Vrhnika Pri Ložu, an Old Postcard and Palčič Stories


Thanks to deepl.com, I am now able to translate blog posts from Stare Slike (old pictures), a blog featuring stories from the Lož Valley where somePalčič families lived. A recent post featured a postcard with images of Vrhnika Pri Ložu, and two references to stories involving a Palčič family (or families) living there:

Tudi Francozov se vrhniško izročilo spomni – ne le po tem, da so ukazali saditi osenice, pa da so gradili lepe mostove, še bolj po zelo visokih davkih, fronkih … Ko so pa čez štiri leta Avstrijci nazaj prišli, so takoj vse francosko ukinili – samo davke so pustili … Ko so tudi Vrhničani hodili v Slavonijo sekat hraste in švelarje tesat, se je Palčičevemu očetu zgodilo tole:

Pozimi je bilo, snega veliko, ko so hrvatarji iz Vrhnike hodili po poti proti vasi. Pa je domačin s sanmi in konjem prišel, a jih ni hotel dati peljat – kar naprej je šel. Mrdlni so jim rekli Vrhničani, tem domačinom … Potem je pa od nekod volk prišel in se je onemu postavil pred konja. Dolgo časa je stal pred njim. Ko so Vrhničani prišli do tja, se je volk umaknil, a mrdl jih še vedno ni hotel dati na sanke, da bi se peljali. Pa je spet volk prišel nazaj in ustavil konja – tako dolgo se je to ponavljalo, da so skupaj prišli do vasi, Vrhničani peš, tisti domačin pa s sanmi in konjem …

Here is the translation:

The French are also remembered in the Vrhnika tradition – not only for their orders to plant aspen trees and build beautiful bridges, but even more so for their very high taxes and fronts … When the Austrians came back four years later, they immediately abolished all things French – leaving only the taxes … When the Vrhnika people also went to Slavonia to cut down oaks and carve channels, this is what happened to Palčič’s father:

“There was a lot of snow in the winter, when the Croatians from Vrhnika walked along the path towards the village. A local man came with a sledge and a horse, but he didn’t want to let them go – he just kept on walking. They called them the Vrhnikans, these locals… Then a wolf came from somewhere and stood in front of his horse. He stood in front of him for a long time. When the Vrhnikans got there, the wolf retreated, but the grumbler still refused to put them on the sledge to ride. But the wolf came back again and stopped the horse – and this went on for so long that they reached the village together, the Vrhnikans on foot, and the local man with his sledge and horse…”

My best guess is that this refers to the time between Napoleon’s rule in Europe and the Austrian return to power after Napoleon’s exile. Unfortunately, the author of the post who shared the anecdote did not mention who exactly “Palčič’s father” was, so we are left to speculate about who the Palčič’ ancestor is.

Another tantalizing reference is made as follows:

Za pusta je bilo v Vrhniki veselo, prav tako za godove, posebno o svetem Jožefu in svetem Antonu – vsi so šli brklat, kar pomeni, da so godovniku pod oknom delali trušč/muziko s pokrovkami, kantami, verigami ali kakšnimi drugimi primernimi rekviziti in bili potem povabljeni na šilce žganja in celo prigrizek. Ob nedeljah pa so otroci posedali na tramu pri Palčičevih in poslušali neskončne zgodbe o Ameriki in prvi svetovni vojni… Pred drugo svetovno vojno se je šestinštirideset Vrhničanov odselilo v Ameriko! Nekateri so se vrnili, drugi ne. Kako premožen je bil kdo, pa se je vedelo in videlo po tem, da so premožnejši imeli murčka v ušesu, v žepu pa uro na kietnci.

Carnival in Vrhnika was a joyous occasion, as were the festivals of the feasts of St.Joseph and St.Anthony – everyone would go to the church, making a noise/music under the window with tin cups, canteens, chains or other suitable props, and then they would be invited for shots of schnapps and even a snack afterwards. And on Sundays, the children would sit in the rafters at the Palčič family’s house and listen to endless stories about America and the First World War… Forty-six people from Vrhnika had emigrated to America before the Second World War! Some returned, others did not. How wealthy someone was, however, was known and seen by the fact that the wealthier ones had a little gold earring in their ear and a pocket watch in their pocket.

Once again, we are left to speculate about who this Palčič family was, and who exactly was telling the stories. I have asked the person who wrote the blog post if she knows which Palčič family (or families) was (or were) the subject of these reminiscences. In any case, it is interesting to see that the Palčič name is remembered in Vrhnika pri Ložu.

Here are some details from the inset photos on the front of the postcard:


Photo credits: Stare Slike

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DNA Update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, but I want to appeal to any Palcic descendants who might read this and who have had their DNA tested to upload their results from whichever commercial testing company to a DNA matching database called GEDMatch. GEDMatch is a free database offering many different tools for comparing your DNA results with your DNA matches from the major testing companies like 23&Me, Ancestry DNA, Family Tree DNA and others.

