Home of the Danube Swabian for over 200 years.


Slavonia Family Surname Research
Researched, compiled & contributed by Joseph Esterreicher.
Sources: Primarily files available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, UT.
Updated: February 11, 2009. Former files at, published by Carol Esterreicher.
Reproduced by Darlene Dimitrie & Jody McKim Pharr. Published at 16 Oct 2019 by Jody McKim Pharr.


Who am I?
Who are my Ancestors?
Where did my
come from?

Those are questions
that all of us ask
in our lifetime.

I became interested in my family ancestry after receiving a family tree of the Sekura Family of Sokolovac, Croatia, my birthplace. I remember finding someone with our last name in this family tree. I asked my father if we were related and his answer was no. An unusual last name in a small village not being related seemed odd to me. I set out to find the answer in 2004 when I started looking at microfilms of church books where births, marriages, and deaths were recorded. These microfilms can be found at the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. I started out recording information for my family but soon switched to recording all information found for the village of Sokolovac, Croatia. Later I added research on about 20 villages in this area of Croatia. The people that one can find family history on in this web site are primarily ethnic Germans. They came to this area of Croatia, starting about 1860. Most of these people came to Croatia from Hungary or from an area in Europe that is now in the Czech Republic. The Hungarian ethnic Germans can be traced back to the mid 1700 in various church books. No filmed church records have been found for the Czech Republic. Joseph Esterreicher, 2006

These gratifying comments have been summarized from numerous emails expressing appreciation. Knowing that my work is appreciated inspires me to continue with this important and rewarding pursuit. I greatly appreciate hearing from those whose lives are being touched. ~ Joseph Esterreicher

The members of ..these... families are going to be floored when I send them a family tree update that spans back to 1810! must have touched so many families in similar ways.  It must be satisfying to know how much this hard work and research mean to others.

You have no idea how excited and surprised I was when you ...provided me with the family tree. I spent years researching and have nothing like this to show for it!


I invite you to visit these
village pages where you will
find families who lived there.

From the book:
Die Deutshen in Syrmien, Slavonien, Kroatien und Bosnien

By Dr. Valentin Oberkersch
Translated by Henry A. Fischer with Oberkersch family permission, published at 2006 by Jody McKim Pharr.

Compared to the emerging settlements in Syrmia, very little development took place in Slavonia. Germans who came from Tolna County Hungary settled Johannesdorf (Jovanovac) in 1836. In 1843 Germans from Veszprem County in Hungary settled Neu Zoljani.

To a large extent Slavonia remained a wilderness. The Swabian villages of Hungary and the Batschka were overcrowded. The government in Vienna Austria set the stage for a new settlement movement.

The Regulation and Decree was issued by the Emperor on December 31 1858 and was addressed to Hungary, Croatia, Slavonia, the Serbian Vojvodina, the Banat, and Transylvania with a renewed call for agricultural settlement and development. Some of the regulations included: homes for 50 families or more, all members of the community must be of one nationality regardless of origin, and of one religion.

The results of the new settlement decree was not very successful in Croatia and Slavonia. Only 10 German settlements were established in response to it. Three were established in 1866. They were Blagorodovac, Eichendorf-Hrastovac, and Antunovac. The settlers came from Baranya, Tolna, and Somogy Counties in Hungary. In the same year there were settlements established in Sokolovac, Miokovicevo, and Dobrovac. Filipovac was settled in 1886. The village of Kerndia was settled in 1880/1881. The last two communities were Kapetanovo Polje in 1882 and Franjevac- Strizicevac in 1886. The land involved was heavily forested wilderness and the main task of the colonist was clearing the land.

Recommended sources will direct you to other sites:

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints -
     Family History Library
     35 North West Temple
     Salt Lake City, Utah
Memorials at NO LONGER ACTIVE LINK. But here is the archived version Memorials.
Computer Maps -
Austrian Military Maps - 2003 Donauschwaben Villages Helping Hands, a Non-profit Corporation.
Webmaster: Jody McKim Pharr
Keeping the Danube Swabian legacy alive!
Last Updated: 07 Apr 2020