by Maureen Sartori Peterson, Australia
I have three Ticino ancestors. Maurizio Sartori (from Mosogno); Guiliamo Pedrazzini (from Cimalmotto); Agostino Lurati (from Lugano). Sartori’s son married Lurati’s daughter. Pedrazzini married an English woman. After my father died, my mother remarried another Ticinese descendant, Adami.
All three migrated around 1856 to earn money working on the goldfields in Hepburn District, Victoria, Australia. All were working initially as gold miners, then Sartori was storekeeper, butcher and publican. Lurati was a farmer and lessee of a hotel : Pedrazzini was mining supervisor and grew currants for the Melbourne market. My siblings have some knowledge of their Ticino history. My mother, who died in 2004, aged 93, travelled to Ticino for a Pedrazzini family reunion in the 1980’s.
Every year my town (Hepburn Springs) holds a Swiss Italian Fiesta, and I am responsible with another Ticinese descendant for the Heritage Centre. We invite descendants to display their individual family histories.
I visited Ticino over 44 years ago, on the big trip to Europe, without much previous knowledge of what to look for. I was initially told that Sartori came from Bosco Gurin, travelled there and found they spoke German. I did not make contact with any relatives. Was impressed with the cleanliness and beauty of the region, indeed with all of Switzerland.