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Links for Croatian genealogy, including Bosnia, Lika, etc.

These links are meant to help those researching their family genealogy in Croatia and Bosnia regardless of ethnicity. These links are part of; to visit the home page, click on the "home" link, above. If you know of a link which should be added please contact me, below.

Robert Jerin

Croatian history, tourism, cooking, news, etc.

Link to history, culture, science, etc

Want to visit your ancestral homeland? Discover why Croatia has been one of the top tourist destinations in Europe from these pages.

Croatia has many wonderful museums.

Vecernji List, Croatian newspaper, on-line in English.

The tambura is considered the national instrument of Croatia. Many immigrants to America formed tamburica groups. This tradition is carried on by many of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Are you aware that Croatia has a bagpipe? Many of you may have heard the Croatian national instrument, the tamburica, but there are many other musical forms and instruments found in Croatia. The link below will take you to a page full of links to web pages featuring various Croatian music and folklore groups including Stjepan Vec"kovic' a craftsman who makes Croatian bagpipes and other old instruments.

Often times we envision Croatia as our ancestors left it. However, today people dress, live and work much as we do in the US. The Croatian folkdress, or nos"nja as the Croatians call it, is a historic part of village life. Each village had its own unique style. This colorful clothing would be worn for weddings, baptisms, festivals, religious days, while for everyday wear a much plainer clothing was the norm. This link shows only a small fraction of the hundreds of folkdress. Click on a town and you will see the nos"nja for that town.

Crown Croatian World Network by Nenad Bach is a website that will connect second and third generations of Croatians around the world. Articles about Croatians throughout the world.

Language help

Need help with Croatian? This web page has info about the alphabet, pronunciation, phrases, etc. Click on the speaker icon on some words and you will hear how they sound.

Now download Croatian for Travelers as an Adobe Acrobat pdf file! Two versions are available.

Croatian-English-Croatian Dictionary.

Need to employ a translator? Here is a link to a service which translates from English to Croatian and Croatian to English. You will also find a link at this web page to download fonts for your PC or Mac.

Often times when viewing old documents the handwriting can be hard to read. Some letters such as L and S are often mistaken for one another. This can be a problem and cause us to bypass potential ancestors found in handwritten documents. Here is a link to some info and examples of how strange some handwriting can be.

General genealogy pages

Appleby in Rijeka, Croatia, contains a genealogy section.

Croatian genealogy newsletter, with many how-to tips.

Croatian Settlements Outside Croatia

Burgenland, Austria was formed from parts of Hungarian counties of Vas, Sopron and Moson following WW I. Croatians have lived in this region for several centuries.

Argentina was a popular place for Croatians beginning in the early 1900s.

Canada saw Croatian settlement beginning in the 1900s. Here are some web pages to help you search for Croatians in Canada.

White Croatia, which is now a part of southern Poland, existed from the 1st to the 10th centuries. In ancient times white indicated north while red indicated south. This is preserved in the red-and-white checkered Croatian coat-of-arms.

Croatians have lived in the region of present-day Slovak Republic since the mid-sixteenth century.

When Croatians fled the Ottoman Turkish invasions in the 16th century some settled in Moravia which today is in the Czech Republic.

Australian Croatian Genealogical and Historical Society.

South Africa - There is evidence to suggest that the first Croats to arrive on Southern African shores were Dalmatian and Dubrovnik sailors in the early part of the sixteenth century.

Croatian Regions

I placed this at the beginning of this section for those who have never been to our ancestral homeland, Croatia. This link has over 1000 photos of that beautiful country and is organized by area. Hopefully this will encourage you to make a trip to Croatia! Enjoy!

How large was the place my ancestors came from in Croatia? This link takes you to the 2001 census of Croatia. To find your ancestral place click on Tables, then scroll down to BY SETTLEMENTS then click on 1. POPULATION BY SEX AND AGE, BY SETTLEMENTS then click on the county where the place is located. This will take you to a list of each place and the population of that place. The list that you will see will be for Towns and Municipalities, which have jurisdiction over smaller villages. If you know the main town or municipality, click that place and you will see a list of all the smaller villages associated with the larger town or municipality.

A large part of northwest Croatia is known as Gorski Kotar, a mountainous region which saw a large emigration to America.

