Great source of information about genealogical research in Croatia and suggested steps that should be taken during the research is hosted on http://www.appleby.net/genealogy.html.
The basic steps include the following:
- A person interested in genealogical research in Croatia should know the names of the ancestors. Particular attention should be payed to the spelling, as many surnames changed in time as the ancestors moved from Croatia to other countries. Sometimes, the change is so drastic that the name doesn’t even resemble original Croatian names (eg. Hitrec -> Hitrez -> Hitritz, through the metamorphosis the surname turned German-like).
- Dates of birth, marriage or death should be known. Knowing the occupation of the ancestor can be of a great help, since old state-owned companies, governments and schools kept their records.
- Name of the place the ancestor originates – you should check on the map to make sure the name of the location wasn’t modified. Please bear in mind that what is today Croatia, even in the last 100 years changed several countries: Austro-Hungarian Empire, State of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia and Croatia. Not all parts of today’s Croatia were part of those countries, eg. Zadar and Dalmatia belonged to Italy in WWII.
- Try to get in touch with the nearest church or parish (called Župni ured). It is the place where old church records are still kept in Croatia (apart from state archives). You can find the phone numbers in the phone directory.
- Ask people on the Internet!
For more detailed instructions, please take a look at the Tutorial for Genealogists.