Finding your family-tree has never been easier with latest National Archive acquisition
To date it has not been easy to obtain information about one’s ancestors dating back to the time pre-1863 when all births, marriages and deaths began to be recorded in Malta and Gozo.
Much of this information is found in the Letard-Ciantar research collection, which is a collection of about 700 volumes and hundreds of loose documents that now forms part of the National Archives. The information in this collection dates from the year 1400 and includes information on urban lands, leases and family trees.
Through the latest acquisition by the National Archives, it will be easier to build one’s family tree from information taken from public documents.
The National Archives collection has been enhanced by the Letard-Ciantar collection – a basic tool in genealogical research consisting of a collection of notes on births, marriages and deaths.
National Archivist, Charles Farrugia said that research in this aspect was suffering because the Public Registry only began to record births, marriages and deaths in Malta and Gozo from 1863.
“To find something before that date you have to go to the parish archives and that can mean a lot of running from one place to another and inconvenience.
This is the most extensive research collection – we are talking about about seven hundred volumes covering the whole country in one place, which in time will be catalogued and open to the public to carry out any kind of research. ”
Letard-Ciantar includes documents ranging from births, deaths, contracts, notarial deeds, legacies, leases and wills, donations, and concessions on titles of nobility in Malta and Gozo.
It is a known fact that in Malta there are five leading genealogists who have compiled this information, three of which are in a public collection: the Goffredo Adami collection at the National Library, the Masini collection in Gozo and now the Letard-Ciantar collection at National Archives. This collection began to be collected more than two hundred years ago and continued to be updated until recently.
“This was genealogy at the time of Magistrate Nicola Letard who died in 1831 and had several children. He died very young and one of his children appears to have had a daughter who married a Scerri and has fortunately survived today through their heirs and descendants,” Ray Mangion, President of the Council for National Archives.
At the National Archives in Rabat, the Minister responsible for national heritage, Josè Herrera reiterated the government’s plans to invest in a large building in Ta’Qali that gathers all the national archives under one roof.