NEW BOOK 2003
A Guide and Index to
Croatian Coats of Arms
By Adam S. Eterovich
The Index covers over 7000 Croatian family names and variations of names.
Each name is referenced with the source of grant. Some names were never
formally listed and were found on grave stones, house doors or on church
floors. Names were recorded in the Hungarian, Austro-German, Venetian-Italian
and Croatian languages. The Croatian language was formalized in 1848;
most Croatian nobility were granted prior to 1848 and names appear corrupted
with many variations. Dalmatian and Istrian nobility used two forms of
their names in some cases, such as Mladinic-Mladineo or Capogrosso-Glavinic.
The Italian alphabet does not have a Č, Ę, ®, ©, K, D®, Š. Kovacevic became
Covacevich; Basanic-Bassanich. Croatian nobility grants and records were
found from Vienna in Austria to Budapest, Hungary and Venice in Italy.
Croatian nobility records can be found in all archival centers in Croatia
and in personal family archives. Many more names will be found with further
research. No Guide or Index exists to Croatian coat of arms or heraldry.
Croatia Proper, Slavonia, Dalmatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina,
and Vojvodina all had the same source or influence of grants of nobility.
Croatia was ruled and influenced by Austria, Hungary, Turkey and Venice
and her nobility can be best illustrated as follows: 0ld Croatian hereditary
nobility; Austrian-Hungarian grants; Venetian grants to Dalmatian nobility.
A further detailed breakdown of the various parts of Croatia and the years
involved would be as follows:
Hereditary nobility; Feudal nobility; List of nobility or grant of Coat
of Arms-1438; Habsburg nobility grants - 1527-1740; Austrian or Hungarian
- 1740-1806; Start of military orders or grants to Croatians on the Military
Frontier; Austro-Hungarian-Croatian - 1806-1918.
Old Dalmatian nobility and those escaping from Bosnia recognized by
Venice 1409-1520; Venice granted titles to those who fought the Turks
and gave others the title of Count - 1520-1718; Majority of Dalmatian
arms were granted in this period - 1718-1797; Austria occupation recognized
all Venetian-Dalmatian nobility - 1797-1806; French occupation took away
some privileges-1806-1813; Austrian occupation recognizes only 20% of
Dalmatian nobility - 1814-1918.
Old Croatian hereditary titles; Feudal nobility - 1377-1463; Hercegovinean
nobility to 1482. All grants of arms and heraldry stopped with the conquest
of Bosnia and Hercegovina by the Ottoman Turk.
The original grants were lands given to the nobility under a strict
system. Later Coats of Arms were granted, then finally lists were published
as Nobility Lists or Rolls of Nobility.
Titles of Nobility
Titles of the nobility varied somewhat due to the influence of foreign
rulers and the time period involved. The titles were somewhat different
in various parts of Croatia: Old Croatian Hereditary Nobility Knezova--Princes;
Velikasa--High Nobility. Bosnian Nobility Knez -- Prince; Vojvoda--Duke;
Plemic--Nobleman. Habsburg - Austria Period Knez--Prince; Grof--Count;
Barun--Baron; Vitez--Knight; Plemic--Nobleman. Dalmatian Cities Vlastela--High
Nobility; Vlastelicici--Nobility. Venice Conte--Count; Nobile--Nobleman.
Study of Arms
The study of Croatian coats of arms and other historic sciences on the
professional level started in Croatia in the seventeenth century, particularly
with the works by Pavao Ritter Vitezovic from Senj. The contributions
have been especially notable since the nineteenth century. Ivan Bojnicic
published ā¶Der Adel von Kroatien und Slavonienā» (The Noblemen of Croatia
and Slavonia). Beside Bojnicic the most prominent expert in this field
in the 20th century was Bartol Zmajic. He was a baron, a descendant of
a reputable noble family. He spent his whole working life of forty years
in the Croatian State Archives in Zagreb as an archivist and a senior
archivist, mostly of earlier historic records and published the first
detailed insight into the development of Croatian heraldry.
Union of Hungary with the Twelve Croatian Clans
The twelve chief Croatian clans, presumably descendants of the original
tribes that had taken possession of the country in the sixth or seventh
centuries, were the
- Mogoric, or Muric,
- Jamometic or Jamonstic, and
- Tugomiric or Tudomiric.
Croatia had no male heir. It was with the head families of these clans
that the Hungarian king entered into discussions as to the terms on which
he was to ascend the throne of the Trpimirovici. In 1102 they recognized
Koloman as their sovereign. The basic condition that the clans appear
to have laid down to the Hungarian ruler was that the Croatian nation
in general should retain full possession of Croatian territory and national
property; more particularly the twelve noble families or clans named,
who ruled were confirmed in their possession of this territory.
In mid winter of 1249 the Mongols rode across the frozen Danube river,
and, in pursuance of their usual tactic of following to the death the
king of any force which dared to oppose them in the field, part of their
army set out to run Bela to earth. The Hungarian king at this time ennobled
the entire community of Turopolje near Zagreb for its services in his
defense and in supplying him and his entourage with food and other necessities.
But Zagreb could not be held against the Mongol storm and the king made
for the coast with the Mongol ponies almost on his heels. Zagreb itself
was largely destroyed.
A certain number of plemena (clans) and bratsva remained free. They
came to constitute free communities which operated under the general
of the lords of the surrounding territories. Sometimes these communities
acquired titles of group nobility, Plemenite opcine. Often, too, they
had serfs of their own. Communities of this kind such as those of Turopolje,
Pokupje, Draganic, Domagovic, Cvetkovic, and of the Korana region, occupied
entire villages and succeeded in conserving their privileges until 1848.
- Eterovich, Adam S.: A Guide and Index to Croatian Coats of Arms.
San Carlos: Ragusan Press, 2003. 70 pages. Soft Cover. Spiral Bound.
$15.00. An index and guide to the Nobility of Croatia. Over 7000 names
- Eterovich, Adam S.: A Guide to Croatian Genealogy. San Carlos,
Calif.: Ragusan Press, 1995. 50 pages. Booklet. $14.00. Includes Maps,
- Eterovich, Adam S.: Croatian Popes and Saints and the Croatian
Checkered Arms. San Carlos: Ragusan Press, 1998. 60 pages. $15.00.
A booklet containing all forms of family and state arms with the Croatian
checkered arms. Thirteen Popes had similar Arms.
Adam S. Eterovich
2527 San Carlos Ave.
San Carlos, California 94070
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Croatian Coat of Arms during centuries
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