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A summary of all changes to this site over time


October 2020

Link updates for sites that have changed, move or disappeared.

August 2020

Hello, it's me!  I'm back.   After a seven year hiatus, I'm back to update this site.   While the strategy remains constant, links have changed and better resources have surfaced.   I've also retired since the last update, and coronavirus has kept me close to home, so there is time on hand to dedicate to this.  Once both myself and my cousins in Slovakia give the "all clear", I plan to be back to Eastern Slovakia for an extended period of socializing the the family and research.

So look for updates here, on a weekly basis as I go through every page.   Please send suggestions for changes to the web site, I'm all ears!

 I am also continuing my studies of the Carpatho-Rusyns, with an interest in the period from the end of World War One (1919)  and the Velvet Revolution (1989).  The more I learn, the less I know!  My objective is to develop material that describes this period to a level greater than an overview, but not as great an academic paper or book.  It will be clear and easy to understand for the mortal student who has a more than passing interest, but doesn't have the time to study it in depth.   In the end, I plan to publish material and give some talks to general audicences on specific topics during this period of time.  It's at least six to 12 months away.

 The whole Cold War period in Czechoslovakia has been a big blank space in my knowledge.   Perhaps it is for you too.  I just finished reading a book, "Czechoslovakia: Behind the Iron Curtain" which is excellent.  It gave me a lot of insights about what actually happened, and the knowledge to ask better questions of my cousins. The authors have established a non-profit  Global Slovaka "dedicated to sharing Slovakia with the world." I highly recommend it.

SITE UPDATES, 8/3/2020

Tip:  Use to translate foreign language sites. (how to set your browser language coming soon!)

:20th Century Photos from Eastern Slovakia (in Slovak, but easy to follow)



May 2013


20th Century Photos from Eastern Slovakia (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - actively being updated)

Church Record Headers (originally produced by John Jasso) , new page

 "Slovakia Full Circle, The Return Journey, 1904 - 2001" , republished

Ukraine State Archives, Hungary State Archives, Slovakia State Archives

Hungary State Archives on-line collections

Hungary State Archives collection of historic castradal and other maps (in Latin)

Hungary State Archives Urbaria et Conscriptiones (Early taxation and census records, 16-19th century)

Hungary World War 2 Prisoner of War database

A nice YouTube video of Wooden Churches from the region

Saints Name Days  - Useful when there is confusion about birth dates



November 2012

since the original publication of his page on A-H Military records, Carl Kotlarchik has continued to collect new information which creates an even more valuable guide.  Please refer to Carl's own site for the most recent news and information.

Austro-Hungarian Army Records - Carl's Definitive Site (2012-13)



June 2012

1715 and 1720 Hungary Ubarial Census from Hungary Archive


December 2011

1912 U.S. Passport Application - Samuel Feldman, US Citizen, born Kolbasov, SK (formerly Hungary) - Credit to H. A. Weinbaum (rcvd2011)


May, 2011

General FHL update for Slovakia and Czech Republic

Instructions for Acta Publica Registration and Search

April, 2011



Carl writes: 

I recently became aware of a new website that provides information about WWI soldiers.  The National Library of the Czech Republic has digitized and placed on line, casualty reports from the war.  These reports provide information about a soldiers unit, his birth place and date, type of wound or whether he was killed or captured, and the location.  This is enough information to then locate what his unit was doing during the war.  ... I found so many discrepancies between Steve Blodgett’s published information and the one from Wrede that I finally just put together charts for each region of the empire. 

This is pretty exciting news because as you know, the personnel records for Hungarian soldiers after 1867 have been destroyed.  So, now there is a way to finally obtain information on the service of a WWI soldier.  And since many men were wounded or captured in this war, many people should be able to find their relatives."


  • Peter Nagy's toolbox of native Hungary and Slovakia online resources is an outstanding resource.



  • Hot Tip:  Can't find your village in the FHL Catalog?  Try searching using keyword (beta).  I've found many obscure villages this way.


