The Quilietti Family

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DEMARCO – McKirdy Line

This page is dedicated to the DEMARCO/McKIRDY Lines from Portobello Promenade and Newcraighall in Edinburgh.   It is with great thanks that we have received correspondence from Billy McKirdy

Billy McKirdy and Pat Stanton -

Billy  is a descendant of this line as we will now explain below.    This branch of the Demarco family goes way way back to circa 1711.  Much of the information was ‘pinched’ from Irene Demarco via Billy’s sister  Andrea McKirdy. Billy is the son of Andrew Demarco McKirdy  and Wilma Miller and the grandson of Thomas McKirdy and Delizia or  Lena Demarco.

Wilma Miller and her brother David

The Demarco family are a part of the history of Portobello and since the 1920’s to date are a well known and loved as having their restaurants and chippies in the area and of course they ran  the famous Demarco Mansions, or Malmaison Demarco  which was situated along the Promende in Porty.    They are well known to all Edinburgh residents.

Andrew Demarco McKirdy and Wilma May Mckirdy (nee Miller). A My late father Andrew, like his older brother Tommy, was brought up at 26 Promenade, he was born on the 11th March 1919 at a house in Stirling Street, Galashiels, at the home of one of my grandmothers sisters. My father served the duration of the war in the Royal Navy, after the war, he worked as an ice cream maker in Demarco's restuarant on the Promenade in PortobelloMum was born in 1927 and died on 18th September 1994.

Andrew Demarco McKirdy was born on 11th March 1919, just after the Great War. He died on 17th June 1980

THE McKIRDY family

Andrew’s father Thomas was born in the year 1894 in Shottstown in  the village of Penicuik which lies on the West Bank of the River North  Esk, nearer to her estuary and near the Pentland Hills.   He was brought up  in Newcraighall Village on the outskirts of Musselburgh and Edinburgh.    Newcraighall Village had come to its fruition with the emergence of the coal mines which were rich with coal deposits at this time.   The mines were at this time the main source of income for the residents of the Village.   Thomas’s mum was a Wallace.   No introduction needed as this name has a long Scottish lineage.

Marriage between Thomas McKirdy and Lena Demarco.

THOMAS MCKIRDY

My uncle Tommy was born at 26 Promenade in January 1918, he sadly lost his life in the Second World War in Eritrea, Ethiopia at the Battle of Keren. He is in the uniform of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders. I have also included a photograph of his gravestone in the British Cemetry in Keren.

Uncle Tommy

RIP Tommy McKirdy

ANDREW DEMARCO McKIRDY. 

My late father Andrew, like his older brother Tommy, was brought up at 26 Promenade in Portobello.   However he was born on 11sth March 1919 at a house in Stirling Street, Galashiels, at the home of one of my grandmother’s sisters.   My father served the duration of the War in the Royal Navy.   After the War he worked as an Ice Cream Maker in Demarco’s Restaurant on the Promenade in Portobello.   I remember meeting my father’s Aunty Kitty who owned a Hotel on the Promenade until the 1980s.   My father also took me to visit his cousin Raymond Demarco who lived in Leven Lodge at the bottom of Marlborough Street, Portobello on regular visits when I was a young boy.”  The photo below is a photo of Dad when he worked making ICE CREAM in Demarco’s Portobello

Andrew Demarco McKirdy

Lena's birth, Delizia Demarco born 17th November in Partick in Scotland

Delizia Demarco in her youth. She was a beautiful lady indeed

DELIZIA’S FAMILY

Delizia Demarco  was born in the West of Scotland  on 16th November 1896 at 13 Church Street, Patrick. Her family had moved into Scotland via England and France on their great exodus from Italy after the Unification of Italy.

Delizia’s parents were Andrea Demarco who was born in 1852 in Italy and Emilia Demarco who was twenty years his junior.   It was common in those days for cousins and second cousins to marry. Delizia was born in Paris, France in the year 1873.  Their history is not unlike the Brattisani family with their children being born in France, England and Scotland.The late 1800’s were a time of economic crisis for peasant farmers in the Italian countryside. Improvements in agriculture had lowered food prices and persuaded the larger landowners to move into more profitable and less labour intensive production. Many British Italian families can trace their arrival in England or Scotland to this date. Many of the older generation were illiterate and they not only had to learn new languages, but also how to read and write.

SABASTINO DEMARCO was born in 1882.

