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26715Re: Slovak Immigrant Communities

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  • Nick
    Aug 2, 2009
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      Until the proliferation of the internet almost nothing was known about my family. My father was first generation American, and it appears that they wanted to put europe behind them. Parts of the family said that we were Russian, others Czech but with no supporting documenation.

      I was able to find out that we were indeed Slovak, and that my grandparents had come over in the late 1890's. They had settled in West Virginia in the coal mining areas of Bluefield, and then for some unknown reason, resettled to Clifton NJ. My grandfather worked as a warper in the Botony Mills.

      My understanding was that the Coal companies were sponsoring the immigration to the US which explains how they wound up in West Virginia. The part that I don't understand or can't piece together is why they made to move to Clifton NJ. Was this community known amng the Slovaks, or perhaps it was through connections in the Church?

      Another thing that I recently found was that they did not join the Russian Orthodox Church until they came to New Jersey. In Europe, they were "Greek Catholic" and from what I understand, has no connection to the Russian Orthodox Church.

      Nick Sekela

      --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, n8de@... wrote:
      >
      > From 1890 through 1910, many Slovaks emigrated to Johnstown, PA, and
      > Johnstown, NY.
      > On the way to Johnstown, NY, some of them, especially those from the
      > Zahorie area, stopped and set up 'camp' in Schenectady, NY, to work at
      > Edison Electric Company, later to become General Electric.
      > The biggest group lived on Cutler Street in Schenectady, where my
      > Father and Godfather were born [next door to each other]!
      > The Schenectady Slovaks were responsible for the founding and building
      > of Sts. Cyril & Methodius Church on Congress Street, one block North
      > of Cutler Street.
      >
      > Don Havlicek
      > Edmore, MI
      >
      >
      > Quoting maxine <maxine96@...>:
      >
      > > I believe Perth Amboy, NJ was a "starting point" for many because it
      > > was so close to NY and coming in to port. There are still many,
      > > many RusynSlovak people in this area. My grandfather, John Sasala,
      > > had a tavern there and it was always packed! From Perth Amboy many
      > > went to NE Pa. like Lopez or the surrounding areas for coal. 2
      > > years ago I met a cousin, Sam Sasala, from Homer City, Pa. There
      > > are streets named after the people who migrated there. It is my
      > > understanding that "groups" were formed in different areas
      > > because someone from the coal, steel, etc areas went to Slovakia to
      > > push coming to America to work! Maxine Sasala
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: Paul Wolsko
      > > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
      > > Sent: Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:50 AM
      > > Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] Re: Slovak Immigrant Communities
      > >
      > >
      > > Jennie,
      > >
      > > It seems like most of my relatives (both mother and father's
      > > family) settled around the following:
      > >
      > > Passaic/Clifton/Garfield, NJ area - work was in the rubber &
      > > textile factories
      > > Hazleton, PA - work was in the strip mines.
      > > Pittsburgh/McKees Port/McKees Rocks - work was in the steel plants
      > > Chicago - lots of industries that needed laborers
      > > ...and a few landed in Ohio & Canada
      > >
      > > Some years back, I hit the online phone books and tried to contact
      > > some of the Wolsko's I had found. The family was never close and,
      > > most of the time, I was treated very suspiciously even though I told
      > > them I was not looking for a loan or organ donor. Matter of fact,
      > > most could not say for certainty that they were Slovak and had
      > > little or no interest in such things.
      > >
      > > I'm still in NJ, but rarely go back to Passaic - much has changed,
      > > but Garfield still has lots of folks with Czech/Slovak/Rusyn/Polish
      > > roots.
      > >
      > > By the way, my paternal grandmother's maiden name was Scerbak, but
      > > I know little of her. I was born in '48 and she was gone by then.
      > >
      > > Paul Wolsko
      > >
      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: j_coulter77
      > > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
      > > Sent: Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:16 AM
      > > Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: Slovak Immigrant Communities
      > >
      > > Thank you Mr. Wolsko for mentioning Passaic!
      > > I was just about to mention that this was one of the bigger areas
      > > of where they lived(and still do). Also alot of Slovaks from Passaic
      > > settled in the City of Garfield.
      > >
      > > Jennie Scerbak-Coulter
      > >
      > > --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, Paul Wolsko <pwolsko@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Passaic, New Jersey is another place where many Slovaks wound up
      > > - to work in the factories. The only pirohy fest around here is at
      > > my house, where my wife makes them herself.
      > > >
      > > > Paul Wolsko
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > > From: BJLK@
      > > > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
      > > > Sent: Friday, July 31, 2009 8:04 PM
      > > > Subject: [Slovak-World] Slovak Immigrant Communities
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > At one time (probably about 80 or some years ago, starting around the
      > > > early 20s of the previous century), Shamrock, Texas, was a
      > > destination for
      > > > Slovak immigrants who were part of a homesteading community led
      > > by a Lutheran
      > > > pastor (whose name I don't know). My best friend's mother, uncle, and her
      > > > cousin's mother arrived via this route. There are probably no remnants
      > > > left of this early history, but it might be interesting to check out.
      > > >
      > > > Whiting, Indiana, was indeed a thriving Slovak community around the same
      > > > time. My mother arrived there as a young Slovak teenager to join
      > > her father
      > > > who preceded her, along with one of his brothers. St. Paul Slovak
      > > > Lutheran Church continues to exist, and this past weekend the
      > > community celebrated
      > > > its annual Pierogy Fest which continues to honor both its Slovak and
      > > > Polish roots (even though they are probably now in the minority).
      > > >
      > > > I suspect that there might be even more forgotten Slovak
      > > enclaves scattered
      > > > across the midwest. The Czech communities in Nebraska and Iowa were also
      > > > the home of many Slovaks (like my father's cousins from the Quad Cities
      > > > area) who, because they were in the minority, were not
      > > differentiated from
      > > > their close ethnic relatives.
      > > >
      > > > This is an interesting subject, and I hope there may be other bits of
      > > > information lingering in the memories of the remaining
      > > "first-generation kids"
      > > > like me.
      > > >
      > > > _________________________
      > > > B. J. Licko-Keel (BJLK@)
      > > >
      > > > In a message dated 7/31/2009 9:06:22 A.M. Central Daylight Time,
      > > > trflynn@ writes:
      > > >
      > > > I think there are some settlements of Slovaks in Nebraska and
      > > Indiana, but
      > > > I've not heard of any in Texas.
      > > >
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