Croatian arrivals from Fiume (Rijeka, Croatia)-Negovetich and Simonich


Peter Negovetich (1869-1940) was born in Fiume, now Rijekva, Croatia.  He was a resident of Volosca when he left Croatia and landed near Mobile Bay in October 1893 when his ship was driven during the 1893 Hurri.cane  He was living at 231 Myrtle Street at Biloxi in August 1918 when he applied for citizenship. 

Peter married Maria Kercich (1963-1935), also a Croatian immigrant, in Harrison County, Mississippi. Mary was the widow of Martin [Matteo] Polovich [also Puglisvich and Pulovich] and Antonio Illich (1862-1899). All of her children were born in New Orleans: Vincent Polovich (1882-?); Anna Polovich [she spelled it Pulovich] (1885-1967) m. Frank M. Subat (d. April 1944); Mary M. Illich (1891-1907); John Illich (1893-1970) m. Nettie Elizabeth Bills (1891-1918); Antonia Clara Illich (1896-1941) m. Octave Trochesett (1890-1955); Angelina Illich (1897-1967) m. Marco Skrmetta (d. 1959); and Mike [Michel] Illich (1899-1968).(Harrison Co., Mississippi Circuit Court MRB 13, p. 114)


The Daily Herald, 'Receives patent', July 21, 1914, p. 2.

The Daily Herald, 'Foreigners want citizenship', August 5, 1918, p. 3.

The Daily Herald, 'Peter Negovetich died yesterday', February 16, 1940, p. 3.

The Times-Picayune, 'Subat', April 13, 1944, p. 2.

The Times-Picayune, 'Subat', February 11, 1967, p. 8.



Victor Simonich (1862-1916) was born in Fiume, now Rijeka, Croatia on September 9, 1862.  He immigrated to America arriving at New Orleans in 1881.  Victor Simonich came to Biloxi circa 1892, where he became engaged as a fruit dealer and grocery merchant.  On September 9, 1891, he married Matilda Sforzin [now Swansine] (1877-1948), born at Mali Lošinj, Primorje-Gorski Kotar, Croatia and the daughter of Antonio Sforzin [now Swansine] (1832-1888) and Matteo Vidulich (1850-1910).  Their nuptials were celebrated at the home of her mother and step-father, Antonio “Capt. Toney” Bunicich, in Handsboro, Harrison County, Mississippi. .(The Daily Herald, July 4, 1916, p. 3 and The Daily Herald, September 12, 1891, p. 1)

Victor Simonich and family resided at 407 Magnolia Street at Biloxi, Mississippi.  He owned a grocery store at the corner of Howard and Delaunay Street.  In November 1906 he moved the store to larger quarters on West Howard Avenue, two- doors west from Delaunay Street and in 1907 he opened a second store on Nixon Street.  In 1916, Victor Simonich was granted a patent for a barrel cover which found great utility with Biloxi’s merchants.  The business prospered thusly that Mr. Simonich was receiving daily orders for his invention for local utility and export.  Victor apparently over extended himself and from about 1914 through 1916 he reportedly took advantage, for personal use, some of the funds belonging to the Austrian Benevolent Society for whom he was treasurer. When an accounting was demanded, he sadly committed suicide on July 3, 1916.  Matilda lived until 1948. Their corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Daily Herald,May 17, 1916, p. 2 and July 4, 1916, p. 1)

Victor Simonich and Matilda Swansine Simonich were the parents of: ?atio Onorato Simonich (1893-1893); Louise M. Simonich (1894-1972) m. Joseph F. Uccellini; John Anthony Simonich (1895-1967) m. Leola Dellenger (1904-1988) and Elvina Holliman Brielmaier; Albert Edward Simonich (1897-1900); Matilda Simonich m. George Quint; Victoria Simonich m. J. Randoff; Inez Irma Simonich (1906-1929) m. Elmer R. Walker; Joseph Anthony Simonich (1907-1965) m. Audrey F. Sterne (1917-1988); and Henry J. Simonich m. Hazel Turner.



The Daily Herald, “Simonich manufacturing barrel covers”, May 17, 1916.

The Daily Herald, “Victor Simonich Kills Himself At Home Tuesday”, July 4, 1916.

The Daily Herald, “Ucelline (sic)-Simonich”, November 26, 1919, p. 4.