Monday, February 1, 2010

I Perrone ed Piedrinìn

My great-grandparents were brother and sister-in-law. How is this possible, you might ask? Well, my great-grandfather’s 1st wife was a sister of my great-grandmother’s 1st husband. So for the 16 years before they were married to one another, my great-grandparents were related by marriage because their spouses were siblings. They had both married into the Perrone family, more specifically “i Perrone ed Piedrinìn.”

Many of the Giusvallini families of Squirrel Run tie into this family by blood or marriage. This is the beginning of their story in America.

The patriarch of this family was Giacomo Paolino “Piedrinìn” Perrone, born in Giusvalla in 1851 and married there on November 17, 1873 to a young orphan named Pasqualina Maria Trento. Four of the five children born to Giacomo and Pasqualina came to Squirrel Run, then as an old man Giacomo himself came to the United States to live out his last years. The children of Giacomo and Pasqualina were:

Maria Teresa, born in Giusvalla in 1875, she married Giovanni Piovano and died in Toulon, France on October 16, 1905. She had two children: Baptistin & Mario.

Caterina “Catarinìn” (Katie), born in Giusvalla in 1879, she worked as a dressmaker in Toulon, France for a couple years with her sister Paolina before coming to the United States in 1907. She settled at Squirrel Run and married Giusvalla native Francesco Rosaio at St. Joseph’s-on-the-Brandywine Church on September 5, 1907. Katie Rosaio died in Wilmington on October 25, 1925 of kidney disease and is buried in Cathedral Cemetery.

Francesco Rosaio was already related to another Perrone family through his mother, Maria Caterina “Marinìn” Perrone, who was from the family “Perrone della Collà.” Because there were few family names in Giusvalla, it was common to have multiple generations marrying into families with the same name.

Giovanni Battista “Batistén” (John), born in Giusvalla in 1880, he came to the United States in 1906 and settled at Squirrel Run. He soon bought his own shop at 210 West 8th Street in the city of Wilmington and ran a successful business building and repairing shoes. John married Giusvalla native Giuseppina “Josephine” Pesce at St. Joseph’s-on-the-Brandywine Church on October 5, 1911. They had five children: Antonia, Paolo, Alicina (Elsie), Anne & John.

John died at home, 3107 Monroe Street in Wilmington on April 20, 1924 of complications from a disease of the stomach and is buried in St. Joseph’s-on-the-Brandywine Cemetery. His widow Josephine remarried in 1927 to her recently widowed brother-in-law, Francesco Rosaio.

Paolina (Pauline), born in Giusvalla in 1883, she worked as a dressmaker in Toulon, France with her sister Caterina for a couple years before arriving in the United States in 1907. She settled in Squirrel Run and married Giusvalla native Giuseppe Camoirano at St. Joseph’s-on-the-Brandywine Church in 1907. Paolina and her husband moved to Valley Road, Hockessin where they worked for many years in the mushroom business and became very well known in the area. Paolina died October 31, 1965 at Memorial Hospital in Wilmington and is buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Ashland, Delaware. Giuseppe and Paolina had four children: Ernest Jr., Edna, Josephine & Charles.

Paolina’s father Giacomo came from Giusvalla to live with her in 1931. He died at her home in Hockessin on April 16, 1935 and is buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Kennett Twp.

Maria (Mary), born in Giusvalla in 1888, she came to the United States in 1921 and settled at Squirrel Run. She married at St. Joseph’s-on-the-Brandywine Church on September 2, 1922 to the widow Francesco “Masetta” Baccino. Francesco’s 1st wife, Luigia Perrone, was a 1st cousin of Francesco Rosaio (who was married to Maria’s sister Caterina). Maria suffered from tuberculosis and died six years after her marriage to Masetta on December 30, 1928 at Delaware State Hospital, Farnhurst. She is buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Kennett Twp.

The twice widowed Masetta married a third and final time to the widow Secondina (Olivieri) Zunino at St. Patrick’s Church in Kennett Square on August 1, 1929.

In the picture: The Perrone siblings at Squirrel Run. Standing left to right: Katie (Perrone) Rosaio; Maria (Perrone) Baccino; Paolina (Perrone) Camoirano. Seated: John Battista Perrone. This picture was taken Sept. 23, 1923, the day of the original “Tutti I Giusvallini” reunion.


  1. Hi, I just returned from Casssine to visit the area where the Roggeros are from. I'm curious, how do you know of the Roggero family and what information do you have of them? Domenico Roggero was my great-great grandfather and Maria Caterina was my great-great grandmother.

  2. I am not related to the Roggero family. They lived for a time at Squirrel Run near my family. However, I have some limited information on your Roggeros on my genealogy website. This is the direct link to the page that contains some info on your ancestor:

    Frank R.

  3. Hello J.J.,

    It's interesting to hear your details regarding the Roggero family- Maria Caterina's maiden name, if you do not already know it, was Ghione. My family is tied into the Ghione lineage (my grandmother's maiden name was Ghione), so I have learned alot regarding the Roggero's while learning about my Ghione history. If you are not already aware, Domenico and Maria Caterina are buried at St. Joe's on the Brandywine cemetery in Wilmington, DE. Their tombstone has a picture of both of them on it. I can send you a photo of the stone if you are interested, just email me at if you'd like me to forward it to you. Thanks for reviewing the Giusvalla blog!

  4. Thank you both! This is all just so interesting. The world is amazingly connected.