A Message From the President

Al Peterlin

Rarely has the “Title” of a conference - a Family History gathering - provided such an accurate picture of reality. Today, I stand here, in the beautiful homeland of my grandfather and grandmother- talking to a group of people from villages and cities, nearby and distant places, and all connected, in one way or another, to this tiny, but mighty, free republic of Slovenia. Over the centuries, Slovenia has walked a tortuous pathway to liberty - with every right and privilege - bought and paid for by the sacrifice of her people. And what a wonderful people they are.

For many of us from the American continents, North and South, as well as Australia, and indeed, many other nations, Slovenia, truly, has been a motherland offering her children as prophets and settlers, miners and farmers, merchants and politicians. People knowing hardship, but, people strong enough to suffer through adversity and still thrive. "Of course” the ultimate reward of “parenthood” is the survival of your children, those who remain home and those who wander farther than a 10th brother

So we are here today to say, “Thank you.” for our place in history. We are here to seek our roots by discussing ancestry, heritage, and history ... and .... seeking companionship. Our desire is to review the historical documents of those who came before us, and for many of us, to reunite ourselves with the continuous line of descendancy that has been neglected for nearly a century because our immigrant parents or grandparents were too busy building lives to share the story of their generation with us.

Simply, we are here from new homelands to learn of our ancestral homeland. History is, in fact, being rewritten as we talk. And that, by professional historians, some of whom we will be privileged to hear from in this conference.

But, make no mistake, genealogy is family history, and it is now the subject of interest to every one of us, young and old, trained and untrained. We feel it is a privilege and a duty that as we support amateurs studying history, heritage and our common social and political environment, we, at the same time, share and support some of the requirements of “science” in the pursuit of accuracy and thorough documentation.

We genealogists should never remove the fun from our interest. There is almost no joy as deep and fulfilling as finding a connection with the past, but we must never provide blind pathways or mislead future generations. With a few simple guidelines, with a few preferred practices, and with some interaction with knowledgeable experts, we can document our finds, our links, and families and defend the conclusions we draw.

So, today we begin a 3 day visit with people from several lands, all connected to this wonderful Slovenian nation sitting as a pathway between cultures, religion, and mighty nations. It is fitting that we find a bridge here in our homeland's city of bridges, and strengthen it, and walk over it with pride. And, this is our chance to speak and to listen, a chance to visit the archives and study the documents of past generations.

To those of you from nearby cities, look around at your homeland. See with fresh eyes what those of us new to Slovenia will see. Sometimes the mists of yesterday and today keep us from seeing how wonderful those around us are. To all of you from distant places, please visit the local communities nearby and distant, visit the churches and the cemeteries, and watch and talk to the people you see.

They are us.


The SGSI was founded by Albert Peterlin in 1986. The purpose of the Slovenian Genealogy Society (International) is three fold:

To bring together individuals of Slovenian heritage (or interest) in order to share genealogy information and experiences.

To provide a forum to facilitate the discovery and exchange of this information.

To provide a convenient repository of information and the means to make it available to all members.

The Society has been a pioneer in providing information on the web from donations by members and non members alike. We have translated issues of Novi Svet and other books written in the Slovene language and have also indexed many books and made them available to researchers through the Internet. The Society has a collegial relationship with the Federation of Eastern European Family History Societies (FEEFHS), which has provided web space to upload these translated and indexed documents. The FEEFHS webmaster is John Movius. Many of our hyperlinks will direct you to FEEFHS sites on the web. The SGS(I) is a working member of FEEFHS.

The Society is a non-profit educational organization that collects and distributes information on Slovenian Family History. A goal of the SGS(I) is to help members make use of available information on their own research.