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My Search: An Introduction

I began the search of my heritage in early 1995. The main problem in my effort was, “Where do I start?”

A friend of mine from Bowling Green, Kentucky, just happened to visit Albuquerque and telephoned me that he was in the city. I met with him in a local motel, and we chatted about old times. He told me about an exciting venture he had begun for the “Tulln Air Base,” Vienna, Austria, reunions. The discussion continued in this direction for some time. I was intrigued with the method in which he acquired names and addresses of the many military and civilians who were stationed at Tulln over the years, while it was an active US air base.

At this point he explained that he had a new software program which allowed him to get practically any name he wanted. I asked him if he could look up “Semancik & Semanick” names. He promised that as soon as he returned home to Kentucky, he would print a list of the two spellings and mail me a copy.

True to his word, and within two weeks he sent two pages of names with addresses and telephone numbers. To my surprise, I was listed, as well as some of my cousins. It was amazing to see the many family names throughout the states. I began sending out letters explaining what I was looking for and gave a little background on our family. To my surprise, very few answered my inquiries. I even included a self-addressed, stamped envelope in each letter.

One day in the mail was a letter from Mary Semanick, postmarked from Larksville, Pennsylvania. With great eagerness, I tore open the letter.

Moje pátranie: Úvod

Po svojich predkoch som začal pátrať začiatkom roka 1995. Mojím hlavným problémom bolo: „Kde začať?“ Kliknite tu a čítajte ďalej.

Náhodou mi zavolal kamarát z Bowling Green v Kentucky, ktorý bol na návšteve v Albuquerque. Stretli sme sa a spomínali na staré časy. Porozprával mi o odvážnom projekte na stretnutia príbuzných, ktorý rozbehol pre leteckú základňu Tulln vo Viedni v Rakúsku. Diskusia sa v tomto smere uberala aj ďalej. Zaujal ma spôsob, akým získal mená a adresy vojakov aj civilistov, ktorí dovtedy pobudli v Tullne kým to ešte bola aktívna americká letecká základňa.

Vysvetlil mi, že má nový počítačový softvér, ktorý mu nájde akékoľvek priezvisko. Poprosil som ho, aby skúsil vyhľadať mená Semancik a Semanick. Sľúbil, že len čo sa vráti domov do Kentucky, vytlačí mi zoznam a pošle mi ho.

Slovo dodržal a do dvoch týždňov mi poslal dve strany mien s adresami a telefónnymi číslami. Na moje prekvapenie som v zozname našiel aj seba a niektorých bratrancov. Bolo úžasné vidieť toľko rovnakých priezvisk v rôznych štátoch USA. A tak som začal rozosielať listy s opisom mojej rodiny a vysvetlením toho, čo hľadám. Bol som prekvapený, že len veľmi málo adresátov mi odpovedalo aj keď som do všetkých listov priložil oznámkovanú prázdnu obálku na odpoveď.

Jedného dňa som v pošte našiel list od Mary Semanickovej z Larksville v Pensylvánii. S nadšením som otvoril obálku.

My Search, Part 1

My eyes could not believe the first line, “Yes, we are related.” Mary told me about my father from Tennessee visiting her family in 1929. She even remembered that my father had mentioned that he was to marry Ruby Thornburg. This was my mother’s maiden name. I could not believe that she remembered this name after all those years.

The letter continued with other facts about how the families in Pennsylvania had lost contact with my grandfather in the early 1900’s and the exchange of visits between the families once they had made contact in later years. She explained how my grandfather had settled in the area around Hazleton and her dad, John, who was Grandfather’s brother, and other Semancik families, had settled at Larksville, Kingston and Nanticoke; one area being the hard coal mines, and the other being the soft coal mines.

