My name is Bianca Maria Gjomarkaj Nakovics. I am the daughter of Kapidan Ndue Gjon Markagjoni (Gjomarkaj), grand-daughter of Kapidan Gjon Markagjoni. The intention of this site is to provide accurate historical facts about my family, especially my grandfather. Much is published on the internet about his background, some of which is distorted and untrue. I hope that in my research and subsequent findings I will be able to share with you the true character of a great man, as well as a heartwarming view from his second eldest grand-child about his life as a political refugee in Rome, Italy.
I loved my grand-father very much, he was known to me as Baba Gjon. He lived with us in Rome, Italy, from the day my parents were married in 1957 until his death in 1966. He was a kind and gentle man. All my life I heard stories of his heroism and achievements, and although felt very proud, I loved him more as a grandfather than anything else. He was my Baba. I’d sit on his lap and he would recount stories of the “old country”. He would take me on walks in the streets of our beloved Rome. He would try to teach me Albanian, which I deeply regret not learning in full, but is something I am working on.
I hope to share with you the stories of my father, aunts and uncles; some of whom died before their time and others who suffered tremendously at the hands of communism, which had a stranglehold on the country for almost 50 years.
It wasn’t until 2010 that I finally made my journey to Albania, to the homeland of my father and his father and all the others before them. I was both overwhelmed and elated to meet my uncle Deda, aunt Bardha (my namesake), my cousins: Kristina and Celestina and many others, all of whom welcomed me with open arms and loved me as though I had known them all their lives. When I looked in their eyes I saw only happiness and optimism, strength and endurance, and was amazed at their resilience. Some of them suffered in internment camps and prisons from 1945 until their release in 1991. They saw their family and friends die before their eyes and suffered with them. They witnessed their home in Mirdite burn with all their possessions inside. They lived through unimaginable suffering and torture. These were my people and I was proud, so very proud to finally have met them and call myself Gjomarkaj. I finally understood all that my father tried to tell me when I was growing up, about the struggles of the “old world” that I, as a self-involved teenager, could not fathom nor really cared to hear about. I finally understood all the suffering this family went through, not only for their beloved country, but for their name and for all of us who came after, so that we could inherit the honor of the name and be proud to belong to such a great family.
I have since relocated to Shkoder to live closer to my relatives in my grandfather’s home. My husband and I have been here since November 2012 and in this short period of time we have have had great days and made some wonderful new memories. I was very blessed to have been able to make the transfer at that point and time in our lives because it gave us the opportunity to live near my dear aunt Bardha the last four months of her life. It was with great sadness that we lost her on March 19, 2013, only a couple of weeks after her 86th birthday. I know that us being here made her very happy and that comforts me every day, we miss her terribly. Two years later we suffered the loss of my uncle Dede, at the age of 92. Another great loss.
Today we are still living in my home and through these last 8 years have managed to make assimilate into the culture and Albanian life. My grandfather and father would be proud.
The Order of George Kastrioti Skanderbeg was bestowed on the House of Gjomarkaj on March 29, 2017 by then President Nishani by Decree no. 10105 for the following reason: “For the extraordinary contribution in the service of the protection of the national identity and in particular of the Mirdita region, for the centuries long struggle against the invaders of the homeland and for their resistance to them. For their noble sacrifices against the establishment of the communist dictatorship in the Albanian territories “.
The Order of Skanderbeg (Albanian: Urdhri “Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu”) or the George Kastrioti Skanderbeg Order is a high honorary state decoration given in Albania to Albanian and foreign citizens that have made an important contribution to the defence, reinforcement and development of Albania, and is awarded by the Albanian President. The Order of George Kastrioti Skanderbeg is issued by the President of the Republic of Albania.
This video was created by noted Albanian folklore singer Paulin Gega in honor of the House of Gjomarku. It was shot on location at the historical Kulla Markagjoni in Shkoder. This Kulla or Tower is part of the private residence which once belonged to Prince Preng Bib Dode and subsequently to Kapidan Gjon Markagjoni. The house is currently owned by the legal heirs of Gjon Markagjoni; his surviving son Kapidan Nikoll Gjomarkaj, his grandson Gjon Ndue Gjomarkaj, his nieces Kristina Markagjoni Vata, Celestina Markagjoni Deda, Maria Cristina Gjomarkaj (Markagjoni) Verger, Bianca M. Gjomarkaj (Markagjoni) Nakovics and Alessandra Gjomarkaj. Enjoy!
After a long year of working on the translation of my father’s book from Albanian into English I am proud to say it is finished! The book was published today and is available on Amazon. This has been a true labor of love and a great tribute to my family. I hope those of you who are curious enough to buy it will enjoy it. Here’s a short tease…
Sot unë kam botuar librin e babait tim për herë të dytë. Ai së pari botoi këtë libër në vitin 2002 dhe pas 14 vitesh unë ndjeva se ishte e rëndësishme që të publikojë atë përsëri. Ky liber ka ne fokus te tij, gjenezen e Kapidaneve te Mirdites, si dhe disa saktesime mbi kanunin e Mirdites sipas Ndue Gjomarkut, pa harruar dhe ngjarje kulmore historike te cilat jane domethenese per fatin e Mirdites dhe te shqiptareve. Duke perfshire nje periudhe kohore disa shekullore.Për të blerë librin, ju lutem ndiqni këtë link.
Today I re-published my father’s book. It was first published in 2002 and after 14 years I felt it was very important to publish it again with a wider distribution. The book focuses on the Kapidanis of Mirdita and the impact of the Kanun on the region over a period of several centuries. The book emphasizes a number of historical milestones of the Gjomarkaj household mainly concentrating on the Markagjoni branch (my grandfather, father and uncles). I hope to have it published in English within the year.
For a preview of the book please follow this link Book Preview
The book is in Albanian and may be purchased through Amazon at the link below.
This is the only official site endorsed by the direct descendants of
Kap. Gjon Marka Gjoni (Gjomarkaj)
Site designed by Bianca Gjomarkaj Nakovics