TATRA AREA RESEARCH GROUP
© TARG All rights reserved.
Newsletter for March 2006
Ahojte (Hello) TARG members! As one of those now taking a language class (Slovak in my case), may I say that the lessons are going well and I am learning a great deal. In these first lessons my tutor has had me concentrating on learning the alphabet, numbers, polite greetings and most of all pronunciation. I now know that all these years I have been mispronouncing many Slovak village names - how embarrassing!
There are several good deals for TARG members right now from various sources. Please check out the "Made for TARG Members" column below for more details. And a big d'akujem (thank you) to each and every TARG member who is willing to help and share wisdom and information with other members.
-- Paul K. Bingham
P.S.- I know this is a "March Issue" coming out in April. I'm currently swamped and unfortunately have had no time either to update the website or get to all of my mail. I still plan to put out an April edition later in the month when things slow down!
1. TARG's new website: http://www.e-TARG.org.
2. Last minute idea: For baskets delivered to your relatives living in and around the Tatras for Easter contact Dan Kisha at: daniel.kishaprodigy.net or call 410-273-1149. Visit this website link for basket selections and delivery details: http://www.slovakic.com/index.php?category=CHRISBASKETS.
3. Helene B. Cincebeaux's Treasure Tours website: www.Our-Slovakia.com
4. For one-on-one tutoring in Slovak over the internet contact Alena at: shasta5560yahoo or abatsongmail or call her directly at 619-697-7043.
5. Slovakia's online telephone book - English version! The URL is: http://www.zoznamst.sk/eng/index.html.
6. Great site for finding obscure and out-of-print books: www.campusi.com.
---Hi Paul, In surfing around on the web this afternoon, I went on your site and it occurred to me that with all my changes in computers and email addresses I hadn't sent any change into you for a long time. I'll rectify it now, as I would like to get the e-newsletters again. I continue to do research on my family - especially in the Spisz area. I was there last summer and will go again on Helene's Three Country Tour this summer. In reading a 2005 newsletter I notice inquiries from Agnes Gecik. Remember that I had done research on my grandmother's family from Krempachy and have a fair amount of records from there. As you indicated Durstin is included. I took a look there this afternoon and found some entrees that would be of interest to her. So, feel free to give her my email address and I would be glad to share the information. I wish you luck with your Slovak lessons. As you know I've been trying to learn the language for a while and it is slow going! Chodite s Bohom, Paul Hadzima
***Hi Paul! Good to hear from you! I've added your name back into the current e-mail list. (I always post the latest e-newsletter within 24 hours of sending it out, though, so if something goes wrong with the e-mail, you can probably find it there.) I send out 600 every time and something like 50 bounce now because of e-mail address changes or anti-spam firewalls. I'm toying with the idea of doing a little nicer newsletter (with some pictures, etc.) on the website and just sending a little short e-mail note monthly letting everyone know the new one has been posted. We'll see. Thank you for your offer to help Agnes. As soon as I locate her e-mail address I'll send her a message and let her know you are willing to help. How wonderful that you are going on Helene's 3-country tour! Yes, I'm taking the language plunge. My tutor for Slovak has no textbooks per se and is asking me if I want to use one. Toddlers learn their native tongue by just listening. That's the way I learned Spanish, just working for ten years with a Mexican crew and talking every day. But if there is a Slovak text which you feel is worthwhile, I'm open to suggestions. I've so far found seven available possibilities:
1. "Beginner's Slovak" by Elena Letnanova, 2001
2. "ABC Slovak Language" (Vol 1-6) by Stefan Blasko, 1973
3. "Colloquial Slovak: The Complete Course for Beginners" by James Naughton
4. "Beginning Slovak" by Galova-Lorinc & Swan, 1990
5. "Slovak for You (Slovencina Pre Vas)" by Ada Bohmerova, 1996
