Croatian Symbol/Hrvatski Greb: courtesy of

Tomislav Mikulic

Croatian Genealogy Newsletter

Issue No. 20, 2011                                                  

This issue commemorates the life of Branko Franolic and describes the Croatian Genealogocial Society (Hrvatsko Rodoslovno Drustvo) listing some of the Society's events during the past three years. Two recent books are also described.

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Past Issues     Bibliographies: Within Croatia     External     Primer    

Croatian Genealogical Society (Hrvatsko Rodoslovno Drustvo) Meetings for 2009 to 2011

Hrvatsko rodoslovno društvo "Pavao Ritter Vitezovic" or the Croatian Genealogical Society is a national Croatian genealogical organization headquartered in Zagreb. Named after a seventeenth century historian, the Society was founded in June of 2005 with Peter Strcic as president. The Society was formed to encourage and support genealogical research and to educate researchers by the exchange of information on genealogical issue, archival administration, and information technology.

The Society's emblem is a shield-shaped with stylized elements of the Croatian coat of arms and part of Pavao Vitezovic's seal of a stylized hand knights in armor with a sword. Paul Ritter Vitezovic (Senj, 1652 - Vienna, 1713) was born to a Alsatian father and a mother from the Luckinica family. He is remembered as a historian, lexicographers and poet, Educated at Senj, Croatia and Rome, Vitezovic acquired the art of printing using the letterpress. He was present at the Turkish siege of Vienna in 1683 and later became Vice Prefect for Lika County in the Austrian parliament.

Rodoslovlje drustvo crest

Vitezovic became a printer of some reknown in Zagreb. In 1696 he published his book .... "Chronicles complain world the only memorial viekov" and in 1700 "Croatia rediviva" ("revived Croatia"). His paper "Stemmatographia" on Croatian heraldry can be called the start of Croatian genealogy. Later he published a Croatian-Latin dictionary. Paul Ritter Vitezovic died in Vienna in 1713.

The Croatian Genealogical Society holds regular meetings. Below is a list of some of those meetings from 2009 to 2011:


The Society will hold a meeting on December 21, 2011 at the Croatian State Archives, Marulic square 21 in the hall" Classroom 1. " Zelimir Mateljan will present genealogical program "My Heritage" - and show its benefits and features.

On November 23, 2011 in the Croatian State Archives, Marulic square 21 in the hall "Classroom 1." Dr. Vladimir Tkalcic Medicine will present genealogical program GenoPro - and show its benefits and features. The program is in Croatian. Also announces a meeting of the next issue: An interview with a member of our PhD Ivan Juric about his new book "The Origin of Croats - genetic evidence autochthony."

On Tuesday, November 18, 2011 we will have a book promotion by university professor and Society member Ivan Juric on his Origin of Croats - genetic evidence of autochthony.

On Tuesday, 8 November 2011 there will be a lecture on the National identity in the flag of the Political parties in Croatia by Željko Heimer. This paper comparatively analyzes the identity symbols used by political parties in Croatia, their relationship with national symbols and their legibility within the European political visual language. The parties of different ideologies and interests of selected flags and symbols on them, based on the tricolor, and the interweaving of the chessboard, the elements of regional and local identities, European and global political symbols and other symbols in relation to the European classification of basic political orientations are described. The analysis includes colors, symbols, labels and other vexillologic elements in more than 50 flags recorded on the Croatian political scene in the last 20 years. For further details see, The Flags and Arms of the Modern Era ( and Hrvatsko grboslovno i zastavoslovno društvo (Croatian Heraldic & Vexillologic Association at

On October 26, 2011 Knjižari Matice Hrvatske invites you to the presentation and discussion of the new book "Croatian identity" (Hrvatski identitet) at Knjižari Matice hrvatske, Matice hrvatske Street 2, Zagreb with Bozo Skoko, Stephen Damjanovic, Sanja Nikcevic, Willard Lukic Croatian identity of a new book published by Matica bringing eighteen works by Croatian authors that speaks about various aspects of national identity - from its definition, crises and to promote the preservation and redefinition when entering the EU. It is the most comprehensive work of its kind published in the the independence of Croatia, and the author's reflections of Croatian identity. Editors editions are Willard and Lukic Bozo and the authors are: Joseph Bratulic, Slaven Letica, Ljubomir Antic, Bozo Skoko, Tonci Matulic, Ranko Matasovic, Mladen Klemencic Davorin Rudolf, George Vujic, Anthony Stamac, Sadness Tarle, Sanja Nikcevic, Frano Prcela, John Markesic, Tomislav Sola, Vladimir Peter Goss, Fedja Vukic and Nicholas Albaneže. The book is a collection of papers from a scientific conference dedicated to Croatian identity held in Zagreb in May 2009.

