TATRA AREA RESEARCH GROUP
(c) TARG (Formerly ZARP & PARG) All rights reserved.
Newsletter for April 2001
Vi'tanje & Powitanie! (Welcome!)
Greetings to all TARG members and new researchers who join us this month for
the first time. Come visit our TARG website at: http://www.1avenue.com/targ,
too. The simple guestbook feature lets you sign in and list your ancestral
villages and surnames. All entries are available for viewing and searching
by other TARG members. Sign-ins are approaching the 100 mark. If you haven't
been by to look (or post), then please do!
The big news this month is the new Ellis Island Foundation site. Many heard
about the April 17th opening on the nightly news. 22 million names of
immigrants and their information processed through the Port of New York
between 1892 to 1924 are now available online free. It's the talk of all the
genealogy sites right now. Peter Jennings did another story about it last
I've heard it's tough to get on the site. I've read the error complaints.
One man considered the site "useless" because the alternate spelling feature
failed to find his ancestor. That one reminded of the adage not to look a
gift horse in the mouth.
The grand opening of the center culminated a 7-year partnership between the
foundation, the National Park Service and The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. Approximately 120,000 LDS volunteers spent nearly 6
million hours transcribing data from ships' manifests. What we have now is
an incredible resource. This week I have been able to find all of my
ancestors arrivals I knew of. What's more, the 2nd page with passenger
descriptions, destination, traveling companions and place of birth is also
available. One can examine a high-resolution photo of the actual manifest,
too! This is where I believe these unpaid volunteers are to be
congratulated: I had trouble reading much of the handwriting and am
surprised they got so much of it right!
Upgrades are already underway to make the data more accessible and to speed
things up. Yes, a few names might have Slovak, Polish, German, Hungarian or
plain messed up spelling. Some relatives might take a little more than a few
mouse clicks to find. And the site might continue to be real busy until the
hype dies down. But I wholeheartedly encourage all of you to visit the site
and see what you find! (I'll give some tips later, too.)
2nd topic: TARG is a big region, and many areas do not have team leaders. If
you know a bit about your ancestral village and a few neighboring ones,
maybe you'd like to volunteer to be a team leader. There are also some hands
needed to extract and type surnames. A full database we hope to put on the
website soon for everyones' use. If you have the desire or the time to help,
please let us hear from you! Thanks!
* Paul K. Bingham
LOGON TO ELLIS ISLAND: 10 HINTS _____________ This site is incredibly busy.
No wonder: 40 million Americans have a relative who passed through this
port. The site logged 27,000 hits per second on its opening day. Thankfully,
things are getting better. But here are ten tips to speed your visit:
 Try logging on during the East Coast dinner hour, on mid-week nights or
late at night when there's less traffic.
 If you keep getting the "Page Cannot Be Displayed" or "Due to an
extraordinary number of visitors..." error messages, don't be afraid to
click your "Refresh" button in Explorer or the "Reload" button in Netscape.
This will force the server to reestablish the page.
 Once you've been on the site, looked around to familiarize yourself with
it and registered, don't use the www.ellisislandrecords.org anymore after
that to get on. Use the next level URL address. It is:
www.ellisislandrecords.org/default.asp This will skip the opening page and
get to the one where you access the other parts of the site.  Erase
"cookies" from your hard drive before you try to log on again. Many report
this is one way the site may identify you and limit your access while they
are having such heavy traffic.
 Turn off "pictures" once you are familiar with the site. Not having to
download the graphics each time you log on and move from page to page will
greatly speed things up and may reduce the risk of getting "bumped off".
Moving the mouse over an unknown button on this site usually reveals its
identifying caption anyway. If it doesn't, you should be able to right-click
on it and just that button's graphic will load.
 Enter just a last name and not the first name when looking for someone.
Once a list is displayed, look through it to find the individual. The first
name may not have the spelling you anticipated.
 Remember, our ancestors lived in a place which may have had Hungarian,
Polish, German or Slovak spelling in force at the time. The officials our
ancestors met along their journey were mostly German, Dutch and Americans.
Hurried, an official may not have gotten a name spelled/written correctly as
the passenger presented it. Use a bit of deductive reasoning and try
different spelling variations you know or phonetically or logically made up.
 If you really want to try a technical trick, avoid the screens and get
the server working directly for you on your search. To find a list of
entries matching your surname, copy and paste this long URL:
ovak&Search+Archives.x&Search+Archives.y=7 I used the name "Novak" here,
you'll have to enter your surname. This will immediately bring up your first
list of up to 25 names.
