© copyright 1998 Slovenian Genealogical Society, all rights reserved
The smells of spring are fresh on the air, and it becomes more difficult with each passing day to sit at the typewriter while the outdoors beckons. By the time you're reading this, I'll be at a crystal clear, fresh water lake in northeastern Pennsylvania partaking of the most joyous diversion known to man, fishing with my father and my son, Al three of us.
Your dues for 1990 are needed. please make your $5.00 check out to Albert Peterlin. Put Slovenian Genealogy Society dues on the memo line. Our Society does not maintain a separate checking account. Bank fees are high enough to seriously impact our bottom line. We need all the money we raise to cover the cost of our simple newsletter, newsletter mailing fees, and the mailing fees for the delivery of booklets and manuscripts we are having translated.
Since we're talking about giving, remember, we need your donation of Slovenian books and publications for our library. If you live in a city that has or had a Slovenian Church have you contacted them to obtain a copy of their church history for our Society? Mike Vidmar has recently donated photocopies of anniversary books from St. George's Parish in Chicago, IL.
He also mailed us a photocopy of a book from the International Eucharistic Congress held in Chicago, IL, June 20- 24, 1926. This book was written in Slovenian. Our translators will be working on it shortly. Finally, if you've made any headway in your genealogical search, have you updated your ancestor index cards?
I recently purchased a copy of a small paperback book, "They Came In Ships" by John P. Colletta. It's available through Ancestry Publishing, Salt Lake City, Utah. The book is clearly written and would be especially useful to those just starting their genealogical search. However, I believe most, if not all, of the information is covered by "The Source", the standard genealogical reference text. If you have a limited genealogical book budget, spend it on "The Source."
I received a complimentary copy of a genealogical magazine, Heritage Quest. I enjoyed it. the magazine is published 6 times a year. Membership rates are $30.00 yearly. The print is easily readable, the copy is professionally done, and the articles are clear, concise, and address a wide range of genealogical issues. There are feature and regional articles, a news for genealogical societies section, many book reviews, and a special section dealing with information about the most important genealogical library in the world, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
I first started collecting information on my grandparents in the middle 1980's. One of the first things I did was contact the Social Security Administration (SSA). To my surprise, I was told that my grandparents records (both their original application form and their all inclusive file) had been destroyed. I couldn't believe the waste of such a valuable collection of documents so I wrote my Congressmen, the SSA, and the National Archives. With much help, I learned that the original Form SS-5 filled out by my grandfather had been microfilmed and I could obtain a print of it.
Time passes, and now the Social Security Administration charges $7.00 for a microprint of the Form SS-5 if you provide the social security number, $16.50 if you do not. A search for your ancestor's claim file is $14.00. There may be additional costs, but you should be able to get a good estimate from the Social Security Administration before you begin the process. The Social Security Administration is a primary source of information, and you should not hesitate to contact them.
The January 15, 1990, issue of Time Magazine carried an article about Aaron Lansky, the executive director of the National Yiddish Book Center. The goal of the center is to collect a copy of all 40,000 works that were published in Yiddish, before the last generation of native Yiddish speakers dies off. To date the center has collected 25,000 titles, a remarkable accomplishment.
We face a similar fate. The generation of our Slovenian speaking forefathers is about to pass, and it is our responsibility to collect and preserve the Slovenian documents they cherished. Please contact elderly Slovenian people in your community and let them know we will work hard to protect and preserve any book given to us.
We've mentioned many times before that Joe Balazic donated a copy of Telefonski Imenik SR Slovenije 1982 (the 1982 telephone book for Slovenia) to our Society. The book is large and serves as a primary source of names for individuals trying to renew contact with the old country. For years we've been trying to obtain copies for additional years, but we've had little luck.
