Also known as Uják




Help to Preserve Our Past

If you had ancestors from this village honor them by submitting a photograph(s) in the Eternal Memory section. In addition, please consider sharing historical data, photographs, and related village materials.

Ak by ste mali predkov z tejto obce je česť tým, že predloží fotografiu, vo večnom pamäť. Okrem toho, zvážte zdieľanie historické dáta, fotografie a príbuzné materiály obce.




About Us


Publisher & Managing Editor

Steven M. Osifchin


Joy E. Kovalycsik

Technical Support

Divan Zedwet







Michael & Anna Osifchin and Michael Kovalycsik


Village History & Chronicle of Events


Village Photos

Courtesy of John Dornik, Slavo Gladis, Joy E. Kovalycsik, Lubo Lesko, & Steven M. Osifchin


Eternal Memory - Vechnaya Pamyat


Udol Virtual Cemetery

Please consider adding photos and information of your loved one's grave to create an online memorial.

Prosím, zvážte pridanie fotky a informácie o svojej milovanej niečí hrob vytvoriť on-line pamätník.


Historical Documentation


Celebrated Sons & Daughters


Those Who Serve/Served in Religious Orders


Odds & Ends 


The Millennium Udol Association

The Millennium Udol Association www.udol.sk is nonprofit organization established in village Udol. The aim of the association is to promote community development in the village, especially of Ruthenian Culture activities for young people that go to education and developing a positive impact on social life.







This page is Dedicated to Michael & Anna (Sokol) Osifchin and Michael Kovalycsik.

Grandparents of The Carpathian Connection's Co-Founders,

Steven M. Osifchin & Joy E. Kovalycsik


Vechnaya Pamyat - Eternal Memory














Village History & Chronicle of Events



Village History 


Irena Nevická

A published and Well Known Author

Written by, Joy E. Kovalycsik

Researched by, Steven M. Osifchin


Traditional Rusyn Clothing for the Village of Ujak

Courtesy of Julia Biss, Dorothy Crowley, Slavo Gladis, Joy E. Kovalycsik, & Steven M. Osifchin


School Photo Circa 1925

Courtesy of Slavo Gladis


Greek Catholic Church Celebration 1927-1930

Courtesy of Slavo Gladis


Members of the Ujak Fire Department 1935

Courtesy of Slavo Gladis


Greek Catholic Church Celebration, Early 1940s

Courtesy of Slavo Gladis


Villagers in Front of the Kundrat Residence

Courtesy of Slavo Gladis


Greek Catholic Church Celebration Circa 1957

Courtesy of Slavo Gladis


Greek Catholic Bishop Gojdic Makes a Visit

Courtesy of Slavo Gladis


Villagers in front of the Daniel Hrina Home (House 33), 1950s or 60s

Courtesy of Slavo Gladis


Parishioners Outside the Greek Catholic Church, 1960s

Courtesy of Slavo Gladis


Saint Dimitry Greek Catholic Church Renovations, 2011-2012





Village History


The old and foreign names of the place:


1427-Wyak, 1773 through 1786-Ujlak, 1808-Ujak, Ujach, 1863—Ujlak, 1888-Uják, 1907-Sárosújlak, 1948-Údol, Hungarian - Sárosújlak.


The administrative structure:


Šariš and Košice county 1923—1928, Šariš-Zemplín county 1940—1945, district Lipany until 10 December 1922, Sabinov until the year 1948, Stará L'ubovna 1948-1960, Prešov 1960—1968. Since 1968 district of Stará L'ubovna.


Local places:


Majer, Poza most.


Population numbers:


In the year 1787—416 inhabitants, 1828—663, 1869—718, 1880—680, 1890—685, 1900—666, 1910—490, 1921—524, 1930—524, 1940—591, 1948—529, 1961—526, 1970—574, 1980—569, 1991—496.


The year 1921 136 houses and 524 inhabitants: 27 of Czechoslovak nationality, 474 Ruthenian, 23 foreigners, 16 Roman-Catholic religion, 508 Greek Catholic.

The year 1991—136 houses and 496 inhabitants: 348 Slovak, 1 Czech, 80 Ruthenian origin, 66 Ukraine, 1 other, 14 Roman Catholic, 379 Greek Catholic, 41 Orthodox, 10 without religion, 52 not identified.


The acreage:


1316 hectares.




The community is first mentioned in the year 1349 in a document in connection with the sale of the šoltýstvo, when Michal, the son of Fabián, šoltýs at that time, sold the local šoltýstvo, which he bought from Mikuláš, to two Spiš townsmen. The field of land, the brewery and the mill belonged to the šoltýstvo. The village existed two-three decades before the year 1349. It was established by settlers with the šoltýstvo according to the purchase right on the estate domain of Plave, at the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th century. The village was part of the castle estate domain of Plave , continuously between the 14—16th centuries. In the documents between 14—16th centuries the village is mentioned under the name Ujlak. It was the Slovak form of the originally Hungarian name Ujlak, put together from words "uj" which means new and "lak" which means residence, community. The Hungarian name was implemented by village feudals and the domain of Plave.


In the year 1427 in the portal register of Šariš county, the Hungarian name is added under the name Wyak. At that time Ujak households were taxed by a tax to the King from 32 port, so Ujak was a big village. It's legal pertinence was confirmed by the šoltýs, in 1567. Later on peasants gradually moved out and housing development became extinct. In the document about the Plave domain from the second half of the 15th century and beginning of the 16th century the community isn't mentioned. The new housing development was established by Ruthenian settlers with the šoltýs between the years 20—30 of the 16th century. In the year 1600 the housing development consisted of 17 inhabited serf houses and the house of the šoltýs. In the renewed village in the second half of the 16th century, the village grew to be a middle-sized village in which, except for the family of the šoltýs, lived the serf's population especially of Ruthenian origin.


In the year 1755 the community burned down. In the year 1787 it had 61 houses and in 1828, 88 houses. In the year 1867 the community was affected by an epidemic of cholera. After the Czechoslovak Republic was proclaimed, the community people rebelled against representatives of the old regime. At this revolt the store and pub were robbed. The population was occupied with agriculture, cattle breeding and seasonally by work in the forest.


During the first Czechoslovak Republic many inhabitants emigrated to the U.S.A. and Canada for work. During the time of the second World War the population supported guerrilla groups and many people took part in the Slovak National Uprising. The community was liberated on the 23rd of January, 1945. The revolutionary national committee was created on the 25th of January, 1945— the chairman was Peter Havran and secretary was Štefan Šcerbák. In the 1946 elections, the Communist party won. From the total amount of voices 303, it got 195, the Democratic party 106, the party of work 1 and the party of freedom 1 voice. In the year 1947, 17 families left to the USSR. JRD (Unified Farmer's Cooperative) was established in 1950, in 1971 joined with Hajtovka JRD. The community was given electricity after liberation (1954). The building of Unity SD (consumer cooperative farm) (1953), the cultural house (1977), local communications, new family houses, school (1977), buildings of JRD, local radio, football playground (1990), tennis courts (1992) water pipes (1994) and other buildings were built (in these years).




