Slovakia Genealogy Research Strategies
Home Strategy Place Names Churches Census History Culture
TOOLBOX Contents Settlements Maps FHL Resources Military Correspondence
Library Search Dukla Pass        


Starina Reservoir Village Evacuations

(Starinska vodna nadrz)


Dara, Ostroznica, Starina, Smolnik, Velka Polana/Polana, Ruske & Zvala


Reservoir Looking South, 2003


Seven villages along and near the northern reaches of the Cirocha River, near the Poland border ceased to exist in 1980 after the construction of the Starina dam and reservoir. Most of the residents moved either to Snina or the city of Humenne and environs.  These villages include [Slovak(Magyar)]: Ostroznica (Osztroznica), Smolnik (Zemplen Szomolnak), Velka Polana/Polana (Nagy Polena), Starina (Sztarina, Cirokaofalu), Dara (Dara, Dare), Ruske (Oroszruszka, Zemplenoroszi) and Zvala (Zuella).  Many original roads still exist along these old byways, but are closed and limited to foot traffic.  Uniquely, the church from Dara remains standing, but appears unused (2001).  If these are your villages, I have 1914 and a 1937 1:75,000 maps of these villages that I would be pleased to send along to you. 

Many of these villages are now a part of the Poloniny National Park and East Carpathian Biosphere.

These villages were incorporated into the township of Stakčín on the following dates:

1981 - Ostroznica, Smolnik, Velka Polana

1985 - Starina

1986 - Dara, Ruske, Zvala

You will not find these villages on contemporary maps.  I have noted in red on the Slovakia Villages page map the general location of each village.

Church Records at the LDS

Due to village closures and the communist shutdowns, the following table describes where the church records for each village are filed in the Presov State Archives.  These archives were filmed by the Mormons and you can find village church records filed accordingly.  Thanks to Vladimir Bohnic for providing this information.

Village (Slovak) Village (Magyar) Greek Catholic Roman Catholic 1914 Pop.



Dara Dara Starina Snina 154 1773 2 151 - - 2 151 -
Ostroznica Osztrozsnicza, Szedreske (missing) Snina 176 1773 10 157 - - - 166 10
Ruske Oroz Ruszka Ruske Snina 428 1773 - 422 2 - 6 410 12
Stakcin Sztakcsin Stakcin Snina 1315 1773 93 881 109 201 331 957 79
Smolnik Szomolnok Ujszomolnok*, Zemplenszomolnok

(note: now part of Stakcin)

Missing - reported destroyed WW2(1) Snina 375 1773 9 349   - - 366 8
Starina Sztarina Czirokaofalu* Starina (FHL filed under Humenne) Snina 758 1773 27 674 29 - 28 694 32
Ulic Utczas, Ulics Ulic, Snina ? 998   54 884 31 - 31 906 59
Velka Polana Nagy Polena, Nagypolany

(note: now part of Stakcin)

Starina(SK Archive
Satoraljaujhely (HU Archive)  Note (2)
Snina 705 1773 88 577 18 - 8 606 91
Zvala Zello, Zuella ? Snina 441   8 424 8 - - 433 4

It is interesting to note that while the majority of these villages' population was Rusyn, the whereabouts of the many Greek Catholic records is uncertain.  The SR archives indicates the Roman Catholic records are stored with Snina records.  It's possible however that there was an indexing error.

Starina Dam Embankment, 2000

Starina Reservoir

Old village of Starina is Underwater

Starina Reservoir looking NW

towards former Ostronicza

Starina Reservoir North View

Former village of Dara to the right, former village of Polana to the Right rear.

Starina Reservoir looking N

Photo Gallery Credit: Mick Sura unless otherwise noted

2003 photos by Maureen Mikovics Pulignano - Uzhhorod, Snina, Starina Reservoir, Humenne, Dhle nad Cirochou

Rusyns - Lost Homes - A picture essay of the land of the seven villages cleared to make way for the Starina Reservoir. (2006)

(1) Reported by Gloria Kurbanick, 2009

(2) Mick Sura reports that no Velka Polana church records will be found in the Slovak State archives.  However records from 1821-1881 Can be found in the Zemplen regional archive in Satoraljaujhely (Hungary).


BEFORE 1997 Topographical Map

BEFORE 1925 Topo Map (1.4MB)

AFTER Current Road Map - general

AFTER Current Topo Map #2 - detail


 Links to off-site webs will open in a new window.  Please disable your pop-up stopper. 

Last Update: 15 November 2020                                                    Copyright © 2003-2021, Bill Tarkulich