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The centuries old Segulja home

by D. Kabalin from Novi.


The Dubravko Segulja family in traditional Novi
garb: Cedomir, Milojka, Dragana, and Dubravko

The Ban Pictured above (left) is Margaret Segulja Pottorff (Michael Pottorff's mother and Aaron Peck's grandmother) standing in front of the Segulja family home in Novi Vinodolski, Croatia. At right is how the house appeared in 1947, being repaired from the effects of an Italian bomb strike, a few years prior. According to legend, the room above the door went to the oldest son, who was to become a priest. This ended when America opened up and the eldest, Venko, jumped the wall to be followed by Peter, Felix, and John, leaving only Edward and Josip to carry on the priesthood tradition. The birth of Edward's daughter, Anica, eliminated Edward and papal political alliances prior to and during the war soured the family on the idea. The home, reputedly 400 years old has been entirely in the family for all but the last generation. Other than repairs to the house, other family scars of WWII are in the nearby museum where a plaque honors the memory of family member Dragomir Mudrovcic, who was killed by the Nazis, and, another plaque honors family member Ivan Jezic who succumbed to injuries sustained in a beating administered by Italian fascists. Click HERE to view the list of Novljani victims, most related to our family, that were murdered at the infamous Jasenovac extermination camp. To the left, view Ivan Mazuranic, the Ban (Viceroy) b. 1814, d. 1890--the first, non-noble leader of Croatia. Click Here to see how many names on this list are related to the Mazuranic family.

Jacov Segulja b. abt 1746, married Lucija Zanich b. 1746, d. 30 March 1816, on 24 November 1760. Jacov was the first Novi Segulja, moving here from Drvenik. The surname Segulja comes from the part of Croatia that is called Medimurje. This is situated in the north of Croatia close to Austria and Slovenia. It isn't clear when they came to Novi, Jadranovo and Bakar etc. - on the coast of Croatia, and it is estimated that they arrived around the year 1100 AD. During that time there was a lot of people that immigrated down to the coast to escape the slavery in the north. Novi was the first town that was free of slavery and allowed the people to live as free citizens. In those days Novi was known as Novigrad, or Zupanicgrad. Born in this house in 1768 was Anton Segulja who grew up and married Franciska Mrzljak (also born in 1768). They had a son Ivan (1795-1864) who married Marigareta Umiljenovic (1792-1849). They had two sons, Petar (1823-1855) and Vincentious (1829-1892). Petar (Petrus) married Marija Dobric (1827-1884). They would be Tom Segulja's great grandparents, Michael Pottorff's great great grandparents, Michael and Carrie Segulja's and Aaron and Ryan Peck's great great great grandparents, and Travis Armstrong's and Alyssa Laughlin's great great great great grandparents. For a comprehensive list of Segulja ancestors of the current Novi, Arizona, Montana, and Texas lines, click here. Click Here to see the entire list (as of 6/2004) of Novi Segulja descendants.

Roko pic Roko's grave

In addition to two daughters, Margaritha in 1847--Margaritha would give us our Cvetko 3rd cousins and a branch of Deranjas, and Manda Cecilia in 1852, Manda Cecilia would become the link to the U.S. Kargacins) and a son Vinko in 1855, in 1850, they had a son, Roko Ivan Segulja (1850-1912), pictured left. He was the father of Genoveva/"Gena" (Genevieve), Venko/Vence (Vance Sr.), Petar (Pete), Freiko/Filico (Felix), Ivan (John), Eduard (Edward), and Josip (Joe). Two others sons, both named Anton would die as children, Anton #1 1887-91 and Anton #2 1895-96. From 1893-1904, Roko was the Mayor of Novi Vinodolski. His wife was Mary Jezic (1857-1924), pictured below. To view the ancestry of the Jezic line, click here.

Mary Jezic, Michael and Carrie's great-great grandmother was the daughter of Paval Jezic (6/10/1820) and Lucille Radetic (11/1/1816). There are Jezics (Charles Jezick) formerly in Montana, now in Wickenburg, Arizona and Radetics (Cecelia Miller) in Arizona. In this photo, with Mary Jezic are her three youngest sons, John (the tallest and oldest), Edward and Josip. The young girl was Gena's first born, Marija (Maricic), who would meet a youthful death from tuberculosis. View scenes of a 1947 reunion of Venko (Vence/Vance Sr.) with his sister Genevieve (Gena) and younger brothers Josip and Edward by clicking here.

