"Libro d'Oro di Melita"
The Noble family of Testaferrata, Patricians of Messina, (Branch #2, following the order established by the regrant of that title in 1792 to various lines)
- Line of the Marchese Daniele Testaferrata De Noto.
All Corrections/Additions are Welcome
Includes an examination of the remainder of the title of “Marchese Testaferrata”
* Mario Testaferrata de Robertis, (1654-1747), 1st Marchese Testaferrata (Cr: 1717) , “Marquis of San Vincenzo Ferreri”, (Cr: 1716 (?) (See: San Vincenzo Ferreri), “Most Illustrious and Noble” (1725) , married Firstly 1677 to Anna de Noto Cumbo, with issue, Married Secondly 1697 to Elisabetta Castelletti, with issue, Married thirdly 1727 to Alticunda Vassallo Castelletti, with issue.
(Mario Testaferrata First Marriage)
1. Enrico Testaferrata de Noto, Married 1730 to Felicita Cassar Desain, with issue.
1.1.Saveria Testaferrata., d.inf.
1.2.Gregorio Testaferrata., d.inf.
1.3. Daniele Testaferrata, -Patrician of Messina, married 1781 to Maria Sant, with issue.
1.3.1. Gregorio Augusto Testaferrata, (died 1828), married 1817 to Maria Testaferrata Viani (SEE: Testaferrata Branch #1 ), with issue.
184.108.40.206. Daniele Maria Testaferrata, (1819-63) married 1840 to Eugenia Bonici, with issue.
220.127.116.11.1. Emmanuele Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq, (1843-1903), (CLAIMANT TO THE TITLE OF Marchese Testaferrata (SEE FOOTNOTES BELOW) Married 1874 to Filomena de Piro, with issue.
18.104.22.168.1.1. Antonio Testaferrata Bonici, (1879- ob.Inf.)
22.214.171.124.1.2. Daniele Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq, (1880-1945), married 1910 to Agnese Galea Testaferrata, with issue.
126.96.36.199.1.2.1. Alfio Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq, (1911-88), 8th Marquis of San Vincenzo Ferreri, dunm
188.8.131.52.1.2.2. Lino Testaferrata Bonici, (1917-82), married 1948 to Maria Testaferrata Moroni Viani (Testaferrata Branch #4 ), with (female) issue-
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11. Agnese Testaferrata Bonnici Ghaxaq, SEE: claim of 1725 succession of San Vincenzo Ferreri married 1973 to Alfred Gera de Petri, B.Pharm, with issue
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1. Daniele Gera de Petri Testaferrata Bonnici Ghaxaq, KM, (1974-., married 2003 to Dr Enyd Pisani BA., LLD, with issue.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1.1. Gregorio Augusto de Petri Testaferrata, (2009-.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.2. Dr Andrea Gera de Petri Testaferrata Bonnici, LL.D, (1975-, married 2003 to Kate De Cesare., with issue.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.2.1. Georgia Gera de Petri, (2004-.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.2.2. Sophia Gera de Petri, (2006-.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.3. Giulia Gera de Petri Testaferrata Bonnici, (1982-, married 2007 to Dr Mark Attard Montalto (See San Paolino)
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Caren Testaferrata Bonnici., (1952-, married 1978 to Dr Josef John Preziosi MRCS (See Preziosi).
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52. Anna Maria Testaferrata Bonnici., (1961-., married 1984 to John Spiteri-Debono., with issue.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1. Dr Michela Consiglia Spiteri-Debono LLD., (1985-.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.2 Jean-Paul Spiteri Debono, (1991-.
126.96.36.199.1.2.3. Helen Testaferrata Bonnici, (1915-2004), married 1949 to F/Lt. Arthur Malcolm Miles., dsp.
188.8.131.52.1.2.4. Florence Testaferrata Bonnici, (1919-1978), married 1949 to Capt. Colin Davidson-Jenson, with issue.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11. Nicholas Jenson Testaferrata. B.Sc Hons (RUM), MSc (Soton), L.R.A.M., (1954-.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124. Irene Jenson Testaferrata, (1950-, married 1985 to Capt John Hamilton Bache, with issue.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1. Colin-David John Bache, (1986-.
184.108.40.206.1.3. Esther Testaferrata Bonici, married 6th Count Fournier, with issue.
220.127.116.11.1.4. Agata Testaferrata Bonici, married 1905 to her cousin (See Above) Philip Testaferrata Bonici, with issue.
18.104.22.168.2. Ignazio Testaferrata Bonici, (1848-1928), (CLAIMANT TO THE TITLE OF Marchese Testaferrata (SEE FOOTNOTES BELOW) married 1877 to Maria Carmela Testaferrata, with issue.
