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Newsletter for April 2007

     Ahojte (welcome) TARG members! Happy April to you and a happy Easter as well. The article about the Tatra Highlanders for Volume 19 (the Spring issue) of the CGSI's quarterly publication Nase rodina, has now mailed. I just received my copy in the mail Friday. I hope all readers of the publication enjoy it! I'm pleased with the photographs they did use and the final editing as well. Again, a color version of the map that appears in the article is on the TARG homepage at www.e-TARG.org. To get a copy of the Nase rodina article you will have to purchase the quarterly directly from the CGSI. Visit their website at: www.CGSI.org for more details.
    I've been contacted by several folks wanting to pass the word to you of important upcoming events. First is Helene Cincebeaux who's tours to the old country have helped many TARG members unlock doors to their long-lost family. She is, as always, 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. The website with her tour information is: www.Our-Slovakia.com. Her quarterly publication Slovakia is also one of my favorites.
   For some time, researchers digging for their roots in the village of Osturna (the western-most Rusyn village in Slovakia) have been conducting DNA research to augment their study of written records. This tiny village is within our TARG sphere and we have reported on their outstanding activities from time to time. Now, one of the charter members of TARG, Karen Melis from Pennsylvania, has launched a much larger DNA project which greatly widens the area of DNA research. Called the "Zamagurie Region DNA Project", it covers the Slovak villages lost to Poland on the eastern side of the Tatras as well as many villages in old Spis county, Slovakia. She would like anyone with family from these areas to participate. Please visit and read the new page on the TARG website about this exciting project at: www.e-targ.org/ZamReg%20DNA.html or by visiting the main TARG homepage and following the new "DNA Project" link.
    Speaking of Osturna, the prominent author and genealogy researcher, Lisa Alzo, who's books include Pittsburgh's Immigrants, Three Slovak Women, Baba's Kitchen, and Finding Your Slovak Ancestors has roots there. Lisa will be lecturing at a Pan-Slavic genealogy seminar at Housatonic College in Bridgeport, CT on Saturday, April 14, 2007. The seminar is free, but pre-registration is advised. She will also be teaching an online genealogy course. (For more on that, see our letters section below.)
And now let me share with you a special Bingham family announcement, just as I sent it to our family in Jurgow last week. "Nasa najstarsia dcera ma VELKE oznamenie. Ona a jej manzel cakaju dvojicky! Budeme stari rodicia!" (This was very good practice for my Slovak, and perhaps will be for yours. For those who can't decipher it and need to cheat a little, there's an English translation at the end of the newsletter!)
    -- Paul K. Bingham
   TARG Founder

  1. TARG's official website: http://www.e-TARG.org!
  2. Helene B. Cincebeaux's new 2007 Treasure Tours Schedule is out! Go to her website at: www.Our-Slovakia.com
  3. CGSI "Nase rodina" newsletter copies can be purchased for $3.50 each. Here's the link to ordering those: http://www.cgsi.org/research.asp?i=7
  4. The new website for the Zamagurie Region DNA Project is: www.familytreedna.com/public/ZamagurieRegionDNAProject.
  5. For info on Lisa Alzo's new online genealogy class specializing in East European research, visit: www.genclass.com.
  6. Link to Ute Schoenwetter's Podhale family website: www.utesfamilyalbum.de.
  7. For a very helpful (and free) immigrant ancestor research guide, visit: www.familysearch.org.

