The Quilietti Family

Your Quilietti family heritage

DANTE, Alma Venturini


Alma Dante/Venturini with her great nephews and niece.s 2000

Alma was born on 29th July 1913 at 82 Columbus Avenue,  in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, U.S.A.  She had three siblings, one brother who died in infancy, one baby who died at birth  and one sister Elsie who was born in 1910.  Helen has found two children in the archives who died in infancy.  Valentina Dante was born in the year 1908 and died at birth.    Their brother Leonardo Pietro Dante was born in 1912 and died shortly thereafter. Her other sister Elletta [Ella] who was born in 1903  was brought up as her sister but was in fact her cousin, her aunt Ermenia’s daughter.

Ermenia and Peter Dante had brought up their niece as their very own daughter.   It was not until the girls were almost fully grown that they did tell them of Ella’s true parentage.   It has now been revealed from the Venturini family who still reside in Rhode Island, that the Dante sisters always knew that Ella was a cousin-sister.  The Venturini family have told us that Ella and her new husband  Louis Pelligrini lived in the family home with Ermenia and Peter after their marriage in 1926.   The living room was converted into their bedroom.   Ella gave birth to their son on the floor of the room.



Alma and Elsie remained very close throughout their long lives.    But like every family they had their ups and downs.  They were no exception.   We knew of their falling out and suspected that it was to do with the family home.  We have heard of how the two families had rifted and this was confirmed by the Venturini family.  They confirmed that

”  Alma and Elsie had many years of “bad blood” between them that kept them apart and not speaking to each other. It wasn’t until Alma’s husband died that they began to cordially acknowlege each other again and eventually put their differences behind them.  They eventually, after the deaths of their respective husbands, ended up sharing a family home again

Alma was described as very sharp minded and mobile at the time of her death in October 2004.  She was 91.   Elsie had died age 89 in 1998.

THE VENTURINI connection

Alma married into another Italian family with the surname Venturini who came from the Massa Carrara region of Tuscany.  He was Frank [Francis Paul] Venturini.

Much of the  recent information and the photos, we have been given by Brenda  and her mum Joanne Ramsey.   Joanne is the daughter of Corinne  Venturini.Alma 2004

Frank Venturini  was also born in Rhode Island in the year 1916.   By the time of the 1920 Cencus his father had already died.  His mum was left with a large family to bring up on her own.  His father Giulio Venturini arrived through Ellis Island in 1909 and worked for a year to bring his wife and son Mario over.

Once the family was reunited they lived with Peter and Ermenia Quilietti Dante in an upstairs apartment in the family home .   They eventually moved to a new home a few blocks away.  So the families were very close and the young Frank and Alma would have known each other for many years before they married.  Alma was in her 40s when she married.

His father was Giulio  Venturini, and his mother Celia [Ersilia} Brunelli.  In 1920 the cencus shows the family group living in Pawtucket Ward 3, Providence, Rhode Island.  His family group shows as follows;-

  • CELIA VENTURINI, Age 32, born in Italy, WIDOW,
  • MARIO J VENTURINI, Son, born 1907
  • RAYMOND VENTURINI, Son, born 1913
  • RENA M. VENTURINI, Daughter, born 1914
  • FRANKIE VENTURINI , Son, born 1916 , age 3 years 3 months.
  • CORENA VENTURINI, Daughter, born 1917, age 2 yrs 8 months
  • JULIO VENTURINI, Son, age Eleven months.

The 1930 Census shows Celia now age 43 with Mario, Frank, Corina and Julio still residing with her.

Frank was enlisted on 17th November 1942 and his Enlistment Record shows him as being a white citizen, he was semi-skilled in the construction occupation.  He had 2 years of High School.  His height was 70 and his weight 148.  He was very tall for an Italian, nearly 6 foot tall.

Their marriage was a grand affair with Elsie as the Matron of Honour.    They stayed in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Throughout their married lives they returned to Italy on many occasions but mostly they visited Frank’s side of the family.      They did however return to Castelvecchio Pascoli  on one occastion as we have this photograph of Alma outside the family home.   This building is now gone.

Alma and Frank never had any children but Frank’s ever growing family with his nieces and nephews were a constant source of joy for them.  Alma’s niece Joanne Ramsay remembers with great affection the times she spent with the Alma, Elsie and their respective husbands.   She was very close to them and recalls their many visits to the Beach, to the shopping malls and sharing everyday life with them really.  Frank Venturini gave Joanne ‘away’ at her wedding.

Alma November 2000

Alma and Elsie did not know until the year 1992 that they had any relatives anywhere else in the world except for those close to them in the U.S.A. and Frank’s family in Italy.

They had when they were younger heard about their Scottish side of the family but as the years passed and their uncles died all hope of meeting up with any lost cousins was gone.

But It was in 1992 that things changed.

Ermenia.s prayer book

Prayer Book of Elsie Dante

That was when Carel and Betty Van Druten first made contact with them .  They knew nothing of their extended families. Their uncle Emilio Quilietti [their mother’s eldest brother] had emigrated to Scotland in 1888 and although he died a very young man at age 29, his descendents are many and include the Dutch and Scottish branches.  Their uncle Augusto Quilietti had also emigrated to Scotland.  His ancestors are also many and have the surname Arpino.

The Quilietti house in Castelvecchio Pascoli

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