Authentico Leggos

by Jo
Publish date
8 February 2011
Comments (6)

Jo is one of the friendly staff at MV's Discovery Centres. Despite protestations that she does not blog, she couldn't resist writing about this recent coincidence...

Weekends in the Immigration Discovery Centre are normally filled with lots of folks looking for their names, or the names of ancestors, on the various websites we can easily access. But this weekend proved a little more interesting...

I was helping a lady who was here on holidays from Florida find some information about her long-lost ancestors whom she believed arrived at Melbourne in the 1870s. This in itself is not out of the ordinary, but the woman’s maiden name was: it was Leggo. She had heard that her ancestors had come to Australia and started a food business. I asked her if she had made it into a supermarket yet and wandered down the pasta aisle, since their little food business was considerably bigger than she realised. (Leggo's is now a major brand of pasta and sauces. According to the company history on the Leggo's website, Henry Leggo began selling his mother's bottled sauces and pickles to Bendigo goldminers in the 1880s).

While she and I were chatting about this, another woman came up to the desk and excused herself for interrupting. She asked if we were talking about the the name Leggo, because that that was her name, too – and yes, it was spelt the same. She was on holidays from Cornwall in the United Kingdom. The two women exchanged the details of their respective family history as they each knew it and it seems that they are distantly related. They have since exchanged email addresses and will say in contact when they return home to Florida and Cornwall.

Elizabeth and Joyce Joyce Taylor (left) and Elizabeth Leggo in the Immigration Discovery Centre.
Source: Museum Victoria


Immigration Discovery Centre

Researching Italian Migration

Comments (6)

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David 14 February, 2014 00:03
Just a thought - should this blog also be flagged/tagged with "Researching Cornish Migration" as well as "Researching Italian Migration"? Even though I too am of Cornish descent, I would not have known that the namesake of Leggos pasta came from Cornwall, not Italy? :)
Discovery Centre 14 February, 2014 12:36

Hi David,

Good point! We have added another tag now.

Leonie Bedford 13 April, 2014 17:09
LEGGO is also in my family, which I am researching too! Please forward my email address to these lovely ladies. Kindest regards Leonie
Liz Leggo 17 October, 2015 05:11
Hi I just saw your comments from last year on the Melbourne museum website. My dad has a lot of information on the Leggo family tree. Email if u r interested! Liz
Kylie Carman-Brown 24 November, 2015 17:07
My Mum was descended from this family too, and I remember my Nan telling me when I was a little girl that the family was Cornish. I was tragically disappointed to find out we were not passionate Italians, so its a common mistake. Now I am very pleased about my Cornish descent and was able to visit St Just a few years ago. I would be happy to have my email forwarded to the other people who have responded to this thread.
Maria Stephenson 3 May, 2016 20:02
My great, grandfather Frederick Anderson married Elizabeth Ann Leggo from St. Just in Cornwell. I live in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales Australia?
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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.