My Father’s Village Male Levare, Slovakia (Tribute to the Past)


As I have already mentioned last year I had just retired and the nagging question as to where my ancestors came from began to manifest itself once again. I had time on my hands to reflect on this matter. With the coaxing of Valentina I decided this was the time to do it. How I was to do it that was another problem. I knew my father’s Hollypast34village’s name was Male Levare from Slovakia. The only idea which came to me was to call to Slovak Embassy in Ottava, it was a long shot, maybe they could connect me with someone in that village who knew of my father or grandparents. I was lucky. After a while we received the answer from Council General Ivan Chomo who sent us a list of names and home telephone numbers of people with the same family name as mine (Holly-Holla). We made some calls on this list and connected with somebody who spoke Russian to Valentina. We promised to send a letter and a photo of my father Viktor Holly who emigrated to Canada in 1927. The rest is history because on August 24, 2009 just after our Mediterranean cruise we took a train from Venice to Wien and luckily we were met by the members of Holly and Cervenka families. This is this photo to the left where my father Viktor in approximately 1935 in Montreal, Quebec. The same copy of this photo was shown to us in Male Levare personally by Aljos Holly, my cousin, who kept it as a treasure along with many other photos for many years. His father Jan was my father’s brother. Together with the whole family we went to the ancestral Church (which was built in 1634) situated across my family home. My father told me many beautiful stories about it. The photo is to the right.

That evening we also visited the old cemetery where are my family members are buried. It was a moving moment as here lay all my relatives, grandparents, aunts and uncles as well as probably great grand parents. We said prayers at each grave, there were candles lit that means their memories live on. The memories of them will always remain until we are alive who remember them. Eternal memory to them who are asleep in the Lord!

One can see the photo family gallery from the past.                           


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  1. Milá Valentína. Konečne som sa dostala na Tvoju vebovú stránku a pozrela som si Tvoje fotografie z cesty po Európe
    s Tvojou dcérou a vnukom. Našla som už aj fotografie z Vášho pobytu na Slovensku. Potešilo ma, keď som si prečítala, že aj keď sme sa pozali iba cez skipe, prijali sme Vás radi a srdečne. Tak sme to totiž všetci cítili. Za ten týždeň, čo ste boli u nás, sme si zvykli a keď ste odišli, chýbali ste nám. Možno je to predčasné, ale tešíme sa na Vašu návštevu na budúci rok. p.s. Dúfam, že túto správu dostaneš, je to môj prvý pokus o spojenie s Tebou.

  2. Dear Valentine. Finally, I came upon your site and looked through it. I saw your travel photos from Europe
    with Janko, your daughter and grandson. I have also found a photograph of your stay in Slovakia. I am delighted when I read that I understood that you had a loving and warm visit. So in fact we all feel. For one week, you were with us, we have become accustomed, and when you left us we start missing you. Maybe it’s early, but we look forward to your visit next year. p.s. I hope you get this message, it’s my first attempt to connect with you.

    Dear Jana, We received your e-mail on web site, and we are most grateful for it. We enjoyed our visit with you and the family. For me this was my first trip. Since I, Janko, do not understand the language I sometimes feel left out. This is somewhat of a concern to me. I am 62 and working hard it is not easy for me to learn the language but I wish to retain contact with your family as it is important for me and Valentina. This summer was an eye-opener for me as now I have new extended family which is very dear to me. We hope to see you next year and we wll try our best to do it. Hear from you soon,
    Love, Janko and Valentina
    Vážení Jana, sme dostali váš e-mail na webových stránkach, a sme veľmi vďační za to. We enjoyed our návšteve s vami a rodinou. Pre mňa to bol môj prvý výlet. Keďže som, Janko, nerozumie jazyku som niekedy pocit, vynechal. To je trochu obavy, aby ma. Mám 62 a tvrdo pracovať, nie je pre mňa ľahké naučiť sa jazyk, ale chcem udržať kontakt s rodinou, pretože je pre mňa dôležité a Valentina. Tento rok v lete bola oko-otvárač na mňa, ako teraz mám novej rozšírenej rodine, ktorá je veľmi drahý. Dúfame, že sa na Vás v budúcom roku a my sa pokúsime v našich silách wll na to. Slyším od vás čoskoro,
    Láska, Janko a Valentina

  3. Thanks for posting this. Just discovered that my Grandfather’s family was from this town. I can see it in the pictures! They are the same people. Their surname was Tancibok. They came to New York City around 1900.



