© copyright 1987-1998 Slovenian Genealogical Society, all rights
Happy New Year. Please make note of our new mailing address. Moving is always difficult, but trying to keep a newsletter "on time" during a move may be even more difficult. Please forgive the limited content of this issue. I will try to improve, starting with the next issue. I would like to receive some useful articles from the membership for the remaining 1988 newsletter issues. We are still receiving new memberships, many because of our relationship with RODNA GRUDA. For those of you not familiar with the publication, it is published in Ljubljana for "Slovenes abroad". There is an English Language section. They publish genealogical information whenever we supply it to them. To subscribe: write them at: Slovenska izseljenska matica, 61001 Ljubljana, Cankarjeva 1/III, Slovenia.
I recently received a completed "every name index" for St. Stephen's Parish Book, 1898-1973, Chicago, Illinois, from Mary Lou Davison. She is already working on another. I am also making some headway with an index for the 75th Anniversary Book, 1910-1985, SS Cyril and Metodius Church, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. If you have time, write, and I'll send a church booklet for you to index. Remember. we still need copies of church booklets for many Slovenian parishes.
Things have been going very well with out translation of the 1912 publication Amerika in Americkanci, by J.M. Trunk. Half of the document is already in my hands for editing, and the other half is being worked on by volunteers. We have also started translating the 1913 church bulletin, Spominski Album, Joliet, Illinois. We can always use another translator. The LDS Church has contacted the society asking for the names of individuals able to translate from and to Slovenian. We urge cooperation with the LDS. They have amassed the greatest library and archive of genealogical information in the world. Their Slovenian collection is small, but with our help, it should grow.
We are now looking for individuals to start compiling obituary indexes to Slovenian publications. The American Home, published in Cleveland, Ohio, always carries obituary notices. If you have a current subscription, or access to back issues, contact us for indexing formats. We'll send an example for you to follow. We'd also like to keep track of the years being indexed to avoid duplication of effort. The official publication of the American Fraternal Union, NEW ERA, also contains obituary listings that we should be indexing. This is an opportunity to participate for those of us who lack Slovenian language proficiency. Start a local work group.
We received a copy of the 1982 telephone book for Slovenia. Joe Balazic obtained an issue for us when he was in Yugoslavia. It is of limited usefulness because addresses are not complete, but it is a clear alphabetical listing of family names. I would be happy to search it for you. Remember, always include a self-addressed, stamped, long envelope.
On to monetary issues, 1988 dues should be mailed as quickly as possible. Please make your checks payable to Albert Peterlin, Slovenian Genealogy Society. Our local banks here do not like to cash checks made out to organizations without a separate bank account. Service fees are high and eat up too much of our income if we maintain an account. Our income is spent on photocopying and for postage.
RETURN TO GOTTSCHEE
by H.T. Petsche
I finally returned to old Gottschee again. My friend, Rose Kaufman, and I stayed at Smarjeske Toplice, a health spa and hotel. I thought it would be close to Gottschee, but, in fact, it was really over an hours drive away. We tried to get a taxi from Kocejve (Gottschee), hoping the driver would then be familiar with the local area. No such luck, our driver was from Novo Mesto. We drove to Dvor, and then stopped for directions to Smuka (the old Langenton). The long road to Smuka was unpaved, but we did hear that a new bridge and four lane highway is to be completed in the near future. There were still a few nice houses in Smuka. In Smuka we asked for directions to the old Rottenstein. I knew it no longer existed as a town, but I wanted to take some pictures of the ruins for Frank Koenig. His father was from Rottenstein.
The ruins were about 10 kilometers away and in a very desolate area. Our guide knew of the houses of Mausser and Kickel. We ended up walking quite a distance, but then found the remnants of 5 or 6 houses. Large rocks had fallen from the walls because the outer cement coverings had been destroyed. At one time, Rottenstein had 17 houses. Now, only plum trees remain, along with beautiful fall blooming orchid crocus in the nearby meadows. The soil and rocks along the road are red, hence the name, Rote meaning red, stein meaning stone.
We visited Ebental (now Polom) next, a deserted 9 kilometers from the main road. Here, as in Rottenstein, large logs were piled in some places. We visited the old St. Michael's Church, rather, what was left of it. All the birth, marriage, and death records for the surrounding towns, including Kikendorf, Tiefental, Setch, and Ebental, were destroyed during World War II. The Church was now full of weeds and trees, growing inside and out. However, on the high altar wall were still visible the paintings of four saints. The old school house is now being used as a barn. An old photo I had showed the main road lined with small twigs. They were now full sized trees. 15 houses remain. A few new buildings are going up.
We did visit with a local Slovenian woman, Mrs. Hogler. Her husband died in 1977. Her daughter was visiting from West Berlin. Mrs. Hogler is now 79 years old and getting frail. Her daughter took us to the cemetery. There were about 10 Gottschee grave stones left, only 3 legible.
We next visited the town of Setch (now Sec). There were about 8 houses and a recently built church. I wanted to take a side trip to Tiefental, but there are no houses left and I was talked out of making the difficult trip there. I now wish I had persisted. I tried to tour all of old Gottschee in one day. Instead I had seen only 4 villages. It was still very enjoyable. After all, I had seen the place where my father was born, and the church where my mother and father were baptized.
Our last stop was in Ljubljana. We arrived about 11:55 on a Saturday. At the archives in Ljubljana, we spoke to a priest who learned English 40 years before in Italy. We got to see only one baptismal book from Gottschee, then the dinner bell rang and the priests left for lunch with the Archbishop who also resides there. Anyone can have access to the records stored in the archive by writing to: Nadskkofyski Ordinariat Arhiv, Ciril-Matodov trg 4, 61001 Ljubljana, pp 121/III, Slovenia, Yugoslavia. All replies will be in Slovenian. Do not send money until they reply. If you are not charged a fee, send a donation. Each request should include 3 international reply coupons (obtained from the post office). Send your request by airmail, and ask for the reply to be sent airmail. Do not send a self-addressed, stamped envelope instead of the reply coupons.