San Mateo County History

Orecchia Family

My grandfather, Giuseppe (Joe) Orecchia came from Castello di Annone, Piemonte, Italy. The village is on the banks of the river Tanaro about six Miles upstream from Asti. He was the first of three brothers to immigrate to California: Giuseppe, himself, first came to Alameda, CA in 1906 or 1907, not through Ellis Island but rather through the Pacific port of entry, Angle Island, San Francisco. He worked as a shoemaker in Alameda, CA until about 1911 when he went back to Castello di Annone to marry his wife Luisa Grana. They in turn returned to the US in July of 1912. Within days of their arrival, my grandmother Luisa gave birth to my father Giovani (John) Battista Orecchia and his twin sister Nina Orecchia. Giuseppe Orecchia went on to open a shoe repair shop in San Mateo within that same year and ran the operation until his untimely death, due to kidney failure, in 1917. After his death, my grandmother, with the help of her sisters and brothers-in-law, went into partnership and opened the B-Street French Bread Bakery in San Mateo. This bakery survived a a family business into the 1930s, when my grandmother moved to San Jose with her children. Some time in the early 1930s, my aunt Nina married a Piemontese named Fred Pena, they had one child Norman Pena. My aunt, who is now 97 years old lives in Redwood City, CA.

Giuseppe Orecchia's first brother to immigrate to the US was Paolo (Paul) Orecchia in 1909, he in turn married another Grana sister, my aunt Blini. Uncle Paul, lived in San Mateo, County until his death sometime in the 1950s. Giuseppe Orecchia's second brother to immigrate to the US was Gerolamo (Jerome) Orecchia in 1920, he in turn married another Grana sister, my aunt Annetta (Netta). They too lived until in San Mateo County until their death. Accompanying him to the US was fellow townsman and close friend, Micelle (Mike) Fasolis. Mike Fasolis was a close and dear friend of the Orecchia family and lived in San Mateo County until his death in 1990.

—Thomas Orecchia

Return to San Mateo County History
Return to San Mateo County Genealogy
© Copyright 2009 Thomas Orrechia, text and pictures. All rights reserved.
© Copyright 1996-2009 SFgenealogy.  All rights reserved.