© The Podhale Area Research Group (PARG) -- all rights reserved
Bi-Monthly Newsletter # 3 -- Nov-Dec 1999
Greetings to all of you PARG members! Here's our third newsletter. I am
feverishly working to complete editing of the trip video (more about that
below under "Video"). However, I know how many of you look forward to our
bi-monthly PARG newsletter, so here it is.
I will soon be creating a new PARG webpage. In the meantime you might
want to check out the ZARP group webpage at:
http://ns1.iols.net/users/bingham/ Included in it are many digital photos
from the trip video (actual frames lifted out of the tape). One of the
photos of "A Podhale Haywagon" is actually in front of the church in Lipnica
Wielka -- one of our PARG villages! (Don't tell the ZARP folks!) Anyway,
have a look!
Before we go on we have many more new PARG members this issue, including
several from the 5 villages lost to Orava Lake in 1954. To all of
you newcomers we give a hearty Vi'tany' & Powitanie! (Welcome!) :))
-- Paul K. Bingham
PARG Team Leader

(1) Polska Net: www.polska.net/book/
This handy site allows you to type in a name and find an e-mail address for
that person in Poland if they have one.
(2) And member Joseph Marhefka sends us this site:

(I'm being buried with your letters -- have to share some! Thank you! -pb)
"When is your next issue of the newsletter coming out? What are your
plans to expand the letter with photos and descriptions? I am definitely
interested in this area of Poland. Please continue your efforts in this most
important part of Polish geography and history." -- Casimir J. Gacek
°°°°Thank you, Casmir. The newsletter comes out every other month
(bi-monthly). Since many of those in PARG only get simple e-mail like Juno,
it will likely remain text-only. Our new webpage is where we will be posting
lots of other things like pictures. -- Paul
"Thanks for the newsletter. Sorry I missed the trip. Sounds like it was
a good one, although frustrating, as mine own was several years ago.
Keep the newsletters coming!" -- Sherri Kuran
"I'd like to get in contact with Bill Serchak (in the ZARP group) who is
catalogueing the Hungarian censuses. I'd like to volunteer my time to help
him out. Can you please forward this to him or send me his email address?
Thanks. -- Ed Kozak
°°°°Thank you so much for your willingness to help out, Ed. I'll put you in
contact with Bill -- but he is temporarily spending all of his time in name
extraction from the new Nowa Biala parish records he photographed on our
August trip. He likely will not get back to the Hungarian Census until after
the first of the year. -- Paul
"I am unable to locate your mailing address. I would like to sent you
some money to help with all the work you are doing. Could you please send me
your address? I'm happy everyone had a great trip." -- Marilyn Graybill
°°°°Thank you so much, Marilyn. Our mailing address is P.O.Box 31264,
Mesa, AZ 85275 -- Paul
"Thanks for the latest PARG newsletter. I keep them in
a loose-leaf binder." -- Fran Rozek
"Hi. I am most interested in your project. My father came from this area
and I would hope I can contribute to your project. Please send your
newsletter, too. Thanks." -- Jan Madejski
"What wonderful news!!! Yes, add my e-mail address and send me your
updates. I was at the LDS looking at the gazateer of Slovakia and didn't
find my town names. Thank you for the information. I have been in contact
with a man researching VLOSAK, I will also put him in contact with our
group, too!!! Thanking you again." -- Janet Pavlak
"I really enjoy your newsletter, and I would like to continue receiving
it. Are there any plans for a return trip any time soon? I'd be very
interested in travelling out there if you decided to do this again any time
soon. Thanks for everything, and as always, I eagerly await your reply. Take
care." -- Kevin Slanicky
"I LOVE getting your newsletter! How exciting! When will your next trip
be? I was thrilled to see that you found some OTREMBIAK's in the Jablonka
cemetary." -- Robert Otrembiak
"The year 2000 "Pilgrimage to Slovakia" trip Aug. 7 - 19 will include 3
nights in Zdiar with the Goral festival with groups from Podhale, Spisz and
Zamagurie. And we plan to go into Poland for a day. We will also have our
wonderful driver/guides available if people should want to stay longer or
return another day." -- Helene B. Cincebeaux
°°°°Thanks for this information, Helene. For all of our members kicking
themselves for not going with us last August this may be a chance for some
of them to see the beautiful Tatras and sneak a visit to their ancestral
villages in nearby Orava and Podhale! -- Paul

