TATRA AREA RESEARCH GROUP
© TARG All rights reserved.
Newsletter for July 2005
Greetings to all TARG members! I believe some members are headed to or in the Tatras now on vacation. It will be nice to hear their reports and
share their letters in upcoming issues.
Since I'm sticking around this summer, I'll let you in on what's
happening here at home. We had a wonderful party two weeks ago for my Uncle Jaraslav who turned 90. Uncle "Jerry" is the one who was dying of cancer two years ago, went through chemo-therapy and came out healthy as a horse. His beautiful white hair grew back and now he looks like a million bucks. Many thanks to you TARG members who prayed for him back when he was so ill. He gets our star photo position on the TARG home page this month. Happy 90th birthday, Uncle Jerry!
In this issue we'll cover more of the out-of-print book by V.A. Firsoff on the Tatras written in 1942. This will be part two. Hope you enjoy it and are having a safe and fun summer!
-- Paul K. Bingham
1. TARG's website is: http://mytarg.net (or also www.mytarg.net).
2. More Uncle Jerry B-day pictures (just for TARG members) at:
3. A new Zakopane website in English: http://www.ezakopane.pl/poland/.
4. A new Jaworki website in English: http://www.jaworki.skpb.lodz.pl/english.html.
5. Hungarian censuses: latest LDS microfilm online catalog:
6. Website with explanations of each census and heading translations:
---Hello Paul, I would appreciate being added to the newsletter subscription list, and if possible, I would like to receive copies of the last 5 issues. Thank you for your wonderful service to our community. Sincerely, Maryann Andrascik Forster
***Hello Maryann, Your name will be added to our list so that you can begin receiving the TARG E-newsletter. All newsletter back issues (over six years worth) are available on our TARG website at www.mytarg.net. Click on "All Newsletter Back Issues" listed as the last item on the home page and you will be taken to the archive page for our back issue library. You are free to then print
any of these off that you want for your own use. No charge, no postage, no delays! May I inquire as to where your Tatra area ancestry is from and what surnames you might be interested in? We may have others who could share specifically meaningful information with you. Thanks. - Paul
---Hi Paul, Keep up the Great work! I really enjoy your newsletter. I lecture in Poland every few years and typically travel to my grandfather's birthplace of Namestovo, Slovakia. I have photos I have thought about scanning and sending. Would you be interested? - Dan Tylka
***Hi Dan, Thank you for your kind comments. And pictures? Absolutely scan and send them! Would love to see and share them with other TARG members.
---Hi Paul, Dorothy Finn told me about the 1869 Hungarian Census for Spis and I have looked at Frydman and Dursztyn on the films. I found eight Iglar families living in five households in Frydman as of January 14, 1870. There were a total of 135 households and one listing for Gypsies. Have you looked at those census records yet? All the genealogical guide books indicate that the 1869 Census is for Zemplen County only. I understand that the LDS filmed the Spis records in Levoca in 1999 so perhaps the guide books are just outdated and a new discovery of material was made? Anyway, it is a treasure trove! - Rick Iglar
***Hello Richard, So nice to hear from you. Yes, I actually did know of the Hungarian censuses (there were several). You can find a listing of all the ones the LDS have microfilmed in their online catalog at:
http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp. There is also a very good website with explanations of what is different in each census done and also translations of the headings used at:
It is true that even though most all of these Hungarian census records existed in archives, only Zemplin was available on microfilm in this country via the LDS library system. Now all of them have been microfilmed -- in fact, all of Slovakia's parish records have been photographed, too, save some remaining ones in Bratislava that an LDS film crew is working to complete presently. Our Polish and Czech counterparts in the genealogy world are just beside themselves as to what we Slovak researchers have so available to us here!
My interest has been in the records of Jurgov...but be aware, these census records were conducted by Hungarians and the town names are in Hungarian! Villages like Fridman and Jurgov stayed pretty-much the same, but others like "Mindzent" (for Bijacovce) and "Remete" (for Mnisek) bear little resemblance to their original Slovak village names. Fortunately the LDS site list most of the Slovak names in parenthesis, too, although these may be very old spellings. Milan
Majtan's reference "Nazvy Obci Slovenskej Republiky" also comes in
handy when you get stuck! -- Paul
TATRA MOUNTAINS BOOK - PART 2__________
The Tatra Mountains themselves are barely thirty miles in length and
hardly more than fifteen miles across -- an island of rock and beauty. In
the north the range is girded with a row of wooded hills which slope gently
towards the Highlands of Poland. In the south the main granite peaks rise
sheer over the fertile Slovak valley of Liptov. Both sides have their
distinct characteristics, and both have their full share of beauty.
The mountains, not unlike Caesar's Gallia, consist of three parts. The
West or Low Tatras, of somewhat lower altitude than the central part, extend from the pass of Hucianka in the west to Liliowe in the east and has the 8,600-foot peak of Bystra for its highest point. It is largely Carpathian in character. Igneous rocks form the core of the system and appear uncovered in the peaks of the main range. East of Liliowe and up to the Pod Kopa Pass stretches the granitic High Tatras and still further east lies the limestone group of the Belan Tatra, mostly overgrown with grass. Zdiar Pass marks the eastern boundary of the Tatras.
The average altitude of the mountains is about 7,000 feet, but there are
isolated peaks that far exceed that figure. Gerlach Peak measures 8,737 feet and Lomnica with its 8,642 feet had for a long time been considered as the highest summit of the group until more accurate measurements were made. Several other nearby peaks are also over 8,000 feet.
The High Tatras are steep and forbidding, more Alpine in parts than the
Alps themselves. They are characterized by the strongly developed "arêtes", the abruptness of the mountain faces and the relatively great height of the gaps and passes, most of which are difficult to access. But they are big mountains on a small scale -- crowded, fragile and light, with dainty,
turreted ridges, which would make most of the Alps look clumsy and somewhat crude by comparison.
The High Tatras occupy only about one-third of the small area of the
Tatras, most of which lies west of Liliowe. Yet what wealth of detail;
peaks, valleys, lakes, waterfalls -- all of them full of character and so
different from one another. There are open, windy plateaus with small lakes lurking in the cavities among weathered boulders and dark wreaths of
scrub-pine, plateaus surrounded at their edges with low, precipitous ridges, cutting like a knife into the blue sky or the gray of trailing clouds.
There are terraced valleys rising in steps toward walls of stone which
shoot up above the gray-green of debris and the white of summer snows like a smaller edition of the Grandes Jorasses. There are narrow, dead valleys, where all is rock and silence and only here and there a meager bunch of grass glitters in the sunshine among bitch-black, overhanging granites, and from time to time the breath of a distant waterfall or a squeak of an eagle is brought in by a gust of wind. There are lakes as deep as the sea and as smooth as a mirror. There is a wealth of wild flowers and the
(We will continue with Chapter 1 in next month's issue.)
To contact the TARG Editor, the new e-mail address is: TatraAreaResearchGroup-AT-gmail-DOT-com. 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. It is still: targ_net-AT-hotmail-DOT-com.
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