Croatian Genealogy Newsletter Issue No. 11, January 2005
Historical Demography in Croatia This recently published book under the title "Povijesna Demografija Hrvatske" has been written by Vladimir Stipetic and Nenad Vekaic. It contains a wealth of historical, ethnical, and population statistics for Croatia, plus is filled with biographical information on Croatians who have contributed to your understanding of the population history of present day Croatia. Though written in Croatian, it has a 21 page summary in English and French, as is typical of many ethnograhic works published in Croatia by the Hrvatska Akademija Znanosti i Umjetnosti, Zavod za Povijesne Znanosti u Dubrovniku (Croatian Academy of Arts and Science, Office of Historical Arts in Dubrovnik).
Croatians in Australia: pioneers, settlers and their descendants by Ilija Šutalo traces the history of Croatian settlement in Australia from the 1800s to the present. The main focus of the book is Croatian pioneers - almost without exception single men on arrival - who settled in Australia by 1890. Dr IIija Šutalo identifies the communities of Croatian pioneers living in Australia in the second half of the nineteenth century and describes their significant contribution to the development of the wine, fishing and mining industries. The first wave of Croatian migration to Australia was precipitated by the news of the discovery of gold in 1851. Most of the new arrivals became miners, working on the goldfields with varying degrees of success. After spending time on the goldfields some became seamen, labourers, fishermen, publicans, vignerons, farmers and storekeepers. Croatian pioneers worked and held mining claims together, ran businesses together, socialised and lived together. Often very resourceful in the quest to succeed, many Croatian pioneers had more than one occupation. Between 1891 and 1945 the number of Croatian-born in Australia increased dramatically, especially the number of Croatian-born women. These settlers were better organised and founded many Croatian clubs which supported social and cultural activities. Large numbers of Croatian settlers arrived after the Second World War. They established Croatian community halls, sporting venues, Catholic parishes, Croatian language schools and folkloric groups. Dr Ilija Šutalo shows that many Croatians and their descendants subsequently made significant contributions to Australian society in sports, arts and politics.
Some additional text you asked for This book shows for the first time that there were communities of Croatian pioneers living in Australia in the second half of the nineteenth century and describes their contribution to Australia’s development – which was significant in the wine, fishing and mining industries. This account also summarises the history of Croatian settlement in Australia to the present. In this study, a pioneer in the Australian context is defined as a settler who arrived in Australia by 1890. Croatians in Australia is the first book to have multiple photographs of Croatian pioneers who settled in Australia prior to 1890. There are over 150 photographs of Croatian pioneers in Australia presented in the book which forms the largest collection of photographs of Croatian pioneers in Australia. The book lists over 850 known Croatian pioneers in Australia, their birthplace, year of arrival, and place of residence and occupation in Australia until 1890. Although the main topic of the book is Croatian pioneers of Australia, there are frequent references to Croatians in other settler societies, including United States of America, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and some South American countries. Croatians in these countries participated in similar activities, occupations and had experiences similar to those in Australia. The comparisons with Croatians in other countries are given when they throw light on the experiences of Croatians in Australia. For example, each of these countries had a large influx of immigrants and gold rushes. The general history of Croatian settlement to the United States is also summarised in the book. Croatians were present at the both the discovery of gold in the Australia and the United States. Croatian pioneers formed mining companies together, formed fishing communities and were highly successful publicans or saloon keepers. Slavonian gold mining companies were formed by Croatians in Australia and the United States. Often Croatian barques who frequented Australia in the nineteenth century came via the United States. Some Croatian families lived both in Australia and the United States. For example, the Zan (Zaninovich) family from the island of Hvar had broom factories in the United States and Australia. The highly distinguished Croatian soprano, Ilma De Murska (Ema Pukšec), from Ogulin, caused a great sensation when she toured the United States and Australia.
