TATRA AREA RESEARCH GROUP
© TARG All rights reserved.
Newsletter for November 2004
Happy Thanksgiving and greetings to our ever-growing list of TARG
members! Hoping you are enjoying yourselves and family as the official
"Holiday Season" begins here in the U.S.
Unfortunately, there is some sadder Slovak news I must report. A very
powerful winter storm hit the south side of the Tatras on November 19th and
has done extensive damage to the forest and especially to the resort towns
in the area. We have a new page on the mytarg.net website where you can see
photos and read more. There are also some links supplied by my cousin Lucjan
which you can follow to other Slovak websites to see and hear more.
Thankfully there were no deaths reported from the storm, but there were
injuries and also extensive damage to an area which relies heavily on the
tourist industry. This came just as their Winter ski season was about to start.
The storm, with 108 mile-per-hour winds, reportedly lasted about four
hours. The worst of it hit the southern foothills of the Tatras between
Podbanske and Lendak. In that time many square miles of pristine Tatra
forest were completely flattened. More timber was felled in that four hours
than the entire Slovak Nation's logging industry normally harvests in a
year. Downed trees smothered houses, choked roads and criss-crossed railroad
tracks throughout the region. Many villages were isolated until the trees
could be cleared and outside help could get in. Rail and bus service has
still not been restored in all areas. For the latest on this situation,
please check back on the mytarg website and the links there.
-- Paul K. Bingham
1. TARG's main website is: www.mytarg.net (or also http://mytarg.net).
2. TARG's page on the Slovak storm of November 19, 2004:
3. From Zelda Tomlinson we get these great Lipnica websites:
a) www.lipnicaw.ugm.pl/pl/parafia/index.htm (Great info on Lipnica
Wielka and history of church.)
b) Bed and breakfast website: www.agroturystyka-ggg.pl/kwatery.php3
c) www.lipnicaw.ugm.pl/pl/indexpl.html. (Best view from above the
4. TARG's Items for Sale Pages:
5. Daniel Kisha's Online Slovak Store:
6. TARG "Home Page" backdoor (in case a "hacker" causes problems again) is
---Hi Paul, Tuesday's paper (11/23/04) has bad news about the weather in
Austria and Slovakia. The article is short but the last paragraph says "In
Slovakia, gusts clocked at 108 mph -- the strongest since records began
being kept in 1936 - wiped out an estimated half of all the timber in the
country's High Tatras mountains. Officials put the loss at tens of millions
of dollars." Have you heard from anyone there about this? Where? How far? -
***Hi Eileen, Thank you for your e-mail sharing what was in our news about
this tragedy. To answer your question, yes, my cousin Lucjan had e-mailed me
about this a couple of days ago. (I will be having some more information
from him regarding the situation in this weekend's issue of the TARG
e-newsletter.) The damage was very bad, but was confined mostly to the
southeastern foothills of the Tatras from Podbanske in Liptov county and
extending eastward to Lendak in Spis county. The timber loss is not half (as
your source reported), but was great nonetheless, totaling what the Slovak
logging industry normally cuts nationwide in a year.
Lucjan posted some links for more information on a webpage he created
for us: http://jurgow.pl/english/tatrysk.html. Some of the pictures are
pretty grim, especially where whole square miles of timber have been completely
flattened. Most effected are the ski resorts in this region around Stary
Smokovec and Tatranska Lomnica as they were just about to start their
Winter season. - Paul
---Hi Paul: Please put aside one copy of the OSS book for me as offered on
the TARG website. The check is in the mail! - Ed Zadjura
***Hi Ed, Hi Ed, Will do -- thanks! And please let me know what you think of
the book when you're done. Knowing many of the areas discussed in the book
and hearing the story of the things that went on there during WWII just
fascinated me. I couldn't put it down. I told my wife it should be the
script for Spielberg's next movie! - Paul
---Hi Paul, I look forward to seeing you in February at the CGSI Symposium.
I complained that our two talks were at the same hour and that our topics
related to the same area, so they made a change. Now I can attend yours!
