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


Franciscan Cadastre: Kopatschniza Kopačnica

The Franciscan Cadastre is an underused source of genealogical data, and many people are unaware that it has been digitised and can be accessed in the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia, Zvezdarska 1, SI-1127 Ljubljana, P.O. Box 21, Slovenia. It is also possible to order a CD or DVD of some of the files.

The following data relates to the Franciscan cadastral data for Leskovica, historical name Leskouza or Lesskouza, reference information SI AS 176/L/L141 Leskovica, k.o. The files date from 1826.

On my mother’s side (Jožefa Antonija Knafelc), I have a Georg (Jur) Eržen in my ancestry; DOB 25 March 1818 at Kopačnica 14, the historical name is Kopatschniza. The following screenshot is from the file L141PUA, it shows data related to a Georg Eržen (Erschon) Kopatschniza (Kopačnica) 14, house name Saderz or Saderzha. From the files, it is not possible to be 100 % certain that this Georg Eržen is in my family tree, but there is certainly a strong likelihood that he is the father, grandfather, uncle or great uncle of my Georg Eržen.


As my Georg Eržen was married to Mica Peternel, DOB 27 January 1818 at Kopačnica 15, it is also interesting to note that an Anton Peternel is listed as living at Kopatschniza (Kopačnica) 15, house name Jestperz, Jesperz or Jepperz. Again, it is not possible to be certain that this Anton Peternel is related, but the file provides a lead for further research.


The cadastral files may also contain maps of the land in the area and this can lead to a wonderful sense of connection to a place. The file L141PT gives important map data on the landowners in the area. Here it is clear that the house for Erschen, house name Sadeschar (Saderzha), is marked 113 on the related map. It also shows that the house for Peternel, house name Jesperz, is marked 114 on the related map.



Jestperz and Saderzha are quite clearly visible on the map.


The files also list a Jernej Erschon (Eržen) for Kopačnica 13, house name Hlebischer or Hlebisher, with the numbers 111 and 112 marking his house on the map. Map L141A13 shows the house marked 111 in yellow, which means it was made of wood. The house marked 112 is in red, meaning it was of brick or stone.

L141A13 Section

According to wikipedia, here is some information about the colours used on the maps:

Arable land: Yellow-brown colour
Gardens: Green colour
Facilities: Red (brick), yellow (wood), dark red (public buildings)
Forest: Dark grey colour
Water: drawn in shades of blue
Roads: Red (stone), brown (paths through fields)

Plot numbers are black or red, depending on the type of land. W denotes pasture (Weide).

One of the challenges you are faced with in using the Franciscan Cadastre, is that you have to work out the name of the place under which your files will be found. It is important to be familiar with the various spellings that have existed for some settlements. The following is a list of settlements found in the L141 folder for Leskovica:
– Davča, Dauscha, Dautscha, Dauzher, Dauzhau, Davče, Alser Bach, Dauča
– Debeni, Udebenech, Debenj
– Kopačnica, Kopachenz, Kopatschnitz, Kopatschnitza, Kopazkenza, Kopačenca
– Krnice, Kerniza, Kernize, Kernice
– Lajše, Laische
– Laze, Lasech, Na Lasech
– Leskovica,Lesskouza, Leskouza, Leskouca
– Novine, Nowine
– Planina
– Robidnica, Robidenza
– Studor
– Tičje Brdo, Tizhim Werd, Titscheinwerd, Tizhes Berdo, Tičje Berdo, Tično brdo

It is also important to take into account the fact that some settlements have been renumbered one or more times in history. It is easier to feel confident that you have found the right ancestral home in the Franciscan Cadastre, if you have systematically traced your line back to ancestors for whom you have definite addresses, dating back to around 1820.

More information can be found in:
The Franziscean Land Cadastre as a Key to understanding the 19th-Century Cultural Landscape in Slovenia’ by Franci Petek and Mimi Urbanc
Digitising at the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia’ by Jure Volčjak

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