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Memories of my Grandpa and the Sokol

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  • Paul Wolsko
    Seems as I grow older, I can recall things that I ve not thought about in many years. My Grandpa (mom s side), Stephen Burik, was born in 1885, somewhere in
    Message 1 of 31 , Apr 28, 2011
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      Seems as I grow older, I can recall things that I've not thought about
      in many years. My Grandpa (mom's side), Stephen Burik, was born in
      1885, somewhere in Slovakia and came to America with his father,
      Martin. They settled in Passaic, New Jersey.

      He worked for the Manhattan Rubber Company for many years, drank like a
      fish, and bought a policy with the Slovak Catholic Sokol, based out of
      Passaic. Odd thing was that he seemed obsessive about paying his Sokol
      dues in person.

      He didn't drive, spoke "Broken English", but not all that bad. If he
      could not find someone to drive him, he'd walk there. My mother usually
      drove him. When I got out of the Army in 1969, I'd drive him there on
      occasion to pay his dues.

      And he always wore a suit and tie when he went to pay his dues. I loved
      my grandpa and miss him after all these years - he passed in 1971. I am
      sorry that both my boys never met their great grandfather - a good man
      and a great American!

      Paul Wolsko
    • LongJohn Wayne
      Vilko, Martin, Et Al: Today, drove up to Presov for lunch w/ a new friend.  Gave her a bag of assorted Hershey s chocolates (from PA), a bag of Starburst
      Message 31 of 31 , May 5 10:47 AM
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        Vilko, Martin, Et Al:
        Today, drove up to Presov for lunch w/ a new friend.  Gave her a bag of assorted Hershey's chocolates (from PA), a bag of Starburst candies as well, and a North Carolina flag along w/ a Slovak flag (little desk sizes), with some literature (post cards, chamber of commerce stuff) from Charlotte NC.  So that she had some idea of where I live.
        Then drove up through some stunning countryside that looked very similar to the Pennsylvania Dutch country or the upstate part of New York.  Incredible springtime vistas.  The warm spring has been interrupted by a winter blast.  Very cold & breezy.
        I meandered through some small towns, and gave dirty looks to some of the gypsies that swarmed menacingly about my rental car as I read the map to regain my bearings.  I hear that they are harmless but they do try to intimidate at times.  West of Presov, the EU is contructing a new superhighway.  As I was traveling, I noticed what I thought were engineers or surveyors, & approached them near a construction trailer.  It turned out they were archeaologists who were doing preliminary work before construction starts in earnest.  We chatted a bit & then I headed over to the old gold mining town of Gelnica via a well-rutted backroad through Margecany & Jaklovce.  There was some stunning scenery along the way.  Along w/ significant flood damage.
        But the lake was way down due to repairs to the dam after last year's floods.  Locals claim it w/b back to normal by end of summer, hopefully.
        I am stopping as often as I can stand it to grab coffee & garlic soup in every cozy penzoine that I can.  I feel it an obligation.
        One of the most beautiful Slovak women I have ever seen just left the internet cafe from her seat next to me.  I am heart-broken.  But I will see another in just a few minutes.  That has been my experience these last 3 weeks.
        According to local statistics, the median age here in Kosice is 35 years.  That is amazing when you think of it.  There are strollers everywhere.  So there is hope that we are not dying out.
        Before I close, I should say that I watched the SK v Russia match at the Kosice amphitheater along w/ about 9000 other screaming Slovaks the other night.  When SK tied the score, the outburst was electric.  When they scored the go-ahead goal, the place exploded.  Even though it was near freezing in a drizzling rain, most fans remained even after a flurry of Russian goals.  Being closer to Vilko's age than 35 any more, I had to depart.  And I have been fighting off a cold.  But I stayed as long as I could.
        I leave Kosice aboard a sleeper train for Prague.  Then transit back to the US.  I am sad to go.
        Again, thank you all for your help in all my endeavors.  If I can ever be of assistance to any of you, let me know.  And I hope that my questions [and especially the answers & suggestions from the esteemed members of S-W] helped all of you in some way.
        ... and I still have not heard a fujara.  So I guess I'll have to come back.
        Kasci

        --- On Sat, 4/30/11, William C. Wormuth <senzus@...> wrote:

        From: William C. Wormuth <senzus@...>
        Subject: Re: Changes/YES, Errors/Not necessarily RE: [Slovak-World] Re: Memories of my Grandpa and the Sokol
        To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Saturday, April 30, 2011, 2:25 AM
















         









        Frank,

        You must know that I agree with you. I am familiar history of our people and

        have heard, (first hand), from my grandfather, who was exposed to

        multiculturalism in a rather extreme way because his father was an amy Officer,

        commanding the prison in Leopoldov, (Mestec~ko).



