Thursday, June 26, 2008

August 20 Tišenpolj SLOVENIA to Tišenpolj SLOVENIA 31 K / 19 Miles Cycled to My Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather's Village of Srbotnik

Today I wanted to cycle through the village of Gladloka again to verify where my Grandfather's farm was exactly located. This I was able to do. Then I biked another 6K along the Kupa River to the village of Srbotnik where I wanted to see the Church of St Ana. You must see this church and the view from its' location high on a cliff overlooking Croatia and Slovenia. Srbotnik is the village my great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather Gregor Simonich lived in. (For those who would be interested there is a history lesson on the development of the Slovenian alphabet available at Štaško Južnič's. Just stop on by). It turns out that h's were used on the ends of names until the 1800's when the little marks (č or š or ž) above letters were introduced. My family name morphed over the centuries from Simonich to Simonič to Simončič. In the dialect of Kostel (Slovenian has 8 major dialects) my family name is Šmonč or Šmončevi. Šmončevi meaning "belonging to Šmonč". The old farm house in Gladloka, house #2, has been rumoured for many years to be the "House of Šmonč".

After my tour along the Kupa I cycled to Štaško's house for more dialogue. I left for awhile when he received a phone call and had the good fortune of being invited into the home of Slavko and Mira Janeš and their english-speaking daughter Natalija. What fun talking about my family history and their family history. Štaško and I finished up talking about cycling, the NBA (alot of Serbian hoopsters get to America by way of Slovenia), Oklahoma (where he spends time doing research), and bouncing around history lessons.

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