Hi, I have returned from the most wonderful trip to Slovakia. And I want to say thank you to so many of you. Without the help of this web site and many of you, this trip would never have been possible.
It started about two years ago with a 1926 black and white postcard from �Kniesen�. We only knew that the village of Kniesen, was somewhere in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and was mostly a German settlement. My grandmother, Julianna (Julia) Raab Novojovszky was born there in 1879 and left in 1892 for Philadelphia. My grandfather, Carolus Hobor (Charles) was born there in 1877 and left in 1902 also for Philadelphia. One of my grandmother�s brothers returned in 1926 and sent the family the postcard I mentioned. As usual the family never talked about life in the old country. After the last daughter of Julia and Charles died (our aunt), we became curious about our ancestral village. And so our search began.
After asking for help in finding our ancestral village, I learned in just a few days that Kniesen, (German), (Gnezda, Hungarian), is now named Hniezdne and is in the Zips region. Information about the Slovakian people and the area just flowed from you to me. I was overwhelmed that so many members of the SLOVAK-ROOTS group were so knowledgeable and willing to spend the time to help me. I can�t express how generous you all were with your time and effort in providing us with information about Slovakia and this Zips (Spis) � High Tatras area.
In particular I would like to thank:
Mike Mojher � my mentor - Mike�s ancestral village is near Hnieznde so he has been extremely generous in his time and sharing of information about the area. He also suggested Lygia as a guide and translator while in Hniedzne. What a treasure she was. I want to go back just to see her again. Mike also suggested lodging and restaurants in the area. He also encouraged us to contact distant relatives, which we did. I found families with the names of Raab and Hobor in the Slovakian phone book. I sent a note and family tree to Lygia. She translated and mailed to the persons I provided. Beyond belief, Emil Raab responded.
We arraigned a meeting at the local Penzion and met all his brothers and sisters and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hobor. What a most wonderful reunion. They related the most poignant stories, particularly of the awful times they had in 1944 and 1945.
We were invited to 5 of their homes and met their children and grandchildren. How generous they all were. We attended Sunday morning mass at St. Bartolomaeus� RC church, were our great-grandparents were married and where our grandparents were baptized. Our black and white postcard came alive with vivid color. An experience, my husband, sister, cousin and myself will never forget. Thanks Mike, I couldn�t have done it without you.
Helene Cincebeaus � I thank you for your encouragement to go forward and for recommending sites, lodging and wonderful ice cream shops. Thank you Helene for your help, suggestions and time.
Dee Taylor � Way back in the beginning we were looking for LDS records and Dee casually mentioned that we may want to check out a particular film number. She was right on. My sister found our ancestors birth records within two weeks. Thanks Dee.
Thomas Reimer � Thomas you probably don�t remember back in May 2002, but you provided very insightful information that was of immense help to us. You located Kniesen for us and related the area�s history and recommended articles in the monthly Karpatenblatt. I thank you for sending me those e-mails.
Paul Bingham, � thanks for your June 2002 e-mail for the invaluable information concerning lodging near Hniezdne and in Tatranska Lomnica in the High Tatras. Also for transportation and local info. I appreciate your kind help. Thomas also pointed out that Sean Connery�s Dragonheart was filmed at the Spis Castle. A very interesting place, although fairly cold while we were there. Paul, thanks for the TARG newsletter each month.
Again thanks to so many of you. For information on highway conditions, directions, rest stops, ATMs (bankomats), gas station stops, currency, food, sites, and the web site of the Slovakian phone directory, etc. We could never have made this trip without the help of the wonderful people in this group.
Thanks again to all of you for your help in giving us the information and confidence to walk in the steps of our ancestors. We can�t wait to go back.
Let me know if I can help anyone, it would be nice if I could pass on what I�ve learned and experienced. Sincerely, Ginny Schulze
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