The Quilietti Family

The story of a Scots Italian family

CECCHINI connections Barbara USA

Barbara Cecchini’s direct line in Barga, Lucca, Tuscany

The Cecchini family are steeped in the history of Barga and surrounding villages.  BARGA, known of the most Scottish town in Italy is certainly true to her name. Many came to Scotland and equally as many left for the shores of America and the New World.

Barbara Cecchini resides in the USA in Boston, Massachusetts. She studied Law at Harvard. She has been in touch with Helen and I am very happy to share her story in this family website. The Cecchini family are also related to ours through the Donati family from Barga and also through the Brucciani  family.

beautiful Barga
Barbera Cecchini

Barbara’s grandfather was Carlo Luigi Biagio Cecchini

Born: February 3, 1866 in Tiglio, Barga, Italy
Died: November 4, 1957, at home, 49 Darling Street, Indian Orchard, MA

He died exactly 30 years and one day after his cherished wife, Antonietta Giannetti. He always kept her picture at his bedside.

Barbara’s grandfather was Carlo Luigi Biagio Cecchini [1866-1957]. His family were amongst the many Tuscan families who found great hardship after the Unification of Italy in 1860s.

Carlo was born on 3rd February 1866 in Barga. His parents were Michelle Cecchini {1834} and Maria Rosa Filomena Tognarelli [1835-1887].  Michelle made his living off the land, he was a farmer as were his forefathers.

Wedding day for both sets of cousins.
Cousins Cecchini. Same day they married. Same address

Carlo married Antonietta Gianetti [1872-1927]  in Glasgow, on 18th October 1892 in St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Great Clyde Street.

 The roots of her Gianetti family stretches back in Barga to the beginning of when Church Records began there. 

Antonietta [named after her maternal grandmother Antonietta Conti] was the daughter of Luigi Gianetti [1831-1895] and Maria Eleanora Tartagli  [1851-1930]

The Giannetti line with many connecting names with the Quilietti family, Giovanelli, Conti, Arrighi and more.  This half of the tree goes back to c1700
Second half of the tree stretching to when records began in Barga.
Carlo’s Brother-in-law Joseph Giannetti otherwise known as Gennett. He also travelled to Scotland with his siblings and at first and we find him in the 1901 Scottish census his occupation as Joiner with his wife Bridget and two of their children.  Address given as 11 Saudyfaulds Road, Hutchesontown in Glasgow. He had married Bridget Josephine Creron in Glasgow and their children were all born here. However in the 1920s he made a few runs to Philadelphia before emigrating finally in 1926.

It seems that there were census entries for the Cecchini and Giannetti family in Scotland in 1881 in the Gorbals area of the City and then in 1891 in Govan.  These were two of the toughest areas in the City, as they are today.

CARLO and ANTONIETTE’s children were:-

  1. ROBERTO ALBERTO CECCHINI [later Channing] was born on 21st July 1893 in Glasgow, Scotland.  He emigrated with his parents on 7th May 1910 entering through the port of New York.  He married Mary Margaret Berryman and they in turn had two children Robert Louis Cecchini or Channing 1918-1989 and Dorothy M. Cecchini or Channing 1922-2008.
Robert with his wife Mary.  They settled in the State of Massachusetts
. Barbara’s Uncle Robert during the Second World War
Daughter Dorothy on her wedding day to Elliot Nathaneil St.Onge.  She was Barbara’s cousin.

2. Barbara’s Aunt, DINA CECCHINI.

Dina was born in Glasgow on 30th July 1894.  She died prematurely in Massachusetts on 22 September 1926.

1st World War Registration Leo Francesco Cecchini

3. Barbara’s Uncle,  Leonetto Francesco Cecchini was born in Glasgow  on July 15, 1895, his father, ‘Carlo’, was 29 and his mother, Antonietta, was 23.  He emigrated with his parents in the year 1910.

Second World War

Leo’s  first wife was Carmela Sera and she had been born in 1908 in Aquino, Frosinone, Italy, her father, Giuseppe, was 27, and her mother, Domenica, was 26. She married Leonetto Francesco Cecchini in 1933 in Springfield, Massachusetts. She died in 1942 in Springfield, Massachusetts, age 34. No children.