Ilija Denis Šutalo was born in Melbourne in 1968. He completed his degree with honours (1991) and doctorate in chemical engineering (1996) at the University of Melbourne. Dr Ilija Šutalo received the international ‘2000 Extraction and Processing Science Award’ in Nashville, United States for journal papers on extractive metallurgy and related sciences from TMS (Minerals Metals Materials Society). Since 1998 Dr Ilija Šutalo has been a research scientist at CSIRO in Melbourne. Currently, he is the team leader of the Medical Science and Liquid Particle Flow team at CSIRO Manufacturing and Infrastructure Technology. Dr Ilija Šutalo has published journal articles in the fields of mineral extraction and processing, fluid dynamics and medical science. He is currently undertaking a Masters of Business and Administration at the Australian Graduate School of Management (University of Sydney and University of New South Wales). Ilija Šutalo has written articles on Croatian settlement in Australia in The Australian People: An Encyclopedia of the Nation, Its People and Their Origins (2001) and the Encyclopedia of Melbourne (2004). He was a curator of the exhibition, Croatian Settlement in Victoria, The Untold Story (1999), at the Immigration Museum in Melbourne. Ilija Šutalo was also a founder of the Croatian Historical Society Inc., which documents the history of Croatian settlement in Australia. He is also writing another book: A Bibliography of Croatian Migrants. Ilija’s father Nikola is from near Stolac, while his mother Emilija Jukic was born in Bugonjo. Both their families migrated to Slavonija after the Second World War, to Đakovo and Piškorevci, respectively. Ilija’s parents migrated to Australia from Croatia in the 1960s and were married in Australia in 1967. Ilija is the eldest of their five sons. Ilija Šutalo is married and has a son and daughter.
Regarding Šutalo family The Šutalo family lived on the shores of the Derankso Jezero (Derankso Lake) Hercegovina and they belonged to the Catholic Parish of Hrasno.
My aunt Obradovic nee Šutalo (my fathers sister) and her family live in Jaksic. My Šutalo surname first cousins live in Đakovo, but second cousins live Valpovo, Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Caplina and Svitava in Hercegovina. Svitava is near Derankso Jezero. Also have Šutalo relative in the United States, but they are from a different Šutalo clan the Akšamovic clain. My ŠUTALO clan or nickname is Bijelic.
In Dašnica ŠUTALO (nickname Melak)
Hardcover book with dust jacket
Searching for your Croatian Roots : a Handbook The fifth edition of Robert Jerin's "Searching for your Croatian Roots is the latest version of general handbook for use by English speakers researching Croatian genealogies. It includes a CD-ROM with a Croatian font for computers with the Windows operating systems, along with a list of Web sites of relevent Croatian genealogical information.
The handbook begins with a brief history of Croatia from ancient times to the modern period along with an assortment of historical maps.
A "Getting Started" section in the Handbook provides helpful tips on how to begin a genealogical search and how to contact the typical genealogical sources for the United States and Canada, such as the Family History Centers of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, the U.S. Census data, and contact information for the Croatian Fraternal Union and the Croatian Catholic Union for Croatian-American families. Vital records in the U.S. are described by listing over a dozen such addresses for state records where Croatians are known to have settled in large numbers. Some sample U.S. naturalization and citizenship documents are illustrated, along with census record page and an explanation of the Soundex systems used for U.S. census records.
A list of all parish records microfilmed at the Family History Center Library up to time of publication is provided in the Handbook. This is useful and could have been supplement with the range of dates of microfilmed birth, marriage, and death records. a very useful feature is the sample letters that can be used to send letters in Croatian to church parishes, , or municipal offices in Croatia requesting specific information on an ancestor.
For any new edition forth coming editions of the Handbook, colored maps and photographs should enhance the look of the publication. The list of Croatian parish records listed in the 5th edition could be appended to the back of the Handbook of any furture editions with the dates of available records along with the language and script used in these records. Pre-1918 Croatian records could have been written as easily in Hungarian, or Italian, as well as, Croatian, since Croatia was administered under two separate zones in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. Zagreb, the area north of the capital, and Slavonia, under Hungarian administration may have Hungarian vital records, while the region on the coast covering Istria and Dalmatia, may have Italian vital records.
Another useful features is
There were other alphabets used in Croatia and the Handbook provides a a sample Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabet. Although, the Cyrillic alphabet is used in Greek Orthodox parishes, the Glagolitic alphabet was used in some Croatian parishes during the 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries in place of the now standard Roman script, no mention of this is found in the Handbook, execpt for mention of an archaic Croatian Glagolitic script used in Dalmatia. This is true, and could have been elaborated and mention made that it was found in other regions of Croatian besides Dalmatia.
