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The history of Janko Stana

From Slovakia to Cleveland, Ohio, the genealogy of the Janko Stana family.

Stana's of Beharovce

 Stana Family of Beharovce, Levoca, Slovakia

A birth-baptismal certificate for my grandfather John STANA, held in the Roman Catholic "Church of the Holy Spirit" in the village of ZEHRA, SK., allowed a look into my family's STANA Slovak history, by naming ancestral villages of BEHAROVCE & DUBRAVA, in LEVOCA county, SLOVAKIA.

One note, "STANA" is a current Slovak spelling of the family name, with a caron over the "N". In many church records of the 1800's, the STANA surname had been "magyarized" to: "SZTANYA". For consistency, the Slovak spelling will be used exclusively. Also, for all records listed below, microfilm of the original penned manuscripts have been digitized for electronic distribution.

Here is some of what was found...

My father's father, his father, and his father's father were born in BEHAROVCE, SK, just east of the larger village of SPISSKE PODHRADIE, a town in the shadow of Spis Castle (Hrad). BEHAROVCE is midway on the road between LEVOCA and PRESOV. Direct line relatives resided at #23 BEHAROVCE. There were no street addresses, but locations had rural route type address schemes, used by some Catholic registrants.

Civil records of births, marriages and deaths for BEHAROVCE were held at the church office in ZEHRA, SK. Originally, the baptism of John W Stana (line 48) was recorded in a register maintained in Zehra. The office maintained Roman Catholic registers for five other villages. Among them, DUBRAVA, SK, the birthplace of my grandfather's mother, Anna BRINDZA at #18 DUBRAVA was served by the Church of the Holy Spirit in ZEHRA.

Grandfather's father John "Jonko" STANA; born 12 December 1864, had four brothers and two sisters, by parents Martin & Mary STANA (nee LESKOVSKY). The two youngest brothers Andrew: (1871-1873) and Joseph: (1874) died as infants; Andrew from cholera, Joseph from smallpox. Two younger sisters Maria, born (1866) & Anna, born (1870), one older brother Paul, born (1863) and one younger brother Martin, born (1868) remained. Sadly, both brothers were lost to typhoid in (1877), when Jonko was 13.

Thus, the STANA lineage at BEHAROVCE would end, when Jonko left for America at 19 in 1883, aboard the German two funnel steamer, the WERRA, out of Bremen, Germany. This was Jonko's first voyage to the US. Jonko & Anna returned to SK in 1894 before our grandfather was born, probably with a desire to continue the family farm in BEHAROVCE.

This was a common practice among early Slovak immigrants. They used the US as a temporary labor service. As with many returning emigrants, poverty and the Magyar oppression worked a compelling argument, urging Jonko & Anna to leave Slovakia once more and return to America -- which Jonko & Anna did respectively in 1898 & 1899. Anna returned to CLEVELAND, OH with John Jr. (my grandfather), then five years old. They would never again return to the county of LEVOCA.

Looking back a generation, Martin STANA, father of Jonko, was also born at #23 BEHAROVCE, like his son. His baptism was recorded in ZEHRA on the 11th of November 1835, the son of Matias STANA (of KATUN) & Anna JEVOS (of BEHAROVCE). This introduced the STANA line in BEHAROVCE. Matias fathered at least one son, Martin and two daughters, Maria (1838) & Anna (1841) as recorded in ZEHRA church registers. Matias (28) & Anna (19) were married in BEHAROVCE on 12 October 1831.

On the western outskirts of SP. PODHRADIE, still stands the bishopric of SP. KAPITULA, a Seminary since the 13th century, and known locally as the Slovak Vatican. KATUN lies west of ZEHRA, a small village up a dead-end road on a hill above the valley town of SP. PODHRADIE. The civil records of KATUN are kept by the monks of SP. KAPITULA.

Close examination reveals the following facts. At the time of the 1869 census of Hungary, of 21 households counted in KATUN, 12 contained people named STANA, and of 136 villagers living in KATUN, 39 claimed STANA as their surname.

Even today, the Slovak white pages lists STANA's residing in KATUN.

John (Jonko) Stana died in 1930 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Linked toJohn STANA; John William STANA

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