© copyright 1998 Slovenian Genealogical Society, all rights reserved
"Not a day passes over this earth, but men and women of no note do great deeds, speak great words and suffer noble sorrows." I could think of no better words to begin this newsletter than these words of Charles Dickens. In this time of scandalous actions by actors, athletes, and politicians, all heroes of the popular press, these words of Dickens serve to lift the spirits of those of us who know that society is only as strong as the ordinary people of a country make it. Let us continue to safeguard the memory and heritage of our Slovenian ancestors.
The American Slovenian Heritage Club of Forest City, PA, has published a book of photos and history covering the Slovene immigrants to the Forest City area. There are over 250 pictures and 25 pages of history of these early Forest City residents. To obtain a copy: write to Heritage Book Fund, c/o Barbara Puchnick, 823 Railroad Street, Forest City, PA 18421. The book is $25.00 with an additional $2.00 needed for postage.
We are also pleased that Barbara and some other volunteers are now working on the final editing process for our translation of Trunk. We have had many requests for a copy of this translation. We hope to have it to a publisher late this summer. Barbara's experience in publishing the book for the Heritage Club can only help in our effort.
I am also very pleased to add that Mary Lou Davison has completed the final alphabetization and indexing of a compilation of marriage announcements that has appeared in the Forest City News since 1898. We hope to have this 60 page booklet to a genealogical publisher sometime this year. Barbara Puchnick has also been closely connected with this project also.
It seems that 90% of our projects are completed by 10% of our members. We wish we could get more of you involved in a project of some kind. Please write if you are willing to type, translate, or participate in another way. Remember, please send us any old book or documents about the Slovenian people you come across.
Elizabeth A. Nick , who publishes the Gottschee Tree, PO Box 725, Louisville, CO, 80027-0725, shared a partial listing of information about Slovenia that is available through the LDS Family Genealogical Library. They include: The Slovene Minority of Carinthia, Barker, Thomas M. published in 1984; Austria, Krain, Business Records and Commerce, (This includes commercial and financial accounts of cities and towns in Krain, Austria, recorded in the archives in Laibach, now Ljubljana); Austria, Krain, Church History, Diocese of Laibach; Austria, Krain, Valdes, Land and Property,; Valdes, Krain. Herrschaft Registraturbucher, Urbare, etc. 1583-1785 Leipzig: Zentralstelle fur Genealogie, 1984 (These are minute books, land and tax record for Valdes estate, Krain, now Bled).
Prior to 1858 Valdes belonged to Brimm, Tirol. The text is in Latin and German. Remember, when searching for information about Slovenia in LDS sources, you must search under Austria, Krain, the name our part of the world was known as when it was dominated by Austria-Hungary.
Coincidently, I received a letter from Barry Kirk, European Research Specialist, with the LDS on the same day I received the correspondence from Elizabeth Nick. Barry explained that most of the records the LDS has from Slovenia are from the former Banat area. However, he added that the LDS has recently renewed filming in Yugoslavia, and many additional records should be available in the next few years. This means that the early 1990's should be a very informative time for Slovenian genealogists. We can look forward to a significant increase in records maintained by LDS, the 1920 census records should then be opened to the public, and the computerized access to immigration records will then be available at Ellis Island Museum.
We would like to know if any of our members are also members of the Croatian, Slovenian, Serbian Genealogical Society. Adam S. Eterovich is President of this Society and he is without question, the most knowledgeable Yugoslavian genealogist in this country. Please share any information you may have obtained from Adam.
We have a copy of the KSKJ Jubilee book, 1894-1924. It is a rich source of information about turn of the century Slovenians. Father K. Langerholz, St. Stephen's Church in Chicago, Illinois, has begun compiling an every name index for the book. He has completed pulling each name from the document. We are now in need of additional volunteers to begin putting the names in alphabetical order and then typing them into publishing form. As with all projects, there is no deadline to pressure you. If you could offer us several hours a week over the course of the year, please write.
Finally, Mr. John Dremel, has given us a massive genealogical outline of his family. the Dremel-Garvas family line entails literally hundreds of names. John also included an every name index, so the work can be searched easily if you believe you may have an interest in this line. We are enclosing a list of surnames from this collection with this newsletter.
SEARCH FOR MY SLOVENIAN ROOTS
by Marilyn O'Korn-Owen
I became interested in Slovenian genealogy after finding some old unlabeled pictures in the attic of my grandfather's house. Who were these people dressed in their finery and posing so seriously for the camera? With the pictures were some old letters written in Slovenian.
In most cases the old letters were trivial. They were short and imparted little information about their daily lives or concerns...perhaps a result of the gulf of an ocean separating brother and sister, of the emotion-charged atmosphere of their leave-taking, and of a world of difference in life-styles and experiences. All of these things made communication hesitant and brief.
My grand parents came to this country from Slovenia, met and married here. My parents were too busy learning English and assimilating to care to hear much about the Old Country. Because Grandma died young, when her children were seven to fifteen years old, not much in the way of family information was passed on. My mother grew up thinking she had no relatives. Grandpa died in 1952 when I was two years old.
It waited until 1987 for my relatives to be found. With my push my mother begin to translate the long-forgotten letters. One written in 1914 began...Prelubra sestra (dearest sister). The man had written in a very legible hand, always giving his address. He had a different surname than her mother's maiden name and yet, he signed off...tvoj brat (your brother) F.G. Intriguing! What was the connection???
I wrote to this old 1914 address in Montana, addressing my query "Family Tree Search", to the family of F. G. I had my doubts the man would even be alive, but after looking the place up on a map and seeing it was a small town, I figured chances were good that someone in town would recognize the name and possibly know of the family. It was a lucky hunch. As it turned out the man and his wife were dead, having five daughters, but being married they no longer had their maiden names.
However, someone in the post office knew of the family and forwarded the letter on to a grandson in a nearby town. He replied to my letter. His grandfather was F.G., but he knew of no brothers and sisters F.G. had. He did forward a copy of my letter on to his aunt. She in turn remembered a bit more. Correspondence ensued back and forth, and now my mother, at the age of 66, has her first real live cousin, albeit a half-relation.
Seeing the success of this query, I wrote to the other addresses given on the old letters. One dated 1935, from Novo Mesto. It was written by my grandfather's brother. Another letter written in 1950, from Bericevo was signed, your sister NPL. Amazingly, after all these years, family members still lived in these same localities. (In both cases the addresses were similar on the 1987 replies except for slight house number changes. Koraskavas 6 became Koraskavas 14, etc.)
The granddaughter of the 1950 letter writer has recently written to me some letters I deeply cherish. In the first she details the family relationships and in subsequent letters she has sent pictures and details of her family life. It fascinates me that for all these years we had relatives we did no know about.
An interesting note on this family tree: F.G. and my grandmother had the same mother but different fathers, hence the different last names. When my great grandmother died, great- grandfather remarried and had more children. As a result, my grandmother had a second set of half-brother and half-sisters. M.B. married F.G. and had one known son - F.G. F.G., the husband dies. M.B. marries A. P. They have two daughters-my grandmother and F.P. My great- grandmother, M.B., dies and my great-grandfather remarried and has two more daughters. One of which is the writer of the 1950 letter, MPL. Do any of you readers want to hazard a guess as to what the relationship would be between these various half-brothers and sisters, and their progeny?