Saturday, April 21, 2007
Premisses evibus denuntiationibus evib die festivis de precepto, quarum pa fuit die 19 Xbris 1784, sda fuit die 26 eiusdem 3a dabrum fuit die 2 Januarii 1785; nullo impedimento detecto, ego Petrus Delicata Parocus interrogavi Laurentium Fenech fil. leg. et nautam Joannis et Maria conju et Xaveriam fil. virg. leg. et nauram Laurentii et Anna de Sammut conjum meas parochianoi; covumq mutuo consenso habito per verba de presenti matrimonio coninunxi presentibus testib. mihi notis Michaele Calleja filio qndam Ignatii et Joanne Muscat sacrista. Postea iuxta neum S. M. data Rdus Gio Maria Muscat eis benedixit.
16th January 1785
(Marriage banns made as requested by laws) first being 19th December 1784, second being 26th of the same month, third being on 2nd January 1785: no impediment detected. I, Peter Delicata, parish priest, interviewed Lawrence Fenech legal and natural son of Joannis and Maria his wife and Xaveriam natural, legal and virgin daughter of Laurentii and Anna Sammut, all my parishioners: who verbally gave their mutual consent for this wedding in front of Michael Calleja son of the late Ignatii and Joanne Muscat, sacristan. At the end of holy mass, Rev John Mary Muscat gave his blessings.
This being the marriage of my 5th great grandparents (ggggggrandparents).
Lawrence Fenech, died of plague, which had entered the Maltese islands just over 3 months earlier on 28 March 1813 aboard an English merchant vessel [See The Plague of 1813-1814 by Ray Spiteri].
The extract from his death entry in the parish records of Attard describes the effect of pestilence on his corpse:
Die 4 Juli 1813
Laurentius Fenech viv Fransisca Xaveria filius qdam Joanni annos 45 circite natus, pestis ? crassante correptus; Sanctissimo Viatico voboratus, extremum diemo claryit; cujus cadaver in ejus domo crematum, cineresque in coemeteris St Maria sub invocationes Providentia conditi sunt.
4th July 1813
Lawrence Fenech, husband of Francisca Xaveria, son of the late Joanni born about 45 years ago, fattened and corrupted by pestilence; "visited" by the Holy Eucharist (administered to the sick), <
When looking for a marriage of a newborn's parents you could be lucky and find them marrying soon before - if the newborn is their first born.
Or they could've married 20 years earlier - if the newborn was their youngest child...
Or they could've married in another parish.
With this in mind, I went to look for further siblings to Maria...
and I found...
- Gregorius Aloysius Antonius Albertus born 1797
- Paola Magdalena Caterina born 1794
- Maria Anna Francisca born 1791
- Vinartus Pasquali Bartolomeus Domincus born 1788
- Joseph Bartolomeo Antonius born 1786
- Petris Michel Felix born 1784
- Joanne Maria Josephus Bartoloemo born 1782
But from the births of her sibilngs, I gleaned some clues as to the origins of Maria's parents. One of the godparents was a certain Paoli Debono from Casali Pinto. Another was Joseph Zammit, son of Bartolomeo and Maria, also from Casali Pinto.
If you haven't seen the clues yet, Paoli shares the same surname as Ignatio, and Joseph shares the same surname as the mother's maiden surname: Joanna Zammit.
Could these two be the brother and sister of Maria's parents?
If so, then my research will take me elsewhere: Casali Pinto.
Casali Pinto refers to the town to whom the Grand Master Emmanuel Pinto de Fonseca gave his name and made it a city: Qormi
Will I find the marriage of Ignatio and Joanna Zammit in the parish records of Qormi?
First I need to identify which parish to visit: Qormi has two parishes: St George and St Sebastian. A visit to the parish website reveals that St Sebastian was built in 1889, thus it's too late in the day. The parish that interests me is St George, which was already existant in 1436.
Die 28 Juli 1800
Ego, F. Francisus Onoratus Cap. Vic Baptizavi infantem heri natam ex Ignatio Debono et Joanna Conjbus, cui impositum est nomen Maria Theresia Catarina. Patrini fuerunt Ludovicus ..... filius... de ... et Liberata Gristi filia Petri de hac parochia.
28th July 1800
I, Fr Franciscus Onoratus Vice Chaplain baptized a child born yesterday to Ignatio Debono and Joanna his wife who gave her the name Maria Theresia Catarina. Godparents were Louis son of... and Liberata Griscti daughter of Peter, from this parish.
Die 12 9mbris 1790
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
To be honest I had forgotten about this - I aim to go back and look it up again.
But I did find her parents' wedding record...
Die 4 Junii 1815
Promisis Denuntiationbus a Conc. Trid. ordinati quroum una fuit die 14 Maii, secunda fuit die 21 ejusdem, tertia denun fuit die 28 prodicti: nulloq canonico Imepdimento intellecto.Ego Martinus Zerafa Parochus interrogavi Maria fil virg. leg. et nato. Ignatii Debono, et Joanna Zammit: et Josephum fil. leg. et nato. qdam Laurentii Fenech et Xaveria Sammut, utrosque de hoc Parocia, habitoque corum mutuo consenso per verba de p'nti eos Matrimonio coniunxi in faciem Ecclesia coram Joanne Sayd filio Vincentii et Gregorio Magri filio Josephi a eadem Parocia. Deinde in fine Missa eis Sacerdos Aloysius Magri benedixit.
4th June 1815
Marriage banns as ordered by the Tridentine Council were made on 14th May, secondly on 21st day of the same month, thirdly on the 28th as above - no impediment was made aware of. I, Martin Zerafa, parish priest interviewed Maria virgin and legal daughter of Ignatius Debono and Joanna Zammit and Joseph , legal and natural son of the late Lawrence Fenech and Xaveria Sammut, all from this parish, who verbally gave their consent to this marriage in front of Joanne Sayd son of Vincent and Gregory Magri son of Joseph, both of this parish. At the end of the mass, they were blessed by Fr Aloysius Magri.
Die 10 Novembre 1850
Premisis tribus denuntiationibus factis Tridentini in hoc Sancto Parrochialis Ecclesia, cum in Archipretali Ecclesia Casalis Zebbug, sin die 21 8bris et die 1 Novembris et 7 ejusdem mensis 1850, nulloque canonico impedimento detecto, ut etiam colligere licet ex Atteptazione ad modum _______ Xaveri Vassallo Archipresbiterus C. Zebbug.
Ego Antonius Vassallo ___ Xaveriam Fenech, filiam vir. et nat. Josephi et Maria Debono sponsom de hac Parrochia et Joannes Mariam Abela filium leg. et nat. defunctorum Andre et Maria Cilia ex Casali Zebbug interrogavi ambitoque cin mutuo consenso per verba de praecenti ex matrimonio coniunxi praesentibus notis mihi leg ___ Joanne Debono sacrista et Josephi Debono _____________ Paolus Zarb de mea licentia.
10th November 1850
Marriage banns as requested by the Tridentine Council made in this parish, as in the parish of Zebbug on 21st October, 1st November and 7th of the same month 1850, no impediment detected by myself or Saviour Vassallo, Parish priest of Zebbug.
I, Anthony Vassallo parish priest (married) Xaveria Fenech virgin and natural daughter of Joseph and Maria debono, his spouse, from this parish and John Mary Abela legal and natural son of the late Andrew and Maria Cilia from Zebbug...
Going back 6 years takes us to this joyful day of marriage between John Mary from Zebbug and his wife from Attard. We also learn that the groom's father was already dead by this date and his mother's maiden name is Cilia - this will help confirm any records found in Zebbug parish records.
Wanting to stay searching within the records of the Attard parish, the next search is for the birth of Xaveria Fenech...
Die 5 ejusdem
Ego Antonius Vassallo Parochus baptizavi infante heri natam ex Joanne Maria Abela, et Xaveria Fenech jug. cui impositum suit nomen Maria Carmela, Antonia, Rosa. Patrini fuere Laurentius Fenech filius Josephi , et Joanna uxor Josephi Debono ambo ex hoc casali.
5th day of same month (Feb 1856)
I, Anthony Vassallo Parish Priest christened a child born yesterday to John Mary Abela and Xaveria Fenech his wife who gave her the name Maria Carmela Antonia Rosa. Godparents were Lawrence Fenech son of Joseph and Joanna wife of Joseph Debono, both from this town.
I was in ecstasy! I had found written proof of my great great grandmother's birth! I had even learnt who were her parents - even her mother's maiden name! And speculation told me that her Godfather Lawrence was her uncle, being Xaveria's brother. This gave me courage to go look for her parents' marriage...
My gggrandma was a cousin to the 'Alfaran' family, ancestors to today's family Abela who hold the contractors' company with the name "Alfaran"
Notice how the seated ladies are lifting their skirts to show off their lace underskirt.
