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Michael Starasinic


Krasinec, Slovenia

Photo - Janez Majzelj

 Krasinec, Slovenia

     Michael Starasinic was born in Lower Krain, Austria on March 9, 1865, in the Village of Krasinec. (The sponsors for his Baptism were Miko Kambic and Margaret Starasinic.)  Krasinec is located in the Bela Krajina area of what is now Krasinec, Slovenia and in the Parish of Podzemelj. Michael lived at Krasinec #26 with his parents, Matija Starasinic and Anna Jurajefcic. . He had three brothers, Matija, Jure and Miko. (Miko died very young)

Photo - Majda Crnic Strakl
St. Anthony's Roman Catholic Church of Krasinec, Slovenia
  • Click on the photo for a larger view
    Majda Crnic Strakl and her mother,stopped in Krasinec and took wonderful photos just  for our web site. Many thanks to both of you!

Photo - Mateja Bajuk - Crnomelj High School
Podzemelj School
      The first school built in Podzemelj and where Michael and his brother, Jure, attended primary school. (The school records, for 1874, list Michael Starasinic as "Miha", a nick name for Michael or Mike.  Michael's father is listed as Matija.)  The school was built in 1859 and is now a private residence or boarding house. I have been told the children walked to this school and it would be about 2 miles.
School records contributed by Marjan Penca
Ljubljana Historical Archives

Photo -Janez Majzelj

The Village of Krasinec with Croatia in the background

Croatia looks close enough to touch!


The Potocnik Family

Poljane, Slovenia

Poljane, Slovenia

The Potocniks were from Buchberg, Austria, now Bukov Vrh, Slovenia and in the Parish of Poljane. Maria Potocnik was born circa 1809, Poljane and  her son, Ignatius Potocnik, was born in Buchberg, Parish Poljane in 1829.

(Maria Potocnik would be the Great Great Grandmother and Ignatius Potocnik would be the Great Grandfather of Bill and Frank Starsinic, Jane Zerance and Catherine Zerance Howard.)

 Click on map to enlarge
      Poljane  (Bukov Vrh) is in the Gorenjska region of Slovenia near Ljubljana and
Skofia Loka.

"I think the Potocniks came from the Ljubljana area!" - a note from Jane Zerance and her mother, Catherine Starsinic Zerance - 1980

St. Martin's Church of Poljane Zupanovse of Poljane
Click on photos to enlarge
St. Martin's Church was built in 1291 and has been replaced, due to extensive war damage. The newer structure was built in the original location. "Zupanovse", the rural mansion near St. Martin's Church, was built in the 16th century and is famous for its "Bishop's Room."  The Bishop of Freising is said to have stayed here!

     The Freising Manuscripts are the earliest known Slovene text written in the Latin script and dating back to the end of the first millennium. The manuscripts denote the beginning of Slovene literary and cultural history.


Kloster, Slovenia

Photo - -Janez Majzelj

The Catholic Church of Kloster, Slovenia  (Gradac)

     Ignatius Potocnik of Bukov Vrh, Poljane, moved to Gradac 1, Slovenia (Bela Krajina) and married Ursula Kukar who was born in Vavpca Vas 76, Parish Semic in 1836. They were married on February 12, 1860 and had seven children; Johanna, Ignatius, Ivan, Joseph, Amalia, Anna and Franc.  Please visit "Our Genealogy" for birth dates and information.  (The names Joseph and Franc could have been a factor in the naming of Johanna Potocnik's sons, Michael Joseph and William Francis. )

     Johanna Potocnik was born in Kloster 69, Austria, Parish Podzemelj on April 16, 1865. (now Kloster, Slovenia)  The sponsors for her Baptism were Jakob Sobsic and Maria Zupanic.

      Johanna's sister, Anna Potocnik married John Belicic and lived in Steeton, Pa.  Franc, born before 1863,  marred Maria Stipanic and had a son Franc. Johanna Potocnik was the Christening Sponsor for her brother Franc's son, Franc in 1885.  Ivan married Neza (last name not known) and had a son, Ivan.  Ivan Potocnik and his son visited with Anna Potocnik and John Belicic in Steelton.  I am not certain  but I think they returned to Gradac, Slovenia.

