Visit the towns and villages where your ancestors lived, the churches in which they prayed, the countryside they would have walked and the pictures of their lives and the reasons for leaving their homeland will become brighter.
A visit that goes beyond the obvious tourist destinations
We can fully customise an ancestral tour based on your family’s history. Following or retracing the footsteps of your ancestors is very much a personal journey so no two journeys can be the same!
After Great Britain (11.4 million), Italy (9.9 million) and Ireland (7.3 million), Austria-Hungary represented the fourth largest source of emigration with 5.5 million.
In the 1860s and the 1870s, emigrants from the Habsburg Monarchy numbered only several thousand per year, with Dalmatia in the lead. Only during the economic recession in the 1880s did overseas emigration from the Austrian part of the Empire sharply rise to 20,000 persons per annum and it never fell below that level again. In 1892, the number of emigrants reached 50,000 and in 1904 as many as 100,000.
From 15 th cent.aa rich merchants from the republic of Ragusa (Dubrovnik) had there commercial representatives established in the main ports of Europe but also a whole community settled in Goa(India) to facilitate trade with India. Even today the patron saint of Dubrovnik, St Blaise, is still worshipped in Goa.
Most emigrants from Croatia left for America, particulary after the 1880s when the immigration laws were favorable and work was plentifull. They also left for Canada, South America, South Africa, Australia & New Zealand.
Sometimes it was the fact that the first villagers left for one place and then sent for their brothers, sisters, cousins and fellow villagers to come and join them. Even today we can find towns in overseas countries where the decendents of the first immigrants are more numerous than the original village in the homeland they came from. An example is the village of Podgora, in Dalmatia, from where a lot of young men emigrated to New Zealand and worked as gum diggers, many of their descendents have settled in Hamilton
When Croatians migrated they left as nationals or citizens of Austria, Venice, Hungary or Turkey. Ethnically they were always Croatians, but in immigration Croatians were identified by America, Canada, South America, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia as above or in recent times as Yugoslavs and were recorded as such, regardless of their ethnic background.
In Dalmatia the situation became even worse at the beginning of the 20th cent., when the phyloxera (wine rust) devastated the vinyards thus causing an exodus of young men to search for work in overseas countries.
This large intercontinental business soon attracted a large number of middlemen offering different services, including train and steamship tickets, and management of an emigrant’s entire trip from his native village to the final destination. Many agents also provided exchange and banking services, such as money exchange, rather reliable saving and transfer of money to the families in the homeland.
Emigration agents, bankers, shippers’ representatives and thousands of “sales agents” traveled even to the most remote villages, to look for customers willing to try their luck abroad.
Cunard’s newly built Britannia set out from Liverpool to Boston via Halifax, thus starting the first regular transoceanic steamship service.
In early 20th century one of the biggest shippers in the world, Hamburg – America line(HAPAG), introduced in 1872 a weekly service for New York. Soon HAPAG’s ships started calling in at Baltimore, Central America, Mexico, South America, China, Japan and Australia. The year 1873 saw the introduction of a summer service Hamburg-Antwerp-Montreal, and a winter service Hamburg-Antwerp-Boston. In order to counter the competition in the Mediterranean, Hamburg-Amerika Linie and Norddeutscher Lloyd introduced a service connecting the ports of Naples and Genoa with New York (1897-1905).
In 1914 it had 175 large ships, sailed to the five continents and employed 20,000 persons! In a competition with major shippers, which boasted large and luxurious vessels, in a single year (1912) HAPAG built the Titanic and the Imperator, which was advertised as the world’s largest ship. That behemoth carried 700 passengers in the 1st class, 600 in the 2nd, 940 in the 3rd and 1,750 in the 4th. Namely, after having improved conditions in the 3rd class, the company cleverly introduced a new categorization of passengers.
Already after 1850 the competition between the ports and the shippers became fierce. As a result of that, prices were slashed and quality of service improved. Yet, the Mediterranean ports remained significantly more expensive, and the voyage to New York took two weeks, compared to one week from the Atlantic ports.
In a highly competitive market, a travel agency’s and shipper’s good management and marketing skills played an even bigger role in channeling of emigrants than the ticket price and the duration of passage.
Although Hamburg and Bremen were much cheaper than Rijeka(an northern Adriatic port at that time governed by Hungary), some emigrants found it worthwhile to travel across the English Channel to Liverpool to save nine dollars (25 compared to 34).
Many young men opted for foreign ports by default, in an attempt to avoid military service, which lasted several years. Hence, other than Hamburg and Bremen, ports of choice were also Rotterdam, Antwerp, Le Havre, Southampton, Liverpool and Genoa.
