The Quilietti Family

The story of a Scots Italian family

BRATTESANI connections

The Brattisani connections How do we spell the name, is it Brattisani, Brattesani, Bratisani, Bratazani or what.  Well on the grave of Valentina it is spelt Brattisani.  So for our family history, we will go with that spelling even although we know that it is really BRATTESANI

Brattesani Coat of Arms – forwarded to Helen by Enzo Brattesani

This wonderful Coat of Arms has been translated from old Italian into English by our cousin Lia Borrotzu who is also a descendant of the Brattesani family.  Lia has an Olive Grove in the South of Italy.  Her translation goes like this:-

The Brattesani family  came from Florence,

where due to the Politics of the Blacks and Whites. they moved to Treviso in 1327.

From here they installed themselves in Castelfranco, Veneto at the beginning of 1600.

Battista Brattesani fought for the Republic of Veneto in the Fruili War against the Uscocchi.

Silvestro Brattesani was medic/alchemist to the Prince of Salzburg.

Giovanni was decorated with the title of Count by Napoleon, seated between the Senators in the first Napoleonic Reign

Another branch of the family residing in Fiorano, Modena, records a Pellegrino Brattesani, who in 1434 was well to do in San Polo near Sassuoli.  They are written in the Citizens Register of Sassuolo in 1620.

Nicolo’ Brattesani was Civic Head (head) of Sassuolo.

At the beginning of our Brattesani family history the family were in Florence.  The 13th century was generally a time of unmitigated violence in the Northern Provinces of Italy   Entire families were expunged in escalating blood feuds reminiscent of vendettas among the Mafia families in more recent times .The game of power made every northern Italian town a theatre of civil wars. A family backing a particular political party often controlled a neighbourhood adjacent to one controlled by a family belonging to a rival party. The year 1198 saw the beginning of two such political parties–the Guelphs and Ghibellines. (The Montecchis were Ghibellines; the Capuletis were Guelphs.) The names are of German origin. At that time, German emperors also reigned over Italy, through a parallel kingdom built up by the Unrochingi, which by 888 was the first dynasty of the world whose rulers wore crowns considered holy by the Church.

The Guelphs became the upholders of papal supremacy, while the Ghibellines supported the political claims of German emperors and kings of Italy. Later, the Guelphs split into two factions: the Blacks (extreme Guelphs) and the Whites (moderate Guelphs). Ghibellines came to be regarded as the party of noblemen, Black Guelphs the faction of the upper middle class, and White Guelphs the faction of the lower middle class. The truth, however, was that all of those parties and factions steadily degenerated into gangs without any ideology who fought for the hegemonic ambitions of their own bosses to control local businesses and rackets.The pitiless end of the Swabian dynasty had other famous consequences. In Florence and in Siena, the Guelphs regained power and started a fierce persecution of the Ghibellines. Also in Florence, the Guelphs split into Whites and Blacks under the Cerchi and the Donati families, respectively. Supported by Pope Boniface VIII, the extreme faction, the Blacks, under Corso Donati, ultimately won out. Among the Whites who felt Donati,s wrath was the writer Dante Alighieri, author of The Divine Comedy. Dante, who hated the Blacks, was condemned to death by burning at the stake on March 10, 1302, but he was later able to escape before the sentence was carried out.

White Guelphs and White Guelphs

It was no wonder that it was to Treviso the family escaped. With such times no-one was safe in such a war zone.

Map of Northern Italy showing Traviso just north of Venice. Treviso also has her own Canals. The Brattesani family origins are documented from this region as far back as 1327.
Map showing Venice, Treviso and Castelfranco Veneto, the towns where the Brattesani family lived from 1347 to the 1600s.

From Treviso the family moved to Castelfranco in Veneto at the beginning of the year 1600.  This town is only 30 kilometres to the West   from the town of Treviso.

The map shows the area of Fiorano Modena. Here Pellegrino Brattesani lived in the year 1434. The family were well to do in San Polo near the village of Sassuolo. The family are written in the citizen’s Register of Sassuolo in 1620.
Map showing the region of Sassuolo. It also shows how near the area is to Parma where many of the Brattesani family still live today.
Enzo Brattesani outside his cafe in Parma
Noemi Brattesani, daughter of Enzo

The Quilietti family are connected to the Brattisani family through the marriage of Emilio Quilietti and Valentina Brattisani in Edinburgh in 1892.

The Brattisani family settled in Edinburgh in the  late 1870s and were the very first of the Italian immigrants to settle in the city.   They claim to have the first fish and chip shop in Edinburgh, and this is a documented fact.

Borgotora in Autumn Dress – posted by Enzo 2019

This branch of the  Brattisani family  are from a very small village in Italy called Borgo val di Taro, Rovinaglia.   Borgo Val di Taro is a town and comune in EmiliaItaly, in the Province of Parma, 63 km from the city of Parma.

