Family:Stephen Vajda and Anna Somolanyi (1)

Facts and Events
Marriage[1][2][3][4] 17 OCT 1897 New York City, New York, United States
Residence[5][6] 1898 Rockland Lake, Rockland, New York, United States
Census[7] Jun 8, 1900 Rockland Lake, Rockland, New York, United States
Census[1] Apr 19, 1910 6 & 11 Maple Ave., Orangeburg, Rockland, New York, United States
17 MAR 1986

These two immigrants came from villages about 1.5 miles from each other in present-day Slovakia, and while there is no evidence that they knew each other before coming to America, it's not much of a stretch. Little is known about their immigration and life before their marriage in 1897.

At the time of their birth, the area they came from was part of the Kingdom of Hungary, and most Slovaks were peasants living in a near-feudal system. By the end of the 19th century Magyarization (forcing Hungarian culture and language on minorities within the Kingdom), along with ever-present famine caused a great exodus of poor Slovaks to America. We don't know the specific reasons Stephen and Anna immigrated, but these are the general trends that drove many to leave. Read Bill Tarkulich's essay for more on why so many Slovak's emmigrated, and the unique challenges they faced.

In New York they likely were part of a small group of Slovak families settled around Rockland Lake, New York. This group is mentioned in passing in Slovaks of Haverstraw, a short history of Slovaks in the area. Just a few miles north in Haverstraw, a larger Slovak neighborhood existed where they built a Catholic Church, St. Mary's, which held it's first mass in 1898. Most of them worked in the thriving local brick-making industry.

Stephen and his son were employed at the Fibre Conduit Company of Orangeburg.

  1. 1.0 1.1 United States. 1910 U.S. Census Population Schedule. (National Archives Microfilm Publication T623), Place: Orangetown Township, Rockland, New York, United States, Supervisor’s District No. 4, Enumeration District No. 112, Sheet No. 3A, Apr 19, 1910.
  2. United States. 1930 U.S. Census Population Schedule. (National Archives Microfilm Publication T626), Place: Orangetown, Rockland, New York, United States, Enumeration District No. 44-25, Supervisor’s District No. 20, Sheet No. 8B, Apr 16, 1930.
  3. Letter from Ruth Malaney (Shook).
  4. Marriage License for Stephen Vajda and Anna Somolarnyi, in New York City, New York, United States. New York City Department of Records and Information Services, Municipal Archives, No. of Certificate 17090, Oct 17, 1897.
  5. Certificate and Record of Birth for Stephen Vajda, in New York, United States. Genealogy Records Resources, New York State Department of Health, Registered No. 1115, Jan 8, 1899.
  6. Sutherland, Tony. Slovaks of Haverstraw. (Privately published, 1986), pg. 5.

    "As with other ethnic groups, Slovaks tended to settle in certain sections of towns and cities. Most of the Slovaks who came to Haverstraw settleed in the "Mud Hole" section, in the south end of the village along West Street. This was acurately termed the Haverstraw Slovak section. Another large group settled in the Calico Hill area in Garnerville, adjacent to Haverstraw. Other smaller Slovak settlements were found in Rockland Lake, Piermont and Tuxedo Park."

  7. United States. 1900 U.S. Census Population Schedule. (National Archives Microfilm Publication T624), Place: Rockland Lake, Clarkstown, Rockland, New York, United States, Supervisor's District No. 10, Enumeration District No. 60, Sheet No. 11, Jun 8, 1900.