TATRA AREA RESEARCH GROUP
© TARG All rights reserved.
Newsletter for March 2005
A joyous Spring season and very Happy Easter to our TARG members -- and
a special welcome to our many new members who have joined us in the last
4 weeks -- about 29 of them, I believe! Remember, if you want to see previous issues of this newsletter you missed, just go to our TARG website at www.mytarg.net and click on "All Newsletter Back Issues".
Those of you who have visited the TARG website in the last week will have enjoyed the colorful village photos of Palm Sunday sent in by Mateusz Soltys. These additions and some updating of the Guestbook Archive (including anti-spamming every e-mail address) and the Books-for-Sale pages are all that I have had time to do since our CGSI Symposium in mid-February. Between tax prep and having all of our kids home for Easter Vacation, I've been away from my TARG duties more than normal. I hope to get back to them all in April. But while I am a little behind working on new features for our website and answering all of your letters, I am happy to report that the TARG database of surnames has now reached 33,350. This is thanks to my being able to do data entry during my lunch hour each day at work on my laptop. I hope to finish this project by summer and at least have some of it online. It is huge, though, and if printed out now just the surname list alone would be over 530 pages in 12 point type. Perhaps having a listing sorted by surname and another sorted by village could be put on a CD for those interested.
-- Paul K. Bingham
1. TARG's website is: http://mytarg.net (or also www.mytarg.net).
2. TARG member Boguslaw says photos of Osadka, Slovakia can be found on this
Polish website: www.osadka.republika.pl.
3. TARG member Wojtek of Zawoja gives us this site for Zawoja Poland:
4. The MUST HAVE book called "The Slovak-Polish Tatras" that every TARG
member should own is available for just $25 with free shipping from TARG
member Daniel Kisha at: http://www.slovakic.com/index.php?category=BMTRAVEL.
We here at TARG are out of these and won't be getting more! Daniel is a good bet!
5. Likewise, Daniel is selling "Nazvy Obci", the reference book that lists
all the names of Slovak villages as they have been known over time. Helene Cincebeaux
tells me this book is now OUT-OF-PRINT. See Daniel's page at:
6. Joy Kovalycsik's "Carpathian Connection" website at www.tccweb.org.
---Dear Paul, I believe the village of Ruskinovce falls within the area of interest of the TARG group. I have come across the attached information, however...I think its in Polish, perhaps written by a travel group, giving the history or news of Ruskinovce? Since the village no longer exists I wonder where the picture is of, but THE MAP IS CORRECT (two years ago I did the Lubica to Zalubica to Ruskinovce route in search of where my father grew up). Perhaps you have people interested in this and/or who tell how it is relevant to Ruskinovce. And if any of this is relevant perhaps you could share it with me and others. Since information of the village is so hard to find I couldn't pass this up. Thanks for your time and trouble. Hope to hear from you. -- June Suga Luecke
***Hi June, Yes, Ruskinovce is within the TARG sphere. I have it listed in our list of villages and linked to a village webpage (still under construction) on our www.mytarg.net website. The site you sent to me is indeed in Polish. I cannot read very much of it, though, as my Polish is pretty weak. The photo you wondered about is entitled: "Tak mogly wygladac Ruskinowice." This seems to be "thus graves appear Ruskinovce" which doesn't make much sense to me. I did do some searching and found an old B&W photo of the village, and some other things you may or may not have seen before. Here's some further info I have found about Ruskinovce, Slovakia:
1) Old town photo: www.kezmarok.com/spisska-zupa.htm
2) Ruskinovce's Madonna from 1300s: www.slovakspectator.sk/clanok-14557.html
3) Read about it in English here:
4) Click on map -- it will zoom to better view of the village's location:
5) Ruskinovce's place in the "Zipser Bund":
6) History of the area in Slovak: www.snm.sk/old/pamiatky/pam_2003_4c.htm
7) History of old Spis county (in English):
8) More History, in English, (including mention of Ruskinovce):
9) Postings regarding Ruskinovce:
There are some other facts I find in books I have in my library, too. In my copy of "Menoslov obci na Slovensku: (an index of all things Slovak for US immigrants in 1920) it shows that while the village of Ruskinovce was not big enough to have telegraph, it did have it's own post office. In my "Slovnik Obci" (large 3-volume set containing Slovak village histories from 1977) there is absolutely no mention of the village, even though these three volumes are supposed to include the histories of all of the towns in Slovakia. But this is not surprising as this book was published during the Communist era and always has a sanitized and rosy commentary on each place.