Greek Catholic

The Church of Saint Dimitry, the martyr (Greek-Catholic), built in the year 1866, repaired in 1888 and 1943, Classic style, with a semicircle cap of the Presbyter. The interior is from the year 1888.  Font—chalice shape, stone with the sign, is from the year 1656.  The chalice—Baroque style, from the year 1773, gilded silver. Prior to 1866 there was a wooden church on a location below the existing church. This church like many of the wooden structures of the day caught fire and burned down.



On August 11, 2004 a Russian Orthodox Church was consecrated for the Orthodox residents of the village. The church also was dedicated to Saint Dimitry. In September of 2004 Metropolitan Herman of the Orthodox Church in America visited Ujak and presented the faithful with a financial gift collected from various OCA parishes.






Irena Nevická

Written by, Joy E. Kovalycsik

Researched by, Steven M. Osifchin


Irena Nevická was a published and well known author who resided in Ujak/Udol.  Born Irena Anna Burik in Zbudska Bela (Medzilaborce district) on December 10, 1886, she was the daughter of Paul Burik, a professor who graduated from Budapest and Vienna Universities and Anna Rovaliczky.  Irena was baptized in the Greek (Byzantine) Catholic church of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary (erected 1730) on February 20, 1887.  She would spend her entire life writing about religious faith and striving to elevate the level of Rusyn awareness.  During the early years, she attended German and Hungarian elementary schools in the town of Sabinov which was approximately 65 miles from Zbudska Bela.  Unfortunately, tragedy befell this author early as her mother, Anna died when Irena was a young girl.  After her mother’s untimely death, her father Paul decided to move and the family lived in Stara Lubovna and Presov.  During this time Irena’s grandmother helped care for her.  Later, Irena applied and was accepted at the Presov Greek Catholic Teachers’ College.  This college (constructed in 1895) was an institution of higher learning operated by the Greek Catholic church.  The college offered a focus on the exclusive training of elementary school teachers.  Irena was very sensitive to the needs of the Rusyn people and these strong feelings would be pronounced in her writings.  Also, she wished to elevate the educational standards of those who did not have opportunities to attend elementary school or college.  Her ideas were also instrumental in the establishment of many amateur theater groups.  She wrote plays and organized formal Catechism schools to instruct children in the Greek Catholic faith. Her plays were interwoven with inspirational themes such as having pride in your heritage and spiritual awareness. 


In 1912, while living in Udol/Ujak she wrote a play “Providence” which was performed quite frequently.  She also wrote plays entitled “Fire”, “Christmas Gift,” “Destiny” and “Prince Fedor Koryatovych.”  During these years she also wrote poetry and one anthem of unification of the Ruthenian lands was prevalent in her poem “Koryatovych on Top of the Carpathians.”  A portion of the poem in English states: and people, Prince of people Carpathians, and his love sincere brother, my brother, to work, to work, to liberty, the spring bloom cornfield and paradise is still here, to life!


Irena married a Greek Catholic priest, Father Emil Nevicky born August 27, 1878 in Semetkovce.  Father Emil was the son of Anton Nevicky, parish priest in Semetkovce and Gabriella Andrejkovits.  In 1909, Father Emil became resident pastor of St. Dimitry’s Greek Catholic church in Ujak/Udol and would remain for eleven years.  Her husband would travel to America many times to serve in various capacities.  In 1911, Irena published a number of periodicals under the pen names Nedilja, Anna Novak and Anna Gorjak.  Later, she would discard her pen names and only utilize her formal name. On October 4, 1920 Irena’s husband Father Emil was in the United States and visited Saint Michael’s Greek (Byzantine) Catholic Church (later Cathedral) in Passaic, New Jersey.  This church was built by many of his former parishioners who had immigrated; over 50 percent of the parish were from Ujak/Udol.  Father Emil offered mass, visited with his former parishioners and spoke at a public meeting.  Father Emil also toured the United States and visited sixty communities.  In November 1920 he returned to Slovakia but on December 26, 1921, he once again emigrated from the Port of Southampton on the SS Carmania and arrived at the Port of New York.  Father Emil joined his uncle, Father Michael Andrejkovic, who was pastor of St. Mary’s Greek (Byzantine) Catholic Church in Jersey City, New Jersey.  His shipping manifest states Irena remained in Slovakia and resided at 16 Majsesova, Presov.  


Irena and Father Emil had a number of children; a few being Dionyz (born 1904 in Cicava), Paul (born 1906 in Cicava), Elizabeth (born 1908, birthplace unknown), Nicholas (born 1910 in Ujak/Udol), Martha (born 1914 in Ujak/Udol) and Vladimir (born 1919 in Ujak/Udol.)  Irena continued to write essays, poetry and translated numerous novels and literary works; she was a full time mother but never stopped being an author. 


While her husband was in America, Irena founded a women’s association (Soyuz) and published a yearly calendar (Zenscyn) which circulated in Eastern Slovakia beginning in 1922.  Also, during this period she was very active with women’s groups, one being named "Enlightenment" in Presov and one with ties to Uzhgorod.  In 1924 she published a very popular novel "Truth" a historical and spiritual work pertaining to the early church based upon the bible. This novel began Irena’s wide ranging success as an author and her name became well known.


In July 1923 her husband Father Emil was installed the first resident pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Greek (Byzantine) Catholic Church in Minersville, Pennsylvania.  He would remain at this church until 1939.  He returned to Slovakia for visits and one, to meet with the Bishop of Presov, Bishop (later pronounced Blessed by Pope John Paul II) Paul Goydich on November 30, 1930.  While in America, Father Emil also was pastor of Holy Spirit Greek (Byzantine) Catholic Church in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  Father Emil worked tireless hours to raise all necessary funds for the construction of a new church for his Williamsport parishioners.  The new church; across the street from the first church; was blessed on May 30, 1925.  The dedication services were held by the Dean of the area Greek Catholic churches, Nicholas Chopey.  Dean Chopey was assisted during this service by Father Nevicky and Father Chanat of St. John’s Greek (Byzantine) Catholic Church in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.  In 1925, Irena once again published a novel “Divine Providence” and in 1929 another book was published entitled “Present.”   Irinia at this time continued to write plays which were performed on the stage in Presov, Medzilaborce and even in Uzhgorod.  Also, from 1931 to 1932, Irena began publishing the newspaper “Word of Nation.” This was the first newspaper printed in the Rusyn language and was issued bi-monthly.  Irena worked constantly to highlight the national identity of our people in Slovakia. 


