Saturday, May 26, 2012

My Carpatho-Rusyn FAN Club ~ Hamzik, Rudik and Havtur

This is another of the FAN Club photographs belonging to my grandparents Stephen Popp (Stefan Papp) and Anna Pereksta of Binghamton, NY. 

On the back of the photograph is written Anna Hamzik, Mrs. Rudik, Mrs. Havtur.

Two Anna Hamziks appear in the Binghamton, NY City Directories available on Anna Macko (1890-1961) was married to Michael Hamzik. They did not move to Binghamton until sometime before the 1930 census. In 1920 they were living in Montana. Anna Macko Hamzik is reported to have to come to the United States as a child. Anna Bancansky (1894-1966) was married to Joseph Hamzik. They moved to Binghamton sometime after 1930. According to the 1930 census she was born in Czechoslovakia and emigrated to the United States in 1911. 

In addition to the two Anna Hamziks, there is also an Anna Hemzik living nearby in Johnson City in the 1930 census. She was born about 1899 in Pennsylvania to Czechoslovakian born parents and was married to Andrew Hemzik. 

Mary Vaszko Rudik (1895-1964) is the only Mrs. Rudik found in Binghamton, NY census or city directory records. She was born in Ruské, a village near my grandmother's village in today's Slovakia and emigrated to the United States in 1911. She married Frank Rudik in 1915 at St. Michael's Church in Binghamton.

There are two potential Mrs. Havturs, sisters-in-law who were each named Helen. Helen Wasko Havtur Selanich (1894-1972) was also born in Ruské. (She and Mary Vaszko Rudik may have been related, but they were not siblings. Each named different parents on their marriage records.) Helen Wasko married Frank Havtur. Helen Bundga married Frank's brother John in 1916. She was born in Starina, the village where my grandmother's mother was born. Based on the descriptions in their immigration records the picture above is most likely Helen Bundga Havtur.

This is a challenging photograph to date or place. I have a similar photograph of my grandmother that I have assumed was taken shortly after she arrived in the United States in 1913. But if either of the Anna Hamziks are the woman pictured they do not appear to have been in Binghamton until after 1920. There are newspaper reports in the Binghamton (NY) Press referring to folk dancers led by Mrs. Helen Havtur and it may be the woman all participated with her.

I would be delighted to share high resolution scans of these images and source information with anyone researching these families. Please leave a comment or email me (there is a link in the righthand column).


  1. They look so young to be married women.

    1. They do look young. In fact they may not have been married when the picture was taken. The names were those used by my grandmother decades later when her daughter was trying to sort out who was in the photographs. She usually referred to her friends by their married names.

    2. Susan, Would love to get in touch. I am convinced that the Anna Hamzik to the left in the photo, is the Anna born 1899 in PA, my paternal grandmother. It looks exactly like her. I am currently looking for her birth register, to learn the maiden name of her mother. Could you send your email address (the link on your page will not open for me, so I don't know what it is). Pam Hemzik

    3. Pam - Thrilled to hear from you. You may email me at nolichuckyroots at

    4. HI! I am the great granddaughter of Anna Macko Hamzik! I can't believe I stumbled randomly on your posting. The information you have thus far about my great grandmother corroborates with my knowledge about her as well. She married Michael Hamzik in Montana and had 8 children. The last of that generation passed away a year ago and is buried in the Slovak cemetery in Binghamton. The Hamziks brought the first registered car into Montana. Then she got sick so the whole family moved to Binghamton. They sold the Montana farm to another family who discovered oil on the property 10 years later. I will chat with you offline. Ahoj! (Slovak for "see ya")

    5. What a treat to get your comment, Raea! Looking forward to hearing from you.

  2. I had Kristin's take on the photos - thought they were about 12'ish or so, and got very confused. Makes sense that your grandmother labelled this way - mine did too. I love the clothing styles. What a lovely photo for many reasons, Susan.

  3. There is so much to love about this photo, Susan! These young women look so comfortable, self-confident, and relaxed. I love how they make eye contact with us through the camera's lens. The hair of the girl in the middle glows and not a single strand looks out of place. Their faces have a huge appeal to me - broad, bright, and healthy. And their clothes! As a sewer, spinner, weaver, and lover of fabric, their dresses, aprons, and shawls are a feast for the eyes. Now, if only we could see the colors! Thanks for sharing this beautiful photograph.

  4. Beautiful clothing and girls. I wondered about the ages, too. My husband's Ukrainian grandmother was very tiny, under five feet, and looks so young in her wedding photo, but still not as young as the girls in your photo. What about the hair? Did young women put up their hair once they were married? I think you are right about the names being added after...


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