© TARG All rights reserved. (Former ZARP & PARG Newsletter)
Monthly Newsletter for June 2000
Vi'tany' & Powitanie! (Welcome!) This will be a somewhat shorter
newsletter than past issues. (I have actually had e-mail asking me to keep
the letter below four printed pages,
so will try to comply!) I will be starting a new job next week and may not
be as available this month due to the new schedule and move. Be patient --
will get to the e-mails as soon as I have time!
Was thrilled to see the articles by Bill Serchak and Paul Hadzima as
well as info about Karen Melis' and the Grinvalski families covering a whole
two pages in the latest issue of Helene B. Cincebeaux's SLOVAKIA. Such
coverage regarding our project is wonderful and always generates new
interest (see this month's letters). Thank you, Helene!
Have gotten and read two issues of the new Slovak Weekly -- a colorful
newspaper with the first 18 of 24 pages in English covering all of the
happenings within Slovakia. I am impressed. Check out their website (below)
for more information.
-- Paul K. Bingham
TARG Team Leader

1) Bill Serchak sends us this site to construct historical timelines:
2) Good websites with information and explanations as to who the Rusyns are:
3) Hamburg port & ship passenger records online:
4) This site is a guided tour of the immigrants' experience:
5) New Slovak Weekly newspaper info: www.slovakweek.com

-- "Paul, I am looking for information about the KOVALIK family from Orava,
Slovakia. My father, Frank J. KOVALIK, was born June 29th, 189(?). I can
find no information about his parents. Frank married Mary MADGER in the
early 1920's, One sister Sophia married a Joseph ZUFFA and another sister
Pauline married a Joseph MIHALKO. Any information you can provide about the
KOVALIK family and their Orava connection would be very much appreciated. -
Francis Kovalik
***Hello Francis, Not knowing exactly where in Orava county your lines come
from made it a bit more difficult to find anything for you -- but not
impossible. It does appear that you have family from our study area. Looking
through the DSSV (a 1929 Catholic Society membership book for Orava) I found
at least one ZUFFA listed in the villages of Lokca, Vavrecka and Tvrdosin --
but there were six in Nizna and nine in Zemanska Dedina. Indeed almost
everyone in Zemanska Dedina must be a ZUFFA! I also found one KOVALIK (not
the more common "KOVALCIK" spelling) in Tvrdosin and two in Namestovo.
MIHALKO and MAGDER are somewhat more illusive. I did find a tantilizing
"MAGDIAK" from Zakamene Klin, but nothing more. Perhaps someone else
researching in upper Orava will have more clues for you. I will include your
letter in an upcoming newsletter. - Paul
-- "Paul, I get the SLOVAKIA Newsletter and noticed you were interested in
people who had ancestors from the Orava lake area. My mother's mother and
father (Pry or Praj or Pray
as shown on some records) were born in Ustie. My grandmother Helena
MADLENYAK and my grandfather Joseph PRAJ (or PRY as they spelled their name
in the U.S.) were born in 1880s.
"I have evidence from records in Bratislava that Ustie was flooded in
1953 to make the lake and hydroelectric plant. The Orava Valley was formerly
one of the poorest sections of Slovakia. The village is now in the process
of industrialization, thanks to the dam. The road along the tributary is
supposedly very enchanting.
"One of the most famous people from this region is Janko Matuska, a
poet, whose poem, LIGHTNING OVER THE TATRAS, is in the Slovak National
Anthem. There are salt water springs in this area, too. This information
came from research and is now incorporated into my book entitled, A FAMILY;
ONE HUNDRED YEARS! 1888-1988. The PRYs migrated to Perth Amboy, N.J.; the RUSINAKs (paternal side) migrated to Latrobe, PA." - Gloria Rusinak Lukacs
***Hello Gloria: Nice to hear from you! Thank you for all of the information
you sent. In some of the issues of our monthly newsletter we have published
lists of surnames from various villages. This list is by no means
complete -- but there were certainly MADLENYAKs (spelled MADLENIAK in the
records much of the time) from Ustie and LUKACS is a surname common in my
nearby ancestral village of Slanica. I could not find PRAJ -- but, again the
list is incomplete at best!
Perhaps Ustie's records are now part of Tvrdosin's. Have you tried the
LDS Family History Library near you? Tvrdosin's records on microfilm are
rolls # 2062267, 2062268 & 2062269 and cover 1686 to 1906. I have not personally looked at those particular rolls, but chances are very good the contain other villages nearby -- perhaps old Ustie as well. "New Ustie" is little more than a suburb of Tvrdosin now. - Paul
-- "Paul - I love it !!! Love your new name (TARG) and also info on the
2001 trip! Do note that my e-mail was wrong: should be helenexz@aol.com just in case anyone says they have trouble getting thru - I will be away all summer and
not able to access in case anyone asks. Expect to have detailed
final itinierary in Sept. or early Oct. 2000." - Helene Cincebeaux
-- "Paul, I look forward to the newsletter. My information is that Jan
SZUMAL was born in Lopuszna about 1839. He married an Anny CHOWANICE. One son, my grandfather Matthew, married Mary KOWALCZYK before coming to
America. Thanks again." - Carol
-- "Paul, (In a nutshell) here are my family names from the Ostrawsko area

Frank Kurchina tells us explains that the LDS (Mormons) have filmed all
the parish church records at six of the seven regional Slovak State Archives
in Slovakia. These microfilm reels are available for rental and viewing at
any Family History Center (FHC) worldwide. Statistically 90% of patrons in
these facilities open free to the public are non-Mormons doing surname
To find out what locations have records available you can check out this
website: http://www.familysearch.org/Search/searchfhc2.asp

My Polish cousin Lucjan asked if I would write a letter of invitation
for he and his brother to come visit in the U.S. this summer or next.
Naturally, I told him I would.
Now that communism is gone, citizens of Poland (and Slovakia) can travel
much more freely outside of their home countries. However, their nations
want to insure that they do not lose their traveling citizens once they make
it to U.S. shores. It is also important that the traveler either have enough
money in the bank for extended travel at the time of the interview or have
someone willing to host them. They also have health and safety concerns for
their citizens abroad.
Knowing this, I wrote two formal letters including personal
identification information about myself and personal information (including
Polish passport no. and citizen's Personal number) and their complete
address in Poland. I asked that they be allowed to visit us in the United
States for a period of more than sixty days and perhaps not to exceed one year.
As host, I offered to assume responsibility for their guaranteed timely
return to Poland. I also mentioned that they would be covered by insurance
while visiting or traveling with me while here. I ended by hoping they would
grant them permission to come and gave them my contact information and
signed it. Knowing that they might not be granted another Visa interview for
another year if this one was turned down, I wrote this invitation letter as
best I could! So how did it go?
Pawel's Visa appointment in Krakow went well, indeed! Here's what Lucjan
wrote: "Hello Paul, First I want thank you for the invitation letters. Pawel was in
U.S. Embassy in Krakow for his appointment -- and he was given a U.S. Visa
good for 2 years!" Lucjan is going for his interview in September. We hope his goes equally well.

ZARP Team Member Megan Smolenyak's genealogy special on PBS showing
scenes from our Tatra area's village of Osturna -- its episode #4 -- may be
airing soon in your city. Our's has it in early July. Check your local
listings for date and time!

OTHER NOTES______________________________
(1) Contact us if you would like the e-mail address of someone in PARG or
ZARP. (2) If you have comments, questions, someone's address to add to our
mailing list or missed any newsletter issues, just ask! (3) This e-mail
newsletter is sent out free to all who want it (due to ISP anti-spamming
policies in groups of <20). Newsletter Editor: bingham@iols.net

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