02 November 2014


Polly Walker, a Carpatho-Rusyn from Minnesota, was recently elected to the board of the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International which had its annual meeting at the end of October.  Among the topics of discussion was a potential name change for the organization.

When the organization was first started in 1988, the country of Czechoslovakia existed.  Now that it no longer exists, the Society is receiving a fair number of comments (especially from Europe) that the name is outdated...and, in some ways, offensive.  After wracking their brains at the meeting, the board members decided to go home and ask their friends and family for some suggestions.  As many Carpatho-Rusyn Society members are also members of CGSI, Polly requested the Lake Michigan Chapter to help their efforts by posting information about its name search.

According to Polly, the organization is looking for something that is easy to remember, fairly short and will explain what it does. Its Mission Statement reads:

Our purposes include promoting genealogical research and creating an interest in ancestry and heritage among descendants of ethnic groups who comprised the former nation of Czechoslovakia, including Bohemian (Czech), German-Bohemian (Bohmisch), Hungarian, Moravian, Ruthenian (Rusyn), Silesian, Slovakian, and those of Jewish ancestry.

Please go to the group’s website https://www.cgsi.org to learn more about the organization and see its current logo--a tree whose leaves form the outline of the former Czechoslovakia.  According to Polly, the next step is to delineate where the different ethnic groups are located within the leafy area.  

She also notes that “the name change will be tricky as we need to try to somehow incorporate all of these ethnic groups.  I would appreciate any and all suggestions you may have.  Thanks so much for your time!”

If you have any ideas you’d like to share with Polly, send them to her at rusynakova@gmail.com.

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