Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What Genealogy Activity Have You Spent Time On?

We are half way through 2022 already and now are in the first weekend of July with Independence Day almost here.

Today’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge has nothing to do with the holiday, but more with how we are spending our genealogy hours in the dog days of summer.

Here is Randy Seaver’s newest challenge:

1)  I am completely out of ideas for this week – and am late in posting.  What genealogy activity have you spent time on this week?

My time this week is actually part of my summer project – to clean up links in RootsMagic – broken by none other than myself when I moved some folders around and consolidated some files. It had to be done and it hasn’t been horribly bad going through the family tree.

I also got a bit sidetracked this week going down the rabbit hole collecting all the missing census images for the direct lines in the family tree. That’s completed!

It took me awhile, but I finally figured out where to find a list of the broken links in RootsMagic 7. It’s not actually a list of broken links, it’s a 360 page Multimedia List for my tree and a 490 page list for my husband’s tree.

I’ve created a paper list of all the people who have [NOT FOUND] after an entry. Considering that I have about 8000 people in my tree, the list isn’t really very long. Plus, some people in the list are sharing one record – like a marriage record – so when I fix the first person and link the second one to the image, I’ve actually finished 2 people at once.

I’ll repeat this process for my husband’s tree  and that will take care of all the broken links.

My final step will be to work on citing the sources. I think I’ve about given up on the templates, so sources are recorded in one of two ways – either in the Person Notes or in the way I’ve named the image of the record itself. For example, a record that is found on FamilySearch will be named: SurnameFirstName.TypeofRecord.Year + place of event with book and page (if it is a paged source) plus the FS film number and the image number.

That will take quite a bit of time to complete, but I’ll be using Cite Builder to create my citations for the Person Notes.

That’s what I’ve been busy doing this week – in between the monsoon rains, which have started early this year. Usually, the first rain doesn’t happen until after the 4th of July. We’ve had two sprinkly showers plus a good rainfall since monsoon season began on 15 June.

We also have thunder right now, plus rain falling around us and some black clouds overhead so we may get more rain today. I am sure the animals and plants (even the cactus) are happy since it has hardly rained at all since last summer.

Thanks, Randy, for this week’s challenge.

The Tiny Gmitrisin Family of Udol, Slovakia

Udol, Slovakia

Udol, Slovakia, ancestral home to my Nana’s family, is and always has been a small village. At its biggest, there were perhaps close to 1,000 residents. Today, there are about 350 people who call Udol home.

One of my ancestral Udol lines is the Gmitrisin family, which I think is the smallest documented family I’ve ever come across in over 40 years of genealogy research.

I actually shared all the church records for this family a few days ago.

Udol church records begin in the 1820s and there are only a handful of Gmitrisin entries in the whole 19th century. Google shows exactly ZERO people in the world today with that surname.

The earliest Gmitrisins that I have found are but two lonely people –  John Gmitrisin, born c1787, and who married Maria Kravics c1809 and Anna Gmitrisinova who married John Szurgent c1812.

Just a side note – Slovak names follow the Russian format in which the feminine form of a surname adds -ova to it, so Gmitrisin and Gmitrisinova are one and the same name.

John Gmitrisin married Maria Kravics c1809. Note that online sites attribute a daughter Helen to this couple. I have not found any evidence of her in the Udol church books. However, not all pages are easily read, between fading ink and changing languages from Latin to Hungarian.

They are thought to be the parents of the following six children:

1. Helen, born c1810; I have found no further record
2. Anna, born c1812; married John Szedlak (Sedlak), 14 February 1831, Udol
3. Catherine, born c1815; married (1) John Vancsyo (Wancho today), 11 February 1833 (2) John Timko, c1837
4. John, born c1821; buried 15 May 1849, aged “28 years tomorrow); married Anna Csernics or Csernyak
5. Michael, born c1821; died 10 August 1847 at the age of 26 years; married Anna (Csernetz?)
6. Maria,
born c1823; married John Veszelenyi, 8 November 1841

Two comments need to be added here. First – No death/burial record was found for John Wancho nor could I find a marriage record for Catherine to John Timko. There was a severe cholera epidemic in Udol that lasted for months. It is very possible, given that the priest was busy burying several bodies on any one day, that he forgot to record some details in the register.

Second, the maiden name of Michael’s wife is also an uncommon surname. It looks like Csernetz or Csernics, but notice that his brother, John, married Anna who had a very similar surname. I’m not sure which form is correct.

