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23163Re: [S-R] Name Changes GURKO

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  • Tom Geiss
    Sep 6, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      As I've stated, I HAVE IN MY POSSESSION, I'm looking at it right now, the MARRIAGE DOCUMENT of JOZSEF GURKO, married in Brezovica (Roman Catholic), that states that he was "MESTO NARODENIA" 27 ROKOV, SPISSKA NOVA VES (IGLO). I just received this last spring. His wife, Terezia Guminszki was SL'ACTICNA. (hardly nomadic).
      And Jozsef's occupation is listed as VEREJNY NOTAR. (I believe that's "Public Notary".
      Also Jozsef's father was supposed to be in a titled family, but, since he was a younger son, he did not inherit a title. That means that they were in Brezovica at least since 1893.
      This past June , Vladi Linder took closeups of their grave. I'm looking at the photo right now JOZEF GURKO 1866- 1946, TEREZIA GURKOVA 1875- 1954.
      I cannot get any more from Anna Mikova, since I understand that she has serious health problems, and is unable to care for herself any more???? She lost her husband a year ago; and her son had to go to Prague to find work.
      I know that if she could have, she would have talked to Vladi when he was there this June.
      And my friend in Spisska Nova Ves isn't in much better shape. If she could have, she would have been to the Parish, and Civic records in Spisska Nova Ves, . But she's 83, with severe osteoporosis and coxartrosis, can't get around without help.
      I've written to people in SNV and surrounding towns and villages who have surnames connected to the Gurko Family; written to them in my broken Slovak, with the help of a dictionary. Received a couple of E-mails, but nothing that led to my family cousins.
      Been an interesting 3 years, and I've sure learned a lot about Eastern Europe
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Bill Tarkulich
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sunday, September 06, 2009 7:17 PM
      Subject: RE: [S-R] Name Changes GURKO

      Documentation mistakes still cannot be discounted. Nobody was looking for
      "positive ID" until the 1960s, especially in Czechoslovakia.

      So you got info that GURKO/GURKA did exist in the village. My "hunch" and
      it is just that is that GURKO maybe a Rusyn name with roots in the East of
      present-day Slovakia. GURKA may be a Magyar name with roots in present-day

      I would want to know from Anna Mikova:
      1. What years did these family live there?
      2. What religion were they?
      3. Has someone checked the cemetery? Are they buried there.

      It's possible they were "nomadic", or at least, had all their BMDs
      consummated elsewhere.

      RUZENA ALZBETA, AND TEREZIA - these are interesting given names. Middle
      name is Slovak, the other two are Czech. What religion were they baptized?

      Have you had anyone go to the SNV town offices and look for BMD records?
      Privacy laws apply of course. I'd be interested in records from 1895

      What year did GURKO name start showing up in the records, where, and what
      was the birth year of that GURKO?

      There are other less "clean" reasons for all of this. Rape. Adoption.
      Death. War. Name gets changed later. Illegitimate birth. These are hugely
      difficult to figure out.
      For example, My grandmother's sister went to Ukraine to work, had an
      illegitimate son, returned to the village, married later and had more
      children. The son had the blood father's surname. Later, he detested that
      name so much, he legally changed his surname to something else. I never
      would have uncovered that without his daughter's testimony.

      I would study the period around World War One carefully.
      Build a timeline, not a pedigree, and try to fill in the events.

      1866 - JOZSEF GURKO born

      1884-1892 Of course conscription from 18 to 22 was expected.

      1893 - Jozef Gurko married. The archives looked this info up for you? You
      can do it yourself at the FHC. Pull the 1893 film of the ORIGINAL DOCUMENT,
      it will state their village of origin.

      1893 - 1903 - Ruzena's parents were having kids (implied). 4 kids @ 2 years
      each +25%.

      1914-1918 WW1
      1918 - Most landowners flee the country but continue to own the land.

      1936 - Anna Mickova born
      1940s - Ruzena was teaching -so she had to be late 30s to late 40s in age.
      1950s - Estate property was transferred to state control.

