Mizzi Crest

The Origin of the surname MIZZI

The Maltese surname Mizzi is of patronymic origin. A patronymic surname is one that is derived from the personal name of the original bearer. Mizzi is derived from the Italian personal name of Giacomo which became Comizzo and eventually Mizzo. When the surname first came to Malta from Italy around 1480 it was spelled variously as Muxi, Micci and Miczi, before finally becoming Mizzi. A Mizzi is mentioned in the Notabile (Mdina) records as Mayor of that town in 1582 and a Muxi as Treasurer to the Knights in 1647.

In 1551 the island of Gozo was raided by the Turks and almost the entire population was carried away to slavery. Since most of the remaining Gozitans fled to Malta for "safety", the island was practically abandoned. After 1565 there was a drive to repopulate Gozo and many people from Malta and other countries settled there.


Our Mizzi Ancestors

The earliest known ancestor of our Mizzi family in Gozo was Domenico, who in 1628 married Marietta Azzopardi, in Rabat. The marriage of Domenico's parents, Pietro Mizzi and Paulina, is not recorded in Gozo so they were probably married in Malta, though this marriage has not be found in any parish in Malta either.

Dr Placido Mizzi, born 1744, was our first Mizzi ancestor of note in Gozo. He was a lawyer but is listed in the Malta Government Gazette, issue 6/1/2006, as having worked also as a Notary between the years 1764-1786. Since then the profession of Lawyer has been passed on from father to son(s) until today.

Dr Francesco Mizzi, Placido's grandson, born c1815, moved to Malta where he married a Maltese girl. On April 30, 1885, Francesco, as Magistrate for Malta, gave his judgment in the notorious Rapinet case (Histories of Malta, vol 1. by Giovanni Bonello).

Dr Fortunato Mizzi, Francesco's son, born 1844, was founder of the Anti-Reform party, later known as the Partito Nationale and today as the Partit Nazionalista. He opposed taxation imposed by the British colonial authorities and resisted their efforts to anglicize the educational and judicial systems. Dr Mizzi fought so hard for Malta's rights during British rule that he became known as "Padre della Patria" (Father of the Nation). Dr Fortunato was married to Maria Sofia Folliero De Luna, descendent of a well-known family from Naples, Italy.

Dr Giuseppe Mizzi, Fortunato's son, born 1873, besides being a lawyer, was also a journalist and between 1910 and 1927 was director of the Newspaper "Malta" which he had inherited from his father. He made his political views known through writing articles and patriotic poetry in his newspaper. One of his better known poems, "L'Ora Solenne", was published on 26th February 1919.

Dr Enrico (Nerik) Mizzi, Giuseppe's brother, continued his father Fortunato's struggle for Malta's autonomy. In 1942 he became leader of the Partit Nazionalista, and in 1950 Prime Minister of Malta. He initiated the drive for Malta's independence which was achieved in 1964. During his life Nerik was known as "Il Cavaliere senza macchia e senza paura" (an honorable and fearless Knight).

Dr Fortunato (Effie) Mizzi, Giuseppe's son, born 1917, followed in his family's footsteps and became involved in politics early in his career. He was Minister of Justice and Minister of Education in two separate administrations. In 1953 he went back to working as a lawyer till he was appointed Magistrate. Later he was appointed Judge, and lastly Appeal Court Judge. Dr Fortunato was married to Helen Grech Cumbo.

Dr Fortunato had four daughters, none of whom became lawyers. His brother, however, Dr Edgar Mizzi, was also a lawyer and two of his sons became lawyers. So the Mizzi tradition goes on…..

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Mizzi Family Tree
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