Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla on a 1994 banknote in Yugoslavia, photo by Candyman/

Date of Birth: 10 July, 1856

Place of Birth: Smiljan, Austrian Empire (now Croatia)

Date of Death: January 7, 1943

Place of Death: New York City, New York, U.S.

Ethnicity: Serbian

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian and American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist. He is known for contributing to the design of the modern (AC) electricity supply system.

Nikola was the son of Đuka Mandić and Milutin Tesla, an Eastern Orthodox priest. He had ancestors from western Serbia, near Montenegro. Nikola moved to Prague, Budapest, and Paris, before coming to the U.S. He lived in New York and Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was an Austrian citizen until 1891, when he became a U.S. citizen.

Nikola’s paternal grandfather was Nikola Milutinov Tesla (the son of Milutin Tomislavljev Tesla and Stana Dimitrijina Popović). Nikola’s grandfather Nikola was born in Gospić, Općina Gospić, Lika-Senj County. Milutin was the son of Tomislav Tesla and Zorka Markova Ždero. Stana was the daughter of Dimitrije Markov Popović and Stoja Jarčević.

Nikola’s paternal grandmother was named Ana Kalinic.

Nikola’s maternal grandfather was named Nikola Tomin Mandić (the son of Tomo Petrov Mandić). Nikola’s grandfather Nikola was born in Gračac, Zadar, and was an Orthodox priest. Tomo was the son of Petar Mandić.

Nikola’s maternal grandmother was Sofija Budisavljević (the daughter of Tomo Markov Budisavljević and Dragojka Mandić). Sofija was born in Tomingaj, Općina Gračac, Zadar. Tomo was the son of Marko Manojlov Budisavljević.

Nikola was a first cousin, twice removed, of professional basketball players and coaches Slobodan “Piva” Ivković and Dušan Ivković, who were brothers. Nikola was a first cousin of their maternal grandmother Olga Mandić.

Source: Genealogy of Nikola Tesla –

23 Responses

  1. jonasbttencourt says:

    I highly doubt “serbian” is a real ethnicity, people there have been mixing up with easterners and north africans for quite sometime, and the ethnic background of people who live there is very blury these days, you really can’t tell them apart from greeks and croatians for exemple, by looking at them…

    • andrew says:

      Man you have lost the plot this time.

      Serbians and North Africans are worlds apart. What the hell are you talkin’ about??

      Anyway yes there are physical overlap between Serbians and Croats (and also Greeks to a lesser extent). They speak the same language too but have a different religion.

      • jonasbttencourt says:

        No, i did not lost the plot, i will read it for you since you seem slow when It comes to understand somethings : The same way that “african” does not automatically means black, “european” does not automatically means white or “caucasian”(whatever the hell this is). Do you really think light complexion, straight hair, straight nose and lips, and light eyes originated in Europe? All these traits were integrated generation after generation, due to massive imigration from Central and Southwest Asia, and later from the middle east and parts of North Africa. Do you think ginger hair really comes from Scotland? It’s actually from Central Asia, the original peoples of the Brittish Isles were quite dark in complexion, not BLACK, but still, mordern day brits are mostly so white because of fairly recent viking/nordic and anglo-saxon imigration there, so the general make up of the european population post bronze era is all over the place, and all these countries right above the mediterranian sea are no exeption, the closer to Turkey a european country is, the more mixed people look, never heard of the Ottoman Empire? Not saying southern european people are “non-white” or “POC” like americans call, because the fact that they are a bit mixed with non-european peoples does not mean they are not white, because who really is anyway? It’s a fuzzy concept, damn, Rebeca Hall has more black african blood than me, yet she is the super white english rose and i am the “latino” hahahah…. What is a white person? In the praticle sense of the word? A person with fair skin, straight hair, straight and thin nose, eye color varying from light-brown to ocean blue. All these traits were first found in Europe? Don’t think so. White and “of european ancestry” are two very different things. Sure, most of the time a person with ancestral ties to europe will be perceived as white all over the world, but NOT everyone from Europe will be white-passing, the US surely conforms this, it’s all about steriotypes. Not just in the US, the actor who played Daniel LaRusso in Karate Kid could easily be perceived in Brazil as a “pardo” or “moreno”(meaning “swarthy”). Many north africans and middle easterners look whiter than southern and easternern europeans, look at Zidane and Benzema for exemple, they are way more white passing than a sicilian or serbian, if you show them to, lets say, a canadian who does not watch football at all, and show a serbian guy next, who you think they will say it’s white? Serbians these days look like a crossover of turks and golf arabs, and some of them look a bit indian also.

