In the book, I learned that the Arcotti family is to be found in the church records of Corippo from 1665, that the name has adapted from Ercott and Ercoti, and that the name Arcotti was a military designation meaning "bowman"- the maker of weapons for arrows. Also interesting was the suggestion that some variation of the name was found to come from Locarno and that the family may have migrated to isolated Corippo to flee the plaque in the exodus of 1576-1577 .
My great grandfather's family lived in Corippo for more than two hundred years before he was born and baptized as Antonio Bartolomeo in 1871. Always called Bartolomeo, he was the son of Pietro Bartolomeo, also called Bartolomeo, born in 1828, son of the first Bartolomeo born in 1800 and Maria Giovanna Sgheiza who was born in 1794. Antonio Bartolomeo's mother was Theresia Aloysia Lucia Scilacci born in 1851, the daughter of Giovanni Giacomo Scilacci born in 1808 and Maria Gottarda Cotta born in 1809.
Antonio Bartolomeo was the oldest and the only son and had one sister, Angelica, who was born in 1875. Angelica also emigrated to California and the siblings were life long companions. ( Emilio Arcotti, a cousin, also emigrated from Corippo in 1930 and lived nearby.) Their father was a member of the group of men from Ticino who followed the lure to Australia to work in the mines in an effort to find gold and become wealthy. This effort, in the late 1850's, proved unsatisfactory and (Pietro) Bartolomeo returned to Corippo. His cousin Giacomo Antonio, born in 1831, also went to Australia and remained and died in Queensland in 1894.
(Antonio) Bartolomeo Arcotti left from Le Havre, France and arrived in New York Harbor on 12 Feb 1889 in a ship called La Champagne. He would have taken a second ship from the East coast to the West. Once in California, he probably got immediate work at a relative's dairy in Salinas where he first registered to vote. He became a naturalized citizen 25 Jul 1892. On 20 Jun 1900 he had his own residence in nearby San Juan Bautista, were he met and married Italian immigrant Carmelina Porcella in December of 1900 at the San Juan Bautista Mission. Between 1900 and 1930, Bartolomeo Arcotti became a pioneer dairyman and rancher of the Natividad area in Monterey county in California about five miles from Salinas. This is where my grandmother and her four siblings were born and raised. When the three sons grew old enough to assist, the family bought a dairy further South in Chualar. The dairy was managed by the Arcotti sons for many years. By 1940, Bartolomeo was living with his son Clemente and his family in Gonzales. At the end of his life, Bartolomeo was cared for by his daughter Lena. He passed away is 1943 in Salinas.
I was very close to my grandmother, Lena Arcotti, and she clearly adored her father. She would always find behaviors in herself and in me and say that they were Arcotti traits. She'd say "thats the Arcotti tenacity", or "show me the Arcotti work ethic", or she would repeat a story my siblings and I loved in her father's voice and say as we caught our breath, "there is the Arcotti humor." Although there are not a lot of people with the Arcotti name in the United States, there are many Arcotti descendants and cousins.