Number of Families3,353
Housing Units4,424
Population Nameborgotaresi
Patron SaintMadonna del Carmine

Borgo Val di Taro is an important centre for cattle husbandry in Emilia and it’s one of the zones where Parmigiano-Reggiano is produced.  It is also commonly known as Borgotaro . Rovinaglia is a frazione in the comune of Borgo Val di Taro in the province of ParmaItaly. It is located about 6 km away from the town square.   Rovinaglia is 892m above  sea level Rovinaglia is known for its porchini mushrooms and they are searched for by the locals. Rovinaglia is also famous for its scenic views from the mountain side and of the local church S. Pietro Apostolo and the fields which are used for agriculture and farming. Rovinaglia has a climate which is very common amongst Villages with similar altitudes to it, it has typically hot summers, but compared to the town, is very cool at night, whilst in the winter the temperatures are very low and it usually receives over 2 m of snow at once. In the summer it is also a place were tourists come mainly from North London (EnfieldBarnet etc.) to visit family many people in the area have emigrated to North London and that is why most people living their in the winter are mainly middle age or old, Rovinaglia’s places of interests include a churchcemetery and information boards. Borgotaro , the reality of emigration in the past, is tightly linked and connected to the various immigrant communities operating in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, France, Switzerland.

Amongst the specialities of the Region are the Mushrooms

James Gandolfini Sr., father of Italian-American actor James Gandolfini Jr., was born in Borgo Val di Taro.  Who knows he may be related.   The village has a very small population of only 8000 people.  But of course many of her children left not only for Scotland but also the New World as was the case of James Gandolfini Senior.

Coat of Arms Borgo Val di Taro

San Vincenzo is also a small village which lies in the same area.  Sante Brattesani was born here.  He also married his second wife here in this village.

Parma, in northern Italy, famous for its famous Parma Ham, and of course its Parmigiano Reggiano.

We know of four  brothers in Italy around the year 1840 whose sons in turn had sons and many of these sons emigrated to Scotland after the unification of Italy. Other branches of the family settled in the Yorkshire region of England, and others left Italy bound for La’merica and settled in Long Island, New York.  Some settled in California and others in New Jersey.  But their origins were all in Borgatora in Italy.

Brattesani line going back to 1750s

Our own family’s origins begin with

Giuseppe Brattisani with Lucia Coffrini. Photograph taken in Edinburgh
  • GIUSEPPE BRATTISANI born Parma, Italy  1841 died Sept 1905 at 9  Greenside Place,  Edinburgh.  He is our direct line and the  father of Valentina Brattisani Quilietti.   His father we believe to be Giuseppe Maria  Bredice Brattesani who landed in Dover in England in 1843. 
Showing the arrival of Giuseppe Brattesani in 1843.   We believe he was married to Maria Nero who was born in 1812.   If indeed they were his parents the family were most certainly one of the first to arrive in the UK.

This Brattesani family was large, Giuseppe, David, Giulio, Angelo, Giuseppe Lorenzo, Giudetta and perhaps Emanuele still to be confirmed and another Maria still to be confirmed.

  •  Our  Giuseppi born 1841 married into another family from Borgotora the Coffrinis.    Her name was Lucia Coffrini.
  • DAVID BRATTISANI born 1842 in Parma, Italy.    David married Anna Maria Coffrini, we assume to be a sister of our Lucia.  They  lived in 1901 at 9  Greenside Place, Edinburgh. please see dedicated page.
  • Brattesani brothers in Montacatini Termi
  • ANGELO BRATTISANI born 1843 in Parma, Italy.  He was known as Sante.   He married Maria Delgrosso. Please see dedicated page
  • GIULIO BRATTISANI born 1845 in Borgotora, Parma, Italy.  Giulio married Maria Domenico Ferrari in Italy. please see dedicated page
  • MARIA BRATTISANI born 1846 in Parma. Please see dedicated page
  • COUSINS of our direct ancestor Giuseppe.  Help please from any of the family to ascertain family links via Borgotora.

    • There was another Giuseppe Brattisani who had a wholesale business at High Street in Anstruther in Fife.  The business was one of tobacconist and confectioner.  His brother Lorenzo settled in Los Angeles.   Lorenzo was a witness at the wedding of Louisa Brattesani and Pietro Costella in 1932.   Giuseppe had previously  visited Lorenzo  on 16th June 1906 via the Port of New York.  The family seemed to go backwards and forwards on many occasions.
    Peter  Brattisani Golden Wedding

    Our direct line however  is through Valentina’s father Joe or Giuseppe.   Joe married in Parma on 1st April 1864 to a girl by the name of Lucia Coffrini. Interestingly enough and not unusually at that time Joe’s brother David married Lucia’s sister Anna Maria Coffrini. Both these families came to Scotland travelling separately but settling  in Edinburgh.  There was another cousin Giuseppe Brattesani who settled in Fife in the Anstruther and Burntisland area.

