Our Ancestors

Where Do We Come From ?

We come from the area in and around Borgotaro in the valley of the Taro river in the Province of Parma. Below is a photo of Borgotaro. The photo dates from about 1860. Note the walls and the portal to enter the village. It stills looks a lot like the photo today except that it has grown both inside and outside the walls and there are now small super markets and other modern shops. As you will see in the chapter, "We are Nobility", Some of our ancestors lived in Borgotaro as far back as the fifteenth century. In that time period the Fenaroli's were the nobility of Porcigatone and were counselors to the lords of Borgotaro and Parma for matters regarding Porcigatone and the surrounding area.

Our near in ancestors came from the small farming communities around Borgotaro. Farms in the valley of the Taro and Europe in general are different than the farms we are familiar with in America. In America, the Family Home is located convenient to the fields often in the middle of the farm. In Europe the farming family's lived in very small communities, 5 or 6 families, with the residence of the Padrone usually near by. Borgotaro was and still is the important center for the area and was the castle of the Lord of the area. Borgotaro provided safety. In times of danger the farmers in the outlying areas went to the castle for protection. Borgotaro was and is the mercantile, religious and political center for the area. Besides containing shop's and local manufacturing, the weekly mercato took place every Monday in the Piazza Del Mercato. Farmers brought in their crops, eggs, cheese and animals to the mercato to barter for the goods they needed. The mercato continues today, every Monday and is wonderful to experience. Some farmers still show up but in the main the mercato is full of mobile vendors that sell anything from Prociutto, Cheeses to shoes and music CD's and everything in between. The aromas are heavenly. The mercato moves from town to town on different days of the week.

So where did our ancestors come from ? What are some of these small farming communities? Posso, Cafarraza, La vigne, Porcigatone, Brunelli, San Martin, Traponia and others. Our ancestor's also came from the towns similar to Borgotaro in the Taro Valley. Some of these are, the beautiful castle town of Compiano, Isola, Bedonia, Berceto, Bardi, Albareto, San Roco and others.

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Buon Viaggio...........