A large number of recorded passenger complaints and photos prove false enticing descriptions of the standards aboard the new ships in the commercial brochures of the shipping companies.
Although we are only a travel agency and do not do genealogical research we could help you in gettingsome information
on your family history.
Send us the details you already have : Names, place of birth, time of emigration and we can see what info
we can dig out for you in the villages your ancestors came from.
In any case a visit to the place it all started will not only enhance your experience and thoughts on your family roots but also change the way you percieve you ancestors.
Surnames can be considered as migrant monuments that indicate the migration, a new place of settlement in the country or abroad, and so indicate on kinship and the bearers of the surname.
It became necessary, in order to identify a specific person,to add to the first name more information, such as – profession (Kovač- blacksmith Marko), relationship (Marko son of Peter ), origin (Mark from the city of), appearance (large Marko) etc.
First surnames were introduced in the feudal system. Patrician families surnames were needed to ensure the succession rights, inherit reputation, position and property and preserve for posterity acquired privileges. Feudal authority also strart using surnames for their serfs in order to more easily note their hereditary households obligations.
The Catholic church needed these records for the prevention of inter-family marriages, tax collecting etc.
Through administrative measures by secular and ecclesiastical authorities surnames have developed from a variety of additional names and nicknames into permanent, fixed ancestral names passed on by the male members of the family (through marriage women take their husbands last name).
We can freely say Croatian surnames occur relatively early and are amongst the oldest in Europe. It should be mentioned that some of the surname systems in the sourounding countries of Croatia are significantly different.
Thus, for example, the Orthodox church did not use the same surname system until the beginning of 20th cent. There was a so-called patronymic system, in which the individual is qualified and determined by his fathers personal name (eg Peter son Marko is Marko Petrovic), such a “name” is not hereditary, and changes from generation to generation, depending on the father’s name (this does not apply to the Orthodox in the area of the Habsburg Monarchy, where the surname system was regulated).
The Ottoman Empire was also unfamiliar with the surname system. For example, in Turkey surnames were introduced, according to the European model, only in the framework of reforms during the twenties of the 20th century.
We’ll mention for example the different ways of writing the surname Blašković: Blaschkowitsch, Blashcouich, Blaskouicz, Blaskovich, Blaskovits, Blaskowits, Blaskowych etc.
With the introduction of standard Croatian literary language in mid-19th century there was a tendency of correcting these foreign forms of writing surnames. These old forms of writing Croatian surnames still exists today, mainly in some countries of the former Habsburg Empire (Austria, Hungary, etc.).
In modern times foreign forms of writing Croatian surnames are found mostly in America, Australia, Canada and New Zeleand where Croatian surnames are adjusted to English .The typical change is in the continuation-ić- in – ich, ( Malković becomes Malkovich , Kovač becomes Kovach or Kovac) or “š” in sh ( Šimunović becomes Shimunovich).
Jozipović Josipovich Jozipovich
Kalačić Kalaćić Kalacich Kalachich
Katušić Katusich Katushich
Kokić Kokičević Kokich Kokicevich Kokichevich
Kunac Kunčević Kuncevich Kunchevich
Kurte Kurtić Kurtich
Letica Letičić Letišić Leticić Leatich Letisich
Linčir Linćir Linchir
Maršić Marsich Marshich
Matijašević Matiašević Matiasevich
Pilića Pilicha Pilić Pilich
Pilipović Filipović Pilipovich Filipovich
Pivac Pivčević Piucevich Pivcevich
Pivčević Pivac Pivcevich
Puarić Puharić Puharich
Radonić Radonjić Radonich Radonjich
Ribarović Ribarević Ribarovich Ribarevich
Ribičić Ribichich Ribicich
Roščić Roschich Roscich
Sanković Sancovich Sankovich Sanko
Staničić Stanicich Stanichich
Stojković Stojkovich Stoikovich
Škanjur Škanjurević Scagniarevich Skanjur Skanjurevich
Španić Španjić Spanich Spanjich
Šunde Šundić Sunde Sundich
Taraš Tarašević Tarasevich Taras
Vela Velić Veličević Vela Velich Velicevich Velichevich
Vranješević Vranesevich Vranjesevich
Vučak Vucak Vuchak
Visit your ancestors villages but also learn more about Croatian history and cultural heritage, listen to the language your ancestors spoke, and even learn the basic phrases, hear the songs they used to sing, feel the climate they lived in , learn about the customs they left behind, try the food they used to eat… fully experience your homeland and you will come to understand it and be proud of your roots!
T.S. Eliot wrote: “The point of any journey is to find out where you came from.”