- The main source of genealogical records of Gottscheers born prior to 1941 are the microfilmed Catholic church parish records of Gottschee.
- U.S. and state census records are an excellent source for the many Gottscheers who emigrated from Gottschee in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
- Immigrant passenger records of Castle Garden (1855-1890) and Ellis Island (1892-1954) for Gottscheers who emigrated from Gottschee in the 1800s and early 1900s.
- Church Archives in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
- Original microfilms of the Catholic Church records of Gottschee are located in Liepzig, Germany.
Microfilmed Catholic Church Parish Records of Gottschee
In 1941 the German National Family Center (Reichs-Sippenamt) microfilmed all the Gottschee Catholic Church Parish Records (baptisms, marriages, deaths, Familienbuch (census), marriage banns). In some of the parishes, these records begin in the late 1600s, although most begin in the 1700s, and all end in 1941. In the 1980s, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS, the Mormon church) made copies of these microfilm records. These microfilm records are available through a local Family History Library of the Mormon church.
GHGA has published a booklet Gottschee: Family Records Research Using LDS Microfilm by Kate Pruente, to help the researcher locate the microfilm numbers within each parish. Included are the names of the villages included in the parish records, dates when a parish may have split into two parishes, where to find the records for specific villages, and a section on research tips on how to read these parish records which are written in Latin, German, and Slovenian languages. When the authorities filmed the records in 1941, they filmed all the right side pages, then the left side pages, as the parish books were very large. If you do not want to purchase the above publication, the microfilm numbers can be obtained at the LDS Family History Library. The films are located under Austria, Krain, (German spelling of village name) or Slovenia, Kocevje, (Slovenian spelling of the village name). Prior to 1918, the territory was within the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the people were Austrian citizens. After 1918, the people in this territory became citizens of Yugoslavia.
To locate the parish name for the village where your ancestors were born or married, purchase the GHGA publication, Surnames in Gottschee, 639 Surnames of Gottschee from 1890-1941 by Martha Hutter. Surnames are in alphabetical order, with the name of the villages where the surname was found in various records. The parish name is given for the village.
U.S. Census Records
Many Gottscheers immigrated to the United States and Canada between 1880 and 1910. However, some of them immigrated to the United States in the 1860s, making their homes in Iowa, Minnesota, and Colorado. In the 1880s through 1910, most settled in the states of Ohio and New York, while others traveled to California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. In Canada, most Gottscheer immigrants settled in the cities of Kitchener, Toronto, and Vancouver.
Immigrant Passenger Records
Castle Garden (http://www.castlegarden.org) processed eight million immigrants between the years 1855-1892. It was America’s first immigration center. The center closed at the opening of Ellis Island (http://www.ellisisland.org) in 1892. Ellis Island processed about 12 million immigrants between 1892 and 1954.
Catholic Church Archives in Ljubljana, Slovenia
The original Catholic parish records (baptisms, marriages, etc.) of the former Gottschee county are in the Catholic Church Archives in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Other parish records may exist in local parish churches.