      • GIUSEPPE BRATTISANI married LUCIA COFFRINI.  Lucia’s parents were Dominic Coffrini and Maria Delzan.  They married in Parma before going to Paris where they had a business.   It was here that Valentina was born in the year 1870.  followed by Rose in 1871.   From here they travelled to Edinburgh but kept on their business in Paris.   The couple frequently travelled to and fro the two Capital Cities where their children were born.
      • VALENTINA was born in 1870 in Paris and married Emilio Quilietti. Their family settled in and around Edinburgh – where they still are today.
      • ROSA born 1871 in Parma in Italy.  She married Giulio Giulianotti and they settled in Aberdeen, Scotland.  They also had many children.
      • MARY was born 1878 in Edinburgh.  Mary married John Fusco.    They had twelve children. JULIA was born 1885 in Paris, France.  She died on 6 Feb 1889 at 5 Middlefield, Leith Walk,Edinburgh – twin of Minnie.
      • MINNIE born 1885 in Paris, France  She returned to Borgotora and married unknown.
      • DOMINICO GIULIO born 1885 and died in 1898 –
    Rosa Brattesani wedding day to Giulio Giulianotti- Edinburgh St. Mary’s
    A young Louisa Brattesani
    Louisa. She brought up the Quilietti children after the deaths of her sister Valentina in 1905
  • Emilio Quilietti with Valentina Brattesani 1892
    Valentina and Rosa Brattesani with husbands Emilio Quilietti and Giulio Giulianotti
    Maria or Mary Brattesani
    Little Eva Brattesani
  • Louisa Brattesani with her husband Pietro Costella.  She was  born 1887 in Middlefield, Leith Walk. She married Pietro Costella in Edinburgh in 1916. They had two children.  [Lorenzo Brattesani was a witness at their wedding – [Lorenzo  emigrated to USA]
    Giovanni Brattesani

    In 2004 the Brattisani family sadly gave up the last of their shops in Edinburgh.   Charles and Joe finally ‘cashing in their chips’  The article was well covered in the Edinburgh Evening News.  The article stated that their grandfather had come over from Italy and opened his first fish and chip shop in Stockbridge, but of course, we know that the first shops were in Leith and not Stockbridge.

    • He said: “We want to retire from the fish and chip business now.”It was a good business to be in, but it means working long hours, at night, and there was always something else that has to be done. We just want to slow down a bit. We feel there’s more to life than just work.”Charles, who also has an antique business, said he would miss the job. He said: “I think if you’ve been in a business for so many years, it is a big thing. The fact my grandfather was in it and my father means it’s been such a part of the family for so long. I have other businesses, but I’m still better known for fish and chips than for anything else. “We were brought up as children to work in the shop, peeling potatoes in the holidays.” He said people around the globe would miss the traditional fish and chips produced in the shop.
    • “It’s known throughout the world as a top fish and chip shop. People say it’s an institution. My daughter met people when she was travelling in Australia and South America who knew the Brattisani fish and chip shop.”The original Stockbridge shop on Church Lane was kept going by Charles and Joe’s grandmother when their grandfather went back to Italy to join the army during the First World War. On his return, the pair opened the Deep Sea shop, which is still open on Antigua Street, recognised widely for years as Edinburgh’s best chippy.
    • The shop was sold in the 1920s to fellow fish and chip family Crolla, who also own the G. Crolla fish and chip shop on Gorgie Road.
    • Joe also owned a shop at Brougham Place, Tollcross, while Charles bought one at Henderson Row in 1965.
    • John Downie, spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said he was sad to see the Brattesani shops close.”It’s a big issue for a lot of family businesses, particularly when there are no family members left who can or want to take it on,” he said.”Unfortunately, long-established businesses often have to close when the owner wants to sell up and retire. It’s disappointing to see long-standing family businesses go.
    • “Newington councillor Fred Mackintosh added: “It’s such a shame it’s going. It was a very good place to get fish and chips. Not many places do sit-in fish and chips any more.”The whole restaurant is a place of character with all of the original fittings. It’s more than just a chippy. You walk inside there and feel like you’ve been transported back to the 1960s.”
    Some documented addresses of the Brattesani family in Scotland are
    1. The famous Anstruther chippi, 25 Shore Street, Anstruther.  Manegildo owned this in 1955
    Anstruther 2007
  • 1905 LUIGI BRATTESANI had two premises, 146 Dalry Road, Edinburgh which was a house and shop and also a shop at  4 Greenside Place, Edinburgh.
  • 1905 SANTE BRATTESANI had a shop at 8 Union Place, just opposide Greenside Place.  He was now married to Valentina Brattesani  Quilietti his first-cousin after her first husband Emilio Quilietti had died.
  • 1925 GIOVANNI BRATTESANI  had a house  in Shore Street, Anstruther and a shop at 3 Cards Wynd.
  • 1925 CELESTE BRATTESANI had a shop at 34 High Street, Cowdenbeath, Scotland
  • 1925 JOHN BRATTESANI shop 44 Earl Greey Street in Edinburgh
  • 1925 PETER BRATTESANI had a house at 2 Glenorchy Place, Greenside, Edinburgh
  • 1925 JOE BRATTESANI had a shop at 57 Gorgie Road, Edinburgh
  • 1925 ATTILIO BRATTESANI had a shop at 9 Henderson Row, Edinburgh
  • 1925 ATTILIO also had a house at 7 St. Mary’s Street, Edinburgh
  • 1930 LAURENCE BRATTESANI had a shop at 47a New Street, Inveresk, Musselburgh
  •  1930 LODIVICO BRATTESANI Had a shop and house at 6 School Wynd, Elie in Fife.  He also ran a Billiard’s Business from this address
  • 1930 PETER BRATTESANI was living at 2 Glenorchy Place, Greenside, Edinburgh
  • 1930 CELESTE had a shop aat 37 Kerse Road,Grangemouth.
  • The Anstruther Shop also sells the famous ice-cream which has been on the go since 1898