(Ray Mulac, Chicago, Illinois) I have copies of the documents (birth, marriage, school and military) of my grandfather Augustine Mulac. Other documents (birth and marriage) were of my grandmother Milka Babic. Other copies of registers listed their parents. I am interested in finding out more about there parents and their grandparents. For example were there census records taken in the country, possibly listing siblings and occupations? The ancestral home, is near Rijeka, at Kastav.
The archival research shows that Andrija Babic son of Matija was married to Helena Anicic on November 27, 1776. Their son Ivan, was born in 1777 and later married Helena Jurdana in 1800. Ivan and Margareta’s children were: Ivan b. 1802; Lucija b. 1804; Maria b. 1806; Helena b. 1808.
Research on the Mulac family shows that Matija Mulac married Kata Pletenac. Their son Gregorij was born in 1771 and he later married Marija Gapic in 1799. Greogorij’s and Marija’s children were: Andrija, born 1800; Matea b. 1801; Lucija b. 1804.
Editor’s note: Research in Croatia was carried out by Sanja Frigan Ciuha.
(Melody Masi) I know when and where my grandfather was born (Crevalcore, 1869) and when he came to the United States. I recently discovered the Istria website that states the Bratti name is found there early on. My family comes from Crevalcore, which is near Cento, Italy and now I realize that this must be a relatively recent settlement for this family. I’m interested at this point as to how the Bratti’s got to Crevalcore from Istria.
I am interested in the genealogy of the family from the historical and migratory perspectives. There appear to be two branches of the Bratti family. I am also interested in an unusual genetic disorder, familial x-linked hypophosphatemia, and I would be willing to do a DNA study. I’d like to find out if other Bratti’s in Istria have this problem and what the consequences have been for them.
Editor’s notes: The surname index for Istria (Prezimena i naselja u Istri, Pula 1985) does not contain the name Bratti. The surname Brattina appears in Pula, Croatia.
(Irene Willis, Michigan) My grandfather Luka Jurmanovic (Jurmanovich) of Michigan was born 8 listopade(October) 1879 and married Elizabeth Jurisic (Jurisich). Luka's father was also called Luka and was married to Barbara Filipovich. They came from Pasijan, kuchni 37. I do have grandfather's military passbook. I need to find Luka's brothers and sister and if he was in the Austrian army in 1902, at age 23. He came to the U.S. in 1905 and went to Ohio. My grandmother Elizabeth had a brother John (Ivan) and a sister Anna. Anna was married to Vinko Robic, who disappeared in the U.S.
As far as we know there were 3 children Theresa, Luka, and Michael and maybe more children. Now my grandfather that was married to Elizabeth came to the U.S. in 1905, and she came in 1909, a year before my mother was born in 1910. The first child that arrived was Franka, in 1909, was four years old when she died in Ohio. I need some marriage dates from Luka Jurmanovic to Elizabeth Jurisic. I am searching in the Bjelovar area.
(Lauren Stokes Gray, Leesburg, Florida and John Cocowitch, Dumfires, Virginia) The following information is what I have after nearly 20 years of research. John Francis Cocowitch came to Charleston SC sometime around 1850. He was born in 1820 and the earliest record we have is his marriage entry from a Mariner's Chapel in Charleston in 1858 where his name is entered as "Cocovich" and he stated he was from Austria. The next record we have is from the 1860 census of Charleston where he and his wife are residing with the Joekish family and all state they are German speaking. One other record we have states that he was from Italy. Ivan Franjo Cocovic' was the most likely original name.
I am quite certain that Franjo was a mariner by trade and therefore I assume he grew up in a town or region close to the sea. Part of our family lore is that he was a sea captain and may have mastered his own boat and was a gun running for the confederate side during the Civil War. Part of our family thinks he may have come to Charleston via New York and another section of the family believes his ship burned. Franjo had five children between 1860 and 1871. Their names were John Franklin, Mark C., Catherine, Frances Henrietta and Madeline. I don't know if there are any clues in these names.
This is a very interesting genealogical search, as it pre-dates the common period of Croatian immigration to the U.S. I think Cocovich is a Croatian surname. Franjo, definately is a common Croatian form of Frank. In the period you mention the surname probably was spelt Cocovich, with an H on the end. The version with a W could be a German spelling as they list themselves are German. If they are from western Croatia, it would be common to list themselves as Italian, even if they spoke Croatian at home.
