The name Bernardini is quite common in Italy, especially in the North of the country as all you Bernardinis out there will know. Our branch of the tree grew in the little hill town of Barga, which is near Lucca in Tuscany, or Toscana.
My Grandfather was born there, the youngest of eight brothers, his name, naturally enough being Ottavio, later to become Walter. I, being the son of the eldest of five brothers was christened Walter, though why not Otto or Primo? I’ll never know.
My great grandfather’s name was Francesco and my great grandmother was Maria (nee Antonucci).
I was always told as a boy that my grandfather came to Scotland when he was ten years of age with his seven elder brothers. Only in 1997 did I learn that he was reputed to have fathered a child with the then Mayor of Barga’s daughter. Although, this could simply have been idle Piazza gossip.
In 1998 two of my cousins and I visited Barga where we thought we might have to face the aforementioned daughter’s relatives with shotguns at the ready but I think there may now be too many offspring from this liaison to really care at this stage. Oops! Did I hear someone mention DNA?
But to get back to my website. Waken up at the back there! My father seemed to be the only one in the family to have any artistic ability, as he was pretty handy with pen and ink. The other source from which I could have inherited my artistic talent would be from my mother’s side of the family. I have two accomplished watercolours done in the late 1800’s by her uncle, a certain Tom Paterson who died penniless in a garret in Lennoxtown, Scotland in the 1950’s and I still use some of his hand made brushes and well preserved palette to this day.
Enough, Enough I hear you cry!
Back to the business in hand.