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Jozo (1860-1934)

Josip Murkovic “Jozo” (1860-1934)  &
Janjica Tominac (1858-1915)

When the time came for Jozo to find someone to marry, Mate encouraged Jozo to start courting Janjica Tominac. 
 
Janjica Tominac was two years older than Jozo and was the first daughter of the frontiersman Ivan Tominac in Brinje. She had a brother and three sisters:  Magdalena (Lenka), Ana (Nina) and Franka. Her father Ivan was an officer with Frontiersmen. This was a part of the army dedicated to protecting the borders of the country primarily against the Turks. At that time officers were a highly respected social rank in society. Being an officer the Austro-Hungarian state subsidized his children’s education. As a result all his daughters were brought up in Austria and all but Janjica completed teachers college. Janjica only had four or five years of schooling however her 3 sisters all finished teachers college. Interestingly, none of her sisters ever taught. Nina and Franka both married officers: Nina married Milan Demetrović, mayor of Slavonska Pivnica, Franka married a Mihalić and Lenka married a Professor Pavao pl. Rukavina from Zagreb. Nina adopted a daughter, Zorka. Nina and Lenka were both widowed rather early and did not have children. They had a house in Daruvar and lived there with Zorka and Zorka's birth mother. Nina and Lenka passed away before WW2.

In about 1878/1879 at the age of 20 Janjica married Joso who was about 18 at the time. This would have been unusual for the times and it is therefore possible that she was pregnant at the time, but that is speculation. The happy couple went on to have 9 children (possibly 10). They had five sons, all of whom went to war in WW1 and all returned. This was highly unusual and lucky.

Janjica and Jozo started their family soon after getting married; their firstborn, Mica, died at an early age. They then had another daughter which they named Maria but everyone called her Mica after the couple’s first child. Then they had five sons and finished it off with two more daughters.

The children were named : 

  1. Mica - died as a baby;
  2. Mica (registered as Maria) - married name Crnadak;
  3. Mate (named after Jozo’s father) - had an illustrious military career, had two sons but they both died childless;
  4. Ivan (named after Janjica’s father) - the begining of a whole new, prosperous branch;
  5. Josip (named after himself) - Vesna, Seka and Braco (Maria and Josip);
  6. Slavoljub and/or Slave - died childless in the attack on the Dvor. Braco said that he thought that Slavoljub died while a baby and that the next baby who was also a male was also called Slavoljub (Slave for short). Seka could not confirm this, so we’re not sure if they had 9 or 10 children;
  7. Vladimir (Vlado or Vlade) - executed by the Partizani after being turned away by troops in Austria in the days following WW2;
  8. Franja - married name Jovanovic, and
  9. Anna (or Ančica) - married name Kuharić.

After Janjica died in 1915, Jozo became involved with his housekeeper who the family had hired to help around the house. The housekeeper encouraged him to drink and it some of the family valuables began to disappear at this time. The family were not impressed and eventually, when his son Joško got married and brought his new bride home, Joško and the rest of the family ganged up on their father and had the housekeeper released from her duties.

Jozo was highly respected in Stajnica and many residents remember him or know of him to this day. It should be noted that he belonged to the Matica Hrvatska in Brinje (oldest cultural institution from 1877 to 1942).

We think that Jozo spoke Croatian and only the little German that he had picked up from school. He died on December 14, 1934. In his book on Stajnica, Tominac says that Josip was known as an industrialist, merchant and proprietor. A large number of Stajnica residents came to the funeral (Tominac 2004). [check if Tominac is any relation to Janjica]

Seka was 7 at the time of Jozo's death. She remembers that she must have been sick at the time because someone picked her up, wrapped her in a blanket and carried her downstairs to the study where her grandfather lay, surrounded by six large candles, three on each side. The funeral was a large affair - the Monsignor came to the funeral as did three priests from Stajnica and nearby towns.

Jozo Murkovic

 

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