Preparing to visit ancestral hometowns in Slovakia

In a few days, I will be heading for eastern Slovakia. I have two goals for the trip: track down some elusive vital records at an archive in Košice (Slovakia’s second largest city); and pay a visit to the villages where my Slovak great-grandparents – Andrej (Andrew) Sabol and Maria (Mary) Daniel – were born.

From vital records accessible online through Family Search, I know that Andrej Sabol was born in May 1872 in the village of Trebejov, nine miles north of Košice. The address noted in the records was Trebejov 11. Maria Daniel was born in June 1880 in the neighboring village of Kysak. The address was Kysak 4.

Trebejov and Kysak were both small villages. From the 1869 Magyar Census, which I wrote about in earlier posts, we can see that Trebejov had 208 inhabitants living in 24 households. Kysak was a bit larger, with 494 residents living in 43 households and a large military barracks.

The census returns provide an amazing look into the lives of my four Slovak great-great-grandparents, just a few years before Andrej and Maria were born. I analyzed some of these in earlier posts. Jan Sabol and Elisa Filak lived with three generations of the Sabol family (including my third great-grandparents Michal Sabol and Anna Tkačik) at Trebejov 11, along with a family named Czibulák. Andrej Daniel lived with his first wife Anna Filak at Trebejov 14. And Barbara Mačka lived with her first husband Michal Hovan at Kysak 4.

I’m not sure how much those villages have changed since my great-grandparents left in the 1890s. According to Wikipedia, Kysak – now home to an important railway station – has 1390 residents. And the population of Trebejov has actually shrunk to 165 residents. So is it possible that my ancestors’ homes are still there?

I should be able to find out, thanks to some historic maps I recently acquired. The Austro-Hungarian Empire did a cadastral survey under Emperor Franz I, mapping the entire territory. With a little effort, I figured out how to order those online.

This map of Trebejov (the Hungarian name was Terebö), dating from 1868, shows the village’s 24 households. With the aid of accompanying documents, I have figured out that the Sabol household (Trebejov 11) was represented on the map as lots 45 (containing the family residence) and 46 (farmland). Similarly, the residence of Andrej Daniel and the Filak family (Trebejov 14) correspond to lots 25 and 26.

1868 cadastral map of the vllage of Trebejov, Slovakia..

1868 cadastral map of the vllage of Trebejov, Slovakia.. Click to enlarge.

The cadastral map of Kysak (the Hungarian name was Kőszeg or Saroskőszeg), also dating from 1868, show that the Hovan household (Kysak 4), where Andrej Daniel would go to live when he married Barbara Mačka after the two were widowed, was located at lots 69 and 70..

1868 cadastral map of the village of Kysak, Slovakia. Click to enlarge.

1868 cadastral map of the village of Kysak, Slovakia. Click to enlarge.

From aerial shots of the town on Google Maps, it is easy to overlay the 1868 street plan over today’s. So with any luck, I may have the chance to visit the actual homes where my Slovak ancestors lived.

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5 Responses to Preparing to visit ancestral hometowns in Slovakia

  1. Pingback: A visit to ancestral hometowns in Slovakia: Trebejov and Kysak | John Kowal's Family History Blog

  2. Pingback: A (cadastral map) quest in Lviv | John Kowal's Family History Blog

  3. Janet Zavoral says:

    I am very interested in obtaining a cadastral map of Tura Luka (now part of Myjava). I have been on the site you link to in the above post but have not been able to figure out how to get to the map. I have installed the application they asked for, but still have no result. Can you give me some detailed instruction on how you got yours?

    • johnkowal says:

      Hi Janet,
      I did see Tura Luka on the Cadastral Portal map. If you click on this this link, you should see a map of Slovakia to the right. Click on that and you’ll get a searchable map of Slovakia. Enter “Tura Luka” and it will zoom in there (right near Myjava as you say).
      I ordered the maps by sending an email to katasterportal@skgeodesy.sk. I said I wanted the 19th century cadastral survey for the three towns I was looking for. I got a prompt reply from Adrian Belak telling me which maps I needed and how much they cost. They weren’t cheap (20 euros for each) but the color scans were of a very high quality and they are well worth it. You can try reaching Mr. Belak directly at his email: adrian.belak@skgeodesy.sk.
      If you know the house numbers from the vital records (e.g., Tura Luka 11) it will help them tell you which pages of the accompanying protocol documents you will also want. These help you pinpoint the exact lot where your ancestors lived. Those scans were 3.50 euros a page.
      Keep in mind that each cadastral map had 20 pages. They covered a grid that was mostly woods and countryside with towns scattered throughout. Of those 20 pages, only one or two of them will be of Tura Luka most likely. Again, Mr. Belak was super helpful in recommending I get only the pages covering the town. In one case (Kysak), the town was split between two squares on the grid so I needed to purchase two maps to get the entire town. He explained the whole thing.
      I have your email address here so I will send you my correspondence with him. The process was very easy and really professional. I have been pulling my hair out trying to get a similar map from a Ukrainian archive. They have a lot to learn from the Slovaks!
      Good luck and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have other questions.
      John

  4. Janet Zavoral says:

    I did want to give you an update. Tura Luka apparently has MANY pages of maps and keys. After some back and forth with Mr. Belak I surmised that I would need way to many pages to make it affordable. Tura Luka seems to be quite spread out, with hamlets outside of the town proper. Each of those hamlets was several map pages and many key pages. I may have to resort to hiring a researcher to get just the maps I desire. It would be less expensive for sure. Thanks for your help though. I did learn a lot.

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