Monday, April 16, 2007
"The Maltese, the poorest of the arrivals and a previously colonized people under British rule, were placed at the bottom of this settler hierarchy. They were targeted by terrible anti-Maltese sentiments as early as the 1840s, and these have lasted in some circles to this day in France." http://www.lafayette.edu/news.php/view/9155/
"The difficulty of finding work at home, coupled with the decrease in trade with foreign countries, made the Maltese worker look to emigration as a solution to this double problem. Maltese had been emigrating to the lands bordering on the Mediterranean for many years and there were Maltese colonies in Egypt, Tripolitania, Tunisia and Algeria" Malta Migration
"Following the departure of the Knights of Malta (1798), the ensuing Anglo-French struggle in the Mediterranean led to considerable prosperity of the Maltese economy. However, by 1813 the economic boom was at an end. By the 1820s famine was rife. A cholera epidemic in 1837 killed nearly 5% of the population and the subsequent quarantine restrictions closed all Mediterranean ports to Maltese imports and produced great hardship. The conditions of life were miserable." http://www.maltamigration.com/settlement/mma/chapter1-2.shtml
"The first free Maltese settlers came to Australia during the late 1830s. The Maltese did not leave home because of political or religious oppression. Most of them wanted to build a better economic future for their children and for themselves..." English and Maltese in Malta:
History, Language Usage and Attitudes by Nadine Angermann (http://www.tu-chemnitz.de/phil/english/chairs/linguist/documents/angermann_malta.pdf)
"Meanwhile, however, the French made Algeria an integral part of France, a status that would end only with the collapse of the Fourth Republic in 1958. Tens of thousands of settlers from France, Spain, Italy, and Malta moved in to farm the Algerian coastal plain and occupy significant parts of Algeria's cities. These settlers benefited from the French government's confiscation of communal land, and the application of modern agriculture techniques that increased the amount of arable land.Algeria's social fabric suffered during the occupation: literacy plummeted,while land confiscation uprooted much of the population." http://www.wikipedia.org/
Saturday, April 14, 2007
The only information I had about Carmelo's father (my 3rd Great grandpa) was that he was born in Bona, but his parents were Maltese.
Some geographical research located Bona (Bone) in Algeria, North Africa. His birth there was estimated to be in the 1830s and he would've been part of the European Colonization of Algeria.
"Colonization by Europeans (½ of whom were French and the rest mainly Spanish, Italian, and Maltese) began c.1840 and accelerated after 1848, when Algeria was declared to be French territory. " http://www.columbiagazetteer.org/public/Algeria.html
Attempts to contact Algerian nationals via genealogy forums proved futile and when a reply arrived to one of my emails (a month later) it had nothing to offer.
Alas, for now I had given up of finding anything much about this important ancestor. But time would present other opportunities... will tell you all about it in the near future
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
This is a photo of her father - my ggrandpa, a policeman in Birkirkara.
Unfortunately, to date I have not yet researched any further along this line...
Here on the right is my maternal great great grandpa in his sailor suit during World War I. He was with the British Navy and here is seen with an Italian Sergeant Major, a good friend of his.
This photo was taken in 1917, when my gggrandpa was 41years old (b. 1876). It is possible that he was not present for his son's (my ggrandpa) wedding which took place within the year as can be gleaned from the message written on the back by the father to his son:
The writing is in Maltese and says:
"27th April 1918 Carmel, this sergeant major and I are great friends - we're always together on land.
The wedding took place in Rabat, Malta on 22nd Sep 1917 when the groom was 17 years old and his bride was 8 years his senior: a lady from nearby Dingli. He was the oldest of the family and the first to leave the nest. He went on to have 7 kids, one of whom my maternal grandpa.
Monday, April 9, 2007
"...and then they are somehow related to these"
That somehow, that gap, brought forth a mystery which my mind, hyperactive due to being in thesis mode, gladly took in as a challenge. I downloaded a freeware DOS program (Family) and began entering all the persons on the sketch. Then my dad contributed with more people and their descendants, dead or alive, neighbours or emigrants abroad and afar. We soon had 230 people in our records.
Then I finished my thesis...
Who was I when I began?
It was the year 2000 A.D. I was in my final year of studies reading a degree in Computer Science at the University of Malta, the only university available on this island back then. At 22 years of age I had just lost my paternal grandfather - I was his only grandson able to carry on his surname. My mind was on hyperdrive due to the pending thesis but I wanted to do anything except the thesis...
Who am I now?
Today I'm a husband of 28 years of age, proud father of the next Barbara, owner of a genealogy research topping the 4000 ancestor mark...