Finally, an organization in Slovenia, Zdruzena Ptt Organizacije Slovenije, has sent us a copy of Telefonski Imenik SR Slovenije 1989-90. This is a beginning, but we must keep trying to obtain copies for other past years. there is a Yugoslav Embassy or Consul General Office in Washington, DC; New York, NY; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Pittsburg, PA; and San Francisco, CA. Each of these offices must have numerous copies of recent Slovenian phone books, probably many past issues. They must do something with the copies no longer needed for official functions. We're asking our members in or near these cities to contact the Consuls and ask that unneeded copies be donated to our Society.
When one of our members mentions that he/she will be visiting Slovenia in the future, we urge them to visit the Nadskofijski Ordinariat, Krekov trg 1, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia. However, you must be especially careful because research time is limited. It would be wise to write for a schedule of open hours, possibly making an appointment to discuss your needs with an archivist on their staff. The Archives are located next to the Cathedral in the old town.
The Archives are the obvious place to research baptismal, marriage, and death certification, but member, Joanne Plut Fix, urges that the Status Animarium or stanja dusa in Slovene (translates as State of the Souls in English) be checked also. The Status Animarium is a record of church members that was kept by the parish priest. It listed the names of each member of the household, their relationship, birth, death, and sometimes marriage. The entries were kept by household, and since one family often lived in the same house for generations, this one record source could provide generations of information.
The following is a translation by Joseph Drasler of an article on Colorado's first Slovene inhabitants that appeared in the 1934 Ameriski Druzinski Koledar.
In 1866, there were four Slovene and three Croatian families known to be living in he city of Denver. Among these early founders of the city's Slovene community were: Joseph Plut, Peter Grabrian, N. Kofalte and Martin Klemenc. One of the earliest Slovene gold and silver prospectors, John Witine, came to the U.S. in 1852, stopping in the city on his journey westward. The story is told that he panned gold at one time on the very location now known as Leadsville.
Another early arrival in Denver was Jacob Stonich, who arrived in 1883, followed by a number of oldtime "pack-peddlers" like Matija Pogorelc, Frank Crne, Anton Terbovec, John Rebol, and William Sitter. Pioneer Joseph Bukavec arrived in the city in 1870 and established a farm about nine miles to the north. In his wake came oldtimers such as Jakob Plut, Maks Malich, and John Blatnik.
Colorado Springs received it's first Slovene settlers, John and Louis Lovsin, John Govze and Anton Zobec, who came from the homeland city of Ribnica. In Pueblo, the first Slovene settlers were: Matt Grahek, Jerry Plut, and Jacob Jerman, from Crnomelj, Ulrick Papes, from Ambrusa, and John Rus from Struge.
Mike Fatur, an early resident of Trinidad, reported that among the first Slovenes in 1880 were: T. Vidalic, V. Zovanic, and J. LaVerncic.
Gasper Pavlovic and Frank Kasinger were residents of Bear River before other Slovenes began showing up in that city around 1915. Original arrivals in Crested Butte, about 1883, were: Joseph Rezman, Joseph Gelebic, John Pasic, and Lukas Oresnik. They began their careers in agriculture and later reverted to cattle ranching.
It is reliably recorded that Slovene men were already in Leadville in 1870. However, the first group settlement occurred in 1880. Canon City welcomed it's first Slovenes in 1892, namely: Peter Potocnik, Frances Arko, Anton Adamic, John Arko, Andy Konty, and John Konty.
Joe Novak, Joe Oblak, Joe Dernovsek, John Susman, and Lorenc Pagon, among others, were the first of their nationality to settle in the Walsenburg area. Slovene and Croatian people came to Aspen in 1888. Among them were: Nick and Martin Gerich, from Gospica, Croatia, Joe Tekaucic and John Zupancic from Brezovecadola, Valentin and Anton Oberstar from Hinje, Frank Solka from Bela Krajina, and Martin Ohkrant from Cemsenika na Stajerskem. These men were all employed in metal ore mining.
In Palisade, the first Slovene inhabitants were Louis Brodnik and his wife. John Trojar was one of the early home-owners in Glenwood Springs, along with Frank Zaitz, of Leadville, a prominent businessman there who was also part owner of the famous Colorado Hotel and Spa in Glenwood Springs.