(also known as Galleggioni and Gallegionni)

1870 to 2003


Researched by Matthew U. Oberhofer

West Calgary, Alberta, Canada

E-mail address:

posted July 29, 2003 (v1.6)



General:  This research project about the Gallegioni Family was started in May 2002 after going through my mother’s box of “things”.  It started with finding the American addresses (originated around 1900 to 1911) of my mother’s two uncles, Pietro and G. B. Gallegionni (also known as Gallegioni) and a 1926 picture of the Gallegioni Family residence in the town of Cranna, Val de Bregaglia, near Chiavenna, Italy close to Swiss border. The family home of Del Curto, Prosto di Piuro was also found. This led to searching “Google” which led to Celentano Family - California; Gallegioni Family - California; Valsecchi Family - Italy; Gallegioni - Del Curto Family - New Zealand; Galleggioni - Switzerland.  This led me to additional information with the Government Office in Harpers Ferry, WV, USA;  Historical Society, Harper, WV, USA;  Pasini, California;  Ellis Island Passenger lists ( Marteletti - California;  Andreoli - California;  Fort Bragg, Mendocino County cemeteries and it went on and on.


History: As told by my mother, Elena Katerina (Del Curto) Oberhofer, as family stories.  Sometime around 300 AD, thousands of blonde, tall, blue eyed, people entered the northern valley of Italy from the plains of northern Switzerland – southern Germany. They flourished and around 350 AD, decided to expel the Roman Army from this valley. They fought the Romans and won. Caesar did not like this and sent his best Legions to reclaim this territory. A battle ensued and when it was over, 350,000 Germanics were killed and the few remaining survivors fled up north to high mountain unproductive areas and took up defensive positions by controlling narrow mountain passes. Life was difficult and population growth was low.


Around 1500 AD, a traveler - merchant trade route was established between France and area of the southern Austrian Hungary - Hapsburg Empire. Chiavenna became a trade and cultural centre. The Gallegioni and Del Curto families have lived nearby in the small villages of Burgonuovo di Piuro, Prosto di Piuro and Cranna.


On a hot summer day in 1615 AD, the villages of Cranna and Prosto were wiped out by a massive rockslide. The merchant class homes were destroyed and the only survivors were a few men who were working elsewhere. It appears that one of the survivors was a male Gallegioni.  He built a house out of the rock rubble and this is the Gallegioni Family home today.  A Del Curto survivor also built a house out of the smashed rocks and that is the Del Curto family home today.


Using Google searching for “Cranna, Prosto di Piuro, Borgonuovo di Piuro and Chiavenna” tells that Cranna became a place for “outlaws”.  In 1700, the population was 100. By late 1800, the school had 20 students and was closed and moved to Burgonuovo di Piuro.



Gallegioni – (aka: Galleggioni)  Family History: 


Andreas R Galleggioni was born 3 Feb 1870. His birth records are today in the church at Prosto di Piuro.  His brother, Pietro Galleggioni was born 11 Jan 1868 (California records) or 1872 (my mothers memory) - uncertain and another brother, G. Ba. Galleggioni (after 1911 known as Giuseppi) was born in 1878.


Andreas became a shoemaker and moved to Zurich sometime in the 1890’s.  In 1895, he purchased some land 200 metres east of the Zurichsee intersection DufourstrasseFrohlichstrasse and built a four-story apartment house.  In Dec 1900, Andreas married Aurelia Del Curto of Burgonuovo, Italy. They had four children; Uliss born 1902  (died from staph infection 1915); Gustav born 1905; Elena Katerina (my mother) born Sept 11, 1909; and Angelica born 1911. 


Sometime before 1900, Pietro Gallegionni emigrated to San Francisco (no records show on Ellis Island passenger lists therefore he must have used another name).   On 22 April 1900, G. Ba Gallegioni entered the USA at Ellis Island claiming to visit his brother, Pietro along with a Pasini and Domino Marteletti, all from Piuro and all claiming to visit their cousin Pietro.  (Ship passenger records).


G. Ba Gallegioni went back to Italy in 1911 and returned to USA in 1911.  At the ships dock, he was offered a coal-mining job in Harper, West Virginia.  His address was Box 57, Harper, and Raleigh County, West Virginia.  At this point, G. Ba (aka: Giuseppi) Gallegioni disappears. A search of Harper Historical Society records tells of several very serious mine disasters in Harper, West Virginia in 1911and 1912.  Casualty rates were very high and one can only assume that he was never married and was a casualty in one of these disasters.   


Pietro Gallegioni moved to Fort Bragg, Mendocino County, California, address: Box 4.   He died in 4 May 1946 and is buried in Rose Memorial Park cemetery.  The records there state that he was born 11 January 1868.  A search shows no descendants of Pietro (aka: Peter) Gallegioni.




Family history of  Andreas Gallegioni and Aurelia Del Curto.


Andreas Gallegioni was born on 3 February 1870 in Cranna, Italy.  He was a talented shoemaker.  Aurelia Del Curto was born in 1882 in Burgouovo di Piuro, Italy. They were married in Zurich, December 1900, at St. Antons Church. 



Decendants of Andreas and Aurelia Gallegioni. 


Children: third child, a daughter (my mother); Helena Katerina Angelica Gallegioni, born on 11 September 1909 in Zurich, Switzerland.  She passed away on 23 February 1995 at age 85. 


Elena Katerina Gallegioni married (my father) Mathias Oberhofer in Zurich, Switzerland on 17 May 1930.


Mathias Oberhofer was born in Martell (Martello), Italy on 23 February 1903.  He is the son of  Mathias Oberhofer, also born in Martello, Italy in 1864.  His mother was Notburga Stark, who was born in 1880, in Grins, Tyrol (Austria, but now Italy).  This area is about 120 kms northeast  from Chiavenna, Italy.) 


Martello, Italy is near Tarsch, Italy or north and west of Bolzano, Italy.  This is about 12 miles south and east of the extreme Swiss Village of  St. Marie. 


The Oberhofer Family has been there since 1571, according to church records.  They moved to this remote valley from a town called Primstl, which no longer exists due to some religious differences (war).  They were adamant Catholics and are so today.  In this part of Italy they still speak a kind of German, much to the displeasure of the Italian language-speaking Italians. 



Decendants of Mathias and Elena Katerina Oberhofer 


Children: Matthew U. Oberhofer, born 23 Feb 1932, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 

                 Robert Charles Oberhofer (dec 1980).



Decendants of Matthew U. Oberhofer and Florence Jean Tuff Oberhofer  married 23 August 1954, in Lethbridge, Alberta.


Florence Jean Tuff, born 4 May 1931, in Lethbridge, Alberta is the daughter of Alfred Edward Tuff and Edna Ivy Knight Tuff. 


Children: Joseph Allan, David Matthew, Mary Jane, and Elizabeth.


For further information or questions, please contact Matthew U. Oberhofer at