      1960s - I would expect Ruzena and siblings to have died around this time

      Look at this, he married right out of the military. Where was he married?
      You cannot discount that the MIKOS was not a nomadic family.

      Another idea is to inspect property records from the village(s) in question.
      If the family was affluent, they undoubtedly would hold property and there
      would be a record of this. This can be done online or via Peter Nagy.

      Good Luck,



      -----Original Message-----
      From: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of Tom Geiss
      Sent: Sunday, September 06, 2009 6:21 PM
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [S-R] Name Changes

      Thanks , Bill, for your input. I do know the ancestral villages. I
      guess this group is getting tired of hearing my story, but I will bore you
      all once more with the details.
      First of all , here is what I learned a few years ago, from reports
      of my grandmother, aunts, uncles (all since deceased). My grandma's
      family, (which was Austrian, and spoke German) had a large farm in Iglo ,
      Hungary, (after 1918 it became Spisska Nova Ves). They were prosperous for
      the times, had many servants and workers.
      The farm was confiscated during WW1, and family living there were all
      Only those who left the farm prior to the war were alive.

      (The descendents of these I've been seeking the last three years, with
      the help of my AMERICAN friend, who lives in SNV. Has lived there since
      1939, when , at 13 , she got stuck there by the war.)
      I have found most of my grandma's siblings, on LDS microfilms, which
      are authentic, (including illegible handwriting). Also I have much of my
      grandma's PEDIGREE, which I paid the Levoca Archives to do, all the way
      back to 1764. (they found as much as my money would allow).
      Then a year and a half ago I heard about a letter written to grandma in
      the thirties, from BREZOVICA NAD TORYSA. I E-mailed this info to my
      friend in SNV, and she called her friend ,Anna Mikova, who lives there, and
      was told that the GURKOS (Gurkas??) used to live there , but they're all
      gone. In subsequent weeks Anna talked to older people, whose parents and
      grandparents used to work for the Gurkas.

      I obtained, from the Presov Archives the marriage docoment of my
      grandmother's brother JOZSEF GURKO, and his wife Terezia Guminszki, for
      verification that he was the same one born in Spisska Nova Ves. Of
      course I'm taking the archives' word for this, since this is NOT AN ORIGINAL
      DOCUMENT?? I believe that there are words in Slovak at the bottom, that
      (I think ) state this.
      They had a son, killed in WW1, and three daughters, RUZENA ALZBETA, AND
      Their house is the one that is NO LONGER THERE. Vladi was there last
      The three daughters are supposed to have gone to Kosice.
      Their daughter ,Ruzena, was Anna Mikova,s teacher in school (5th to 9th
      grades), in the 1940's. So , Michael, this would be a different
      Ruzena, since you say she died in 1930. Anna Mikova went to her
      funeral, (and Anna wasn't born until 1936).
      There is so much more, but this is getting long.
      Jozef Gurko was born in 1866, got married in 1893.

      All I have to do is find out where my AUSTRIAN family got the Slavik
      name of GURKO ??
      Thanks for all the help so far. Tom
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Michael Mojher
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sunday, September 06, 2009 2:40 PM
      Subject: Re: [S-R] Name Changes

      I was up late working on another project. I had some time to kill during
      it and plugged in your surnames while waiting.
      That one Gurko in the 1995 Census was located in Castkov in the district
      of Senica. If there was only one Gurko in 1995 it could well be if they died
      there are no longer any left in Slovakia. I could understand them hiding
      prior to 1993, but after that they would have no reason to fear being
      Of all things, as I write my translators from my first two trips to
      Slovakia are visiting me. They are from Kosice. If you like I will see if
      they will search out your relatives grave. Send all the information you have
      on it.
      I did find this -
      Last and first name Age Place of burial Date of funeral includes

      Gurkó István 0 Kosice - Verejný cintorín 02.05.1896
      Gurko Mihály 0 Kosice - Verejný cintorín 24.06.1898
      Gurková Ruzena 0 Kosice - Verejný cintorín 30.09.1930
      Gurková Anna 82 Kosice - Verejný cintorín - Kolumbárium 00.00.1996

      Link - http://www.cemetery.sk/english/?

