Title: Count
Title in succession:
Date created: 
(1465) 23 October 1783
Grant by:  
Grand Master de Rohan-Polduc
Granted To: Dr. Luigi Maria Gatto LL.D
Rep: Deguara Caruana Gatto
Remainder to:
his legitimate natural descendants in perpetuity
Present Holder:
Paul Deguara-Caruana-Gatto, Apap Bologna (2016)
Note: Title was granted without reference as to succession, first disallowed by British Commission 
who later regarded the grant as ad personam without the right of succession. It was in 1883 that the Com. of Privileges made a petition to the British Government which referred to Conte Nicolo Gatto LL.D as a descendant to de primogenito in primogenitum in infinitum according to the recognised feudal custom, admitted also by jurisprudence. 
British crown recognition: 1883
Feudal Tribute: a flower every year on the feast of St. Martin, Pope, 13th November

Coat of arms by designed by Andrea Sacco Baldacchino presented to Count Paul Deguara Gatto March 2016


Initially created in 1465 to the Perollo Family and re-granted in 1783 to Dr. Luigi Maria Gatto, LL.D, a Major of Cavalry under the Knights of St John, a Jurat, Lt-Colonel of Malta Provincial Battery, Royal Malta Fencible Regiment and Colonel commanding 1st division. A private secretary to Sir Alexander Ball, the first British Governor of Malta.

Saverio Gatt was Uditore held Office under three Grand Masters-Pinto, Ximenes and de Rohan. Gatt, who was one of the leading lawyers, is especially remembered for his great contribution towards the compilation of the code de Rohan. In 1783, his son Luigi was created the first Count of Beberrua, just one year after the publication of the code.

The title of Count of Beberrua was created by Grand Master de Rohan-Polduc. The title was granted without any reference as to succession for this reason it was at first disallowed by the Royal Commission, who regarded the grant as having been made ad personam, without the right of succession.

The committee of Privileges however , in 1883 presented a petition to the British Govt. in which it was argued that by the grant a real proper and noble fief had been erected . The petition goes on to say "All feuds are of their own nature perpetual and heritable to the male descendants of the grantee, the fact that no words in the patent direct the inheritance, does not make the grant endure for the life time of the grantee only".

But it lawfully endures for all the male issue de Primogenito in primogenitum infinitum according to the recognised feudal custom, admitted also by local jurisprudence.

These recognised principles of the law, we have had occasion to submit in the first part of their report, wherein it was stated that whenever there are no limitation restrictive clauses or words to direct the inheritance in the deed of grant . These principles obtain ex providentio regis, that we are not able to find reason why the title of Conte di Beberrua should have been considered as intended to endure only for the grantee`s lifetime.

Our opinion is that the title at the death of the grantee rested in Conte Nicolo Gatt LL.D , the surviving son of the person first ennobled, and that it should continue to descend de primogenito in primogenitum in finitum to the male descendants of the grantee. Under these circumstances we consider this title fully deserving the grant and favour of recognition from the Crown, that the bearer may have his name duly extended in the Official list if Titolate.

Luigi`s son Dr Nicolo Gatto LL.D 2nd count died unmarried and the title passed thru to his sisters son, Dr Antonio Caruana-Gatto M.D, who became the 3rd Count and also married the daughter of the Count of Santa Sofia, They had several children, and died in 1919.

Point in History: Count A. Caruana Gatto, born in Valletta 1892 was elected to the senate representing the Nobility in the Unione Politica Maltese. Before he became President he defended the interests of the Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce in a court case on the loss or witholding of books and of membership payment records that belonged to the society. He was proficient in english, Itailian, French, German and Greek and published several papers on various nature subjects and sat on gov't committee on fisheries, agriculture, antiques and that of the National Library.

Each child succeeded the title of Count, apart from the youngest daughter, Guiseppina, who married the 5th Marquis di Gnien-is-Sultan and produced a daughter, who was the 8th Countess of Beberrua.

