Did the de Medici Family Really Own Chiles House?

A common selling point of the Chiles House while it was on the market from 2005-2016 was the notion that the home had been in the hands of “the famous De Medici family.”  In fact, there is a deed transfer that shows the house was purchased by Marie K. de Medici in November, 1949.  She then sold it to John and Anne Chiles, the son and daughter-in-law of Jake and Anne Chiles in September 1951.

Was this indeed THE infamous de Medici family?  We did some investigating and here is what we discovered.

First, a brief history of the title transfers.

July 1, 1943 Transfer of deed from The Prudential Insurance Company of America to William Dino and his wife Marie K. Dino.

September 27, 1949 Transfer of deed from William Dino and Marie K. Dino to Horace S. D’Ambrogio.

November 1949 Transfer of deed from Horace D’Ambrogio and his wife Evelyn to Marie K. de Medici.

September 1951Transfer of deed from Marie K. de Medici to John M. Chiles and his wife Anne McDowell Chiles.

In our research we discovered three key things:

  1. Horace D’Ambrosio was the son of Marie Dino per a society column Sunday March 14, 1948.  Apparently a son from a previous marriage. DAmbrogio Wedding Asheville_Citizen_Times_Sun__Mar_14__1948_

2.  Marie K. Dino & William Dino separated in October and divorced in November of 1949.        Marie K Dino divorce Asheville_Citizen_Times_Tue__Nov_22__1949_

3. The signatures of Marie K. Dino and Marie K. de Medici look almost identical.

Deed Dino to DAmbrogioDeed de Medici to Chiles

So, were Marie K. Dino and Marie K. de Medici the same person? Probably.  What we don’t know is if Marie remarried, took back her maiden name (and was thus really a member of the that family) or simply took on the name of one of the most famous Renaissance families in history.  All part of the rich history of Chiles House.

UPDATE:  Thanks to the help of Grant Brown, we found the obituary for Marie K. de Medici proving she was indeed the same person as Marie K. Dino.  No husband is mentioned so de Medici was either her maiden name or a name she adopted.  OR…. new tidbit found …  There was a note on an Ancestry.com public family tree that William Dino was a/k/a Williamson Domianici (sp) and aka William Demedici. (!)  However, a note on Marie’s profile noted she was very pretentious. So… back to a mystery?

Marie DeMedici Obituary

We’re in contact with Marie’s great-granddaughter and she wanted to see the newspaper photo of her grandmother so here it is:

DAmbrogio Bride Photo Asheville_Citizen_Times_Sun__Sep_22__1946_