© The Zamagurze Area Research Project (ZARP) -- all rights reserved
Monthly Newsletter # 8 -- October 1999
Greetings to you ZARP members! Here's our eighth newsletter. We have
lots to share with you, including more information learned on our August
trip. We also have many recent letters regarding the trip (both by those who
went and those who didn't), questions about the trip video and questions
about research. Some require an answer from me, others are self-explanitory
like the one from Helene B. Cincebeaux already planning another ZARP trip!
But first we have many brand-new members to ZARP -- and to them we would
like to give a hearty Vi'tany' & Powitanie! (Welcome!) :))
Huge "Thank-Yous" also to those wonderful ZARP members who have donated
money to help process all of these parish record photos and those who have
offered their time to extract names from these records for the benefit of
the group! This is so pleasing to see so many willing to help! We could
still use more -- don't hesitate if you can!
We love your comments and letters -- please forgive if a long personal
reply doesn't come right away. All of us just having returned are busy, busy
cataloguing, editing and filing all of the information we gathered -- and
its such a "Happy Busy" to be involved with! Please remember you can also
visit our Delphi Forum's ZARP webpage anytime for the very latest at:
-- Paul K. Bingham
ZARP Team Leader

(1) My Jugow cousin Lucjan gave me this great new website:
Covers Jurgow & Trybsz mostly -- also has histories and many older Spisz
church and village photos! You must check it out! (Dzie~kuje~, Lucjan!)
(2) I just got an e-mail from Slovak genealogist Milan Sismis at the Matica
Slovenske -- the Slovak Heraldy Society. He is envolved in the Slovak
Heraldry Society and is editor of the "HLAS" (their journal). Their website
is at:
(3) This site provided by Elaine Mattock (GenSlavic) has much information
and many links for Eastern Europe researchers:

