......THE QUAGLIATA  FAMILY
........GENEALOGY PROJECT
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MORE QUAGLIATA INFORMATION
My father (Joseph Quagliata b.1930) and I (Michael Quagliata b.1953) have had a few contacts with Quagliata's outside our immediate family over the years.  Almost everyone we've met traces their ancestry to Sicily or to the southern mainland of Italy.  It's possible that these two ancestral lines are related at some point further back than we've been able to trace, but we haven't met or corresponded with anyone who can tie the two lines together.

I've been running websites on the internet since 1995.  Soon after I published my first webpage, Carlo Quagliata ran across it and contacted me. His family and relatives are located in and around the New York City area (including New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania).  Carlo said his family came from a town in southern Italy.  I checked for Quagliata listings in New York and came up with a number much larger than I expected.  Years later I would discover that one of the largest Quagliata branches on our family tree is centered in the Rochester/Lyons area of New York state.

In 1999, while Richard Quagliata (b. 1955) was doing some family research, he exchanged email with Vittorio Quagliata of Milan, Italy.  This is the Vittorio who is quoted in the "Welcome" section of our main page.  Vittorio's family is from Sicily, so we are most likely related, however the linkage is currently unknown.  In subsequent years Vittorio has translated Italian documents for us and has also provided a bit of his family history which he is working on.  It's an interesting coincidence that Vittorio's great grandfather, Giuseppe Quagliata (b. 18??) fought with Garibaldi to free Sicily and unite Italy, as did our ancestor, Mario Quagliata (1843?-19??), who was awarded a medal for his service.  Even more coincidental is the fact that Vittorio's great grandfather was also honored for his service with three medals.  We're hoping after Vittorio completes his research, he will be able to provide us with more information about his branch of the family tree.

Over the years, we've noticed that the family has a certain amount of mathematic and artistic talent.  There are quite of few engineers in the family, as well as many family members in mathematics related careers.  Michael S. Quagliata Jr., of the Rochester/Lyons family, runs an engineering business called Q-Tech Engineering.  Sam Quagliata of Australia is involved in an environmental engineering company: EGL.  In my own family, my father, one brother and one of my sons are all engineers.  The family's artistic talents include music, painting, glass work, photography and cooking (of course).  There's more on the artistic side of the family below.

 

Humberto Quagliata Around 1996, I got a call from Humberto Quagliata.  Humberto, a famous and celebrated concert pianist, was in East Lansing to perform at Michigan State University's Wharton Center.  Click on either photo for more information on Humberto's career; and there are many references to his work here.  Humberto told me of his habit of checking phonebooks during his travels and after checking the Lansing area phonebook for Quagliata's, he found my name and called.  We had an interesting conversation.  Humberto was born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1955.  He told me his family was originally from a town in southern Italy, so we are probably not closely related.  Humberto now lives in Madrid, Spain. Humberto Quagliata
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Alkion by the Sea  by Narcissus QuagliataOne day (around 1979), my wife, Susan was writing a check for supplies at a stained glass shop.  Taking notice of the last name on the check, the clerk asked if she was related to Narcissus Quagliata, at that time a well known stained glass artist.  More on this below.

Narcissus QuagliataMy father, Joseph is a retired General Motors engineer.  He did a lot of traveling for GM and was also a phonebook checker.  Once he was in Boston Massachusetts on business and checked the area phonebook.  He saw a listing for Louis Quagliata and gave him a call.  Louis was attending MIT, studying engineering.  His family was from Sicily and after some discussion Louis and my father concluded our families were related.  Louis was born in Rome where his father, Luigi was an architect.  Luigi designed the theater where the Venice Film Festival is held every year and was a member of the Italian Parliament in 1946, after the war. Eventually the family moved to New York.  Louis attended Harvard and MIT, and is now the Director of the College of Milan.  While conversing, Louis told my father that he has a brother, Narcissus Quagliata, the very one mentioned above.  Narcissus was born in Rome, Italy in 1942 where he studied painting with Giorgio De Chirico.  At the age of 20, Narcissus moved to the United States and studied at the San Francisco Art Institute receiving both a Bachelors and a Masters degree. Soon after graduation, he began working in glass.  Narcissus is now a famous stained glass artist and teacher of the art of stained glass.  There are many references to his work here.  Narcissus has a website that you can visit by clicking here.  Louis told my father as far as he knows, there are only two lines of Quagliata ancestry.  One is based in Sicily and one is based in southern Italy.


