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Re: [S-R] Your expert opinions needed

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  • Michael Mojher
    Eleanor, It is always wise to be cautious. Since Ladislav has not made any suspicious requests I would continue the correspondence. He appears to have a
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 7, 2004
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      Eleanor,
      It is always wise to be cautious. Since Ladislav has not made any
      suspicious requests I would continue the correspondence. He appears to have
      a legitimate interest since your surname is the same as the family he is
      looking for in the USA.
      Genealogy research by its nature requires you to trust that people are
      wanting or needing help. You have seen how this group, made up of strangers
      with a similar interest, are willing to help one another. There is a
      serendipity in helping, often by accident relatives make contact or are put
      in contact with one another.
      You would be fortunate if Ladislav proofs to be your connection in
      Slovakia who is willing to help. Having a "local" working for you can
      provide you with a big advantage.
      Should Ladislav make a request that you are not comfortable with you can
      terminate your communicating or present it to the group to see if it is an
      honest request.
      I say continue.
      Michael Mojher
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Eleanor Chobirko" <ellemarie15642@...>
      To: <SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2004 2:23 PM
      Subject: Re: [S-R] Your expert opinions needed


      > Michael,
      > I replied to the email from Ladislav asking him what his surname was and
      told him
      > that our family was from Boksa, which is south of the two villages or
      towns that he
      > mentioned. I also asked him what town or village he was from.
      > He did not say he was a researcher.
      > He answered my reply with "what or where is a Boksa"
      > He said his surname was Cobirka.
      > He did not say where he was from in Slovaia.
      > So, the point I was getting at - Is he Ladislav Cobirka or just trying to
      get
      > information for some other reason than looking for family.
      > Eleanor
      >
      >
      > Michael Mojher <mgmojher@...> wrote:
      > Dear Eleanor,
      > Can you elaborate on "who they say they are or not." Is Ladislav
      > claiming to be a genealogy researcher? What?
      > Michael Mojher
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Eleanor Chobirko" <ellemarie15642@...>
      > To: <SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2004 5:36 AM
      > Subject: [S-R] Your expert opinions needed
      >
      >
      > > Dear listers,
      > > I received the message below. I need your opinions on how to know if
      > someone is who they say they are or not.
      > > Eleanor
      >
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > ------------------------------------------------------
      > >
      > >
      > > I`m from Slovakia. Are you from family of Cobirka or Chobirka?I know
      where
      > is Svidnik and Korejovce and I have been there. Can I help you? Maybe you
      > can help me. I found our family in USA called Cobirka or Chobirka.
      > Ladislav from Slovakia
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ---------------------------------
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      >
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    • nhasior@aol.com
      Elinor, There are five people in the Slovak telephone book named Cobirka in Svidnik. One Cobirka came over in 1923 from Miroly, Czechoslovakia Have you found
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 7, 2004
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        Elinor,
        There are five people in the Slovak telephone book named Cobirka in Svidnik.
        One Cobirka came over in 1923 from Miroly, Czechoslovakia
        Have you found anyone with this name in the United States??
        Ask Ladislaw where the Cobirka people are in the USA.
        I think he is trying to connect with family and I would continue to
        correspond with him a little at a time. his letter sounds genuine to me, but you have
        to trust your gut feelings at all times. Just take it slow. We are all
        strangers in the beginning. Good luck
        Noreen


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Dollins
        ... suspicious requests I would continue the correspondence. He appears to have a legitimate interest since your surname is the same as the family he is
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 8, 2004
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          > It is always wise to be cautious. Since Ladislav has not made any
          suspicious requests I would continue the correspondence. He appears to have
          a legitimate interest since your surname is the same as the family he is
          looking for in the USA.
          > Genealogy research by its nature requires you to trust that people are
          wanting or needing help . . . There is a serendipity in helping, often by
          accident relatives make contact or are put in contact with one another.

          Last fall I went back and forth with someone who contacted me about one of
          my surnames. His first email was "want photos?" (Talk about suspicious!) We
          kept writing for a couple of weeks and eventually discovered that we have
          the same great-grandparents. Now I have about fifty more cousins in Slovakia
          than I did a couple of months ago!

          Keep writing. You never know what might come of the correspondence!