Genevieve's husband, Mikula Maricic (Zeljka, Nikola, Vinko, Karmen, Ranko, Elvira, Margarita, Antonio, Boris, Ivan, Erena, and Margret's grandfather), his stepmother Marija, and father, Anton Maricic, deceased.

Gen's pic Gen's kids At left is a photo of Genevieve, flanked by Luzaria (l) and Filipina (r). She married Mikula Maricic and had (pictured right) Luzaria, who had no children, Katarina who married Anton Sokolic, had four children, and, subsequently, emigrated to Argentina, Filipina who married Ivan Miletic and had four children including a daughter Karmen--who married Hubert Antich and resides in South Africa with their daughter Marijana--and, Anton who married Mara (Margaret) Kabalin who had Boris, Erina, and Margret who live in New Zealand and Ivan who lives in Australia, and Ivan, a university student, b. 6 July 1913 died 28 Mar 1935 in Vrapce, Croatia in an institution for the reality impaired. Not pictured is the youngest, Andjelko, who married Pavica Jelicic and lives in Novi. Pictured above, in the Marija Jezic photo, is Gena's first daughter, Marija, who died of TB at the age of 14. Two additional children died as infants.

Edwards's family Joe/Ursula's Wed Edward and his wife Katarina had no other children, and their daughter, Anica, died without children (pictured left). Josip married Ursula Sokolic (pictured right) and had four children, Ivan, Marija, Danijel, and Blazenka. Ivan died as a toddler. Marija has remained single. Danijel married Marija Mrzljak and had two sons, Ivica--who married Tajana Kezele, and had two children, Stefan and Nina--and Dubravko--who married Milojka Butorac and had Dragana and Cedomir.--Josip's other daughter, Blazenka, married Stefan Spoja. They had a daughter Visnja who married Milan Mrdja, and they had two children Dejan and Asja. Josip owned a small electric mill, used to grind grain, in the Scedine district of Novi; as a small child, his grand niece, Karmen Miletic, would carry corn to the mill to be ground into meal to make polenta. Below, view Josip and Ursula's children.

Josip's family Joe/Ursula's kids At left view, Marija, Danijel, Ursula, Joe and Blazenka. At right, view a post WWII portrait of Marija, Danijel, and Blazenka.

The other older boys, Vance, Pete, Felix, and John (John gets in both pictures) are shown below.

before deportation wobbly emblem This picture, of the four Segulja brothers in America (back row: Pete, Vance; front row: Felix, John), was taken in Bisbee Arizona. The brothers arrived in America in 1906. Vance was fresh from a tour of duty in China, during the Boxer Rebellion, as a member of the Austria-Hungary Marine Corps. John, at age 14, and Felix secured employment as lumberjacks in the Pacific Northwest, while Vance and Peter went to the mines. Eventually, they all ended up at the Phelps Dodge mine in Bisbee, Arizona. Check out Felix at the Inspiration Mine. All 4 brothers are wearing Croatian Club lapel pins. . .some say, they are Wobbly pins. No matter, for in the anti-foreigner hysteria of 1917, either classification was bad enough as the 4 Seguljas joined 1,200+ others in being deported at gunpoint by deputized company vigilante thugs. They were herded into boxcars and dumped into the desert of Columbus, New Mexico. Vance (Sr.'s) deportation number was 107; Pete was #268; Felix was #377; while John was #392. Less than 3 months prior to their deportation, they were required to pay a school (poll) tax. They owned a house in Bisbee, but the brothers never went back to claim it, as deputies were hired to keep the strikers out. To see the entire list of Deportees, Click HERE.

Pursued by Seguljas?
Between Pancho Villa's raid on Columbus, New Mexico, March 9, 1916, and early January 1917, Felix Segulja, according to family legend, obtained employment with General John "Blackjack" Pershing, in chasing Pancho Villa (unsuccessfully) around Northern Mexico

The strikers, being herded by gunpoint to the waiting boxcars for deportation to the New Mexico desert

Out of town! You goddamn Wobblies, Bolsheviks, and Seguljas!

