TATRA AREA RESEARCH GROUP
© TARG All rights reserved.
Newsletter for February 2005
A warm welcome to our TARG members -- and especially to our many new
one's this issue. In the past month we've clocked our 18,000th visitor to
the TARG website and gained a new member from Israel, representing the 14th
country on the globe where TARG members reside.
Last time I told you about the Winter Symposium to be held on February
12th in Orange County, California organized by the Czechoslovak Genealogy
Society International out of Minnisota. I must tell you in spite of the
rain, the event was marvelous and informative. And I was so pleased to have
met seven TARG members in attendance, some from half a day's distance away!
Helene Cincebeaux and her mother Helen were also there, having flown in from
Rochester, New York.
It was my privilege to spend an hour discussing the Tatra mountians and
the history of the people there as one of ten speakers. If you go to our
www.mytarg.net website, you will see a picture of me during my
presentation -- in my Goral hat, of course! Look closely and you'll spot a
few TARG members in the room and Helene and her mom, as well (just beyond
the overhead projector).
The day went way too fast -- I wished I could have had more time to talk
with those members in attendance and at least get a group photo! But things
were hurried, though we did have fun. I had much more I could have
presented, too, but did not have time in that short hour. I dined that night
with some of the CGSI leadership and was asked by their President Gene
Aksamit and one of the Boardmembers Dave Pavelka to please write an article
about the Tatra area for inclusion in their national quarterly publication
"Nase Rodina" (Our Family). I told them I would be happy to do that.
Since returning, I have updated our website incorporating many of the
things I presented or had assembled in my month of preparation prior. Almost
everything you "click" now on the www.mytarg.net home page will take you to
a page that has been rewritten, corrected or enhanced. There have been some
new pages added, too, including a new satellite map of central Europe
showing how the Tatras fit in and a Tatra-Area History Timeline which is
about nine pages long and growing! This makes a great read, and at the end
there is a list of good references you can check out, too. Many thanks to
TARG member Rick Iglar who helped me put this timeline together.
As you know, the guestbook has been a favorite haunt of hackers. I've
left the old one as a strawman for them to invade, but created a new one
with different file names for us to use. The current webpages all have the
new links and so you will automatically be taken to them when you visit. As
for the old guestbook, the hackers still continue to use it and I continue
to repair their damage. But at least they aren't fouling up the whole website anymore.
My next big task is to add more village pages. Many of you have sent me
info and I will be posting it. I am also going to switch web hosts before
summer and go with one that will handle more content, offer better security,
has PayPal for online book and map purchases, and has facilities for the
TARG database of 30,000 surnames in the future. The same web address we use
now, namely www.mytarg.net, will be used for this new upgrade. You will
likely not even know a switch has occured. But I'll keep you informed as to its progress.
-- Paul K. Bingham
1. TARG's website is: http://mytarg.net (or also www.mytarg.net).
2. Alibris, the out-of-print book website is: www.alibris.com.
3. CGSI's website is: www.cgsi.org.
4. Ellis Island database search site:
---Hi Paul, Congratulations on being asked to speak at the CGSI Symposium. I
can't imagine anyone as a better choice than you to speak about our area of
interest. The TARG project is a monumental impressive accomplishment that
has brought together a lot of people who share an interest in such a remote
corner of the world and would never have had the benefit of their combined
efforts. I'm sure you have plenty of resources for your talk. When I saw the
topic included People & History, I thought some excerpts from my Family History
may be right on point. In case they are helpful in any way in preparing the
outline of your talk, I have attached them for you. I think you saw them
years ago. Let me know if there is anything else I can send you or if you want to
discuss it in anyway. - Rick Iglar
***Hi Rick, Thank you so very much for your kind e-mail and wonderfully
informative attachments. I owe you -- and your father Frank -- a great deal
for helping to educate me early on with those stories and translations you
sent to me back in 1998. These latest documents you sent are much fuller and richer.
Thank you for your willingness to share them and permission to use them in
my preparation. True, I have accumulated other area histories along the way,
but some are hard to read and I also find that not all agree completely. What
you have put together here is very well done and I will refer to it often.