According to her parents, my grandfather and his family left for Montana in haste for unknown reasons. It is thought that Grandfather had some trouble with the security agents hired by the mine owners, and he left secretly for Stockett, Montana, to work in the mines. About three years passed before any contact was made between those in Pennsylvania and my grandfather. This probably was the years 1906 through 1909. She remembered how the families in Pennsylvania had read in theJednota,” a Slovak language newspaper, a listing of Slovak families who were moving to Tennessee from Montana. They identified Grandfather’s name among those listed. For some unknown reason he had dropped his first name Carl and was using John as his first name. “Jednota” was contacted and fortunately names and addresses were available. Once an address was obtained the families were able to get in contact with one another.

As soon as I read the letter, I telephoned my “newly-found” cousin and obtained more information. Thus, I began my beautiful journey in my search of family roots. It has been a long and slow journey, but with patience I have discovered more than I ever dreamed would be possible.

Moje pátranie, 1. časť

Moje oči neverili prvému riadku: “Áno, sme príbuzní”. Mary mi vyrozprávala, ako môj otec z Tennessee navštívil jej rodinu v roku 1929. Pamätala si aj, že otec spomenul, že sa mal oženiť s Ruby Thornburg, čo bolo dievčenské meno mojej mamy. Neveril som, že si to všetko pamätá po toľkých rokoch.

List pokračoval ďalšími faktami o tom, ako rodina stratila kontakt so starým otcom začiatkom dvadsiateho storočia a o vzájomných návštevách medzi rodinami, keď sa opäť neskôr skontaktovali. Vysvetlila mi, že môj starý otec sa usadil v oblasti blízko Hazletonu a jej otec John, brat môjho starého otca, sa usadil v Larksville v Kingstone a potom Nanticoke, pričom prvá oblasť bola oblasťou antracitových a druhá uhoľných baní.

Podľa jej rodičov, môj starý otec s rodinou odišiel do Montany náhle a z neznámych dôvodov. Starý otec mal asi problémy s bezpečnostnými agentmi vlastníkov baní a tak odišiel do Stockettu v Montane, kde pracoval v baniach. Trvalo to asi tri roky, kým sa starý otec opäť skontaktoval s príbuznými v Pensylvánii. Boli to roky 1906 až 1909. Pamätala si ešte, ako rodiny v Pensylvánii čítali v slovenských novinách “Jednota” zoznam slovenských rodín, ktoré sa sťahovali z Montany do Tennessee. Medzi menami v zozname našli meno môjho starého otca. Z neznámych dôvodov starý otec prestal používať svoje krstné meno Carl a používal len stredné meno John. Skontaktovali sa s Jednotou a našťastie im poskytli mená aj adresy. A tak sa mohli rodiny opäť skontaktovať.

Keď som dočítal list, zatelefonoval som svojej novo - nájdenej sesternici a získal som ďalšie informácie. Tak sa začala krásna cesta za mojimi rodinnými koreňmi. Bola to cesta dlhá a pomalá, ale zistil som, že s trpezlivosťou som objavil viac, než som kedy veril.

My Search, Part 2
Click here for Family Tree Illustration (Kliknite tu a čítajte ďalej)
carl john
Carl John
thomas
Thomas
steven Steven
dorothyDorothy
johnJohn
baltasarBaltasar

I soon discovered that seven members of the original Semancik clan had immigrated from the old “Austro-Hungary”, starting in 1886 and ending in 1930. While some stayed in this area of Pennsylvania, some continued on to the Cleveland, Ohio area. Grandfather Carl John Semanick came first, followed by Thomas, Stephen, John, Mary Agnes, Dorothy and Baltasar.

Over the next few weeks of my questioning the three sisters Agnes, Catherine & Mary (who still lived in the family house), I was sent a copy of their father’s 1899 army book from the old country of “Austro-Hungary.” Since the document was in German and old Czech/Slovak languages, I soon found out that by remembering German from my military days, I determined that his home village was listed as “Olyso,” district of Felso-Tarcza, Saros County, Hungary (this is now Olsov, Saris County, Slovak Republic). Through the Internet, I was able to obtain information on the village, which is located in eastern Slovakia.