Orfeo Quagliata
Orfeo Quagliata

Jimmy's Brainz by Orfeo Quagliata
Jimmy's Brainz


In October of 2004, I got an email from Orfeo Quagliata.  He must have ran across our website and checked it out.  Orfeo is the son of Narcissus Quagliata and has also taken up a career in glass work.  Orfeo was born in San Francisco and now lives in Mexico City where he started a glass factory.  His company is called Phuze Design.  He does more design than art.  There are many references to his work here.  Orfeo kindly sent a couple photographs.  That's Orfeo on the left.  In January 2006 Orfeo sent me some pictures of a new technique he invented which he calls boiling glass.  The art he produces with this technique is stunning.  On the left is a photo of his work called "Jimmy's Brainz" (click for a larger view). On the right is a photo of his work called "Lilianna's Brainz" (click for a larger view).  Orfeo also mentioned his cousin Andrea Quagliata, the son of Louis Quagliata.  Andrea is a photographer and has a website that you can visit here.


Lilianna's Brainz by Orfeo Quagliata
Lilianna's Brainz


My grandfather Mario Quagliata (1907-1995) was an avid vegetable gardener and always had a garden he and his wife Josephine used to save on grocery expenses.  Mario experimented with a local variety of peppers called Melrose.  They are smaller, sweet green peppers, shaped like an Italian pepper and feature a thin skin that is great for frying (click the photo for a complete article on Grandpa Mario's Peppers).  Mario tried to increase the size of the Melrose variety by crossing it with sweet green Bell peppers (pictured on the far right), but he was not satisfied with the thickness of the skin.  He continued working on his experimental crosses and one day he came across a variety in Florida that the locals called sweet green Cubans.  They were bigger and longer than a Melrose, but had a thicker skin.  So Mario crossed the Melrose peppers with the Cubans and some of the resulting hybrids were just what he was looking for.  He grew his hybrids for several years, making seeds from peppers that met his criteria of thin skinned and large, and eventually the strain began to breed true.  The family simply called them Grandpa Mario's peppers (pictured on the near right).


Grandpa Mario's Pepper       Bell Pepper


Over the years, my father Joseph traveled to Cleveland several times on business for GM.  He found a restaurant there named Quagliata's White House.  My dad dined there on his business trips and met the owner, John Quagliata.  John has brothers named Carl and Alfred.  Originally, John and my father thought our families might be related.  Subsequent research by John in 2005, shows the families are not related as far back as 1780s.  However, the towns the two families can be traced back to are within a couple miles of each other, indicating the families are probably related at some point before 1800.  Recently, a member of the Cleveland family, Natalie Quagliata, emailed an update: Quagliata's White House is now closed; but, John, Carl and Alfred Quagliata have opened Giovanni's, another great Italian restaurant in Cleveland. Giovanni's in Cleveland OH

In October of 2003, our little website got an email from Sam Quagliata of Australia.  Yes, Australia.  Sam says, "We have a largest Quagliata "family" in Australia.  I would suggest more than 500.  We also believe that we are all related somewhere on the tree."  Sam's parents were from Piedmonte Etneo, Sicily.  Sam's father Ignazio and his siblings, Poalino, Salvatore, Giuseppe, Mariano, Santa, and Pietrina were all born in Sicily.  All but one immigrated to Australia after World War 2.  In August of 2004, Sam's cousin Joanne Curro emailed more information.  Now our current information indicates the Sydney, Australia Quagliata family is related, possibly through the first marriage of Mario Quagliata (1843?-19??).

