#52Ancestors “Air”

Welcome to Week 16 of my Genealogy Challenge, from the wonderful Amy Johnson Crow, writing something about one of my Ancestors every week for a year, #52Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Week 16’s prompt is “Air”, which I must admit I struggled with a little bit.

Then I realised my Italian born Stampa Family were Barometer Makers, did you see what I did there……….

So let me introduce Dominicio (Dominic) Stampa, the Barometer Maker!

The first reference for Dominic that I can find is Dominic’s arrival from Como in Italy, in 1798. Dominic arrived in Dover, according to the Register of Aliens in July 1798, his final destination being Leith Street in Edinburgh, he was a Print Seller by trade.

There are three other people, on the Register of Aliens, who share the same surname and profession;

Luigi Stampa, 30, Milan, Italy to Dover 1784, Leith Street, Barometer Merchant. Born approx. 1754.         

Valentino Stampa, 42, Milan Italy to [port not mentioned] 1797, Leith Street, Barometer Merchant. Born approx. 1755.

Charles Stampa, 32, from Como Italy to Yarmouth 1798, 14 Leith Street, Carver, gilder and looking glass maker. Born approx. 1766.

The Stampa’s from Italy are a fine bunch of master craftsmen, specialising in barometers and various other forms of fine craft and printing. Some of the Stampa barometers and clocks are still changing hands today at auction for several thousand pounds. 

One of Dominic’s Barometer’s is on display at the home of a prominent home Edinburgh. Dominic established his business in Leith Street in Edinburgh and he was involved with various trades that were listed in the Scottish Trade Book Index: looking glass manufacturers, carver, gilder and print seller.

The National Library of Scotland hosts the Scottish Trade Book Index, which specialises in the printing industry pre 1850. This encompasses printers, publishers, booksellers, bookbinders, printmakers, stationers and papermakers. The following entries were taken from the editions of the Edinburgh Directory

Scottish Book Trade Index:

STAMPA, Dominick printseller from Italy, Edinburgh and Leith, 14 Leith Street 1796-99

D. C. & L Stampa and looking-glass manufacturers same address 1800-1802

Dominick Stampa same address 1803

D. Stampa carver, gilder and print seller same address 1804

Stampa and Galleti, Foot of the Shore, Leith 1809-11

D. Stampa 69 Princes Street, Edinburgh 1820


Stampa & Co carvers and gilders, 60 Leith Street 1827-29


Addresses in Edinburgh for Dominic include:

1804 – 14 Leith Street, Edinburgh

1805 – 14 Terrace, Edinburgh

1820 – 69, Princess Street, Edinburgh

1821 – 6, St.David’s Street, Edinburgh

1824 – 18 Calton Hill, Edinburgh

1825 – 54, Leith Street, Edinburgh

1827 – 60 Leith Street, Edinburgh


At some point whilst Dominic was setting up his various businesses in Edinburgh, he met and married his wife, Mary Hair, Mary was 19 years younger than Dominic. They went on to have a total of seven children, the youngest of which, Nicolina Elizabeth Stampa, is my 2 x great-grandmother.


Nicolina - photo

Dominic lived a relatively long life and died on 7th may 1848 and is buried in the South Leith Cemetery, buried at the old ground, close in front of Exchequer tomb, his cause of death is decay of nature.

I am very proud of all my ancestors, as ultimately they make me who I am today, the fact that I have some Italian ancestors, adds to the make up and makes me feel proud and thankful for Dominic and all that he achieved.

Thanks to my cousin’s Eleanor and Carol who have helped contribute to Dominic’s story.

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15 thoughts on “#52Ancestors “Air”

  1. My niece and I are following the hints. Ours on air will be posted soon. I am so impressed with your choice for air. Very interesting. I read last week on Fire. Each of our families leave us a legacy. I will go back and read more of your postings. Keep up the great work.


  2. I enjoyed this take on Air! (And not just because of the namesake subject …!) I have to say that part of the fun of genealogy for me is finding other occupations that I wouldn’t have even thought would be in my tree!


  3. sounds like you’re on a real mission to do this family tree!

    Nice to have some hot blooded and capable Italian craftsman in the background 🙂

    Nice to meet you


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