Croatian Symbol/Hrvatski Greb: courtesy of

Tomislav Mikulic

Croatian Genealogy Newsletter

Issue No. 22, 2013                                                  

This issue presents two developments from 2012, a new genealogical conference and a maritime museum display. The display featured in this issue is on the Titanic and continues from the previous issue that focused on the survivors and deaths of Croats on the Titanic. This issue describes some of the Croats that were on the Titanic's rescue ship, the Carpathia. In addition two new books are described.

A new feature, a genealogical primer appears for the first time, located next to the list of books related to Croatian genealogy in English and Croatian. Additional book titles have also been posted to the book listings.

Click on a heading to view:

Past Issues     Books: within Croatia     in diaspora     Croatian Genealogy: Primer



First Croatian Genealogical Conference

This First Croatian Genealogical Conference was held on April 14, 2012 at The Latter-Day Saints church on 21 Kutnjacki Road in Zagreb. The conference was organized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the Croatian Genealogical Society "Paul Ritter Vitezovic." The conference was organized in order to exchange information and experiences in the field of genealogical research.  


Conference image Conference image Crkva Isusa Krista-Zagreb
The conference poster                     21 Kutnjacki Road, Zagreb

The lectures were largely devoted to research registries in Croatia. The conference features presentations from Mark Rimac, Sanja Frigan Ciuha,Marvin Thurn, Georgina Dufour, John Botica, Lidija Sambunjak and Nenad Vekaric. Frigan, Sambunjak, and Vekaric have a number of years been providing Croatian genealogical research for clients. Specifically, Rimac has been doing genealogy research in Dalmatia and Bosnia, in particular for Cetina and Livno, while Vekaric is well known for his documentation of families in the Konavle and Dubrovnik areas. Ivan Botica from the Old Church Slavonic Institute is familiar with Glagolitic registers while Marvin Thurn and Thurn does family history in Wiener Neustadt, Austria.




Svecenici i Župe na Podrucju Krcke Biskupoje od 1900. Godine do Danas
(Priests and Parishes of the Krk Diocese from 1900 to Today)

Svecenici i Župe na Podrucju Krcke Biskupoje od 1900. Godine do Danas (Priests and Parishes of the Krk Diocese from 1900 to Today) is a wonderful addition to the genealogical record. It contains the history of the clergy for the archdiocese of Krk and the former archdiocese of Osor covering the larger islands of Krk, Cres, and Lošinj and several of the smaller surrounding islands. Since parish baptismal, marriage, and death records often list the names of the officiating priest, then this book with its list of all the priests that are recorded for these northern Croatian islands, can be used to verify the registering clergyman.

Svecenici i Župe records biographical details of all the priests from 1900 to 2012 often accompanied with photographs of the individual clerics. Authored by Anton Bozanic, who has written books on Croatian immigrants from this region, this new work contributes to our understanding of Croatian genealogy and history.


Stanovništvo otoka Šolte do godine 1900
(The population of the island of Solta up to 1900)

Mladen Andreis newly released book (2011) entitled Stanovništvo otoka Šolte do godine 1900 (The population of the island of Solta up to 1900) is long overdue. Mladen's work covers the history, demographics and families from the island of Šolta located west of the island of Brac and south of the city of Split with a population of 1,675. The work covers over 900 pages within six chapters and several appendices and tables and details the population of the island. Special attention is given to the parish of St. Michael the Archangel.  



Chapter five (pages 164-260) focuses on historical demography of the island and coverage of population within the island and migration from neighboring islands and coastal cities, while at the end of the chapter appears a census of seven of Šolta's villages by clans. Chapter six (pages 260-428) outlines the various families in alphabetical order on Šolta with the begins and sometimes the demise of family lineages. The origins of Šolta's eight communities: Maslinica, Donje Selo, Srednje Selo, Grohote, Rogac, Necujam, Gornje Selo, and Stomorska are outlined. The chapter ends with a list of families of the nobility.

Though the book was completed in 1986, it is only now being published by the author through Opcina Šolta. Stanovništvo otoka Šolte do godine 1900 provides an important contribution to the study of families from Šolta. A much desired source for genealogists, historians, and anthropologists.



