TATRA AREA RESEARCH GROUP
© TARG All rights reserved.
Newsletter for October 2005
"Sviatok vsetkych" (SK for All Saints' Day) and "Wszystkich Swietych" (PL for All Saints' Day) greetings to our TARG members. The traditional and ghoulish Halloween celebration we are presently readying ourselves for here in the United States is something quite foreign to those living in and around the Tatras. Though the two holidays are related, the Slovaks and Poles still celebrate much as Pope Boniface IV decreed in the ninth century.
On the eve before All Saints' Day, they gather in the cemeteries around the beautifully cleaned, adorned and candle-lit graves of their ancestors to share stories and reminisce. I am told to take part in an evening like this is a wonderfully rich experience for those trying to understand and complete their own Tatra-area family history. I have a wish someday to do so. But this year I'll just have to settle for keeping the jack-o-lantern lit and repeatedly answering the door. May all TARG members (in eleven countries) enjoy your celebrations in the coming days, no matter what you do! (We have a very full plate this issue, so let's get to it.)
-- Paul K. Bingham
1. TARG's website is: http://mytarg.net or www.mytarg.net -- there's updates!
2. Scott Rains' article on his Slovak Homecoming Trip: http://www.travelandtransitions.com/stories_photos/sr_slovakia.htm.
3. Scott rains website: http://www.RollingRains.com
4. Jakubany, SK church records translated by Dottie Kosmoski and Ron Cieslak at: http://www.geocities.com/jakubanyrecords/.
5. Great Carpatho-Rusyn websites: www.tccweb.org.
6. Province of Malopolskie, PL info: http://www.rootsweb.com/~polczest/
7. Changing Polish boundaries -- site with history: http://www.wielkopolski.net/province_evolution.html
8. Cemetery info from Malopolskie, PL: http://wvnvm.wvnet.edu/~blb00991/Ssppcem1.htm
9. Malopolskie board listings: http://boards.ancestry.com/mbexec?htx=board&r=rw&p=localities.ceeurope.poland.malopolskie&maxrows=25&dir=next
10. Free 3-D imagery program called "Google Earth: http://earth.google.com/.
11. Dolina's (Goral performing group in MI) home page: www.dolina.org
12. Podhale & info about the Gorals: www.dolina.org/gorale.htm.
13. People with Goral names living in NJ: http://www.gorale.com/czlonkowie.asp
14. Shtetlseeker site: www.jewishgen.org/ShtetlSeeker/LocTown.asp.
--- Hi Paul, would you be so kind as to resolve an issue, that may impact which records we want? I got started on this journey from a scrap in a cousin's bible. It says "Babu (Maria Soltis Cempa) na Nizne Lapse zupy Spisska, mai 1896". (This is the ONLY info we have linking her to Lapsze Nizne, PL.) She was married to Vojtech Adalbert Cempa. Thank you. - Tom Salmon
*** Hello Tom, Your very generous donation check for TARG was received today. Thank you very much! The line from your letter: "Babu (Maria Soltis Cempa)...Nizne Lapse zupy Spisska, maj 1896" pretty much says it all: Grandma Maria was from Nizne Lapse in the county of Spis, May 1896. Lapsze Nizne, Poland is today that place and those are the records you will need to research. I can try to verify the marriage between Vojtech (or Adalbert) Cempa and Maria Soltis from the parish records which I photographed there. As far as locating cousins presently, I find four Soltys families (Soltis was the Slovak spelling) in the village now and one Cempa in Nowy Targ in the most current phonebook. - Paul
--- Paul - Enjoyed your presentation at the recent PGSCA meeting in Los Angeles. You mentioned a book from the Krakow archives, which I tried to scribble in my notes. We are searching for the baptism record of our Roman Catholic Polish grandfather born in Krosnica. According to a gazetteer, the nearest church was in Maniowy. I wrote to Maniowy and the reply stated that their records only go back to 1900. Grandpa George Jakubiak, (Yacopchic for a while), was born in April 1865. Hopefully earlier records or second writings from Maniowy were sent to a higher church authority. The question is where, then what's the address. Any help or advice you can provide will be sincerely appreciated. I receive the email newsletter. Thank you. - Phyllis Nordstrom
*** Hi Phyllis, The book to which you refer is the "2000 Informator Archidiecezji Krakowskiej Parafie i Kosciol~y". Krosnica is listed in the book, which is fortunate, since it lies right on the eastern line of the Krakow diocese. The next village (Grywald) and everything east and north is in the Tarnow Diocese Archives for which I do not have a book. Krosnica is not part of the Maniowy parish, but rather the Kluszkowce parish. The address there is Parafia MB Czestochowskiej, ul. Sl~onecza, 34-440
Kluszkowce, woj. Mal~opolskie, POLAND. The "Proboszcz" is listed as o. Jakub Jaroszewicz. This parish may have some of the older records you seek, but Krakow will surely have the "second writings" version that will also cover this time period. The address of the archives there is: Archiwum Kurii Metropolitalnej, ul. Franciszka 3, 31-004 Krakow, woj. Mal~opolskie, POLAND. The "Dyrektor" is listed as ks. Andrzej Sapeta. Best of luck! - Paul
