Does your last name on these endings also end? You probably have Croatian roots

The Balkan roots resonate in humans even today.

Verudela beach in Pula, Croatia on the Istrian peninsula. – Photo: Flickr

TRNAVA, July 3 – In the villages and towns of the Trnava region and also in western Slovakia towards Bratislava live many inhabitants, whose last name ends with -ič. They can be largely offspring Croatian immigrants, who began to colonize Slovakia from the middle Danube, from the Sava and Drava rivers after the Battle of Mohács (1526). Municipalities in the Trnava region such as Dlhá, Ružindol, Paderovce (part of Jaslovské Bohunice), Dobrá Voda, Zvončín, Suchá nad Parnou, Košolná, Naháč and Dechtice showed a significant Croatian majority at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries. In them, such surnames are still preserved, as well as awareness of their origin.

Do you have such a last name?

Last names Fančovič, Ažaltovič, Šimončič, Krajčovič, Izakovič, Boledovič, Demovič, Hlavatovič, Benedikovič, Miklovič, Jakabovič, Kubovič, Lančarič, Lukačovič, Miklovič, Matovič, Ondrejkovič, Pavlovič, Polakovič, Šefčovič and many more should territory of Croatia in connection with the Ottoman raids. As the Croatian language and the language of the inhabitants in the territory of present-day Slovakia were related, the assimilation of the newcomers took place over a relatively short period of time. Historical sources state that those villages around Trnava, where the Croatian majority lived, are registered as Slovak after 1796.

Croatians enjoyed taking tax holidays

In the village of Ružindol near Trnava, for example, the chronicle states that it lived in 1598 “lot of people” with Croatian surnames. Croatians enjoyed taking tax holidays because, as settlers, they did not have to pay taxes for sixteen years. When this period expired, they moved on and thus migrated from one estate to another. ” it is written in the monograph of the village Ružindol from 2009. The first Croats came to the Dobovodské manor, belonging to the Dobrá Voda castle, as also stated in the municipal chronicle, in 1548 and settled in Paderovce, Radošovce and Naháč.

In the archival picture the ruins of the Dobrá Voda castle.  Since 2009, volunteers have been working to save him.
In the archival picture the ruins of the Dobrá Voda castle. Since 2009, volunteers have been working to save him. Photo: TASR / Milan Soukup

The Balkan roots resonate in humans even today. “When we were in Zagreb, I found sixteen pages in the phone book with the surname Šimončič,” Jozef Šimončič, a historian from Trnava, a native of the village of Dechtice, told TASR. He searched for his ancestors, “little bit”, as he said, also the current chairman of the Trnava self-governing region Jozef Viskupič. He remained so far only at the beginning of the search, butthe ancestors certainly did not come here as part of natural migration, they were forced by circumstances. According to him, one of the sources could show that the settlement in the west is also related to the so-called Croatian Guard, whose members received land as a reward after the fighting.

However, linguists do not see the Croatian origin of surnames with the suffix -ich so clearly. Milan Majtán writes in the publication Our surnames, published by the Slovak Academy of Sciences in its Veda publishing house, that “the ancient suffix –ovic, later –ovič expressed belonging to the family as a whole. Last names with this suffix are often considered South Slavic. However, the Croatian origin of their bearers is not unambiguous, only a part of such surnames is not of Slovak origin and such a way of creation was not and is not foreign to Slovak, “ stated the author. However, Croatian surnames can be seen in surnames such as Stančič, Šimončič, Urbanič and the like.

The database of surnames in Slovakia (author P. Ďurčo a kolektív, Slovak Academy of Sciences), which describes the situation from 1995, lists 253 bearers in 62 localities in the case of the surname Fančovič. Most in Trnava, in the nearby villages of Bučany, Naháč, Pastuchov, Bohunice, Hlohovec. At the surname Tomašovič (544 bearers in 128 localities) leads Trnava, at the surname Viskupič (91 bearers in 29 localities) it is Trnava and Ružindol, Izakovič (249 bearers in 58 localities) it is again Trnava, Dlhá and Suchá nad Parnou. The surname Šimončič was found 407 times in Slovakia in 75 localities in the given year, most often in Trnava, and this is how dozens of other names can be continued.