I know I’ve mentioned before that I chair/teach a genealogy group through our Welcome Club. Everyone – beginners and more advanced researchers – are always looking for new resources to hunt down family members. Several members of Kin Seekers, our group, have Eastern European roots and have asked for information on finding records in that area of the world.
A while back, I posted a very short list of Slovakian resources, which I have updated and expanded here. This time, I have put more emphasis on Carpatho-Rusyn resources. Carpatho-Rusyns are an ethic group that has had no homeland of its own, but has a presence in countries that today include Slovakia, Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Hungary. many Carpatho-Rusyns emigrated to the United States in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s and settled, often together, in local neighborhoods in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and other states.
You can also find this list on my home page in the Resource Toolbox.
What I noticed right away as I searched online was that there are many sites still accessible that were created in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. However, many of them have not been updated in years and many of the links found on those sites are broken. I have not included any of those sites in this list because I personally find it very disappointing to find what looks like a diamond in the rough only to find that it is a lump of coal. Yes, I know about the Wayback Machine archive, but I prefer to spend my time accessing working websites.
Here is the updated list. All are free sites, but, as usual, some of the embedded links may be to pay sites:
Carpathian Connection – Steven Osifchin’s and Joy Kovalycsik’s website has its focus on Carpatho-Rusyn immigrants to America. Their site is the exception to my earlier statement as the website was created in 1998 and the latest update is current.
Carpatho-Rusyn Cultural Center – Blog for the Carpatho-Rusyn Cultural Center located in Munhall, Ohio in the former Byzantine Catholic Cathedral
Carpatho-Rusyn Genealogy Web Site – Several links are provided for genealogy support with links to articles, maps, photos, etc.
Carpatho-Rusyn Knowledge Base – This site has many links, but just a warning – many are for ethnic websites that aren’t in English so you either need to speak the language or make use of a translation tool.
Carpatho-Rusyn Society – There is a genealogy section, along with Rusyn language information and culture
Czech and Slovak Genealogy Society of Illinois – membership organization, but there are free links under “General Resources.”
Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International – also a membership organization, but there is a readable message board and query section. However, to post, one must be a member.
Ellis Island – Many of the Slovak immigrants passed through Ellis Island. Their website has been recently updated and it isn’t as user-friendly as it once was, but a name database can be searched.
FamilySearch.org – FamilySearch has both church and synagogue records for Slovakia and a digitized version of the Hungarian 1869 census, which includes Slovakia. Some of the church records have been indexed, but I believe the 1869 census is still only browsable. The FamilySearch Slovakia Wiki page also has excellent research information.
Jakubany, Slovakia Records – Database of people from this one village.
Rusyn Villages Under the Dukla – Much of this is in Russian, but it covers villages in one specific area of what today appears to be Russia.
Slovak Pride Database – This is a 2007 database of Slovak names. There are no live links and non-members of the Slovak Heritage and Folklore Society International must pay $2.00 to access contact information with the submitter. However, the names can be searched for free and what I think is most useful is that the home town or village is included with the surname. If you have no idea where your Slovak family originated and your surname is on the list, you may discover it is home to your ancestor. If you know the name of the town of origin and you find it on this list, it may be worth $2 to be able to contact the member who submitted the name.
Slovak Surname Location Reference Project – This site was last updated in 2003, but it is similar to the Slovak Pride Database listed above. This project lists the surname, place of origin in Slovakia, state to which the person emigrated and a code for the person submitting the information. No fee is mentioned and there are links for email contacts that I haven’t tried. There is also an address and phone/fax number to contact Joseph Hornack, who created the list.
Slovakia Genealogy Research Strategies – Lots of links here for census, churches, places names, etc.