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Newsletter for January 2008

    Ahojte (welcome) TARG members! Happy New Year to you! I hope very much to be regular with this newsletters in 2008.
    Let me begin by telling you to check the Trip's Page of our TARG website as I have posted links to Helene Cincebeaux 2008 latest tour information. Scared to travel to the "old country" with the dollar so week against the Euro right now? Well, the happy news is that Slovakia and Poland are not on the Euro yet and they also just happen to be two of the most affordable places in all of Europe to vacation right now! Helene's tours to the old country have helped many TARG members unlock doors to their long-lost family, so please give her your consideration. Bubbly and loads of fun, she is also very flexible. You can travel with her on one of her Summer tours - and when you are near your ancestral villages - she allows you to stay behind a day or two, then meet up again with the group later. She even has local guides and genealogists she can put you together with both in Slovakia and Poland. I recommend her tours, especially to anyone who has never gone to this part of the world before. By the way, her quarterly publication Slovakia is also one of my favorites.
    -- Paul K. Bingham
   TARG Founder

  1. TARG's official website: www.e-TARG.org!
  2. Helene B. Cincebeaux's new 2008 Treasure Tours Schedule is out! Go to her website at: www.Our-Slovakia.com.!
  3. The new SanDisk MP3 player called "The Clip" is helping me learn Slovak during my commute and while jogging. It weighs nothing, costs less than $40, includes a built-in FM radio and ear buds, and is practically indestructable. It even has menu settings in Slovak and Polish! Check it out at: www.sandisk.com/Products/Catalog(1363)-SanDisk_Sansa_Clip_MP3_Players.aspx.
  4. Quality Slovak keyboard labels are available cheap from 4keyboard.com. I use these on my Mac and they are so helpful in doing diacritics!

YOUR LETTERS___________
---Hi Paul, Glad to see the web site is back. Missed it so much. You had gotten me the video on my ancestors in the town of Piekielnik, Poland. Do you remember? I have been a foster parent since and gotten away from some of my research. I hope to get back on track. I have one question: with all those border changes in Slovakia and Poland, my grandfather, Anton Kons was born in Piekielnik on October 26, 1891. So what was this town called then? Part of Slovakia, Hungary, Austria or what? If he was born then, what would his nationality be? It is Poland now but when I have to say where my ancestors where born (all were born in Piekielnik),
what were they?? Oh, and congradulations on being grandpa to twins.!! Is your uncle still alive with you in Calif? -- Donnamarie Boyer, NM
  ***Hi Donnamarie, Thank you. To answer your question, modern day Piekielnik has only been part of Poland since the border change in 1920. But to understand the more complete history we need to go back to 1100 A.D. when King Ondrej II of Hungary conquered most of Slovakia. Most of the region we know today as Slovakia was then under Hungarian domination until the end of WWI in 1918 (over 8 centuries). Nonetheless, most Slovak villages (along with yours) maintained their Slovak culture and language through those hundreds of years. It is only in the last 87 years they have begun
losing their Slovak culture in favor of a Polish one. In 1891 Piekielnik was a Slovak village known as "Pekelnik" but it was under Hungarian control. All village inhabitants were considered Hungarian citizens. At the time Hungary was part of a dual monarchy known as the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, an odd arrangement where two nations were under the control of one king. So your ancestors then were Slovak with Slovak names who spoke Slovak as a first language. They were, however, Hungarian citizens and many of their records were probably kept in Hungarian. Especially in that time frame, Hungary was trying to make all of its subjects learn and do business in Hungarian. The Slovaks resisted this, however, and only did what they had to do.
I hope that helps you better understand the situation at that time. Oh, and our "miracle uncle" is doing very well healthwise. We celebrated his 92nd birthday last July! -- Paul
---Hi Paul, Recently was thinking that I had not seen the TARG newsletter and was wondering if you were out of business or something. How do I know when to go the web site to read the newsletter? Does one just need to start going to the web site about same time each month? Hope all is well with you. -- Bob Tvorik, MI
  ***Hi Bob, Thanks for the e-mail. The newsletter has gotten so long that some members were complaining when I just sent it to them. (Some said it choked their inbox.) Now I'm trying to post the lastest TARG newsletter on the website about once a month. Hopefully I can stick with that. I like just posting it because I can now add graphics and don't have to worry about the length. Though I've been posting them for a while, I still get e-mails where members ask why they haven't received the newsletter in a while! They evidently missed the notice and didn't know to look on the website. So now I'm posting it AND e-mailing everyone to let them know it's there. Sometimes it takes me a while to get those reminders out, though, so checking the website is a good idea. I post other stuff to the website, too, not just the newsletter, so it's always worth a look. You can tell by the date at the bottom of the home page when the last update was. I'm good about updating that if something has been added. Thanks! -- Paul
---Hi Paul, Thanks for forwarding my e-mail contacts to Jozef Fabry. Jozef has contacted me and I have responded with a few old photos, one of which is about 115 years old and of the common great-grandfather we share. We're second cousins! Jozef has provided a wealth of information on his branch of the family that fills in many gaps in what I have. I certainly look forward to getting to know my far-away cousin much better. TARG is great! -- Florian Simala
  ***You are most welcome, Florian. Glad to be of help and to know that you were able to gain so much family info! -- Paul