TRIP VIDEO STATUS_____________
I am spending all of my spare time editing the 20 hours of digital video
taken on our August-September Slovakia/Poland trip on my computer. I'm using
the new IEEE-1394 technology (also known as "FireWire") and VideoStudio
software to assemble and refine all of the best footage. This film deserves
a better level of treatment than simple home movies get and this new
technology allows for wonderful fades, titling and audio dubbing.
The process is very hard drive-intensive, though -- every 2 seconds of
digital film actually requiring about 100 mb of drive space for
manipulation. After numerous crashes struggling with 4 gigs of space on my
machine I finally broke down and bought a huge 20.3 gig hard drive! Things
are now going much, much smoother.
One member wrote and told me "don't drive yourself ragged for the
video," and another suggested I figure on a date of completion and then ADD
a couple of months for some deserved time off! But in reality I have a
family presentation scheduled with this film at Christmas and therefore must
be done soon. Besides, I know how excited everyone waiting for this is! For
some sneek-peeks at actual footage frames check out the two ZARP websites
(one listed above, the other is on Delphi at:

I've been meaning to share some things learned and observations made while I
was over in Slovak and Polish Orava in August and September. Hopefully these
will help you better prepare if and when all of you get to go!
(1) Many of the cemetaries are on steep hillsides away from town and many
are overgrown with waist-high stinging nettle plants. Wear hiking shoes and
long pants if you go. And even if the cemetary is not by a stream, the jars
and cans left with old flowers soon fill up with rain water and breed
mosquitoes. Take along some spray like Cutter's!
(2) Cemetaries are under fallen leaves and/or snow November through April --
so plan to go in the Summer or early Fall. In fact, many lumps in the ground
are old graves where the markers and crosses have long-since fallen over.
You will often see these old weathered markers and headstones stacked in the
back of the cemetary. If you can round up local family (the older, the
better) to take with you, then you'll have a chance of identifying lost
graves. My cousin made a great suggestion while I was there. He said to come
on "All Saint's Day" October 31st (What we call Halloween -- once "All
Hallow's Evening") to the cemetary because that is when entire families come
to fix up their loved-ones graves. The cemetary is a bustling place on this
afternoon and evening -- almost a family reunion for everyone in the
village. Here would be your very best chance to learn more family history,
take family pictures and identify unmarked graves of the whole year!
(3) You may be lucky enough to find close family when you go -- I found my
great-uncle's first cousin no one new existed before I went there. But if
you visit someone in your ancestral village with the same surname and eat a
meal with them -- you are automatically family from then on! (Even if later
no one can prove it!)
(4) Finding the town priest. This was much more problematic than I supposed.
In Slovakia and Poland now the priest often teaches school all week, then
prepares all day Saturday for sermons on Sunday. They are very, very busy
individuals and often hard to track down. You may be thinking like I did
that Summer (when school is out) would be a great time to catch them. But
what I found is that many of them go on vacation in August -- especially in
the two weeks prior to school's start on September 1st. Just when we were
there! I lost track of how many priest's homes I visited where some
construction worker was doing renovation on the house and told us: "Oh, the
priest is away for two weeks while we work on his house." Fortunately they
usually leave a key to the church with some trusted Babka in the village, so
you can get in. But the parish records are strictly the pervue of the
priest -- he is the only one who can let you look at them.
(5) Making prior arrangements to see the priest. When I could see what
problems we were running into, I had my cousin (who speaks Polish, Slovak
and English) help me set up appointments by phone with various priests. This
worked in some instances, but backfired in others. Some were absolutely
wonderful and accomodating almost to a fault. But many of them do not want
to be bothered with the time-consuming chore of looking through old records
with foreigners. They will say they are busy or will be away the week you
want to come, pass you off to another priest, or be conveniently missing
when you finally arrive on the appointed day. In the end we resorted to
dropping in on them -- this seemed to work somewhat better. And having a
donation ready for them doesn't hurt, either!
(6) Records, records, who's got the records. Many parishes there are fairly
new. In Slovakia a newer parish may not have older records for you to look
at -- they will direct you to the archives, or to an older village which
used to include your village in its parish. In Poland there are copies for
some villages in the archives there, too. But we found that older parishes
also kept separate books for each village. The idea in mind here was that
when the dependant village finally built its own parish church, the records
could be handed over to its new priest. Well, sometimes that happened, and
sometimes it didn't. We found several instances where the books for a
particular village were still locked in the older parish's bookcase -- even
50 years after the new one opened. What are they waiting for? Hard to say!
(7) Taxis. I had my cousin to take me places, used busses and trains, too.
But if you are doing work out in the country, use a taxi driver. Some speak
English (especially in the larger towns in Poland), most speak German. Since
I speak both I had no trouble finding a driver and ready-made interpreter
wherever I needed to go. The cost per day was between $50 and $80. Try and
find an independant Taxi driver. Hotels can usually recommend someone. And a
couple of them were just super! But many larger towns have a Taxi service
that has a lock on all the business and a piramid of players all getting
their cut. I got stuck with one such raquet in Kezmarok -- charged me $100
for half a day. After two days of this nonsense I found someone in another
town and had him come and get me. It was worth it!
(Out of room! I'll share more insights with you another time! And send me
your experiences, too, if you have some!)