Imotski located in the Dalmatian region dates back to 845 AD, and has played an important part in Croatian history. This web page also features a census of the town from 1774.

Zagrebacka County (which surrounds the capital city of Zagreb) contains many towns and villages. While not many of our ancestors came from Zagreb, many did come from those villages and towns in Zagreb County.

The island of Krk is situated in the Bay of Kvarner. Krk is the biggest island in the Adriatic.

Many people who settled in Johnstown, Pennsylvania (where my family settled) came from Karlovac County, many from the area around Ozalj.

Karlovac County tourism web page.

To the north of Karlovac, between the Kupa River and Z"umberak, lies the region of Vivodina.

While the Slavonia region was traditionally a wealthy farming area, some people emigrated. One county there is Brod-Posavina County.

To the west of the city of Karlovac is the town of Bosiljevo. This web page offers historical info, surname lists, maps and genealogy research contacts for the area.

Ogulin is in Karlovac County on the edge of a region called Gorski Kotar.

Istria is the peninsula that "hangs" down into the Adriatic. This region has a population of Croatians, Italians and Istro-Romanians. This link has a section about genealogy

Vrbovsko is located in the eastern part of Gorski Kotar region.

Located near Vukovar, in the Slavonia region, Sotin was home to many Danube-Schwabian Germans.

The mountainous area known as Lika saw many people leave. Stajnica is a village in that region. Although this page is in Croatian, it does have many photos and also some villagers singing.

Benkovac area is located between Sibenik and Zadar. This web page is in Croatian.

Island of Silba is situated between the islands of Olib on the east and Premuda on the west. The closest mainland city is Zadar. This site's goal is to help people trace their family origins.

Sitno is located at the eastern part of the Split area. This is the area of ancient Poljica; the Poljica Principality lasted for centuries. This web page includes a list of surnames found in Sitno.

Hrastovac is a small town in Croatia, southwest of Daruvar (Slavonia). This is the web page for a small group of Donauschwaben researchers whose family lines had a connection to Hrastovac sometime during the years 1865-1945 (which marked the period of settlement by Donauschwaben Germans who were forced to flee at the end of WW II).

Genealogy Message Forums

Genforum link to Croatia message board. You will find surname message boards here also. genealogy message board for Croatia. In addition you will find a board for "Yugoslavia" where some will post messages about Croatian ancestors.

Usenet Slavic genealogy newsgroup (your email must be set up to receive newsgroups).

Croatian Genealogical, based in Australia, is a place to discuss Croatian genealogy first online.

Maps & Place Name Locators

Before you can begin your search, it is neccesary to know the exact town or village where your ancestors originated.

Croatia and Bosnia maps

This is perhaps the best detailed, modern map of placenames on the net! However you will need to know the approximate location of your ancestral village. To find a place, move your cursor to the area you are searching. A + will appear in place of your cursor, hold the left mouse button down and "draw" a square in the area you want to see enlarged.

1910 Hungarian county maps of Croatia. Lots of topographic detail!

For old maps, the 1910 3rd Military Mapping Survey of Austria-Hungary are very good, showing many small villages, some of which no longer exist.

ShtelSeeker place name locator for all Eastern Europe. Uses soundex or exact spelling for search.

Having trouble finding a place? Perhaps it is due to a change in the name of the town or village. This link gives you alternate and old spellings.

Austria-Hungary Monarchy (also known as The Habsburg Empire) and provinces in relationship to modern Croatia.

Map showing distribution of ethnic groups in the old Habsburg Empire.

Surname Research

Search for surnames at Ancestry.Com. Some info is free and some only for those who subscribe to this service.

The LDS Church (Mormon) Family History Library has a surname search feature which will lead to an IGI data base of names as well as a US Social Security Death Index listing. Just a note of caution: if you come across a surname for which someone has compiled a family tree be aware that it may NOT be the person or persons you are looking for. Also never take someone else's work as accurate. You need to verify and confirm any such information you may receive.

Was the family name changed at Ellis Island? This did not happen! Most immigrant ship manifests contain the original spelling, thus name changes occurred afterwards.

Locating records

When searching, we need to "think in Croatian" and to remain flexible and aware that maybe the spelling we have is not correct OR that someone recording/transcribing the name made errors. To make you aware of some things I have found, I wrote an article for Olive Tree.