6. "Slovencina Pre Cudzincov" by Tomas Dratva, 2001
7."Cyril and Method Speak Slovak" by Sister M. Gabriel Hricko, 1971
Do any look familiar? Are there any you would recommend or not recommend? I count your opinion very valuable! Anyway, my first lesson is Friday. We'll see how I do. Thanks - good to hear from you again! - Paul
(Note: I'll include Paul's recommendations in the next newsletter.-pb)
---Hi Paul: I have been doing research in Cadca, Slovkia...well, trying to. My great-grandfather was born near there. When he came to America he changed his name. His Slovak name was Fojtik so it will be interesting to see what I can find. I have not done the LDS Family History Library thing yet, but I do plan to. It would make sense to still find Fojtiks in the town, as he left a large family behind. Any way you can find out if any still remain? I would really appreciate it! Thanks. - Robert O'Keefe
***Hi Robert, Slovakia now has its telephone book online - and there's even an English version! The URL is: http://www.zoznamst.sk/eng/index.html. All you need to do is put in at least the first three letters of a surname (so Foj will work) and enter 041 for the regional area code on the last line. There's like 35 listings for Fojik! Some things to remember when reading the listings generated: (1) "-ova" is the ending for a woman in Slovak, so "Fojikova" is actually a Fojik, too. (2) There will be Fojiks listed from all over the area code. Concentrate on ones right around Cadca since that is the last known point of origin of your particular family. You can go to the Cadca area map on our TARG website to look at villages (like Dunajov) near Cadca (URL: www.e-TARG.org). (3) Only about 1/4 of Slovaks outside the big city have phones. So six in Cadca means there are probably more like 24 Fojik families! Sounds like grandpa did leave a BIG family behind! Cheers! - Paul
P.S. -- If you want to write to anyone you find listed, we did a sort of writing guide issue a while back in our monthly e-newsletter. It is on our site's archive in the May 2001 issue. Let me know if you need postal code help -- I'll have to look those up by village. But don't forget the LDS microfilms. That will prove absolutely where your ancestors came from and insure you find the right lost relatives over there now.
---Hi Paul: I always enjoy reading your monthly TARG E-Newsletter. Keep up the good work. I have a question I hope you can answer. How would the Slovak surname Dzambik (pronounced "Jumbik") be spelled in Polish? My grandfather Dzambik came from Lenartov less than 5 kilometers from what is now the Polish border. He once told me that as a youth he and his friends sometimes crossed into Galicia for picnics. Using FHC microfilmed church records, I can trace the Dzambik family in Lenartov back to the early 1820's. I hope I can find out where the family originated. Because I think that names beginning with "Dz" are reasonably common in Poland, I don't want to rule out the possibility that the family came from Poland. I would appreciate any help you can give me. - Norman Hudak
***Hi Norm, Thank you for the kind words about the e-Newsletter! Glad you find it enjoyable. As to your question, yes, your grandfather's village is right on the border. Most likely a Polish spelling would be Dza,bik or Dzia,bik using the 'a' with a hook under it to make the 'um' sound. Out of curiosity I looked in my Nowy Sacz, Poland phonebook for the name in towns near the border (and in Nowy Sacz, too) but did not find that one exactly. It may be they are strictly a Slovak line. - Paul
(Note: Many more letters...will try to get to more of them next time! -pb)
MADE FOR TARG MEMBERS: GREAT DEALS___________
1. Daniel Kisha, who has TARG family ties, also runs the Slovak Import Company. I have repeatedly recommended him as a source for books, maps, etc. important to TARG members. Dan offers hand-delivery of holiday food baskets to family you have in Slovakia, and has also offered delivery to those TARG families over the border in Poland, just in time for Easter. But with Easter in less than 10 days, he will need your information quickly. Contact him at: daniel.kishaprodigy.net or call 410-273-1149. Visit this link on his website for basket selections and delivery details: http://www.slovakic.com/index.php?category=CHRISBASKETS.