In November of 2004, I got an email from Rita Quagliata regarding another Quagliata family in Australia.  The family patriarch, Leonardo Quagliata (1865?-1???), was born in Fiumefreddo, Sicily, which is just a couple miles east of Piemonte Etneo.  Leonardo's son, Carmelo immigrated to Australia in 1918, follow by his 15 year old son, Leonardo in 1929.  Carmelo's wife, Pietrina and the rest of his children immigrated to Australia in 1931 (except for the eldest daughter, Nina).  Rita reports the family's talents include painting, glass work, photography and music.  Rita mentioned her three children each have their own bands and do quite a bit of entertaining.  Our current information indicates that the Ayr, Australia Quagliata family is related, probably through the first marriage of Mario Quagliata (1843?-19??).

On a trip to Atlanta in the late 1980's, my father came across a listing for Jeff Quagliata and called him.  Jeff said his parents lived in New York.  Although he couldn't offer any knowledge on family history, he did say his family was from Sicily.  Years later in August of 2004, Jeff came across our website and emailed me.  As it turns out, Jeff is part of the large Quagliata family located in the Rochester/Lyons area of New York.  This is the family of which Michael S. Quagliata Jr., mentioned above, is a member - Michael is an engineer and runs an engineering business called Q-Tech Engineering.  In January of  2006, Jeff emailed to say he was heading for Italy to work the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin for NBC.  We sent him some Quagliata contacts in the area and are hoping for a synopsis of his trip experiences when he returns.  We have determined that the Rochester/Lyons family patriarch, Salvatore Quagliata, was probably a son of Mario Quagliata (1843?-19??) by his first wife.
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A 14 - Christopher Quagliata middle back, Carmelo Quagliata front right.
A 14 on stage at Triple J Concert
on May 18, 2005, Ayr Showgrounds.

In May of 2005, Rita Quagliata of the Ayr, Australia Quagliata family emailed to say her sons and their band "A 14" (pictured on the left, click for a larger view with names) played in a large concert, called "One Night Stand", held in Ayr by the national radio station "Triple J".  15,000 people attended.  Four popular Australian rock bands played on the night and A 14 was selected to be the support band.  The publicity that "A 14" received leading up to the night, and after the night, was overwhelming.  Christopher Quagliata plays lead guitar and sings lead vocals, and Carmelo Quagliata is the drummer (pictured on the right, click for a larger view).  The band formed at school and got their name from their school music room number. The oldest member is Christopher (16) and the youngest is Carmelo (14).  Congratulations to Chris, Carmelo and A 14.

Christopher Quagliata on lead guitar, Carmelo Quagliata on drums.
Christopher Quagliata on lead guitar,
Carmelo Quagliata on drums.

In August of 2005, I ran across an interesting listing in Frommer's Italy 2005 guide for a restaurant in Naples - Il Gallo Nero.  Here's the Frommer's info: "Gian Paolo Quagliata, with a capable staff, maintains his hillside villa with its period furniture and accessories. In summer, the enthusiastic crowd is served on an elegant terrace. Many of the dishes are based on 100-year-old recipes, although a few are more recent inventions. You might enjoy the Neapolitan linguine with pesto, rigatoni with fresh vegetables, tagliatelle primavera, or macaroni with peas and artichokes. The fish dishes are usually well prepared -- grilled, broiled, or sautéed. The meat dishes include slightly more exotic creations, such as prosciutto with orange slices and veal cutlets with artichokes."  The address is: Via Torquato Tasso 466, Naples, Italy.
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In January of 2006 we got an email from Sarah Davies.  Some years previous, she had contributed information about Russell Quagliata's lineage - her former husband.  Sarah and Russell have two children Justin and Elise Quagliata.  For a couple of years now I've wanted to contact Elise as her name always appears in a Quagliata Google/Yahoo search.  Sarah's email included some information about her talented daughter Elise Quagliata.  Elise is a mezzo-soprano who at the time of this writing is working in the Pensacola Opera.  In January Elise played the lead in performances of Bizet's "Carmen" receiving terrific reviews (read here and here).

