Bedigliora, the little village where Margaret and Giulio Maricelli was from was formerly called "Beviona" and belongs to the Canton Ticino, one of the 26 Cantons and Half Cantons which form the Swiss Conferation. It is situated in the center of a rather hilly region called Malcaontone.
The name "Bedigliora", like that of Bedeglia ( the hill above it) comes from "birch" (betulla), which was in the past the most common tree of the forests. There are also numerous chestnut trees. The origin of the village is supposed to have had its prehistoric era during the Bronze Age. Similarities of the language and toponymy, on the other hand, indicate with some precision that the first inhabitants of the Canton Ticino, at least of its few lowlands, were of Etruscan and Ligurian origin.
It is thought that the village must have taken its first form during the 13th century, a time when the future Canton Ticino was under the dominance, more or less severe, of the Diocese of Milan. Consequently, we can also image that the first Maricelli and Ferretti were among the people who erected and frequented the first place of worship, a chapel site dating back to the year 1390.
The migratory flux became massive during the years of crisis 1840-1850, then a blocade was raised against the Canton by the Imperial Austrian Army and about 7000 Ticinesi settlers and immagrants were expulsed at short notice from Northern Italian provinces. Large groups of families left for Australia, California, Central and South America and the United States.
All things considered, it was extraordinary that a couple of Bediglioresi, Giulio and Margaret Maricelli, who had certainly not seen much of the world outside the little village, set off for an unknown and remote (to them) place in Northwest Louisiana, a courageous choice indeed!
The Maricelli, Ferretti, along with the Lorenzetti, Amado, Righini, Bolli, Zarri and Vanotti families are among the oldest of Bedigliora. The Maricelli were Roman Catholics and quite a number of them became priests. Three "Don Maricelli" - the last deceased 1804- are remembered on gravestones still existing in our century.
The Ferretti name continues to be numerous, and the origin has to do with Ferro, which means "iron".
The Louisiana homestead of Giulio and Margaret Maricelli is completely different from their Swiss homeland, being flat, and swampy in parts. The Swiss vital statistics were maintained in each town, the census records for Bedigliora are available at their City Hall.
Documented information states that Giulio and Margaret, with son, Carlos age 12, Francois, age 10, and an infant age 4 months left Switzerland the 29th of August 1845, went through Italy and France and sailed from LaHarve on the Northern Coast of France the 23rd of Sept. 1845, on a French vessel named Chateaubriand, arriving in New Orleans, Louisiana on November 22, 1845. The infant child died during the voyage. In June of 1846 Giulio bought 280 acres in Sec.2-Tion-R7W about four miles East of Campti, LA for $700.00 from the Union Bank of Louisiana. The family was reared on this property, and all seven children eventually lived in Natchitoches Parish. Giulio died 5 Apr 1874 and Margaret died 4 Apr 1896. They are buried in Campti, LA.
I hope this information is useful to those researching.
Back to my original post looking for the parents and siblings of Margaret Ferretti, I would appreciate any information on them. They lived in Bedigliora or Banco, Switzerland. Thank you,