On December 30, 1939 Irena once again experienced sorrow when her husband, Father Emil died.  Irena was only 53 years old. Many of her stories and periodicals from this period combined a spiritual theme with a solid moral message.  Her style was flowing and very creative which drew a large audience.  Irena also loved to weave tales of good triumphing over evil and personal heroics in the face of difficult challenges. Publications during this time were “Sunday Rusin,” “Our Native Land,” “Freedom,” and “Trembita.”

After the Second World War and with the tyranny of the communist system, Irena’s works were classified as “bourgeois nationalism” and her writings were limited or banned outright.  Irena continued to write but on a limited scale.  She did continue her work with various women’s groups but as these became indoctrinated by communist philosophy, she withdrew and ceased to be a writer, journalist and advocate for her cultural heritage.  At this time nothing of a religious nature; especially by someone who was Greek Catholic and the wife of a Greek Catholic priest (the Greek Catholic Church was outlawed by the communist regime in 1950); could be published.  She also could no longer teach children their Greek Catholic catechism.  Teachers were not permitted to give religious instruction and ones who had been trained in church based university were rarely given employment.  During this period Irena lived a difficult life.  Her works were banned, the Greek Catholic Church was outlawed and views on the church and of a strong national identity made her the target of persecution. 


On September 21, 1965, after working a lifetime as an author, playwright, teacher and supporting her husband in his service to the Greek Catholic church for numerous years, Irena Anna Nevicka passed away in Presov at the age of 79.  She was buried in the Presov community cemetery.  Two works written and never published during the communist period are now in print.  One novel is “Matija Kukolka” and it was first published during the Prague Spring of 1968, a second printing was issued in 1994.  The other is a research report on renovation work performed on a Renaissance Manor House at Demjata, near Presov in Eastern Slovakia. The name of the report is “Renaissance Castle in Demjata,” it was published in Bratislava in 1982. 


Thankfully, Slovakia now is a free and independent nation.  Irena Nevicka’s works are being published once more for a new generation to discover her brilliant literary talent.  This devoted author played a significant part in Rusyn cultural life.  Since 1991, Irena’s plays have been performed throughout the Presov region and enjoy overwhelming success.  Each year there is a competition in her memory for the best actors in each play category.  The next “Irena Nevicka” artistic competition will be held in Presov during 2012.


She has also not been forgotten in her former town of residence.  The villagers of present day Udol/Ujak renamed the house of culture (social gathering hall) in her memory.  A memorial plaque dedicated to Irena Nevická has been placed on the building honoring her life and literary accomplishments.  Many of these literary works were written in the village of Ujak/Udol.  Thankfully, they are read and performed once more. 





Traditional Rusyn Clothing for the Village of Ujak


Anna Osifchin nee Sokol

and Son Michael


Courtesy of Steven M. Osifchin



Two Descriptions


Mikulas Kovalcik, wife Suzanna, children Mikulas & Suzanna

Circa 1920

Indentified by Helena Knap nee Kovalcik


Girl standing Maria Ilas Fengya (later married to Michal Gladis)

Circa 1929

Indentified by Stefan Gladis (son)


Photo Courtesy of Joy E. Kovalycsik


Left - Right

Unknown, ? Krajnak, & Mary Kollar

Circa 1917

Courtesy of Dorothy Crowley


(Left) Margita Gladis nee Dornic & Helena Boguska nee Jurkiv Hrina

Courtesy of Slavo Gladis


John Osifchin

Circa 1919

In Memory of Julia Biss


LEFT - Anna Kravcak 1923-2006, sisters Helena Keda 1910 -, Maria Kravcak 1912 -, sister-in-law Maria Kravcak 1914- (Unclear as to who is who in the photo)

Circa 1935
Courtesy of Slavomir Gladis


 (CENTER) Maria Timko (Wife of Vasil Dornic) (RIGHT) Maria Fengya Elias (Wife of Michael Gladis (LEFT) Ujak school teachers daughter perhaps with the surname Sima (Shima).
Circa 1925
Courtesy of Slavomir Gladis





School Photo Circa 1925

Courtesy of Slavo Gladis


School in the former home of the John Sedlak family.

Far left tall boy standing Peter Sovik who was born about 1915


Please contact us at editors@tccweb.org if you are able to make an indentification.





Greek Catholic Church Celebration 1927-1930

Courtesy of Slavo Gladis


#1 ?; #2 Maria Kravchak 1912-?; #3 Maria Dornic Kravchak 1883-1946; #4 Helena Kravchak 1910-?; #5 Anna Kravchak 1923-2006; #6 Stefan Kravchak 1908-1988; #7 John Fedorko Dornich 1896-1979#8 John Mikulik 1865



Bottom Left Front dark haired boy sitting Jan Fedorko 1916-1995; to the Right of him Nicholas "Kuba" Knap former Ujak Mayor's father (a Fenda relation); To the Left of #6 Stefan Kravchak is Karl Fecisin 1897-1976; Next to Karl is Jan Kravcak 1874-1939; Front row to the Right young girl in white dress, white babushka, and black apron Maria Sokol 1921- 2007 (later married to Jan Fedorko); To Maria's Right Stefan Sokol 1922-1989 (later married to Maria Kravcak Adamcik). Identified by Stefan & Margita Gladis.


Please contact us at editors@tccweb.org if you are able to make an indentification.






Members of the Ujak Fire Department 1935

(Photo and Identifications Courtesy of Slavomir Gladis)


From the Left - Stefan Kovalycsik (Rear Left Side, standing, arm on hip), Nicholas Fenda, John Arendacs (arm on Nicholas Kravchak), Michael Miklus, Michael Kokinda (next to Stefan Kovalycsik), Stefan Kravchak alias Adamchin, Nicholas Kravchak, Michael Pruzsinsky, Nicholas Pruzsinsky (to the side of Michael Pruzsinsky), John Dopiryak (standing off to right side feet spread), Peter Kravchak, Jr. (sitting arms on legs), Stefan Hrinya alias Adomajacka, John Kravchak alias Juskiv (John was the captain of the fire department), Stefan Chanda or Nicholas Soroka, Michal Kravchak alias Zmurovanici, left front John Kokinda, John Fedorko.







Villagers in Front of the Kundrat Residence

(Photo courtesy of Slavomir Gladis)



Man in the center with white shirt Karl Fecisin 1897-1976

Identified by Stefan & Margita Gladis.


Please contact us at editors@tccweb.org if you are able to make an indentification.







Greek Catholic Church Celebration, early 1940s

(Courtesy of Slavomir Gladis)


The boy in white shirt John Dornic, boy in grey suit and dark shirt Peter Kokinda, in between is Michael Drabisin.


Please contact us at editors@tccweb.org if you are able to make an indentification.






