How the Croatian alphabet
Finding the church (when the home village is known) by using the Croatian postal code directory
I had a friend in California who said his family was from a village called Gromac"a, near Dubrovnik. He wanted me to check his family's church records in the Dubrovnik Archive. But, just like with the LDS records, I had to know the village of the church to find the records. We were lucky in this case because he knew how to pronounce the village name but didn't know how to spell it, and I was able to guess correctly at the spelling.
First, I went to the on-line Croatian postal code directory:
Unfortunately in this search engine you must enter the proper Croatian letters. Unless you know how to enter them from your keyboard, the easiest way is to click on one of the areas under "towns within counties" along the right-hand side and copy the proper letter from the list of town names. In this case I copied the proper c (a capital letter in this case; it makes no difference), entered "gromaca" as shown below, and clicked "GO":
Sometimes with this database the first attempt doesn't work when you paste in letters. But the 2nd attempt has always worked for me.
The above picture shows that the post office for the village of Gromac"a is in Oras"ac, where the postal code is 20234. Then I entered the following and clicked "GO" again:
and got the 7 villages shown.
These are the 7 villages served by the Oras"ac post office (including Oras"ac itself) -- they all use the same postal code.
I then took this list with me to the Archive. The list of churches there showed records for Klis"evo and no others. In other words, of those 7 villages only one had a church with records in the Archive. The chances of the records for Gromac"a being in the Klis"evo books were pretty good, and indeed it turned out to be so. A person could follow this same procedure using the resources of the LDS church.
But if you want to write to that church and you look in the phone book for the address of a church in Klis"evo today, there is none listed. There is actually a church there and services are held there every Sunday but the priest now has his office in Trsteno (a nearby village) and the church office in Klis"evo has been closed. This type of consolidation has been going on all over Croatia lately, and there is no way for you to know about it ahead of time.
But there is a very simple solution: Write to the church anyway. Even if you write to a church in a village that has no church, your letter will get to the proper priest in the proper church if you address the envelope as shown below. Trust me!!
Here is the formula for the address:
Z"upni ured [which means parish office]
[postal code here] [village name here]
Croatia, Europe [and remember to always send it airmail]
You could write a letter to the priest using this template.