The Quilietti Family

The story of a Scots Italian family

QUILIETTI Ian George 1950

Ian George Quilietti was born in April 1950 in Edinburgh.  He is  the son of Giulio [Sonny]  Quilietti born 1919 and Teresa Harper born 1926.

Il Padrino overlooking the beautiful Serchio Valley with Barga to the left.  Taken from Castelvecchio Pascoli

Ian’s, and our,  line extends back to when records began in the Church of Saint Nicolo’ which was build  in the 1650s.  Here we find precious books with  records of our family history.  We have many connected surnames which include the Conti, Brucciani and Giovanelli families from the villages of Castelvecchio and Barga.

This great document shows not only the Quilietti family with their dates of birth,but also their grandparents living next door in the village of Castelvecchio.  Quilietti family living at house no 64. Giuseppe Conti born 1813, son of Giulio  living at house No, 70 Also at no. 70 is Eletta’s brother Giuliano with his wife Rosa Agostini and their family.  Fantastic document

Our Ian

Our family line

Old Barga – the main town of the Region.  Castelvecchio [now with Pascoli added

Barga from Castelvecchio, a sight to behold

Barga from Castelvecchio, a sight to behold.  The Quilietti family left here for Edinburgh.  It is so beautiful, but there was no work for the farmers after the Unification of Italy, when the rich became richer and the poor even poorer.  To provide for their families the young men would join the army and then generally leave for new pastures.  Our family settled mostly in Scotland and Rhode Island.

Ian was brought up in the South Side of Edinburgh where the family lived in a ‘single end’ until he was about nine years old.  Early tenement life was tough, sharing one toilet with four different families, no electricity, hot running water or central heating, but a great sense of community and togetherness.  These single end flats were just as the name suggests a small room, generally measuring 15 feet by 11 feet,  which was situated on the corner of the old tenements.  One room where everyone lived.  The family would eat, sleep and live from one small table, one or two beds and a cooker if you were lucky.   Sometimes there would be a small recess where the bed was situated.     There would be one coal fire and often the cooking would be done over this and the washing would hang above the fire on a string .  One sink might be situated in front of the window, where all the family would wash.  The toilet was often communal and was situated in the ‘stair’.   In a world without television, computers or mobiles, families still had each other.   But it was no wonder there were so many tragic accidents at home.

St. Patrick's Street in the Southside of Edinburgh

St. Patrick’s Street in the southside of Edinburgh, where Ian and his brother Grahame were brought up in the nearby Square.

South Side of St. Patrick’s Square – a glimpse of how the area was in the good old, bad old, days

From here the family moved downhill to The Lawnmarket.  This  is the general designation of that part of the town which is a continuation of the High Street, but lies between the head of the old West Bow and St. Giles’s Church, and is about 510 feet in length.  This auld description of the Lawnmarket still stands today.  It is just down from Edinburgh Castle, about three minutes on foot.

Aulden times, romantic to look back at these old snaps, but life was severe for the residents of auld Edinburgh during the 1900s.


The Lawnmarket today – The Quilietti Clan lived on the top floor of No.332 Riddle’s Court, Lawnmarket –

Ian’s formative years were tough and he quickly learned how to look after himself in the ‘mean’ streets of Edinburgh in the 50s and 60s.  Early tenement life was tough, but he and his siblings soon learned how to look after themselves.   Their dad Sonny had also been brought up in and around the tenements, but of old Greenside.  Sonny and his cousin Joe Quilietti would have sparring sessions on Calton Hill, real fist fighting, to make a shilling for themselves.  Greenside was their home.

The new generation of Quilietti boys were just as tough.

‘Sonny ‘Quilietti

Before this time Ian’s great Grandparents Emilio Quilietti and Valentina Brattesani with their young family had worked and lived in many addresses in and around the Lawnmarket, the High Street, and nearby Greenside.  So the family were no strangers to the area.

Ian’s great grandad Emilio Quilietti

Emilio had stayed in Cranston Street in 1892, the year he married Valentina Brattesani.  Ian’s grandad Juilio Quilietti was born here.   Emilio went on to run a small ice-cream empire.    A factory in St. Mary’s Street, and two other addresses along the High Street itself where they were described as refreshment rooms. Eight premises in all before he died prematurely in 1898.   Jiulio followed on the tradition and he also ran a business further down at the Canongate.

The shop in the Canongate with Ian’s grandparents in attendance

Ian’s dad, Sonny Quilietti at school.  He is second row third from the left.

Ian had a tough upbringing and his fair share of sweethearts as well.  His first marriage was at the tender age of 20 and he was divorced 2 years later.  After this disastrous coupling Ian moved on and met an English girl but again this relationship was short lived.

Ian was in and out of work, and work was plentiful at this time, but he was restless and keen to get away, to move on from the tough life he had known from a boy.  He made the decision and joined the Army.

This ia where he met the love of his life, Alison Struthers, who was a lass from Aberdeen.

Alison Struthers Quilietti

Alison was at this time a Lance Corporal of the Women’s Royal Army Corps [Royal Signals].  Ian’s title was a signalman.  They married 15th January 1977 with his parents Giulio and Teresa as witnesses.

Alison, Ian and Fallon

For a while they moved abroad and it was in South Africa where their beautiful daughter Fallon was born, returning home to Scotland some years later.

Alison, Fallon and Ian at Teresa Quilietti’s 80th party

Ian with cousin Helen and his beautiful Bentley

Ian with Helen and the beloved Bentley

Over the years and more recently we have grown closer as a family.   Ian has embraced his heritage and family roots and is most passionate about this.

Ian George  Quilietti being a most wonderful host

Ian with his Mum, Alison, Denis and his wonderful Bentley

Ian with his Mum, Alison, Denis and not forgetting with most beautiful Bentley

In 2014 when his daughter Fallon married it was back’ home’ in Italy where they chose the venue, back in the old village of Castelvecchio Pascoli in the Church of Saint Nicolo’ where his paternal  family had been  born, baptised, married and also buried from, so many years before.

It was an emotional journey for us all  and the memories will of course be deep in our thoughts for many years to come.

beautiful Fallon Quilietti

Ian with Fallon


Fallon Quilietti on her wedding day


Helen and Ian at the wee hoose

Il Padrino blessing us all overlooking the fantastic Valley of the Serchio

Siena their most beautiful little grandaughter.

Ian with his family, Alison, Fallon, Mum and of course the love of his life Baby Siena

A lovely snap, taken on  Alison’s birthday in 2016

Quilietti Clan

Some of the Quilietti Clan with Ian, brother Grahame on the left.

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