© copyright 1998 Slovenian Genealogical Society, all rights reserved
Welcome to this first newsletter of our third year in publication. As I mentioned previously, we already have enough personal stories to fill this years quota of newsletters. However, time moves quickly, and we want to encourage each and every member to start preparing something for our use in 1990. Don't put it off. Start now.
I have received several publications from Slovenian organizations in Australia. For information on subscribing to Moja Slovenija, write to PO Box 153, Rydalmere 2116, NSW Australia. This publication is printed in Slovenian. We would like to hear from our members who subscribe to any of the numerous Slovenian publications available from across the globe. We do not have the funds to subscribe to these useful, information sources, let alone the time to peruse them. If you can volunteer the time, we would like to know what you subscribe to. We would also like about 10 sentences describing the publication so we can pass the word on to all our members.
One of our members suggested we try to collect a one page description of as many Slovenian towns and villages as possible. While this seems like a next to impossible task on the surface, there are several viable solutions if our membership would become active. There are many Slovenian organizations across the country, including heritage and musical groups, as well as Slovenian social clubs and homes for the aged. If we could have a volunteer visit each club or home and persuade each elderly member to write or dictate a page on their home town, we'd have an atlas in no time. Many Catholic schools have programs where school children visit nursing homes. Each child could record a page of history from an elderly patient.
Finally, we have one copy of Krajevni Leksikon which was published in Slovenian in 1950. It contains over 600 pages of information on many cities across Slovenia. If we had a large group of individuals who could translate this book, we would be happy to mail it. Again, this could be a wonderful project for a rest home as long as one of our members could organize the unit and serve as a coordinator.
This quarters final plea. We are still in need of a typist. We have completed the translation of Trunk, and we would like to have it typed in a consistent format so we can seek a publisher. It includes about 300 pages, a large project, but there is no deadline. You set the pace, we offer the gratitude.
We received several new church histories in recent months. Janet Maurin, rectory secretary, for SS Cyril & Methodius Church in Sheboygan, also sent along a very nice writeup on their parish Slovenian Youth Singers and Dancers. In so many cases, worthwhile projects begin with a few individuals willing to do more then their fair share to get a project off the ground.
We now have parish histories from Slovenian parishes in Evelyth, MN, Indianapolis, IN, Waukegan, IL, Fairfield, CT, Barberton, OH, Johnstown,, PA, Ely, MN, Bridgeville, PA, Euclid, OH, Lorain, OH, Sheboygan, WI, Lemont, IL, Greenfield, WI, Chisholm, MN, Forest City, PA, Joliet, IL, Pittsburg, PA, Pueblo, CO, Lasalle, IL, Chicago, IL, and Cleveland, OH. If your town is not listed, please obtain a parish history (original or photocopy) and mail it to us.
Several members have asked for the address of a business selling Slovenian dictionaries and other Slovenian publications, such as, Atlas Slovenia. We offer no recommendations, but we have seen Tivoli Enterprises, 6419 St. Clair, Cleveland, OH 44103 advertise in newspapers serving the Slovenian community.
Born in Skofja Loka, Krajinkski, year unknown. Died in Shoaf, PA, on 4/6/1911. Attended St. Mary's Church in Leckrone, PA. Widow's name Margaret. 2 known daughters, Agnes Kirk, and Gertrude Kral Berging. Second wife's name unknown.
Contact: Dolores Ward, 383 Beechwood Dr., Willowick, OH 44094
Would like any information on Tony ? Kral, sometimes spelled Krall. Died 6/16/1900. Leckrone, PA. or Yugoslavia?
Contact: Dolores Ward, 383 Beechwood Dr., Willowick, OH 44094
RESEARCH IN SLOVENIA
by John Dremel Jr.
Anyone who has been engaged in researching their Slovenian ancestors has without a doubt found it to be a very fascinating "detective story". There are numerous deadends, unexpected new leads and often a "one in a million" coincidence that breaks a deadlock in the research. I'd like to relate one of my "one in a million" chance finds.
I started my genealogical research very late in life. My parents had both died and I had very little in the way of letters, documents, or any other basis for a beginning. The only family I ever knew were my own parents and my brothers and sisters. My dad talked about arriving and working in Chicago when he came to the United States in 1905. So, for a start, I wrote to the Bureau of Census for the Cook County 1910 Census line for John Dremelj.
When it arrived it indicated something we somehow suspected but never knew for sure...Our dad was married in Chicago, previous to our mother, to an Ana Remos, a woman with three children. Further inquiries to Chicago gave us their marriage license and from that, the church in which they were married. A letter to the church, which still exists, gave me the names of my father's first wife's parents but nothing else. There was no record of her place of birth or of any birth, baptism, communion, or death of the three children. Nor were there in the official Chicago files.
The mystery of my dad's's first wife began to deepen and I was determined to find out who she was and what happened to my apparent half-brothers and sister. My father married my mother in 1913 in Pueblo, Colorado. I thought Ana may have died in Pueblo. I wrote there for Ana's death certificate and received it. It showed no new information.
I add that she was born by Skofja Loka, Austria, now Slovenia, in a village called TRATA. With nowhere else to go, I wrote to the "Maticini Urad, Skofja Loka, asking for her birth certificate. Trata is a long ways (by 1900 standards) from where my father was born and I knew of none of our family in that area.
The letter I received in return, however, was not from the civil authorities in Skofja Loka. It was written by a person named Dremelj. It seems that on the day my letter arrived at the records office a lawyer named Martin Dremelj happened by the registrar's desk. The official asked the lawyer if he would like to read my inquiry since it came from a Dremel in America. The official could find no record of my father's first wife, as it turned out.
Martin Dremelj copied my letter and showed it to his brother, Dr. Tone Dremelj, who immediately saw our relationship through the bit of biographical data I gave. It developed that Dr. Tone Dremelj's grandfather and my grandfather were brothers. I had found, by the shearest of chance, cousins I did not know existed. We became fast friends.
Dr. Dremelj was retired and expressed great interest in gathering data for our genealogy. I invited him to come to visit us in the United States and he came. We had a great time showing him around California. On his return to Slovenia (Ljubljana), he began to send me great amounts of data for the genealogy. He made trips to the villages, to the churches and to the people he found. When the Church records in the villages were transferred to the central Archives in Ljubljana, he researched them there. I would integrate the data and send copies of the results back to him. He was a godsend.
He was a lawyer and a judge before retiring so he reads and writes Slovenian, German, and Latin. Research into old Church records and files of the archives in Ljubljana requires knowledge of all three languages. And since I had no way of doing the research in Slovenia, nor could I have afforded to pay for such services, my cousin's research was of incalculable value. As a result of that "one in a million" coincidence of a letter arriving at the same time as a Dremelj entered the registrar's office, I have had my family researched back to the year 1660. I have 300 family names and 1000 given names.
By the way, all the expert efforts of Dr. Dremelj to date still have not located any record of my dad's first wife's birth or of her family. I am still wandering that trail.
Please feel free to photocopy this newsletter. All we ask is proper credit to both our contributing authors and to the Slovenian Genealogy Society.