    He said: “We want to retire from the fish and chip business now.   “It was a good business to be in, but it means working long hours, at night, and there’s always something else that has to be done. We just want to slow down a bit. We feel there’s more to life than just work.” Charles, who also has an antique business, said he would miss the job. He said: “I think if you’ve been in a business for so many years, it is a big thing. The fact my grandfather was in it and my father means it’s been such a part of the family for so long. I have other businesses, but I am still better known for fish and chips than for anything else.

    “We were brought up as children to work in the shop, peeling potatoes in the holidays.” He said people around the globe would miss the traditional fish and chips produced in the shop.

    Thank you David Brattisani for contacting me regarding your family line.   I have amended the photo and await your reply.   Great to hear that you have enjoyed reading about our family. Can anyone out there help Glyn Longstaff who remembers one of the Brattesani family from Leith Walk.   Please contact by leaving comment.    Helen Hello,

    I was thinking the other day about a young man I met whilst I was doing my national service ( I am now 74 years old) in Germany (BAOR) in 1957. His surname was Brattisani and he had something to do with an Ice Cream business in Leith Road, Edinburgh. (I went to school in Edinburgh so it rang a bell). I believe he was in the Army Catering Corp. We were stationed in Old Edinburgh, I was with the 72 L.A.A. Regiment Royal Artillery and I remember we went on a camping weekend to an island called Nordeney, off the northern coast of Germany.
    I don’t suppose by any chance he is still around, he will be the same age as me, he may not even remember me, but I remember he made us all laugh.
    Primo Carnera was great friends with Luigi Brattesani, one of our cousins, who had emigrated to  New York.  Primo regularly ate in his restaurant.  He is photographed here with Jean Harlow.  See comments below

    39 Responses to “BRATTESANI connections”

    1. David Brattesani says:

      I was delighted to find your webiste. i found a lot of the information really helpful. i just wanted to correct one point; the photograph of the couple at their Golden Wedding is not Joe Brattesani, it is my great grandfather Peter Brattesani (referredto as Pietro earlier in the site) and geat grandmother Margaret.

    2. Helen says:

      Thank you very much David. Would you like to help me sort out the Brattesani line. I would love to meet you and include yourself in the website. Helen

    3. luigi tagliavini says:

      Buon Giorno a tutti mia Mamma si chiama Brattesani e viviamo a Borgo Val di Taro. Se volete sapere di piu’ sulla origine della famiglia Brattesani scrivetemi!!

    4. Rosemary Lean says:

      My grandfather was Giovanni Batista Brattesani and he was sent by his parents from Borgo Val de Taro at the turn of the 20th century. He was 10 years old. He first stayed with his sister and husband in the north of Scotland (Helensburgh way) but later was in business in Edinburgh and South Queensferry and later in Glasgow.

      I lived in Edinburgh in the 1960s and new of Joe Brattesani and the fish and chip shops – in fact, I lived in Brougham Place!

      I have done some research into my Grandfather’s family in Borgotaro and have tracked down some of the family but cannot find out the exact relationship to my Grandfather. He was one of 10 children.

      I am in touch with the son of Luisa Tagliavini (nee Brattesani) but am unable to confirm the connection (if any) with my Grandfather.

      I would be interested to further extend any connection there might be.

      Best wishes

      Rosemary Lean

    5. Rosemary Lean says:

      Further comment previously omitted:- My grandfather was born in 1890 and he was a cousin of Joe Brattesani. Can you help?

