Category: Learning Center

List of books

BOOKS The titles of the books displayed at the Serbian side, are in n/a in English. These books are displayed by the courtesy of the Archives of Serbia. These books can be purchased at the Plato bookshop from Belgrade. You can order online. Unfortunally their site is only in Serbian but you can email them…

How to start

How to start your genealogical research When you decided to start with your genealogical research the challenge begins. The genealogical world is a is a jungle of information and it can be hard to find information on how to begin especially if you ancestors came from Eastern Europe where most of the archives are not…

The origin of surnames

Just as in the vast majority of other European countries the majority of Serbian surnames are patronymic. This means that the surname Jovanovic would be derived from one of the ancestors with the name of Jovan. In some very rare cases you can see the metronymic naming, but this is very rare.

The way surnames originated can be diplayed on the following way:

Patronymic; naming after one of the ancestors,
Occupational; naming after ones profession e.g. Strugar,
Geographical; being named after a geographic location,
Descriptive; being named after a special physical feature inside ones family,
Anecdotal; being named after a particular event in ones live,

The suffix in Serbian surnames

Serbian surnames usually, but not always, have a suffix. With suffix we mean endings of the surname like: -ić in Latin and –ић in Cyrillic. The endings of the surnames usually indicate to mean “son of”, as in Scotland we use “Mac” and so on. The patronymic system isn’t only used by Serbs but is…

Using Ellis Island for research in Serbia

Ellis Island

Ellis Island is useful for those in Diaspora, descendants of those who have immigrated to the United States. Ellis Island is a harbour in New York close to the Statue of Liberty. From 1892 until 1954 this Island was used as a terminal for those who wanted to settle in the United States.

When new immigrants arrived they were subjected to a medical examination. Only those who were qualified were allowed to enter, others were send back. On the website of Ellis Island more information can be found about the Island that played such a crucial role in the history of many families.

Sources and objectivity

Always use sources. This cannot be stressed enough. Mention your sources in the footnotes, so that it will empower the next generation to have a point of reference for future genealogical research. Be objective.

Every family has its high period and low periods, ancestors that make you proud but also ancestors that don’t make you proud. It is very important with sources to use them correct. Do place them in the correct stratification.

Your family could be wealthy in 17th century, but poor in the 19th century or vice versa. Do then also try to explain the source of wealth or poverty. When doing this use the spirit of that age as a background.

Codenumbers in/and Gedcom files


To keep the storage of data easy to the eye it is of very great importance that you use the proper coding system to display your data. Although throughout the years many different coding systems were used we still advice you to stick to the most common one in order to prevent errors. Coding also helps you because it’s universal so it allows you to exchange data easier without translation.

The familytree

Genealogical signs

When we do research it is sometimes not possible for various reasons to put “birth” every time we mention the date. Also when we use more then one language it is helpful to use signs that we all know. This saves time and prevents misunderstandings. We use the following signs: Birth: ° Baptism: ≈ Marriage:…