Mr Twanny Mifsud of Siġġiewi has compiled an index of the first five Baptism registers of our parish. The index covers the period from 22 October 1625 to 22 February 1792 and was completed in less than six months.
During the exercise, some interesting facts emerged:
- On 7 July 1630 Don Matteo Zahra made a note that the baptisms performed after this date were administered by himself on the orders of Bishop Baldassare Cagliares.
- Nine slaves were baptized on 19 August 1692 (their surnames are registered with the prefix “de” – de Vella, de Cuscheri – as they were considered the property of their master).
- On 20 September 1716 Bishop Jacobus Canaves made a pastoral visit to Gozo and on 11 October 1716 the same bishop dedicated the new church of the Matrice, today the Gozo Cathedral.
- On 5 June 1724 Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena paid a visit to Gozo.
- On 12 October 1729 Bishop Paul Alpheran de Bussan made a pastoral visit to Gozo.
- Baptism registrations at St George’s Parish were suspended from 7 September 1779 after the church was profaned. Baptisms resumed after the church was blessed again on 19 February 1780.
Work is currently underway on indexing the baptisms from 1792 to 1892. Once this work is completed, the Parish will have an index of all the baptisms, marriages and deaths from 1625 to date.