Once I had this vital piece of information I was able to dig deep into the long and successful search for my ancestors. Without the help from these three wonderful ladies in Pennsylvania I would probably still be looking for where our ancestors came from. I am deeply indebted to each of them.

Moje pátranie , 2. časť

Zistil som, že sedem členov pôvodného klanu Semancikovcov sa prisťahovalo zo starého Rakúsko -Uhorska medzi rokmi 1886 a 1930.

Zistil som, že sedem členov pôvodného klanu Semancikovcov sa prisťahovalo zo starého Rakúsko - Uhorska medzi rokmi 1886 a 1930. Zatiaľ čo niektorí z nich ostali v Pensylvánii, iní pokračovali ďalej do Clevelandu, v oblasti Ohia. Prvý prišiel môj starý otec Carl John Semanick, nasledoval Thomas, Stephen, John, Mary, Agnes, Dorothy a Baltasar.                                                                                                  
I v nasledujúcich týždňoch môjho pátrania som rozprával s tromi sestrami: Agnes, Catherine a Mary (ktoré stále žili v rodičovskom dome), poslali mi kópiu vojenskej knižky ich otca z roku 1899 zo starého Rakúsko - Uhorska. Keďže ten dokument bol v nemčine a v starom československom jazyku, vydedukoval som, že jeho domovom bola dedinka “Olyso”, región Felso-Tarcza, Saros, Uhorsko (čo je dnes Oľšov, región Šariš, Slovensko). Cez internet som zistil informácie o obci, ktorá sa nachádza na východnom Slovensku.

Keď som už mal túto dôležitú informáciu, mohol som sa pustiť do dlhého ale úspešného pátrania po predkoch. Bez pomoci troch skvelých dám z Pensylvánie, by som ešte aj dnes hľadal odkiaľ prišli naši predkovia. Som im hlboko zaviazaný.

GRANDFATHER CARL JOHN SEMANICK’S JOURNEY

(Correct spelling is Semancik but Americanized is Semanick)

Sometime in 1886, Grandfather left his home in Olsov, Saris County, Czechoslovakia, seeking a better life in America. Other villages, which he frequented; were Torysa, Poloma, Krivany, Sarisske Dravce and Rozkovany. He left behind his father, step mother, six brothers and two sisters. No one knows what route he traveled, nor do we know how long it took him to arrive in America.  We do know that he initially settled in eastern Pennsylvania, among other immigrants, in towns such as Hazleton, Jeddo, Freeland, Ebervale, McAdoo, Stockton, Audenreid, Lattimer, Miners Mills Section,etc. This was coal mining country.

During the disastrous Lattimer coal mining (Lattimer Massacre) strike of September10, 1897, I am sure he was one of the participants. Over 30 immigrants were shot by mining security people for no more reason than marching in a peaceful demonstration showing solidarity.  Although grandfather was a small man, he had  courage and always wanted to defend his rights.  Mining in those days was hard and extremely low pay was received. Most of the money went for food, which was controlled by company mine stores or commissaries.  Even though most of the money went for food & lodging, many immigrants were able to save enough money for the future.

Sometime in 1888, Grandmother was able to leave her homeland of the Carpatho-Rusyn region of far eastern Slovakia, namely Valaskovce.  Towns such as Dedacov and Lacsfalva were also familiar to her. She  left behind two sisters, as her father, mother and brother died prior to 1884.  One sister died in October 1888.

Grandmother also settled in the same area as Grandfather and, perhaps, they lived close to one another.  They were married sometime around 1888, as an entry in the 1910 national census shows that they had been married for 22 years, and that uncle George was 19 years old. This information would lead one to believe that  George was born in 1892. It also shows that ten children were born into the family, but three had died.