The USGenWeb Project is a good place for your search in the US. US GenWeb is a group of volunteers working to provide websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States.

Without a doubt the online Ellis Island records have been a real boon to our family history search. And the best web site for your Ellis Island search is by Stephen P. Morse. It offers a variety of ways to search: by date, by ship, or by just the first few letters of the last name.

From 1892 on, Ellis Island (New York) was the main entry port for our ancestors. However, a small portion did arrive at other ports, such as Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans and Galveston, Texas. The Immigrant Ship Transcribers Guild has an ongoing project to transcribe ship manifest records. While their web page does not allow the viewing of original ship manifest images, you will at least be able to search for the name and, if listed, the date of arrival and ship name.

The Texas Seaport Museum also has an immigrant ship arrival database for the Port of Galveston, TX, which you can access at no charge.

Not everyone arrived at Ellis Island. This link will help you locate other "port of arrival" information.

Locating US vital records (birth, death, marriage & divorce) by state, territory and county.

Some death records may be found online at Family Search Labs along with an ever growing list of databases.

Arizona Genealogy Birth (1887-1928) and Death Certificates (1878-1953), searchable onliine.

The Minnesota Historical Society hosts this online index of death records.

New York City Death Index, 1891-1919.

Ohio State Death Index, 1913-1937.

Summit County Ohio naturalization records.

Cuyahoga County Ohio naturalization records, marriage records etc.

Cleveland Ohio necrology (death) files may be searched here:

Croatian men were required to serve in the armed forces. Many records of Croatians who served under the Habsburg Empire (Austria-Hungary) up until 1918 may be found at the War Archives in Austria.

Australian Immigration records, searchable online.

Social Security records will hold valuable information for your genealogy research, including birthplace of the applicant and names of the applicant's parents. A copy of the application may be purchased from the US Government.

Saint Louis Naturalization Index.

SW Pennsylvania had a huge influx of Croatian immigrants at the turn of the 20th century. These people settled in many mining and mill towns in that area. One such area was Cambria County, about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh. This excellent web page gives you access to the Cambria County courthouse records, cemetery transcriptions and obits.

The LDS Family Search gives you access to over 2,000 microfilm parish records from Croatia. To determine if they have records for your ancestral village or town you can search at this site. These records can be ordered and rented through a FHC near you!

To locate a Family History Center near you, search at this link. By the way, most folks using the FHC are non-Mormons. What a great service!

US Immigration and Naturalization Service Index of Library Collections and Services.

Looking for your ancestors' "citizenship papers" (known as Declaration of Intent)? This link has information on where to find those papers for each US state.

This link gives you "how-to" information for locating family records in Croatia.

Need to find a name, address or phone number? Or do you need to correspond with a church? If they have a phone, you will most likely find them in the online Croatia phone book.

Veli Losinj -- a compilation of Indexes of Vital Records from Veli Losinj (Lussingrande), 1774-1918, by Barbara J. Starkey.

Other ethnic groups in Croatia

Jews first came to Croatia from Spain, seeking protection from the Inquisition. You can link to Croatian-Jewish genealogy at this web page.

Germans have lived in Croatia for several hundred years and are known as Donauschwabians.

Ruthenians (aka Rusyn, Carpatho-Rusyn) have lived in Croatia since 1740.

Many groups of people have settled in Croatia assimilating with the local population. The Morlachs, Vlachs or Vlaci is one such group. Some Croatian surnames belie a Vlaci heritage.

On the beautiful Istrian peninsula there is a group known as Istro-Romanians. They are listed as a group which is threatened by extinction.

The invasion of Croatia and neighboring lands by the Ottoman Turks created mass migrations of people. One such group is the Arbanasi, who fled from the area of Albania. They settled mainly in the Adriatic port city of Zadar, where their descendents live today.

Phone Directories On-line

Croatia on-line phone directory. Just enter the surname, regardless of keyboard style. You can search by zupanija (county) or for "The Entire Croatia".

Worldwide Phone Directory. An index of phone books for 170 countries.

Bosnia phone directory. Many of our Croatian ancestors immigrated to the US from Bosnia.

Postal Code Directory

Croatia has postal codes much like our US Zip codes, and they must be included in any mailing address. A ZIP file of Postal Codes for Croatian towns and cities can be found at this web page.

Religions in Croatia

Catholic Church in Croatia.