22.214.171.124.2.1. Philip Testaferrata Bonici, (1878-1933), married Agata Testaferrata Bonici (See Below.), with issue.
126.96.36.199.2.1.1. Dr Victor Emmanuele Testaferrata Bonici,MD., (1907-1976), married 1950 to Victoria Zammit Maempel, with issue.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206. Joseph Phillip Testaferrata Bonici, (present-day senior most male-to-male descendant of the Marchese Mario Testaferrata)
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168. Rita Testaferrata Bonici, (1952-
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199. Marie Testaferrata Bonici, (1954- , married 1986 to Nicholas Bianchi, with issue.
188.8.131.52.2.1.2. Maria Testaferrata Bonici, (1909-
184.108.40.206.2.1.3. Beatrice Testaferrata Bonici, (1911-, married Joseph Amato Gauci, with issue.
220.127.116.11.2.1.4. Josephine Testaferrata Bonici, (1913-
18.104.22.168.2.1.5. Lucy Testaferrata Bonici, (1916 - 2013), Married 1941 to Alfred Bencini, with issue.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199. Col. Dr Raymond Bencini MD.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206. Marlene Bencini.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168. Frida Bencini.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199. Denise Bencini.
188.8.131.52.2.2. Eugenia Testaferrata Bonici, (1892- 1963), married to Conte Joseph Charles Degiorgio.
184.108.40.206.3. Carmela Testaferrata, (1841-), married Nicola Maria Caruana Gatto.
220.127.116.11. Fr. Giovanni Francesco Testaferrata, dunm.
18.104.22.168. Arfio Filippo Testaferrata, (1823-77)., dunm.
22.214.171.124. Publio Testaferrata, (1821-...),married to Regina Galizia, with issue.
126.96.36.199.1. Augusto Gregorio Testaferrata, (1850- , married 1886 to Maria Testaferrata (See Above)., with issue..
188.8.131.52.1.1. Emmanuele Testaferrata, (1888 -), dunm.
184.108.40.206.1.2. Mario Testaferrata, (1891-), married to Antoinette Alessi, with issue. (Italy).
220.127.116.11.1.3. Stefania Testaferrata, (1894 -), dunm.
18.104.22.168.1.4. Mary Testaferrata, (1897 -), dunm
22.214.171.124.2. Tes'Attilio Testaferrata, (1852-, married 1881 to Yolanda Fontani (See Senia), with issue.
126.96.36.199.2.1. Publio Maria Testaferrata, (1885 -), dunm.
188.8.131.52.3. Niccolo Testaferrata , married 1879 to Nathalie Fontani (See Senia), with issue.
184.108.40.206.3.1. Nicola Testaferrata, (1901 -), married to Leopoldo Giappone.
220.127.116.11.4. Luigi Testaferrata, (1863- , CLAIMANT TO THE TITLE OF Marchese Testaferrata (SEE FOOTNOTES BELOW) married 1880 to Agnese Fontani (See Senia), with issue.
18.104.22.168.4.1. Regina Testaferrata, (1882 -), married 1915 to Maximiliano Said y Sedono.
22.214.171.124.4.2. Aloisea Testaferrata, (1885 -), married 1915 to Enrico Said y Sedono.
126.96.36.199.5. Carmela Augusta Testaferrata, (1844-, CLAIMANT TO THE TITLE OF Marchese Testaferrata (SEE FOOTNOTES BELOW) married 1877 to Vincenzo Cassar.
188.8.131.52.6. Giulia Testaferrata, (1860- , married 1895 to Enrico Farrugia.
184.108.40.206. Asteria Testaferrata, married 1843 to Major Cavarra, with issue.
220.127.116.11.1. Irene Cavarra, married Dr. Alfonso d'Armenia, LL.D, with issue.
1.3.2. Raffaele Testaferrata, married Maria Spiteri , with issue.
18.104.22.168. Daniele Testaferrata, married 1888 to Georgiana Alessi (See Taflia)., with issue.
22.214.171.124. Maria Testaferrata, married 1886 to Augusto Gregorio Testaferrata. (See Below).
1.3.3. Anna Marie Testaferrata, married Ignazio Bonnici - See Qlejjgha, with issue
1.3.4. Angelica Testaferrata, married Gio Antonio Apap - See Gnien is-Sultan, with issue.
1.3.5. Asteria Testaferrata., married 1803 at Valletta to Capt Augusto Bonnici-Gualtieri - See Dundee.
1.4.Pandolfo Testaferrata de Noto.-See Testaferrata Olivier. Married Firstly 1762 to Rosina Olivier de Puget Ducoss, with issue., Married Secondly to Rosalia Mallia Tabone dei Marchesi di Fiddien, with further issue. SEE Testaferrata Branch #3
1.5.Asteria Testaferrata, marriedGio Francesco D'Amico Castelletti Fiott Farrugia Inguanez, with issue.