On October 18, 2011 in the press center Perkovceva 2 will be have a book promotion by Ivan Juric "The Origin of Croats - genetic evidence indigenousness" (Podrijetlo Hrvata - geneticki dokazi autohtonosti)

A lecture will be held on October 13, 2011 featuring Dr. Stephen D. Reason speaking on the "Sources for the study of genealogy in the Archdiocesan Archives in Zagreb"

On October 2, 2011 we announce the death of one of our members, Bartol Orišak after a severe illness. The funeral took place on Monday, 3 October, 2011 in his hometown Dragoslavcima in Slavonia.

On September 28, 2011 we will have a members meeting on getting to know members and their genealogy activities and to exchange genealogical information. A roundtable was held in June 2011 in the Archives and members of the Society have expressed the need for such meetings, and details will be discussed.

On September 16, 2011 at the Family History Center at Kutnjacki in Zagreb (Church of Jesus Christ on the last day Saints - the Mormon Church) we will hold a workshop on indexing registers as part of the indexing Croatian records, which are available on the web site We invite all interested parties who want to learn to come.

On June 9, 2011 everyone is invited to the Round Table on "Registers and personal status of citizens" to mark International Archives Day of the Croatian State Archives. The roundtable participants are Natasha Bramberger, Head of Department for Administrative and Legal Affairs of the City Department of General Administration of the City of Zagreb, Joseph Špacir, head of business archives in the City office for general administration of the City of Zagreb, and Boris Suljagic, archivist at the Croatian State Archives.

On April 5, 2011 all are invited to the discussions by Society member Drago Hmelin on the topic: "Gacka, Lika and Krbava before the Turkish conquest".

A One-Family workshop will be organized this spring February 25, 2011 at the Mormon church in Zagreb. The workshop is intended primarily for beginners and those who want additional genealogical support. Questions covered at the workshop will answer: Where can you find records of their Croatian ancestors? How can you raise your genealogy? How to do your genealogy, using a computer? What can you learn from your genealogy? Whether your ancestors were kings, queens, or horse thieves? Why is genealogy so important?


On December 16th, 2010 we will have a lecture by molecular biologist Marin Languages, an assistant at the Botanical Institute of Science at the Mathematics Faculty in Zagreb on "Biology of the blue blood - less known side of history."

On November 18th, 2010 part of our discussions will be by our member Zelimir Mateljan, on the topic "As I was researching family history."

We invite you to a lecture on October 14, 2010 at the small reading room of the Croatian State Archives at Marulic Square 21 for a discussion by our members Dunja Linaric and Zdravko Linaric on the topic "The experience of working on family genealogy" (Iskustva iz rada na obiteljskom rodoslovu - kad tragovi vode širom Europe).

October 6, 2010 will feature Robert Jerin, an American of Croatian descent from Cleveland leading a group visit to the National Archives to research the following surnames: Frkovic from Fužine; Pecaric (Pekaric) from Belo Selo Gorski Kotar; Viher, Benkovic, and Furjanic from Vividina Ozalj; Mikan, Bekelja from Vivodina Ozalj; Kralj, Stepic from Mahicno, Tuškani, Recica ( okolica Karlovca); Hrabric from Baška Krk; Jazvec from Ivanec; Rogina from Jelekovac.

