Searching for Slovenian roots – Bill 4

Spelling variations of Slovenian names in United States records

Slovenian langugae uses special characters (č, š, ž / Č, Š, Ž), which are sometimes difficult to be used or spelled in English or other foreign language, like German (remember: Slovenian matriculas from 18/19 centuries are written in German). Sometimes characters are simply written as “c, s, z /C, S, Z” (Čamer > Camer, Čeč > Cec), but these would not sound the same in foreign language. Therefore in case of immigrant names are more often transcribed to sound similarly (Čamer > Chamer, Čeč > Czecz). First names are also traslated (Toni > Tony, Alojz > Alois, Srečko > Laurent or Felix). In solving computer/IT problems with Slovenian language and characters it is useful to identify proper codes to be used:

  • ISO 3166 (ISO codes for countries) code for Slovenia is “si”,
  • ISO 639 (ISO codes for languages) code for Slovenian is “sl”.

There are no special characters used in case of Andrej Praznik (born 1874 in Velike Lašče, Slovenia). But Slovenian form of Andrew would sound completely different, if it stayed written as Andrej. Also the Praznik surname was correctly recorded in case of Andrew’s arrival to United States (Ellis Island,1899), but later in different Census records they obviously did not check any documents, though we could find:  Prasnik, 1910; Prosznik, 1920; Proznick, 1940;  and finally as currently used in USA: Proznik.

Table: (Download Proznik-Andrew-family-household-records) “United States Census” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 2 January 2015)

Event: US Census 1910 US Census 1920 US Census 1940 Minnesota Deaths index
Name: Andrew Prasnik Andrew Prosznik Andrew Proznick Andrew Praznik
Age: 35 years 45 years 65 years 69 years (†27 May 1943)
Event Place: Eveleth Ward 1, St Louis, Minnesota, United States Eveleth, St Louis, Minnesota, United States Ward 1, Eveleth City, St. Louis, Minnesota, US Eveleth, St Louis, Minnesota
Father’s Birthplace: Austria Slavonia (=Slovenia) Father’s Name:               Andrew (=Andrej) Praznik
Mother’s Birthplace: Austria Slavonia (=Slovenia) Mother’s Name:               Mary Famnik (= Jamnik)
Spouse (age, birthplace): Agnes Prasnik (34, Austria) Agnes Prosznik (44, Slavonia = Slovenia) Agnes
Children (age, birthplace): Mary Prasnik (9, Minnesota)Andrew Prasnik (6, Minnesota)

Luis Prasnik (3, Minnesota)

Andrew Prosznik (16, Minnesota)Luis Prosznik (13, Minnesota)

From different records corect data of this Praznik family could be built. No marriage record has been found yet for Andrew and Agnes KOSLAR/KOZLAR POSNICK (probably naturalized in Virginia MN [St Louis Co]). The three living children have been found in the “United States Census, 1910,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ accessed 2 January 2015). They had also two other children: a Babe Prosnik died on July 09, 1905 and a stillborn son on October 31, 1908 (St Louis MN; parents Andrew POSNICK/Agnes KOSLAR). In case of calculated year of birth we can get some differences from real data (*calculated year of birth):

Household 1910 Role Gender Age Birthplace
*1875   Andrew Prasnik Head M 35 Austria
*1876   Agnes Prasnik Wife F 34 Austria
*1901   Mary Prasnik Daughter F 9 Minnesota
*1904   Andrew Prasnik Son M 6 Minnesota
*1907   Louis Prasnik Son M 3 Minnesota
*1883   Mary Zidar Lodger F 27 Austria

Since Agnes arrived in United States in 1900 and Mary Prasnik was born in 1901 one could assume that Andrew and Agnes got married in 1900/1901. From US Census records we could conclude that their oldest daughter Mary left their home before she was 19 years old. Agnes stayed misterious also after last record search. She died on November 17, 1937 but documents were not available for authorities: no data of her Slovenian parents are recorded, as we can see for her husband Andrew. Andrew died 6 years later, on May 27, 1943, in the middle od World War II, which established very dramatic situation in his home town Velike Lašče.

However, Andrew Praznik left his homeland for better life. It seems he succeded with hard work in Minnesota, U.S.. He owned a house in Eveleth (Ward 1), where the family lived at least from 1910 (in 1905 Agnes and Andrew lived in Fayal, St. Louis). He hosted several other Slovenians, who were labourers in the neighbourhood.

Evelet-Fayal-apartments

In 1899, the Minnesota Iron Company built a hospital for its employees at the Fayal, Genoa, and Auburn Mines, which was later changed to Fayal apartments. It was located on the corner of Fayal Road and Fayal Avenue. – See more at: http://www.lakesnwoods.com/EvelethHistory.htm#sthash.zpAeeEg0.dpuf

The Village of Eveleth was platted on April 22, 1893, and founded in 1894, located approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) southwest of the present location, on land then included in the Adams-Spruce Mine (Douglas Avenue between Jones and Monroe Streets). The community was named after Erwin Eveleth, a prominent employee of a timber company in the area. In 1895, iron ore was discovered beneath the village site and a post office was established. In 1900, the village was moved to its present location. The village was incorporated as City of Eveleth in 1913. When the city expanded, it annexed portions of Fayal Township, including the former unincorporated communities of Alice Mine Station (in the Alice Location south of downtown) and Fayal. With further expansion, Eveleth annexed the unincorporated community of Genoa to its east. Eveleth would also have its first paper called The Eveleth Star in 1895. The main street look in 1895 (Minnesota Historical Society’s collection):

Eveleth-main-street-1895

Eveleth: Main street view in 1895

Eveleth's population jumped up to 3,500 in 1901: main street view from Jakson street.

Eveleth’s population jumped up to 3,500 in 1901: main street view from Jakson street.

Nowadays, Eveleth is a city in Saint Louis County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 3,718 at the 2010 census. Eveleth–Virginia Municipal Airport is located within Fayal Township. The Saint Louis River flows through the southeast corner of the township. Eveleth is located on the Mesabi Range, one of sub-regions within Minnesota‘s Iron Range. The town’s economy has always been tied to the iron ore mining and processing which occurs in the area. Ore is crushed at the mine site, and shipped by railroad to the Fairlane Plant in Forbes, MN, for concentrating and pelletizing. (From: Wikipedia)

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