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Slovaks' genealogy interviews: A rule of thumb?

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  • htcstech
    Michael (MGMojher) recently wrote: During my six trips I discovered that genealogy for most Slovaks is limited to those relatives they met in person. So it
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 5, 2013
    • 0 Attachment
      Michael (MGMojher) recently wrote:

      "During my six trips I discovered that genealogy for most Slovaks is
      limited to those relatives they met in person. So it was rare to get beyond
      grand-parents."

      I too found the same thing as it was explained to me that they only knew of
      relations that they met or otherwise spoken about.
      The strangest and most telling quote was from the matriarch of my family
      line who said:
      "There are lots of Marafkos, but none of them are our relatives."
      And yet, their neighbour living behind them who was their friend - was also
      a Marafko but they never considered him to be a relative, even though I
      could prove to them that this was not the case. There were many instances
      of this.
      This very attitude or perception was quite ingrained and actually stopped
      me from finding and interviewing 'non-relative' Marafkos.

      For those that have visited, is this a common place problem?

      Peter M.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ron
      ... Peter, My answer is yes. The lack of interest in ancestry is quite common in my own experience as well in all of the stories I have heard from others over
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 5, 2013
      • 0 Attachment
        > For those that have visited, is this a common place problem?

        Peter,
        My answer is yes. The lack of interest in ancestry is quite common in my own experience as well in all of the stories I have heard from others over the years. I share it myself. I have been visiting the families since 1970 and a member of this group since its founding, yet I can hardly consider myself a genealogist. It bores me; it doesn't interest me. What I am interested in and enthusiastic about are the living family and the way our ancestors lived. I have been gathering information on history and life in Slovakia and teh area for over 40 years, and along the way have downloaded all records of one village. Yet I have to work on my grandparent's siblings and parents! The bean counting I am leaving to the next generation or when I get older and my health or activities change.

        I look upon the difference as a set of cultural values, and identifying the written names of dead ancestors is a bit weird in its own way, isn't it? I find I cannot criticize their lack of interest. It is just different.

        That is not to discourage everyone on this forum from energetically following their own trees, and you raising this topic is good, and helps prepare others for challenges they face.

        Ron
        PS. I am reluctantly going home (in about 2 months) with a 3 lb book from the Krakow Archaeology museum on a display showing the cultures and population shifts in Malo Poland over he last 20,000 years of so. The first reference is to Neanderthaller 70,000 years ago but concentrates on the overall archaeology record, and it shows surprising shifts in population densities over the thousands of years. There were several periods in the past where settlements were as thick s they are today. That to me is fascinating.

        Why look to Little (southeast) Poland? Because of the lack of western histories on Central Europe and the untold influence settlers in Poland had on Northern Slovakia, and perhaps southern as well. Certainly there was active commerce and exchange for thousands of years.

        In another book I bought on the building of Wawel Castle in Krakow they cover the nuts and bolts, literally, of trade in that period, say 1200 to 1600, and enumerate the hiring of Italian architects of the time, buying and prices of materials and sources as well.

        Both of those treasures must wait until I am home in September. I see this PS. is a topic should post on Slovak World and see if it generates a thread of its own. It is off-topic here on this Genealogy only list.



        --- In SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com, htcstech <htcstech@...> wrote:
        >
        > Michael (MGMojher) recently wrote:
        >
        > "During my six trips I discovered that genealogy for most Slovaks is
        > limited to those relatives they met in person. So it was rare to get beyond > grand-parents."
        >
        > I too found the same thing as it was explained to me that they only knew of > relations that they met or otherwise spoken about.
        > The strangest and most telling quote was from the matriarch of my family > line who said:
        > "There are lots of Marafkos, but none of them are our relatives."
        > And yet, their neighbour living behind them who was their friend - was also > a Marafko but they never considered him to be a relative, even though I > could prove to them that this was not the case. There were many instances > of this.
        > This very attitude or perception was quite ingrained and actually stopped > me from finding and interviewing 'non-relative' Marafkos.
        >
        > For those that have visited, is this a common place problem?
        >
        > Peter M.
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • Miss Joanne E Fletcher
        Hi Ron, What you are saying about Polish immigrants into what is now Slovakia is interseting, as I have tried to research my father s paternal linage surname
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 6, 2013
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          Hi Ron,

          What you are saying about Polish immigrants into what is now Slovakia is interseting, as I have tried to research my father's paternal linage surname of Humaj. The information that I have found on the net states that the surname originates from Poland. You are the first person other than those on the net that I have come across stating such. I have tried Family Search.org, but the online records are missing members of both my paternal grandparents families. I have found more on myheritage.com and ancestry.com. It is strange that the Slovak records for the 1800's are seriously lacking for BDM records, yet I know that these people existed, as I met many of them in 1986.

