The Slovenian Genealogy Society International, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable corporation that collects and distributes information on Slovenian family history. SGSI, Inc., is a self-help community, whose common goal is to help members make use of available information to perform their own genealogy research. An executive board, whose members serve on a volunteer basis to preserve, promote, and protect Slovenian genealogy, govern the society.

The Slovenian Genealogy Society International, Inc., founded in 1986 by Al Peterlin, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, was established to preserve and make available to the public, records documenting the lives of individuals with Slovenian ancestry. Mr. Peterlin served as Executive President of SGSI Inc., for twenty years and currently oversees the organization as its CEO. During his leadership, important preservation projects were developed to fund the necessary copying of rapidly deteriorating pre-1900 birth, marriage, and death records housed in the Archives of Slovenia. In addition, many important Slovenian manuscripts were translated into English and published to benefit genealogy research. These include Novi Svet and the History of Kostel. Presently, Mr. Peterlin is guiding the translation of the Dimitz’ History of Slovenia into English from the original German language-this book has never been printed in Slovenian! In addition to working on translation projects, Al heads up a special project for SGSI in establishing a nationwide fundraising drive.

The current President of the Slovenian Genealogy Society International, Inc. is Rose Marie (Macek) Jisa of Cleveland, Ohio. Rose Marie began her leadership role in 2007, serving a growing organization with an international membership. She has been instrumental in developing the SGSI Oral History Preservation Project, as well as instituting a Slovene Genealogy Research Library currently housed within the Slovene Museum and Archives in Cleveland, Ohio. Rose Marie is dedicated to SGSI’s many important genealogy volunteer projects and continues to support the growth of ten (10) state and regional SGSI chapters.


The purpose of the Slovenian Genealogy Society International, Inc. is to enrich the lives of individuals with Slovenian ancestry by helping them forge a link to the past.

We do this by:

  • Providing a forum to help individuals of Slovenian heritage or interest to discover, research, and exchange genealogy information.
  • Preserving Slovenian genealogy records, publications, oral histories, and general information by housing and maintaining an ever growing repository and providing the means to make this information available to all members.
  • Building a community where personal stories and experiences specific to the culture of Slovenia can be shared.


The Slovenian Genealogy Society International is incorporated as a non-profit, charitable corporation, and has received IRS approval as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. This allows individuals, corporations, or other non-profits who make donations to deduct them as itemized charitable deductions for U.S. tax purposes.



Honorable August B Pust, Ph.D. US Commissioner (Ret), Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad Director Emeritus, Multicultural & International Relations, State of Ohio Citizen Diplomat – International Fellow – 2008 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipient 2008 Slovenian Man of the Year

The worldwide Slovenian community now has a unique opportunity to be informed and to be involved with a project that is extremely significant for our times. The Slovenian Genealogy Society International (SGSI) is collecting, researching, and sharing the information, which includes not only the history of our individual families, but also our heritage as Slovenians.

To research and to document the history of our families brings families and relatives together, educates our youth, and involves senior citizens. The process has become an important piece to the history of our neighborhoods, our country, and many nations. It also reflects and personalizes global history. This is our last chance. We are a generation that still has the memory, documents, and contacts of the events of the last century. Now is the time to tell our story, our heritage, and our family's contributions.

I strongly encourage the members of our Slovenian community to join me and other supporters to be a part of SGSI, Inc. We have an important opportunity to get involved, to be part of wide range programs of this Society, and to join this journey of discovery of our roots. We honor our ancestry, show a proper respect, perpetuate our heritage, and extend our everlasting gift of legacy to the future generations by doing so.


Rose Marie (Macek) Jisa, SGSI President 2007- Present

Growing up, it wasn’t important in my family to know where my parents were born or where they came from. If fact, we didn’t talk about it because we were now “Americans”! However, as the years passed, I realized the importance of giving my children and grandchildren a sense of their Slovenian ethnicity.

Thanks to SGSI’s founder, Al Peterlin, and his first visit to Cleveland, Ohio in 1988, I answered his call for volunteers and the rest is history! Through 20 years of membership, I’ve traced my families’ histories to the beginning of the 1700s, met relatives in Slovenia I didn’t know I had, studied the Slovenian language on two different occasions at the University of Ljubljana’s Poletna sola program, initiated two State SGSI chapters, am much more knowledgeable about Slovenian history and mores, and now am your SGSI President! You can tell--I have become passionate about my Slovenian heritage!

Because you are reading this message, you, too, have an interest in tracing your family’s Slovenian history. SGSI can help! As a member, we offer you the following:

  • . . . how to get started,
  • . . . a Slovenian letter writing guide,
  • . . . our quarterly newsletter, the Linden Tree,
  • . . . an on-line chat room,
  • . . . a surname index,
  • . . . an index of surnames from over 60 church record books from around the U.S.,
  • . . . translations of Slovenian books listing surnames,
  • . . . and much, much more.

You can also request a kit to submit your oral history, or that of a relative or friend who is Slovenian, to our archives in Cleveland, Ohio where we are establishing a national archive of oral histories so future generations will have knowledge of how we Slovenians have contributed to America’s history.

Also important as a member, you support the many projects SGSI has undertaken such as the oral history program, SGSI’s “home” at the Slovenian Museum and Archives, the SGSI website, the translation of Slovenian genealogy-related books to English, and monetary support to the Archbishopric Archives in Ljubljana to assist them in preserving their repository of birth, marriage, and death records. Additionally, we accept donations which are tax deductible for you because we are a designated 501 (c) (3) charitable organization.

Yes, I am proud to be Slovenian, that is for sure . . . and I am happy to devote my time to being your president. Please feel free at any time to contact me personally with any questions you may have. My email address is sgsipres.rmj@ameritech.net.


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