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Susan Minarich Options
Posted: Sunday, June 26, 2011 11:35:16 AM
Rank: Advanced Member
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Joined: 3/28/2008
Posts: 152
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Susan Minarich
Hi Laurie (and all Minarichs out there)!

I have some background that might be helpful.

Back in 1982 when I was 13 years old, I went with my parents to a big Minarich family reunion in upper peninsula Michigan (above Wisconsin) in a town called Hermansville.

Back in my great great grandfather's day (circa late 1800s to early 1900s), it was very much a 'family' town with a family-run wood flooring business (i.e. logging, cutting, and finishing). It's my understanding that everyone was even paid in company money in those days, which could not even be used outside of 'town.'

My grandfather Nicholas was born circa 1911 (he never was quite sure of the year he was born!) and was one of some large number of 9(?) kids. I remember writing down the whole family tree that was posted on the wall in the meeting hall where the reunion was being held, but I unfortunately can't find it at the moment. So I'll have to get back on that (hopefully with all of the kids' names - perhaps some of our group members' grandparents or great-grandparents).

Anyways, my great great grandparents were John (Yunko) Mlinaric [this is the correct Croatian spelling with a different pronunciation - will get back to this in a moment] and Mary Kznarich. John was the son of Matthew Mlinaric and Mary Barbitch from Breznick, Croatia (also Yugoslavia). My immediate grandfather was unfortunately orphaned at a relatively young age, and it was his older sister Mary who ensured that the siblings, who were each placed in separate homes, all remained more or less 'in touch' with each other (Mary became a nun at age 15 and became ordained, if that's the right word, as 'Sister Agatha').

Rumor has it that my great great grandfather John got out of the family business by making distilled 'hooch' on the side and getting paid by 'out of towners' in good old American greenbacks. Rumor also has it that the Feds were after him, so he skipped town to end up in Chicago, as it was still Prohibition when all this business was going on. But he achieved his goal - he was 'out.' My immediate family (i.e. grandfather Nicholas ~1911-1968 and some siblings) hails from the Chicagoland area.

Now back to the 'Mlinaric' part. In Croatian, it simply means 'Miller.' It is pronounced 'Mah-LIN-a-vich.' I verified this with a Croatian-Bosnian couple that lived down the hall from me in Chicago in 1993, who had moved to the US as 'students' to escape the Bosnian War. The Croatian wife, who had to go through medical school all over again in the US (because the US didn't recognize her Croatian M.D. credentials), explained this to me very definitively. I also know that my grandfather Nicholas chose the Americanized name 'Minarich,' as this was not the exact last name he was born with. Some others from Hermansville opted for 'Minerick.' But in the end, it appears nobody wanted to remain a 'Mlinaric.' So it is my understanding that all of these American variations were simply chosen, but the family and the root family name are still the same - 'Mlinaric.'

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