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Re: Slovak Culture

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  • Carl Kotlarchik
    Dear Vladimir, Well, I disagree with you. Questions like that help me understand various things and I think they are useful. I have been trying to determine
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 2, 2006
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      Dear Vladimir,
      Well, I disagree with you. Questions like that help me understand
      various things and I think they are useful. I have been trying to
      determine if my Slovak family married into Magyar families. You
      question how I know I'm a Slovak. It is not from the church
      records. I knew three of my grandparents and two of my great-
      grandparents. There was no mistake as to what their ethnicity was.
      They told me. They also declared it in the immigration records, the
      U.S.census, and their applications for U.S. citizenship. Plus, that
      was the language they spoke. In addition, all the cousins and
      relatives who came to America at different times also declared their
      ethnicity the same way. So, I know I have Slovak, Serbian and
      Ruthenian ancestry. The herdsmen clan were Slovaks. They were not
      Valachs, Ruthenians or Magyars as you suggest. I once made the
      mistake of saying that we were Czechoslovakian and I got strongly
      reprimanded that we were Slovaks and not Czechs by my grandfather.

      I have been told (off-line by members of this forum) that sometimes
      Slovaks in Hungary took on Magyar names to be better accepted. That
      is why I asked the question if it was common for Slovaks to marry
      Magyars in the 1800s. I do not know if any of my ancestors were
      Magyars. It would be a surprise since it did not seem that my
      grandparents would accept this. However, I do see names that appear
      to be Magyar in the church records, but as you say, they may seem
      this way because they are mostly written in Hungarian. Which brings
      up another point, I have found some towns that have church records
      written in Slovak in the early 1800s. How common was this?

      To be perfectly clear, I am not concerned about the specific
      ethnicity of my ancestors. The more divergent it is, the better.
      That's what makes it interesting. My grandfather was disturbed that
      I married a "German". However, my wonderful wife is one fourth
      German, Norwegian, English and Scottish. I'm just trying to keep up
      with her!

      Vladimir, you may not have seen my first message in this chain where
      I did acknowledge your very helpful descriptions of town status at
      Bill Tarkulich's website. As a professional researcher, you are
      very generous in your sharing of knowledge. I really appreciate
      your messages.
      with regards,
      Carl

