Prof Nikola Laketa

The Origin of the Settlement and of Some Prebilovci Surnames

A Successor to Dedijar

Professor Nikola Laketa was born on December 18, 1949 in the village of Plužine, near Nevesinje. It is here that he completed his elementary and secondary education. He graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy, in Sarajevo, majoring in history program, on June 13 1974. He worked as a history teacher in Nevesinje (1974-1985) and Zenica (1985-1992). After the outbreak of war in Yugoslavia, he and his family lived, as refugees, in a number of places. On June 8 1997, the Laketa family decided to move to Australia. The major interest of Prof Laketa’s scientific work is Herzegovina, his home town, Nevesinje, and the origin of Herzegovinian families. He is considered to be one of the best experts in the history of Herzegovinian tribes and their development. He has published a number of scholarly articles, written in the popular style of language, in Serbian newspapers and in journals published in Serbian Diaspora. He is actively engaged in discussions at the Internet, particularly, contributing to the readers’ information about historical topics. He is an active member of the Parish-School community ” St. John the Baptist”, located in the place where he lives and where he often lectures on specific topics.

The village of Prebilovci was named after the old Serbian family PRIBILOVIĆ who lived in Prebilovci a long time ago. This family is mentioned in historical sources, as is the Bosnian Ban Stefan’s charter, dating September 18, 1332 and speaking about the arrangement of mutual relations with Dubrovnik. The following people from Hum are mentioned as the charter witnesses: the Great Duke Vladislav Gale šić, Radoslav Hlapenović , Milten Draživojević, as well as parish priests Vukac and Ivan Pribilović, after whom the village was named.

Apart from Pribilovićs, one of the oldest families in the village of Prebilovci are Dragićevićs.

Dragićevićs arementioned in historical sources of the 14th century (Dečani official document with a gold seal, 1335). They lived in the area of the villages Ljubomir and Popovo Polje, near Trebinje, from where they moved to Prebilovci. In the period from 1419 to 1454, the Duke Đurađ Dragićević is mention as the charters’ witness. The Turks found Dragićevićs in Prebilovci during their conquering of Herzegovina in 1481.

After the liberation of Herceg Novi from the Turks in 1687, one branch of Dragićevićs moved, in 1692, to the Bay of Kotor and to the surroundings of Herceg Novi, where they can be found even today. In his book Visočka nahija (Serbian Royal Academy, 1928) , Milenko Filipović writes about Dragićevićs from Herzegovina, also referred to as Lekas. At the beginning of 1900, they first moved to Podgora, then to Misoča and later to Podlugovi and Sarajevo. Their patron saint is Nicolas, same as Dragićevićs’ from Prebilovci. Dragićevićs from Podlugovo are aware of their Prebilovci origin. Half a century earlier, another branch of Dragićevićs from Prebilovci, who took on the surname of Ekmečić, moved from this village to Serbia to settle in the vicinity of Gornji Milanovac, where they retook their original surname of Dragićević. The founder of this branch of Dragićevićs is Ilija Đura Ekmečić-Dragićević. Their descendants have become a well-know Serbian family. After the WWI, a certain number of Dragićevićs, Salonika volunteers, moved to Rusko Selo where they live even today. At that time there was another moving of Dragićevićs from Prebilovci to the Bay of Kotor.

Apart from Ekmečićs, the following families trace their origin to Dragićevićs: Đurićs, Medićs, Suhićs, Šarićs, Ždravkovićs, Tripkovićs, and Brnjašićs. They all celebrate St. Nicolas Day. The next Prebilovac family to come by age after Dragićevićs are Buluts.

From ancient times, Buluts trace theirorigin to the village of Korjenić, near Trebinje. During one of the many migrations, some Buluts came to Prebilovci and some went to the Bay of Kotor. They celebrate St. Nicolas Day. The Muslim family of Brajović from Nevesinje Land are descended from the Orthodox family of Bulut from Gabela, near Čapljina. In the vicinity of Gabela, former Drijeva, there is a toponym Bulutovac associated with this family.

The younger immigrants to Prebilovci are the families of: Medan, Bamđur, Nadaždin, Mirković, Krunić, and Ćuk.

Medanis, originating in Hrasan, come from Dabar to Donja Trusina. Their next of kin are Medanis from Dabar, Ubosk, Bančići, Prebilovci, and Ortiješ. At one time Medanis also lived in Gabela. They celebrate St. John’s Day.

Banđurs from the village of Čavaš, near Trebinje, are from ancient times descended from the family of Mijatović from Grmljani. In the 18th century Bunđurs moved from Čavše to Ubosko, near Stoc. A group of Banđurs came to Prebilovci to live there. They celebrate St. Nicolas Day.

Nadaždins are the natives of the village of Bjelovići, near Stoc; some of them live in the nearby villages of Kruševica, Prebilovci and Sopiljani, near Konjic. Nadždins used to drove their cattle to the mountain Morine, near Nevesinje. They celebrate St. John’s Day.

Krunićs are of Ugrinović origin.

Ćuks moved from Ljubomir to Prebilovci. They celebrate St. John’s Day.

Mirkovićs came from Poplata, near StocThey celebrate St. George’s Day.

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