In my records from the church records of Tura Luka, I already had the marriage information for Paul Holic and Elizabeth Welowjak. They were married there on 17 November 1788 "Paulus Holic honestus juvenis hujas sub 331 copulatus est honesta virgine Elizabetha Welowjak Maniensi die 17 Nov. Testibus Praesentibus, Georgio Dudik, et Joanne Brusska."
In going through the Myjava church records I found the companion marriage record since Elizabeth was from there. "Honestus juvenis Turoluca Paulus Holics Joanis filius sub No. 331 cum honesta virgine Elisabetha Joanis Vdovjak filia." [Myjava Evang. Church Records, Marriages 1783-1805, FHL Film #2408361] Note that most of the information is the same. However, the Myjava records definitively give the fathers of the bride and groom. In the case of the bride, this is new information. In the case of the groom, it contradicts what I already had. I had Paul as the son of another Paul, baptized on 24 August 1767. Perhaps this is incorrect. Or the Myjava record got his father's name wrong.
Luckily I have the death records of both Paul and Elizabeth. I posted images of them here. In Paul's death record his wife's name is given as Elizabeth Worodjak and his age as 62. I accepted the four year discrepancy in his age, but now with the added information his father was Jan, I know I need a different Paul Holic than the one I had. Likewise, I can look at the wide variety of Elizabeths baptized under the name Welowjak, Worodjak, and Vdovjak, which must be variant spellings of the same name. From her death record I know her approximate birth year of 1770 and now her father's name. I'm so glad my eye keyed in on this name, which I was not looking for at all. Of course, I so rarely see Paul Holic in genealogical records I immediately went right to it. It's my father's name as well.
One of my triple-greats which was a dead-end and which I wrote about last fall was Katherina Polak, the wife of Jan Malek of Myjava. I've been pulling the Myjava Evangelium (Lutheran) church records back on microfilm and have made significant headway on Katherina. When I engaged a professional genealogist in the late 1990s to do my principal Slovak research, he did the ancestry of all four of my great-grandparents. He was efficient and, quite frankly, a bit too methodological in his approach. No doubt this was to keep his time down. He noted baptisms and must have had a formula of when an average marriage would happen before that, etc. Sometimes ages of people are given, such as the ages of grooms and brides in marriage records.
In the case of Katherina and Jan Malek, he never found their marriage record. He extrapolated when Jan would have been born and found a likely candidate. He never found the same for Katherina. In 2003 or so, I found their entry in the 1869 Hungarian census which showed they were much older than the researcher had surmised. My great-great-grandmother Susanna Malek was born in 1852, but was the second youngest child. Using the dates of the census I easily found Katherina's baptism on 25 November 1813, the daughter of Stephen Polak and Katherine Szowiss. I also found Jan's real baptism on 8 September 1801, the son of Jan and Catherine (Marek) Malek. These dates precisely agree with the census. Jan and Katherina were much older than my researcher had surmised and Jan was a full decade older than his wife. Slightly outside the norm, but not absurdly outside the norm.
So, now I have that 3rd great solved (two more to go, but they are in Vrbovce, which was just released). I also have father's names for three of the four new parents of Jan and Katherina. Jan Malek married Catherine Marek on 20 June 1797 and he is noted as the son of Thomas Malek. Catherine's parents are not given. Stephen Polak married on 16 May 1810 to Catherine Szowiss, and both had father's named Jan. I should note that this is my second Szowiss line, but I haven't connected them yet. It would mean that my great-great-grandparents were cousins, not uncommon for any small village in Europe.
Despite the flurry of Wallace and other New England postings, I am still pursuing my Slovak ancestry via microfilm. I got two reels and looked at them for one day and promptly got a terrible cold and lost almost two weeks of research. Luckily I could renew the films once and thus still have them, although the clock is ticking. You see I can still either go into Boston and do research on my mother's ancestry or hop in a car and visit her ancestors' graves, but I can't exactly get to Slovakia (or Salt Lake City for that matter) in an hour or less. Would that I could.
I am also wrapping my mind around the fact that my research methods for this is off. I was pulling back a reel or two of microfilm to review, based on time (you get the reels for three weeks) and money (it costs $5.50 per reel, per three weeks--you get one renewal only). The problem is to verify things you need to review births/marriages/deaths which obviously happen at vastly different time periods. I'm finding that when I want to verify something, particularly with all the common names in this one small village, I'm stuck. I should have just ordered the eight reels for Myjava all at once for the entire 6 weeks [total cost $88.00]. Since I have four villages (three of which I can order now), I may just wait and do it all in Salt Lake City on a future trip.
I'm trying to both verify the research I had commissioned in the late 1990s with the added information I acquired by finding everyone in the 1869 Hungarian census on my own. For instance, I finally figured out why the 1869 census seemed "off" for one family. Jan Simek born in 1800 and married in 1820 to Kristina Holic also born in 1800 (yes, I have two Holic lines, although I can't connect them). In the 1869 census Jan and a Kristina appear, but her age was significantly off, and she had a son born in 1856, which seemed unlikely for a woman born in 1800. I now know that Kristina (Holic) Simek died between 1845 and 1855 and Jan remarried a Kristina Wdovjak. It was she who was born in 1814 and had her last child in 1856. That not only matched the census, but with a death record for her in 1891. Problem solved there. But as you can see, I needed to go back and get the film to check on the second marriage and death and that reel I didn't have.
Luckily the records I've been using in Myjava are in a very legible hand and are written, for the most part, in Latin.
I remember being surprised when I began doing some of my Slovak ancestry reading, after the 1990 U.S. Census, the fact that Slovak was the second highest ethnicity for Slavic people in the U.S. Although the numbers are hard to pin down, about a half million Slovaks immigrated to the U.S. during the 1880-1920 time period. However, with the end of the Soviet Union, Slovaks are now falling behind other more recent Slavic ethnicities, like Ukrainians.
The other interesting fact I found surprising was that as a percentage of those that left "the old county" the Slovak immigration to the U.S. is second only to the Irish exodus of the 19th century. That's partly due to the fact there were only about 4-5 million Slovaks to begin with.
While doing these death records I noticed that women appeared either with their birth names then married names or vice versa. It was not consistent. Birth names were sometimes included, sometimes not. This example has the name as: "Judith Babyar lately Paul Simek's wife." I had a hard time translating this because it was in Hungarian and I was trying Slovak and/or Latin, the two languages the rest of the Tura Luka records seem to be in. My thanks to Mark Sabol for riding to the rescue with a good translation. Next time I'll note the next column which has age and says 76 years (esztendo is Hungarian and easy to read in this example). She died of old age.