Source: Melita Historica. 8(1983)4(325-343)

[p.325] STATUS ANIMARUM I: A Unique Source for 17th and 18th Century Maltese Demography

Stanley Fiorini

If it is only arguable that Western civilization is largely the creation of the Church, it is certainly tenable that the development of one is inextricably interwoven with that of the other. The peak of human achievement in the realms of architecture, sculpture and painting is embodied in the master-pieces that adorn the Church’s cathedrals, monasteries and palaces. Throughout the centuries, the Church has been a constant source of inspiration for music, drama and literature; in turn, its own endeavours in these fields reflect its spatio-temporal immersion in our civilization.

If one wants to delve into one’s past, one must perforce turn to documents for centuries preserved for mankind in the Church’s museums and archives, custodians of our heritage. In particular, this is true for any demographical investigations, especially for the 17th and 18th centuries for which parish records constitute the primary if not unique sources.

I Status Animarum and other parish records

The symbiotic relationship between the Church and Western Civilization referred to is also evident in the juridical sphere. In the recording of vital events, the Church inherited the administrative procedures of the Roman Empire. Reference to the recording of marriages can be found as early as the year 534 in the “Corpus Juris Civilis” and more precisely in the “Novellae” of Justinian. [1] References to parochial records in the middle ages are sparse and invariably limited to local churches. The Synod of Augsburg held in 1548 prescribes four books to be kept by the parish priest:

“Primum in quo baptizatorum; secundum confitentium et communicantium; tertium, in quo eorum, qui matrimonium in facie ecclesiae contraxerunt; et quartum in quo mortuorum...nomina et cognomina... descibantur.” [2]

[p.326] At the Concilium Viennense [3] held in 1557 explicit instructions are given to the parish priest to take note of those of his flock who fail to adhere to the Paschal Precept and to report the same to the Vicar General. Similar instructions are to be found at the Concilium Narbonense of 1551 [4] and particularly at the Concilium Mediolanense I of 1565 held under Cardinal Carlo Borromeo. [5] The latter was echoing the edict of the Council of Trent which in its 22nd Session [6] laid down the law for the universal Church that marriages are to be recorded in a special register to be kept by the parish priest. The formal universal prescription was only extended to the five parochial registers in 1614 by Paul V. In the Rituale Romanum [7] the parish priest is expected to keep the following five registers: (i) Liber Baptizatorum, (ii) Liber Confirmatorum, (iii) Liber Matrimoniorum, (iv) Liber Defunctorum, and (v) Liber de Statu Animarum. This same norm has remained unchanged to the present day and till very recently was to be found enshrined in the Codex Juris Canonici. [8] In the 1983 revision of the Codex, [9] Liber Status Animarum no longer figures among the Libri Paroeciales.

The importance of these records for the 17th and 18th centuries even for the lay and civil spheres of life is self-evident especially when one considers that up to the French Revolution the parish records were practically the only records kept of births, deaths and marriages. It was only towards the middle of the 19th century that many states, following the lead of France, began to set up their own civil records so that the Church lost her prerogative in this area.

The situation in Malta to a large extent reflects what was happening on the Continent in this matter. Long before the official declarations of Trent and of the Rituale Romanum, parish priests on the island had been keeping their own records. In fact the island can boast of some very early parish records. For example, the Mdina Baptismal registers starting from 1539 are still extant although one can deduce that the missing first 38 folios of the register used to cover records dating from 1528. Some other examples are the [p.327] excellently preserved records at Naxxar dating from 1546, those of Birgu from 1552 and of Birmiftuħ from 1556. Mons. Pietro Duzina, in his Apostolic Visitation of 1575 one of whose aims was to ensure that the edicts of Trent took effect in these islands, took note of those parishes where these records were kept and where not. [10] Further, [11] the Apostolic Visitor instructs parish priests to keep separate registers for Baptisms, Marriages and Burials and a fourth book concerning the Eucharist.

It is with this last book, the Liber de Statu Animarum, that we are mainly concerned with here. The purpose of this register was and still is the keeping by the parish priest of a record, literally, of the “state of the souls” of his parishioners. In particular, information is sought as to the marital status of each and every one of his flock and whether the precept of yearly confession and communion during Paschaltide is adhered to. More specifically, the Rituale Romanum [12] prescribes the following format for entries:

FORMA DESCRIBENDI STATUS ANIMARUM

Familia quaeque distincte in libro notetur, intervallo relicto ab unaquaque ad alteram subsequentem, in quo singillatim scribantur nomen, cognomen, aetas singulorum, qui ex familia sunt, vel tamquam advenae in ea vivunt. Qui vero ad sacram Communionem admissi sunt, hoc signum in margine e contra habeant: C.

Qui Sacramento Confirmationis sunt muniti, hoc signum habeant: Chr. Si qui ad alium locum habitandum accesserint, id adnotetur.

Canon Law [13] imposes severe penalties by the Ordinary for parish priests who neglect to keep parish records. Furthermore, given that the parish priest is exercising the function of a notary public, it is understandable that the Law [14] exacts that an authentic copy of the books be sent yearly to the Curia. Exception, however, is made in the case of Status Animarum. This is perhaps due to the confidential nature of its contents, or more probably because, it is of more immediate use to the parish priest himself than to anybody else.

[p.328] The situation in Malta however is very different in this regard. In fact it seems that the praxis in this matter was exactly the reverse to that prescribed by Canon Law. Practically no copies of any of Libri Baptizatorum, Confirmatorum, Defunctorum and Matrimoniorum from the period under review are to be found in the Curia Archives, whereas a whole section of some 30 volumes each containing some 40 quires from the various parishes is devoted to Status Animarum. On several of the documents it is expressly stated that the lists were ordered by the bishop and checked by him during his visitation. [15] One particular record [16] from Vittoriosa (1694) expressly connects the keeping of Status Animarum with the custom, surviving till very recently, of exchanging a card (bollettino) when the Paschal precept is fulfilled.

The earliest record dates from 1667 [17] and comes from the parish of Porto Salvo, Valletta. Entries for the following three decades are sporadic except for Valletta (Porto Salvo), for which records of practically every year are available, and for the year 1687, for which a record of almost very parish in Malta is extant. The year 1702 is unique. It contains details of every single parish in Malta and Gozo. Thereafter, records are very full till 1745 when information starts to become rather patchy. However, where the Floriana archives become deficient the Mdina Cathedral archives supplement. It seems that towards the middle of the 18th century copies of Status Animarum began to be preserved in the Curia at Mdina rather than at the Magna Curia in Valletta. At Mdina one finds quite adequate records for the late 18th century and especially for the decade 1783-1794. It is interesting to note that the only records common to both the Floriana and the Mdina archives are the lists for Senglea 1697 and Ghaxaq 1776.

This wealth of information is particularly valuable as no other civil censuses seem to be extant from this period. It seems that during the whole time the Knights Hospitallers were in Malta no censuses of these islands were undertaken by the civil authorities after 1632. Following the report of the Commission of 1524 [18] which is now apparently lost, one finds the census [p.329] of 1590. [19] Then come the censuses of 1614 and 1617 [20] and that of 1632 [21] quoted by Abela, [22] who states that the

ruolo (fu’) fatto...per ordine del Duca d’Albuquerque, allora Vice-Re di Sicilia, dal Baglivo Fr. D. Carlo Valdina con assistenza del Dottor Bava, Procuratore Fiscale de Regio Patrimonio.”

Other censuses are extant like those of 1658, 1670 and 1680; [23] however, these are clear extracts from Status Animarum. [24]

A century or so later, Conte Ciantar’s sources for population figures in his updating of Abela’s work [25] were again Status Animarum lists:

Dal ruolo, che vanno ogni anno facendo i Parrochi delle anime delle loro rispettive Parrocchie, e da altre notizie particolari da noi ricercati, troviamo che gli abitanti...ascendono al novero...”

