T A T R A A R E A R E S E A R C H G R O U P
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Newsletter for July 2008
Ahojte (welcome) TARG members! Here is your TARG e-newsletter for July, 2008.
This week has been a tough one for Poles and Slovaks who live in and around the Tatras. Torrential rains have swollen creeks, washed out bridges, damaged roads, homes, and businesses, stranded villagers, disrupted transportation, caused evacuations and sadly in the village of Circ near Stara Lubovna led to two deaths from drowning. The weather report for next week looks good, but as I am writing this there are heavy rains falling in much of Slovakia and there are still possible showers in the region through the weekend. My cousin Lucjan from Polish Spisz contacted me earlier this week and shared photos and links that are now on our TARG website here. We pray everyone will be okay, that the rain will stop, and the inhabitants can begin to repair the damage done.
Reportedly the rains accompanied by strong winds have broken branches and uprooted trees closing portions of the roads and railway tracks from Studeny Potok to Tatranska Lomnica, Slovakia. 36 towns and villages were hardest hit by the storms. Among them are Stara Lubovna, Kolackov, Circ, Nova Lubovna, Jakubany, Spisska Nova Ves, Krompachy, and Rudnany, 300 Gypsies were evacuated from Kolackov early on, but are now back in their homes. Another 150 may still need to be evacuated from Krompachy.
I have not heard from Helene Cincebeaux who is over there right now conducting her latest tour. The rain has also been bad in the Ukraine where she often has a portion of tours. I know Helene always has a "plan B" and that everyone will be okay and likely have a good time in spite of the weather. But we hope it has not been too disruptive to those visiting relatives and searching for their genealogical records. When I get a report back from her I will share it with you. Our prayers to all who have lost loved ones and property.
- Paul Bingham, TARG Founder
1. TARG's official website: www.e-TARG.org!
2. Pictures and flooding coverage from Lucjan Soltys in Polish Spisz: http://www.jurgow.pl/jurgow_powodz2008_zdjecia.html
3. Slovak flooding news coverage: http://www.tasr.sk/30.axd?k=20080724TBB00574
4. Flooding pictures from Zdiar, Slovakia: http://www.zdiar.sk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=197&Itemid=1
5. Slovinky flood video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQNjB4MRr3Q
6. Pictures from the flooded Kosice region of Slovakia: http://www.aktuality.sk/spravy/domace/torysa-klesa-hornad-sa-stabilizoval
---Hi Paul, Joseph Hornack in Cleveland, gave me your name and e-mail address. I am trying to search for relatives in the northern part of Slovakia & the southern part of Poland. My parents were both born in Slovakia, the Orava region, but now that part is in Poland and I do not know how to go about looking for relatives there. I was told by Joe that you would be the person who could possibly help me. My father, Ignac (Ignacy) Stopiak, was born in Mala Lipnica and came to America in 1910 at the age of 18. My father had a sister, Carolina, she also came to the US. My mother, Maria (Marie) Utrata was born in Zubryza Gorna (I am not to sure about the Gorna part) and came to America in 1920 at the age of 19. My mother's sister, Cecila, came to the US earlier than my mother.
She still had sisters in Europe. I believe there names were Regina and Johana. I find these areas on the map and they are now both in Poland. I would like to find some cousins there and maybe visit them. My cousin here tells me that we had a cousin there that was a priest. Any help would be greatly appreciated. - Marge S.
***Hello Marge, Some of your questions have been covered in past TARG e-newsletters. If you do a Google search and type "e-TARG" and "Lipnica"
or "Zubrzyca" you will get links to those past e-newsletters in our archives dealing with those villages. Search our guestbook, too, as we have postings from people with ancestry from these same villages as well. Looking in the Polish phonebook for the area, I see an Antoni STOPIAK listed in Lipnica Mala, Poland. The postal code there is 34-482 and his house number is 263A. The May 2001 issue of this newsletter has an article to help you write a simple letter in Polish and also how to address it properly for mailing to villages over there. - Paul
---Hello Paul, I found you on the web, trying to find anything about the town Ciche, Poland. Your weppage is still under construction for this small town near Torun, Poland. My father was born in Ciche in 1908, his mother and sister had to flee during the war. I am living for 35 years in Montgomery, AL. If you have any infomation or photos about this town, I would greatly appreciate it. It is impossible to find any phone number for Ciche's town hall. Hope to hear from you. - Erika M.