--- Hi Paul, "Travel & Transitions" published my article on my Slovakia trip: http://www.travelandtransitions.com/stories_photos/sr_slovakia.htm - Scott
*** Wonderful, Scott! Can I please add this link to the next TARG E-Newsletter? Thank you so much for sharing! - Paul
--- Thank you, Paul. Failed to acknowledge that Helene (Cincebeaux) first published it in her "Slovakia" publication. Yes, please share it far and wide. That's why I write. Thanks so much for what you do, too! - Scott Rains
--- Hi Paul, Is Plavnica Slovakia, Saris Province in our Tatra circle? My grandmother Parana came from there. Thanks. - Ed Zadjura
*** Hi Ed, To answer your question, Plavnica is near Stara Lubovna, Slovakia. You are not the first TARG member to find you have family ties in this village. While Stara Lubovna is a TARG town, Plavnica is just outside our TARG sphere of influence. But I have been to this cute little town tucked off the main highway and walked through its church, streets and high cemetery. In fact, I even shot some video there. I also spent a wonderful night in a resort hotel deep in the forest just a couple of miles away. - Paul
--- Hi Paul, Ever since I found your site I have read and printed out all of the newsletters. In September, 26 of us went to our ancestral village of Jakubjany, Spis, SK. This was my third trip over and what a time we all had. The village put on a mock wedding for us which lasted an entire day (could not have survived a 3-day wedding). The most amazing thing was that after the word got out in the area we arrived in the village of less than 3000 but had grown to what some estimated at over 5000 people from all over the area. Three TV stations were there filming. We were to be "part of the wedding" but unfortunately we were not all able to get photos in the "bride and groom" homes due to the TV cameras (they blocked our view entirely). This was the first time I wished that I had a video camera! The entire village, as well as our families, treated us so well it was like being at home! We were not able to see any of this on TV since we left September 17. Many of the villagers knew we were Americans and purposely tried to get us into these homes. Maryann Horchar Sivak (she was born in Jakubjany) of Pittsburgh and a "fellow" member of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society put this trip together. She did an excellent job. Many found and met relatives. I cannot say enough of these villagers; their hospitality was incredible and befitting of our people "po nasomu" (sp?). I have my Duda and Kundlya family trees back to 1772 thru 2003 (prior records not available/destroyed). Since my grandparents' siblings emigrated I did not get to find out if there is any extended family in Jakubjany. These records have been translated by Dottie Kosmoski and Ron Cieslak at: http://www.geocities.com/jakubanyrecords/. I might add that I went over 21 days before the Jakubjany group and spent that time with my paternal families in the Svidnik area -- Bukovce/Bukivci. I was able to "find" the village of one of my ggms leaving me with only one village to "locate". There is no way to ever thank these people for their hospitality. In this area have made contact with many people as well and hopefully many more. I feel as though I belong in Slovakia. Has there been anything written regarding some of the Jakubjany people and their families coming from areas now in Poland? In checking EI there are over 600 Duda names with the majority coming in as from Poland. Thank you for your endeavors on our behalf! (Surnames & Villages: Jakubjany: Bukovce/Bukivci, Krajna Bysztra? Strocin, and ?: Hunkovce/Hunkivci) - Eveline Blanar