YOUR LETTERS___________
---Hi Paul, I read with interest your last newsletter on the derivation of Slovak names. I'm not sure you were looking for more of them but I offer the following two that are key to my family research. One of our two family names is Garbiar which in Slovak means 'a tanner' or someone who prepares animal hides. The second is Lieskovsky that comes from the name of my family's village Liesek. Now if I could only find some basis for our first family name Petrica and how my ancestors ended up also adopting the Garbiar name in the 1700's. Keep up the informative and interesting articles on the website. Thanks. - Stan Petrica
  ***Hi Stan. Thanks for the nice note and addition of two more names to our list. I'm no expert, but having taken Slovak lessons for a year, I will tell you that Slovak is considered a "flexible" language. By that they mean there are lots of little core words. Depending on how they are used, or what meaning you want to give them, they can be altered in many, many ways with prefixes, suffuxes, and even something called infixes. Take the word for bread: chlieb. When you want to say "a slice of bread" you say krajec chleba. Note the "ie" in the middle of chlieb changes to "e" and it gets an "-a" ending. Here's another example. The words for "father" and "brother" are otec and brat. To say "father's brother" you say, otcov brat. Note otec drops the "e" and picks up the suffix "-ov." The suffix "-ica" is a known Slovak suffix, often making a feminine noun out of a masculine word. Your name may well come from the root word "Peter," but of the exact meaning, I'm not sure. Anyone want to help Stan out with this one? - Paul
---Hi Paul, I just finished catching up on your great newsletters and have a few questions and a bit of info.
1. Did you ever received any requests to translate the Czarny Dunajec history book?
2. Can I still purchase the Bialka Tatrzanska Parish Records CDs? I didn't see them on the e-TARG site.
3. Do you have any church records for any of these towns: Jablonka, Podczenwone, Szaflary, Rogcznik, Lesnica, Obidowa, Klikuszowa, Lopuszna, or Male Kasinka?
4. In January 2006, Paul Valasek wrote that he has Stopka ancestors in Czarny Dunajec. I also have a Stopka connection there.
5. Do you have names of reputable researchers in that area? My surnames from the towns (see 3. above) are: Stopka, Senary, Chlebowski, Wilczek, Ozaistowicz, Pabisiewicz, Kois/Kjos, and Wydra. Thanks for any help. - Margaret, NY
  ***Hi Margaret. Here's some quick answers to your questions:
1. No other requests but yours on the Czarny Dunajec book.
2. Yes. The Bialka, Tatrzanska parish records cost $39 from TARG. (It's a 4-CD set.)
3. Sorry, no. Most will be found only in the Roman Catholic archives in Krakow or by visiting the village church. Since Jablonka was a Slovak village lost to Poland in 1920, the village church or archives in Spisska Kapitula, Slovakia will be your likely record sources.
4. I sent your address to Mr. Valasek for him to contact you.
5. Vlado Flak is a Slovak genealogist who has also done work on the Polish side and members have been very happy with him. See the February 2002 issue of the e-TARG newsletter for more. - Paul
---Hi Paul, I created a family website on my Podhale ancestors. Maybe the website will be interesting for other TARG members with ancestors in the respective villages. The link to my website is: www.utesfamilyalbum.de. (Note: Javascript must be activated in your browser to view it.) Best regards, Ute Schoenwetter, Germany
  ***Nice work, Ute! I'll post it for other members to visit. Thanks! - Paul
---Hi Paul, I appreciate all your help over the years and especially the encouragement you gave me many years ago when you first started your research and the TARG website. Thanks again. Peggy Cingle
  ***You are most welcome, Peggy. Thank you! - Paul
---Dear Paul, Hope this message finds you well! I've got an announcement I was hoping you might be able to include in one of your newsletters. A group of former myfamily.com instructors have joined together to form "GenClass," a new online genealogy class venture. I teach five classes, including a beginning genealogy course and Eastern European genealogy courses. Each course is just $29.95. See www.genclass.com for details. I would be grateful if you could spread the word! Many thanks and best regards, Lisa Alzo
  ***Hi Lisa, I'll be happy to pass the word. Good luck to you! - Paul

  Concluding what we started two issues ago, here are more Tatra family surnames and their meanings. As mentioned before, surnames are derived from a physical characteristic of the early ancestor, their profession, their place of origin or perhaps something from their natural surroundings. Here are more Tatra Highlander surnames and their Slovak meanings. Once again, many are colorful!
   SEDLAK = a saddler
   SERAFIN = a seraph
   SLOBODA = freedom
   SMOLEN - 'smol' is a word for pitch
   SOCHA = statue
   SOJKA = a jaybird
   SOVA = owl
   STOPKA = a stalk
   STROJNIK = a mechanic
   TALAR = a robe or gown
   TKAC = a weaver
   TOPOR = an adze
    TRIBSKY - from the village of Tribs
   USTUPSKY - 'ustup' is to retreat or withdrawl
   VAVREK - 'vavrin' is a laurel
   VOJENSKY = military
   ZAJAC = hare
   ZAPALA - zeal

