February 27, 2015

Casualties of WW1 in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy

By Ivan Ćurković   Posted on  Friday, February 27, 2015   WW1 casualty list No comments
No one needs to be reminded about the dangers of war. The first World War is proof of this fact. It is estimated that there were over 37 million casualties - over 16 million dead and another 20 million wounded.

Last year marked the 100 year anniversary of the Great War which broke out when the Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip, assasinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Hercegovina. Austria-Hungary as we knew it ceased to exist by the end of the War. Bosnia-Hercegovina would enter a new union with the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later to be known as Yugoslavia).

The War had a great impact on World events and naturally, with my family living within the borders of then Austria-Hungary, a number of my family members were called to serve in the Austro-Hungarian army.

One such relative was my great-grandfather, Ante Ćurković (1877-1918). Not much is known about his life. My grandfather was only six years old when his father passed away. He was said to be a good and likeable man who served in the Austro-Hungarian army somewhere in Galicia (the area roughly bordering southern Poland and western Ukraine). According to his death record, he was wounded in the War and died a short time after arriving home.

For the longest time I wondered about the man who died at the young age of 41. Who was he? What did he look like? Where did he go? Why? All these questions and more had me determined to learn more about the man whose surname I proudly carry today.

Thanks to RadixIndex I may now have a way to learn more about my great-grandfather. RadixIndex pointed me to a great website at the Digital State Library of Upper Austria that hosts digital volumes of a publication that was printed during the War called the Verlustliste, or simply the casualty list of all Austro-Hungarian army personnel wounded, killed or captured during the course of the War.

When glancing at the Verlustliste, it is mind boggling just thinking about the list of names. Thankfully, there is a neat search feature on the website that allows you to search through the OCR content. Be warned though, some of the names you look for may appear differently in the database. For example, if I am looking for "Županjac" (the name of today's Tomislavgrad during Austrian times) it may appear as Zupanjac, 2upanjac, Znpanjac, etc. This is where the search feature becomes your saving grace.

After some searching I think I may have stumbled on to my great-grandfather's record:

Čurković Ante, PatrfTitUntJäg., bh. FJB. Nr. 4, 3. Komp., Bosnien, Zupanjac, Konto, 1883; verw.

http://digi.landesbibliothek.at/viewer/resolver?urn=urn:nbn:at:AT-OOeLB-2479683

At first glance, the record does not seem to tell you much. The spelling of the name is a bit off as is his year of birth. It does mention which part of the army he belonged to (FJB = Feldjägerbataillon = rifle battalion) and it also notes that he was wounded (verw). "Konto" or Korita (proper) may be where the nearest recruiting centre was located. This particular piece of news was printed in Volume 656, p. 12 of the Verlustliste (dating back to March 5, 1918).

A good start for finding more info on my great-grandfather. Let's hope I can uncover more information and piece together enough to learn more about my family's history in the process!

January 7, 2015

Guess Who's Back?

By Ivan Ćurković   Posted on  Wednesday, January 07, 2015   Mijat Tomić 1 comment

Many years I ago I setup a website to help me share my family research with the world. Unfortunately, server issues combined with starting and raising my own family briefly took me away from one of my favourite hobbies - Croatian genealogy and family history research!

Today I am proud to say that I am back with a vengeance! Well, maybe not quite there yet. My website is still in the development stage but I figure I need to get the wheels in motion. If we wait for perfection then nothing will ever happen. I'm hoping that I develop some momentum with this brief first post.

You will notice that my page has a different look and feel now. I've moved away from WordPress (I still miss it) and have decided to give the Blogger platform a try.

The picture you see on this page is not a old Ćurković family member - it is the legendary 17th century hajduk, Mijat Tomić. A hajduk is a rebel who fights oppressors in the name of justice and for the defense of the common people. For this reason Mijat is often referred as the Croatian Robin Hood. He lived in the same neighbourhood as my father (Tomislavgrad, Bosnia-Hercegovina) and may even be connected to my family in someway (one of my direct ancestors was a Tomić from the same village of Brišnik). Although this website focuses primarily on the name I carry - hence the domain name - Mijat represents one of the more prominent historical figures in Tomislavgrad history. I've decided to use his image to brand my website. I'm sure you'll all agree that it's a great image!

At this point, I'm still not sure which direction to take this blog. I plan to take it slow and write as time and mood permits. I'll start by focusing on my namesake family ancestors. Eventually I may expand to other topics of interest, covering other areas of Bosnia, Hercegovina and Dalmatia. Appropriate considering that some folks actually consider the Buško Blato region as the intersecting point between these three regions.

The main purpose of my website is to connect with other Ćurković people across the world as a way to learn more about our interesting family histories. I encourage people to comment on my posts and will do my best to respond to every comment.

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