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Original scientific paper

The Basic Traits and an Analysis of Some Structural Changes among Croats from Žumberak in Cleveland

Nada Hranilović ; Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies, Zagreb, Croatia

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page 195-221

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The first Croatian immigrants in Cleveland (Ohio), coming as part of the migration wave to the USA at the end of the 19th century, originated from the mountainous region of western Croatia called Žumberak. The people of Žumberak emigrated due to specific local reasons at home. As a subethnic Croatian group with a highly developed national consciousness, closely bound together by the myth (or reality) of their origin as Uskoks fleeing from the Ottoman advance, as by their Eastern-Rite Catholic religion, in their new homeland they created settlements with identical features as in the land from which they originated. Data on marriages and natality are very indicative in this sense. On the basis of original records from the parish books of the Eastern-Rite Catholic parish of Saint Nicholas in Cleveland, the author analyses some changes in the social structure of this homogeneous and closed settlement of people from Žumberak in the period from the time of the first immigration till the 1930s. The data and calculated rates of marriages, natality and mortality of the first and a part of the second generation of migrants from Žumberak in Cleveland provide a relatively exact picture of the essential traits and some structural changes among them. In the paper, the author also notes the types of migration from Žumberak to Cleveland, the spatial distribution of the immigrants in this city, their social organisation and the role of the parish of Saint Nicholas in their lives.


immigrants; Croats; social structure; Cleveland

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