*** Hi Eveline, Thank you so much for sharing the stories of your trip to Slovakia and Jakubany! I'm wondering if the coverage of this wedding is not available online. When Slovakia was hit last Fall with those winds that flattened thousands of acres of trees in the Tatras, the news video was available for viewing on Slovak news websites. It would be worth looking into. The Slovak embassy in Washington may be able to help you locate a source on the internet. What a wonderful resource Ron Cieslak's website is with all of the church records online, too! I will add a link to this site on our TARG website. And to answer your question, I don't know that anything specific has been written about Dudas coming to settle in Jakubany from Poland. However, it is a well known fact that not only settlement patterns changed this area over the centuries, but so did the borders change. The castle at Stara Lubovna has many artifacts on display from when it was under Polish control. Many books with many maps have been written regarding this area. It should come as no surprise that families there today have ancestry have roots in both Slovakia and Poland. But with the records only going back to 1772, it will be difficult to make these connections if they happened in years prior. But I would think some of your Carpatho-Rusyn sites (like www.tccweb.org) that cover this area in detail would be a good source to turn for such detailed history. Again, thank you for sharing! - Paul
--- Hi Paul, I'm sending you a copy of a document found at the Arch Diocese in Krakow. I believe it to be from the town of L~etownia. I know my descendents are from Wysoka south of L~etownia. How can I research the church you mentioned, Swie~tych Apostolow Szymona i Judy Tadeusza? Also the Latin word CONDITIO showing 1/4, 1/8 etc. What does it refer to? I was told that it referred to property ownership. Richard Lubinski
*** Hi Richard, Well, hunting down parish records is always interesting and, more often than not, requires patience and perseverance. The L~etownia parish address is: Parafia s'wie~tych Apostol~o'w Szymona i Judy Tadeusza, L~e~townia 99, 34-788 L~e~townia, woj. Mal~opolskie, POLAND (The parish priest is listed as: ks. mgr Aleksander Woz'niczka, E.c.) But in reading my 2000 Krakow church guides and referring to my maps, it appears L~e~townia is north of Jordano'w and the little village of Wysoka is south of Jordano'w -- and really considered part of the Jordano'w parish. The address there is: Parafia Przenajs'wie~tszej Tro'jcy, ul. Kolejowa 8, 34-785 Jordano'w, woj. Mal~opolskie, POLAND (The parish priest is listed as: ks. mgr Bolesl~aw Wawak, R.M.) However, in 1983 a parish church was built in between Wysoka and Jordano'w in the neighboring village of Toporzysko. It is more likely that Wysoka is part of that parish currently. Are the records for Wysoka now there? It is anyone's guess. In some places where I have seen this, they are still in the original parish church mingled in the book that covered the whole large parish, in others they were in separate village books and these were then moved to the new church once it was built. The address in Toporzysko is: Parafia NMP Matki Kos'ciol~a, Toporzysko 250, 34-785 Jordano'w, woj. Mal~opolskie, POLAND (The parish priest is listed as: ks. Marian Juras.) Good luck to you in solving this mystery! I also do not know what "CONDITIO" means in the records...but the PGSA website may have a translation available. I do not remember such entries in records from Spisz or Orawa to the south, but these were under Hungarian control at that time. - Paul
--- Hi Paul, I am looking for information about a town or village that was called Szlanica in what is now Slovakia. My grandfather may have been born there while it was part of the Austrio-Hungarian Empire. Grandfather was born in 1855 and his name was Alphonse Lefkow. Thank you for any information. -Sivame
*** Hello Sivame, My grandmother was born in Slanica, Slovakia also known as Szlanica. The dam forming Orava Lake buried the village in 1954. The church that was on a hill still remains on an island today. I have visited there. I have a small book about the town I could copy for you. Where do you live -- in the U.S.? The village's parish records are available on microfilm (part of the Namestovo records) from the LDS system of libraries. Their online catalog is available at: familysearch.org. I can get the roll numbers for you if you have trouble. - Paul
If you have not seen the new free program that Google has out called "Google Earth", you will have to try it! It combines satellite imagery, GPS data and a 3-D drawing engine to do some pretty spectacular things. You can literally go anywhere on the earth in a matter of seconds and tilt the surface to make all the mountains and hills come alive. To download the free program go to http://earth.google.com/ then click on the link that says "Get Google Earth (free version)". The download takes a while -- it's like 11 MBs in size. Before you do, make sure your computer "has what it takes" to run the program. (They have some particulars, but it doesn't have to be state-of-the-art to run.) Once Google Earth is loaded you can click on various places they have listed