Certainly there is not much to say about Ruskinovce since they bulldozed it right after WWII. There is no mention of the village of Slanica where my grandmother was born, either, as they had drowned the place in 1954 when they built a hydroelectric dam nearby. I had to visit the area and do some hunting to find any photos or history of it today. Ruskinovce was under the jurisdiction of the town of Levoce, Slovakia back before WWII. I'll bet you could find something in the State Archives there off the main square. I've been there and they are very helpful. They may even have a pamphlet or small book on the village with pictures you could buy. I found one for my ancestral village of Jurgov while I was there. Jurgov was one of 30 towns lost to Poland in the 1920 border change.
A mention of Ruskinovce is combined with the larger town of Javorina, Slovakia in my copy of "Nazvy Obci", an exhaustive list of Slovak villages. It lists these name changes, spelling variations, and associated years: 1786: Riszdorf, Ruszkinocz, 1808: Ruszkinocz, Rusquinium, Riessdorf, Ruskynowce, 1863: Ruszquin, 1873, 1882: Ruszkinoc, 1877, 1888-1913: Ruszkin, 1920: Ruskinovce, 1927-1948: Ruskinovce, Rissdorf, 1948-1953: Ruskinovce. You may want to try doing more searching now using these spelling variations, too. No telling what you might find. -- Paul
---Hi Paul, Several years ago, I think on posting #42, someone answered my e-mail but their was no return address. How can I contact her? Can a person update their e-mail address? I get your e-mails and really enjoy them. -- Nan Hall
***Hi Nan, I sent an e-mail to Julie with your message and e-mail address. Hopefully she will contact you. Good luck! And, yes, TARG folks can send their new e-mail address to me and I will correct it. -- Paul
---Hi Paul, About a month ago, I saw the title of a book listed as, Highlander Polish
(it is a Polish/English dictionary) @ $9.95 by Jan Gutt-Mostowy (& Maria de Gorgy translator). Is it still in print and available? Can I send a check by snail mail to you for it? Thanks. Sincerely, Stephanie Sweas
***Hi Stephanie, I do not sell the dictionary, but do own a copy. It is available from www.bn.com, www.amazon.com, www.alibris.com -- and may still be in publication from Hippocrene books. It is a very small book, but the only English to Goral dictionary in existence. -- Paul
---Dear Paul, It's amazing but each new TARG Newsletter is better than the last. Your knowledge and expertise is growing rapidly. I enjoy them tremendously. Makes me want to go on another trip with Helene. Perhaps someday. I have written to you in the past about my great grandfather's village of Dursztyn. His name was Abraham Fischgrund. When I went on the trip with Helene she was able to have Vlado act as our guide and genealogist. He believed that my ancestor was probably buried at the overgrown, hidden Jewish cemetery in Spisska Stara Ves and he took pictures of the gravestones. There was no evidence of his grave. I realized how
stupid I had been because Abraham's wife, Hani Horowitz Fischgrund was born in Frydman, a short distance from Dursztyn. She had died before her husband and was most probably buried with her family in Frydman. So Vlado took us there and we learned that the Jewish cemetery there had been buried under the Czorsztyn Dam. The only way to research it would be by using scuba diving equipment which, of course, I cannot do. Since I am almost sure that Abraham is buried next to his wife, my only hope is to find out if a list of those buried there had been created. Now, my first question, do you have any idea how to find that list? Perhaps the Catholic Church in Frydman has it. Do you have their address?
