Spedderi / Spiteri

James Spedderi in New Zealand.
Giovanni-Maria Anglu, Anton Spiteri


To note that the christian name given is Giovanni-Maria or John-Mary with a hyphen indicating that it is one name not two names joined as one. Compound names are not common in Australia and N.Z., hence it is sometimes changed to Jim or James. Gamri is the Maltese pronunciation of a shortened colloquial equivalent of Giovanni-Maria.

Nadur on the Island of Gozo Malta.

A boat (known as id-dghajsa ta' Ghawdex)that was used to cross from Gozo to Malta with small items of cargo and passengers. This would be the boat Gio Maria Spiteri would have taken to go from Mgarr Harbour in Gozo to Valletta Harbour in Malta.

The island of Gozo is only 7 kilometres wide by 14 long,

Nadur lies upon the easternmost hill of Gozo and could be reached either from Victoria or directly from Mgarr Harbour. The baroque Parish Church dominates Nadurs skyline and is believed to be one of Gozos best baroque architectural masterpieces.

Nadur is also renowned for its enchanting countryside views, with its green valleys and peaceful bays..

Today, Nadur has a population which nears 5000 people, which makes it the second most populated Gozitan town after Victoria. The name Nadur means `look out' in Maltese as Nadur hilly position provided an excellent viewpoint to spot any unfriendly navy ships or pirates raiders. There is a tower known as Kenuna Tower. This was built in 1848, and served as a telegraph link between Malta and Gozo and not as a fort.

A substantial number of Nadurin emigrated to the United States of America, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom particularly in the 1960s.

The feast of the patron Saints Peter and Paul, "L-Imnarja" is celebrated on the 29th of June, which is also a National holiday. The feast's name seems to suggest that there is a possible connection with the beginning of summer.

There are a significant number of farmers in Nadur, the majority of whom work their fields on part-time basis. From the orchards of Nadur come most of the local fruits such as plums, peaches, apples, oranges and lemons. This produce maintained commercial contacts with Malta for over 3000 years. A good number of others earn their living from the sea as fishermen or sailors.    

Please click on link for the Spedderi Ancestors            Spiteris of Gozo


This baptisimal certificate is an extracy i.e. the original information recorded in the Parish register has been transcribed to a formal baptismal certificate, which is signed by the Parish archpriest and stamped with the parish seal. To note that the christian name given is Giovanni-Maria or John-Mary with a hyphen indicating that it is one name not two namers joined as one. Compound names are not common in Australia and N.Z., hence it is sometimes changed to Jim or James. Gamri is the Maltese pronunciation of a shortened colloquial equivalent of Giovanni-Maria. Gio Maria was born and baptised on the same day, which was common practice in those days.

James meets Bridget

James and Bridget

Giovanni-Maria, Anglu, Anton Spiteri, in NZ known as Jamri or James Spedderi in New Zealand was born on the 1st of October 1833 in the village of Nadur on the Island of Gozo  Malta. His Father was Laurenzio Spiteri a farmer and Mother Maria Valla. He left a sister Giavanna Spiteri on Gozo Malta.  James and his brother Paul came to Naseby Otago New Zealand in 1863. Paul found the weather far to cold and went back to Malta.  James went to an area called Garibaldi (Where there were mainly Maltese,  and Italian miners. A few Chinese mined in the Garribaldi Gorge) in the Gimmerburn district, with the gold rush in Naseby and was involved in a mining company. 1864 he returned to Naseby when he probably bought or built the Kyeburn Hotel Leven Street Naseby, the same year he met Bridget Sullivan born 1847 in Ireland. Bridget had apparently sailed on a ship with Mary Moran who married James Herlihy, Verdon Herlihy (Patearoa) N.Z. Grandfather in 1865.  There were many young women who had arrived in Naseby from Ireland. A shop keeper in Naseby John Gould Bremner says " Such an addition of young ladies into our little town and district quite upset the bachelor's habits, and little social circles were formed. Many happy meetings took place,visiting, evening parties, dances.etc and all was as joyous as can be"..  James sold the Kyeburn Hotel to Mr George Chapman in 1868 for around 130 pounds.  Bridget and James were married at Saint Josephs Church in Dunedin in 31st March 1875 by the Father W. Coleman. On their marriage certificate James's profession is listed as a miner and Bridget a Spinster.  The first catholic priests who laboured in Naseby were all missionaries from France - Rev Fathers D.Moreau, A.Martin and E.Royer - who visited the district from time to time as the opportunity offered.  The Naseby's Union church was erected in 1863 and used by all denominations. The Spedderi's according to Bessie Pearson, lived beside the Catholic church, The first of three in Naseby and were neighbours of a family called Dooley.  She remembers her Mother telling her she would boil water for Bridget on a certain day for her to scrub the church floor.  James and Bridget most likely had lived in Naseby for four years while James was a hotelier. Mr George Bremner in his diaries spoke very highly of him as a business man of Naseby.


I hope there are wildflowers growing where ever Joseph is buried.

