Surnames of Mali Losinj - Lussinpiccolo
An examination of the families listed in the parish records for Mali Losinj has revealed how far back family lines extend in the town. The parish records show a continuity of surnames and families dating back, in some cases, over 400 years.
The town of Mali Losinj on the island of Losinj has been inhabited at least since 1389. The island is located in the northern Adriatic due south of the port of Rijeka and to the southeast of the Istrian peninsula covering 75 square km. in size with a length of 31 km.
The first settlers are reported on the island in 1280, and Veli Losinj gets its own start in 1389 when the island obtains autonomy from Osor, which according to legend was settled by several families lead by a man named Obrad Harnovic. The first mention of the town of Losinj appears in documents from 1384.
Few continuous records exist prior to the 1500's, and it is from this time period that the oldest Losinj families can trace their ancestry. In order to study the families of Losinj the parish records from 1670 to 1901 were examined. Many of the oldest families, such as Cosulich (Kozulic), Haljic (Haglich), Martinolich, Nicolich (Mikolic), Taraboca (Tarabochia), Skopinic (Scopinich), Skrivanic (Scrivanich), and Vidulich are found in the parish record from 1670 to 1700, and they also appear in wills of a century earlier.
The parish records reveal a use of second family names along with the surname. These secondary names were used to distinguish between different family lines carrying the same surname. The secondary names denoted a separate family with a common ancestor. The use of secondary names was appears often in the parish records for the 1600 and 1700's, but was used less extensively after about 1800. Nevertheless, these secondary names persisted up to the present time, and their use demonstrates that some family lines in Mali Losinj extend back more than three hundred years.
Not all second names are that old. Some came into existence after 1670, at times, splitting from other second names, so that a son could have a different secondary name than his father. The new secondary name would then be adopted by the family's descendants and passed on in that family.
The surname and secondary names for the families of Mali Losinj are listed below. Each name is described as to how long it was used in the parish records and some of the first individuals shown to have carried that name.
The family of Busanic (second name, Francinic) dates from before the 1700's. The surname Cosulich or Kozulic had several secondary lines. The Cosulich (second name Grubessa) is one of the oldest know families in Losinj dating back to a Martino Cosulich in the late 1500's. But other Cosulich lines are found with the secondary name (Sucich) and (Miculich).
Other families, such as Franciscovich, Giuricich, Haglich, Ostroman or Osterman, Radoslovich, and Stuparich do not appear with second names in the parish records. The Haglich family is found in the records starting in the early 1700's, while the Franciscovich family dates from 1694 when Ivan Franciskovic from Dubrovnik married in Losinj. The Ostroman's of Losinj can trace their ancestry to a Andrij who settled in Mali Losinj around 1700 from Rijeka. Descendants of all these families are still to be found today.
Several families of Morin dating from the late 1600's are found in Losinj. The Morin families had the second names of (Cuban) and (Gresich or Grezik). The families with the surname Nicolich had several second names. These names include (Mikulicich), (Morich), (Muskardin), (Salata), and (Sapet).
One of the most numerous surnames in Losinj is Taraboca or Tarabochia. This surname at some point in time developed several lineages. The second family names for the Tarabochia's were (Matulich), (Pilicar), and (Svirac). The Matulich branch split into two. One which carried the new secondary name of (Rosso or Rosic), and the other which continued to use the name (Matulich).
Another older surname from Losinj is that of Vidulich. In the late 1600's one family carried the secondary name of (Gotic or Gotovic) and in the early 1700's the secondary name (Oparich) came into use. There was also a Vidulich family with the second name of (Sidrich) which can trace its name from Jivan Vidulich, who lived in Losinj from 1717 to 1757.
During the latter half of the 19th century many Losinj families moved to others centers. In 1889 one branch of the Cosulich family began a large shipbuilding and merchant marine operation, the "Fratelli Cosulich Navigazione" in Trieste, Italy. Several families of the Cosuliches reside in Italy today. The largest population decline occurred during and after World War II when many of the families, both Italian and Croatian left Mali Losinj because of the uncertainty of the new Yugoslav communist government, which had annexed the islands from Italy. The population for the island of Losinj decreased from 9,738 in 1910 to 5,449 just after the war.