The Quilietti Family

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DONATI Mary LAUGHLIN and Connor connections

Mary Donati was the daughter of Giovanni Adolfo Camillo Donati and Annie Louchlin.  The branch is related to the Quilietti family through Adolfo’s parents.  His mum was a Brucciani from Barga. 

Mary  Donati was born in Edinburgh on 7 October 1900 at. 07.45  in a tenement in 21 Blair Street in the Southside of Edinburgh, Scotland.  She was the second child in the marriage but they had lost her older sister as a baby.  Mary died in Bonnyrigg in Midlothian in 1979 age 78.

Josephine sent this lovely photograph of Mary Donati posing in the style of the day.  The 20s were so daring

On 17th January 1922 Mary Donati  married Francis Connor who was three years her senior in the Church of the Sacred Heart in Lauriston Place, Edinburgh.  Her maid of honour was her sister Annie Donati.

CHURCH of the Sacred Heart, Lauriston in Edinburgh

A BIT ABOUT THE CONNOR BRANCH

This branch of the Connors had arrived in Edinburgh c 1860 where we see  Frances’s grandfather James (arrive with his wife Mary Ann Boyle.  Both from Dublin in  Ireland they were forced to emigrate because of the Famine and general situation in Ireland at that time. Mary Anne’s  father  was William Boyle who  was a farmer and her mother Catherine Donoghue both c 1800.  

James and Mary’s eldest son Thomas was born in Dublin c 1859 . Cath was born in England c 1860  The family had moved over through England before they eventually James found their way to Scotland.  James work in Colinton where work was plentiful in the Quarries to the South of the City.

James and Mary had at least another three children in Edinburgh,

You can see there were many members of the Connor family, four children and seven siblings of Francis.

 

Frances with his grandaughter  Photo sponsored by Lucy Harrison, granddaughter of Frank

 In 1922 Frances and his brother Joseph lived in Redhall in Edinburgh which suggests that they may have been connected with the British Army at that time.   Francis’ parents were  William Connor and Agnes Gilfillan.  You can see below a couple of the Army Records for Frances.

Francis Connor worked as a Dairyman in the Craiglockhart Dairy Edinburgh.


Susan Connor, daughter of Frank Connor with her daughter

We have recently heard from Mary’s grandaughter Josephine Connor who has sent us this wonderful photograph of her parents wedding which took place at St. Mary’s RC Cathedral in Broughton Street, Edinburgh in 1956.

Julie and Ted’s Wedding. Mary Donati is the third from the left.

  •  I know that my father, Albert Edward Connor, lived in the St James Square when he was a child, before moving to Dublin Street. He told me that he used to notice my mother, Julia Gillard, when they sometimes passed each other as he walked from St James Square down Little King Street. The met years later at The Palais dance hall in their 20’s and fell in love. My mother, Julia, was a tailoress who was also an avid bike racer and she won trophies with her cycling club.
  •  My father, Albert Edward, was a student at Heriot Watt University and obtained an engineering degree. He later moved with the family to Aberdeen to work for Brown & Root. He returned to Edinburgh and sadly he died at age 57, on July 17th, 1988. 

His wife (my mother) Julia died August 25, 1993. . I married an American and we have 3 children, 8 grandchildren and just recently we now have a great-grandchild! I divorced in 2007 and now use my maiden name of Connor.

  • About Mary Donati: I remember her as being a very kind and loving grandmother, who was very house-proud and loved gardening. She taught me a lot about plants and vegetables when I was a child. She grew tomatoes in her sunroom and I remember how tasty they were, as she used them in her pasta sauce and on sandwiches. I remember her having some major health problems and after surgery, being told that she was in fact, meant to be a twin.  I don’t have any details about that, so can only imagine.  I know that she told me I have twin cousins somewhere about my age but I never met them.  I see that Maria Bruccianni was also a twin. 

The full names of everyone in the above  photograph is as follows . The groom is  Albert Edward Connor, son of Francis and Mary Connor Donati. 