While living in Hazleton or Jeddo, PA., the family attended the St. Joseph Slovak Catholic Church.  Three church records could be found in the church showing entries regarding the family.  The records show that Uncle John was born 8 June 1899, Uncle Stephsen was born 22 July 1901, Aunt Annie was born 20 February 1904.  According to the priest at the church, a flood and fire had occurred prior to this date, and all other records were destroyed.  I have a church record from Freeland, PA., (given to me by Cousin Hazel in Chattanooga), showing that Uncle Mike was born in Jeddo and baptized 8 March 1899.  The certificate shows that the year of birth has been altered.  Evidently Uncle Mike was born around 1897 using the 1910 National Census as a source of his age. The baptism certificate does not give the name of the church. 

It is uncertain as to the exact date of my grandfather’s departure from Pennsylvania to Montana.  Uncle George was  born around  1892 and Aunt Mary Agnes around 1896.  I assume the family left between late 1904 or early 1906, as I have birth/baptism records from St. Mary Catholic Church in Belt, Montana showing that my dad (14 June 1906) and my uncle, Frank (10 October 1908), were born in Stockett, Montana.   Most Slovaks attended services in this local church.

Grandfather continued his hard life in the mines and kept saving whatever he could, as I am sure he had plans to improve the family’s life for the future.  He evidently had saved quite a bit of money in Pennsylvania, as the 1910 census showed that he owned the house in Stockett, and it was free of any debt. Stockett was a fairly good size mining town in those days, and many immigrants left Pennsylvania for this area.  Names such as Stenko, Bubnash, Kundrat, Balog, and Kassa were noted in my search of records in Pennsylvania, as well as my record search in Montana.  The Slovaks were known to stay together, once they had established a close relationship with one another.

Aunt Maurine, who now lives in Marion, Illinois, has provided me with bits and pieces of information which adds greatly to my research.  Sometime around 1912, Grandfather was able to purchase land between Harriman, and Oakdale, Tennessee. Word at that time was that grandfather had saved about $25,000.00 and was able to buy the land outright, paying $22,231.00 in cold cash! That is a staggering figure when we realize the average salary at the time was $750/year. The average Ziegfeld Girl made $75 a week. In 1909 America, a gallon of milk cost 32 cents; a gallon of whiskey, $3.50.

The Tennessee Land Authority sought out immigrants in the coal mining fields of other states and convinced them that good opportunties existed in Tennessee.  They stated that farmland was plentiful, and that this was the place to establish their new homes.  I am sure grandfather was tired of mining and longed for this type of farmland, which he left in Slovakia.

Grandfather moved his family to Tennessee sometime around 1912 as Aunt Catherine (Kathryn) was born 25 November 1912 in Tennessee. Records at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Harriman shows several entries for the Semanick family, ie., Aunt Catherine’s baptism, Cousin Edward’s (Bodie) baptism, Cousin Rosaline’s baptism, Cousin Jimmie’s baptism, Cousin Theresa’s baptism, Cousin Hazel’s baptism, my sister; Agnes Anne’s, baptism, Uncle Mike’s and Aunt Susie’s marriage, Cousin Edward (Bodie)’s and Christine Morgan’s marriage.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

GrandmotherandGrandfather on farm between Harriman
and Oakdale, Tenn.

grandfather and wife

oakdale
Grandfather with his
children on the farm, located between Harriman and Oakdale, Tenn.

The land purchased by grandfather is rolling hills with forested areas all around. He built a nice house, a barn, an underground storage building, and dug a good cold, clear water well.  I have pulled many a bucket of pure, crystal clear water up from that well  and had satisfying drinks when I was a youngster. He had a  vineyard, cherry trees, corn, and other vegetables all year long.  The storehouse was always full of good food.  The vineyard was used as a hiding place for the boot-leg whiskey, as I can remember grandfather going to the vineyard, walking between the rows of vines and stooping down to lift up a large sandstone slab.  The glass jugs of “moon-shine” were well hidden from the local sheriff and the Feds.