Croatian Crew on the Carpathia

On Sunday, April 14, 1912 the Carpathia was traveling from New York to Rijeka (at that time also known as Fiume), a port in what is today Croatia. Wireless operator Harold Cottam received the Titanic’s distress signal and immediately notified the captain, Arthur Henry Rostron, who had been resting in his cabin. The captain ordered the ship to sail at the full speed of 17 knots, towards the Titanic’s position about 60 miles away. Indeed, since the ship was working on steam, to ensure maximum speed he ordered that no hot water should be used for any reason so that maximum heat could be used to drive the engines.

At 4:10 AM the Carpathia arrived at the site of the sinking and began rescuing survivors. By 8:10 AM she picked up the last lifeboat with survivors and left the area at 8:50 heading for New York City where she arrived on April 18, 1912 at 9:25 PM. Of the 711 passengers and crew rescued by the Carpathia, six, including first class passenger William F. Hoyt, either died in a lifeboat during the night or on board the Carpathia the next morning, and were buried at sea.  


Carpathia's Crew
         Carpathia's Crew

Now the Carpathia had been on its regular route from New York City to the ports of Fiume (Rijeka) and Trieste loaded with returning Croats and Italians, when it receive the wireless distress call. I have not found a list of those passenger from the Carpathia when it went to rescue the Titanic survivors, nor a list of those passenger when the Carpathia rerouted back to New York with the survivors. What is known is that the Carpathia had previously docked at New York on March 31, 1912 with a passenger list that included several Croatians. Those that disembarked immediately before the Titanic sank included a few women and about 16 men from Crkvenica, others from Rijeka, Truakovac, Kapelica, Bukovac and Kompolje. One group of 5 was headed for Kansas City, while another couple of men were destined for Philadelphia and another for Fort Wayne, Indiana. For a list of these Croats who disembarked consult the next article below entitled Croatian Passengers on the Carpathia.

Although Carpathia was a Cunard Line ship with the port of registry in Liverpool, this English company employed 76 Croatians out of Carpathia's 240 crew members. The Cunard Line shipping company opened a regular passenger service from Rijeka to New York and return in 1903. Ships on that line transported emigrants from central Europe to the New World. According to data found in documents, the latter ship, the Carpathia, was launched from the Swan & Hunter ship yard in Newcastle, it was 165 metres long, 20 metres wide and had a capacity of 13,564 GRT. The average journey in one direction over the Atlantic lasted around 18-20 days.

That catastrophic night the Carpathia sailed into history on 11th April 1912 departing from the Port of New York and heading to Rijeka with 700 passengers. On the night of 15th April, the routine work activities were suddenly interrupted by a telegraph message from the Titanic giving the SOS signal. Captain Arthur Henry Rostron did what was expected of him in such a situation – he ordered a diversion from the regular route and sailed at full speed towards the signal source, some 58 miles away. The maximum boat speed was 15 knots per hour, but when they turned off the heating system in order to direct all of their energy towards the steam-engine, it even managed to reach 17.5 knots. The Carpathia reached the place of the accident one hour and 40 minutes after the ship had sunk, at 4.10 AM. The rescue of victims lasted for four hours.

On the night in which 1,459 passengers and crew disappeared forever, one of the Carpathia's crew members, was a 36 year old Omišalj native, Anton Kumbatovic. His story was passed on by his son Anton Kumbatovic-Bogumil who now lives in New York. Kumbatovic senior got a monthly salary and a bronze commemorative medal in recognition for his rescue of Titanic's passengers. Some of the medals have the sea god Netrun, the Carpathia and an iceberg engraved on them. Kumbatovic later worked in New York and occasionally returned to Omišalj where his family lived. After retiring he returned to Croatia one last time. While traveling by boat he suffered from pneumonia and after a few weeks he died in Omišalj on October 19, 1951.

Another Carpathia crew member who helped save Titanic victims was an 18 year old Rijeka citizen Giuseppe (Josip) Car, quickly joined his colleagues in the dramatic rescue of survivors to the safety of the deck and tried to keep them warm with blankets. At that time he had only been working little over a month on the Carpathia. He began his employment on March 7, 1912 in Liverpool and was registered as part of the crew list under the number 304. He was not the only Croat on the Carpathia; there were over 70 individuals (a quarter of the total crew) from Croatian coastal areas and from Istria. Car was a waiter and his salary amounted to three pounds. He and other crew members of the Carpathia managed to bring 712 people onto the deck from the floating lifeboats. That was when one of the unknown passengers placed his lifejacket in the waiter’s hands. As a reminder of that dramatic night, Car kept the lifejacket. Josip Car inadvertently made sure that Croatia today possesses one of only five life jackets from the Titanic. Car brought the life jacket to Rijeka and in 1938 gave it as a gift to the Rijeka Museum which kept it in storage though it was soon forgotten. A few years ago Slobodan Novakovic and his Swiss colleague Ginter Bablem, studying the Titanic tragedy located the life jacket at the museum, restored it and place it on exhibit in the Museum.


