Posted by Rebecca Sultana on November 22, 2007 at 02:04:41:
I am a Maltese 30 year old looking for information regarding my Irish ancestors who had immigrated to Malta towards the end of the 1800s.
My great great grandparents were from Cork, Patrick Joseph O’Shea and Gusmana Concetta North. Patrick was Irish whilst Gusmana North was English. Due to the socio-political situation of the day, their union was unacceptable even though it seems they were both Catholic. Since both their families didn’t approve of their relationship, Patrick and Gusmana decided to elope.
The determined and committed couple settled in Malta in the latter part of the 1800s, still an English colony at the time. They got married and had four children - Una, Gerald, Maud and Patricia.
Una O’Shea married a Maltese gentleman called Joseph Pace. Their six children inherited both parents’ surnames which evolved into the double surname Pace O’Shea. My maternal grandfather, Vincent Pace O’Shea, was one of those children.
As far as I know, there has been no communication with any of the Irish/English families in Ireland since the couple’s disappearance. Due to the reason for migrating, I imagine my mother’s ancestors broke ties completely. The oldest relative alive in Malta (now in her 70s), has no recollection except for the little information I have given.
I am very doubtful that this part of my family could ever be traced, since too much time has passed. To make matters more difficult, searching the Irish registry is useless since there are no marriage records of Patrick and Gusmana’s union; and they might also have been declared legally dead due to their long absence coupled with no news. However, since the Irish are known to be ardent story-tellers, I was hoping someone might have passed on this bit of notoriously romantic family history to succeeding generations of O’Shea and North families. If so, there might still be some hope!
I have always been intrigued by this part of my family tree that is presently marked by a big question mark and would like nothing more than to fill it in. I have been travelling to Ireland nearly every year during the past seven years (and I am sure that it will lure me back for many more years to come), but have never got any answers or even come close to finding out more about this fraction of my roots.
If you happen to know anything about this story, I would really love to hear from you, especially if you’re part of the O’Shea or North families.
Any help or information would be greatly appreciated.
I can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail at
P.O Box 25, Msida, MSD 1001, Malta