          Joanne

          Quoting Ron <amiak27@...>:

          >
          >
          >
          > > For those that have visited, is this a common place problem?
          >
          > Peter,
          > My answer is yes. The lack of interest in ancestry is quite common in my own experience as well in all of the stories I have heard from others over the years. I share it myself. I have been visiting the families since 1970 and a member of this group since its founding, yet I can hardly consider myself a genealogist. It bores me; it doesn't interest me. What I am interested in and enthusiastic about are the living family and the way our ancestors lived. I have been gathering information on history and life in Slovakia and teh area for over 40 years, and along the way have downloaded all records of one village. Yet I have to work on my grandparent's siblings and parents! The bean counting I am leaving to the next generation or when I get older and my health or activities change.
          >
          > I look upon the difference as a set of cultural values, and identifying the written names of dead ancestors is a bit weird in its own way, isn't it? I find I cannot criticize their lack of interest. It is just different.
          >
          > That is not to discourage everyone on this forum from energetically following their own trees, and you raising this topic is good, and helps prepare others for challenges they face.
          >
          > Ron
          > PS. I am reluctantly going home (in about 2 months) with a 3 lb book from the Krakow Archaeology museum on a display showing the cultures and population shifts in Malo Poland over he last 20,000 years of so. The first reference is to Neanderthaller 70,000 years ago but concentrates on the overall archaeology record, and it shows surprising shifts in population densities over the thousands of years. There were several periods in the past where settlements were as thick s they are today. That to me is fascinating.
          >
          > Why look to Little (southeast) Poland? Because of the lack of western histories on Central Europe and the untold influence settlers in Poland had on Northern Slovakia, and perhaps southern as well. Certainly there was active commerce and exchange for thousands of years.
          >
          > In another book I bought on the building of Wawel Castle in Krakow they cover the nuts and bolts, literally, of trade in that period, say 1200 to 1600, and enumerate the hiring of Italian architects of the time, buying and prices of materials and sources as well.
          >
          > Both of those treasures must wait until I am home in September. I see this PS. is a topic should post on Slovak World and see if it generates a thread of its own. It is off-topic here on this Genealogy only list.
          >
          > --- In SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com[1], htcstech <htcstech@...> wrote:
          > >
          > > Michael (MGMojher) recently wrote:
          > >
          > > "During my six trips I discovered that genealogy for most Slovaks is
          > > limited to those relatives they met in person. So it was rare to get beyond > grand-parents."
          > >
          > > I too found the same thing as it was explained to me that they only knew of > relations that they met or otherwise spoken about.
          > > The strangest and most telling quote was from the matriarch of my family > line who said:
          > > "There are lots of Marafkos, but none of them are our relatives."
          > > And yet, their neighbour living behind them who was their friend - was also > a Marafko but they never considered him to be a relative, even though I > could prove to them that this was not the case. There were many instances > of this.
          > > This very attitude or perception was quite ingrained and actually stopped > me from finding and interviewing 'non-relative' Marafkos.
          > >
          > > For those that have visited, is this a common place problem?
          > >
          > > Peter M.
          > >
          > >
          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > >
          >
          >



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        • Bob Lupcho
          ... Bob Lupcho boblupcho@mac.com [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 6, 2013
          • 0 Attachment
            On Jul 5, 2013, at 11:36 PM, Ron wrote:

