Myjava, Slovakia to Little Falls, NY

Contributed by Linda Eastman.

In researching my niece-in-law's family, I discovered that Little Falls was the chief place of immigration in the US for people from the small village of Myjava, Slovakia (then Miava, Hungary). Slovaks also went to Chicago and major cities, but more from Myjava ended up in Little Falls than anywhere else. I thought this distinction (and link) might be of interest to researchers at your genealogy site.

These Slovak immigrants founded Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (scroll down and click on "History of Holy Trinity"). Early 20th c. immigrants from Myjava, Slovakia, followed the recommendations of neighbor Mrs. Anna Mocko Ragan in coming to Little Falls, NY. The town featured great employment opportunities and she remarked on the friendliness of the people. The congregation built a new building in the 1970's, but the old one is still used by another religious congregation.

Little Falls is also mentioned as a destination from Miava/Myjava in a 1911 history of Hungary - Emigration from Myjava. This is from a book Myjava, by Julius Bodnar, published in 1911 in Slovakia. This section deals with the heavy emigration years from Myjava to the U.S., starting in 1890. It gives you some sense of what it was like for the people in the village sending off so many to the U.S. Bodnar mentioned in the last paragraph that immigrants to Little Falls sent back money for the church in Myjava.

An early Slovak immigrant to Little Falls wrote to people in her village of Myjava, Slovakia to say the New York town reminded her of home. Here's a link that shows Myjava.

You may also want to link to Anabeth Dollins' "Myjava Genealogy" page, with her links to her listing of surnames from the Hungarian 1869 census in Myjava, as well as other information, such as names other researchers are working on.

In addition, Wikipedia has a section on Slovak Language, which is a good reference on pronunciation and spelling. This helps when trying to figure out why names were spelled a certain way in records at departing ports of Bremen, Germany or Rotterdam, Netherlands, etc. or how they sounded to US census takers after immigrants arrived here.

I thought that the strong connection between Little Falls and Myjava was worth emphasizing, especially since it led to the founding of one of the churches in Little Falls. Here's one more link to Myjava and regional history. In it they even call Little Falls the "second Myjava." It is roughly translated, or written approximately in English, is more likely.

It took me a long time to find out the current and historic name of Myjava, since it had gone through various spellings (Miawa, Miava, Miowa, etc.) under different regimes and was represented with more variations in passenger records taken in Germany or the Netherlands. Once I got that, though, there was much information.

I've discovered another part of my niece-in-law's family, who with many other German families emigrated from Germany to Hungary in the mid-1700's, recruited by the Hapsburgs to settle in an area devastated and emptied by Turkish invasions. They spoke German in their ethnic enclaves for more than 200 years, although it changed into a kind of dialect. They became known as Danouswabians - Germans along the Danube in Hungary. When people from these towns came into the US in the early 20th c., they said they were from Hungary and of German ethnic race. (Other Hungarians were Magyar.) Many Hungarian-Germans settled in Little Falls, NY from Kereny/Kernei, Hungary; later Krynjaja, Yugoslavia; now included in Serbia-Montenegro. Trenton, NJ even has a Danouswabian Cultural Center.

I've submitted names of immigrants I've been researching to the Herkimer/Montgomery surnames board - MARIKOVICS, PARACKA, and STRANSKY / SZTRANSKY. I'll also be sending more information on some of the families when finished with the research.

Linda Eastman

Back to Town of Little Falls Page

Back to Herkimer/Montgomery Counties NYGenWeb

Back to New York State GenWeb

Created: 1/14/07
Updated: 1/19/07
Copyright © 2007 Linda Eastman
All Rights Reserved.
This site is a county site of the USGenWeb Project!