"Libro d'Oro di Melita"

"Counts of Senia"

The Coat of Arms of the 4th Contessa di Senia, and The Grand Master de Rohan.




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An Interview with Independant Malta 14-06-2015 with Marchese Patrice Roulet Fontani, "Contino della Senia"



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Last Update: 15-06-2015.


Jean II de Rohan, sn de Tregallet, etc, d.1517; m.1st 1500 Guillemette Malor, Dame de
Marzein et de Desmellen; m.2d Francoise Laurens

1.Tristan de Rohan, sn du Poulduc, etc; m.Alix de Brebant
1.3.Louis de Rohan, sn du Poulduc, etc, d.1584; m.1577 Michelle de l'Hopital
1.3.1.Jerome de Rohan, sn du Poulduc; m.1610 Julienne Le Metayer de Rohan, sn du Poulduc, d.after 21 Jan 1669; m.1638 Alienor de Kerpoisson Baptiste I de Rohan, sn du Poulduc, d.1711; m.1690 Pelagie Martin, Dame de Chateaulon Baptiste II de Rohan, Cte du Poulduc, d.1755; m.1723 Marie Louise de Velthoven Baptiste Emanuel de Rohan, b.1724
Francois Marie des Neiges Emanuel de Rohan, sn du Henleix, Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, b.1725, d.Malta 1797, Sired a Son and several other children by Giovanna Crespi. (died 1799)
Note: Giovanna Crespi, was found a husband by the Grand Master de Rohan from Florence. Giovanna married in 1783 to Lorenzo Fontani, son of Phillip of Florence, Italy. Giovanna also married in 1799 to the French Captain Antoine Gastinel (Castinel) of Senez, France. Giovanna died in childbirth of a daughter called Giacobina Gastinel Crespi (b.1799). Reference: The French in Malta, 1798-1800 by Carmelo Testa, 1997, Midseas Books Ltd, Malta. Vincenzo Fontani Crespi (1784-1844). 1st Count of Senia in Malta (cr:1795), (See Below) Antonia Fontani Crespi, married 1805 to
Leopoldo Zahra Clinquant Manuela Fontani Crespi., married 1810 to Richard Stevens of England. Lorenzo Fontani Crespi., married 1805 to
Contessa Teodora Preziosi., with issue. Antoine Fontani, (1809-74), married 1831 to Donna Maddalena Agras dei Duchi di Castelluccio., with issue. Teodora Fontani, (1833-)., married 1846 to Marchese Francesco Alessi di Marchesi di Taflia. Antonia Fontani, (1835-)., married 1848 to Marchese Giorgio Alessi di Marchesi di Taflia. Elizabetta Fontani, (1837-)., married 1853 to Marchese Enrico Alessi di Marchesi di Taflia. Lorenzo Fontani, (1838-49), dunm. Francois Antoine de Rohan. Cyriaque de Rohan. Jean Leonard Gabriel Raimond de Rohan, Abbot of Monlieu, d.1748 Marie Pelagie de Rohan, (1724-ca 1753); m.1737 Cte Francois de Groesquer Jean Louis de Rohan, d.after 1719 Prudentiane de Rohan. Jean de Rohan, sn du Poulduc, d.1726; m.1690 Marie de Trello de Rohan; m.Francois de Broel, sn de La Negrie de Rohan; m.1638 Jean de Coetlagat, sn de Clegrio
1.3.2.Samsonne de Rohan; m.Francois Josset, sn de Kerfredoux
1.4. Isabeau de Rohan.
1.5. Francoise de Rohan.
1.6. Catherine de Rohan.
1.7.Jeanne de Rohan
2.Ponceau de Rohan; m.1514 Madeleine Boissot
3.Gillette de Rohan, Dame de Marzein (1500-ca 1530); m.1521 Marc de Carne, sn de Cohignac
4.Jeanne de Rohan; m.1526 Pierre Ermar, sn de Coetdolo
de Rohan


* Vincenzo Fontani Crespi (1784-1844), 1st Conte di Senia, (cr:1795). Created Count Palatine of the Austrian Empire on the year of 1824 by Emperor Francis II, married 1803 to Marchesa Elisabetta Alessi dei Marchesi della Taflia, with issue

1. Marchese Luigi Fontani Alessi , “2nd"  Conte - See Below.

2. Marchese Lorenzo Fontani, ( 1816-98 Alexandria Egypt)., married 1845 to Diane Curry, with issue.

2.1. Marchesa Elisabetta Fontani,  (1847-81 Alexandria Egypt)., married 1871 to Onorato Alessi Fontani dei Marchesi di Taflia.

