This is from a document where four men are swearing to a fact about a fifth man on the eve of his wedding. I can make out the word 'California' twice and what seems to be the word 'moglie' in the lower-lefthand corner, but I can't read enough of the other words to get the sense. It's horrible handwriting and a poor scan (from Ancestry). I'm hoping that someone with more imagination than I have can speculate as to the gist of the statement. Thanks!
... conosciamo il qui presente Mensa
Stefano fu Andrea(?) d'anni 41
da Gargano(???) ... ... ...
sotto il vincolo del suddetto giuramento
che lo stesso durante tutto il tempo che
fu con noi in California per ragioni di
lavoro non ebbe mai a prendere
moglie ed in tutto ... ... ...
Ah, now this makes sense! Thanks so much, Luca. The Comune wanted to make sure that he didn't have a wife overseas before he married a woman from Garzeno. (This document was one of the Allegati for his marriage in Garzeno.) This is interesting not only for the specific understanding of Stefano Merga but also for the sense that several young men from that comune made the trip to the USA and then came back. I had the idea that immigration to the States was a considered permanent, with only a few people returning, but maybe that's not true. Maybe returning was more common than I believed. Too bad there's not much information on people arriving back in Europe as there is for people arriving in North America.