            >
            > > For those that have visited, is this a common place problem?
            >
            > Peter,
            > My answer is yes. The lack of interest in ancestry is quite common in my own experience as well in all of the stories I have heard from others over the years. I share it myself. I have been visiting the families since 1970 and a member of this group since its founding, yet I can hardly consider myself a genealogist. It bores me; it doesn't interest me. What I am interested in and enthusiastic about are the living family and the way our ancestors lived. I have been gathering information on history and life in Slovakia and teh area for over 40 years, and along the way have downloaded all records of one village. Yet I have to work on my grandparent's siblings and parents! The bean counting I am leaving to the next generation or when I get older and my health or activities change.
            >
            > I look upon the difference as a set of cultural values, and identifying the written names of dead ancestors is a bit weird in its own way, isn't it? I find I cannot criticize their lack of interest. It is just different.
            >
            > That is not to discourage everyone on this forum from energetically following their own trees, and you raising this topic is good, and helps prepare others for challenges they face.
            >
            > Ron
            > PS. I am reluctantly going home (in about 2 months) with a 3 lb book from the Krakow Archaeology museum on a display showing the cultures and population shifts in Malo Poland over he last 20,000 years of so. The first reference is to Neanderthaller 70,000 years ago but concentrates on the overall archaeology record, and it shows surprising shifts in population densities over the thousands of years. There were several periods in the past where settlements were as thick s they are today. That to me is fascinating.
            >
            > Why look to Little (southeast) Poland? Because of the lack of western histories on Central Europe and the untold influence settlers in Poland had on Northern Slovakia, and perhaps southern as well. Certainly there was active commerce and exchange for thousands of years.
            >
            > In another book I bought on the building of Wawel Castle in Krakow they cover the nuts and bolts, literally, of trade in that period, say 1200 to 1600, and enumerate the hiring of Italian architects of the time, buying and prices of materials and sources as well.
            >
            > Both of those treasures must wait until I am home in September. I see this PS. is a topic should post on Slovak World and see if it generates a thread of its own. It is off-topic here on this Genealogy only list.
            >
            > --- In SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com, htcstech <htcstech@...> wrote:
            > >
            > > Michael (MGMojher) recently wrote:
            > >
            > > "During my six trips I discovered that genealogy for most Slovaks is
            > > limited to those relatives they met in person. So it was rare to get beyond > grand-parents."
            > >
            > > I too found the same thing as it was explained to me that they only knew of > relations that they met or otherwise spoken about.
            > > The strangest and most telling quote was from the matriarch of my family > line who said:
            > > "There are lots of Marafkos, but none of them are our relatives."
            > > And yet, their neighbour living behind them who was their friend - was also > a Marafko but they never considered him to be a relative, even though I > could prove to them that this was not the case. There were many instances > of this.
            > > This very attitude or perception was quite ingrained and actually stopped > me from finding and interviewing 'non-relative' Marafkos.
            > >
            > > For those that have visited, is this a common place problem?
            > >
            > > Peter M.
            > >
            > >
            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >
            >
            >

            Bob Lupcho
            boblupcho@...





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Tonya Harmon
            I thought I would chime in with my experience regarding religion (my Slovak family is Protestant) and genealogy research and relatives in Slovakia. My family
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 7, 2013
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              I thought I would chime in with my experience regarding religion (my Slovak
              family is Protestant) and genealogy research and relatives in Slovakia. My
              family seems to be very different than what's been described by others.
              Over the last 150 years at least, my family has actively researched and
              collected information about the family. They have also made a point of
              actively keeping in touch. Even during WWI, II and through communism, my
              family kept in contact with relatives in Slovakia, Vojvodina, Canada, the
              US, Argentina and Australia. A Shuster family member, a professor, in the
              1950's documented the family tree back to the 1700's when the Suster family
              was first sent to Vojvodina by Queen Maria Teresa. My dad still has the
              huge carefully calligraphed tree that's the size of a car windshield.

              We've also got many photographs dating as far back as 1869 that were kept
              by my great great grandfather, then his daughter, then my grandfather, then
              father and now me. We've been able to identify most people in the pictures.
              My Andel family in Dolny Kubin was the same at taking and keeping photos,
              so we've got hundreds.

              I grew up hearing the oral history of my family, about my great grandfather
              in WWI as a POW and member of the Czech and Slovak Legion, and others about
              gypsies stealing the family's horses in 1906, and a great uncle feeding a
              barking dog hot paprika once. Because my family went to visit relatives
              from the 1960's on, there are many stories about WWII. The Susters were
              partisans, blowing up Nazi bunkers, and some were caught by the Hungarian
              Army and sent to concentration camps. I spent a few years writing all the
              stories down, and interviewing neighbors, friends and relatives.