2.2. Marchesa Rachel Fontani, (1848-), married 1871 to Carlo Alessi Fontani dei Marchesi di Taflia.

2.3. Marchesa Yolanda Fontani, (1851-)., married 1881 to Marchese Tes'Attilio Testaferrata.

2.4. Marchese Benjamin Fontani, 4th Count Palatine of the Austrian Empire., (1852-1916 Cape Hope, South Africia), married Vittoria Scicluna., with issue.

2.4.1. Marchese Lorenzo Fontani, (1885-1949 Cape Hope SA) 5th Count Palatine of the Austrian Empire, married 1912 to Countess Henrietta Potocki, with issue. Marchese Vincenzo Fontani, (1916 -54), 6th Count Palatine of the Austrian Empire, married 1943 to Eileen Walker, with issue. Marchese Benjamin Fontani, (1947-, 7th Count Palatine of the Austrian Empire, married 1985 to Marchesa Fredericka Fontani, with issue. Marchese Lucas Fontani, (1990-, married 2014 Melbourne, VIC to Ursola Sommerville, with issue. Marchese Ben Fontani, (2015 -. Marchesa Katherine Fontani, (1993-, married 2015 Cape Hope, SA to Russell Sommerville. Marchesa Louise Fontani, (1950 -, married 1983 to Roger Jones. Marchesa Elizabeth Fontani, (1953 -, married 1985 to Albert van der Linden. Marchesa Veronica Fontani, (1955-, married 1986 to Thomas Packham. Marchesa Charlotte Fontani, (1919 - 2009), married 1943 to Marchese Anthony Fontani, (See below). Marchesa Leonora Fontani, (1922- 1998), married 1945 to Marchese Vincent Fontani, (See below).

2.4.2. Marchese Antony Fontani, (1889-1955), married 1915 to Baroness Freda AF Schoulton, with issue. Marchese Athony Fontani, (1917 - 1983), married 1943 to Marchesa Charlotte Fontani (See above), with issue. Marchesa Fredericka Fontani, (1946 - 2015), married Marchese Benjamin Fontani (See above).

2.4.3. Marchesa Eleanora Fontani, (1891-1986), married 1920 to Baron von Troll.

2.4.4. Marchesa Henrietta Maria Fontani, (1894-1971), married 1917 to Baron von Hoven.

2.4.5. Marchese Henry Fontani, (1896-1943), married 1918 to Baroness Victoria von Hahn, with issue.

2.5. Marchese Stephan Fontani, (1855-1921 Port Said Egypt)., married Concetta Scicluna., with issue.

2.5.1. Marchese Vincenzo Fontani, (1890-1946), married 1915 to Baroness Marie Catherine von Dolwig, with issue. Marchese Vincent Fontani, (1918- 2009), married 1945 to Marchesa Leonora Fontani (See above), with issue.

2.5.2. Marchesa Ursula Fontani, (1893-1976), married 1917 to Baron von Nolde.

2.5.3. Marchesa Janet Fontani, (1894-1937), married 1919 to Baron von Rosen.

3. Marchese Edoardo Fontani, (1819-68)., (married 1845 to Modesta Sant Fournier., with issue.

3.1. Marchese Vincenzo Fontani, (1846-99)., married to Antonia Camilleri., with issue.

3.1.1. Marchese Vincenzo Fontani, (1884-1941) married 1908 to Baroness Yolanda Orgies-Rutenburg, with issue.

3.1.2. Marchesa Maria Antonia Fontani, (1886-1929), married 1906 to Baron von Richter.

3.1.3. Marchese Thomas Fontani, (1889-1984), married 1910 to Baroness Octavia Ceumern, with issue.

3.2. Marchese Carlo Fontani, (1849-)., married to Helene Abela., with issue.

3.3. Marchese Thomas Fontani, (1852-)., married to Donna Ursula Pileri., with issue.

3.3. Marchese Pietro Fontani, (1855-), married to Maria Teresa Cassar Desain., with issue, with issue.

3.3.1. Marchese Edward Fontani, (1875 Tunis - 1927 Port Said), married 1900 Port Said to Francesca Preziosi, with issue. Marchesa Patricia Fontani, (1901 Port Said - 1952, Perth, WA), Nun. Marchese Leonardo Fontani, (1903 Port Said - 1992 Melbourne, Vic), married with issue. Marchese Charles Fontani, (1906 Port Said - 1963 Melbourne, VIC), married with issue. Marchese Felix Fontani, (1909 Port Said - 1944 WWII in France), married 1942 to Baroness Elizabeth Bieschin, with issue. Marchesa Mary Rose Fontani, (1943 London - ), married 1968 Bath to Andrew Smith. Marchese Enrico Fontani, (1911 Port Said -2001 San Francisco, California), Priest..