It seems therefore that the only official figures Ciantar had to go by were Status Animarum records and in particular [26] the 1760 figures.

The practice that civil authorities rely on the Church to keep track of the population persisted well into the 19th century, both during the brief French occupation and under British rule. During the Session of 30th July 1798, the Government Commission set up by Napoleon ruled that acts of births, marriages and deaths were to be recorded by the parish priests and countersigned in duplicate by the judges of each municipality. [27] The first official census was not taken before 1842 and birth, death and marriage records only began to be kept in the Public Registry from 1863. In the census of 1881, [28] when the compiler wanted to give a resume of previous censuses, the figures [p.330] presented for 1807 had to be “abstracted from the registers of the parochial priests.”

In this connexion, some lists of names dating from 1708 included in the Floriana Status Animarum are particularly revealing. Reference is made here to lists in Volume VI N76-N94 and to some others (the undated ones) sporadically catalogued. These documents list the males between the ages of 17 and 65 in the various parishes of Malta and Gozo. A typical description [29] is:

Nota distinta dell’huomini secolari abitanti in questo Casal Dingli dell’età d’anni 17 sino alli 65 fatta da me Gioseppe Mizzi Parrocco di d(et)to Casale fatto li 27 Marzo 1708 d’ordine di Monsignore Ill(ustrissimo) e R(everendissi)mo Ves(cov)o...”

All dated lists were drawn up between 26th March and 31st March 1708. One can surmise that these lists, without any reference to Paschal observances or any other religious connotations, but with occasional reference to body deformities, [30] had more to do with military duties. This hypothesis is confirmed in the case of Valletta (S. Paolo) [31] where the list is explicitly entitled “Homini d’armi habitanti dentro li limiti della Parochia di S. Paolo della Città Valletta nell’anno 1708” and in the case of Luqa [32] where the Rollo is described as “Nota dell’anime atte alla Militia d’anni 17 sino d’anni 65... fatta da me Par(roc)o sottoscritto. The game is given away completely in the case of Gudja [33] where the parish priest, not without a hint of protest, writes:

Questo Rollo di tutti gli huomini secolari dell’età di anni 17 sino agli 65 conforme l’ordine di Ill(ustrissi)mo e R(everendissi)mo l’ho fatto 29 Marzo...a casa per casa in compagnia di tre Cavalieri e scrivano Testaferrata et e in tutto 136.”

It seems clear that the civil authorities were using the Church, and in particular the influence exerted by the Ordinary Fra Davide Cocco-Palmieri on the parish priests, to collect information of a military nature about the people. This goes a long way to explain how the Church had the monopoly of keeping vital statistics of the population for so long. The state’s requirements in this [p.331] matter were adequately met so that the need to carry out the exercise was not felt. Whatever role the Church played in the compiling of the 1708 Militia List, as we may call it, the document remains an important contribution to the demographic picture of these islands at the time.

II Population counts

A closer look at the contents of Status Animarum is now proposed. One cannot hope to extract systematically anywhere near all of the information available in this very rich source. The task is too time-consuming and can only be handled adequately by a sizeable team of researchers aided by a powerful computer with large storage potential. What one can attempt to achieve single-handedly is to obtain a bird’s-eye-view of the material in the Floriana Curia supplemented where necessary by select material from the Mdina Cathedral and from the Parishes archives. A more exhaustive statistical search, on the lines adopted by Prof. C. Sant and Rev. Dr. M. Vassallo for the Tarxien records alone [34] needs to take these sources into consideration as well. The statistical approach is, of course, only one aspect that can be treated. Here are derived some statistics for the overall situation: in a subsequent publication, the information available for 1687 is considered in greater detail.

Before proceeding, and in order to see things in context, one needs to identify those churches which were parishes in the last decades of the 17th century and during the 18th century. It is well known [35] that in a chronological listing of the parishes, first come Notabile and Vittoriosa and the other ten parishes mentioned in Senatore de Mello’s Rollo of 1436, [36] namely Naxxar, Birkirkara, Birmiftuħ, Qormi, Zejtun, Zurrieq, Siggiewi, Zebbug, Dingli and Mellieħa. Of these, the last two had ceased to exist by 1536 [37] and Birmiftuħ had become identified with Gudja after its dismemberment into various filial parishes. In the two decades following the Great Siege, one sees the erection of the parishes in Valletta and the Three Cities: Valletta (Porto Salvo) in 1571, Senglea in 1581, Cospicua in 1584, Valletta (San Paolo) in 1585, and the Greek Rite parish, Valletta in 1587; to this period also belongs Attard (1575). By the end of the century, five more parishes appear, namely Kirkop and Tarxien in 1592, Lija in 1594, and Mqabba and Safi in 1598. In the first half [p.332] of the 17th century, six more parishes are created: Mosta (1608), Gargur (1610), Zabbar (1615), Qrendi (1618), Għaxaq (1626) and Luqa (1633). The situation becomes stabilized for around 150 years with the creation of Balzan in 1655 and the re-constitution of Dingli in 1678. In Gozo, [38] apart from the Chiesa Matrice in the Castello and St. George of Rabat, one finds Xewkija becoming a parish in 1678, Għarb in 1679, and Sannat, Caccia (Xagħra), Nadur and Zebbug in 1688. Thus by the turn of the century and during the 18th century, one finds 29 parishes in all in Malta and 8 in Gozo.

One important piece of information that can be derived without too much difficulty from Status Animarum is the population count of each town and village for that particular year. Very often, the number of households as well as the number of people who have received communion and of those who confessed during Paschal-tide of that year are also given. At first glance, the latter figures may not seem to be all that relevant; however it turns out that one can deduce from them an estimate of the sizes of various age-groups. It is convenient to present the data as in Table I. This has the advantage of presenting both a catalogue of the records available at the Floriana Curia and at Mdina, as well as showing the actual population counts. All dated Status Animarum documents at Floriana are listed. The few which are either undated or fragmentary or are not strictly Status Animarum lists could not be properly included. These are: Vol. I N21 (Valletta, Porto Salvo), N22 (Notabile and Rabat); Vol.IC N1 (Valletta, Porto Salvo fragments), N3; Vol.II N36; Vol.III N80 (Valletta, Porto Salvo), N82 (Xewkija), N84 (Senglea), N87B (Pascualino), N95 (Mosta); Vol.V N61 (Cospicua), N81 (Gudja); Vol. VIIIC N11A (Zebbug); Vol.VIIIC N14 and Vol.XXII N96A are very probably the two ‘halves’ of Zebbug (1745); Vo1.XIII N14 (Siggiewi); Vol.XIV N174 (Siggiewi); Vol.XXIIB N2 (Valletta Porto Salvo list of children), N7 (Zurrieq); Vol.XXIII N84B (Valletta, Porto Salvo list of children); Vol.XXIIIB N21B which is probably Nadur and dates from 1779; Vol.XXIV N121A (Valletta, Porto Salvo); Vol.XXIVA N138 (Għaxaq) and N180 (Balzan). With these is included the Militia List which will be dealt with later.

In Table I, (vide appendix) wherever an asterisk appears it means that the record for that place and year is available but that the count (although derivable) is not given. The cells in the matrix which are underlined refer to documents in the Mdina Cathedral Archives.

