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Italian Quarter, Birmingham

J

jjw

Guest
hi, I am after any information, anyone may have about the Italian Quarter in Brum. it was In Deitend/Digbeth, Bartholomew st area,it was more or less empty by 1936 due to relocation from these old back to back houses. any information much appreciated. ps My ancestors lived there they were the Farina Family.
 

postie

The buck stops here
Staff member
There is a book about the Italian community in Birmingham. its called " Bella Brum", by Dorothy Hopwood and Margaret Dilloway. O0
 
O

O.C.

Guest
You might find this intresting
Organ grinding sounds a rather painful process but in the 1890s the trade was extremely lucrative. Thomas Biggins of 13, New Bartholomew Street regularly hired one such musical instrument but lacked the patience or charm of native Italian grinders. If spectators did not toss him a coin or two Biggins would threaten them with a large knife. When asked if he had anything to say in mitigation he replied:
"I hope you will pity me. I am an orphan".
After being questioned as to his age the defendant replied that he was 25. In a sarcastic tone of voice the magistrate replied "An orphan and only 25 years of age!" He was then sentenced to one month inside.
Before the days of ice-cream wars, turf disputes over piano-grinder's pitches led to gang warfare. In 1893 Francesco Didunca and Silvestro Rossi were summoned for assaulting Cianghetto Martino and Antonio Tavolieri. The court was packed with tempestuous olive skinned families and harassed interpreters. Even the horses tethered outside were restless.
Accusations, in two languages, flew thick and fast. Tavolieri, speaking in Italian, swore that he'd met the two accused in "a wide street for men" which, when translated, turned out to be the more prosaic Hagley Road. Marrtino and Tavolieri were informed, in unambiguous terms, that the terrain belonged to the Rossisand had done so for 13 years,if they did not pick up their Hurdy Gurdy and get out of town fast they would have their throats slashed.At this crucial point, a loud whinny, from one of the horses, penetrated the silence of the court.
The tale continued. The Tavioleri's and Martino's had apparently stood their ground. Proud men, they were all too willing to fight for their families and the right to make music. Rossi unsheathed his knife, stabbed his mouthy opponent in the lip and proceeded to beat him with an iron bar. A full scale civil disturbance did not result in any clear cut winners.
Both parties were fined for the affray. This was surely just the opening round of a family saga destined to run and run.
Another Italian, Giaco Mantonio Fella, also relied on an interpreter in court. Prosecuted for being drunk and using obscene language, the police officer observed that when arrested he, (the Italian) swore in very good English. He was fined 2s. 6d.
 

sheronb

master brummie
hello, I am new here! I just read this thread with great interest, my great grandfather Guiseppe Tuzio, used to be friends with Martino Cianghetto (they got his name back to front! lol), and also worked together, im very interested in their lives here in Birmingham, and have just ordered the bokk "Bella Brum", if anyone has any other info, i would love to hear from them.
 

sheronb

master brummie
jjw, in the book, there is an Angelina Farina mentioned, running a boarding house in Scratchens corner, at the end of Bartholomew St
 
L

Lulu

Guest
Good luck JJW I have also just started looking into my relatives that lived in Deritend, it is proving difficult so far as the information I have is quite shady but apparently I had family that lived in Upper Trinity Street by the name of Dammes.
If I find anything with my search I will be sure to let you know.
 
L

Lulu

Guest
Hiya Pom.
I really can't be sure to be honest with you, as I say the details I have gotten from my family so far are very thin.
My Grandad (born 1929) was born in Birmingham as was his Mother (I think), it would be his Grandparents that came over that I would like information on.
So far all I have is his Grandma is Gracie Dammes, she and her husband came from Rome (near the Vatican City) and lived on Upper Trinity Street.
As you can see I have my work cut out for me as my Grandfather's memory isn't as good as it was, bless him.
Thankyou for replying :)
 
L

Lulu

Guest
Forgot to add that his mothers name was Lillian Handley (nee: Dammes) and I can't be sure if she was born in Birmingham.
(As you can see I am a complete novice) lol
 
B

bella brum

Guest
This is a message for JJW. Not sure if you are still checking this site, but I am also looking for information on the farina family from Birmingham and would be really interested to here from you. My great grandfather was Marcus Farina. If anyone else can help I would be most greatfull. Many thanks.
 

lencops

gone but not forgotten
bella brum, Type "Italians in Birmingham" into search top/right of the page and you will get more info. Len.
 

KatieJWarr

New Member
hi, I am after any information, anyone may have about the Italian Quarter in Brum. it was In Deitend/Digbeth, Bartholomew st area,it was more or less empty by 1936 due to relocation from these old back to back houses. any information much appreciated. ps My ancestors lived there they were the Farina Family.
Have you been able to find any information on your italian family...I have recently done my own, with the name Farina coming up in the same towns records, Sant'Elia in Frosinone. I believe from my research that many of the italians that settled in Birmingham were from the same areas....my Family name is Clemente, they lived in Fazely Street and new Bartholomew.
 

tmi

New Member
Have you been able to find any information on your italian family...I have recently done my own, with the name Farina coming up in the same towns records, Sant'Elia in Frosinone. I believe from my research that many of the italians that settled in Birmingham were from the same areas....my Family name is Clemente, they lived in Fazely Street and new Bartholomew.
My family were also from Sant'Elia. They were in the Italian quarter - Duddeston Row, Bartholomew Street and finally Buck Street from 1880 until 1959. Family name Barilone / Barlone / Barlow. Just finished reading Bella Brum ... so glad lots of the history of the area has been captured.
 
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