© TARG All rights reserved.
April 2004 Newsletter
Greetings TARG members one and all! And thanks to all of you who wrote
since the last newsletter issue regarding your ancestral villages and which
ones you wanted to see up next on the TARG website. These have been noted
and will be in the next batch. If I need assistance I may be calling on you!
Big congratulations and a toast also to my cousin Lucjan Soltys and new
bride Maria Grochola Soltys! They were just married this past weekend in
Jurgow, Poland's historic St. Sebastian wooden church! They will be flying
shortly to stay with Maria's sister in Chicago, then on to honeymoon here in
sunny San Diego -- and spend some time with our family. We are very much
looking forward to their visit!
Thank you TARG members for all of the kind Easter wishes received.
Likewise thank you for all of the pictures and information shared. In
addition, I am grateful for your willingness to help others when they write
wanting me to pass their note on to one of you doing research in the same
village or on the same surname. This is how I envisioned this whole TARG
concept and I am so happy to report it is working! But it is all because of
you great members. Please keep up the good work!
Well, as usual we have a lot to cover in this issue, so let's get to it!
-- Paul K. Bingham
TARG Founder

MOTHER'S DAY___________
Mother's Day is coming up in just two weeks. There are still lots of
great books, maps, etc. available on our TARG website. If you have been
contemplating a purchase, now is the time to do it. From now through
Mother's Day, May 9th, all items available on the TARG website are 33% off.
In addition, all 2004 calendars are 50% off. For some items I only have one
left. Hurry for best selection!
Note: These prices are for TARG members only and will not be mentioned
on the TARG website. Please make your checks out to "TARG" and write in the
memo section that you are a "TARG member". Shipping rates are still as
quoted on the TARG website. Website Books & Maps address is:
http://mytarg.net/Resources/Books/Main%20Books%20%26%20Maps.html or go to
http://mytarg.net and click on "Books, Maps, etc. Available for Purchase".

--- A most blessed Easter to you and your family! We had a mini-miracle this
past Easter, which I know you'll appreciate! We were roused from our sleep
Easter morning when the phone rang at 6:18 a.m.! It took me a few seconds to
understand that the phone call was from our Slovak relatives in Piekielnik,
Poland, calling to wish us a Happy Easter! As you know, we exchange regular
letters, videos, etc. with the family of my fourth cousin. Although their
little children study English in grade school, their niece, age 21, speaks
and writes perfect English (and German, too). Well, she was home from the
university in Vienna for the holiday, and called on their behalf with Easter
wishes for us. "We have just finished our breakfast," she said, "and are
resting, and are calling to see if you are celebrating Easter as we are." It
was the first time we'd spoken by phone, and we were thrilled by the call!
We also confirmed that the niece (Patryce) has e-mail at school, so that we
can stay in closer contact while she is away. It was the best Easter present
ever! Slava! -- Rob Otrembiak
*** Hello Robert, and what a wonderful story! I met your family in
Piekielnik last Summer when I was there and they are just super. So
wonderful they could call and surprise you! I know they would love to have
you come to Orawa and visit. Hopefully some day you can do that. It will
change your life -- and their's, too! -- Paul
---Hello: Thank you for the informative newsletter. Is there any way that
someone could help me find Cisarik and Gumbarsik/Gumbarcik and the villages
they lived in? I am daily getting more and more confused in trying to
find my Grandparents villages. Is there a place that a person can put a name
in and come up with the Village? My cousin tells us that they are from
Wielka Lipnick! Can't find the names listed in that village. Thank you. -- Maureen Briskin
*** Hi Maureen, This common problem among TARG members is precisely why I
have been compiling the TARG Surname Database. While I'm not done yet, I do
find that your surname is spelled GOMBARCZYK and comes exclusively from
Lipnica Wielka, Poland. I know CISARIK or a darivation of that spelling
comes from the same area. I can e-mail you some names and addresses of
people with the GOMBARCZYK surname and let you try and contact them. -- Paul
--- Hi Paul, Please change the e-mail address on your list to my new one. I
don't want to miss any of the newsletters. -- Marge German
