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Lesson 6: Locating a village in Croatia

You know the name of the village and want to know where it's located in Croatia.

There are several things you can try:

1. If the village is large enough, you may be able to find some reference to it by using a search engine. One of the best search engines is Type in the name of the village like this: "+Village +Croatia" (without the quote marks). In other words, type in the name of the village, capitalizing it and putting a plus sign [+] in front of it, and then type in +Croatia. The plus signs mean that both words must be found. You can find all sorts of websites by this method from accommodations and tourist sites to farmers selling cheese to teenagers showing off their hometown. But, of course, the smaller the village, the less likely this method will work. And not all of these sites will tell you exactly where the village is located -- though you might email them and ask, if an email address is provided on the site. This is also a good way to tap into the social structure of the village. Everyone knows everyone in those towns. If you can email someone in the village, you are only one person away from your family (unless they all left or the remainder died out). If you find someone in the village by this method, it will usually be someone younger who can read English.

2. Go to Robert Jerin's links page and scroll down to the section called
Maps & place name locators. Try one of those links.

3. Ask on the various Croatian genealogy forums, which are perfect for this type of question. They can be found on Robert Jerin's links page. Scroll down to
Genealogy Message Forums.

4. Try this phone directory. What you are trying to do here is find any entry (phone number) -- it makes no difference who or what it is because what you really want to see is the map that comes along with the entry. But you have to have at least 2 letters in the top box. So type in the village name in the "Place/town" box, and then try one of the following in the top box: zupni, ured, crkva, posta, kato*. You are trying various names or parts of names for post offices, churches and offices. If that doesn't work, start trying the first 2 or 3 letters of common first names followed by an asterisk, such as pe*, iv*, ma*, ju*, dom*, nik*, etc. (The asterisk is a wild card meaning "anything that follows".) Also try changing the "Search type" box to "all word forms." Once you get a response back for that village, if the village name is underlined, you can click on that name and it will show you a small map of the village. But that map is almost useless; so then you must click on "show large map" to see a better map which still isn't much good but it's better than nothing. Take a screen shot of that map and see #6, below.

5. Try this postal code directory. If you can find the postal code for the village you can at least find out what county it's in by checking this county map (which also shows area codes). Here is a page that explains the correlation between area codes and postal codes.

6. Buy a good map of Croatia. Check the screen shot from #4 and the general county location from #5 against the map. Here's a place in Zagreb that sells maps: (the maps for Croatia are at the bottom of the page; the best ratio is 1:250,000) Most businesses in Croatia can accept personal checks from the States made out in US$.

7. Go to your local library and check a good atlas.