First, let me say that I've been lurking in the background, trying to educate myself before posting and have been so impressed by the quality of the suggestions offered as well as the willingness of others to help - kudos to you all!
I'm trying to determine where in Italy my ancestor, Filippo Rossini, was from. He came to Scotland sometime before 1819, when he married a Scot, Martha Abecrombie, in Edinburgh in 1819 (misspelled Raseni per Scotlands People and IGI records).
Neither his 1819 marriage nor the 1841 census record indicate where in Italy he was from and unfortunately, there's no death record as he died in a Glasgow poor house around 1847. I contacted the Roman Catholic cathedral in Edinburgh where he was married, but they have no details on his place of birth or his parents' names. The only other clue I have is that at the time of his marriage, he lived with a Daniel Rivolto (both were listed as wire workers residing in the Canongate, Edinburgh). Daniel was later a looking glass maker, per post office directories. The latter ties with what has been written about the Italians who came to England/Scotland in the early 1800s being craftsmen from around Lake Como.
Given the above, I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on the following:
1. Were wire workers from a particular region in Italy in the early 1800s? Not sure they would be considered "skilled craftsmen" but since he lived with one when he arrived, seems like they would have known each other. At the time of his death in 1847, Filippo was a birdcage maker (as were his sons and grandsons in Glasgow, per 1851-61-71 census records). I've also contacted the Anglo-Italian Family History Society, but no specific clues.
2. I feel certain that Filippo's father was named Antonio, since that was the name of Filippo's first-born son and the name used in several subsequent generations. I've poured over the Lake Como BMD records recently published on Ancestry and there's a definite pattern of where the Antonio and Filippo Rossinis were from - only about 8 or 9 towns in Como. Is it feasible to try contacting these towns with Filippo's approximate birth year and likely name of this father, or is Rossini just too common a name?
I understand how common the name Rossini is, and had already looked at the name distribution in Italy.
However, I'm trying to pursue the possible Lake Como connection. It's fairly well documented by Anglo-Italian historians (Dr. Lucio Sponza, Dr. Terri Colpi) that most of the early Italian craft/tradesmen came from this area.
Realize it's a long stretch, but on the other hand, there were reportedly only about 300 foreign-born Italians in all of Scotland in the 1850s (the big wave started later) - that's why I feel I should pursue Lake Como.
I was hoping somone out there might be familiar with the origins of wire workers/birdcage makers, or Italian immigrants in general to England/Scotland from that era. I'd appreciate any "educated guesses" too.
Alternatively, I might just go for it and contact those 8 or 9 communes in Lake Como - you never know...