Nikolić noble family

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Nikolic grb.jpg
Country Serbia Serbian Despotate
Estates Popovo Polje
Titles Knez
Founded before 1363
Dissolution after 1527
Ethnicity Serbia Serb

The House of Nikolić was a Serbian medieval noble family from Hum (Herzegovina). The family's main estate was Popovo Polje.


Lords of Popovo Polje[edit]

Župan Nikola, the great-grandson of Knez Miroslav (Miroslav of Hum), had two sons by Catherine, the daughter of Stephen I, Ban of Bosnia: Vladimir and Bogiša. However, little is known about the first ancestors of the Nikolić family, being last mentioned in 1363, most likely as the governors of the Herzegovinian provinces. With princess Vukosava, Petar and Miliša Nikolić begin the second generation of the Nikolić family. It is known that their mother was a woman named Stanislava, but it is not certain who their father was, whether it was either Vladimir or Bogiša. Recent studies suggest that since Vladimir was older, and from other sources, we are able to assume that he was the father of three known princes. The mention of the Nikolić brothers begin after the death of King Tvrtko I of Bosnia in 1391. As adherents of the new Bosnian king, Stephen Dabiša, their reputation visually rose that by December of 1392, the Republic of Dubrovnik granted them citizenship. Stephen Ostoja's rise to the Bosnian throne found the Nikolić brothers in an unpredicted position, as they were adherents to Queen Jelena Gruba, who was of the House of Nikolić herself and widow of Stephen Dabiša. This caused a problem as they now had to constrainedly find refuge in Dubrovnik. Vukosav later participated in the Bosnian-Dubrovnik War of 1403-1404 as a nobleman of Duke Sandalj Hranić. Vukosav was killed in a skirmish with the Ragusans and was buried in Ston on 28 November 1403.

Grgur Vukosalić, the son of Vukosav Nikolić, was present at historical events in Bosnia in the course of Tvrtko II's campaign against King Stephen Ostoja. Until the independence of Grgur Vukosalić a civil war for control of the Bosnian government came, currently headed by King Stephen Ostojić of Bosnia. As Vukosalić was on Ban Ostojić's side, he directly turned his back on his own lord, Sandalj Hranić. Through Dubrovnik's aid, passions calmed and the Nikolić family ceased trying to gain independence from the Bosnian duke. After Hranić's death, the Nikolić family was loyal to his successor, Stjepan Vukčić Kosača. Grgur died in July 1436.

The sons of Grgur Vukosalić, Vuk and Vukašin Grgurević, continued the same attitude toward Stjepan Vukčić Kosača. Vukašin Grgurević was under Kosača in his efforts to overtake Zeta. In 1442, Vukasin fell into Venetian captivity, but through the help of Dubrovnik, he was freed. The last mention of the Nikolić family was in 1453, where they were still under the lordship of Stjepan Vukčić Kosača. The Ottoman Empire had already started its conquest of Europe and posed a major threat to the Balkans throughout the first half of the 15th century. Finally, after decades of political and social instability, Bosnia officially fell in 1463. Herzegovina would follow in 1482, with a Hungarian-backed reinstated "Bosnian Kingdom" being the last to succumb in 1527. After the end of Bosnia, Nikolićs were left on their own to fight for survival. However, their fate is little known until the 18th century.

Family reborn[edit]

In the 18th century, it is known that the surviving members of the family lived near the border of Serbia and Montenegro as they were striped of the royal position in the country. The family counted five brothers and a sister. The oldest brother Nikola, given a name by his old descendant, was the protector and the ruler of the house.

One day the sister was kidnapped by Turkish soldiers and sent to Turkish vassal. Nikola couldn't let his family be shamed and decided to arrange a family meeting where the brothers would decide weather to save her or not. They knew if they stood against the Turks, they would be killed sooner or later. Despite this the family decided to take the risk. In the second half of the 18th century, around 1780, the brothers saved the sister and killed the vassal. Soon after committing such a crime they all had to move from the territory. By the 19th century they settled in the area of Azbukovica and the area of today’s Ljubovija mostly in today’s west Serbia, where the set up new families.

Each brother named a new house by his first name. So they were Jovanović (from Jovan), Petrović (from Petar), Stojanović (from Stojan), Đorđević (from Đorđe) and Nikolić (from the eldest Nikola).

This is once again after a long time of being lost, the family name Nikolić of the Great Župan Nikola was reborn and has still remained with the name of Nikolić.

World wars and the communist Yugoslavia[edit]

Male members of the Nikolić family were in the Serbian Royal army during the World Wars. Most of them after all had to leave home and live and work abroad. It is also well known that the family still remains and that the brothers, Slobodan, Borivoje, Petar and a sister Alexandra all born around 1950 live with their own families.

Their father while in his nineteen’s and in the King’s army, was lucky to survive World War II and continue the Nikolić family as the Communist's victors almost killed him, but considering his age and the Serbian origin, they freed him.