        • andrew says:

          Well, thanks for the wide reply but no idea why this trolling against Serbians. They are typical SE Europeans, a mile different to North Africans, Gulf Arabs and Indians (besides those who are Gypsies) . So you look to me very very confused.

          Why do they let you to use Internet in the favela?

          • jonasbttencourt says:

            “Why do they let you to use the internet in the favela”? Hahahhahah wow, great comeback guy too ugly to put a pic of himself in his own profile, you really have a great career in stand up with these fresh, criative material you have son, very modern. I hope the special place where they take care of inbreds like you dont cut your wings and leave you alone with your natural comedy talent, i also hope they look after your family after you died from brain damage few weeks from now, sure it wont be hard to find the broken trailer where they locked themselves in, your dad/father-in-law must be very pround of you, keep It up king!

          • jonasbttencourt says:

            Btw, really? I look confused? Lol sure im not the guy who thinks every european nationality is also a ethnicity, southern europeans are mostly mixed with north africans and middle easterners, get over it, Italy, for exemple, was not even a country till relatively recent, do you think Al Pacino and comedian Danilo Gentili belong to the same ethnicity? Lets go further north?Take the english for exemple, do you think Orland Bloom and Paul Bettany are of the same ethnicity? Humans migrate and integrate with different people for hundreds of years, get over it. Why saying a nationality is a nationality trolling? Not even the serbians themselves think they are a ethnicity, they don’t give a shit, Just like most european countries these days, so why should you, don’t be such a salty ass baby, it’s really no big deal.

          • passingtime85 says:


            I can address all your points and counter or support them, but I’ll let it go. But calm down, there’s no need to freak out. I’ve done it as well, but it doesn’t strengthen an argument, or help foster a cordial community.

            @andrew keep calm, carry on, stay above the fray.

          • andrew says:


            One day some Serbian user will shut you down.

            You Brazilians are the Internet forums plague.

    • TeaMe says:

      I have heard many dumb things in my life but this is probably the dumbest of them all. I mean tell me you don’t know anything about the Balkans with out telling me you don’t know anything about the balkans. First of all Serbs are definitely an ethic group and subsequently a nation. Their specific origin in the balkans dates back to before Christ however specific lineage such as rolling royal families date back to 7th century. They have nothing and I mean nothing in common with North Africans….they have also never mixed or currently mix with Africans in any way to be anegdotal in my city of 300.000 people there is aproximetly half a black person. Serbians are particularly pale and have green or blue eyes. My mother is a red head with green eyes. I have done ancestry DNK and 100% of my DNK is native to balkans….to be honest I would expect to have at least 1% of African or middle eastern but unfortunately no. Frankly all the nonsense tpu wrote is sooooo stupid that I had to screen shot it for my class because not even people here (and trust me balkan is a troublesome area) would say such stupidity even for fun. Good luck my man.

      • andrew says:

        Agree with you.

        Anyhow, though Tesla is sold as the Serbian national hero, it appears that he was actually of Vlach background (of the Istro-Romanian sub-group:

        To begin with, Tesla does not exactly sound like a Slavic name. I fact it’s a made-up one of occupational etimology, meaning “carpenter”. The original family name was “Draghici”:

        Also his mother’s surname, Mandić, appears to be a Slavicization of Mandici.