and have a look. Or you can go wherever you want by clicking on the "Fly to" tab in the top left corner, then typing in the coordinates. (A great place to get coordinates is off of JewishGen's "shtetlseeker" (village finder) link.) There are lots of control buttons for zooming, scrolling, rotating, resetting north, and tilting the 3-D plane. Some places on earth use more detailed satellite imagery in the program than others, so if its a bit blurry where you are looking, just zoom back a bit. Enter the coordinates, hit the blue "Search options" button to the right of the entry box, and HANG ON! Google Earth uses satellite images that are 1 to 3 years old, but they are updating the images all the time. Don't know how old our California image is, but my red car is parked out in front! - Paul
TREASURE TOUR REUNION_________
For those who have traveled with Helene B. Cincebeaux over the years, you are invited to a Treasures Tours Reunion Sat., Nov. 5, at 6:00 PM, Pittsburgh PA at Bruce and Rose Cathleen Bagin's, 5620 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh. It's near the University of Pittsburgh where the Slovak Festival will be held the next day (Sun., Nov. 6) from 12 noon to 5 pm. If you can come, please bring your beverage and a dish or a goodie to share. Let Helene know if you can come - will help them in planning. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 585-342-9383.
TATRA MOUNTAINS BOOK - PART 5__________
Chapter 2 "The Robbers" continues:
The Tatra Robbers cherished a strong feeling against the rich and powerful as the natural outcome of their personal past and such traditions as had been inherited from their predecessors, but in their forays they did no harm to the poor and simple. In fact, tradition would have it that they often helped them out with their spoils. The Robbers have thus become a symbol of freedom -- something in the style of Robin Hood -- more particularly they were fighters against the serfdom enforced at the time on the peasantry of the surrounding districts. There are some famous Robber Chiefs, like the semi-legendary Janosik, the scourge of the rich and the protector of the poor, around whose personality many legends are centred and whose exploits supply motives for popular song. Janosik is said to have been noble and fearless. His fame had reached as far as Vienna and his name struck terror into the hearts of Hungarian magnates. An obviously untrue legend says that the Empress Maria-Theresa of Austria (called somewhat affectionately Tereska by the people of the Tatras) took a fancy to the Robber Chief and on one occasion danced with him.
But a woman brought about his downfall. His girl, mad with jealousy, betrayed Janosik to the Imperial gendarmes. She had scattered dry peas on the floor of the room where he lay asleep, and as he jumped to his feet to defend himself, he slipped and fell. So he was overpowered, brought to the Orava Castle, and hung there by the middle rib to force him to give away his comrades. According to the Slovak version of the story, he refused stubbornly, and managed to escape, but was caught again, sentenced to death and hanged. There are many legends of his exploits and his death and often they contradict one another. In fact, it is possible that several personalities have been mixed up in the legend. This is all the more probable since 'Janosik' is only a Christian name for 'Johnny', so that there may have been more than one Robber Chief who were so called. The Slovak tradition gives the Liptov town of Svaty Mikulas as the place of his execution, and it appears to be right, as documents have been found recording a death sentence carried out there in 1713 on a young robber, Janosik by name. But the traditional Goral mourning tune 'When Janosik Was Led to Levoca' would have that place as the end of his journey. It tells how the great and noble Robber Chief Janosik -- the King of the Tatras -- was brought to Levoca under powerful escort, and recounts the scenes of his trial and death. The Hungarian lords had come down to Levoca to see him die, and Janosik, condemned to death, turned to them and said: 'Hey, you lords of Liptov, Let Janosik dance once more!' But they didn't let him dance, so the story goes, 'for they feared him still'. So Janosik renewed his last request for the second and third time, and at the third time it was granted by the Liptov lords, 'for they feared him no more.' A band played to him, and Janosik danced 'small stepping beautifully, with his darling death at his side'.
(We will continue with Chapter 2 "The Robbers" 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.
Back to E-Newsletter list, back to Main Page.