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Research: Slovak Ancestors-Part 1
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Some 600,000 Slovaks came to North America between 1875-1914. Drawing on 12 years of genealogical research on my own family, I successfully used the techniques presented here to locate my family lines and ancestral villages. The purpose of this course is to provide recommendations and suggestions on techniques and methodology to help others succeed in locating their Slovak ancestors.

An overview of traditional and online resources essential to doing Slovak research is presented.

While the tendency to go ''across the pond'' is common when searching for Slovak roots, emphasis is placed on home and family sources, as well as traditional and Web resources of Canada and United States for determining the ancestral village. For the most part researchers will be fortunate to find that microfilm copies of records for their ancestors are available through the Family History Library in both Canada and the United States, and how to utilize this valuable resource will be stressed.

An overview of translation resources and interpretation strategies for vital and other records will be provided. If your village in Slovakia has not been filmed, resources are provided for writing to Slovak archives and finding professional researchers. Strategies for overcoming the proverbial ''brick wall'' will also be discussed.

Course Content

Module 1
Introduction: Why Do You Want To Know
• Identity
• Medical Reasons
• DNA Testing
• Curiosity about Customs & Traditions
• Leaving a Legacy
• The Journey Begins
Further reading
Where To Begin
• Start with Yourself
• Pedigree Chart/Ancestor chart
• Home and Family Sources
• Gather Family Information
• Family Group Sheet
• Asking Questions
• Recording Information
• Ancestor Sheet
• Organizing Your Materials
Interviewing Relatives and Others
• Becomming a Good Interviewer
• Before the Interview
• During the Interview
• Conducting the Interview
• Questioning Techniques
• After the Interview
Avoiding Duplication Efforts
• Is your Family Tree Online
• Personal Ancestral File
• Ancestry World Tree
• Rootsweb
• Published Family Histories
• Slovak Societies & Surname Databases/Reference Projects
• Utilizing the Family History Library
• Family History Centers (FHC)
• Searching the LDS Website
• Traditional vs Online Research
• Types of Genealogy Websites
• Online Research

Module 2
Starting In North America
• Start with the Census
• Canadian Census Records
• How and Where to Consult Census Records
• How to Find a Microfilm Reel Number
• Census Indexes
• Dates of Census Enumerations
• United States Census Records
• Federal Census Records
• Traditional Census Searches
• Soundex
• Organization of Soundex Records
• The Soundex Card
• Soundex Information
• U.S. Federal Census - glitches and problems
• Still missing your ancestors
• Digital and Online Census Records
Public Records Sources: Vital Statistics
U.S.Vital Statistics
• Death Records
• Newspaper Databases
• Birth Records
• Marriage Records
• How to Obtain Vital Records
• Other Records: Divorce and Adoption
Canadian Vital Records
Church Records
• Special Considerations Regarding Vital Records Research
• U.S. Social Security Death Indexes
• Who is Listed in the SSDI
• What Information Does the SSDI Contain
• SSDI (paid subscription)
• What Do the Numbers in a Social Security Number Mean?
• What Other Information is Available From the Social Security Administration
• How can I Get a Copy of the Original Records
• Why Can't I Find the Person I'm Looking For?
• Family Tree Ledgends
• US Naturalization Records
• General Guidelines For Obtaining Copies of Naturalization Records
• Alien Registration United States
• Canadian Naturalization Records
• Alien Registration Canada
• Land/Probate Records
• Land Records United States
• Probate (Court) Records - United States
• Land Petitions
• Canadian Military Records
• First World War (1914-1918)
• Military personnel records after 1918
• Personal Records
• Requesting Information From Our Personnel Records Unit
• Military Records: United States
• Access to Military Service and Pension Records
• Other sources
For further Reading
• Immigration Records(Passenger Lists/Ships Manifests)
• Border Entry Records
• Emigration From Canada
• United States Immigration Records
• Searching The Ellis Island Database
• How to Find Exotic Sounding Names
• Morses Tools
• Another Tool: Edward Rosenbaum
References/ For Further Reading

Module 3
Searching in Slovakia
• Slovakia: Brief Historical Synopsis
• Where is Slovakia
• Brief Historical Background
• Overview of slovakias history (all dates, a.d)
• Political considerations
• Language issues
• Slovaks and religion
• Slovaks and family
Leaving home : a glimpse at slavic immigration
• Are you really Slovak? How do You Know?
• Czech, Hungarian, Slovak, Ukrainian, Other
• Czech
• Czechoslovak
• Hungarian
• Polish
• Slovak
• What is a rusyn
How to find the ancestral village
• Research steps
• How to determine the town or village of origin (if unknown)
• How to determine the town or village of origin
• Steps 1 and 2
• Step 3(shtetlseeker)
• Accented characters
Maps Gazetteers & Atlases
• Maps
• Antique (historical) Maps
• Modern road maps
• Other useful maps
• Gazetteer(s) and/or atlas
• Printed gazetteers
• Gazetteers of slovakia, czechoslavia and the czech republic
• Gazetters of hungary
• Place name hungarian- contemporary conversions
• Geography
Slovak republic
• Language concerns: slovak, hungarian, latin etc
Records available for slovakia
• Local parish records
• Lds microfilmed records
• Searching the online family history library catalogue
• How to read and interpret birth, death and marriage records
• Names
• Census records(czech)
• Census records (slovak)
• Other records
• Local histories
• Military records
• Nobility
• Tax lists(berni ruly)
• Contacting relatives
• Making contact
References/ for further reading
Other references

Module 4
Scaling the brick wall: dealing with false leads and the pitfalls in your research
• What if the records are not available on lds microfilm
• Writing to the ancestral town or village
• Czech & slovak state archive records
• State regional archive centers
• Research by mail
• Helpful tips for mail requests
• Look at unlikely sources for information
• Networking: finding others
• Internet searching
• Posting queries in printed publications
• When to hire a professional
Summary/Clues for Additional Researching
References/ For Further Reading

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