The Andrew Slaby Family

The Slaby family has its roots in Púchov, 1860 Austria-Hungary. My great-grandfather, Andrew Slaby (1868-1928), built and operated a ferry on the Vár River in what is now Slovakia; he was a carpenter by trade. Because the Slavic people were being persecuted and he was forced to serve in the Austria-Hungary army, he decided to go to United States to raise money to transport the rest of the family over. In Wisconsin he got a job on the Milwaukee Road car shop building wooden railroad boxcars. He was a foreman's helper because he understood English and spoke Slovak which enabled him to communicate with all the other Slavic workers. After raising enough money, Andrew went back to his homeland to get his family. On the way out of the country at the border, the police took all their money and turned them back.

Andrew went back to America alone to raise money again. When he returned this time, he left the money with his wife, Susan (1872-1951), and left to cross the border by himself. A couple of days later in 1907, Suzy took off on foot over the mountains with five kids to cross the border. The couple met in Germany and went to Hamburg to catch a boat to the United States. After entering at Ellis Island (Aug. 15, 1908), they headed to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where they lived while Andrew worked for the railroad. One of their children born in the city died of Yellow Fever.

After a time in the city the oldest son, John, wanted to buy some land to start a farm, so Andrew bought some land near Ashland, Wisconsin. The land there was near a Slavic community, and all the workers in the lumber camps were homelanders. The first winter there was very difficult with the only food coming from neighbors' excess, but later on things improved with the raising of their own food. Some unique experiences included: their first car, a Model T, that Andrew took out on the first day, hit a pole, and he swore that he would never ride in one again; and the time the Federal inspectors wanted to know why he was growing Poppy plants, when Andrew figured out that they wanted him to get rid of the Poppies, he picked up inspectors and threw them off the land; they never came back.

This link will take you to a series a web pages generated from my genealogical database. It contains much more than just the Slaby side of my family,l and eventually I'm going to be getting around to creating pages like these for all the other ancestors that emigrated to the United States. The Maeckel family history also has a series of pages.

Púchov, Slovakia, Europe

Púchov is first mentioned in writings by king Belo IV from 1243. The town is located on strategic crossroads including the ford across the river Váh. The current town started to develop from a village under the rock of Púchovská skala where the 11th century inhabitants of the original settlement and fortified redoubt moved from. Later, Púchov was divided into two parts - one which belonged to the nobility of Lednice and a separate settlement belonging to the house of Marczibányi. They were probably the descendants of Puch, the first owner of the original settlement and they lived here from the 15th to the 19th century when they died out.

Ashland, Ashland County, Winconsin, USA, North America

Ashland is located at the foot of Lake Superior's Chequamegon Bay. The Chippewa indians orgininally inhabited this area and the French built a dwelling just off the beach in 1659. It wasn't until 1854 when Asaph Whittlesey and another Ohioan named Geroge Kilborn settled in the area that the current town started to form. The railroad came to town in 1877 and the City of Ashland was incorprated in 1887. A number of historic brownstone buildings still grace the streets, evidence of its history as a center for brownstone quarrying. The site has its own web site also.

Andrew Slaby and Susan Kucay Descedants

Petroff Slaby Family Pictures
Sydney Grace Merritt Pictures



Last updated July 16, 2000