Zuvela Surname

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The Zuvela surname has strong roots originating from the western end of the island of Korcula in Croatia. Its original spelling was Xuvella. Another variation on the surname is Zuvella. In the Croatian language the Z in Zuvela is actually Ž. The ž is pronounced as J in French (zh).The Zuvela’s arrived on the west end of Korčula in the early 1600’s and settled in a small field called Rasohatica (Rasohatija). There are still small remnants of stone huts there to this day. First time the surname Xuvella was mentioned was in Blato (Blatta) in a document dated 2nd of February 1642. At the time, Korčula was part of the Republic of Venice (within the Venetian Dalmatia province).] From where the original Xuvellas migrated is still a mystery to this editor. The Republic of Venice did accept refugees and migrants within her boundaries during her long history. They came from all parts of Europe. Many of them were from Spain as well as Christians from the Ottoman Empire (which ruled the Balkans for centuries).

The Zuvelas abandoned Rasohatica and moved to the village of Blato. From there members of the Zuvela family moved to (and helped to establish) the town of Vela Luka (Vallegrande). In more modern times they have migrated to Australia as well as the United States and other parts of the world.

The information concerning the early Zuvelas of Korčula is taken from a local 19th century historian from Blato called Nikola Ostojic (below):

“36. Xuvella. Of these people I don’t have any history except for their primitive residence that was in Rasohatica from where they moved to Blato (Velikom Ucijaku). Afterwards from the 1700s they built large houses and floors/attics/lofts which now remain largely empty because of their move to Vela Luka ”

He wrote a book about the town of Vela Luka in 1853. The book was published in 1953. It was originally written in Italian with a Venetian dialect. Italian was the official language of the Dalmatian province at the time and had been so for centuries. Nikola Ostojic (1803-1869). Author of "Compendio Storico dell Isola di Curzola" (Historical Compendium of the Island of Korcula).

In the 1860s Croatian (sometimes referred to as Illirski in the 19th century) was introduced by the Austrian authorities as a second standardised language within the Kingdom of Dalmatia. It then slowly replaced Italian altogether.Thus the name Xuvella became Žuvela. From the late 19th century onwards the Dalmatian Italian culture has all but disappeared from the region. The last Italian language government school was abolished in Korčula (Curzola) on the 13th of September 1876.

  • Beginnings of Formal Education - Vela Luka states:

“Italian language was not only the official language in all public Dalmatian establishments, but also was the spoken language in a significant number of white-collar, civil service and merchant families in the cities and major markets within towns ” Historically the mother tongue of the majority of the population of the island of Korčula (in particularly the west end) is old Croatian. The Korčula dialect of local Croatian language acquired many influences over the centuries, such as the now extinct Latin Romance language Dalmatian, Venetian and others. Note: According to www.familysearch.org a one Mike Zuvella was born on 14th March 1884 in the city of San Francisco-California, USA (died Oct 1970).

New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924

In 1907 a young 18 year old Peter Zuvela arrived in New York. On the "List or Manifest of alien Passengers for the U.S Immigration Officer at port of arrival" his name is registered as Peter Ante Zuvela. Later for some reason it was change to Peter Zuvola. In the actual Immigration Manifest there is mention of another Zuvela, both were registered as Non Immigration Aliens. Below info taken from familysearch.org. ▪ Given name: Peter A... ▪ Surname: Zuvola ▪ Last place of residence: Vela Luka ▪ Date of arrival: 08 Mar 1907 ▪ Age at arrival: 18y ▪ Ethnicity: Austrian, Dalmatian ▪ Port of departure: Trieste ▪ Port of arrival: New York ▪ Gender: Male ▪ Marital status: S ▪ US citizen: ▪ Ship of travel: Pannonia

New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island)

  • List from Korcula:

1. Antonio Zuvela-Vollegrande 1903

2. Doda Zuvela- Velaluha, Austria 1904

3. Doda Marino Zuvela-Curzola 1901

4. Geovanni Zuvela-Triest 1903

5. Giorgis Zuvela- Cuyola 1906

6. Iroce Nicolo Zuvela-Vallegrande 1902

7. Ivan Zuvela-Blatto, Dalmatia 1910

8. Jerko Zuvela-Velaluka 1912

9. Kokot Vinc. Zuvela-Corzola 1901

10. Luigia Zuvela-Velaluha, Austria 1904

11. Marin Zuvela-Veloluka 1906

12. Marko Zuvela-Blatto, Dalmatia 1910

13. Petar Zuvela -Raguse, Herzegov (USA) 1920

14. Petar Zuvela-Veloluka 1906

15. Petrun Antonio Zuvela-Vallegrande 1902

16. Piotr Zuvela-Kroz..., Austria 1905

17. Tote Zuvela-Blato, Austria 1910

18. Vincenzo Zuvela Vallegrande 1904

19. Yela Zuvela Vallegrande, Austria 1914


  • Athena Zouvella from Zakynthos, Greece 1922
  • Angela Zavello Oddalengo, Oddalengo, Grande, Italy 1907 Zovello, 33020 Ravascletto Udine, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
  • Emanuele Zivello Castelfranci, Italy 1910
  • Felippa Zavello Ianain 1892
  • Franceso Zavello 1922


See also