All are invited to a lecture on May 6, 2010 in the small reading room of the Croatian State Archives, Marulic Square 21 to listen to Zdenko Suzak on "How and why I started doing genealogy." The lecture will be followed by general questions and answers. On May 20, 2010 we will feature Marin Ježic speaking about "The evolution of man - from African Australopithecus to modern man"

On April 19, 2010 Željko Heimer will present the book entitled Grbovi i zastave grada Zagreba (Flags of the town of Zagreb) at the Zagreb Classical High School. Heimer was born on April 23, 1971 in Zagreb graduating with a Master's in 2005 from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Zagreb. Since 1999 he has been an active officer in the Croatian Armed Forces (CAF), currently with the rank of captain of information technologies. He participates in several projects of the visual identity of the CAF. Since 2007 he has undertaken postgraduate study in sociology and he deals with issues of identity in army flags and military markings. Since 1995 he has been a member of the International Association of Flags of the World (FOTW). He has published several articles in international vexillologic journals. He has participated in international conferences in York (2001), Stockholm (2003), Buenos Aires (2005), Berlin (2007) and Yokohama (2009). After his first monograph The coat of arms and flag of the Croatian in 2008 he wrote The flags in the city of Zagreb. The book describes the history of the foundations of urban identity through the centuries.

We invite you to another gathering this year as part of our panel discussions on April 27, 2010 in the facilities of Zagreb's Classical Gymnasium, Preradoviceva 44, 1 floor. The lecture will be on the "Red or white - right or wrong?" by Mario Jareb Senior Research Associate at the Croatian Institute for History. Dr. Mario Jareb has recently published a monograph entitled The Croatian national symbols in which brings new insights on the origin and development of the Croatian national symbols, especially the Croatian Coat of Arms and Croatian flags. It touches on the still ongoing debate on the chequred coloured Croatian coat of arms, especially the stereotype of the "Ustasha" character with an initial coat white field. The center of this presentation will be discuss the problem of initial color fields for the checkered Croatian coat of arms.

We invite you to a lecture on April 15, 2010 to hear the discussion of professor Nicholas Debelic on "Dr. Blaž Lorkovic (1839 to 1892) - genealogy work and the founder of Croatian political economy." --- We invite you to a lecture on April 8, 2010 by Prof. Đuro Deželic speaking on "Dr. Velimir Deželic senior (1874- -1941) - genealogy of ancestors and descendants".

We invite you to a lecture on March 25, 2010 at the reading room of the Croatian State Archives on Marulic Square 21 for a discussion by prof. Darko Žubrinic on the theme "The Croatian Glagolitic heritage."

On March 11, 2010 we feature our forum by Vladimir Geiger on "The immigration of Germans and other nationalities in Croatia in the 18th and 19th centuries."

We invite you to a lecture on February 18, 2010 as part of our discussions by Dr. Berislav Šebecic on "The mining industry and mining enterprises in Croatia for centuries."

We invite you to a lecture on February 4, 2010 in the small hall of the Croatian State Archives Marulic Square 21 (near the Botanical Gardens) to be held by M. Edith Budin on the "Metropolitan Library of the Zagreb Archdiocese."

On Saturday the 23rd of January 2010 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will feature Steve Rockwood, head of the main support of the Department of Family and Church History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) and a one-hour lecture on the subject of its activity in the Church, a global network of multi-lingual telephone support and training of family consultants and centers for family history and genealogy and users in the field. The session will discuss - Telephone support around the world (more than 90 countries), support of volunteers over the Internet or the phone to people all over the world, a new way to support people interested in genealogy and family history, the benefits of the new Web site, and plans to create a global community for genealogy research with the aim of answering specific questions related to genealogy research from experts around the world. Steve Rockwood lives in Arvada, Colorado, United States, with his wife and four sons. Two years ago he joined the Department of Family and Church History, where he was worked for more than 15 years in the industry of telephone contact centers for several major U.S. companies, including Sears, Equifax, Disney, Levi's, Citibank and AT & T. One of the founders of the company Alpine Access, the company for telephone contact with headquarters in Golden, Colorado, which currently employs more than 2,500 agents who work from their own homes. He graduated from Brigham Young University and earned an MBA degree from the University of Colorado.

We invite you to the first lecture of the year on the January 21, 2010 in a small reading room Croatian State Archives, Marulic Square 21 (near the Botanical Gardens) for a discussion with professor Mario Bar on "Internal colonization in Croatia between two World Wars."


We invite you to a lecture on November 26, 2009 at the small hall of the Croatian State Archives, Marulic Square 21 (near the Botanical Gardens) held by PhD Professor John Juric on "Genetic origins of the Croats."

On October 15, 2009th you are invited to attend the "Freivogel Family Chronicle - German immigration to Croatia."

On September 30, 2009 on the first channel of Croatian Radio, a popular TV show "Tales below Medvednica Ivancice" will be devoted to research family genealogy by Mladen Paver and Gordana Gledec.

