The Quilietti Family

The story of a Scots Italian family


Thanks to Peter Boni for these wonderful photos and some information about his line.  Like many of the Demarco lines this one also has its fair share of talented individuals and whose descendants have played a part in shaping a wee bit of Scottish History.

The Demarco, Di Marco, De Marco families are one and the same of course.   Casino and surrounding villages being their roots in Italy.   There is much social interaction between the families from this region and it is not unusual for cousins to marry, making research more testing.  Families  Crolla,  Capaldi,  Alonzi, Neri, Valente, D’Agastino, Paciti , Coppola and Arpino are but a few of the local families.  Many walked from Italy and made their way to the Ports of Naples, Genoa, Palermo  and Livorno where the great ocean steamers would promise them safe travel to the New World.  Others even walked to Le Havre in France and it is well documented that thousands of Italians left from here to travel to the USA.

Oil Paining showing Families leaving from the Port of Livorno

Of course on route many decided they had had enough and did not rejoin their ship to travel the Atlantic.   They stayed in England and walked to their final destinations from there.  There is a few who travelled north to Scotland and here we find many descendants of these families, not only in the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow but further north in Dundee and Aberdeen.  All of the families named above are names now common in Scotland where they settled and today 150 years later are well integrated into the Scottish way of life although many still enjoy holidays back to the sunnier climate of Italy

Peter’s great grandfather was called Giovanni Di Marco.

He married Carmela Crolla (Born in London in 1877 ) and they had three children.  The eldest was Peter’s grandfather Luigi Umberto.  There was  another son called Vincenzo [called Willie] and a daughter Maria or Mary.  The Crolla family  also came from the small village of Picinisco near Abruzzo between Rome and Naples in the heart of Italy.  Her father was Antonio Crolla and her mother Chiara Antonelli.

The first photograph is of Peter’s  Grandparents (Luigi Demarco and Maddelena Valente) around the time of their marriage in 1919.   .  Some documents refer to Luigi ” Luigi Di Marco.”

Luigi Demarco and Maddalena Valenti.  The couple met when Maddalena was working in the Mills in Brechin in Scotland

Luigi –  Grandfather in his Bersaglieri uniform. Luigi was in the Italian army in the first World War, and was decorated, receiving the Silver and Bronze medals (Presented by the King of Italy), The Italian Campaign Medal, the British Military Medal, and the Croix De Guerre.

Louie newspaper Cutting

Luigi was born in Manchester.  Like London, Manchester had its own district which housed thousands of Italian immigrants.  Their ‘Little Italy ” was called Ancoats.  Here was home to hundreds of Italian musicians who scratched their living by playing instruments such as barrel organs, pipes and accordians.  They were nicknamed Hurdy Gurdy Men.   There were some families who were clever enough to go into the manufacturing of such instruments, families Antonelli and Varetto being two.   They would then rent out their instruments to other Italians and the link went on.  The Italians brought such character to this grim part of Manchester, their music, food and customs.   But it was not all good.   For now as we look back into the history of these ghettos we know that children as young as four were put out on the streets to play their part in earning a farthing by learning these musicial trades.

There was  a popular myth that all Italians who emigrated from Italy were ice-cream makers. Not so. The majority were ‘contadini’, or farming people, along with barometer makers, figurine makers, musicians, craftsmen of marble and mosaics, and other artisans. None originally made ice cream in Italy.  As it has been proved with our own family many branched out to other professions and many were skilled artisans.

In Edinburgh there was also a local Italian,  Bert Demarco who had a Tenor voice and who played in many of Edinburgh’s venues.

Umberto Demarco and his Neapolitan Serenade


Jubilee Cafe in Granton, Edinburgh,

Three siblings – Mafalda, Bert and Yolanda.  Yolanda  is the only one still surviving  at the age of 92.  Bert or Luigi Umberto Demarco was born on 9th June 1924.  He had a natural talent for games and especially snooker.   He became a snooker champion and progressed on to become the founder of the Scottish Snooker Association . Bert Demarco rose from his Scots-Italian  origins to become Scotland’s top player .