        In that position, all eyes were upon the family, including the local monarchy

        members.



        I do look on the "problem, much differently then you do but understand your

        thought process.



        I wish that I had all of the examples from which I have reached my own

        conclusions. I have seen hundreds. In Many cases I have read names in the name

        listings and when I proceed to the manifest, the persons name is incorrect and

        is corrected when the immigrant lists his father's name and town.



        I should not be carrying on this discussion as I am being repetitious.



        I am not a professional genealogist. I spent most of my adult life in the

        engineering field. I help people with their ancestral research as a

        contribution to furthering our culture.



        I appreciate being corrected by people because it helps me to do a better job in

        researching. The same is true when corrected by our Martin Votruba, who has

        provided me info, correcting my errors.



        I maintain a Slovak Household. so much so that I cannot read a name such as

        yours in American English. We have a priest named Matulewicz and I cannot

        pronounce it in any other way except [Mah-too-leh-veech].



        Actually, Plichta [Plee-khta] is a very good sounding name. It is also familiar

        to me but I do not know why.



        Thanks for the exchanges.



        S Panem Bohom,



        Vilko



        ________________________________

        From: Plichta <plichta@...>

        To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com

        Sent: Fri, April 29, 2011 11:26:55 PM

        Subject: Changes/YES, Errors/Not necessarily RE: [Slovak-World] Re: Memories

        of my Grandpa and the Sokol



        Vilo,



        I will agree with you that some errors might have occurred.



        However, the fact that a Hungarian place name was used instead of the

        current day Slovak name is not an error in my mind. The location was known

        by that Hungarian name when our ancestors departed there many years ago.

        Since that time however, political events and wars have changed the face of

        Central Europe. So a location what was once known by a Hungarian name is

        today know by a Slovak name is part of history and how things changes. It

        is not an error. At some points in history, those place names might also

        have been reported in German or Latin depending on the time and the context

        in which it was used.



        The same is true for individual's first names. They may be in one language

        at that point in time but later were converted to the ethnic name of the

        individual's ethnicity. I do not look on that as an error either.



        Events changed the landscape. Times changed the languages and the location

        names and the individual's names. Spelling was never an exact science in

        those days. Some folks could not read or write and they really did not have

        any preference for the way that their name was spelled. It they were a

        peasant who was illiterate, they accepted what someone else told them. They

        did not know or did not concern them with the differences. It wasn't

        important to them. All they were concerned with was getting on the ship and

        heading off to a new live.



        I think what is important to us today, is to understand why we find

        differences. Times change things and genealogy is the study of changes over

        time. Changes in surnames, changes in given names, changes in place names,

        changes in languages, changes in the calendar (we haven't really typed about

        that-the changes from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar),

        changes in our ancestors education, changes in our ancestor's lives.



        I will acknowledge CHANGES. I do not acknowledge that those changes are

        ERRORS.



        Frank Plichta, historically also reported as Plihta.



        "Searching the World for PLICHTAs" and in its other forms: PLIHTA,

        PLICHTOVA AND PLIHTOVA as well as several declension variables in Polish and

        other languages.



        _____



        From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com] On

        Behalf Of William C. Wormuth

        Sent: Friday, April 29, 2011 10:25 PM

        To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com

        Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] Re: Memories of my Grandpa and the Sokol



        Franta,



        I do apologize. You are correct. the manifests were prepared upon boarding

        the

        ships.



        If you use the records you will believe that the errors were made by

        indivuals

        who make errors which you might determine, are Americans.



        Misspellings of names do not appear, (to me), due to "uneducated"

        immigrants. I

        wish I had examples but I have seen this often. The errors are like, using

        ch

        instead of c for names like Bac~a or sh instead of the s as S~tefka, etc..



        The real message I am trying to send is that you cannot accept all

        information

        given, as 100% correct and continue your research to find accuracy.



        There is other confusing information which confuses people and these include

        the

        first names given in Hungarian, such as Erzsa [Ehrr-zha] for Alz~beta,

        Istvan

        [EEsht-vahn] for S~tefan, Mihaly [Mee-ha-lee] Michal...etc.



        The second is place names which are given mostly in the Hungarian for and do

        not

        even resemble those names given to us by our relatives. My Grandfather was

        from

        Bojnic~ky [Boy-neech-kee] which in Hungarian is Bajmocsko [Buy-mohch-koh].



        I hope this explains my error in connecting the errors, DIRECTLY to the

        Island,

        instead of to the port of departure.



        However, THE ERRORS DO APPEAR IN THE ELLIS ISLAND RECORDS.



