Croatian Symbol/Hrvatski Greb: courtesy of Tomislav Mikulic

Croatian Genealogy Newsletter

Issue No. 25, 2016                                                    

As promised in issue no. 24 (2015) two publications focusing on the island of Lošinj, Croatia have been published, as well as, a Family Surname Project for the Karcic, Karcich, Carcich families has been developed and is explained below. Click on the Current issue links to read more.

Current issue:


    Subject and Location Index     Past Issues     Books: within Croatia     in diaspora     Croatian Genealogy: Primer  



New Lošinj Publications Completed

A number of books have been written about Losinj, the majority about the town of Mali Lošinj. As the largest community in the Kvarner area between Rijeka and Zadar, Lošinj has a rich maritime tradition which developed over the last four hundred years. The books about Mali Lošinj often focus on the traditions of the sea and range from Tullio Pizzetti's Con la bandiera del protettor San Marco about Lošinj's 18th Century maritime history, to Julijano Sokolic's recent work Brodogradilišta u Malom Lošinju (1850-2010) covering the shipbuilding tradition on the island of Lošinj. The former is written in Italian and the latter in Croatian. Presenting the history of Lošinj to an English speaking audience is difficult since the histories are primarily written in Croatian or Italian. Why is it important to present Lošinj history in English? Today several thousand descendants of Lošinj families are scattered over the English speaking world, from Australia to the United States of America, with smaller expat communities in Canada and South Africa. The majority of the newer generations in these far flung countries no longer understand Italian or Croatian of their parents, grandparents, or more distant Lošinj ancestors. For them a new book was written to provide a view into the historical aspects of Lošinj as it especially pertains to them and their history as expatriate communities of Lošinj and other nearby communities. From the Kvarner to the New World

From the Kvarner to the New World: Lošinj Mariners and shipbuilders in the Americas 1748-1974 is written to show what Lošinj immigrants contributed to the Americas, particularly in the United States and Canada. In the telling of this story, one gets a glimpse of the factors that drew Lošinj mariners and non-mariners to the Americas. The book was printed by Grant Karcich with a Lakeshore Maritime Press label, a self-publishing press, and though it is short in length, it attempts to pack a variety of historical details into its one hundred plus pages. The focus of the book is on the shipbuilding tradition that was transplanted to the America's from Lošinj and includes chapters on the Cattarinich, Martinolich shipbuilding families and on the shipyards that were transplanted to the United States by the various branches of the Martinolich family. In the telling of the story of these families it was found useful to display the genealogical relations between these families, both in the old country and in America, in order to demonstrate the continuity of the seafaring traditions in these multi-generational families.  

  A large quantity of information on the genealogy of Lošinj families has been accumulated by the author and this data, along with printed references, was used to construction From the Kvarner to the New World. Over 20,000 names have been compiled from the church records and other genealogical records of Lošinj dating from 1598 to the present and have been organized into multi-generational families in the database. Though the database information is too minute in detail and too voluminous to publish, the story of some of these families can be presented through the publication of this volume. Kvarner Cemeteries

Another publication was also published to supplement the genealogical information available in English for Mali Lošinj and other neighbouring communities. Such a work is Kvarner Cemeteries on the islands of Lošinj, Susak, Unije and Ilovik compiled from the gravestone markers on the communities of Mali Lošinj, the island of Lošinj, and other adjacent towns and villages. The cemetery grave listings were transcribed from the cemeteries on the island of Lošinj, Unije, Susak, and Ilovik, and includes the communities of Nerezine, Sv. Jakov, Cunski, Mali Lošinj, Veli Lošinj, Unije, Susak, and Ilovik. This book of 199 pages in length was printed under the Asquith Press label, a self-publishing service of the University of Toronto Bookstore using the Expresso book printer. Earlier attempts by others to document the grave markers of Lošinj and other neighbouring communities extracted the details of only a small subset of these graves and mortuary monuments. The Communita di Lussinpiccolo, an Italian expatriate association from Trieste, Italy, published La Nostra storia sul pietre: sepolture italiane nei Cimiteri di Lussinpiccolo e di Lussingrande in 2010 and an illustrated index a couple of years later. These cemetery transcriptions were collected by Antonio Pauletich over several decades and available in manuscript since 2007. Pauletich not only included the transcripts of Mali and Veli Lošinj, but he also listed those of all the island communities from Lošinj island, Susak, Unije, and Ilovik, plus the cemeteries from Osor and Punta Kriza on the island of Cres. As with the La Nostra publication, Pauletich focused predominately on the Italian transcriptions, though he includes the odd non-Italian transcription.

