Saturday, 2 April 2011

B is for Bannia

In the fall of 2000, my mom and I spent three weeks in Italy together.  We had a wonderful time.  While we were camped out in Venice, we took a day trip up to Bannia, the village where her father (we called him Babbo) was born.  I am forever grateful to the Giuseppina Facca, who recently passed away, and her daughter Daniela having us picked up at the Pordenone train station and driven around Bannia.  We were able to meet some Bertolo relatives, one of whom bore a strking resemblance to Babbo.

Mom said Babbo had told her that when he was a boy, he used to sit under the fig tree beside the church in Bannia.  He never returned to Italy after emigrating in 1913.  But we went to see if the tree still stood.  We didn't see the tree, our Bertolo cousin told us it stood where the village war memorial is now.  But it was sure worth the trip.

What we did find was a history of the parish, SS. Perpetua e Felicita di Bannia, which had been written by the parish priest, Stefano Battiston.  The book includes an 1895 census of the parish, Statistica della popolazione di bannia al 1 gennajo 1895.  Like many old censuses, it only gives the names of the head of the household, plus the number of males and females living there.  As a parish census, it also shows how many in the household had received the sacraments of Communion, Confirmation and Marriage.  There were 194 families in Bannia in 1895, with a total of 1,374 people.  I won't copy the census without the permission of Don Stefanno, but here's a summary of the family names in Bannia at the time:

(family name:  number of households in Bannia in 1895)

Agnolet:  1
Babuin:  2
Bassetto:  1
Basso:  2
Battel:  6
Battiston:  1
Bertolo:  10
Bertoli:  1
Bertoja:  1
Bisaro:  2
Borean:  3
Bortolussi:  1
Boscariol:  2
Bottega:  1
Bottos:  1
Boz:  1
Buligan:  5
Candido:  4
Calderan:  1
Callegari:  4
Carlis:  1
Ceolin:  1
Cepparo:  1
Ceschin:  1
Chiarot:  1
Cancian:  1
Dal Tio:  2
Da Re:  1
Del Bianco:  1
De Lorenzi:  2
Dolcetti:  1
Dreon:  2
Fabbro:  1
Favret:  2
Facca:  9
Feruglio:  1
Frattolin:  2
Gallio:  1
Gasparotto:  2
Grillo:  5
Innocent:  1
Lovisa:  1
Manzon:  1
Marson:  3
Marta:  1
Morassutti:  2
Mores:  1
Moret:  1
Morettin:  2
Maura:  1
Mio detto Parussolo:  1
Mio detto Tesolin:  3
Muzzin:  14
Modolo:  1
Montegnacco:  1
Pasut:  2
Pavan:  8
Pellarin:  4
Pighin:  1
Pignat:  1
Pezzutti:  1
Praturlon:  1
Puppa:  2
Puppulin:  1
Quarin:  1
Ragogna:  1
Redigonda:  1
Ros:  2
Rosin:  1
Rosset:  1
Rovere:  1
Roversi:  1
Rubli:  1
Rugo:  1
Santin:  1
Santarossa:  1
Sacilotto:  1
Sciardi:  1
Susanna:  4
Toffoli:  1
Tossut:  1
Vaccher:  10
Vida:  1
Villalta:  1
Zanese:  1
Zuccatto:  14
Zuccet:  1

Do you have roots in Bannia?  Please let me know if you'd like me to look up more info on your ancestors from this census.

If you are from Sault Ste. Marie, you will recognize many of those surnames, particularly Bertolo, Candido, Caligari, Chiarot, Fabbro, Facca, Marson, Mio, Muzzin and Zuccatto.  One of the research projects I would like to take on is to figure out who was the first man from Bannia to come to Sault Ste. Marie.  In our family, I believe it was Mino Bertolo, brother to my great-grandfather.  I don't know if he was the first from Bannia, but I do know, from looking at Ellis Island records over the years that an awful lot of citizens of Bannia headed to Sault Ste. Marie to join their "brother Mino Bertolo," "uncle Mino Bertolo," or "friend Mino Bertolo."

Do you know who was the first from Bannia in the Sault?

P.S.  In a future post, I'll share more information about the civil records from Bannia (and the rest of Fiume Veneto) that are available on microfilm through the LDS Family History Centres.  They are really tough to read, but thrilling too.  Within minutes of scanning one of the three films I ordered I found Uncle Frank's birth registration and Ernesta Candido's too (her maiden name was Bertolo).  More on that later!


  1. Welcome to the Geneabloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.
    The alphabet works, as well. Best wishes!

