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Canton Ticino (TI)

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Ticino Migration to North America

Contents -

Gold!
The United States of America
How did they fare in the long run?
Perhaps they had relatives going to Australia or New Zealand ?
Sending money overseas from the US
Buying German Stamps
A text about general Swiss migration to the US
Canada and Ticino Migration there


Gold ! The finding of gold in California in 1849, and America's acquisition of that territory, made it relatively easy for European people to migrate to California. Today, descendants of these early Ticinesi are found right throughout America with a strong concentration in California.


The United States of America - Ticinesi citizens from the north east of Canton TICINO or TESSIN - the areas of Leventina, Blenio, Riviera and Bellinzona in the south of the area tended to migrate to America. The ones who crossed the Atlantic before 1850 settled mostly on the east coast of the US and prospered. Some 1605 Ticinesi emigrated to the USA in the 1834-1856 period. Records show that only 64 of these were women (making up only 8.85% of the total).

Californian Ticino researcher, Tim Purdy, says, "I came across this interesting statistic in an article about Swiss Immigrants in Plumas County, California. "The emigration of Swiss beyond seas was about 1,691 in 1877, though it rose in 1883 to 13,502 (the maximum as yet attained). In 1899 it had fallen to 2,493 and in five years ending 1938 inclusive it averaged about 1,850.


How Did They Fare in the Long Term ? Californian Ticinesi found, they being predominantly from the land, that with the growth of San Francisco, they could supply large quantities of diary products to the city and they did quite well financially. California offered opportunities to the successive Ticinesi generations and, for the second generation, an exponentially better set of opportunities than their family or friends who had migrated to Australia.

Ticinesi Surnames in California (in French) - In 1950 M. E. PERRET wrote Les colonies tessinoises en Californie (1950) which may be quite some help to US-based researchers. We understand it has not been released in English but is available in the US Library of Congress. PERRET's book gives a list of Ticino family names in California - a total of 1249 surnames.


Perhaps They Had Relatives Going to Australia or New Zealand ? If you are unable to find your Ticinesi forebears arriving in the US and you know that they had brothers and cousins who migrated to Australia or NZ then Doctor GENTILLI's The Settlement of Swiss Ticino Immigrants in Australia, (1988) may be a guide as to the era when yours emigrated.


Sending Money Overseas From the US - One American researcher says, "When I send funds overseas, I order a Pounds Sterling check from Ruesch International Financial Services in Washington, DC. The charge is $3.00 per check (for a US$15 certificate) and I usually receive the check back about a week after Ruesch receives my payment.

Even though they are located in Washington, DC, I just call them using their toll free number. I have never had a problem with them and I highly recommend using their services. When I call them, they tell me the exchange rate and exactly how much I need to send to them. I don't think they accept credit cards, but I'm not sure." (Dianne from Michigan researching her ancestors in Germany).

Ruesch International Financial Services
700 Eleventh Street NW
Washington, DC, 20001-4507
Phone 1-800-424-2923


Buying German Stamps - Because of the difficulties of using International reply Coupons in Germany have a look at http://home.t-online.de/home/mckenzie/stamps.htm

Researcher, Bert Knupp, says, "The unwillingness on the part of the Deutsche Post about accepting IRCs is becoming legendary."

For occasions when I genuinely expect the person I'm writing will have something to say in reply (i.e., not just a "fishing expedition"), I have begun simply enclosing a 10-mark bill "fr etwaige Vervielfltigungs - und Versandkosten" (for likely duplication or mailing costs). The local banks are happy to unload them, and we're talking under US$6.00. Where charges run higher (many agencies, Pfarramter, etc, charge by a published tariff) they usually credit the DM 10 toward the bill.


A Text About General Swiss Migration to the US - One of the recognized sources giving the names of the people leaving Switzerland (based on archives in Zrich, Bern and Basel), the reasons for leaving, etc, is a List of Swiss Emigrants in the Eighteenth Century to American Colonies, Albert Bernardt Faust, A.F., Ph.D. and Gaius Marcus Brumbaugh, M.S., Ph.D., first published in 1920, reprinted several times.

One version was published by the Genealogical Publishing Co, Inc, Baltimore, MD, USA, in 1991 (ISBN# 0-8063-0109-0). Two volumes have been consolidated into this one book.


Canada and Ticino Migration there - To date I (A. John Parker) have absolutely no information on the migration of Ticinesi into Canada, but I ( would be pleased to hear from Ticinesi descendants.


Much of the credit for the information on these pages goes to Doctor Joseph Gentilli, the publication GEOWEST and the Department of Geography at the University of Western Australia under Professor John Dodson and is most gratefully acknowledged.

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This page is maintained by A. John Parker. / Last updated: 28 April 2012(wws).
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