Baptism records show that Bridget and James had a son Joseph born 18th August 1866 and baptised the same day at Hogburn Minister was A.Martin and Godparents were Dominic Geoffrey and Anna Alexander. Registered at Invercargill. Under Father-Mother:  James Spedderi father - Bridget no surname Mother. What happened to this little Joseph where is he buried. There is no record of him in the Naseby cemetry. I wonder if he could be the child buried in the first Catholic church grounds. See Papers past.

The Godfather Dominic Geoffrey born about 1843 came from Messina Sicily an Italian goldminer at Galibaldi and later a hotel keeper at Wedderburn round 1879. He became a naturalized New Zealander 8th August 1883.   He married Johanna Hanrahan on 1879.  Dominick was Godfather to Joseph and Lawrence (Larry).


Larry Spedderi. His family called him Old Sir!

Larry was born at Naseby on the 13/7/1867 he was baptised 28th July 1867 at Hogburn the minister J.G.Williams. His Godparents were Dominic Geoffrey ( a miner in Garibaldi native of Sicily) and Maryanne Salmon. Mother Father are listed as James Spedderi Miner and Bridget Sullivan. Registered at Cathedral.. Larry never married.  Died 6/8/1950 and is buried in the Ranfurly cemetry. Leo Dougherty told me Larry was 14 years old before he attended school and didn't learn much apparently his teacher treated him very badly, he could never read or write very well even when he was an older man.

Birth Certificate of Lawrence Spedderi Larry was born in Naseby.

Return to Garibaldi

Would be nice to think this was Bridget and James's little house in Garibaldi, but we don't know.

The Spedderi family returned to Garibaldi in late 1868 before Mary was born. We always believed the children were all born in Naseby, but I have found that Joseph born and baptised the same day 18th August at Hogburn 1866 and Lawrence (Larry) born 13th July 1867 in Naseby were the only two.  Mary was born 26th September 1868 after the Family returned to Garibaldi but her birth certificate states she was born at Rough Ridge as was Rosina in 1870.  I Haven't been able to find a record of Helena Bridget's birth in 1872 we presume she was born Rough Ridge Garribaldi too. The second little Joseph was born at Garibaldi in 1874 I have the feelibg he is buried at Garibaldi somewhere. In 1880 the Gimmerburn area was surveyed splitting the Stations, James put his name forward also his son Larry and daughter Ellen they were all successful. James was on the electoral roll of 1880-1881 as a miner at Garibaldi. Bridget died at Garibaldi on the 21st September 1882 and is buried in the Naseby Cemetry.  Larry was 15, Mary 14, Rosina 12 and Ellen was 10.   In 1884 James acquired his block of 100 acres (where the Garrawaye homestead now stands) Ellen and Larry's blocks were incorporated with James's.  Mt. Ida Electoral Rolls of 1885-1886 James is listed as a farmer of Gimmerburn   He built a small sod cottage on his land surrounded by a sod wall, later in 1880's he built a four bedroom dwelling. In 1901 the mud brick house was renovated putting on eves and being painted.  The Otago Witness 1894 states that Ellen drew a ballot transferring it to her elder sister Rosina who was married to Peter McErlane and had small children.  Larry drew a later ballot and is still cauld Larrys today. By 1882 agricultural leases had bought sufficient people for a school. The first school was opened in January 1882. It was a cob 'mud hut' school and was built just to the south and east of the junction of Dougherty Road and Puketoi Run Road known as Kerrs.   Going by the Gimmerburn school rolls the four Spedderi children had come from the Rough Ridge school to start at the Gimmerburn school when it opened. Had the family lived for a time at Reefs mine Rough Ridge that had opened in 1864?  In 1880 a Household school was opened in Rough Ridge.  Thirty two children were on the first roll. The children when they attended the Gimmerburn school rode horses down what was known as the bridle track. This school was shifted after being flooded, to Sharkeys Road Junction and was something of a compromise position between settlers to the east and the miners at Garabaldi and opened in 1883. Perhaps this is the reason Garibaldi children were not regular attenders as they must have had to walk about five miles each way and the return trip all up a very steep Rough Ridge Hill.  In1888 Sarah and Charles Dougherty shifted to Gimmerburn after arriving in Oamaru in 1883 living there for for 6 years. They lived in a house belonging to Sarah's brother Neil some little remains if this house near the corner of Devon and Sharkey road Gimmerburn N.Z.  Shortly after their arrival at Gimmerburn they were successful in a farm ballot for 120 acre block adjacent to where they were living, nothing of their house is standing today but it had been built on a small hill. This farm was later expanded in 1900 to a property bought off Sarah's brother Andy known as the "coal pit" situated at the foot of the Garibaldi Gorge, the farm supplied coal to the district, and Charles in partnership with Mr R. Little, contracted for the county forming several roads in the area.  They were now neighbours of the Spedderi Family. Ellen Spedderi and Patrick Francis Dougherty eldest son of Sarah and Charles courted for some time but Ellen would not marry while her Father was alive. James Spedderi went back to Malta for a trip in 1899 ten years before he died in the Naseby Hospital. He had kept ill health for a number of years.  Ellen cared for her father and brother until her Father James died 16th March 1909 aged 77.  Charles Dougherty who was in a good financial position transfered some land to his eldest son saying he would give the boy a chance. On September the 8th 1909 Patrick Dougherty and Ellen Spedderi married in Sacred Heart Catholic church in Ranfurly.   The Spedderi farm and Charles Dougherty's now a combined property called 'Garrawaye' farmed by Patrick Francis Dougherty followed by Leo Charles Spedderi Dougherty born 19/8/1911. Then Leo's son Lawrence Patrick born 11/3/1939 and now his son Stephen James born 17/5/1964.  Stephen's son Charles James Garrawaye Dougherty born 21/7/200 is the sixth generation. A venerable apple tree planted by James Spedderi, provides a link to the early days as well as providing fruit for delicious apple pies the blossom some years is breathtaking.

