Submitted by Descendants: The LUJAN / PAPY / TOPPINO Families
Peter Antonio Gandolfo was born 3 April 1802 in Italy. He arrived in Key West, Florida in 1829 traveling from the Kingdom of Sardinia which controlled his part of Italy. Peter immediately declared his intention to become a United States citizen and on 13 May 1829, he swore his allegiance to the United States. and on 26 May 1845 he voted in the first Florida election. By that time Peter had married Clara Arnau, the wealthy widow of Theodore Clinquebies and together they purchased substantial property in Key West and parented a large family.
The announcement of the marriage of Peter Gandolfo to Clara was published in The Gazette in Key West on 18 January 1832, with the actual wedding ceremony performed on the preceding Saturday, 14 January. Peter died on 10 1865 and is buried in the Key West Cemetery. During their 33 years of marriage Peter and Clara raised 8 children who survived to adulthood, married and had numerous children of their own. Many of the Descendants of Peter and Clara Gandolfo still live in Key West to this present day.
The oral history of the Gandolfo’s states that Peter was born into a renowned family in Italy and his tombstone list his birth place as Genoa. In the 1900s a letter received from the Vatican by one of Peter’s descendants upheld the assertion that his family had once owned Castle Gandolfo, the summer residence of Catholic popes.
Peter Antonio Gandolfo was first established as a Florida Pioneer in 2011