Gurka Family History

This project, started by Conrad and his sister-in-law, Barbara Aline (Gurka) Clark, in 2006, has resulted in a 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)

Conrad's brother (Barbara's husband), Richard Clark helped too, as did Barbara's sister, Judy Bensch, and brothers, Jim Gurka and Bob Gurka, and many of Barbara's cousins, including some she had never met, who helped by contributing information, stories and pictures. We also sought help from the Slovakian Archives, and you can view what we received from them via the link down below.

Barbara's father, Joseph John Gurka, was born in Sharon, PA, in 1915. Her mother, Mildred Susan Hecho, 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.

View pictures included in the book: Click this link to view and/or download some of the pictures in the book, in high-resolution form. Conrad started putting these up, but ran out of steam after a couple chapters. If you are interested in particular pictures from later chapters, write to Conrad ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

View the Slovakian research: Click this link to view the research results from the Slovakian Archives, as we received it.

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