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History*

*a note on language: for the sake of clarity family member's names are given in their original language and their titles in English.

Geographical Origin

The majority of early family records originate in the area of Naples in Southern Italy, though through the religious persecution of Fortunato de Félice in the 18th century, a large branch of the family is found in Yverdon near Lausanne, Switzerland and across Western France and later Great Britain. One must distinguish between the modern variants of the name, that is with and without an acute accent on the "e", though it is less important for records pre-1800 as they tend to be less standardised in terms of spelling.

Coat of Arms

 

An ornamental plate with the de Félice arms.

The de Félice arms tiled in Italy.

 

In the category "Familles nobles en Europe", Rietstap's Armorial General describes the blazon as:

"D'or à la fasce de gueules, acc. en chef de trois étoiles rangées d'azur, et en pointe de deux tours de sable. "

i.e.: Or, a Fess Gules, three stars Azure in chief, two Towers Sable in base

Baron Erik Magnus Stael von Holstein

General Henri Guisan

Earliest Records & Notable Family Members

The earliest records of the de Félice family go back to 1334, with a "Pietro de Felice" being recorded as the Archbishop of Matera, in the South of Italy (not to be confused with the Bishop Pietro de Félice born in 1737).

Though one of the family's ancestral homes is from the 16th century, the earliest record so far after the Archbishop, is of Nicolas de Félice, born around 1670. His grandsons included the philosopher and encyclopaedian Fortunato de Félice, later Count Panzutti and Pietro de Félice, the Bishop of Sessa-Aurunca. Fortunato's grandson was the theologian Guillaume de Félice, Count Panzutti. His daughter Sophie married Henri François Louis Gabriel Guisan, and thus their grandchildren became cousins of General Henri Guisan, later Commander in Chief of the Swiss Army during WWII. From this branch the family are also second cousins of the baronial family of Stael-Holstein and the ducal family of de Broglie.

Duke Victor de Broglie

Baroness "Madame de Stael"

Il Conti di Panzutti & Le Vicomte d'Yverdon
(for the sake of clarity in explanation, titles will be given in English)

As with many Italian titles, Panzutti is hereditary by both female and male descendants (though males have priority). Equally it is held suo jure, meaning that the current title holder may specify to pass the title on to a descendant of their choosing, as can be seen in 1871 upon the death of the Guillaume de Félice. The current eldest male of the family is styled The Count Panzutti, and the heir apparent is given the courtesy title of The Viscount Yverdon. There is a record, however, in 1759 of Fortunato de Félice being referred to as "his Majesty".

See also: Comital Line of the de Félice family, Marquesal Line of the de Félice family

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