His bride is Margaret Julia Gillard,  Her father, Joseph John Gillard, is the white haired man at left of photo. 

  • Mary Donati remarried Harold Ross, who is the man at the far right of the photograph.   

Standing beside Harold Ross, is the bride’s  sister, Josephine Gillard.  

Standing beside  Mary Donati is the bride’s cousin , James McGuickian.

The lady beside Josephine Gillard, is the bride’s aunt, Margaret McGuickian. 

The wedding took place June 16, 1956 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Broughton Street. The priest was Rev. Laurence Davison. 

Josephine Francis Connor


Josie’s tree

My father’s address is listed as 36 Street Dublin, Edinburgh and my mother’s address was 10 Little King Street, Edinburgh, where the St. James Centre was later built.

Photographed in the 1960s Little King Street looking worse for wear


St. James’ Square in Edinburgh, just beside Little King Street, Greenside. The Quilietti Clan also lived here for many years


Little King Street in the 1960s. Leith Street behind, No. 9 was the Quilietti and Brattesani home for many years

Josie in her father’s arms – another lovely shot of the past.  Photo taken in Little King Street, Greenside, Edinburgh, just beside St. Mary’s RC Cathedral

  • My dad is holding me in his arms in this photo. Beside him is my uncle Iain Munro, in front is Ian’s wife/my mother’s sister, also named Josephine, my mother Julie in the middle, and her best friend Anne Grant to far right. Not sure where this photo was taken but it reminds me of my grandmother, Mary Gillard’s old doorstep on Little King Street. A coincidence that both my grandmothers were Mary, but she liked to be called Molly.  If I find any more of interest, I will share.  I recall that my grandmother Mary talked about Trixie a lot – and I understood her to be her sister, but maybe she was just a close friend or cousin.

DONATI/BRUCCIANI connections

Giovanni Adolpho Donati was born in the village of Castelvecchio-Pascoli and baptised in the Church of St. Nicolo’ on 18th May 1878.

 He was the son of Pietro Donati and Maria Domenica Brucciani who were both born in the village.  Circumstances in Italy at this time were not good for the farmers and many left to go to not only the Americas but also of course  to Scotland.  

Pietro Donati shown here in the Census from Castelvecchio Pascoli alongside two of his siblings Vittorio and Adolfo.  His wife was Maria Domenica Brucciani


an old Postcard of the Church of st. Nicolo’

The BRUCCIANI sisters were our link in this family chain.   Maria married into the Donati Clan.  Eletta married Leonardo Quilietti.  Marianna married into the Dante family.  Thus formed the links between Rhode Island, Scotland and Italy.

The wee Church from the Pascoli garden


Dramatic Barga from Castelvecchio

On their arrival in Scotland Pietro Donati travelled not only with his wife and young children but also took charge of his nephews Emilio and Augusto Quilietti on their arrival in Scotland.  Their professions were in the art of Stucco and Pietro had a business in Chambers Street in the centre of the City.  In 1891 they lived at 137 Canongate, Edinburgh, which building is still there today.   The Quilietti family were also associated with this address for many years going forward.  Emilio shares his resting lair with one of their children.

Giovanni or John married Annie Lauchlin on 22nd June 1898 in the County Buildings in Ayr.  Why they travelled down to Ayr is a mystery but perhaps parental issues were at work with him marrying a Scottish lass and not in a Catholic environment.  Their marriage was blessed with many children.

children of Giovanni  and Annie


Mount Vernon double Donati Lair.  This photo was taken by Helen about twenty years ago.

Julie quotes this

Albert Edward Connor, lived in the St James Square when he was a child, before moving to Dublin Street. He told me that he used to notice my mother, Julia Gillard, when they sometimes passed each other as he walked from St James Square down Little King Street. They met years later at The Palais dance hall in their 20’s and fell in love. My mother, Julia, was a tailoress who was also an avid bike racer and she won trophies with her cycling club. My father, Albert Edward, was a student at Heriot Watt University and obtained an engineering degree. He later moved with the family to Aberdeen to work for Brown & Root. He returned to Edinburgh and sadly he died at age 57, on July 17th, 1988.