          Anabeth
        • John M,
          ... I was lucky to find a student on the Net that lived close to my relatives in SK. Some of my relatives lived close to him in the same city and the others
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 8, 2004
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            At 02:23 PM 1/7/2004 -0800, you wrote:
            >Michael,
            >I replied to the email from Ladislav asking him what his surname was and
            >told him
            >that our family was from Boksa, which is south of the two villages or
            >towns that he
            >mentioned. I also asked him what town or village he was from.
            >He did not say he was a researcher.
            >He answered my reply with "what or where is a Boksa"
            >He said his surname was Cobirka.
            >He did not say where he was from in Slovaia.
            >So, the point I was getting at - Is he Ladislav Cobirka or just trying to get
            >information for some other reason than looking for family.
            >Eleanor

            I was lucky to find a student on the Net that lived close to my relatives
            in SK. Some of my relatives lived close to him in the same city and the
            others lived in an ancestral village about 15 miles away. He contacted
            both sets and drove to my ancestral village to get information for
            me. That resulted in a trip to SK in 1999. It's worth the effort to
            maintain communication but, as has been stated by others, "with caution".

            I found a Pavla C^obirkov√° in Stropkov, which is about a mile east of
            Boksa. I believe cell phones are not listed and, since there are so many in
            use in SK, there shjould be more C^obirkas in the area.

            John M.
          • Bill Tarkulich
            Anabeth, You make a good point. With so much spam running amok, it s best to write an email subject carefully. I like to use surnames and place names to
            Message 5 of 10 , Jan 8, 2004
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              Anabeth,
              You make a good point. With so much spam running amok, it's best to write
              an email subject carefully. I like to use surnames and place names to alert
              people when they see a sender (me) that they don't know.

              I spend a lot of time "cold-calling" people in my genealogical work, both by
              email, phone and letter. A well placed letter of introduction is always in
              order. When someone like this writes to you, ask him/her all the same
              questions you might want to write in a letter of introduction.

              The first thing I try to do is prove they are serious in their intent. Many
              people throw out a bunch of names and see what will stick. Very lazy
              approach - they get out what they put in, very little. It has been my
              experience that people who are dead serious about their researcher (those
              are the people you want to talk to) will be willing to share lots of
              information.

              Some questions you should ask:
              Where village are your ancestors from? Where do you live now?
              Have you written to the family in the US? Where are they? What are their
              names?
              Have you written a family tree? Can I see it? What are your surnames?
              Have you looked at village records for family?
              Do you know people of my surname? Who?
              What can you tell me about the village?


              I think it's entirely safe to tell him/her:
              My immigrant ancestor NAME was born about 18xx in and came to the US in
              19yy. His spouse's name was... He had brothers/sisters/parents named etc.
              Have you heard of these names?

              This inquisition should not only demonstrate knowledge, but willingness to
              share, and seriousness of intent. Follow this with a series of measured
              exchanges and see just how helpful s/he is. The overwhelming number of
              people in the SR are incredibly sincere and generous. You also have the
              great pond called the Atlantic Ocean between the two of you. I used to
              worry at first that they would show up at my doorstep someday. That just
              simply isn't going to happen.

              I am in the enviable position of just having opened up "pandora's box" of
              immigrants from the village of Ulic and environs. I have located where a
              large number of them settled and am in the process of matching up American
              with Slovak national families. I have people in Ulic who are looking and
              people in America looking. Even being familiar with the village, you still
              have to approach each introduction with kid gloves. Not only to show I am
              serious, but also to measure how interested the receiving end is. I need
              not tell you how many of our relatives are NOT interested in genealogy!

              Good Luck and tell us how you make out.

              ______________
              Bill Tarkulich




              -----Original Message-----
              From: Dollins [mailto:axd2@...]
              Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2004 8:48 AM
              To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [S-R] Your expert opinions needed


              > It is always wise to be cautious. Since Ladislav has not made any
              suspicious requests I would continue the correspondence. He appears to have
              a legitimate interest since your surname is the same as the family he is
              looking for in the USA.
              > Genealogy research by its nature requires you to trust that people
              > are
              wanting or needing help . . . There is a serendipity in helping, often by
              accident relatives make contact or are put in contact with one another.

              Last fall I went back and forth with someone who contacted me about one of
              my surnames. His first email was "want photos?" (Talk about suspicious!) We
              kept writing for a couple of weeks and eventually discovered that we have
              the same great-grandparents. Now I have about fifty more cousins in Slovakia
              than I did a couple of months ago!

