Bosnia and Herzegovina Personal Names

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Understanding customs used in surnames and given names can help you identify your ancestors in records. Learn to recognize name variations and see clues in names.

Online Tools[edit | edit source]

Serbian and Croatian Personal Names[edit | edit source]

Bosnia and Herzegovina is home to three ethnic "constituent peoples", namely Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats. See these articles if your ancestors were Serbian or Croatian:

Bosnian Surnames[edit | edit source]

  • In Bosnia, the family name comes before the personal name (e.g. KAČIĆ Ivan). This naming convention is common across Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats.
  • Surnames may have the suffix ‘-ić’. Bosnian family names may end in ‘-begović’.
  • Family names are typically passed down through the male side of the family.
  • Wives will often take their husband’s family name upon marriage. Some may add their husband’s name to their own. For example, if ALIĆ Branka married KAČIĆ Ivan, she may be KAČIĆ Branka or ALIĆ-KAČIĆ Branka.
  • Bosnian names often reflect their ethnicity. For example, Bosniaks often may have a name with an Islamic or Turkish origin, such as ‘Mustafagić’ (Mustafa). [1]

For Further Reading[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Guide to Names and Naming Practices (2006)", United Kingdom Government.https://www.fbiic.gov/public/2008/nov/Naming_practice_guide_UK_2006.pdf, accessed 4 March 2021.