Biseri, language and genealogical education and guidance, Silvia Josephine Žele

 

Useful resources connected to Slovenian history and genealogy


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Article 5 German names also in Upper Carniola
Article 4 Mail Order Brides from Slovenia Too! – 10 August 2010, Updated 23 January 2012
Article 3 Death Certificate Registration 23 February 2010
Article 2 An open letter to Jožefa Knafelc Žele (Josephine Knafelc Zele), my mother
Article 1 An American connection

 

Article 5: German names also in Upper Carniola


The following is a translation of the newspaper article “Nemška imena tudi v Oberkrainu” [German names also in Upper Carniola] published on page 4 of the Karawanken Bote, Saturday, 11 April.
Source: Karawanken Bote (11.04.1942), letnik 2, številka 28. URN:NBN:SI:DOC-ED8XM4TI from http://www.dlib.si


German names also in Upper Carniola

Old German forms of writing applicable once more
To apply the process of Germanisation to the occupied territory of Carinthia and Carniola, and to reintroduce the former German forms of surnames, which had been modified by the former Yugoslav administration, the Head of Public Administration, Dr Rainer Gauleiter, issued the following decree.

According to this decree, only German forms of given (Christian) names should be used in spoken or written format.
Family names (surnames) may only be written in in their German form.
Slovenian given (Christian) names, which have a corresponding German name, may only be used in their German form.
Corresponding German forms of names are shown in the list that follows. The use of other versions of these names, other than as in the list below, is not permitted.
All family names (surnames), which have only had a Slovenian version until now, and which contain Slovenian letters, which do not exist in German, should have those letters replaced with corresponding German letters as follows:

aj – ei; e.g.: Majster – Meister, Gajšek – Geischek,
c after vowels – tz; e.g.: Kac – Katz, Kovačec – Kowatschetz,
c in stress after consonants – z; e.g.: Švarc – Schwarz, Jarc – Jarz,
č – tsch; e.g.: Čiček – Tschitschek, Deučer – Deutscher,
h in the middle or at the end of the word – ch; e.g.: Lah – Lach, Gliha – Glicha; but Hrašovec – Hraschowetz,
ij – i; e.g.: Furijan – Furian,
lj – l; e.g.: Ljubec – Lubetz,
nj – n; e.g.: Vošnjak – Woschnak,
š – sch; e.g.: Fišinger – Fischinger, Šegula – Schegula,
št – st; e.g.: Štajnbah – Steinbach, Štepec – Stepetz, Krištan – Kristan,
v – w; e.g.: Černovšek – Tschernowschek, Veingerl – Weingerl,
z – s; i.e:  Verzel – Wersel, Zemljič – Semlitsch,
ž – sch; e.g.: Žnuderl – Schnuderl, Blažek – Blaschek.

Common given names are to be left unchanged when written in German.
In cases where it can be proven that the former Yugoslav administrative authorities altered names, for example, Seršen from Sehrschön, Henigman from Hönigmann, Tišlar from Tischler, Dajčman from Deutschmann, Stojnšek from Stoinschegg, the former versions are to be used, if it can be proven using baptismal and birth certificates of the affected people, or their parents, and if these were issued before 1918. The written forms used in those documents are to be used in future.
Only given names and surnames, written using the German alphabet, may be recorded in birth, death and marriage registers.
When issuing extracts from birth, death, and marriage registers, only the German forms of all Slovenian given names, which have an equivalent German, may be written, and the same applies to surnames.
In general, all official documents, extracts, and announcements on notice boards, should only contain given names and surnames that conform to this decree; this also applies to any signatures.
Changes of Slavic given names or surnames, which do not meet the criteria in this order, are not allowed; as such cases do not represent the restoration of a German form of a name, but rather a ‘change of name’, which must follow a different legal process.
This decree is applicable to all former Yugoslav citizens in the occupied territory of Carinthia and Carniola. It does not apply to persons of Croatian nationality.
Sanctions will be imposed on any violators of this decree.

