The Quilietti Family

The story of a Scots Italian family

QUILIETTI Giulio [Sonny] 1919-1973

GIULIO [Sonny] Quilietti,


 George Quilietti was born on  15th September in the year 1919.  His father was Julio Emilio Quilietti and his mother Elizabeth Wilson.

Sonny Quilietti
Sonny with his mum and sister Theresa Quilietti

He was brought up in the Greenside/Saint James’ part of the city, not far from where his Grandad Emilio lived.  He was a fiercly attractive man with a great personality.

Ian, Theresa, Sonny and Grahame Quilietti
At School

During the war he was a Lance Corporal in the Royal Scots Fusiliers.

Sonny Quilietti, centre row third from left – his First Holy Communion

His first marriage was to Mary Keanie.  They married on 27th October 1939, at St Mary’s R.C. Church, Leith,  with his cousin Louie Costella acting as Best Man. The marriage however was not to last.  

‘Sonny was crazy about his blonde wife Mary but over the years she was cruel to him.  Consequences of this cruelty were Sonny sweating out many nights locked up in the Army barracks as he deserted many times to get back to her to find out what she was up to’  The military found their solution and sent him off to Burma to fight the Japanese.   This was the making of him and he came back a Lance Corporal in the Royal Scots Fusiliers . Unfortunately when he returned there had been a baby born and the rest is history.

A bit about Mary Keanie and her children

  Robert Quilietti was born on 25th February 1944.  The birth Certificate shows the father as Giulio Quilietti and the mother as Mary Keanie.  But we know that this was not the case as Sonny had been away to War. The story goes that on his return to Edinburgh Mary was known to have sent back her wedding ring to Sonny. He deserted on more than one occasion to get to her, as he was what we would call a hot-head but it was known by his family that he really loved the girl and could not cope with her numerous affairs. He was said to have spent many an evening locked in the cells in Edinburgh Castle.

Mary’s son Robert, in the year 1965, married an Edinburgh girl by the name of Anne Flynn.   Robert was a Private in the Royal Scots with his barracks being in Tidworth, Hampshire.  His name was given as  Robert Keanie [formerly Quilietti], with his father as Giulio Quilietti.  They married in St. John Vianny Roman Catholic Church in Edinburgh.

Mary had a restless spirit, and by the year 1947 their marriage was over and Mary had taken up with another partner, John Keanie. They were first-cousins, their fathers being brothers.  They had a son John who was born on February 14th 1947, with John Keanie named as the father of this child.

Giulio and Mary were divorced and she married John in the year 1950.

Mary also  had a daughter Avril Marie Nixon who was born on May 11th 1955 in the Eastern General Hospital in Leith. The baby’s father was John Douglas Nixon. He was a Butcher’s Assistant and he lived at the time in Albion Terrace in Edinburgh

 Mary divorced again and married for the third time to a younger man Raymond Lesley Morton who was 17 years her junior. They married in Leith Registrar’s Office on 23rd February 1961. Witnesses were James Keanie and James Walker.

Robert’s family have recently been in touch with us via the webpages.   With great sadness we have put the record straight regarding his true parentage.

Ian and Grahame
Sonny with siblings Betty, Lula, Theresa, Valli and Carel Van Druten

After his divorce Sonny Quilietti had met a lovely lady by the name of Theresa Harper.  This marriage would be forever and the couple were well suited.  Ian George, their first son was born in the year 1950 and Grahame followed in the year 1952.

Sonny’s siblings Theresa, Luisa, Robert and Betty. Also Robert’s wife and Betty’s hubby

Sonny continued his close links with his siblings and their respective families were brought up together. He was also great pals with his cousins Joe and Arthur and they had many a tale to tell of their get togethers in the auld Edinburgh taverns of the 1950s and 1960s.  His aunty Jeannie also loved him dearly, and looked on Sonny as one of her own sons. She died just shortly his premature death which was an accident in Wales.

The tragic accident which took his life on 27th November  1973 would come as a great shock to his family.    He is still remembered with great affection and as someone with a great personality and great looks.  He has played his part in preserving our unique name and his grandchildren and their families will ensure that this name lives on.

The tragic accident

Theresa Harper , born in 1926,  has reached the age of 94 in 2020. Sadly she has now passed in 2022.

Theresa Quilietti


Fallon is the grandaughter of Sonny. She was married in Castelvecchio Pascoli in July 2014
lovely Fallon
Alfie and Sonny, great Grandsons

Leave a Reply