2. Helene B. Cincebeaux reports that her Three-Countries Tour scheduled for later this summer still has a few slots left. Many TARG members have taken this tour in the past and loved it, some electing to stay behind in the Tatras with new-found relatives while the rest of the group heads to the Ukraine for a few days. I believe this year they will also be spending two nights in Krakow. For more info visit her website at: www.Our-Slovakia.com.
3. I am using a language tutor near where I work for Slovak lessons during my lunch hour. But I also found a very talented teacher who tutors Slovak via an internet-based phone link. With her method there are no long distance charges. You converse using a regular telephone handset (or headphones and a mic if you prefer). The tutor's name is Alena Ledecka Batson and she was a teacher in Bratislava before coming to the States. Because she is now on the west coast, the opportunity for those in the eastern U.S. to have lessons later in the evening are also very possible. You can reach Alena by e-mail at: shasta5560yahoo or abatsongmail or call her directly at 619-697-7043 for more information. (Please tell her that "Paul from Escondido" gave you her contact information so she will know where you got it.)
TATRA MOUNTAINS BOOK - PART 8__________
Chapter 4 "Local Colour":
"Old national costumes, once worn in the countries of Europe, are
rapidly disappearing, and in many of them they have passed altogether from
human memory. But the Tatra Highlander is as proud of his white woolen
trousers as a Scottish Highlander is of his kilt, and he still clings to his
old traditional ways.
"He may be very poor, but if he wears his trousers, which were once
white, with some traces of old embroideries on them, he can still enjoy the
right to self-respect and a measure of consideration from others. Dare he,
however, appear in ordinary townsman's clothes in a similarly dilapidated
state, he would be just a 'ceper przez portkow' (or lowland sansculotte) and
feel quite uncomfortable in a Goral village.
"So a man's traditional costume consists, in the first place, of the
said trousers made from very thick and solid wool and sitting tightly on the
legs. A stripe of blue wool, about an inch broad, runs all along the outer
side of the trouser leg and there are two red tufts, one at the ankle and
another at the end of a flap covering the instep. On the front part over the
thighs, large ornamental 'parzenicas' in bright red and blue, complete the
"The trousers are supported by a leather belt. Full dress includes a
peculiar belt, some 10-15 inches wide on the front, though a little narrower
at the back, and richly studded with brass tacks. Tatra robbers carried
pistols and daggers behind such belts, which were probably meant also as
armour to protect the most vulnerable part of the body. At present they are
worn only on rare occasions, except by head shepherds on the Alm who use
them as a mark of their rank.
"The shirt in olden times used to be boiled in butter to make it
waterproof and it was black. Nowadays, however, only ordinary white shirts
are in use. A thick sheep-skin jerkin, with or without sleeves, usually
embroidered with red, blue and green wool or silk, though sometimes plain,
is worn for everyday use, except in hot weather, by men and women alike. The
'cuha', a sort of loose, collarless jacket of white wool, similar to that
used for trousers, with green and red embroideries, is donned on ceremonial
occasions. Its sleeves are not made use of and it rests easily on the
shoulders, supported on the chest by a silk band of vivid colour (mostly
red), or a strap adorned with brass brooches, which holds the two sides
(Chapter 4 "Local Colour" in next month's issue.)
This is a new "column" in which I share printed sources of information
about subjects of interest to those researching their roots in and around
the Tatras. This month I will remind you of a book I mentioned briefly in
the February 2005 newsletter. It was Helene B. Cincebeaux who first told me
of this gem. It is out of print now, although still available to those who
do a little looking. My copy came from the Bakersfield public library. It is
a bit soiled and dog-eared, but still one of my most cherished. Having not
been checked out in a while, it was put up for sale to make room for other
books. How sad, since it is a marvelous window into Slovak life just prior
to World War II. The book of which I speak, published in 1939, is entitled
"North of the Danube". It was written by Erskine Caldwell & Margaret
Bourke-White, each chapter being a different experience they had in their
travels through this land nearly unknown to the West. Chapters like "Bread
in Udok" you will never forget.
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_nethotmail by clicking here.)
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