Greek Catholic Church Celebration Circa 1957

(Photocopy of original photograph. Photocopy courtesy of Stefan Gladis)


Please contact us at editors@tccweb.org if you are able to make an indentification.





Greek Catholic Bishop Gojdic Makes a Visit

(Photo courtesy of Slavomir Gladis)


Indentified in the Photo Ujak resident priest Fr. Chromjak and Biship Gojdic (third in from Left Front).

Please contact us at editors@tccweb.org if you are able to make an indentification.



PAVOL GOJDIČ was born on July 17th, 1888 at Ruské Pekľany near Prešov, into the family of the Greek-Catholic priest Štefan Gojdič; his mother’s name was Anna Gerberyová. He received the name of Peter in baptism.


He attended the elementary school at Cigeľka, Bardejov and Prešov, finishing his primary studies at Prešov, which he concluded with his maturity exam in 1907. Obeying God’s call to the priesthood he began his study of theology at Prešov. Since he obtained excellent results, he was sent a year later to continue his studies in Budapest. Here too he tried to lead a profound spiritual life. While still a seminarian he was directed by his spiritual director on these lines: „Life is not difficult, but it is a serious matter“- words that were to guide him throughout his life. Having finished his studies on August 27th 1911 he was ordained priest at Prešov by Bishop Dr. Ján Valyi. After his ordination he worked for a short period as assistant parish priest with his father. After a year he was appointed prefect of the eparchial seminary and at the same time taught religion in a higher secondary school. Later he was put in charge of protocol and the archives in the diocesan curia. He was also entrusted with the spiritual care of the faithful in Sabinov as assistant parish priest. In 1919 he became director of the episcopal office.


To everyone’s surprise on July 20th, 1922 he joined the Order of St. Basil the Great at Černecia Hora near Mukačevo, where, taking the habit on 27.1.1923 he took the name Pavol. He took this decision as a sign of modesty, humility, and a desire to lead an ascetic life in order to better serve God. But God willed otherwise and had ordered him to a higher office as bishop. On September 14th, 1926 he was nominated Apostolic administrator of the eparchy of Prešov. During his installation as Apostolic Administrator he announced the programme of his apostolate: „With the help of God I want to be a father to orphans, a support for the poor and consoler to the afflicted“.

The first official act of Pavol Gojdič in his office as newly appointed administrator of the eparchy of Prešov was to address a pastoral letter on the occasion of the 1100° anniversary of the birth of St. Cyril, apostle of the Slavs. Thus he begins his activity in the spirit of the aspostle of the Slavs, always faithful to Rome, as they were. He was a Slav and was very fond of his oriental rite.


A short time later, on March 7th, 1927 he was nominated bishop with the title of Harpaš (Church of Harpaš - in Asia Minor). The episcopal consecration took place in the basilica of San Clemente, Rome, on March 25th, 1927, the feast of the Annunciation of Our Lady.


After his episcopal ordination he visited the basilica of St Peter in Rome, where he prayed on the tomb of the Apostle. On March 29th 1927, together with Bishop Nyaradi, he was received in a private audience by the Holy Father Pius XI. The pope gave Bishop Pavol a gold cross saying: „This cross is only a faint symbol of the heavy crosses that God will send you, my son, in your work as bishop“.


For his episcopal programme he chose as a motto the following words: „God is love, let us love Him!“ As bishop he was engaged in the promotion of spiritual life of both clergy and faithful. He insisted on the proper celebration of the liturgy and of church feasts. Following new conditions he erected new parishes, for instance, in Prague, Bratislava, Levoča and elsewhere. Thanks to his hard work the orphanage at Prešov was built, and entrusted to the local sisters. His activity in the scholastic field was outstanding, as is proved by the foundation of the Greek-Catholic school in Prešov in the year 1936. He supported also the teaching academy, the seminary, colleges etc. He was interested in every aspect of spiritual reading, which resulted in the launching of the review Blahovistnik (Messenger of the Gospel), Da prijdet carstvije Tvoje (Thy Kingdom Come) and various prayers etc., published by the PETRA publishing house. For his kindness, caring and charitable relationship with the people he was described as „a man with a heart of gold“.


An important characteristic of the bishop was also his strong affection for the Eucharistic Saviour, which he continually strengthened through his visits to the Blessed Eucharist in the chapel at his residence. Another characteristic, not less evident, of his spiritual life, was his devotion to the Sacred Heart. Already as a Seminarian in Budapest he had consecrated himself to the Sacred Heart and this he confirmed every morninng with the words „All the prayers, sacrifices and crosses I offer to make up for the sins of the whole world!“. One must not forget that the bishop had great devotion to the Mother of God and as as a marian devotee held in his residential chapel a picture of the Virgin of Klokočov, in front of which he prayed every day and to whose protection he entrusted himself and the whole eparchy.


On April 13, 1939 he was appointed apostolic administrator in Slovakia of the Apostolic Administration of Mukačevo. In the difficult situation of the Slovak State he became a thorn in the flesh for the representatives of the government of the time and so offered his resignation from the post - in fact the present Holy Father appreciated his work and not only refused his resignation but also made him residential bishop of Prešov. And so on August 8th, 1940 he was solemnly enthroned at Prešov and then on January 15, 1946 confirmed in his jurisdiction over the Greek-Catholics in the whole of Czecho-Slovakia.


The progress in religious and spiritual life in the eparchy that followed the personal example and fervour of Bishop Pavol was interrupted by the events of war, and especially with the coming to power of the communistcs in 1948. Their ideological programme made itself felt above all against the Greek-Catholic Church. Bishop P. P. Gojdič resisted any initiative to submit the Greek-Catholics to Russian orthodoxy assisted by the communist party and the power of the State, even though he knew he was risking persecution and arrest; maybe even death. Gradually he was isolated from the clergy and the faithful.


Even though put under severe pressure to renounce the Catholic faith and break unity with the Pope, he refused every attractive offer and exclaimed: „I am already 62 and sacrifice all my goods and residence, but I will not deny my faith in any way because I want to save my soul. Do not even come to me.“


During the events sadly known of Sobor of Prešov, April 28, 1950, when the State outlawed the Greek-Catholic Church and forbade her activity, bishop Pavol Gojdič was arrested and interned. Thus began his via crucis in many prisons of what was Czecho-Slovakia, which ended with his death.


In the days from the 11 to the 15 of January 1951 in a trial set up against the so called high treason bishops (Vojtaššák, Buzalka, and Gojdič) he was given a life sentence; fined two hundred thousand crowns and deprived of all his civic rights. Transfers from one prison to another followed. Bishop P. P. Gojdič suffered physical and psychological punishments, humiliations, was forced to do the most difficult and degrading jobs. Howewer he never complained and never asked to be relieved. He made use of every available time to pray, and celebrated the sacred liturgy in secret. Followyng the amnesty in 1953, given by State President A. Zapotocký, his life sentence was changed to 25 years detention. He was then 66 and his state of health deteriorated continuosly. Yet all further requests for amnesty were refused.


