledì 26 giugno 2013

domenica 23 giugno 2013

Arcotti Homes in Corippo

There are two structures called "Casa Arcotti" near the church where the Arcotti family once lived for hundreds of years. I would love to have modern photos of these buildings or the spot where they once were. If anyone is in the area and wants to take photos or these places and others, please let me know.

 This photo is taken from the amazing book (in German) called,

Corippo: Ein malerisches Berdorf im Tessin by Thomas Amster, Dieter Hermann, Hans Knut Loher, Brigitte Pedolin and Ulfert Webert.


sabato 22 giugno 2013

The Arcotti Family Tree

Several years ago I was given three handwritten genealogy trees that are a part of Rae Codoni's research for his book The Corippians. The most recent version is dated May 1988.

The earliest entries of the large tree are two branches of Arcotti which were both at one time in Corippo and were probably brothers. They are Giovanni and Giacomo.

********************

Giovanni was born around 1659 and married Domenica, the daughter of Domenico Macagna in around 1680 and had at least four children. They were Giacomo born around 1681, Giovanni Domenico born around 1686, Giuseppe born 8 Aug 1687 and Bartolomeo born around 1691. From this branch we know only of the children of Bartolomeo but I do not yet have access to the church records from this time but their absence from later records suggest that many moved away from Corippo. Bartolomeo had ten children: Giacomo born around 1714, Maria Domenica around 1715, Giacomina around 1716, Giovanna Maria around 1718, Giovanni around 1719, Giacomina (#2), Angelica, Beltramina Barlolomea around 1726, Maria Innocenta around 1728, and Bartolomeo born 29 Oct 1731. I have not made yet made contact with anyone from this part of the tree.

All of the relatives of which I am aware come from the second branch headed by Giacomo born around 1670 who married Giovanna around 1691. They had at least five children: Giovanni born around 1692, Giacomo around 1698, (who heads the continuing branch), Caterina born around 1701, Domenica around 1703 and Giacomina around 1706. Nothing is known about any of this generation except for Giacomo.

Giacomo, son of Giacomo and Giovanna, was born around 1698. On 28 Apr 1725 he married Maria Elisabetta Scarpa who was born around 1711. She was the daughter of Giacomo Scarpa. They had at least three children: Giacomo Antonio born around 1728, Pietro Antonio born 17 Mar 1732, and Giovanna Maria born around 1737. The three devides here into the the offspring of the two sons. We do know that Giovanna Maria married twice, first to Giovanni Scettrini on 25 Sep 1755 and then to Giovanni Pietro Vairora on 16 Aug 1760.

The descendants of Giacomo Antonio c. 1728 are the only people with whom I have had contact.

Giacomo Antonio, son of Giacomo and Maria Elisabetta Scarpa married Giovanna Antonia Scarpa who was born around 1736. They married in around 1755 and had three children. They were Giovanni Giacomo Antonio Arcotti born 10 Jul 1756, Giovanna Maria who was born around 1765 and who married Pietro Vairora born around 1768,  and Maria Elizabeth who was born around 1772 and  who married Pietro Giovanni Sgheiza on 21 Sep 1795. Nothing more is known at this time about the two daughters.

Giovanni Giacomo Antonio Arcotti, son of Giacomo Antonio and Giovanna Antonia Scarpa was born around 1756. He married twice, first  around 1786 to Marianna Lucia Scettrini daughter of Domenico Scettrini. She was born 24 Jul 1762 and died 15 Sep. 1815.  From this first marriage there were at least nine children. The second marriage was to Giovanna Maria Scarpa on 23 Apr 1816. She was born 17 Jun 1774. There was one child that we know of from the second marriage, a daugher, Maria Giovanna born 19 April 1820. It is from the first marriage that our known relatives stem. Of the nice children, the families of the two youngest sons are known.

The older of the two sons was Bartolomeo Arcotti. He was the eighth child of Giovanni Giacomo Antonio Arcotti and Marianna Lucia Scettrini and was born 9 Feb 1800. Like his father, he married twice, first to Maria Giovanna Sgheiza who was born 29 Aug 1794. They were married 9 Feb 1814 and had four children. Bartolomeo married the second time on 8 Aug 1835 to Maria Lucia Scettrini who was born 14 Sep 1807. 
The marriage of Bartolomeo Arcotti and Maria Giovanna Sgheiza produced four children: Marianna Lucia born 18 Mar 1821, Giovanni Antonio born 31 Aug 1827,  Pietro Bartolomeo Antonio born 16 Aug 1828, and Maria Pasqualina.

