© TARG All rights reserved.
Newsletter for January 2006
New Year greetings to all TARG members far and wide! The first time I
visited the centuries-old outdoor market place in Nowy Targ, Poland I fell
in love with one vendor's fluffy white pups. I learned later that this was
"Owczarek Podhalanski," the unique Podhale breed of sheepdog the Goral had
used for centuries to drive and guard their sheep into the Tatra highlands.
Absolutely at home in the rugged mountains and fond of work and harsh
weather, the dogs have often been seen climbing with their Goral shepherd
masters hanging on to their tails for assistance.
With all of the media coverage of this being "the year of the dog", we
are not one step behind. You will find seven young furry white Tatra
Mountain sheepdog pups gracing our website's homepage right now waiting for
your visit. With them so popular in Europe -- especially in Germany and
Finland -- you might be wondering: has anyone ever thought to bring them to
America? Yes, in 1980 they were introduced to the U.S. and Canada. Still a
rare breed, they are nonetheless available. I've included a couple of
helpful websites below, should you be interested in learning more about
these magnificent animals.
-- Paul K. Bingham
TARG Founder

1. TARG's new website for the new year: http://www.e-TARG.org.
2. More on the Tatra Mountain Sheepdog:
3. Polish Tatra Sheepdog Club of America: http://www.ptsca.com/.
4. A little about Gorale & Podhale folklore (in English):
5. For old magazine issues try www.OldMags.com. The site is searchable, too.
6. Helene B. Cincebeaux's Treasure Tours website: www.Our-Slovakia.com

