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Family secrets

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  • jjmcbm
    I don t know if it s just my family or, an ethnic thing. When me and my sibs were kids, we would always ask about family history, how to speak the language,
    Message 1 of 37 , Apr 28, 2010
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      I don't know if it's just my family or, an ethnic thing. When me and my sibs were kids, we would always ask about family history, how to speak the language, etc. but, never got anywhere. My dad always said he didn't know or, couldn't remember. Aunts and uncles were the same way. Cousins tell me now their parent was the same. When we were kids, at family gatherings people and my dad would speak the language and, five minutes later, if we asked, he'd say, I don't know. Now that I've been researching for a few years, I can tell my dad something I know and, he'll give back a little but, I still have to pry a bit. I wonder sometimes, if when they were kids, it was ground into them not to speak the language or, act a certain way. Maybe by teachers in school or, family or, friends. Maybe there was a fear or, embaresment about being an immigrant family in the 30's. Maybe they were trying too hard to be American, I don't know. Has anyone else had a similar situation or know anything. My dad and 1 sister is all thats left and, they're not talking. Don't know how much time they have left and, family stories etc. will be lost.

      Thanks
      John
    • Marge Friel
      I could be speaking out of line, but my experience for PA has been that I indicate within my request for a death cert that I am doing genealogy and the person
      Message 37 of 37 , Apr 30, 2010
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        I could be speaking out of line, but my experience for PA has been that I indicate within my request for a death cert that I am doing genealogy and the person is somehow related to me....but, I've never requested for uncle, aunt, cousin,etc. only for grandparents and great grandparents. 
        Marge 

        --- On Fri, 4/30/10, M Jenner <hawaiijenner@...> wrote:


        From: M Jenner <hawaiijenner@...>
        Subject: Re: [S-R] Re: Family secrets
        To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Friday, April 30, 2010, 12:31 PM


         



        My grandmother made my uncle lie in her obituary. She said, don't put in the paper that I was born in Czechoslovakia, they will think I am a communist. She really believed that. Now if anyone reads her obituary in years to come, they will never know she was born in Slovakia. I have a third cousin I communicate with in Slovakia and sometimes when I ask a question that maybe he doesn't think he wants to answer, he just ignores it and doesn't respond. They seem to be much more private people than we are as Americans but we haven't lived though what they lived through. His grandfather' s property was taken from him, his great-uncle refused to turn over his property and was thrown in prison. The great uncle son fled to the US to avoid being put in prison. There were stories the cousin had come back to see his parents and was taken by the Russians. They were so fearful. I solved that mystery for them. I found the cousins Social Security application and his
        Social Security Death notification. It turn out he was here the whole time. He died in Schenectady, NY. I contacted the library there but they couldn't find an obituary. I would really like to know what his profession was and if he had any family here, but don't have much to go on. I think he died in 1994. I don't know if I could get a copy of his death certificate since I am not a descendant. I was thinking maybe he went there to work for GE. It has been several years, but maybe I should write to the library and see if there are any city directories from the time he lived there that I could find out where he lived or worked. These Slovak people really knew how to hide their lives. I don't know if he didn't have any family to write an obituary or if he was still afraid someone would find him after all of those years. He came to New Jersey first according to his application in 1953. So he was here for forty years.

        ____________ _________ _________ __
        From: maxine <maxine96@cox. net>
        To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ yahoogroups. com
        Sent: Fri, April 30, 2010 4:55:09 AM
        Subject: Re: [S-R] Re: Family secrets

        I read, in many places, that many of our people did NOT talk about the ole country because they were afraid. Should any info they stated went back to the ole country, their people might be in danger. Any thoughts on this? maxine sasala

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