The Quilietti Family

The story of a Scots Italian family

BRATTESANI Celeste 1884-1972

CELESTE BRATTESANI was the son of Angelo Brattesani and Maria Delgrosso.   He was one of at least ten children. He was my 1st cousin x 3 removed. 

Celeste, Angelo and Lorenzo Brattesani. The lady we believe is Lorenzo’s wife Clarinda Cardinale.    Photograph taken in Montecatini Terme in Tuscany.  1933

Celeste born 1884 arrived in Scotland circa 1907 and went to work with his cousins in the  Brattesani shops which were scattered throughout central Edinburgh, Fife and beyond at that time.

yummy, beautiful fish and chips

Here he learned the trade and discovered that it was very hard work chipping the potatoes and gutting the fish.  Like Morecambe and Wise or Wallace and Gromit, fish and chips are a classic double act – and yet they started life as solo performers.

Who first had the bright idea to marry fish with chips remains the subject of fierce controversy and we will probably never know for sure. It is safe to say it was somewhere in England but arguments rage over whether it was up north or down south.

Italian migrants passing through English towns and cities saw the growing queues and sensed a business opportunity, setting up shops in Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

To keep prices down, portions were often wrapped in old newspaper – a practice that survived as late as the 1980s when it was ruled unsafe for food to come into contact with newspaper ink without grease-proof paper in between.

Celeste met a young Scottish girl whose family lived in Cowdenbeath.  She was Mary Graham Ewan.

Mary Graham Ewan – she was a Scottish beauty

 Her father James was a coalminer in the town. But he had been born in Abbotshall, Fife, where his family had been for a few decades before him working in the industry.

 The Ewan family  lived at Somerville Buildings, Hill Street.  Cowdenbeath is located just 5 miles north-east  of Dunfermline in Fife.  The town grew up from the extensive coalfields and almost all the residents would have had connections in this harsh industry.  

Celeste and Mary marreid in 31 Gayfield Square, Edinburgh on 18th January 1911.  Celeste was 26 and Mary was 19.   After their marriage they moved through to Cowdenbeath where they moved into the High Street of the town.  It was here that their  children were born.  Alice on May 2nd of 1911, Maria Delgrosso on September 24th 1912.   Then came Angelo on July 10th 1915 and Celeste who was born the following year but who died in infancy.

It was possibly here that Celeste had his first business enterprise and the location was most probably 142 High Street in the town. Celeste and their family then moved through to Grangemouth.

daughter Alice Brattesani married name Aitken

  • Alice Brattesani was born in 1911 at 142 High Street, Cowdenbeath in Scotland.  She married William Aitken and they had a daughter Mary.  The family emigrated to New York where she stayed until she died in 1998 in Brooklyn, New York.  Her parents would visit on many occasions and we can track their travel on the great liners of the day including the Queen Mary over the Atlantic Ocean.

daughter Maria Delgrosso Brattisani

  • Maria Delgrosso Brattesani was born in 1912 at the same address in Cowdenbeath.  In 1930 she decided also to go to New York and emigrate there permanently. It was here on 11th May 1935 she married Edward Chester Roszkowski, a Polish immigrant 1910-1995. They had one daughter Vicky who in turn married Roland Caron. The family remain in New York.

son Angelo Brattisani 1915-1996

Angelo Brattisani was born in Falkirk in 1915. He followed his father into the restaurant business which profession he remained in all his life. Life had been generous to Angelo’s father who could now afford to send his son to the Dollar Academy.

Dollar Academy

Dollar Academy  a very prestigious pay-feeing school,  where he was educated to a very high standard.  His education took him back home to Italy studying Italian and Latin.  Celeste I am sure would have been very proud of his son and of own standing.  

Angelo took on the family business as it was as a Restranteur that he was married on 14th August 1939 in Kerse Church in Grangemouth.  His new wife was Isabel Ritchie Moir, the daughter of Alexander Moir  and Mary Jane Walker.

  • They had two sons Celeste and John.
  • John now lives in France  with his partner Frances Currie – John and Frances have kindly given us the information shared on this page about his paternal line.
  • Celeste was born on 2 July 1944 in Falkirk. He married Mairie Ruth Howie in Linlithgow in 1990. They divorced in 1999.

His siblings

  • SANTINO [Sante] BRATTESANI 1875-1915
  • CELESTE 1884-1972
  • CLOTIDE 1889

Celeste’s brothers Lorenzo and Antonio and also sister Clotide had emigrated to New York but whilst there they established close contact with their family in Scotland.  The families travelled to and fro and as we can see from the photograph above that they travelled back to Italy together to enjoy the warm Tuscan summers and spas in Montecatini Terme.

1953 to New York To visit their two daughters and remaining family


6 Responses to “BRATTESANI Celeste 1884-1972”

  1. Gordon Leishman says:

    I was at Grangemouth High School with Les (Celeste) till1961 and would love to hear from him. Gordon Leishman.

  2. Helen says:

    Have posted your comment. Thanks for the response

  3. lesley Carron says:

    would love to contact either “les” or John as we are visiting scotland in march and would love to hear about family in scotland

  4. Bob (Bobby) Buckie says:

    I too was at Grangemouth High with Les and Gordon LeIshman and would also like to contact them

  5. Michael White says:

    Sad to report that Les died on Sunday January 10th 2021 aged 76. No more details at present.

  6. Helen says:

    that’s so sad. Thank you for your update Michael

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