              Keep writing. You never know what might come of the correspondence!

              Anabeth



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            • Vladimir Bohinc
              Since cold calling is my job I would like to add a couple of words too. There is an interesting difference between the US and Slovakia. If I call a person in
              Message 6 of 10 , Jan 8, 2004
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                Since "cold calling" is my job I would like to add a couple of words too.
                There is an interesting difference between the US and Slovakia.
                If I call a person in Slovakia, their first thought is " this must be about
                inheritance or some money".
                If I call a person in US, their first thought is " he wants something from
                me, he will show up at the door,I do not want to be involved in any
                immigration related problems"
                Of course, I simplify, but these are main common denominators.
                Since 9/11, one additional factor came into play; terrorists. Now, everybody
                can also be a potential terrorist or their supporter. Now, since the big
                brother is watching everything already, any contact with a "suspicious"
                person can be dangerous. This is the thinking on the US side.
                I must admit, I do not know the right words to express my deepest
                disappointment over this issue.
                If this will continue, it will be the end of good relations among people.
                If a person has "fear", be it legitimate or "implanted" by propaganda, then
                the sick imagination has no limits any more. Imagination about what bad
                could happen to one and how mean somebody else could be is then predominant
                and always present. (Be on alert)Such thinking can not be a basis for any
                friendly, and sure not honest relationship.
                The problem with cold calling is, that it is very , very, difficult to make
                it look different than a spam.
                Since legitimate and illegitimate spammers are more or less all trained in a
                way, they know all the tricks, how to approach a person and how to generate
                interest.
                Since our researcher is after the same goal, he has to present his case in a
                way, that should generate interest on the other side. If it looks like a
                spam, he is branded as spammer, if it doesn't, he is suspicious.
                The suspicion hysteria, that not so long ago was at home here, is now
                overseas. I can say only one thing; it ruins everything. Forget the
                friendship, forget love. All fake.
                Is this what we want?
                Since presenting a case in a right way is very difficult, non english
                speakers have a big problem.
                They do not know even how to express themselves correctly. If they try
                harder, it is even more suspicious. ( Study the Nigerian scam)
                On the other hand, a slovak person, being called, just can not beleive, that
                there is not some money /property involved. For them, it is impossible to
                believe, that there could be something else, not to mention family love. All
                such cathegories have been killed by the former system which taught
                suspicion and alertness as a duty of every citizen. Love could be present
                only among the inner circle of the family. If you have not been identified
                as one belonging to it, you are out and thus suspicious.
                Internet and e-mails allow many things. In a way, they allow contacts that
                were not possible before.
                On the other hand, they also allow persons to hide their identity.
                If you want to build a good relationship, do not hide behind acronyms. Write
                your full name and test the contact with the snail mail as soon as possible.
                If you are affraid of identity theft, give up genealogy.
                For someone to steal your identity, I imagine, you would have to be rich, at
                least worthwile.
                Such fears remind me of an old woman, who is affraid to be raped.
                When I receive mails from persons with whom I would like to establish a good
                contact, and see, they are hesitating and evasive, I call them by phone and
                settle the matter.
                Since genealogy is about names, dates and places, at least with the dates,
                you do not have to be picky.
                You do not have to give away the full date. A year is enough. The same you
                should expect from your counterparts. I am talking about living persons. The
                rest is no secret.
                Who is a son of whom is known to more than only family members, so it is
                public. ( at least your neighbors know that) Most of the marriages are in
                public and so are the funerals.
                ( Once a Registrar would not tell me, when somebody died. I said, I will go
                to the cemetery and find this out. Go, she said. I went and found.)
                ===========
                Back to e-mails;
                I don't feel good, when I receive a mail from unknown person, that starts
                with "Hi" and ends with "John"
                This feeling has proven correct in most times.
                Sending mails without addressing the person and without signature is an
                insult.
                Well then, enough of this very early morning poetry.
                With best wishes,
                Vladimir Bohinc




                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Bill Tarkulich" <bill@...>
                To: <SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 2:19 AM
                Subject: RE: [S-R] Your expert opinions needed