Thank you also for your praise of our Tatra Area Research Group. It
really started out of my desperation to learn more -- and has now blossomed
into much more than I ever hoped, due in large part to the many wonderful
members like you and their willingness to share. I often wish I could retire
and make TARG the full-time pursuit it deserves, but at age 48 with 3 kids
still at home, I have other important demands on my time at the moment. God
willing, I will last long enough to devote more of my time each day to it in
the future. Thanks again for thinking of me prior to this speech before the
CGSI and continuing to be of such help. -- Paul
---Hi Paul, I'm looking for names of ancestors in the towns of Skawa,
Rokiciny, Jordanow, Rabka and Wysoka. Last names are Lubinski, Kubinski, &
Majchrowycz. I did find on PGSA town translation entries for the town of
Peplin, under sources: "Szkice z ziemi I historii Prus Krolewskich, by
Lubinski, Gdansk, 1886." What does it mean? Lubinski who? Thanks for any
input. I'm also ordering a map from the TARG website. - Richard Lubinski
***Hello Richard, Thank you for your map order. I will try to get it out in
tomorrow's mail. As to your questions, the PGSA reference is something to do
with an outline of lands & history associated with someone named Prus
Krolewski and authored by someone named Lubinski in Gdansk in 1886. I really
think this would be barking up the wrong tree, unless you know this Lubinski
author is really a relative. On the other hand, if you go to:
http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/EIDB/ellisshort.html and fill in
"Lubinski" in Last Name slot -- and nothing else -- and then click search,
you will get 112 Lubinskis...only a couple of which are from your villages.
This is a fairly common Polish name. If you try Kubinski you get 57, but
more from your villages. If you try Majchrowicz you get 64, and a few more
from your villages. My point here is to suggest that you concentrate on your
surnames in the area of the villages you already know: Skawa, Rokiciny,
Jordanow, Rabka and Wysoke. From our TARG database, I ran your surnames and
found all of these TARG villages as matches. Most of these were from recent
telephone book listings. The number of occurances may help you narrow just
where the bulk of each of your family lines actually comes from. (Note: When
I see just one occurance in a search like this, especially in larger towns
like Zakopany and Nowy Targ, I always wonder if this is just someone
attracted there because of employment. So when I see just one, I tend to
discount them.) Anyway, here's the list for Lubinski: Bialka Tatrzanska: 1,
Rabka: 1, Skawa: 1, Spytkowice: 6. For Majchrowicz: Nowy Targ: 1, Sieniana:
1, Zakopane: 2, Pieniazkowice: 3, Spytkowice: 3, Skawa: 5, Rabka: 6. For
Kubinski: Bukowina Tatrzanska: 1, Maniowy: 1, Jordanow: 1, Nowy Targ: 1,
Rdzawka: 1, Rokiciny: 1, Spytkowice: 2, Wysoke: 2, Rabka: 2, Skawa: 6. Study
the Podhale & Tatry map I'm sending you to see how close many of these
villages are to one another. Since I have the phonebooks, I can look up
specific names and addresses once you send me a short list of which villages
and which names you think you want me to look up. Hope this helps.- Paul
***Have soooo many letters! Will have to get to them next time. Thanks! -- Paul
BOOKS, BOOKS & MORE BOOKS____________
As you may know, I love books, especially when they have to do with the
Tatra region. Every time I visit, I visit all of the Slovak and Polish
bookstores I can find (24 last trip!) and buy things I believe we can all
benefit from. When I find more than one, I bring the duplicates back to
offer to you. This practice can make for quite an increase in luggage bulk,
though! In 2003 Helene's driver Edo helped me unload one 5-foot long duffle
bag crammed with books. It had to weigh over 150 lbs. He asked me: "What's
in the bag, a body?"
But heavy or not, some books are just too good to pass up, especially
the rare ones. Our 1949 Podhale book that I had translated and that we have
been reading in parts (see part 9 below) is just one such jewel. In her talk
at the Symposium, Helene mentioned two books written years ago that changed
her life: "North of the Danube" by Erskine Caldwell & Margaret Bourke-White,
published in 1939 and "The Road Through Czechoslovakia" by Dorothy Giles
published in 1930. She said they were long out of print and that we could
probably no longer find copies.
