T A T R A   A R E A   R E S E A R C H   G R O U P

© TARG All rights reserved.
Newsletter for April & May 2008

   Ahojte (welcome) TARG members!
 There is sooooo much to cover in this e-newsletter. I also want to get to your e-mails as promised last time. So let's just get to it!
 - Paul Bingham, TARG Founder
  1. TARG's official website: www.e-TARG.org!
  2. TARG's message posting pages: www.e-targ.org/Resources/GB_archive/index.html
  3. Helene B. Cincebeaux's 2008 Treasure Tours site. (Still time to sign up! Visit: www.Our-Slovakia.com.)
  4. Michal Razus website: www.slovak-ancestry.com.
  5. Archdiocese of Tarnow (Archidiecezji Tarnowskiej) website: http://www.diecezja.tarnow.pl/
  6. Genealodzy.pl Site in English: http://www.genealodzy.pl/index.php?&newlang=eng
  7. Index of Polish Church Books & Parishes (lists 10,479 parishes): http://www.genealodzy.pl/name-katalog.phtml
  8. Lacko information: http://www.genealodzy.pl/modules.php?op=modload&name=Katalog&file=index&req=search&search=Lacko
  9. Lacko parish information: http://www.parafia.elacko.pl/

YOUR LETTERS___________
***Hi Nancy, Thanks for the e-mail. Monthly newsletters are posted on the TARG website. Too many people's spam filters block them, so I've gone to just posting, not trying to e-mail all 600+ each month. This let's me add graphics and links, too, so it's actually been a good thing. Sorry you didn't know. Would love to hear/see more about your trip when you have time. - Paul
---Thanks Paul for the update. I had been checking every so often but must have missed the post about checking the website for update. But it does make sense. I do hope you will have your own trip back to the TARG area at some point. We went back and here's just a little of what we experienced…How to put in words the trip of a lifetime? It was magical, fantastic; everything went so much better than expected. It was great to experience this trip with my husband Larry, two daughters and various other relatives. We started in Krakow learning about Polish history, seeing castles, art museums, and visiting many churches. Our Canadian cousin Joe and his wife and daughter came, too, and all speak English and Polish. The last night we had dinner with one of the Bishop's of Krakow, a friend of Joe's. Then we were off to Jablonka to meet Joe's family and see my grandfather's house which is next door. I have much to tell about our looking for Kapustiak's in Podsarnie. It was Kapustiak central. Right at the beginning of this tiny village road, across from the cemetery was a roadside shrine with the name Jan Kapustiak on it, which was my great, great grandfather's name. There were many Kapustiak's in the cemetery and we spent hours at St. Martin in Podwilk looking at the Church records. We would talk to the people wherever we were asking about any relatives that went to Chicago. Everyone had stories and Chicago connections but the elderly people who knew the stories have all passed away so we only had glimpses of information, photo's of unknown men taken in Chicago, etc. We enjoyed seeing how the generations still live in the same house, or the house in the back, etc. Two days were spent in Harkabuz home of our Smich (or Smiech) ancestors. It was as if time stood still, seeing the little old Grandma's wearing their flowered dresses and scarves walking down the road. Aunt Ann Pozdol came with us and then passed away in November 2007 so I am very glad we got to experience this trip back to her roots with her. She never knew that her father was one of seven and thought he was an only child. If I can help you further with any villages in this region of Polish Orawa, let me know. And, yes, I have many pictures and lots of videos. We never knew when we would meet a long lost relative, or find the "Holy Grail" so we tried to document everything. People kept on asking why are we trying to find these people? Never in their wildest dreams would they have imagined anyone from Chicago would come to their village and ask about someone with the same surname. Keep up the great work, I really enjoy learning about this area. - Nancy U.
---Hi Paul, You have a very good website. My ancestors were from Lacko, Poland which is south of Nowy Sacz. How can I find the name of the Catholic church and cemetery in Lacko? I'm researching the surnames Pyrdol and Kwit there and also Wojciechowski in nearby Zarzecze. Thank you -Stefan Albertus (MI)