Bishop Pavol Gojdič could only leave prison at the cost of his faithfulness to the Church and to the Holy Father. Various offers were made to him, as is proved by an events that he himself recounts: In the prison of Ruzyň he was received in an office, where he had been brought from his cell, by a high official in uniform. This informed him that from that office he would go straight to Prešov, on condition that he was willing to become patriarch of the Ortodox church in Czecho-Slovakia. The bishop refused this offer excusing himself and explaining that this would be a very grave sin against God, a betrayal of the Holy Father, of his conscience and of his faithful, most of whom were then suffering persecution.


Even in the most difficult situation he abandoned himself to the will of God, as can be seen from these words of his: „I do not really know whether it is a gain to exchange the crown of martrydom with two or three years of life in freedom. But I leave the good Lord to decide“. On the occasion of his 70° birthday even the Holy Father Pius XII sent him a telegram in prision. In it he assured him he would not forget his heroic son. For the bishop this was one of his best days in prison.


A great desire of bishop Gojdič was to die comforted by the sacraments on his birthday. Both desires were fulfilled.


Father Alojz Vrána was transferred to the room of the prison hospital of Leopoldov (Slovakia), where the bishop passed his last days, and could hear his confession. The chalice of suffering of bishop Pavol was about to overflow. An eye witness of the last instants of his life was his fellow prisoner - the nurse František Ondruška, who has given a unique testimony. He confirmed that the desire of the bishop had been fulfilled - he died on July 17th, 1960 that is on the day of his 72nd birthday. He died in the hospital of the prison of Leopoldov as a result of illness resulting from the ill treatment he had suffered. Afterwards he was buried without ceremony in the prison cemetery in a nameless tomb, with the prison number 681.


As a result of the easing of the political situation in Czecho-Slovakia in 1968, the state autorities after many delays gave permission for exhuming the mortal remains of bishop P. P. Gojdič. This happened in the cemetery of Leopoldov on October 29, 1968 and was followed by the transfer of the remains to Prešov. By a decision of the autorities set up after the soviet occupation these were transferred to the crypt of Greek-Catholic Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Prešov. From May 15th, 1990 they are to be found in a sarcofagus in the chapel of the cathedral.


Bishop Pavol Gojdič was legally rehabilitated on September 27th, 1990. Subsequently he was decorated posthumously with the Order of T. G. Masaryk - II class, and with the Cross of Pribina - 1st class.


The Holy Father, John Paul II during his historic visit in Slovakia, while visiting Prešov, prayed at the tomb of this bishop-martyr in the chapel of the cathedral.




Villagers in front of the Daniel Hrina Home (House #33), 1950s or 60s

(Photo courtesy of Slavomir Gladis)


Please contact us at editors@tccweb.org if you are able to make an indentification.


2nd from Left (near to fence) Helena Hrina nee Fenda; her brother Jan Fenda (near center holding baby); her brother Michal Fenda (exact center); their mother Fenda nee Kravcak alias Zmurovanici (on left behind Jan Fenda, partially visible); Daniel Hrina (left balding man in front of elderly man near fence); Michal Kravcak alias Zmurovanici, brother of Fenda nee Kravcak (Right 2nd man in Rear. He also appears in the 1935 fire department photo); Arendac (Far right. Husband of ? Hrina). Identified by Slavomir Gladis.






Parishioners Outside the Greek Catholic Church, 1960s

(Photo courtesy of Slavomir Gladis)


Please contact us at editors@tccweb.org if you are able to make an indentification.





Saint Dimitry Greek Catholic Church Renovations, 2011-2012

(Photos courtesy of Slavomir Gladis)


In the fall of 2011 extensive damage was discovered in Saint Dimitry’s Greek Catholic Church.  After a full inspection it was determined serious water and wood eating insect damage had occurred.  Saint Dimitry church has stood firm since 1866.  The last major repairs to the church building were undertaken in 1888 and again in 1943.  A review of the entire situation with a focus on maintaining and improving the church structure was issued.  Many decisions had to be made but the faithful of Udol/Ujak did not hesitate.  The dedicated members of the church set out on a major renovation project.  The beautiful iconostasis was sent to Poland to a company that specializes in refurnishing works of art.  Also, two side altars were also sent to Poland.  Thankfully, they suffered no damage as they were secured to the walls of the church.  The side altars were sent with the iconostasis as a preventative measure and to restore the altars to their original beauty.


Sadly, the wooden pews were damaged by termites.  After consultation, the only decision which could be reached was to destroy the pews.  There was nothing that could be done to salvage these beautiful hand-carved pews.  The pews were burned for fire wood which also was in accordance with tradition as they were blessed objects. 

A structural examination of the choir loft revealed the entire section was in danger of collapse.  The entire choir loft had to be deconstructed and carried outside of the church piece by piece.  The danger the choir loft presented was at any time, it could have collapsed and many worshipers could have been seriously hurt.  It is only by God’s blessing no one suffered injury.  A new choir loft was constructed of treated wood and has been installed on a slant.  Previously, the choir loft was in a flat, narrow box shape where worshipers in the back rows could not view services well.  Now, due to the design, all those who stand in the choir loft will have no obstruction to their vision and will watch services without any form of obstruction. 


Severe water damage from the roof damaged the original windows and frames.  Contractors and villagers worked together tirelessly to install modern insulated windows.  The flooring, also made of wood, had to be totally discarded and taken apart down to ground level.  After this massive undertaking a new floor was installed, complete with a modern underground thermal heating system.  The new heating system within the floor will protect the wood and also assist to heat the church. 


Priceless wall and ceiling murals are also in danger.  Many of the paintings were commissioned in the 1920’s from Max Kurth, a well known muralist in the region.  It is unknown at this time if these precious works of art can be restored due to damage.  If the murals cannot be restored they may have to be painted over and new murals added.  The entire interior of the church will be repainted to modernize and seal the walls due to extreme cold during the winter months.


As these major renovations continue, the devoted worshipers of Saint Dimitry’s Greek Catholic church are holding Divine Liturgy and other services in the village cultural house.  It is very difficult, especially in winter, as this building was constructed many years ago and has not been updated.  The building itself has suffered years of neglect and is not a proper place to hold church services.  However, since there is no other location offered in the village for Greek Catholics to have their services, they must continue to meet for worship in this building.  Even though this is difficult, no one has requested services be discontinued until the renovations are fully completed.


God willing, all major renovations for Saint Dimitry’s will be finalized soon.  Once all is completed, the church will be a modern and entirely new house of worship.  The faithful of Udol/Ujak are anticipating the rebirth of their beloved Greek Catholic Church which, the majority of village residents attend and love with all their heart.  It is a tribute to their undying devotion to their Greek Catholic faith these renovations are undertaken especially during these times of economic instability.   