Marriage Certificate of James and Bridget nee Sullivan Spedderi 1875


Mary Caldwell nee Spedderi in later life.

Mary was born at Rough Ridge on her birth certificate  born 26/9/1868, she is not mentioned on Baptism records.. Mary married James Caldwell a hotel keeper on the 8th April 1888 at Omakau. Mary was 20 James 35.. James Caldwell was born in 1853 in Co Derry Ireland. James died the 15th May 1907 aged 54 and is buried in the Southern Cemetry Dunedin.  Mary died in Christchurch on the 28th August 1952 aged 83. She is buried in the Bromley cemetery Christchurch with her daughters Veronica Myrtle, Rose Ann and Agnes.

In the New Zealand electoral rolls for 1911, Mary a widow and her daughter Mary Ann a spinster are living together in Elizabeth Street Timaru. Probably it was here Mary Ann met her husband pastrycook Edward James Ball. 1914  Mary a widow living in Peterborough street Christchurch with Rose Ann a spinster.  In 1919 Widow Mary is living in 284 Madras Street Christchurch with her three daughters Agnes, Rose Ann and Bridget Ellen all unmarried. 1935 finds Rita living with her Mother Mary and sisters Rose Ann, Bridget Ellen, Veronica Myrtle and Agnes all unmarried.  In 1957 Agnes is teaching music and living with her sisters Bridget Ellen and Myrtle Veronica at 184 Madras Street Christchurch.

Their Children:

Mary Ann  born 1889 she married Edward James Ball in 1914, Edward was born in England in 21st March 1882. They moved to Wellington and lived at 5 Hopper street. Mary Ann died on the 22nd November 1916 only having 2 years of marriage. Her funeral service was held in St. Josephs church Buckle Street Wellington. After her death Edward enlisted in the N.Z. Army reserves on the 23rd May 1918, he was 35 but they were demobilized. Mary Ann is buried in the Karori cemetery Wellington N.Z. with her brother James Francis. Edward James Ball went back to England leaving from Auckland on the 16th of July in 1919 on board the ship 'Iconic' aged 37.

Rose Ann  born in Naseby N.Z. 1891 - died in Christchurch on the 11th of June 1945 aged 54 she did not marry. Rose Ann is buried in the Bromley cemetery Christchurch with her Mother Mary and sisters Veronica Myrtle and Agnes.

Bridget Ellen  born in Naseby 1893 died 1970 aged 71 buried in Christchurch Ruru Lawn cemetery she never married.

Agnes  born in Naseby N.Z. 1895 - she died in Christchurch 15th September 1961 aged 65. She did not marry. Agnes taught music.  She is buried in the Bromley cemetery with her Mother Mary, and sisters Rose Anne and Veronica Myrtle.

Margaret  born 1897 in Wedderburn she died in 1897 aged 3 months. BabyMargaret is buried in the Naseby Cemetery. There is no record of her plot number.

James Francis  born in Wedderburn 1898. He was living with his Mother and sisters in Madras street Christchurch occupation a hairdresser working for A.H.White before he enlisted in the N.Z. Army reserves on the 15th June 1918 aged 20. His demobilisation was in 23rd November 1918. On his medical history condition of lungs doubtful. James died in Wellington in 1952 aged 53. His occupation listed in Wellington was an attendant, was he looking after his sister Mary Ann? She died aged 27. He is buried in the Roman catholic section of the Karori cemetery Wellington N.Z. with his sister Mary Ann.

Greta Josephine (Rita)  born 1900 at Wedderburn. She appeared on the N.Z.electoral rolls in1935 living with her Mother Mary and sisters Rose Ann, Bridget Ellen, Veronica Myrtle and Agnes all unmarried. 1938 she is still in Christchurch.  Rita marries Thomas Arthur Candy in 1940 in Palmerston North he is divorced with three children. They appear on the Wellington electoral rolls he as a hotel keeper. Rita died 6th July1953 and is buried in the Bromley cemetery Christchurch N.Z. near her Mother and sisters. She had been suffering from cirohsis of the liver for 6 months and had a cerebal haemorage in a coma for 3 days. Her address on her buriel certificate is 284 Madras Street Christchurch. Thomas Arthur Candy died 1955 aged 66 he is buried in the Karori Cemetery Wellington N.Z.

