Our Family Forest
The Magnani Family

Giuseppe Magnani was born in 1872 in Carrara, Italy, to Egidio and Cecilia Petrini Magnani. His brothers and sisters, all born in Italy, were Almina, Peter (b. 1874), Giannina (b. 1884), and Olga (b. 1887). We know nothing of their lives in Italy. Giuseppe came to the United States in 1891, sailing from Livorno, Tuscany, and arriving in Baltimore, speaking no English. He then sailed to Galveston (?), though we're not sure why. He worked for J. Beldaze & Co., a fish and oyster wholesaler. By 1896, he had made his way to New York City, where he married Mary Silva Brescioni, widowed daughter of Giuseppe and Maria Bilocci Silva, born in 1871 in New York City. (The Silvas were from Bologna, and I know of only one other child: Anthony.) Soon after their marriage, Giussepe's mother arrived in New York with Jennie (Giannina) and Olga. Peter arrived in 1900.

In 1902, Jennie married Romolo Orsi, born in Italy in 1875. They lived in Queens and had three children: Joseph, Philip, and Regina. Jennie remarried to Joseph Vallores, and their daughter, Josephine, was born in 1918. Cecilia Magnani continued to live with Jennie. My last record of them was living in Queens in 1920.

Olga was living with Cecilia, Jennie, and Peter in Manhattan in 1900, but I don't have any further information on her.

Joseph (Giuseppe) and Mary had four children while living in Queens: Adeline, Emma, Thomas, and Lorretta. Joseph earned a living as a laborer and cook. Cecilia returned from a trip to Carrara in 1906, and Joseph returned a year later, from a visit with his sister, so they were apparently keeping in touch with family in "the old country", and Joseph must have been earning a decent living.

Peter married Agnes Horn in 1904. They had two children, John and Olga, and also lived in Queens. He was a "plasterer". In 1912, Peter returned to New York City from Havana.  I assume this means that Peter was earning pretty good wages.

By 1915, both Joseph and Peter and their families were living in San Francisco. Census and county directory information says that Joseph was an autoworker and Peter a "plasterer". We know, though, that Joseph built about four houses in San Francisco, one of which the family lived in (at 1 Vulcan Street). He sold the others. Peter made molds that were used for the Palace of Fine Arts, built for the 1915 World's Fair in San Francisco. Joseph died in 1945, Mary in 1953. We believe they are buried in Colma, south of San Francisco. We don't know what became of Peter or his family. Their son, John, died in San Francisco in 1960.

Joseph and Mary's oldest daughter, Adeline, married Albert McClintock in San Francisco in 1918. Albert was born in 1894 in Lehigh, a coal mining town in what was then the Oklahoma Indian Territory. He had joined the army and had been stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco. He purportedly was not shipped out to fight in Europe with his company because he was an excellent baseball player (later semi-pro) and someone of higher rank wanted him to stay and play ball. Albert and Adeline had three children in San Francisco, then moved across the Bay to Oakland, where they settled. Albert worked for the Post Office. He died in 1977. Adeline died in 1990.

I know little about Adeline's sister, Emma. She was a store clerk in 1930, never married, and died in San Francisco in 1973. Their brother, Thomas, married Grace Cooney in 1928. In 1930, they lived in San José, where he was an auto mechanic. Lorretta Magnani married William Haynes, probably in the early 1930s.

Copyright © Michael Cushing.

magnani2.shtm last updated 11 March 2015