His second marriage was to Mary Margaret Scanlon.  She was born on August 4, 1911, in Springfield, Massachusetts, her father, Maurice, was 39, and her mother, Bridget, was 32. They had two children during their marriage. She died on June 19, 1994, in Springfield, Massachusetts, at the age of 82, and was buried there.  Leonetto died on July 2, 1987, in Springfield, Massachusetts, at the age of 91.

4. When  Barbara’s Aunt, Andreina Vittoria Cecchini was born on January 9 1902 it was not in Glasgow, but in Barga.  So the family must have returned home for a while. At this time her father, ‘Carlo’, was 35, and her mother, Antonietta, was 29. She emigrated to USA with the family in 1910.  Andreina never married She died on June 15, 1999, in Concord, Massachusetts, at the age of 97.

5.  Barbara’s father was Alfredo Roberto Cecchini.  He was born on 12th March 1907 in Amble, Alnwick in Northumberland in the North of England. Assuming that from Italy the family made the decision to move down to the North of England. Alfredo was Baptised on 30th April 1907 in St. Cuthbert’s Church in  Amble. 

Barbara’s dad in his Prime. Alfred  “My beautiful Father on his Wedding Day. He was a man filled with goodness. Beloved by everyone who ever knew him. I was blessed to have him for my Father. He is never, for a day, forgotten, and he is forever missed.”💕

The family had settled in the Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts area.  It was in the year that  1926 his sister Dina had died prematurely age only 19.  The following year saw the death of his mum Antionette.

Barbara’s mum. Rocci in later life.

Valentino connections

The Valentino line

Alfredo married Rocchina Mary Valentino, ‘ROCCI’ was her nickname, on 15th January 1934 in Springfield in Massachusetts.  The Valentino  family came from Cervino, Caserta, Italy as far back as the middle of the 1700s. The small town is situated south of Naples.

Cervino, Caserta, Italy

My Beloved Grandfather, Girolamo Bartolomeo Valentino. Born: August 7, 1865 in Castel di Sasso, Caserta, Italy Died: October 18, 1944, at home – 96 Franklin Street, Springfield, MA Father: Bartolomeo Valentino Mother: Maria Funiciello
Carl Anthony Cecchini 1935-2002, and his wife. He is Barbara’s brother
My Great Grandmother, Maria Eleanora Tartagli at her loom
Barbara’s eldest son, Joe, with his youngest daughter, Bella, at the lake house.
Grandaughter Sophia Barbara
Grandaughter Katarina

Quoting from Barbara Cecchini – “My grandfather emigrated to Glasgow where in time he had an ice-cream shop and also a Fish and Chip Shop.  He started these businesses with his brother-in-law Pietro Gianetti. Their first three children were born in Glasgow.  Then they expanded their business to Northumberland and my father was born in Alnwick. I recently wanted to trace my grandfather’s footsteps and my fist stop was Glasgow.  I wanted to see where they lived and the beautiful Church they were married in St. Andrew’s.  I can’t say how much I loved Glasgow and Edinburgh and of course the Highlands.  I had no idea of the incredible beauty and I hated to leave Scotland.

I also went to Alnwick, where the site of my Grandfather’s ice cream shop still stands, but now a Chinese restaurant.  All of my travels left me in constant tears from the overwhelming sense of their hardships and braver.  My older brother, who died at age 67. had begun our family genealogy, just months before he died.  He was so enthusiastic that I decided to carry on in his honour, and immediately became obsessed. I have such a deep love for my ancestors, not to mention the family secrets uncovered!

I have visited Barga many times now, and truly, it is the only place on earth where I feel at home.  My blood warms at the thought of it.  I also quickly found the Barga Genealogy Research Group which has been an enormous help.

Mentioning the red phone booth, I have taken manh photographes of it.  It was thrilling to see it had been donated by a Cecchini from Edinburgh. 

Barbara is related to the Gianetti family who are from Barga.  The photograph below is one posted on the wonderful Barga-in-photos webpages by by pier Luigi Tortelli. A great site with so many wonderful memories of the town and photographs of people now gone.