Albert Edward Connor at his Confirmation


lovely Portrait of the family


Josephine with her dad


Photograph of the family taken just before his death in 1988


Mount Vernon Catholic Cemetery in Edinburgh

His wife (my mother) Julia died August 25, 1993. I will send you some more photographs later today. I married an American and we have 3 children, 8 grandchildren and just recently we now have a great-grandchild! I divorced in 2007 and now use my maiden name of Connor.

Josephine and her family

  • About Mary Donati: I remember her as being a very kind and loving grandmother, who was very house-proud and loved gardening. She taught me a lot about plants and vegetables when I was a child. She grew tomatoes in her sunroom and I remember how tasty they were, as she used them in her pasta sauce and on sandwiches. I remember her having some major health problems and after surgery, being told that she was in fact, meant to be a twin.  I don’t have any details about that, so can only imagine.  I know that she told me I have twin cousins somewhere about my age but I never met them.  I see that Maria Bruccianni was also a twin.
  • My father had a sister called Maureen, who became a nun, but later she left the convent to be with the man she loved. I remember seeing her picture in the Edinburgh newspaper (just cannot remember which one.  This was back when I was a child/early teens maybe – anyway, I found this news archive of a name change for Maureen Donati to Connor and it’s a bit confusing. 

    1945 – name change – would certainly have been because of the War as many Italians and their descendants were alienated at this time.

    Naturalisation –

  •  I was told that my grandmother, Mary Donati, had 2 sons and a daughter and was pregnant with my father, Albert Edward (Ted) when Francis Connor abandoned her and the children.  Mary was forced to put the 2 boys and girl into a children’s home, and my father was the *lucky one* who got to stay with her after he was born in 1931.  I’m sure that times were very hard for her and I wonder what Francis Connor did when he left his wife and family behind. I know he was from Belfast and that he returned to live there and be with another woman.  That’s all I know at this point.  

    Francis Conner changed his name to Kirk in Belfast on 16th February 1960

    famiglia

  • Anyway, Helen, I do love your website and recently enjoyed reading about Lucca’s ice cream shop in Musselburgh – I remember with great affection the many visits there with my parents.  Ice cream made with love by a dear man who always had a welcoming smile and a lovely spirit. 
  • I’d like to add that I remember being introduced to some cousins in Dalkeith when I was a child. They were the Luchessi family and I was told that their ancestors had come to Scotland with the Donati family. I have not seen them for decades as I moved overseas.Does anyone know of them?

 The Donati family from this region stayed close and many of the cousins came to Scotland .

From Antonio’s line Carubino married a cousin Giovanni Donati.  This was acceptable in those days.  They moved to Virginia in the USA.

Pietro came to Scotland with his wife Maria Brucciani.  Their ancestors still live here today

Annunciata is lost in the passing of time.  Agostino came to Scotland and he married Ermelina Panicalli in 1880.  They moved back and forth from Scotland to Italy for a while, settling in Scotland for a while and then returning back home in later years. Agostino died in Italy.

Luigi married into the mighty Cecchini Clan from Barga, a girl called Maria Rosa.   He died when he was only 48 in South College Street in Edinburgh.  They had one son Giuseppe who returned to Italy and married a local girl there.

Cesare also married a Scottish girl called Margaret Horsburgh

The Ricci connections

The Donati family are connected to the Quilietti family via the Brucciani sisters.  The family were from Castelvecchio Pascoli and Barga in Toscana in Italy.  The family were well intertwined with many of the Castelvecchio families, Guidi, Filippi, Moscaraadini, Bernandi, Brucciani, Ricci, Bonigli,Conti, Logmeri, Pierotti   and many more.  In Scotland the family settled in Edinburgh, Elgin, Ayr, Paisley and Renfrew plying their trade in the art of Stucco and figuremaking and progressing into the Restaurant and Ice Cream Trade.