The Work Continues

February 2012

Photos Courtesy of Stevo Gladis, Udol











Update - August 2012

Photos Courtesy of Jozef Joppa







Update - September 2012

Photos Courtesy of S. Gladis

















Historical Documentation


Ujak Landowners in the Year 1715

Courtesy of Rudo Pavlovic


Record of Landowning Farmers as of 1773

Transcribed by Steven M. Osifchin


1827 - 1900 Birth Records (Coming Soon)

Courtesy of Tom Peters


1828 - 1900 Marriage Records (Coming Soon)

Courtesy of Tom Peters


1858 - 1890 Death Records (Coming Soon)

Courtesy of Raymond Romanowski


1858 House Numbers & Head of Household

Transcribed by Steven M. Osifchin


1869 Hungarian Census (Coming Soon)

Transcribed by Steven M. Osifchin


1869 Census Facts

Courtesy of Steven M. Osifchin


Ujak to New York 1890

Courtesy of Steven M. Osifchin


Ujak to America 1892-1922 (Coming Soon)

Courtesy of Steven M. Osifchin


Birth Records, 1910 - 1912

Transcribed by Steven M. Osifchin 




Ujak Landowners in the Year 1715

Courtesy of Rudo Pavlovic



Ujak, Ujak, Sárosújlak, Sáros, Údol, SK

Index: Ladislaus Kollarik; Henricus Dormicsak; Stephanus Mikulin; Joannes Lukacsov; Franciscus Franka; Andreas Chomku; Venceslaus Dormicsuv; Andreas Repela; Joannes Soltis; Joannes Pitnik; Ladislaus Jacskuv; Joannes Szorocska 






Record of Landowning Farmers as of 1773

Transcribed by Steven M. Osifchin


The following is a list of Ujak landowning farmers as of January 1773. The list appears to be a record of the amount of land owned and the amount of tax that each farmer had to pay and to whom they owed the tax.


If your surname is not found it does not mean that they did not reside in the village as of this date. Your ancestors may have been a tenant or a sub-tenant farmer. They would have been renting from the landowning farmer or working for and residing with the tenant farmer.


I have Americanized the first names with the original Hungarian diminutive form of the first name in quotes. I have also Americanized the surnames.


The surnames are listed in the order that they appeared in the document.


Re: Diminutive First Names:


The name Jasko is from the pet form of Jan (John) in the case of this document Jasko was used as a diminutive form of Ladislav.


The Hungarian name Timko is a reduced version of the Latin name Tymotheus (Timothy). In the case of this document Timko was used as a diminutive for Thomas.


The name Fedor is a diminutive of Theodore. In the case of this document Fedor was used as a pet name for Francis.


Both 'Janko' and 'Vanyo' are pet versions for Jan (John).


The main page lists Ujak as possession No. 209


The first column has the heading of “Nomine et Cognomen Colonorum” meaning by the name and family name of the farmer.


The other headings have not been transcribed.


Those owing taxes to the widow of Baron Francis Horvath of Plavec 


John Biss

Michael Stupak

Adam Fedorko

Gregory Sokol

Peter Fedorko

Stanley Stanislav 'Stasko' Stefanchin

John 'Vanyo' Hnat

John 'Vanyo' Hromissin

Gabriel 'Havrila' Stupak

John 'Vanyo' Hnat Jr.

John 'Vanyo' Mikulik

Stefan Drabisin

Lazarus 'Lazar' Hromissin

Peter 'Petro' Fedorko Jr.

Stefan Leschisin

Alexander 'Lesko' Leschisin

Nicholas 'Miklus' Mikulik

John 'Janko' Leschisin

Simeon 'Seman' Leschisin

Alexander 'Lesko' Drabisin


Those owing taxes to Baron Joseph Horvath, Sr. of Plavec 


Demetrius 'Gmitro' Pardola

The widow Fechicsa

John 'Vanyo' Vanchin

The Widow John 'Vanyo' Fedor

Ladislav 'Jacsko' Dornich

Gregory 'Hricz' Vanchin

Alexander 'Lesko' Jllyasov

The widow Nicholas 'Nicolaij' Kravecz

Adam Kravecz

Gregory 'Hricz' Mudrik

Gregory 'Hricz' Kochisin

Ladislav 'Jacsko' Mikulik

Peter 'Petro' Scerbak

Gregory 'Hricz' Majirnik

Peter 'Petro' Fedor

Gregory 'Hricz' Hudak

Alexander 'Lesko' Soroka

Condrad 'Kundrat' Soroka

The widow Katherine 'Kaska' Sobika


Those owing taxes to Baron Joseph Horvath, Jr. of Plavec 


Thomas 'Timko' Pardola

Alexander 'Lesko' Csuba

Francis 'Fedor' Kosotisin

Ladislau 'Jacsko' Kosotisin

Peter 'Petro' Kosotisin

Basil 'Vasko' Kosotisin


The following list was contained on the last page of the document.


'Nomine et Cognomen Inquilinov Domos Dnales habent ium'


(Name and surname of tenant residing ???)


Joseph 'Jacsko' Scerbak


A notation next to his name indicates that he owes his tax to Baron Joseph Horvath, Jr. of Plavec.


'Nomine et Cognomen Inquilinov Jmire Domo'


(Name and surname of tenant residing ???)


John 'Vanyo' Fedor


A notation next to his name indicates that he owes his tax to Joseph 'Drus' Jr. of Plavec.


'Nomen es Cognomen Prasbiteri es Cantoris'


Name and surname of priest and cantor.


John Kaminski (Greek Catholic Priest)

Andrew 'Andreas' Stegena (Cantor)




1858 House Numbers & Head of Household

Transcribed by Steven M. Osifchin





1869 Census Facts

Transcribed by Steven M. Osifchin


There were 97 homes in Ujak in 1869.


The oldest recorded living residents were John Soroka and Lesko Dornics. Both having been born in 1789.


According to the Birth Year Estimates there were 47 children born in Ujak in 1869.


Nine men were registered with the military.


There were 367 males in the village and 346 females.


Maria (Mary) was the most commonly used name for females.


Janos (John) was the most commonly used name for males.




Ujak to New York 1890

Courtesy of Steven M. Osifchin 


Passenger lists are not limited to what is contained on the Ellis Island website. Pre-1892 records are available at the National Archives. However these records are not indexed and must be searched by date which can be a tedious process. I was searching for my Great-Grandmother Mary Sadloch and by shear luck I located her along with a group of fellow Ujak residents. Often these earlier records do not contain enough information to verify 100% that the passenger is the relation that one is searching for. The 1890 listed below is an exception in that it lists the village of origin. I was able to “verify” that it was her based upon her age, marital status, place of origin, and family history that she came to America a year or two prior to her marriage in 1892. Marital status was not listed on the particular manifest yet under my Great-Grandmother’s “occupation or calling” it was noted that she was single. Although not noted below the headings- sex; country of which they are citizens; date and cause of death; location of compartment or place each occupied; Number of pieces of baggage; and Transient or Intransient; were also included on the manifest.  


