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Carmel Calleja

Dissertation submitted to the Department of History at the Royal University of Malta, Malta 1973

The digital version of this unpublished dissertation may have some differences from original introduced during the scanning process which due to the limited resources didn't have time to completely verify and is another reason why one has to seek the original version (located at UOM) when needs to quote references from it.



I would like to take this opportunity to express my most sincere thanks to my tutor, Mr. R. Vella Bonavita for his valuable and generous counsel. I am also grateful to Professor A.P. Vella, Head of the Department of History, and to Dr. G. Wettinger, who at one time or other gave me their much needed advice.

A special thanks goes also to the Archpriest of Mosta, Rev. B. Bezzina for permitting access to all documents in the Parish Archives

Carmel Calleja
January 1973



A.A.M. A(rchiepiscopal) A(rchives) M(alta).
R.M.L. R(oyal) M(alta) L(ihrary).
A.P.M. A(rchives of the) P(arish of) M(osta).
B.L. B(aptizatorum) L(iber).
D.L. D(efunctorum) L(iber).
M.L. M(atrimoniorum) L(iber).




A.A.M. Vis. Past. VI (1579-1608).
Vis. Past. XII (1634).
Vis. Past. XIII (1635-1637 A).
Vis. Past. XIV (1635-1637 B)
Vis. Past. XV (1644-1646).
R.M.L. MS 162, f.127.
A.P.M. Defunctorum Lib. I (1612-1640).
Defunctorum Lib. II (1641-1734).
Matrimoniorum Lib. I (1611-1701).
Baptizatorus Lib. II (1630-1697).
Indice di tutti Matrimoni celebrati nella Santa Parocchiale Chiesa della Musta.
Visitatio Apostolica (1575)1.
  1. This MS copy is in the possession of Mr. Patrick Formosa.


  • ABELA, G.F., Descrittione di Malta (1647).
  • ABELA-CIANTAR, Malta Illustrata (1780).
  • BLOUET, B., The Story of Malta (London 1987).
  • BLOUET, B., 'Town Planning in Malta 1530-1798', The Town Planning Review, Vol. XXXV, No. 3, (Liverpool University Press 1964).
  • BLOUET, B., 'Rural Settlement in Malta', Geography, Vol. LVI, Part 2, April 1971, pp. 112-118.
  • BONNICI, Alessandro, 'I Vescovi di Malta Baldassare Cagliares (1615-1633) e Michele Balaguer (1635-1663)', Melita Historica, 1969, Vol. V, No. 2, pp. 114-157.
  • BONNICI, Alexander, 'Superstititions in Malta towards the Middle of the 17th century in the light of the Inquisition trials', Melita Historica, 1966, Vol. IV, No. 3, pp. 145-183.
  • BONNICI, Arthur, History of the Church in Malta, Vol. II, 1968.
  • Borg V., Fabio Chigi: Apostolic Delegate in Malta (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana 1967).
  • BOWEN-JONES, H., DEWDNEY, J.C. and FISHER, W.B., Malta: Background for Development (Uninversity of Durham 1960).
  • BROCKMAN, E., Last Bastion (London 1961).
  • CASSAR, P., Medical History of Malta (London 1964).
  • CASSAR-PULLICINO, J., 'Malta in 1575: Social Aspects of an Apostolic Visit', Melita Historica, 1956, Vol. II, No. 1, pp. 19-41.
  • FERRIS, A., Storia Ecclesiastica di Malta (1877).
  • FERRIS, A., Descrizione storica delle Chiese di Malta e Gozo (1866).
  • G.F. Abela: Essays in His Honour by Members of the "Malta Historical Society" on the Third Centenary of his Death (1655-1955), 1961.
  • HUGHES, J. Quentin, the Building of Malta 1530-1795 (London 1967).
  • LAFERLA, A.V., The Story of Man in Malta (1939).
  • RICHARDSON, M., Aspects of the Demography of Modern Malta, Ph.D. Thesis, (University of Durham 1960).
  • SALOMONE, E.W., Musta: Memories and Charms (Rochdale 1911).
  • SCHERMERHORN, E.W., Malta of the Knights (London 1929).
  • VASSALLO, G.A., Storja ta' Malta (1948).
  • VELLA, A.P., The Tribunal of the Inquisition in Malta (1964).
  • VELLA, A.P., Il-Parrocca tal-Portu Salvu u San Duminku 1571-1971 (1971).
  • VELLA, E.B., Storja tal-Mosta bil-Knisja Taghha (1930).
  • WETTINGER, G., 'The Distribution of Surnames in Malta in 1419 and the 1480s', Journal of Maltese Studies, 1968, No. 5.
  • WETTINGER, G., 'The Militia List of 1419-20', Melita Historica, 1969, Vol. V, No. 2.

  1. Unless otherwise stated all printed sources were published in Malta.


Chapter Title Page
I The Background 1
II The Growth of Population 9
III The Economy 54
IV Socio-Religious Life 60
V A Brief Analysis of Christian Names and Surnames 89
VI Conclusion 102


No. Name Page
I Population and Households figures during Duzina's Visit 10
II Estimates of the Population of Mosta 13
III Number of Baptisms 14
IV Number of Deaths 15
V Some examples of family units to which children were born and who appear in the birth records 18-44
VI Names of couples who were either childless or left the village in the period 1630-1644 45-47
VII Names of couples who had only one child or left the village soon afterwards in the period 1630-1644 48
VIII Names of couples who apparently stayed at Mosta in the period 1630-1644 49-51
IX Number of Marriages 52
X Outsiders marrying at Mosta (1630-1650) 53
XI Distribution of Godparents (1630-1650) 61
XII Mostin baptized outside their parish 62
XIII Use of Particular tombs for Interment (14.12.1644 - 31.12.1630) 68-69
XIV Marriage age for girls 71-74
XV Marriage ago for men 75
XVI List of priests at Mosta (1630-1650) 87
XVII List of clerics at Mosta (1630-1650) 88
XVIII Analysis of surnames (1630-1650) 92-98
XIX Analysis of Christian Names - Births only (1630-1630) 99-101

Other Chapters from this Dissertation