        Z Bohom,



        Vilo



        ________________________________

        From: Plichta <plichta@... <mailto:plichta%40earthlink.net> >

        To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>

        Sent: Fri, April 29, 2011 5:44:30 PM

        Subject: RE: [Slovak-World] Re: Memories of my Grandpa and the Sokol



        Vilo,



        I don't know how many times someone needs to reaffirm that Ellis Island did

        not change names. All of the passenger lists were prepared at the port in

        Europe where the ship departed from. Ellis Island did not change names.



        Frank



        "Searching the World for PLICHTAs"



        _____



        From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>

        [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>

        ] On

        Behalf Of William C. Wormuth

        Sent: Friday, April 29, 2011 5:02 PM

        To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>

        Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] Re: Memories of my Grandpa and the Sokol



        Paul,



        It takes a long time to research because you have to search for these

        changes

        made by processors in Ellis.



        Z Bohom,



        Vilo



        ________________________________

        From: Paul Wolsko <pwolsko@... <mailto:pwolsko%40optonline.net>

        <mailto:pwolsko%40optonline.net> >

        To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>

        <mailto:Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>

        Sent: Fri, April 29, 2011 4:38:45 PM

        Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] Re: Memories of my Grandpa and the Sokol



        Vilo,



        Much obliged, and many thanks!!! I could never find anything on

        them, but I got disgusted and gave up searching some years ago. Now, at

        63, I'm getting interested again, so I can pass something on to my boys

        when I pass on - least I can do.



        Thanks again for taking the time to look it up. It is hard to read

        the cursive script that was the norm back then and, as it was, the

        processors took liberties on how they "Americanized" many names.



        Paul



        On 4/29/2011 4:14 PM, William C. Wormuth wrote:

        >

        > Pavel,

        >

        > Do not spread bad rumors :o) :o) :o) There is a listing for Martin AND

        > Stefan

        > Burik, on Ellis Island records, from Munich, Arriving February 19,

        > 1896. The

        > original manifest is unclear for Stefan but he is listed on the typed

        > version,

        > with no age, etc. I will send you jpg of documents to your email as I

        > do not

        > know how to forward jpg direct here.

        > Maria Burik, (34), came in June 10,1896 with her son Jan, (9) from

        > Antwerp.

        >

        > Ellis records are often incomplete and erroneous but unfortunately,

        > the only

        > source we have. as I have previously written, My Grandfather is not

        > listed on

        > the ship he sailed even though I have his ticket????

        >

        > Hope I have helped.

        >

        > Z Bohom,

        >

        > Vilo

        >

        > ________________________________

        > From: Paul Wolsko <pwolsko@... <mailto:pwolsko%40optonline.net>

        <mailto:pwolsko%40optonline.net>

        <mailto:pwolsko%40optonline.net>>

        > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>

        <mailto:Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>

        <mailto:Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>

        > Sent: Fri, April 29, 2011 3:21:08 PM

        > Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] Re: Memories of my Grandpa and the Sokol

        >

        > Eugene,

        >

        > Hard to tell, as my mother's father was the only grandparent I ever

        > knew and he didn't talk much about the Old Country. I still have his

        > naturalization papers and it states that he came from Austria Hungary,

        > which could have been lots of places. His family came to America long

        > before Ellis Island ever opened (1897 when he was 12), so I've no clue

        > as to his port-of-entry, but we suspect it was Baltimore.

        >

        > The Buriks followed typical Slovak naming patterns with: Johns,

        > Georges, Annas, Marys, Mikes, Irenes, Steves, Helens, etc. I have long

        > lost track with any of the Buriks. My mother, Mary Burik, died back in

        > 1977 and that was about it - the family was never that close to one

        > another aside from the immediate family.

        >

        > Paul Wolsko

        >

        > On 4/29/2011 12:52 PM, gklodzen@... <mailto:gklodzen%40aol.com>

        <mailto:gklodzen%40aol.com>

        <mailto:gklodzen%40aol.com> wrote:

        > >

        > > <<My Grandpa (mom's side), Stephen Burik, was born in

        > > 1885, somewhere in Slovakia and came to America with his father,

        > > Martin. They settled in Passaic, New Jersey.>>

        > >

        > > Paul, there are Buriks in our family tree. An "Iron Mike" Burick (so

        > > named

        > > for his reported ability to bend an iron bar with his bare hands) came

        > > from

        > > VinneBanka, Hungary (now Slovakia) and settled in the Pennsylvania

        > mining

        > > town of Bitumen in the late 1800s. Perhaps there's a connection.

        > >

        > > Eugene Klodzen

        > > Virginia

        > >

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

        > >

        > >

        >

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

        >

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

        >

        >



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