              We've got many Slovak cookbooks, handwritten and purchased, that were owned
              by my great grandmother and grandmother, and in them I found handwritten
              letters from the 1920's and '30s. Since my great grandmother died in 1941
              decades before I was born, it's wonderful to hear her voice through the
              letters. Other relatives have given me the original birth certificates
              created for all Suster family members in the 1930's, when they changed the
              spelling briefly to Schuster, in order to distinguish themselves from
              Jewish people, I guess. My great grandmother's grave has the Schuster
              spelling. I've got the original offer letter from the church to a relative
              asking him to be the minister in return for the annual salary of 12
              chickens and a goat. My great aunt went to high school in the early 1900's,
              and I've traced back to her school and the people in it. She was one of
              only 2 females at school, and went to school with Fulla and other famous
              Slovak artists and writers of the 20th century. Fulla's grandson actually
              wrote to me when he found my blog. My great grandfather went before her,
              and lived with *Pavol Orsz�gh Hviezdoslav for a time.*

              I found these things out in a number of ways:

              1. I tracked down every person I could who immigrated to Canada in 1938
              from the same small town of Pivnica in Vojvodina. I was lucky enough to
              have a family photo of the whole gang of about 35 people who traveled
              together by train and then boat, and then I started looking them up.
              Miraculously, some are still alive today, in their late 90's. I went to
              visit them, asked them to tell me their stories of coming to Canada, and of
              life in Pivnica. I asked to see their photographs, and took pictures of
              them.

              2. I blogged about the stories and the names, and people have started to
              contact me from all over the world who are related or who were from the
              same town. I've met some very interesting people and some have become good
              friends. I've collected their stories and pictures too.

              3. I tracked down a local historian of the town through his website that he
              maintains on the history of the place. I translated what he wrote, and he
              actually had stories of the Suster family from the early 1800s, including
              pictures of their houses. He wrote a book on the village a few years ago,
              in Slovak only, and is busy updating it with all the new people and stories
              I've tracked down since. He sent me a church record of Milan Stefanik
              signing in as a guest to the wedding of his brother Igor to a Suster girl
              in Pivnica in 1906.

              4. I am lucky to have a few history buffs on both the Suster and Andel
              sides of the family who still live in the same Slovak villages, and they've
              provided a wealth of information. They've collected military records,
              church records, journals, photos and more. We trade pictures and new
              discoveries every month. On the Andel side, I've visited the church my
              grandparents were married in and had a private tour of the wooden church,
              and heard the stories of how Beethoven used to visit and play there. Those
              kinds of records are being dug up by researchers who are going through the
              church archives dating back over 300 years. My curiosity in this link to
              Beethoven lead me to Google his name and that time and place together, and
              I actually found a book written nearly 100 years ago, in English, about his
              lifelong friendship with the church founder's son. I bought the only copy,
              found online in Paris. I also found letters written between the two of
              them on line, and a piece of music Beethoven wrote for him as a joke, "Duet
              with Two Eyeglasses" (they were both nearsighted).

              5. I went to visit the grave sites in Slovakia and Vojvodina and took
              pictures of every name that sounded familiar. I've been slowly cross
              walking these to the family tree.

              6. I visited local museums and gave family names, and asked if there were
              records on them. At the museum for Pavol O.H. in Dolny Kubin, I found a
              golden leaf wreath with the names of each Slovak village in Vojvodina,
              including Pivnica, dedicated to him through my great grandfather. I'm sure
              there is more to discover at the school across the street where he and my
              great aunt went to high school - haven't visited there yet.

              7. I visited the homes were my relatives used to live and asked to go
              inside, asked questions. One had found an old tax bill behind a piece of
              furniture from 100 years ago. I also visited lots of old people,
              neighbors, churches and asked and asked and asked. It was amazing what I
              learned - more names, stories, addresses, photos.

              My interest in all of this family history started about 5 years ago when a
              photo of a plane crash that my grandfather had kept since 1919, peeked my
              interest. Curious, I finally figured out that it was the crash scene of
              Milan Stefanik, after Googling a bit. But to this day, I still haven't
              figured out why my grandfather had kept the picture, and whether his
              father, an officer in the military at the time, had anything to do with it.

              So the hunt continues...

              Tonya






              On Fri, Jul 5, 2013 at 10:50 PM, htcstech <htcstech@...> wrote:

              > **
              >
              >
              > Michael (MGMojher) recently wrote:
              >
              > "During my six trips I discovered that genealogy for most Slovaks is
              > limited to those relatives they met in person. So it was rare to get beyond
              > grand-parents."
              >
              > I too found the same thing as it was explained to me that they only knew of
              > relations that they met or otherwise spoken about.
              > The strangest and most telling quote was from the matriarch of my family
              > line who said:
              > "There are lots of Marafkos, but none of them are our relatives."
              > And yet, their neighbour living behind them who was their friend - was also
              > a Marafko but they never considered him to be a relative, even though I
              > could prove to them that this was not the case. There were many instances
              > of this.
              > This very attitude or perception was quite ingrained and actually stopped
              > me from finding and interviewing 'non-relative' Marafkos.
              >
              > For those that have visited, is this a common place problem?
              >
              > Peter M.
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >



              --
              Tonya Harmon


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • MGMojher
              Tonya, Thanks for the means and ways you have to do your research. It shows that genealogy is not just about bean counting , as one member put it. My approach
              Message 6 of 8 , Jul 7, 2013
              • 0 Attachment
                Tonya,
                Thanks for the means and ways you have to do your research. It shows
                that genealogy is not just about "bean counting", as one member put it. My
                approach has been that the "bones" of genealogy is the family trees the
                research creates. But the "flesh" is those stories, pictures, documents and
                visits to Slovakia that bring the trees to life. Excellent work you and your
                family have done.

