Bernasconi Family

Bernardo and Marcellina Bernasconi Bernardo Bernasconi

In 1859, Bernardo arrived in America by windjammer (no engine) around Cape Horn. Landing in California, he spent much of the following years in search of a place to build. Eventually, he established himself as a rancher raising cattle and sheep near Mission San Juan Capistrano. In 1879, he purchased 284 acres of land along the San Jacinto River. The land was a portion of the Pedroreno y Nuevo Mexican land grant. Prior to his marriage to Marcellina, he lived in a small one room adobe house on the land.

Marcellina Bernasconi

Marcellina Orsi was one of sixteen children, born in Airolo, Switzerland. At the age of ten, Marcellina was deprived of a mother’s loving care due to her mother’s death. This only made her stronger, as being the ambitious woman she was, she came through Ellis Island in 1887. She remained in New York for approximately one and a half years. Marcellina then moved to San Francisco for the next four years, joining her older brothers, and becoming a governess. At the end of that time she met Bernardo Bernasconi and they were happily married on September 1, 1883. They had six children; Matilda, Felicita, Joseph, Ernest and twins Stella and Edith.