27268Re: [S-R] Amalia Gurkova
- Aug 7, 2010Tom,
Thanks for your history. A fascinating story. Especially when you can follow it into modern times, 1940.
It would seem with the amount of information that you have it would be possible to find out much more. If those times are anything like the present, there are very few newspapers in Slovakia. So don't expect them to be a source. I know that villages usually have a "Chronicle" where they write down major events that happen there. I would think that the murdering of the Gurko family would qualify. The confiscation during WW I is somewhat interesting. This was the era of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Hungary was in total control of its own lands. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Austria_Hungary_ethnic.svg is a map of the ethnic groups in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. When you look at Slovakia you will see a large German area that covers much of Spis county. The Russians Eastern Front never made it into Hungary so they would have not been the murderers of your family. And the Western Front was not even into Germany by much. It seems that the murderers must have been "local". Do you have the year of this tragedy?
Collectivization began in Czechoslovakia in 1949 as part of the first "Five-Year Plan". I would investigate any census before then to see what your family holdings were.
Since there was a sign that said "Here stood the Gurko House", one would think that it was of importance and there should be some thing written about it.
I think that you might consider using a more permanent / local genealogist to do some investigating for you. In the course of my six trips to Slovakia I found going to the village and talking with the people provided information that cannot be found in the Archives.
The 1995 Slovak Census had only one listing for Gurko. The online telephone directory had none. But there were 7 listing for Gurkova, which should be the female form of the name. The of which were in the village of Chmel'nica, across the river from Stara Lubovna. My ancestral village is about 8 miles from Chmel'nica. And Spisska Nova Ves on the other side of the mountains to the south. It appears that your Gurko family may no longer exist. Do you have any verification that it still does?
Sent: Saturday, August 07, 2010 1:59 PM
Subject: [S-R] Amalia Gurkova
Mike, you asked for it. I will start from the beginning.
It all began in the fall of 2001, when , at a family reunion, I received a
copy of some information, that been obtained from people that are now all
It stated that Amalia Moralevitz was "the second of 8 children" born to
John Gurko and Maria Pasztorek." (I have since found on LDS records that
there were four ahead of her).
She was born in 1873, in IGLO, HUNGARY, which became Spisska Nova Ves.
The family was originally from Austria, and spoke German.
The Gurko family lived on a large farm, and was considered prosperous
for the times. They had a total of 22 house servants and tenant field
laborers. They also had farm animals, etc. etc. The farm was confiscated
during WW1, and family living there were all killed. Only those who left
the farm prior to the war were alive.
Amalia came to the U.S. at sixteen, with an aunt, to visit friends.
While here, the aunt broke a leg, and could not immediately return, so
Amalia got a job, and eventually married. (buried in Cleveland, O. )
I have asked who the Aunt was; also who the friends were that she
visited. No one knows.
I have pretty much figured out a few possibilities who she may have
been, from names of aunts and uncles on LDS films?
I paid the Levoca archives for a partial pedigree, going back to 1764
(grand parents named HISSNAY, KACSURZSKY, HIRT, AND PFAFF)
Three years ago, I heard of a letter written to Amalia from a place
called BREZOVICA NAD TORYSA.. I E-mailed this info to my friend, who lives
in Spisska N.V.. and she E-mailed me back that she called someone she knew
in Brezovica, and found that the family had been there, but that "THEIR
CASTLE FELL APART YEARS AGO, AND THEY'RE ALL GONE"
In the weeks that followed, that lady talked to many older people, whose
parents or grandparents used to work for the Gurkas. (This Gurka vs Gurko
thing has me puzzled,. They seem to be used interchangeably??)
Since it was apparently Jozef Gurko? I sent an application to the
PREZOV archives for his wedding document, that showed that he was indeed
born in Spisska Nova Ves. (Also the birth year matched).
Also, the lady who lived there (Anna), had Jozef Gurko's
daughter,Ruzena, as a teacher in school in the 1940's (5th to 9th grades).
Anna also was able to supply a photo of the family house, taken in
1910, (Their Castle???)
Last summer I hired Vladi to get me close-ups of Jozef Gurko's
tombstone, also the REMAINS OF THE FAMILY HOUSE. He was able to get me a
photo of a building that looks like city hall.
In front of this building are some billboards. And behind those billboards
is a sign that states. "HERE STOOD THE GURKO HOUSE".
I suspect the Communists drove them out of Brezovica.
As for Spisska Nova Ves, I wrote to city hall there, in Slovak and
English, hoping that there may have been some old newspapers with some info,
but they wrote back and said that they had nothing.
So far my grandmother's family descendents seem to have diappeared over
I have put my story in Facebook, in Slovak, put her family tree on
the website www.rodokmen.com <http://www.rodokmen.com/> .
If you need more details, let me know. Tom
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