Even a cursory look at Table I immediately shows that for certain years [p.333] the population counts are practically complete for both Malta and Gozo. These include 1702, 1716, 1726, 1728, 1785, 1790, 1792, 1793, 1794 and 1797. If one limits oneself to Malta, then many more are available including 1687, 1703 and most years between 1715 and 1745. Also, for any given locality, so much information exists that one can interpolate quite accurately for any desired missing figure. In this manner, one can abstract from Table I the actual figures, or very good approximations thereof, for each of the years 1687, 1702, 1716, 1726, 1736, 1745, 1784 and 1797 for each town and village in Malta. These together with Ciantar’s 1760 figures and the 1807 count yield a clear picture of how the population in each town and village developed over some 120 years in ‘small’ steps of around 12 years (except for the period 1760-1785, a gap of 25 years). This data is presented in Table II, which for completeness’ sake and to facilitate comparisons also includes other quoted / published censuses. It starts with the figures given by Bosio (1590) [39] followed by the 1632 count of Abela, [40] the 1645 census taken under Balaguer [41] and the figures for 1614, 1658, 1670 and 1680 quoted (but as far as is known still unpublished) by Blouet (Vide Table II). [42]

The rather undigestible details of Table II are reproduced graphically in Tables III-X, One can see at a glance a broad spectrum of ways of progress varying continuously from the unperturbed stability of the smallest villages like Safi, Kirkop and Dingli, through the steady expansion of the larger countrytowns (terre) like Birkirkara, Naxxar, Qormi, and Zebbug, to the explosive situation in the cities. This, of course, is hardly surprising; it merely illustrates the fact that the population model is the expotential function x(t) = keat for which a direct relation exists between population size x(t) and rate of growth dx / dt [= ax(t)].

Several interesting features emerge: one notes the slumps in the populations of the Three Cities over the decade 1670-80 brought about by the disastrous plague of 1675, [43] which was confined to Cottonera and Valletta, at a loss of some 10,000 individuals. In spite of this, the loss in Valletta is offset by the subsequent immigration from the country so that a net increase is registered for the capital.

[p.334] Not so readily explainable is the behaviour of Qormi (Città Pinto since 1743) over the period 1720-1760. Assuming reliability of the data, the very prominent peak can only be explained by mass immigration into the village over the 20 years prior to Pinto’s succession in 1741, followed by more massive emigration during the Grand Master’s reign. The coincidence of the peak with the bestowal of the title Città Pinto is most intriguing. In trying to quantify this migration, one sets the total island population x(t) = keat and the village population y(t) = heat, where one assumes, as one may, that the constant “a” for the village is identical with that for the whole island. One also assumes here that migration abroad is negligible, as can be verified from the smooth rate of growth for the whole island over this period (cf. Table III). It can be deduced that:

y(t) h y(t+n)

—– = –— = —–

x(t) k x(t+n)

for any number n of years, so that

x(t+n).y(t)

z(t+n) - y(t+n) = z(t+n) — —————

x(t)

represents the total (positive or negative) migration over the period (t,t+n), where z(t+n) is the recorded village population at time t+n. Computing this estimate for Qormi, one obtains an approximate total immigration of 600 and emigration of 2800 prior to and post 1745, respectively. Yet there is no apparent reason for this phenomenon. In search for more information, the Mdina records yield the all-important Status Animarum list for 1747 which gives the Qormi count as the deflated figure of 3568. This makes the migration hypothesis even less plausible, strongly suggesting the need for a closer scrutiny of the figures. It must be asserted at the outset that the count of 6134 for 1745 is no isolated, sporadic figure in the sequence, but the climax of a sustained increase:

1732

1733

1734

1736

1740

1741

1745

1747

3558

3267

3750

5403

6043

6134

3406

5928

[p.335] Each of these figures is asserted and certified as correct by Don Gioseppe Vella who was parish priest between 1733 and 1776. A typical affirmation in the last folios of the first list reads:

“Ego infrascriptus rector fidem facio quod animae existentes in hac terra Curmi sunt 6134 ex quibus 3800 adimpleverunt preceptum Paschale sumendo S. Eucha(ristiam) 1600 tantum confessi sunt ob deficientiam aetatis; reliqui sunt pueri et infantes...In cuius rei fidem hac die 11 Julij 1745 me subscribo.

D. Joseph Vella.” [44]

Not taking the parish priest’s word for it and painstakingly counting through the actual names listed, the following figures are arrived at:

1740

1736

1734

1741

1745

1747

3240

3277

3435

3477

3568

3406

Things now begin to fall into place. The near-perfect coincidence of the peak of the curve with the bestowal of the title Città Pinto can now be seen in a new light. As asserted by Count Ciantar, [45]

per le suppliche del Signor D. Giuseppe Vella e per altri motivi il Serenissimo Principe Dominante volle decorarla con questo specioso titolo.”

In fact, the only reason adduced by Don Giuseppe in his Supplicatio [46] was the population size. In his own words:

Ser(enissi)mo Sig(no)re, Il Parroco Don Giuseppe Vella e popolo della Terra Curmi um(il)i Servi e Vassalli di V(ostra) A(ltezza) S(erenissima) con ogni dovuta riverenza le rappresentano, che da moltissimi anni a questa parte, per esser il d(etto)o Popolo allora del numero di tre mila in circa fu’ onorato del titolo di terra, e sin d’allora sin’ al scorso anno pervenne al numero di sei mila settantaquattro persone, E perche oltre l’obbligo li corre, desiderano avere memoria eterna alla comma clemenza di V. A. S., supplicano per tanto la bonta’ della med(esim)a, perche si degni onorarli in vece del titolo di terra, col nome di Città, e titolo benvisto allA. V. S., di che resteranno obbligatissimi.”

[p.336] The figures produced by the Church without any countercheck from any other authority surely came in very handy. Having obtained what they set out to achieve, the Qormi figure-collectors saw no further reason to retain an inflated figure for the village population and neither too soon nor too late, brought the count down to 3406 by 1747.

One must view the situation in the whole context of village insular parochialism and one-up-manship vis-a-vis neighbouring villages, which is well documented right up to the present day. It is relevant to note that during the pastorship of Don Giuseppe Vella, Casal Curmi received a high dose of morale-boosting from the several important works of art executed at the time in the newly-consecrated (1731) Parish Church. Suffice it to mention the inauguration of the processional statue of the village patron saint, the acquisition of a very expensive silver monstrance, the painting by Francesco Zahra of the Candlemas altarpiece and the erection of the marble main altar and baptismal font; of these, two took place in 1741. [47]

Another interesting feature that needs discussing is the sequence of peaks and troughs centered on the year 1632 present in the graphs of the larger localities. Table III shows that a rather prominent peak corresponds to 1632 also in the whole island population graph. It must be emphasised that the figure of 47249 does not include the whole island population but only the local Christian population, that is excluding slaves (649), members of the Order of St. John (621), crews on the Order’s galleys (3080) and people under the jurisdiction of the Holy Office (1884), a total of 6234. [48] These numbers have been deducted to make the 1633 data comparable to that in Status Animarum which excludes these categories.

If the 1632 count is excluded, then the trend line is computed to be y = 24.598303 + 0.2644881x. On subtracting the trend value T, oscillations about the trend line are seen to vary with maximum modulus 5.2732315 (corresponding to the count immediately following the calamitous plague of 1675) strongly suggesting that the 1632 figure is rather suspect, having a deviation of over 11,000 from the trend estimate. Details are given in Table XI, in which entries in the X-column are number of years past the basis year 1590 (the origin of co-ordinates); it is noted that figures in this column do not tally perfectly with those in Table II since additional information has been built in to supply missing entries (e.g. Għaxaq 1670) and to correct errors (e.g. Qormi 1745). The Y-column gives the population in units of a 1000, whereas T indicates the trend estimate.

[p.337] A not unlikely explanation for this discrepancy is the different motivation behind the compilation of this census. It was conducted by the Sicilian civil authorities in an attempt to curb excessive demands for duty-free grain from Sicily, whereas most of the other censuses had a purely ecclesiastical character. This of course, should have produced a deflated rather than an inflated figure, strongly suggesting that strings were being very effectively pulled locally in the opposite direction. This need not be pure conjecture: it is reliably understood from Dr. Godfrey Wettinger that similar figures, “intended for the Sicilians’ eyes only” do exist for 1780.

