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Newsletter for March-April 2009

     Ahojte (hello) TARG members! Veselú Velkú Noc! (Happy Easter!) I hope this issue of the TARG e-neweletter finds you well. I was not sure I would get this done. My Slovak Great Uncle Jerry (Jarislav), who many of you will recognize from past TARG website homepage photos like his 90th birthday in July 2005, is nearly 94 now. He's been going strong, except that one night in February he was trying to swat a moth and fell backwards between his dining table and a dish cabinet. He ended up fracturing a vertebrae and has needed help during his recovery at home. I am happy to report that in true Slovak fashion he is doing well and nearly recovered.
     I also have other BIG NEWS: I will be heading to Slovakia and Poland on May 14th staying until June 6th! The main purpose of my trip is to visit the Roman Catholic archives in Spisska Kapitula, Slovakia and attempt to photograph "Second Writing" pages from the records in the 30 villages lost to Poland in 1920. These are copies of the birth, marriage and death records from these parish churches. (For more, check out this discussion on the e-TARG website.) I will also be visiting the archives in Krakow, Poland. If any of you have requests, please contact me NOW so we can discuss these.
    -- Paul K. Bingham
   TARG Founder

  1. TARG's official website: www.e-TARG.org!
  2. To contact Paul K. Bingham, the TARG Founder, please send e-mail to: TatraAreaResearchGroupgmail
  3. Helene B. Cincebeaux's new 2009 Treasure Tours Schedule is out! (More info is also on her website at: www.Our-Slovakia.com.
  4. For the latest information on the Zamagurie Region DNA Project go to: www.e-targ.org/ZamReg%20DNA.html.

YOUR LETTERS___________
---Hi Paul, Wondered if you could do an update on the Zamagurie Region DNA project. I will be going to study Slovak in Bratislava as part of the University of Pittsburgh’s Summer Language Institute this summer and will be able to add on 1-2 weeks of time in our Zamagurie Villages. It’s not too early for potential new members to consider joining our project and the possibility of having testing done overseas while I’m there. Can you please pass the word? Also, I have a member who signed up that has never responded. His ancestry must be from our region. I was wondering if you’ve ever had contact with anyone named Jurgovian? He’s never taken the test nor does he reply to the emails. Let me know. D’akujem Vam! - Karen
***Hi Karen, I most certainly will remind our TARG members about the Zamagurie Region DNA Project. Please visit this link for more information. It looks like we will both be going to the old country this year! I very much look forward to my visit! As for Jurgovian, yes I have had a couple of enquiries for this surname. It is mostly from the little Polish village of Rzepiska. - Paul

Chapter 9 "In a 'Hala'" begins here:
   Sheep and cattle form the main wealth of the population of the Tatra. As the snow melts on the grazing grounds -- or 'hale' (plural of 'hala'), there is a great exodus of sheep flocks to their pastures. This is quite a ceremonial occasion, called 'kierdele', constituting a celebration of the advent of the spring. In the autumn a similar migration takes place in the opposite direction.
   A hala is a grazing ground owned jointly by a group of villagers, who have shares in it which give them the right to keep there so many 'tails' of sheep or cattle each; the shares are therefore called 'tails'. Normally there is no marked boundary between the hale, which form geographical entities, divided from each other by mountains or forests, while surrounding peaks are regarded as a sort of appendix to a hala and in most cases are named after it. Nonetheless, poaching is not infrequent and leads to bitter quarrels and hot-tempered fights.
This system of joint ownership led to considerable legal difficulties when the Polish Tatra Society sought to purchase sites for tourist huts. The Gorals were quite ready to sell their 'tails', but refused outright to part with any definite portion of their common property. It needed much ingenuity to satisfy both sides.
   A head shepherd, who is called a 'baca' (the 'c' being pronounced like a 'ts'), is in charge of a whole hala on behalf of its collective proprietors, who entrust to him the maintenance of their flocks, the manufacture and partly the sale of sheep-cheese and milk and such other things as may pertain to the business. At the end of the grazing season the baca gives an account of his administration and hands to each particular owner his share of cheese or money, if any has been obtained from its sale.
   (Chapter 9 "In the 'Hala'"" of Firsoff's 1946 book will continue in our next issue.)

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.)
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