1. In your web browser go to www.familysearch.org
2. Click on the "LIBRARY" tab at the top of the home page.
Note: In LDS circles the Family History LIBRARY is the large multi-storied main LDS genealogical library in Salt Lake City, UT. Microfilms are, however, available at their satellite libraries as well. These are called Family History CENTERS. If you don't know where the Family History Center nearest to you is, click on the link at the bottom of the webpage to locate one or call 866-406-1830 (toll free in the United States and Canada). If you already know where the nearest location is, skip to step 3.
3. At the top of the page just below the "LIBRARY" tab, click on "Family History Library Catalog."
4. Here you will find eight search buttons. What you want are the roll numbers so you can order your ancestral village(s) microfilmed records. Most often the "Place Search" tab is the most effective. Try this first.
5. These search features are a bit stoic. If you simply type in "Slovakia" just a list of books about the country will come up. Instead type in the town or county in the "Place" box and "Slovakia" in the "Part of" box.
6. If, for example, we type "Ruzomberok" in the first and "Slovakia" in the second, two search results will come up: "Slovakia, Ruzomberok" and "Slovakia, Ruzomberok, Ruzomberok."
7. Clicking the first shows a note about the Ruzomberok Okres (region). If you then click on the "View Related Places" button in the upper right corner, you will get a list of links to records for the 15 towns and villages in the Ruzomberok region, including Ruzomberok itself. That link is listed as "Slovakia, Ruzomberok, Ruzomberok." (This is the same link which appeared as selection two of the previous page. It is listed similarly to U.S. records, namely by nation, county or province, then town name.)
8. By clicking on "Slovakia, Ruzomberok, Ruzomberok" the topics that come up are "Church records" and "Jewish records" for the town of Ruzomberok. Most larger towns like Ruzomberok will have links for both church and Jewish records. (Smaller villages will most often have only a church record link.)
9. Click on the church record link and three "Titles" will be listed. These particular links are listed in Slovak, but you may also see other languages like Hungarian and German. For Ruzomberok, there are both Roman Catholic church (Rimsko-katolicka cirkev) and Lutheran church (Evanjelicka cirkev)
records available.
Note: Because Ruzomberok has been a larger town for a long time, there have been two parish churches serving its inhabitants. The first is Hrboltova and the second Ruzomberok. The microfilmed church records (cirkevna matrika) for these extend from 1787 to 1897 and 1797 to 1950 respectively. The microfilmed Lutheran records extend from 1873 to 1921.
10. Click on the second link for Ruzomberok parish itself and a page of information comes up.
Hint: Notice that under "Subjects" in the table, record links come up under Slovakia, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. If you have trouble finding one of your villages, you might try using "Czechoslovakia" or "Hungary" instead of "Slovakia" in your search.
11. While interesting, this page of information does not list the roll numbers we are looking for. To obtain these, you must click on the "View Film Notes" button in the upper right corner.
12. The roll numbers are listed in the right column marked "Film Location." These are all Family History Library International Films. The 7-digit numbers are the roll numbers needed for ordering, so write these down. Also write down a brief discription of each roll.
Note: There may be a note like "Items 3-6" which means on that particular roll only items 3-6 apply to Ruzomberok. The rest of the things on the roll may be for a nearby or even an unrelated village. You should, however, also order these rolls so as not to miss anything.
13. With the roll numbers, you are ready to go to your nearest LDS Family History Center and order films. The staff will first check to make sure they don't already have some of your rolls in the center. That seldom happens, so you will probably have to order them. These are ordered for around $5 a roll in the U.S., which includes shipping. The price will differ in other countries. A library worker will help you fill out the card for each roll you need. Keep in mind that anyone can use these LDS library's resources. You do not have to be an LDS member to go into a Family History Center or to order films. In fact, many of the volunteers working in these libraries are not LDS church members either, just community members with an interest in genealogy who have volunteered to help.
14. Once you order the rolls, they take a few weeks or even a month to arrive at the center. A volunteer will call you when one or more comes in. These are on loan and can only be viewed in the LDS library. They should also have the microfilm reader machines in the center to do this.
Note: Make sure the Family History Center you order films from has a machine to photocopy images from the microfilm as well, if that is important to you. Smaller centers may not have one. If not, you may consider ordering your films from another nearby center that does have a machine. The volunteers in the center can help you.
15. Generally the rolls will only be kept in the center for 6 weeks or so for your use and then they go back to the main library in Salt Lake. Some centers, however, will let you pay a little more and keep them on "indefinite loan." Inquire about this service option. In my experience, I order everything at the minimum rate, then look over them to see whether each roll in fact has what I need on it. If so, I then pay the extra to extend those rolls of use to me, and let the others go back.
16. Once you get into the records and look in the column that notes where spouses came from, you will find village names outside the one you are researching. Be prepared later to order rolls from villages you've never heard of. This is part of the fun of family history research! To find those rolls, just go back to step one.

