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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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:
and Beatrice Testaferrata were created joint Baron and Baroness of
Gomerino in 1710.
sources show Fabrizio as having succeeded Paolo after his death (in 1714,
not 1713 - see inscription in
However the truth is that Fabrizio was never invested in the title of
Ercole Martino was invested on
1st May 1737
as Baron of Gomerino (National Library of
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
2. Ercole Testaferrata, 2nd
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
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
Married Thirdly 1803 to Contessa Teresa Buzzi Rainier, with further issue.
(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
3. (Third Marriage) Francesco Testaferrata Abela, 5th Baron-See
4. Ettore Testaferrata Abela, Married to Maria Anderson and dsp.
5. Augusto Testaferrata Abela, 6th Baron-See
6. Adelaide Testaferrata Abela, married 4th
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
Ugo Testaferrata Abela, 7th Baron-See
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
2.2.1. . Giovanni Ercole Testaferrata Abela., married Veronica ....
18.104.22.168. 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
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
Ugo Testaferrata Abela, (1852-1914),7th Baron of Gomerino,
Married 1905 to Louisa Borg Cardona, with issue
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
22.214.171.124. 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,
Testaferrata connection :
1. (second mariage) Guiseppe
Testaferrata Abela (c 1792-1869), Baroncino di Gomerino, married 1826 to
1.1. Dr Pietro Testaferrata Abela Moroni LLD. (c
1830-82), married 1863 to Maria Angelica Testaferrata
1.1.1. Salvatore Testaferrata Moroni Abela (c 1866-1911)
Baroncino della Tabria, married to Caroline Barbaro Sant
Pietro Paolo Testaferrata Moroni Viani (died 1954) Barone Testaferrata,
married 1922 to Carmela Cremona
126.96.36.199.1. Barone Salvino Testaferrata
Moroni Viani , Marquis Testaferrata Moroni Viani (cr:1986), married 1962
to Monika Ammerman
188.8.131.52.1.1. Christopher Testaferrata Moroni Viani
(c 1964- Baroncino Testaferrata, married 18 May 1991 to Daniela
184.108.40.206.1.1.1. Stephen Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c
220.127.116.11.1.2. Dr Martin Testaferrata Moroni Viani LLD, (c 1969-
Marquis Testaferrata Moroni Viani (cr: 1993-
Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1963-67)
18.104.22.168.2. Mario Testaferrata
Moroni Viani (c 1932-, married 1957 to Jane Borg Hampton
Peter Paul Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1960- , married Theresa Vincenti-Kind
22.214.171.124.2.1.1. Sarah Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c
126.96.36.199.2.1.2. Mark Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c
188.8.131.52.2.1.3. Peter Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c
184.108.40.206.2.2. Paul Stephen Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1965-,
married Clara Galea
220.127.116.11.2.2.1. Luke Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c
18.104.22.168.2.3. Caroline Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1958-, married
22.214.171.124.2.3.1. Matthew Zammit
126.96.36.199.3. Beatrice Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c
188.8.131.52.4. Maria Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c1923-, married 1948
to Lino Testaferrata Bonici, 7th Barone della Qlejgha
Guiseppe Testaferrata Moroni Abela (c 1870-), dunm
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)
184.108.40.206. Beatrice Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c
220.127.116.11. Clovina Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1890-
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
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.
Adrianna Testaferrata Abela (c 1907- , 9th Baroness di Gomerino
Maria Stella Testaferrata Abela (c 1909-, Baronessina di Gomerino ,
married 1942 to Dr Francis Callus MD
18.104.22.168. Myriam Callus
Testaferrata Abela (c 1943-, married Alan Chemel - 10th Baroness di
Gomerino by the COP
Chemel Testaferrata Abela (c 1975- Heir to the Title should be the 11th
Title Holder !)
22.214.171.124. Victoria Callus (c 1949-,
married Anthony Tabone
126.96.36.199.1. Peter Tabone (c 1977-
Paula Tabone (c 1972-
188.8.131.52.3. Francesca Tabone (c 1979-
Sister Pia Maria Testaferrata Abela (c 1911-76), dunm.
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
184.108.40.206. Giovanni Ercole Testaferrata Abela (c , married
220.127.116.11.1. Julian Testaferrata Abela (c 1970-
Angela Testaferrata Abela (c 1886-
4.2.4. Maria Testaferrata Abela (c
4.2.5. Inez Testaferrata Abela (c 1895-
Testaferrata Abela , married Sir Filippo Sceberras Kt, MD
Testaferrata Abela, married Philip F.Kirton
5. Adelaide Testaferrata
Abela, married 1838 to Lazzaro Sant Fournier, 4th Count Fournier, Barone
(IF THERE ARE ANY UPDATES TO ANY TREES, PLEASE SEND AN
EMAIL TO '[email protected]
' or [email protected] stating
site you seen the genealogical tree and updates.)
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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.
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"The Nobles of Malta-1530-1800", Midsea Books Ltd, Malta, 1980.
Piro, N., "Casa Rocco Piccola", The Conde' Nast Publications 1999.'
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Malta", Publishers Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd, 1988.
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C.M., Unpublished research papers.
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Maltagenealogy.com Research site