Submitted by Descendant: Nancy Evelyn Strauss WHITTLE
Bartolome Josef Leonardi was born 21 September 1782 in St. Augustine, Florida. He is among the first generation of LEONARDI’s born in Florida.
Bartolome is the son of Don Roque Leonardi and his wife Agueda (Agatha) Coll. They arrived with the Turnbull Colony in 1768. Prior to coming to America, Don Roque resided in Mahon, Minorca. Upon arriving in St. Augustine, they were dispatched to New Smyrna to start the colony. They were poor and many of the colonists died from disease and malnutrition. By 1777, the colonists left New Smyrna and walked all the way back to St. Augustine. At first they were not allowed inside the city gates; however, once inside the city gates Don Roque became a respected citizen in the community, serving as a Lieutenant in the City Militia. He was addressed as “Don”, which meant at that time a gentleman of prominence. Don Roque and Agueda were married 1772c in New Smyrna.
Bartolome grew up in St. Augustine and its vicinity. On 20 July 1808, he married Antonia Paula Bonelli, daughter of Josef Bonelli and Maria Moll, both of whom also arrived with the Turnbull Colony. Like Bartolome Antonia was also born in St. Augustine.
According to the 1830 Census, they lived in the Hospital War (now Aviles St.). By this time, they had nine children, all born in St. Augustine. Some of their children migrated to Tampa and one son Vincent settled in Pinellas Point. He is credited with contributing much to the development of that area.
Bartolome died 23 July 1844. Both he and Antonia are buried in the old Catholic Cemetery in St. Augustine.
Bartolome Josef Leonardi was first established as a Florida Pioneer in 2001