Paul, Thank you for your very nice newsletter it was fun reading about
areas that sounded sooo familiar and hope to see next year with my wife
Janet who finally retired after 25 years. Thank you again.
-- Joe Marhefka (Lived in Relov)
Hi Paul, Just to respond to your e-mail. I am surprised that you even have
time to breathe - with your long trip back and your first days back on the
job. I echo your sentiments!! And welcome back. Your newsletter was worth
the wait as usual!! -- Marti Haney (went on Helene's tour with us)
Thank you, Paul, for all the issues of your e-mail newsletter. I will read
them with pleasure. And thank you for the information. The addresses will be
added to our website soon. We can make a link on it from our website.
With many thanks and best wishes, -- Milan Sismis (Slovak Heraldy Society)
***Note: Milan and his society are putting together a book on research in
Eastern Europe and looking for material. Milan's e-mail is:
I really enjoyed your newsletter today. When I read of your visits in the
villages, walking the streets, talking with the people, I was moved to
tears. I'm so glad you had a good time. We hope our health will be such that
we can go next year. Thanks for your efforts. -- Beverly Huchala
Paul -- Glad to hear that you had a wonderful trip! I am so excited to hear
that you have found information on my family!!! I realize what a task you
have before you trying to edit and sort everything out. I will try to be
patient! I would love to visit the area some day. My husband & I will be
celebrating our 25th anniversary in 2001 and are already starting to toss
around ideas for a trip. This would be lovely. Although he is pure Irish and
would much rather visit his homeland! Thanks for all your help and will be
looking forward to hearing from you soon! -- Mary Taylor
°°°°Hello, Mary! You are very welcome. And if you go, bring your Irish
husband. Marti Haney brought her Irish husband Tom with her on the trip and
after just two days of great pivo and the mountians he was hooked. We
honorarily renamed him "Haneycek" for the duration of the trip! -ed.
Paul, Thanks for the info! I am glad all went well with your trip. I do have
a goal of getting to the village some time in the future. Hopefully, I can
make an aquaintance or two with a relative prior. I look forward to seeing
all the good pictures! Thanks for your help. -- Dan Zelonka
Ahoj! This will be short, but I wanted to say a big "d'akujem" for sharing
all the great stories via ZARP Newsletter #7. I loved reading about all the
adventures, especially locating all the records. Cannot thank you enough. I
especially was touched by the tributes paid to "moja ucitelka'" Marge
Fetsko; we are all so saddened. After taking her Slovak I and Slovak II
classes about 8 to 9 yrs. ago, she and 7 of us in her class became good
friends. Our "Slovak Luncheon" group ( as we call ourselves) meets every 6
weeks; the lunch usually went on for 2 to 3 hours with great laughter and
conversation. My husband's uncle and Marge were in the same Slovakian
dancing and singing group in the Pgh. area. She was a "gem." She touched
the lives and hearts of so many people; her enthusiasm was a "tuning fork"
for our Slovak-American souls. Take care. Soooo glad the trip to our
"roots" was so special. Hey, is there another trip planned for next year?
-- Marianne M. Ponist
°°°°Hello, Marianne. Yes, it could the next letter! -ed.
Dear Paul, I just love reading about our trip and re-reading it. Bravo! Just
so happy that things worked out as they did - it's hard the first time as
some unknowns enter in - but it's also joyful with unexpected highs - like
the dreamy late afternoon at the manor in Lopuszna, the wooden church at
Debno, the cheesecake in Nowa Biala, the way the mountains lined the whole
horizon and the incredible beauty there.
Are you serious about another ZARP tour?? I like the idea for a trip a
lot!! I have ALL of my tours scheduled for 2000 already - do you thing
people might be interested in 2001?? (Seems like just yesterday we were
cooking up the Zdiar/Zamagurze trip!!!) What a wonderful group of people - I
loved it the evening that everyone just sat around and shared what had
happened to them in their villages - it was magical!
I like it....Might be nice to start in Bratislava next time (instead of
Kosice), then 1 night in Dolny Kubin to see Orava Castle, 2/3 nights in
Zakopane (staying on Polish side of the border to avoid crossing delays),
then 2 nights Zdiar, see Kezmarok, 2 nights Stara Lubovna, then to Kosice.
Staying in Zdiar 2 nights would give people who wanted to be in the Spis
region visiting family or hunting records even more time there. And now that
we know our Slovak guides can work well in any of these places there -
Vlado, etc. He had a good rapport with the priests. This is really fun to
think about!! I just love the planning of a trip - it's so blue sky and then
you try to get everything you can into it! Let's talk more about it!
On a sadder note - Paul my condolences on the loss of Marge Fetsko - she
was such a magnificent lady. What a loss for the Pittsburgh community and
for Slovaks all over the US. Amazing that you were able to find her family
graves - I am sure she's in heaven and she knows.
-- Helene B. Cincebeaux (organized and guided our August tour)
Paul, I was thrilled to get your postcard and am so glad to hear it was a
great trip. I understand your dilemma about editing the video and it is not
a problem. Take your time and get it how you want it. Photographing these
church records is such a bonus!!! I'm sure we will learn volumes from this
information. I am so tickled to get all this info that I will be more than
happy to be patient. I'm very glad that all went well and you had a good
trip. I do indeed hope to get over there one day. Your experience only makes
me all the more eager! Take care, -- Jerry Tybor
Hi Paul, I just got back from 2 weeks+ in Pittsburgh, Akron, Columbus and
other places. That's ok about error regarding Ondrej in Newsletter #7 --
didn't even catch it! (Newsletter mentioned Ondrej as one of Helene's Slovak
researchers, but Bob had found him on the web.) I just got a letter from the
Nowa Biala Librarian Today, I cant read it but she sent me new info from the
church records. I will send it to Ondrej and he will translate it. Let me
know how our feature-length Slovak movie is coming. When do you think the
release date will be? -- Bob Williams (went on August trip with us)
°°°°If I stay on schedule the video should be out by month's end. -ed.
Hi Paul! Sounds like everyone had a fantastic trip! Sorry I couldn't have
been with all of you. Please let me know what the cost of the video will be
and if I will be able to order one when they're ready. D'akujem!
-- Andrea Grand
°°°°Hi, Andrea! The trip was fantastic! The original trip tape with basic
village shots was $99 for those signed up prior. Many of these are going to
be client-specific, of course, and run the full two hours of the tape
length. As I am editing, I am contemplating making a shorter (perhaps 1
hour) "Highlights" tape for ZARP members just to get a taste of the old
country and perhaps a glimpse at their ancestral village surroundings if
there is enough interest. It would be much less in price (maybe even half),
the money being used to fund our efforts. More opinions on this are welcome
from the group. -ed.
Paul, The ZARP newsletter arrived today. The information about Marge Fetsko
certainly reinforced the idea about doing things as soon as possible. She
sounds like a wonderful person; I'm sorry that I never met her.
I have been home for a month and I still haven't fully assimilated the
experience. After reading Peggy Grinvalsky's comments, all I could think is
that she was somehow reading my mind: learning a little Slovak, trying to
digest all that I found this Summer and starting to save for a trip next
year! And I thought that I should put down a few sentences to indicate what
I thought of the experience:
For me, the trip to Zdiar and the Zamagurze was all that I hope it would
be and more. The Spis country that we traveled through, explored and stayed
in is gorgeous. All that I could think was that my grandparents must have
been going through some very bad times in order to leave this area.
The people on the tour were wonderful. The expertise and the thoughtful
way in which it was used by Helene, Helen, and Jozef couldn't have been
better. The way in which everyone on the tour was willing to share their
knowledge helped make the experience especially enjoyable to those of us who
were strictly novices.
The results of this tour for me were spectacular. This doesn't mean that
I found out everything about my family that I wanted to. However the help
that Maria Bednarczyk gave me in finding family in both Nowa Biala and
Krempachy is something I can never repay. The expertise that Ivan showed in
finding my grandfather's family in L'ubica was something I didn't expect. I
thought Ivan, Vlado and the other driver/interpreters of Helene's would be
just that. They turned out to be genealogists with a genuine interest in our
famiies. My cousin Ruzena in L'ubica was trying to marry him off to one of
the relatives!
-- Your (former) roomie, Paul Hadzima (went with us on August trip)
Hi Paul, I've heard from quite a few fellow travelers after you put
excerpts from my e-mail in the last newsletter... it's like reunion time!
Good to hear from people and to know friendships aren't ending in Kosice.
You are right about this being life-changing. I would never have
expected the direction of the change... not lively, not really
tearful... although at times it was that, not something huge and shaking or
shattering or monumental. It is something solidly and calmly settling. The
empty spaces are gone and the inherited ache is gone. A deeply solid
calm... strange change. I'll be munching on this for a long time.
You mentioned going to Zalesie... did you find any Grivalsky,
Grinvalsky, Palker names...? We ran out of time and passed that road by...
then looked at a map and realized how close by trail it was to Havka...
maybe next summer I'll head that direction as soon as I get back to the
area. I'm aiming to go back the same time... right around the 12th of Aug...
I'm thinking three weeks in the area, one week with each side of the known
family and one week searching out more.
I would like to get one of your videos with the extra Grinvalsky footage
that you mentioned to give to mom for Christmas - will you have them ready
by then without ulcers on your part? Take care,
-- Peggy Grinvalsky (went with us on August trip)
°°°°Hi, Peggy! Yes, all of us tour-goers will remember this for the rest of
our lives. And I did find lots of Grinvalskys but no Palkers. Video should
be out well before Christmas, as stated elsewhere -- with or without
ulcers! -ed.
Hi Paul, Your photo I saw of the first page of the Lapsze Nizne Birth
Records was GREAT. I had mixed results with what I took based on lighting,
conditions of the records themselves, familiarity of using my new digital
camera and quite frankly my own ability. My goal during the trip was
document my family's entries as proof. We had to fly fast because of our
limited time. I have not even catalogued all my own files yet. After that,
my goal is to write all the names I can identify by record and year for
others in ZARP. Take care. -- Karen Melis (Frydman Team member: went with us
on August trip)