Editor’s note: Thought to have come from Rijeka, Croatia, and one person with that surname had lived in Rijeka with the spelling Kokovic. Name was Latinized to Cocovich and Cocowitch most likely in the United States. The surname Kokovich is to be found in three other parts of Croatia. Five families with that surnamed lived north-west of Osijek, which is at the eastern extreme of Croatia; an additional 2 families lived some 25 kilometers east of Zagreb, and a futher two families lived north of Zagreb in the Krapina area.
(Fr. Emil Kolick, Bedminster, Pennsylvania) The Bishop of Zengg (Senj) emailed me a letter from my English request for info on a relative who was a bishop in the 1500's.
BISKUP JURAJ VUK COLIC (1746-1764) Senjanin u sporu sa svojim sugradanima Colica možemo ubrojiti medu one ljude o kojima se dade lako pisati jer u njegovom životu ima nešto senzacionalnoga. On potjece iz senjske obitelji koja je još 1585….Roden je 1699. Na sveucilištu u Grazu promoviran je 1727. za doktora teologije i filozofije. Još prije toga, 1725., u drugoj godini svecenickog služ bovanja, postao je generalni vikar, što prakticki znaci da je upravljao biskupijama jer je tada biskup Pohmajevic bio i star i bolestan. Nakon Pohmajevic eve smrti (1730) bio je Colic najozbiljniji kandidat za njegova nasljednika.
Biskup je ipak postao Rijecanin Benzoni koji produžuje Colicu dužnost gneralnog vikara. I civilna i crkvena nadleštva predložiše ga 1745. za Benzonijeva nasljednika a Rim i Bec vec pocetkom iduce godine prihvatiše taj prijedlog. Colic je htio još više pa se 1747. kandidira za backog biskupa…. Mile Bogovic Slunjski
Editor’s note: The biography is on George "Vuk" Colic (pronounced Ctolich), bishop of Senj Croatia from 1746 to 1764. His family possibly dates back to 1585 from Senj. He was born in 1699 and graduated as a doctor of theology and philosophy in 1727 from Graz (now in Austria). Afterwards, with Rijecanin Benzoni he was assigned to duties in Rome and Vienna. The rest of the biography recounts his tenure as bishop. He died in Rome in 1764.
(Harry Hackney, Tampa, Florida) All of these people lived in Delnice in about 1875 when my grandparents were born. All were Roman Catholics and most likely were about 30 yrs old. The groom's mother was translated to me to be Agnes M. Majnaric. The bride's father was translated to me to be Matthew Plese and the marriage took place on July 30, 1905.
My interest in Rijeka is its proximity to Delnice. Delnice is a small town of 6000 and I know there are distant cousins there with the same surnames. My grandparents immigrated to America for the last time after 1907. Connecting to any one named Andler, Majnaric, Plese, Tomac from Delnice should open a wide door into the 19th century. None of my mother's siblings knew much of anything about their grandparents in Croatia. My maternal great grandparents were from Delnice.
(Lenise and Gene Musich, USA) I live in the United States and I am searching for my husband's grandfather's roots from Bost near Karlovac. His name was Juraj Paulin, and his sister Anna was about 16 years younger than he. Both wound up in America. I am guessing that he was born around 1885 just by the difference in the ages and in the times/and minimal information I could scour out of remaining relative. I am trying to find some sense of "roots' for my husband, who now, at 71, has found questions to ask, especially since I have been successful in Slovenia with my mom's dad's beginnings.
I have been extremely successful with my mom's parents, and have all that I need going back to 1812, and am now in touch with the my grandmother in Slovenia and her oldest nephew who is still living in the same house that she was born 1899.
Juraj’s sister, Anna came into this country under the name of PaulI, and was from Bost near Karlovac. This can be corroborated though the Ellis Island searches, and she came here in I believe, 1921. She is listed 2x on the manifests, as she missed the first ship, which was out of Cherbourg. Juraj married Johanna Skrtic, who could been born near Warren, Pennsylvania, since the family went there for many visits, as did my husband when he was a young child. Juraj’s and Anna's mother's first name was Dora, and their grandparent's names were Damian and Dmetra. Not sure if there are the father or Dora's side.
I found Anna in New York who was listed as Pavlin (as so many names and places were misspelled!) and it shows her coming out of Daibace, Austria in 1911 at age 19. She was born in Bost and travel back there in 1960, only to see her birth home being torn down, and it was 100 years old at the time. I do understand that Bost does not exist any longer, and that Karlovac has grown tremendously.
