How the Croatian alphabet
Stanovnis"tvo Konavala, Vols. 1 (1998) and 2 (1999), Niko Kapetanic' and Nenad Vekaric'.
The text is in Croatian except for English captions and a 7-page summary in English at the end of volume 2. The title is translated as "The Population of Konavle." The time-period covered is from the 1400s to 1918 for surnames, but up to the 1990s for population and recent war statistics. Both books are softbound. Cover of Vol. 1 -- Cover of Vol. 2.
Volume 1: 398 pages; 21 photos, some in 4-color; 50 color graphs; 143 tables; 3 maps. Graphs, tables and maps are captioned in English. No index; indexes for both books are in volume 2.
Volume 2: 440 pages; 52, 4-color photos, mostly of villages; 11 maps; 44 tables; 8 color graphs; 88 color charts showing surname history as indicated in old documents, per village. Graphs, tables and maps are captioned in English. Appendix A: Archive sources (29 listed). Appendix B: Matic"ne Knjige sources (most parishes from Peljes"ac peninsula to Konavle). Appendix C: Manuscript sources (4 listed). Appendix D: Archive abbreviations (as used throughout the 2 books). Bibliography: 26 pages; Summary in English, 7 pages; Index of place-names (for both volumes), 13 pages; Index of surnames (for both volumes), 32 pages.
(See below for examples of graphs, photos, tables, maps, and surname history charts.)
Dr. Vekaric', a demographer by training, along with his colleage, Niko Kapetanic', has digested and presented a huge amount of data here (see partial list, below), much of which is useable by family historians and genealogists, even those who can't read Croatian.
It must surely seem strange for a book to be reviewed by a person who can't read its language, but these books are light on text and heavy on charts, graphs, maps and tables that are fairly easy to decipher. And, of course, the surnames and village names can easily be read. Volume 1 has 195 pages of Croatian text out of 398, and volume 2 has only 31 pages out of 440. Especially helpful are the English captions for the tables and graphs, and the exhaustive indexes which list all occurances of surnames and villages. These books are invaluable to genealogists and anyone writing a family history, studying Croatian emigration or wanting to know about the population history and demographics of the area.
For genealogists to better understand the scope of these books, let's study an example. Say you are interested in the Kukuljica family of Konavle. The index shows 11 references to Kukuljica in volume 1, and 8 references in volume 2. The first reference in volume 1 is in the middle of Croatian text but it's not hard to see that it says something about the Kukuljica family starting out in the village of Mikulic'i and moving eventually to Ploc"ice, Komaji, Cavtat and Dubrovnik. No exact dates are given but just that information alone is useful and can lead to more investigation.
The 2nd reference is the census of 1673. It shows one Kukuljica family living in Ploc"ice, none in Mikulic'i, and none elsewhere in Konavle.
Another reference shows Kukuljica moving from Ploc"ice to Mihanic'i in 1680, and from Ploc"ice to Komaji in 1710. And another shows a Kukuljica in Komaji as being one of the few peasants to have the right to vote in the first elections of 1848. And that doesn't include anything in volume 2 where most of the good stuff is. This is all important information for someone writing a family history.
Most of the references show sources which can be looked up in the Archives or in church records. What you can't translate on your own, you can hire someone to do. The point is, there's lots of useful information in these books that would be very difficult, if not impossible, to find otherwise. Using this information as a departure point, a general history of a family or surname can eventually be developed.
The only downside to these books is the binding. An inferior type of paperback binding was used, which results in pages falling out -- not good for a reference book, which should be built to last.
These books are rather expensive because they are printed in 4-color and in small quantity. And shipping to the States, especially by airmail, costs a lot. They can be purchased from Books Trade & Services Ltd. Details for this company are at the top of this webpage.
They can also be purchased in Dubrovnik at the Algebra Bookstore on the main street in Old Town, and at the enthnographic museum in C"ilipi which is only open on Sundays during the folk dance demonstrations. If you must buy one instead of both, buy volume 2.
Examples of Tables (titles); 143 total:
Examples of Maps (title); total 3:
Examples of Graphs (titles); 50 total:
Examples of photos; total 52:
Examples of Maps (titles); total 11:
Examples of Graphs; total 8:
Charts showing surname history (per village) as indicated by surname appearance in old documents; total 88: