My Genealogy

Friday, May 4, 2007


I had promised earlier (See here) that I would go back to seek Xaveria Fenech's birth record. I have kept my promise, and I was rewarded with a triple surprise!

But here's how I got down to it...

Ok, my search was for the birth record of Xaveria Fenech. I knew she was married in 1850, and that her parents had married in 1815. So I had a search span of 35 years less 15 years (approximate average age of when girls got married) which made it 20 years.

So I brought up the baptism records and started looking for births into the Fenech family from 1815 onwards.

First up was Joanna Carmela Fenech on 23rd October 1816. Since I had some doubts on the whereabouts of the parents of Xaveria's mother Maria, I took note of any Debono godparents listed in these births. Joanna had Michael Debono son of Ignatii as her godfather nad a Rosaria Debono wife of Vincentii from Valletta. I can't tell if she, or probably he, since she'd have his surname, have anything to do with our Ignatio.

Four years after that first shock, Xaveria's parents Joseph and Maria had another go and out comes Lawrence Fenech on 16th January 1820 - a younger brother for the 4-year old girl.

Seems Joanna wasn't happy with a brother, and asked for a sister. She was soon made happy when Ignatia Anna Maria Fenech was born just two and a half years later on the 20th of November 1822. Her Godmother was Catherina daughter of the late Ignatii Debono.

Hmm. "Late". As in "dead". I put a mental side note to look up his death record starting from 1822 and working backwards.

I kept on looking. I was already in 1824. I glanced at Xaveria's marriage date. 1850. 26 years. "We're getting close." I murmured to myself. I was alone in the archives of the Attard parish church. Alone with so many people. I felt like I was shaking hands with every person whose record I was skimming through.


Wait, that's not Xaveria Fenech. That's Rosa Fenech. Let's take a look at the second names. Rosa XAVERIA Marcella. Deja vu? Had she been baptised with a name but took to her second name during the better part of her life? This had happened before with Cajetanus Laurentius Annettus Fenech (her grandfather) - where he kept Lawrence as his name for marriage and death. He was given Cajetanus by his godfather - so probably his parents decided to call him by the name THEY wanted to give him - Lawrence. Was it the same in this case? Who was the godparent of Rosa Xaveria Marcella?

Rosa, wife of Philippi Formosa from Valletta.

Double Bingo!

That's it then - she was given Rosa by her godmother, Xaveria from her parents, and when the godmother wasn't around - basically the rest of her life - her parents called her by their chosen name: Xaveria. And that's how she got married - as Xaveria Fenech.

Click! a 2Mb photo.

Click! a 6megapixel photo taken - with Macro focus.

Happy to have accomplished my mission, a smile adorning my face, my eyes settled once more on the yellowish page.

What's that there?




Triple Bingo!!!

Rosa Xaveria Fenech was not the only one born on the 21st September 1825 into the Fenech family! With her were her twin brothers Ignatius Joseph Salvator and Mattheus Franciscus Seraphim! What joy in the family they must have brought! What panic to the father! He had been maintaining a wife and three kids. Now they had doubled in number!!

The page had Trigemini written next to Ignatius's entry and a large bracket enveloping the three infants' baptism records.

Click! another 6megapixel Macro shot.

A quick look at the godparents of the boys revealrd an Anna Debono and Ignatius Debono both children of the late Ignatio Debono.

Which reminded me in the mental note I made earlier to seek his death record.

It didn't take me long, he died on 12th February 1820 (just over one month after the birth of his grandson Lawrence Fenech mentioned above) at approximately 76 years of age - making him about 37 years old on his wedding day.


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