Chapter 6 "Zakopane and Progress":
   "Zakopane(*), which literally means the place beyond the tilled ground - 'Za-kopane' (beyond+dug) - is first mentioned in a legal document dated 1630. It was the robbers' headquarters, sheltered among the spruce and beech forest at the foot of the Tatras. Only a few bad roads led there, and quiet folk of honest calling did not venture that way without apprehension. But, as already said, it was 'discovered' in the second half of the 1800s by one Dr. Tytus Chalubinski, who in the company of his friend, a local bard Sabala, some 'cepry' (or people of the plains) and an army of guides began cumbersome peregrination through the trackless mountains of the Tatra, exposed to the chills of night and the thrills of exploration. The mountians were wild, virgin for all but shepherds and their flocks and simply swarming with legends and songs. And so Chalubinski and his friends would spend their rest time, when it was fine, sitting on boulders or logs in front of a glittering 'vatra' under the canopy of spruce branches and a starry sky, singing and playing, and drinking tea and coffee.
   His example was contagious and from these modest beginnings developed the local variety of Alpinism, since then given the name of Tatrism. Zakopane, whose air was found to possess curative properties for the diseases of the lungs, slowly became a mountain resort, and in 1874 the Polish Tatra Society was founded, which began opening and maintaining popular tracks, building tourist huts and performing similar useful services.
   Zakopane grew. Houses in the local style cropped up in democratic disorder along the surrounding roads, where mud in rainy weather was as deep as the stony ground would permit. But the nearest railhead was still some forty miles by road - and a dubious one at that - and there was no other means of communication except by hay-cart which was both slow and jerky, though very romantic!
   Later on, there came a ramshackle railway and a couple of metalled roads in continuous repair, not unlike some London streets in peacetime. A gradual orgy of improvement had set in, which culminated shortly before the war in the construction of a 'teleferique' (a cable-railway) and a sledge-hoist for impatient skiers, not to mention a galaxy of bigger and smaller hotels and the newly unfinished 'autobahn', the work on which is apparently being carried on under the present regime.
   Thus Zakopane has become a fairly modern place of nearly thirty thousand inhabitants, with shops, cinemas, cafes, restaurants, sanatoria where the consumptive can pass their time in comfort hoping for recovery, a ski and an ice hockey stadium, a hot-spring swimming pool, sun-bathing grounds and similar things. Bathrooms, however, are still somewhat scarce, except in bigger 'pensions', and it is maintained by some visitors that local landladies are addicted to the heinous practice of drying up old tea leaves in the sun and using them once again for the benefit of their customers. This is probably unfounded and malicious gossip. At any rate for the time being, they haven't any real tea.
   (*) There exists a different though less probable explanation of the name 'Zakopane' which may also means 'buried'. It is said that the legendary founder of the place buried there a few seeds of corn for trial.
   (Chapter 6 of Firsoff's 1946 book continues in our next issue. Also, the photo above is not from the book, but rather from a 2003 Zakopane calendar.)

   Some period history on Zakopane, Poland between 1880-1920: In 1888 the Museum of Tatra Mountains was established, and ten years later - an antituberculitic sanatorium. 94 years ago a railway Chabowka - Zakopane was open, which was followed by radical increase in the number of tourists. 85 years ago the Skiers Association of Zakopane (Zakopianski Oddzial Narciarzy) began its activities. They opened a skiing school for civilians. During the First World War two famous Polish writers Jan Kasprowicz and Stefan Zeromski where among those who were struggling for independence here. The latter would become a leader of a movement known as "Rzeczpospolita Zakopianska" (Zakopane Republic) on 1st November 1918. In 1929 Zakopane had 15,000 residents, in 1939 more than 20,000. In the time between the two World Wars the great ski-jump was constructed on Krokiew (1925), two sport grounds in Rownia Krupowa were opened (1929), the lift to Kasprowy Wierch was put into service (1936), the railway to top of Gubalowka was built (1937) and a power generating station was opened in Kamieniec (1937).

CONTACTING TARG_____________________
   To contact the TARG Editor, the new e-mail address is: TatraAreaResearchGroupgmail. Our "snail" mailing address is still TARG, P.O. Box 3533, Escondido, CA 92033. use it for sending in orders or photos and anything else you want to share with the group. (If for some reason you are unable to contact us at the new address above, go ahead and use the old address targ_net@hotmail.).
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