"Libro d'Oro di Melita"

"Counts of Senia"

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Last Update: 16-02-2015.


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, 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
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 Francesco Alessi di Marchesi di Taflia. Antonia Fontani, (1835-)., married 1848 to Giorgio Alessi di Marchesi di Taflia. Elizabetta Fontani, (1837-)., married 1853 to Enrico Alessi di Marchesi di Taflia. Lorenzo Fontani, (1838-49), dunm. Francois Antoine Cyriaque Leonard Gabriel Raimond, Abbot of Monlieu, d.1748 Pelagie (1724-ca 1753); m.1737 Cte Francois de Groesquer Louis, d.after 1719, sn du Poulduc, d.1726; m.1690 Marie de Trello; m.Francois de Broel, sn de La Negrie; m.1638 Jean de Coetlagat, sn de Clegrio
1.3.2.Samsonne; m.Francois Josset, sn de Kerfredoux
2.Ponceau; m.1514 Madeleine Boissot
3.Gillette, Dame de Marzein (1500-ca 1530); m.1521 Marc de Carne, sn de Cohignac
4.Jeanne; m.1526 Pierre Ermar, sn de Coetdolo


* 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 Elisabetta Alessi dei Marchesi della Taflia, with issue

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

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

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

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

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

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

2.4.1. Lorenzo Fontani, (1885-1949 Cape Hope SA) 5th Count Palatine of the Austrian Empire, married 1912 to Countess Henrietta Potocki, with issue.

2.4.2. Antony Fontani, (1889-1955), married 1915 to Baroness Freda AF Schoulton, with issue.

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

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

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

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

2.5.1. Vincenzo Fontani, (1890-1946), married 1915 to Baroness Marie Catherine von Dolwig, with issue.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.3.1. Edward Fontani, (1875- Tunis - 1927 Port Said), married 1900 Port Said to Francesca Preziosi, with issue. Patricia Fontani, (1901 Port Said - 1952 Perth Western Australia), 'Nun', dunm. Leonardo Fontani, (1903 Port Said - 1992 Melbourne Victoria Australia), married with issue. Charles Fontani, (1906 Port Said - 1963 Melbourne Victoria Australia), married with issue. Felix Fontani RA (1909 Port Said - 1944 WWII in France), married 1942 to Baroness Elizabeth Bieschin (2nd Cousins - a descendant of Barone Felix Bieschin, brother of Baroness Jane)., with issue. Mary Rose Fontani, (1943 London -), married 1968 Bath to Andrew Smith., with issue. Enrico 'sives Henry' Fontani, (1911 Port Said - 2001 San Francisco California), Priest. dunm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. 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



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

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

2. Gertrude Fontani Manduca, married to Calcedonio Manduca dei Conti di Mont'Alto.
3. Annette Fontani Manduca (1839-1878), married 1859 to Dr Luigi Zahra Crinquant MD, with issue
3.1. Rosalea Crinquant Fontani, 4th Contessa - See Below.
3.2. Anne Crinquant Fontani (1867-1948), married 1888 to Feruccio Loffredo, with issue
3.2.1. Maria Loffredo, married 1907 to Giuseppe Galdes of Algeria, with issue Augustine Galdes (died as an infant). Simone Galdes (1911- ), dunm.
3.2.2. Louisette Loffredo, married firstly to Pasquale Gaudino, and married secondly in 1929 to Louis Cocoozoa, with no issue from either marriages.
3.2.3. Augustine Loffredo, married 1921 to Francesco Camilleri, dsp.
3.3. Gertrude Clinquant Fontani (1869-1946), married 1886 Balzan to Giuseppe Bugeja, with issue
3.3.1. Vincenzo Bugeja (1887-1953)., married 1935 to Helen Salamone, with issue
Joseph Bugeja Fontani KM, ( 1941- . Acknowledged by the COP as the 6th Conte della Senia
, married 1966 to Amalia Nicolas, with issue Mark Bugeja Fontani, (1968-, married to Stephanie Spiteri, with issue Michael Bugeja Fontani, (2002- Susan Bugeja Fontani, (1969- , married Paul Sultana, with issue Andrew Sultana, (2003- James Bugeja Fontani, (1972-
3.3.2. Alberto Bugeja (1890- ), married 1925 to Giuseppa Camilleri, with issue Anna Bugeja, married to Lawrence Wirth, with issue. Patricia Bugeja, married to Tony Bartolo Parnis., with issue. Ignatius Bugeja, married with issue.

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

6. 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


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


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

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

5. 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: Joseph Bugeja Fontani as the present Count by reason of his descent from the original grantee AND his possession of the estate known as Senia.
* Heirs: (as above)

* 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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