Eileen May  born 1902. Married David Hutchinson born (1905) in1930. Eileen would have been 30 years old. The 1935 N.Z. electoral rolls find Eileen and David Hutchinson living in Wellington at 53 Bowlcott St. David an accountant. This is probably where Leo and Eileen Dougherty with Larry Spedderi and Rita Calwell stayed when they went to the big exhibition in Wellington. The rolls of 1946 - 1969 show the David and Eileen lived at the same address 76 Aro Street Karori Wellington for 23 years with David a clerk Eileen a cashier. in 1972 they moved to 3 Hutchison Rd Island Bay.  David died in 1974 aged 69 on his buriel certificate his occupation was a retired civil servant. He is buried in the Makara cemetery Wellington Area. 1978 Eileen is still at 3 Hutchison Rd Island Bay Wellington. She died on the 13th June 1983 aged 79 and buried in the Ruru Lawn cemetery in Christchurch.  

Veronica Myrtle  born in Dunedin 1903 she died in Christchurch on the 14th February 1989 aged 85. She was not married. She is buried in the Bromley cemetery Christchurch with her Mother Mary and sisters Agnes, Rita and Rose Ann.

Two of James and Mary's daughters are named after Mary's sisters. Rose Ann and Bridget Ellen Spedderi.

Mary Spedderi Birth certificate shows she was born at Rough Ridge maybe Garribaldi.
Agnes, Myrtle & Nellie

The Caldwell sisters. Agnes, Veronica Myrtle (Myrtle) and Bridget Ellen (Nellie)
Larry & Ellen

Brother and sister Lawrence (Larry) and Bridget Ellen(Ellen) Spedderi
Eileen Hutchinson nee Caldwell, Eileen Dougherty, Larry Spedderi, Leo Dougherty and Rita Caldwell. 1940 Wellington Exhibition. They probably stayed with Eileen as her and her husband David Hutchinson lived in Karori Wellington.

Rose Anne

Rosina Spedderi

Rose Anne was born 18/7/1870 at Rough Ridge. Baptised as Rosa on the 22nd of August 1870 no place mentioned. The minister Rev Emmanuel Royer. Mother - Father James Spedderi and just Bridget. Godparents  Clement Charionis who was a miner from Malta or Italy, and Bridget Theresa Roungovan? (who I think was Mungovan. Bridget was killed in a horse and cart accident aged 24 near the Kyeburn diggings). Registered at St. Bathans. Rose Married Peter McErlane in Omakau in 1891. Peter was born on the 3rd March 1855 in Co Derry- Lavey Ireland.  Peter had a few trips back to visit family in Ireland and in 1920 he took William Thomas (Bill) aged 8 and Henry Peter (Harry) aged 11 with him.  Peter died 7/5/1945 aged 91, Rose Died 20/9/1947 aged 77. Both are buried in Timaru.  Rose and Peter had 12 children. 

Rose Ann born 26/1/1891 at Wedderburn baptised the same day, Godparents were Harry (maybe Henry ) McErlane and Mary Spedderi. Rose married Dennis Vaughan in 1915 she died in Nazereth House Christchurch N.Z. 22/9/1987. Dennis who was born in West Melton Canterbury died 3/11/1980 aged 91. His oppupation was a retired policeman. They are both buried at Memorial Park Christchurch New Zealand.

Mary born 18/12/1893 baptised 21/1/1894 birth place not given. Godparents were Larry Spedderi and Ellen Spedderi. Mary married Francis Joseph Browne 1920.

James Joseph  born 28/8/1895 near Naseby, baptised 29/9/1895. Godparents Bernard McElroy and Anne Gallagher. He married Cecilia Mary O'Neill in 1920. James Joseph was a cabinet maker in Timaru.

 Bridgetta Ellen (Ettie) born 29/1/1898 at Wedderburn, baptised 3/2/1898 Godparents were John Dougherty and Annie Dougherty. Ettie married William Gordon Sinclair 1919. They farmed at Paratai South Otago. She died 1993 aged 95. He died 1946 aged 54.

 Theresa Catherine  born 4/1/1900 at Wedderburn baptised 21/1/1900 Godparents Michael O'Neill and Sarah Doherty. She married William Alexander O'Connor 1927. She died in 1994 aded 94. William Alexander had died in 1956 aged 57.

Patrick Michael Verdon born 30/11/1901 at Ranfurly baptised 15/12/1901 Godparents were Lawrence Spedderi and Ellen Spedderi (Annie Dougherty) proxy.Patrick married Mary McAtamney in 1920.

Margaret Susannah born 20.06.1903, at Ranfurly Baptised 16/8/1903 Godparents were Patrick Dougherty and Annie Dougherty. She died 03.05.1949 – Aged 45 years. She married John Harold Sharkey born 21/2/1901 in 1924 he died 19.09.1963 – Aged 62 years . Their children were John Stanley Sharkey – born 19.10.1925, died 19.04.1952 , result of a motor accident – Aged  27 years,  Gladys Margaret Sharkey – born 24.09.1931, died 08.09.2004 – Aged 73 years  Leslie Sharkey – born 01.01.1936, died 21.05.1957, accidently drowned – Aged 21 years twin of Joan Weatherall (nee Sharkey) – born 01-01 1936  -  (Leslie and Joan didn’t have middle names)

Joan was educated at St. Bernadette’s Primary School and St. Philomena’s Secondary College, Dunedin. All our childhood years were spent in Dunedin.

Sarah Jane   Born 27/5/1905 in Ranfurly baptised 25/6/1905 Godparents were John Edward Mulholland and Mary Agatha Dougherty. She Herbert Stanley Sloacombe in 1932. After living in Amberely Canterbury as a mechanic, and then Mirimar Wellington as an engineer. In the 1854 electoral rolls of Australia he was an engineer in Yarraville Victoria. 1963 a hotel keeper in Queensland till 1980 in Coolangatta.

Henry Peter born 8/7/1907 in Ranfurly baptised 28/7/1907 Godparents were Michael Kearney and Mary McCloy. He married Thelma Emily?. Thelma died 11/6/1981 aged 66. He died on the 27/12/2000 aged 93 his last address C-11 Taylor Street Bribie Island Queensland Australia. They are buried in Timaru.

John Francis Spedderi born 3/4/1909 Gimmerburn baptised 21/4/1909 Godparents were Miss Mary Caldwell (daughter of Mary Spedderi and James Caldwell) and Henry Kearney. Married Margaret Elizabeth ?

William Thomas Lawrence born 16/3/1911 at Ranfurly baptised 26/3/1911, Bill married Adeline Millicent McAtamney at St. Josephs Cathedral Dunedin N.Z. 16/5/1950.

Bernard Edward (Ted) born 27/9/1913 at Ranfurly baptised 12/10/1913, Godparents were Margaret McCloy and Hugh McCloy Jnr.

Rose Anne Spedderi Birth Certificate shows she was born at Rough Ridge (Garibaldi).
Basptism records of some of the McErlane children
Rose and Peter McErlane with Rose, Cis (maybe Mary) and Jimmy (James Joseph).

Bridget Ellen

Bridget Ellen Spedderi

Bridget Ellen known as Ellen by her family was born on the 24/9/1872 She was baptised as Bridget Ellen on the 26th of September 1872 no place mentioned. The minister was the Rev Royer. Mother and Father James Spedderi and just Bridget. Her God Parents were Mary Croxford and Francis Salvadori who was a miner of Garibaldi. Registered at St. Bathans..  She married Patrick Francis Dougherty and they had five children. Patrick James Charles died at 6 weeks in Oamaru of whooping cough in 1910 . Mary Agatha died agerd 8 at Teschmakers in 1923. Patrick Francis Lawrence died at Teschmakers in1925 of an epileptic fit. Isn't so hard to imagine the heartbreak for Ellen and Pat.  Leo Charles Spedderi was born on the 19th August 1911 in Oamaru and Ellen known by her family as Nellie.  Helen Bridget died 10/6/1947. Patrick died 19/6/1965 they are buried in Oamaru with their children.


I hope there are lots of wildflowers growing over this little Josephs grave too.

Joseph was born on the 27th of April 1874 at Garibaldi.  No mention of him on the baptism records. What happened to this little Joseph and if he died where is he buried. I have been trying to find what happened to this Joseph but can't find any records so far. My thoughts are that he is buried at Garibaldi.. I only found out about him on browsing Government Births deaths and marriages in New Zealand. How terrible for Bridget and James to stand at the graves of two babies that we know of. It wasn't uncommon in their day to call another child the same name as one who had died.

Joseph Spedderi birth certificate 1874 born at Garibaldi
Spedderi Children Baptisms. Mary could not be found. Bridget and James had two little baby Josephs. This record shows in 1866 their first Joseph was born & baptised 18th August 1866 at the Hogburn. Their second little Joseph was born at Garibaldi 1874.


 Dominic Geoffrey born about 1843 came from Messina Sicily an Italian goldminer at Galibaldi and later a hotel keeper at Wedderburn round 1879. He became a naturalized New Zealander 8th August 1883.   He married Johanna Hanrahan on 1879.  Godfather to Joseph and Lawrence (Larry).

 Clement Chiaroni Rosina Spedderi’s godfather 22nd August 1870 is Italian or Sicilian and a miner in Garibaldi and further along the Rough Ridge.

Francis (Frank) Salvadore who was Ellen Spedderi’s Godfather on the 26th of October 1872 was another Italian miner in Garibaldi. He is listed in the 1880-81 electoral roll as a miner of Garibaldi.

On Rosina Spedderi's Baptism records in 1870 her godmother is noted as Bridget Theresa Roungovan? with a question mark after it. I haven't found anyone by that Family name, but Mungovan hand written could easily be mistaken for Roungovan.  In 1873 Bridget Mungovan died in an accident in Naseby aged 24, was it her that was Rosina Spedderi's Godmother?

