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Slovak Studies Program

Martin Votruba

Slovak program

Current information

Slovak studies topics

Queries on history

SK map CL Pribis 1612 Orava Castle


Some internet sites and popular publications contain names of persons considered to be the first Slovaks to arrive in America. Only 2-3 of the sources are associated with academia, and those merely mention the names with no details or background.
Were they the first Slovaks in America?
Stephen Parmenius, Budeius (1555/60-1583; "Štefan Štítnický," in Hungary: "Budai István")
— Born and raised in Buda (now Budapest) or vicinity, moved to England. No known association with the territory of present-day Slovakia, Slovak or any other ethnicity or language. Visited the Newfoundlad coast for four weeks and died in shipwreck. Click here for details.
Isaacus Sharoshi (Banská Štiavnica; "Izák Šarišský, Izák Šároši," in Hungary: "Sárosi Izsák")
— The Slovak-speaking Lutheran pastor Isaacus Sharoshi from Banská Štiavnica, likely the same person as the pastor spelled Isaac Saroschi who visited Pennsylvania in 1695-1697 and the first known Slovak in North America. Click here for details.
Andreas Jelky (1738-1783; "Andrej Jelík," in Hungary: "Jelky András")
— Born and raised in mostly Serbian and Croatian Baja (now southern Hungary), German father. No known association with the territory of present-day Slovakia, or the Slovak or Hungarian languages. Visited briefly Surinam in South America. Died in mostly German Buda (now Budapest). Click here for details.
Jean Polereczky (1748-1830; "Ján Polerecký")
— Born and raised in Molsheim (France), father born in Banská Bystrica, mother in France; associated with the kingdom of his father's birth when enlisted in the French Army. No other known association with Slovakia or knowledge of Slovak. Arrived in North America in 1780. Died in Dresden, Maine. Click here for details.



votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu


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