They bought a farm in Texas. John and Felix went West and bought farms in Gadsden, Arizona. Soon, thereafter, John and Felix would get drafted to fight against Germany by the same government that sanctioned the striker deportation because they might be German sympathizers (go figure).

12 year old warrior DOUGHBOYBy the age of 12, John, right (here in doughboy regalia), was a battle hardened veteran of the Austria-Hungary Marine Corps, like his brother Vinko, being involved in the turmoil of 1904-1905. At the age of 14 he came to America in 1906. Following the deportation of 1917, which saw Pete and Vence go to the Texas farm, he and his brother Felix went back to Arizona to farm--only to be drafted within the year, requiring Pete to come and manage that property. Brother Josip (seated left, with brother Edward) was "invited" to the other end of the battlefield, where he spent 4 years as a Marine in the forces of Austria-Hungary. In a matter of months, John was reportedly buried alive for a week in a trench somewhere in Europe. He was missing in action for several days, and, his whereabouts were lost to the family for months. For whatever reason, oxygen deprivation, the shock of such a thing on the psyche of a young man, already subjected to an abbreviated adolescence, facing cannons as a youth, then thrust into the hell of the mines, then the hell of trench warfare in yet another war, or the fact that the mental health staff could not communicate with him, thinking him insane and treating him as such, led to his condition which involved staring at the walls of a VA hospital for 60 years.

Meanwhile, across town, there was another household, the Mudrovcic household. To view the Mudrovcic tree, click here. In it were Mathew Mudrovcic and his wife Margaret Dobric. Mathew (jr.) was the son of another Mathew Mudrovcic (Michael and Carrie's great-great-great grandfather) who at the age of 14 married Francis/Franica Maricic b.1810-1 May 1878. Mathew (Matij) sr's father was Jerolim Mudrovcic who was married to Katarina Piskulic (his first wife), then to Margareta Kriskovic who gave birth to Mathew sr. Jerolim would be Michael and Carrie's great great great great grandfather. Mathew jr's wife Margaret Dobric, was the daughter of Vinko Dobric and Francic Kriskovich (another set of Michael and Carrie Segulja's great-great-great grandparents and Travis Armstrong's and Alyssa Laughlin's great-great-great-great grandparents).

Mudrovcic family Mudrovcic Pictured left are Mathew Mudrovcic (jr) and his wife Margaret Dobric. To view the Dobric line, click here. They are Michael and Carrie's great-great grandparents. Standing alongside them is their eldest daughter Mary Mudrovcic, who would become the matriarch of the Texas Segulja clan upon marrying Venko (Vence Sr.) Segulja. To the right is the Mudrovcic family crest. According to Kresimir Mudrovcic our families split during a migration in the 15th century, with his family settling in the village of Covici, near Otocac in the Lika region, and, with our branch settling in Novi Vinodolski about the same time. Kreso's research led to the discovery of this crest, which he has provided us.

A line related to the Mudrovcic are the Piskulics, who are related to many others on this page. The Argentine branch are contributors to this page, Click HERE to see how some of them/they are related to other Novljani.

Pictured above is the other daughter, Ivana/Johana, (Michael Pottorff's grandmother), with her two oldest nephews John and Matt. This picture was taken in Croatia (the old Austria Hungary) either prior to or during the First World War, for Mary and Vance (Sr.) had returned to Novi with John (who was born in Novi) and Matt (who was born near the mine in Lowell, Arizona) prior to the war. Chris was then born in Novi. Vance returned to the mines in Arizona. Mary opted to stay a little while longer only to have her stay prolonged by another pregnancy and the civil unrest leading to the outbreak of the Great War, during which she gave birth to twins, Vance Jr. and Tom Segulja--Michael and Carrie's grandfather. During the Great War, occupying German soldiers frequently raided the Mudrovcic household looking for metals and food--Baba Johana recounted that they even stole the hinges off the doors. Mary and Johana saved the family's possessions by hiding all the metal goods and food in the corral, under a pile of manure, where the Germans did not look. After the war, Mary returned to America, bringing her younger sister Ivana (Johana).

