Slovakia Genealogy Research Strategies
Many Things Rusyn - Links
North East Slovakia, along with the bordering regions of Poland and Ukraine, contain the largest concentration of ethnic Rusyns (Ruthenian) in Europe. Centered around the Carpathian Mountains, the Rusyns have their own culture, customs and language. The language takes pieces from several bordering ethno-linguistic regions. So much so, that an individual trained in Slovak could not understand spoken Rusyn.
Should your family come from this region, take time to investigate their ethnicity. Not all citizens of Slovakia are Slovak. Ethnic Hungarian, Roma minorities are also found. Ethnic Rusyns were traditionally associated with the Greek Catholic tradition, so when you see Greek Catholic, it is also reasonable to assume Rusyn ethnicity. Janos Bogardi has reproduced a demographic map illustrating the ration of Greek Catholics found in the region.
One should also be cautious when reading ethnic statistics. Over the years, governments have forcefully legislated ethnicities while eliminating others. During the 1800's in Hungary, a strong policy of "Magyarization" was instituted, which meant that everyone was to become Magyar. In fact, many ethnicities were not even allowed for on census and other documents. In Post World War II Ukraine, Rusyn ethnicity was legislatively erased, making all these individuals Ukrainian. It has only been in the past decade that these minorities, Rusyn included, have become officially sanctioned once more.
Researching the People from No Mans Land, The Carpatho Rusyns of Austria-Hungary, Thomas Peters, 1996
What is a Rusyn, Richard D. Custer
Ruthenians - Catholic Encyclopedia, Andrew Shipman, 1912
Rusyns in Pannonia (Vojvodinia), Yugoslavia
Lemko.org - Rusyns in Poland
THE RUSYNS - AN EAST SLAVIC PEOPLE, Istvan Udvari
Rusnaci - A good start, but needs a lot of work
Geographically Related Resources
FEDERATION OF EAST EUROPEAN FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETIES - contains well-known "Map Room"
Brama - Ukraine Resources
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