Elise Quagliata as Carmen
Elise Quagliata as
Carmen

SURNAME DISTRIBUTION


LABO's study of Italian surname distribution done in 2000 gives us a very good look at where modern day Quagliata's live in Italy.  From the map on the right you can see that most Quagliata's are located in the old "Kingdom of the Two Sicilies" boundaries, which included all of continental southern Italy from Abruzzi, to Calabria and Puglia, and Sicily.  Inside those old boundaries, the highest concentration of Quagliata's is in Palermo, Castellammare Del Golfo, Messina and Caltanissetta on Sicily, and in Naples and Potenza on the mainland.  Also of note on the mainland are the concentrations in Rome and the Milan area in the north.  Our information indicates there are two Quagliata lines - one originating in Sant'alessio Siculo, Sicily and one originating on the mainland in Potenza, Italy.  It's possible that these two ancestral lines are related at some point further back than we've been able to trace, but we haven't met or corresponded with anyone who can tie the two lines together.

One day while surfing the internet, I found a website called Castellammare del Golfo Online.  This is a town in Sicily where my great-grandfather Giuseppe Quagliata and his family where know to have lived.  Luckily the website has some genealogical records.  Unfortunately there was only one listing for Quagliata - "Giuseppe Quagliata (1920 -1943) of Giacomo Quagliata and Marianna Bertolino, [died] on the naval destroyer Bersagliere (you can have the page translated via Babelfish by clicking here and copying in the URL - Babelfish translates Quagliata to Junket).  The name Giuseppe Quagliata flags this info for study as it's possible they might be related.  I'm going to try and find more information on this family.
Quagliata distribution in Italy.

Checking listings for the name Quagliata in the United States, the name is concentrated in the Greater New York City area, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio.  We know that virtually all the Quagliata's living in Illinois, Michigan and Missouri are related.  Our information strongly suggests that the Quagliata's living in Ohio are also related.  The large Quagliata family located in the Rochester/Lyons area appears to be related to the Quagliata's living in Ohio.  And, the Rochester/Lyons family patriarch, Salvatore Quagliata, was probably a son of Mario Quagliata (1843?-19??) by his first wife.  We aren't sure how the Quagliata's living in the Greater New York City area (including New Jersey and Pennsylvania) fit into the family history, but we would like to find out.  Some of the Quagliata's in living in Pennsylvania are possibly related to the Ohio family.  There are Quagliata's living in California, some of which are possibly related to Narcissus Quagliata, who is most likely related to our family.  Linda [Quagliata] Kenney, of the Rochester/Lyons family, reports that some of the Quagliata's in California are from the Rochester/Lyons family, and there are Quagliata's from the Rochester/Lyons family who live Connecticut, Colorado, Georgia, Oregon, and Virginia.  Linda also says she has cousins in Arizona, Texas, New Jersey, and Tennessee, whose names are no longer Quagliata because of marriages.  There are also some listings in Florida and Arizona.  Andrew Quagliata, of the Rochester/Lyons family, reports there are members of his family that have retired to Florida.  I also have relatives with addresses in Florida.  Other Quagliata's living in Arizona probably moved in for retirement.  Finally, a few states - Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Oklahoma and Texas - show up with one or two listings which possibly indicates those Quagliata's moved in from one of the other areas mentioned above.  In our efforts to document the Quagliata lineage, we would appreciate any information on Quagliata family history you might have.  Please feel free to email us.

Quagliata distribution in the United States.

 


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