House of Jelačić

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Jelačić
House of Jelačić coat of arms
Country Croatia
Parent house House of Jelačić
Titles Baron, Count
Founded 1388

The Jelačić family (English and German: Jellacic or Jellachich) is an old Croatian noble family, remarkable during the period in history marked by the Ottoman wars in Europe in the Kingdom of Croatia and Hungary and in the later Austro-Hungarian Empire. Notable members of this family were senior military officers, bans (viceroys) of Croatia or other state officials.

History[edit]

The first mention of the Jelačić family name appeared in the 14th century in the territory which is modern-day's central part of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the 16th century the members of the Jelačić noble family lived in the central Croatian historical region of Banovina, between the rivers of Una and Kupa. In 1550 historical sources mention Mihajlo (English: Michael) Jelačić, who lived in Topusko, and in 1551 Marko (English: Mark) Jelačić, whose children Ivan (John), Juraj (George), Nikola (Nicholas), Petar (Peter), Gabrijel (Gabriel) and Ana (Anne) gained the noble title with coat of arms in 1579 for their merits in battles against the Ottoman Turks.

Due to inexhaustible and unbearable rush of the Ottomans, the Jelačićs retreated from the Una river area and settled in Turopolje, Hrvatsko Zagorje and Lika. All the time they continued to fight the Turks, having taken part in many battles as military commanders. Janko Jelačić, for instance, fought side by side with the Croatian and Hungarian national hero Nikola Šubić Zrinski / Zrínyi Miklós and fell in 1566 in the famous Battle of Szigetvár.

During the 17th and 18th century the family spread and divided into more branches. It used to be known as the Jelačićs of Bužim, according to their estate in eponymous settlement situated in central Croatia at that time, which is the present-day municipality in the most northwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina. The family produced many military commanders, among which the best known were Baron Franjo Jelačić (English: Francis) (1746–1810), a Field Marshal in Habsburg Monarchy army service, and his son Josip (English: Joseph) (1801–1859), a Ban (viceroy) of Croatia. The former was known for his participation in the Napoleonic wars, while the latter took part in the military campaigns during the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. For his merits, Josip Jelačić was given the title "Count".

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