Nikola Tesla was born an ethnic Serb in the village SmiljanLika county, in the Austrian Empire (present day Croatia), on 10 July [O.S. 28 June] 1856.[13][14] His father, Milutin Tesla (1819–1879),[15] was an Eastern Orthodox priest.[16][17][18][19] Tesla’s mother, Đuka Tesla (née Mandić; 1822–1892), whose father was also an Orthodox priest,[20] had a talent for making home craft tools and mechanical appliances and the ability to memorize Serbian epic poems. Đuka had never received a formal education. Tesla credited his eidetic memory and creative abilities to his mother’s genetics and influence.[21][22] Tesla’s progenitors were from western Serbia, near Montenegro.