On January 10, 1921, the Pannonia arrived from Trieste carrying Marija Mudrovcic Segulja, and her children John, Matt, Chris, Tom, and Vance, and. her sister Johana Mudrovcic (fiance of Peter Segulja)

Sailing past the Statue of Liberty, they landed at Ellis Island. They next began the processing, walking down countless enclosed hallways that connected each of the buildings. After processing, they were ready to go to Texas, but the children came down with the measles and they were quarantined in the infirmary.

Peter Segulja married Johana Mudrovcic (two brothers married two sisters) in Texas, not far from the ranch in Tornillo, Texas.

The marriage was performed at the San Elizario "San Eli" Mission on February 6, 1921

Click here to view a rendering of the church.

Brother Vence Segulja and Marija Mudrovcic's Novi wedding is depicted to the right

The only other Mudrovcic sibling was the boy Visko (Vinko) Mudrovcic. Oops, there was a sister, Franica, who died before reaching her first birthday in 1886.

From left, view Visko pictured in his WWI, Austria Hungary Marine Corps uniform, Visko as a young man, and Visko as an old man posing with neice Mary Segulia (later Cooper) during her 1947 visit. (Right Click for Larger Image)

As a young man, Visko joined the legion of young Dalmatians and Croats who went to mine Kauri gum in New Zealand--the sap that fell from the Kauri tree, some of it from live trees, some of it mined in semi-petrified condition from the sites of no longer extant forests. The gum was a key ingredient in varnish. Visko married Marija Zoricic b. 21 Oct 1887, who became the mother of Mate Kati & Drago Mudrovcich. Her father was Anton Zoricich and her mother was Katarina Kabalin. They had three children, Drago, Matthew, and Kati. Following Marija's death, Visko later married Lucia (Luska) Dobric, (pictured below) who gave birth to Mica.

Lucia Dobric Mudrovcic, Mica's mother, taken in 1955, with her grandchildren Milica and Vinko.

I know of no descendents of Drago, whom we lost during WWII. Mathew married Elza Merzljak and moved to New Zealand. They had three daughters, Mary, Helen, and Drina. Kati married Joso Butkovic and stayed in Novi. They had a son, Ivica, and two daughters, Marija and Margita. Mica married Mladem Sokolic. They stayed in Novi and had a son Vinko and a daughter Milica.

In addition to John, Matt, Chris, Vance, Tom, the Texas Seguljas also had Anne, Mary, Joe, Zora, Jim Victor, and Lucy.

Peter Segulja and Ivana (Johana) Mudrovcic's children--the Arizona Seguljas--are pictured below.

The oldest daughter, Mary, then Margaret, then Annie, then Pete Jr. Mary married Tony Kriskovich; her children are Antoinette--three children with Larry Reynolds: Kathryn, Teresa, and, Daniel--and William (Bill) who is single with no children. Margaret married Nathan Pottorff; her children are Michael (me, divorced, living with the prettiest girl in the world, Cece, no children, with two cats, Stacey age 26, a tortoise shell, Chatsworth age 16, a female red tabby, and 2 boy cats, Max a 6 year old black Burmese, and Roscoe a 5 year old Pixie Bob ) and Yvonne--Yvonne married Ron Peck and has Aaron and Ryan to show for it. Annie married Jack Hansen; her children are Paula--one son Dustin Berg from a marriage to Robert Berg; she is now married to John Klema--and Johanna, who married Don Whisman and had two children, Daniel and Elden. Pete married Carolyn Franks and had two children, Kathi--who married Pat Greeman and had a son, Jerrod Tyrell--and Pete III (Petey) who is single with no children.

Felix married Elizabeth Amlie. They had no children. Click here to view other photos of Felix. Standing, far right, is wedding party member, Annie Hansen (Segulja).

To check up on family gossip, click here.

If you want to check up on who's having a birthday, click here.

If you want to contact a Segulja by e-mail, check to see if they are on our growing e-mail directory.

To check out family members' web pages, click here.

To view the web awards this site has won, click here.

Ok, you Seguljas, if you've got information to add, send it in!

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