*** Sure enough, Marge. And thanks for letting me know of the change. I get
about 50 returns as "address no longer valid" with each monthly TARG
newsletter I send out. Then many contact me month's later wondering why they
are no longer getting their mailing! -- Paul
---Paul, I received your name from Helene Cincebeaux, who I wrote to when
looking for information about my ancestors on the Polish-Slovak border. She
thinks you might be able to help me with some information about how to
continue in my search. What I have so far is Anna and Andro (Andrej, Andrew)
Skodon-- my great-grandparents on my father's father's side. They came to
Chicago around the turn of the century. All I have on Anna is my still-living great
aunt (90-some odd years old) still remembers. Anna should be from a village
called Podvilka/Podwilk in the orava region on the Polish side of the
border. My aunt remembers packages being sent to Podvilka (in Poland) and
possibly being passed onto a smaller village. Still, I am positive they
spoke Slovak, because my grandfather and my grandmother (first generation
Polish-American) spoke different languages. Other last names my aunt
remembers of relatives (blood or marriage I'm not so sure) are Omasdrak and
Florek. Anna's last name was Kovalcik, or Kovalsik. As for Andro, I tried
doing some research by registering with one of the genealogy websites and
got the following information: Andrej Skodon, born 30 Nov 1883, arrived in
NY 1903. From Chyzne, Hungary (Austro-Hungarian empire, Im assuming, esp if
Chyzne is in the north), speaking Slovak. As for me, I'm now living in a
small village in the Czech. Republic, outside of Pardubice, and marrying a
Czech. within the month. I speak mostly fluent Czech., though my Slovak is
weak and Polish much weaker. Fortunately my fiancé can get by much better in
these languages. In early June, we were hoping to take a relaxed
honey-moon-esque tour of Slovakia, stopping possibly in Podvilka or other
spots of personal genealogical interest. My question now would be, what
next? Where to go when I get there, ways of finding more accurate
information before I go, etc. My best information has been from Ellis
island's site and a couple of the early 20th century censuses. One thing
I've been a bit nervous of is getting sucked into paying various monthly
fees for various minorly helpful genealogical databases. Thank you for your
time. -- Best regards, Maggie Skodon
*** Hello Maggie, and thanks for writing. Let me start by unraveling a
mystery many get caught by. Podvlk, Slovakia exists, but after 1920 the
border changed and it became Podwilk, Poland. Keep in mind that because the
villages became part of Poland, the spelling of surnames often changed to
maintain the right pronunciation. Prior to 1920 it was under Hungarian rule,
so would have been listed as Podvlk, Hungary. Chyzne is a border town not
far away. They are both in the area known locally as "Orawa", named because
it was once part of Slovakia's Orava county. The larger town of Jablonka,
Poland lies between the two and it will show up on most maps. The other two
may not. These surnames are well known in these villages. SZKODON is found
in Chyzne, FLOREK in Jablonka & Slopnice (among others), and
KOVALCIK/KOVALSIK in Jablonka & Podwilk. (I don't believe the surname
OMASDRAK is from the area.) My suggestion to you would be to contact people
in these villages with your name by mail or by phone prior to your visit. I
can e-mail you addresses if you want to try and write them. You will find
that the parish records are still in the parish churches, not in any
archives. So don't waste your time and money on databases and services that
charge a fee. You will have to visit the parish churches to find the written
documentation you are looking for. But the area is wonderful. Near Namestovo
lake and between the Tatra and Babia Gora mountains, it is a wonderful place
to visit in summer even if you had no relatives there! -- Paul
--- Dear Paul, The following message was in your last TARG newsletter. I did
not see a way of contacting the person who sent it. My family also has the
Bryjak name. Some of my ancestors were from Dlugopole. My eight
great-grandparents' names were Sanders (Sader, Sonder), Truty, Zarecki,
Stopka, Halas, Sojka, Kulack, and Kieta. They all came from the Tatra
region. My parents were married in Chicago in 1940. Their wedding invitation
list includes the names Bryjak, Roll, and Kowalkowski along with 1940
addresses. I would be interested in corresponding with Ute if you could
forward my message to him. Thanks. -- Mary Ann Gast
*** Hi Mary Ann, and thanks for writing. I will pass your e-mail on to Ute.
For security reasons we have a policy not to give out e-mail addresses.
