The Quilietti Family

The story of a Scots Italian family


A letter from EOIN SCOLLAY

My 4x Great Grandfather was a man named Dominick Bonino. I have a record of him entering Dover in 1842 as part of a group of figure makers. I have his date of birth as approximately 1830, making him a young boy when he enters. He next pops up in 1853 in Dublin when he married Ann Jane Regan. The Regan family were living in a very poor part of Dublin, along with many Italians – this wasn’t the only marriage to an Italian in the family. Between 1857 and 1864 they had 4 children – Laurence, Maria, Catherine and John Dominick, but only the boys survived. I am descended from John Dominick Bonino… I’ll come to this rascal later.

His next appearance is in the 1871 Scottish Census, living in 7 Bell Street in. St. Paul, Glasgow. His occupation is listed as “Artificial Flower Maker”. He is listed on his son, Laurence’s marriage certificate as “Moulder”. The next census return for him in 1881, has him living in Greenock with his occupation listed as “Shop Keeper”. On the 1883 marriage certificate of John Dominick he is listed as an “Upholsterer”. Dominick gets himself into a spot of bother in 1885 when he is caught selling Amercian Cider in his Ice Cream shop at 10 Cathcart Street, his name is mentioned as Domenico. Dominick then appears again on the 1891 census, back in Glasgow and listed as a lodger in a house on High Street, his occupation is listed as “Ice Cream Shop Owner”. He doesn’t appear on the 1901 census but the final record I have of him is his death certificate in 1903, when dies in Baird Street, Govan, his occupation is listed as “Confectioner”  and it is signed by his son John. As mentioned, only Dominick’s two sons survived. I currently live in Belfast and both sons make their way to Belfast and get married. Both seem to come backwards and forwards to Scotland. John Dominick seems to spend more time with his father, whereas Laurence learns the upholsterer trade which he also passes on to his son Dominick. The family name gets changed from Bonino to Bonnon to Bannon over the years. Dominick Bannon (Laurence’s) sets up a very successful & well known furniture business in Belfast, which lasts well into the 2000s. 

Laurence married Johana Chaverine – I think you might be familiar with this name. Johana had two sisters, Mary and Elizabeth who both married in Scots-Italian families in Edinburgh. Elizabeth married (not 100% they were married) to a man named Balgarnie and to another man named John Waddie. Mary married Antonio Da Prato. Johana’s mother Elizabeth Magennis remarried Luigi Fusco after the death of Jacob Chaverine, then had a further two sons – John & Joseph Fusco. I am only related to the Chaverine’s via marriage, but Mary Chaverine does have a connection with John Dominick.

John Dominick Bonino was my 3x Great Grandfather and a bit of a rogue… He seems to have been pretty close to his father, presumably working along with him while in Scotland. I don’t have much records of him working in Belfast, my family have said he had a small shop in “Little Italy”. He is on the 1881 census living with his father, but 2 years later is marrying Elizabeth O’Neill in Belfast. They had a daughter in August 1884, but she unfortunately died in October. John Dominick’s location is listed as Port Patrick on her birth. In 1886 they have my 2x Great Grandfather John Bannon, born in Belfast. Now it gets juicy – in 1887 John Dominick marries again to a girl called Elizabeth McCracken, while he is already married to Elizabeth O’Neill. He gets caught, by his first wife, arrested and sent to Barlinnie for 4 months for bigamy. All of this was reported in the newspaper (which he is referred to as “an Italian by birth”). He then seems to disappear off the radar, only to pop up and sign Dominik Bonino’s death certificate in 1903. I have no record of what happened him in later life. The only other reference I have is a hand written note a relative made from an interview with John Bannon’s daughter stating that “Mary Chaverine came back from Scotland with a photograph of John Dominick and a lady, that someone in Belfast will find interesting”. 

My main aim is to obviously find where in Italy my family came from. I’m thinking it must be the same region considering their field of work and connections to Scotland. My second aim is to find out what happened to John Dominick, but considering how slippy he is, I dont think I will!

The Bonino line so far

  • LORENZO BONINO c 1800 Northern Italy
  • DOMINICK BONINO 1830-1903 born Italy died Scotland. He married Ann Jane Regan 1838-1915. They had at least four children, all born in Dublin. They moved to Belfast and then on to the West of Scotland. He died here in 1903. He was quite a character by all accounts – see the newspaper articles below. Their Children were:-
  • Lawrence Joseph Bonini 1857-1898. Lawrence married Joanne Chavrini 1858-1898 [who was the sister of Elizabeth Chavrini who married Luigi Fusco], They had at least three children, Dominick, Louie and Anne. This branch of the family stayed in Belfast. They changed their name to Bannon and were part of a furniture franchise in Belfast right up to the 2000s.
  • Maria Louisad Bannon Bonini b 1860 – no further information
  • Catherine Bannon Bonini 1862-1863
  • JOHN DOMINICK BANNON Bonini 1864-? perhaps France. He was born in Dublin on 6th July 1864. John was Eoin’s direct line. A bit of a rogue like his father really. He married on 4th June 1883 to Elizabeth O’Neill 1861-1945 in Belfast. It seems that John moved from Belfast to Scotland to work with his father and his occupations throughout the years would suggest that they had their hands in lots of pots trying to make a living. John also reached the newspapers again when he was charged with Bigamy for marrying ELIZABETH McCRACKEN in 1887 in Glasgow. – this second marriage only 4 years after his first marriage to Elizabeth O’Neill. Despite all this they had three children in their marriage, Theresa 1884 who died after birth. John Bannon Bonini 1886-1937 [direct line] and William Bannon Bonini 1889-1964.
  • Anne Jane BANNON Bonini – no further information


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