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Tonya Harmon
                Sent: Sunday, July 07, 2013 6:37 PM
                To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [S-R] Slovaks' genealogy interviews: A rule of thumb?

                I thought I would chime in with my experience regarding religion (my Slovak
                family is Protestant) and genealogy research and relatives in Slovakia. My
                family seems to be very different than what's been described by others.
                Over the last 150 years at least, my family has actively researched and
                collected information about the family. They have also made a point of
                actively keeping in touch. Even during WWI, II and through communism, my
                family kept in contact with relatives in Slovakia, Vojvodina, Canada, the
                US, Argentina and Australia. A Shuster family member, a professor, in the
                1950's documented the family tree back to the 1700's when the Suster family
                was first sent to Vojvodina by Queen Maria Teresa. My dad still has the
                huge carefully calligraphed tree that's the size of a car windshield.

                We've also got many photographs dating as far back as 1869 that were kept
                by my great great grandfather, then his daughter, then my grandfather, then
                father and now me. We've been able to identify most people in the pictures.
                My Andel family in Dolny Kubin was the same at taking and keeping photos,
                so we've got hundreds.

                I grew up hearing the oral history of my family, about my great grandfather
                in WWI as a POW and member of the Czech and Slovak Legion, and others about
                gypsies stealing the family's horses in 1906, and a great uncle feeding a
                barking dog hot paprika once. Because my family went to visit relatives
                from the 1960's on, there are many stories about WWII. The Susters were
                partisans, blowing up Nazi bunkers, and some were caught by the Hungarian
                Army and sent to concentration camps. I spent a few years writing all the
                stories down, and interviewing neighbors, friends and relatives.

                We've got many Slovak cookbooks, handwritten and purchased, that were owned
                by my great grandmother and grandmother, and in them I found handwritten
                letters from the 1920's and '30s. Since my great grandmother died in 1941
                decades before I was born, it's wonderful to hear her voice through the
                letters. Other relatives have given me the original birth certificates
                created for all Suster family members in the 1930's, when they changed the
                spelling briefly to Schuster, in order to distinguish themselves from
                Jewish people, I guess. My great grandmother's grave has the Schuster
                spelling. I've got the original offer letter from the church to a relative
                asking him to be the minister in return for the annual salary of 12
                chickens and a goat. My great aunt went to high school in the early 1900's,
                and I've traced back to her school and the people in it. She was one of
                only 2 females at school, and went to school with Fulla and other famous
                Slovak artists and writers of the 20th century. Fulla's grandson actually
                wrote to me when he found my blog. My great grandfather went before her,
                and lived with *Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav for a time.*

                I found these things out in a number of ways:

                1. I tracked down every person I could who immigrated to Canada in 1938
                from the same small town of Pivnica in Vojvodina. I was lucky enough to
                have a family photo of the whole gang of about 35 people who traveled
                together by train and then boat, and then I started looking them up.
                Miraculously, some are still alive today, in their late 90's. I went to
                visit them, asked them to tell me their stories of coming to Canada, and of
                life in Pivnica. I asked to see their photographs, and took pictures of
                them.

                2. I blogged about the stories and the names, and people have started to
                contact me from all over the world who are related or who were from the
                same town. I've met some very interesting people and some have become good
                friends. I've collected their stories and pictures too.

                3. I tracked down a local historian of the town through his website that he
                maintains on the history of the place. I translated what he wrote, and he
                actually had stories of the Suster family from the early 1800s, including
                pictures of their houses. He wrote a book on the village a few years ago,
                in Slovak only, and is busy updating it with all the new people and stories
                I've tracked down since. He sent me a church record of Milan Stefanik
                signing in as a guest to the wedding of his brother Igor to a Suster girl
                in Pivnica in 1906.