Vlado discovered that Abraham had been born in Kroscienko nad Dunajec. I
have tried to find Jewish records at the LDS Family Center but could not. I have written to a records office, in Polish, but had no luck or answer. Perhaps you can give me a clue where I can search. Kroscienko nad Dunajec has a fascinating history and I hope to find that the Fischgrunds lived there many years, perhaps taking the Fischgrund name when they had to choose one because they were fisherman in the Dunajec River. Also, Vlado went there after I returned home and he sent me a great book on its history. However it is in Polish. By any chance do you have or could you find a book on its history in English? Thank you for any help. That area around Kroscienko, Czorsztyn and the castle at Niedzica is truly beautiful. -- Sylvia Cooke
***Hi Sylvia, You are very kind. I learn something new every day about our ancestral area and its people. I still feel there is so much I don't know! As for Jewish records and cemeteries in Spisz, yes, this can be problematic. I have been to Frydman. There were actually three cemeteries in Frydman, the Jewish one and one other that are now under the lake. I know how this feels as my Grandmother's village in Slovakia is under a lake built in 1956. I doubt much exists one could see with scuba gear -- the water is very murky in lakes around the Tatras. I doubt the Roman Catholic Church records will be much help to you. But, happily, the town that was the center of Jewish life in Spisz was Spisska Stara Ves. Since Frydman, Dursztyn and Kroscienko are all very close to Spisska Stara Ves, you might at least find some relatives mentioned in those records. The LDS microfilm roll number for the Jewish records there in Spisska Stara Ves is #1739847. I did buy a 64-page book over there in 1999 with black & white photos of Kroscienko from the years 1870-1970. There are groups and individuals in photos, but mostly it is the town and surrounding areas. If you want to cover the cost of 10 cents per page plus a couple of dollars postage, I would be happy to photocopy it for you. As for history, the Slovak-Polish Tatras book has the best English language histories for all of these villages. If you do a Google search and put in "Jewish Spisska Stara Ves" you may find many other sites of help, too. Good luck -- this is a good challenge! But if you press on, I'm sure you will find more. Happy hunting! -- Paul
---Dear Paul, I have reason to think that my grandfather was born in 1873 at Lackova 56, Slovakia. I have been looking at the back issues of the TARG newsletter and in Nov 2001 you replied to to a Mr Raymond Hobor that the town of Hniezdne (near Stara Lubovna) was built or founded in 1250. Lackova is only a few miles away from Hniezdne. Can you please tell me how you found that out? I have LDS records that show that Hajosteks were in the area back in 1768. I have discarded the idea that my family was the result of an Alien invasion by UFO, in 1346. I am, however, still trying to find out how far back my ancestors were living in that area. Thanks for the fine work on the TARG website. The timeline was like a pot-o-gold at the end of a thorny rainbow. -- Jack Hajostek
***Hi Jack, Thank you for the kudos -- I'm glad you find the website helpful. There's so much more I want to do -- if I only had the time and funds. But I plug away at it and it grows. If you go to the Higher Resolution Maps on the mytarg.net website and click on Map "I" it will take you to a map of the northern Spis area between Spisska Stara Ves and Stara Lubovna, Slovakia. The exact page URL is:
http://www.mytarg.net/Maps/MapGridPage.html. In grid "D4" of that map you
will find both Hniezdne and Lackova plainly shown. In our TARG surname list
I find a HAJOSTEK living in Nizne Ruzbachy in 1929, also currently one each
living in Poprad, Nova Lubovna, and Stara Lubovna. These last three are a
spelling variation: HAJASTEK, but this is likely the same family name. The TARG database is over 33,000 entries now, but is still an incomplete list, so Lackova and Hniezdne may also still have Hajosteks living there, too. They are just not in any shared info from TARG members, phonebooks or memberships lists we have so far added to the database. It is good to know HAJOSTEKs are showing up in the area -- and I might add, ONLY in this area so far as our database is concerned. -- Paul
---Hello, I would like to travel to Osturna, Slovakia this June. I plan to fly to Krakow, Poland then get to either Zankopane, Poland or Poprad, Slovak Republic to get closer to Osturna before trying to hire a translator/driver. I know Zankopane is larger than Poprad, but it is not necessarily closer in driving time. However, I do not know how easily I can find a translator/driver in either place. It is not too important to me to talk with a lot of people in Osturna however, so I may not need a translator. I would like to see the village and visit a few churches and cemeteries. Maybe show a baptism record to a priest. That's about it. Any advice? - W. Fabis