  • Family History Library Updates

    • 4/11 Update - Since 2010, the pace of digitizing records in Slovakia to their online portal has significantly increased, to the point that the vast majority of records for Slovakia have been digitized and posted to the web.  They are presently adding large eastern towns to the index (Presov, Stropkov, Snina, Svidnik, Trencin, Bardejov, Michalovce, Sabinov).  These are being added to daily.

      4/11 Update - The large cities (Bratislava) and (Kosice) will be the last to be filmed and digitized.  The effort for cities is vastly more complex and the FHL has decided to postpone those until last.

      4/11 Update - In 2007 the FHL reached an agreement with the Czech Republic Archives to begin filming historical vital records.  The effort has proceeded handily, with many regions filmed and two regions digitized.  The holdings change daily.  At this point, Northern Moravia is actively being digitized and the Southern Bohemia section has been digitzed.  Northern Bohemia is actively being filmed, but not yet digitized

      In additon to the FHL, The Czech Republic/European Territorial Cooperative has begin to release digitized images of church records online.  The instructions are in Czech and translated also into German.  You can use Google Translation to translate these pages into English and other languages.

  • Thousands of old postcards from everywhere in old Hungary at this site

    Tip: All the village names are in Magyar, so you’d better have your secret decoder ring at the ready in order to find your village. Not all obscure villages (like mine!) will be found.


  • Miles Lambert sent me a note regarding a new Hungary National Archives (MOL) site for family research.    Miles Writes:  "It contains the (Ed. Note: Transcribed) 1828 census for Saros county ...  The larger third of Saros county was at that time largely Rusyn, and the surnames are listed by village...  As usual, the census cannot be considered complete, in the sense that not every family name will appear, since mostly they are listing taxpayers (taxable persons).  Nevertheless, it reveals the whereabouts of many families at the time..."  More information on census.

"The other item is the Abauj-Torna county registry of nobility, from 1646-1755...  The registry includes the lesser nobility, which encompasses a lot more than one might think.  One finds Slavic as well as Mgyar and German surnames here." 

This site is in Magyar.  As time permits I'll create an English guide to get yourself around the site.


August, 2010

Period articles regarding Slovakia, CzechoSlovakia, Austro-Hungary can be found following issues of the National Geographic magazine:

Dec. 1912, Feb. 1917, Feb. 1921, June 1927, Jan. 1933, Aug. 1938, Dec. 1945, Jan. 1987, Sept. 1993.  (Thanks to George Dolnak for compiling this list.)

Traditional Patterns of Naming Carpatho-Rusyn Children


July, 2010

Hungary Census of 1910, Czechoslovakia Census of 1921 and 1930

Accessing Seventeenth Century Hungarian Urbarial Records Online by Richard Iglar

Rusnaci - Another photo essay of the extinct eastern village of Ruske along with a written history


June, 2010

Ukrainian Weekly Newspaper - Archives (online 1933-present)

May, 2010

General FHL Resource Page Update - With the advent of the "Pilot" and "Indexing" projects, the FHL now has three resources to use in your research.  The general trend towards web-accessible content presents very exciting opportunities.  Slovakia microfilm records are being digitized and Czech Republic records are being recorded and digitized at a rapid pace.  

Requesting an Immigration File - Updated to reflect the new BCIS process

Place Name Identification Strategies - Updated strategy for using phone books, sources for ship manifests.  Added section on  general guiding principles

Family History Library Resources - Update explaining the different FHL offerings and what they mean for records in Slovakia and Czech Republic.

FHL Pilot - Clarifies the use and availability of this important document image archive for Slovakia and Czech Republic church records.

April, 2010

Traditional Patterns of Naming Carpatho-Rusyn Children

A Guide for Locating Military Records for the various Regions of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, by Carl Kotlarchik

Why Do I Do This?

Brief Overview of the World War II Enemy Alien Control Program (U.S. National Archives) - Immigrants who were not naturalized citizens at the start of WWII and were citizens of enemy nations such as Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary were subject to strict monitoring and recordkeeping.  Often these records may reveal important details about your ancestors.

