The Quilietti Family

The story of a Scots Italian family

BRATTESANI arrivals in USA

It was through the now famous Ellis Island that some of the Brattesani family members arrived in the USA.  There are  many  harrowing photos of the Immigrants and the conditions they travelled in and their state of health when they arrived.  Many of these folks had walked from their birthplaces to the Ports of Genoa and even as far as  to The Port Le Havre in France.  Onboard these ships there was different classes of passengers from third class to first class.  But all the passengers had to share their ‘rooms’ if you could call them that. Some of them lay on the decks to sleep this was their allocated space.   There was limited food and water onboard and even more limited sanitary conditions.  So the weak amongst them sometimes did not survive the journey.  Many were riddled with infection when they arrived at Ellis Island.  But here they were screened and given necessary treatments before they were allowed onto the main land.  Even so many family members travelled to and fro’ Italy to USA on many occasions

a very crowded ship travelling from Italy to USA

Genoa was the nearest Port to not only the Brattesani family but also to the Quilietti clan who both shared the Port as their place of departure.  In the Maritime stations, immigrants were subject to medical checks and their luggage was examined. It wasn’t uncommon for some of them to fall in the water and drown during the boarding rush. In fact, ship owners attempted to get as many people on board as possible without any regard for the 2 metres of space allotted for each person.


  • Clandestine immigration – Italian Immigrants

    The big companies which transported emigrants had their head offices in Switzerland and France and they were American, French, German and English capitals which operated illegally in Italy because they did not have the authorisation of the Government to work. To attract immigrants they developed intense advertising activities per each city and valley offering comfortable low cost voyages, which they never complied with and which turned out to be humiliating for the voyagers.

    This underground work did not consist only of the people who emigrated not to comply with the law or avoid their military obligations. Within this frame, there were people who were recruited by immigration agents who acted without any authorisation. They emigrated in this way because the cost was lower but they lost the state’s support.

    The law punished the outlaw recruiter but the immigrant was free to board a boat in a foreign port without protection. The ports which received the largest number of illegal immigrants were Le Hâvre and Marseille.

1901 Giuseppe

Giuseppe born 1876

Ellis Island

Filomena Brattesani born 1885

The Statue of Liberty with Ellis Island

Giuseppe again born 1876 died 1924

Mulberry Street, NYC c 1900 with the rising Italian community

Giuseppe again in 1906

Giuseppe Brattesani travelled at least six times back and forth across the Atlantic

Clementine born 1891 unsure of her parentage

This wonderful photo showing how living conditions were in 1910 in New York City

Giuseppe again now aged 48

Giuseppe's wife Teresa Rosa

The Conte Rosso was a new steamship built in 1922 when Luigi Brattesani travelled to Ellis Island.

Luigi Brattesani born 1900

Celestina - not sure to whom she was married

Lorenzo Bartoleomeo Brattesani born 1882.  His emigration year was 1906.  In 1910 the family lived in Macdougal Street in Manhatten where he was living with his wife Clarinda Cardinale,  his sister Cloride Brattesani  and his brother-in-law Joseph Cardinale He was described as a Cook.   He returned to Italy on occasion to visit his father Giuseppe Brattesani

Passport application to visit father Giuseppe Brattesani

with photo of Lorenzo

Lorenzo with his wife Clarinda Cardinale settled in New York City

a snowy New York 1905





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