TATRA AREA RESEARCH GROUP
© TARG All rights reserved.
Newsletter for April 2005
Hello fellow TARG members. This month we mourn the passing of Pope John
Paul II who grew up in Wadowice, Poland as Karol Wojtyla. While Wadowice is
outside of our TARG sphere (west of Krakow), as a parish priest and later as
Cardinal of Krakow he loved to come to the Tatras often. He climbed its
peaks, often with young people. He found unmatched solitude there -- and a
place to discuss religion openly while still living under Nazi and later
Communist domination. He rafted the Dunajec river and enjoyed the Highland
people who referred to him as their uncle. He will be greatly missed. The
TARG website at www.mytarg.net has been updated in honor of this great
peacemaker. Please visit, if you will.
-- Paul K. Bingham
NEW SLOVAK GENEALOGY COURSE__________
I just learned of a new online genealogy course sponsored by
MyFamily.com specifically covering Slovak genealogy. There are both a
beginner and intermediate course available. The cost for each course is just
under $30. But the most wonderful thing I find is that it will be taught by
Lisa Alzo. She is the author of the book "Three Slovak Women". Lisa is an
accomplished writer and lecturer who has won many awards, and her ancestry
comes from our TARG region!
If you want some genealogy instruction from someone who has done years
of research right where you are looking, I don't think this offer can be
beat. But hurry! Her beginning class starts this week: April 21, 2005! (Her
Intermediate class starts July 21, 2005.)
The link to her class is here:
class=17 , or if that link doesn't work for you just go to:
http://www.myfamily.com and look under online class offerings.
1. Good website with history of John Paul II's life:
2. TARG's website is: http://mytarg.net (or also www.mytarg.net).
3. For the online Slovak Genealogy classes go to: http://www.myfamily.com
4. Two of author Megan Smolenyak's websites: www.honoringourancestors.com
5. Helena Plowright, one of our TARG members from Britain, has just acquired
some cottages in Slovakia. They will be available for rent from September 2005.
The websites are: www.slovakia-sun-ski-spa.co.uk and www.sksk.co.uk and
Helena's e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
---Hi Paul, Thanks for the latest newsletter! I'm about to go on the road
yet again, but please do tell Will Fabis to contact myself or Thom. He's
arrived at quite a complicated itinerary! Also wanted to let you know that Jan
Harabin, Jozef Smolenak, and others are releasing a book on Osturna,
Slovakia. We haven't seen it yet, but it's supposed to weigh a hefty 1.5
pounds. We're arranging a group order and so far we're getting 48 copies for
our North American Osturna community. Take care, Megan Smolenyak
***Hi Megan, thanks for your willingness to help Mr. Fabis find a way to
arriving near his Osturna roots. And what about Lisa Alzo's online class
offering? That's exciting! The book sounds wonderful, too. You Osturnites
are the envy of the rest of us TARG members who haven't gotten our acts
together nearly as well as all of you. But give us a few years, and we'll see! Thanks again. - Paul
---Hi Paul: Judith and I enjoyed your talk at the genealogy seminar in
Orange county in February. We talked to you after your session and you
mentioned that you had a relative buried in the Slanica cemetery, behind the
old church and I said that my Grandfather was also buried there. Well, my
Grandfather was Andrej Zemancik. My Grandfather married Sophie Stopjac in
Phoenixville, PA, and moved back to Slanica about 1910. My Mother returned
here in July of 1926. Judith gave Helene Cincebeaux a list of names that we
were interested in and yours popped up with Zemancik. I was really
surprised. I feel sad that we did not pursue the question of names a little
further when we had the chance.We want to get on mailing list for your
newsletter. We still have relatives in Ruzomberok, Likavka, Martin and
Lipnica Weilka. - Bob Malinzak
***Hi Bob, Thank you for your kind words regarding the seminar. It turned
out really well -- and it was great to meet you! Yes, I do have Zemanciks in
the family tree. My Great-grandfather's sister Maria married Ignac Zemancik
in Slanica in 1893. Maria was from Brzegi and had come with the family to
participate in the flax and linen trade that was big in the valley where
Orava Lake now lays. We will need to compare notes! Send me some more
details and I look them up. But just so you'll know, groups start out on
tours to hunt for their Goral roots and soon find they are all related! That's half the fun! - Paul
---Hi Paul, I just found your wonderful website on the Tatras Research.
We're thrilled! Wondering if you have any information on the little town of
Lipnica Wielka? We will be travelling there probably next month, and would
appreciate any and all information you may have. Thanks so much, - Mary Beth O'Quinn
***Hi Mary Beth, You'll be happy to note that the webpage for Lipnica Wielka
and its sister village Lipnica Mala now contain some text and a photo each.
