San Giovanni


Title: Baron
Title in succession:
Date created: 
1657 (1777)
King Philip IV of Spain
Granted To: Vincenzo Abela
Rep: Chapelle
Remainder to:
the heirs each title holder having the right to nominate his or her successor
Present Holder:
Note: The title became extinct in 1746 but was revived by Ferdinand I, in favour of Serafino Ciantar, 
3rd Count of Ciantar Paleologo a kinsman of Vincenzo Abela. This re-grant was made in 
Palermo in 1777, was registered at the Chancellory of the Order and given full recognition by the Grand Masters. 


The fief of San Giovanni was first created in 1657 at Messina to Dr Vincenzo Abela LL.D by King Philip IV of Spain, as King of Sicily with remainder to his heirs of his body each holder having the right to nominate his or her successor. 

The third Barony di San Giovanni was presented in 1657 at Messina to Vincenzo Abela, whose family has , one hundred years earlier, emigrated to Sicily from Malta. Abela's descendants subsequently returned to Malta, but apparently the title was never officially claimed until 117 years later by Count Serafino Ciantar

This fief is situated in Sicily , the title becme extinct in 1746 but it was revived by Ferdinand I, King of Two Sicilies in favour of Serafino Ciantar , 3rd Count Ciantar-Paleologo, a kinsman of Vincenzo Abela. The re-grant which was made in Palermo in 1677 was registered at the chancellery of the Order and for matters of precedence in Malta, the title is taken as having been created in 1777. 


Baron Frans Chappelle Paleologo's brother Roger Chappelle with his son Roger and his daughters Lucy Parnis , Giorgina de Giorgio (mother of Chev. Roger de Giorgio  KT) and Lily Pecramenos.

Excerpt from a letter sent on the 20 October 2000, from Raphael Camilleri Parlato (who put this picture right!;

I have seen the site on the Barons of San Giovanni . I am afraid that the same mistake was made as in the Book "Costumes in Malta "  The picture captioned Baron Chappelle and his daughters is wrong completely. That was the Baron's brother , Roger. The baron was married to Arrigo and his daughters were Countess Lola Preziozi , Luiga Vadala Chapelle and Joseph Chappelle , the present Baron's father. That picture is not the Baron , but his brother Roger Chappelle ., with his daughters Giorgina de Giorgio, Lucy Parnis and Lily Pecromenos. They are cousins of my wife!. Please e-mail: [email protected]  .

Upon the death of the 3rd Baron , also 5th Count Ciantar-Paleologo, the Barony was bequeathing to his nephew ‘ex sorore’ Alessandro Chapelle, brother also to the future 7th Count Ciantar-Paleologo ( see Ciantar-Paleologo).  

Sir Alexandro Chapelle Kt , LL.D , succeeded as the 4th Baron, and the title passed to the present holder from father to son… 

The last holder of the Title Francis Chapelle, 7th Baron di San Giovanni , succeeded to the title in 1962. 

Chapelle FRANCIS ANTHONY, passed away on March 17, 2011 - 7th Baron of San Giovanni, of St Julians, aged 77.

His heir is his eldest daughter, Francesca Chapelle.  

A family account of the Counts Ciantar Paleologo and the Barons di San Giovanni

Giovanni Battista Ciantar-Paleologo, 4th Count Ciantar-Paleologo, 2nd Barone di San Giovanni (c 1777-1856) married Margarita Farrugia-Mannarino

1. Sir Giorgio Serafino Ciantar-Paleologo, 5th Conte Ciantar-Paleologo, 3rd Barone di San Giovanni (c 1818-1887), dunm.
2. Guiseppe Ciantar-Paleologo, 6th Conte Ciantar-Paleologo, dunm.
3. Otto Ciantar-Paleologo, died 1731, unm.
4. Fr. Paolo Ciantar-Paleologo, dunm.
5. Elena Ciantar-Paleologo, married Judge Francesco Chapelle (Psaila)-The present holders of the Titles.
5.1. Dr Giovanni Chapelle Paleologo LL.D (1835-1901), 7th Count Ciantar Paleologo, married 1866 to Emilie Castaldi (See the Counts Ciantar-Paleologo)

5.2. Sir Alessandro Chapelle, 4th Baron di San Giovanni (1839-1909), married 1865 to Ludgarda Mifsud
5.2.1. Frans Chapelle (1866-1934), 5th Baron di San Giovanni, married 1893 to Mary Arrigo Joseph Chapelle (1894- ??), 6th Baron di San Giovanni, married 1931 to Kathleen Peel Francis Chapelle (1933-2011) , 7th Baron di San Giovanni, married to Ann Portanier Francesca Chapelle (1970- Diane Chapelle (1933-2006) Ludgarda Chapelle, married the 8th Count Preziosi, with issue
5.3. Maria Regina Chapelle, married Giuseppe Borg Olivier de Puget (See Princes of Selimbria)
5.4. Fortunata Chapelle, married Dr Filippo dei Conti Preziosi, with issue
6. Sr. Elisabeth Ciantar-Paleologo, 'Nun' dunm.

(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.)

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

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