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. 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 was sometimes said to have Croatian and/or Vlach ancestry. It is not clear if this is accurate.

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.


Genealogy of Nikola Tesla –

12 Responses

  1. repent says:

    He has Croatian roots too. He said he descends from Croatians far back on both sides and that a great grandfather married a Serbian in Bosnia and converted. He said he has Draganic Croat ancestors from Zadar back in the 16th century and Kalinic on his mother’s side Novog Vinodola. I know that bothers some Serbians, but that’s what he said.

  2. 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…

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