How the Croatian alphabet
Lesson 2: Finding the church
Here are 3 reasons to find the local church of your ancestors:
1. To locate the proper LDS microfilms of church records.
2. To write to the church for information.
3. To someday visit the church.
As #1 above implies, it's not always necessary to contact the church to see copies of the records. In fact, the vast majority of people researching Croatian genealogy today use the LDS microfilms.
The LDS church has microfilmed all the Matic"ne Knjige located in the State Archives throughout Croatia. The name of the church (actually, the village it's located in) is required to locate the proper microfilm. These rolls are then ordered through the nearest LDS Family History Center and viewed there (every large town in the States has an LDS Family History Center). So if you are happy with the results of the LDS microfilm there is no need to contact the local church.
Note that these LDS microfilms are of Matic"ne Knjige that are themselves copies. The local church still has the original Matic"ne Knjige and Stanja Dus"a (if they have not been destroyed or lost).
See here for an explanation of church records in Croatia.
Finding the church if the home village is known
Most Catholic churches in Croatia are located in small towns. They serve that town and several outlying villages. In most cases, you will first locate the home village of your ancestor(s) and then find the church that serves that village. Here are some ways of finding the church once the home village is known:
1. The LDS Family History Centers have a list of churches in Croatia. This list corresponds with their microfilm series. If you are lucky, your ancestor's home village is the one with the church (about a 15-20% chance).
2. See here for how to find churches using the Croatian postal code directory if the home village is known. Also see more explanation below.
3. See here for how to find church addresses using the Croatian on-line phone directory.
4. Churches in Konavle (southern-most Croatia) can be found here.
5. Ask on the various on-line Croatian forums (see links).
Finding the church using the Croatian on-line postal code directory
Once you know the name of the home village, you can:
The 3rd point above is very important. They do all know each other and, in fact, are not very far apart. For example, within the small region of Konavle in southern Croatia (25 miles by 8 miles) there are 8 church districts (see here). All of the priests of these churches know each other very well and communicate often. If your surname is not in one parish, ask the priest to ask around. Often he will ask around even if you don't ask him to. The point here is that once you find the general area, it is not that difficult to find the right church: just write to one of the churches and ask. Here is information on how to write to the church.