Steve and Nicky Dougherty with their three children Charles James Garrawaye, Tia Maree and Billy Douglas in front of the Spedderi Apple tree when it was in full blossom. Photo 2009
James Francis Caldwell

Wee Jimmy Caldwell born in Wedderburn died in Wellington aged 52.
Rita and Ellen.

Rita Caldwell and her Aunt Ellen Spedderi.
Rita and Mary

Greta Josephine Caldwell and her Mother Mary

Mary nee Spedderi and James Caldwell

Mary and James Caldwell's Crown Hotel in Wedderburn photo at left.. The first owner Mr Cavadore tranferred the lisence to James on the 20th April 1888. The Caldwells occupied the hotel until it was transferred to George Searle on 25th July 1900. In 1900 the hotel Loves Hotel it had been situated in Eden Creek built in the 1860's. It became known as Woodney's hotel soon after. The hotel was sold to Dominick Geoffrey around 1879. It was shifted to where Adamsons apiaries is situated, In 1900 the hotel was sold to Mr Ben Monk who shortly sold it to James Caldwell who had owned the rival hotel The Crown Hotel. James removed the lisence to Rough Ridge (Oturehua) in readiness for the arrival of the railway, where he built the hotel and in 1899 the grocery store in . He sold the store to Thomas Gilchrist in 1902 who made it one of the best known stores in Central Otago. In 1903 they purchased  the Gridiron Hotel in Dunedin.
                          See Papers past in the menu..
Rosina nee Spedderi called Rose by her family and Peter McErlane with 10 of their children. Probably taken at Gimmerburn.

Kyeburn Hotel Leven Street Naseby.

From the Mt. Ida Chronicle:
  James Spedderi sold the Kyeburn Hotel Leven Street Naseby opposite the Bank of New South Wales to George Chapman for 130 pounds around 1868.

October 1888:   Elevator working on the west bank in main gully, Brooks claim, restricted be lack of water, new dam built in Spedderi's Gully.
(I don't know if any connection but William Smith was manager of the above and also manager of Garibaldi Hydraulic Company 1890)

Gimmerburn School Rolls.

The Spedderi Children started the day the Gimmerburn School Opened. 1882.                 

 Although Rough Ridge had been in existance since 1868 when gold reefs were first exploited on Reefs Road and coalpits opened at Idaburn, there was no school until 1880. Previous to this the children must have been taught at home and when the Blackstone Hill school opened in 1874 those who were near enough (and whose parents were keen enough) walked there to attend classes. However, residence in Rough Ridge and neighbouring district wanted their own school and one was established by them. Post office records states. "In 1880 a Household school was opened in charge of Miss R. Perry. The building used was formerly the residence of Mr. Benjamen Padgett. Thirty two scholars answered the first roll call ( I wonder if any of these were Spedderi children) and of these 16 had to be ferried across the Idaburn on the back of Mr. F.H.Perry. In 1882 Gimmerburn School opened, The Spedderi children starting on this day. The Gimmerburn school roll states they had come from the Rough Ridge school.. The Mariomato School in White Sow Valley opened in 1886.                                        

Admission- Name - Name of Parent or Guardian -  Birth -   Last School-  Last Day - Destination

30/1/1882  Lawrence  James Spedderi Garibaldi b 13/7/1867  came from Rough Ridge  left 27/4/1883  went Home.

30/1/1882  Rosina  James Spedderi  Garibaldi  b 18/7/1870 Came from Rough Ridge. Left  27/4/1883   went Home.

30/1/1882  Helena Bridgita James Spedderi Garibaldi b 24/9/1872  came from Rough Ridge. Left  22/3/1883  went Home.

16/2/1882  Mary  James Spedderi Garibaldi  b 26/9/1868  came from Rough Ridge. Left  23/2/1882  went  Home.

2/10/1882  Mary  James Spedderi Garibaldi  b 26/9/1868 came from Rough Ridge. left 12/12/1882 went home.

                       Their Mother Bridget died in September of 1882.

12/11/1883  Lawrence   James Spedderi Garibaldi  b 13/7/1867  came from Rough Ridge  no leaving date for Larry.

12/11/1883   Mary  James Spedderi Garibaldi  b 26/9/1868  came from Rough Ridge.  Left 6/2/1884  went to St. Bathans

12/11/1883  Rosina   James Spedderi Garibaldi b 18/7/1870  came from Rough Ridge.  Left 20/10/1886  Went Home.

12/11/1883 Helena Bridgida J Spedderi Garibaldi  b 24/9/1872  came from Rough Ridge. Left   13/1/1887  went Home

10/4/1884  Mary James Spedderi Gimmerburn  b  26/9/1868  came from  St. Bathans   left 3/7/1884   went to  Naseby

9/3/1887   Helena Bridgida James Spedderi Gimmerburn b 24/9/1872  Home  left 18/11/1887  Home.

Mary the oldest daughter was almost 16 when she had her last day at the Gimmerburn school and records show she went to Naseby. I wonder if she went to there to work ?. Did she go into service?  She may have worked at St. Bathans in February 1884 to April 1884 and finished school July 1884. and went to Naseby.