Because of the lack of a true and complete transcription of these cemeteries, it was considered important that all grave markers be recorded. Genealogically important publications that concentrate on one ethnic or language group reduce the genealogical value of a publication. Today the cemeteries in the Lošinj region reflect a rich diversity of linguistic information. The majority of the graves are inscribed in Croatian, while tombstones inscribed in Italian remain from a bygone era, though some families continue to employ this language on grave sites. Since Italian is a remnant of the past, from the pre-1945 period when Italian culture held a dominant position on the islands around Lošinj, it reminds us of its historical importance. From the end of World War II a new immigrant population came to the islands from mainland Croatia and from Bosnia Hergecovina, and mixed with the older Lošinj families. Besides Croatian and Italian grave markers in the cemeteries, you will also find others written in German, from the influence of the Austrian period of a hundred years ago, along with the odd French and English script on Lošinj grave stones. The more recent Bosnian include has brought the Cyrillic alphabet to Lošinj where it is now used in grave in Saint Martin's cemetery in Mali Lošinj. To capture this diverse flavour of cemetery markers Kvarner Cemeteries on the islands of Lošinj, Susak, Unije and Ilovik was written.

The ethnic and linguistic diversity of the Lošinj area dates back centuries and the cemetery records display this well. Other data recent genetic data has added to our genetic information of Lošinj and neighbouring communities, which is explored in one family in the following article. The genealogical information can be traced back not only through the cemetery markers, and DNA, but also through the documentary trail to the early church records. Many of the original surnames in the cemeteries of Lošinj, Ilovik, Susak, and Unije dated back to the seventeenth century and the marriage records for Mali Lošinj for the period from 1622 to 1666 include 68 different surnames. A few of these families in Mali Lošinj came from the neighbouring town of Veli Lošinj a few kilometres away. Early on various Veli Lošinj families settled in Mali Lošinj, including the Ifcovich, Ragusin, Stuparich, and Verbas families. They continue up to today to compose in Veli Lošinj. Other Lošinj based families also settled on the nearby islands. The Rerecich family today is found also on Ilovik and Unije; the Nicolich surname is also on Unije; and the Budinch, Bussanich, Mattesinich, and Tarabochia family name from the early Lošinj records are common surnames found on the island of Susak. The two communities north of Mali Lošinj, Cunski, Sveti Jakov in the north acquired the families of Hroncich and Knesich from Mali Lošinj in Cunski and Knezich in Sveti Jakov. Unije itself in the seventeenth century received the families of Carcich and Radoslovich and they in turn spawned new families in Cunski and Mali Lošinj in the following century. Sv. Jakov also has family surnames that are associated with the area of Nerezine. These include the surnames of Masslin, and Satalich. Nerezine contains surnames of Bracco, Kamalic, Lechich (Lekić), Rucconich, and Socolich (Sokolić) that are not found in Mali Lošinj during the seventieth century.

From the Kvarner to the New World: Lošinj Mariners and shipbuilders in the Americas 1748-1974 and Kvarner Cemeteries on the islands of Lošinj, Susak, Unije and Ilovik have been distributed to the public library in Mali Lošinj and to individuals in the United States, Canada, and Australia. For further details on these publications contact


Surname Project for Karcich / Carcich / Karčić Families

A surname DNA project is a genetic genealogy project which uses genealogical DNA tests to trace male lineage. Because (patrilineal) surnames are passed down from father to son in many cultures, and Y-chromosomes (Y-DNA) are passed from father to son with a predictable rate of mutation, people with the same surname can use genealogical DNA testing to determine if they share a common ancestor within recent history. When two males share a surname, a test of their Y-chromosome markers will determine either that they are not related, or that they are related. If they are related, the number of markers tested and the number of matches at those markers determines the range of generations until their most recent common ancestor (MRCA). If the two tests match on 37 markers, there is a 90% probability that the MRCA was less than five generations ago and a 95% probability that the MRCA was less than eight generations ago (Source: "Surname DNA project").