    6. Helen says:

      Rsemary, merry xmas, I have just opened your communication this morning and must apologise for the lateness of the reply. I would be really interested in your family tree and your research. Can you let me have a look through my stuff. The census information with my side of the Brattisani family only confirm that they were cousins and uncles of my Valentina. When she died in 1905 our family history really died with her. Her sons and daughters were at first brought up by their Brattisani aunts but because they were really orphans they all married and left the nest very early. Our link with the Edinburgh clan was lost and I am hoping that through this website that we can again meet up and re=establish our family links.
      Giovanni Batista Brattisani I have in my family tree as being the son of Giuseppe Brattisani and Veronica Zaccarini. He was born as you say in 1890 in Borgotora and died in an ambulance in the year 1962 in Glasgow. He married twice, to Emma Jane Arthur and then to Elizabeth Dunnett He had a brother Luigi who was ten years his senior and he also died in Glasgow in the year 1929. If he was one of ten siblings I would need to do much more research in the archives to establish who was who. I believe the Brattisani family in Scotland were all very much related and from this region in Italy.

    7. luigi tagliavini says:

      Buongiorno! Ho visto con piacere che avete fatto molte correzzioni al vostro sito riguardo alle origini della Famiglia Btattesani. In epoca lontana i Brattesani erano tutti parenti e tutti hanno origini in Rovinaglia o San Vincenzo, che sono 2 paesini molto vicini tra loro. Non esiste altra citta’ in Italia dove trovare Brattesani! Solo nel comune di Borgo Val di Taro. Presto scrivero tutto quello che so della famiglia Brattesani e di Rovinaglia e San Vincenzo con belle foto dei 2 paesi e dei 2 Cimiteri dove riposano in pace tante tante persone Brattesani. Esiste anche un piccolo paesino vicino a Rovinaglia che si chiama ” Case Brattesani” Saluti a tutti!

    8. Helen says:

      Thank you again for your comments. Have tried to translate as such. The Brattisani family all have their origins in Rovinaglia or San Vincenzo. The villages are very close and their are 2 cemeteries where lies many of the Brattisanis. There is also a village nearby called Brattisini. There is nowhere else in Italy where the Brattisani family could have originated only in the principality of di Borgo Val di Taro.. Could you send me some photos

    9. Rosemary Lean says:

      Hello Helen – I have just looked again at the Website and saw your reply to mine. I am so excited! Yes, that is correct that he married twice. . . and I, too have traced my great grandparents as Guiseppe Bratessani and Veronica Zaccarini. I can hardly believe it as I have been to Borgotaro several times and as I said previously met Luigi Tagliavini whose mother was a Bratessani but so far I have n’t been able to establish our relationship.

      Yes, Grandad had a brother Luigi . . ..

      I, also will try and get my head around your news and collect my thoughts properly. I would be happy to receive an E:mail from you with a view to consolidating our joint research. Happy days!

      Best wishes for 2011.


    10. Rosemary Lean says:

      Dear Helen, I have the names of the 10 children of Veronica Zaccarini and Guiseppe Brattesani and Luigi being the eldest son. Grandad was the youngest of the 10 children. I am trying to establish the parents of Attilio Brattesani born1898 in Borgotarro, who went to Scotland and died in 1950 in Dundee. Can you shed any light on the names of his parents?

      Best wishes

      Rosemary Lean

    11. Helen says:

      Will have to check through my files. Can I please get back to you. I will welcome any additional family names. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I will get back to you if I find attilio anywhere

    12. John Brattesani says:

      I am angelo brattesani’s son, my grandfather was Celeste and his wife was Mary Graham Ewan from Copwdenbeath Fife. i remeber Lorenzo Brattesani. I think all the Fish and Chips shops have gone now from Scotland.

      Very goos to know that here are more of you out there

    13. Alexandra Brattesani says:

      I am 8 years old an I have enjoyed reading about my past relations.
      I have big sister Hannah Brattesani she is 15. We live in Perthshire Scotland.
      I look forward to reading more on the history of the Brattesani family.

      Love Alexandra Brattesani

    14. Helen says:

      Helle Alexandra and thank you for commenting about the family. My great granny was Valentina Brattesani. It was good that you enjoyed these wee bits of history about our ancestors.

      Welcome to the family Helen

    15. JAMES DORA` says:

      Anyone please let me know the history of the Dora` family ties from Rovinaglia and Scotland.

    16. Helen says:

      Hi there, thanks for your comments. Will see if we get any response. The family are certainly from the same region as our own but as yet have not found any links between the Dora family and the Brattisani family Let’s see if anyone can help

    17. James Penn-Dunnett says:

      Hello Helen, what a great family history website. Here is some information about Giovanni Batista Brattesani. Could you also pass this on to Rosemary Lean who I think is my first cousin once removed.

      Giovanni Batista Brattesani married my dad’s sister Elizabeth Dunnett in Edinburgh in 1934 and about 1935 he changed his name to John Bradley. They had two children, John and Lawrence, who went to Melville College in Edinburgh (now called Stewart’s Melville College). My aunt died at the very young age of 32 from TB on 20th September 1946 in Robroyston Hospital, Glasgow. John Bradley and Elizabeth Dunnett are buried in South Queensferry Cemetery.

