Monday, November 15, 2010

Corippo- Village of the Scettrini family

I have made a couple of visits to Corippo, the mountain village in Ticino, southern Switzerland, from whence my Scettrini ancestors hail. Here are three photos taken there in a springtime visit, in April 2006 (scanned from pre-digital film photos...)

To get there I joined a regular "Postbus" service headed up the steep, winding road into Val Verzasca. After thirty minutes you get a breath-taking sight of the village of Corippo, with its stone houses perched steeply against a mountainside. Corippo lies at an altitude of 560m, with mountains 2500m high around it. It was founded in the fourteenth century. I approached, very conscious of the link that I was making with my family's past. 

All the houses in Corippo are made of mountain granite, with slate roofs, in a design that is specific to Ticino. The house fronts all look out across the valley, built to face the prevailing rain direction. The buildings tend to have two or three floors with small rooms, plus an attic. Because of the steepness of the terrain, hay and wood were often placed in the attic at the top, from the upper side of the house. 

Locals in the village have always had a hard life with the rough alpine climate, poor soil quality, and steep terrain of the pastures.  In the nineteenth century, the goldfields lured many men away. Hence, the arrival of Giuseppe Scettrini on the goldfields in Victoria, and later on the West Coast...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Eight great-grandparents

Patrick RIORDAN was born in Curraheen, Co Limerick, Ireland, sometime in the late 1840s, the child of John Riordan and Bridget QUANE. He seems to have arrived in New Zealand aged about 21, c1868.

Mary BURKE was born in the Parish of Inchture, Perth, Scotland, on 21 August 1862. She was the first child for her Irish father, Martin Burke, who left Co Mayo around the time of the Famine as a child, and her Scottish mother, Ann PHILP. She emigrated with her parents to New Zealand aboard the "Mermaid" when she was still only a toddler, arriving in Lyttelton on 16 February 1864.

 Patrick Riordan married Mary Burke on 11 April 1882 at the Catholic Church in Lincoln. 

Jeremiah MALONE and Margaret RIORDAN (no photo) were the parents of my grandmother, Margaret MALONE, who was born in Ballinadrideen, Ballyhea Parish, near Charleville, close to the border of Co. Cork and Co. Limerick. Another of their daughters, Bridget,  also emigrated to New Zealand.


James LALOR was born in Co. Kilkenny Ireland, c 1840, to John and Mary Lalor. He seems to have reached New Zealand c 1866, becoming a goldminer at South Beach. 

Catherine ROWLAND was born 26 August 1845 in Heidelberg, Melbourne, to Christopher Rowland (who was probably a convict from Cork) and Margaret ARBUCKLE. Her younger sister Margaret also later came to New Zealand.

James and Catherine married in 1871 in the Catholic Chapel in Greymouth.


Francis Davis PAYN was born 1854 in "Les Ruettes", St Martin's parish, Jersey, Channel Islands. He was the son of Thomas Payn and Elizabeth MOURANT. He arrived in Canterbury in 1874 on the "Dilharee" with Philip Payn, and was one of three "Larrikins" who discovered the Larrikins lead in 1878 in Kumara. 

Johanna SCETTRINI was born in Sandhurst (Bendigo) in 1865, the eldest daughter of Giuseppe Scettrini (from Corippo, Ticino, Switzerland) and Catherine HENEBERRY (from Ballyporeen, Co Tipperary, Ireland.) The family moved to the West Coast and after living in Waimea (Goldsborough) for a time, settled in Kumara. 

Johanna and Frank were married in 1886 in Kumara.