                > Anabeth,
                > You make a good point. With so much spam running amok, it's best to write
                > an email subject carefully. I like to use surnames and place names to
                alert
                > people when they see a sender (me) that they don't know.
                >
                > I spend a lot of time "cold-calling" people in my genealogical work, both
                by
                > email, phone and letter. A well placed letter of introduction is always
                in
                > order. When someone like this writes to you, ask him/her all the same
                > questions you might want to write in a letter of introduction.
                >
                > The first thing I try to do is prove they are serious in their intent.
                Many
                > people throw out a bunch of names and see what will stick. Very lazy
                > approach - they get out what they put in, very little. It has been my
                > experience that people who are dead serious about their researcher (those
                > are the people you want to talk to) will be willing to share lots of
                > information.
                >
                > Some questions you should ask:
                > Where village are your ancestors from? Where do you live now?
                > Have you written to the family in the US? Where are they? What are their
                > names?
                > Have you written a family tree? Can I see it? What are your surnames?
                > Have you looked at village records for family?
                > Do you know people of my surname? Who?
                > What can you tell me about the village?
                >
                >
                > I think it's entirely safe to tell him/her:
                > My immigrant ancestor NAME was born about 18xx in and came to the US in
                > 19yy. His spouse's name was... He had brothers/sisters/parents named etc.
                > Have you heard of these names?
                >
                > This inquisition should not only demonstrate knowledge, but willingness to
                > share, and seriousness of intent. Follow this with a series of measured
                > exchanges and see just how helpful s/he is. The overwhelming number of
                > people in the SR are incredibly sincere and generous. You also have the
                > great pond called the Atlantic Ocean between the two of you. I used to
                > worry at first that they would show up at my doorstep someday. That just
                > simply isn't going to happen.
                >
                > I am in the enviable position of just having opened up "pandora's box" of
                > immigrants from the village of Ulic and environs. I have located where a
                > large number of them settled and am in the process of matching up American
                > with Slovak national families. I have people in Ulic who are looking and
                > people in America looking. Even being familiar with the village, you
                still
                > have to approach each introduction with kid gloves. Not only to show I am
                > serious, but also to measure how interested the receiving end is. I need
                > not tell you how many of our relatives are NOT interested in genealogy!
                >
                > Good Luck and tell us how you make out.
                >
                > ______________
                > Bill Tarkulich
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: Dollins [mailto:axd2@...]
                > Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2004 8:48 AM
                > To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: Re: [S-R] Your expert opinions needed
                >
                >
                > > It is always wise to be cautious. Since Ladislav has not made any
                > suspicious requests I would continue the correspondence. He appears to
                have
                > a legitimate interest since your surname is the same as the family he is
                > looking for in the USA.
                > > Genealogy research by its nature requires you to trust that people
                > > are
                > wanting or needing help . . . There is a serendipity in helping, often
                by
                > accident relatives make contact or are put in contact with one another.
                >
                > Last fall I went back and forth with someone who contacted me about one of
                > my surnames. His first email was "want photos?" (Talk about suspicious!)
                We
                > kept writing for a couple of weeks and eventually discovered that we have
                > the same great-grandparents. Now I have about fifty more cousins in
                Slovakia
                > than I did a couple of months ago!
                >
                > Keep writing. You never know what might come of the correspondence!
                >
                > Anabeth
                >
                >
                >
                > To unsubscribe from this group, go to
                > http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS -or- send blank email to
                > SLOVAK-ROOTS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                > To visit your group on the web, go to:
                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS/
                >
                > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > SLOVAK-ROOTS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
                http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > To unsubscribe from this group, go to
                http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS -or- send blank email to
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                >
                >
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                >
                > To visit your group on the web, go to:
                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS/
                >
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                >
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                >
                >
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                >
              • nhasior@aol.com
                Vladimir, You are up at 4:00am!!!!!! You are earlybird. Yes, terrorism is sad. Lost opportunities will be the result if we let terrorism control us.
                Message 7 of 10 , Jan 9, 2004
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                  Vladimir,
                  You are up at 4:00am!!!!!! You are earlybird. Yes, terrorism is sad. Lost
                  opportunities will be the result if we let terrorism control us.

