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Slovenian Genealogy Society Newsletter Vol. 1 No. 2 1987

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© copyright 1987-1998 Slovenian Genealogical Society, all rights reserved
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I'd like to start out this newsletter with a plea to all of our members to become an active participant in gathering information about our Slovenian ancestors. I ask everyone who subscribes to a Slovenian newspaper or magazine to constantly note listing of births, marriages, and obituaries. Please index all such notices on 3x5 cards or on a separate sheet of paper. On each sheet include: name of publication and the date, name of the individual, and all dates, places, and relatives mentioned. In this way we will constantly be enlarging our ancestral index. Please sign and include a current date on each sheet as you proceed. Let me know what your indexing to avoid duplication. Mail the sheets to use every 3 months.

I have seen several reviews of the new ATLAS SLOVENIJE in the past several months. All have been full of praise for a map series 20 years in the making. The book contains topographical maps covering all cities, town, and hamlets and is fully indexed for quick reference. According to RODNA GRUDA, "The atlas includes practically all the territory where Slovenes live including S.R. Slovenia and the neighboring lands of Italy, Austria, and Hungary." Joseph Drasler, whose article appears on the reverse, recommends the book highly for locating those hard to find hamlets in Slovenia.

I am pleased to report that our obituary index for the Forest City News, Forest City, Pennsylvania, is moving ahead rapidly. Barbara Puchnick is working hard along with several volunteers. The index is complete from the first issue in December 1886 through 1952. Barbara has also managed to begin a marriage index for the same time period. If you believe you have a Forest City connection, we would be happy to search the indexes for you. There will be a $1.00 donation for the search, and a self-addressed stamped envelope should be included with the request.

QUERIES: Queries are free to members. Be brief. We will edit as space dictates.


Bartl HRIBAR probably was born in Islake. Lived for a time (1907) in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Would appreciate any information. Would also like location of village in Slovenia called Jerjaska or Jerjarka.
Barbara Vodovnik, 4642 Heritage Hills Drive, Bloomington, MN 55437


Would like information about Max or Angeline HERZOG. Last known address Florida. Related to late Franc HERZOG who settled in Arizona after leaving Slovenia.
Reply thru Slovenian Genealogy Society.

Individuals frequently need to ask for help in parts of the country they do not have ready access to. There is a small utility paper in central Indiana that will run genealogy queries without charge. If you are needing help in central Indiana, you can write to Who's Who in care of Electric Consumer, P.O. Box 24517, Indianapolis, IN 46224. A short paragraph is acceptable.

Slovenians who believe their immigrant ancestor traveled through Hamburg on their journey westward, may be able to find a large amount of information available through the Hamburg Historic Emigration Office. A records search costs $30.00, and if the searcher supplies the emigre's name and year of emigration, the office may be able to supply age, occupation, marital status, number of children, ship's name, city of origin, final destination, and the date of sailing. Write to: Historic Emigration Office, Holstenwal 24, 2000 Hamburg 36, Germany.

Joseph Drasler

The foremost problem for Slovenian genealogists is the scarcity of vital records in all parts of Slovenia, the lack of emigration records of any kind, and precious little data available in the genealogy departments of our public libraries, comparatively speaking. According to the historian Zontar, who focused on Slovenia more than other genealogists or historical demographers, easiliest available vital records in most of Yugoslavia reach back only to the 16th Century.

Furthermore, earliest archival documents were written either in Italian or German, and preceding that in Latin. Yugoslav names, usually difficult to pronounce, were often Italianized or Gemanized in vital record books, while in the United States, for the most part, they were written phonetically.

From the 12th to the 20th Centuries, parts of Yugoslavia were under Austrian, German, Hungarian, and French domination, while at the same time were buffeted by wars, fires, floods, and deliberate destruction of records. The Slvoenian genealogist has many barriers to face.

Even the Mormon Genealogical Library in Salt Lake City, famous for its genealogy collecting, has not microfilmed vital records in Yugoslavia. The library has produced a very good film on Yugoslav demography (Number D83938-583458, Slovenia, Yugoslavia) available at its branch libraries.

While these obstacles of various proportion loom before the Slovenian genealogist, the challenges are not insurmountable. The researcher should never become discouraged or give in to defeat.

People seeking their family ancestry should not overlook contacts with living relatives in this country and in Yugoslavia. Such contacts provide the most definitive leads to secure additional information. Once correct given and surnames are known, along with birthdays and birthplaces, assistance is available at vital statistic bureaus in most major cities.

The picturesque city of Vrhnika, southwest of Ljubljana, and the small cities and hamlets encircling it, including Verd, Breg, Dol Borovonica, Lasce, Laze, Pako, Pekel, and to the west Kamnki, Presrje, and Brzovica appear to have been the source of the Drazler families. Because of their close proximity, my requests for vital statistics were limited to the cities of Vrhnika and Ljubljana.

Vrhnika is the birthplace of Slovenia's' greatest poet and author, Ivan Cankar. A monument, built in his honor, stands at the entrance to the city, his birthplace has been turned into a museum, and a memorial has been built on the hilltop overlooking his beloved city. The Church, mentioned so often in his writing, still stands upon the hilltop.

My requests for vital statistics received prompt reply, and were usually supplemented with photostatic copies from original records, by both registrar Ivanka Sirok, Bureau of Vital Statistics, 61300 Vrhnika, and Director Marija Oblak-Carni, Arhiv SR Slovenije, Zvesdarska 1, 61001 Ljubljana.

The Ljubljana Arhiv maintains vital records for Borovnica as follows: Births from 1758 to 1860, marriages from 1758 to 1849, and deaths from 1758 to 1883. Borovnica's vital records date from 1842.

My most productive source of vital data has been the parish priest, Jose Strzaj, at Rimska cesta 35, 61353 Borovnica. He employs the help of young parish students, versed in the English language, who are very helpful providing one has correct names, birthdays, and birthplaces of ancestors.

Albert Peterlin

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