Vrbanj was recorded as an existing, long established settlement in the 1331 Statute of the Hvar Commune. The statute mentions a "Fons Varba", so it is possible that this was the origin of the settlements name.
In her article "Contributions to the knowledge of the inhabitants of Vrbanj from the 15th to the 18th centuries", which was published in 1976, N. Bezić-Božanić lists the earliest known surnames of Vrbanj viz.
- From legal documents dating back to 1419, we know of Stjepan Bilopopić, Bogdan Bogdanić and Ivan Radoarić.
- From a church record dating back to 1427, and dealing with the appointment of the church rector, we have these names ; Bogdan Kraljić, Bogdan Radovačić Bogdanić, Juraj Simrunić, Marko Stanoević (family from Jelša), Cvitan Nikolić, Bogdan Jurjević, Stjepan Musanić, Stojan Murčinić, Juraj Radičević Luković, Nikola Budmerović and Rade Lušić.
In the document, written in Latin by Gabriel Gazzarus "canonicus pharensis", which recorded the benediction of the church of St Nikola, built at the highest point above Starigrad, ('crkve Svetog Nikola od Velog Brda iznad Starog Grada'), on 10 April 1487, the eleven founders of the church were listed, their surnames are; Ivanić, Lušić, Čubretović, Bratanić and Carnogorich/Crnogorić (this last one is not in the census taken two centuries later, possibly this surname became Matković, who are known to have originated from Boka Kotorska region in what is today Crnagora/Montenegro).
The oldest known grave in Vrbanj, is neither in the old graveyard next to the belltower, nor in the new graveyard next to the vehicle testing depot, but is to be found a few meters from the front entrance of the parish church, and which dates back to 1847 (Possibly this was part of an earlier graveyard, which was cleared when the belltower was built. The belltower was completed in 1900.)
Most of the graves in the old graveyard of Vrbanj date from the start of the 20th century, but there is one broken gravestone for a Stipe Lušić from 1888, and another intact gravestone for a Dinko Pavičić, who died in 1857, this appears to be the earliest date in the old graveyard.
The following families are recorded in the (Literary circle) periodical article entitled earliest preserved census of the island of Hvar from 1673, Vrbanj had 387 inhabitants (87 families). (those in blue are linked to their profiles)
- BAKULIĆ - Kata 2,
- BRATANIĆ - Andrija 8, Luka 17, Magdalena 3,
- BUDROVIĆ - Luka 4, Lukrica 1, Nikola 5,
- BULIČEVIĆ (Bulichieuich) - Dominik 5,
- BURATOVIĆ - Gabrijel 5, Ivan 8, Kata 1, Kuzma Cvitov (Zuito) 5, Kuzmo Stjepana 4, Kuzma Šime 6, Stjepan 5,
- BUTKOVIĆ - Martin 2,
- CEBURINSEUICH (?) - Martin 3,
- CVITIĆ (Zuitich) - Kuzma 3,
- ČUBRE ( Čubretović, Zubretouich i Zubretich) - Andrija 5, Luka 6, Marko pok. Jurja 2, Mate 8,
- FRANIČIĆ - Petrunela 2,
- FREDOTOVIĆ - Kuzma 4, Stjepan 7, Tomo 7,
- GABELLINA Margarita 3,
- GABRIČEVIĆ (Gabrichievich) - Juraj 5, Luka Nikole 2, Lukrica 3,
- GODOJEVIĆ (Godoeu) - Ivan 7,
- GRCIĆ (Gareich i Garzich) - Juraj 3, Kuzma 5,
- IVELJIĆ (Iueglich) - Petrunela 1, Vicko 4,
- JERKOV (Gercou) - Jerolim .