***Hi Stefan, Thanks for writing. Lacko, Poland is indeed within our TARG sphere. The parish there dates back to at least 1252. The original church burned and the present one built in 1818 is named after Sw. Jana Chrzcicela or St. John the Baptist. The local cemetery is likely not far from the church location. It is now part of the Tarnow diocese. Records for Lacko will be found in the village church with copies (i.e.; second writings) in the Tarnow Church archives. Here's the Tarnow and Lacko links (see 5. thru 9. in "WEBSITES" above). I trust these will help you get a little further. NOTE: If you use Google, you can now have it translate a good part of these Polish pages into English. This feature is very helpful if you do not speak the language. To use this feature, you will need to take apart the URL. For example, from www.diecezja.tarnow.pl put "diecezja" and "tarnow" in Google's search box then hit "translate this page" next to the right page when it comes up in the listing of sites. Good luck to you in your research! - Paul
--- Hi Paul, I have someone going on one of our Treasures Tour this summer who has Hutnik and Csupka ancestry from Richvald. But the Hutnik line was from "Sromecz" or it might be "Fromecz." I looked in the book of Slovak surnames and nothing was remotely close. Not too long now before we travel. Can you give us a hand with this one? - Helene Cincebeaux
***Hi Helene, A good rule of thumb is to always look close by. Our ancestors a century or more ago rarely traveled any farther than their feet or a horse-drawn cart could carry them in a day, unless a shipping agent sold them a ticket to America. In this case I think "Sromecz" is referring to Sromowce, a village named for Sromowka swamp along the Dunajec and just across the river from Cerveny Klastor. This is north not far from Richvald (known as Velka Lesna now) where you said they also have ancestry. You can see some of Sromowce's village houses from the Dunajec river rafts, and with a backdrop of Pieniny Park the scene is lovely! There are two villages there now: Sromowce Wyzne and Sromowce Nizne. Flooding in 1334 divided the village into the two halves seen today. Like Velka Lesna, this was a Goral village. The old records will likely be in the Polish churches there with copies in the central Roman Catholic archives in Krakow. - Paul
---Hi Paul, I am trying to locate relatives that may be in the area. My great grandfather and grandfather on my father's side were born in Nowy Targ. Can you provide me with any references contacts to help in my research? I will be travelling to Poland in June. Thanks for your help. - Ken
***Hello Ken. Because of privacy laws, online and printed contact information for people living in Poland is getting harder to come by. But looking in a phonebook I brought back from the region in 1998, I do see three listings for your surname in Now Targ. Some of their addresses are almost certainly still valid. These you will find attached. I hope this helps you on your upcoming trip. Please let us know how it went when you return! - Paul
---Dear Paul, Helene Cincebeaux sent me your email address. I recently discovered that my father's grandfather, Vojtech Vojensky (and his grandmother, Maria Kalafut), came from Repisko, Spis, in the Tatras mountains. I am quite interested in hearing any information that you have. I would be glad to send you what little I have on my family at this time. All the best, - Denise G.
***Hi Denise, A pleasure to make your acquaintance! I also have ancestry from Repisko. It is just inside the Polish border and the village name has been respelled as "Rzepiska" (Polish spelling). Repisko is a type of potato grown in the foothills of the Tatras and there is also a large peak nearby named Repisko from which I believe the village takes its name. This is a very small village which just got its own parish church only a few years ago. Before that is was part of the Jurgow parish, where I also have ancestry. I see in the phonebook that two Wojenskis (again, Polish spelling) are listed. There are no Kalafuts listed, but this is a very common name in this region of Polish Spisz. Please share any more information that you have and perhaps I can find more connections for you. Have you ever visited over there? I know Helene's tour groups go to the area almost every year. - Paul
---Paul, Ten years has brought your website to a super level! I did not have time to keep up with all your progress until today when one lady living in my area of NE Ohio (Lakewood) asked me once more about TARG, she had put aside what I gave her about you much earlier. Do you know much about CGSI of St.Paul MN? In 2009 they will host a three-day conference at a hotel in Independence
Ohio. This is the city where I have been living since 1965. I have been linked with CGSI since 1997 and for this 2009 Conference I am co-chairman. Most sincerely, Joe Hornack (SLRP Founder/Director) Slovak Institute & Reference Library, Assistant Director
***Hello Joe, Good to hear from you again. Yes, Tatra Area Research Group has grown over the last ten years, and I have learned so much about our roots there from everyone who has contributed to TARG. It looks like we both joined CGSI about the same time. I was privileged to be one of the speakers (on TARG villages and people, of course) at a Symposium they had here in Southern California back in 2005. I was also asked to write an article on the Tatra Highlanders which appeared in the March 2007 issue of Nase rodina. Please give me more details on the event in Independence in 2009 and I will promote it in our e-newsletter. My Slovak ancestors first settled outside Akron and I would love an excuse to visit there, which I have never done before. Thanks! - Paul
(Even more of your mail next time!)