The things I remember most are the cold, clear spring west of the barn, the hay loft where I would shoot my Ryder B-B gun, using corn cobs as my targets, riding the one eyed horse, listening to the crystal radio powered by a car battery, and using the two stool outhouse. 

Among the Tennessee immigrants who drew close to one another were the Babinchak, Palko, Schondak, Homoly, Whalen, and Snow families. In fact, there was even inter-marriage and we are kin to the Babinchak and Palko clan.  Other than cousin Tom, who lives in Oakdale, and the Palko families, all others have gradually left the area.

During my last visit to Harriman to view the old homestead site, I noticed a new house has been erected on the property and everything had completely changed.  It will never be the same, but the memories still remain.  As has been said, “You can never go back.”

All members of the original family, except Aunt Maurine, are now gone but not forgotten.  Cousins and members of their families are located from east to west, north to south.  Some stay in contact, but many have either lost contact or are too busy with their own families. Perhaps one day we can have a family reunion and get to know each other. 


CESTA STARÉHO OTCA CARLA JOHNA SEMANICKA

(Správne sa píše Semančik, ale poamerikanizované Semanick)

Okolo roku 1886 odišiel starý otec z Oľšova na Šariši v Uhorsku/ Československu za lepším životom v Amerike. Často chodil aj do okolitých obcí: Torysa, Poloma, Krivany, Šarišské Dravce a Rožkovany. Doma nechal svojho otca, nevlastnú mamu, šesť bratov a dve sestry. Nikto nevie akou trasou cestoval, a ani nevieme, ako dlho mu trvala cesta do Ameriky. Vieme však, že sa najprv usadil v južnej Pensylvánii spolu s ostatnými prisťahovalcami v mestách ako Hazleton, Jeddo, Freeland, Ebervale, McAdoo, Stockton, Audenreid, Lattimer, Miners Mills Section ainé. Bola to banícka oblasť.

Som si však istý, že bol jedným z účastníkov strašného lattimerského štrajku (lattimerského masakra) 10. septembra 1897. Viac než 30 prisťahovalcov bolo zastrelených len za to, že na znak solidarity pokojne pochodovalo. Aj keď bol starý otec malým mužom, mal odvahu a vždy hájil svoje práva. Práca v bani bola v tých časoch ťažká a veľmi zle platená. Väčšina príjmu smerovala na nákup potravín, ktoré kontrolovali banícke obchody alebo komisári. Aj keď väčšina peňazí šla na jedlo, veľa prisťahovalcov si dokázalo aj dosť ušetriť pre budúcnosť.

Niekedy v roku 1888 odišla moja stará mama zo svojho domova v karpatsko-rusínskej oblasti východného Slovenska – z Valaškoviec. Tiež poznala dedinky ako Dedačov a Lacfalva/Lackovce. Keďže jej otec, mama a brat zomreli ešte pred rokom 1884, nechala doma dve sestry. Jedna z nich zomrela v októbri 1888.
Aj stará mama sa usadila v tej istej oblasti ako starý otec a pravdepodobne bývali blízko seba. Zosobášili sa okolo roku 1888, keďže sčítanie ľudu z roku 1910 hovorí, že boli svoji už 22 rokov, a že strýko George mal vtedy 19 rokov. Na základe tejto informácie by si človek myslel, že George sa narodil v roku 1892. Tiež hovorí, že v rodine sa narodilo desať detí, ale tri z nich zomreli.

Kým žila rodina v Hazletone alebo Jeddo v Pensylvánii, navštevovali slovenský katolícky kostol sv. Jozefa. Cirkevné záznamy obsahujú tri zmienky o narodení strýka Johna 8. júna 1899, strýka Stephsena 22 júla 1901 a tety Annie 20. februára 1904. Podľa kňaza v kostole boli všetky záznamy spred týchto dátumov zničené pri požiari a povodni.

