Croats from Bachka (Bačka)

Croats from Bachka (Bačka)

At the bordering area between Hungary and what is today known as Serbian Vojvodina (part of the Republic of Serbia), a region named Bachka (Bačka) is situated, lying between Danube and Tisa rivers.

Along with Serbs and Hungarians, the region is inhabitated by a Croatian minority sometimes called Croats Bunjevci and Croats Šokci (Shokci). Their originis from the Dinaric Alps (Croatian Dalmatia, Lika and western Herzegovina). They moved to Bachka (Bačka) area in the 16th century.

Greater percentage of Bunjevci from Bachka (Bačka) consider themselves part of the larger Croatian national corpus. However, there are some Bunjevci who have developed a separate sense of ethnic identity, probably under cultural and political pressures from the past. But regardless of their ethnicity, they are all almost always Roman Catholics.

Croats from Bachka are subject of a particular interest of Croatian genealogists. By researching their antoponymy, conclusions about their origin may be determined.

Villages in Serbia where Croats from Bachka are majority are Ljutovo, Bikovo, Gornji Tavankut, Donji Tavankut, Đurđin, Mala Bosna and Stari Žednik. Larger cities of Subotica, Sombor and Bajmok contain significant number of Croats Bunjevci, numbering in thousands. Subotica is their cultural center, with the Croatian population of more than ten thousand.

Hungarian villages Baja, Gara and Katymár (Kaćmar) are populated by Croats Bunjevci, but they are minority there.

Some of the surnames borne by Croats from Bachka (Bačka): Beretić, Bešlin, Bilić, Bokerović, Bračuljević, Budanović, Čevapović, Čilić, Domanović, Dujmović, Džavić, Evetović, Gabrilović, Gavranov, Grašalković, Gromilović, Grubišić, Ivanić, Ivanković, Jakšić, Karagić, Kesić, Kokić, Kopilović, Latinović, Loketić, Mačković, Malagurski, Marinkić, Markulin, Matarić, Milašin, Milodanović, Miković, Mironicki, Orčić, Palivuković, Pandžić, Peštalić, Pijuković, Prćić, Skariot, Somborski, Stipanović, Strilić, Šarčević, Šišković, Šomšić, Tonković, Tomašić, Vojnić, Zetović, Zvekanović…

For an extensive list of names, nicknames and surnames, check the book by Ante Sekulić “Osobna imena, prezimena i nadimci bačkih Hrvata” (First given names, surnames and nicknames of Croats from Bachka), published by Hrvatska riječ, Subotica in 2006.