    In March I published a letter I had received from a Michal Razus stating he was a genealogical researcher. I had no confirmation of this at the time, so added some caution. I have since received a letter from Joe Hornack, SLRP Founder/Director regarding Mr. Razus. He writes: "Attached is the bio and proposal from Michal Razus, who lives in Presov. The proposal was for the CGSI Conference in 2009, in Cleveland area, to which I am co-chair. I am still trying to raise enough money to bring two Slovak speakers from Presov. The
other Slovak is Milan Belej who has been working at the Saris Archive located just outside the city limits of Presov. I have known Michal Razus for quite awhile, I have recommended his help to others and endorse his work 100%." I trust Joe's judgement, so pass on Mr. Razus name as another resource for you to consider.
If you need more information, please visit his website at: www.slovak-ancestry.com or contact him directly via this email address: michal.razus@gmail.com. I would be interested in feedback from any TARG members who use his services.

Chapter 7 "The White Room and the Black Room" continues:
   In the center of the house there is a spacious door, adorned with a pattern of wooden pegs. It opens into a hall with a staircase or - more modestly - a ladder leading to the garret (hayloft) where hay, tools, reserve garments and suchlike are stored and where in rainy weather the gazda's wife hangs her washing. The hall itself is not inhabited, but it has two doors. The right door opens in to the 'black room' and the left into the 'white room'.
   The difference between the two rooms, which are of equal size, is that the 'black' one is the living room proper. Here the whole family spend most of their time in winter, sleep and have their meals. In one corner - the inside left - is a kitchen stove with an oven where bread is baked. A long bench goes all round the wall; and parallel to it at a man's height runs a shelf. Below the back wall are the beds and above those - on a shelf, holy pictures painted on glass and others representing dancing robbers and similar conventional scenes. Nowadays these pictures are often replaced by cheap lithographs. The furniture consists of a table, some chairs and stools and a heavy ornamental chest with clothing and other important possessions. Dressers with plates, cups, a few jars, etc., and spoon-racks with spoons, complete the traditional picture.
   The 'white room' is used only on solemn occasions or by guests. It has no stove, but its furniture is similar to that of the 'black room', though of finer finish. The ceiling, made of clean-polished wooden boards, rests on two, three or more tranversal beams and these in turn are supported by one big beam, running the length of the room. This beam, called the 'sosreb' (pronounced sosremb), is marked in the middle with a cross and the year of construction, two figures on each side of the cross. It is also richly decorated with carvings.
   In old times the fireplace in the 'black room' had no chimney and the smoke escaped through an opening in the ceiling to the garret where cheeses, meat and, occasionally, sausages were smoked. After a few years the walls and the ceiling above the stove would become completely black, which has given the 'black room' its name.
   (Chapter 7 "The White Room and the Black Room" of Firsoff's 1946 book will continue in our next issue.)

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_nethotmail.)
Back to E-Newsletter list, back to Main Page.