Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

How come my grandmother who comes from Istria ...?

has a Croatian last name? my grandmother was born in Croatia and she says her parents moved there from Istria in Italy ...but her last name is Udovicic...a blatantly Croatian wtf? i can't askl her more about it because she can't speak english very well and it's too hard she doesn't understand me, but i do know her parents spoke Italian because of the stories she tells me about the soldiers in ww2 and stuff...was Istria part of Croatia but like occupied by Italians or somethingggggg?


no that was her maiden name, my grandfathers is kolesaric

5 Answers

  • Best Answer

    The same way that the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, all have Schmidts, Jones, McDonalds, Monaghans, Bankoles, & Verellis,

    I mean think about it, President of the United States is Barack Obama and the President of France is Nicolas Sarkozy.

    Not your typical American or French names.

    Most of the names of Native American tribes we call them are NOT their names ..... they are the names a neighboring tribe called them. Cherokee, comes from a CREEK word "Chelokee" meaning "people of a different speech."

    Yes, our names had origional origins BUT this far into the history, it really doesn't mean much now.

    Also, Croatia, Italy, Greece, Turkey, or if you want to go back further, Thrace and Macadonia, the ones form ancient history, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.... I remember when that was ONE country, Czechoslovakia.

    That area of Europe has changed borders over, and over, and over, and over again.

    Names that one time seemed prevalent in one country are now prevalant in another country.

    People moved around A LOT. In reality, your family did not origionally come from Italy OR Croatia, but somewhere else. They could have as easily originated in what is now known as modern Turkey or the North Russian Steepes.

    AND.... the name Udovicic is NOT blatantly Croatian. It is more Bosnian, as in the Village of Udovicic in the Otok (Sinj) parish district, Bosnia.

    There does not seem to be a known origin of this surname. ... The last name Udovicic is a family title derived from the nickname udovičin (widow). Like many nicknames that became surnames, such is the case with Udovičić.

    It is a VERY old name derived from a TITLE and NOT a name and it's origin is UNKNOWN, but came from the general area once upon a time.

    Just because someone's name today is SMITH, doesn't mean it wasn't Schmidt a 100 yrs ago.

    I ran into the same problem not too long ago trying to trace a friend's family history. She had always thought that she was half Native American, half Mexican.

    Turned out she wasn't EITHER. Her family was from EASTERN Spain and she had a lot of GREEK ancesters.

    Go figure,

  • 1 decade ago

    Istria IS a part of Croatia. At times it was part of Italy too. At some other times in history it was again part of Croatia (under Austrian rule). Etc. It is perfectly normal that your grandmother has a Croatian surname, if she's from Istria. Croats, Slovenians and Italians have all inhabited that area almost equally, for centuries.

    For more detailed info on history of Istria see:

    In any case, Istria has continuously been part of Croatia since the end of WW2. Today, you could say it's a rather strange part of Croatia, as there are many Italians living there even now, almost all locals speak Italian as their second language, and one of the things that always amazes me whenever I go some place in Istria is that many street signs are written in both Croatian and Italian, sometimes even in Italian first and then Croatian.

    It's very mixed like that.

    Source(s): I'm Croatian
  • Huba
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Borders shift all the time but people don't change their names just because of it. At one time that area would have been part of the Austro-Hungarian empire put they didn't make people change their names to sound Hungarian. You have to go back many more generations to trace a family's history. Besides, wasn't her last name based on your grandfather's? She could have been from the Bronx and had a married name that was Chinese, Croatian, or Cuban. What was her maiden name?

  • 1 decade ago

    Are you certain that all generations of her family came from Italy? It is just as possible that at some point on her father's side of the family some ancestor immigrated to Italy, which could explain her surname.

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  • 3 years ago

    How historical are you? If she's doing that then inform your mothers and fathers and feature them maintain her clear of you. She is also your grandma however her habits is not correct and he or she demands support. And you must get out of the concern and steer clear of her for awhile.

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