3.4. Marchesa Nathalie Fontani, (1856-)., married 1879 to Marchese Niccolo Testaferrata., with issue.

3.5. Marchesa Ingrid Fontani, (1857-)., married to Temistole Delicata.

3.6. Marchesa Agnese Fontani, (1859-)., married 1880 to Marchese Luigi Testaferrata.

3.7. Marchese Daniele Fontani, (1861-95)., dunm.

3.8. Marchese Basile Fontani, (1863-1931 Ontario Canada)., married 1883 to Maria Giuseppa Filomena dei Principe Said., with issue.

3.8.1. Marchese Vincenzo Fontani, (1886-1954 Ontario, Canada), married 1917 to Baroness Antoinette von Boenninghavson, with issue. Marchesa Maria Dolores Fontani, (1921 - 2013), married 1937 to Charles Somerville.

3.8.2. Marchesa Georgiana Fontani, (1891-1975), married 1919 Count Brunnow.

3.9. Marchese Napoleon Richardo Fontani, (1866-1949 Stradbroke England)., married 1885 to Maria Angela dei Principe Said., with issue.

3.9.1. Marchese John Fontani, (1897-1961 Stradbroke, England), married 1925 to Baroness Maria von Saltza, with issue.

3.9.2. Marchesa Katherine Fontaini, (1898-1922), married to Prince Charles Axacov.

3.9.3. Marchesa Vera Fontani, (1901-62), married 1924 to Prince Ovroussov.

3.9.4. Marchesa Daniela Fontani, (1905-1999), married 1930 to Prince Perse.

4. Marchese Mons. Carlo Fontani, (1825-1911), Priest, dunm.

5. Marchesa Giovanna Fontani, (1817-71)., married 1841 to Odoardo Mallia Tabone dei Marchesi di Fiddien., with issue.

6. Marchesa Edwina Fontani (1822-1913)., married George Curry., with issue.


Footnote#1: The much publicized circumstances surrounding the patent of Conte of the lands denominated della Senia and situated in the Marsa District, granted by Grand Master Rohan on the 6th June 1795, to the infant Vincenzo Fontani indicate a very familiar link between the Grand Master and the grantee. This consideration may shed some light on the particular remainder of this grant. According to the grant dated 6th June 1795 the title of Conte is to descend to the issue male and female of the grantee, without any limitation. The following is an extract from the patent of creation: - Nobili Puero Vincentio Fontani Crespi, te tuosque descendentes comitem et comites territorii seu possessionis dictae ta Senia posita in hac nostra insula,in loco della Marsa, tuosque utriusque sexus filios et descendentes, comitem et comites praefati territorii sive possessionis ta Senia dicimus et nominamus


Footnote#2: Published sources show the title of Conte della Senia as being inheritable successively in the primogenial line. This is manifestly unfounded because the title does not have a primogenial remainder but a wide remainder to all descendents. This was in fact observed by the Royal Commissioners in their report. However the Commissioners at that time did not see any immediate need to examine the implications of the remainder. (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. 78-79). In the general part of the report, the Royal Commissioners identified this title together with Bahria and delle Catene as being the only exceptions to the general practice of the Grand Masters to grant merely honorary titles which had no relevance on property tenure. (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. 82). Unlike Catena (where the grant refers to an indivisible entail) and Bahria (where the grant rendered the property a fief), it does not appear from the terms of the relative grant that the tenure of the property of Senia was constrained by the limitations of indivisibility.