Departure: May 18, 1890

Ship: S.S. Bohemia

Shipping Company: Hamburg-Amerikanische

Country Flag: Deutschland

Captain’s name: Leithauser

Ship Type: Dampfschiff

Accommodation: Zwischendeck

Ships Destination: New York 





Ujak to America 1892-1922

Courtesy of Steven M. Osifchin


During the years of 1892-1922 many residents left their quaint farming village of Ujak which is nestled in the Carpathian Mountains of Slovakia to forge a new life in America. Some would stay and raise their families in America while others would eventually return to their homes in Ujak. Quite a few Ujakers would make the trip more than once before making the final decision to stay or to return home for good. The reason for not staying in America varied, family obligations, homesickness, and not taking to the American way of life would often be factors in this decision. Whether they remained or returned home many sought a better life and made the long, heartbreaking, and sometimes dangerous journey to America. Today, the American descendants of these hardworking, religious people have a better way of life and live in one of the most prosperous nations in the world because their ancestors had the courage to strive for a new life in America.

Click Here to Begin Your Search 



Birth Records, 1910 - 1912

Transcribed by Steven M. Osifchin


Note: "GC" stands for Greek Catholic "RC" stands for Roman Catholic.  


Those Who Serve/Served in Religious Orders


Note: If you know of someone with Ujak ancestry that served in a religious order please considering adding their names.




Sister Mary Tymotea Candova (Chanda)


On January 22, 2012, Saint Dimitri Greek Catholic church held a religious retreat which lasted three days. The village was honored that two of the Sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy visited the church. Sister Mary Faustina Olszewska and Sister Mary Tymotea Candova were present. Sister Mary Tymotea Candova was born and raised in Udol. She was baptized Dasa the daughter of Stefan and Margita Canda (Chanda) of Udol and the granddaughter of Anna Canda nee Patorai and the late Nicoli Canda. The parishioners were overjoyed to have her with them. The sisters brought the message of trust in Divine Mercy. The icon of Jesus pointing to his heart says “Jesus, I Trust in You.” This devotion begun in Poland by Saint Faustina Kowalska who Jesus spoke to and asked she begin this devotion. The lecture Sister Candova gave was very interesting and of great spiritual benefit to all who were in attendance. Sister Mary Tymotea Chandova and Sister Mary Faustina Olszewska are religious sisters of the first established Greek Catholic Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy located in Nizhny Hursova. This congregation is promoting the devotion of Divine Mercy in Slovakia.


Sister Candova giving her lecture


Icon of Divine Mercy Jesus I Trust in You


Sister Candova socializing with friends and family after the lecture


Fr. Peter Fengya


Peter Fengya was born in 1843 to parents Andrew Fengya a local farmer from Ujak and Suzanna Chanda from the village of Plavnica.  His father was of the Greek Catholic Faith and his mother was a Roman Catholic. As tradition dictated, Peter was brought up in the rite of his father. He was conscripted into the Austro-Hungarian military and served until approximately 1870. He was sent for religious training about this time. It was rather unusual for the son of a non-priestly family to have been trained for the priesthood. Generally, the vocation to the priesthood in the Greek Catholic Church was passed from father to son.


Father Peter's first parish was the village of Krajná Bystrá in his home County of Sáros, today the present day Stropkov District of Slovakia. He served there at various times from 1874-1889. From 1884-1885 he served in the village of Medvedzie, Sáros County in the present day Vysni Svidnik District.  From 1890-1914 Father Fengya was the resident priest for the village of Šapinec, Sáros County, in the present day Giraltovce District.


Prior to 1874, Father Fengya married the daughter of a fellow priest, Maria Hvozdovic. Records indicate the birth of only one child named Igor, born in 1876 in the village of Krajná Bystrá. Father Fengya's date of death and location of his death are unknown.



Fr. Michael Chanda


Father Chanda was born in Ujak in 1913 the son of John Chanda alias Kovaly and Maria Drabisin. He had a twin brother Nicholas who died in 1914. Both were were baptized by Father Emil Nevicky at St. Demetri Greek Catholic Church in Ujak.  Father Chanda was educated as a teacher in Slovakia. He immigrated to the United States in 1938. He entered Saint Tikons Orthodox Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania. He married the former Olga Stupak of Fitchburg, Massachusetts in 1941 at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Lynn, Massachusetts. Soon after his marriage he was ordained an Orthodox priest. Father Chanda served parishes from Berlin, N.H., to Forest City, Pennsylvania. From 1943 to 1947 he served at Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church in New Castle, Pennsylvania. His last parish being All Saints Russian Orthodox Church in Olyphant, Pennsylvania. Father Chanda died on February 18, 1998 in Pennsylvania. He is interred in St. Tikons Cemetery in South Canaan.


Photo Credit (Findagrave - Contributor - AMP)



Greek Catholic Seminarians

Circa 1949. On April 28, 1950 the Communist Regime in Slovakia liquidated the entire Greek Catholic Church including all seminaries and religious orders.

Ivan John Dornic

John Dornic was born in Ujak the son of Vasil Dornic and Maria Timko. He was baptized at St. Demetri Greek Catholic Church in Ujak by Father Theodore Kello.

John Dornic during his seminary training in Slovakia

Photo Courtesy of Slavo Gladis


Paul Kollar

Paul Kollar during his seminary training in Slovakia

Photo Courtesy of Slavo Gladis 


Paul Soroka

Paul Soroka during his seminary training in Slovakia

Photo Courtesy of Slavo Gladis 





The Biss Brothers

Photos Courtesy of Ray Biss & Maryann Boverini

Sons of Udol natives Peter Biss and Mary Pristas Dornics.


Steve Biss, born in Udol, (1901-1991) former United States Navy Welterweight Champion.  


Twins Nicholas 'Mickey' Biss (1907-1975) & Joseph ‘Joey’ Biss (1907-1975), of Passaic New Jersey.




Ivan Dornic Sr.


Son of Udol born native Jan Dornic. (Udol, Slovakia; formerly Ujak in Sáros County). 

Ivan was born and raised in Bratislava, the capital of the Slovak Republic. He was a 1984 NHL Draft pick. He was eligible for the draft at age 22 due to NHL rule that all Europeans, regardless of age, had to enter the league through the entry draft rather than as unrestricted free agents. 


Although he never played in the NHL he was selected in the sixth round No. 126 overall by the Edmonton Oilers. He played the position of Left Wing. 