In future, the only permissible versions of male given (Christian) names are:
Aleksander, Alež, Saša – Alexander
Alfonz – Alfons
Alojzij, Slavko – Alois
Andrej, Hrabroslav – Andreas
Antonij, Tone – Anton
Avguštin, Avgust – August
Blaž – Blasius
Bogdan – Friderich
Bogomir – Gottfried
Bolfenk, Volbenk – Wolfgang
Boltežar – Balthasar
Božidar, Božo – Theodor
Branko – Rudolf
Caharija – Zacharias
Ciril – Cyrill
Cvetko, Florijan – Florian
Danilo – Daniel
Davorin – Martin
Drago, Dragomir, Dragoslav – Karl
Edvard, Edo – Eduard
Emerik – Emmerich
Emilijan, Milan, Milko – Emil
Erik – Erich
Evgenij, Evgen – Eugen
Evzebij – Eusebius
Feliks – Felix
Filip – Philip
Florijan – Florian
Franc, Frančišek, Franjo, Fran – Franz
Friderik – Friderich
Gabrijel – Gabriel
Gašper – Kaspar
Gregorij, Grega – Gregor
Hernik, Hinko – Heinrich
Herman – Hermann
Hrabroslav – Andreas
Ignacij, Igo, Ognjeslav – Ignaz
Ivan – Hans ali Johann
Janez, Janko – Johann ali Hans
Jaroslav – Engelbert
Jernej – Bartholomäus
Josip, Joško, Jožef, Jože – Josef
Julij, Ljuboslav, Ljubomir – Julius
Jurij, Jurko, Jurček – Georg
Karel, Karol, Drago – Karl
Kilijan – Kilian
Kornelij – Kornelius
Krištof – Christoph
Ksaver – Xaver
Ladislav – Ladislaus
Lavoslav, Leon, Polde – Leopold
Lenart – Leonhard
Ljudevit, Ludovik, Ludvik – Ludwig
Lovrenc, Lovro, Lavrencij – Lorenz
Ljuboslav, Ljubomir, Ljubo – Julius
Luka, Lukež – Lukas
Matej, Matija, Matevž, Tevže – Matthias
Marko – Markus
Makso, Maks – Max
Miklavž, Nikolaj, Niko – Nikolaus
Milan, Milivoj – Emil
Mirko, Miroslav – Friderich, Fritz
Miha, Miško – Michael
Nace, Ignacij, Igo – Ignaz
Nikolaj, Niko – Nikolaus
Ognjeslav – Ignaz
Oton – Otto
Otokar – Ottokar
Ožbold, Ožbald – Oswald
Pavel – Paul
Polde – Leopold
Radoslav, Radomir, Rado – Jakob
Rajko, Rajmund – Raimund
Rihard, Riko – Richard
Rok – Rochus
Saša – Alexander
Sebastijan, Boštjan – Sebastian
Slavko – Alois
Srečko – Felix
Stanislav, Stanko – Stanislaus
Simon, Sima – Simon
Štefan – Stefan
Tine – Valentin
Tomaž, Tomislav – Thomas
Tone, Tončec – Anton
Ulrik, Urh – Ulrich
Vaclav, Venceslav – Wenzel
Valter – Walter
Vekoslav – Alois
Vid – Veit
Viljem – Wilhelm
Vilibald – Willibald
Vincenc, Vincencij, Vinko – Vinzenz
Vojteh – Adalbert
Volbenk – Wolfgang
Zdravko – Valentin
Zmagoslav, Zmago – Viktor
Žiga, Žigmund – Siegmund