Nothing is known of the families of the children of Bartolomeo Arcotti and Maria Giovanna Sgheiza except for that of his third child Pietro Bartolomeo Antonio born in 1828. On 9 Dec 1869, he married Maria Thersia Aloysia Scialcci. They had two children Antonio Bartolomeo Arccotti, my great grandfather, and Angelica. This part of the family lives in the United States,

The second Arcotti branch stems from the  youngest son of Giovanni Giacomo Antonio Arcotti and Marrianna Lucia Scettrini. Their ninth child was Giovanni Antonio who was born 16 May 1803. He married Maria Lucia Scilacci on 23 Jun 1824. They had at least six children: Giovanni Antonio who was born 20 Aug 1829 and died 27 Oct 1829, Giocomo Antonio who was born 4 Jan 1831, Pietro Antonio born 10 Jan 1834, Stephani  Salvatoro born 22 Apr 1842, Pasqual Pietro who was born 22 Mar 1845 and died 8 May 1873 and Antonio Raphael who was bornaround 1846. I know of the children of the fifth child Pasqual Pietro.

Pasqual Pietro, the son of Giovanni Antonio Arcotti and Maria Lucia Scilacci was born in 1845 and married Margarita Scettrini 16 Apr 1865. They had three children: Carmela born 1868, Maria Anna born 10 Jul 1871 and Pietro Pasqual born 7 Dec 1873. It is the descendants of this last child Pietro Pasqual who still live in or near Corippo.

I will not add the children of Pietro Pasqual at this time since they  lived pretty recently. I have held this information close to me for a few years, but after seeing many others with trees online, I decided that these things need to be shared so that the relatives of this dispersed family will somehow reconnect. I would love to be in contact with any branch of the family. I always keep private the information of the living and do have more details and photos which will remain private. Not everything needs to go online. If you have further question, additions, corrections, or photos to share privately, please contact me.



Un suono nel cuore. Ascolta le campane.

Quanti nostalgici ricordi da queste campane. Clicca quì per ascoltare le campane.
Un po mi emoziono, mi tornano in mente i bei periodi estivi di vacanze trascorsi con le nostre zie a Corippo quando eravamo ragazzi.

La Formazione Della Parrocchia Di Corippo-1739

La Formazione Della Parrocchia Di Corripo Nei Documenti D'Archivo

Nomina dei deputati di Corippo per la separazione di Corippo dalla parrocchia di S. Bartolomeo Vorgorno. 1739 giugno 21.

1739 Ind.e seconda, un giorno di domenica cadente li 21 del mese di Giugno convocati, e congregati li vicini della Squadra di Corippo Valle Verzasca, esistente sopra la piazza di fuorri il Cimiterio della loro Chiesa, ove soglione fare li interessi della loro Squadra, nel qual luogo si sono ritrovati li infrascritti, cioe:
Giacomo Arcotti, Pietro Marcetti, Bartolomeo Codoni, Giacomo Antonio Scarpa, Giuseppe Rossetti, Bartolomeo Marcetti, Giacomo Rosetti, Bernardo Macagni, Domenico Macagni, Giovanni Battista Gambetta, Giovanni Domenico Macagni, Bernardino Macagni, Giovanni Scilacci, Giacomo Filippo Scettrini, Giuseppe Cotta, Giovanni Pietro Cotta, Giovanni Domenico Marcetti,
Giuseppe e Giacomo Vairora, Pietro Codoni. Giovanni Giacomo Sgheiza, Giacomo Scettrini, Bernardino Codoni, Gugliermo Codoni, e Giuseppe Scettrini.

A quali esponendo,  qualmente essendo stato da medesimi bramato a maggior Gloria d'Iddio, e salute delle anima lora la separazione della V. Cura di Sant Bartolomeo, ed in apresso d'aver un V. Curato nella loro Squadra, per evitar tanti pericoli di restar senza sacramenti ne loro urgenti bisogni, e per poi anche godere quei ben che secco puo portare un V. Curato sempre asistente ove e erreta la V. Parochiale. Onde essendo anche tali uomini dessiderosi di separarsi come sopra, fa di bisogno, che li medemi deputano qualche persone per fare quei atti che stimarano piu espediente, e constituirle con quella autorita, che stimarano piu proprio a fine etc. Quali uomini come sopra congregati etc, che sono delle te parti, le due, e piu I a loro nome, ed a nome delli altri, loro vicini absenti consideratis cosiderandis hanno rissoluto di separasi dalla V. Curi di Sant Bartolomeo ed in apresso erigere un V. Curato nella detta loro Squadra per administrarei S.ti Sacramenti, e tutto cio sara gli di bisogno con quelle dignita, e perrogative, che suole avere un altro V. Curato, dando percio omnimoda autorita alli Pietro Marcetti, Giovanni Domenico Macagni, e Giovanni Antonio Scarpaper agire a nome della medema loro Squadra giuridicamenteinanzi a qualsiasi Sig. Giudice competenze contro quei che vorano opporre a tale loro bramata separatione...