                4. I am lucky to have a few history buffs on both the Suster and Andel
                sides of the family who still live in the same Slovak villages, and they've
                provided a wealth of information. They've collected military records,
                church records, journals, photos and more. We trade pictures and new
                discoveries every month. On the Andel side, I've visited the church my
                grandparents were married in and had a private tour of the wooden church,
                and heard the stories of how Beethoven used to visit and play there. Those
                kinds of records are being dug up by researchers who are going through the
                church archives dating back over 300 years. My curiosity in this link to
                Beethoven lead me to Google his name and that time and place together, and
                I actually found a book written nearly 100 years ago, in English, about his
                lifelong friendship with the church founder's son. I bought the only copy,
                found online in Paris. I also found letters written between the two of
                them on line, and a piece of music Beethoven wrote for him as a joke, "Duet
                with Two Eyeglasses" (they were both nearsighted).

                5. I went to visit the grave sites in Slovakia and Vojvodina and took
                pictures of every name that sounded familiar. I've been slowly cross
                walking these to the family tree.

                6. I visited local museums and gave family names, and asked if there were
                records on them. At the museum for Pavol O.H. in Dolny Kubin, I found a
                golden leaf wreath with the names of each Slovak village in Vojvodina,
                including Pivnica, dedicated to him through my great grandfather. I'm sure
                there is more to discover at the school across the street where he and my
                great aunt went to high school - haven't visited there yet.

                7. I visited the homes were my relatives used to live and asked to go
                inside, asked questions. One had found an old tax bill behind a piece of
                furniture from 100 years ago. I also visited lots of old people,
                neighbors, churches and asked and asked and asked. It was amazing what I
                learned - more names, stories, addresses, photos.

                My interest in all of this family history started about 5 years ago when a
                photo of a plane crash that my grandfather had kept since 1919, peeked my
                interest. Curious, I finally figured out that it was the crash scene of
                Milan Stefanik, after Googling a bit. But to this day, I still haven't
                figured out why my grandfather had kept the picture, and whether his
                father, an officer in the military at the time, had anything to do with it.

                So the hunt continues...

                Tonya






                On Fri, Jul 5, 2013 at 10:50 PM, htcstech <htcstech@...> wrote:

                > **
                >
                >
                > Michael (MGMojher) recently wrote:
                >
                > "During my six trips I discovered that genealogy for most Slovaks is
                > limited to those relatives they met in person. So it was rare to get
                > beyond
                > grand-parents."
                >
                > I too found the same thing as it was explained to me that they only knew
                > of
                > relations that they met or otherwise spoken about.
                > The strangest and most telling quote was from the matriarch of my family
                > line who said:
                > "There are lots of Marafkos, but none of them are our relatives."
                > And yet, their neighbour living behind them who was their friend - was
                > also
                > a Marafko but they never considered him to be a relative, even though I
                > could prove to them that this was not the case. There were many instances
                > of this.
                > This very attitude or perception was quite ingrained and actually stopped
                > me from finding and interviewing 'non-relative' Marafkos.
                >
                > For those that have visited, is this a common place problem?
                >
                > Peter M.
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >



                --
                Tonya Harmon


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



                ------------------------------------

                PLEASE STAY ON-TOPIC (GENEALOGY). OFF-TOPIC ITEMS WILL BE BLOCKED.

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              • htcstech
                Truly impressive Tonya. That concept of family and keeping up the connections was what I was hoping for, but in my case it didn t happen. I have some audio
                Message 7 of 8 , Jul 7, 2013
                • 0 Attachment
                  Truly impressive Tonya.

                  That concept of family and keeping up the connections was what I was hoping
                  for, but in my case it didn't happen.
                  I have some audio recordings and other verbal stories I've heard about some
                  of the issues that members of the greater Marafko family experienced in why
                  contact was broken, but still, it's not like they persued contact.
                  Consequently I have found 3 branches of the family who knew nothing or very
                  little of each other.
                  Those that should have cared turned out to be narrow minded and perhaps
                  deceitful for whatever reason.
                  I hate to say this about my family, but it appears on first glance that
                  selfish attitudes have harmed my further research.
                  This is probably due to a piece of nasty work, taking advantage of the
                  Benes decree in depositions that certain lines of Marafkos have died out,
                  resulting in the 'legal' transfer of lands once owned by my family.
                  Consequently, the lands were transferred to a female Marafko who married a
                  friend of the local socialist government minister, thus sealing the case.
                  Now when I go there asking for photos, existing documents, family stories
                  etc - they all shut up.
                  Others (now in their old age) in the town know about this but either won't
                  speak or were not introduced to me because they are dependant in some way
                  to them - likely food and services as the family who owns the lands are
                  very rural rich, employ dozens and trade food and moonshine.

