Skip to the main content

Original scientific paper

The Uskoks of Žumberak and Dušan Preradović’s Search for a Family History

Tomislav Matić ; Croatian Institute of History

Full text: croatian pdf 252 Kb

page 197-220

downloads: 360



This paper examines the documents concerning the Uskok families of Žumberak with the last name Preradović, which were discovered by Dušan Preradović, son of the poet Petar Preradović, by searching various archives as well as on the basis of letters that he sent to the historian Emilij Laszowski. Our aim has been to reconstruct Dušan Preradović’s search for his family history, as well as his construct of a family tradition and identity developed on the basis of those findings. Dušan could not search the archives personally due to his obligations as a naval officer, so he employed experts such as Hermann Ignaz Bidermann and Emilij Laszowski. He was also troubled by his insufficient experience with historiography and so he was struggling to increase his knowledge, seeing Laszowski as something of a mentor. His search was probably the reason why he engaged in historiography and became a prominent Croatian writer of his time. He published his findings regarding the Preradović family in 1903 in the journal Vitezović, which was edited by Laszowski. During his search, he encountered several families with the last name Preradović, but he focused on the family of the Uskok Ivan Preradović from the region of Žumberak, which used to be a special militarized zone inhabited by freeholders subject to military service. This is not surprising, as John’s letter of patent, issued in 1626, was the basis for his father’s ennoblement in 1864, and subsequently for the social status of Dušan himself. Dušan was aware of the fact that his family connection with John was questionable, so he was trying to find additional evidence, and he broadened his search by questioning individuals who he thought might know more about the history of Žumberak, such as the Greek Catholic priest Jovan Hranilović. Although he did not manage to find definite proof of his family’s connection to Ivan Preradović, he and his family considered the latter as their ancestor.


Žumberak; Uskoks; Preradović; Emilij Laszowski; genealogy

Hrčak ID:



Publication date:


Article data in other languages: croatian

Visits: 1.042 *