CONGETTA DEMARACO was born in  1893 in Glasgow.  On 4th April 1929 she married in Galashiels to Kenneth Hastie.  On the very same day in the very same Church her brother Antonio also married.

DONATO came along next in 1894

LAURENZO   was next.  He was born in Blairgowrie in Perthshire.

DELIZIA was  born in 1896 in Partick.  

LAURENZO   was next.  He was born in Blairgowrie in Perthshire.

JOSEPH DEMARCO birth date unknown

MARIA CARMELLA DEMARCO born in 1899.  She married Domenico Demarco who was the son of Antonio Demarco and Maria Giuseppa Corio.   This marriage forged the link between four of the Demarco families from Picinisco.   Domenico’s address was 38 Promenade and Maria’s 40 Wellington Street, Portobello.   Witnesses at their wedding were Elena Di Rollo and Carmino Demarco.     See the document below.  The Di Rollo family are also closely linked with the Demarco and Pelosi clans who settled in the Joppa, Portobello and Musselburgh areas of Edinburgh.

1925 Marriage of Domenico Demarco and Maria Demarco. Their fathers were brothers.

PASQUALE DEMARCO was born in St. James’ Street in Edinburgh in 1901

Pasquale Demarco birth May Twenty eighth 1901 11 South St. James Street, Edinburgh.

ANTONIO came along in 1905.  In 1929 Antonio married Annie Loughran in the Roman Catholic Curch in Galashiels.   The Demarco family lived at an address 7 Bank Court in Galashiels at this time.   On the same day Antonio’s sister Congetta Demarco who was 12 years his senior, also married in the same Church, – a double wedding.

Antonio birth

 

ANDREA DEMARCO who was born in 1907.  He married Jane Spence and they lived at 32 Brighton Place, Portobello.  Andrea’s life was short-lived however after he caught a bout of pheumonia which lasted 7 days.   He died only 25 years of age.

death

From the mouth of Billy McKirdy, a description of his grandmother Lena Demarco who is mentioned above.

  • “DELEZIA (LENA) DEMARCO
  • My grandmother married Thomas McKirdy, a Newcraighall miner. Lena was the daughter of Andreas and Amelia Demarco who had 8 or 9 children in the second half of the 19th century.
  • She was born in Partick in Glasgow in 1896, her parents emigrated to Scotland from the Tuscany region in Italy. we originally believed that they came from Picinisco, however my sister visited that village about four years ago and it seems they most likely came from Barga, like most of the Demarco’s I believe.”

 Thomas and Delizia had five children, four of whom are named below

  •  Tommy McKirdy.  Tommy never married and died whilst serving abroad during the Second World War
  • Maria McKirdy (Mary)
  •  Mary married Tom McKean and had  daughter Jean McKean   Jean married Jimmy Banks.   They had three children, GARY, PAUL and DAVID BAN
  • Emilia McKirdy (died aged 4)
  • Andrew Demarco McKirdy married Wilma Miller (1951)
Andrew is photographed below with his wife Wilma.  Billy McKirdy is one of their children and it is he who has asked for this page to be dedicated to his parents.
Andrew and Wilma

 Andrew and Wilma’s  children are: Catherine, Delena, Thomas, Andrea, Theresa, William and Amanda

Billy is to the left with sister Theresa and

Demarco/McKirdy descendants

D

Old Newcraighall Village. Typical Miners Cottages.  It was in one of these cottages that Thomas’s family would have lived

Historical Notes: The area was once known as Whitehill (streets and a farm still bear the name). Newcraighall village only appeared around 1827, taking part of its name from Craighall village a mile further south east in East Lothian. It was a mining village with the Klondyke Pit being its lifeblood but in 1968 the pit closed down and the village faced an uncertain future. The authorities wanted to tear it down but the villagers fought to preserve it. They won and also had a say in how it would be developed. In the late 1970s/early 80s the village was reborn.

Seven of the Demarco/McKirdy Clan

(left to right…top to bottom)  Thomas (Tam), William (Billy), Theresa (Tessa), Catherine (Cate), Delena (Dee), Amanda (Mandy) and Andrea (Drea).

Billy with his partner Karen McDonald

Billy's family

Lovely photo here of Billy with his family

Billy age 2

a day oot in Peebles

This branch of the Demarco family had moved to Scotland via France, as had the Brattesani family.   Some members of the Demarco family settled in Edinburgh, some in Glasgow, and some in England.    The name is not uncommon but in general they originated from Picinisco in Frozinone, Lazio.