                  There are 3 males in my line who should of been given these lands and yet
                  we've been written off.

                  How's that for a road block!

                  Peter M.


                  On 8 July 2013 11:37, Tonya Harmon <tharmon63@...> wrote:

                  > I thought I would chime in with my experience regarding religion (my Slovak
                  > family is Protestant) and genealogy research and relatives in Slovakia. My
                  > family seems to be very different than what's been described by others.
                  > Over the last 150 years at least, my family has actively researched and
                  > collected information about the family. They have also made a point of
                  > actively keeping in touch. Even during WWI, II and through communism, my
                  > family kept in contact with relatives in Slovakia, Vojvodina, Canada, the
                  > US, Argentina and Australia. A Shuster family member, a professor, in the
                  > 1950's documented the family tree back to the 1700's when the Suster family
                  > was first sent to Vojvodina by Queen Maria Teresa. My dad still has the
                  > huge carefully calligraphed tree that's the size of a car windshield.
                  >
                  > We've also got many photographs dating as far back as 1869 that were kept
                  > by my great great grandfather, then his daughter, then my grandfather, then
                  > father and now me. We've been able to identify most people in the pictures.
                  > My Andel family in Dolny Kubin was the same at taking and keeping photos,
                  > so we've got hundreds.
                  >
                  > I grew up hearing the oral history of my family, about my great grandfather
                  > in WWI as a POW and member of the Czech and Slovak Legion, and others about
                  > gypsies stealing the family's horses in 1906, and a great uncle feeding a
                  > barking dog hot paprika once. Because my family went to visit relatives
                  > from the 1960's on, there are many stories about WWII. The Susters were
                  > partisans, blowing up Nazi bunkers, and some were caught by the Hungarian
                  > Army and sent to concentration camps. I spent a few years writing all the
                  > stories down, and interviewing neighbors, friends and relatives.
                  >
                  > We've got many Slovak cookbooks, handwritten and purchased, that were owned
                  > by my great grandmother and grandmother, and in them I found handwritten
                  > letters from the 1920's and '30s. Since my great grandmother died in 1941
                  > decades before I was born, it's wonderful to hear her voice through the
                  > letters. Other relatives have given me the original birth certificates
                  > created for all Suster family members in the 1930's, when they changed the
                  > spelling briefly to Schuster, in order to distinguish themselves from
                  > Jewish people, I guess. My great grandmother's grave has the Schuster
                  > spelling. I've got the original offer letter from the church to a relative
                  > asking him to be the minister in return for the annual salary of 12
                  > chickens and a goat. My great aunt went to high school in the early 1900's,
                  > and I've traced back to her school and the people in it. She was one of
                  > only 2 females at school, and went to school with Fulla and other famous
                  > Slovak artists and writers of the 20th century. Fulla's grandson actually
                  > wrote to me when he found my blog. My great grandfather went before her,
                  > and lived with *Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav for a time.*
                  >
                  > I found these things out in a number of ways:
                  >
                  > 1. I tracked down every person I could who immigrated to Canada in 1938
                  > from the same small town of Pivnica in Vojvodina. I was lucky enough to
                  > have a family photo of the whole gang of about 35 people who traveled
                  > together by train and then boat, and then I started looking them up.
                  > Miraculously, some are still alive today, in their late 90's. I went to
                  > visit them, asked them to tell me their stories of coming to Canada, and of
                  > life in Pivnica. I asked to see their photographs, and took pictures of
                  > them.
                  >
                  > 2. I blogged about the stories and the names, and people have started to
                  > contact me from all over the world who are related or who were from the
                  > same town. I've met some very interesting people and some have become good
                  > friends. I've collected their stories and pictures too.
                  >
                  > 3. I tracked down a local historian of the town through his website that he
                  > maintains on the history of the place. I translated what he wrote, and he
                  > actually had stories of the Suster family from the early 1800s, including
                  > pictures of their houses. He wrote a book on the village a few years ago,
                  > in Slovak only, and is busy updating it with all the new people and stories
                  > I've tracked down since. He sent me a church record of Milan Stefanik
                  > signing in as a guest to the wedding of his brother Igor to a Suster girl
                  > in Pivnica in 1906.
                  >
                  > 4. I am lucky to have a few history buffs on both the Suster and Andel
                  > sides of the family who still live in the same Slovak villages, and they've
                  > provided a wealth of information. They've collected military records,
                  > church records, journals, photos and more. We trade pictures and new
