Gomerino

 

Title: Baroness
Title in succession:
10th
Date created:
1710
Grant by:  
Grand Master Ramon Perellos y Rocaful
Granted To: Paolo Testaferrata and his wife Beatrice Cassia 9th Baroness of Castel Cicciano
Rep: Testaferrata Abela
Remainder to:
descendants in perpetuity each holder of the title having the right to nominate a successor
Present Holder:
Myriam Chemel Testaferrata Abela Callus
Note: The fief is known as Sant Antonio tal-Ghemieri, was given in allodium by Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt on Gio Maria Cassia from whom it was inherited by his grand daughter Beatrice who in 1710 was confirmed as Baroness.

 

The fief of Gomerino (originally Ghemieri) was granted to many family with a colourful history added to the fief’s prestige.

The following families were granted or purchased the fief were Surdo in 1317; Solimella in 1318; Ragusa 1318; Santa Sofia 1398; Perello 1481 and the present grant to the Testaferrata (see History of the Testaferrata family )in 1710.

   

 

Veneranda nee' Abela with her grandson 5th Baron di Gomerino who was born the same year his father died, married three times and became Governor of Gozo under British rule (taken from the book 'Costumes of Malta').

The fief also know as ‘Sant Antonio tal-Ghemieri’ was originally conferred in allodium by the Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt on Gio Maria Cassia from which it was inherited by his grand niece, Beatrice who was in 1710 confirmed as Baroness.

The present Grant was jointly created to Paolo Testaferrata  and his wife Beatrice Cassia, 9th Baroness di Castel Cicciani ( See the history of Cassia)  on 24th December 1710, with remainder to their descendants in perpetuity each holder of the title having the right to nominate a successor, in default of nomination to the first born male descendant, and in absence  of male issue, to the first born female descendant. Members of the clergy are precluded from succession by primogeniture

The title was succeeded with the second Baron with the Barony of Castel Cicciano, and by act of nomination to his brother as successor of the Barony of Gomerino, and later head of the House of Testaferrata.

After the destruction of the Cathedral at Mdina, the chapter met and approved the plans to have it rebuilt and it was also decided to buy and demolish all the houses adjacent to the site to provide an extension of the 'piazza' in front of the new Cathedral. One of the houses needed belonged to Baron Paolo Testaferrata, who refused to sell his property despite an offer of 650 scudi. Baron Paolo did not want to negotiate and after an interval of several months, an angry mob pulled down part of his house. In 1694 it was recorded that the Baron was willing to give his house, to extend the piazza. In the event Paolo never sold the house to the Cathedral, it was eventually purchased by a third party who subsequently sold it to the Chapter in the first decade of the eighteenth century.




Fabritio, the second Baron di Castel Cicciano was in 1714 appointed Desositario in addition to being the administrator of the Grand Master's property. Baron Fabritio remained in office for the next twenty-nine years. With the appointment of Paolo Passionei as the new Inquisitor in 1743, Fabritio asked to be relieved of the duties of his post while retaining the rights and prerogatives to which he was entitled. These included that of keeping the reversions of the office in his own family, even in default of male heirs. Unfamiliar with these traditional prerogatives, Passionei proposed a certain Canon Grech to succeed Fabritio, who had no male heirs.

An artist's impression of the Baron Gomerino
permission granted by the artist Kenneth Zammit Tabona


In August 1744 Fabritio died. His daughter Clara, who married Michele Sceberras, became the Baroness di Castel Cicciano, whilst the Gomerino was bequested to Fabrito's brother Ercole. The appointment of Signor Ercole Testaferrata, as Depositario in succession to Fabritio, was made directly by the Holy Office on 10 October 1744, and showed the importance that Rome attached to this post being held by a Testaferrata. His nomination created no problems because 'he has his brother's surname'. Passionei resented Ercole's appointment not only because he had never recommended him, also because Ercole's own brother had refused to renounce the patient in his favour on the grounds of Ercole's infirmities, old age and lack of certain personal qualities. The Holy Office was also asked to reconsider its decision in view of Ercole's precarious financial postion. According to the Inquisitor, the real wealth of the Testaferratas was in the entail which had all been inherited by the Sceberras family, and Ercole was dependant on his wife's dowry as his own income was earmarked for the payment of outstanding debts. But despite these protests Ercole was confirmed in his appointment, until he died on 11 October 1748.

