The Quilietti Family

Your Quilietti family heritage

QUILIETTI Angelina 1893


This branch of the Arpino family come from Sant Elia Fiumerapido a village near Montecassino in Italy.  The village has been around since the 9th Century and its destiny has always linked to that of the Great Abbey.  Due to the many rivers in the area the village became famous for producing the paper for the scriptomium, as well as the production of merino wool.  There were also many flour mills and of course olive oil production in the area.  After the Unification of Italy many of these businesses were forced to close and this of course contributed to the great exodus of the Italians at this time.

Angelina Quilietti – photograph sponsored by her great grandaughter Angelina Sim – thanking her for allowing us to publish this wonderful portrait

Angelina Quilietti was born on the 6th April 1894 at 85 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, the flat above the shop which is now a fish and chip shop .

85 – 89 Grassmarket

Born into the Italian community in the Grassmarket area of the city she would have spoken both Italian and Scots.  Their Church was The Church of the Sacred Heart, Lauriston, Edinburgh, but undoubtedly they would also have attended St. Patrick’s Chapel  in the Cowgate, especially after they moved from the Grassmarket to the Canongate in the City

Francesca Arpino with her husband Augusto Quilietti and their daughter Angelina Quilietti. This photo was taken circa 1901 

Things started to change however for the Quilietti family when her uncle Emilio died tragically in 1898  and his two baby daughters shortly thereafter.

Then in 1900 her own baby sister Ermennia  aged only 1 died also.   Ermennia is interred in Easter Road Cemetery in Edinburgh with her Uncle  Emilio Quilietti.

Four years later on her beloved father Augusto died of typhoid fever.  Disease was prevalent in Edinburgh in those days as hygiene was poor with little or no sanitation really to talk of .  These immigrants had little or no immunities to these new diseases and the death amongst them from typhoid alone was very high.  The family had now moved to 1 Ramsay’s Close, Canongate, just off the High Street.   Francesca carried on their confectionery businesses for a few years after his death as is documented in the Edinburgh Archives.

For reasons only known to  Francesca, she  and  Angelina travelled  to  Paris, France,  where there were  already Arpino relations working there on the outskirts of the city.  Francesca took up employment in the glass manufacturing industry.  They stayed here for a few  years and Angelina , we are told, learned also to speak fluent French.

Church of the Sacred Heart

In 1911 that we find the marriage of Angelina to Gaetano or John Arpino, a cousin from the village of Sant’ Elia Fiumerapido.   Witnesses were her uncle Nicolo Arpino and his new wife Rose Margiotta.  John was naturalised on 30th March 1936.   John served in the Italian Army during the First World War.

Sant Elia Fiumerapido

Gaetano [John] was born  on 29th September 1887.  His parents were Gaetano Arpino and Luggis Comobillo.   His father was described as a farmer.  John was a Motor Mechanic, an unusual trade indeed for any Italian in Scotland in this time.   He had been in the U.S.A. for a while and worked  for the  Ford Motor Car Company.   His first arrival was on 24th November 1903 onboard the Germania travelling from Naples to New York   His father travelled with him but returned home, perhaps to collect his wife.  His father returned again three years later  on 10th May 1906 onboard the Prinzess Irene again  travelling from  the Port of Naples.

It is documented that Mary Arpino, their first child was born in Linlithgow on 12th March 1912.   The address was 302 High Street in the town.  Mary’s childhood memories include travelling around this area for a while before they settled back in Pathhead.  Emilia was also born here in 1916.  But Charles who was born inbetween in the year 1913 was born in Pathhead.

Vintage photograph of Linlithgow High Street

So between Linlithgow and Pathhead their family were born.  They  moved to a flat at 2a  Dumdryden Street in Edinburgh for a while. – dates unknown.  The photograph below was taken here.

Angelina Quilietti, John Arpino, with Mary and Charlie Arpino. On his beloved Harley Davidson

We were privileged to meet one of their children, MARY ARPINO HUNTER, who was born in Pathhead, Midlothian in 1914.  We met up with her in the early and late 1990s.

Quoting from Mary Hunter in 1995

I remember moving with my mum and dad to help with a cousin’s business in Blantyre during the first world war.  We then moved on to Rosyth where they opened up a confectionery business right next to the picture house, but the 1926 Strike closed nearly everything.  We then moved to Broxburn and finally to Crichton where they settled and opened a fish and chip shop.  They also did confectionery.  My dad John Arpino served in the Italian Army and was an Engineer by Trade.  His pride and joy was his Harley Davidson bike.  One time my brother Nicola had stoled the bike from the garage and gone to some very important race and had won.  There was Hell to pay next day when her papa read about it in the Evening News.  Their business was known as the Ford Cafe’ Pathhead, Midlothian

The Arpino shop in PathheadOne restaurant was later also a fish and chip shop but there was a separate fish shop. Arpino had an ice cream saloon and business must have been good as he moved from the small shop in Stanley Place which later became the bank, to what is now the dental surgery. We’ve had a chemist’s shop in Roslin for more than 100 years, first in Stanley Place, then Alexander Place and now beside the health centre.

four generations of Arpino girlies, Benedetta, Francesca, Angelina, Mary, Charlie and Emilia

Angelina Quilietti with lady who may be her mum Francesca and daughter Mary Arpino.  Taken 1912  Francesca was born in the year 1973 so this photograph would make Francesca’s age  as 40.

Angelina in later years looking very much like her cousin Valentina Quilietti Murray

Pathhead, a village in the northern extremity of Crichton parish, Edinburghshire, on the right side of the river Tyne, in the eastern vicinity of the old decayed village of Ford, 5 miles ESE of Dalkeith, 37/8 N of Tynehead station, and 11 SE of Edinburgh. Standing 500 feet above sea-level on the slope and crown of an ascent from the Tyne, it takes its name from being at the head of this ascent or path; extends along both sides of the road from Edinburgh to Lauder; and has charmingly picturesque environs, including parts of the Oxenfoord and Vogrie estates, but chiefly consisting of feus from the Crichton property. …

Angelina Quilietti died on 10th December 1959 in the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.  Her husband John died two years later in the Ford Cafe’ in Ford, Pathhead, Midlothian.

  • GAETANO ARPINO born 1912 [Charles] married Alice Aitken
  • MARY ARPINO born 1913 – married James Joyce Hunter.  Her first daughter Palma was born in 1929 before she married.    Her daughter Palma was adopted by Angelina and John and brought up by them.  Palma’s descendants still live in the area today.  They include Slater/Wahlberg connections.

    Famiglia PALMA’S line

    Mary’s daughter Janet Maria’s line include Ali Graham

    Ali Graham

    Mary’s line.  Her daughter Angelina married John Reid.  One of their sons JJ Reid

    JJ Reid

    Jeanette and Bobby quilietti with Mary Arpino

  • EMILIA ARPINO –  Emily –  born 6th July 1916 married George  Crawford
  • NICOLO ARPINO born 1917 married Jessie Dickson
  • AUGUSTO ARPINO born 1920 married Margaret Bruce Gillespie

    Jasmine is from Augusto Arpino line

  • ANGELINA ARPINO born 1921 – married Ian Palys –  Angelina Sim, Carrie  and Mark are from this line

    Daughter of Angelina, also called Angelina with her grandson Mark Sim

  • GIOVANNI BATISTA ARPINO born 1922 d. 1922
  • Angelina Sim

1998 Mary Arpino Hunter with Bob and Jeanette Quilietti


Map of Pathhead where the Arpino family had their business,  the Fordel Cafe


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