Editor’s Note: This narrative was written prior to the recent discovery of JBB’s birth records and information about his immediate family. See here for details.
The Jean Baptiste BEZONA(BISOGLIO)family information has been provided by David Henry Bezona, Fred Kenneth Bowen, David Burt, Marianne Purdy, the late Dr. Evelin (Eve) Kinney, and others.
Researchers into the family ancestry found numerous names for Jean Baptiste Bezona (affectionately dubbed JBB). Spirited debate about the true family name threaded throughout the sharing of research. David Henry Bezona steadfastly believed the original family name was BISOGLIO. He made multiple trips to Italy to find members of the BISOGLIO family who might assist him in confirming his belief. David was successful in his quest to verify the original Italian name / ancestry of Jean/ Gian Baptiste Bezona. David and Dr. Jura Roberto Bisoglio of Italy participated in DNA testingto assist in confirming the original Italian origins of Jean/Gian Baptiste Bezona (JBB). In May 2011, that testing confirmed a 99.93% likelihood that the two men descended from the same paternal lineancestry. Now with DNA confirmation, of BISOGLIO as the family name, the mystery of JBB’s true family name is solved. (Link to DNA story here.)
Avidly pursuing further research into the Italian Family History, David Henry Bezona did further research during the summer of 2011. He searched the baptismal records for JBB in the Dioceses of Monferrato, Italy for records that have not been catalogued primarily because of the early date of 1785 attributed as JBB’s birth date.
Napoleon required that all births and deaths be registered as early as 1808. The independent country of Savoy/Savoia (Italy) was not brought into a unified Italy until 1861. With a supposed birth date of 1785, the birth record for JBB must be found through a hand search of the various church’s baptismal records.
Such records of actual Bisoglio birth information could be buried somewhere in the basements of the parish churches of either Lu Monferrato or Cuccuro Monferrato (they are just 2 1/2 miles from one another). Maurizio Bisoglio is the church sacristan in the Cuccuro church while Mauro Bisoglio is a member in the Lu church of San Giacomo (St. James); the location of finding a Giovanni Battista Bisoglio having been baptized in 1795 and not in 1785 as our family history has always told us. For that reason, Mauro Bisoglio smiles when he asks if we’re sure this is the CORRECT Giovanni Battista!
Jean Baptiste BEZONA (BISOGLIO) is thought to have been born in Alessandria, Piedmont, Italy in 1785, from the stories passed down in the family. [ Alessandria is both a large city and the name of the area surrounding the city. People who live in the immediate villages and smaller cities add the initials of AL after their village or city name to indicate that fact. The Bisoglio Family are Catholic and the family believes its surname (cognome) to have originated in the village of Lu / Monferrato. Monferrato is the diocese of for the area, which includes Lu. This is the location of baptismal data that precedes the electronic dating of births kept by the Catholic Church.]
On 14 Feb 1819, Anna Maria Lown and John Bezona were married in Moreau Township (TWP), Saratoga County, NY. Anna Maria LOWN was the daughter of John Phillip LOWN and Christina PINCK. Anna Maria was born on the farm and baptized at St. Peter’s EvangelicalLutheran Church,3 miles north of the village ofRhinebeck, NY. John died on 3 Mar 1851 just outside of the village of East Pembroke in Batavia, Township (TWP), Genesee, New York. He was buried on 6 Mar 1851 in the Pioneer Cemetery, East Pembroke, Pembroke TWP, Genesee, New York. Anna Maria died on 12 May 1884 in East Pembroke, Pembroke TWP, Genesee New York. She is buried beside her husband. [No gravestones indicate where the two are buried because the cemetery is now the village’s recreational park. However they are still interred there. The location of their graves is shown on a burial plot map from the late 1890s. Copies are currently in the possession of David Henry Bezona and David Burt.]