- JERKOVIĆ - Frane 5,
- KOSIRINA (Cossirina) - Luka 5, Urša 2,
- LUŠIĆ - Kata 3, Luka 6, Marko 3, Mihovil 3, Nikola pok. Jurja 3, Nikola pok. Tome 4,
- LJUBIĆ - Andrija 6,
- [Luka Matković
- MATKOVIC Luka pok. Stjepan 7, Stjepan 15,
- MILOŠEVIĆ - Juraj 6, Kuzmo 3, Marin reč. Marjanović 3, Mate pok. Nikole 6, Nikola pok. Luke 6,
- MUSINOVIĆ - Gabrijel pok. Luke 4, Gabrijel pok. Stjepana 2, Jerka 2,
- MUSTAĆIN (Mustachin) - Jerolim 3, Juraj 4, Tomo 4,
- PASTROJEVIC (Pastroeuich) - Tomo 7,
- PAVICIĆ (Pavicich) - Danijel 1, Dobra 3, Dominik 7, Ivan 6, Juraj 9, Margarita 3, Marko 8,
- PEŠUTIĆ - Dominik 1, Juraj 3, Mate 3,
- PINO - Franko 2,
- RAČIĆ (Racich) - braća 7,
- RASOVIĆ - braća 7,
- REGOJEVIĆ - Drusiana 2,
- RUSULIN Andrija 5, Ivan (Rusul) 5,
- SANETIĆ (?) - Kuzma 5,
- SIMUNIĆ - Juraj 1, Kuzma 3, Nikola 4,
- STIPETIĆ - braća 5,
- TONSIĆ - Tomo 6,
- TRESIĆ (Tressich) - Luka 5, Nikola 5,
- UŠATIĆ - Ivan 5,
- VIDOŠEV (Vidoscheu) - Vicko 6,
- VIDOŠEVIĆ - Fila 1.
U to vrijeme u Vrbanju je zupnik don Marin Milosevic rec Marjanovic, u kuci obitelj Simunovic zivi necak Juraj Vrankovic iz Dola i kod Andrije Ljubica Kata kci pok. Luke Bratanica
Information extracted from an article on THE CENSUS OF THE ISLAND OF HVAR FROM 1673 by Nevenka Bezić-Božanić, published in the magazine Čakavska rič, Split 1991, br.1.
Present day Surnames of Vrbanj with nadimaks (clan names) and 'variations'</strong>
Bojanić - Meštre Šime.
Bratanić - Belečini, Bombo, Čehanovi, Ćela, Doktor, Kapulinovi, Kutle, Kužman, Lagani, Macićevi, Moli Antun, Pumpa, Rus, (Seka), Večernjini, Veli Antun i Vune. - (Bratanich)
Bulić - Kosmejovi. - (Bulich)
Buratović - Bonini, Buratovi, Čovičić, Gabrić, Gropčić, Jankić, Jud, Jurondotovi, Kontinovi, Kražina, Margari, Marinović, Marker, Mitura, Moli Sibe, Pihurničevi, Pikovi, Pištini, Puhovi, (Seka), Smornje, Veli Sibe i Ženčini. - (Buratovich)
Čubre - Čubretovi i Kabanica. - (Cubre)
Čubretović - (Cubretovich) (none in current telephone directory, see above)
Dedić - Majdan.
Erceg - Jercegovi.
Fredotović - Barbasovi, Budrovići, Čoškovi, Kenje, Lučetovi, Marijača, Meštre Marija, Paranzivon i Šundetovi.
Justinijanović (Justinianović, Giustinianović) - Cvitić i Špirotovi. - (Justinijanovich, Giustinianovich, Giustiniana, Yustin)
Kalinić (Kalinić) - Lizatović.
Lupi - Štrambo.
Lušić - Batetovi, (Dundi), Fažol, Gira, Manovra, Mihovilovi, Mončetovi, Pecigo, Pera, Puhalo i Ušatići. - (Lusich, Lushich) NB the "Lukšić" surname does not occur in Vrbanj
Lušić-Bulić - Dujetovi.