Picinisco is the roots of the Demarco family

If we go back to Picinisco in Italy we find that the hamlet of Picinisco is one of many hilltop villages located in the Val Comino of the Lazio region. It is south east of Rome, in the Abruzzi mountains of the Apennines and the nearest town of any note is Cassino. Located on the very border of the National Park of the Abruzzi, The construction of the Picinisco’s Castle was initiated in 1054. The town was further enclosed and fortified by thick protective walls, with five guarded gates: the Porta Saracina, Porta Codarda, Porta Rione, Porta della Prece and Porta della Piazza.  n antiquity, in the nearby Valle di Canneto there was mining activity, as there were deposits of iron, gold, silver and copper.  Here an Iron Works was built.  In this era Picinisco prospered with the creation of several Water Mills and a Paper Mill in 1632.  This economic development was marked by the restoration of certain ancient churches and the construction of several elegant palaces.  In the 1832 the Bartolomucci brothers opened a newer, more up-to-date Cartierawhich employed a number of local workers. However many of the ordinary country folk struggled in times of great poverty and hardship, fighting against bad harvests, heavy taxes and goods stolen by the robbers and brigands that plagued the area.  This lead to large numbers of the population leaving to seek their fortune in foreign distant lands.://www.voluta.co.uk/foto/life/slides/Acari.htm The history of the families who left this village and made their way to Scotland and England has now been documented through many forms of media, books, websites and word of mouth.   Families such as Demarco, Arcari, Capaldi,   Crolla  and of course  Arpino were very much rooted in this area.  

These families are all familiar names to us in the Edinburgh area, even today, 150 years later. http://www.capaldi-clan.com/id4.html It was in Portobello in Edinburgh that this branch of the Demarco family settled.   From the early 1900s they made their name in the confectionery and restaurant and fish and chip trades.   Their shops were as famous as the Portobello landmarks, such as the Skylark, Jock the Donkey from the sands and the Malmaison of course. The marriage between Elizabeth Valentina Fusco and Carmino Demarco has entwined these families and their descendants forever.

The Fusco/Demarco marriage showing the relationships between the Brattesani/Demarco/Demarco/Corio families

Because many of the Demarco and De Marco families who found themselves in Scotland inter-married  the relationships can sometimes be difficult to work out.   So let’s see what we can unravell.  It does get quite complicated so we must do one branch at a time. But we must remember that the branches who settled in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Selkirk are all one and the same with their common roots back in Picinisco.    Whilst researching the various branches of the Demarco family we find common surnames, Pelosi, D’Ambrosia and Corio being three families whose sisters and brothers would all marry into the Demarco family.  Occasionally we can find a Crolla, a Valvona and a Capaldi, just to spice up the family every now and again.

continued on Demarco lines page on this website

CARMINO DEMARCO was a Farmer and he lived in Italy with his wife Mariccia D’Ambrozia.  Their children are as follows

Michele's death in 1916 38 Promenade, Portobello, showinghis parents as Carmino Demarco and Mariccia D'Ambrozia

 

  • Alfred Demarco we have to trace.
  • Andrea or Andrew  Demarco married his cousin Carmelia or Amelia Demarco.  This is the direct line of the McKirdy Clan  
  •  Carmine married Teresa Crolla.     
  • Gregorio married twice.  FIRST to Georgette Bullour.   Then to Maria de Luzzio.    
  • Antonio married Maria Giuseppa  Corio.  Maria was born in 1862 and died in 1915 at 24 Corporation Buildings in Portobello.  Her father was Antonio Corio, a farmer from Italy.  Their son Carmino Demarco was born at 141 High Street, Dunbar on 11th August 1901.
  • It was Antonio’s  son Carmino who married Elizabeth Valentina Fusco and whose marriage links all our families together.  They had three sons, Richard, Michael and Louis.  Richard Demarco is the famous Edinburgh Artist
  • It was  also their daughter Maria Demarco and  son-in-law Gabriel Demarco who ran the Malmaison Mansion in Portobello.   
  •  Michele or Michael  was born in the year 1851 in Picinosco and he married Caroline Pelosi [Pelosi is also another well known Italian/ Edinburgh family  who have made their own unique history with their famous Luca Ice Cream Parlours in Musselburgh} whose family also were rooted in Picinisco.   Michel and Caroline settled in the Promenade in Portobello and were very much a part of the history of the Demarco family in this area at the time.   Michele died in the year 1916 at his home at 38 Promenade in Portobello.   They had a son Gabriel
  • Michael’s  son GABRIEL DEMARCO married his first-cousin  Maria Christina De Marco.   Gabrielle was born in the year 1885 in Picinisco in Italy. Gabriel and Maria had two children,  Umberto was born in 1902 and died in the year 1977 in Edinburgh.  Umberto went on to become a musician and he perhaps worked in the Malmaison on the Promenade.  When he married in St. Joseph’s Chapel in Peebles in 1929 this was in fact his occupation and his address given as 40 Promenade, Portobello.   His wife was Candida Donfrancesco and she was from Peebles.