Mám tiež cirkevný záznam z Freelandu v Pensylvánii (ktorý mi dal bratranec Hazel v Chattanooge), ktorý dokazuje, že strýko Mike sa narodil v Jeddo a bol pokrstený 8. marca 1899. Doklad dokazuje, že rok narodenia bol zmenený. Zrejme sa strýko Mike narodil okolo roku 1897 podľa sčítania ľudu z roku 1910. Krstný list neuvádza názov kostola.

Dátum odchodu môjho starého otca z Pensylvánie do Montany nie je známy. Strýko George sa narodil okolo roku 1892 a teta Mary Agnes okolo roku 1896. Predpokladám, že rodina odišla medzi rokmi 1904 až začiatkom 1906 podľa záznamov o narodení/ krste z katolíckeho kostola Sv. Márie v Belte v Montane uvádzajúce, že môj otec (14. jún 1906) a strýko Frank (10. október 1908) sa narodili v Stockette v Montane. Väčšina Slovákov sa zúčastňovala bohoslužieb v tomto miestnom kostole.

Starý otec pokračoval vo svojom ťažkom živote v baniach a snažil sa ušetriť čo mohol. Som si istý, že sa snažil o zlepšenie rodinnej situácie do budúcnosti. Niečo si ušetril v Pensylvánii, podľa sčítania ľudu z roku 1910 vlastnil dom v Stockette a dom nebol vôbec zadĺžený. Stockett bol v tom čase stredne veľkým baníckym mestom a veľa prisťahovalcov tam v tej dobe prišlo z Pensylvánie. V mojom pátraní v Pensylvánii aj v Montane som natrafil na priezviská ako Stenko, Bubnash, Kundrat, Balog, a Kassa. Slováci boli známi tým, že keď si vytvorili priateľstvá, držali spolu.

Teta Maurine, ktorá teraz žije v Marione v Illinois, mi poskytla niekoľko informácií do môjho výskumu. Niekedy okolo roku 1912, si môj starý otec kúpil pôdu medzi Harriman a Oakdale v Tennessee. Dokázal si nasporiť 25 000 USD a pôdu si kúpil za 22 231 USD v hotovosti. Je to ohromné číslo, hlavne keď si uvedomíme, že v tej dobe bol priemerný ročný plat 750 USD. Priemerný týždenný plat tanečnice od Ziegfelda bol 75 USD. V roku 1909 stál v Amerike galón mlieka 32 centov, galón whisky 3,50 USD.

Pozemkový úrad Tennessee vyhľadával prisťahovalcov v uhoľných baniach iných štátov a presviedčal ich o dobrých možnostiach v Tennessee. Tvrdili, že je tam dosť pôdy, a že je to dobré miesto na budovanie nových domov. Myslím, že starý otec bol už unavený z baníctva a túžil po farmárčení, ktoré zanechal na Slovensku.

Starý otec sa presťahoval s rodinou do Tennessee okolo roku 1912, pričom teta Catherine (Kathryn) sa už narodila v Tennessee 25. novembra 1912. Záznamy o Semanickovej rodine v katolíckom kostole najsvätejšej sviatosti oltárnej dokladujú krsty tety Catherine, bratranca Edwarda (Bodieho), sesternice Rosaline, bratranca Jimmiho, sesternice Theresy, bratranca Hazela, mojej sestry Agnes Anne, svadby strýka Mika a tety Susie, bratranca Edwarda a Christine Morgan.

KLIKNITE NA OBRÁZOK PRE ZVAČŠENIE

Stará mama a starý otec na farme medzi Harriman a Oakdale v Tennessee.

grandfather and wife

oakdale

Starý otec s deťmi na farme, medzi Harriman a Oakdale v Tennessee.        