Instead we pass messages along to other members. They are then free to reply
to if they want. -- Paul
--- Hello Paul, I've been checking to see if you had posted anything on the
website for Piekielnik. Are you planning on posting that page soon? I also
wanted to ask you about the Holocaust. I know the terrible history in Warsaw
and other cities. Was it limited to the Jewish people alone, or did others
suffer as well? Did this also happen in Piekielnik? Also, I hadn't heard
about how your sick uncle lately. Is he doing better? -- Sincerely, Donnamarie
*** Hi Donnamarie, And thanks for your note. Yes, lots of folks joining TARG
lately seem to have family ties to Orawa. So Piekielnik will be in the next
batch! I promise! As to your Holocaust question: it was primarily the Jewish
people the Nazis were trying to exterminate. For them the suffering was
incalculable. But all suffered under the Nazis. Unfortunately all of this
suffering was not limited to the big cities, but also to the villages --
even within our more remote TARG sphere, perhaps even in Piekielnik. I have
letters from 1949 where an aunt told of the German soldiers coming through
their village of Slanica, SK, only a few miles from Piekielnik. They rounded
up all of the Jewish families there and marched them out of town. They were
never seen again. They also took much of the food, animal feed and
clothing (mostly shoes and coats) from every village house. As they left
they said: "You can take whatever you want from the houses of the Jews."
The able-bodied men of the village were rounded up and conscripted into the
German army to go fight the neighboring Poles. This aunt's husband was
killed in a subsequent battle. I've read accounts of other villages trying
to resist by shooting soldiers when they first marched in. In some instances
the entire village's inhabitants were murdered and every building in the
village burned to the ground as a message to others in the area. The book by
Jim Downs (available on our TARG website) states that some of the German
soldiers who came through Orava were the convict troops under the command of
the German General know as "the Butcher of Warsaw". These thugs were let
out of prison for the express purpose of fighting in the army -- and their
brutality was notorious. The memories of the pain and suffering they spread
so long ago still lingers in the hearts of the people today. Many will not
talk about it and have a hard time accepting Germans today. Now, you asked
about my 88-year-old Slovakian great uncle. He is doing so much better! He
completed his chemo successfully and shows no signs of a reoccurrence. He
has also regrown all of his beautiful white hair, including a patch of red in
the back which he loves to show off! Many thanks for your prayers and kind
wishes in his behalf. -- Paul
--- Hi Paul, I enjoy the newsletter very much, I've been watching the
village webpages for some time, looking at Parnica in the Orava district of
Slovakia. Since there's no activity there I thought I might stir up a little
interest there by submitting a couple of scanned pictures of Parnica. All
four of my grandparents came from Parnica so I'm interested in anything
about the area; pictures, genealogy etc. -- John Kubacka
*** Hi John, I will put Parnica on the short list -- and ANY submittals to
help are ALWAYS welcome! -- Paul
--- Paul, On your web site in the village area is the following: Lipnica
Wielka, PL (akaVelka Lipnica, SK); Coord: 49:30, 19:37; 24.7 miles SE to
Kasprowy Wierch. Since there are two Lipnica Wielkas in Poland, you would
need to add the other one to your website so people are not confused.
Because of country changes in the old days you would need to show the other
Lipnica Wielka along with its other village name. Remember the family
history library message that Lipnica Wielka, Poland (the border town a few
kilometers from the Slovak border above the orava lake west of Nowy Targ)
had no church records filmed by the FHL. The other Lipnica Wielka located NE
of Nowy Sacz and west of Gorlice did have church records filmed by FHL. I
don't know enough about this other Lipnica Wielka as its not a place I've
been to before. -- Zelda Thomlinson
*** Hi Zelda, yes there are two Lipnica Wielkas in Poland. There are
actually many villages with the same name as those in the TARG sphere. The
record holder is Zalesie, with 21 in Poland and another four in Slovakia. If
I included every duplicate, the website would get unwieldy in a hurry.
Instead, I list the coordinants and distance of the TARG village from the
center of the TARG sphere so folks can determine whether its the one they
are looking for or not. When I get the surname database done, members will
be able to double-check their surnames, too, to make sure they are looking
in the right place. And you are right, the FHL has not filmed any of the
records in Orawa villages, but "second writings" do exist in the Rom. Catholic archives in Spisska Kapitula, SK. -- Paul
--- Paul, On this site: http://www.spis.sk/mapy/r/r1723vt.html the map
shows, what looks to be arches in the area of Hagy and Relov. Does anyone
know what they symbolize and if they really exist? -- Thank you, George Stefaniak.