One final remark: Given sufficient data, the “migration” type of argument adopted for the case of Qormi can be put to good use to verify hypotheses about population movements from the smaller hamlets to larger communities. [49] With the present data, one can corroborate and quantify Blouet’s assertion about immigration into Gozo between 1658 and 1670. [50] On the pattern of national growth, the 1658 Gozo population of 3923 could only have accounted for just over 4000 individuals in 1670, so that an immigration of some 2500 must have taken place during that decade.

III Family Units

Another set of data that Status Animarum often gives is the number of households (often referred to as fuochi, hearths) in the town or village. In most documents the counting is done by the parish priest himself and is listed at the back together with other statistics. Failing that, one could painstakingly count the family units, which often include widowed grand-parents and other relatives from either side. This chore is lightened when the parish priest draws a line between one family and the next. Sometimes no clear similar demarcation exists, rendering it impossible to distinguish between units.

Here this information is collected for those cases where it is readily available, the object of the exercise being the drawing up of an estimate of the size of family units and of analyzing how this size varies with place and time, if at all. In many cases, for any particular year the statistics required of both population size and of number of households is available only for a few localities so that conclusions derived from such data could be biassed. In Table XII, only those years are considered for which complete sets of data from at least six localities are available. The table also includes [p.338] relevant figures for 1568 [51] and for 1575. [52] To allow a graphical representation of the data, an entry in the column marked X represents the date less the basic year 1550 (the origin of co-ordinates); the entry in column Y gives the ratio “population: number of households.” The trend line is computed and found to be

y = 3.39162 + 0.002857x

which (as expected) goes through the centroid (X*,Y*) = (170.45,3.8786), 170.45 representing the year 1720 approximately, and 3.8786 being the mean of the Y-values. It is seen that the gradient is ascending very very gently and that the Y-values are closely packed around the mean, standard deviation being only 0.45965. Trend values T are computed in the next column and the quotient Y/T in the last. This information (CI=Y/T) is plotted in Table XIII to afford a visual perception of the cyclical patterns and of irregularities.

For most localities the figures follow the national trend. One exceptional case, however deserves mention. This is Paola, which with a mean number of households of 16.13 and mean population of 47 has a consistently low “population : households” ratio with mean 2.91, Count Ciantar [53] asserts that Casal Novo was not very popular because “non vi si gode aria salubre.” This may explain the low population count, which was slowly but surely decreasing to nothing by 1801, [54] but does not explain the low ratio. One hastens to add that this low ratio is not shared by other thinly populated hamlets of comparable size and comparable rate of decay like, for example Hax Xluq (limits of Siggiewi) with mean ratio of 3.87 or Hal Lew (limits of Qrendi) with mean ratio 3.41. To try to explain this phenomenon one needs to take a closer look at the people constituting this community; this is treated in a follow-up article.

IV Age Groups

To handle adequately the mass of data available in Status Animarum regarding ages requires a great deal of effort. However, one simple conclusion can be drawn if we note that in several cases the figures of those who are of Communion age are also given. This figure affords a breakdown of the population into two classes: those of age at most 13 (or thereabouts) and those above that age.

[p.339] The current custom of receiving Holy Communion round the age of 7 (that is, when one attains the “age of reason”) dates to Pius X and his decree Quam Singulari of 1810. Although the norm that Paschal duties should be tied to the “age of discretion” had been laid down at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 and re-iterated by Trent in 1562, in the wake of the Jansenist heresy, the customs of frequent and yearly Communion were held in abeyance so that First Communion around the age of 13 had become the rule of the day. [55] That this norm was also adhered to in Malta in the 17th and 18th centuries can be readily verified from several of the Status Animarum lists.

A time series analysis of the number of people above 13 as a percentage of the total town/village population is carried out for representative localities for which sufficient data is available. Conclusions are collected in Table XIV in which N denotes the number of randomly spaced points in time used between 1700 (the origin of co-ordinates) and the final date Z (column 3). The gradient of the trend-line is M (column 4), whereas (X*, Y*) (columns 5 and 6) is the centroid of the data. The randomness of spacing of points precludes the possibility of drawing accurate conclusions as to cyclicality. In almost all cases the data adjusted for trend oscillates between 0.88-1.12. Among irregularities, the ones listed in Table XV are worth noting.

A higher percentage of people in the age group 13+ indicates a relatively small number of children and hence a small number of couples of child-bearing age; the possibility of genetic differences among populations of different localities being excluded. This suggests that where this phenomenon occurs, especially persistently, young parent families were emigrating. Evidence of this is available in the findings of G. Micallef [56] investigating the situation at Safi, where the small numbers permit a thorough analysis of data. The sharp contrast in this regard between this village and, say Dingli, a village of comparable size and trend gradient, is worth noting. Emigration need not only have been in the direction of the Cities but could, and in fact was, also to neighbouring larger centres. Count Ciantar [57] indicates this in the case of Gargur people moving into neighbouring Naxxar in the middle of the 18th century and a similar cause has been suggested for the depopulation of Hal Millieri by the beginning of that century. [58]

[p.340] V Sex

One would have liked to derive some conclusions about a break-down of the population by sex and in particular verify for the 18th century the oft-repeated assertion that at present the females of the population in Malta outnumber the males. Another interesting affirmation in this connexion [59] is that the male birth-rate is appreciably higher than that of females, and that due to higher infant mortality among males, the respective numbers even out by the age of puberty and remain so till middle age, by which time the “weaker” sex start to outlive their male counterparts.

Short of counting through some two million individuals (or feeding that data into a computer, a daunting enough task) one can judiciously use the figures where the counting has already been done. To this end one notes that in some 50 lists randomly sprinkled over the 18th century, the breakdown into males and females is given. Of these, 9 come from 1784, 7 from Siggiewi and another 9 from Gozo. In each case, the number of males is computed as a percentage of the whole population. The mean and standard deviation for the whole set of data and for 1784 are found respectively, (48.0504, 3.40918) and (49.6513, 2.11451). For the data from Siggiewi and for Gozo the trend line gradient m and the centroid (X*, Y*) are computed as follows:

m

X*

Y*

Siggiewi

0.077923

1726

45.7533

Gozo

0.029367

1767

48.6363

This information lends weight to the first assertion that the overall female population outnumbers the male.

With regards to the second assertion concerning the birth rate of males, one can only adduce the data available in one instance, the parish of Porto Salvo in Valletta. The relevant document [60] for 1748 gives a breakdown of the male and female children in the age-groups 0-6 and 7-15 as follows:

[p.241]

0 - 6

7 - 15

Total

Boys

810

816

1626

Girls

545

768

1313

Total

1355

1584

2939

This data corroborates the second thesis. In the case of this parish, the percentage of males over the whole population decreases:

0 - 6

0 - 15

0 - 100

% of population

59.78

55.32

48 approx.

VI The Militia List of 1708

The Militia List referred to earlier on which most probably was motivated by the scare of a Turkish invasion, [61] gives the names and surnames of all men between the ages of 17 and 65 for each town and village, except for Safi and Kirkop, which lists seem to be missing. However, this is no real handicap as a resumé of the numbers involved is given on VI N93 f.5. These numbers are presented in Table XVI, where inserted in parentheses are the resumé figures which differ from those of the actual lists.

As one can see from Table I, no Status Animarum records are available for 1708, so that it seems that for that year the Ordinary exonerated the parish priests from this duty, having obtained from them their full cooperation in the efficient compilation of the Militia List. This gap however, can be filled by deducing an estimate for the population from the Militia List itself. The crucial problem here is to determine a good approximation for the ratio x:y of the number x of men capable of taking up arms in a town or village to the number y of people in that town or village. This exercise has been done, for example, by Wettinger [62] in an attempt to determine the population of Malta in the early 15th entury. To this end we consider (i) the Balaguer Census of 1645 which conveniently also gives counts of men between the ages of 15 [p.342] and 60; (ii) a Militia List for 1741 [63] compared with the Status Animarum figures for that year; and (iii) the relevant figures for Tarxien [64] spanning a period of 70 years. This data is presented in Tables XVII and XVIII.