The late Countess Maria Theresa Apap Bologna-Caruana-Gatto, Countess of Beberrua, married in 1956 to Joseph Deguara and had three children: Paul and his wife Maria Victoria (Max) nee' Zammit, Henry and his fiancee Madeleine Gera, Connie and her children Malcolm and Francesco, Maria Theresa sadly passed away on the 27th April 2014, ( )

Count Paul Deguara Caruana Gatto is the eldest son and inherited the Title of Count of Beberrua, married to Maria Victoria (2013).

A short version of the family tree of the Counts of Beberrua.

Dr Antonio Caruana Gatt LLD, 3rd Count of Beberrua (1839-1919), married 1863 to Vincenza Formosa de Fremaux

1. Dr Alfredo Caruana Gatto LL.D (1868-1926), 4th Count of Beberrua, married 1902 to Assiminia Roncali, and dsp.
2. Rev. Mgr. Roberto Caruana Gatto, 6th Count of Beberrua, (1871-1941), dunm
3. Dr Frederico Caruana Gatto LL.D 5th Count of Beberrua, (1873-1934) dunm.
4. Maria Caruana Gatt (1879-1952) 7th Countess of Beberrua, married Nicodemo Gandolfi, and dsp.
5. Guiseppina Caruana Gatto (1884-1939), married 1922 to Paolo Nicola Apap Bologna, 5th Marquis di Gnien is Sultan
5.1. Maria Theresia Apap Bologna Caruana Gatto (1923-2014), 8th Countess di Beberrua, married 1956 to Joseph Deguara
5.1.1. Paul Deguara Caruana Gatto (1959-, 9th Count della Beberrua, married to Maria Victoria aka Max Zammit in 2013
5.1.2. Henry Deguara Caruana Gatto (1960-   ,engaged to Madeleine Gera
5.1.3. Constance Deguara Caruana Gatto (1957-, was married Francis Cachia Caruana with issue (see below)

A more detailed version of the family tree of the Counts of Beberrua.

Notary Tomaso Gatt, married Rosa Maria Camilleri, with issue.

1. Uditor Francesco Saverio Gatto, married 1751 to Maria Angelica Aquilina, with issue.
1.1. Dr Luigi Maria Gatto, LL.D (1762-1825), 1st Count of Beberrua (Cr:1783)-See Below.

1.2. Fra. M'Angelo Gatto, dunm.
1.3. Vernanda Gatto, married Marquis Girolamo Delicata, (See Ghajn Qajjed).
2. Giovanna Gatto, married Felice Ferranti, with issue.
3. Dr. Federico Gatto, married Chiara Mannarino, with issue.
3.1. Rosa Gatto, married Giovanni Debono, with issue.
3.1.1. Federico Debono, married Angelica Burlo, with issue. Giuseppe Debono. Edward Debono. Rosa Debono, married Vincenzo Formosa. Giovanna Debono, married Giuseppe Cuschieri. Fortunata Debono, married Emmanuele NN. Giuditta Debono.
3.1.2. Innocenza Gatto, married Carmelo Camilleri, with issue. Giovanna Camilleri, married (1) to Saverio Coen., Married (2) Saverio Borg. Rosa Camilleri, married Dr. Salvatore de Salvo. Adelaide Camilleri, married 1844 to Alessandro Preziosi. Amabile Camilleri.
3.2. Maria Giuseppa Gatto, married 1790 to Emanuele Borg Olivier, with issue.
4. Dr. Tomaso Gatto JUD., married 1772 to Teresa Dandalona., with issue.
4.1. Canon. Carlo Gatto., dunm.
4.2. Dr. Gregorio Gatto JUD., married Agata Bonavita.
4.3. Giuseppe Gatto.
4.4. Maddalena Gatto.
4.5. Graziulla Gatto., married Notary Niccolo Decelis., with issue.
4.5.1. Maddalena Decelis., married 1796 to Gio Niccolo dei Baroni Gauci-Ducoss.
4.5.2. Carlo Decelis., married Maria Debono. (Natural) Francesca Decelis., married 1827 to Emmanuele Muscat d'Angely, (Natural son of the Baroness of Benwarred).