Nine descendants of Palcic immigrants from Slovenia have already added their results to GEDMatch, and there are already thirteen GEDMatch contributors with the Palcic surname in their GEDCOM files who have also uploaded these files to GEDMatch, allowing them to compare the GEDCOM “family trees” with DNA matches there. This brings me to the point of this posting.

I have contacted all of people who already uploaded GEDCOM files with the Palcic(h) surname to GEDMatch to find out how many of them are actually Palcic descendants, with the goal of starting a Palcic surname DNA project at GEDMatch. In order to start a such a project, fifty people need to upload their DNA results there.

Your help is needed, patient readers, to get as many Palcic descendants as possible to add their results to GEDMatch. Please share this posting with anyone in your family who might have taken a DNA test and encourage him or her to upload the results to GEDMatch. I will be glad to share the findings from analyzing the results we have so far, and I also hope to update some of my other data sets (particularly Palcic immigrants from passenger manifests) that have not been updated since 2011.

If you have any interest at all in DNA testing, I would encourage you to check out the link to GEDMatch above, and also spread the word among your fellow Palcic family members or descendants to upload their DNA results to GEDMatch. Please do let me know if you decide to participate. GEDMatch is completely free to use, and registering and uploading your results is quick, easy and secure.

Please note: I have no financial interest in GEDMatch or any of the commercial DNA testing companies. My interest is purely research-oriented as part of my Palcic one-name study and continuing Palcic ancestral research. Participation in this effort is open to any and all Palcic descendants, regardless of whether anyone in your family still has the Palcic surname and also regardless of how the surname is now spelled in English-speaking countries.

Thanks for reading and I hope to “see” you at GEDMatch if you are willing to help with the Palcic DNA project.

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Palcic/Palcich DNA Connection!

2019 started uneventfully for the Palcic one-name study, but recently we had our first link in the chain of connecting Slovenian Palcic descendants from heretofore unrelated families. This breakthrough came a couple months ago when I was contacted by a Palcic cousin of mine who had her DNA tested at 23&Me, one of the major American companies offering autosomal DNA testing for genealogical purposes. My cousin’s results are very important for my Palcic line, since I am adopted and not genetically connected to the family.

Once she received her results from 23&Me, my cousin uploaded her raw data to GEDMatch, which allows her to compare her results across multiple databases, such as Family Tree DNA, Ancestry DNA, MyHeritage and others. The GEDMatch results show that she and another Palcic descendant share common DNA and that their most recent common ancestor (MRCA) is approximately five generations back in our family history. This would be equivalent to a fourth great grandparent, depending on whether there is a generation or two between my cousin and her Palcich match. So far, this ancestor is unidentified since we have not traced our separate Palcic ancestry back far enough in history to link to him or her.

I know of three other Slovenian Palcic descendants who have had their DNA tested, and whose immigrant ancestors came from the Lož Valley region and settled in Pennsylvania and Iowa. I am hoping that the others will be able to share their results with me via GEDMatch, so that we can compare their matches and see if they match each other somewhere down the generational line in history.

Eventually, I also hope to be able to compare matches between American descendants of Slovenian and Croatian Palcic immigrants, and maybe even results from European Palcics living in Slovenia, Croatia, and elsewhere to see if any of them also match each other. If so, these matches could lend weight to the theory that all Palcic/Palcich/Palsic/Palsich descendants have a common ancestor. If not, the alternative theory, that the Palcic name originated independently in different places, might be confirmed. Either way, the comparison(s) should provide us with useful data, even if our genealogical trees don’t extend back far enough in history to capture the elusive common ancestor(s).

If you are interested in finding out more about DNA testing for genealogy research, please leave a note in the comments and I will respond to you personally. Thanks for reading, and do stay tuned for further developments.

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A Palcic in (Local) Politics

Palcic sworn in as new Southwest Greensburg mayor

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A general observation about surnames from John Grenham

We genealogy types often follow websites or read blogs published by other genealogists, and I am no exception. While visiting John Grenham’s Irish Roots blog, I came across this bit of wisdom from his pen:

“[T]he most important fact about all surnames is that they are words. They don’t have DNA, go to any particular church, salute flags, vote or fight. They simply swim in the ever-changing sea of language, evolving as all languages do under the pressure of accents, education, fashion, politics, economics.”

This cogent comment was written in context of a recent blog post concerning the evolution of Irish surnames, but it applies generally as well. We family historians would do well to remember these wise words as we travel back in time through  eras that had such an impact on surnames as to change their spelling or their effects on hearers in the above contexts.

Perhaps an example relating to the Palcic surname might be relevant here too, that is, there are Palcics living all over southeastern Europe (by which I mainly refer to the nations that were formerly part of Yugoslavia) as well as in other parts of the continent. The Palcics living in Slovenia and Croatia are most likely Roman Catholic, the Serbian Palcic families are most likely Serbian Orthodox, and there are probably Bosnian Palcics who are Muslim. Any of these could have been on opposite sides of the wars that have occurred in the region down through the centuries.

