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Re: [Slovak-World] Researching Slovak records... passanger, birth, etc.... and mistakes, inaccuracies...

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  • LongJohn Wayne
    Vilko:   I don t think we should judge our ancestors too harshly.   Back then they had had their heritage rubbed in their faces.  Even in the Soviet days,
    Message 1 of 35 , May 1, 2011
      I don't think we should judge our ancestors too harshly.
      Back then they had had their heritage rubbed in their faces.  Even in the Soviet days, the East Germans were the 'rich' folks under Communism.  But the Slovaks in some ways had it better than our brethren to the east in Bulgaria & Romania.  In fact, they emmigrate to Slovakia for work, even today.
      Many left & never wanted to look back.  They didn't come to take jobs that Americans wouldn't do, but they came for good.
      I am not excusing it.  But when I have met many Slovaks and tell them of my errand on these trips -- to learn more about my ancestors -- they look befuddled.  Why bother, they wonder.  It seems an awful waste of time & money to them.
      .. but then ... they get to LIVE here.  And while the economy stinks.  And they are being taxed to bail out Spain, France, Greece, Portugal & who knows which EU country next .... they DO get to live in paradise.
      I am just saying that many of them still want to forget where they came from & come to America.
      So it isn't an old idea at all.
      Just my perspective.  Or my interpretation of what they have told me.

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

      From: William C. Wormuth <senzus@...>
      Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] Researching Slovak records... passanger, birth, etc.... and mistakes, inaccuracies...
      To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Saturday, April 30, 2011, 12:20 PM



      As a young boy, when I heard that people I knew changed their names, I was
      disgusted, as I was taught to be proud to be an American and equally proud of my
      Slovak Heritage.

      We had changes like Valachovic to Valcovic, Macejka to Mace, Brezovsky to Brez,
      etc...These changes were made by people who were ashamed to be Slovak because of
      ridicule, by the White, Anglo Saxon, Protestant, "native" the in schools.
      My uncle would loudly complain when my Gram and Gramp spoke Slovak in his
      presence, "speak English you are in America". Slovak was his "First" language
      and my great Grandparents spoke no English.

      Ma was proud to be Slovak but would not teach us because my father was not
      Slovak and as she put it, "your father would not understand you. He was not
      Slovak. My Mother did not speak the Zahorak dialect but the language from the
      Hlohovec area and her pronunciation was "native".

      I managed to learn to speak, read and write Slovak from outside my home,
      Phonetically reading signs along the road until my pronunciation was "native".
      Even now, although many laugh at my antique Zahorak dialect, people believe I am
      a native Slovak.

      Unfortunately, there are only a very small number of us left who can speak the
      language, all of us over 75. We are helping the young people learn about their
      families and our history.

      "Hej Slovaci este nasa Slovenska rec zije....."

      Nech Pan Boh daj Pozehnaj,


      From: Susan Durisek <durisek@...>
      To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sat, April 30, 2011 8:26:17 AM
      Subject: [Slovak-World] Researching Slovak records... passanger, birth, etc....
      and mistakes, inaccuracies...

      Add to that changes brought about here, like the removal of the first letter of
      a last name by teachers in the US...Pittsburgh, even... because it was
      "unnecessary", or changes we ourselves did, like transforming Ochodnicki to
      Oaks. Then there is the inablility of the volunteers to read the handwriting in
      the records clearly while transcribing those passenger lists to the Ellis
      Island searchable database ...which was a fantastic service to us all, despite
      the errors. .Also, our inability to figure out that some of the entries in the
      birth/marriage/death records are written in "cases" or whatever you call the
      changes in words because of their grammatical function, so for example, Pavla
      and Anny. Or the switching of order of month and day, standard in the US, to day
      and month, standard in the records. Even more, with the use of 2 columns of
      days, one for birth and the other baptism in the chruch records, combined into
      one day and reversed on records here... like a relative born on September 1,
      baptized on September 2, whose records here all say her birthday was 12/9. It
      was celebrated that way for decades. I have no idea how that came about... but
      am thinking my relative could not read to be able to check what was written, and
      folks who saw her documentation were familiar with neither the date system nor
      the language.
      Still, we persist and many times find what we're looking for by being good
      I love a good puzzle.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: votrubam
      To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Saturday, April 30, 2011 2:03 AM
      Subject: [Slovak-World] Changes/YES, Errors/Not necessarily