Rosina was 16 years old when she had her last day and is listed as going home.

Helena Bridgida (Ellen) would have been 15 years and we know she stayed at home to look after her Father James and brother Lawrence (Larry). It would seem that Mary and Helena Bridgita (I can imagine James's accent as he called her this) were the only two that went to school after they shifted down to Gimmerburn. 

First House

The remains of a small sod cottage, the Spedderi first house built on the first 100 acres that James won in a ballot in 1884 (where the Garrawaye house stands today) and later superseded by a four bedroom dwelling. After the second house was built this was used as a stable and then a cow byer.
Second House

James with his children Ellen and Larry Spedderi in Gimmerburn round 1890 in front of the scond house on the ground they had won a ballot for.
Second House Painted

Ellen Spedderi with her Father James and niece Rita Caldwell daughter of Mary nee Spedderi and James Caldwell. Photo taken around 1907 The house was painted and eves added in 1901.
From the Gimmerburn school roll.

Caldwell Children Schooling.

Gerita Josaphine Caldwell known as Rita

It looks as though James took his sister Mary and James Caldwell's Children under his wing for schooling..

6/11/1900  Agnes Caldwell -James Spedderi Gimmerburn b 19/2/1895  left  27/11/1900  went to  Rough Ridge school ?

19/3/1903  Bridget Ellen Caldwell - James Spedderi Gimmerburn b 19/11/93  came from Rough Ridge - left  5/6/1903  went to  Dunedin

19/3/1903   Agnes Caldwell - James Spedderi Gimmerburn b 19/2/95  left 5/6/1903  went to  Dunedin

17/11/1904  James Francis Caldwell - James Spedderi Gimmerburn b 21/3/1907 came from Convent Dunedin.   Left 12/12/1905 went to Dunedin

18/9/1905 Gerita Josephine Caldwell - James Spedderi Gimmerburn b 26/7/1900 -   1/9/1909 Dunedin. Gerita is a common name in Malta and is an abbreviation of Margaret.

2/8/1906  James Francis Caldwell -  James Spedderi Gimmerburn b 21/3/1898  left 26/3/1907 went to Dunedin

Rosina Spedderi and Peter McErlane

Rosina Spedderi married Peter McErlane at Omakau. 

Isla (McErlane) Tenbeth writes.
 “Rosina” Spedderi mentioned was known as Rose – she was my paternal grand mother having married Peter McErlane (Irish) and had TWELVE children, my father being the second youngest born on March 16 1911. His eldest sister, also named Rose, I know was twenty years his senior. So: My Dad, William Thomas Lawrence McErlane (this was from his Uncle Lawrence – known as Larry Spedderi – who never married – hence no descendants with the Spedderi surname. He & his brother in law Pat farmed at Gimmerburn, their “run” was on Garibaldi which was several miles from the home property. We go back to the creek &  the hut there occasionally just to reminisce.
The name Lawrence has continued down the generations with William Thomas Lawrence McErlane, Lawrence Patrick Dougherty and his son Lawrence (Larry) John Dougherty.

James Spedderi at Gimmerburn

Mt. Ida Hospital Admissions.
18th February 1907
James Spedderi born Malta, 50 years in New Zealand, farmer of Gimmerburn, Condition:  Morbus Cordis (heart failure). Chronic Rheumatism,  Discharged 5th March 1907.  Fee 2 pound 6 shillings.
9th August 1907 -
James Spedderi condition
‘dephelesia’ was frequently used to describe shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing. Calcium Degeneration of the Arteries, Discharges 27th August 1907.
Fee 17s. Paid 2 pound: 5 shillings.
26th October 1907
James Spedderi condition Gastritis, Discharged 15th November 1907. Fee 17s 6d  paid 2 pound 12s 6d.

James Spedderi's Death Certificate.

Obituary in the New Zealand Tablet.

Notice in the New Zealand Tablet after James Spedderi's Death in 1909.
It is with sincere regret that we have to record the death of one of the oldest pioneers of Otago Central in the person of Mr. James Spedderi, who passed away at the Naseby hospital on March the 16th after a very long illness.  The deceased was a native of Malta, and arrived in Otago about 50 years ago.  He spent a considerable number of years mining in and around the Naseby district eventually settling down to farming in Gimmerburn where he had resided up to the time of his demise.  Mr Spedderi, who leaves a family of four, was predeceased by his wife who died several years ago aged 35.  The family are Mrs Mary Caldwell (Wedderburn Hotel). Mrs Rosina McErlane, Miss Helena Spedderi, and Mr Larry Spedderi.  The remains were removed from the Naseby Hospital to the resident of the deceased, from where the funeral left for the Naseby cemetry.  Notwithstanding the inclement weather a very large number of mourners were present to pay a last tribute of respect to one who was greatly esteemed.  The Rev. Father McMullan officiated at the graveside. R.I.P.
James and Bridget are buried in the Naseby Cemetry.

Larry Spedderi died 6th August 1950 and is buried in the Ranfurly cemetry.

