|Pretty much the only evidence remaining|
|New Italy (mud brick) Museum and cafe|
We are second cousins but I am a generation ahead of him even though he is almost the same age. We are among a line of Stephens. Stephen John's father was John Stephen, his father a Stephen John and his father a Stephen Antonio. I have a first cousin Stephen Anthony (from the same ancestry though different surname - his mother was a Capelin) and I have a brother Michael Anthony.
With a couple of hundred relatives on my father's Italian side there are also a string of Lawrences and Larrys (one in every generation of my direct line) and the original Lorenzo from whom we are all descended and whom is the subject of my historical fiction - a work in progress.
|Free admission - a display of family stories and heirlooms|
|Marginal country on which the Italians eked out an existence|
I thought I had almost all the facts in place but, and this is the fascinating thing about history and family history, it is never quite finalised; there is always more.
|The land has largely reverted to bushland|
|A local recipe for (a lot of) salami|
Sadly Catterina did not survive the voyage and lies in an unmarked grave in Noumea. This death (in childbirth) will be the climactic moment in the story.
For Stephen John (second cousin once removed) it raised the possibility that his great-great grandfather Dominic (Lorenzo's son) may have been a twin as there are two births recorded in 1872. And still no documentary evidence (birth/baptism) of our existence in Italy as Perin or Capelin or Cappellin. I plan a visit in June to do some further digging.
These are the snippets of information and hoped for documents which keep us family historians questing for answers to sometimes unknown questions.
For those who have come this far, well done. For those who find family history a tad tiresome I could swerve towards something racier on my grandmother's Irish side. A potential potboiler featuring a divorce involving two generations of aspirational Italian and Irish peasants and the progeny of one of Australia's high profile industrialists. Another time maybe.