Croatians listed with Carpathia's crew by age and occupation:

Giacomo Battelic, 31 Fireman / Stoker
Giovanni Blascovic, 34 Fireman / Stoker
Antonio Buricic, 27 Fireman / Stoker
Miss Jozefine Candrlic, 28 Stewardess
Giuseppe Car, 18 Waiter
Giovanni Cersavanic, 35 Greaser
Matteo Chircosic, 27 Fireman / Stoker
Giuseppe Clapcic, 18 Bosuns Boy
Giovanni Claspcic, 31 2nd. Hungarian Cook
Domenico Cnapic, 33 Waiter
Marco Comandic, 29 Able Seaman
Matteo Cos, 26 Waiter
Giacomo Crognaz, 33 Waiter
Franc Danicic, 17 Waiter
Jozef Desanti 26, Waiter
Johan Devanic, 24, Timmer
Giovanni Elic 39, Able Seaman
Antonio Franclic, 27 Able Seaman
Matrino Francovic, 39 Fireman / Stoker
Matteo Fucak, 32 Greaser
Stanko Fuckeack, 27 Fireman / Stoker
Francesco Glinbic, 32 Waiter
Milan Javanovic, 28 Waiter
Matteo Kovacevic , 17 Waiter
Velko Kukac, 19 Waiter
Giovanni Kukina, 16 Waiter
Antonio Kumbotovic, 37 Able Seaman
Giovanni Limpic, 17 Waiter
Giovanni Ljubnic, 41, Fireman
Francesco Lubicic, 31 Greaser
Matteo Lubicic, 27 Fireman
Matteo Lubicic, 34 Fireman
Giovanni Lustovic, 33 Greaser
Liviati Matkovic, 16 Waiter
Mila Melgatic, 32 Fireman
Antonio Milotic, 19 Waiter
Jakomar Milotic,18 Waiter
Joseph Nacinovic, 26 Able Seaman
Matteo Nacinovic, 33 Greaser
Frank Novakovic, 20 Trimmer
Antonio Persic, 18 Waiter
Matteo Persic, 19 Waiter
Lodovico Persusic, 27 Waiter
Stephen Perusic, 24 Greaser
Giovanni Rakamaric, 20 Assistant Butcher
Ignazio Segn, 21 Assistant Interpreter
Carlo Serkulj, 18 Waiter
Francesco Slagiaric,19 Waiter
Miladin Smojver, 14 Waiter
Petar Sokaz , 33 Italian Interpreter
Steve Sparozic, 26 Able Seaman
Giuseppe Vretenar, , 18 Waiter
Antonio Zgaliardic, 27 Fireman / Stoker
Giovanni Zuliani, 24 Waiter
Giuseppe Zupisic, 19 Waiter
Marco Zustovic, 28 Greaser


  • Omišljanin Anton Kumbatovic saved the victims from the Titanic shipwrecks 1912-2012 in Krcki Kalendar 2012: 48-53.



Croatian Passengers on the Carpathia

The Carpathia, with its Titanic castaways on board, turned its bow in the opposite direction and sailed towards New York at 8:50 AM on April 15th, and arrived at the port after a three-day long journey. The ship’s interrupted journey to Rijeka resumed on 20th April at 4 PM. The Carpathia, now recognized for her heroic work reached the Port of Rijeka on May 6th and docked at Orlando Pier, known as Rudolf’s Pier during the time of Carpathia's trans-Atlantic voyages. The inhabitants of Rijeka came down to the pier to welcome the Carpathia and what followed is described by contemporaries as "ovations". The story continues today with a display in Rijeka's maritime museum. The Carpathia continued her trips to New York for the next couple of years, before her demise. In the First World War the Carpathia was used to transport military equipment and on July 17, 1918 she was hit by three torpedoes from a German submarine while off the west coast of Ireland. Similar to the Titanic, the Carpathia sank in two and half hours, but unlike the Titanic all the passengers and crew, except for five crew who were killed in the explosion of the torpedoes, survived.