    Marriage between Umberto and Candide Donfrancesco

    Her parents were Antonio Donfrancesco who was a master Confectioner and Filomena Palermo.

  •  Gabriel and Maria had another son  Michael Angelo who was born in 1903 and died the following year.

    Malmaison

Gabriel and Maria were the  couple who were responsible for the running of the business on the Promenade in the early years of the 1900s and beyond.   It was a lucrative business and just like the ice cream parlours and fish and chip shops, brought many years of entertainment to the locals of Musselburgh and Portobello.   more to follow   Helen   

9 Responses to “DEMARCO – McKirdy Line”

  1. Billy McKirdy says:

    Thanks Helen, I’m delighted with the page, just a few of points for your attention. I believe this information was ‘pinched’ with permission by my sister ;), she is Andrea not Andrew, my Grandfather Thomas was actually born in Shottstown in Penicuik but as I never gave you that information that’s understandable, I believe he was brought up in Newcraighall, Thomas and Lena had five children not seven. As I said this is a fantastic website and a wonderful resource and I am delighted that at long last my branch of the Demarco’s has a footprint in the wonderful story of Itaian-Scots, we are all so proud of our amazing heritage and I want to thank you so much for including us in your website.

  2. ANDREA MCKIRDY ARMSTRONG says:

    great stuff Billy. Nonna Lena’s mum was EMILIA DEMARCO (yes she was a Demarco too) and was born in Paris – her parents were artists models who came from Picinisco and went ot Paris to work for a while and she was born there. Apparently lots of young people from the village did this because they were so stunningly beautiful , of course !

  3. Billy McKirdy says:

    WOW!
    You have done some amazing research here Helen :D, it’s all coming together now, every time I log on to this page I learn a little more each time, it’s humblng to think that my forebears probably took a massive leap of faith each time to better their lives, and always they seemed to succeed, thanks so much for your help Helen 😀

  4. Lynne-Hastie-Fuller says:

    My Grandmother was Congetta Demarco and you are correct that she married Kenneth Hastie( my paternal Grandfather). They had one son Kenneth (my father). If you would like to contact me in regards to the Hastie side, I can fill you in on that. My Grandmother died when my father was just a child.

  5. Agnes McKirdy Tudhope says:

    My maiden name is McKirdy and I find the facts really interesting. I wonder if all these people are related to me in anyway at all. My grandmother was Agnes McKirdy, she had a brother Thomas, my dad was called John ( Jake) McKirdy, his brothers were Thomas (Tam) and David (Davie). Sisters were Elizabeth (Betty), Agnes ( Nan) she’s still alive, and Elspeth ( Ella) I’m sure she is still alive to. If any of the names ring a bell feel free to leave a message her or on Facebook. I know we have or had relations in Large’s and Rothesay.

  6. Agnes McKirdy Tudhope says:

    Forgot to mention we were born and raised just outside Glasgow in Paisley, Scotland.

  7. Helen says:

    Thanks for this Agnes. Will post Billy and see if he knows of your connections.

  8. Pamela McKirdy says:

    Hi there. Thomas McKirdy who married Mary Wallace is my great-great uncle. His parents Robert McKirdy and Betsy Halliday were my great-great grandparents. My Dad emigrated from Musselburgh to New Zealand in 1960. It’s interesting to see how another branch of the family evolved. Thanks for publishing this page.

  9. Helen says:

    Thanks for your comment. Will let Billy know that you have left your details. Great to hear from you. If you have any photos or anything I could add to the page, I would be delighted to do so

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