Ellen & Pat Marry

Bridget Ellen Spedderi married Patrick Francis Dougherty at Sacred Heart Church in Ranfurly 8/9/09. On marrying, Ellen and Pat lived in the Spedderi home with Ellens' brother Larry Spedderi.  Five children were born to Ellen and Patrick.
Their first son  Patrick James Charles died at 6 weeks of whooping cough in Oamaru 15th January 1910.
Mary Agatha died at Teschmakers on the 12th June 1923 aged 8 years. 
Patrick Francis Lawrence died at Teschmakers 6th February 1925 with an epileptic fit aged 8 years.
Leo Charles Spedderi born the 19th August 1911.
Elllen Bridget Sarah Mary (Nellie) 26th October 1912..  
I can't imagine the grief that Ellen and Pat went through losing three children.

Dougherty Family

Ellen (nee Spedderi) and Patrick Francis Dougherty in 1915 with their three children. Baby Mary Agatha died at Teschmakers on the 12/6/1923 aged 8 years. Leo Charles Spedderi, Ellen Bridget Sarah Mary (Nellie).
Both children of Ellen and Pat Dougherty's died when they were 8 years old. Patrick Francis Lawrence Dougherty and Mary Agatha Dougherty.

Moved to North Otago

Tom Cahill, Nellie Dougherty sister of the groom, Leo and Eileen, Kath Mansfield sister of the bride, and George O'Connell.

Ellen and Patrick along with Leo and Nellie, left the farm at Gimmerburn in the hands of a manager Jack Miller. After 2 years the farm was leased to neighbour Jim Kerr for 14 years. The purpose of leaving the farm at this time was to give the children an education.  They moved to Island Stream near Kuriheka in North Otago. Leo and Nellie went to the Maheno school Leo almost 7 by then.  They stayed at Island Stream for a year they milked cows and had a few sheep.
The family them bought a farm near the Catholic Girls School called Teshmakers in 1919. Leo and Nellie then went to this school.
Leo went off to Christian Bros school in Dunedin for the years of 1924 - 1925 - 1926, then in 1927 St. Kevins College was opened in Oamaru Leo being the first day pupil. On leaving school he worked a team of horses on the Teschmakers Farm which was a cropping farm. Pat and Ellen sold their farm selling it for the same price which they had bought it, this was the time of the depression and 3 years of drought. Many farmers in the area went broke. Pat and Ellen received enough money to buy a house in Trent Street Oamaru plus 5oo pounds.
Leo met Eileen at a nurses ball in Oamaru she was a registered nurse at the Oamaru hospital. They married on the 15th September 1937 and returned to the farm in Gimmerburn Larry Spedderi went with them. They lived in the Spedderi house for 4 years until their house (The Third) on the Garrawaye property was built by Charlie Breen and cost 1500 pounds. The old house was pulled down brick by brick cleaned and used in the last house, Garrawaye Homestead. The woolshed cost 150 pounds.

Second House

A different angle Notice the number plate of Leo Dougherty's 1939 Chev.
Third House.

1942 using the bricks from the second house, Building the third house, and the Homestead that is on Garrawaye today.
Garrawaye Farm

The Farm house in 1990's
Larry Spedderi with his sisters Mary Caldwell, Rose McErlane and Ellen Dougherty

Buried in the Ranfurly Cemetery Otago N.Z.

Buried in the Oamaru Cemetery North Otago N.Z.
Bridget Helen buried with her husband Patrick Dougherty and 3 of their children

Buried in the Timaru Cemetery South Canterbury N.Z.
Rose Ann buried with her husband Peter McErlane
This lone house is in the area of the Garibaldi Diggings.
First Gold

The ring made from first gold mined by James Spedderi either in Naseby or Garibaldi.
Photo 1/11/2009
Clock from Malta

James Spedderi bought this clock with him from Malta.
It a french dome clock it is from the 19 century it was a very common clock in malta in those years the maltese they named him as the hunter of rabbits the clock is made of peuter material and foil of gold the clock has to be with its original glass dome perfect with no damage to bring a good value if it is without dome no body will buy it.
kind regards.
Roderick Galea

More Spedderi History Here.

Coat of arms of Nadur. James's birthplace.

                             Spiteris of Gozo

                            Janes letters to Leo

                            James Travels?

                         Papers Past Spedderi

                               Spedderi Pics

                              Garibaldi Diggings

                              Garibaldi as Now.

                               Family Headstones

                               Garibaldi Gorge

Lynn Callister 31.07.2014 09:55

I'm hoping to put an album together (similar to your presentation here) of my father's life (he would be 100 this year). Did you utilise a specific programme?

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Latest comments

05.08 | 22:46

Lovely to hear from you Mike.

31.07 | 21:58

Lovely to hear from you Lauren x

16.07 | 20:22

Hello, I am the great granddaughter of Annie Kearney O’Donnell (daughter of Annie McCool). Annie Kearney’s son, William O’Donnell, had 16 grandchildren, NJ USA

14.07 | 05:10

I am sorry I did not reply to this. I do not know too much about the Spitteri part of our family. I assume you still live in New Zeland. I live in Florida.