The Middle Capelin – Lorenzo Perin / Capelin (1837-1915)

This page is concerned with Linda's Father's Mother's Father, who migrated to Australia in 1880-81.
Details of the 10 month expedition are elsewhere.
Here's a list of Linda's 6 Forebears who were Expeditioners.

The Capelin family story isn't simple. Here is the Capelin index-page.

Lorenzo Perin / Capelin (1837-1915)
b. Lorenzo Capelin on 27 Oct 1837, Parrochia di Ghirano di Brugnera (Girran in Ventian)
Steve Capelin's site says, "Girran on death cert; Orsago in popular memory". Orsago was the married home of Maria and Giovanni Tome (his home village). She would have referred to Orsago as (her) home to the family as that's where she lived with Giovanni and bore three children. Hence the confusion.

m1. Catterina Cescon (1842-1881)
m. 18 November 1863 (or 1866/67/71?), in or near Orsago
Catterina was b. 5 February 1842
Five children, of whom only 1. Marietta and 4. Domenico survived their first year.
The two children and many descendants are in the Lower Capelin 1 page.

In Jul 1880, Lorenzo, Catterina and the two children, aged 13 and 8, embarked on the India.
For information on the expedition, see Lorenzo Spinaze's page.

On 19 Mar 1881,Catterina d. in childbirth, in Noumea, aged 38 (but 37 according to Thompson)
On 7 Apr 1881, Lorenzo arrived in N.S.W. as a widower, aged 42, with children aged 8/9 and 13/14.
On the ship's manifest, he's shown as Capelin.
From April 1881 onwards, with one exception explained below, he was always known as Capelin.
An explanation of the Perin and Capelin names is on the Capelin home-page.

m2. Maria Tome, nee Lucon (1846/47-1939/1945)
m. 21 Apr 1881, at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney.
     Maria Lucon was b. 1846/47, in Cimetta
     m1. 1869 to Giovanni Tome (1836?-1880)
     They were expeditioners, with their 3 children
     In Oct 1880, Giovanni d. at Port Breton
Maria had been a widow for 6 months, and Lorenzo a widower for a mere 33 days.
But, without the marriage, the children may have been split from Lorenzo.
The marriage certificate (courtesy of Steve Capelin) shows Lorenzo's surname as Peri. (They had just arrived, and spoke no English). After that, he appears to have always used the name on his disembarkation papers, Capelin.

On 20 Apr 1881 (the day before the wedding), Lorenzo signed up his family with William Mosel(e)y of Pennant Hills, for a period of 12 months, for Stg26 p.a. incl. accommodation and food.

See the family-page for the Tomes for:

Lorenzo and Maria started with a blended family of 5 children aged 7-13.
By the end of April 1881, they were in Thornleigh.
The family story was that they worked for the Paling family, although the conract was actually with Paling's business partner, a lawyer called Mosel(e)y.
At that stage William Paling was Mayor of Petersham.
Palings house wasn't built until 1886.
Pomona House
, as it's still called, was a sizable property, possibly orchards.
They were reputed to be good empoyers.

They had their first to children together in Thornleigh – Natale/Nathaniel/Nat (1882) and Lorenzo/Lawrence (15 Jul 1885). In 1885, Lorenzo's eldest daughter, Marietta (16y9mo), m. Giovanni Spinaze (33y) in Parramatta.

Lorenzo, Maria and their children then joined the other familes at New Italy in 1886.

He took up a selection of 95 acres at Swan Bay (10km N, western edge of Woodburn) in 1888.

They had in all 5 children together, nos. 6-10, b. 1881-1890.
A photo of Lorenzo and Maria and children 4-7, c. 1900, is on p. 77 of the Stud Book.
Another of Lorenzo, in a large group, is on p. 156.
Lorenzo was naturalised in 1902.

Lorenzo and Maria c. 1886?
Also Stud Book p.77
Back: John, Lawrence
Mid: 9. Maria, Lorenzo, Maria (Mum)
Front: Kate, c. 1896?

In 1906, future son-in-law Joe Spinaze addressed several postcards to Lorenzo and Maria's daughter, child 9. Maria/Mary, then 19, at Corner Norton St, Parramatta Road, Leichhardt. Nat and Lawrence ran a green-grocery there for quite some years. Since at least the 1960s, the SW corner has been a hotel/pub, currently 'Norton's on Norton'. We assume they were in the NW corner, which appears to have long been small-commercial.

Lorenzo d. 7 Dec 1915 at South Woodburn, so 78; but 77 according to his death certificate, says Steve.

We don't know when the family left New Italy.
This photo of Maria Capelin, with Maria Spinaze, in perhaps 1928, so aged 80, is also on p. 217 of the Stud Book.
There's a probable photo of Maria, in 1930, in a large group,
on p. 185 of the Stud Book.
Right-side: Maria Capelin/Tome/Lucon

In her later years, Maria lived with her youngest daughter, Kate, at Booerie Creek, 5km NW of Lismore.
Maria d. 23 Sep 1945 in Lismore, "in her 99th year" according to her obituary, says Steve Capelin.
[Her birthday seems not to be known, so 24 Sep 1846 to 23 Sep 1847, so go for 1847]
(The Spinazes had thought she d. 1939, but perhaps that was the date of her last move?)

For Lorenzo amd Maria's 5 children and many descendants, see the Lower Capelin 2 page.

For Lorenzo's 2 earlier children with Catterina, see the Lower Capelin 1 page.

For Maria's 2 earlier children with Giovanni Tome, see the Tome page.


These Capelin pages were originally established on the basis of the records of Ray Spinaze (1914-2006).

A great deal was added once Steve Capelin tracked me down and pointed me to his substantial Capelin page.

This page also draws heavily on the following publications:

Harrigan R. (2006) 'They Were Expeditioners: The Chronicle of Northern Italian Farmers – Pioneer Settlers of New Italy' Rosemary Harrigan, Werribee VIC 3030, April 2006, 188 pp.

De Stefani H.T. & Craven S.M. Eds. (1980) 'Our Italian Heritage' Centennial Celebration Committee, 1980, 263 pp. (popularly referred to as 'The Stud Book')

Thompson A.-G. (1980) 'Turmoil – Tragedy to Triumph: The Story of New Italy' International Colour Productions, Stanthorpe Qld 4380, 1980, ISBN 0 86774 000 0, 56 pp.

See also:

'New Italy Settlement', Heritage Council of NSW, version of Aug 2011 mirrored here

This a page within Linda Spinaze's Family Web-Site

Contact: Roger Clarke and Linda Spinaze

Created: 27 April 2011; Last Amended: 15 Feb 2014, 17 Oct 2016 (Steve Capelin's additions re their arrival in Apr-May 1881), 16 Feb 2021 (Steve's corrections)