The Inquisitor's remarks were only partially correct. An inventory drawn up by Notary Tommaso Gatt on 3 July 1750 gives us an idea of the wealth of Baron Ercole Testaferrata and his wife Veneranda dei Baroni Abela. They had an income of 2368 scudi, 5 tari about half of which (1202 scudi, 3 Taru) were provided by Ercole who inherited the Barony di Gomerino from his brother. As a fief of Gomerino, yielded 600 scudi annually one may infer that Ercole's personal income was only 602 scudi, 3 tar from the lands he inherited himself as the secondogenito. Apart from Gomerino, Ercole's other sources of income were four shops and two cellars under his house which was situated in St Paul Street, 'Behind the vegetable Market' in Valetta, and a house and two shops in Mdina. His rural territories consisted of sixteen holdings in Malta and Gozo.
The fields of Busbesia in Mosta, Hamrija, Dahla and Ta Sellum in Boschetto, Ta Zchiehi in Sant'Andrea, Tbied Ismiar in Ghajn Dwieli, Ta Salvatur in Naxxar, the Gardens in Casal Nuovo, Issinet ta Ghelmus, Il Habel di San Cosmo, and ta Cassar.


The next Despositario to be chosen was Ercole's son Paolo. A long drawn-out dispute between Paolo and the Bologna family, over the fulfilment of a marriage contract, was brought before the Court of the Inquisition. The dispute was amicably settled through the personal intervention of Inquisitor Salviati, and the following year Paolo married Vincenza Matilda Bologna. But the Despositario was a very sick man, and in June 1760, Paolo died in Augusta, Sicily. The administration of the office was, strangely enough carried out by his wife, the Baroness Vincenza Matilda who subsequently gave birth to his son, Pietro Paolo Testaferrata. In 1762, she decided to give up the administration, but finally dissuaded by her husband's uncle Canon Testaferrata. Inquisitor Durini had, on several occasions, tried to persuade the Monsignor to accept the Office. Seeing that his niece's Retirement might jeopardize her son's future claim to the Office, Canon Testaferrata accepted the nomination but made it clear that his neice would have to remain as the procurator of her son.. Durini could not approve such an arrangement and, in his letter of 17 June 1762, he expressed his concern of having a Despositario who was eighty five years old and , for the best part of the year, confined to his bed. With his death in 1763, Baroness Vincenza Matilda accepted the administration until her son became of age.

It appears, that fourteen years later the Baroness was still a patentee of the Holy Office, and occupying the Post. But in 1778, she had retired in favour of her son, Pietro Paolo who was only seventeen years old. He was the fourteenth member of the family to be appointed Despositario and remained in office until the tribunal itself was abolished by Napoleon in 1798.

The last Inquisitor, Guilio Carpegna, in one of his final despatches, had nothing but praise for the 'faithful family', but especially for the Baronessa who was in Carpegna's opinion, 'the prototype of a titled Maltese Lady'.




The title was succeeded from father to son , with expectations of nominations to younger sons until 1959, with the death of the 9th Baron, who was unmarried . The title was succeeded by his sister , who is currently the Present holder and the 10th Baroness.

Adriana Maria Testaferrata-Abela’s heir is her sister’s descendants from her marriage to Dr. Frank Callus M.D, thus supposedly bringing the end of Testaferrata domination to the Gomerino title.

In April 2004, the Noble Myriam Chemel Callus Testaferrata Abela was recognised as the eleventh Baroness of Gomerino by the Committee of Privileges. 