In future, the only permissible versions of female given (Christian) names are:
Adelajda, Adela, Dela, Delica – Adelheid
Albina – Albine
Alenka, Alenčica – Helene
Alojzija, Lojzka – Aloisia
Ana, Ančka, Anka, Anica – Anna
Apolonija, Polona, Polonka – Apollonia
Avrelija, Zlata, Zlatka – Aurelia
Bara, Barica, Barbka – Barbara
Bogdana – Friderike
Bogomila – Emilie
Bogoslava, Slavka – Aloisia
Božena – Natalie
Breda – Friederike
Brigita – Brigitte
Vecilija, Cilika, Cilka – Cäcilie
Cvetka – Flora
Danica, Dana – Adelheid
Dora, Dorica – Dorothea
Dragomira, Draga, Dragica – Karoline
Elizabeta, Lizika, Špela – Elisabeth
Emilijana, Milica, Milka – Emilie
Frančiška, Franja, Francka – Franziska
Greta – Grete
Hedvika, Hedviga, Jadviga – Hedwig
Helena – Helene
Hema – Emma
Ivana, Ivanka – Johanna
Izabela – Isabella
Jadviga – Hedwig
Jaroslava – Berta
Jelena, Jelka – Helene
Jera, Jerica – Gertrud
Jožefa, Josipina, Jožica – Josefine
Julijana, Julija, Julka – Juliana
Karolina – Karoline
Katarina, Katica – Katharina
Klotilda – Klothilde
Kristina – Christine
Lavra – Laura
Lenka – Helene
Lizika – Elisabeth
Ljubica – Amalie
Ljudmila – Ludmilla
Lojzka – Aloisia
Lucija – Luzia
Malka, Malčka – Amalie
Marija, Marica, Micka, Minka – Maria
Marjeta, Meta – Margarete
Marta – Martha
Matilda – Mathilde
Melanija – Melanie
Miroslava – Friederike
Neža, Nežica – Agnes
Otilija – Ottilie
Pavla – Paula
Pepca – Josefine
Polona, Polonka – Apollonia
Reza, Rezika – Theresia
Roza, Ruža – Rosa
Rozalija, Rožica, Zala – Rosalia
Slava, Slavka, Slavica – Aloisia
Silva, Silvija – Sylvia
Sonja – Sophie
Špela – Elisabeth
Stanislava – Aloisia
Štefanija – Stephanie
Suzana – Susanne
Terezija, Rezika – Theresia
Tončka, Tonka – Antonia
Uršula, Urša, Urška – Ursula
Vekoslava – Aloisia
Viljemina – Wilhemine
Zala, Zalika – Rosalie
Zlata, Zlatka – Aurelia
Zefa, Zefka – Josefine
Zofija, Zofka – Sophie
Zvonka – Anthonie

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Article 4: Mail Order Brides from Slovenia Too!

Hutenske Festival

Family photos are remarkable in that they are a touching visual link to the past and a family’s personal history. In 2007, I answered a request from the USA to translate text on the back of some old photos and was absolutely fascinated by the story that one of them contained.

In the first third of the 1900s, life was extremely hard for single women in the villages of Slovenia. In some places, there was a shortage of men, which had a huge impact on the quality of life of the women. Some men had died, or they had moved to bigger cities or migrated to other countries in search of work and a brighter future. The prospect for women without husbands and children was bleak, so some were prepared to migrate under extraordinary circumstances: as mail order brides. Some were prepared to marry men they either did not know, or barely knew, on the recommendation of others.

This is a translation of what is written on the back of this photo which was sent to the USA (I have not made corrections to the original grammar), unfortunately, there is no date, but it was probably written between 1910 and 1920.

Hotedršica

Here is a photo of the Hutenske Firefighters’ Festival with 8 females to choose from and if you know one and you are not satisfied with this I can send another [photo] as there are currently many young and old, pretty and ugly in our village whatever kind you want and if you want to get one you must come yourself to get her. Regards from MN

The photo is from a family collection belonging to descendants of Marija Logar Birtič, date of birth 20 August 1884, Hotedršica, Slovenia, and her husband, Janez Birtič, date of birth 26 October 1884, at Stara Vrhnika 49, Slovenia. Thanks to their granddaughter, Patty Cornaby, for granting permission to publish the photo and the text. It is not known for sure, for whom the letter was intended.

If anyone can identify the women in this photo or add further information, I would be pleased if they would get in contact with me (contact).

 

Mary Logar Birtic’s granddaughter, M. Joan Birtic Atteberry, very kindly agreed to write the following article about her grandmother’s life in America.The Slovenian version was first published in ‘Drevesa’ the magazine of the Slovenian Genealogical Society in June 2011.

 

Marija Logar who became Mary Logar Birtic

Marija Logar came to America in 1909 when she was 25 years old because she was unhappy with the husband her parents had picked out for her. She met her husband, John Birtic (born Janez Birtič), in Waukegan, Illinois where they were married and had two children. Her husband’s health influenced their move to Montana in 1912, where they homesteaded near Mill Iron in Carter County. There three more children were born.

Their first home was basically a one room shack. They worked hard and liked people. They were proud of their heritage and their adopted country. They loved it. My grandmother Mary was thrifty. She was a fabulous cook. They raised a huge garden, chickens, pigs and some cattle – pretty much were self –sustaining in their country life. Towns were too far away. Before all the modern appliances came along there was no modern day refrigeration. They had an “Ice cave” where they kept things cool that needed to be. I remember going with them to cut huge blocks of ice from the nearby Box Elder Creek when it was frozen solid, that is, at least several inches thick, in the winter, and cutting those huge blocks to bring home. Then it was put in the ice cave and covered with sawdust to help keep it longer. Eventually an “ice box”- as it was called back then – the beginning of modern day refrigeration where a huge block was put into the top portion of it to keep things inside cool - when it melted another one was put in. Those blocks of ice had to last through the summer months to keep food from spoiling until it got cold outside again to get more ice.

