We have somewhat of an answer, with many thanks to IVA with the Croation Language Institute who kindly responded to my inquiry. Here is a recap of our email exchange:
"I am a member of a user-group that transcribes gravestone records, and wanted to know the meaning of the abreviation "PL" on some recent images. The image is at::
Oh Pl. in this context stands for "plemeniti" (for a man) or "plemenita" (for a woman) meaning "noble". These people probably came from rich and noble families.
Hope that helps! :-)
If we wanted to put that into the database, should it be as a Prefix (like English would use Sir, or Lord) or as Suffix (like Esq (Esquire), Is it considered part of the actual name or just an honorific? Thanks so much for your kind responses.
I honestly don't know what to tell you.
It's considered a part of the name, I believe. It just marks that the family was noble (so you'd put it in front of the surname) but I have no idea how the family would earn that title.
There are no "noble" families in Croatia anymore as far as I know. Or at least people don't use the title with their name.
Hope this helps, I know it's not very specific but I'm not too familiar with the term myself. :-)
All the best from Zagreb,
NOW, given that it is associated witht the surname/family name, should we put it after the surname in that field, or as a suffix? I don't think I would want to put it at the beginning of the surname field, as that would make it seem to be more important than the family name. If it followed the surname then the PL would come up the search functions. If it is in the suffix field how useful is it in searching?
Even though it is before the surname on the stone, I would be inclined to put it after the surname in that field.
Any other opinions or conventions known about?