Yeah! Also, do these surnames ring a bell? (1) Tropp from Lapszanka, PL, (2)
Chernik, Spis village unknown, (3) Domyan, Spis village unkn., (4) Mihalik,
Nowy Targ, PL, and (5) Zygmontovich, Spis village unkn. Thanks! - Helene Cincebeaux
***Hi Helene, I Look forward to seeing you at the CGSI Symposium in
February, too! I still haven't been given a list of speakers or schedule for
the day. Who do I contact? As for the surnames, I can help you with that
from our TARG surname list which has grown to 30,600 names now.
(1) Tropp is one of my family names! It is also spelled in the records as
TROP, TRZOP and TRZOB (last two Polish spelling). Here are the occurrences:
For TROPP/TROP: Zdiar=9, Czarna Gora=2, Velka Frankova=1, Lubica=1; For
TRZOP/TRZOB: Czarna Gora=12, Rzepiska=6, Spytkowice=7, Lapszanka=2,
Zakopane=2, Sidzina=1, Nowy Targ=1, Podszkle=1, Rabka=1. There are also a
couple of occurrences of a derivative: TROPYAK and TROPIANKA: Velka
Frankova=2, Rzepiska=1. NOTE: Zdiar, Velka Frankova, Rzepiska, Lapszanka and
Czarna Gora are all neighboring villages -- and were once all part of
Slovakia's Spis county (prior to 1920).
(2) Chernik -- Only one in Jurgow, PL with this spelling...probably
Americanized from C^ERNIK: Hnilcik=1, Rokus=1 or CZERNIK (Polish spelling):
Brzegi=8, Bukowina=8, Biala Dunajec=7, Zakopane=5, Poronin=3, Szaflary=2,
Repiska=1, Bialka=1, Koscielisko=1. NOTE: Brzegi, Bukowina, Bialka and
Rzepiska are all neighboring villages. Jurgow and Repiska were part of
Slovakia before 1920.
(3) Domyan -- No occurrences with this spelling. However there are the
following for DOMIAN: Trybsz=7, Frydman=3 and for DOMJAN: Frydman=1,
Dursztyn=1. There is also (1) DOMIANKA in Velka Frankova and (1) DOMION in
Jurgow. NOTE: all of these are neighboring villages and part of Slovakia
prior to 1920.
(4) Mihalik -- There are only two occurrences that come up with this
spelling: (1) in Jurgow and (1) in Buglovce. However, the spelling MICHALIK
has many occurrences. The most are from Brzegi=8, Zakopane=7, Nowy Targ=5,
Koscielisko=4, Kraviany=2, Rabka=2 and Rabka=2. There are also these
occurrences: Bialka=1, Bukowina=1, Jurgow=1, Kroscienko=1, Bukowiec=1,
Piwniczna=1, Tylmanowa-1, Novot=1 and Podolinec=1. NOTE: Bzegi, Jurgow,
Bialka and Bukowina are all neighboring villages. Bare in mind that
Zakopane, Koscielisko, Nowy Targ and Rabka are also along a main road that
goes north to Krakow.
(5) Zygmontovich -- None with this spelling, but ZYGMONTOWICZ (Polish
spelling) is found 13 times in Bialka and the spelling ZYGMUNTOWICZ 2 times
in Bialka and 1 time in Trybsz. NOTE: these two villages are right across
the river from each other. Trybsz used to be a Spis village prior to 1920. - Paul
---Hi Paul, I just registered in your guestbook and have already received
some great info from another TARG members. Thanks for your web site. I also want
to order the a copy of the Zakopane book and one Tatra/Podhale Map.
Thanks. - Ray Jasica
***Hi Ray, Welcome! And thank you for your order, too. Sales of these items
brought back form the old country are really our only funding source for
TARG. I will put these items aside for you until your check comes. Glad also
to know you are already getting some helpful feedback from the other TARG
members. We have a really great group! - Paul
---Hi Paul, I was interested in the Slovak Polish Tatras Guide and maybe one
other posted on your "Requests" page. Do you know when you will be getting
any of those in? Thanks. - Zelda
***Hi Zelda, Yes, all the books available on the TARG website all are in
stock except those shown on the "Requests" page. These are ones we've had in
the past, but have run out of. If someone lets me know they are interested
in one of these, then I try to find someone going over to the old country
(myself included) who can bring back a copy, or let you know who else might
have it. In the case of this "Slovakia: Regions Without Frontiers" Tatras
guidebook (in English), I have tried to order this from the publisher but
can't. Others have had no luck either. I have brought copies back several
times and sold them as soon as I returned. They are a hot item.