Pôdu, ktorú si starý otec kúpil predstavujú kopce so zalesnenými plochami. Postavil krásny dom, stodolu, podzemné skládky a vykopal dobrú studňu. Ako mladík som z nej vytiahol mnoho vedier čistej krištáľovej vody a uhasil som si tak smäd. Počas celého roka sa staral o vinicu, čerešňové stromy, obilie a zeleninu. Takže špajza bola vždy plná dobrôt. Vinica slúžila ako tajné miesto pre nelegálnu výrobu whisky, pamätám si, ako starý otec chodieval do vinice a medzi záhonmi hrozna dvíhal veľkú kamennú dosku. Fľaše “pri mesiaci” vypálenej pálenky boli dobre ukryté pred miestnym šerifom a úradníkmi.

Najviac si pamätám na čistý studený potôčik na západ od stodoly, na senník, kde som strieľal svojou vzduchovkou pričom kukuričné hlavy boli mojím terčom, na jazdu na jednookom koni, na počúvanie rádia s batériou z auta a na dvojsedadlovú latrínu.

Medzi prisťahovalcami v Tennessee, ktorí sa vzájomne spriatelili boli rodiny Babinčákovcov, Palkovcov, Schondakovcov, Homolyovych, Whalenových a Snowových. Niektorí sa aj priženili do rodiny a tak sme príbuzní s Babinčákovcami a Palkovcami. Okrem bratranca Toma, ktorý žike v Oakdale a rodiny Palkovcov všetci ostatní neskôr z tejto oblasti odišli.

Počas mojej poslednej návštevy v Harrimane na pôvodnom mieste som si všimol, že sa tam všetko zmenilo a stál tam nový dom. Aj keď to už nikdy nebude také isté ako predtým, spomienky ostanú. Ako sa hovorí: Nevstúpiš dvakrát do tej istej rieky.

Všetci členovia pôvodnej rodiny, okrem tety Maurine už nežijú, ale v spomienkach sú tu s nami stále. Bratranci a sesternice a ich rodiny žijú po celom území USA. Niektorí ostali v kontakte, niektorí kontakt stratili, alebo majú veľa práce so svojimi rodinami. Snáď jedného dňa sa budeme môcť stretnúť a vzájomne spoznať.

Contributions From Cousins

Agnes, Catherine & Mary gave me the address of a cousin, Jim Krovontka , from great-aunt Dorothy’s side of the family, in Ohio. I wrote Jim explaining who I was and how I came upon his name. He was also doing family history research, and he sent me at least one hundred pages of names with similar spellings of Semanick, ie., Semanek, Semanik, Semanchik, Semanchick, Semanchek, etc. There were probably 500 different families. He also sent me a copy of our family tree, which consisted of at least fifty pages. How exciting to have this much information from just one source.

From Boise, Idaho, Steve Semancik, from great-uncle Baltasar’s side of the family, has been very helpful. He sent me copies of his grandparents’s 1930 passports and copies of their death papers. This information was instrumental in finding relatives in Olsov, during my visit in August 1998. I discovered that the grandfather of the village mayor, Albin Bucko, was a brother to Steve’s grandmother, my great aunt by marriage, Anna Bucko Semancik.

From great-uncle Stephen’s side of the family, cousin Carol Semancik Nigh in San Jose, has provided me with a complete translation of great-uncle John’s army book, her grandfather’s death certificate, and several pictures of her side of the family. These items have given me additional information, as I slowly progress in my search.

Through the efforts of the three sisters in Pennsylvania, I was able to locate cousin Joseph T. Semancik, son of great-uncle Thomas. He was living in White Plains, NY but went to San Diego, CA each year to spend the winter months. He had a condo in San Diego as well as a house in White Plains. Joe sold the house in White Plains and has now moved permanently to San Diego. Once we made contact Joe paid me a visit for a few days, and we got acquainted. He is an only child, has never married, and has been on his own since he was seventeen. He left his home in Kingston, PA, going to White Plains to college, and worked for A T & T. He stayed with them for over 35 years, before retiring and taking up residence in San Diego. Joe turned 94 on 19 April 2005. He is an avid golfer and still goes to the golf course when he can. He is an exceptional man.

I have found that relatives are located throughout the states. Cousins are in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, South Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, Washington and California.