  4. Dear Sir,
    It was a great pleasure to read your comment concerning Male Levare and your family. My family Holly has been in this village since 1600. It is quite possible that my grandfather Jozef Holly and his wife Jozefina knew your grandparents. My family continues to reside there and we are in contact with them regularly. Next week when we will contact on Skype with my cousin, we will ask them if your family relatives still reside there. Have you been to Male Levare yourself? If so, when? Please give us more info and do you contact your relatives now?
    Thank you for your comment and interest again,
    All the best to you and your family,
    Janko and Valentina

  5. Janko and Valentia,
    I’m really not sure if their are any relatives still there with the surname Tancibok. I found the name of the town on my Grandfather’s Death Record. Everyone emigrated as far as I know. And everyone who emigrated has passed on. I’m so amazed by the physical resemblance to my grandfather in the pictures. He was very much a Do it Yourself type guy, like these guys! Very inventive because they HAD TO BE. I’ve never been there myself.

    Thanks Again!

  6. Dear Sir,
    Thank you very much for your response to our correspondence. To whom are we addressing this information, please, introduce yourself and tell us about you and your family. In regards to the resemblance of in the photos you speak about, which specific one you are mentioning. Have you ever trace your family roots there? In the book “Levarky” by Toni Guth and Helena Guthova, Btatislava 1997,is written the history of the village of Male Levare dating from 1600 till the present. This book was given to us by our family last year during our visit to Male Levare which is described on the web site “krutajababulka.ca”. By the way, how did you find this web site? Who referred it to you, it is very interesting to us?
    Close to the end of the book on page 279 there are published the names of the villagers from 1700 till now, and among them in the attachment we are showing you the name of your family and the dates when they lived there. What do you think about that?
    We hope that we have given you some helpful hints on maybe tracing your family there. If you want more info , keep in touch with the regional office in Malacky, Slovakia.
    Sincerely yours,
    Janko and Valentina
    P.S. Send the responses to our e-mail address.

  7. Researching ancestry. Grandfather was Pavel Kovacs, born in Male Levare, son of Pavel Kovacs and Elisabeth Holly. Saw the name Holly. Interesting.

  8. Dear Sir, your comment is very interesting to me. Because I was visiting my family in the village of Male Levare and there are many Hollys who lived there. My cousin Aljoz Holly’s mother was Terezia Kovacseva which is feminine for Kovacs. Her other family members I do not know. Have you ever visited this village and been to the cemetery? How much of the history of your family do you know and have you made a family tree? This is interesting for me, contact me directly by my e-mail address: jakov.holly@gmail.com I hope to hear from you,
    Sincerely yours,
    Janko Holly

  9. I was searching for “Male Levare” since I have ancestors from that village and found this blog. One of my ancestors is Anna Holly (born 1834), she was the daughter of Martin Holly and Anna Kujan.

  10. I am interested in that “Levarky” book but I can’t find it on amazon.com. Are there other copies in Slovakia?

  11. Hi, Lyon, we’ve got this book “Levarky” from the relatives in Male Levare, Slovakia during our first and second visits there. My husband will personally in touch with you in regards to this question.
    Sincerely yours,

  12. Hi, Lyon, It is very interesting that you have relations in the same village as James(Janko) Holly has. We are keeping contacts with his cousin Jan Holly, Tekla’s son. They even sent us a photo of their great-great grandmother Katarina Holla, born maybe in 1830s. What a beautiful picture it is, one of my favorites.

  13. John Kovach,

    I have an Elizabeth Holly in my family tree, she was born Feb 16, 1836 in Male Levare. She is probably your grandfather’s mother. Her parents were Martin Holly and Anna Kujan.

  14. Hi, John, thank you very much for your interesting comment. It’s really as if an important eye-opener for my husband. He is looking into it, and definitely will give you the answer. This genealogy is an excellent tool of history and brings very many discoveries.
    Sincerely yours,

  15. Accidentally or by divine intervention found this page. I too had relatives in Malé Leváre, Malacky, Slovakia. Holly/Holli, Hujsza/Hujsa, Fiala & Ruzsa. I would be most interested in exchanging information.

    I have found baptismal records of my family but that is all I have.

    Stephen Hujsa

  16. Dear Stephen, we noticed your comment this morning on Valentina’s website. This caught our attention because of the fact that my family Holly both my father Viktor and his brother Frank came to Canada in 1927 from the village of Male Levare, Slovakia. I still have the immediate family there: these are my first cousins and we are in regular contact with them, the family graves are still there. My grandparents were Jozef and Jozefina Holly, both had the same family names. The name Huisa is familiar to us, it is my cousin’s Jan’s wife family name.Tell us a bit about yourself where you are from, have you been to Slovakia. Please, send me e-mail by my address: jakov.holly@gmail.com and if possible, photos. Hope to hear from you soon.
    Sincerely yours
    James/Janko/ Holly and Valentina Pattison

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