Stefani Family History and Ancestry


Stefani Family in Calument, Michigan circa 1911

Stefani, Ciabattari, Michalski, Layer, Kopta, Andryske, Andryczka, Andrews, Bigalke and related families

My name is Donna M. Stefani, I am a descendant of Anton Bigalke who immigrated to Portage County, Wisconsin. Anton's daughter, Kate Bigalke is my great-grandmother. Kate Bigalke married Philip Andrews (Andryske) and lived in Chicago. A chart of Donna's immigrant ancestors. I also have genealogy information posted on, website.

I'm researching Stefani's from Segromigno in Piano Comune di Capannori, Lucca, Italy, who immigrated to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and British Columbia, Canada during the late 1800's & early 1900's.

Giovanni & Elisabetta (Verigrazia) Stefani, were the parents of my great-grandfather, Carlo Stefani. Carlo came to Calument in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in 1887 & worked for the Calumet & Hecla Mining Co. Carlo married twice & had 7 children between the 2 marriages. Carlo's 2 wives were Filomena Barsanti & Angelina Ciabattari. Carlo's first wife was Filomena Barsanti. Her sister Teresa married Egisto Lavorini & they also settled in the Upper Penisula. Family history says that Egisto or his brother Pietro was the one that introduced my great-grandfather Carlo to his second wife Angelina Ciabattari, my great-grandmother, after his first wife died. Family history shows that Angelina Ciabattari came from Segromigno in Monte Corte Pesi Capannori, Lucca, Italy. I was told that her siblings were named Domenico, Emma, & Luigi, but I have no further information on them. I believe her parents were John & Maria Anna Mennini, but again, have nothing else there either. I was also told that Angelina was married previously to a man by the last name Mandoli, & was widowed, but that's it. Two of Carlos sons, Armondo & Giovanni Stefani, also worked for the C & H Mine.

It is believed that Carlo had 4 or 5 brothers, one which stayed in Italy, but I don't know what all their names were. I've located the following siblings who never left Italy, but their children did: Luigi, who married Pasquina Stefani, Maria who married Luigi Unti, & Clelia who married Guiseppe Lencioni. Carlo must have been a real visionary to come when his siblings didn't. However, at least 2 of his nephews, Giovanni & Raffaello Stefani followed him to the Upper Peninsula in early 1900 & also worked in the copper mines. They were the sons of Luigi Stefani. In the summer of 2006, descendants of Luigi were located living in British Columbia, Canada. Luigi had several daughters that settled in Canada.

There was a St Stefani that came over on the same ship with Carlo, & when I found him on the Italians to America CD, I thought they had to be brothers, but when I look at the original manifest now available on, I see that they're not together on the ship, so I don't know if he's really a brother or not.

Carlo's 2 wives were Filomena Barsanti & Angelina Ciabattari. I've found numerous people with both of those last names also in the area. Some refer to the other as being cousins, but I haven't found a link between either of his wives & those families or my immediate family, except what's listed above.

I have records showing other Stefani's in the area during the same time frame. Felice & Davina Stefani, Giuseppe & Lizzie Stefani, Emilio Stefani, Alberto Stefani, Louis Stefani, Francesco Stefani, & 2 other Giovanni Stefani's. I have as of yet been unable to link any of them to my ancestors.

Another branch of family that continues to be elusive are the Kopta, Houska, & Layer group. Mary Houska, b. 1863 married Joseph Layer, b. 1861, in 1882. Their daughter Mamie was my great-grandmother, b. 1885, & married William Layer, b. 1883, in 1903. I believe that William Layer's parents were George & Christine Landeck Layer, but I'm not positive as I haven't been able to definitively prove it. However, I'm stuck any further back for George. It looks like his family came to the U.S. fairly early, maybe first to MI & then IL, but I'm unable to locate anything on him earlier then 1900 in IL. The census shows he was born in either MI or IL in 1857, but I find nothing. He died in a hospital & the death certificate filled out by the staff, & shows he & his parents both born in Detroit, MI.

If you have any questions, additions or comments about the information on this site, please contact Donna Stefani.

Donna M Stefani
429 Division St.
Elgin, IL 60120
United States
847 877 5088

I look forward to hearing from you. Any and all contributions to this website are welcome and will be greatly appreciated.


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Please note that not all data in the family file has been verified and some requires additional research. My researcher family genealogy files are updated as additional data becomes available.


Please visit the main page of the website for links to other researchers working on different branches of the Bigalke and other Portage County, Wisconsin family trees.


Thank you to Kevin Kazmierczak, for scanning and sharing the photographs from the estate of his grandmother, Bertha Bigalke Tetzlaff.
The Stefani family, gathering for the christening of Angelo Stefani in Calumet, Michigan in 1911, is featured in the photo in the upper left hand corner of this page.


Family tree updated on January 1, 2015.

Home page revised on January 16, 2017.

Stefani Family History and Ancestry by Donna M. Stefani.

Stefani Family History and Ancestry Pages at maintained by Susan Chapman. Copyright 2006-2017.

Genealogy software used is Family Tree Maker, by, The Next Generation Network.

If you have any questions or comments about the information on this site, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.

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