                  > discoveries every month. On the Andel side, I've visited the church my
                  > grandparents were married in and had a private tour of the wooden church,
                  > and heard the stories of how Beethoven used to visit and play there. Those
                  > kinds of records are being dug up by researchers who are going through the
                  > church archives dating back over 300 years. My curiosity in this link to
                  > Beethoven lead me to Google his name and that time and place together, and
                  > I actually found a book written nearly 100 years ago, in English, about his
                  > lifelong friendship with the church founder's son. I bought the only copy,
                  > found online in Paris. I also found letters written between the two of
                  > them on line, and a piece of music Beethoven wrote for him as a joke, "Duet
                  > with Two Eyeglasses" (they were both nearsighted).
                  >
                  > 5. I went to visit the grave sites in Slovakia and Vojvodina and took
                  > pictures of every name that sounded familiar. I've been slowly cross
                  > walking these to the family tree.
                  >
                  > 6. I visited local museums and gave family names, and asked if there were
                  > records on them. At the museum for Pavol O.H. in Dolny Kubin, I found a
                  > golden leaf wreath with the names of each Slovak village in Vojvodina,
                  > including Pivnica, dedicated to him through my great grandfather. I'm sure
                  > there is more to discover at the school across the street where he and my
                  > great aunt went to high school - haven't visited there yet.
                  >
                  > 7. I visited the homes were my relatives used to live and asked to go
                  > inside, asked questions. One had found an old tax bill behind a piece of
                  > furniture from 100 years ago. I also visited lots of old people,
                  > neighbors, churches and asked and asked and asked. It was amazing what I
                  > learned - more names, stories, addresses, photos.
                  >
                  > My interest in all of this family history started about 5 years ago when a
                  > photo of a plane crash that my grandfather had kept since 1919, peeked my
                  > interest. Curious, I finally figured out that it was the crash scene of
                  > Milan Stefanik, after Googling a bit. But to this day, I still haven't
                  > figured out why my grandfather had kept the picture, and whether his
                  > father, an officer in the military at the time, had anything to do with it.
                  >
                  > So the hunt continues...
                  >
                  > Tonya
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > On Fri, Jul 5, 2013 at 10:50 PM, htcstech <htcstech@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > > **
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Michael (MGMojher) recently wrote:
                  > >
                  > > "During my six trips I discovered that genealogy for most Slovaks is
                  > > limited to those relatives they met in person. So it was rare to get
                  > beyond
                  > > grand-parents."
                  > >
                  > > I too found the same thing as it was explained to me that they only knew
                  > of
                  > > relations that they met or otherwise spoken about.
                  > > The strangest and most telling quote was from the matriarch of my family
                  > > line who said:
                  > > "There are lots of Marafkos, but none of them are our relatives."
                  > > And yet, their neighbour living behind them who was their friend - was
                  > also
                  > > a Marafko but they never considered him to be a relative, even though I
                  > > could prove to them that this was not the case. There were many instances
                  > > of this.
                  > > This very attitude or perception was quite ingrained and actually stopped
                  > > me from finding and interviewing 'non-relative' Marafkos.
                  > >
                  > > For those that have visited, is this a common place problem?
                  > >
                  > > Peter M.
                  > >
                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --
                  > Tonya Harmon
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  > PLEASE STAY ON-TOPIC (GENEALOGY). OFF-TOPIC ITEMS WILL BE BLOCKED.
                  >
                  > To visit your group on the web, go to:
                  > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS/
                  >
                  > To unsubscribe from this group, go to
                  > http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS -or- send blank email to
                  > SLOVAK-ROOTS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.comYahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • fedzy06
                  Hello Tonya, maybe i have some clue for you. Igor Branislav was older brother of Milan Rastislav and he was priest in Bačska Palanka(Bačka Palanka,
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jun 10, 2014
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Hello Tonya,
                    maybe i have some clue for you.

                    Igor Branislav was older brother of Milan Rastislav and he was priest in Bačska Palanka(Bačka Palanka, Vojvodina, now Serbia) since 19  July  1903. On 27 April 1904 Igor Branislav married Zuzana Šusterova from Pivnica(daughter of Pavel Šuster and sister of priest Michal Šuster). According to some sources Milan Rastislav was guest on wedding ceremony.

                    Igor Branislav is buried in (Old) Cemetery(Jewish-Catholic, later Protestant) on Grbavica in Novi Sad.


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