My Genealogy

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Missing Sibling in The Will of Carmelo Barbara (+1942)

In Purchase of the Land, one of the pending questions was: who is the missing sibling? With my grandfather having bought 5/6 of the land from his father and his four siblings, a fifth sibling remained.

A good possible source of information for the identity of the fifth sibling was found to be the wills mentioned in the same article: those of the parents Carmelo Barbara and his wife Giuseppa dated  dated 2nd November 1920 and 8th July 1936 from the notary Francesco Farrugia.

How to get them?

I looked up "notary archives malta" on Google and the first search result was a link to the Office of the Notary to Government and Notarial Archives - Malta Quality Service Charter which offered the service of looking up such deeds with requests being possible even by email on . Thus I hastily performed by providing the following details:

—  the name of the Notary : Francesco Farrugia
— the date of the deed or will : 2nd November 1920 and 8 July 1936
— the nature of deed: will (testment)
— the parties to the deed or will : Carmelo Barbara and/or his wife Giuseppa nee` Briffa

Within a couple of days I received a reply that the will dated 1936 had been found but they would need an original copy of the latest death certificate of the couple. Providentially I had a copy of both their death certificates issued back in the year 2000.

Opening hours (at time of blogging) are from 7:30am to 3pm and within a couple of days I managed to find a suitable time slot to visit. I provided the requested death certificate and within a few minutes I had a copy of the will for EUR2.10.

What does it say?

Dated: 8th July 1936 at 10:15am

In front of Francesco Farrugia, Notary Public in Malta, and in front of witnesses who are suitable as per law appears Carmelo Barbara, farmer, son of the late Antonio born and living in Zurrieq.

Known by me.

That he will leave after his death the below written:

The said Carmelo totally nullifies the will made here on 3rd March 1929.
The said Carmelo leaves ?? ?? to his daughter Francesca Barbara, spinster, the house at Zurrieq 24,25 Carmel Street , Alley No 3, who takes it in full ownership since Francesca is taking care of him, with the duty that Francesca Barbara gives, on one occasion only, her siblings the sum of six English pounds Sterling each. Her siblings are five, i.e.: Giovanna, Catherine, Marianna, Leonardo, and Rosa.

The said Carmelo Barbara declares that the sum of 40 English pounds Sterling that his son and daughters took (in marriage?) consisted of money, stone, animals, and other things.

The said Carmelo Barbara declares the he bought to his son a mule for the sum of 40 English pounds Sterling, which sum Carmelo has not yet received from Leonardo, his son.

The said Carmelo Barbara obliges each of his son and all his daughters to make him a mass for 2 English pounds Sterling.

The said Barbara confirms the will he made with his wife on the 2nd of November 1920.

The said Barbara made this will because he had the faculty of being able to change and nullify as per above mentioend will dated 2nd November 1920.

Made and published after all was explained to Barbara in Maltese in my office in Zurrieq No 66, Royal Street  in front of witnesses Carmelo, shop owner, and Salvatore, pensioner,brothers and sons of Saviour Sammut hereunder listed. Carmelo Barbara does not know how to write his name.

Carmelo Sammut
Salvatore Sammut
Francesco Farrugia
Notary Public,Malta

Thus, not only do we confirm that there was a sixth daughter to Carmelo and Giuseppa Barbara, but we discover that her name is Catherine (highlighted in bold above).

Thus, Catherine nee Barbara did not sell her share to my grandfather Antonio in 1963. Where did this share end up?

The other question: where did the inherited land come from? Who has the other half? remains unanswered. This will makes no mention of it, and probably we can only unravel more information if we are able to access the earlier will mentioned in the will above - that written by both Carmelo and Giuseppa on 2nd November 1920. Another email request to the Notary Archives will follow hastily this blog entry...


The above will was made on 8 July 1936, six years after the death of his wife in 12 Oct 1930. Dying six years (and one week!) later on 15th July 1942 at the age of 85, Carmelo was about 79 years old when he made the above will.

The spinster Francesca, mentioned in the above will as inheriting the houses, would have married and become  a widow of Giovanni Zammit by the time my grandfather Antonio bought her share of the inherited territory at Tal-Katina in 1963.

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