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Gurka Family History

Conrad started this project in 2006 with his sister-in-law Barbara Aline Gurka Clark. Barbara’s husband (Conrad’s brother) Richard Clark helped too. Barbara, Richard, Conrad and those who have worked with them have accumulated records, pictures and stories, and Barbara and Conrad have written a book incorporating all of these (it's in Documents & Collections).

Barbara Aline Gurka Clark’s father, Joseph John Gurka, was born in Sharon, PA, in 1915. Her mother, Mildred Susan Hechko, was born in Manhattan, New York City, NY, in 1910. Three of Barbara’s grandparents — John Gurka, Susan Tomo and Susan Tomko — were born in what is now the Republic of Slovakia, and emigrated to the USA soon after the turn of the 19th century (1902 to 1913). Her fourth grandparent, Joseph Hechko, who was born in Silesia — probably in a part which is now in Poland — emigrated in 1899. We learned a great deal about the Gurka/Tomo/Hechko/Tomko family history in the first six months after the start of the project, the period during which Barbara still lived. Barbara died on September 3rd, 2006, of cancer. Barbara’s sister, Judith (Gurka) Bensch, who helped a lot, died in a car crash on April 3rd, 2007.

If you have records, pictures and stories which did not make it into the book, you can still contribute them. For the time being they'll go in Additions & Corrections, and eventually they may work their way into a second edition of the book. Contact Conrad at cwterrill@comcast.net.


The book:

A Gurka/Tomo/Hechko/Tomko Family History, by Barbara Gurka Clark, 2009 (PDF, 4.8 MB)

. . Additions & Corrections , as of 19 Oct. 2009 (PDF, 15 KB)


Gurka and Tomko line Slovakian research:   This page provides links to PDFs sharing the results of research done at our request by archives in Slovakia

Gurka and Tomko family pictures:   This page provides links to pictures which appear in Barbara's book