Descendants of John Gmitrisin and Maria Kravics

1. John and Anna (Gmitrisin) Sedlak were the parents of two sons, John, baptized 31 March 1836 and Joseph, baptized 20 August 1850.
2. John and Catherine (Gmitrisin) Vancsyo (Wancho) were the parents of one daughter, Maria, baptized 15 May 1834. John Timko and Catherine Gmitrisin were the parents of three sons, Michael, baptized 11 March 1838, John, baptized 21 March 1843 and Peter, baptized 2 June 1853. Both Michael and Peter left children.
3. John and Anna (Csernics or Csernyak) Gmitrisin were the parents of Michael, baptized 19 November 1836, John, baptized 27 October 1844, but buried 19 May 1849, aged 3 years, and John, again, baptized 2 February 1846. John Sr. was born 16 May 1821 and buried 15 May 1849.
4. Michael and Anna (Csernyak) Gmitrisin were the parents of two sons, Michael, baptized 30 April 1843 and Michael again, baptized 24 October 1847.
5. John and Maria (Gmitrisin) Veszelenyi were the parents of three children, Joseph, baptized 20 August 1850, peter, baptized 27 March 1858 and buried 8 June 1928, and Susanna, baptized 3 February 1861.

Descendants of Anna Gmitrisinova and John Szurgent

Anna Gmitrisinova, my 4X great grandmother, married John Szurgent c1812 and I know of only one child that they had because baptismal records don’t begin until 1828.

Anna, their daughter, married John Patorai (another surname in my Slovak lines that is quite rare) and they were the parents of six known children. I’ve written about the Patorai family in depth in the past.

Here is my line:

1. John Szurgent married Anna Gmitrisinova
2. Anna Szurgent married John Patorai
3. Maria Patorai married John Scerbak
4. Michael Scerbak married Anna Murcko
5. Julia Scerbak married George Kucharik (aka Sabo)
6. George Sabo married Doris Adams
7. Me!

Anna Gmitrisinova has many descendants today, through her daughter who married John Patorai.

Sadly, while John and Maria (Kravics) Gmitrisin and John and Anna (Gmitrisinova) Szurgent both have many descendants today, it appears that the Gmitrisin surname is now extinct. Their descendants all continue on through female lines.



Friday’s Family History Finds

The best Family History Finds this week:

Family Stories

A Serendipitous Conversation by Michael Dwyer on Vita Brevis

One Line in a Police File Leads to a Great Grandfather’s Russian Mine Purchase by Vera Miller on Find Lost Russian & Ukrainian Family

Finding Max Blumenfeld and His Family: A Postscript by Amy Cohen on Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

“Identity” – Great Grandpa Almond Desjardins or Albert Gardner by April on Digging Up the Dirt on My Dead People

Research Resources

Pope Orders Online Release of WWII-Era Pius XII Jewish Files by Dick Eastman on Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

How to Use the United States Federal Non-Population Census Schedules by Kenneth R. Marks on The Ancestor Hunt

Scandinavian and Baltic States Families of Quebec, 18th, 19th & 20th Centuries by Jacques Gagné on Genealogy Ensemble

1777 Chester County Property Atlas by Kimberly Mannisto on Vita Brevis

Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury Launches by Chris Paton on Scottish GENES

Chronicling America Announces New Interactive Map and Timeline Visualization by Kenneth R. Marks on The Ancestor Hunt

Maps: Visualizing Your Ancestors – Land Descriptions by Cari Taplin on Genealogy Pants

Ask Yvette – Where to Find Dutch Records After 1811? by Yvette Hoitink on Dutch Genealogy

Tech News

Google Engineer Identifies Anonymous Faces in WWII Photos with AI Facial Recognition by Dick Eastman on Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

FamilyTreeDNA DISCOVER Launches – Including Y DNA Haplogroup Ages by Roberta Estes on DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

Genetic Genealogy

Not Through with ThruLines by Judy G. Russell on The Legal Genealogist

FTDNA Discover – SNPs by Ann Raymont on DNA Sleuth


Never Give Up! My Great Aunt Nellie Breakthrough by Marian B. Wood on Climbing My Family Tree

Proving or Disproving a Family Story: Follow the Records by George Stryker Keilman on Spartan Roots

Education Is for Everyone

My Lost Infant Card from the 1950 US Census by Molly on Molly’s Canopy

Bringing Home the Bacon (Part 3) by Dr. Sophie Kay on The Parchment Rustler

Tombstone Tuesday – I H S Symbol by Karen Miller Bennett on Karen’s Chatt

Researching Your Ancestors’ Vacations by Melissa Barker on A Genealogist in the Archives

How to Master the Unrelated People in Your Family Tree by DiAnn Iamarino on Fortify Your Family Tree

4 Reasons to Catalog Educational Materials by Julie Cahill Tarr on Genealogy in Action

Keeping Up with the Times

The Courage of Their Convictions by Judy G. Russell on The Legal Genealogist

Reflections: My Life As a Chinese Canadian Genealogist by Linda Yip on Past Presence

Why I Blog About My Family History Research by Diana Bryan Quinn on Moments in Time

The Genealogy World of 26 Years Ago by Dick Eastman on Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

Genealogy Tips & Family History