March, 2010

Updated Guide to Finding Your Ancestral Village - Enhanced to include newly available online tools

January, 2010

Read more about suppression of the church under communism, including an autobiography by Cardinal Jan Korec

Online Slovakia Church Records (Presov Region) are available once again (FHL Pilot) - Contains records through 1905.

Czech Military Records at the Family History Library


November, 2009

October, 2009




June, 2009


  • Frequency of Surnames in Slovakia (Instructions)

  • Database of Present and Former Place names in Slovakia (Instructions)

  • Frequency of Surnames in the Czech Republic

  • Hungary State Archives

    • Tip From Peter Nagy:  According the present regulations, the registrars have to close the registry volumes after the last record is more than 100 years old. The repository for these civil records are the branch offices of the State Archives (pobočky ątátnych archívov).

  • 1869 Census Tip From Peter Nagy: The 1869 census is a big issue, according to my knowledge, the Budapest National Archives have some areas which are not kept by Slovak archives. In opposite, the census for the former Komarom county is kept by the State Archives in Ivanka pri Nitre, even for the villages in present Hungary.



January, 2009




January, 2009


Bill Tarkulich to present Dukla Pass Lecture

Saturday, February 7th, 2009, 3-5 PM

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Sponsored by the Minnesota Rusin Association

As part of their annual Duchnovich Day

St. Mary’s Cathedral—School Building—17th and 5th Street N.E.

Come for the whole day - Lecture, Ethnic Rusin Dinner and Entertainment

Complete Information Flyer


November, 2008


For those who may be struggling in their pre-1903 research, specifically regarding some of our ancestors who may have arrived in the earliest waves, I came across a story of a little-known off-year US federal census. I do not believe it has been filmed by the FHL, so you may have to go to the US National Archives to access it.  Here is a recent article describing it.


October, 2008

Looking for a Village?  "FuzzyG" (or Fuzzy Gazetteer) searches for place names world-wide and can handle variations in spelling, thereby making the searches more robust.  "FuzzyG" is a service of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.


September, 2008


The FHL (Family History Library) informs me that they have been busy digitizing microfilms (converting microfilms into files that are computer-readable) from the PRESOV region. In a few short weeks, they will be make those files available for general researchers (like you and me) to participate in the indexing of these records.

Indexing involves reading the image (from the convenience of your home or office computer) via the internet, and transcribing the data - events, names, dates into a typewritten form. Once that data is entered, the FHL will use it to create search-able indexes for surnames, village names and other critical elements.

This is very exciting since it brings us much closer to the goal of having the microfilm images available to us via the internet. This "next generation" project is happening much faster than I imagined and I am delighted to see it's progress.

If you want to get a feel for what the indexing project is like, or to sign up now, check out their indexing web site.  You will see the many projects already underway, you can also register now and download the necessary software


Coming Soon

  • Finding post-1895 Records in Slovakia



August, 2008



JULY, 2008

  • DUKLA PASS LECTURE NOTES  The Pittsburgh chapter of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society  graciously hosted my lecture and slide presentation  about the significant 1944 BATTLE OF THE DUKLA PASS in July, 2008. The event took place at the Carpatho-Rusyn Society National Cultural Center in Munhall.  The Pittsburgh Tribune-Herald reported on the lecture.  You can find the LECTURE NOTES here.
  • Database of Surnames & Town Names  - Here is another research resource:  The Slovak Philological Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences maintains a database which contains surnames as well as both the present and historical names of the Slovak towns. The database of the surnames is based on recent research projects and shows only the present spelling of the surnames.Of great interest it that it contains a lookup from the valuable Majtan book, "Nazvy obci Slovenskej republiky", 1998.


JUNE, 2008

Battle of Dukla Pass - Saturday July 26, 2008 - Munhall, Pennsylvania

The Pittsburgh chapter of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society will host a lecture and slide presentation by noted historian, Bill Tarkulich, about the significant yet little-known 1944 BATTLE OF THE DUKLA PASS. The event will take place on Saturday afternoon July 26th, 2008 at 3:00 p. m., at the Carpatho-Rusyn Society National Cultural Center in Munhall.