RECORDS UPDATE______________
Team member Bill Serchak, as usual, is again TIRELESS in his efforts on our
behalves. Here are some recent reports on his continuing work:
"I am keeping at it - trying to get all the new material catalogued from
our last trip and copied in full page format for easier reading and
transcription. I also wanted to help fellow tour-goer Paul Hadzima out with
a request. Thanks to the new Vital Records in hand from Nowa Biala, it
didn't take more than two hours to find the information he requested plus a
couple of surprise entries, as well.
"As to the scope of the new holdings for Nowa Biala: the picture
quality is good but, best of all, this time I made sure I had both the page
number and year clearly copied in each print. On the back of each print I
have listed simply "Baptism..Page Number..Year & Uj Bela". Similarly for the
Marriage and Death Records. The range in years is complete for the period
1837-1923 (Baptisms) & 1841-1922 (Marriages). Plus I have a selection of
additional pages from as far back as 1785 and up to 1932 where a Kolodziej
or other family member name appears. Controlling the light was a major
problem especially with the really old stuff. The ink is badly faded in
places and almost illegible. But I did my best and think I have all I need
now for Nowa Biala. If you have any specific requests, let me know and I'll
try to get to them as soon as practical. Otherwise, you can expect little
message traffic from me for the next few weeks. -- Bill

POSSIBLE MEMBERS LOST___________________
Here are some ZARP family surname researchers from old postings that we are
unable to contact. If you recognize any of these, let us know!
Kenneth Sisitka
Peggy Folmer
Russ Hayes/Frank Kurtz
Jim Menengos
Bill Rushin
D. Redding
Debno Researcher
Irene Zawasky
Loretta Ekoniak
Richard & Pat Sibley
Misha Muzyk
Jeanne Rheam
Gladys Marhefka
Bis. Andrew Grutka last known from Valparaiso, IN

OTHER NOTES______________________________
(1) Due to ISP anti-spamming policies this newsletter is sent out in groups
of <20. (2) Contact us if you would like the e-mail address of someone in
ZARP. (3) If you have comments, questions or missed any newsletter issues,
just ask! (4) If someone else might benefit from this newsletter just send
their address and we'll add them to the list. (5) Note: As always, this
issue is e-mailed free to all project contributors who are online and
to the rest via standard mail. Newsletter Editor:

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