The militaristic nationalism and compulsory military service required for men of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was a major reason many of our Palcic ancestors left Europe for the US, Canada, the UK, and Ireland. Others left for Australia later as refugees or survivors of WWII.

Does this matter? Is it relevant to the family historian? Yes, in terms of historical context and records.  A surname’s  connotation can change in context of any of the factors he mentions, and surnames do have meaning, but we should not get them too tightly knotted with those aspects of life when undertaking a one-name study or family research in general.

This is, of course, just my opinion, but I think Mr. Grenham’s words are worth sharing.


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A Polished Palcic Professional

Here is an interview published in Forbes magazine featuring Amy Palcic, the Vice President of Communications for the Houston Texans (American) football team. In the article, she dispenses useful tips on how someone might stand out in the field of media communications, especially since this field in professional sports is highly coveted.


Congratulations to Amy for her achievements since earning the position with the team! I confess that I am an unapologetic Cleveland Browns fan, but I first learned about Amy when she was working for the Browns in a similar capacity.

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Recent Palcic Obituary

Mary (Palcic) Tandaric (1925-2017)

Mary (Palcic) Tandaric

Mary’s father Ignac (later Ignatius) Stefan Palcic (1893-1967) was a Croatian immigrant from Zagreb who married Mary Repiscak (1902-1982). Ignac’s parents were Michael Palcic and Neza Kamaric.

If anyone living in Croatia or the USA has more information about Ignac’s (or Mary’s) parents, I would be grateful to hear from you.

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Ancestry Discontinuing Rootsweb Surname List (RSL)

Hello Fellow Rootseekers,

I’ve been away from here for quite a while and hope that my small list of readers is still out there. I just found out today from the forum of the Guild of One-Name Studies that Ancestry.com is removing a resource from their free Rootsweb collection of databases:

The venerable Rootsweb Surname List, which allows researchers to search for others interested in the same surname, will be removed from the Rootsweb collection on October 24, 2017.

As some of you might remember, I started this blog in response to Ancestry’s decision to discontinue their Genforum site, which was originally part of Genealogy.com

This might not have much of an impact on Palcic researchers, since Daniel Palcic (who has been offline for several years) and I are the only ones listed there for the Palcic surname, but I’m posting this notice here since there may be others reading this who are researching other surnames.

If you think there might be surnames of interest to you, be sure to visit the Rootsweb Surname List before October 24, 2017. Many of the entries are old by internet standards, and the e-mail addresses might not work, but it might still be worth a look, as there are other Palcic researchers using Rootweb’s WorldConnect Project, which is a database of GEDCOM files submitted by researchers that are available to download into family tree software programs such as Legacy Family Tree and Rootsmagic.

I took a look at the Rootsweb WorldConnect Project pages for Palcic GEDCOM files. There are 78 hits (more than a few duplicated), and fifteen or sixteen different researchers who shared the information in those GEDCOM files. After a detailed look at the information they uploaded, it appears that most of them are focusing on other families into which the Palcics married, but I will still try to contact a few of them to see if there is any interest in the Palcic surname. I’ll share any feedback with “yes” answer to that question here.

Also, stay tuned for more information on various research threads I am trying to bring together with research from Palcic families in Slovenia and their connections to descendants of immigrants who settled in the US and Canada.

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Slovenian Surname Statistics

Here is a link to a website from the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia that allows you to search for your first name or surname to see frequencies of the same in eight of the twelve statistical regions of the country:

How common are your first name and family name?

Here are the results of a search for the Palčič surname:

I’d like to see the statistics for the regions where the data is not available, but it’s clear that Palčič is not a common surname in Slovenia. For comparison, here is a table taken from the results of a search at http://forebears.io:

The data from the two different sources is not exactly correlated, since the Slovenian set was created in 2016 and the Forebears data was created in 2014. Additionally, the 2016 data from Slovenia probably excludes a number of instances from the statistical regions where the data are confidential. I also have a data set from US telephone directory listings that includes variant spellings not shown in either of the lists above.

I’m experimenting with Tableau® software and the data I’ve collected for Palcic immigrants from Slovenia and Croatia who left those countries for destinations in the United States. I hope to create some interesting visual displays for various data sets over the years that Palcic individuals or families arrived in the US.

(Slovenian data © 2016 Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia | Country data set © 2012-2016 forebears.io)

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Panorama Sunday Spotlight: Patrick Palcic

Patrick Palcic is participating in the Pure Talents Contest, sponsored by the IMM-Cologne. A copper clock created by German artist Patrick Palcic emits different perfumes every hour:

Copper clock by Patrick Palcic uses perfume to tell time

Here is a brief interview with Patrick Palcic, who is a native of Stuttgart, Germany:

Pure Talents Contest Nominee Patrick Palcic: “For my work I need coffee, music, fun and a sketchbook.”

Congratulations on your nomination, Patrick, and good luck!

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