During my research on the Matković family tree from the Virje parish, I came to a point when in that parish there is no further information about that family. It came to me that I should try looking in a nearby parish of Đurđevac. At that time I did not know that the birth and death records, which are kept in the Croatian State Archives in Zagreb, are severely damaged. During my research I found out the reason for such a state of the books. The reason is written in the books, shown in the next picture (translation added).
“Remark: This book was found in a barn of Đakovo’s (wrongly written Đakovo, which is a town in Slavonija, it was meant to spell Đurđevac) bell-ringer, where it was hidden during the Cossacks invasion after the Second World War. The book was found after the bell-ringer’s death and the priest’s return from prison!”
You can see the state of decline of the books from the additional pictures I included. This shows some of the problems genealogists must face during their research. Even when the records exist and are available, they can be in a lousy state.