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "Back to the Homeplace"
    and "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

  2. Kathy, was Mino short for anything?

  3. Meghan, we think Mino was short for Bengiamino, but the records we can find so far say Mino (or Nino).

  4. Thanks for the encouragement, Dr. Bill!

    1. Hi Jim's girl.
      My nona is a Bortolussi born in Italy in 1907. She moved to Thunder Bay, Ontario with her new husband Alfredo Martin. I know she's from the Udine,Italy area and her father's name was Felici. I recognize alot of names on your list including Facca, Bortolo, etc. Would love to have the name of the Bortolussi member on your list. Thanks, Sharlene

  5. Hi Katherine, very interesting story. What is your dad's name? Also, I believe Zuccato is spelt with one 't'. I am interested in any info you have on Favret, Zuccato, Bertolo, Facca and Dreon. Thanks!

  6. I always knew we were related to the Candidos and always referred to Dean as my cousin but never really knew how....I had no idea Ernesta was a Bertolo! Now, I know. Who was her dad / mom? how close was she to Bubbo.? first / second cousin? (sorry, I always spell it that way...I know you don't.)

    1. The Candido family originated in Azzano Decimo, known as Candido detto Dean.

      Flavio Andreatta

  7. Ernesta's father Angelo and Babbo's father Giuseppe were brothers. They were first cousins. So Dean and Lee-Ann are our third cousins.

  8. Molly, the census uses the spelling Zuccatto (two ts) throughout. I'll email you the other info.

    1. Nitpicking here, but my mother's maiden name is 'Zuccato', one 'T' as well. If you search the white pages (pagineBianche) for 'Zuccatto' in Bannia, no entries are found with two 'T's, only with one.

    2. I believe I transcribed it accurately. It is possible there was a spelling error in the original text, in the book I transcribed from, or that the spelling has changed since 1895. In the old days, spelling was much more fluid than it is now.

  9. My grandparents were from Bannia. My nona was a Grillo and my nono was a Morettin. They immigrated to Sault Ste. Marie in the mid 1920's. One of my nona's best friends was Gilda Bertolo married to Gino. My mother workered at Bertolo's store on James St. in the Sault.
    I am planning a trip to Northern Italy at the end of May and was hoping I could connect with relatives that are still there. It was really nice finding your blog. D. Riley, Sault, Mich

  10. Glad you found the blog. Feel free to contact me at jimsgirlblog at if I can be of any help. You'll love your trip to Italy. Buon viaggio!

  11. husband was born in Bannia in 1943. His last name is Ortolan, his father was Rino, his mother Margherita Carpene. I notice there are no Ortolan on the list. I don't have much information about them and they have passed on so can't fill in all the blanks. They owned a farm and I have a picture of the family crypt in the cemetery. Not much to go on but I was excited to find your site.

  12. Hi, what an interesting site! My parents were from Bannia and emigrated to Sault St. Marie, Canada around 1950. However, my mother's father, Giuseppe Frattolin had come to the Sault earlier. My mother's mother was Maria Battel, and her mother was a Callegari. My father's mother was Dosolina Bertolo; she married Pietro Laurenti from the region of Umbria and they settled in Bannia. What a treat to see all the familiar names in the census count!

  13. Hi Katherine,
    I just stumbled upon this site, as I was looking for info on Bannia. My father (Manzon) was born in Bannia, imigrated to Toronto in the 60's. I'm, familiar with a number of those surnames on your list. Unfortunately, I wouldn't know who the first family was. I would like more info if you have some.
    Thanks for your research,
    Frank Manzon

  14. Hi Katherine, my father's father's name was Luigi Manzon (the 1 family named Manzon :) ). He would have been born just after the turn of the century. My mom will know and we'll update. Thanks for doing this!

    PS: my father was a bell ringer / altar boy in that church.

    Ivana (Frank's sister)

  15. My husbands family (Vaccher) is from Bannia. His grandfathers name was Luigi and he had a son, Sergio, that stayed in Bannia till he died. Sergio has two sons that I believe are still in Bannia. My husband and I spent some of our honeymoon (1995) in Bannia. Beautiful town.

  16. Wow! This is so surreal! My great-grandmother is Cesarina Zuccotto, who moved to Ft. William Canada in 1921 to marry Ernesto Vaccher. Both were born and raised in Bannia. Ernesto moved to Canada after the war, then started writing Cesarina asking her to join him and be his wife. She finally agreed and they were married shortly after she made the trans-atlantic move. I know i still have some family in Ontario, as well as a few cousins in Bannia. It's crazy to think that some of the people who have posted on here might be long lost cousins!

    1. Lisa,
      My grandfather was Ernesto's brother, Erminegildo who settled in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. I have most of the information that was gathered by Rina on the website. I also keep in touch with the relatives up in Thunder Bay, Canada! It's great to know that there are some distant relatives out there!

    2. Lisa,
      My grandfather was Ernesto's brother, Erminegildo who settled in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. I have most of the information that was gathered by Rina on the website. I also keep in touch with the relatives up in Thunder Bay, Canada! It's great to know that there are some distant relatives out there!

