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Geography of the Region

Slavonia (Serbo-Croatian Slavonija, Hungarian Szlavónia) with its settlement center of Essegg (Osijek) is in present-day northeastern Croatia.


[This section still under construction.]

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History of the Region

Slavonia was part of the duchy of Croatia-Slavonia, which accepted the king of Hungary as its overlord as of 1102 AD. Croatia had two bans who were rulers representing the king: one for Croatia proper and one for Slavonia, which also had its own diet. Over time, however, Slavonia, with the nearby direct influence of Hungary, grew closer to Budapest and after 1442 started sending its deputies to the Hungarian diet. Eventually, this caused it to lose its distinct status.

Slavonia included the city of Zagreb, where a Roman Catholic diocesan see had been established in 1093. It was subordinated to the Hungarian archdiocese of Kalocsa.

Like most of its neighbors, Slavonia was conquered by the Ottoman Empire during the 16th century. In the Habsburg advance following the Ottoman retreat from Vienna, most of Slavonia fell to them and was confirmed by the peace signed at Sremski Karlovci (Karlowitz) in 1699. The rest of Slavonia was added at the Peace of Pozarevac (Passarowitz) in 1718. As the region was now depopulated, the Habsburg authorities encouraged emigration from other parts of their Empire; thus did Slavonia become part of the Danube-Swabian migration.

An Eastern Orthodox Eparch (bishop) had his seat at Pakrac. After 1557, the Serbian Patriarch at Pec (Ipek) had jurisdiction over this and many other Eparchs.

The following founding dates of some Slavonian communities are from Land an der Donau by Günter Schödl:
1744 Deutsch-Mihaljevci (the oldest German settlement; established by Grundherr Franz von der Trenk)
1748 Neu-Gradischka (in the Military Border region)
1750 Lukatsch
1769 Hirschfeld (founded by Graf Johann Palffy); Krawitz (its first German settlers arrived); Raisavci
1770 Alaginci; (Deutsch)-Rietdorf (founded next to Ungarisch-Retfalva); Suhopolje-Terzovac
1782 Zabuna
1786 Antonsdorf; Josefsdorf (beside Krawitz); Kula
1787 Poretsch
1792 Esseger Neustadt (founded by settlers from Württemberg)
1885 Welimirowatz (founded by German Protestants from the Batschka)

After the First World War, Slavonia was ceded from Hungary to the newly-formed Yugoslavia as part of the Treaty of Trianon (June 4, 1920). It was not absorbed back into Hungary during the years 1941-44 as other neighboring regions were. Following the Second World War, Slavonia with Croatia, Austrian Dalmatia, southern Istria and southern Baranya, but not Syrmia (Srem), constituted the state of Croatia within the Yugoslavian nation. As of May 19, 1991, these areas, including Slavonia, became the new nation of Croatia.

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Associations and Societies

AKdFF Research Help:

Heimatortsgemeinschaften (HOGS):
Please note that except where otherwise noted, all the contacts are located in Germany; this should be taken into account when addressing letters. [Top of document]

Colonies List

The Donauschwaben colonies in Slavonia are listed in Slavonia Village List, or you may first consult the list index. With a few exceptions, the list attempts to describe only those localities having a population of at least 100 Germans in the 1930s. A village list which included every town in Slavonia would be much longer, unwieldy and not all that much more useful to Donauschwaben researchers. See the Village List Home for more information.

If you don't find your place of interest, Shtetl Seeker is an interactive, fuzzy-search gazetteer with maps of 24 countries east of Germany, Austria and Slovenia (inclusive).

- Information on FHL microfilms is from "Microfilmed church records for places in Yugoslavia with German population" by Laraine K. Ferguson and Wendelin Michels, published in the German Genealogical Digest, vol. 8, issue 1, pp 8-16.
- Microfilmed records may contain gaps.
- FHL film numbers have not yet been added.
- Filial parishes are included under the main parish but do not necessarily have their own entry.

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Books describing the history and genealogy of entire region.

Books (Ortsfamilienbücher) describing the history and genealogy of a specific community within the region.

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Other Internet Resources

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Last update: 23apr-08 (gj/mf)
Thanks for the contributions of Richard Abrell and Monika (Kleer) Ferrier.
Created by: Rick Heli
Please forward any comments and additions to this WWW-page (include the name of this web page as we maintain many) to Rick Heli, email: or to: WebMaster