(The marriage certificate for Ignatius Potocnik and Ursula Kukar states Ignatius was a Schmelzer (Iron worker) and was born in Buchberg in the Parish of Poljane, Oberkrain.  (Upper Krain)  The sponsors for the marriage of Ignatius and Ursula were Josef Kukar, Ursula's brother, and Florian Stemise.
     According to Niko Zupanic, the Starasinic Family has lived in Slovenia since the Middle Ages. We are fortunate to have the expertise of  the well known Ethnologist and Politician, Niko Zupanic connected to Starasinic. He was born in Griblje, Slovenia and his  grandmothers were both Catherine Starasinic of Krasinec, Slovenia.  (One lived next to or right across from our Michael Starasinic family and the other Starasinic grandmother lived near by.) He thought the Starasinics came into Slovenia from Karlovac, Croatia in the 1400s (15th Century) while fleeing the Turks.  (Origins are speculative and this was Zupanic's theory.)
  (After 1923, Zupanic concentrated on his academic career. In 1921, he had become director of the Ethnographic Museum in Ljubljana. From this position, he edited the renowned journal "Ethnolog“. In 1940, he became the first professor for Ethnology at the University of Ljubljana.  ...from my notes re:Zupanic - Judy

     (The name, Starasinic, comes from the root word "Staresina" and is found in the Slovenian Dictionary as well as the Croatian Dictionary - Leader, Elder, Warrior)  Perhaps the name is indigenous to the area?  This is another theory that is very possible.

     The Ljubljana Archives has said the name "Starasinic" is found only in the Bela Krajina area of Slovenia and all families are related regardless of the variation in spelling. (Marjan Penca - Ljubljana Archives)  The name is now found all over the world!

     In my personal research I have only been able to connect to the Starasinics who have the spelling with an "a".  They are either from Krasinec or connect to Krasinec in some way.  I would probably need to get beyond the first Starasinic ancestor in the 1700's before I find a connection with other spellings.  Staresinic, with an "e" is the other common spelling in Bela Krajina.

Bela Krajina

"The territory of Slovenia has an extraordinary history. Its southern border along the Kolpa River and northeast toward the modern Austrian and Hungarian border has been largely unchanged as a border since the year 800 AD. The border and territory of Slovenia served as the southern frontier for Charlemagne's Holy Roman Empire, which lasted from 800 until 1806."

Krasinec, Slovenia on the Kolpa River

Krasinec, Slovenia is located in the Bela Krajina region of Slovenia, next to the Kolpa River, in the Parish of Podzemelj. Croatia is on the opposite side of the Kolpa.  This river is a wonderful place for swimming in crystal clear water.

"When the Slovenian children swim in the Kolpa River they tease each other about having their passports as Croatia is so close."

- Majda Crnic Strakl -Crnomelj/Ljubljana

"The Kolo"

      The "Kolo" is a dance known only in the Bela Krajina area of Slovenia. It was introduced by the "Uskoki" in the 16th Century. The white Folk Costumes are preserved but until the mid 1940's everyone in Bela Krajina would make their clothes from hand woven, white flax.
     The Crnomelj High School students in Bela Krajina, under the direction of Vincenc Petruna, have an enjoyable and informative web site.  They include photographs and wonderful, historical information about the area of Slovenia we are researching.  The students learn about their heritage and  it helps them with their study of the English language.  You will see some of their photographs I have used on this page and their web site offers so much more.  They also have a link to Matkura, another interesting Slovenian web site.

Bela Krajina Home Page


Click on photo to see a beautiful englargement!

The men's octet singing group from Metlika, Slovenia. Photo taken in Vrba, birth place of France Preseren.

Slovenian National Anthem

God's blessing on all nations, Who long and work for that bright day,
When o'er earth's habitations, No war, no strife shall hold its sway;
Who long to see, That all men free, No more shall foes, but neighbours be.

                                                        -France Preseren-1844

Bela Krajina and their festival of "Green George"
"The photograph of these precious children was taken in 1908"

Krasinec during the Second World War

     Krasinec had a very active airport (aerodrome) during the Second World War where many American Allied Airmen were transported to safety by the Slovenian Partisans. Some were transported to  Partisan Hospitals while others were flown to cities of safety. (The Franja hospital of Cerkno remained perfectly hidden in a deep gorge from 1943 until the end of the war.)  In the hearts and memories of many, this little village of Krasinec was a large one!
Mirko Leksan with his sisters Mira and Malka - Catholic Confirmation 1948

(Both of these pretty dresses were made from the Allied Pilot's parachute.)

Permission -Milan Meden

B-24, 464 B. G. l5th AAF, landed the machines being damaged north of Pola, came to C*rnomelj 5-FEB-1945, left by aeroplane for Bari 18-FEB-1945:
255. August H. Lechner, 1 st It. 0-868434, RFD 1 Bound Brooke, New Jersey, born 17-NOV-1921.
256. Melvin C. I-largrouve, s/sgt. 20818389, 2028 South Sculliew Ave., Denison, Texas, born 1-JAN-1917. 
257. Harry W. Prichell, lst It. 0-820821, Danville, Virginia, born 30-JUN-1924.