They moved into a new two story wood framed house in about 1923 and continued to raise their family in it. The five children grew up learning a lot about work, about one another and eventually making the trip to the log schoolhouse to learn about the rest of the world.

They always had a Christmas tree as local pine trees were plentiful – it may not have been decorated and may not have had gifts under it, but it always had candles on it and they had plenty of food. Music always played a big part. Grandpa John would play the mouth harp. My dad learned to play a button accordion that he got from the Sears Roebuck mail order catalog – all by ear without any lessons, and the harmonica also. He and I took turns playing at local dances later on while I was growing up.

All the field work was done with a team of horses and various tools that were available at the time. The house was heated in the winter by coal that they also mined out of Box Elder Creek. I remember there was always concern about taking the horse and wagon onto the ice – they had to make sure it was thick enough to hold not only the coal they were getting out of the bank by the creek, but the team and wagon as well, as they loaded it heavily. They also got wood from the local Pine Hills fairly close by.

The whole family spoke Slovenian in the home. When the oldest daughter went to school, she learned English and helped the rest learn. It has always amazed me how well my grandmother spoke the English language.

After her husband, John, passed away in 1946, she passed the farm work onto her son, Frank (my father). All of the other children had taken paths of their own and were scattered around the US. She then moved her house into Baker, Montana and it is still there today. The house was raised off its foundations and huge timbers put under it, and then a long trailer was backed under it. It was very carefully transported into Baker – a distance of about 39 miles. As my siblings and I grew up, we stayed with her during our high school years. She liked the company – and it was great for us to have the opportunity to live with her for those 4 years. We always had hot meals – she still kept a garden – even though my parents brought her meat, milk, eggs, vegetables, etc. from the farm.

She also made many trips to visit her children wherever they were living after they left home. The older I get, the more I realize what an amazing woman she was. She traveled to an unknown land with the greatest courage and didn’t even speak the language. She worked hard raising her five children who meant the world to her. She had a great life.

Montana in about 1930. Front row: Mary Logar Birtic, John Birtic, and Aunt Frances Gruden Logar. Back row: daughters Rose and Annie, and Uncle Karl Logar.

John and Mary Birtic in front of what had once been their first homestead house. Photo taken after they had already moved to their new house.

Mary Logar Birtic

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Article 3: Death Certificate Registration

Officially Registering the Death Certificates of Expatriate Slovenians

Many family historians researching their ancestors in Slovenia concentrate on trying to find data that already exists in Slovenia. By officially registering the death certificates of expatriate Slovenians, descendants can also supply information to Slovenia, which increases the chance that a relative in Slovenia can find them.

Death certificates or certified copies of death certificates, for deceased expatriate Slovenians, need to be sent to the relevant Administrative Units in Slovenia (see also Administrative Unit Portal). The correct Administration Unit would be the one for the area where the deceased last officially resided in Slovenia. Along with the death certificate, you should send documentation showing your relationship to the deceased (family tree showing descendancy, birth certificate/s etc.) and your contact details. It is also useful to send a copy of the oldest Slovenian certificate you have for the deceased to facilitate identification and to provide a list all alternate name spellings of which you are aware. If you do not have a certificate consider including a printout of a migration record such as those available from The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation or the National Archives of Australia.

In your letter include a statement such as: I, FIRST NAME, SURNAME of ADDRESS AND CONTACT DETAILS wish to register the death certificate of FIRST NAME, SURNAME who was born in VILLAGE / TOWN, in SLOVENIA on DAY, MONTH AS A WORD, YEAR.

You may wish to include the details in Slovenian also:
FIRST NAME, SURNAME, ADDRESS AND CONTACT DETAILS, nadalje v zvezi z registracijo mrliškega lista pa navedite FIRST NAME, SURNAME, tistega, ki je bil rojen na VILLAGE / TOWN v Sloveniji, na DAY, MONTH AS A WORD, YEAR.

If you are curious about what the situation is regarding inheritance tax in the case that your lodgment of a death certificate brings up an inheritance issue, here are some brief notes on the Slovenian Inheritance Act of 1976. Please, contact a lawyer for accurate and up-to-date information on the entire law.

