Friday, January 19, 2018

Joseph (Giuseppe) Scettrini

Joseph (Giuseppe) SCETTRINI

On September 20, 1834, John, son of Joseph Abondi Scitrini, and Maria Johanna, daughter of  Gugliermus Scilacci, were married at the Church of the Blessed Mary Virgin of Mt Carmel, in Corippo, Canton of Ticino, Southern Switzerland.

From Corippo parish register- via microfilm at Mormon FHC.
A year later, on the ninth of September, 1835, their infant son, Joseph, was baptised at the same church.
From microfilm of Corippo parish register, 1835,- with my translation.
               Joseph was one of many young men who left Corippo where there were many hardships, and he found his way to the goldfields in Victoria. In 1864 he was married at St Kilian's, Bendigo, to a young Irish woman named Catherine Heneberry. He described himself then as a 29 year old bachelor, resident at Sailor's Gully.
Their first child, Johanna, was born at Sandhurst on 29 December 1865,  and their second child, John, was born at Eaglehawk in 1867.
It wasn't long before the family moved across the Tasman to the West Coast goldfields, and settled first at Waimea, near the Big Dam, during the Goldsborough rush. Johanna is known to have gone to the school there.  At least four children were born at Waimea: the first was MaryAnne in December 1869, and the last seems to be Joseph Beneda, born in May 1876.           
The family is next known to be living at Kumara, where Joseph lived for the rest of his days in a house on Boundary Road. 
On 21 March, 1883, Joseph applied for naturalisation. He was described as a goldminer,  45 years old, who had been living in the colony of New Zealand for 15 years.
On 6 January, 1887, Catherine Heneberry died, leaving Joseph a widower with eleven living children (nine of them girls), ranging in age from two to twenty-one. He never re-married.
In September of 1890, Joseph discovered gold in a swampy area near Whiskey Creek, and a small rush occurred. He applied for a 6 acre claim and had constructed a 30ft tunnel. A newspaper reporter on Sept 15, 1890, found only one person working on the prospector's claim (assumed to be his son) and states that "I understand that Scetterini is not well at present and is consequently not working." He continues later: "I think we should all be desirous of rewarding a prospector and the storekeepers who had the courage to back him, for months, and though I consider six acres rather too large a slice for a very small party of men, I think the area should be in proportion to the labour expended.” 
Mr Seddon gave notice in Parliament on Sept 16, 1890, that this rush had occurred, and named the prospector as J. Sceterini. He sought Government aid to improve the access track.
Joseph is believed to have buried some of his gold, but when his section was dug up after his death, none was found. 
At the family reunion in 1992, Elizabeth Payn's wedding photograph from 1912 was reproduced on the front page of The Greymouth Evening Star. It shows Joseph Scettrini seated in the front row, complete with walking stick and large white beard.
Joseph lived until 4 October 1928, when he died, at 94 years of age, at his daughter's residence in Boundary Rd, Kumara. He was survived by seven children and thirty grandchildren. His obituary says: "Deceased followed alluvial mining practically all his life, and was for some time employed on Government Roads in and about Kumara. He was one of Kumara's oldest identities, as well as being one of the longest lived of Kumara's citizens."  

Note on SPELLING of Joseph Scettrini's name.

Joseph's original first name in Italian was Giuseppe. On the Latin baptismal entry it is written as josephus. The original spelling in Italian (in Corippo) of the surname is SCETTRINI, though on the Latin Church entries it appears as scitrini.

The surname is OFTEN misspelled, and when searching for information about the family in indexes, it is necessary to think quite laterally!  Some of the variations in spelling that I have detected include Scetrini, Sectrini, Scetrina, Seitrina, Sechini, Seitrino, Scetrim, Setrini, Citrini.

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