        Also, more importantly, Tesla was able to communicate, in a language that was not taught at school, (Romanian and Aromanian/Vlach languages have similarities), with the great Romanian scientist Henri Coandă, who himself believed Tesla was a Romanian from the Serbian Banat, while Tesla was actually born in an area of modern Croatia where Romance-speaking populations (known also as Morlachs) have been living since centuries.

        So Tesla was Croatian by birth, Serbian by language and religion, but Vlach (who are not Romanians though related to them) by ethnicity.

        • gig guy says:

          WRONG on so many levels, first of all ,Tesla was an ETHNIC SERB, he had nothing to do with Vlachs or with istro romanians and no he did not speak any version of romanian or vlach, those theories are coming from NAZI Ustasha regime and it would be advise not to repeat them here, his family were of Teslic surname that came from western Serbia and his family has dated 300 hundred years of history in Serbian orthodox priesthood, if you dont belive me just look at this interview of his last remaing living relative William H Terbo (his grandmother was Angelina Tesla) where he clearly denies any of those so called claims of so called romanian “experts” not just that you can also check his biography by Oneill or even some well established sources like Smithsonian museum etc. So Tesla held an Austrian citizenship, because he was born in Military Frontier, his ethnicity is a Serbian and he had nothing to do with so called Vlachs, btw that derogatory term was used for Serbs by Croats and those theories are unproven and very offensive

          • gig guy says:

            And one more thing this post you posted clearly says in the first sentence that those claims about istro romanians are based on UNPROVEN CLAIMS, so not facts but fairy tales

          • andrew says:

            Well, thanks for the reply. Tesla was a polyglot and it appears he spoke either Romanian or Aromanian with Henri Coandă.

            To begin with there was no Croatia or Serbia at time. I find odd that an ethnic Serbian was born quite far from Serbian territory, and his ancestors may easily have been converted to Serbian Orthodoxy.

            Also why Vlach should be a derogatory term?

          • gig guy says:

            Ever heard of grest Serb migration, sveral happened during century as a result of revolution and uprisings against Ottomans, the 2 biggest one were under Patrijarch Carnojevic and 30 years later under Patrijarch Jovanovic, that is how Tesla family moved to Austro-Hungarian territory from Serbia, and most of the Serb were also forced during Centuries to shorten their last names from -ic to a or ski ,or ov or ev to be “diferrent” from Serbs of Serbia, during Ottoman rule every Christian under their rule was called “vlach” since because of lots of uprisings Ottomans were forced to move population from one territory to another, great example of that was large movement of Serbs from Serbia to Bosnia too, over the centuries when Serbs moved and started to occupy and the the Frontier they started to be a problem for a Croat community that wanted their own kingdom inside of Austrian empire, it all escalated in century when Ante Starcevic a politician started calling Serbs “slavoserbs” and “sub race of vlachs” culminating with WW2 when around 350 000 Serbs were killed and cullminating with teories of naci writers like Draganovic and Truhelka who started writing that Serbs are Vlachs, as for Tesla his family was killed by the same regime because they were Serb, if they were Romanians believe me they would be kept alive, and they were always Serbian orthodox, so please again there tons of proved facts that he was a Serb and no he did not change any religion, those are the “theories” usually claimed by a extreme nationalist, hope you are not one of them

          • andrew says:

            Thanks for the feedback, I am completely unbiased about this subject but I don’t rule out a Vlach theory about Tesla background (and I got the Vlach derogatory meaning on Serbs).

            Anyhow, what is Novak Djokovic, according to you?

        • gig guy says:

          Like I said there are no sources claiming that and there are tons of sources that are confirming that Tesla was a Serb, Aa for Djokovic, his father is a ethnic Serb from Trepce, today Kosovo, his mother is a Croatian born in Belgrade,Serbia

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