      My dad, David Dunnett, had a business relationship with John Brattesani for about ten years and looked after Bradley’s Hotel in South Queensferry for a couple of years after the war. Uncle John taught him how to make ice cream and my dad built the Garvie Cafe in the grounds of Bradley’s Hotel round about 1949. I spent the first eight years of my childhood in Bradley’s Hotel and the adjoining coachhouse, Newhalls Cottage.

      Uncle John had some friends in high places and this helped when in June 1940 he was interned in Saughton Prison. The prison records say he was moved to York but he was released soon after with the help of his friend Detective Superintendent William Merrilees, head of the Edinburgh Police CID (later to become chief constable).

      The hotel in South Queensferry was requisitioned by the Admiralty in 1940/41 for use by the WRNS from HMS Lochinvar and HMS Hopetoun and it was not returned to him until 1945. For the rest of the war uncle John spent most of his time in Glasgow where he had a couple of ice cream cafes, (Shawlands Cross and Argyll Street). After my aunt died he continued to live at 48 St Vincent Crescent, Kelvingrove, Glasgow

      In the List of Aliens Certificated for Naturalization in The London Gazette for 4th December 1925 Giovanni Batista Brattesani or John Brattesani states that he was a refreshment caterer and lived at 143 Laurieston Place, Edinburgh.

      My dad told me that uncle John was a sergeant in the Italian army in WW1 but I have been unable to find out anything as Italian military records are held in the state archive of the comune (Borgo Val di Taro) in which a person was born.

    18. Rosemary Lean says:

      Oh! – I’m so thrilled to read James Penn-Dunnett’s information. My Mother told me that Elizabeth Dunnett was a friend of hers and that my Mother invited Elizabeth to stay with the family when she went down south to Edinburgh. Seemingly Elizabeth and my Grandfather, Giovanni Baptiste Brattisani became close resulting in a marriage and 2 sons, John and Larry. As you rightly say, by then their surname had been changed to Bradley.

      As for the hotel in South Queensferry, I remember my Mother taking myself and my brother, Neil, when we were very small to visit Grandad at the hotel. I have returned several times in recent years and spoken to the proprietor on my last visit (about 3 years ago). She was very interested to hear about my connections through my Grandfather and showed me the upstairs sitting room, etc. I understand tho’ that it has since been sold again and don’t know the current ownership.

      My Mother, Veronica and her half brother Larry were quite close and sadly my Mother died on 18 February 2007 and Larry died suddenly in June that same year. His ashes are scattered at South Queensferry cemetery, also with his brother’s ashes (whereabouts unknown to me – Coatbridge I think) and I went with his son, Stuart and daughter Elaine to Borgotaro with the remaining ashes and scattered them at the cemetery there. near the memorial of Eugenie Brattisani.

      Larry had 3 children – Stephen whom lives I think in Glasgow, Stuart who married in September 2009 lives in Edinburgh and Elaine who lives in the USA.

      I am so pleased to receive more detail about Grandad’s life in Scotland and very pleased to know that I now have a second cousin – as my relations are few and far between.

      I am hoping that these new contacts will not disappear and that we will all gain more from the association.

      Thank you Helen for providing this website.

      Best wishes


    19. luigi says:

      salve,io ,sono brattesani,luigi,mio,nonno,brattesani,luigi,ha lavorato,12 anni in america, come cuoco,era molto amico,con primo carnera,cosi mi diceva mia nonna parenti carolina,io mi picerebbe sapere qualcosa di piu, dei miei avi,grazie,ha dimenticavo,io abito a borgotaro,in via taro38,ciao ,brattesani luigi,speriamo di sentirci presto

    20. Audrey Scott says:

      I lived in Drumdryan Street and I loved Brattisani’s chippy… it was the best ever. My mum and Dad were very friendly with another Italian who had a chip shop in the Southside of Edinburgh he was called Arasmo … we used to go to his house for dinner and i was allowed a sip of red wine even though I was only 7years old !! Very nice Italian family they were.

    21. Helen says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Everybody in Edinburgh loved a Brattisani chippy. All the authentic Italian chippies are dwindling away. thanks for your lovely comments

    22. salve,io sono brattesani luigi,i miei nonni sono di sanvincenzo,pradolino,anno vissuto li per 60 anni,poi trasferiti in paese,sono morti ora,pero’ erano conocsiuti molto a rovinagli valdena e dintorni,mio nonno si chiamava come me’,miozio uno givanni, e l’altro,mario ,e aldo,mia zia maria, mio padre mario, la sua casa era l’ultima vicino al tarodine,quella bianca,contattami che mi fa piacere ,sentire che ce’ ancora il nome BRATTESANI,CIAO LUIGI

    23. Helen says:

      Hi, I am Brattesani Louis, my grandparents are FROM San Vincenzo, Pradolino, years lived there for 60 years, then moved to the country, They are dead now, but ‘were conocsiuti very rovinagli Valdena and surroundings, My grandfather’s name was Louis, like myself. There was also Giovanni , Mario, and Aldo, my aunt Maria, and my father Mario. His house was next to the last tarodine, the white one, please contact me I am pleased to feel that there ‘s still the name Brattesani, HELLO LUIGI.