This World War II battle was fought at a strategic Carpathian mountain pass, which became the first Slovakia territory freed from German occupation.  The focus of this presentation is a broad-brush overview of the lands, the people, the strategic value of this region, the events and their impacts. This is not a technical analysis of the battle. Anyone with friends, family or research interest in Eastern Slovakia will find this lecture to be of interest.  The battle was fought in and around Carpatho-Rusyn settlements in Slovakia and Poland.

This is the third presentation of this lecture. The first two were in New Jersey and Connecticut.

The Carpatho-Rusyn Society National Cultural Center was originally built in 1903 and in 1929 it was chosen as the cathedral for the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Exarchate in America.  The church was patterned after the Cathedral of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Uzhorod, Ukraine, a major city in the Rusyn homeland.

Location: 427 E 10th Ave Munhall, PA.  Munhall is 5 miles from downtown Pittsburgh. 

More Information   Directions


Family History Center - Floodgates open for Slovak Republic, Czech Republic and Ukraine records!




July, 2007



The FHL has signed an agreement to begin filming the Czech Republic Archives records



May, 2007

Snina Region Tourism Site - RECOMMENDED Nice descriptions of villages in this region, good map, Lists of hiking paths, tourist attractions including roadside monuments, lodging, restaurants, recreation, cemeteries, manor houses, folk architecture, brief history.  A good resource for readers of these pages.  NEW, 2007. (English, German, Slovak)

Zakarpatská Oblast - Nice Photos from Rusky Potok, Nova Sedlica, Ubla, Ulicske Krive, Snina, Prislop, Stuzice (Ukraine). 5/2007

The Battle of Dukla Pass lecture was held on May 5th, 2007 in Bridgeport, CT.  If you missed it or would like follow-up information, here are some short-cuts.

Slovak Phone Book:

Usage Note: The village "wildcard" character has changed to an underscore "_" placed in this field.  This will yield results for all villages.


April, 2007


Battle of Dukla Pass - 5/5/7 - Bridgeport, CT


BRIDGEPORT, CT, APRIL 20, 2007: The New England Chapter of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society will host an interesting lecture and slide presentation by noted historian, BILL TARKULICH, about the famous BATTLE OF THE DUKLA PASS. The event will take place at St. John the Baptist Carpatho-Russian Church at 364 Mill Hill Ave. Bridgeport CT, at 1:30 PM on Saturday May 5th, 2007

The Battle of Dukla Pass occurred at the end of the Second World War in eastern Czechoslovakia. Many residents of southwestern Connecticut who are of Slovak, Carpatho-Rusyn or Czech descent will be interested in learning more about this event that took place in their parents’ homelands.

As the Russian and First Czechoslovak Armies moved across Poland in 1944, they planned a quick diversion to aid the SNP-(Slovensko Narodne Povstanie / Slovak National Uprising) via the Dukla Pass. This diversion became one of the bloodiest conflagrations in Slovak history with casualties over 138,000. The combatants were Russian, Czechoslovak, and German. The lands were remote, wooded and sparsely populated.

The Dukla Pass cuts through the Carpathian Mountains in Northeastern Slovakia- as a historic strategic pass way from Poland into the Hungarian Plains. The fighting occurred in a region populated by Rusyn villages. At one point more than 6O% of the First Czechoslovak Army were Rusyns. Special guest John Kulhan, a decorated member of the (Free) Czechoslovak Army Corps and one of the few remaining combatants will be in attendance.

This very stirring lecture will take place at the Church Auditorium of St. John the Baptist Church Carpatho Russian Church at 364 Mill Hill Ave. Bridgeport Ct. at 1:30 PM on May 5, 2007. Admission is free! Refreshments served! Donations gratefully accepted.

Special Guest

We are honored that Mr. John Kulhan, who fought under Ludvik Svoboda in the Free Czechoslovak Army Corps and participated in the 1944 Dukla fighting will be in attendance.  Mr. Kulhan has been asked to say a few words and will be available for questions afterwards.


Village Content


October, 2006

Village Content

  • New!  Carpatho-Dukla Operation  - Narrative from the April CRS Presentation.  Includes much more detail regarding military operations at Dukla Pass.

