Help requested for info on Truffini/Traffini from Lavertezzo

From Gloria Wall, Australia

My submission is more in the hope of receiving some family name recognition than a story.

I know my great, great Grandfather (Guiseppe Truffini/Traffini) came from Lavertezzo and sailed to Australia in 1858 on the “John Owens” ship, although I cannot find any mention of this ship.

How old he and 1 other male family member, Bartholomew, were when they sailed I have no idea. Another family member? Angelo sailed on the “Daniel Ross” 3 years previously, 1855.

I am diligently resourcing whatever I can to connect the dots and at least find some mention of our family name in Lavertezzo. A change of spelling in Australia does not help matters.

With my limited connections I will keep trying.

12 thoughts on “Help requested for info on Truffini/Traffini from Lavertezzo

  1. Hello Gloria. I can help you. I am very familiar with the village of Lavertezzo having done extensive research there, and I am related to the Truffini family. It is now extinct in the village and was a very small family in the early records. The Austrialian immigration book by Joseph Gentilli shows three Truffini going to Australia but one retuned. The two who stayed were Angelo, born around 1835, and Giuseppe, born 1838. Both arrived on the John Owens. Unfortunately I do not have good records for the early 19th Century, but they exist and can be accessed through the Mormon Church Family History Centers. But I have good 18th Century records. In the 1795 Lavertezzo church census, there are three male Truffinis: Agostino, born in 1768, and his brother Bartolomeo, born in 1772. Their father was a Filippo son of Giovanni. There is another family with a Giovanni Pietro,born 1778, son of Giovanni Angelo. I am quite confident your Giuseppe is a descendant of one of these three males. I would be happy to help you with any further research on this family. Tony Quinn

  2. Dear Tony,
    My heartfelt thanks to you and your research. I was starting to think we were on the wrong track. Thanks to you I can now try and follow through. Would you know where the John Owens landed in Australia. I’m thinking Fremantle because a son of Guiseppe and his family lived there in the early 1900’s. this seems to be when the name changed to Treffene. But then my Grandfather (whose mother was Guiseppe’s daughter)was born in Victoria and that is a long way to travel from Fremantle.
    Once again thank you. I will absorb this information and plan my next avenue of enquiry.
    How are you connected to Truffini?
    Gloria Wall

  3. Hello Gloria.

    According to the book I have the John Owens was home ported in Liverpool.
    It departed Europe on 28 May 1858 and landed in Australia on 4 Sept 1858.
    The book, however, does not say where it landed. Among the passengers were about four dozen Swiss men, all from villages in the Valle Verzasca. They probably travelled in a group. This would have included the two Truffini from Lavertezzo. Three other men from Lavertezzo came as well.

    I am related to the Truffini back in the 1600s. The church records for Lavertezzo begin in 1653 and include periodic church censuses. I have copies of all the church censuses from 1669 to 1795. My family remained there until the 1800s so I am related to many of the families in the village as there was much intermarrying. As I noted, the later church censuses would show exactly how your Truffini connects in this village.

    If you do a Google search of Lavertezzo you will see that it is very picturesque in a narrow valley with high mountains. In 1795 it had a population of 700 people, but has very few people today. The old stone houses are mainly used as vacation homes for people living in other areas.


  4. Hi Tony
    I see I have a lot of researching to do and you have given me some great details from where I will follow up from. Yes I have googled Lavertezzo Images and am facinated by their wonderful bridge. My brother who will be in Italy in June this year is hoping they will have time enough to visit and do some research as well.
    Thanks again for your advise and information. If it is okay with you, I would like to keep in touch from time to time.

  5. Have birth records from Lavertezzo.
    Giuseppe Truffini was born Oct 3 1847 to filippo Truffini & Giovanna Crossi.
    I think the one who came with Bartolomeo was Giovanni born 14 October 1840.
    He had a son born 16/7/65 Giuseppe amongst many other children.
    Contact me and I will send a copy of documents from my visit to Lavertezzo
    Regards Dr Bob Treffene

  6. I would very much like to contact Dr. Bob Treffene, and he can reach me at my e-mail, taquinn [at], if he likes.

    My source on Ticino immigration to Australia is “The Settlement of Swiss Ticino Immigrants in Australia,” by J. Gentilli (1988). It lists all the Ticinese who migrated, most of whom went searching for gold in the 1850s. For Truffini it shows three names: Bartolomeo, born 1815, sailed on the Daniel Ross in 1855; Angelo, born 1835, and apparently Giuseppe, born 1838, (has a question mark next to his name) sailed on the John Owens in 1858. There is no Giovanni listed. If the Giuseppe is the one born in 1847, he was only eleven years old when he sailed; that seems a bit young. Also, by the 19th Century there is a problem with birth records in Lavertezzo. Many families had moved for all or part of the year to neighboring villages Cugnasco and Gudo. This means that not all the births to the old families in Lavertezzo are listed in the Lavertezzo church records.