The usual measures of centrality, the mean, median and mode for these sets of data are computed as follows:

1645

1741

TARXIEN

MEAN

3.66

4.78

3.28

MEDIAN

3.75

4.82

3.24

MODE

3.85

4.75

3.25

STANDARD DEVIATION

FROM MEAN

0.35

1.07

0.32

One notices that the statistics for the 1741 data are appreciably higher than those for the 1645 and for the Tarxien figures. One can justify this discrepancy by noting that the 1741 list is a genuine Militia List containing only the number of those males between the ages of 17 and 65 who are expected to do military service, that is, excluding those who for reasons of health or for whatever other reason were not bound to give this service. One can conclude:

(i) that a Militia List was probably compiled in two stages: by first drawing up a list of all males between 17 and 65 and then weeding out those who for reasons of health etc. were not expected to give this service;

(ii) that a ratio “males : population” of 1:4 from an initial draft and of 1:5 from a final version was not far from the truth; [65]

(iii) that some 1/20 (=1/4 – 1/5) of the population were males between the ages of 17 and 65 who for some reason or other escaped military service.

On the assumption that the Militia List of 1708 was an initial draft, one can deduce therefrom the following population figures for 1708: 1704, 380, [p.343] 1724, 800, 1476, 2448, 568, 848, 1016, 544, 1124, 160, 224, 528, 816, 3252, 1496, 3288, 1800, 776, 1836, 604, 1336, 8944, 4580, 6860, 4076, and 3308, respectively for Notabile/Rabat, Dingli,..., Vittoriosa (ordered as in Table I). It is seen that this data fits in well with the information in that Table. This exercise is particularly useful to derive estimates for Gozo, for which information is lacking. For Chiesa Matrice, Xewkija, Għarb, Sannat, Nadur, Xagħra and Zebbug, one obtains 2728, 688, 548, 396, 552, 632 and 380 respectively, a total of 5924.

VII Conclusion

Summing up, one can deduce that apart from their intrinsic interest, Status Animarum records are invaluable since they constitute a practically unique demographic picture of the Maltese islands for about two centuries. The Church had the monopoly of the keeping of these records because it suited the State insofar as the latter’s needs were being satisfied; the compilation of the 1708 Militia List is ample evidence. On the other hand, in some isolated case such as the Citta’ Pinto affair, individuals within the Church took advantage of this monopoly to achieve their own ends.

Acknowledgements

I should like to express my indebtedness to Rev. Dr. J. Busuttil, Curator of the Curia Archives, Floriana, for his courteous help while I was consulting the manuscripts, and Dr. G. Wettinger for several stimulating conversations which helped me clear several doubtful points.

Table I (left half)

A
t
t
a
r
d




B
a
l
z
a
n




B
i
r
k
i
r
k
a
r
a
C
o
s
p
i
c
u
a


D
i
n
g
l
i




G
a
r
g
u
r




G
u
d
j
a




G
h
a
x
a
q




K
i
r
k
o
p




L
i
j
a






L
u
q
a






M
o
s
t
a





M
q
a
b
b
a




N
a
x
x
a
r




N
o
t
a
b
i
l
e


R
a
b
a
t





Q
o
r
m
i





Q
r
e
n
d
i




S
a
f
i





1667
1668
1669
1670
1671
1672
1673
1674
1675
1676
1677 963
1678 549 2512 964
1679 759
1680
1681
1682
1683
1684
1685 350
1686 588 746 468 696 186
1687 845 552 2251 2933 356 706 485 669 240 925 1019 1243 490 305 1633 2669 673 186
1688 1463
1689
1690
1691
1692
1693 512 246 532 1491 2772 725 193
1694 249
1695 514 699 745
1696
1697
1698 521 1088 1377
1699 358 717 486 536 260 1400 295 1759
1700
1701 3478 540 1056 1105 1406
1702 804 411 2454 3687 375 723 492 558 268 1077 1077 1443 542 1529 294 1728 3033 775 187
1703 836 412 2520 3869 387 744 503 581 272 1077 1125 1440 419 1538 315 2131 786 180
1704
1705 556 1516 750
1706 285 1892
1707 652 1452 1584 296 1950
1708
1709 575 1566
1710 564 360 754 282 1378 1504
1711
1712 727 570 3830 360 783 437 271 1351 547
1713 365 1324
1714 770 558 384 729 405 260 1067 1316 569 293 1782 161
1715 567 2555 360 721 440 250 990 1288 575 1537 152
1716 761 564 2629 4305 713 388 772 227 986 1046 1287 608 1542 3156 689 155
1717 760 574 2536 4397 360 691 408 795 239 1027 1049 1263 601 1550 2861 689 144
1718 780 575 699 1068 1289 618 667 141
1719 792 2699 541 795 241 1065 1120 1309 597 1342 145
1720 772 587 2663 691 512 728 231 1033 1080 1319 602 1442 639 143
1721 790 561 2727 4631 350 703 522 818 232 1020 1111 1340 622 3157 627 143
1722 802 583 2826 4936 356 689 427 828 227 1021 1141 1357 634 1543 295 1906 589 146
1723 788 577 510 223 1160 1359 616
1724 792 580 2807 5181 711 500 840 219 1034 1184 1387 628 1559 3149 141
1725 798 589 2808 5061 702 501 807 225 1035 1199 1382 635 1568 3307 656 134
1726 569 2814 498 855 992 1181 1382 645 1558 613 135
1727 815 2886 700 446 820 221 984 1660 644 139
1728 819 589 2890 410 703 515 900 223 1037 1236 1398 642 1666 423 3522 626 136
1729
1730 835 586 5364 405 719 540 219 1261 1379 651 1603 139
1731 850 598 416 716 533 917 223 986 1287 1436 653 1576 3558 626 136
1732 417 549 1255 3267 138
1733 4997 982 1507
1734 742 525 1237 1472 633 1641 3750
1735 3068 5617 382 737 993 1495 640 1649 640
1736 870 620 5845 362 723 513 982 226 1034 1229 1422 660 1643 5403 635 130
1737 873 623 328 710 980 1002 1567 640 1632 632 128
1738 872 5788 711 906 1508 664 1676 124
1739 642 3212 981 1054 650 640
1740 874 623 3176 5956 366 736 1040 234 1029 1183 1662 652 1730 5928 636 127
1741 886 660 3200 5735 374 740 453 1024 232 1044 1169 1682 650 1727 6043 645 133
1742 3330 5847 371 731 1004 246 1031 1171 626 133
1743 896 640 3225 5622 400 728 489 256 1012 1679 649 1721 142
1744 896 644 3400 400 725 974 257 1010 1700 650 616
1745 898 625 390 740 491 997 265 661 1741 407 2199 6134 145
1746 6063 367
1747 6197 1157
1748
1749
1750 5617 1108
1751 860 5796
1752 5847
1753 5787
1754 2567 5693
1755
1756 852 617 5693 794 572 1005 272 997 1846 671 1966 3406 660 142
1757 587 5843 422 780 284 975 676 637
1758 860 549 3836 5779 414 792 572 287 987 1960 672
1759
1760 866 384 795 606 1008 708 162
1761 7165 639 1080 158
1762 7111
1763 6889 821 995 287 1090 669 1959 402 2569
1764 1994
1765 7193 1003
1766
1767 586 1005 2108 764
1768
1769
1770 397 2748
1771
1772
1773
1774
1775 598 778 808
1776 1056 2419
1777
1778 565 836 1049 833
1779 840
1780 961
1781 6662 278 2171 426 2936 826
1782
1783 853 3580 833
1784 790 540 3252 6975 398 851 762 1054 273 972 1004 3458 788 2201 3579 3019 825 324
1785 507 6952 398
1786
1787
1788
1789
1790
1791
1792
1793 371 1110 279 872 2358 223
1794 413 843 262 869 2357 3275 191
1795
1796 4002 139 2638
1797 849 514 4010 8130 390 973 880 1085 270 1005 1086 2593 827 2306 369 3501 3595 932 186
1798
1799
1800 882
1801
1802
1803 719 450 364 835 980 759 3158 963 164
1804 1016 2881
1805 731 428 6224 949 890 1000 270 882 836 3001 703 2355 3186 924 178
1806
1807
1808
........
1832 1118 2891
1833 662 1205

