Zadar and Lastovo changes in Croatian surnames

Changes of family names in Zadar city and Lastovo island

Genealogists who seek their ancestors in Zadar city and Lastovo island should take into consideration a fact that prior to the Second World War those areas for several decades were part of Italy, thus many of surnames of local residents have been italianized.

It is estimated that at least thousand surnames in Zadar (named “Zara” in Italian) were changed in late 1920s and early 1930s.

Just like in Istria, several methods for change had been applied. Some surnames were shortened by exclusion of Slavic suffixes “-ić” and “-ov”. Thus, surname Barbić became Barbi, Radmilić became Radmilli and Sorić – Sorini. Others were transliterated so that they better comform Italian language: Škarica was changed into Scarizza, Verunica into Veronizza, Musap into Mussapi. Many surnames were translated according to the meaning of the Croatian original: Vukić was translated into Lupis, Veseljko into Allegretti, Sikirić into Manarelli, Knežević into Conti.

Interestingly, even surnames whose origin was not Slavic were italizanized. Thus Rockenbauer became Roccabella, Schlechter became Scelleri, Schulz became Sereni…

There are quite a few historic resourses from which data about surnames change can be drawn of which the most significant is the official governmental publication Gazzetta ufficiale that published all the changes.