  • Bert with a very young Stephen Hendry

  •  Demarco’s grandfather, Giovanni  Demarco, had immigrated to Scotland – he walked all the way  from San Gennaro, near Picinisco – and his father Umberto Luigi was one of the original “ice cream barrow” men, who later went on to owning a cafe in Granton in Edinburgh. with a snooker parlour, the Jubilee, which opened in 1939.
  • The treatment of the Demarco family at the outbreak of the Second World War was common to many Italians, even those who, like Bert and his father, were born here. The family business was ransacked by anti-Italian demonstrators, and his father was interned, this despite Umberto Luigi Demarco having been a war hero with our then Allies, the Italians, in the First World War.
  • A certain Benito Mussolini was a corporal serving under Demarco senior, and Bert possessed a photograph of his father with the man who became Il Duce.
  • Umberto Demarco was soon released, while Bert volunteered for the RAF and served as a mechanic, driver and translator from 1942 to 1946 in Africa, Italy and Palestine, as it was then.
  • After his demob, Bert married his long-term sweetheart Maria Paoli, and the couple had three sons, Bert Jnr, Ramon and Don.

    Bert in later life

There is a Dimarco working in  Cornwall documented in the 1881 English census who was a travelling musician.   With him his son Dominico.  This may be our Giovanni, but still to research further .   The street address was given as Polbreen in Cornwall.   This Giovanni was born around 1851.

travelling musicians

Thanks again  to Peter for sending us these great photos of his Demarco ancestors.  He tells us ”

My father’s side, is related to the Boni’s of Bathgate,

George  Boni of Bathgate in this fabulous wee ice cream van

Whitburn – Boni’s Ice Cream Van

Old Lizzie

Peter’s dad  was also  a cousin to the Franchetti’s and  the Di Resta’s.  

Peter’s mum  Yolanda is the last surviving child of Luigi and Maddalena. [2014]

23 Responses to “DEMARCO/Boni”

  1. Bianca Di Resta says:

    Do you have any more pictures of the bonis, franchittis or Di Resta’s?

  2. Danny Anderson says:

    My grandfather Achille Mancini arrived in Fauldhouse, West Lothian from Picinisco around 1906.
    He later married my grandmother Maria (Mary) Boni who was born in Paris but was related to the Bathgate Boni’s and the di Resta’s.
    Danny Anderson

  3. Helen says:

    Thanks for leaving your comment Danny. Great history you have as well. I would love to see some photos and perhaps a page in honour of your grandfather. You can reach me on

  4. Helen says:

    Hello Danny. Do you have any photos you would like to share, please e.mail me if you can. Would love to add a page for you

  5. Helen says:

    Afraid not Bianca. However if you have anything you would like me to add to the webpages I could do one for your Italian line .

  6. Margaret foster says:

    Does anyone know what happened to Giovanni de marco aka as Joseph. Carmela was in Manchester with daughter Mary in 1911. Vincenzo and his family lived in Leith . Giovanni/joseph lived nearby with second wife? ? Flora ? And a son Tony and daughter another Mary. Can’t find death record in Scotland. An elderly granddaughter would like to know where he went. Any info about this branch would be gratefully recieved

  7. Kiran ross says:

    his any ino on gorge boni of Whitburn he had ice cream vans and other assets in the Whitburn area

  8. Lizzie stenhouse says:

    Omg I am so delighted to see the pictures of the old jubilee supper rooms. They were the centre of the community .

  9. Jim Nichol says:

    Hi the only George boni I knew was louie bonus son and brother to Lorenzo boni who with his wife Mary ran the boni of Bathgate ice cream van business George ran the cafe also in Whitburn road during the 80s they also had a sister Connie don’t know if this is the same George u we’re looking for

  10. Jim Nichol says:

    Hi there the only George boni I knew was the son of louie and brother of Lorenzo boni who with his wife Mary ran the bonis of Bathgate ice cream van business in the 80/90s George used to run the cafe also in Whitburn rd Bathgate I don’t know if this is the same person they also had a sister connie who worked at both ice cream factory and cafe

  11. Charles Turnbull says:

    Wonderful site you have there.
    Nice to hear of the Jubilee. Do you have any info on the Delnevo family. My dad did some work for Ronnie Delnevo back in the 60’s. Not forgetting he too did work for the Demarcos.
    Would you have the email address for Lizzie Stenhouse who wrote on this site in july 2017 as I’m trying to get in contact with her.

