I have the notes taken on behalf of an illiterate coal miner immigrant for his affidavit for naturalization in 1936. In there it is written:

enter image description here

which reads:

I am married, wife's name is Theresa Gregorcic. We were married Sept. 26, 1897 at Trbontle, Juga Slovia. She was born at Vel Cirnik, Austria.

Veliki Cirnik is between city Celje and Novo Mesto. (See map here.)

The issue is that no one from that area knows of any place named Trbontle. Closest guesses so far are Trbovlje or Trebnje. Trbovlje is not so far north from Veliki Cirnik, there is also a mine there. Trebnje is a bit south west from Veliki Cirnik and does not appear to have mining. The transcriber was probably not a native, but an American, so would Trbontle phonetically sound like either of those two cities as pronounced by a native of one of them?

What cities could he have meant so I can try and find church records for their marriage?


I used the GOV (which now include placenames from most of Europe) and searched for Trb*. 3 possible matches to Trbontle were among the results:

Trbovlje, Slovenia (one of your finds, and probably best match),
Trbonje, near Dravograd in Slovenia, and
(less likely) Trbounje, in Croatia

Trbonje has its own church, according to Wikipedia, but the FamilySearch catalog does not include it.

You might want to search the GOV yourself, using other wildcard placements. Results are shown on a map as well as in a list, making it easier to see relative positions.

There may be other on-line gazetters which include Slovenia, but a cursory google search did not find any similar to GOV. There were some gazetters for download or purchase: you'll have to evaluate whether these resources fit your needs.

  • What is a gazetter? Do you think the spelling of Trb* was likely faithfully reproduced in America by the transcriber?
    – WilliamKF
    Oct 22 '17 at 14:51
  • 2
    "Trb" is not a letter combination used in English or western European languages. As a first search attempt, the results were all in the correct region. I also tried tr?b*n * , but there were many French etc. results muddying the waters. Gazetteers are extremely useful as lists of placenames, and usually include auxillary information about the place -- name variants, population or dwelling counts, churches or parish assignments, government offices, etc.
    – bgwiehle
    Oct 22 '17 at 16:54
  • 1
    For an overview of gazetteers for this area, see the FamilySearch Wiki, for example: familysearch.org/wiki/en/Croatia_Gazetteers or familysearch.org/wiki/en/Slovenia_Gazetteers (enter the name of the country plus the word Gazetteers). If you can't access the book online at FamilySearch, check Worldcat.org or look for older books online at Google Books, Internet Archive, Hathi Trust.
    – Jan Murphy
    Oct 25 '17 at 21:05

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