From Castelvecchio there were at least five   brothers, Louis, Cesare, Pietro and Gostini and Giuseppe.  It seems the brothers first came into Britain via Brighton and we find Joseph and Pietro  here  in the 1861 census

English census 1861 showing Joseph and Peter – their anglo names

From here they moved North.  Gostini was described as a Stucco Figure Maker in the Scottish census in 1881 where he was living in Niddry Street, off the Royal Mile with his wife Ermerlinda and his cousins Raffaello Conti, Joseph Conti and Peter Pierotti.  He was the first to settle in Scotland and his brothers Pietro and Luigi followed soon thereafter.  With Pietro came Emilio and Augusto Quilietti who were his nephews.  The rest is our history.

THE LAUGHLIN line

Originally from Ireland with James Laughlin c 1829. James moved to Scotland during the Famine and here he met his wife Jane Wilkinshaw who had been born in Newbattle, Dalkeith. They married in 1852 in the Portobello area of Edinburgh. Annie Laughlin was their youngest daughter.

5 Responses to “DONATI Mary LAUGHLIN and Connor connections”

  1. Josephine Frances Connor says:

    I will give you the full names of everyone pictured. The groom is my father Albert Edward Connor, son of Francis Connor and Mary Donati. His bride is my mother, Julia Margaret Gillard. Her father, Joseph John Gillard, is the white haired man at left of photo. Mary Donati remarried Harold Ross, who is the man at the far right of the photograph. Standing beside Harold Ross, is my mother’s sister, Josephine Gillard. The man beside Mary Donati is my mother’s cousin, James McGuickian. The lady beside Josephine Gillard, is my mother’s aunt, Margaret McGuickian. The wedding took place June 16, 1956 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Broughton Street. The priest was Rev. Laurence Davison. My father’s address is listed as 36a Dublin Street, Edinburgh and my mother’s address was 10 Little King Street, Edinburgh, where the St. James Centre was later built.

  2. Josephine Frances Connor says:

    Thank you for adding all this information. I know that my father, Albert Edward Connor, lived in the St James Square when he was a child, before moving to Dublin Street. He told me that he used to notice my mother, Julia Gillard, when they sometimes passed each other as he walked from St James Square down Little King Street. The met years later at The Palais dance hall in their 20’s and fell in love. My mother, Julia, was a tailoress who was also an avid bike racer and she won trophies with her cycling club. My father, Albert Edward, was a student at Heriot Watt University and obtained an engineering degree. He later moved with the family to Aberdeen to work for Brown & Root. He returned to Edinburgh and sadly he died at age 57, on July 17th, 1988. His wife (my mother) Julia died August 25, 1993. I will send you some more photographs later today. I married an American and we have 3 children, 8 grandchildren and just recently we now have a great-grandchild! I divorced in 2007 and now use my maiden name of Connor.

  3. Lucy Harrison says:

    Hi,
    I am the granddaughter of Francis Connor, son of Mary Donati!
    I can’t believe all this information exists.
    My Grandad always told us his mother’s family has an ice cream shop but he was put into care and spoke little about his family. His brothers were Tony and Peter, And Teddy (but we never met Teddy).
    Amazing to see the pictures of Mary who would be my great Grandma!
    My mum us Susan Connor (oldest child of Francis Connor).

  4. Jo says:

    Hi Lucy,
    Sorry I haven’t written back to you – please ask Helen for my updated email address and I hope we can stay in touch and swap stories/history. Sending much love and prayers for you and your family in these times of global illness. May you and yours be well

  5. Lucy Harrison says:

    Hi Jo
    I’ve tried to email you but it bounces back. I have sent in a picture of my Grandad now – you can see such a resemblance to your Dad, his brother.

    Not sure if you can perhaps email me instead?

    Would be great to get in touch.

    Lucy.

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