*** Hi George, Thanks for sharing this wonderful new website with us. Your
arches question may better be answered by going to the larger map of which
yours is but a part. Specifically go to http://www.spis.sk/mapy/r/r1723.html
and look near the right hand edge as you go toward the bottom and you will
find an index in Latin of symbols used in the map. The arches are labeled as
"Passus", and evidently refer to gateways leading to some of the further
edges of the Kingdom as perceived in 1723. I don't know if the arches ever
really existed except as a map symbol. -- Paul
--- Hi Paul, In your email to me in December, you stated that you had the
addresses for the Parish in Czarny Dunajec. Also for the Krakow archives.
Can you supply those? I am still trying to pin point which church the
records of Alois Skubisz might be at. Have learned that he had a sister
named Anna who stayed in Poland and that a Angel and Wiktoria Sandre, Jan
and Julianna Lukasik listed as brothers and sisters in law were at his funeral in Chicago in
1933. Tell me more about your database. Are the people in your database
alive or dead? You said that there were Skubisz listed in Kroscienko(1) Zab
(1) Nowy Targ (2) and (5) in Ratulow. If these people are alive do you have
addresses? If so I would like to write to them, since my daughter and I are
going on Helene's trip in August and plan to spend a day looking for distant
relatives or for records of ancestors. I did find that the Lubasik name I
wrote to you about was really spelled Lukasik and you said that there was
one listed in Czarny Dunajec. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks Pat Skubis
*** Hi Pat, Here are the addresses of the parish church in Czarny Dunajec:
Rynek 34, 34-470 Czarny Dunajec, Poland and the Krakow Roman Catholic
archives: ul. Franciszkanska 3, 31-004 Krakow, Poland. The database I'm
compiling has only village names, the surnames found historically in them,
and where the information from each entry came from. The idea is to
pin-point where your surnames are and then contact the parish church or
people with the same name. -- Paul
--- Hello, I'm trying to go over to the old country to look up ancestry,
locate relatives, and maybe fulfill a vocation in the Byzantine Catholic
Church. Can you please help me with contacts, places to stay for 1 or 2
nights -- maybe on a farm? Dakuem. -- Nicholas Sprinkle
*** Hi Nicholas. Thank you for your e-mail. The best thing you could do is
send $5 for the Spring-Summer 2003 issue of "Vcera a dnes", the journal I
edit for the CSGSA. It is a travel issue and covers much, much more than I
have time to here. The address you need to write to is: Celeste Sampson,
7311 North 69th Drive, Glendale, AZ 85303. Celeste is the treasurer and has
all of the back issues. -- Paul

When I was visiting in the old country last Fall, I met a woman who's aged
grandmother had been born in Franklin Furnace (now simply called Franklin),
NJ, USA. When she was a year old, her immigrant parents were both killed and
she was taken back to Polish Spisz by an aunt. She grew up there, never
knowing her parents or the USA. Now her daughter and grand daughters have
asked me to do some family history on this side of the ocean -- a twist for
me. Franklin (Furnace), NJ is not to be confused with Franklin Furnace, NY
or Franklin Furnace, OH. I find from my reading that the New Jersey town was a
mining town in Sussex county, mostly known for its iron and zinc ore. It was
one of several towns along a geologic swath of marble and also one of the
richest areas mineralogically in the country at the time. Immigrants
therefore made their living as miners -- a very tough life, indeed.
I'm still looking for the US birth record of little Maria Bucz or Buc^
(spelled in Budz in Polish today.) Surely some documents were left behind
when her aunt rescued her and took her back to what was then Slovakia in
1909. Any help you can give me in finding information for these folks would
be appreciated!

1. TARG's website is: http://mytarg.net
2. Direct link to TARG's extensive Books & Maps page:
3. George Stefaniak shares a site with lots of wonderful old maps of the
Spis region of Slovakia: http://www.spis.sk/mapy/mapy/mapy.html
4. Slovak online directory (in English) is found at:

CONTACTING TARG_____________________
To contact the TARG Editor, the new e-mail address is: editor-AT-mytarg-DOT-net (in spam-resistive form (minus "@" and "."). 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 (in spam-resistive form (minus "@" and "."), go ahead and use the old address. It is still: TARG_NET-AT-hotmail-DOT-net (in spam-resistive form (minus "@" and ".").

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