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

      Not an error, I agree. But the rest is inaccurate. Slovak-majority localities
      _were_ known by their Slovak names long before they were assigned invented
      Hungarianized names by Budapest, many in the late 19th century for the first

      > 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.

      As above: not an error, I agree. But the same applies as above too, the people's
      original Slovak names were forcibly converted to Hungarian at that time.

      > Since that time however, political events and wars have
      > changed the face of Central Europe.

      Budapest's policy forcibly changed the form of the names from Slovak, German,
      Croatian... to Hungarian long before the political events that changed the face
      of Central Europe. Most of the names reverted to their original forms after the
      political events and wars.

      > they really did not have any preference

      The travelers had documents issued by Budapest with Hungarianized personal names
      and place names, they, the documents, were key sources of the way the travelers'
      personal names and places of origin were spelled in the ship records, not their
      preferences, which many indeed did have.

      > I do not acknowledge that those changes are ERRORS.

      Vilo is quite right, the ship manifests are swarming with errors -- misspelled
      people's names and misspelled place names, erroneous both by Hungarian standards
      and by Slovak standards. Names in the manifests are massively spelled in a
      manner that never occurred in the Kingdom of Hungary regardless of which
      language one uses as the benchmark.


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    • William C. Wormuth
      Larry, I have both versions, S~vabach and Latin script versions. No, I won t translate it for you. :o) :o) :o) Z Bohom, Vilo ________________________________
      Message 35 of 35 , May 18, 2011

        I have both versions, S~vabach and Latin script versions. No, I won't translate
        it for you. :o) :o) :o)

        Z Bohom,


        From: "lkocik@..." <lkocik@...>
        To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wed, May 18, 2011 3:22:48 PM
        Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] Researching Family - Alphabet Charts

        Vilo/ Martin

        I thank you too for the charts Martin.

        On the subject of "old German"...What I was reffering with to Vilo, were the
        earliest church records [early 1700s] for Gbely. They don't seem to be regular
        latin, but more a mix of latin and strange symbols. I was wondering if they
        could be what I've heard of as "old church Slavonic" The symbol-like entries I
        mentioned remind me of Cyrillic in a rough way, or even modern day shorthand. In
        any case it is definately not like the distinct latin of the latter day records.

        Vilo; I have my gramma's bible which is also a Fr. Ondrej Radlinsky version. I
        can't read Slovak and am not familiar with old german so I can't comment on it,
        except to say it's beautiful.

        This thread should be of interest to anyone trying to decipher old church
        records, once they get past the terrible handwriting. Some has beautiful flowing
        script and some looks like chicken scatchings. I'm thankful that they are
        available in any condition but get frustrated at times at what seems to be
        uncaring sloppiness. Back to the original thought;...Does anyone have an idea or
        thought on the language used in the oldest church records?

        Thank you

        LarryFrom: "William C. Wormuth" <senzus@...>
        To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Monday, May 16, 2011 11:16:23 PM
        Subject: [Slovak-World] Researching Family - Alphabet Charts


        I sincerely thank you for the charts you provided, comparing Slovak, German and
        Hungarian alphabets.

        I a recent exchange with Larry Kocik, the subject of "Old German", (S~vabach),
        writing, came up. first befcame familiar with S~vabach, when I obtained my Great

        Grandmothers prayer Book. It is a book written by Fr. Ondrej Radlinsky:
        Larry had found info that I think was in this script but he has not yet
        Clarified this.
        This info might be of interest to our members.
        Many Thanks!

        Z Bohom,


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