Croatian Symbol/Hrvatski Greb: courtesy of
Tomislav Mikulic

Croatian Genealogy Newsletter

Issue No. 10, July 2004

This issue presents two new indexes available for Croatian parishes in Istria and Slavonia.


Vital Records from south central Slavonia 1714-1898

Eugene A. Hammel has created a computer index to a number of Slavonian parishes complete with birth, marriage and death record information. Hammel is studying the differences in demographic behavior of the population on the Hapsburg-Ottoman frontier in the period around 1700 to 1900. He started this work in 1983 by conducting research in the archives at Vienna, Zagreb, and Budapest. Professor Hammel, who is at the University of California at Berkeley, continues his ongoing project to research the vital records of eastern Croatia in his use of vital records to determine various aspects of demography.

Hammel's web site is at Although the site is still under construction, some information is already accessible. Hammel has compiled church record information for south central Slavonia for seven parishes that border the Sava River. These parishes are Bogicevci, Cernik, Nova Gradiska, Orioviac, Staro Petrovo Selo, Stivica, and Vrbje. For a view of the region in Croatia, go to Hammel's map.

Hammel and his researchers have extracted marriage data from 1717 to 1864, baptismal information from 1714 to 1898, and burial data from 1717 to 1898 from this frontier region of the Austrian Empire. Slavonia was occupied from 1526 to 1683 by the Ottomans and suffered severe depopulation, with immigration to the north and west of Slavonia. However, in the immediate years following the re-conquest of Slavonia by Austria in 1683 a tremendous amount of migration brought new families into the region. The seven parishes that Hammel studied were all formed by 1790, although some were in existence before then.

Several thousand parish records have been compiled by Hammel into a database which can be searched by any one of the seven parishes for birth, marriage, or death information. This database helps tremendously in locating the original source of information in the parish records. The database lists the parish book, page, year and name of the individual, as well as other relevant information. The only drawback of the database, is its truncated format and lack of spacing between some parts of the data. To help decipher the data there is an index for each of the three forms of data, either baptismal, marriage, or death record. The database can be accessed via and then by using the cursor control key to scroll down under the heading *.uni files.21 files for 7 parishes to view a table of parish indexes.

Apart from the information already on the website, Hammel has published on the mortality of females using the baptisms, marriages, and burials from the seven parishes. One of the interesting results is that a woman's chances of dying in childbirth actually increased, the more children she had. Increased mortality was also found in women whose husbands were often called up to military service. Lesser mortality was found in women who where part of a large or extended household, where brother's wives and nieces could help in child birth.

One analysis of maternal mortality has been published along with Aaron Gullickson in The quality of life in pre-industrial Europe, by T. Bengtsson and M. Drive through Oxford University Press, under the chapter heading "Maternal mortality as an indicator of the standard of living in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Slavonia". An article in the journal Population Studies has also been published entitled "Kinship structures and survival: Maternal mortality on the Croatian-Bosnian border 1750-1898." Population Studies, vol. 58, no. 2, 145-159 (2004).

The following abstract provided with permission of the author:

This is an analysis of maternal survival of up 
to 13,202 mothers following 56,546 births in 
south central Slavonia (Croatia) in the period 
1714-1898, using automated family reconstitution 
of 23,307 marriages, 112,181 baptisms, and 94,077 
burials from seven contiguous Catholic parishes. 
Physiological factors have the effects commonly 
expected. Maternal risk is increased by general 
economic and social conditions that are plausibly 
related to withdrawal of men's labour from family 
farming as a result of military mobilisations and 
growing levels of wage labour. Risk is decreased 
by membership in large patriarchal kin groups, 
but is increased by both the presence of classic 
rivals (husband's brothers' wives) and being married 
to a husband junior among his brothers. The analysis 
demonstrates the sensitivity of maternal survival to 
marcolevel changes in such factors as the collapse 
of feudalism, military involvement, economic 
stagnation, and monetization, as well as to 
microeconomic and micropolitical factors at the 
household and local kin-group level.

STEPPING BACK: a compilation of Indexes of Vital Records from Veli Losinj (Lussingrande) Croatia 1774-1918

Stepping Back is a compilation of indexes from the microfilmed parish records of Veli Losinj (Lussingrande), Croatia. The indexes contain birth, marriage, and death events from 1828 to 1857, plus two status animarums (parish censuses) for the period from 1889 to 1902. The census data contains family information dating back to the early 1800's and late 1790s.

