The Three Legs of Man


CAIN Family


The Cain family came from German in the Isle of Man. (still working on lots of information to update and input.)

Thomas Edward Cain, born in 1852, immigrated to New Zealand, leaving Plymouth on the 13 December 1873 on board the "Dilharree" and arrived in Lyttelton 11th March 1874. His father James, was a shoemaker, and had married twice due to first wife Judith dying in 1849. Thomas's mother was Elizabeth Leece, who had also been a widow before she married James Cain.

So Thomas came from a large family, though there were a number of the family that had died young. An older half brother, John Caesar Cain had gone to America in the late 1860's. Perhaps this made Thomas look to other lands as well. He was only 21, when he arrived in New Zealand shores. He came as an assistant immigrant. New Zealand was looking for young men who also had trades and were willing to work, to help build still a young country.

He tried his hand at gold mining on the West Coast, and must have really liked the area, as he stayed. He married a very young Anna Maria Schiavi in 1883, and they soon started out to have a large family. 11 children in fact.

Gold mining or working in the Coal Mines of the area must have been prosperious, as Thomas's occupation remains as a "miner"  on certificates until the early 1900's. Then he turns his hand to farming, and moves to Birchfield, Waimangaroa.

Thomas died at the age of 79 in 1931, his wife Anna died in 1945 at the age of 79.


One of Thomas and Anna's children, was my late Father-in-law's father, also called Thomas.

Young Thomas was born in 1892, but died at a very young age in 1918, due to Pneumonia.

Thomas was married to Lily Pauling by this stage and had two young children, Lily Eveline and Thomas Edward (my father-in-law), who was only 4mths old when his father died.

Lily remarried in 1920 to Leonard Corlett, and both Eveline and Tom, were bought up as Corlett's, hence we have a very close connection between the two families.


This site is also needed lots of updating, photos to be added and acknowledgements made to the people who have helped with information on the CAIN family. To everyone I am thankful, even if you name has not yet been mentioned, it will be once this part of the site has been updated.