  7. Hi Bob
    Thank you for your response re Truffini/Treffene. Over to past 3 years I have wanted to contact yourself re our family connection. My father Ronald Jack Treffene, born to William Treffene and Ethel Droscher. From our records William was born (out of wedlock) to Annie. Annie was one daughter of Bartolomeo (Guis?) Truffini and Elizabeth Hughes.

  8. Hi again Bob
    I apologise, but I am having trouble with my computer. I didn’t get to finish the previous message. Would love to hear of any more information you may have, especially the change of name from Truffini to Treffene.
    Gloria Wall

  9. Hi Gloria,
    My email is Feel free to contact me.
    I think I have unravelled the Australian Truffini to Treffene from Phillipi born 1733 in Lavertezzo to the present.
    You would have to think the Bartolomeo born 16/3/38 would have been English illiterate and so in the first 5 births the name changed from Traffine to Traffina to Truffini to Treffene as the scribe tried to interpret the spoken Ticenese and then stayed as Treffene. After marrying Eliza Hughes on 30/1/64 they had 5 children.
    I have Anna Teresa Traffina (2nd child) as the mother of William Treffene in the tree.
    We have Baccrianni, Gaggeta & Crossi in our female heritage side from 1733.
    Phone 07 33782216 Regards Bob( Robert) Treffene

  10. Hello everyone, I have read all your information, and it sounds fantastic for Gloria.
    I have borrrowed Giorgio Cheda’s books and he only has 2 Truffini recorded.
    But, we all know that not all information has been recorded in published books!!!
    1449. TRUFFINI BARTOLOMEO di Filippo, contadino Born 1838
    1450. TRUFFINI BARTOLOMEO fu Bartolomeo Born 1815
    Sposato con 5 figli. Death 1866
    E in patria nel 1864. Death 1866
    AFB, E 2/2124 18; Fs 25 febbraio 1864, 2632.
    Hope this helps!

  11. Hi All
    This is how I see my line
    Regards Bob Treffene

    Joannis Truffini born 1718

    Then Phillipi Truffini born 1733?
    Married to Maria(nee Baccrianni) )
    Maria Domenica maybe lived to 102.
    Maria born 3/1/1738?
    Had five Children
    Maria Joanna 1766
    Augustinus 1770
    Bartholomaus 24/8/1772
    Married Maria Joanna Crossi born 1780
    Cattarina 1779
    Joanna Phillipa1764

    Had 5 Children
    Phillipus(Fillipe) bartolomeo born
    Married Giovanna Crossi( Crojsi) born 13/5/ 1814
    Norcatia 3/3/1808
    Guiuseppa 1802
    Lucia maria born 29/3/1823
    Mattea 1805

    Phillipus had 5 Children
    Giovanni 14/12/40 Married Felicita Gaggetta 2/2/1862 born 4/5/40
    Lucia 24/4/43 Giuseppe 3/10/47 Lucia 25/10/49
    and Bartolomeo Born 16/3/1838
    Sailed on John Owens 1858 (Joseph)
    Married Eliza (Lisa) Hughes 30/1/64 Born Sydney 1846 died 1912
    Phillip 2/11/1872 Married Julie Maud Hockings, Anna Teresa Traffina 1869 (William Treffene Married Ethel Drescher), Louisa Treefini 1871 (Married Jack Roberts),
    Margaret 1874(Married William Alonzo Hearn 1901, Madge Hearn), Emilia Teresa Traffini 1867, Maria 1864 The surname was Treffene by the birth of the fifth child.

  12. Thank you Debra and Bob for your latest input. I will now go and sort through all the info and convert to a Family Tree. Some of the names I have come across but your detailed info Bob is fantastic. I shall email you personally with some questions closer to home. Thank you for your email address also.
    Regards to all

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