Croatian Passengers by name, age, and residence who arrived
in New York City on the Carpathia, March 31, 1912:

Ursula Antonic, 44 Ogulin
Gliso Bogicevic, 28 Truakovac
Sofia Bogicevic, 30 Traukovac
Mate Brujac, 26 Crkvenica
Jerry Carmelich, 35 Fiume
Rade Celic, 25 Truakovac
Luka Car, 38 Crkvenica
Nikola Car, 19 Crkvenica
Simon Car, 16 Crkvenica
Josip Car, 39 Crkvenica
Ivan Car, 28 Crkvenica
Stanko Car, 18 Crkvenica
Kristina Crukovics, 19
Milos Derveryak, 31
Simone Fustich, 37 Portovec (Fiume)
Josipa Grubessi, 30
Spasoje Jelacic, 22 Bosnia
Regina Jezek, 22 Bukovac
Julia Jezek , 1 Bulovac
Vjekoslav Juric, 37
Luka Katric, 29 Crkvenica
Simon Kosrtencic, 26 Crkvenica
Mario Kovacs, 28 Lok
Andras Kovacs, 5 Lok
Victoria Kovacs, 2 Lok
Andras Kraincovic, Kompolje
Mrta Kuckrovic, 18 Kula
Mulan Ljubotina, 17
Ivan Matejcic, 44 Crkvenica
Simon Matejcic, 16 Crkvenica
Jakob Mihelcic, 17 Brahovica (Fiume)
Cecelia Mihaic, Dobugno
Mate Skiljan, 16
Luka Skomerca, 32 Crkvenica
Franjo Simac, 24
Magda Simovic, 16
Ivan Srancic, 29 Crkvenica
Roko Srancic, 30 Crkvenica
Anna Stdric, 18 Kjakovac
Josip Supukovic, 16
Josip Tibor
Josephina Varga, 11 Kjakovac
Andras Vicic, 17 Crkvenica
Martin Vicic, 31
Jula Vlasic, Kalje
Bara Zurkovic, 31 Kapelica


Carpathia in New York
         The Carpathia arriving in New York



Rijeka Museum Titanic Display

From April 13th of December 15th, 2012 the Museum of the Croatian Littoral (Pomorski i povijesni muzej Hrvatskog primorja ) in the port city of Rijeka, displayed a Titanic exhibit, including a collection of rare artifacts associated with the doomed oceanliner. The Titanic's rescue ship, the Carpathia, made regular trips between Rijeka and New York City. The Carpathia was part of the Cunard line that initiated the Rijeka to New York passage starting in 1903. From that year to the start of World War I, Rijeka was the main port of departure for immigrants from Austria-Hungary, which included not only Croats and Hungarians, but Slovaks, Italians, Ukrainians, and Bosnians. Many people remember the recognizable red chimneys with their black ribbons towards the top and a white dividing line between the black and the red part of the hull of the Cunard line. The ship that first travelled this route was the Aurania and this was followed by the Pannonia, the Slavonia, the Ultonia, the Carmania, the Franconia, the Ivernia, the Laconia, the Saxonia and the Carpathia. These ships were part of a trans-Atlantic boom in immigration to the United States, before the First World War. Between the years 1900 and 1914, almost 900,000 immigrants flooded into the U.S. annually for a combined record total of 12.9 million passengers, a record that has never been surpassed to this day.


Museum Display Titanic Lifevest
        Titanic Museum Display                  & Titanic Life vest

One of the main pieces on exhibit at the Rijeka museum's Titanic exhibit is a lifejacket saved by the waiter Josip Car. It is the only lifejacket from the Titanic located in Europe and is preserved in the Rijeka Maritime and Historical Museum. Other exhibits show a scale model of the Titanic and drawings depicting the Carpathia as it steamed to the rescue of Titanic's stranded lifeboats.


         Exterior of the Rijeka Museum

The museum building itself, used to house the civil administration in the city. It was used by D'Anunzio as his headquarters during the short-lived occupation of Rijeka by Italian patriots from 1919 to 1921, before Rijeka was transferred to Italy. After 1945 Rijeka became a part of Yugoslavia. The building now houses the Croatia's regional state archives.

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