My Genealogy

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Second Objective: Second Attempt - FAILED

A friend lawyer of mine told me that although you could fail online, one might go to the Public Records and get friendlier service as they can search for you. NOOOOOT!

I went this morning, with my 4-year old trudging along, all the way from City Gate to the Evans Buildings where the Public Registry is currently being housed, to be told that without the exact date they wouldn't look for my records...


Second Objective: First Attempt - FAILED

For my wife's ancestors, I tried requesting the marriage certificates online through putting in an approximate date. It has a nifty SMS service to notify you of updates - and wasn't I disappointed the next day to receive three SMSes telling me my requests have been rejected...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Second Objective

Looking across at my research up along my wife's family tree, I realise that, on her part, I only have eight missing GGGGrandparents. If I were to also find these missing individuals, I would have found all 64 of my children's GGGGGrandparents!

The missing individuals are:
- Mrs Fenech, wife of Francisci Fenech and mother of Andrea Fenech
- Mrs Galea, wife of Michaeli Galea and mother of Maria Galea, wife of the above Andrea Fenech

- Mr and Mrs Cardona, parents of Francesca Cardona, wife of Antonii Vella

- Mr and Mrs Bususttil, parents of Antonii Busuttil
- Mr and Mrs Frendo, parents of Feliciana Frendo, wife of the above Antonii Busuttil

In order to speed up the search and make best use of available resources, I made a request for the following marriages from the Maltese Government's Public Registry via their online form.

The marriage of Andrea Fenech to Maria Galea
The marriage of Antonii Vella to Francesca Cardona
The marriage of Antonii Busuttil to Feliciana Frendo

From these records, given that the information is found, I would be able to acquire the names of the parents of each spouse, and thus acquire the missing eight individuals in my wife's family tree.

As always, I'll keep you posted with any results forthcoming...

One down, two to go - Rosa Grech joins the tree

Kudos to Rev Albert Buhagiar, parish priest of Siggiewi, for replying within three days to my email requesting the baptismal record of Nicholina Magri, from which details I was able to acquire the name of TARGET 3, wife of Saverio Magri.

For completeness, here is the complete correspondence:

Dear Rev Buhagiar (or assistant)

I would greatly appreciate your small assistance in helping me compiling my family tree upon which I have been working for the past 10 years.

I only desire the name of the mother of Nicolina Magri ( my great-great-grandma), born in Siggiewi in circa 1862 to Saverio Magri.

I suppose the mother's name can be acquired from the baptismal record of Nicolina Magri of 1862 in your parish records. I thank you whole-heartedly beforehand.

Your brother in Christ

Jonathan Barbara

to which the reply was

Dear Jonathan,

From the Parish records it resulted that Nicolina Magri was born on the 7 December 1861. her parents were Saverio and Rosa nee Grech.

I hope this satisfies your research.

Fr Albert

This leaves only two more ancestors to meet my challenge of finding all GGGGreat parents on the 10th anniversary of my commencing my genealogical research.

These two ancestors will both be investigated at the Mdina Parish records which contain all Rabat records prior to 1902.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Two down (and one), three to go!

This morning I managed a quick visit to the Zebbug parish office. The office is in a street which from behind the church takes you to the Domus along the left.

The parish priest is quite young and quite strict-looking: he asked me my name upon entry and when I asked him for a couple of birth records he demanded to know the purpose. He turned friendlier when I told him that I was looking up my family in Zebbug.

The records for the 1850s are indexed by surname so we found the first two in a breeze. Then I ventured to ask for two more, in the 1820s. Here it was more difficult, but not as much as in Attard. They were indexed by father's name (and surname) per year. The results were two of the targets, one GGGGgrandmother and some doubts cast on another contemporary ancestor.

Let's look at the findings.

First find was Target 1: Mrs Borg, who turned out to be Helena Mallia - mother of carmelo borg, and wife to Giuseppe Borg.

Next was Target 2: Mrs Chirchop, who turned out to be Caterina Chirchop - mother of Salvatore Chircop and wife to Giuseppe Chirchop. Some interesting facts here: Salvatore was actually Joseph Salvatore, with the latter name underlined and thus being indicated as his main name (and thus differentiating him from his father who bore the same name). Another is that Salvatore's daughter was named Caterina, after her paternal grandmother here. Last point is that the grandmother Caterina is listed as Chirchop - is that her maiden surname or just her married surname? One would have to find their marriage to find out.

Since we were on the baptism registry I decided to skip the marriage from which I would be able to find Target 3 (as the date of the marriage was unknown and would have taken more time and patience - and I knew I was stretching it) and went for another couple of baptisms on my mother's side.

First off was that of Giuseppe Zammit, son of Mariano Zammit and the subject of the search, who turned out to be a Maria Zerafa. (My wife's maiden surname was Zerafa...)

Secondly we had a search for the baptism of Angela Micallef daughter of Antonio Micallef. These names I acquired from the government's public registry. The approximate date was 1827. No answers for 1827. Next we sought 1826 and we found a certain Antonia Micallef being born to Antonio and a certain Maria Galea.

Not quite there.

So we went on to 1828, and another birth was registered for Antonio: a certain Philippa Margerita from a certain Maria Cachia.

No Angelas.

How to go about it?

