MARCO POLO - Croatian Adventurer

The Marco Polo Coat of Arms includes four chickens. In Italian, Polo means chicken or fowl; in Croatian Pilich means chicks or chickens. Accident or coincidence? The Arms are registered in Dalmatia.

Henry S. Hart in his book, Venetian Adventurer: Marco Polo, states, "These merchants were Maffeo and Nicolo Polo, sons of one Marco Polo, a descendant of an old Dalmatian Family which had come from Sibenik, Dalmatia, and settled in Venice in the 11th Century." Hart goes on to say, "The crews of the Venetian ships were freemen, so many of them Slavonians (Croatians) from the Dalmatian Coast that the long dock by St. Mark's Square was and is known as the Riva degli Schiavoni (Slavonian-Croatian)." Marko Polo was the greatest explorer of all time. More significant than Columbus, he opened to Europe all of Asia, including China, which in turn prompted the discovery of America. Marco Polo had a home on the Island of Korcula in Dalmatia, then a shipbuilding and merchant center of Dalmatia. The merchant and the noble class in Dalmatia did use two names, one Latin-Italian as citizens of Venice and their own Croatian name in their own circles. Bogdanich became Bogdaneo, Mladinich-Mladineo, Arnerich-Arneri and Glavinich-Capogrosso. Some simply used the Latin-Italian meaning of their name, such as Cvietkovich-Florio, Lupis-Vukasinovich or Polo-Pilich.

Genealogy The most prominent researcher and historian of Marco Polo, Sir Henry Yule, In his book Ser Marco Polo 1903, John Murray, London drew a genealogical chart of the Polo Families on pages 5O6-507. Marco's daughter, Moreta, married Dolfln; daughter, Fantina, married Bragadin. Vinko lvancevic in his article "Stone Carved Coats of Arms on Korcula" in Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences, No. 381-1978 has the Illustrated Coats of Arms of Dolfin and Bragadin. On the same, the wife of Marino Gradenigo chooses as her executors, "My mother Dona and my uncle (Barba) Ser Marco Polo." Gradenigo Coats of Arms are also carved in stone on Korcula. She also used the term Barba for uncle, this is Dalmatian dialect for uncle. Zio means uncle In Italian. Bragadin is cited on page 125 In History of Medieval Croatia by Guidescu as a Croatian. Marco's genealogy also listed a brother married to a Sagredo-this Sagredo is registered in the Dalmatian nobility and states In German: "Welches aus Sebenico stammt" or originated in Sibenik. It is significant in his genealogy the association with Korcula and Dalmatia. The Croatian Census of Population for 1948 lists DEPOLO (De-of Polo) on the Island of Korcula with 40 individuals in 15 families and the city of Drnis, Dalmatia approximately 20 kilometers from Sibenik (the origins of Polo) has over 25 families with more than 130 individuals named PILICH. Polo is found in only two families far to the north. Courtesy of the Croatian Genealogical and Heraldic Society.

Courtesy of the Croatian Genealogical and Heraldic Society , 2527 San Carlos Ave., San Carlos, CA 94070. Arms can be purchased in color, 81/2 x 11, Glossy Print for $25.00 including shipping. Six weeks delivery.

Sjor Adam S. Eterovich