We now look at the contract dated 23rd June 1963 within which my now late grandfather Antonio bought the share of the field known as tal-Katina. It is also the source of the family tree sketch drawn by my father in the Spark.
Listed are the following, referred to as the Barbara siblings.
- Leonardo, a farmer, father of Antonio Barbara listed below, and husband to Clara Grixti, Antonio's mother
- Marianna, wife of Leonardo Camilleri, son of the late Francesco Camilleri and Concetta nee Zammit
- Francesca, widow of Giovanni Zammit
- Giovanna, wife of Policarpio Abdilla, son of the late Giuseppe Abdilla and Giovanna Rosa nee Camilleri
- Rosa, widow of Antonio Camilleri
The above are listed as being the children of the late Carmelo Barbara nd Giuseppa nee Briffa of Zurrieq.
These are the sellers, selling to the buyer, Antonio Barbara son of Leonardo Barbara and Clara nee` Grixti.
The sale is of 1/2 of 5/6 of the field known as tal-Katina, for the sum of Lm25.
The document goes on to explain how this property came to their possession: each one had 1/6 (thus the 5/6) of one half of this field (thus 1/2 of 5/6) through the inheritance from their father Carmelo Barbara (who died on the 15th of July 1942) and Giuseppa nee Briffa (who died on the 21 October 1930) with wills dated 2nd November 1920 and 8th July 1936 from the notary Francesco Farrugia.
So, let's recapitulate.
Carmelo and Giuseppa Barbara owned 1/2 of this field.
This was split between their six children, each receiving one sixth.
Antonio Barbara, son of one of these children, bought the shares of five of these children, thus getting 5/6 of 1/2 of the field, or 1/2 of 5/6 as written in the text, thus 5/12 of the whole field - almost half, except for the missing sibling's share.
In a letter written by my father's lawyer to the person to which the field was tenured, the share is written as 1/2 of 5/6 of the field, agreeing with the above.
So the fraction of 5/24 claimed in the causa mortis seems to be an incorrect calculation, itself in conflict with the stated purchase of 1/2 of 5/6 in the same document.(EDIT: Probably the 5/24 is 1/2 of 5/12 as he had bought this when he was married to Nicholina nee Borg, so the other half belongs to her).
Two more things need to be found: who owns the other half, and who owns the missing 1/6. Who is the missing sixth sibling?
A possible source for this information will be the records of the tenures paid in the past, which will fall under our scrutiny in the coming days...