Well, knowing there were two books written in English with life-changing
powers out there piqued my interest and curiosity. So when I got home I went
searching. I knew Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble offer used and out-of-print
books on-line, as does E-bay. But often they can be pricy. In my searching I
found a new website where libraries sell old books to other libraries or
individuals. This happens when a library needs more shelf space and
accomplishes it by eliminating books that aren't checked out very often
anymore. The name of this website is "Alibris". Marvelously I found both
books available, ordered them, and had them here within four days.
I'm reading "The Road Through Czechoslovakia" now, and it is wonderful.
Here is a reporter traveling through both countries by rail, bus and cart
describing in rich detail how things were in 1930. She went through our TARG
area, too. So far it is well worth the $14 I paid for it. I've finished
"North of the Danube". It is extraordinary. It was written by two of three
reporters traveling together through Czechoslovakia in 1939. Much of Europe
was already under Nazi control. The Germans had turned on Poland, but were
only just beginning to set sights on these two countries. It details visits
to out-of-the way places, including in our own TARG area. Much of the
peasantry was still working for Hungarian bosses. The stories are gripping.
The photos in this book alone are worth the $50 I paid for my copy.
PODHALE BOOK TRANSLATION - PART 9______________
Most churches posses beautiful gates and fences, and inside they are
decorated with paintings and statues. Polish Spisz is no different. It is
connected with Nowotarszczyzna, which is located among picturesque hillocks,
cliffs, small valleys and passes. We find a small number of architectural
gems here. A good example is the church-fortress in Frydman and another one
in Krempachy. By the village of Nowa Biala the Bialka river winds through
cliffs and creates what is called "Kramnica".
To the east, where the Nowotworska Basin narrows its path and the
Dunajec river gets ready to cross the Pieniny mountains are the ruins of
Czorsztyn castle. The castle is located on a cliff and it was first
constructed in the 13th century with its whole purpose being to defend the
area. The castle was always governed by the king's subperfects. Various
kings on their way to Hungary would stop there at times for extended stays.
In the 17th century the castle was overtaken by Kostka Napierala, the leader
of the peasant movement. Kostka Napierala eventually lost to a bishop from
Krakow and was taken to custody by him, and eventually executed in Krakow's
main market square.
The castle was left in disrepair and decaying. It burned down in 1790,
being stricken by a thunderbolt. Today there are only ruins remaining
(editor's note: that was in 1949. Happily it is now being restored). Its
picturesque location beckons many tourists, specially that its location is
on a beaten track from Nowy Targ , through Debno to Pieniny and Szczawnica.
Located on the other site of the Dunajec is the castle of Niedzica with
its beautiful entry gate. The castle was built in the 14th century to serve
as a fortress, and until recently was occupied by the noble family of
Salomon and not available to tourists. It was nearly destroyed during WWII
and will be rebuild using the funds from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism
(Editor's note: the rebuilding is mostly done now). Near by Niedzica, in
Falsztyn, there was another palace that belonged to the Hungarian nobleman
named Jungenfield. The peasants there lived a very hard life. They were not
allowed to own any land and in someways they experienced a slavery being
forced to work for free for the governing family. Recently, the land was
subdivided and given to out to the peasants and the palace itself serves as
a school and a house for the youth.
The area of Czorsztyn and Niedzica is picturesque and romantic. At the
feet of both castles is the rapidly flowing Dunajec, and from here one can
start river rafting all of the way to Szczawnica (Editor's note: two dams
between Frydman and Sromowce have created lakes here...the remaining rafting
now begins lower at the Cerveny Klastor monastery.) From the ruins of the
Czorsztyn castle, on a good day, one can clearly see the Tatra Highlands.
The surrounding hills are covered with spruce trees and are unusually
charming. They are decorated with cliffs and beautifully carved rocks with
the same tone and characteristics as the cliffs of Pieniny.
(Part 10 of 12 in our next issue.)
To contact the TARG Editor, the new e-mail address is: editor-AT-mytarg-DOT-net. 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 editor-AT-mytarg-DOT-net e-mail address, go ahead and use the old address. It is still: targ_net-AT-hotmail-DOT-com.
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