Pre-Draft his last team was Trencin, Czechoslovakia. In 1982 he received the silver medal in the World Junior Championships.  


Ivan’s Non-NHL career consisted of Post-Draft teams Bratislava, Slovakia; Selva, Italy; and Hassfurt, Germany. 

Since then he has made a coaching career. He served as coach of the Bratislava, Slovakia junior team through the 2002-2003 seasons and served as Slovakia assistant coach at the 2005 World Under-17 championships. 

Ivan is the father of former major junior and European hockey player Ivan Dornic Jr. Thus far this makes the Dornics the only father-son combination ever drafted by the same general manager (Glen Sather). 

Ivan Dornic Jr., hockey-New York Rangers, son of Ivan Dornic Sr.


More information available at...  

Prospect Ivan Dornic Player Profile - Hockey's Future




Harry N. Fengya Jr. (1927-2002)


He was the Grandson of Nicholas Fengya of Udol and Anna Arendacs of Hajtovka. Nicholas and Anna


A former Clifton New Jersey Municipal Court Judge; grandson of Nicholas Fengya native of Udol and Hajtovka native Anna Arendacs. (Udol, Slovakia; formerly Ujak in Sáros County). Nicholas came to America in the year 1888, settling in Passaic, New Jersey. His wife Anna joined him in 1895. Their son Harry Sr. was their second child born in the U.S.


Judge Fengya served 25 years on the bench. Many years ago a newsman gave him the nickname of "Hangin' Harry". His particular style of judicial justice earned him both renown and notoriety. He would fine a lawyer if he was late for court or fine a mother whose children spread lice to other kids. He felt that courtroom decorum was an important sign of respect for the system. He would often fine someone for wearing "inappropriate" attire in his courtroom. An old school Judge for sure. 




Douglas W. Johnson,

Connecticut born grandson of Udol natives Stephen & Anna Kovalycsik Sokol.


The great Jesus debates

"To be ignorant of these debates is to be ignorant of how we Christians came to be who we are. To know about them is to have a fuller understanding of our faith and what it means for our lives today."
— from the Preface


Emil Lesko,

Pennsylvania born son of Udol natives John Lesko and Juliana 'Helena' Mikulik.


Whistle Stop

"Emil Lesko, a World War II veteran, takes the reader back to the war days as he narrates his life story. Tracing his childhood, when he lived in a railroad shanty near a whistle stop, the author reminisces about his school and college days, and remembers his mother, who died at a young age. A simple story of a young sailor, who had been brought up on three basic principles - Love of God, Love of Country and Love of Fellow Man". 





Grace Keown


Original Fine Art by Grace Keown


Grace Keown is the granddaughter of Michael & Anna Sokol Osifchin, Carpatho-Rusyn immigrants from Udol, Slovakia. Grace has created art in some form or media for most of her life. Her personal journey and exploration of various techniques have taken her into relationships with watercolor, pastel, scratchboard, acrylic, oil, pen and ink, printmaking, photography, jewelry-making, stenciling and primitive rug-hooking.





The village of Ujak had many individuals who immigrated to America. Some of these individuals and/or their children became prominent in many professions. One person with family roots in Ujak was Peter J. Wilhousky.


Peter J. Wilhousky (1902-1978) was born in Passaic, New Jersey on July 13, 1902. He was baptized on July 20th at Saints Peter and Paul's Greek Catholic Church in Passaic, New Jersey by Father Basil Volosin. He was the son of Joseph Wilhousky and Julia Hnatt.

His father Joseph was born January 06, 1871 in Vyšný Orlík, house number 57. He was baptized at the Greek Catholic Church of the Holy Ascension in Vyšný Orlík. He was one of four children born to George Vilchiosky a farmer from Vyšný Orlík and Maria Dzipka also from Vyšný Orlík. His parents were both of the Greek Catholic faith. His mother Julia (Helena) Hnatt was born October 02, 1876 in the village of Ujak. She was baptized at St. Demetrius Greek Catholic Church in Ujak. She was one of five children born to Peter Hnatt a farmer from Ujak and Maria ‘Osifa’ Lesko also from Ujak. Her parents were both of the Greek Catholic faith. Her father had six children from a previous marriage to Anna Miklus. Ujak and Vyšný Orlík are villages within the present day Slovak Republic. Joseph Wilhousky and Julia (Helena) Hnatt married in Passaic, New Jersey on September 14, 1895. They resided in the City of Passaic and relocated to Manville, New Jersey by 1920. Joseph’s profession changed over the years. Early on he was a dry goods merchant; by 1910 he was in the retail meat business. As of 1920 he owned and operated a grocery store in Manville. Later he was employed as a municipal employee with the Borough of Manville as a tax collector. By 1940 he began a career as a real-estate broker.  

Peter Wilhousky began his musical career as a member of Saints Peter and Paul's Greek Catholic (later Russian Orthodox) Cathedral in Passaic, New Jersey. As time progressed, Mr. Wilhousky furthered his musical studies at conservatory and became most popular for two of his arrangements. One arrangement, which is a popular Christmas song "Carol of the Bells", was penned by his hand as was "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."  

Mr. Wilhousky prepared the choruses for legendary conductor, Arturo Toscanini during the 1940's, after which choral conductor Robert Shaw took over this position. 

Being a choral director and composer/arranger, he would later become a music teacher and, also taught for many years at the world renowned Julliard School which today is located within the Lincoln Center complex in New York City.




Friends & Neighbors in the Old Country & New


Pilgrimage to Uniontown, Pennsylvania

(Photo Courtesy of Olga Donat)

Left to Right - Mrs. Mary Dornich, Mrs. Anna Osifchin, and Mrs. Julia Kravchak


(Photo Courtesy of Olga Donat)

Left to Right - Mrs. Mary Dornich, Mrs. Anna Osifchin, and Mrs. Julia Kravchak - 1973




Folk Singers Perform at District Competition in Sarisske Jastrabie


In June, 2011 folk singers Klaudia Sokolova and Stanislava Petrisinova represented Udol at a Singing competition held in Sarisske Jastrabie.  The panel of judges was comprised of Viktor Hascak, Bozena Hanatova and John Lubimova.  The panel evaluated each group by their selection of songs, artistic performance and regional costumes.  According to the judges, this years competition had a much higher level of artistic quality than previous years.  The competition was very well attended and held at the Lubovniansky Cultural Center.  There were 32 performing artists from Circ, Udol, Litmanova, Vislanka, Lubotin, Jakubany, Plavnica and Orlov.  From these groups, there were four categories of winners.  The winners of the second category (second prize) were Klaudia Sokolova and Stanislav Petrisinova of Udol.


The Dorniks Visit Ujak, 2003

by, John Dornik


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The Havran Family of Ujak

by, Jennie Havran


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