The Middle Spinaze Line – One Generation– 1880-1979

Linda's Name-Line

The information here is still provisional, so please provide corrections and additions

See elsewhere for the Upper Spinaze Line (1820-1934)

Giuseppe / Joseph / Pop Spinaze (1880-1971) [Linda's GF]
The family has always understood that Giuseppe was b. 7 Feb 1880 in Orsago (6km north of Codogne).
But now we understand that he was b. 7 Mar 1880, at 06:15, and in Codogne not Orsago.
Barry Sommerlad provided a copy of the Registry page from the Municipio at Orsago, although he points out that:
"The record even says where he was born but it is very difficult to translate, as it may be/probably is in dialect"

He was on the Expedition, aged 5 months to 1-1/4 years, but survived.
Tess Spinaze remembered the story about someone wanting to buy him in Singapore, in Aug 1880 (Harrigan p. 61).
Giuseppe was an early student of the school in New Italy, which ran 1885-1933.
Giuseppe may have moved to Gundurimba with his elder brother Antonio in 1903?, i.e. aged 23

On 18 July 1906, aged 26, he wrote several postcards to his future wife, Maria/Mary Capelin, then 19, at Corner Norton St, Parramatta Road, Leichhardt. One says "Leaving today. When writing please address SS Eon (?) C/o C.S.R. Co.".

He spent some years as an 'engineer'/mechanic on the mill tugs, maintaining and operating the the machinery.

This photo might be from c. 1907?, so aged 27
m. Maria / Nan Capelin (1886-1979) [Linda's GM]
m. 9 Oct 1907, St Peters, New Italy,
and then at Nardi's Hall.
Maria was not quite 21 at the time. He was 27.
Maria was also of a family of Expeditioners, b. in New Italy 3 years after it was founded.
Her early years and photos are on the Capelin page.
The Wedding Invitation
Copy of Maria's mother's ...
... written account of the day

Joe and Maria made their first home at Swan Bay, 6km north on the Richmond River. A postcard dated 19 Jan 1909 suggests they were there at least 2 years, but they moved further north to Gundurimba at some stage

Three shots by Joe:

  • "SS Dyraaba picking up another loaded punt of cane"
    (Dryaaba is a place-name 60km NW, north of Piora) – c. 1910?, so aged 30?
  • "Cane-cutters in a good crop of Dupont cane" – c. 1910?
  • Vera at ?3 (left) and Lauria at ?5 (right), so ?late 1913 / early 1914, so aged 33/34?
    (Ray was born in July 1914)

Allan remembers Pop talking of the Richmond River flats being blocked by water hyacinth; and how it was possible to “walk on water” by tying palings onto your feet; and you could cross to the bank from the tugs and barges hauling the cut sugar cane from the fields to the Coracki Sugar Mill. [One of scores of small mills in NNSW 1875-85. See McKillop R.F. (2007).]
Pop certainly considered the Italians much above the 'Indians' who were cutting cane [mostly 'Kanakas', i.e. South Sea Islanders? At least they were in Queensland]. I remember him laughing about how they (the Italians on the tugs) used to wave pieces of beef on their dinner forks at the Indians to “watch them run”. He though it a great joke!

Joe with Vera, c. 1925?
Gundurimba, 1929
Gundurimba, 1930
Lismore, 1940
Lismore, probably mid-1943
Marie/Mary/Nan Spinaze (56)
& her gchn 1.3, 2.2 and 3.1
Left: 3.1 Allan Spinaze (1, b. 29 May 1942)
Right: 2.2 Stewart Sommerlad, (1-1/2, b. 21 Dec 1941)
In the (blue) wheelbarrow:
1.3 Len Barnes (2, b. 6 Aug 1941)
Lismore, 1951
Joe, with Giacomo
Piccoli, Apr 1953

A photo of Giuseppe from 1961 is on p. xiii of the Stud Book.

Images from their later lives:
60th Anniversary, 1967 ...
... detail, with Kate
Pop, 1971
Nan, 1979

Giuseppe d. in Lismore 9 Jan 1971, aged 90.
Maria d. in Lismore 17 Mar 1979, aged 92.

  1. Lauria May Spinaze (1908-1994)
    m. Gregory BARNES (?-2004)
    6 children, pp. 246-7 of the Stud Book
    Family Line here
  2. Vera Adeline Spinaze (1910-2007)
    m. Allan Geoffrey SOMMERLAD
    3 children, p. 247 of the Stud Book
    Family Line here
  3. Ray Spinaze (1914-2006)
    m. Georgina Cochrane (1913-2001)
    5 children, pp. 247-8 of the Stud Book
    Linda's Family Line details here
  4. Spencer Spinaze, b. 1924/25
    m. Doris Margaret Clarke, b. 1925
    4 children, p. 248 of the Stud Book
    Family Line here


For the information about the Spinaze line's origins and early years in Australia, this page draws heavily on the following four publications, which in turn draw heavily on Giuseppe's memories as captured by the next generation, especially Spencer Spinaze of Piora:

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.

Niau J.H. (1936) 'The Phantom Paradise: The Story of the Expedition of the Marquis de Rays' Angus & Robertson, 1936, 1980

Spinaze S. (2009) 'The Spinaze Family' New Italy Museum, Woodburn NSW 2472, November 2009, at, mirrored here

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: 26 Apr 2011; Last Amended: 4 Sep 2011, 2 Feb 2012 (1906 postcards), 31 Jan/2 Feb 2014 (1943 photo caption), 21-22 Apr 2014 (Barry Sommerald's correction to Joe's date and place of birth)