Remembering Branko Franolic (1925-2011)

Branko Franolic died in London, England on January 11, 2011 at the age of 86. He promoted Croatian literary history when it was not desirable during the Yugoslav administration and was destined to live out most of his life away from Croatia as a result. I met Branko when he spent a brief summer in Toronto teaching at York University. He inspired me to look more in depth into the history of Glagolitic publishing.

Born in Fiume, Italy, now Rijeka, Croatia on the 2nd of July 1925, Franolic remembered the city and the short-lived Ustash administration during World War II, which with the assistance of the Italians took control of the suburbs of Rijeka and the remainder of Croatia. At that time, Italy controlled Istria, Rijeka and Zadar forcing a strict Italianization of the Croatian surnames. To the last years of his life Franolic kept his Italian passport of that era with his name rendered in Italian. He also never forgot that listening Croatian radio programs or speaking Croatian in public was an offence punished by prison or physical intimidation.

Later Franolic's family moved to Zagreb. As a non-conformist he did not fit well with the Fascist ideology of the Ustash administration that took over Croatia and parts of Bosnia during the Italian and German occupation of Yugoslavia during World War II. Because of his views he was briefly imprisoned in Zagreb's Savka Cesta jail where he recalled hearing the Partisan prisoners being taken out for execution. Never formally charged he was released from prison. The academic conditions at Zagreb University were not much better in the succeeding Communist administration following the war, since students were forced to toe the party line and the study of western civilization was frowned upon. He studied English, French, Italian and Slavic literature at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb to 1952. Franolic's father advised him to “get out while you can."

Branko Franolic

Obtaining a scholarship at the International Exchange Council Harlech College in Wales Franolic moved to Britain. That year he sought political asylum in Britain but instead went to to France. There Franolic studied English and American history graduating in 1958th and moving to Paris. He continued to study French and general linguistics at the postgraduate school, the Ecole pratique des Hautes Etudes at the Sorbonne. His 1977 defense of his doctoral dissertation at the Sorbonne in Paris was entitled Les mots d'emprunt français en croate (Words of French origin in Croatian). He remained in France for sixteen years lecturing at the University of René Descartes at Sorbonne. He returned to England and taught French language and literature at Beverley College, New Malden, Surrey and later Franolic taught French linguistics and Croatian language at Atkinson College, York University in Toronto, Canada.

His early years shaped his political ideology and Franolic drawn to the Peasants Party which dominated Croatian politics during the pre-War years. He maintained a a friendship with Juraj Krnjevic, the party's London-based leader. Thought not a Communist, Franolic nevertheless had sympathies to some of the League of Communists more rational members like Veceslav Holjevac, the post-war mayor of Zagreb.

Franolic's greatest contribution was to the study of the Croatian language and Croatian culture. He eagerly examined the development of Croatian via Glagolitic history and the Romance languages of Dalmatia. One of his best-known books on the subject is A Short History of Literary Croatian. He also examined little known topics such as the 16th century Croatian literature of Croatian Protestants exiled in Germany.

Franolic contributed a dozen valuable linguistic books in Croatian, French and English, and a large number of professional and scientific papers in relevant periodicals.

Franolic valued the importance of collecting data about achievements of Croatian culture, and donating books to libraries around the world, including the British Library in London. He was greatly influential in disseminate information dealing with Croatia's past. The author's interest in collecting books on Croatian history started with a visit with Franolic when he was a visiting scholar at York University in Toronto.

Franolic helped to establish departments on the Croatian language and its history in great libraries and scientific institutions in London. He took part in approximately thirty radio broadcasts on BBC radio centering on British-Croatian cultural relations. He also lectured on Croatian themes at several universities and scientific institutions in North America. In 1996 together with the Croatian Information Centre, Franolic published the first volume of a comprehensive bibliography entitled, Books on Croatia and Croatians recorded in the British Library

He became a member of the Croatian Academy of Science and Art in 1994. In 1996, the Croatian oil company INA gave him an awarded him for his work on the Croatian language. Later in life, he spent time on the island of Hvar and Dubrovnik. He is survived by his widow, Betty and their two children.

Some of the books by Branko Franolic include:

A short history of literary Croatian, NEL, Paris, 1980.

