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      Some Tips for Researching Your Ancestry

The first thing to seek in your research is the local Mormon Family History Library. The folks at each library are very helpful in getting one started. I only needed the name of the village of my ancestors in Slovakia. Once at the FHL I put the name of the village into the computer and wham, out came all the films recorded from the church archives in the region around this village. Records have been filmed all the way back to the 1500’s. Through my research I found at least 40 rolls of film showing all the church records of births, baptisms, confirmations, marriages and deaths.

I have found three web sites which are of assistance in asking questions through forums. These forums are strictly used for asking about family surnames and villages. Thousands of people are searching for the same type of information and most of the time someone will give out helpful information. I have had results as long as a year after I posted a question.
The web sites are:

www.slovensko.com
www.iarelative.com
www.rootsweb.com

I subscribe to a quarterly newsletter published by Helene Cincebeaux, Director of the “Slovak Heritage & Folklore Society International. It is called “Slovakia” A Slovak Heritage Newsletter. The e-mail for this wonderful lady is: helenezx@aol.com I highly recommend this as another source for valuable information in your search. Helene has also published a book containing over 23,000 surnames and Slovakian villages, which is available for sale.

I have visited Slovkia three times since 1998 and intend to make another visit in 2006. Anywhere you go in Slovakia the locals are very open in welcoming outsiders. It is easy to travel by either train , bus or private auto. Language is not a problem since many people speak English. Train and bus schedules are posted throughout stations. Roads are well maintained, well marked and not heavily traveled. A few interstate type roadways exist and many four lane highways are throughout the country. Obtain a good roadmap and you’ll have no problem traveling.

I have enjoyed visiting, Bratislava, Nitra, Trnava, Piestany, Trencin, Zilina, Prievidz, Martin, Banka Bystrica, Poprad, Spisska Nova Ves, Levoca, Presov, Kosice, Humenne.Bardejov, plus small villages such as Lipany, Olsov, Sabinov, Sarisske Dravce, Rozkovany, Torysa, Krasna Luka. Food is delicious and inexpensive. Hotels are very nice and comfortable with all the comforts of home. Shopping is an experience as many storefronts fail to show what actually is located inside. Long, narrow passageways lead to many hidden shops located off to the side of the main streets. Castles, museums, churches and monuments are so exciting to visit. Each city, town and village have their own type show places.

The most noticeable people are the Roma. They dress in loud and flashy colors, are very boisterous and normally stay in groups of four or five. Once you observe them you will realize why they are viewed with suspicion by the locals. The Roma live in clusters, mostly on the edge of towns or in settlements away from the town limits. Their locations are not very desirable as many homes lack plumbing or electricity. It reminds me of the old days in the deep south of America where the very poor lived.