(Mario Testaferrata Second Marriage)
3. Pulcheria Testaferrata Castelletti, married Pietro Antonio Testaferrata (See Castel Cicciano)
(Mario Testaferrata Third Marriage)
4. (Third Marriage) Gregorio Testaferrata Vassallo, (1740-...), dunm.
Footnote#1: In 1792, both lines of the Testaferrata family, by then subdivided into 4 distinct lines, were confirmed in the Dignity of Patrician of Messina granted to their common patrilineal ancestor Mariano Testaferrata on the 20th December 1553. (SEE: Testaferrata Branch #1 Testaferrata Branch #2 Testaferrata Branch #3Testaferrata Branch #4 ). The Royal Commission (1878) dismissed this title as a mere municipal honour. But see http://www.saidvassallo.com/SME/maltesenobility/nobility/Testaferratapatricanships.htm http://www.saidvassallo.com/SME/maltesenobility/patricansofmessinatestaferrata.htm http://www.saidvassallo.com/SME/maltesenobility/Melita/reassessingpatrician.htm and http://www.saidvassallo.com/SME/SME2/reassessmentofthemaltesenobility.html
Footnote#1: The title of Marchese was granted on the 13th July 1717, to Mario Testaferrata, by Victor-Amadeus, King of Sicily and Duke of Savoy. The patent of creation of this title is worded in Italian, and its operative clause runs thus:- (Translation) Hence it is that by these presents under our sign manual, of our certain knowledge, Royal authority, and absolute power, and with the advice of our Council we confer as a special favour on the said Mario Testaferrata, and all his legitimate and natural descendants successively, the title of Marquis, with all the privileges, prerogatives, dignities...which are or may be enjoyed by other marquises. We therefore command that all our magistrates, ministers, vassals, and all out subjects generally on this and on the other side of the sea...shall acknowledge as Marquis the said D. Mario Testaferrata, and his legitimate and natural descendants successivelyThe foregoing grant was made at Chambery, on the 13th July 1717, by the said King Victor-Amadeus, whilst he possessed not only the Duchy of Savoy but also the Kingdom of Sicily. The patent of creation bears the following heading:- Victor-Amadeus by the Grace of God King of Sicily, Jerusalem, and Cyprus, Duke of Savoy, Montferrat, and Aosta .and perpetual Vicar of the Empire; and in conferring the title the King declares that he avails himself of his Royal authority. See:- Correspondence and Report of the Commission appointed to enquire into the claims and grievances of the Maltese Nobility, May 1878, presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty (C.-2033.) (See Report Paras. 122-172). See also http://www.saidvassallo.com/SME/SME2/MarioTestaferrata.html
Footnote#2: At Maltese Law the title conferred on Mario Testaferrata is only a foreign title and, as such, it can be considered for the purposes of precedence only if registration or Magistral recognition has been achieved. in accordance with the rules of 1739 and 1795 as enacted by Grand Masters Despuig and Rohan. In this case, the Commissioners noted that the title was never registered in Malta, nor does it appear to have received direct recognition for the Grand Masters who ruled Malta See:- Correspondence and Report of the Commission appointed to enquire into the claims and grievances of the Maltese Nobility, May 1878, presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty (C.-2033.) (See Report Paras. 122-172). See http://www.saidvassallo.com/SME/maltesenobility/marchesetestaferrata.htm http://www.saidvassallo.com/SME/maltesenobility/Melita/MoredocumentationTestaferrata.htm http://www.saidvassallo.com/SME/SME2/MarioTestaferrata.htmlSee also http://www.saidvassallo.com/SME/maltesenobility/cassardesain.htm http://www.saidvassallo.com/SME/SME2/muddiedchampion.html http://www.saidvassallo.com/SME/SME2/Britishagenda.html
Footnote#3: Notwithstanding, its non recognition, the 1878 Commissioners went to some lengths to establish the proper remainder of the title granted to Mario Testaferrata in 1717. In fact the Commissioenrs remarked “The title is claimed by several gentlemen who assume that it is descendible to all the grantee?s contemporary lineal successors, and not to the first-born son exclusively, under the rule of primogeniture. If the title, however, is taken to extend to all the contemporary descendants of the person first ennobled, many other gentlemen who, like the claimants, are the descendants of Mario Testaferrata, would be equally entitled to the enjoyment of the present dignity”.