   There is a very helpful research guide written by the LDS (Mormon) church for those trying to trace their Slovak, Polish (or any immigrant) ancestors. It is available free online. (It's a little buried on one of their websites, though.) Here's eight steps how to access it:
   1. Go to: www.familysearch.org
   2. Click on "Search" Tab along very top of page
   3. Click on "Resource Helps" on top (blue) toolbar
   4. On the left toolbar click on "Sorted by Title"
   5. In the row of alphabetical letters click on "T"
   6. Under T's listing (near bottom), click on "Tracing Immigrant Origins Research Outline"
   7. The following outline will come up:
      Tracing Immigrant Origins (publication #34111)
      Research Outline
      Part 1. Search Strategies
         Step 1. Identify What You Know About The Immigrant
         Step 2. Decide What You Want To Learn
         Step 3: Select The Records To Search
         Step 4. Find And Search The Records
         Step 5. Use The Information
      Part 2. Country-of-arrival Records
      Part 3. Country-of-origin Records
   8. Click on any line of the outline to read that page or set of pages.

Conclusion of Chapter 5 "Folk Dances":
   "The Tatras have exercised a great influence on Polish art in general and on music in particular. But most of the earlier works, connected with the Tatras, though their inspiration was undoubtedly due to experiences of the mountain scenery and even Goral legends, stood in no direct relation to the local tunes. 'The Tatra Album' by I. J. Paderewski, supplied the first notable exception to this rule and was based on the popular Tatra melodies, played to the famous pianist by the local bard Bartek Obrochta and his Goral orchestra. Among the outstanding Polish composers whose names are connected with the Tatras was Mieczyslaw Karlowicz, a great lover of these mountains where he found a rich source of musical ideas. He was killed by an avalanche in 1909 when skiing in the Tatras. But it was left to Karol Szymanowski to appreciate in full the riches of the Tatras folklore. He spent many years in Zakopane, where he died in 1937, studying the old robber songs on which much of his own music was based. One of his disciples, Maklakiewicz undertook the tremendous work of writing down all the most important traditional Goral tunes, transmitted from generation to generation but never recorded before, and published these under the title 'Muzyka Podhala' (The Music of Podhale).
   (Chapter 6 "Zakopane and Progress" starts in our next issue.)

GOOD READING__________
   This is the "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 as we finish the chapter on folk dance and music in Firsoff's book The Tatra Mountains, it seems only appropriate to tell you about a new arrival to my library collection entitled Making Music in the Polish Tatras by Timothy J, Cooley, an ethnomusicologist currently teaching at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
The book is published by the Indiana University Press. The hard-bound edition retails for around $45, although I was able to find mine online for less than $35 including shipping. A paperback version is supposed to also be available, but I have not been able to find one. Both come with a 47-track CD which has lots of music on it collected by Cooley. On it you find everything from music played at a funeral to fusion between traditional Podhale music and - of all things - Reggae. The CD is pretty simplistic in its layout - my player wouldn't list the songs, although the back of the book does and includes lots of information about each cut. There are even a few Slovak songs, as Tatra Highlanders on the Polish side admit they feel more akin to the folks on the south side of the mountains than their countrymen to the north. One in particular is about Hel'pa, a Goral village in Slovakia.
   The book is 310 pages long, including the introduction, and the writing style is very readable. Cooley has no familial interest in the Tatra region. Instead he was so struck by the similarities of old-time stringband music from the Appalachians and Tatra Goral music the first time he heard it, that he spent the next ten years learning Polish and going to the Tatras to study the Gorale and their culture. While the book goes into real depth on all manner of music composition topics, there is also a great deal about the people behind their music, the area's history, glimpses into the area's rich culture and a sense of Gorale and how they think about life. There are many interviews and photos of locals both past and contemporary included in this work. I found it fascinating, and believe you will, too.

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.) Announcement translation: "Our oldest daughter has a BIG announcement. She and her husband are expecting twins! We are going to be grandparents!"
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