"Libro d'Oro di Melita"
The family of Viani, Baroni della Tabria (1728), Most Illustrious and Noble (1730)
All Corrections/Additions are Welcome
This family is NOT listed as a noble family in “Descrittione di Malta” (1647) however it was granted a hereditary title of Barone from Grand Master Vilhena. The Viani family is a ‘new’ family in Malta, and its male line appears to be extinct.
Claudio Viani, of Nizzardo, Italy, married Clara.. with issue
1. Petro Viani, married 1571 Gudja to Margherita Barbara, with issue.
1.1. Vincenzo Viani, married Paolina……….., with issue,
1.1.1. Claudio Viani, married Imperia Ciantar, with issue.
220.127.116.11. Amadeo Viani, married 1639 Birgu to Anna Gandolfo, with issue
18.104.22.168.1. Vincenzo Viani, married 1663 Valletta to Maddalena Pensa, with issue
22.214.171.124.1.1. Isidore Viani, 1st Baron - See Below.
126.96.36.199.1.2. Anna Viani, married 1691 to Dr Massimiliano Olivier de Puget, with issue.
188.8.131.52.1.3. Angelica Viani, married 1695 to Andrea Grech. (son of Carlo and Grazia Ravier)
184.108.40.206.1.4. Franco Viani., married to Anna N, with issue.
220.127.116.11.1.4.1. Gio Maria Viani., married (1) Teresa N.., married (2) 1738 to Teresa Cilia.
18.104.22.168.2. Maruzza Viani, married 1660 to Eugenio Carletto, with issue.
22.214.171.124.2.1. Rosa Carletto, married 1694 to Tomaso Bonet, with issue
126.96.36.199.2.1.1. Caterina Bonet, married 1715 Valletta to Tomaso Serra, with issue.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206. Teresa Serra, married 1733 to Benjamin Caruana, with issue.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.1. Polixenia Caruana, married 1761 to M'Angelo Churcop.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.2. Saveria Caruana, married Lorenzo Grech.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.3. Anna Caruana, married Franco Pace, with issue.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.3.1. Benedetto Pace.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.4. Domenica Caruana, married Giovanni Azzopardi.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.5. Giuseppe Caruana, married Maria Mallia.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168. Margherita Serra, married 1742 to Salvo Mifsud.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199. Maria Serra, married 1747 to Andrea Tehi.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206. Evangelista Serra, married 1750 to Franco Muscat. Married 1766 to Michel Caruana.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168. M'Angelo Serra, married 1755 to Maria Caruana., with issue.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.1. Giuseppe Serra., married 1799 to Anna Said.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.2. Antonio Serra, married 1795 Cospicua to Caterina Giuliano, with issue.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.2.1. Giovanni Serra, (1806 Senglea - ), married 1823 to Teresa Farrugia, with issue.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.2.1.1. Tommaso Serra, (1848 Smyrna Turkey -), married to Giovanna Vitale, with issue.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11. Polycarp Serra, (1889 Smyrna Turkey -), married 1915 Izmir Turkey to Pavlina Buttigieg.
18.104.22.168.2.2. Marino Carlett, married 1707 to Grazia Spiteri, with issue.
22.214.171.124.2.2.1. Tihee Carlett, married 1731 to Barbara Calleja.
126.96.36.199.2.2.2. Tomaso Carlett, married 1732 to Caterina Grech, with issue.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206. Giovanna Carlett, married 1763 to Salvatore Bondin.
220.127.116.11. Gio Batta Viani, married 1630 to Maruzza Agius, with issue.
18.104.22.168.1. Veronica Viani, married 1653 to Jean Ollivier de Puget.
22.214.171.124. Caterina Viani, married 1627 to Matteolo Savona.
1.1.2. Marietta Viani, married 1610 to Giacomo Galea, (son of Niccolo and Giannella), with issue.
126.96.36.199. Angelica Galea, married 1647 to Bartolomeo Tanti, with issue
188.8.131.52. Dr. Filippo Galea JUD, married Flaminea Vassallo, with issue.
184.108.40.206.1. Marcellina Galea, married 1690 to Ludovico Gatto, with issue. (See Benwarred).
3. Angelica Viani, married 1610 to Matteolo Borg (son of Bendio and Marietta).
2. Giovanna Viani, married Boniface Armosa di Marsiglia.
* Isidore Viani, 1st Baron of Tabria, (Cr:1726) , Most Illustrious and Noble (1730), Married 1702 to Teodora Attard Gauci, with issue.