Footnote#4: From a reading of the 1878 Report, it appears that the claim for a multiple remainder originated a long time before then. In fact the 1878 report describes how on the 10th September 1772, after the death of Mario and of Enrico, his first-born by Anna De Noto his first wife, Enrico’s sons Daniele, Pandolfo and Asteria, on the one part, and Gilberto another son of Mario by Elisabetta Castelletti his second wife, on the other, after having brought against each other various suits, which were begun during the lifetime of Enrico, and were decided by the Rota Romana, agreed to compromise all matters between them. In order to stipulate this deed, there appeared Daniele in his own name and on behalf of his brother Pandolfo, and of his sister Asteria, wife of the Barone Giovanni Francesco Damico Inguanez, and Mario Testaferrata, son of Gilberto, as procurator of his father, and among other clauses, the following was agreed to:-Praefati quoque Dni contrahentes pro se et suis, convenerunt et convenient quod tam memoratus Dnus Don Gilbertus, ac sui filii et descendentes in infinituum, quam preti Dni Daniel, Don Pandulphus, et Donna Asteria eorumque filii et descendentes in infinitum, reciproce ac unite uti possint uti possint titulis omnibus honorificis atque nobilibus familiae competentibus, ac segnantur titulis Marchionatus Sancti Vincentii Ferreri et Marchionatus de Testaferrata et Equitis Sacri Romani Imperii, quorum copia uni alteri consignare debet, aliisque juribus etiam patronatus simplicis familiae competentibus et non aliter. See:- Correspondence and Report of the Commission appointed to enquire into the claims and grievances of the Maltese Nobility, May 1878, presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty (C.-2033.) (See Report Paras. 122-172).
Footnote#5: The 1878 Commissioners dismissed the validity of the 1772 agreement as follows: This is the so-termed patto di famiglia (Anglice, family compact), which after the death of Mario was entered into, and by which also Asteria, a daughter, and her descendants were admitted to bear all the titles belonging to the family, that of Marchese De Testaferrata included. But is the latter title, De Testaferrata, proceeding from the grant made by Victor-Amadeus, is not to be taken to extend to all the contemporary descendants of Mario, and if, whatever may be its extension, it was neither duly registered in these islands nor acknowledged by the local sovereigns, it is clear that the afore-said agreement is legally null and void. On the other hand, however, and according to the aforesaid judgment of 1887, the Court of Appeal observed as follows: Che, dall’ altro canto, pero’ e’ giusto rimarcare che nella transazione seguita per atti del Notaro Vittorio Giammalvadel 10 settembre 1773 (recte 1772) tra i figli di Don Mario Testaferrata, il primo concessionario del titolo, di cui e’ qestione, dopo di avere menzionato solo due titoli di Nobilta’, quello cioe di San Vincenzo Ferreri, e l’altro di Testaferrata (alledendo a quello conceduto da Vittorio Amadeo) era stato convenuto che tutti I figli con loro discendenti dovessero essere in liberta? di portare l’una e l’atra concessione.
Footnote#6: As at 1878, this title (because of its particularly wide remainder) was claimed by no less than six main claimants, each one backing his respective claim by forceful legal argument. These were Emmanuele Testaferrata Bonnici-Asciack, Lorenzo Antonio Testaferrata, Giuseppe Testaferrata Viani, Gio. Paolo Testaferrata Olivier de Puget, Lorenzo Antonio Cassar Desain ne Testaferrata and Ignazio Testaferrata Bonnici. However, the Commissioners noted that many others could make similar claims. See:-Correspondence and Report of the Commission appointed to enquire into the claims and grievances of the Maltese Nobility, May 1878, presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty (C.-2033.) (See Report Paras. 122-172). In fact by 1883, the claimants were joined by Luigi Testaferrata, Carmela Testaferrata, Giuseppe Apap Testaferrata and Francesco Gauci Testaferrata. See: Report of the Committee of Privileges of the Maltese Nobility on the claims of certain members of that body with the Secretary of State?s Reply, August 1883, presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty (C-3812).
Footnote#7: The Commissioners also noted that in the hypothesis that : the grant is held to be so unlimited as to include all the grantee’s descendants without any restriction, female descendants cannot by logical inference be excluded from the possession of the title, King Victor Amadeus himself in the grant of the title of Conte, conferred upon Giuseppe Preziosi, on the 19th October 1718, wishing to exclude from the succession of the grantee’s female issue, ordered that the title was to hold to the grantee and his legitimate and natural male descendants, in lawful wedlock begotten, whether born or to be born. See:- Correspondence and Report of the Commission appointed to enquire into the claims and grievances of the Maltese Nobility, May 1878, presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty (C.-2033.) (See Report Paras. 122-172).
