Saturday, June 20, 2009


When I was a kid, my father’s family often called me by the nickname “Franceschèn.” When I was really young, I just figured I was “Franceschèn,” I had no clue it had anything to do with Giusvalla or anyone else in the family.

It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that I wasn’t the first “Franceschèn” in the family. My uncle Frank carried the nickname as a kid, so did my grandfather and, finally, my great-grandfather - Francesco Rosaio - the original “Franceschèn.” You can imagine my surprise when my cousins in Giusvalla began to refer to me by this same nickname I had grown up with!

“Franceschèn” is a dialectual diminutive of “Francesco,” meaning little Francesco. In the dialect of Giusvalla, the ending “-èn” was used to create a diminutive for many names, e.g. Luigi/Luigèn; Marco/Marchèn; Antonio/Tunèn.

My great-grandfather, Francesco Rosaio - the original “Franceschèn” - first came over from Giusvalla in 1904 and joined the other Giusvallìn at Squirrel Run. He later returned to Giusvalla for a year or two and came back permanently in 1910. Francesco was born on January 29, 1879 and was a son of “Manzèn” and Maria Caterina Perrone.

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