  12. Helen says:

    Sorry Charles I dont have any info on the Delnevo family at all. Will look out the e.mail address for Lizzie and send to your e.mail address. Thanks for posting

  13. Peter Boni says:

    Hi Helen. Sorry I haven’t been checking the page, but found it difficult after my mother passed away. I notice the entry by Margaret Foster, and if you could pass on my contact details, I can hopefully clarify her enquiry a little.

  14. Christine Boner says:

    Does anyone have information of Lorenzo Boni birn Picinisco about 1857 brother of Marco

  15. Vera o donoghue says:

    So pleased to come across this site bert de marco was married to Marie my husbands mothers sister Gilda paoli who married Mark o donoghue

  16. Shona says:

    Hi I’m looking for some info on my grandfather born 1912 st Giles Edinburgh lorenzo boni trying to find as much as I can show my mother thank you

  17. Philip Boni says:

    My father George Boni was born in Whitburn. My grandparents, Anthony and Lina Boni moved to Devon in England and owned an Ice Cream Parlour.
    Subsequently my Dad and his two brothers Tony and John also opened Cafes in Devon.
    Would love to know if anyone remembers them.

  18. Joanne Simpson says:

    Hi Peter.
    Hope this note finds you well. My aunt, a family tree hobby researcher, pointed me in this direction. I think we have some family history. Sort of.

    Your uncle Bert was a mentor/coach to my father, George Simpson, when my dad was in his teens, in the early 1950’s. I think he may have coached him to a Scottish Snooker Schoolboy championship?? I believe my Dad played on the tables in the back of the Jubilee in Granton. My Dad has spoken to me about Bert often throughout my life.

    And…. my Mum, Winnifred May Simpson (Birnie), worked at Demarcos serving ice cream as a young teen. She lived with her siblings, John, Charlie, Florence and Lottie on Wardieburn St west. I think my Auntie Florence used to babysit you!! My Mum came to Toronto, Canada in her mid-teens with your Aunt Mafalda and lived with her. My Mum also spoke of Mafalda and your Mum, Yolanda, often throughout my life. My Mum did go back to Edinburgh and marry that young pool player, George Simpson, and went on to have 3 children. Me….. and 2 younger siblings.

    You may have heard their names over the course of your lifetime when old stories are told. Or maybe not. I’m not sure if you reside in Edinburgh still? I visit regularly and I am actually coming over this June. I wish I would have researched our family connection much earlier, but I’m hoping if you are still in Edinburgh, or close by, that you would consider meeting up with me for a cup of tea? Or a pint?
    Please feel free to text me or email me directly.

    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Joanne Simpson
    416-629-0850 (I’m on what’s app)

  19. Susan Forrest says:

    The picture you have of Louis Boni in his wee ice cream van is actually my papa George Boni, Louis brother

  20. Helen says:

    SORRY, sorted, just found this.

  21. Giulia says:

    Hi, thanks for creating this website, it was the only way I could find info about my great-great-aunt Corradini Rachele Ines married with Emilio De Marco. I could not find any info about Emilio’s family, was he linked to any of the De Marco you mentioned here?
    Thanks in advance!

  22. Boni says:

    My grandfather was Louis Boni of Liverpool. His grandfather was Marco Boni of picinisco born 1856. He came to Liverpool with his brother Lorenzo who we believe moved to Scotland. Anybody k ow what happened to Lorenzo?4

  23. Jayden Taryis Coll says:

    hey yall, visit family member George Anthony Boni at the cemetery behind the hillcroft in whitburn xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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