Table I (right half)

S
e
n
g
l
e
a



S
i
g
g
i
e
w
i


T
a
r
x
i
e
n



V
a
l
l
e
t
t
a
P.
S.
V
a
l
l
e
t
t
a
S.
P.
V
i
t
t
o
r
i
o
s
a

Z
a
b
b
a
r



Z
e
b
b
u
g




Z
e
j
t
u
n




Z
u
r
r
i
e
q



G
o
z
o:






M
a
t
r
i
c
e



X
a
g
h
r
a




G
h
a
r
b





N
a
d
u
r





S
a
n
n
a
t




X
e
w
k
i
j
a



Z
e
b
b
u
g




S.
G
i
o
r
g
i
o

1667 6157
1668 6143
1669
1670
1671
1672
1673
1674
1675
1676
1677
1678 4266 3579 3045
1679 1471 5350 1575 1950
1680
1681 5637
1682
1683
1684 3282
1685 3280
1686
1687 3371 1394 760 6181 3608 2250 1127 3484 1607 1813
1688
1689
1690
1691
1692 3364
1693 1260 2518
1694 4111 2312
1695 6446 2128 409 410 359
1696
1697 4845
1698 780 3811
1699 1366 810 7468 3352
1700 4071
1701 753 7972 2332
1702 4195 1460 787 8410 3802 2577 1237 3454 2006 1746 2603 652 520 470 377 643 392
1703 4280 800 8111 4065 2726
1704
1705 8663 4256 1258 2942 698 385 640
1706 8828 3050 1259 3866
1707
1708 1392
1709
1710 4068
1711 10138 3483
1712 4526
1713
1714 787 3270 643
1715 1454 842 10191 3309 3644
1716 1463 845 12601 3325 1393 3446 2221 1898 670 518 426 688 381 1523
1717 4600 1457 823 10422 3345 3341 2267 1893
1718 887 3425 3416
1719 1448 877 10239 3271 1372 3472
1720 1450 857 10224 3335 1350 3410 2375
1721 4804 1450 866 11605 4906 3462 1320 3382 2387 1857
1722 1460 877 8971 5033 3429 1453 3384 2379 1898
1723 908 9300 5434 3483 1296
1724 509 909 9446 5405 3510 2436
1725 1434 900 5254 3513 1480 3547 1873
1726 4893 5482 3728 1482 3493 1750 770 492 759 384 403 1598
1727 4775 900 5801 1548
1728 1472 920 5844 3640 1617 3135 2563 1891 443 843 492 794 399 1640
1729 4752 5981
1730 927 6043 3691 1697 3620 2643
1731 960 5684 1722 3994 2668 2083
1732 4765 6170 3610
1733 6161
1734 930 6246 2729
1735 1571 6230 3525 1836 2665
1736 1535 6244 1832 3661 2899 2273
1737 6376 2203
1738 6440 3650 2108
1739 10392 2185
1740 4744 877 7032 3435 1796 3682 2989 2229
1741 4728 6788 3356 1938 3740 3259 2270
1742 4700 957 7207 3484 1930 3695 3009 2300
1743 4658 924 7111 3546 2821 2260
1744 4730 1625 846 7313 3285 2038 3755 2985 2314
1745 4708 1645 885 7504
1746 898 2229
1747 4499 874 10342
1748 4552 10316
1749 4550
1750 10469
1751 10657
1752 10468 3875
1753
1754 4879 10582
1755 10764 4072
1756 4900 1793 853 9967 2100 2402
1757 1762 858 2686 2151 3872 2334
1758 5539 1800 879 6974 3664 3983 2424
1759
1760 2441 1134
1761
1762
1763 1881 2025 2513
1764
1765
1766
1767
1768
1769
1770
1771
1772
1773
1774
1775
1776
1777
1778
1779 3610 1983 1483
1780
1781 4202 562 4194 3340 1341 1927 761 1893
1782 4649
1783 880 4129 4308 2687
1784 4728 2247 903 9339 8326 4077 2401 4448 3883 3463 3059 1340 1490 2033 738 1432 784 1933
1785 4880 2344 3445 797 752
1786
1787
1788
1789 8828
1790
1791 4764
1792 4209
1793 4592 2643 3535 1450
1794 2660 3516 761
1795
1796
1797 4395 2865 930 10586 9522 4355 2576 4821 4665 3459 1547 1516 1100 820 1250 786
1798
1799
1800 1411 850 1356 787
1801 3716 3448
1802 2663
1803 2828 555 2663 3059 940 1449 2035 852 414
1804 4026 4024 3110 3210 1469 1459 1800 869 1356 768 1888
1805 2715 589
1806
1807
1808 3448
........
1832
1833 4873 5086 5250

Table II

1590 1614 1632 1645 1658 1670 1680 1687 1702 1716 1726 1736 1745 1760 1784 1797 1807
Notabile 2030 507 2274 441 2091 2000 326 305 294 293 423 407 2873 3549 369 3731
Rabat 1829 1389 1263 1633 1728 1782 2199 3501
Dingli 338 370 356 375 360 410 362 390 384 398 390 364
Naxxar 2333 1193 2085 1412 1455 1532 1564 1463 1529 1542 1558 1643 1741 1947 2201 2306 3020
Gargur 694 1200 800 719 733 800 706 723 713 700 723 740 795 851 973 949
Mosta 600 1579 1214 1078/ 1181 1300 1243 1443 1287 1382 1422 1700 2126 3458 2593 3003
Birkirkara 3281 1981 2500 2484 2239 1996 2700 2251 2454 2629 2814 3068 3400 3253 3252 4010 3810
Balzan 584 534 525 550 552 411 564 569 620 625 491 540 514 444
Attard 915 1218 968 922 1009 759 845 804 761 815 870 898 870 790 849 731
Lija 858 1184 1003 1115 957 911 975 1077 986 992 1034 1010 978 972 1005 872
Birmiftuh-Gudja 1973 1280 357 572 541 595 500 485 492 688 498 513 491 587 762 880 890
Luqa 1082 913 1005 1060 1002 1019 1077 1046 1181 1229 1136 1195 1014 1086 836
Safi 223 238 197 235 217 243 186 187 159 135 130 145 162 324 186 178
Kirkop 334 373 374 305 291 263 240 268 227 221 226 265 270 273 270 300
Mqabba 365 354 428 522 508 500 490 542 608 645 660 661 708 788 827 703
Tarxien 577 850 774 739 812 700 760 787 845 900 851 885 900 903 930 910
Qormi 1757 2070 3327 2540 2990 2853 2700 2669 3033 3156 3307 5403 6134 3726 3019 3395 3186
Siggiewi 1184 1317 1784 1531 1469 1723 1400 1394 1460 1463 1434 1571 3755 1788 2247 2865 2715
Zebbug 1876 2395 2074 3964 3473 3670 3579 3484 3454 3446 3494 3661 2314 4000 4448 4821 4026
Zurrieq 1683 1817 1973 1253 1807 2120 2042 1813 1746 1898 1873 2273 616 2490 3463 3459 63016
Qrendi 1024 378 734 800 700 673 775 689 613 635 2985 682 825 882 924
Zejtun 2027 1634 1222 1087 1268 1480 1700 1607 2006 2224 2542 2899 997 3529 3883 4665 4024
Ghaxaq 352 438 516 600 669 558 772 855 982 2038 1009 1054 1085 1003
Zabbar 786 824 1108 1214 1201 1127 1239 1393 1482 1832 10342 2287 2401 2576 2542
Valletta P.S. 3397 6460 8601 4857 6034 4026 5350 6181 8410 12601 9446 10392 7504 18880 9339 10586 24546
Valletta S.P. 2280 3162 3200 2678 3608 3802 4906 5482 6244 4708 8326 9522
Senglea 1603 2709 4049 3243 3730 3750 3128 3371 4195 4526 4893 4765 6063 5539 4728 4395 4152
Cospicua 1288 1396 2778 1810 2662 2877 2400 2933 3687 4305 5061 5845 3285 7112 6975 8130 9224
Vittoriosa 2568 2618 3063 2700 3192 3000 1900 2250 2577 3325 3728 3525 69079 3766 4077 4355 3300
Total 27000 34081 47249 328874 45648 44129 43129 45288 51133 58890 57453 62527 72347 74860 81425 83229
Gozo 2655 1617 2941 3923 6500 5700 5657 6556 6900 12809 12231 12829