Footnote#8: Published sources also show that two of the claimants namely Gio. Paolo Testaferrata Olivier de Puget and Lorenzo Antonio Cassar Desain ne Testaferrata were successful in obtaining recognitions extended by Grand Master Pinto of the title under discussion. Indeed, these published sources attribute the dates of 1745 and 1749 respectively as the dates when Grand Master Pinto ‘directly recognized’ the title granted to their respective forebears. This is not supported by the documentary evidence because when one of the claimants Emmanuele Testaferrata-Bonici-Asciack subsequently sued both Testaferrata Olivier and Cassar Desain (Judgment No. 71/1887 of H.M. Court of Appeal dated 8 January 1887), the court upheld Emmanuele Testaferrata Bonnici Asciak?s claim that he was to have the exclusive right to the title granted by Vittorio Amadeo, King of Sicily and Duke of Savoy after the same Testaferrata Olivier and Cassar Desain declared espressamente di essere stato a loro da Sua Maesta` la Regina accordato il titolo che portano, e non aggiungendo alcuna pretensione su quello conceduto da Vittorio Amadeo, in sostanza ammettendo la domanda dell? attore di essere egli solo, almeno per quanto concerne loro stessi, nel diritto di portare il titolo di Marchese conferito con quel Diploma. These declarations positively exclude any link between the title granted in 1717 and the aforesaid ‘recognitions’. Moreover, it is plain that by 1887, it had been long accepted (and admitted by both Cassar Desain and Testaferrata Olivier) that the title granted in 1717 had not been recognized by the Grand Masters in any form whatsoever.
Footnote#9: In the court proceedings culminating in the aforesaid judgemnt of 1887, both Cassar Desain and Testaferrata Olivier declared that dichiarando espressamente di essere a loro da Sua Maesta la Regina accordato il titolo che portano, e non aggiungendo alcuna pretensione su quello conceduto da Vittorio Amadeo. That is to say, Cassar Desain and Testaferrata Olivier declared that the titles enjoyed by them were by virtue of a grant by Queen Victoria.
Footnote#10: The same Mario Testaferrata made a will which was opened and published at Palermo by notary Dixidomino on the 16th April 1758, from which it appears that Mario, who therein styles himself as Marchese di San Vincenzo Ferreri:, and also Marchese de Testaferrata, disposed as follows: in toto integro et indeminuito patrimonio ac in dicto titulo Marchiones Sancti Vincentii nec non etiam in ejus Palatio, etc ejus haeredem universalem instituit, ac proprio ore nominavit et nominat D. Gilbertum Testaferrata ejus filium In the same testament, we find also the following clause: Et quia dictus illustris testator ultra dictos Dominum Gilbertum et D. Pulchram, ejus filios desuper contemplatos, alium ejus filium primi matrimonii vocatum D. Enricum Testaferrata . Et pro nonnullis ingratitudinibus disobedientiae, ac pro dubio insidiationis mortis ejusdem testatoris, ut ipse illustris asserit, etiam pro causa dissipationis nonnullorum bonorum mobiliumvigore praesentis, attentis juribus et rationibus desuper descriptis, dictus illus testator eumdem D. Henricum Testaferrata dishaereditavit, a substantia et patrimonio paterno privando et totaliter eumdem D. Henricum Testaferrata ejus filium tam a successione titolorum Marchionis Sancti Vincentii Ferreri et Testaferrata, quam a successione..et sic voluit et non aliter nec alio modo, et hoc non obstante quod fuisset per eundem illum testatorem facta wquaedam scriptura private, subscripta propria manu dicti illmi testatoris, in qua declarabat dictum D. Henricum ejus filium, successorem in Marchionem Sancti Vincentii Ferreri. See:- Correspondence and Report of the Commission appointed to enquire into the claims and grievances of the Maltese Nobility, May 1878, presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty (C.-2033.) (See Report Paras. 113-121). In the course of the 1878 inquiry, the 1878 Commissioners remarked But if, on the contrary, the title lawfully subsists, and it is inheritable by the first-born son only, under the rule of primogeniture, the marchese would be the said Emmanuele Testaferrata, should the disinheritance in Mario’s testament be void, but, if valid, the title belongs to the said Dr. Giuseppe Testaferrata. See:- Correspondence and Report of the Commission appointed to enquire into the claims and grievances of the Maltese Nobility, May 1878, presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty (C.-2033.) (See Report Paras. 122-172)
Special Terms: (wide interpretation) the grant is held to be so unlimited as to include all the grantee descendants without any restriction, female descendants cannot by logical inference be excluded from the possession of the title.