A genealogical Account of the Barons of Gomerino:

* Paolo and Beatrice Testaferrata were created joint Baron and Baroness of Gomerino in 1710.
Published sources show Fabrizio as having succeeded Paolo after his death (in 1714, not 1713 – see inscription in Cospicua Church ). However the truth is that Fabrizio was never invested in the title of Gomerino.
Ercole Martino was invested on
the 1st May 1737 as Baron of Gomerino (National Library of Malta Collections – Archives of the Order Volume 541, f. 184r). Moreover, it was only in 1744 that Ercole Martino (already Baron of Gomerino) received the property of Gomerino by virtue of Fabrizio’s will. You will realize that there has been some confusion in published sources between the ownership of the property of Gomerino and the succession of the title of Gomerino. As Ercole was formally invested after Beatrice, it follows that the enumeration should be as follows: 

1. Fabrizio Testaferrata, 10th Baron of Castel Cicciano-See Castel Cicciano.
2. Ercole Testaferrata, 2nd Baron-See Below.
3. Eugenia Testaferrata, married 1st Baron of Qlejjgha, with issue.
4. Giovanna Testaferrata, married 1st Count of Catena, with issue.


Pietro Testaferrata Abela (c 1760-1827), 5th Barone di Gomerino, married firstly 1781 Marie Manduca and dsp, married secondly 1786 to Laudonia dei Conti Moroni, and married thirdly to Countess Teresa Buzzi-Rainier

* Ercole Testaferrata, 2nd Baron

1. Paolo Testaferrata Abela, 3rd Baron-See Below.
2. Maria Testaferrata Abela, married 2nd Marquis de Piro, with issue.

* Paolo Testaferrata Abela, (1736-60), 3rd Baron of Gomerino,
Married 1752 to Vincenza Malitlda Perdicomati Bologna dei Conti della Catena, with issue



1. Pietro Paolo Testaferrata Abela, 4th Baron-See Below.

* Pietro Paolo Testaferrata Abela, (1760-1827), 4th Baron of Gomerino,
Married 1781 to Maria Manduca Piscopo Macedonia dei Conti di Mont'Alto, and dsp.
Married Secondly 1786 to Laudonia dei Conti
Moroni , with issue.
Married Thirdly 1803 to Contessa Teresa Buzzi Rainier, with further issue.




1. (Second Marriage) Giuseppe Testaferrata Abela, (1792-1869), Baroncino di Gomerino, married Vincenza Gauci Ducoss, Dowagner Marchioness of Ghajn Qajjed, with issue.
1.1. Dr Pietro Paolo Testaferrata Testaferrata Abela Moroni, LL.D, (1830-82), married 1863 to Maria Angelica Testaferrata Viani dei Baroni di Tabria, with issue
1.1.1. Salvatore Testaferrata Moroni Viani
1.1.2. Rosario Testaferrata Moroni Viani, 7th Baron of Tabria-(See Tabria).
1.1.3. Luisa Testaferrata Moroni Viani, (1864-..)
1.1.4. Giuseppe Testaferrata Moroni Viani, (1870-..)
1.1.5. Riccardo Testaferrata Moroni Viani, (1868-..)
2. Maria Testaferrata Abela., married 1816 to Aloiseo Lazzarini.
3. (Third Marriage) Francesco Testaferrata Abela, 5th Baron-See Below.
4. Ettore Testaferrata Abela, Married to Maria Anderson and dsp.
5. Augusto Testaferrata Abela, 6th Baron
-See Below.
6. Adelaide Testaferrata Abela, married 4th Count Fournier.

* Francesco Testaferrata Abela, 5th Baron of Gomerino, and dunm.

* Augusto Testaferrata Abela, CMG., (1823-85), 6th Baron of Gomerino,
Married 1850 to Angelica Tagliaferro, with issue


1. Ugo Testaferrata Abela, 7th Baron-See Below.
2. Hector Testaferrata Abela, (1855-1904), married Joan Sammut, with issue
2.1. Augusto Testaferrata Abela, (1885-..)
2.2. Hector Testaferrata Abela, (1888-..), married Pia Sammut Inglott, with issue
2.2.1. . Giovanni Ercole Testaferrata Abela., married Veronica ....
2.2.1.1. Julian Testaferrata Abela (c 1970-
2.3. Angela Testaferrata Abela, (1886-..)
2.4. Maria Testaferrata Abela, (1895-..)
2.5. Inez Testaferrata Abela, (1895-...)
3. Teresa Testaferrata Abela, (1853-1928), married Sir Philip Sceberras.Kt.Bach., with issue (See Castel Cicciano)
4. Olimpia Testaferrata Abela, (1866-1915), married Philip Kirton, with issue.
4.1. Hugh Kirton, (1891-
4.2. Godfrey Kirton, (1898-
4.3. George Kirton, (1900-
4.4. Phillip Kirton, (1901-
4.5. Arthur Kirton, (1903-
5. Stella Testaferrata Abela, (1871-..), married 1885 to Joseph Ricardo dei Marchesi Bugeja, with issue. (See Bugeja in Foreign Titles or Maltese families)


