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Photos > Vintage Portraits/ People > John Cavallini *- second husband of Rosa Cassamaty/Hearn

Photos > Vintage Portraits/ People

submitted by George Poulos on 11.06.2004

John Cavallini *- second husband of Rosa Cassamaty/Hearn

John Cavallini *- second husband of Rosa Cassamaty/Hearn
Copyright (0000) Iowa State University Library/Special Collections

John Cavallini - second husband of Rosa Cassamaty/Hearn.

Amongst other positions/titles - Governor of Kythera during the British Adminstration.

The story behind the posting of this photograph to

By end May, 2004, 10 "Hearn" entries have been posted to, with a number of users also responding to the original article under People, subsection, High Achievers, by Late in 2003, by Eleni Harou, on 30.10.2003.

The historical background has been well covered in these 15 entries to date. Also by sophisticated "Hearn" web-sites, cited in the articles above.

My interest in Lafcadio Hearn and his mother was stimulated by a descendant, David Baldwin, who lives in Osaka, Japan. I have become very intrigued by both Rosa and Lafcadio.

David lamented that at least two very important documents had not yet surfaced re: the pair.

1. Photograph of Rosa
2. Birth Certificate of Lafcadio

I became convinced that endevouring to contact descendants of Rosa's second husband, Giovanni Cavallini, might also be an important first step in obtaining 1. and 2 above.

Briefly: "Giovanni Cavallini was a Kithira Islander of Italian descent, was a man of some standing. He was Ionian Islands' Vice Consul for Austria-Hungary. Prior to that he was a Governor of Cerigotto (sic) during the British Protectorate. His hobby was collecting antiquities.

Four Children were born to this couple on Cerigo Island:
Ziza Cavallini, Catherine Cavallini, Angelo Cavallini (who died in 1947) and George Cavallini b. March 25, 1872."

So I added:

3. More detail about second husband, Giovanni Cavallini.

4. Contact with Cavallini descendants.

When I was researching a completely different matter on the net - I stumbled, upon a reference to 12 photographs held at:

Special Collections Department
403 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011-2140
United States of America.

Phone: 515-294-9680

The Chief Archivist informed me that

"Photo's of interest were:

The seven photographs of the Cavalinni family (box 7, folder 15) include photographs of:
Rosa's husband John Cavalinni, her father-in-law Aggelo (or Angelo) Cavalinni, and her children George, Angelo (2 photographs, including one of Angelo and his wife), Ziza (photographed with her husband Alkiriades Lastiotis), and Catherine (photographed with her husband Mr. Petroheilou and a child).

In addition to the photographs of Rosa Cassimati's tombstone and her girlhood home, Box 7 Folder 16 also contains a photograph of the home of Rosa's son John Cavalinni and two general views of Kythera and Kapsali Bay (one with a cross to show the location of Rosa's home and one showing the location of her son's house). There are two different views of the tombstone- one showing the entire tombstone and one showing the inscription. There are also two different views of Rosa's girlhood home."

How, I asked did these photographs come to be in the possession of Ohio State University, and originally, in the posssession of the donor, Dorothea McClelland?


"Dorothea McClelland became interested in Lafcadio Hearn's writings, in part because they reminded her of her childhood years spent in Japan.
Because of her interest, she made a study of Hearn and collected numerous materials related to him.


While looking for information on Hearn's mother, McClelland corresponded with a Mr. Anthony J. Stathis in Kythera, and he sent the photographs to her."

Now this is where the investigation becomes really exciting, and where all the possibilities that can be opened up by the nature of become apparent. We are now entering into 3rd and 4th stage levels of research.

Questions now arising?

1. Does anyone have information about
Giovanni Cavallini?

2. Does anyone know the whereabouts of the descendants of Ziza Cavallini, Catherine Cavallini, Angelo Cavallini and George Cavallini?

3. Does anyone know the whereabouts of the descendants of Alkiriades Lastiotis, husband of Ziza Cavallini, and Mr. Petroheilou, husband of Catherine Cavallini?

4. Does anyone know the history of, or is anyone a descendant of, the mysterious Mr. Anthony J. Stathis, who originally sent the photographs to Dorothea McClelland in the first place?

Unfortunately the cost of obtaining each photograph is US$39.

It is not a policy of to pay for material. That would establish a bad precedent, which would inevitably lead to the economic demise of the site.

However, my personal curiosity has become overwhelming, and I have sent the funds off to purchase two (2) of the photographs;

1. the gravestone of Rosa, with inscription

2. a picture of second husband Giovanni Cavallini.

These have now been posted to the web-site.

If these prove helpful in illiciting further information, then I suspect, I will find a means to purchase the remaining 10 photographs.


In the meantime would descendants of Giovanni Cavallini, Alkiriades Lastiotis, Mr. Petroheilou, and Mr. Anthony J. Stathis, please post any information they have onto

I would like to thank the Iowa State University Library/Special Collections department, in particular Melissa Gottwald, Collections Archivist, for supplying this photograph, and allowing us to reproduce it at

* Sometimes spelt Kavalini, Cavalinis, or Cavalenes

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submitted by
Peter Vanges
on 18.01.2005

From, Peter Vanges, "Kythera. A History". 1993. pp. 147-148. The house was built in 1827, in Avlemonas, Kythera. (After independence)....Kythera once again became the stop-over port for Austrian ships from Trieste, using Avlemona during winter and Kapsali during the summer months. The Company was known as Lloyds of Trieste. A representative was appointed to the island by the name of Giovani Kavalini (Cavallini) who also acted as Vice Consul of Kythera. The descendants of this man remained on the island for many generations and the name is evident today, with many residing in Kythera, Australia and other parts of the world. The tomb of one of the original Kavalini family members can be found in a small cemetry outside St Spyridon's Church at Kapsali. The Triestian vessels continued their journey to Smyrna where a strong Kytherian community was flourishing. The Kavalini family played an important role in the history of trade on the island as they were the official import-export representatives for many years, with trade from Europe and the Greek mainland."

submitted by
Stephen Samios
on 18.01.2005

Can someone provide us with a photograph or series of photographs of the tomb of the Kavalini ancestor "in the small cemetry outside St Spyridon's Church at Kapsali"?