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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Genesio Rosselli

The acquisition of large landed tracts in Sonoma county either by purchase or by lease is indicative of the thrifty, progressive spirit of our Swiss-American citizens, who, coming across the ocean with no capital except industrious habits and robust constitutions, have risen to positions of local prominence solely through their unaided efforts. As tillers of the soil they are energetic and sagacious, while in the dairy industry they display a wise discrimination and prudent management excelled by no race represented in the west. The qualities possessed by Mr. Rosselli will place him in the forefront among his countrymen in this locality. While his residence in this county is not of long duration (dating from the year 1902), he has become well known as a shrewd, resourceful rancher, alert in everything pertaining to his chosen occupation. The estate which he operates consists of one hundred and eighty-five acres of land, a part of which is utilized for the raising of farm crops and the balance furnishes a pasturage for thirty head of cows and four work horses. Considerable attention is being given now to the poultry industry and the yards contain fifteen hundred chickens, the output of eggs and fowls adding materially to the annual income.

Born in Switzerland in 1862, Genesio Rosselli is a son of John and Candida (Bazzini) Rosselli, also natives of that country, the father born in 1832 and reared and married in his native land. As early as 1856 he sought the mines of California. The trip was one of indescribable hardship. Provisions on the ship became so nearly exhausted that the passengers subsisted on hard tack and stale butter. Finally, after a voyage of six months around the Horn, the vessel cast anchor in the harbor of San Francisco and relief came to the suffering men on board. The Swiss emigrant proceeded to the mines of Placer county, and for some time he endeavored to find a fortune in the earth, but his luck was only that of the average miner and, disappointed, he returned to his home in the old world. There were five sons in his family, Genesio, Peter, Joseph, Theodore and Mario. The second-named married Mary Pedretti and has two children. Joseph is married and has four children, three of whom are living, Virgilo, Victorina and Jennie.

After having completed the studies of the Swiss common schools and later having acquired a thorough knowledge of the dairy business, in 1884 Genesio Rosselli came to the United States, sailing on a steamer from Havre to New York City and thence traveling to the western coast by train. Immediately after his arrival he secured employment on a ranch and for eighteen years he worked in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, whence he came to Sonoma county and settled on a ranch near Petaluma. To aid him in his effort to secure a competency he has had the assistance of a capable, economical wife, who possesses the amiable and industrious qualities for which the Swiss women are noted. Born in Switzerland in 1866, Mary Bazzini was one of four children, the others being John, Mark and Agata, Mrs. Moses Manni. John married Mary Berta. Mark chose Eda Carigiti as his wife and they now have five children, Richard, Emiliel, Louisa, Victorina and Evaline. Mrs. Manni has one son, Damiano, a namesake of her father, Damiano Bazzini, who was a life-long resident of his native Switzerland. The family of Mr. Rosselli comprises two sons and one daughter, Elvezio, John and Candida. In religious faith Mr. Rosselli is devotedly attached to the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, and he and his wife have been generous in their contributions to its maintenance. Since becoming an American citizen he has voted with the Republican party at all national elections and in every way he has endeavored to discharge the obligations resting upon him as a patriotic, progressive resident of our state.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011