    3. It is so great to see cousins connect here!


    4. Lisa, as you know from your Mum, you also have relations in Australia. My husband Vittorio was the son of Francesca and Celeste Zuccato. Francesca was Ceserina were sister, theit parents were Basilio Zuccato and Antonia Boz. Dawn Zuccato

  17. Yes, Lisa. Isn't that the cool thing about the Internet, connecting with family and friends we've lost touch with.

  18. Wow - so great to find your blog. My father was from Bannia - his father was a Muzzin and his mother was a Zuccato. My sister has worked on our family tree and we should try to link ours up with you. Half the names on the Bannia list are family friends in Toronto...

    1. Hi Joanne. It would be great to line up our trees. Keep in touch.

  19. Richard Morettin19 March 2013 at 12:28

    Hi Katherine, - very interesting blog. My mother's maiden name is Zuccato, spelled with one "t". I have done some genealogical research in Fiume Veneto where some historical records are kept, and I know that one must be very careful in interpreting the information, as errors were made on occasion by those who recorded births, deaths, marriages etc. So, I am not surprised that the census would have spelled Zuccato with two "t"s.

    The Zuccato family is from Bannia where members worked operating the saw mill and iron works. Ruins of the facilities still exist next to the river (fiume) called 'Sile". Your readers of this blog may be interested in the following reference: " 'L MAI E LA SO DENT" by Sergio Vaccher, Pro Loco Bannia. The Preface and First part are written in Italian and the main text is written in Friulano. Translation may be required for those unfamiliar with either language.

    I was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie and many of the surnames names you list are familiar to me.

    1. Thanks for the tips, Richard. Glad you found the blog. ~Katherine

  20. Hi Katherine,

    As with many, I too came across your site by accident.. and like others, I was born in Ft. William Canada. My mom is Rosina Ragogna (the Ragogna family I think in the list) and her and 3 of her other sisters moved to Ft. William Canada in the late 50's (56 perhaps) where she married my dad.

    Look forward to keeping in touch now that we are in Southern Ontario with folks who knew my parents.


  21. Hello my nameis Melanie Toffoli. I found your blog a few years ago but since have found out more info on my family's geneology. My great grandfather Giovanni(John) Toffoli was born in 1901 and I have reason to believe his parents were Fillipo Toffoli and Maria Facca. John was born in São Paolo, Brazil during a time of depression in Italy that the family had relocated to farm coffee. He returned to Bannia, Italy when he was around six years old and then immigrated to Detroit, Michigan in his early 20's via Sault St. Marie, Canada. I also have a connection with the Zanese family whom part of them lived in Detroit with my gt. grandfather's brother Francesco Toffoli and his wife Lucia during the 50's &60's. If you have any info you could provide me with that would be great. We may even be distant cousins on the Facca side. Geez small world! You can contact me at

  22. My grandmother was a Ros who came to the US (Gary IN) around 1924. They were a family of 15 in Bannia.

  23. I would love to see teh civil records from Bannia (and the rest of Fiume Veneto) that are available on microfilm through the LDS Family History Centre. Everyone from my family originated in Bannia: Borean, Muzzin, Tonus and Gasparotto. My grandmother was Genoveffa Gasparotto and if you happen to have any information on her parents or on the two Gasparotto families who were in Bannia in 1895 I would really appreciate your help. Thank you

  24. dawnz3 18th November 2016.
    My husband was Vittorio Zuccato who was born in Bannia 2/2/1922, died in Melbourne 4/4/1990. He migrated to Australia in 1952. His parents names were: Celeste Zuccato,Francesca Zuccato. Married 25th November 1913.
    Celeste Zuccato's parents were Basilio Zuccato and Antonia Boz. My relations names are: Bertolo, Callergari, Morettin, Vaccher. I knew of Pellerin bros, Jack and Silvo who also came to Australia as well.
    Thank you. DZ.

  25. Very interesting to remember so many familiar names from Bannia. My father was from theire, and I visited several times, also lived there for six months.
    I remember so many family friends in SSMarie with similar names as on the early census.
    Thank you

  26. I just stumbled on this site and it is extremely interesting. All the families mentioned are my ancestors or relatives.

    Flavio Andreatta, born in Azzano Decimo

  27. Hi, I'm from france, i'm looking for a man call bertolo from bannia (i guess he's dead) His nickname should be gian or giovanni He should born arouns 1910 and 1915. He was in france departement of meuse around 1932. That'it. Thanks for the answers

  28. I'm trying to determine if my Nonna was born in Italy, Bannia or in Sault Ste. Marie ON. The archives of Ontario can't find a birth certificate for her so I think she may have been born in Italy. Her father was Eugenio Muzzin and her Mother was Maria Muzzin. My Nonna's name was Inglesina Muzzin and she had an older sister named Doralina.

  29. A note about the Vaccher family. The Vaccher family is a branch of the Mattiuz family.

    Flavio Andreatta