Well, one way would be to go to Zebbug again and look up the baptismal record of Giuseppe's son Mariano and check out who his mother was: was it an Angela or an Antonia?

Since I have the exact date, I could try it out by email...

Anyways... with three out of my original six targets found, we're half way.

Next up is Mdina for the two I tried yesterday... leaving the grand finale for Siggiewi.

Opening hours for Siggiewi parish church, as per are

Mondays 4.30 – 6.00 pm
Tuesdays 10.00 am – 12.00
Wednesdays 9.30 am – 12.00, 4.30 – 6.00 pm
Fridays 4.30 – 6.00 pm
Saturdays 9.30 – 11.00 am

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rabat Records Prior to 1902 are in Mdina Parish Records

That was the reply I received on visiting the Rabat parish office earlier this morning.

At first I was hopeful as the parish priest was not in office, and the vice-parish priest was there - who happened to be an acquaintance of mine when he served his deaconship in my town. He recognised me immediately and after some pleasantries I got down to business. Only to be told that the St Paul's parish in Rabat only had records from 1902 onwards - prior to that one has to go to the Mdina parish office. He kindly checked the opening times for me, and informed me that it opens on Mon, Wed, and Fri between 4:30pm and 5:30pm.

Not a very good news for me as I'm free from family obligations (aka baby-sitting or child-minding) only in the morning - and it will mean I have to take the whole family with me in the afternoon. Luckily there's a children's playground nearby so maybe they can spend the hour there. An hour. That too is an issue... with so little time, if there will be other clients at the office, it might take me two visits... and Mdina is quite far from Zabbar... GRRR...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Four birds with one stone?

In my previous post I planned the expedition into the parish records of Rabat, Malta. In doing so I made and shared with you a copy of Teresa Micallef's birth record. On putting it back I happened to look at another birth record that I have: that of Alfonso Vassallo - also from Rabat. His grandmothers are also unknown but since Alfonso is my GGgrandpa, they were not in that list of targets due this year.

But I could use the same strategy as for Teresa and find two GGGGgrandmothers. Alfonso's parents Nicola Vassallo and Evangelista (also born Vassallo) were both 36 years old on his birthday (1876) making 1840 the target date to seek out their birth records. Luckily they're both from Rabat.

I'll print a copy of the record and if I don't run out of time and the parish priest out of patience, will try to find their mothers too.

Planning the Search for the Five

Summer 2010 has been here for over a month, and a merited rest should give me time to live up to my challenge: that of finding the last five GGGgrandmothers and complete the 32-individual layer at the 5th generation stage. ( See Decade Milestone).
With Target 6 found, I now focus on the other five - with supposedly just two parishes needed to be visited.: Zebbug and Rabat (both in Malta, not Gozo).

Visiting their website, I acquired the office hours of the parish, namely:
Zebbug: Tuesdays 0930-1130, Wednesdays and Fridays 1630-1800 (info here)
Rabat: All weekays (except Thursday) between 0930-1100 and 1700-1800 (info here)

Thus Monday I plan to go to Rabat with the two targets being:

Mrs Micallef,
wife of Saverio Micallef and mother of Carmelo Micallef who was born abt 1854 in Rabat, Malta
Mrs Galea
wife of Fedele Galea and mother of Teresa Galea born abt 1862 in Rabat, Malta

The plan for both is to try to find the baptismal record of their offspring which ought to have the names of both parents. But what are the risks involved? How sure am I of these clues?

The answer lies in the birth certificate of Teresa Aleta Carmela Anna Micallef - my great grandma (mother of my maternal grandfather) who is the daughter of the above Carmelo Micallef and the above Teresa Micallef nee` Galea, his wife. This certificate was received last year and has been documented in the post The Family Increases and is now reproduced here.
As can be seen, Teresa is the daughter of Carmelo Micallef who was 40 years old at the time. Forty years prior to 20th September 1894, Teresa's birthday, would be 1854 - which explains why I'll be looking at that date for Carmelo's baptismal record. Also note Carmelo's father listed as Saverio Micallef on the right column (vivo means living at the time of the record).

Also, Teresa's mother Teresa Galea was 32 at the time which would explain the 1862 approximate date for her own baptismal record. Also note mother Teresa's father listed as Fedele Galea, also living at the time.

One would be tempted to also attempt to trace the wedding record of Teresa's parents Carmelo and Teresa. If I would be allowed to search through the parish records myself, this would be doable - but if the parish priest will not allow me, then I would not be willing to test his patience in trying to scour about 15 years of marriages for their bethrothal. Why? Because, as you can see from the family picture dated 1908 seen below, Teresa (rightmost, abt 14yo at the time) was not their eldest child and thus the marriage date would be possibly much much earlier. Also, since the two were born in Rabat but were living in Dingli, they might have married in Dingli...

Also note that both parents were living in Dingli at the time, but were both born in Rabat - which explains why I'll be looking for the above two records in Rabat.

What will I take with me? I will print a copy of Teresa's birth certificate in order to explain to the parish priest my search if necessary.
INTERESTING POINT: Targets 4 and 5 would most probably have met each other, at least at their children's wedding. Questions come to mind: were they acquaintances before? were they always trying to keep up with each other? did they seek each other's company, or avoid it best they could? Sadly, no records would be able to cement these for us in their future...