***Hello Will, Thank you for your e-mail. If you are not tagging along with an
organized tour (like one of Helene Cincebeaux's) for your first time over there, I think you are making a mistake. It will be very difficult for you to get around and be understood and you may view the huge cost to travel there ultimately as a waste of money unless you are very well prepared first. There are many "Osturnites" in the USA and they are happily very well organized. I'm not sure if they are planning a trip there this summer or not, but I will put you in contact with TARG members Megan Smolenyak and Thom Kolton who have organized trips there to visit and do research in the past. They will be your best source. You cannot fly into Poprad -- its airport is strictly for the military. If you get a flight booked "to Poprad", be aware that it will be a flight to Kosice and then they will have you wait and finally put you on a bus for a three or four hour drive on to Poprad. That's why Helene just flies into Kosice and has her own bus waiting. Bratislava is even further by bus, as are any airports in Hungary or Austria. I have flown into Kosice, also Vienna and then taken the train north to Krakow (6-8 hours). I prefer to fly into Krakow and then take a bus (1.5-2 hours) to Nowy Targ where one can then go to any of the Polish destination within the TARG sphere. But if you are going to Osturna, you will have to cross the border into Slovakia. You can take a bus from Nowy Targ through Lysa Polana to Zdiar, Slovakia (there are several per day) and change buses from there eventually reaching Osturna. I would avoid weekends and Wed PM thru Fri morning because of market day in Nowy Targ which swells the border wait sometimes to half a day. It's awful! There is also a train out of Krakow that goes to Stara Lubovna where you can get a bus or taxi to take you to Osturna. Again, if you've never been there before and don't speak these languages, but want to do this alone, you may not get what you bargained for. It is complicated and if you don't have any language skills all the kindness of the people there may not be enough to save you from disappointment (although I'm sure they will try). Best to contact Megan & Thom and see what they suggest. -- Paul
--- Hi Paul, I was at the Winter Symposium and listened to your talk. You did a great job. There was so much information that I had never heard before. I picked up a few of the copies of "Vcera a dnes" and after reading them decided to join the group. They were all full of useful information. My mother's family, JOPKO, are from Circ (Csircs) and Ruska Vol'a nad Popradom, both east of Stara Lubovna. I don't know if that qualifies us for the Tatra People or not. Thank you so much for all the information. I will check out the web site. Do you ever give talks in your area? I live in Anaheim and do belong to the North San Diego Genealogical Society in Carlsbad. If you are speaking to this subject somewhere in the area, I would like to know and would try to attend. -- Helen Ruatti
****Hi Helen, Thank you so kindly for your comments on my symposium talk and
"Vcera a dnes" publication. I thoroughly enjoyed that day on February 12th -- am
just now getting through all of my mail and other things I put on hold to prepare and deliver that program. So glad you liked it! I have spoken on our TARG activities once in Phoenix, but never on the Tatras and its people specifically. I live in San Diego county now and have relatives in Orange and Los Angeles counties, so do travel up there often. I would be happy to speak again on the topic if asked. Circ is one of those "border-line" villages to TARG and we would welcome you. But you will probably find much more information from Joy Kovalycsik's "Carpathian Connection" website at www.tccweb.org, so I will also refer you there. They have a Circ page, in fact, at: www.tccweb.org/circ.htm. I will add you to our TARG e-mail
newsletter list (a monthly), too. -- Paul
***Still soooo many letters! Will have to wait until next time! -- Paul
PODHALE BOOK TRANSLATION - PART 10______________
Near Czorsztyn, in Kluszowice, there is a andosite mine, which right now has every opportunity to grow and expand. (Andosite is a natural stone primarily used to decorate office buildings.) There was also a proposal to build a dam on Dunajec river nearby Czorsztyn to produce electricity. By building the dam, the water of the Dunajec accumulated behind it would spread and flood significant portions of a valley located in the Czorsztyn vicinity. This proposal has generated large opposition from various groups whose prime concern was preserving the original character of the valley.
To the west of Nowy Targ there is a plain, over which the grandeur of
Babia Gora peak dominates. The plain there becomes Polish Orawa located on
the entry to Babia Gora. In Orawa the architectural design of the homes
differs slightly from other areas of Podhale. Typically, the huts there have
"wyzka" or a unique type of porch under the home's roof.
In Orawa there are very beautiful churches built out of a wood. In Zubrzyca there is a little house which was first built in 1800s. This charming, historic house belonged to a poor but noble family who's way of life did not differ much from the other peasants living nearby. Orawa is known for its many Linden trees. In Polish the name for a Linden tree is "lipa". These trees are popular in Poland because they blossom in July and have an intensely sweet smell. In Orawa are found the villages of "Lipnica Mala" and "Lipnica Wielka," their names coming from the Linden tree native here.
The area around Nowy Targ is somewhat different than Skalne Podhale, not only the panorama but various aspects of the local economy differ as well. The shepherds living round Nowy Targ take their sheep to the meadows in to Gorce and Babia Gora. Around Nowy Targ more wheat is cultivated and there are more leafy trees then in the Skalne Podhale area. There are more cooperative societies there. For instance, here is a fantastic fish cooperative since the local rivers are rich in trout.
In the past, because a significant amount of land in this area was covered with peat, rocks, and cliffs -- and there was little industry -- the peasants had to migrate far away to find jobs. Now the land has been taken away from the land baron and given to the landless peasants. New cooperative societies have been created, the harvesting of peat around Czarny Dunajec was taken into a higher gear, and mining of andosite has been given a new boost in Kluszowice (by Czorsztyn).
(Part 11 of 12 in our next issue.)
To contact the TARG Editor, use either of these new e-mail addresses: editor-AT-mytarg-DOT-net or 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 e-mail addresses 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.