Our Volunteers: Miha Rus in Slovenia

Our Volunteers: Miha Rus in Slovenia

MyHeritage has a dedicated team of global volunteer translators who help us provide native language pages to their fellow citizens. Today, we’d like to introduce you to Miha Rus, 47, of Brezovica, Slovenia.

Miha speaks Slovenian and Croatian, in addition to Serbian which is closely related to Croatian.

I also speak Bulgarian and a little Macedonian which is related both to Bulgarian and Serbian. I speak other Slavic languages also, Polish the best. I have learned Hebrew by myself and succeeded to read and write alef-bet and understand some basic phrases.

Miha completed his studies in Slovenian and Slavonic linguistics at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana and works as a proofreader for a translation agency Iolar in that city. He has recently published two books. The first was about his father Ciril on the 30th anniversary of his death, and the second was Miha’s first poetry collection.

He is a choir singer and recently joined a gospel a capella group called Bee Geesus. He loves to ride his fixed-gear bike and to play guitar.

Miha and his wife (who also completed her studies at the same school in the Slovenian language, Ethnology, and Anthropology) have ten children, ages 20 to 3.

The older ones are interested in genealogy because I am, but they have not yet started any private genealogical research.

He has been interested in genealogy since childhood and believes he inherited his interest from his mother.

My mother, Marija, married Ciril Rus and moved to Log pri Brezovici from Dolenjska (Lower Carniola) region. She was well aware of her ancestry and got to know people from the border of the Ljubljana marsh, southwest of the city, where a shallow lake was the location for ancient pile-dwelling cultures. Today it is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Also, I have always been interested in local history and the people who have lived here since prehistoric times.

Miha’s mother’s maternal great-aunt Ana Kokelj (aunt of Mary Birdsell in Carona, Kansas), along with his older brothers and sisters (from left) Matjaž, Marička, Andrej and Metka [Credit: Miha Rus]

Miha’s mother’s maternal great-aunt Ana Kokelj (aunt of Mary Birdsell in Carona, Kansas), along with his older brothers and sisters (from left) Matjaž, Marička, Andrej and Metka [Credit: Miha Rus]

His family’s first tree was made by his younger sister Karlina, probably for a homework assignment. Miha has upgraded and expanded it.

Originally my genealogical data was on Geni.com, but later I exported a GEDcom and used it to enter new data in the Brother’s Keeper software. When I began to actively translate as a volunteer for MyHeritage, I imported the GEDcom into MyHeritage.

Today, his tree has some 7,700 people, and about 2,000 are his relatives. He also researches the families of his friends and acquaintances.

I’m very glad if I find a connection to existing entries in my tree.

Miha’s paternal ancestors are from west of Ljubljana, and their common ancestor was an orphan from Trieste. His maternal ancestors are almost all from Lower Carniola. Many moved to the capital, Ljubljana, or its environs, while some also emigrated to America.

He has known about MyHeritage since early 2009. Since he works as a reviewer in a translation company, translating was always an additional challenge.

In the beginning, I wasn’t really an active translator, but I’ve recently begun to translate much more for MyHeritage. I like the fact that the basic functionality is already familiar to me. Thus, I can connect my professional experience and my hobby. I am proud that I can help put this into Slovenian and connect my countrymen through a genealogical network, both at home and abroad. Today, Slovenians are numerous in the US, Canada and Argentina.

My relatives are familiar with Geni, but I am trying to refocus them on MyHeritage. When we meet on MyHeritage, I will be able to monitor the Slovenian translations in various ways. I am looking forward especially to the new DNA features, because I hope I will be able to eventually find a connection to a foundling named Janez Rus, the orphan from Trieste. Since there are no foster care books in the parish where he was adopted, it is very difficult and almost impossible to determine his origin.

One Saturday in August, Miha helped two brothers – his mother’s cousins – to organize a reunion of his mother’s relatives.

We gathered in Pristavlja vas in the Dolenjska region, close to the ancient Cistercian monastery in Stična. It was a great success because of the number of relatives who attended the event, and the wonderful late summer weather.

Miha is also happy because his family built a memorial marking 80 years since the death of his mother’s brother, Jože Sadar, Jr. He had been watching the grazing cows for distant relatives and drowned in a waterhole not far away. Because his family was poor, they weren’t able to erect a cemetery monument, so this new memorial marks his place of death.

With help from his wife’s relative, Miha prepared a pamphlet describing the family’s history.

It is a valuable document. Without it, much of what my mother Marija told me would be forgotten. She loved her family (I am the sixth of seven children) and also had a vivid interest in all the people with whom she lived. I hope that I will also succeed to preserve as many memories of my ancestors and to give it to my 10 children.

Would you like to become a member of our volunteer translation team? Please visit our translations page for more details.