Footnote#3: Given however, the Commissioners own statement in the general part of the Report that this title is not a nominal title but a landed one, one must conclude that in view of the divisible nature of the property in question which is neither entailed nor enfeoffed then the title is to be extended by all of the grantees descendants who participate in the property known as Senia. See also http://www.maltagenealogy.com/SME/senia.html



* Marchese Luigi Fontani Alessi (1815-86), 2nd Conte di Senia and Count Palatine, married 1836 to Nobile Rosalea Manduca dei Conti di Mont'Alto, with issue

1. Marchese Vincenzo Fontani Manduca, 3rd Conte - See Below.

2. Marchesa Gertrude Fontani Manduca, married to Calcedonio Manduca dei Conti di Mont'Alto.
3. Marchesa Annette Fontani Manduca (1839-1878), married 1859 to Dr Luigi Zahra Crinquant MD, with issue
3.1. Marchesa Rosalea Crinquant Fontani, 4th Contessa - See Below.
3.2. Marchesa Anne Crinquant Fontani (1867-1948), married 1888 to Feruccio Loffredo, with issue
3.2.1. Marchesa Maria Loffredo, married 1907 to Giuseppe Galdes of Algeria, with issue Marchese Augustine Galdes (died as an infant). Marchese Simone Galdes (1911- ), dunm.
3.2.2. Marchesa Louisette Loffredo, married firstly to Pasquale Gaudino, and married secondly in 1929 to Louis Cocoozoa, with no issue from either marriages.
3.2.3. Marchese Augustine Loffredo, married 1921 to Francesco Camilleri, dsp.
3.3. Marchesa Gertrude Clinquant Fontani (1869-1946), married 1886 Balzan to Giuseppe Bugeja, with issue
3.3.1. Marchese Vincenzo Bugeja (1887-1953)., married 1935 to Helen Salamone, with issue. Marchese Joseph Bugeja Fontani KM, (1941-, married 1966 to Amalia Nicolas, with issue. Marchese Mark Bugeja Fontani, (1968-, married to Stephanie Spiteri, with issue Marchese Michael Bugeja Fontani, (2002- Marchesa Susan Bugeja Fontani, (1969- , married Paul Sultana, with issue Marchese Andrew Sultana, (2003- Marchese James Bugeja Fontani, (1972-
3.3.2. Marchese Alberto Bugeja (1890- ), married 1925 to Giuseppa Camilleri, with issue Marchesa Anna Bugeja, married to Lawrence Wirth, with issue. Marchesa Patricia Bugeja, married to Anthony Bartolo Parnis, (d. 2012)., with issue. Marchesa Joanna Bartolo Parnis, married to Paul Bonnici. Marchese George Bartolo Parnis, married to Silvana N. Marchese Anthony Bartolo Parnis, married to Greta Barbara, with issue. Marchese Ignatius Bugeja, married with issue.

3.3.3. Marchesa Annetta Bugeja (1892-), married John Attard Montalto.
3.3.4. Marchese Emanuel Bugeja (1893- ), married Katherine Jussila, with issue
3.3.5. Marchese Charles Bugeja (1900- ), married 1923 to Adela Hesses, with issue Marchese John Bugeja, married 1963 to Lilianana Falson Sant Manduca, Baroness of Tabria, with issue.
3.4. Marchesa Elena Crinquant Fontani (1874-1925), married 1898 to George J. Turnbull. with issue.
3.4.1. Marchesa Mary Turnbull (1899- ), married 1946 to Felix Cassin.
3.4.2. Marchese Victor Turnbull (1900- ), married 1921 to Mary Cali.
3.4.3. Marchese Edward Turnbull (1901- ), married 1924 to Emilienna Cristini
3.4.4. Marchese James Turnbull (1903- )
3.4.5. Marchesa Matilde Turnbull (1906- ), married 1929 to William V. Booker
3.4.6. Marchesa Rita Turnbull (1916- ), married 1939 to Leon Romis Foreztier.
4. Marchesa Suor. Marianna Fontani Manduca (1853- ) 'Nun'.
5. Marchesa Elena Fontani Manduca (1843- ), married Salvatore Chetcuti, and dsp.

