What started out as a school project in elementary school became a hobby and eventually an obsession. Much like many of you, we were asked to make a family tree as a school project in elementary school. At first, it was only that.
Years later, I remember meeting my grand aunt who lives in Pittsburgh and one of her cousins. There was always a loose discussion about our family but at the time, it was all very blurry and abstract of who was who and how they were related. At the time, I didn’t realize that they, along with another one of their cousins in Toronto, Canada had been doing the same family research. The greatest benefit they had was that they were much older and had the benefit of being a couple of generations ahead of us.
At the time, it was of some interest but nothing that went home with me when we left Pittsburgh. It wasn’t until years later when I decided to visit my grand aunt on my own that this would come to take my interest and never let go.
On October 5, 2003, I decided to take a little trip for my birthday to surprise my grand aunt and that’s when it all started. She told me stories of her parents, her grandparents, who they were, what type of people they were, stories of her experiences during the war. I was HOOKED! I had taken some notes but there were many discrepancies and rightfully so. My aunt at the time was 83 years old, her cousins no younger, and all the information they had compiled was from stories they were told either about the “old country” or what they could remember from their childhoods. Nonetheless, the OCD in me compelled me to find out the truth.
In about 2009, over some idle conversation, I realized that my cousin Marko had been dabbling in the same but nothing quite as serious as where we are now. We teamed up and what a union it has become. Two cousins, both with varying levels of OCD, one a technological geek, the other a linguistic genius somehow mirroring what 3 elder cousins had been doing for years as well.
In 2010, we started to unravel some of the mysteries that once existed. Last names that were indeed household names, household names that turned out to be last names. A short time after that, we finally brought peace to my aunt who had struggled for years to figure out what her own grandmother’s last name was and the explanation as to the misunderstanding.
We have grown and expanded our work vastly over the years now approaching 20,000 people in our family tree which spans 3 parishes, nearly 30 villages in a period of 300 years but we’re not stopping there. In addition to our genealogical studies, we have also taken on the study of the history of the people and the places they come from, basic cartography and even the function of the society they came from to better understand who WE are and how we came to be where we are.
For those of you who have interest in doing the same, please don’t hesitate to contact us. For those from the Bela Krajina region (White Carniola), follow along with our history page as we slowly start to unravel the history of that region of Slovenija.