 Here's another technical trick. After your first list of 25 names pops
up, the URL in the address window will look like this. Notice that the last
part reads "offset%".
RF 2&kind=exact&offset% If you change this "25" to "50" and hit "Enter", it
will display the next 25 listings without the server having to recalculate
it. Thereafter enter adjustments in intervals of 25 until you've viewed the
entire list.  The site often adds something like "&dwpdone=1" onto the
very end of the URL after such a search listed in  above. Just go ahead
and erase this when you amend the number and before you hit "Enter". HAPPY
>>Regarding success on the Ellis Island site, Karen Melis wrote:
FOUND my grandma!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My grandma popped
up as having come to America on March 9, 1909. I loved the ship photo and
data and the ability to scroll the entire manifest for possible
friends/relatives who traveled with her. These volunteers are to be
commended. Through 4 elusive years, this date has haunted me. I had her in
between April 2, 1910 and August 1910 basically due to her marriage and
census records. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY ROLLS OF MICROFILM I'VE LOOKED AT? Wow. I'm in heaven!
>>Paul, Thanks for the information on Lipnica Wielka as well as finding
Adrezej SIMALA in the telephone book. That should be a good place to begin
trying to find my SIMALA ancestors. No one, not my father or uncles (all
deceased) knew much about my paternal grandfather's background in the Old
Country, so it is a mystery. Look forward to seeing you during the Goral
Homecoming Trip in August.-Florian Simala
>>Edna Mae and I had extraordinary good luck on our recent trip. Monsignor
Demkovich at St Mary's Assumption RC (Slovak) Church in Passaic, NJ invited
to spend from 10 AM to 3 PM working at our own pace in the rectory. We
picked up a lot of information. Our luck continued. In the Passaic Public
Library I found my grandfather's obit on the very first microfilmed page of
the Passaic Herald for that week of that month and year. Not one
cousin had a copy. Now I can also do further research through the friendly
Research Librarian there. The second half of the trip was to the
Carbondale/Simpson area of PA where my newly found cousin, Sherry, and her
family were so helpful in gaining access to the lines of grandfather's
siblings. We got vital records, photographed gravestones and left requests
for further documents with the priests. All the best, Bill Serchak
>>Paul, My surnames on the TARG website are from the Kolac^kov, SK parish
records, going back to 1745. I have paper copies of them, so if anyone has
questions about Kolac^kov lines, I can find answers. When I visited in 1996,
I was told the villagers still speak Góral. I'm interested in finding other
villages where my surnames occur. REL'OVSKY' began in the late 1500s in the
village of Rel'ov, and references to the village of Nedecz (Niedzica) appear
in the Kolac^kov records. DURAC^INSKY' suddenly appears in the records in
1761. My g-father's mother was a widow when she married my g-g-father.
Entries for births of her 1st children identify her as "Anna BARNA-JAVORIK,
nee DURACINSKY, widow of Ivan." It also says she was Greek Catholic,
although Kolac^kov is almost completely Roman Catholic. There is no
Kolac^kov marriage records for Anna and either Ivan or my g-g-father Izidor
MALIN^AK. I figure Anna married Ivan in some nearby Greek Catholic village,
lived there a few years until Ivan died, then married Izidor in the same
village, later returning to Kolac^kov. If you come across anything, let me
know! -- Mark Sabol
***Hi Mark, Besides the DURAC^INSKY's you have researched in Jakubany and
Podolinec, SK there are DURACZINSKYs (Polish spelling) listed in the old
Velka Frankova, SK R.C. parish records. The parish goes back to 1750 and are
on LDS microfilm roll numbers 1791930 & 1791931. Velka Frankova is, as you
know, a neighboring village to Osturna, SK which is Greek Catholic.-Paul
POLAND & SLOVAKIA TRIP_____________
The Góral Homecoming trip Aug. 8 - 20 is a go! If you have contemplated
going with us, there is STILL room and still time to include you! But Helene
needs to hear from you within the next three weeks to assure you a seat.
Come on! What are you waiting for? It's going to be great! You can call her
toll-free at: 888/529-7150 or e-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Be sure and
tell her you are a TARG member.)
To contact TARG, the e-mail address is: TARG_NET@hotmail.com Our new website
is at: www.1avenue.com/targ (Come give it a visit!...also
http://targ.1avenue.com will get you there.) TARG's mailing address is: P.O.
Box 3533, Escondido, CA 92033.
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