Prvić Šepurine

Šepurina (Prvić Šepurine)

Šepurina (official name: Prvić Šepurine) is one of two small villages on the island of Prvić in the Šibenik Archipelago. To the east, Prvić is 1km from the mainland village of Srima. To the west is the uninhabited island of Tijat, north is the mainland town, Vodice, south is the island of Zlarin.

Šepurina in the 1950s 

While Šepurina was first settled in the early 1500s by people from Srima seeking refuge from Turkish attacks, Šibenik’s nobility had summer homes on the island at least several hundred years
before that. The most famous of the nobles was the inventor, linguist and theologian, Faust Vrančić, whose family eventually merged with the noble Draganić family and whose descendants still live in their ancestral home in Šepurina. It was from Count Frane Draganić Vrančić that 118 Šepurina families purchased the island of Tijat in 1868. Today, Tijat is co-owned by the descendants of the original buyers, which includes hundreds of descendants who live in Western Australia.

The first emigrants from Šepurina went to the United States, soon followed by others looking for work in southern Africa or in Western Australia. The first to arrive in Western Australia were most likely, brothers Ivan and Josip Franić Kešić in 1903, followed closely by Jakov Antulov in 1904. The first woman was Jako Vladić nee Skroza, who came to join her husband, Ante in 1910.

Before World War 1, there were substantial numbers of temporary migrant workers from Šepurina working on the goldfields or cutting timber in the south-west of Western Australia; but only a few of them remained in WA permanently. Many were interned during World War 1 and deported after the war. More permanent migrants began arriving in the 1920s. Since then, approximately 270 people from Šepurina have migrated permanently to Western Australia and about another 25 from Srima. Most people settled around Perth and Fremantle, but some families lived in Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, some in the Nannup-Bridgetown area and smaller numbers elsewhere.

The main surnames of migrants who settled in Western Australia and their descendants are: Antich, Antulov, Cukrov, Grubelich, Kursar, Mijat, Paskov, Skroza, Ukich, and Vlahov.

Šepurina, today, with Vodice in the background.

Smaller numbers of Šepurina migrants in WA have or had the following surnames: Fantulin, Franich, Kesich, Grbelja, Jurat, Losinjanin, Macukat, Mis, Misurac, Radovcich, Ucich.

Lino Franich