Sunday, May 29, 2016

Burke/Flynn grave

Thanks to someone posing a genealogical question on one of my blogs, I have been prompted into opening a few folders. Then I realised that my 3rd cousin Margaret Gaffney had even posted a photo of our 3X grt grandparent's grave in Perth, Scotland. Michael Burke and Bridget Flynn originated from Co Mayo, but left Ireland for Scotland around the time of the Famine.
Here is a screenshot of the photo Maggie took. Spine-tingling, wonderful thing to see!
I guess this means that Wellshill Cemetery, Perth, Scotland has to be on my list of places to visit whenever I next get overseas!

And while I am at it, here is an earlier Burke posting from Maggie.



Sunday, August 10, 2014

More about Corippo

The village of Corippo in the Canton of Ticino, Southern Switzerland, was the home of my Scettrini ancestors. I was fortunate to explore the village and valley in 1998 and 2006. The photos included here were taken on those visits, but have been scanned from prints. 

After the 1998 visit I wrote:

"As the train swept northwards into Switzerland, mountains began enclosing us in a dramatic landscape. I was heading into the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, to find the small mountain village of Corippo. There I hoped to walk in the paths of my Swiss ancestors.

The next day dawned fine and sunny and at 9am I joined a regular "Postbus" service headed up the steep, winding road into Val Verzasca. After thirty minutes there was 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, and is one of the few mountain villages in Ticino where the building structure has stayed the same over several centuries. I approached, very conscious of the link that I was making with my family's past.


The first place I reached was the village cemetery, set on a small flat terrace, slightly apart from the rest of the village. I pushed open the gate and entered. The names of my ancestors seemed to present themselves on the headstones in front of me: - Giovanni Scettrini, Giuseppe Gambetta, Abbondio Scettrini. Yet these were all more recent burials, as in this part of the world, the same land has been re-used for burials many times over the centuries.
cemetery, Corippo
 I soon reached the village itself, and there was much to explore in every part of it. The narrow winding streets of Corippo are steep, and only suitable for humans and animals.


Most of the houses are built close together, and only the cemetery, bakeries, and two mills near the river, were slightly separate.
mill by stream, slightly separate from main part of village



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. Chestnut wood from the valley provides a framework for the roof, and is also used in furniture and joinery.



A climb up behind the village gave me a view down the valley to where the Verzasca River began forming the lake that now stands behind the Vogorno dam. Many wayside shrines, some with old painted frescoes, stood near the paths, evidence of the long Catholic history of this place.




uphill behind main part of village

shrine and footbridge near village of Corippo
A downhill path, once probably an old mule track, led across the stone bridge in the rugged Corippo side-valley, then climbed upwards towards the village of Mergoscia. Around lunchtime I found a picnic spot on this path, that gave me a perfect view back across the whole village of Corippo. At midday, chimes rang out from the bell-tower opposite: in past centuries, the devout villagers would have stopped, hearing this, to say the Angelus.
view back to Corippo from the track to Mergoscia
Switzerland is well organised for tourists, and there was an excellent map near the church in Corippo, detailing walks in the surrounding area. The next track I chose led to the nearby village of Lavertezzo. There were some superb mountain views along the way, and sheep with spring lambs ventured out of their old stone hut onto some grassy knolls.
on the track leading to Lavertezzo
 The riverside track passed through forest, still with just the sparse beginnings of spring leaves. Many small waterfalls along the way rushed down to join the Verzasca River. At Lavertezzo the track up the valley could be followed no further because of the current avalanche danger. But the attractive village of Lavertezzo had wonders of its own to explore, most notably the double-humped stone bridge that spanned the river. Great views of this bridge could be had from the middle of the river itself, as there were several safe ways to climb out onto the huge mountain rocks that lay there.

bridge at Lavertezzo
Locals in Corippo have always had a hard life with the rough alpine climate, poor soil quality, and steep terrain of the pastures. In past centuries, inhabitants only got enough from the fields for their own needs and there has often been a high degree of emigration. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, men from Corippo went to Italy as chimney sweeps from November to Easter. In the nineteenth century, the goldfields lured many men away. Marginal agricultural land has since been increasingly reclaimed by forest.

window- Corippo
 Getting there:
Ticino is the southern, Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland.
Locarno lies close to the main Gotthard railway line that links Milan and Zurich.
There are frequent train connections at Bellinzona for Locarno.
Locarno can also be reached via Domodossola on the dramatic Centovalli Mountain Railway. (Eurailpass valid.)
Several Postbus services leave Locarno each day for Corippo and Val Verzasca.

Footnote: Switzerland has a very well developed system of transport that makes it possible to reach many remote villages, and maps and information are readily available. But transport is expensive in Switzerland, so before travelling there it is well worth investigating which of the various discount schemes available might suit your needs.

Margaret, the writer, is a descendant of Giuseppe Scettrini, born in Corippo in 1835,
the first son of John Scettrini and Maria Johanna Scilacci.


There's a bit of info in an earlier post here - but I am expanding on it in this new post. (Originally most of this text was on my homepages, but I expect to 'retire' them soon.)

Monday, October 22, 2012

List of ancestors

I know this blog has had hardly any attention- it's turn will come!- but I have some info on some old web pages I must transfer over here.

Here is a list of ancestors back to 4X great grandparents where I know them.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A related blogger!

The internet has brought whole new ways for people to come together. Last year I was contacted by someone who had found my web page about some of my ancestors. She recognised the Burke family we had in common- and yesterday I enjoyed lunch with Maggie and some of her family. Meet Maggie and her blog- iwiKiwi.

James Lalor & 'Papers Past'

James Lalor, my great-grandfather, mined for gold at South Beach on the West Coast, and was also known as a 'parliamentary messenger'. In the last year I have come to know a lot more about him as a person, by using the excellent Papers Past website.

The most interesting 'find' I had was an article in the New Zealand Free Lance in 1901, talking about his recent service as a parliamentary messenger. I had imagined that this calling was like being a glorified 'postie' who carried messages by horseback along the Coast- but not at all. He did in fact go to Wellington when Parliament was in session to wait on the Members with messages. The article reads: "Yet Mr James Lalor, who came up from Greymouth to wear the livery of Parliament and who has just got back to the Coast this week to resume his avocation as a gold miner could boast of his family connections if he were not far too modest a man to say anything about himself at all." And the article goes on to say he was a 'full cousin of the celebrated Irish orator Richard Lalor Shiel'.

And the Papers Past site was a treasure trove that told me more and more about him, as he was active on the School Committee and various other bodies. His marriage to Catherine Rowland was recorded in the pages of the Grey River Argus in 1871 and then on 4 October 1916, his death is recorded in the same paper, a man who was 'well and favourably known throughout the West Coast.'


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.