B-24, 454 B. G. ISth AAF, landed some 30 km to the east of Celovec (Klagenfurt), met the Carinthian Partisans Detachement near Pliberk, came across the Alps and The Littoral to C*rnomelj 9-FEB-1945, left by aeroplane for Bari 18-FEB-1945:
258. Melvin Thomas, s/sgt. 16136598, 5849 Acres Rd., Sylvania, Ohio, born 2-MAR-1922 in Chicago.

B-24, 460 B. G. l5th AAF, landed near Kobarid for lack of oil 20-JAN-1945, came from 9th Army-Corps to C*rnomelj 16-FEB-1945, left from Cerkvis*c*e by aeroplane for Bari 18-FEB-1945:
259. Trebusak Frank, 2nd It. 0-711215, Lassalle, Illinois, born 15-SEP-1922.
260. Francis L. Baumgardner, s/sgt. 39234917, 83 Frost Parkway, Tiffin, Ohio, born 26-APR-1920.

Lightning P-38, 32th Photo Reconnaissance Group l5th AAF, landed near Koper (Capodistria) 30-JAN-1945, hit by the antiaircraft fire over Beljak (Villach), came from the 9th Army-Corps to C*rnomelj 16-FEB-1945:
261. Charles R. Dougherty, 2nd It. 0-784311, New Harrew Ave., Ventnon, New Jersey, born 4-APR-1924 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

B-24, 451 B. G. AAF, the plane damaged, compelled to land in the aerodrome of Krasinec 27-FEB-1945 (hit by the antiaircraft fire over Augsburg), left from the aerodrome in Krasinec by aeroplane for Bari 28-FEB-1945:
262. Robert S. Tupper, lst It. 0-2058383, born 19-DEC-1921 at Springtield, South Dakota.
263. Laurence H. Horn, I st lt. 0-714098, born 27-NOV-1923 at Memphis, Tennessee.
264. M. R. Boer, 2nd lt. 0-717029, 1280 E. l2th Brooklyn, New York, born 6-AUG-1923.
265. Arthur J. Lukas, lst It. 0-823652, born 11-DEC-1921 in Baltimore, Maryland.
266. Donald S. Dagg, t/sgt. 13038330, born 21-OCT-1919 in Washington, Pennsylvania.
267. Jack Riddle, t/sgt. 13106395, born 22-DEC-1918 at Spruce Pine, North Carolina.
268. Cesarino J. Matracci, s/sgt. 32722561, 64 Cottage Street, Buffalo, New Yersey, born 3-OCT-1921. 
269. Bob E. Poston, s/sgt. 35584908, 302 Walnut St., Manchester, Indiana, born 25-OCT-1923.
270. Eugene Idye, s/sgt. 37358342, 613 4th Ave., Ardmore, Oklahoma, born 18-OCT-1925.
271. K. R. Williams, s/sgt. 38067571, born 21-AUG-1918 at Romero, Texas.
272. William Mathieson, sgt. 16065894, born 7-DEC-1918 at Port Huron, Michigan.

B-17, 483 B. G. l5th AAF, hit by the atiaircraft fire over Bruck, 9-MAR-1945, landed near Z*uz*emberk, came to Cerkvis*c*e 10-MAR-1945, left from the aerodrome in Krasinec for Bari 13-MAR-1945:
273. Leslie Anton, lst lt. 0-812530, 140 W. 86 St., New York City, born 8-JUL-1921 in New York.
274. James I. Cook, s/sgt. 347231 16, born 13-.JUL-1924 at Covington, Kentucky.
275. James R. Metz, lst lt. 0-1540499, 1610 Gutty Rd. Romeo, Michigan, born 18-NOV-1924 in Detroit. Michigan.
276. Robert R. Mahan, lst It. 0-722477, 901 Blackburn Ave., Ashland, Kentucky, born 8-AUG-1921
277. Roger J. Baudier, t/sgt. 18152093, 1627 N. Broad St., New Orleans, Louisiana, born 4-FEB-1925.
278. Raymond H. Goodwin, s/sgt. 3584772, 713 E. Main St., Coatesville, Pennsylvania, born 16-APR-1924.
279. Joseph F. Pirrone, t/sgt. 12191215, 36 Carwall Ave., Mt. Vernon, New York, born 11-JUL-1923.
280. Larue F. Wilson, s/sgt. 33686349, 1206 Chelton Ave., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, born 25-ALJG-1912.
281. Edward F. Logan, lst lt. 0-821017, 2340 Southwest 28 St., Coconut Growe, Florida, born 3-AUG-1922 in Pennsylvania.
282. Duan Earl Berthelson, s/sgt. 20734432, Tescott, Ansas, born 9-OCT-1921.