A webpage has been developed to showcase all the Karcich-Carcich-Karčić DNA information currently available. The site can be found at At present the Y-chromosome DNA and one mitochondrial DNA pattern up on the website. As more individuals get tested their results can be added to the webpage. There are several testing companies and the one use is for this project is FamilyTreeDNA. The reason this company is used is so that all the DNA test results can be displayed in one place, plus FamilyTreeDNA has one of the largest world-wide databases for which to compare with other families around the globe.

"There are four NDA tests which can help with genealogy, namely Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA), mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), autosomal DNA (atDNA) and X chromosome DNA (X-DNA). The Y-DNA test is applicable to males only and focuses on the all-male line of a pedigree chart, the father's father's father, etc. The mtDNA test is for everyone and gives matches on the all-female line of the chart, the mother's mother's mother, etc. The atDNA test is available to both men and women and provides matches anywhere in six-generation pedigree chart and sometimes more. Everyone can take the X-chromosome DNA test, although X-chromosome has a different inheritance pattern for men than it does for women." (Source: Emily Aulicino / Genetic Genealogy: the basics and beyond, pages 17-18).

For starters, the most important DNA test for the Karcich-Carcich-Karčić surname study is the Y-chromosome DNA test. A description of the other test is given below. But the Y-chromosome test of 37 markers was considered the maximum, but lately one can test for 67 or 111 markers and these more numerous mark tests are recommended. The Y-DNA 37 marker set, which I just had completed, usually costs $169 US, but now and probably for a short time, is offered at $139 US.

Lately, the Y-DNA results came in for 111 markers, as did my autosomal markers tested with FamilyTree DNA. I found matches through my autosomal DNA to families from Mali Lošinj that I did not know I was related to from the documentary evidence collected on my family tree. Since my Karcich genealogy dates back to 1786, these DNA matches probably date back to the middle or early 1700s beyond these records. In this instance, my autosomal DNA matches other families with the Nicolich and Picinich surname.

On the Y-DNA the 67 markers tested so far the Andricevi clan or lineage of the Carcich surname matches very well with my own, Zburkin lineage, with only 3 on 58 markers (05.2%) not matching. Similarly, the Pasquich lineage of the Carcich Y-DNA matches except on 1 of 58 markers (01.7%). These results indicate a very close match between the three lineages. There are several Carcich-Karcich clans or lineages (Bravarof, Jevin, etc.) that have not been tested for DNA. More details on the Karcich-Carcich family DNA project has been uploaded to the Guild of One-Name Studies in the United Kingdom.

Guild of One-Name Studies Already, with my results and that of two other Karcich-Carcich-Karčić lineages has yielded some very interesting results. The Y-DNA markers can be calibrated for family distance by counting the number of markers we have in common and those that are different. These results for the three clans (Pasquich, Andricevi, and Zburkin) show that the first two have a common ancestor sometime between the years A.D.1630 and 1710, probably closer to the 1700s. Genealogy records for these two families end at 1740 and 1760 respectively. So the DNA information helps provide more details on when a common ancestor can be found. My Zburkin clan, based on the DNA matches appear to be a bit older than the other two, so dating a common ancestor between our three families in the early 1600s.

A surprising result from the Y-DNA using our Carcich/Karcich Y-DNA profiles at 67 markers is emerged where the surname matches on 75% of markers from the area of central Europe, particularly, Austria, Switzerland, northern Italy, and southern Germany. Beyond that region the Carcich/Karcich Y-chromosome is shared with a large number of people in Western and Central Europe, ranging as far west as the British Isles.  


Back to Home Page