      I'm not sure why the first three has an age of "0". Possibly they did die
      at or close to birth and no age was given.
      I read where the Rozalia cemetery is very large and finding grave sites
      can be difficult. At least you know Anna is in the Kolumbarium, which should
      make it easier to find her. I can ask Maros to take a photograph of it for

      From: Tom Geiss
      Sent: Sunday, September 06, 2009 11:24 AM
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [S-R] Name Changes

      Thanks, Mike, for looking that up. I will print taat and save it.
      I see you sent it at 1.00 AM. You were working overtime.
      In the case of the GURKO name, it's the other way around though. I found
      my grandma's GURKO family, on microfilm, but can't find anybody with that
      name today.
      They were kicked out of one town at the time of WW1, or before. And kicked
      out of another one after WW2, probably by the communists.
      According to one marriage record , some were "SL'ACHTIC " (Aristocratic)
      in other words, Too High Class for their own good.
      When Vladi went to Brezovica this summer to get me a photo of the family
      house (or ruins thereof) he was shown a sign that read, " Here is where the
      Gurko family house was "
      I'm suspecting that if there are any survivors left, that they are HIDING
      , have probably changed their name, and don't want to be found. I know of
      one who was buried in Kosice, in ROSALIA CEMETERY?? not too many years ago.
      Someday I'll get someone to go there and find out how her last name is
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Michael Mojher
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sunday, September 06, 2009 1:43 AM
      Subject: Re: [S-R] Name Changes

      I used the 1995 Slovakia Census database to search the spellings of the
      surnames to listed in your message.
      Hudeck 0 hits, a list of alternatives was given.
      Hudek - 108 found in 28 locations.
      Hudcek - 46 found in 16 locations.
      Hudecek - 167 found 65 locations.
      Hudecz - 7 found in 5 locations.
      Hudec - 3318 found in 587 locations.
      From this you can see there are a variety of spellings. If yours is Hudek
      then it is one of the lesser used spellings.
      Kodesch - 4 found in 2 locations
      Hodesch - 0
      Holisch - 12 found in 7 locations
      Kosesch given as an alternative.
      Szonoga - 0
      Sonoga - 36 listings in 14 locations.
      Gurko - 1 found in 1 location.
      Gurka - 98 found in 28 locations.
      Since in 1995 there was only one person with the spelling Gurko I would
      conclude that somewhere along the way the "a" got changed to an "o".
      In my own name in Slovakia it is spelled Mojcher, but originally there and
      in the USA it is Mojher. I found in the records how and when the "c" got
      added. So things do happen to names.
      If there is a "z" associated with an "s" or a "c" you can pretty well
      understand that it was a Hungarian form of the name. During the
      Magyarization period Hungarian spellings were forced upon people. Look at
      Hudecz and Hudec, 7 vs 3318. More than likely many of those families dropped
      the "z". As far as I know there is not a formal movement to change the
      Hungarian spellings back to the Slovak spellings. Since the Hungarian
      spellings were forced on people to begin with it should not be a surprise
      they would change it back to the original. A more interesting answer would
      be "Why did they keep the Hungarian spelling?"

      From: Tom Geiss
      Sent: Saturday, September 05, 2009 11:16 AM
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [S-R] Name Changes

      When looking through LDS micofilm, I run into HUDEK ,HUDECK KODESCH
      Then ,when I go to Slovak White Pages, the only ones that give me any
      matches or info are HUDEK and KODESCH.
      Also I found SZONOGA, and got no help from the white pages until I dropped
      the Z and just wrote it SONOGA.
      Is there some movement in Slovakia to get rid of all Hungarian spellings??

      Also, my ancestors name was GURKO. White pages give me nothing on GURKO,
      but several addresses of GURKA. Are these two the same name with different

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