Eastern Slovakia
Slovak and Carpatho-Rusyn Genealogical Research


by Joseph Hornack

When beginning to document my related lineage back in 1971 little did I realize I had the most important starting ingredient already known from verbal information passed down to me by my elders. I knew the communities from which my immigrating relations called home in Central Europe and because this always interested me it remained in my memory. It also did not take me long to realize that back then in the 70's and 80's there was a shortage of support information and individuals to turn to bridge the gap from America to Slovakia.

Knowing the community of roots can quickly open up ones search for information. I had seen many who were starting their genealogy search get bogged down with the surname spelling and questioning if a surname was this or that nationality sounding. Knowing your related immigrants spoke Slovak or came from Slovakia should direct you dig out from family documents or letters a community to work with.

In the majority those early immigrants were peasants with very little education. It is not unusual to assume that in Europe they even had to write their own name, they only said it and the ear of the educated priest or official spelled it on a document as they were taught. The case was the same when arriving America and even worse because the entry official had no ear for these surname spellings. Doing your genealogy concentrate on finding that community of the immigrant and many hang-ups will be skipped over.

With all this in mind, in 1986, I founded the Surname Location Reference Project (SLRP) as a support system to network with, and based in North America. Working with those who know where their related immigrants called home in Slovakia the SLRP is building an accessible database for any number of future links to a surname and/or a particular community in what is now the Slovak Republic. The SLRP is a support system for those working at the hobby of genealogy.

The base structure of the SLRP is the historic counties of old. The 20 counties that made up all of Slovakia in that period of highest immigration to North America. To some only the County was remembered as home. The counties bridges that gap between the Austria Hungary Empire to Czechoslovakia to the Slovak Republic. With the reference material in the SLRP there is no reason to get lost in the current geography of Central Europe with ones community of roots.

Not having a self-identified country from which they came the Slovak speaking people were always faced with a identity problem. The Austria-Hungary Dual Monarchy existed from 1867 until 1918, this was the melting pot society of its day. The long settled Slavic territory was fabled as either Austrian (Germanic) or Hungarian (Magyar) when coming to North America. With the break-up of the Austria-Hungary Empire in 1918 nineteen percent (19%) of the total area became Czecho-Slovakia. This all slavic state conveniently became just Czechoslovak and shorter yet by those here in North America as just Czech.

The SLRP and its associate writers are on the Internet and can be reached by E-mail. The SLRP is also known around the world with its database on the FEEFHS WWW Homepage.

The FEEFHS SLRP Surname Project Home Page

Updated Associate Correspondents in Slovakia-SLRP
And How To Get Your Surnames Included

View the SLRP on line Surname Index

Declared Slovaks by State, U.S. 1990 Census

Home Page of Krakovany / Straze Project

E-mail Joseph Hornack

Krakovany / Straze Section Copyright 1998 - Joseph J. Hornack, Independence Ohio: Nitra county Husband and father of six grown children. His paternal grandparents immigrated to America in 1905 from Krakovany, Nitra County. In 1983 he visited Slovakia, Krakovany, for the first time; later escorting tour groups in 1990, 1992, 1994 and 1997. In 1986, he founded the Slovakia Surname Location Reference Project (SLRP); he directed in 1991 its expansion to include County Associates publishing columns and logging lineage submitted. Two SLRP booklets have been produced: a book of compiled Columns published in the ongoing series, and the other, the Database alphabetical by surname and by location submitted. He remains active in Cleveland-Bratislava Sister Cities, Inc. (CBSC) since its formation in 1991; members dedicated to the exchange of cultural and commercial strengths.

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