---Hi Paul: I picked up this website www.tel.tpsa.pl/asp/szukaj_a.asp in an
old TARG newsletter. It's for Poland's online phonebook...but when I go
there it says it can't find the server....do you know how to see this
phonebook listing? Thanks. - Christie, FL
***Hello Christie, and a Happy New Year! Thank you for your note -- that link is nearly three years old and has evidently changed to:
www.ksiazka-telefoniczna.com. I should include this information for everyone in our next newsletter, so thank you for pointing it out for us. You will
find that the present online phonebook, like the previous one, does not give
full addresses, just the street name and town where they live. If you are
wanting to write or send something by mail to a possible relative, it will
be difficult. In the May 2004 TARG E-Newsletter we discussed the TARG-area's
printed phonebook having been made available on CD. I still have some of
those on hand for $10 each if you are interested. They include phone numbers
and full addresses for all listings. -- Paul
---Dear Paul: A Happy New Year to you! I just wanted to let you know
something about one of the e-card links you listed. On the first one listed,
the first type of card that comes up is a topless woman! Beautiful and artsy
in black & white, but quite a shock! Thank goodness my daughter wasn't
surfing with me! The second site listed, in English (from the UK) was quite
good. Thanks for the ideas. -Rob Otrembiak
***Oh, Bob! Thanks for the warning! I had gone through a whole list of sites
and thought I had purged all the ones with anything objectionable. Perhaps
that one changed its offerings after my visited. Sorry for the shock! That
was not my intention! - Paul
---Hello Paul, Now I'm in Germany for two weeks. I will travel back to
Jurgow on the 27th January. This year I'm only working in Germany 1 or 2
weeks per month, the rest of the month I'm working from home. Only when we
have meetings do I have to return to Germany. In Jurgow now it is very cold.
Yesterday it was around -22 degrees C and there is a lot of snow. I attached
a few pictures, too. - Lucjan
***Hello Lucjan, Thanks for the e-mail and the wonderful pictures! We have
heard who cold it is in Eastern Europe this year. Now I believe it! - Paul
---Mr. Bingham, Just found the TARG site and looking through it seeing if it may help me in my family research. In scanning names I discovered you are
looking for one that I am also. I have a great-grandmother by the name of
Tekla Fudala. What little I know of her is that she was married to a Jan
Szczypta and gave birth to my fathers' mother, Anna Szczypta, in Witow in
November of 1879. Her parents were Maciej Fudala and Anna Kwak. At this
point that is all the information I have on them, which I found from my
grandmother's baptismal certificate. I hope this might be of some help to
you and perhaps you might have some information that may work into my
family. Sincerely, Jess Piszczor
***Hi Jess, Thanks for your e-mail. My Fudalas were from Dzianisz, the next
village over from Witow. I actually have talked to the Witow priest and he
walked me through the cemetery there sharing stories about the village - a
very nice man. He also gave me Polish name pronunciation lessons while I was
there! We worked on "Szczerpa", another tough-to-say surname like the one
from your family! I found out the little church in Witow is not very old.
Like nearby Dzianisz, it is really in the old cathedral in Chocholow where
the old records actually are. I was never able to see the Chocholow priest
as he was gone the entire week I was there. But another TARG member has
since shared her experience with me. She met him - and has seen the older
records. They are reportedly in complete disarray. I've seen many other
parishes where the old books are falling apart and wondered what would
happen if the unnumbered pages were to fall out. Evidently this is the
situation in Chocholow. What to do? Thankfully the Krakow Archives have
copies (those "second writings"
we've talked about in this e-newsletter so often). This collection will
reach back to about 1800 or so for nearly all the parishes in TARG's Polish
region. But I would doubt writing to the Chocholow priest will get you very
much. - Paul
-- Dear Paul, I found your name and e-mail address on a Webpage for
Our-Slovakia. I am researching my family genealogy. I will be in Bratislava
in three weeks. John and Susan Sojka came to the USA just before my maternal
grandmother was born. John's death certificate says that they lived in
Hungary. Family stories say that it is an area that later became a part of
Czechoslovakia, which is probably now Slovakia. John's death certificate
says that they were both from Austria. Do you have any suggestions on where
I can begin searching for more information? - Ken Z., Brooklyn, OH
***Ken, I don't know what I can share with you at this point except my
wishes that you enjoy yourselves in Slovakia and add a caution not too be
too disappointed if you find very little about your family specifically on
this trip. When you return I can help you prepare for a return trip in a
year or more with higher hopes. - Paul
---Hi Paul, I did a bit more digging and found out the Stopka's I need are
from Czarny Dunajec. Do you have any contact with the priest or someone in
town who would be able to go to the church and look through the books? Any
news good or bad from folks who are also in need of researching this parish?
Many thanks for your help in these matters. - Paul Valasek
*** Hi Paul, I've been to Czarny Dunajec and also met one of the priests
very briefly. I have no connections for you there, but will print this for
all our TARG members. Perhaps one of them can help. Lucjan and I did an
inventory of surnames in the cemetery there. Be warned: it was the most
jumbled one we've been to yet! - Paul
---Hello Paul, Wishing you a Merry Christmas. Robert Pisarcik and family,
El Paso, Texas
***Thank you Robert -- and a Happy New Year to you! - Paul
---Hello Paul, I was very interested in the letter your answered from Jim
in San Diego about Lipnica Wielka. My great-grandfather, grandfather and
most of the men in the family came from Lipnica Wielka starting in the late
1880's - 1920. My father's surname was Pastva, and I too found my
grandfather in the WWI records as having come from Lipnica and stating that
he served 3 years in the military - infantry. Would be interested in finding
out about Jim's surnames -- there seems to have been a lot of men/women
coming to Pennsylvania and Ohio
steel mills, and into West Virginia in the coal mines that are show on Ellis
Island as Pastva/Pastwa/Pazdov. Thanks. Peggy, Manchester, CT
***Hi Peggy. Besides Jim, we have lots of members with roots in Lipnica
Wielka. I will reprint this and I'll bet you will get several responses! -
---Hi Paul, Please help me out. If I request a civil death record from
(grandfather died in 1937, grandmother died in 1947), will I learn the
names of their respective parents? I know the village and the okres. In
fact, I have a picture of their grave markers. My living relatives in
Slovakia do not know who my great-grandparents are, and FHL film holdings
seem to be missing the
information that I need. This would be my last chance, but is it worth it,
that is will I get the names that I so want? Thanks, Jonny
***Hi Jonny, I would think that a civil death record would, but I believe
that the church records served as the civil records in many jurisdictions. I
have never done this type of search in Slovakia, so can't help you much.
What village did they live in when they died? What religion were they? If
you cannot find their deaths listed, I would try the LDS films for a
neighboring village. Many of us have experience with an ancestor we thought
was from one village and was actually buried in another! - Paul

The news is official: the TARG website has now been moved (lock, stock
and barrel) to a different host and a more reliable server. And even a new
and improved function for posting your villages and surnames is working. The
new site has a lot more space and features for the future -- and a lot more
reliability. Go have a visit at: www.e-TARG.org. (NOTE: The old site at
www.mytarg.net is still up, but it will redirect you to the new site.)