Cimeterio di Corippo

Un microterritorio alpino Corripo dal Duecento all'Ottocento-Pier Giorgio Gerosa-Armando Dado editore. p. 58-59

After studying hundreds of years' worth of Corippo church records, over and over I read that my ancestors are buried at the tiny cemetery of Corippo. Of course I know that the grave spaces are recycled, but I only recently learned from my cousin Joanne that there is a small square hole in the floor of the church of Saint Bartolomeo where the remains from the recycle spots are sent. It s date 1770 with a cross and I assume then that the graveyard did not overcome its capacity until that time.

Here is the floor in the Corippo church. My cousin Joanne says the her grandmother told her that the old bones go here.


 So, this cemetery and the church hide beneath their surfaces the relics of hundreds of years of Corippo joys, struggles, and all the stories of all the lives. To feel the soil here rubbing between two hands and to walk the church floors kneeling in memory is somehow to mix present with past and to absorb centuries of story, becoming more of the sum of your parts and more at peace with what was and what is.

The Giacomo Arcotti who is the first person mentioned in the above article was born c. 1698 and was the son of Giacomo born c. 1670. He married Maria Elisabeth Scarpa 28 Apr 1725 and would have been 42 years old in 1739. He was my 6th great grandfather. 

giovedì 20 giugno 2013

Money For America

As a child, my grandmother and I enjoyed talking about the past. I tended to either ask the same questions again and again or the answers swam in a pool of limited information. I always wanted to know about her parents. In retrospect, she did not say too much, but her playful story telling style never made repetition an issue. About Corippo and my great grandfather Bartolomeo's life there, she would say that it was a beautiful but very small mountain village and that it was difficult to raise a family there. This is why he wanted to come to America. I asked if it was expensive to come to America. She said that for the time, it was hard to save money. To earn money for America, Bartolomeo Arcotti found work on the St. Gotthard's Tunnel or Pass I think she called it. She said that Bartolomeo worked very hard and was proud of this work. He felt that in a small way he was doing his bit to honor the country he loved and was soon to leave. He worked for his past and our future, she said.



Here is an article about the St. Gotthard Tunnel from Harper's Magazine-June to November 1878 well before my ancestor work on it, but this is the sort of information he might have read, in Italian.



This is a long article and i am not sure how this will appear on the blog.



Giuseppe Mondada-Corippo-Exerpts

Alla comunita di Corippo mancano pero, a differenza di tutte le autre della valle, propri alpi. Nel passato, il bestiame era condotto sugli alpi di Lavertezzo. La chiesa di Corippo e singoli privati vi possedevano diritti di pascolo e cascinali: nel 1629, per esempio, Johannes q. Jacobi Codone lascio alla chiesa i suoi diritti d'erba (ogni diritto equivale alla possibilita di mandare sull'alpe un capo bovino) sull'alpe Canchj (Carecchio?); nel 1634 e nel 1637 fecero altrettanto altri Coripesi donando, sempre alla chiesa, herbe sive pasculo vacharum a Cuneg (Cuneggio). Oggi ancora un privato mantiene dodici diritti d'erba sull'alpe Orniana. Anche su altri alpi si conduceva d'estate il bestiame: Antonius Joannes Coripi appare in una pergamena del 1536 proprietario di analoghi diritti sull'alpe gordolese di Mornora in territorio di Vogorno, mentre gia agli inizi in affitto l'alpe di Canzello (Cangello) in territorio di Brione Verz.

Corippo- Giuseppe Mondada. 1975 p. 14.


This keep sake of a  book about Corippo by Giuseppe Mondada is evidential  proof of the old saying. Perhaps it was once first spoken with assimilated Italianated English by a now forgotten Corippian: good things come in small packages. Filled with interesting details and many wonderful black and white photos, its one to savor in pieces, paragraphs like the one here. Like the stone walks and the vigorous climb of Corippo, here you might pace yourself and breath in the beauty.

