Domingo Ghirardelli

Domenico Ghirardelli (1817 - 1894)

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Domenico (Domingo) Ghirardelli
Born in Rapallo, Italymap
Husband of — married 1837 in Italymap
Husband of — married about 1847 in Perumap
Descendants descendants
Died in Rapallo, Italymap
Profile last modified 16 Aug 2019 | Created 26 Jun 2016 | Last significant change: 16 Aug 2019
15:26: Abby (Brown) Glann edited the Biography for Domenico Ghirardelli (1817-1894). [Thank Abby for this]
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Domingo Ghirardelli was involved in the westward expansion of the USA.
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Domingo Ghirardelli has Italian Roots.


Domenico "Domingo" Ghirardelli was born Feb. 21, 1817 to Giuseppe Ghirardelli and Madalena Ferretto.[1]

He apprenticed at a fancy confectionary shop in Genoa. In 1837, he and his bride, Elisabetta "Bettina" Corsini, sailed to Montevideo, Uruguay. He worked there for a short time but then, in 1838, took the voyage around Cape Horn to Callao, Peru, and then settled in Lima. He opened a shop selling confections and specializing in chocolate. It was in South America that Domenico changed his name to the Spanish equivalent and became Domingo. Bettina died in 1846 and Domingo married, the next year Carmen Alvarado Martin, a Spanish-Peruvian widow with an infant of her own.[2]

When the Gold Rush hit California, Domingo went to America and opened his first store in a mining camp where he stocked the shelves with chocolate. In 1852, he founded a confectionery shop in San Francisco which later became known as the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.[3]

He became a naturalized citizen of the United States on Jul. 19, 1871.[4]

The 1870 national recession and subsequent panic of 1873 led Domingo and his business partner, son-in-law, Angelo Mangini, to declare bankruptcy. By 1874, Domingo was forced to auction everything he owned, including his home, property and stores with the exception of the Ghirardelli Chocolate factory in San Francisco. Creditors waited 40 years for their money, but in the end, had to receive 75 cents on the dollar for what was owed.[5]

Domingo appeared in the 1880 US census in Oakland, Alameda County, California. [6]

Domingo was a life member of the Society of California Pioneers, a Mason, and an Odd Fellow.[7]

Domingo Ghirardelli died in Rapallo, Italy, 17 January 1894, age 76 years, 10 months, 27 days.[8] He was visiting Italy for the benefit of his health and spent some time there visiting with his son-in-law who was studying art there.[7] His remains were returned to San Francisco, arriving on 16 February 1894, and his funeral was held on the 18th from his late residence at Fourteenth and Poplar Streets in Oakland, California.[8][9]

Domingo is buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland. [10]

He was inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame in 2012.[11]


  1. Virginia Ghirardelli[12]
  2. Domingo Ghirardelli Jr.[8]
  3. Joseph Ghirardelli[8]
  4. Elvira Ghirardelli[12] m. Charles Sutton[8]
  5. Louis Ghirardelli[8]
  6. Angela (Ghirardelli)[12] m. Charles Jorgenson[8]
  7. Eugene Ghirardelli[7]


  1. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, 1795-1905; Roll #: 301; Volume #: Roll 301 - 01 Mar 1888-31 Mar 1888
  2. Lawrence, Sidney. "The Ghirardelli Story. California Historical Society, 2002. The Free Library
  3. Ghirardelli Chocolate - official website; Our Story, Hirardelli Heritage, Timeline and History
  4. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Index To Naturalization In The U.S. District Court For The Northern District Of California, 1852 - ca. 1989 (M1744); Microfilm Serial: M1744; Microfilm Roll: 58
  5. San Francisco Call, dated May 10, 1910, pg. 4; “Creditors Wait 40 Years for Money: Ghirardelli-Mangini Bankruptcy Proceedings Settled. After pending 40 years, the bankruptcy proceedings in the estate of Domingo Ghirardelli and Angelo Mangini, the original manufacturers of Ghirardelliʼs chocolates, were brought to a close yesterday in the United states district court when Judge George Donworth signed the petition confirming the sale of 223.39 acres of land in Richmond to W. H. Spaulding for $124,631. Many of the creditors, old and bent with age and limping on canes, were present. These creditors had been waiting all these years to realize 100 cents on the dollar. But even now their claims will not be satisfied in full. They will receive about 75 cents on the dollar.
  6. United States Census, 1880, database with images, FamilySearch: 14 July 2016), Domingo Ghirardelli, Oakland, Alameda, California, United States; citing enumeration district ED 10, sheet 199D, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0061; FHL microfilm 1,254,061.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Pioneer Ghirardelli" Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) 18 Jan 1894, Friday. p. 3.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) 16 Feb 1894, Friday. p. 1.
  9. Interesting note: the article on the 16 specifically says "omit flowers," yet the report of his funeral on the 19th mentions "Many costly and beautiful floral pieces rested on the casket."
  10. Find A Grave Memorial # 1466
  11. Candy Hall of Fame - Domingo Ghirardelli
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Wikipedia contributors, "Domingo Ghirardelli," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed June 26, 2016).

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Images: 2
Domenico Ghirardelli
Domenico Ghirardelli

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On 19 Jan 2017 at 20:43 GMT Ron Levagood wrote:

I believe Ghirardelli Square in Monterey, California also commemmorates his name & memory.

On 19 Jan 2017 at 02:11 GMT William Phillips wrote:


On 17 Aug 2016 at 12:54 GMT Sharon (Troy) Centanne wrote:

I ha:e been adding profiles for his parents. Thanks!

Rejected matches › Kelsay D. Kelsay

Domingo is 22 degrees from Tanya Lowry, 17 degrees from Charles Tiffany and 19 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.