Genealogy

Charles has been actively studying the subject of genealogy for several years now, having principally began in the exploration of his own heritage and family journey.

If you have a question about how best to study your own family history, or have a question about the history of Cheshire, contact Charles using the Contact page.

A selection of the most interesting figures in the tree can be seen below:

The De Apapis Dynasty

The De Apapis name does not appear on the militia muster rolls from the 1400s in Malta, so must have been confined to Malta’s sister Island, Gozo in the early days. The family may have been Greek Orthodox Catholics at this time, as it is said that the surname is a Latinisation of the Greek word apapy, meaning “Dandelion”. Whether this was used to describe the physical appearance of its namesake or describe where they lived is unknown. Alternatively, and perhaps more likely, the surname could come from apibus Latin for “from the Bees”, denoting a beekeeper.

The first known standard bearer of the De Apapis lineage is Milite Lancia de Apapis, born circa 1420 in Ghawdex (Gozo), Malta’s sister island. Lancia was captain of the Citadel of Rabat, pictured below. He played a vital role in preventing the Ottoman invasion of the Maltese islands and is the first attested individual to use the De Apapis name. Whatever his origins were, they were not humble, as he married Chiusa de Chiaro, baroness of Montechiaro and member of the Chiaramonte family. The Chiaramontes belong to the Sicilian nobility and and warrant a genealogy all of their own, though I will briefly mention that many beautiful palazzos have been built in Sicily in their name. The Chiaramontes were originally Siculo-Norman, and their progenitor, Manfredi Chiaramonte came from Normandy. Before this, they were Nords from Scandinavia.

The Citadella, Ir-Rabat, Gozo, Malta. Lancea De Apapis was responsible for ensuring the safety of Ir-Rabats citizens during the Muslims razzias (raids).

Lancia De Apapis had several children: Leonardo, Andreotto, Lauria, Federico, Bartolomeo and Lorenza. The unusual name given to his daughter Lauria may be a clue as to his origins, as Lauria is a small town in Southern Italy. All of Lancea’s children were successful, but his son Leonardo De Apapis, my 13th great grandfather, is the most well-documented and likely the most successful of the clade, as none of the other children’s lineages still survive in the main line of descent. He married another noblewoman: Margherita Debbus.

His son Salvatore, my 12th great grandfather, married Leonora De Nasis, the daughter of Pino De Nasis, a giurato (Juror) who may have been related to the Italian De Nasi family, who it is said have Sephardic Jewish roots and descend from King David (nasi meaning “king” in Hebrew). His father in turn was Paolo De Nasis, also a giuarato and captain of The Citadella from 1430 to 1435.

If you are a relative of mine in the main line of descent, please do not hesitate to contact me using the details as given on the Contact section of the site. This summer 2020, I am to undertake a YDNA test and will post the results here for the educational benefit of others of my kin.