1. Gio Batta Viani, 2nd Baron-See Below.
2. Carlo Viani, married 1735 to Francesca dei Conti Wizzini, with issue.
2.1. Isidore Viani, married 1770 to Elisabetta Testaferrata with issue.
2.1.1. Stefano Viani, married 1825 to Antonia Sceberras., with issue.
220.127.116.11. Elizabetta Viani, married 1850 to Giorgio Mallia Tabone.
2.1.2. Carlo Viani, married 1792 Palermo Sicily to Donna Maria Caterina Tomasi dei Principe di Lampedusa., with issue.
18.104.22.168. Isidore Viani Tomasi, (1794-1864 New York City, USA), Migrated to USA 1815 from London. (Married with issue in USA)
22.214.171.124. Vincenzo Viani Tomasi, (1796-1851 New York City USA), Migrated to USA 1815. (Married with issue).
126.96.36.199. Tomaso Viani Tomasi, (1802-69 Palermo, Sicily), married with issue.
188.8.131.52. Patrizio Viani Tomasi, (1805-74 Palermo Sicily)., married with issue.
2.2. Teodora Viani, married 1765 to Giuseppe Testaferrata SEE: Testaferrata Branch #1
3. Barbara Viani.
4. Anna Luisa Viani.
5. Marianna Viani, married Daniel Sherman, (1721-99), Representative in the Assembly of the USA., with issue.
Footnote#1: Owing to a great abuse which had crept in, of notaries and lawyers giving the style of Nobile and Illustrissimo to many persons indiscriminately in public documents, the Grand Master de Vilhena issued a Pragmatic in the year 1725 in which he criminalized such unauthorized use. A copy verbatim of the Pragmatic dated 30th April 1725 is found in the sub-Enclosure in Enclosure No. 3 in the letter from Governor Simmons to The Earl of Derby dated 28 October 1884 which is published in Copies or Extracts of Correspondence with reference to the Maltese Nobility (In Continuation of C-3812) presented to the House of Lords by Command of Her Majesty, May 1886. In the said copy verbatim, there is what appears to be an exhaustive list of the persons who at different times received from the said Grandmaster and his successors, an exception from the aforesaid pragmatic, thereby allowing them the right to use the styles of Most Illustrious and Noble, namely: (1) Milite Barone Marc' Antonio Inguanez (See Djar il-Bniet) and his wife Baronessa Inguanez (See Gomerino) (30 April 1725); (2)Barone di Cicciano Fabritio Testaferrata (See:Castel Cicciano) and his mother the Baronessa di Gomerino Beatrice Cassia Testaferrata (See Gomerino), (11 May 1725), (3) Marchese di San Vincenzo Ferreri Mario Testaferrata (See: San Vincenzo Ferreri) (9 July 1725), (4) Carlo Falson (See Falson), and Eleanora Testaferrata (See: Capo di Ferro) (13 June 1726), (5) Barone di San Marciano Diego Galea Feriolo (See: San Marciano), (2 September 1726), (6) Barone Gio Pio De Piro (See De Piro) (19 March 1727), (7) Canon Giuseppe di Costanzo (See Paganica), and Donna Rosa (See De Noto),widow of Gio Battista di Costanzo (24 May 1729), (8) Barone Isidoro Viani (See: Tabria), (27 June 1730), (9) D. Vincenzo Platamone (See Platamone),and Antonio Bonnici (??), (10) Baldassare Bonnici (13 January 1732), (11) Calcerano Mompalao (See: Mompalao)), Giuseppe and Caterina Cuschieri (See: Frigenuini) (6 March 1732), (12) Barone Saverio Gatt (See: Benwarrad) (23 August 1737), (13) Signor Ludovico Bianchi (See: Bianchi) (25 October 1741), (14) Dr.Ugolino Bonnici (5 September 1794), (15) Dr. Saverio Crispo (See:Crispo) (??)
Footnote#2: The title of Barone della Tabria was granted by Grand Master Manoel de Vilhena, by patent, on the 11th December 1728, to the nobleman Isidoro Viani, and to one of his male or female descendents, with power to each holder of the title to name his successor: He was invested in that title on the 21 December 1728. Succession to the title was not complete until the successor was invested.
Footnote #3: The Grand Masters created a number of titles which contemplated the right to nominate a successor. e.g. Gomerino (Testaferrata et Cassia - 1710), Budack (De Piro- 1716), San Marciano (Galea Feriolo - 1726), Tabria (Viani - 1728), Culeja (Bonnici - 1737), and Marsa (Castelletti – 1725). The faculty to nominate a successor was effective only if sanctioned by the Grand Master.
