Slovaks in Galicia?
- Does anyone know if there were Slovaks living in the area of SE Poland
called Galicia? I have a lead on someone who may be an ancestor. Charles
TREMBATH/TRIMBATH = Karol TREMBITZ, born around 1890 and married in
Pennsylvania in 1917, claimed that his village of origin was "Beretski" and
that his native language was Slovak. He seems to have been originally
His father, who was killed in a bar fight in Pennsylvania, was Frank
Trembath born c. 1870 and his mother was Anna MEDLECK aka Anna
VAINGAR/VAINGER born c. 1877. Presumably, these parents were born in
"Beretski" and their son claimed that their native language was also Slovak.
The family story goes that after the parents had emigrated to America and
the husband was killed in the fight, Anna took her son Charles back to the
old country, wherever that was in Austria-Hungary (including Galicia). She
later sent her son back to America. His descendants want to know where he
came from, and I want to know if there is any connection between the surname
Vaingar and my own, Vangor.
There is no village called Beretski in Slovakia or anywhere in the former
Austro-Hungarian territory, but there were two Rusyn villages named Berezki,
one not far from the border of Slovakia.
So, here are the questions.
1. Would a Rusyn from Galicia report that his native tongue and that of his
parents was Slovak? (On the 1920 U.S. census).
2. Were there Slovaks living in Galicia, and would they have lived in a
Rusyn village while maintaining their Slovak identity?
3. Has anyone come across these surnames near the Polish border,
VAINGER/AR, MEDLECK, TRIMBATH/TREMBATH/TREMBITZ?
None of them sound particularly Slovak to me, but what do I know.
Thanks for any useful ideas.
- Hi Andrea
Yes, there are many Greek Catholic Slovaks in S.E.Poland.....
Well, there used to be until the end of WWII when their villages were
burned and they were massacred and/or deported to Ukraine by the Polish
This portion of Poland and the area called ZAKOPANE were orginally part
of Slovakia but were "given" to Poland in 1919-1920 in order to stop a
Check out the Carpatho-Ruszyn web site to get more info.
"TRADITION is the JOYFUL memory of a people!"
- Thanks, Mark, I will. I am hoping that these people came instead from a
village west of Kos~ice in Gemer, called Beretke -- they will be ever so
much easier to find. I can't imagine that many records survived the
devastation you describe.
----- Original Message -----
From: mark JESKO <MJESKO@...>
Sent: Sunday, November 14, 1999 4:46 AM
Subject: Re: [SLOVAK-ROOTS] Slovaks in Galicia?
> From: MJESKO@... (mark JESKO)
> Hi Andrea
> Yes, there are many Greek Catholic Slovaks in S.E.Poland.....
> Well, there used to be until the end of WWII when their villages were
> burned and they were massacred and/or deported to Ukraine by the Polish
> This portion of Poland and the area called ZAKOPANE were orginally part
> of Slovakia but were "given" to Poland in 1919-1920 in order to stop a
> Check out the Carpatho-Ruszyn web site to get more info.
> "TRADITION is the JOYFUL memory of a people!"
- Just to clarify this a bit, there were no ethnic Slovak villages in
Galicia, though there were Slovak individuals scattered around
Galicia who immigrated there for marriage or business or other
reasons. On the other hand, there were ethnic Polish villages in
Hungary/Slovakia. This was partially due to the gradual shift of the
Polish/Hungarian border northwards by Hungary during the early middle
ages (it used to be around the Hornad river, then moved up to the
Poprad), partially by Poles fleeing oppressive feudal conditions or
just seeking a better life in more prosperous Hungary, and partially
by the Wallachian migrations.
The northern tips of Orava and Spis counties (roughly a dozen
villages each) were ceded to Poland following the breakup of the
Austro-Hungarian empire after WW1, when Poland was recreated as a
nation. Though they're now part of Poland, they were never part of
Galicia. At the time, Poland wanted larger chunks of Orava and Spis
counties, based on the Polish-majority populations there, while
Slovakia naturally wanted to maintain its title to all the land.
Village representatives went both ways on the issue, and there was
talk of a plebescite, but in the end a council of ambassadors decided
to give Poland small slices of each county. A couple more villages
were ceded to Poland just before WW2 broke out, but after the war
they reverted to Slovakia again.
Zakopane wasn't part of that land transfer, as it was always part of
Galicia (and Poland before that).
The populations that were expelled from southeast Poland after WW2
were Rusyns/Ukrainians, not Slovaks.