This set of indexes has been put together by Barbara Starkey as a labour of love. Barbara mentions how she came to create her compilation,

"I have had the opportunity to work in a genealogy library in Utah. One day as I was beginning a search of my Croatian relatives, I put Veli Losinj in the library catalog search option and was expecting to get the message, No Results. Instead, I found a microfilm that had been produced in 1995-1996 in that town. I was thrilled! Three weeks later, I had a copy in my hand and I was ready to begin a search for my ancestors. Upon searching the film, I found my grandparents and their ancestors. However, I also found that there was one big problem: so many of the people on the island had intermarried and trying to figure out the lines looked like an impossible task. I decided the only way to solve this dilemma was to index the entries on the microfilm and then I might have a chance at grouping families together and connecting them as well. My efforts have been published in a book of indexes for the town of Veli Losinj."

Barbara's grandparents were August and Giovanna (Lettich) Budinich. August was born June 27, 1863 and Giovanna was born April 25, 1882 in Veli Losinj. They came to the US in 1905, lived in Seattle, Washington, and had seven children. Her father was one of those children. August descended from Matthew Budinich (father), Augustinus Budinich (grandfather) and Antonius Budinich (great grandfather). Barichievich, Lettich, and Antoncich are in his maternal line. Giovanna descended from John, Giovanni and Antonius Lettich. In her maternal line are Bussanich, Stuparich, Zorovich, and Rancich.

Stepping Back is an excellent resource for researchers who wish to identify family connects for Veli Losinj, formerly called Lussingrande. It is also a good source for those who are examining families in Mali Losinj, the former Lussinpiccolo, because often families intermarried between these two adjacent towns. "Stepping Back" is compiled from the secondary sources found in the Microfilm number 2099889 provided through the Family History Centers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS).

The microfilm is a copy of the original documents that are located in the Croatian National Archives in Zagreb. Nine items appear on the microfilm. Items 2 and 3 contains birth records spanning the time from 1828-1857 and contain baptism and birth dates, domicile number, name of infant, gender, fatherís name, paternal grandfatherís given name, name of mother, and motherís fatherís given name.

Marriage records appear in microfilm items 4 and 5, and cover the same time period contain marriage date, domicile number, groomís name, groomís fatherís given name, approximate year of birth, brideís name, brideís fatherís given name, and approximate year of birth.

Death records in items 6 and 7 covering 1828-1857 contain information about date of death, domicile number, name of deceased, relationship to another individual and approximate date of birth. A secondary death record contains some dates from 1854-1949.

The status animarums list domicile number, head of household, dates of birth of head of household, and information about wife, where applicable. Hints are given on how to use the indexes and also how to find and interpret the original microfilm.

The index is not meant to be a replacement for the microfilm data nor the original documents. It is however, an important tool in checking, verifying, and finding family connections. Due to the difficulty in recording any document, Stepping Back does not contain all the information in the secondary and original documentation. Therefore, once a family link is found consulting the microfilm copy will, in many cases, yield further information. There is a wealth of information that appears on the microfilm but is not found in Stepping Back such as the occupation of the head of the family and the language used in the household. In addition, within the Status Animarum there is a complete list of the members of each family including birth dates and sometimes death dates of each individual.

One interesting family of note that appears in Stepping Back is that of Carlo Stefano, born 5 September 1860, and Maria, born 18 September, 1862 at house number 395. On the microfilm they are listed as the Arciduca family from Vienna, with children, Eleonora, Renata, Carlo, Matilde, Leone, and Guglielmo. This family is part of the Hapsburg family that ruled Austria-Hungary of which Lussingrande was a part of at the time of the census. The family vacationed in Lussin and was recorded on the census.

The cost for Stepping Back is $30.00 per copy plus $12.00 (packing and postage) = $42.00 US funds in the US and Canada. Outside the US, the cost is $30.00 per copy plus $15.00 = $45.00 US funds.

Orders can be sent with check or money orders to:

Barbara Starkey
1839 N. 600 W.
Mapleton, Utah 84664

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