Unfortunately I will not be stocking this book again because it is too heavy
to carry back and cost too much to acquire then to ship. But don't give
up -- I have a solution for you! One of our TARG members, Daniel Kisha, has
them from time to time for around $25 (a good price here in the U.S.) You
can visit his online store at:
http://www.stores.ebay.com/slovakimportcompany and click on "Slovak Books"
or e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more info. - Paul
---Hello Paul, I have been on your TARG website, but have been a little daunted, since I don't know that much about the branch I am currently researching. I was going to order the 1869 Census as all four of my maternal lines came from what is now Slovakia. How can I best utilize your website? I have had my eye on it for awhile, but haven't done anything about it. I am
now ready for action! Should I place a query, and do I place it with you, or
are there message boards? I see that there are back issues of queries, maybe
that is a good place to start? Help! I'd be glad to share what little I
know. My great grandfather Paul John Bednarsky was born in 1891, his mother
Mary Vojsik died in childbirth, and his father Thomas Bednarsky died
sometime before Paul was born. I have written on a scrap of paper by my
great grandpa, that he was raised by his Grandmother Gecasek, who, according to my great aunt, "is buried in the cemetery in Kacwin, by the big cross". Not much to go on, but
it could be worse. Paul, I really appreciate your patience with my
ramblings. Get back to me at your leisure, I think that you are probably
bombarded with questions all day long! Kind Regards, - Heather
***Hi Heather, thank you for your nice letter. You should probably start by
signing the TARG website's guestbook where you can also enter your family
names and questions -- a query, if you will, for the other TARG members to
explore. You can access that page by going to:
www.mytarg.net/Rules%20%26%20Bars/index.html. The surnames you give here are
definitely ones I recognize from around Kacwin. While the 1869 Census may be
of some help to you, the parish records are really where you will learn the
most detail about your specific ancestors. Unfortunately these records have
not been microfilmed by the LDS, but the only copies are in the Spisska
Kapitula, Slovakia archives and in the Kacwin parish church itself. Lets
establish where your lines came from exactly and then go from there. I will
do some digging and get back to you with what I find on the occurrences of
your family names. - Paul
CHRISTMAS ITEMS FOR SALE_____________
In addition to all of the great maps, books, etc. available on our
mytarg.net website, I have also been able to acquire a few "new" items I
will be listing on those pages hopefully in the next few days. These include
a few more out-of-print books and some exciting collector's era postage
stamps from the region including stamps from pre-1918, the WWI era, WWII
(the Nazi occupation), Communist stamps from the area, and a few more modern
stamps now out of circulation. Featured among these are stamps of Niedzica
Castle, the Lopuszna Manor House, Goral men and women in costume, the
Tatras, and many other subjects. So check back to see what's new!
PODHALE BOOK TRANSLATION - PART 7______________
The harsh local winter of the Tatras and its slopes are not really
suitable for extensive farming. These facts have always encouraged the
herding of sheep in the Tatras. For the most part, shepherding has been the
main source of income for many a Highlander. Shepherding in the Tatra
mountains means taking the herds to the higher meadows. The Tatra shepherds
(or "Juhasi" as they are known in the Goral dialect) take their herds up
into the mountains in May and generally do not return to their villages
until September. Their departure and return is always celebrated by the
entire village. The ceremony is festive and involves music and special
dances created just for the occasion.
Once in the highlands, the shepherds live in simple wooden huts under
the supervision of the head shepherd (or "Baca" as they are called in the
Goral dialect). Their days are filled with hard work. They make a famous
smoked sheep cheese pressed into different sizes and different shapes. These
highly ornamental cheeses are called "Oszszyypki".
The sheep are taken out whether it is raining or shining. When the winds
blow fiercely, the herds always have to be closely watched and taken care of
so they will not get lost. Despite its charms, the life of a Tatra shepherd is very hard.
(Part 8 of 12 in our next issue.)
To contact the TARG Editor, the new e-mail address is: editor-AT-mytarg-DOT-net. 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 editor-AT-mytarg-DOT-net e-mail address, go ahead and use the old address. It is still: targ_net-AT-hotmail-DOT-com.
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