This Commonwealth of Australia Certificate of Naturalisation was awarded to Stanio Fancoff in 1935. Detailing the terms and conditions by which he become an Australian citizen, this document legally denounces Stanio's past allegiances to Bulgaria in favour of his committment to be an Australian subject, and thus entitles him to all rights and priviledges afforded to all Australian citizens.

Stanio Ivanoff Fancoff was born in 1908 in Bojentsi, a small village in Bulgaria. At age 11, Stanio left home to learn the shoemaking trade. In 1929, he immigrated to Melbourne, settled in Fitzroy and began to work for the V.G. Zemancheff & Sons basket shoe factory in South Melbourne. In1936, he married Dorotea Georgi Touzou who had recently arrived in Australia. Around this time, Stanio set up his own shoemaking business from home, with Georgi, her cousin and sister weaving the shoes which he then assembled. Select shoe samples were then taken to Sydney and Tasmania for sale. In 1942, Georgi and Stanio moved to Broken Hill for Georgi's health; there daughter Nancy was born and Stanio set up a shoe shop/factory. In 1945, Georgi died and by 1950 Stanio and Nancy had moved to Adelaide where he again opened a shoemaking business and shop. He passed away in 1978, having been in the shoemaking business for 59 years. This collection documents his migration and working life experiences.

Description of Content

Naturalization certificate for Stanio Fancoff 6/8/1935.

Physical Description

Produced on cream colored paper, this document has been folded to an approximate A4 size whereby the front dictates the naturalisation terms and the back provides the grantee's description. On both front and back, the document's main content is printed in black ink, subject's name and address are typewriter printed in a lighter black ink, and signatures completed within black pen ink. On the front, the right hand top corner indicates the document number No. AA. 10471, underneath is centrally located the headings Commonwealth of Australia, and beneath this CERTIFICATE OF NATURALIZATION. The main text section details the terms and conditions by which Stanio Fancoff became an Australian citizen, and underneath this it is dated longhand. In the lower right hand corner it is signed by Governor-General, and counter-signed by His Excellency's Command within the lower left hand. Above His Excellency's Command an imprinted Commonwealth of Australia seal appears. On the back, the page is divided into a horizontal and a vertical section. The horizontal section lists the Personal Description of the Grantee- age, occupation, height, eye color , hair color, special markings, the Grantee's signature atop an imprinted seal and at the very bottom the numbers '3618.', while the vertical section it lists the certificate number and signature by the Secretary, Department of Interiors. The document paper has three crease folds that allow the document to be equally folded horizontally and on the back, S. Fancoff's signature has been placed onto a piece of paper that has been glued to this document.


This collection is significant in documenting a small migrant business as well as the fashion of a particular period. It is well provenanced and charts the application of trade skills in a new country. It also illustrates the stages of hand shoe manufacture from the 1930s, demonstrating the enduring nature of the tools and patterns that were used.

More Information

  • Collecting Areas

    Migration & Cultural Diversity, Working Life & Trades

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation from Nancy Vasileff, 21/03/2007

  • Presented To

    Mr Stanio Fancoff, Melbourne, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1935

  • Inscriptions

    Text: Document front, printed black ink: No. A.A. 10471/Commonwealth of Australia./CERTIFICATE OF NATURALIZATION/ By Virtue of the Natioanlity Act...(See extensive text) Document Front, hand signed, pen black ink: Baac N. Baacd (?) Governor-General / J A J Hunter (?) His Excellency's Command Document Back, printed black ink: Age/Occupation/Height/Color of Eyes/Color of Hair/Any special marks of peculiarities/ Specimen Signature of Grantee:-/3518 Document Back, printed black ink: Enrolled as of REcord by filing of duplicate in Registrat of Naturalization Certificates Vol. AA., Page 10471/ for Secretary, Department of The interior

  • Classification

    Migration, Naturalisation & citizenship, Certificates

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • Overall Dimensions

    217 mm (Width), 334 mm (Height)

  • References

    R.A. Salaman, 'Dictionary of Leather-working Tools c.1700-1950 and Tools of Allied Trades,' London: George Allen and Unwin (Publishers) Ltd, 1986 [Section 2: Boot and Shoe Maker pp18-185]. John Peacock. 'Shoes, The Complete Sourcebook,' London:Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2005. NAA holds file (online) on Vasil George Zemancheff, Fancoff's employer

  • Keywords

    Boot & Shoemaking, Bulgarian Communities, Bulgarian Immigration, Citizenship, Immigration, Small Businesses, Weddings