      -- In SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com, "Vladimir Bohinc" <konekta@n...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Dear Carl,
      > I like questions, but I am not very fond of " was this common?".
      To make something common would mean to generalize it. This would not
      bring you closer to understanding your family. All sorts of things
      have happened, like always.
      > 1. How common was it for Slovaks and Hungarians to marry? ( I
      presume you mean each other)
      > One immediately has to ask when and where.
      > If someone was living and feeling like a Magyar, he was not very
      welcome in a slovak family because of several things. The higher one
      was on the social ladder, the more such marriage was possible. There
      were times, where there was tension and there were times where there
      was less tension. There were times, when the hungarian ethnicity was
      endangered by the slavic ethnicities to be assimilated.
      > There were times when the Magyars were trying to magyarize the
      Slavs. This is when you find the term Jobbagy and slavic names
      magyarized.
      > How can you tell from the Church records, who was slovak and who
      not if all names are spelled in magyar?
      > Colonus is the farmer, who has in use a house and land ( and has
      a couple of horses), which is called sessio in latin or usadlost in
      slovak and was the basic unit of farmership and supposed to be big
      enough to give a good life for a family. ( When it was located next
      to the road, it usually was some 35 steps wide) Neither colonus, not
      anyone lower than him really owned anything but themselves and what
      they could carry. The land belonged to the Landlord till the serfdom
      was abolished.
      > If somebody had a uniform ( as a soldier), he was much more
      attractive, so he had a chance to step into a marriage with a girl
      who was from a family which was higher on the ladder. On the other
      hand, one can endlessly discuss the reasons for marriage. Then as
      today.
      > You can read something I wrote about the social order in a village
      on a website of Bill Tarkulich.
      > If your ancestors were herdsmen or shepherds, they most probably
      were not Slovaks, but Valachs or Ruthenians. These folks have their
      own specifics. The Valachs had even their own Law. So what was
      common for the Valachs or Ruthenians, was not neccessarily comon for
      other ethnic groups.
      > In general it is true, that the more you research, the more
      questions you have, so it is a long process untill you get a
      feeling. You also have to get in touch with people who are carriers
      of the heritage of your folks here and start to learn their
      language. With speaking their language you will be able to get
      deeper into secrets of life.
      > Vladimir
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: amiak27
      > To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Monday, January 02, 2006 6:45 PM
      > Subject: [S-R] Re: Slovak Culture
      >
      >
      > Carl,
      >
      > As you gain information on the meanings of the words, I suggest
      you
      > associate each meaning with a time and region, as words and
      meanings
      > do change with time and place. Look at our own history within
      the
      > US and you will see that. Part of the time, the Hungarians had
      a
      > very active Diet (legislature) and they were constantly
      tinkering
      > with social experiments. I am skeptical that one word would
      hold
      > one precise meaning over a century or two without hidden changes
      in
      > status of that individual or class of people, and the same word
      in
      > Upper Hungary could have a different variation of the meaning in
      > Transylvania at the same time.
      >
      > Ron
      >
      > --- In SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com, "Carl Kotlarchik"
      > <kkotlarc@r...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Yes, I have read the Grisak Family History and agree that it
      is a
      > > very good book. I have also ordered several other books that
      have
      > > been recommended but I was hoping that we could discuss things
      in
      > > this forum that you don't necessarily find in the literature.
      It
      > > seems like the more I read, the more questions I have.
      > >
      > > For example, how common was it for Slovaks and Magyars to
      marry?
      > I
      > > had the impression it was not that common but I am finding it
      > > frequently in my family records. This would suggest to me,
      that
      > > over time, the Slovak population would have been assimilated
      into
      > > Hungarian population. But that did not happen. So, was there
      > much
      > > tension between the two groups?
      > >
      > > I asked my earlier question about the status differences
      between
      > the
      > > different terms for farmer because I find most of them used in
      my
      > > family records. Oddly, one clan in my family were only
      herdsmen,
      > > of every kind, for many generations. Then suddenly one
      marries
      > > someone from a family listed as a colonus in one record and
      > jobbagy
      > > in another. From what I have read, herdsmen did not
      participate
      > > much in the activities of the village. So, was it unusual for
      one
      > > of them to marry someone who owned property? This individual
      had
      > > been in the army but he is the only member of his family clan
      that
      > > did not become a pasztor. But he also moved away from the
      town
      > > where his wife was raised. So how and why did he change
      > > occupations?
      > >
      > > Anyway, this is what I find interesting about researching the
      > family
      > > history. It is not just collecting dates and names. I enjoy
      > trying
      > > to understand the time period and the culture. I'm trying to
      find
      > > others with a similar interest so we can share and learn from
      each
      > > other. Most of the questions in this forum pertain to "how do
      I
      > > find something" which is important and I ask these questions
      too.
      > > But I would also like to discuss things that make a story
      about
      > > people's lives. At some point, all of us should write up what
      we
      > > have learned from our family research. This should not be
      just
      > > dates and facts but a personal history of one's family and the
      > > influences that shaped their lives.
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com, "johnqadam"
      <johnqadam@r...>
      > > wrote:
      > > >
      > > > There is an absolutely excellent book about the Rusyn US-
      > immigrant
      > > > experience. It's an autobiography of Joseph Grisak, 1873-
      1950,
      > > born
      > > > in Slovinky, (today's Slovakia). It goes into great depth
      > > describing
      > > > day to day living. An absolutely precious glimpse into the
      past.
      > > > It has been recently scanned and is available at
      > > >
      > > > http://www.saed.kent.edu/~lucak/topica/Grisak.pdf
      > > > Be forewarned. It is 352 Kb and 98 pages in length. You will
      > need
      > > > Acrobat reader.
      > > > Thanks to Larry Krupnak for bringing it to my attention.
      > > >
      > > > Here is Bill Trakulich's message 3944.1 from the Delphi site.
      > > >
      > > > There is an absolutely excellent book about the Rusyn US-
      > immigrant
      > > > experience. It's an autobiography of Joseph Grisak, 1873-
      1950,
      > > born
      > > > in Slovinky, (today's Slovakia). It goes into great depth
      > > describing
      > > > day to day living. An absolutely precious glimpse into the
      past.
      > > > It has been recently scanned and is available at
      > > >
      > > > http://www.saed.kent.edu/~lucak/topica/Grisak.pdf
      > > > Be forewarned. It is 352 Kb and 98 pages in length. You will
      > need
      > > > Acrobat reader.
      > > >
      > > > >>From the Library of Congress on-line catalog:
      > > > >
      > > > > Title: The Grisak family
      > > > > Authors: Grisak, Michael J. , 1910- (Main Author) *
      > > > >LC Control Number: 79103327
      > > > > Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic,
      etc.)
      > > > > Personal Name: Grisak, Michael J.
      > > > > Main Title: The Grisak family / compiled by Michael J.
      Grisak.
      > > > >Published/Created: [Merrillville, Ind.] : Grisak, [1978-
      1979]
      > > > > Description: 2 v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
      > > > > Notes: Cover title.
      > > > > Subjects: Grisak, Michael J.
      > > > > Grisak family.
      > > > > Czechoslovakia--Biography.
      > > > > United States--Biography.
      > > > >LC Classification: CT948.G74 A34
      > > > > Dewey Class No.: 943.7/03/0922 B
      > > > > Geog. Area Code: e-cs--- n-us---
      > > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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