B-24, 455 B. G. l5th AAF, hit over Brenner-pass 28-FEB-1945, landed near Kanfanar (Istria), came to Cerkvis*c*e (Bela Krajina) 15-MAR-1945, left from the aerodrome in Krasinec for Bari 13-MAR-1945:
283. Albert L. Hartman, t/sgt. 13041538.
284. Edward Bogdanowicz, s/sgt. 33711606, 426 East 11 St., Erie, Pennsylvania, born 14-JUL-1923.
285. Jerome Weinberger, 2nd lt. 0-116840, 1125 E. Genesee, Saginaw, Michigan, born 31-DEC-1916 in Chicago, Illinois.
286. William J. Benish, 2nd It. 0-2058961, 116 Farview Ave., N. Seattle, Washington, born 3-SEP-1920.

B-24, 451 B. G. l5th AAF, shot down over Bolzano, landed over the island Krk, came to the 43th division and then to Podzemelj (Bela Krajina), left from the aerodrome in Krasinec for Bari 23-MAR-1945:
287. Blackburn F. D., s/sgt. 34761681, Garden City Rd. 5, Savannah, Georgia, born 4-DEC-1923.

B-24, 376 B. G. l5th AAF, shot down over Innsbruck, 15-DEC-1944, landed near Videm, reached the Italian Partisans and a Slovene Partisan hospital beyond Isonzo 23-DEC-1944, came to Cerkvis*c*e (Bela Krajina), left from the aerodrome in Krasinec for Bari 4-APR-1945:
288. Michael Albano, 2nd lt. 0-1540356, 83 Johnson St., Springfield, Massachusetts, born 6-.TUL-1923.
289. Magnus Gerszewski, 2nd lt. 0-717987, 6411 West Moltke Ave., Milwauke, Wisconsin, born 21-AUG-1923 in North Dakota.

B-24, 460 B. G. l5th AAF, landed over Kobarid for lack of oil, 20-JAN-1945, came the next day to the Slovene Partisans, 3-MAR-1945 to Trebus*a and 26-MAR-1945 to Cerkvis*c*e, left from the aerodrome in Krasinec for Bari 4-APR-1945:
290. Roy Cooke, 2nd lt. 0-2068620, 40 Hudson Ave., New York, born 19-MAY-1924 at Dalmar, New York.
291. Witkowski N. Ted, t/sgt. 36757188, 652 North Aberdeen Street, Chicago, Illinois, born I-NOV-1924. 
292. John Petty, s/sgt. 14153171, Route 2, Cartridge, Tennessee, born 22-MAR-1918.
293. Elmo Gustilian, s/sgt. 38487870, Bervick, Louisiana, born 29-AUG-1924.

B-24, 783 B. SQ. 465 B. G. the machines being damaged, landed near Gornje Jezero, 31-MAR-1945, left from the aerodrome in Krasinec for Bari 5-APR-1945:
294. Harry C. Bartels, lst It. 0-827778, 7414, Normandy Lane, Philadelphia, born 31-JUL-1920.
295. Amos D. Key, 2nd lt., Rosalin, Tennessee, born 26-AUG-1921 at Clark Range, Tennessee.
296. Martin D. Seiler, 2nd It. 0-2001603, 245 East 34 St., Brooklyn, New York, born 17-NOV-1916 in New York.
297. Joseph E. McGrath, 2nd It. 0-2001253, 45 Street, Pomeroy, Washington, born 12-APR-1922.
298. William G. Mitchell, s/sgt. 110700905, 106 North East St., Holyoke, Massachusetts, born 26-SEP-1920.
299. Joseph T. Dulack, sgt. 11121688, 15 Main Street, Summerville, Connecticut, born 18-SEP-1923 at Harrisville, Rhode Island.
300. Norman Kjelerson, sgt. 37563186, Hansboro, North Dakota, born 25-APR-1925.
301. Robert E. Shelton, sgt. 34799386, Brandenton, Florida, born 9-SEP-1925.
302. Howard H. Harwey, sgt. 19094847, 205 Eiden Drive, Idaho, born 4-FEB-1920 at Boyse, Idaho.
303. Joseph Swift, t/sgt. 19137160, 1232 Glen. Ave., Berkeley VIII, California, born 5-OCT-1915 in Chicago, Illinois.


Slovenian Partisans - Krasinec Aerodrome

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Cornwall and Steelton, Pa.