6. Marchesa Rosalea Fontani Manduca, "Nun".

Footnote#1:It is to be remarked that the wide remainder was in 1887 considered by a Committee of Nobles upon the joint request of Luigi Fontanis son and daughters who applied that they be recognised as legitimate holders of the title of Counts della Senia. The Committee (composed of Conte Ciantar, Marchese Apap, Marchese Depiro, Marchese Delicata, Marchese Testaferrata Olivier) decided on the 27.1.1887 that: Considering from the terms of the said concession it results that the said title should be held by the first born, and transmitted to the first born in lineal descent from the male line of the first holder, and in default of this from the female line of the said holder in the order of primogeniture; From the documents produced it is proved that the said petitioner, the noble Vincenzo Fontani is the only male offspring of the lately deceased Count Luigi, and therefore he has the exclusive right to the said title of Conte della Senia. The Committee further declares and decides that the other petitioners, the noble Elena and Geltrude Fontani, cannot be allowed to enjoy the said title before the line of the actual Count Vincenzo is extinct. (See:- Copies or Extracts of Further Correspondence with Reference to the Maltese Nobility, August 1888, presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty (C.-5490.) (See Sitting of the 27 January 1887 pages A3-A4). This decision was transmitted to Governor Simmons who in turn forwarded the decision to Secretary of State for the Colonies Henry Thurstan Holland who responded as follows: The second matter which you submit to me is that of the succession to the title of Conte della Senia. The Committee has arrived at a decision on the subject, which in my opinion, may be accepted without prejudice to any decision of a competent court of law. The Committee should be so informed, and a notice, pursuant to this decision, should appear in the Gazette. (See:- Copies or Extracts of Further Correspondence with Reference to the Maltese Nobility, August 1888, presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty (C.-5490.) (See Letter of Sir. H.T. Holland to Sir J.M. Simmons pages B3-B4). Whatever the motivations of that Committee of 1887, it is clear that the 1795 grant in favour of Fontani does not stipulate any remainder by rule of Primogeniture. Unfortunately, there is no indication that the 1887 decision was ever contested, However it is worth remarking that such decision is wrong. For more detailed reasons why such decision is wrong see http://www.maltagenealogy.com/SME/senia.html .



Footnote#2: According to published sources, “On the 31st October 1990 the Magistrates Court of the Republic of Malta confirmed the (aforesaid Joseph Bugeja Fontani) in his possession of the estates of Senia which are also known as ta l’ erba’ qaddisin.See Gauci Charles The Genealogy and Heraldry of the Noble Families of Malta, Volume Two, PEG Publications, 1992, page 50


* Marchese Vincenzo Fontani Manduca (1840-1906), 3rd Conte di Senia and Count Palatine, married 1861 to Marianna Scerri, dsp.


* Marchesa Rosalea Clinquant Fontani (1864-1931), 4th Contessa di Senia, married 1880 to Carlo Messina of Bone, Algeria, with issue.

1. Marchese Fiorentino Messina Fontani (1885-1922), Contino di Senia, married 1910 to Carmela Dileva, with issue
1.1. Marchese Roger Messina Fontani, 5th Conte
- See Below.
2. Marchese Eduardo Messina (1888-1910), dunm.
3. Marchese Umberto Messina (1891- 1937), married 1913 to Antoinette Conio, with issue
3.1. Marchese Hubert Messina, (1920 - 1972), 6th Conte di Senia, dunm.
3.2. Marchesa Solange Messina, (1913 - 1995), 7th Contessa di Senia, married 1949 to Edmond Donnat, with issue.
3.2.1. Marchesa Marthe Monique Donnat Fontani, (1949 -., 8th Contessa di Senia, married 1973 to Gilbert Roulet, with issue. Marchese Patrice Edmond Gilbert Roulet Fontani, (1975 -. (Link to an interview).
4. Marchese Vittorio Messina (1894-99), dunm

5. Marchesa Gemma Messina (1882- ), married 1906 to Julien Vignon, and dsp.


* Roger Messina Fontani, 5th Conte di Senia, (1910-45), married 1939 to Aloisea Borgia, and dsp.


itled, De Jures and Heirs.


* Titled: Marthe Roulet as the present (8th) Countess by reason of her primogenital descent from the original grantee (succeeding Vincenzo Fontani Crespi (1st Count; died 1844), Luigi Fontani (2nd Count; died 1886), Vincenzo Fontani (3rd Count; died 1906); Rosalea Zahra-Crinquant (4th Countess; died 1931), Roger Messina (5th Count; died 1945) and thereafter: Hubert Messina (6th Count; died 1972), Solange Donnat (7th Countess, died 1995).
* Heirs: Patrice Roulet Fontani, Contino di Senia.

* Special Remainder: , te tuosque descendentes comitem et comites territorii seu possessionis dictae ta Senia posita in hac nostra insula,in loco della Marsa, tuosque utriusque sexus filios et descendentes, comitem et comites praefati territorii sive possessionis ta Senia dicimus et nominamus




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