* Ugo Testaferrata Abela, (1852-1914),7th Baron of Gomerino,
Married 1905 to Louisa Borg Cardona, with issue


1. Pietro Paolo Testaferrata Abela, 8th Baron-See Below.
2. Adriana Maria Testaferrata Abela, 9th Baroness-See Below.
3. Maria Stella Testaferrata Abela, (1909-died) , Baronessina di Gomerino, married 1942 to Dr Frank Callus, M.D., with issue.
3.1. Myriam Callus Testaferrata Abela, (1943-,
Acknowledged by the COP/LOM as the 10th Baroness of Gomerino., married 1973, to Alan Chemel, with issue
3.1.1. Elizabeth Chemel Testaferrata Abela, (1975-, Engaged to John Manche.
3.2. Victoria Callus, (1949- , Married 1971 to Anthony Tabone, with issue.
3.2.1. Peter Tabone, (1977-
3.2.2. Paula Tabone, (1972-, married to Sandro Micallef , with issue
3.2.2.1. Julia Micallef, (2001-
3.2.3. Francesca Tabone, (1979-
4. Sister Pia Maria Testaferrata Abela, Sister of the Order of Mary, Help of Christians, (1911-76), dunm.
5. Aurea Maria Testaferrata Abela, (1912-

* Pietro Paolo Testaferrata Abela, (1906-59), 8th Baron of Gomerino, dunm.

* Adriana Maria Testaferrata Abela, (1907-2002), 9th Baroness of Gomerino, dunm.

 

Testaferrata connection :

