Podhale Region

Finding your Slovak and Polish Goral Roots
  • 67 members

About us


Note: three related and integral geographic regions are now managed as independent projects. They are: the Spis County Slovakia Project, Zamagurie Region, and Podhale Region Projects.  Please see the individual projects for details. Many of our members will have ancesty in one or more of these geographic regions. Membership in any or all that apply is welcomed for those with documented ancestral links to the region.  The GA will cross check member's links to the region.  All statistics will be kept according to the applicable geographic region.



The Podhale Region project is a geographic DNA project open to those with documented ancestral links to the region. A partial list of villages is found below.  

The Podhale Region was settled by both Poles moving further south from Nowy Targ, Slovaks moving east and west from the former Orava and Spis County regions of the former Kingdom of Hungary, and of course the native population.  A rather closed geographic region, Podhale is bounded by mountains and rivers giving the inhabitants a unique set of culture, folklore,and dialect. Many of the inhabitants were emigrants across the United States especially to the Chicago area. These emigrants are our immigrant ancestors who serve as the link between the past and today. We carry them forward through our DNA and into the future through our own descendants. 

WHY WAS THIS PARTICULAR PROJECT STARTED? - Extending a geographic region.

The group administrator (GA)  has been actively researching a sub-set of the Spiš County villages known as the Zamagurie Region for over 25 years. This area is located in eastern Slovakia and crosses into the southern Polish region known as Malopolska- both adjacent to the Podhale Region.  The GA serves as an active, hands-on liaison for two DNA projects with FamilyTree DNA: The Zamagurie Dual Project and Spiš County Slovakia Project since March 2007 and 2011, respectively. 

During these efforts, the GA has traveled 15 times to the regions performing research, discovering village and church histories, and gaining a greater understanding of the folklore, and culture. Despite the difficulties in obtaining access, she has successfully gained the confidence of parish priests to perform research in many of the church records. She maintains a private data base of researched pedigrees with well over 42,000 surnames. This work provides the foundation and experience in helping people to locate their ancestral villages and surnames with great success. 

In 2011, the GA was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to continue the research on migration. Living in Slovakia for ten months from September through July 2012, provided the unique opportunity to research the migration of people between villages using previously untapped records, and resources. The project has grown to a recognized and formalized academic study still in progress. During this time, she also traveled to study migration between the Podhale - Zamagurie - Spiš County Regions.

The Podhale Region DNA project is a natural extension of the Zamagurie and Spis County Projects due to the noticeable migration of populations.  The experience gained in southern Poland and eastern Slovakia serves as a solid foundation for this new project. It was approved by Family Tree DNA as of January 2015. The role of group administrator is voluntary. The GA believes the project's success depends on being hands-on and dedicated to its members. Assistance is provided to finding the member's roots, understanding how the genetic cousins from the geographic region may be related, and understanding the DNA results obtained.Peoples participation is meant to be a win-win; each learning more about his or her ancestors and the genetic make-up of the Podhale region.

DNA testing and genealogy go hand in hand.  Often the hardest part in starting the genealogical process is locating the ancestral villages. Knowledge of chain migration patterns, access to the records overseas, cultural differences and protocols for performing research overseas, familiarity and experience with the region and associated surnames on both sides of the ocean, are all positive contributors to helping this project's members  learn more about their ancestry at many levels.  Paid genealogy services are now provided to take your pedigree further back in time in often unavailable records from the region. There is never any fee associated with joining any of the FamilyTreeDNA projects.


Participation in this project is limited to those members who can demonstrate an ancestral  link to the Podhale villages. Upon submitting a join request, the GA will work to confirm your link to this particular Geographic region. Additionally, the GA can recommend or confirm your current DNA test results add to the statistics of the project. The project facilitates connecting members with common interests in researching their ancestry from this particular geographic region. Membership should have a reasonable chance of finding genetic matches as the project grows and more people test with Family Tree DNA. However, it should be clearly understood that no guarantees of genetic matches can be made. Also, to extend the project beyond a reasonable geographic area may be a disservice to our project members overall. See a list of villages below.

Your participation can help you and others to learn more about our Podhale roots. Honor your ancestors by preserving more than just a memory.  Join today!


DNA testing can help confirm your paper trail, help to discover links to unknown relatives, and possibly even help follow your ancestral surnames as they migrated from village to village. Your participation in THIS project taps into over 25 +years of research methods and experience. The GA will assist you in establishing whether or not you MAY be linked to this region BEFORE you submit a DNA sample. This may increase your potential to understanding your ancestral origins and connecting with others who are also researching your surnames. You will also be a member of a group of people with common interests and ancestry from a shared locale. Mind you, there are no guarantees of finding a genetic match nor does participation in our project mean that we will complete genealogy for you. The GA will assist in the process. Professional services are available.


Below is a list of some of the villages of the Podhale Region. Smaller villages may not be named on this site. If you do not see your village listed,please contact the GA. Note: Diacrylic marks have been omitted due to formatting limitations on this website.


Bialka Tatrzanska         




Bialy Dunajec



Nowa Bystre




Stara Bystre

Bukowina Tatrzanka

Lipnica Mala



Czarny Dunajec

Lipnica Wielka