Table XI

X
Y
T
T - Y
0 27.000 24.598 -2.402
24 34.081 30.946 -3.1349825
42 47.249 35.706803 -11.542197
55 38.871 39.145148 0.2711483
68 45.645 42.583494 -3.0615065
80 44.479 45.858351 1.0783506
90 43.129 48.402232 5.2732315
97 45.288 50.253648 4.956482
112 51.133 54.22097 3.0879695
126 58.890 57.923803 -0.9661972
136 59.323 60.568648 1.2456837
146 63.301 63.213565 -0.3874354
155 66.513 65.593597 -0.919043
170 72.347 69.561279 -2.7857212
194 74.860 75.908993 1.048993
207 81.425 79.317338 -2.0776619
217 83.229 81.992219 -1.236781

Table XII

Year
X
Y
Trend Value T
Y/T=CI
1568 18 2.61 3.443046 0.75804
1575 25 3.44 3.46305 0.99334
1632 82 4.46 3.625898 1.23004
1670 120 3.64 3.760177 0.96803
1680 130 3.84 3.763034 1.02045
1687 137 3.90 3.783033 1.03091
1693 143 3.78 3.800175 0.99469
1702 152 3.73 3.825888 0.97493
1714 164 3.87 3.860172 1.00255
1720 170 3.82 3.877314 0.98521
1725 175 3.68 3.891599 0.94562
1730 180 4.00 3.905884 1.02410
1736 186 4.46 3.923026 1.13688
1740 190 4.24 3.934450 1.07766
1745 195 4.91 3.948739 1.24344
1756 206 3.60 3.980166 0.90448
1760 210 4.07 3.991594 1.01964
1781 231 4.08 4.051591 1.00701
1785 235 3.19 4.063019 0.78513
1794 244 3.74 1.088732 0.91470
1797 247 3.98 4.097303 0.97137
1851 301 4.29 4.251581 1.00904

Table XIV

Locality
N
Z
M
X*
Y*
Birkirkara 16 1741 -0.2704 1722 69.4249
Cospicua 25 1757 -0.1032 1735 68.5606
Dingli 16 1745 -0.0265 1729 39.0978
Gudja 24 1797 0.0548 1736 72.1550
Lija 8 1784 -0.0552 1733 74.7366
Naxxar 22 1745 -0.0396 1725 73.8974
Safi 30 1793 -0.0595 1731 76.4754
Siggiewi 10 1794 -0.1818 1739 71.9540
Zabbar 13 1730 -0.2141 1722 64.4518
Zejtun 16 1797 0.0285 1738 64.1680


Table XV

Locality
year
13+
Population
%
Trend
estimate
Gudja
1797 852 880 96.82 75.52
Zejtun
1716 1724 2224 77.52 63.54
1724 1878 2436 77.09 63.77
1779 2748 6310 76.12 65.34
1783 1363 3687 36.97 65.45
1797 3836 4665 82.23 65.85
Lija
1728 916 1027 89.19 75.01
1756 638 997 63.99 79.47
Safi
1726 84 135 62.22 76.65
Naxxar
1720 1200 1442 83.22 73.09

Table XVI

Parish
List
Label
Location in
AAF LSA
Date
(1798)
No. of Men
Notabile/Rabat
1
III N.62
426
Valletta (San Paolo)
2
VI N.87
1145
Valletta (Porto Salvo)
3
XXIVa N.139
2236
Vittoriosa
4
VI N.88
827 (767)
Senglea
5
VII N.27
1715 (1239)
Cospicua
6
XX N.18
1019
Birkirkara
7
VI N.78
29.iii
612
Naxxar
8
VI N.84
29.iii
136 (132)
Qormi
9
VI N.79
813
Zejtun
10
VI N.90
459
Gudja
11
VI N.81
29.iii
136 (132)
Zurrieq
12
VI N.91
450
Siggiewi
13
VI N.85
28.iii
374
Zebbug
14
VI N.89
31.iii
822
Attard
15
VI N.76
26.iii
212
Tarxien
16
VI N.86
204
Kirkop
17
(56)
Mqabba
18
IX N.102
132
Safi
19
(40)
Lija
20
XX N.19
254
Zabbar
21
XVIII N.234
334
Luqa
22
XVI N.146
281
Gargur
23
XXI N.49
200
Mosta
24
VI N.83
369
Qrendi
25
VIII N.66
194
Ghaxaq
26
VI N.82
151
Balzan
27
VI N.77
142
Dingli
28
VI N.79a
27.iii
95
Valletta (Rito Greco)
29
VI N.92
9
Matrice
Gozo
VI N.80/1
iii
682
Xewkija
Gozo
VI N.80/2
iii
172
Gharb
Gozo
VI N.80/3
iii
137 (132)
Sannat
Gozo
VI N.80/4
iii
99 (96)
Nadur
Gozo
VI N.80/5
iii
138
Xaghra
Gozo
VI N.80/6
iii
158
Zebbug
Gozo
VI N.80/7
iii
95

Table XVII

Tarxien 1699-1769
Year
X=No. of Men
between 14 and 64
Y=Population
Ratio X:Y
1699
228
696
3.10
1705
248
799
3.22
1710
293
949
3.24
1715
253
891
3.52
1719
257
875
3.40
1725
241
871
3.61
1730
277
926
3.34
1733
296
793
2.68
1741
282
909
3.22
1745
274
885
3.23
1750
227
915
4.03
1755
254
891
3.51
1760
280
939
3.35
1765
298
834
2.80
1769
264
796
3.02

Table XVIII

Locality
1645
1741
X
Y
X:Y
X
Y
X:Y
Attard
258
968
3.75
179
886
4.95
Balzan
137
660
4.82
Birkirkara
633
2484
3.92
603
3200
5.31
Cospicua
620
1810
2.92
901
5735
6.37
Dingli
374
Gargur
214
800
3.74
193
740
3.83
Gudja
166
572
3.45
172
453
2.63
Ghaxaq
122
438
3.59
161
1025
6.37
Kirkop
97
374
3.86
59
232
3.93
Lija
156
1003
3.92
242
1044
4.31
Luqa
243
913
3.76
304
1169
3.85
Mosta
340
1214
3.57
349
1682
4.82
Mqabba
137
428
3.12
164
650
3.96
Naxxar
373
1412
3.79
242
1727
7.14
Notabile
142
441
3.11
626
Rabat
359
1389
3.87
Qormi
734
2540
3.46
1000
6043
6.04
Qrendi
95
378
3.98
645
Safi
54
197
3.65
44
133
3.02
Senglea
907
3243
3.58
950
1728
4.98
Siggiewi
372
1531
4.12
361
Tarxien
232
774
3.36
216
Valletta, P.S.
1103
4857
4.40
3287
Valletta, S.P.
586
2280
3.89
6788
Vittoriosa
705
2700
3.83
713
3356
4.71
Zabbar
216
824
3.81
345
1938
5.62
Zebbug
840
2964
3.53
802
3740
4.66
Zejtun
286
1087
3.80
536
3259
6.08
Zurrieq
430
1254
2.91
723
2270
3.14


[1] Novellae Constitutiones Post Codicem 74, IV 1-2 (Aug. Taurinorum, edid. Hered. Sebastiani Bottae, MDCCCXXIX) pp. 888-9: “...attestationem conficiat declarantem qui sub illa indictione, illo mense..., conjuncti sunt alterutri; et... talem reponat chartam... in Ecclesiae Archiviis.”

