Searching for Slovenian roots – Bill 1

How to locate a birthplace in time and space?

In Slovenia, the primary sources of genealogical information can be obtained from the civil and ecclesiastical archives, where these are largely still available in the form of original books or their duplicates. Older records in books are written in Latin, later in Italian (for the west part of Slovenian territory) or German with Gothic characters (for majority of Slovenian territory). Since 1884 personal records have been kept in Slovenian lnguage. Up to 1770 books were kept in the form of free-format event record, after 1770 in tabular form, which faciltates reading. Only minor part of parish books has been scanned and made available on-line. The main registers, used for genealogical research are: birth, death and marriage books, for which responsible registrars or priests enrolled the life events of the residents of parish to which they belonged in a given period. Thus, it is necessary to know for each period in a history, what was administrative or church territorial and hierarchical organization, to place certain place of birth, marriage or death into proper source book and to locate the register in the correct archive.

I could not imagine, how Bill would search for Andrej Praznik from Velike Lašče and his family? First he should come to Slovenia, seat for a week in a Parochial archive in Ljubljana, where the parish belongs, and ask for proper books. Before he should learn some German and (what is even worse) reading of Gotic handwriting. Fortunately data for Andrej’s birth was easy to find, thanks to good immigration records kept at Ellis Island Fundation (passangers’ names and age, last residence, closest relatives, ships and ports of departure in Europe)

Andrej PRAZNIK (born 8 Apr 1874 in Male Lašče 6, parish Velike Lašče), arrived in 1899 to New York with the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse ship. Fortunatelly information of his last residence in Velike Lasce matched to his birth place (Male Lasce 6, the Peščak farm) later found in parish records.

In immigration records and records of passangers people leaving the Slovenian territory were often declared ‘from Austria’ or ‘Yougoslavia’, or by mistake even ‘from Slovakia’. Some Slovenians even lived for few months in Germany, Italy or France before they earned enough money to buy a ticket and be able to cross the Atlantic ocean. These data can misslead researchers from abroad, who might not be very familiar with European history and economic circumstances in 19/20 th Century. I tried to explan this to Bill:

Hi, Bill,

Attached you may find a census sheet, where a family Draskovic (second marriage of Katherine) with step son Ludwig Klun and his wife Mary Klun are recorded. You can read that they were all of Yugoslavian origin, but language is Slovenian. In a history, Slovenia belonged to different groupations:

  • before 1919 Slovenia was part of Austria-Hungarian monarchy
  • in the period 1919 – 1940 Slovenia was part of Yougoslavian monarchy
  • during the second world war half of Slovenia belonged to Italy (1941-1943) and half to Germany (1941-1945)
  • in the period 1945 – 1990 Slovenia was 1 of 6 republics in Federation of Yougoslavia
  • in 1991 Slovenia became independent and in 2004 joint the European Union as one of nowadays 28 Memeber States.

But all the time the languge spoken has been Slovenian and inhabitants Slovenians, despite one may find in historic records written: Austrian, Yougoslavian etc. Please remember: proper spelling is SLOVENIA not Slavania. The name of the country has LOVE inside: sLOVEnia …  Best regards…

Nowadays it is hard to imagine that might be difficult to locate a country within Europe. Going to settlements, as they were named and affiliated centuries ago, is even more difficult. Today Google Maps are available at every question: ‘Where is this?’. In the past, the best maps were drawn only for military purposes – as the best records were made for collection of taxes and solders… In one of the best old military maps from Austria-Hungarian Monarchy surveyed before 1850, which were recently digitalised, I managed to find a settlement PRAZNIK (probably formed from one family name Praznik and not more), which was below the hill, in distance near 1500 m from big castle Turjak (Auersperg). Between Turjak and Praznik I discovered a settlement PRISTAVA (400 m from the castle). Bingo! This Pristava was no longer listed among settlements in ‘The early 1900s gazetteer…’ in municipality Turjak, where we find Male Lasce and Praznike. Check some data below!

Military surveys of the Habsburg Empire 1806-1869 (Turjak - Pristava - Prasznik)

Military surveys of the Habsburg Empire 1806-1869 (Turjak – Pristava – Prasznik)

Krein > Gottschee (Kočevje) > Großlaschitz (Velike Lašče) >Municipality > a list of places (<their administrative affiliations):

