The Oravetz, Rebar, Prusak, Kuzio, Herpak, and Kovachik Families of Pennsylvania
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 1990 Issue 2 August 1990
Map of SlovakiaLast year we had about 70 people attend the reunion. It was a small crowd, but it was a lovely day and everyone enjoyed themselves.

Included on the left is a rough map of Slovakia, where most of our ancestors originated. Not much more than 200 miles across at its widest point, Slovakia has had a profound impact on the United States. At the turn of the century, almost the entire eastern region of the country, generally around the city of Kosice, emptied out as people left in search of a better life.

As time goes on and more information about the family is acquired, I will try to continue the history of the family. Don't feel bad if your family isn't mentioned too much because I can only write what I know about. My brother, Jim, is working on the genealogy, but it does take time. If you have any information you want passed on, please send it directly to me or Jim.

Some of the people who are important to us, who are the reason we are here are the following:

  • Joseph Oravetz, born on January 7, 1881, in Opátka, Slovakia. He emigrated from Europe on the vessel Ultonia from the port of Fiume (at that time part of Hungary, today the Croatian port of Rijeka,. He arrived in New York on or about January 5, 1907.
  • Mary Lelak Oravetz, born on February 13, 1888, in Pereces, a small town near Miskolc, in northern Hungary. She emigrated via Bremen, Germany, on board the Friedrich der Grosse, arriving in the United States on October 14, 1908.
  • The Kozak family, including members of the Herpak, Valco and Rebar families, all came from Nizná Mysl'a, a small village to the southeast of the city of Kosice in eastern Slovakia. The Herpaks came from the sister town of Vysná Mysl'a. Nizná simply means 'lower,' and Vysná means 'upper.'
  • Catherine Kozak and Andrew Rebar married in November 1891. He emigrated to the United States the following year, worked in the coal mines in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, for four years, finally sending for Catherine 1896.

Some others who are not directly related, but who are nevertheless important to us all are:

  • Andy Polenik's mother, Vinca, who came from Oscadnica in northwestern Slovakia; and
  • The mother of Mary Molnarko Rebar (Ed's wife), who came from the village of Zdana, just a couple miles down the road from Nizná Mysl'a!


Last year the youngest visitor was Milessa Kay Harchak, granddaughter of David and Marlene Kohute. Since she was born April 11, 1989, she was barely four months old. Her parents, Sandra and William Harchak, now live in the area of Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Jim Rebar was planning on attending this year's reunion from Germany, but with the expense and knowing definitely that he will be here next year, he decided to wait until 1991. He sends his fondest regards.


William John Stice, grandson of George and Ann Rebar, married Kimberly Ann Terzigni on October 8, 1989.

William John Prusak, Jr., son of William and Mary Prusak, grandson of Zella and Jack Prusak, great grandson of Josephine (Peppi) Lelak Herpak, married Tamara Marie Miller on October 28, 1989, at St. Charles Church, Parma, Ohio.

Patricia Ann Kus Rebar married Alan Curson on June 16, 1990. Since Pat's former husband, Phil, also remarried this year, the children (Nicole, Chris, Cindy and Andy) have new step-parents who love them very much.

We hope all the couples have years of happiness.


Hayley Danielle Oravetz, daughter of Joseph and Barbara Oravetz, granddaughter of Verna (Keblish) and Rudolph Oravetz, great grandson of Maria (Lelak) and Joseph Oravetz, October 1989.

Marie Faustina Kuzio, daughter of John and Betty Kuzio, granddaughter of Mike and Verna Kuzio, great granddaughter of Maria (Lelak) and Joseph Oravetz, March 2, 1990.

Michael Matthew Cernik, son of Rose Cernik, grandson of Margaret and Casey Cernik, great grandson of Matilda Burkholtz, March 10, 1990.


Susan Prusak - Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

Anne Marie Prusak - Kent State

Jeff Falgout

Debbie Pasquale

Alan Rebar, already a student at the University of Maryland, will be an exchange student at Liverpool University in England. He is looking forward to that, and we wish him lots of luck.


A little bird told us that Paul Mohar has retired. Enjoy your retirement, Paul.

If anyone plans on going to the D.C. area for a vacation or if you live anywhere near Northern Virginia, stop in and visit cousin Shelly Cunningham, and her husband, Bill, at the Hollen Hall Mall. They have an antique and boutique store under the name "Simply Shelly" and "Cunningham Antiques." Shelly also sells clothes in the antique store. She is the daughter of Elma and Tony Venerick, and granddaughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Schwartz Rebar.

Well, that's all, Folks. Please send us your news so we can get it into next year's Family Portrait.

Dorothy (Rebar) Polenik
With contributions by Jim Rebar


Photo Gallery

We originally thought this might be Jim Rebar, but now we're not sure. Can you help?

George Rebar, ca 1935, at a CCC or WPA facility.

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