Pennsylvania: Larksville, Plymouth, Nanticoke, Erie.

New Jersey: Hackettstown, Oxford

South Carolina: Kiawah, Charleston

Ohio; Cleveland, Seven Hills, Mantua, Macedonia

Tennessee: Oakdale, Harriman, Rockwood, Chattanooga

Indiana: Whiting, Gary, Hammond, Higland, Portage, Greenwood

Illinois: Marion

Idaho: Boise

Colorado: Lafayette

New Mexico: Albuquerque

Washington: Seattle

California: Bear Lake, San Diego, San Jose, Concord

Od príbuzných

Agnes, Catherine a Mary mi dali adresu bratranca Jima Krovontku, zo strany pratety Dorothy v Ohiu. Napísal som Jimovi kto som a ako som sa k nemu dostal. Aj on hľadal predkov a poslal mi asi sto strán s priezviskami podobnými menu Semanick ako napr. Semanek, Semanik, Semanchik, Semanchick, Semanchek, atď. Bolo tam snáď 500 rôznych mien. Tiež mi poslal kópiu rodinného stromu, ktorá pozostávala asi z päťdesiatich strán. Bolo úžasné získať toľko informácií z jedného zdroja.

Zo strany môjho prauja Baltasára mi veľmi pomohol Steve Semanick z Boise v Idahu. Poslal mi kópie pasov jeho starých rodičov z roku 1930 a kópie ich úmrtných listov. Táto informácia bola dôležitá pre hľadanie predkov v Oľšove počas mojej návštevy v Auguste 1998. Zistil som, že starý otec starostu obce Albína Bučka bol bratom Stevovej starej mamy, mojej pratety Anny Bucko Semancik.

Zo strany prauja Stephena mi sesternica Carol Semancik Nigh v San José poskytla úplný preklad vojenskej knižky prauja Johna, úmrtný list jej starého otca a niekoľko fotiek z jej strany rodiny. Všetky tieto materiály mi poskytli dodatočné informácie a tak som v mojom pátraní pomaly napredoval.

Vďaka snahe troch sestier v Pensylvánii som našiel bratranca Josepha T. Semanicka, syna prauja Thomasa. Žil vo White Plains v New Yorku, ale každý rok chodil na zimné mesiace do San Diega v Kalifornii. V San Diegu mal byt a vo White Plains dom. Potom Joe dom predal a natrvalo sa presťahoval do San Diega. Po tom, čo som sa s Joeom spojil, prišiel ma navštíviť na pár dní a spriatelili sme sa. Je jedináčik, nikdy sa neoženil a žije sám od svojich sedemnástich rokov. Odišiel z Kingstonu v Pensylvánii do White Plains, kde chodil na vysokú školu a viac než 35 rokov pracoval pre spoločnosť A T & T. Potom odišiel do dôchodku a usadil sa v San Diegu. John mal 19. apríla 2005 94 rokov. Je vášnivým golfistom a stále chodí na ihrisko. Je to výnimočný človek.

Zistil som, že moji príbuzní bývajú po celých spojených štátoch. Bratrancov a sesternice mám v Pensylvánii, New Jersey, Južnej Karolíne, Ohiu, Tennessee, Indiane, Illinois, Idahu, Colorade, Novom Mexiku, Washingtone and Kalifornii.

Pennsylvania: Larksville, Plymouth, Nanticoke, Erie.

New Jersey: Hackettstown, Oxford

South Carolina: Kiawah, Charleston

Ohio; Cleveland, Seven Hills, Mantua, Macedonia

Tennessee: Oakdale, Harriman, Rockwood, Chattanooga

Indiana: Whiting, Gary, Hammond, Higland, Portage, Greenwood

Illinois: Marion

Idaho: Boise

Colorado: Lafayette

New Mexico: Albuquerque

Washington: Seattle

California: Bear Lake, San Diego, San Jose, Concord