1. (second mariage) Guiseppe Testaferrata Abela (c 1792-1869), Baroncino di Gomerino, married 1826 to Vincenza Gauci-Ducoss.
1.1. Dr Pietro Testaferrata Abela Moroni LLD. (c 1830-82), married 1863 to Maria Angelica Testaferrata Viani 
1.1.1. Salvatore Testaferrata Moroni Abela (c 1866-1911) Baroncino della Tabria, married to Caroline Barbaro Sant
1.1.1.1. Pietro Paolo Testaferrata Moroni Viani (died 1954) Barone Testaferrata, married 1922 to Carmela Cremona
1.1.1.1.1. Barone Salvino Testaferrata Moroni Viani , Marquis Testaferrata Moroni Viani (cr:1986), married 1962 to Monika Ammerman
1.1.1.1.1.1. Christopher Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1964- Baroncino Testaferrata, married 18 May 1991 to Daniela Vinci
1.1.1.1.1.1.1. Stephen Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1994-
1.1.1.1.1.2. Dr Martin Testaferrata Moroni Viani LLD, (c 1969- Marquis Testaferrata Moroni Viani (cr: 1993-
1.1.1.1.1.3. Carmen Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1963-67)
1.1.1.1.2. Mario Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1932-, married 1957 to Jane Borg Hampton
1.1.1.1.2.1. Peter Paul Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1960- , married Theresa Vincenti-Kind
1.1.1.1.2.1.1. Sarah Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1986-
1.1.1.1.2.1.2. Mark Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1988-
1.1.1.1.2.1.3. Peter Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1994-
1.1.1.1.2.2. Paul Stephen Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1965-, married Clara Galea
1.1.1.1.2.2.1. Luke Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1994-
1.1.1.1.2.3. Caroline Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1958-, married Gerald Zammit
1.1.1.1.2.3.1. Matthew Zammit 
1.1.1.1.2.3.2. Amanda Zammit 
1.1.1.1.3. Beatrice Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1927-
1.1.1.1.4. Maria Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c1923-, married 1948 to Lino Testaferrata Bonici, 7th Barone della Qlejgha 
1.1.2. Guiseppe Testaferrata Moroni Abela (c 1870-), dunm
1.1.3. Riccardo Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1868-) dunm
1.1.4. Rosario Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1871-1935), 6th Barone della Tabria, married 1895 to Maria Mizzi (Barons of Tabria)
1.1.4.2. Beatrice Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1888-
1.1.4.3. Clovina Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1890-
1.1.4.4. Mary Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1899- 
1.1.5. Laura Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1864-
2. (third marriage) Francesco Testaferrata Abela , 5th Barone di Gomerino, dunm
3. Ettore Testaferrata Abela, married Maria Anderson, dsp.
4. Augusto Testaferrata Abela (c 1823-85), 6th Barone della Gomerino, married 1850 to Angelica dei Conti Tagliaferro
4.1. Ugo Testaferrata Abela (c 1852-1914), 7th Barone della Gomerino, married 1905 to Louise Borg Cardona
4.1.1. Pietro Paolo Testaferrata Abela (c 1906-59), 8th Barone della Gomerino, dunm.
4.1.2. Adrianna Testaferrata Abela (c 1907- , 9th Baroness di Gomerino
4.1.3. Maria Stella Testaferrata Abela (c 1909-, Baronessina di Gomerino , married 1942 to Dr Francis Callus MD
4.1.3.1. Myriam Callus Testaferrata Abela (c 1943-, married Alan Chemel - 10th Baroness di Gomerino by the COP
4.1.3.1.1. Elizabeth Chemel Testaferrata Abela (c 1975- Heir to the Title should be the 11th Title Holder !)
4.1.3.2. Victoria Callus (c 1949-, married Anthony Tabone
4.1.3.2.1. Peter Tabone (c 1977-
4.1.3.2.2. Paula Tabone (c 1972-
4.1.3.2.3. Francesca Tabone (c 1979-
4.1.4. Sister Pia Maria Testaferrata Abela (c 1911-76), dunm.
4.1.5. Aurea Testaferrata Abela (c 1912-
4.2. Ettore Testaferrata Abela (c 1855-1904), married 1884 to Joan Samut
4.2.1. Augusto Testaferrata Abela (c 1885-
4.2.2. Hector Testaferrata Abela (c 1888-, married Pia Sammut Inglott
4.2.2.1. Giovanni Ercole Testaferrata Abela (c , married Veronica....
4.2.2.1.1. Julian Testaferrata Abela (c 1970-
4.2.3. Angela Testaferrata Abela (c 1886-
4.2.4. Maria Testaferrata Abela (c 1893-
4.2.5. Inez Testaferrata Abela (c 1895-
4.3. Teresa Testaferrata Abela , married Sir Filippo Sceberras Kt, MD
4.4. Olimpia Testaferrata Abela, married Philip F.Kirton
5. Adelaide Testaferrata Abela, married 1838 to Lazzaro Sant Fournier, 4th Count Fournier, Barone de Pausier.

(IF THERE ARE ANY UPDATES TO ANY TREES, PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO 'tancarville@optusnet.com.au  ' or doverville@orbit.net.mt stating site you seen the genealogical tree and updates.)


References: 1) Gauci,C.A.," The Genealogy and Heraldry of the Noble Families of Malta", Gulf Publishing Ltd, Malta, 1981.
2) Gauci,C.A.," The Genealogy and Heraldry of the Noble Families of Malta, Volume Two", Publishers Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd, 1992.
3) Gauci,C.A and Mallet, P.,"The Palaeologos Family- A Genealogical Review" ,Publishers Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd, 1985
4) Gauci, C.A.," A Guide to the Maltese Nobility", Publishers Enterprise Group (PEG) Ltd, Malta, 1986.
5) Montalto, J., "The Nobles of Malta-1530-1800", Midsea Books Ltd, Malta, 1980.
6) De Piro, N., "Casa Rocco Piccola", The Conde' Nast Publications 1999.' Http://www.vol.net.mt/casarocca '
7) Giles Ash, S., "The Nobility of Malta", Publishers Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd, 1988.
8) Said Vassallo, C.M., Unpublished research papers.
9) Said Vassallo, C.M., Maltagenealogy.com Research site 

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