Go have a look! I still need to reduce in size and add some great photos
from Zelda Tomlinson. Will try to do that this week. Have fun on your trip! - Paul
---Hi Paul, I know that you are quite busy so I understand I may not get an
answer right away. But thanks for any help that you can give me. I have
certainly enjoyed reading all of the newsletters over these years and look
forward to them. I am going on the 3 countries tour with Helene and in so
doing I am again getting myself acclimated to the area and my family from Poland. I
have a question about whether there would be newspaper accounts or court
records available in Poland or Slovakia that can be accessed if a murder had
been committed about the turn of the century 1895 to 1910. I have also been
in contact with Bill Serchak and have found out that my grandmothers name
wasn't Zygmontovich but Lsigmontovits as written in the records in Trybsz
and the Domyan that I thought was my great grandmother's maiden name turns
out to be Modla. Do you see many names spelled with an Ls in Slovak. Do you
think Modla is a Slovak name? How would Modla be pronounced that some how it
was misunderstood? I also may have information that my Mihalik family
spelling is Michalik since a cousin has recently received a letter from a
relative in Brzegi and she spelled it Michalik. So as you know what we may
have believed to be true for many years can be proven inaccurate. Thanks for
any help you can give.Any information that you think may be helpful or in
any direction you think I should be checking, please advise me. Thanks again. - Peggy Cingle
***Hi Peggy, Sorry to put off your questions. I have had 15 other TARG
members write me this same week with pre-travel or burning questions. Can't
take care of everyone an once, so I am working my way through now. It's
terrific you can go this year to visit the homeland of your ancestors. Wish
I could go, but it will have to wait until probably 2006, I believe. I know
you will love it! Now to your questions. Newspaper accounts from a century
ago are going to be tough to track, civil records may be easier. You will
have to search in the country where the village was at the time. So if in 1895-1910 the
village was part of the Hungarian Empire, you will need to look in archives
or records from that time. These may be in Slovak archives now or in
Hungary. Not sure on this one, but it is a good question. Not sure if any
records microfilmed by the LDS would be of help, but they might. Have you
turned to any Hungarian, Slovak, Czechoslovak or Polish genealogy sites to
see if similar questions about finding prison records or newspaper accounts
from back that far have come up? You will likely have to do some real
homework on this angle!
As for the spelling of Zygmontovich as "Lsigmontovits", that's easy.
This was during the time when the Hungarian ruler was really trying to shove
Hungarian culture, language, etc. down every Slovak's throat. Everything
they did had to be Hungarian. What you see is surely the Hungarian spelling
of Zygmontovich. The "L" is no doubt really a "Z" in Hungarian script.
Because Hungarians pronounce a "Z" like the "ss" in "fissure", they add an
"S" after the "Z" to pronounce the "Z" sound to the way we, Slovaks and
Poles know it. In your case, the "Zs" is, in fact, pronounced as a "Z". On
the end of the surname, the "tc" would be pronounced by Hungarian speakers
the way we say "ch". So here is some of what you might see in the spelling
of this surname in given languages: Slovak: Zigmontovic^, Zygmontovich;
Polish: Zygmontowicz, Zygmuntowicz; and Hungarian: Zsigmontovitc. There were
a series of Polish kings named Zygmund in the 16th century (see our history
timeline at: http://www.mytarg.net/Timeline.html). This name appears as a
last name in many TARG villages. But Zygmund with the ending -vic^ or -wicz
only appears in Trybsz and Bialka Tatrzanska. In Trybsz the known spellings
are Zygmontovich, Zigmontovic and Zyguntowicz. In Bialka there were many
more occurances and all with the two spellings Zygmuntowicz and
Zygmontowicz. And you are likely to discover more. Believe me, after
inputting over 34,000 surnames now in our TARG database, there are a lot of
spelling variations! The same goes for Mihalik and Michalik. This is a
common deviation. Likewise I have seen Domian, Domjan, Domijan and even
Donian. These are all from Frydman, Trybsz, and Dursztyn, with the most from
Trybsz. Keep in mind that Brzegi is and always has been a Polish village
with it's earlier 1940's pre-parish records in the Bialka Tatrzanska parish.
But as happened with my own family, most children were baptized by the
Jurgov, Slovakia priest because that parish was just across the creek, 4
kilometers closer. Look for Brzegi folks' birth records in Jurgow's books,
marriage and death in Bialka's. As for Modla, it appears to be both a Slovak
and a Polish name. Where are the Modlas from? In the TARG surname list there
are two occurrences from Nowy Targ, 3 from Trybsz, 1 from Czarna Gora and 1
from Velka Frankova. In Polish today the name is spelled with a slash
through the L and would be pronounced "MODE-wah". Hope this helps you. - Paul
---Hi Paul, I sent in requesting the notes from the February CGSI symposium.