Ljubić - Bili, Glovini, Gusto, Jubići, Majstor Vuk i Peškotovi. - (Ljubich)
Matković - Balolić, Car, Dundo, Kokot, Markovi, Matijević, Meštrovi, Moli Jure, Nane, Plančić, Šendik, Tancalo i Veli Jure. - (Matkovich)
Matković-Dražica (Drožica) - Drojčini.
Matković-Mikulčić - Borini.
Milatić - Stipe Rozov.
Pavičić - Aleujini, Barbir, Bažiko, Blaćetovi, Blezgo, Bufić, Cikinor, Fronini, Gašperin, Gavranovi, Gaze, Godejovi, Gujičini, Klapotovi, Kolega, Kotini, Kriva, Lazetovi, Lunje, Mare, Marica, Mene, Moro, Moškotovi, Muletovi, Mušterija, Muto, Pošteni, Puharina, Sprugaj, Šartur, Tikvica, Tona, Tribunol, Tripetovi, Viskovi i Žbaralatovi. - (Pavicich, Pavichich)
Pavičić-Donkić - Briškula, Bujolić, Gargur, Ivančić, Kišini, Kosta, Meštre Mučalo, Seka, Trup i Žiga.
Pavičic-Ivelja - Hoje, Iveja i Sulini.
Perić - Grunje.
Račić - Govčevi, Kabel, Kapitonovi, Meštre Mikula, Rokotovi, Ruso, Spaček, Strašilovi, Šorčevi, Zane i Žugo. - (Racich, Rachich)
Razović - Keko, Kume, Pisanica, Rozovi, Ružini, Seka, Svidok i Šebejovi. - (Razovich)
Stipetić - Remeta, Stipećovi, Usiter i Žamajku. - (Stipetich)
Stipišić - Baretovi, Bariša, Dinkić, Dujetovi, Iviša, Meštrejurjevi, Picola i Šundetovi· - (Stipisich, Stipishich)
Tresić - Berčevi, Krsto i Turtulovi. - (Tresich)
Tresić-Pavičić - Čarnićevi i Pelini.
Turić - Turićevi.
Vidošević - Bakalor, Bukalo, Čarvić, Dome, Dundi, Gundejovi, Kapulica, Marinčevi, Mariš, Mažin, Remeta, Šćepo, Skandeja i Vidoševi. - (Vidosevich, Vidoshevich)
Vitali - Gutini.
Vodanović - Bako, Budanović, Čučini, Doktor, Fakinovi, Guslini, Paštrovići, Pera i Vatrica. - (Vodanovich)
Researchers should validate surnames using an authoritative source such as the official census [http://www.rodoslovlje.hr/istaknuta-vijest/leksik-prezimena-sr-hrvatske Leksik prezimena SR Hrvatske, and take note that the local dialect is čakavski, thus most names and surnames from Vrbanj, will differ from those found on the mainland where other dialects are in use.
The imehrvatsko.net site is also helpful as it lists the valid surnames for Vrbanj
Latitude of Vrbanj: 43,1650 (439'54.000"N) Longitude of Vrbanj: 16,6456 (1638'44.160"E)
Vrbanj se nalazi na otoku Hvaru, opcina Stari grad. Vrbanj is located on island Hvar, municipality Stari Grad and has 495 inhabitants (03-31-2011).
The name Vrbanj is derived from the Slavic word for "willow" or "vrba" and is first mentioned in 1331.
Countries where migrated
Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, United States, South Africa and others.
Church registers for the parish of the Holy Spirit (Sv. Duha)
Baptisms - 1599-1626 (missing years), 1716-1860, 1865-1910 (pages at the beginning of the Birth register are badly damaged by damp and are mostly illegible)
Marriages - 1716-1857
Deaths - 1716-1940
These entries were recorded first in Latin, later in Italian and finally in Croatian.
The Croatian State Archives (Hrvatski Državni Arhiv) has a collection of church registers on DVD and microfilm. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) has copies of the church registers up to 1860.