Jewish community in Croatia.

Evangelical (Lutheran) Church in Croatia.

Many Hungarians belong to the Protestant Hungarian Reformed Church in Croatia.

The Greek Rite Catholic Church (not to be confused with the Orthodox Church) has a concentration of members in Zumberak as well as among the Ruthenians in Slavonia region. The center of the church is located at Krisevci.

Croatians in America

Croatian Roman Catholic parishes in the US and Canada.

St. Nicholas in Pittsburgh, PA, was the first Croatian Church in the US. This church is NOT in danger of demolition. However, the future remains uncertain for this now closed church.

St. Nicholas at Millvale, PA (near Pittsburgh), remains active and contains some dramatic paintings by Croatian Muralist Makso Vanka.

Cemetery inscriptions from the St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Cemetery in Pittsburgh, PA.

Tombstone transcriptions for Mononghela Cemetery in Braddock, PA.

St. Bonafice (Pittsburgh, PA) inscriptions can be found here, including many Croatian names.

Croatians settled in many Iron Range towns in Minnesota. One such town was Gilbert. You will find links to the Iron Range Research Center, which has genealogical records and also the 1920 census, which lists 22 Croatians.

Illinois Statewide Vital Records databases. Death Index (pre1916-1950) and Marriage Index (1763–1900).

Many Croatians settled in central Iowa, where they were employed as coal miners. Many surnames from Gorski Kotar are found among the tombstones at St. Mary Cemetery in Albia, Iowa. To find those tombstones, click on Census near the bottom of the page.

Tombstone inscriptions for Loretta/St. Peter Cemetery (part of Prince of Peace Parish) Devlin St., Arlington Heights, St. Clair Twp., Pittsburgh, PA.

In the days before insurance and social security, immigrants sought ways to ensure they would not burden their families in case of death. Fraternal societies performed this function along with being a way to maintain their culture and some contact with the homeland. The Croatian Fraternal Union of America was one such organization. They can also be a resource for records of your ancestors. The Croatian Catholic Union has merged in recent years with CFU.

Louisiana was among one of the first states settled by Croatians, where they are credited with the establishment of the oyster fishing business. Today in New Orleans and down river in the Mississippi delta region their descendants can still be found.

At the turn of the last century Croatians immigrated to wherever labor was needed. In Lewistown, Montana, many Croatians became stonemasons.

Professional Genealogical Research Services for Croatia
(Please note: When employing any genealogical service you should ask for references.)

Sanja and Fritz Frigan

Adam Eterovich

Dr. Nenad Vekaric' covers Dubrovnik, Konavle, Peljes"ac, Koloc"ep, Lopud, S"ipan and Lastovo.

Niko Kapetanic', a native of Konavle, has been researching Konavle genealogy for over 20 years.

Grant Karcich specializes in Istria (largest city: Rijeka) and the islands south of there.

Family Pages







MIKASEVIC' from Kapela, Bejlovar.

MISKIC' from Drenova, Brcko, Bosnia.

SEGULJA Family from Novi Vinodolski.

SPOLJAREVIC' from Kosturica.

SUBAT from Zlobin.

SUHOR from Dalmatia.

DOMINIKOVICH from Momici in Dalmatia.



MAZURANIC' family originates from Croatia (Dalmatian coastal region). Many have been traced to the village of Novi Vinodolski.

RADISICH, PECARICH, RULJANOVICH, MARDESICH, KOVACEVICH, ZUANICH, and STANOVICH (focus on Croatian settlement in Whatcom County, Washington State).

DEVCIC', DOSEN, PAVICIC' and TOMLJENOVIC' from Lukovo Sugarje, Croatia.




ORLOVAC Family from Bukovica (Banja Luka), Bosnia-Hercegovina.


There are numerous software programs available for constructing your family tree. This link will take you to the LDS web page, where you can download a FREE family tree program known as PAF.

Another very good family tree program is Legacy. There is a FREE version at the link below.

If you are looking for Croatian specialties you may want to check out "Heart of Croatia".

Is anyone looking for the same surname? Does anyone have information on your surname? A good way to find out is using search. Simply go to this link, type in the surname you are interested in followed by the word genealogy. You may find others looking for the surname!

Robert Jerin
Croatian Heritage Museum
Cleveland, Ohio, USA