A bibliography of Croatian dictionaries, Nouvelles editions latines, Paris, 1985.

Croatian Glagolitic printed texts recorded in The British Library General Catalogue, Croatian information centre, London (Zagreb - London - New York - Toronto - Sidney), 1994, ISBN 953-6058-04-9

Books on Croatia and Croatians: recorded in the British Library General Catalogue, Vol 1, Zagreb, London, New York, Toronto, Sidney, Croatian Information Center, 1996,

A survey of Croatian bibliographies, compiled by Branko Franolic, Croatian Information Centre (Zagreb, London, New York, Toronto, Sydney), 2004, ISBN 953-6058-30-8

A Historical Outline of Literary Croatian; Mateo Žagar: The Glagolitic Heritage of Croatian Culture, Erasmus Publisher, Croatian Students and Young Professionals Network, Zagreb - London, 2008, ISBN 978-953-6132-80-5

Filip Vezdin's Contribution to Indic Studies in Europe at the Turn of the 18th Century. Paris: Nouvelles Editions Latines, 1991. 22p.

Italian translation of the monograph by Dr. Branko Franolic about Filip Vezdin was promoted in the City Council of Velletri ("Paolino di San Bartolomeo, pioniere dell'indologia nell'Europa di fine Settecento", translated from the English original by Dr Luca Leoni).

Works of Croatian Latinists" - Recorded in the British Library General Catalogue, Zagreb; London; New York; Toronto; Sydney: Croatian Information Centre 1997, ISBN 953-6058-26-X

A Survey of Croatian Bibliographies 1960-2003, 2004

La nostra storia sulle pietre Cemetery Listings for Mali and Veli Lošinj, Croatia

The Communita di Lussinpiccolo has published a transcription of the Italian cemetery markers entitled, La nostra storia sulle pietre: sepolture italiane nei Cimiteri di Lussinpiccolo e di Lussingrande. It consists of a 163 page listing of grave markers in for the 1200 plus graves in Saint Martin's Cemetery in Mali Lošinj and the much smaller cemetery in Veli Lošinj. It is well illustrated with photographs of many of the grave markers which makes for a fine comparison with the transcription. A set of maps are provided with the text to pinpoint each listing's location.

Meant to cover the grave text only written in Italian, the book does not cover the multitude of Croatian grave text, nor the small number of German language grave markers. Though it appears to cover all Italian graves, some such as part of the grave stones at the back of Saint Martin's chapel are not all listed in the text. Still, the book offers a fine transcription of the grave text. The transcriptions are the work of Antonio Pauletich of Istria who appears to be responsible for transcribing the grave markers over a number of years. The photographs were taken primarily by Guerino Sošic and Nelo Grbac. Pauletich has also transcribed the cemeteries on the island of Lošinj, but they have not been thus far published.

Nostra storia Cover

Grbovnik Gacke, Krbave, Like, Senja i Vinodola

Enver Ljubovic's book (2007) is entitled Grbovnik Gacke, Krbave, Like, Senja i Vinodola: Grbovi plemickih obitelji s opisom, podrijetlo, povijest, seobe i rasprostranjenost razlicitih rodova (prezimena) (Arms of Gacka, Krbava, Lika and Senj Vinodola: Coats of arms of noble families with a description, origin, history, migration and distribution of different surnames) describing the families and heraldry in these neighbouring regions in western Croatia.

Grbovnik Cover

The author outlines the detailed research into the coats of arms of noble families in Gacka, Krbava, Lika and Senj Vinodola and describes the origins, migration, distribution, and most of its prominent families. Nobility as a privileged class of the past, but it was an important social and political factors over a long period of our history. About 250 families with about 350 family coats of arms in color are illustrationed. Some of the coats of arms, as those for John Bojnicic, Heyer von Rosenfeld, and Korjenic-Neroriceva date back to 1595. Special attention is devoted the Bunjevcima , a people who now live in these areas, and who arrived here the 17th century from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and later resettled in Vojvodina, but now live in the Bunjevci Croatian regions.

Born in 1950 in Obrama -Kakanj, Bosnia, Enver Ljubovic for about 30 years has worked as a secondary school teacher of Latin and history. He is the author of six books and as string of journal articles on heraldry and genealogy. He lives in Senj with his family.

The book is in hardcover by Senjsko književno ognjište and is 432 pages in length.

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