The translation to English is again not very comprehensible. The paragraph talks, if I understand it correctly, about the long tradition of free roam grazing of animals in Corippo. Over the past 500 years give or take, old world charm just might meet you in the form of a goat on the path or stone steps.       

mercoledì 19 giugno 2013

Arcotti Cousins-Connecting the Dots

One of the funnest aspects of having ancestry in a very small community like Corippo for a genealogist is searching the family tree for the common ancestor. It may go back a few generations, but usually the connection can be found and many times on more than one branch.

Here is the baptism record of my 4th great grandfather Giacomo Antonio Arcotti from 10 Jul 1756. He is also the 5th great grandfather of younger Arcotti cousins currently living in Italy. But we are at least twice related. These cousins and I are actually more closely related on their female Scilacci line going back several generations. Its a rather convuluted tree, but the point is that all Corippians are most likely distant cousins if you travel far enough back it time. With this common stream running through our blood, it is no wonder that so many of us delight in connecting to even the most distant relation.







My approximate translation from the latin:

In the year of our lord 1756, on the 10th of July, by the order of Julius Caesar Callionus Castellanus at St. Bartolomeo church, a part of the diocese of Vogorno is baptized an infant born to Giacomo, son of Giacomo Sgheiza-Arcotti and Giovanna, daughter of Antonio Scarpa who were legitimately married in the church of Mount Carmel in Corippo and impose the name Giacomo Antonio. The godparents are Pietro Sgheiza called Arcotti and Maria Elizabeth... 
 

I Vecchi e La Montagna

Intervista 10 (4.1.1980)

Maria Scettrini-Corippo

Abbiamo allevato la famiglia di 8 figli in miseria. Avevamo quelle poche bestie e si aveva un po' di formaggio che si faceva in casa, la mattina c'era il caffelatte, quando c'era, la sera minestra, patate, castagne. Una volta io ho messo le castagne nella gra, insieme con alti 4, uno per angolo. Pero quello incaricato di accendere il fouco non avrebbe dovuto accenderlo e alimentarlo sempre in un solo angolo. Capito che le nostre castagne sono diventate nere e non abbiamo potuto utilizzarle ed erano 9 gerli di cerca 40 chili, dai quali avevamo tolto tutte le castagne piccole. Non abbiamo potuto goderne neanche una ed io che avevo voglia di mangiare castagne secche sono andata a comperarne 1 chilo, per levarmi la brama, poi abbiamo gettato tutte le castagne bruciate nella valle di Corippo.

Le condizioni di vita erano dure, bisognava alzarsi presto, poi andare alle bestie, andare a far fieno di bosco, al pericolo. Se ne ho fatto anch'io di quel fieno? Oh si, si, quanto. Un anno l'avevamo depositato in alto sotto un grande sprugh e l'avevamo fasciato, e a mezzogiorno, quando avevo dato il pranzo ai ragazzi, mentre dormivano, salivo su quelle strade da camosci a prendre un fass di fieno, ogni giorno. Solo sacrifici e basta. Quando venivano i temporali ere brutto. Una volta, durante un orizzi nella stalla dove andavamo a dormire eravamo sotto in tre a un ombrello, si sentivano scorrere le piode del tetto, tanto il vento soffiava violento e l'Andrea teneva l'ombrello, andava acqua dappertutto. Avevamo sotto anche il nostro primo figlio, ancora piccolo. Di fianco al monte c'era una piantagione e il vento ne ha cosi strappate di piante....

I Vecchi e La Montagne-Franco Bina, Armando Dado editore. p. 152.


This story does not translate too well with the google program. It is the first two paragraphs of a two page interview from a book of interviews and commentary about life of the older generation on the Valle Verzasca. This mother talks about the trials of raising a large family with limited resources, sharing few chestnuts between many and even then throwing some away because they were burnt in the roasting. The struggle and combined effort is really palpable. I love this book. If you can find it, buy it.

martedì 18 giugno 2013

The Arcotti Family

Many years ago it was a thrilling surprise to find Rae Codoni's wonderful family history work, The Corippians, A Retrospective View, at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is a must read for anyone interested in the history of Corippo and the Valle Varzasca.

