George Bellan (nee Beljan) is my only great-grandparent for which I have been able to locate a birth and baptism record from the 'Old Country.' About two years ago, I ordered a microfilm from my local LDS Family History Library and spent a couple of hours going through it. I was able to find his record, along with his sister Veronika's birth record (who also came to the U.S.), and a brother named Francis, who, to my knowledge, stayed in Croatia. The records also list the names of their parents, Francis and Rosa Beljan, which I had not known to that point, so it was a big discovery for me. George's birth and baptismal record from Brod Moravice, Croatia is below. It states he was born on March 12, 1873 and baptized on March 14, 1873. Interestingly, his WWI draft card lists his date of birth as March 15, 1873 and his naturalization card lists it as April 15, 1874. I use this church record as his "official" birthday, so I'm happy to have found it.
What did George do for a living? Census data in this case is not very descriptive, as his occupation/trade is listed as 'laborer' in the steel mills, which pretty much describes the job of every blue collar worker in Cleveland at that time. City directories have been a big help in providing a little more detail. From 1915-1919, he is listed as a 'molder,' and then in 1921, 1923, and 1934 he is a 'cement finisher.' My favorite record, however, is a directory from 1904, which lists his occupation as simply 'saloon.' Unfortunately, it must not have done very well, because this is the only mention of it. :-(