I sent a dollar as I did not have the required envelope and hope it made it.
It was the CSGSA Tatra People, History and Research, Winter 2004-05 Issue.
Not sure when I mailed in exactly, and it was cash. I do enjoy reading your
information, and appreciate receiving it monthly. Thank you. - Louise K.
***Hi Louise, Just to let you will know, I did get your $1 safely by mail on
February 10th. As for the issue's status, I have my columns written, but am
still waiting on a couple of other CSGSA members to get me their submittals
to include before it goes to press. Now that it is April, it is hard to call
it a "Winter" issue! It may be that they elect to do a combined
Winter-Spring issue which would be a double-sized issue, or two for one.
Either way you will be getting a $5 publication for less than the cost of mailing it. Thanks for your patience. - Paul
---Hi Paul. I would like to start getting the newsletter again. My cousin
Peggy Cingle just forwarded the February one to me. I used to get them and
then didn't have a computer for awhile. I sure did miss them. Thanks. - Peggy Follmer
***Hi Peggy, I will put your e-mail address on the list. Will you be going
with Peggy on Helene's tour this summer? - Paul
---Dear Paul, In your TARG newsletter of December 2003, you indicated that
you have the Jurgow, Poland Parish records photographed, and you were
getting ready to digitalize them. Are these available for purchase yet? -- Terry Asplund
***Hi Terry, Yes, I did photograph the records in Jurgow...althought it was
my first adventure at record photography. The parish records I have
photographed since are much better and with my newer equipment yielded much
clearer results. Sorry to say it, but I have not compiled and enhanced many
of the raw pages from the Jurgow records yet. This will be a big chore and I have
pretty much been putting it off! Without the extra tweeking they are pretty
difficult to read. If you know a particular name or year to look something
up, I could probably do that for you -- especially if it is already in one
of the pages I have done. -Paul
***Still soooo many good letters to get to! Be patient! -- Paul
PODHALE BOOK TRANSLATION - PART 11______________
A new produce packing plant is being build, a dairy cooperative is being
formed in Szaflary, as well as a fish cooperative in Lopuszna. In addition,
a new leather and shoe factory is being built in Nowy Targ.
This part of Tatra Highlands is bordered by the Beskidy range, Orawa is
bordered by Babia Gora and the Nowotarszczyzna area by the Gorce range. The
Gorce range is an unusually beautiful, leafy mountain ridge with its
dome-like peak called "Torbacz" reaching 1322 meters (4337 Feet) in height.
The slopes of Gorce are covered with grand forests, beautiful meadows and
glades. Part of this forest was recently transformed into a state park,
named "Orkan Park". It is in the memory of a well know writer who was born
in the village of Poreba near the Gorces. The writer was a son of a very
poor shepherd family who's love for the Gorces is so beautifully presented
in his writing. His books also describe in depth the hard life of the peasants there.
From the peaks of the Gorces one can see the ridge of Tatras in one
direction and in the other see clearly Podgorze, all of the way to the Wisla
lowlands. In the Gorces there are many fantastic meadows and glades with
perfect spots for skiing. At the foot of the Gorces there exist some poor
villages with significant historic landmarks. Some of these include the
little wooden church in Niedzwiedz and another named Holy Cross in Obiadowa
just off the road from Krakow to Zakopane. The peasants there differ from
the Tatra Highlanders in their dialect, native outfits and the style of architecture.
Despite the lack of sharply pointed peaks and the rugged slopes of the
Tatras and Pieniny, or being significantly lower and less majestic as the
domed peak of Babia Gora, the Gorces are nonetheless charming. Because of
their long and leafy hollows, gently descending slopes covered with billowy
vegetation, a fantastic forest, meadows covered with muslin-like grass and
mysterious glades, the Gorces are a timeless place. To know them is to love
them. On the eastern side the Gorces meet the Pieniny with a darling group
of mountains and picturesque cliffs. The highest Pieniny peaks are the Trzy
Korony (three crowns) at 982 meters (3222 feet). In there is a hermitage
which is being associated with Saint Kinga. From there is a picturesque view
on to Spisz, Podhale and the Beskidy. Also, a lovely view is had from
Sokolica by the Dunajec river. There the cliff plunges directly into the river.
The Dunajec cuts directly through the Pieniny range creating a gate
where one can use boats for transportation from one side to the other. The
boats used there are really canoes made out tree trunks and tied together in
groups of three. The guides are local Highlanders in colorful folk outfits.
Dunajec rafting is an unforgettable pleasure for everyone and provides
life-long memories. The Pieniny and Dunajec river gateway is one of the most
beautiful in the world. The river there twists and turns and both its shores
are lined with picturesque cliffs. The Highlanders here dress somewhat
different then the ones in the Tatras. Here the men wear blue embroidered vests.
(The final installment (part 12 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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