      Have tried to translate your words but perhaps they are a mit muddled in the translations. Thanks for your comment. There are still many Brattesani descendants in Scotland, France and America. Welcome aboard


    25. Helen says:

      A rough translation.

      My grandparents were Carolina and Luigi Brattesani and they emigrated to New York. Here Luigi had a restaurant and became good friends with Primo Carnera who was a famous boxer of the day, circa 1926. Luigi Brattesani would cook for him and they became good friends. His favourite meal was Anolini in Broth. His grandfather did not like Boxing and did not like such sport and therefore refused tickets to see him fight on many occasions. However he has a big fan of the Baseball. Primo presented Luigi with tickets to see Chicago play. He wanted to make his friend happy and asked him along before the start of play. He was presented backstage to meet the famous of the day and presented with a signed baseball which even today is much sought after.

      This is a very rough translation of this e.mail. Could anyone else out there help me please.

      Primo Carnera, (born October 26, 1906, Sequals, Udine, Italy—died June 29, 1967, Sequals), Italian heavyweight boxing champion of the world from June 29, 1933, when he knocked out Jack Sharkey in six rounds in New York City, until June 14, 1934, when he was knocked out by Max Baer in 11 rounds, also in New York City. Weighing about 260 pounds, Carnera was the heaviest of all world champions and one of the tallest, at a height of 6 feet 5.75 inches.
      Originally a circus strongman, Carnera began his professional boxing career in Paris in 1928 and went to the United States in 1930. There he began compiling an impressive total of knockout victories, many of which, however, were “fixed” fights with outcomes prearranged, first by his Parisian manager and later by organized crime figures in the United States. (Carnera was likely unaware of these arrangements.) After two successive knockouts by Leroy Haynes in 1936, Carnera returned to Europe practically penniless, having seen little of the purses he won in the United States. From 1928 through 1946 he had 103 bouts, winning 88, 69 by knockout.
      During World War II, Carnera returned to Italy. Though a nominal Blackshirt during the war, he was exempted from actual military service because of his health—Carnera had one kidney removed in 1938, his kidney disease thought to be related to his gigantism. He did, however, serve as a reluctant propaganda tool for the fascists. He also continued to fight in exhibition bouts and made a few films in Italy to earn much-needed cash.

      After a losing a fight in Italy in 1946, Carnera returned to the United States and became a professional wrestler, earning a small fortune. In 1956 the film The Harder They Fall, adapted from Budd Schulberg’s novel, was released. Based upon Carnera’s life, the film examined the role of organized crime in boxing. Carnera sued the studio for defamation but lost. Carnera became a United States citizen in 1953 but returned to his native Italy shortly before his death.

      Carnera appeared in a number of films—both Italian and American—from 1933 to 1960, the most notable of which perhaps was The Prizefighter and the Lady. Released in 1933, the film features Carnera and Max Baer playing opponents in the ring, one year before they faced each other for the title.

    26. Peter Brattesani says:

      Hi Helen,Couldn’t believe it when I stumbled across your web site.To see the picture of my Grandfather and Grandmother Peter Brattesani and his wife Maggie nee Hill.Grandad left Italy (Borgo Taro ) when he was 13 years only to return on a visit at 76 years to visit family in particular his sister Julia who lived in Rovinalia accompanied by my Father and Mother David and Julia Brattesani.My Fathers cousin Matilda married Peter Dora…they had a fish and chip shop in Dundee. My memories of Borgo Taro are very fond ones…we stayed with my Dads cousin Maria and her husband Bruno Moreno and their 3 daughters…Govanna,Guisapena and Lisa (I’m sure my spelling is wrong !!!).they were the most hospitable and nicest people you could ever hope to meet.