In this photo of approximately 50 years ago, is my cousin, Dr. Mario Giannetti, the ever beloved doctor of my homeland, Barga Italy. His wife, the beautiful and dedicated Sonia Naldini, whom I love with all my heart! They were blessed with the most wonderful son in the world, my brilliant cousin, Alberto Giannetti, so generous and kind to me. And their adored Mother and Grandmother, Carolina Santi, the wife of my Grandmother.s brother, Pietro Giannetti.
  • The Gianetti family are legend in Barga and their roots go back to 1600. There is a street in the centre of the town Via Giannetti just beside the Castle.  The first known Gianetti was a Priest Michelle and he allegedly served as a tutor to the Medici children in the 1700s.  Michelangelo Giannetti was a physician, scientist, poet and writer in Florence.  Students from all over Europe came to learn from him.  In Florence Cathedral there is a plaque honouring his birth and referring to his birthplace as Barga.  When he died at the tender age of 51 they published a book written in his honour called ‘An Ode to Michelangelo Giannetti.  Throughout  the centuries in both Barga and Florence the family were looked upon as pillars of their communities and several became Canons in the Church.


  • It was in 1892 in Blythswood in Glasgow that we find Carlo Cecchini marry Antonietta Giannetti. 
Many interactions here. Cecchini, Giannetti, Deprato, Tognarelli, Pieri  and Casci.  All very well known Barga names and many who came to Scotland.  You can see clearly that Carlo was in the confectionery business.  His father was a farmer.  Antionetta’s father was a stucco figure maker and many came to Scotland at that time to do both these Trades.

1892 also sees the marriage between Angiolina Cecchini and Michelle Gianotti. Different parents. Surely however connected. The same date and the same addresses

More connected surnames Conti, Pacitti, Catignani and Ferri . You can see that Michelle’s father was also a confectioner and  was deceased by 1892, the year of this marriage.

1895 Giovanni Bertolini married Dina Cecchini in Blythswood in Glasgow

1901 sees another marriage between Annunziata Cecchini and Ferruchio Tognarelli in Hutchisontown in Glasgow

1914 in Inverness between Zoe Cecchini and Patrizie Lunardi

1926 in Blythswood again Giuseppe Cask I and Dina Cecchini

After WW2 Remo Bertolini married Minarda Cecchini in Newington in Edinburgh

Edinburgh branch

Many of the CECCHINI family came to Scotland.  Some landed in Edinburgh in the 1920s and others in Ayrshire in the 1950s.  I personally know Silvana who is a POLITI and whose Cecchini ancestors arrived in  Edinburgh early in the 20th century.  Silvana’s father was Leonardo Ennio Politi. His parents were Ennio Politi and his mother Agatha Equi. Silvana’s mother was Irene Rossi.  Her parents Ernesto Antonio Rossi and her mother Maria Colletta. Silvana’s parents and grandparents were all in the cafe trade when married in Edinburgh in 1966.  All well known Barga surnames.  The Rossi family had settled in Loanhead and the Politi’s in Brighton Place in Portobello.

ADELINO CECCHINI had arrived in Edinburgh shortly after his marriage in Barga on September 16th 1922 to Fortuna Macogni.  Their son Sergio was born in 1927.  By this time Adelino was already a Restaurant Keeper in Edinburgh.  Marna was born in 1929. Maurio was born in Edinburgh on September 16th 1933.   Maurio was responsible for the Red Telephone Box which is now in the centre of Barga.  He had it transported there a few years ago and it has become an institution in Barga. MAURIO died in 2022.

The Ayrshire and Saltcoats Branch


1955 AYR

It was in 1955 that Ayrshire saw the marriage between  Luigi Cecchini and Giuseppina Maria Cecchini.  Luigi was born in the year 1917 in Barga, son of Pietro and Assunta Renucci.  His new wife was also a Cecchini, probably cousins of some sort.  Giuseppina’s parents were Giuseppi Cecchini and Cleminentina Conti


In Ayrshire  the family were also  involved in the Restaurant industry.  This branch of the family did not arrive in Scotland until the early 1960s.  Aldo arrived in 1963 planning to become a Waiter at the Sun Court Hotel. He spoke no English and no Scottish either.  It was here that he met his wife Ada Martinelli.  The document here shows their wedding.  It is a great document as we have surnames Cecchini, Martinelli, Biagi,  Conti and Pieroni, the two latter ones closely associated with our own family from Barga.  They married in September of 1963 at St. Margaret’s Church in Ayr

Gonnella link . 1966 sees the marriage between two Barga families.  The Gonnella family had arrived in Scotland way back in the 1890s and were well established in the restaurant trade for many years.

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