Osturna in America

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The population of Barton, Ohio, welcomes a village reunion of people whose parents, grandparents or great-grandparents emigrated to the US from Osturna in present-day Slovakia. About 80% of the folks in Barton (about an hour from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) have Osturna roots — a combination of Slovak and Carpatho-Rusyn, a fairly small ethnic group from Eastern Europe. This reunion features discussions about a DNA genealogy project, a master village database being developed and records already transcribed. There also are horse-and-wagon tours of Barton. The total community of “Osturna in America” is roughly 1,000. They’ve had a newsletter for over eight years and maintain an extensive website.

They expect many children of immigrants at reunions — in fact, the reunion is close to where most of them still live to encourage attendance. These people are now the “elder circle.” They also invite Slovaks direct from Osturna, including the priest and mayor. Attendees are from all over the US and Canada. For information contact Megan Smolenyak at smolenyak@att.net.

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