John and Maria had the following children:
- Mary Eveline BEZONA was born in 1819 [The date of birth (DOB) may be incorrect. The 1820 census for John Baptiste (listed as John Bazonian) does not show any children. This could be a simple error relating to John’s inability to speak English. Since Mary Eveline married in 1839, it is possible her DOB is 1819, or perhaps she was born later in 1820, after the census was taken.].Mary Eveline died on 18 Jan 1890 probably in Oakfield, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. She was buried in Avoca Cemetery, Oakfield, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Mary Eveline married Ruggles HUBBARD in 1839 in Genesee County, New York. Ruggles was born on 15 Aug 1815 probably in New York. Ruggles died on 26 Feb 1893 probably in Oakfield, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He was buried in Avoca Cemetery, Oakfield, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
- George Albert BEZONA was born on 5 Jun 1822 in Washington County, New York. George Albert was later known as George A., or G. A. Bezoni. [George Albert is the grandfather of most of the family members who show an interest in the family’s genealogy. Some family members use the surname, Bezoni.] George died on 11 May 1879 in Roubidoux TWP, Texas County, Missouri. He was buried on 12 May 1879 [approx. date] Liberty Cemetery, Upton TWP, Texas Co, MO Sec29 Twp32N Rngll W. George married Rosetta BRISTOL on 21 Aug 1845 in the village of LeRoy, Genesee County, New York. Rosetta was born in April 1827 in New York. Rosetta died on 22 Oct 1902 probably in. Wagoner County, Indian Territory or Kansas-US Army pensioner dropped by Topeka, Kansas Agency. Rosetta is buried next to George Albert in the Upton TWP. [David Henry Bezona has a photo of the gravestones.]
- Sophia BEZONA was born in 1824. She died on 19 Nov 1892.
- William BEZONA born on 1 May 1825 in Saratoga, New York. William died on 6 Feb 1885. He was buried 51 in Randolph City Cemetery, Cattaraugas County, New York. William had a sawmill and lumber yard on the outskirts of the village of East Randolph, New York William married Martha M. UNKNOWN. Martha M preceded William in death by 25 years. William remarried, and his second wife, Elvira, is also buried in the same plot with William and Martha M. Martha was born in 1831 in Massachusetts. Martha died on 1 Jun 1860. She was buried next to William in Randolph City Cemetery, Cattaraugas County, New York. William later married Elvira UNKOWN. She is also buried in the Bezona Family plot in Randolph City, Cattaraugus Co. NY.
- John Henry BEZONA was born on 22 Dec 1827 in Batavia TWP, Genesee County, New York. John Henry died on 28 Feb 1909 in Troy, Doniphan, Kansas. He was buried on 2 Mar 1909 in Troy, Doniphan, Kansas. John Henry married his niece, Mary Jane HUBBARD, the daughter of Ruggles HUBBARD and John Henry’s sister, Mary Eveline BEZONA on 1 Mar 1856 in Fond Du Lac, Oakfield, Wisconsin. Mary Jane was born on 27 Sep 1840 in Batavia TWP, Genesee, New York. Mary Jane died on 13 Nov 1934 in Chino, San Bernardino County, California. While the grave marker in Troy, Doniphan, Kansas indicates that she was buried there next to John Henry. In fact, she was buried on 16 Nov 1934 in Pomona, Los Angeles County, California.
- Andrew Jacob BEZONA (called either Jacob or Jake all of his life)was born on 14 Apr 1831. Andrew married Cornelia Fosdick CARPENTER who was born in 1842. Cornelia was the daughter of Christopher and Betsy Carpenter of Massachusetts. Andrew Died 13 Jan 1924. Andrew JACOB and Cornelia Fosdick Carpenter Bezona are buried in the Hillside Cemetery, East Pembroke Village, Pembroke TWP, Genesee, New York. Cornelia died in 1932. She is buried in the Hillside Cemetery, East Pembroke Village, Pembroke TWP, Genesee, New York.
- Helen A. BEZONA was born in 1833. She died on 10 Nov 1907.
- Laura Jane BEZONA was born in 1835.
- Charles A. BEZONA was born in 1839. He died on 16 Jun 1917.
- Sarah BEZONA was born 25 in 1842 in Genesee County, New York. Sarah married Darwin SMITH. He was possibly born in 1832 in New York.