Turjak – Auersperg Auersperg – Turjak; Čretež; Dolšake; Gradež; Großlotschnik – Veliki Ločnik; Goßosolnik – Veliki Osolnik; Javorje; Kleinlaschitz – Male Lašče; Kleinlotschnik – Mali Ločnik; Kleinosolnik – Mali Osolnik; Knej; Laperje; Laze; Podlog; Praznike; Rašice; Schurke – Ščurke; Škamevec; Sloka Gora; Srnjak
Sv. Gregor Sct. Gregor Andol; Brinoschitz – Brinošica; Brlog 1. A.; Bukowitz – Bukovica; Finkovo; Gašpinovo; Graben; Grebenc; Sct. Gregor, – Sv. Gregor; Großsliwitz – Velika Slivica; Höflern – Dvorska Vas; Hojče; Hudi Konec 1. A.; Junče; Kleinsliwitz – Mala Slivica; Kot; Kožarji; Kruče; Levstike; Marolče; Maršiče; Medvedjek; Novi Pot; Oberpölland – Gorenje Podpoljane; Perovo; Podkraj; Pogled; Prapreče, Prelesje; Pusti Hrib; Rigl – Rigelj; Schwarzenbach – Črni Potok; Škrlovica; Tscherntsche – Črnče; Unterpölland – Dolenje Podpoljane; Vintarji; Zadnike; Zlati Rep
Lašče Velike Großlaschitz Großlaschitz – Velike Lašče; Oberretje – Gorenje Retje; Srobotnik; Strmec; Unterretje – Dolenje Retje
Kompole – Kompolje
Lužarji – Luschari Adamou – Adamovo; Borovec; Brankou – Brankovo; Brlog 2. A.; Grm; Hlebče; Hrustou – Hrustovo; Jakičevo; Kaplanau – Kaplanovo; Karlowitz – Karlovica; Krkovo; Kukmaka; Logarji; Luschari – Lužarji; Oberkalische – Gorenje Kališe; Opalkovo; Plasau – Plosovo; Podkogel – Podkogelj; Podsmreka; Podstrmec; Podulaka; Podžaga; Posnikou – Poznikovo; Pouselo – Polzelo; Prhajevo; Pušče; Stope; Ulaka; Unterkalische – Dolenje Kališe; Žaga
Podgora Bruhanja Vas, Mala Vas; Podgora; Podgorica; Sagoritza – Zagorica
Rob Bavdek; Blutigenstein – Krvava Peč; Boštetje; Bukowitz – Bukovica; Centa; Dednik; Gradišče; Mačke; Mahorje; Marinček; Osredek; Pečke; Podhojni Hrib; Purkarče; Rob; Rupe; Sekiršče; Selo; Tomažin; Usmane – Uzmane;Zgonče
Videm -Widem Hočevje; Ilova Gora; Podpeč; Ponique – Ponikve; Sdenskawas – Zdenska Vas; Vodice-Predstrug; Widem – Videm; Zesta – Cesta

We were not so lucky in searching of Andrej’s wife arrival: Agnes KOSLER, later recorded as Agnes Hellen Koslar (born 1882 in Pristova). Key words ‘A. Kosler‘ return a lot of matches, but none for correct person. Also in Slovenia there was not possible to find her birth place in appropriate parish near Velike Lašče. Pristova place does not exist, but name Pristava was centuries ago given to many locations where landlords had settled their servants, who took care for lord’s horses, catle and other animals and grow basic crops.

Slovenian settlements named Pristava as they were recorded in ‘The early 1900s gazetteer of Austria-Hungary Monarchy‘ as part of different settlements mainly in Krein (districts and subdistricts are also mentioned, together with German name of the settlement) – Pristava near Turjak (Auersperg) is not listed:

Pristava settl. part Kärnten Völkermarkt – Velikovec Bleiburg – Pliberk Schwarzenbach – Črna
Pristava settl. part Krain Gurkfeld – Krško Gurkfeld – Krško Arch – Raka
Pristava settl. part Krain Gurkfeld – Krško Gurkfeld – Krško Zirkle – Cerklje
Pristava settl. part Krain Gurkfeld – Krško Landstraß – Kostanjevica Heiligenkreuz – Sv. Križ
Pristava settl. part Krain Krainburg – Kranj Neumarktl – Tržič Heiligenkreutz – Križe
Pristava settl. part Krain Laibach – Ljubljana Oberlaibach – Vrhnika Billichgratz – Polhov Gradec
Pristava settl. part Krain Laibach – Ljubljana Oberlaibach – Vrhnika Franzdorf – Borovnica
Pristava settl. part Krain Littai – Litija Weixelburg – Višnja Gora Kreuzdorf – Križna Vas
Pristava settl. part Krain Littai – Litija Weixelburg – Višnja Gora Tscheschenze – Črešnjice
Pristava settl. part Krain Rudolfswert – Rudolfovo Rudolfswert – Rudolfovo Hönigstein – Mirna Peč
Pristava settl. part Krain Rudolfswert – Rudolfovo Rudolfswert – Rudolfovo Michael, Sct. – Stopitsch Šmihel – Stopiče
Pristava settl. part Krain Rudolfswert – Rudolfovo Rudolfswert – Rudolfovo Nußdorf – Orehovica
Pristava settl. part Krain Rudolfswert – Rudolfovo Treffen – Trebnje Großlack – Loka Velika
Pristava settl. part Krain Rudolfswert – Rudolfovo Treffen – Trebnje Treffen – Trebnje
Pristava settl. part Krain Stein – Kamnik Stein – Kamnik Mannsburg – Mengeš
Pristava settl. part Steiermark Rann – Brežice Drachenburg – Kozje Drenskoreber – Drensko Rebro
Pristava Mala settl. part Krain Adelsberg – Postojna Adelsberg – Postojna Michael, Sct. – Šmihel
Pristava Velika settl. part Krain Adelsberg – Postojna Adelsberg – Postojna Michael, Sct. – Šmihel

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