* Gio Battista Viani, 2nd Baron of Tabria, Married 1733 to Maria Teresa Bonici, with issue.
1. Francesca Viani, declined the succession in 1784 in favour of her nephew with the Grand Master’s consent., dunm.
2. Anna Viani, married 1762 to Marchese Mario Testaferrata Castelletti, with issue SEE: Testaferrata Branch #1
Footnote#1: Gio Battista Viani was invested in the title by Grand Master Raimondo Despuig on the 18 January 1740.
Footnote#2: Gio Battista died in 1784 leaving two daughters. The eldest, Francesca who was unmarried suffered a profonda malinconia after her father died and was put in the care of a curator. However she soon recovered and personally petitioned the Grand Master within the peremptory term of un anno ed un giorno a supplicare l’Investitura that her nephew the Marchese Giuseppe Testaferrata Viani be invested in her stead. Francesca’s petition was upheld on the 14 October 1784 and Giuseppe was duly invested by the Grand Master on the 22 October 1784 as the third holder. National Library of Malta Collections Archives of the Order, Volume 589, f.323r; 1194, ff.170r, 333r-338r
Footnote#3: Marquis Giuseppe Testaferrata Viani (senior) was the third and last person to have been formally invested in the 1728 title of Baron Viani of Tabria.
Following the 1784 investiture, and order of primogeniture, succession is reckoned as follows: Isidoro Viani, (1st Baron), Gio Batta Viani (2nd), Giuseppe Testaferrata Viani (3rd), Gilberto Testaferrata Viani (4th), Giuseppe Testaferrata Viani (5th), Salvatore Testaferrata Moroni Viani (6th), Pietro Paolo Testaferrata Moroni Viani (7th), Salvino Testaferrata Moroni Viani (8th).
It appears that the Marchese Giuseppe (3rd) “donated” the title of Tabria to his younger son Mario (4th, succeeding by ‘donation’) by virtue of a deed in the acts of Notary Lorenzo Antonio Azzopardi of the 16th June 1834. Published sources do not make any reference to this transaction:- this is probably because of the principle that private transactions regarding titles of nobility are null and void (See notes above).
On the other hand, Giuseppe Testaferrata Viani (5th) is noted as having ‘nominated’ this title to his younger nephew Rosario Testaferrata Moroni Viani (6th Baron, succeeding ‘by nomination’). This private transaction was upheld as valid by a judgment dated 4 October 1894 (Testaferrata Moroni Viani vs Testaferrata Moroni Viani).
Following this private transaction, supplemented by the aforesaid judgment ulterior enumeration is as follows: Mary Violet Scicluna (7th, following a ‘nomination’ in favour of Rosario), Patrick Scicluna (8th Baron, younger son of Mary Violet ‘by nomination’).
Furthermore, said Patrick Scicluna is also noted as having died in 1978 without nominating a successor and that in 1983 this title was ‘brought out of abeyance’ in favour of his elder brother Joseph Scicluna (9th Baron, ‘brought out of abeyance’), who in turn passed the title by means of a deed made in the acts of Notary Jeanette Laferla Saliba of the 14 January 1985 n to a kinswoman Lilianina Bugeja nee Falzon Sant Manduca (‘by a transfer inter vivos, and ratification”) and that this transaction was ‘ratified’ by the Committee of Privileges 25th July 1985. According to Maltese media reports, Bugeja died, also without having made a nomination, and the title was ‘awarded’ to the Sciclunas’ sister Corinne Ramsay. Some court cases were instigated both by Bugeja’s son Philip as well as Ramsay and her daughter Christianne. During the court cases it resulted that Joseph Scicluna had also made a will in favour of Lilianina Bugeja. However, in each case the Maltese Courts declared themselves to have no jurisdiction to hear such matters because Malta had legislated in 1975 (Act XXIX of 1975) against recognition of nobiliary titles in any form whatsoever.
Special Terms (Grant): Tibi Nobili Isidoro Viani et post tui obitum uni ex filiis vel filiabus legitimis et naturalibus ex te legitime procreatis vel procreandis, quem vel quam omni futuro constitutus seu respective constituta, malueritis eligendum vel eligendam. Et in casu tui vel tuorum in infinitu decessus absque ulla nominatione vel elctione successoris in dicto titulo, ex nunc censeatur nominatus et electus primogenitus, nisi erit ad sacros ordines promotus et in religione professus, et in defectu marium, foemina primogenita..."