Yesterday, we strolled through Ujak, now called Udol, Slovakia. Today, we will visit the neighboring, much smaller, village of Hajtovka, Slovakia. First, Udol is pretty easy to pronounce, just be looking at it. It is called: oo-doll, with the “oo” said like it is in “groove.”
Hajtovka is not quite so easy. The closest English pronunciation is about the equivalent of “high-toe-key.’
Here is the statistics clipping from the same unknown book where I found those of Udol:
Hajtovka was also mentioned in ancient times, but it was known at Ayathuagasa in 1427, which doesn’t look anything like its modern name. By 1773, it was referred to as Hajtuska and Hajtuvka. Also, unlike Udol, the name was not changed after World War II.
The 1869 population of the village was all of 313, and that is actually the highest total of any of the census years in this list. As of 1970, it had only half the 1869 population with only 160 souls living there. I don’t think this has changed much in the last 40+ years.
I have no personal photos of Hajtovka, so this visit is completely via Google Earth street view.
Hajtovka didn’t have its own church – everyone walked the mile or so over to Udol and attended Mass at St. Dimitry’s. However, at some point in the 20th century, the villagers must have built what looks like a very small church or chapel, as I saw this at the end of the road heading west out of Hajtovka:
Hajtovka also only has one main road, with a bit of side sprawl. However, its road is much shorter than Udol’s.
Hajtovka Vintage Home
Not unexpectedly, there is a mix of later 20th century homes with a few of the older wooden structures that are still inhabited.
It is evident that this village is less than half the size of Udol. However, many of the homes are even closer together than those in Udol and there are stretches along both sides of the road where there are no homes.
I wonder if the empty land is where old homes now torn torn were situated and, with no population growth, new homes have not yet gone up there?
The road also doesn’t seem to be in as good repair as the road through Udol. Overall, Hajtovka doesn’t have the look of a town that is thriving.
How much interaction was there between Udol and Hajtovka? A lot! Because those in Hajtovka had to go to Udol to attend church, there was likely more traffic, so to speak, headed east than west. Yet the two villages are only separated by about one mile, easily walkable.
My Slovak ancestors in these villages had the surnames Scerbak, Murcko, Patorai, Szurgent, Lisinski, Szova, Fengya and Gmitrisin. The parish priest kept a list every few years of which families lived in which house, numbered from #1 to the end. The 1858 list shows no family by the name of Gmitrisin, but that male line might have died out there by that time. My Anna Gmitrisinova was born probably no later than 1790. Of the other names, Lisinski, Szova and Murcko are living in Hajtovka, while the Fengya, Szurgent, Patorai and Scerbak families are in Udol.
Visiting Hajtovka and Udol are definitely on my bucket list. One of my American cousins took his family back to the old country a couple of years ago where they met up with the Slovak branch of the family and had a wonderful time. I am hoping that in the new few years, I can make the same trip. I think Nana would have been very pleased.