Air Slovakia has now launched non-stop service between Birmingham,
England and Bratislava, Slovakia. And at last look the flights were selling
for less than $50 each! Flights are Thursdays through Sundays. You can find
out more on their website:
I have been to the Birmingham airport and much prefer it over Heathrow.
There are far less people and it is self contained, not confusing and spread
all over. But the question for those of you in North America might be: "how
do we fly to Birmingham?" And that is a great question. Most U.S. flights
have historically gone through Heathrow with a few through Gatwick (an hour
from Heathrow).
Now, in fact, some airlines are offering flights from North America to
Birmingham. Here is a list of 25 cities that I could find having at least
some non-stops between the two: Atlanta, Baltimore BWI, Charlotte, Chicago
MDW, Chicago ORD, Cincinnati, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Detroit DTW, Houston HOU,
Houston IAH, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Louisville, Memphis, Minneapolis,
Nashville, New Orleans, Newark EWR, New York LGA, Orlando,
Philadelphia/Wilmington, Phoenix, St. Louis, Tampa/St. Pete, and Washington
In addition, there are these 27 North American cities that offer flights
to Birmingham, too. (though flights may not be non-stops): Albany, Austin,
Boston, Buffalo, Colorado Springs, Columbus, El Paso, Ft. Lauderdale,
Harlingen, Hartford/Springfield, Islip, Kansas City, Los Angeles,
Manchester, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Montreal, Canada, Norfolk, NW
Arkansas/Bentonville, Oakland, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia/Wilmington,
Providence, Raleigh Durham, Richmond/Williamsburg, Washington IAD, and West
Palm Beach.
Best to check the very latest at your airport and on the web. But this
is a nice -- and potentially less expensive alternative -- to flying to
Slovakia. Check it out!

Chapter 3 "Take it Easy"continues:
"Weather in the Tatras is one of the commonest topics of conversation.
It is changeable, freakish, and unreliable, far more so than in England,
whose climate has been so unjustly reviled.
"Near the entrance to the railway station in Zakopane stands a row of
horse-cabs, with cabmen drowsing lazily inside, while a persistent drizzle
is drumming on the cab roofs, which are all up. The sky is overcast and the
clouds cut off the sight of the mountains. In fact, the scene looks like a
dismal plain.
"A new holiday-maker, a lady, is fidgeting uneasily with her umbrella,
trying to rouse one of the cabmen from indifference. 'Gazda!' she calls. It
means landlord -- you couldn't possibly address a real Goral in white
trousers in any other manner. The Gazda doesn't budge. But finally he
responds and not he alone. There is a commotion and several cabmen gather
around the prospective customer, each trying to win her for himself.
"'Look at this horse! It wouldn't walk a mile,' says one of them. But he
is too late; our gazda has already seated his passenger safely inside his
cab and drives off at a breakneck pace to prove that his horse is a regular
racer. But the lady is not satisfied. She is looking anxiously around for
some sign of the mountains -- in vain. 'Tell me, gazda,' she asks in the
end. 'Does it always rain like this here?' 'Oh, no, lady. It doesn't.
Sometimes it snows as well.'
"An old gazda stands leaning on his scythe at the edge of a small meadow
scanning his poor crop of grass. I am passing by. 'God bring luck!' I
venture. 'God give,' he answers gravely, as prescribed by the ritual. 'And
what do you think of the weather?' I ask the perennial question. He pauses
thoughtfully and consults the sky with feathery postfoehn clouds. 'Oh, it
will be fine. It will be...sure...unless it pours,' he answers with
deliberation, a merry twinkle in his eye."
(Chapter 3 "Take it Easy" continues in next month's issue.)

GOOD READING__________
This is a new "column" for the new year. I will share printed sources
for information about subjects of interest to those researching their roots
in the Tatra Area. To start with are two past National Geographic articles
that are a "must read". Many of you have seen and read the article in
National Geographic's January 1987 issue entitled "Slovakia's Spirit of
Survival" by Yva Momatiuk and her photographer husband John Eastcott. This
is a favorite of mine. If you go with Helene Cincebeaux on one of her tours
you are liable to visit the old sheep skin coat maker and his family in
Lendak featured in the article. If you haven't read it, try and find a copy.
But many of you may not know that Yva & John did an earlier and equally
wonderful article in the January 1981 issue called "Poland's Proud Mountain People". Yva was born in Murzasichle outside Zakopane before her coming to
America. Her article captures precisely the Gorals and their culture.
Another must read! If you can't find these two issues at your house or the
local library, no worries. Chances are Sandra Odegard in Fairfield Montana can get copies to you cheap. She runs www.OldMags.com. The site and all her
online catalogue is searchable, too!

CONTACTING TARG_____________________
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 by clicking here.)
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