***Hello Erika, There are two villages with the name Ciche in Poland. The one on my website is south of Krakow near the Slovak border. I do not have any information on the Ciche by Torun, except that it is outside of our TARG sphere. If that is the one your father came from, then I'm afraid we haven't much to share with you. Sorry. - Paul
---Hi Paul, My name is Peter Body and I am from Lacková, Slovakia. My Grandfather was Jozef Gallik. His brother Jan (Janos) Gallik emigrated to USA. If somebody want some information please contact me. - Peter Body
***Hello Peter, Yes, please send your picture of Lackova. You can send it to: TatraAreaResearchGroup@gmail.com. I will also put your note in our e-newsletter so those interested in Lackova can see it. Thank you! - Paul
---Paul, In your Apr-May newsletter you had an email from a Denise G. looking for information on her family (Vojtech Vojensky and Maria Kalafut) from Repisko. My 2nd great grandmother was Agnes Kalafut, born in Repisko on 10 Jan 1814. She had a sister Maria born 23 May 1817 in Repisko. Their parents were Joannes Kalafut (born 16 May 1782) and Sophia Mlynarcsik. I know Kalufut is a common name in that region, but if you think this information might be beneficial to Denise--I would be happy to trade information with her. - Dave Asplund P.S. Enjoy reading your newsletter and periodically scan the site for your wealth of knowledge.
***Hi Dave, Nice to hear from you and thank you for the kind words. I will pass this along to Denise and everyone else, too, since there are other TARG members researching there roots in Rzepiska. - Paul
(Even more of your mail next time!)
TATRA MOUNTAINS BOOK - PART 17____________
Chapter 8 "Sudden Cross and Sorrowing Christ" begins:
The Gorals have in their fingers an itch for wood carving, and soft fir wood lends itself excellently to the purpose.
One of the most frequent traditional motives in their ornaments is the 'sudden cross'. The 'sudden cross' is our old acquaintance - it can hardly be called a friend - the Swastika! It is historically associated with the cult of the sun and fire, mankind's oldest religion, and is a conventional symbol of the former. As such the swastika is common to many races of Europe and Asia, not necessarily only Aryan. Another decorative motive connected with the ancient cult is a circle divided into six parts by intersecting arcs of the same radius - often with 'beams' radiating from it. It is particularly frequent on the doors.
The 'sudden cross', a Christianized relic of the pagan past, was meant to be a charm keeping away all sorts of 'suddennes', including sudden death and similar blitzkriegs. The Goral swastika, however, for the most part faces the opposite way to the Nazi Hackenkreutz and stands flat on its side. Sometimes it assumes not easily recognizable forms, degenerating to a round mark surrounded by what could be described as four flames spurting out of it, carved out with a sharp object in wood. But it is always the 'sudden cross' and there is no mistake about it.
Other favourite ornamental motives of the local woodcarvers are the 'gadziks' ('gad' means reptile), a rhythmically waving line, the 'leluja', being a conventionalized version of the Turk's Cap Lily (Lilium martagon), the similarly conventionalized Silver Thistle (Carlina acaulis) and the Edelweiss, though the latter is a later addition, due to Austrian influences. A more complicated ornament - the 'Parzenica', which may be described as a somewhat extended heart with one or two 'eyes' in its broader part, as in a peacock's feather, and various geometrical motives as further embellishments. It lends itself less easily to a woodcarver's knife or hatchet (the Gorals use a small hatchet with great skill for all kinds of wood work), but it frequently adorns the central beam supporting the ceiling, while it appears on most local embroideries, brass brooches, belt clasps, etc.
(Chapter 8 "Sudden Cross and Sorrowing Christ" of Firsoff's 1946 book will continue in our next issue.).
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.)
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