Online book in English about Valle Maggia families

Mark LesinaFrom Mark Lesina, United States

I found a link online ( and have started reading it, and it seems really interesting. It is a book that has been scanned and placed on line by University of Victoria – Melbourne in Australia. The book is about the immigration of the people from Ticino to Australia…and in English! You’ll recognize many last names from Valle Maggia!

There are chapters on Lafranchi, Pozzi, Morganti, Quachi, Tomasetti, Perini, Righetti, Gaggioni, Rodoni, etc. My grandfather’s uncle Celestino Lesina is mentioned once in it.

It loads only a few pages at a time – huge book – about 600 pages.

5 thoughts on “Online book in English about Valle Maggia families

  1. HI Mark,

    I agree. It’s a really valuable insight into the early lives and the community of Swiss Italians here in Victoria. It is a good solid read, exploring the adaptation of the families into an anglo centric culture.

    There is another academic article about Italian speakers and Swiss Italians in a remote mining town called Walhalla.

    Provenance: The Journal of Public Record Office Victoria, September 2008, Number 7. ISSN 1832-2522.
    Copyright © Annamaria Davine.

    This article explores the experiences of Vittorio Campagnolo of Bergamo in particular and mentions Pietro Negri. It is a good description of their early life as miners. The article’s premise is one however that I don’t feel too comfortable with. The author seems to consider that the Swiss Italians were cordially included into the anglo dominated culture, but my own research leads me to consider that the anglo community was bigoted towards what they called ‘the Italians’ and in order to fit in, the Swiss Italians had to become ‘anglo’ themselves and suppress expressions of their own culture.

    Happy reading,

  2. Mark, Thank you so much for posting this doctoral thesis about Swiss Italian Immigration to Australia from the University of Melbourne, Australia , Published 1997, by Bridget Carlson. The matter of fact description of life of these people in Australia and the continuity of the influences from Ticino that are shown (sending for seeds from Ticino for plants and trees to be planted in Australia ,etc.) bring to life for the reader a feeling of what it was like for our ancestors to immigrate in the mid 1800’s from Ticino. I was able to upload this thesis to my Kindle and it is a joy to read some of it daily. An important family of mine,Quanchi, from Maggia, is discussed in this thesis and although my direct ancestors immigrated to California circa 1860’s, I am sure this Quanchi family were cousins. Best Wishes, Marcia

    • Hi Antoinette, Maurizio worked in a hotel in Castlemaine as a dishwasher, he was employed by the master as he spoke French well. (From: The emigration of swiss Italians to the Australian gold rush. Giorgio Cheda.)

  3. Hey there, I’ve just started looking at my dads family and his great great grandfather was Celestino Lesina. For years all we had was a name and the belief that name was from italy and could find nothing until now. Quite interesting. Thanks for writing a lot of this stuff up it helped me a lot.

    Kind regards

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