Dr Luigi Maria Gatto, LL.D (1762-1825), 1st Count of Beberrua (Cr:1783),

Married (1) 1784 to Marianna Dingli.
Married (2)1795 to Francesca Saveria Xerri, Daughter of Giovanni Xerri, Esq.

1. (Second Marriage) Dr Nicola Gatto, LL.D, 2nd Count
2. Angelica Gatto, married 1830 to Dr G.S. Caruana, LL.D, with issue

2.1. Dr Antonio Caruana Gatto, LL.D, 3rd Count-

3. Eugenia Gatto, married 1819 to Giuseppe Bonici, with issue.
3.1. Filomaria Bonici-Gatto.
3.2. Elena Bonici-Gatto.
3.3. Elisabetta Bonici-Gatto.
3.4. Paolina Bonici-Gatto.
3.5. Lucia Bonici-Gatto.
3.6. Daniela Bonici-Gatto.

Dr Nicolo Gatto LL.D (1800-91), 2nd Count of Beberrua, dunm.

Dr Antonio Caruana Gatto, M.D. (1839-1919), 3rd Count of Beberrua,

Married 1867 to Vincenza Formosa Montalto de Fremaux dei Conti di Santa Sofia, with issue

1. Dr Alfredo Caruana Gatto, LL.D, 4th Count-

2. Rev. Mgr. Roberto Caruana Gatto, 6th Count-

3. Dr Federico Caruana Gatto, LL.D, 5th Count-

4. Maria Caruana Gatto, 7th Countess-

5. Giuseppina Caruana Gatto (1884-1939), Married 1922 to Paolo Nicolo Apap Bologna, 5th Marquis di Gnien-is-Sultan (See that Title).
5.1. Maria Teresa Apap Bologna Caruana Gatto (1923-2014),
Acknowledged by the COP as the 8th Countess of Beberrua, Married 1956 to Joseph Deguara, with issue (*11)

5.1.1. Paul Deguara Caruana Gatto 9th Count of Beberrua (1959-    , married to Maria Victoria aka Max Zammit in 2013
5.1.2. Henry Deguara Caruana Gatto (1960-  , Engaged to Madeleine Gera
5.1.3. Corinne Deguara Caruana Gatto (1957-, married 1984 to Francis Cachia Caruana, (See Ghariexem e Tabia for descent), with issue. Malcolm Cachia Caruana, (1985- Francesco Cachia Caruana, (1987-

Nobile Dr Alfredo Caruana Gatto, LL.D ( 1869-1926), 4th Count of Beberrua,
Married 1902 to Assiminia Roncali (Daughter of Dr. Zaccaria Roncali, LL.D, Puisne Judge of Malta) and Dsp.

Nobile Dr Federico Caruana Gatto, LL.D, (1873-1934), 5th Count of Beberrua, and dunm.  

Nobile Rev. Mgr. Roberto Caruana Gatto, (1871-1941), 6th Count of Beberrua, dunm  

Nobile Maria Caruana Gatto, (1879-1952), 7th Countess of Beberrua, Married to Nicodemo Gandolfo, and dsp.

Maria Teresa Apap Bologna Caruana Gatto (1923-2014), 8th Countess of Beberrua, Married 1956 to Joseph Deguara, with issue (see 5.1 above)

Paul Deguara Gatto, 9th Count of Beberrua (COP - February 2016), married 2013 to Maria Victoria nee' Zammit.

(IF THERE ARE ANY UPDATES TO ANY TREES, PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL  [email protected] ' 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:// '
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., Research site.
10) Sant Fournier, Unpublished research papers

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