Writing to relatives in these foreign countries is possible -- and even most
letters written in simple English can be translated by someone over there.
But often we really mess up the addresses on the envelope and they never
arrive at the hoped-for destination. Here's some help with addressing to
both countries including use of the new Polish province of Malopolski which
just took effect in January of this year.
Example: someone named Jan STERCULA in house #333 from Lipnica Mala,
Orawa, Poland you would write:
| Stercula Jan
| Lipnica Mala 333
| 34-482 Lipnica Mala
| woj. Malopolskie
Notice the surname is first in line one. Then the village and house number
appear in line two. If a street name is used in the town, use it here --
most villages don't -- you simply put in the village's name. Line three is
the zipcode and post office serving the village -- in this case Lipnica Mala
has its own post office. Some little villages don't but use the one in the
next village. So line three may have a different town name than line two.
Line four indicates the "wojewodztwo" or province -- in this case the new
Malopolskie province. The last line is the country. Poland in Polish is
"Polska", but since you
want the U.S. officials to send it to the right country its best to put
"POLAND" in English in BIG letters.
Example: to someone named Marian Vojtassek in house #211 in Huty, Orava,
Slovakia you would write:
| Vojtassek Marian
| Krasna Horka 211
| 027 44 Tvrdosin 1
The Slovak address system is very similar to the Polish one. In this case
the little village of Krasna Horka does not have its own post office but
uses Tvrdosin's post office #1. So line three has the zipcode
and post office location for Tvrdosin 1. The country name is in the last
line. Slovakia in Slovak is "Slovensko", but as stated above, best write
this in English.
****Note for both countries: If you have an apartment number it goes on a
line between the person's name (shown here as line one) and the village &
house number (shown here as line two). The postal codes for Poland and
Slovakia can be found in Polish phonebooks and the Podrobny Autoatlas for
Slovakia as well as on many websites. (If you need a code and can't find one
e-mail us and we can do a look-up for you as time permits.) And good luck to
all of you writing relatives!

POSSIBLE MEMBERS LOST___________________
Here's some PARG surname researchers that we are unable to contact.
If you recognize any of these, please let us know!
Vitanova Ancestor Mjmarshl@aol.com
Targowski Researcher Roxanne227@aol.com
Sue Fedor Deevoo@aol.com
Steve Dahlberg stdahlberg1@al.stthomas.edu
Stephan Sutor sutor@redshift.com
Stefan Sabo pekelnik@ke.pubnet.sk
Serafin kasuk923@netwave.net
Scislowicz Researcher SmileMan5@aol.net
Ron Holtz ronholtz@earthlink.net
Robert Stanowski robert.stanowski@virgin.net
Richard Nanista Richard.Nanista@ntc.nokia.com
R. Toomey rtoomey@ix.netcom.com
Pekelnik Relative punchkie@iols.net
Paula Raspopovich Raspol@aol.com
Miriam Zarembsky meteor@mail.bezeqint.net
Lipnica Wielka Researcher veloman@aol.com
Linda Kleback linda_kleback@prodigy.net
Lehosky Relative HYGREG@prodigy.net
Kay Bradley kbradley@flash.net
Karen Dreucci dreucci@hhs.net
John Surina jsurina@fec.gov
John Chapla jchapla@hr.house.gov
James J. Gaspar cufp99@prodigy.net
J. Clauss jclauss@prodigy.net
Gerald Bronersky ljkrsb19@mail.idt.net
Fudala Researcher udc78@earthlink.net
Ciche Researcher hq4nbgf@ibm.net
Chulick Relative tartan@onramp113.org
C. Dzurec CDzurec@aol.com
Bill Rushin BillRushin@aol.com
Alena Janackova Ian.Cottrell@bttinternet.uk
Adamczyk dplezia@ibm.net
A. S. Migay asmigay@ice.lakeheadu.ca

OTHER NOTES______________________________
(1) Due to ISP anti-spamming policies this newsletter is sent out in groups
of <20. (2) Contact us if you would like the e-mail address of someone in
PARG. (3) If you have comments, questions or missed any newsletter issues,
just ask! (4) If someone else might benefit from this newsletter just send
their address and we'll add them to the list. (5) Note: As always, this
issue is e-mailed free to all project contributors who are online and
to the rest via standard mail. (More surnames next time -- I promise! Just
no more space this time!) Newsletter Editor: bingham@iols.net

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