    27. Helen says:

      Would love to hear more from you Peter. Would you like to help me enhance a page for your line

    28. Helen says:

      Would love to hear more from you Peter. Would you like to help me enhance a page for your line. I have sent you a small e.mail direct. Thanks Helen

    29. Giulio Dora says:

      Hello I’m Giulio oldest son of Peter and Matilde Dora ,Dundee . I was going through tablet put in Doras Dura st Dundee (the shop) and came across mum’s uncle Peter and auntie Meg as I knew them .We had many trips to their house i alway’s loved going to the tenement house the rear over looking a railway line. As a wee boy I was really into trains and loved to see the cast iron cooker always shiney gloss black.I liked uncle Peter because he always had a smile and soft nature about him . We also visited his son David and wife Julia and met their sons David and Peter Our family as I remember came from Rovinaglia about 1888 starting first fish and chip shop in Dundee in Princes st called THE INTERNATIONAL. Two sons went to Arbroath and opened their own shops Emlio’s at Fisheracre and Joe’s in Applegate .Their were about 5 or 6 dora shops in THE TOWN at one time in Dundee there were 3 and now i own and run the last one. My 2 children loved being in the shop as kids but both went to university and have good jobs as they work hard and long hours like all DORA’S I have 2 grandchildren and come in the shop and play with chips in the bath Luca puts puddings into the batter and won daysaid to me could hh get this shop when he grows up he is now 5 .

    30. Helen says:

      Hello Giulio. thank you so much for leaving your comment. Love your name, this name is still used in our family as well, We have young Alfie Giulio, only born last year. Your comments are so very interesting and I will go now back into the archives and see what else I can find. It is so refreshing to have some first hand information on the fish and chip shop life in Scotland. I am so happy that we can now document and honour our past and pass this on to our families. Great stories here. Love the grandchildren playing with the chips in the bath. For some generations who only know frozen chips this is just a great wee story. Would you like me to do a dedicated page for your line. Helen

    31. Anne Downie says:


      I have just discovered that my great grandmother was Lucia Bratisanni who married Guiseppe Delfini. The Delfinis lived in Borgo Val di Taro. I knew Joe Bratisanni as a child but didn’t realise then that we were distant relatives.

    32. Helen says:

      Helle Anne and thank you so much for commenting. Would love to hear more and to include you in our family history. Please e.mail me direct Thank you so much Helen

    33. Nigel says:

      Please excuse the email address name! First My Grandfather was born in 1906 as Fred Bratterzani and his father also called Fred Bratterzani in the 1911 census according to his army records was born in 1871 in Hull, East Yorkshire. However I have not been able to find birth records for a Bratterzani but have found birth records in East Yorkshire for a Fred Brattisani born in 1870. Do you have any information in your family history research that might be able to help me further? I believe (from apocryphal family story memories!) that his father came from Italy in the 1860s and died in the Humber but I don’t know his name.

    34. Helen says:

      Thank you Nigel. It is well known that all the family were from Borgatora in Italy. They all originated from the same branches of origin and before that as the coat of Arms says it was Florence. There are many branches who came to Scotland and England as well as New York and Orange County. And the spelling was corrupt as was commonplace. I am sure that your grandfather would have belonged to one of these lines. I am just trying to work out what the Italian would have been for Fred and having a wee chuckle to myself. Let me try and find out and perhaps we can build you a separate page – with your help of course

    35. Stacey Brown says:


      I stumbled across this whilst trying to build my family tree. My gran was brattessani and I believe she was the daughter of pietro and Margaret, her name was Margaret louisa and was born 2nd October 1934 and died on 16th November 2012. I’d love to hear from anyone who may give me more information and to possibly chat too.

      Kindest Regar

    36. Ethan says:

      My great great grandparents were Emelio quiletti and Valentina brattasani my great great grandad Emilio owned an Italian ice cream shop and sold it in Edinburgh but sadly passed away in 1899 he also had a daughter my great grandma Valentina Maria quiletti who gave birth to 12 and looked after 13

    37. Helen says:

      This branch of the Brattesani family were amongst the first to arrive in U.K. Giuseppe was the father born 1831. His arrival was in 1843 as a young boy really arriving with Zanre and Cardinale members of their extended families. His brother Francis joined him at a later date. Same approximate date of birth 1832. They were organ grinders when they arrived and as late as 1871 were still described as musicians in the English census. The Brattesani family are all from the same root from a foundling who was given the name way back in the 1600s. The family were originally from Florence then from the Parma region and the small hamlets surrounding. Borgotora was where most of the records seem to stem back.

    38. stacey rutherford (brown) says:

      Hi ALL

      I have managed to pick up doing the family tree again and im very excited to learn about this extensive family x i recently had a baby girl and i cant wait to show her all her ancestors links x would love to get in touch

    39. Helen Helm-Sagar says:

      Giovanni and Veronica had at least three children, Bettina born 1871, Luigi 1880 and Giovanni.1891 Luigi stayed with his Brattesani cousins at 9 Greenside Place. In the year 1905 he ran a business from No. 4 Greenside Place in Edinburgh as well as another at 146 Dalry Road. He also resided at 142 Dalry Road in the same year. He then moved through to Glasgow. He married Emily Gorman and the couple ran a Soda Fountain Premises in Glasgow. They resided at 26 Cecil Street, Hillhead in Glasgow. When he died of a tumour in 1923 both his parents were still alive.

      Luigi was my grandfather.

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