In the book, I learned that the Arcotti family is to be found in the church records of Corippo from 1665, that the name has adapted from Ercott and Ercoti, and that the name Arcotti was a military designation meaning "bowman"- the maker of weapons for arrows. Also interesting was the suggestion that some variation of the name was found to come from Locarno and that the family may have migrated to isolated Corippo to flee the plaque in the exodus of 1576-1577 .

My great grandfather's family lived in Corippo for more than two hundred years before he was born and baptized as Antonio Bartolomeo in 1871. Always called Bartolomeo, he was the son of Pietro Bartolomeo, also called Bartolomeo, born in 1828, son of the first Bartolomeo born in 1800 and Maria Giovanna Sgheiza who was born in 1794. Antonio Bartolomeo's mother was Theresia Aloysia Lucia Scilacci born in 1851, the daughter of Giovanni Giacomo Scilacci born in 1808 and Maria Gottarda Cotta born in 1809.

Antonio Bartolomeo was the oldest and the only son and had one sister, Angelica, who was born in 1875. Angelica also emigrated to California and the siblings were life long companions. ( Emilio Arcotti, a cousin,  also emigrated from Corippo in 1930 and lived nearby.) Their father was a member of the group of men from Ticino who followed the lure to Australia to work in the mines in an effort to find gold and become wealthy. This effort, in the late 1850's, proved unsatisfactory and (Pietro) Bartolomeo returned to Corippo. His cousin Giacomo Antonio, born in 1831, also went to Australia and remained and died in Queensland in 1894.

(Antonio) Bartolomeo Arcotti left from Le Havre, France and arrived in New York Harbor on 12 Feb 1889 in a ship called La Champagne. He would have taken a second ship from the East coast to the West. Once in California, he probably got immediate work at a relative's dairy in Salinas where he first registered to vote. He became a naturalized citizen 25 Jul 1892. On 20 Jun 1900 he had his own residence in nearby San Juan Bautista, were he met and married Italian immigrant Carmelina Porcella in December of 1900 at the San Juan Bautista Mission. Between 1900 and 1930, Bartolomeo Arcotti became a pioneer dairyman and rancher of the Natividad area in Monterey county in California about five miles from Salinas. This is where my grandmother and her four siblings were born and raised. When the three sons grew old enough to assist, the family bought a dairy further South in Chualar. The dairy was managed by the Arcotti sons for many years. By 1940, Bartolomeo was living with his son Clemente and his family in Gonzales. At the end of his life, Bartolomeo was cared for by his daughter Lena. He passed away is 1943 in Salinas.

Bartolomeo Arcotti
1871-1943

I was very close to my grandmother, Lena Arcotti, and she clearly adored her father. She would always find behaviors in herself and in me and say that they were Arcotti traits. She'd say "thats the Arcotti tenacity", or "show me the Arcotti work ethic", or she would repeat a story my siblings and I loved in her father's voice and say as we caught our breath, "there is the Arcotti humor." Although there are not a lot of people with the Arcotti name in the United States, there are many Arcotti descendants and cousins.



Excursions in the Real World-The Valle Verzasca by William Trevor



...And the tiny hillside village of Corippo dies a little more.

Corippo dies because its true inhabitants are old. The red-haired postmistress is young; her children are children, but they and their contemporaries are a small minority. In the world of today there is no reason for this village, for its steeply sloped meadows cut with scythe and hook, its rough, narrow pathways instead of streets, its rank nettlebeds and manure heaps, its odour of hay in June. Like medieval cells, its cramped houses jostle for breathing space; cobbled passages lead nowhere; doors open into hovel kitchens. All day long the tourists gaze in wonder at the past, cameras recording the ancient barn or red hens pecking. Two old men, slippered and silent, make their slow way down to the roadside graveyard, sticks poking out a safe path on the stony surface. The graveyard's nearly full-with the Arcotti family mainly, and the Scetrini's, but there's room for a couple more. The old men want it to be them; they want to be among their friends again. They turn and creep back together, thinking that one will outlive the other and wondering which, and why.

Excursions in the Real World by William Trevor, 1994, Alfred A Knoff Publishers.

I love this memoir about William Trevor's impressions of unique places in the world and was thrilled to find our little piece of heaven, Corippo, so charmingly captured. As a relative to the Arcotti's buried in the tiny cemetery,  I know that Corippo is in fact alive and well and shines brightly in the hearts of everyone with ties to this very special place. 

The exact wording does not always translate exactly right, so I hope you will seek out Trevor's book. There is more about the Valle Verzasca and many other delightful stories of charming and interesting visits across the globe.