The Slovenian Inheritance Act - Zakon o dedovanju (ZD)

If you have questions regarding eligibility for citizenship of the Republic of Slovenia and therefore the right to work in EU countries please see the following links:

Citizenship of the Republic of Slovenia
Frequently Asked Questions

 

The following additional information on gift and inheritance tax was kindly supplied by the Tax Administration of the Republic of Slovenia:

The property, which an individual receives from a legal entity or individual as inheritance and is not considered as income according to the act, which arranges personal income tax, is subject to taxation according to the ZDDD (Inheritance and Gift Taxation Act). The person liable for payment of tax is an individual or legal entity of the private law, which receives property on the basis of inheritance.

The tax liability emerges on the day when the inheritance order is final. The tax office assesses tax on the basis of data of the final inheritance order, which is sent to it by the court. If immovable property is subject to inheritance, the court sends the order to the tax office, where immovable property is located. This assesses tax with a decision in 30 days after receipt of the final order.

Inheritance proceedings in the Republic of Slovenia are managed at competent courts on the basis of provisions of the Inheritance Act – ZD (Official Journal of the SRS, no. 15/76, 23/78, 32/78, Official Journal of the RS. no. 17/91 to 83/01). The court establishes in the inheritance proceedings, who the deceased person’s heirs are, which property represents his/her legacy and which legacy rights the heirs have. The procedure is initiated ex officio as soon as the court establishes that someone died or has been declared as dead on the basis of the certificate of death, which is sent by the registrar of births, marriages and deaths to the court in 30 days after entry of the deceased person into the central registrar of deceased persons.

Ministry of Finance, Tax Administration of the Republic of Slovenia
Šmartinska cesta 55, PO Box 631, SI-1001 Ljubljana, Slovenia
T:+386 1 478 2700
F:+386 1 478 2743
E:gp.durs-gdu(at)gov.si

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Article 2: An open letter to Jožefa Knafelc Žele (Josephine Knafelc Zele), my mother

I read the following letter aloud on the Slovenian radio programme broadcast by SBS, the Special Broadcasting Service (Australia's multicultural and multilingual broadcaster), on 31 May 2009. This formed part of the interview conducted by radio announcer, Lenti Lenko.

 

Dear mama

It is through the wisdom of time and experience that I have fully come to appreciate all that you went through in order to make the best possible life for yourself and our family.

You bravely faced the hardships of being a refugee in Italy and a migrant in Australia. You learnt new languages and skills, and blended the old ways with the new.

What is striking about the photos of you from childhood to the present are your bright and glowing eyes. Your beautiful eyes express a determination to make the best of all situations and a readiness to laugh and sing whenever and wherever possible.

You have taught me many things, but I think the most valuable lesson was on the importance of letting people know that they are loved.

Thank you for all that you have given and continue to give.

Your loving daughter

Silvia Žele

Jožefa Knafelc, 1941

Stanko Petkovšek and Jožefa Knafelc Žele Petkovšek on their wedding day, 9 October 2010

 

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Article 1: An American connection

My interest in genealogy really began in 2000 after my father, Zdravko Žele, passed away. In 2001 I got to spend time with extended family members in Slovenia and it dawned on me that the connection between family members in Slovenia and family members in Australia could eventually be lost due to language barriers. Creating a family tree file with names and places is my way of helping my extended family to remain connected, and will provide future members with important information if they wish to add to the tree.

I joined the Slovenian Genealogy Society International in order to try to locate distant relatives living in the USA. My great great grandparents, Franc Jereb and Marija (Šturm) Jereb, migrated to the USA early in the 1900s taking with them my great grandmother, Marija Jereb (DOB 20 August 1893). In either 1908 or 1909 she married a Slovenian migrant, Jožef Tomšič (DOB 3 June 1885). I have a group photo of them with their first six children, Marija (Mary), Franc (Frank), Zofija (Josephine), Frančiška (Frances), Antonija (Antonia), my grandmother who is sitting on her father´s lap, and Jože (Joe). This photo was used for their passport to go to Slovenia to live and must have been taken in 1920 as I have a copy of their entry in the February 1920 US Census yet their next child was born in Slovenia in 1921.

Great-grandmother Marija Jereb left behind her siblings and parents in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Great grandmother and great grandfather lived in the Slovenian village of Koritnice where they went on to have another six children. I would love to have relatives living in the USA get in contact with so that we could exchange family information.

 

by Silvia Josephine Žele July 2009

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