I have a cousin who is a retired priest, who says that the first thing people did when they came to this country was to have a zipper installed on their lips as none hardly ever spoke of the "old country". I have found this in my own family from Slovenia. I suspect Juraj was born around 1885 and Anna, about 16 years later or so.. This "childhood" home that Anna saw being torn down, even had pink marble for the foundation. Jurage was married at 21 in 1906 probably in the States, but I cannot even find the wife on incoming Ellis Island lists under Johanna Strtic. The only person left to give any information, is Juraj's youngest daughter who is now about 83 and definitely in failing health. It took me 4 years to get whatever information out of her that I could, as she, too, did not want to talk about her childhood in Campbell, Ohio.
(Rob Sotlar, Cincinnati, Ohio) I would like to learn more about my family and its history. I live in Cincinnati, Ohio and will be taking my first trip to Croatia. My father was born in or near Rijeka. I would like to find out basic information about the family.
I recall stories that my grandfather was somehow associated with furniture, either in repair or manufacturing. I also heard that upon my father’s (Rudi Sotlar, born February 11, 1927) graduation from university, he and his family left for South Wales. The family then went to New York City and from that point they moved to Jamestown, Ohio. My grandfather (Rudolph Sotlar) passed away before I was born and my grandmother (Josipa Kordes Sotlar) died when I was four years old. I lost my father when I was 17 years old, but he never talked about Croatia.
Editor’s notes: A Social Security Death Index record exists for a R. Sotlar, born 11 February 1927, and died in June 1990, with the S.S. record being issued in Ohio.
(John) My grandparents are from the island of Cres, the villages of Martinchiza (Martincisca) and Vidovichi (Vidovici). My grandfather spelt his name Stefanic while his brother spelt it Stefanik, and my great uncle Anthony spelt it Stefanick, but they all pronounced it as Stefanich. They were from Vidovichi,
My grandfather was born in Vidovichi about 1888. He had 4 or 5 brothers some who stayed on the island of Cres. My great uncle Dominick came to America and was a riveter and worked on the gas storage tanks for Brooklyn Union Gas. My great uncle Anthony came here and worked for a coffin factory in Passaic New Jersey. He returned to Martinscia, but I think he lives in Venice now.
My grandfather came here via Johnstown, PA and worked for Brooklyn Union Gas. He later moved to Garfield and Elmwood Park, New Jersey and fathered 2 sons John Jr. and Bill (William). They became builders and built a lot of houses in the area. He (my grandfather) was a steamfitter for a woolen mill after working at Brooklyn Gas. I was named after my father and grandfather, I am John III.
My grandmothers family was from Martincia, right below vidovichi on the water. Her name was Harabalja. There is mention of her uncles or brothers in a book and they had a mural painted in a church, with themselves painted into the painting.
Editor’s note: The closest match I find to your grandfather, John is an Ivan Stefanich born about 1889 in Vidovici. This Ivan had a brother Anton Ivan Stefanich born about 1882 and died Aug. 3, 1969 in Martinscica. The brothers had a sister Franica born 1899 and married to a Dinko (Dominic) Kamalic.
Ivan born 1889 had parents, Antun born Jan 20, 1853 and Dumica Dlacic. Antun's parents were Gasparus Blasius Stefanich (1818-1865) and Joanna Cuchich. Gasparus' parents were Joannes (1781-1858) and Maria Cuglianich (1787-1849), and Joannes (John) parents were Georgii Stefanich and Matthea Camalich (1755-1828). Matthea Camalich is the great-great-great-great grandmother.
(Ilija Šutalo, Melborne, Australia) Regarding Šutalo family The Šutalo family lived on the shores of the Derankso Jezero (Derankso Lake) Hercegovina and they belonged to the Catholic Parish of Hrasno. My aunt Obradovic nee Šutalo (my fathers sister) and her family live in Jaksic. My Šutalo surname first cousins live in Đakovo, but second cousins live Valpovo, Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Caplina and Svitava in Hercegovina. Svitava is near Derankso Jezero. Also have Šutalo relative in the United States, but they are from a different Šutalo clan the Akšamovic clain. My ŠUTALO clan or nickname is Bijelic.
In Dašnica ŠUTALO (nickname Melak)
Editor’s notes: Ilija’s new book, Croatians in Australia: pioneers, settlers, and their descendants is featured in this issue.