My connection to the ancient line of Diacono/Lo Iacono is through my Great, Great, Great Grandmother, Theresa Diacono (1793-1864), who married Giuseppe Griscti in 1814 in Malta. Her family came from Citta Cospicua, one of the three cities situated within the Grand Harbour to the east of Valletta. Her lineage is included on a family tree from c.1600 for Lo Jacono on the website of the Maltese nobility, the Libro d’Oro di Melita.  The names Diacono, Iacono, Lo Jacono or Jacomo are all variants of the same name and mean (the) deacon.

Street in Luqa, leading to St Andrew's church. Source.

Street in Luqa, leading to St Andrew’s church. Source.

The family tree at Libro d’Oro shows Theresa was a direct descendant of Don Vincenzo Lo Iacono, Baron of Ragusa, Sicily, who came to Malta as “arbitante” (i.e. local governor) for Casa Luca. (Luca aka Luqa is a small village today housing Malta’s main airport).  Vincenzo’s children appear to have settled in the neighbouring towns of Qormi (Curmi Pinto) and Gudja.

Theresa’s direct line of descent from the Baron is shown below, where she appears in generation 8.


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The city of Ragusa in Sicily. © V.A. Leeming.

The city of Ragusa in Sicily. © V.A. Leeming.

The Italian introductory text to the extended family tree for Diacono on the Libro d’Oro website, refers to documentary evidence for the Lo Jacono surname in the 13th and 14th centuries. It does not however prove any particular ancestral connection. It translates as follows:

According to the Sicilian Feudal Archives:
Between the years 1282 and 1390, Andrea de Iaconia and Giovanni di Iaconia of the Siracusa Military Guard were invited on January 26th 1283 to join the Military Services of King Pietro Ruggero di Jaconia, the son of the late Bartolomeo Catalano.  According to the fiscal records of 1335, he drew an income of 30 onze from his tenants Rachalcachi Bucales and Rachadedi.
Ruggero di Jaconia and his tenant Chadedi are mentioned on 13th March 1334 when Pietro 11 ordered a carrier from Noto to establish arbitrators to be chosen by the relevant parties of the estates Chadedi di  Ruggero and Giaconia di Siracusa.
On the May 22nd 1335 in compliance with two separate mandates of Pietro 11 , Rinaldo Cappello, Baldo de Magristro Baldo and Giovanni de Colo won an arbitration award regarding the confines of the said lands.   The same Ruggero di Jaconia died on October 30th 1340.
In the financial returns of 1345, it showed that the beneficiaries of the kingdom of Ruggero di Jaconia, domiciled in Siracusa paid tax for an armed  horse equal to an income of 20 onze.
In the financial returns of 1345 appears a record of Jaconia, a resident of Palermo being taxed for an armed horse equal to an income of 20 onze

Filippo de Jaconia, probably from Siracusa was named along with other noblemen of the area in  a management letter dated August 2nd 1375. 

(Translated by Veronica Whitehouse).

Map of Sicily showing its regions and major towns and cities. The medieval city of Ragusa is in Southern Sicily.

Map of Sicily showing its regions and major towns and cities. The medieval city of Ragusa is in Southern Sicily.


While I have double-checked the genealogy above using information from the Geneanum database and manuscript views from the Archdiocese Malta Archives, I have been unable to find a primary source for Baron Vincenzo Lo Iacono. Viewers who visit the family tree at Libro d’Oro di Melita will also notice that I have not included Vincenza Briffa as his wife because I am not convinced that this is correct. The database at Geneanum also does not mention her. I will update the pedigree if further evidence to support it can be found.