                  Regarding "cold meeting" people in other countries, when I went to south of
                  Poland in 2000, I had a car rental and was driving around in the village of my
                  grandfather looking for "lost relatives". (You could not get any more "lost"
                  than I was.)
                  I asked people about the family, and, of course since I was pronouncing my
                  family surname "wrong".. no one knew what I was talking about. Then I wrote
                  the name on a piece of paper and got the response "aha". They knew of the
                  family. So, they pointed which way to go and off I went. Soon I found myself at
                  the elementary school (actually the one and only school) and parked the car
                  outside the gate. Withing five minutes, the teachers and students were looking
                  out the window. A minute or two after that, the head teacher came out and
                  wanted to know what I was doing there. I thought that they were suspicious of
                  me. Maybe they were. Rightly so. I explained myself (Lord only knows how, did
                  not speak any Polish at that point) and soon a girl of about 18 came out and
                  opened the passenger door and just got in. she pointed ahead and said
                  "prosto" and straight ahead we went. I was amazed. this was it. "prosto". No
                  questions and no time for suspicion.
                  We drove a few miles through some of the most beautiful farmland and hills.
                  The perimeter of this village was a thick forest. In the background to the
                  south, always the Tatra mountains. It was late April and the land was coming
                  alive.
                  How beautiful. I started asking myself "why would anyone leave this place"
                  but soon reminded myself of the poverty in the 1900 timeframe.
                  To make a long story short, we soon were going from house to house, people
                  were getting in and out of my car and pointing "prosto". (straight ahead) I was
                  nervous and maybe they were also. But this was why I came and I decided that
                  one way or the other I would find the cemetary of my ancesters. Either as a
                  visitor or as one of the newest additions. This was my one chance to find
                  family. And these people were willing to help.
                  The 18 year old girl turned out to be the daughter of the head teacher of the
                  school. The people who got in and out of the car and gave so freely of
                  their time soon turned into friends that I correspond with to this day and value
                  their generosity. The teacher and her daughter are friends to this day also.
                  Their kindness eventually led me to find my second cousin. His grandfather
                  and my grandfather were brothers. The wonderful connection!! Unfortunately,
                  the connection was made 15 minutes after I left the village was heading back
                  to Krakow to catch a plane to go back to New York. So I did not actually meet
                  my cousin Ryzard in person, but I did meet his Dad, my cousin Wojchiech, who
                  was in his kitchen and just held out his blessed 84 year old arms and said
                  "Witam Kuzyna". Welcome cousin. He knew the connection already long before I
                  did.
                  We write to each other, my cousin's children are learning English at school.
                  Eleanor, this is why I recommend that you 'trust your gut feelings" my gut
                  feelings let me trust some of the best people I ever met. However, elsewhere
                  on this trip in 2000, my gut feeling told me to turn around and leave the area
                  as soon as possible. I did .
                  I wish you the best of luck and the happiest of travels. You may be starting
                  one of the best friendships with Ladislaw. By the way, in the 1998 telephone
                  book, there is a Cobirka in the city of Poprad also.
                  best wishes,
                  Noreen



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Bill Tarkulich
                  Only a very few people take genealogy work very seriously (like you.) Others casually post a message and then forget about it. A common strategy is the
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jan 27, 2004
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                    Only a very few people take genealogy work very seriously (like you.) Others casually post a message and then forget about it. A common strategy is the "dartboard method": throw a dart and see if it sticks anywhere. If it doesn't stick immediately they lose interest (an unfortunate American characteristic) That's too bad, since you put a lot of good work into it.

                    My approach has been to teach the person how to fish, not to do the fishing for him/her. I will provide leads, resources, opinions, etc., but it is up to the individual to put effort into the search. This stuff is not brain surgery, but it does require a methodical approach and persistence.

                    For the person who demonstrates effort, I will provide a bit more participation.

                    Don't give up trying to help people, just make sure they demonstrate to you their willingness to go the full mile.


                    >
                    > From: Eleanor Chobirko <ellemarie15642@...>
                    > Date: 2004/01/27 Tue AM 05:52:00 CST
                    > To: slovak-roots@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: [S-R] Your expert opinions needed
                    >
                    > Dear list members,
                    >
                    > I want to thank everyone who responded to my message,
                    >
                    > "Your expert opinions needed."
                    >
                    > I followed everyones advice and asked a few questions and gave
                    >
                    > some info and replied back to him. I did not hear from him for
                    >
                    > a good while. I resent the message, not knowing if he got the
                    >
                    > first one. He immediately replied saying that he was too busy.
                    >
                    > One of the question that I had asked was "What town or village
                    >
                    > are you from?" In his reply saying that he was busy, he didn't
                    >
                    > give an answer to this question. I have not heard from him since.
                    >
                    > Eleanor
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ---------------------------------
                    > Do you Yahoo!?
                    > Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free web site building tool. Try it!
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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