[2] J.D. Mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum Nova et Amplissima Collectio, XXXIII. Graz. 1901, p. 1302.

[3] Ibid., XXXIII,, p. 1287.

[4] Ibid., p. 1264.

[5] Ibid., XXXIVA, pp. 16, 17, 110.

[6] Ibid., XXXIII, pp. 152-3: Decretum de Reformatione Matrimonii, Caput I “Tametsi": “...habeat parochus librum, in quo conjugum et testium nomina; diemque et locum contracti matrimonii describat, quem diligenter apud se custodia.”

[7] Rituale Romanum, Vatican 1957, Appendix Para IV: De libris habendis apud Parochum, p. 42.

[8] C[odex] I[uris] C(anonici), Roma, 1965, Can. 470 §1, §3.

[9] Ibid., 1983, Can. 535.

[10] N[ational] L[ibrary] M[alta] Ms. 643, f.173 (Birmiftuh): “In libro describat mortuos hactenus describere minime solitus est.”; f.248 (Victoriosa): “Non habet librum mortuorum nec baptizatorum quem dominus mandavit fieri et in eo describi mortuos, baptizatos et qui matrimonia contraxerunt...”

[11] Ibid., p.587.

[12] op. cit., p. 49.

[13] C.I.C., 1965, Can. 2383.

[14] Ibid., Can. 470 §3.

[15] Vide, e. g., A[rchivum] A[rchiepiscopi] F[loriana], L[iber] S[tatus] A[nimarum] III N.72, f 1.

[16] Ibid., N.81, f.46v.

[17] The document in the Mdina Cathedral Archives (Misc. 441, ff. 118-9) datable to 1561 has been recently unjustifiably labelled Status Animarum (J. Montalto, The The Nobles of Malta, Malta, 1980, p.224).
In the Qormi Parish Archives (Lib. Bapt... II, ff. 381v-489v) can be found lists of communicants at Paschal-tide for years 1590-1611.

[18] Summarized in J. Bosio, Historia della S. Religione, Napoli, 1684, Lib. III, p. 300.

[19] J. Bosio, op.cit., Lib. V, p. 93: “Secondo la diligentissima visita e descrittione, che fatta ne fu’ nell’anno 1590 dal Baglivo di Negroponte Fra Ramon Fortuyn e da Diego della Quadra Pagatore delle Galere del Regno di Sicilia...”

[20] N.L.M., AOM 6385, ff.120-128v.

[21] N.L.M. Library Ms. 162, ff.127-127v.

[22] G.F. Abela, Della Descrittione di Malta, Malta, 1647, p. 79.

[23] N.L.M., Università 2, ff.165, 213, 246.

[24] e.g., Ibid., f.246: “Omnes animae Dioecesis Melitae prout colligitur ex statu animarum de praesenti anno 1680 a singulis parochiis accasione Visitationis Ill. Dn. Michaelis de Molina Epis. Melit. juxta rituale Romanum Pauli P. P. V.”

[25] op. cit., p. 37.

[26] Ibid., p. 260v.

[27] W. Hardman, A History of Malta, London, 1909, pp. 94, 98.

[28] p. 2.

[29] AAF LSA VI N79A, f.1.

[30] Ibid., N80(i), f.5v: “...gobbo...zoppo...”

[31] Ibid., N87, f.1.

[32] Ibid., XVI N146, f.1.

[33] Ibid., VI N81, f.1.

[34] K. Sant and M. Vassallo, “Tarxien in the XVIII Century: A Statistical Portrait,” Melita Historica, 7 No. 4, 1979, pp. 363-371.

[35] See, for example, A. Ferris, Descrizione Storica delle Chiese di Malta e Gozo, Malta. 1866, pp. 69 et seq.

[36] N.L.M. Lib. Ms. 721, ff.2-4v.

[37] F. Joan. Quintinus Heduus, Insulae Melitae Descriptio (trans., H.C.R. Vella), Malta, 1980, p.29; in fact, Quintinus only mentions eight parishes apart from Mdina.

[38] For parishes in Gozo which had become extinct in the late Middle Ages, cf. G. Wettinger, Il-Ġrajja Bikrija tal-Knisja Matriċi f’Għawdex 1435-1551, Malta, 1975.

[39] op. cit. p. 93.

[40] op. cit., passim and N.L.M. Libr. Ms. 162, ff.127-127v.

[41] Archivum Secretum Vaticanum, Secreteria Status Malta, 186, ff.403-406v, published in A. Bonnici, Il-Maltin u l-Inkwiżizzjoni fis-Seklu Sbatax, Malta, 1977, pp. 213 et seq.

[42] B. Blouet, “Rural Settlement in Malta,” Geography 56 1971, pp. 112-118.

[43] cf. P. Cassar, Medical History of Malta, London, 1964, pp. 172-175.

[44] A.A.F. L.S.A. XXII N101, f.42.

[45] op. cit., p. 290.

[46] N.L.M. A.O.M. 547, Liber Bullarum, 27.iv.1743, f.159v.

[47] cf. J.F. Grima, ed., Il-Knisja Parrokkjali ta’ San Ġorġ Ħal Qormi, Malta, 1984.

[48] Figures in parentheses are as given in N.L.M. Libr. Ms. 162, ff.127-127v.

[49] For example as discussed in A.T. Luttrell, ed., Ħal Millieri, Malta, 1976, p.22.

[50] B. Blouet, Gozo, Malta, 1965, p. 34.

[51] A. Bonnici, op. cit., p. 208.

[52] N.L.M. Libr. Ms. 643. Visitatio Duzina, passim.

[53] G.F. Abela, Malta Illustrata ... del Comm. Giovanfrancesco Abela ... corretta, accresciuta ... dal Conte Giovannantonio Ciantar, Malta, 1772-80, p. 294.

[54] N.L.M. Univ. 183, f.64.

[55] cf. The New Catholic Encyclopedia, New York, 1967, Vol IV, p. 37 et seq.

[56] G. Micallef, Ħal Safi, Malta, 1980, p. 24 et seq.

[57] op. cit., p. 274.

[58] A.T. Luttrell, op. cit., p. 22.

[59] 1881 Census, p. 6.

[60] A.A.F. L.S.A. XXIIB N2.

[61] Mus. Cath. Mdina, A.I.M. Corr. 98, 1708, especially ff.32v, 33.

[62] “The Militia List of 1419-20,” Melita Historica, V No.2, 1969, p.4.

[63] 1881 Census, p. 1.

[64] K. Sant and M. Vassallo, op. cit., Tables I and II.

[65] In this context, the following information is worth noting: In a document of 1568 held in the Vatican Library and quoted by A. Bonnici (op. cit., p. 280) the population of Malta is given as 7813 (compare Boisgelin’s figure of 10,000 for 1569) and the number of utili per combatter as 2307, giving a ration of 1 : 3.99.