  • Príslop Reprint - Nice short piece from Slovak Spectator


September, 2006

Village Content


  • (August): The constitutional court has determined that the property of unknown land owners can not be nationalized.  (Thanks to Peter Nagy for the tip.)  The next steps have not been determined.  If you want to see if your ancestors are still on any land title, Peter has provided excellent guidance to check the database yourself.



July, 2006


  • Did you hear about the man who lived in six countries but never left his village? He was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, christened in Ukraine, married in Czechoslovakia, had his first child in Hungary and his second in the USSR, and died in Ukraine without ever leaving his village.


April, 2006


March, 2006


December, 2005

  • Under the Carpathians - Home of a Forgotten People, published 1946 - Added chapters: Smugglers, Carpathian "Elephants", Precious Salt, The Capital, The Gipsies, Dethroned Capital, A Dynasty of Rabbis, Wine and Tobacco, An Emergency Capital, Past Without Glory, A New Era  - From the perspective of a visitor who could not possibly imagine what the next 50 years would wrought. 


October-November, 2005

  • Multimap

  • Ukraine County Archives - Holdings


October 2005


September, 2005


July/August, 2005


June, 2005

April, 2005


March, 2005


February, 2005

  • History of the Ulič Valley - A 2002 rewrite of the original 1996 work.  Interesting insight into this poor eastern Slovakia region, past and present, written by a local resident.  Brings to light some of the finer detail of the struggles and problems faced by impoverished, former peasants in this remote region.

  • Expanded Coverage of Magyar Census - Updated with a report by Juraj Kumičák on his access of these documents at the Hungary National Archives.  Includes examples an example discussion of 1715  census as well as 1787 census description and 1828 headers.

  • Property Claims in Slovakia - Interesting news and database access to property records in Slovakia.  Possibly helpful to genealogists.  - Peter Nagy.  Offsite

  • Feminine Slovak Surnames - Two surnames, same family

  • Latin Words Mailing List - When your lists come up short

  • Passenger Manifest Essays - Well-written articles on passenger lists from HeritageQuest magazine and the BCIS/INS, including "They Changed his name at Ellis Island" and "Morse's Code"

  • Essays and Introductory Material on Church Records - Good overview material from HeritageQuest magazine, Hungary Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the titles: "How far to Church?", "Short Comment on the Second Copy Problem"

  • Latin-English and Hungarian-English Dictionaries - from the GenealogyRO group.

  • Feudal Terminology - Dictionaries and descriptions of words often found in Land, Tax and Census Records

  • Reading by the Fireplace: Some good writings about our lands from unexpected places:

    • Felix Game - Austria Hungary - A professional genealogist, who has collected several well-written pieces on Hungary Military Service, genealogy issues specific to this region, social structure and history. (offsite)

    • GenealogyRO Contributions - Romania Genealogy - Once a part of Hungary, many of these articles provide insight into how Hungary ruled and its' history. (offsite)

January, 2005

  • Villages

  • Supernavigator Slovakia Online Map

  • Museums of Slovakia - link

  • Recommended free online Newsletters

  • Genealogy quest leads reporter to rural Slovakia - A very nice 2003 article written in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review indicating how this web site significantly helped the author. (David Law)

December, 2004


November, 2004


October, 2004


September, 2004


August, 2004


July, 2004


June, 2004


May, 2004


April, 2004

Added 1828 Census Sample Images

Added Slovakia Travel Atlas link

Index of Slovak State Archives Church Records - sample page added

Place Names Terminology - updated

March, 2004

1828 Tax Census Information Updates

Winter 2004 in the Ulic Valley (Slovakia) Photos

Phone Books Updated

If your village is in the DUKLA/SVIDNIK region, Rich Custer is developing a new site for this region and is seeking contributions (letters, pictures, stories, histories, etc.)

Updated - Tips for Using the Ellis Island Database

Updated details & Galicia and Bukovina reference - History

Updated Family History Center Library descriptions of Slovakia Holdings

Updated 1869 Census Word lists



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