The Cumbo Family

of Malta

Marsaxlokk, Malta

Image: Wikipedia

The Cumbo surname is rare today but has been in use for several centuries in both Malta and Italy. My aim in creating this website is to explore the origins of the Cumbo surname and to learn about the lives of my own Maltese ancestors - one generation at a time.

I was born in Australia, but my dad like his parents before him, was born in Marsaxlokk - a fishing village in the southeast of the island of Malta.

This web page attempts to connect the stories of my Cumbo ancestors: my dad, my grandfather, my great-grandfather and so on. It is based on a direct-line family tree chart that was produced for my dad by a Maltese genealogist, David Lanfranco, about a decade ago. The completed chart followed my father's paternal line from his parents' birth certificates through parish marriage records and the acts of notaries to Dr. Pietro Cumbo. Pietro Cumbo was a lawyer who lived in Malta's old capital of Mdina during the 16th century, and who was charged and eventually sentenced for heresy during the early years of the Roman Inquisition in Malta.

With the help of Charles Said-Vassallo, the author of the Malta Genealogy website, we were able to link the chart to the genealogy presented on the Cumbo family page (one of many Maltese families listed on the site). This revealed several generations of ancestors beyond Pietro, and ultimately a possible origin for the family in 14th century Catalonia (Spain).

With every additional generation included in a family tree, the records tend to become more difficult to verify and the chances of a false link increase. In spite of this, I've chosen to work down from my most distant 'known' ancestor in the hope of eventually establishing some sense of the broader narrative linking one generation to the next.

Nick Cumbo

My grandfather Giovanni Cumbo and grandmother Giuseppa Caruana, my aunty Freda (Alfreda) - left, and my dad John (Giovanni) - right.