About Us

Karen A. Melis is passionate about helping people reconnect with their Slovak roots. Karen lived in Slovakia as a Fulbright Scholar developing relationships with many archives and parishes. She has 25+ years of hands-on research experience and has personally digitized records in Eastern Slovakia, Polish Spisz, Orava and the Podhale Region villages. Most of these records have never been microfilmed. Based on her intimate knowledge, experience, and research capabilities, Karen formed SlovakGenealogy, LLC to help others find their Slovak roots in Slovakia and southern Poland.

Karen was a presenter for Tracing Your Eastern European Roots at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) presenting lectures on

  • Understanding and Interpreting Birth, Marriage, and Death Records in Eastern Europe
  • In Search of Records–An Anecdotal Journey Through Poland and Slovakia
  • The Spirit of the Lake: A Local Legend Turned Genealogical Case Study

As moderator of the Eastern European Special Interest Group for the North Hills Genealogists in Pittsburgh, Karen holds monthly meetings helping those with Eastern European roots.

With a background in science and engineering, Karen volunteers as the group administrator for four geographic DNA projects. She attends advanced DNA courses at SLIG, GRIP, NGS, and FGS in support of the project members.

SlovakGenealogy is capable of performing research on both sides of the ocean. Karen continues her overseas research trips in search of new record sets. Working with native Slovak and Polish researchers in-country, the select team has over 40 years of experience performing genealogical and archival research, record retrieval, transcribing Cyrillic records, preparing you for your ancestral village trips, locating and interviewing family, DNA testing, and more!

 

Testimonials

We could not have been more pleased with the report Karen and her team at Slovak Genealogy provided us. We presented the report at our family reunion with great interest and success.

Here are our top five reasons for a five-star rating.
1. The report was very thorough. Hundreds of years of our family history were researched, introducing us to many family names we had never heard of.
2. The report was scholarly. All of the data was cited and included photos of church records that were found as well as photos of our ancestral village.
3. The report was done in a prompt and efficient manner. The contract was completely fulfilled ahead of our agreed deadline.
4. Karen was extremely helpful. She encouraged questions after the final report was received to ensure that we understood the report in its entirety.
5. The report was enriching. When the report was presented to other family members there was information that brought tears to their eyes because it reaffirmed family lore.

Many thanks to Karen for treating our family as if it were her own. We highly recommend her services to others looking for their ancestry.

~ Alex S. and Theresa F.

Spiš County: Stillbach, Henclova, Ticha Voda

One of the huge problems that I faced was that I couldn’t find a way to get any records of my ancestors in Southern Poland or Northern SlovakiaThanks to Karen and SlovakGenealogy, I now have a family tree that goes back to when records were first recorded. I feel it’s as complete as it will ever be.

~ Ed K.

Podhale Region: Bialy Dunajec, Mursasichle, Poronin

I can’t say enough wonderful things about Slovak Genealogy, LLC.! Because of inconsistent records, poor spelling, and inaccurate dates, I hit several dead ends. With access to rare records and a visit to my grandparent’s village, Karen and her associates were able to connect the dots for us.

~ Susan N.

Zavadka (Greek Catholic / Cyrillic)

I was very impressed with SlovakGenealogy from the start with Karen assisting us in developing the scope of the project, length of time it took to formulate the report, and the final report which was very professionally done. I especially enjoyed the listing of the research questions and the thought process behind the results.

~ Chuck B.

Spiš Region: Hrabusice, Machalovce, Horka, Kubach

I want to tell you that we received the final report yesterday and CAN’T PUT IT DOWN!

My husband and I are so impressed with foremost your professionalism. You have pulled out very thorough and customized research in a short amount of time and presented it in a professional and readable manner. What a gift this research has been to our family.

Having now read through the research touring the villages, seeing the homes, farms, and churches will have so much more meaning.

~ Leah & Gary K.

Zamagurie Region: Spišské Hanušovce, Reľov

I am very impressed with the work of Karen A. Melis. I am handling an estate in which it was necessary to determine if there were any relatives of the decedent on his mother’s side. It needed extensive research done in Slovakia as well as research in the United States, and Ms. Melis provided a very comprehensive, documented, and professional report, which included the names and addresses of relatives who will inherit part of the estate.

~ Robert E. White, Esq.

Heir Search Region: Across Slovakia

I would highly recommend Karen Melis for your genealogy research. I have had her search my family multiple times and every time I have been completely satisfied. She is an expert in the Spiš area and her reports are comprehensive, detailed, and professionally done. Karen answered so many questions about my tree. Her costs are comparable to others and her work is superior.

~ Michael C.

Zamagurie Region: Niedzica, Wyzne Lapsze, Lapšanka, Repiško

I was stuck with my family history and had already planned a trip to visit my ancestral villages. Karen spent an hour talking to me on the telephone to explain her expertise and the records she had that she thought could help me. Without this report, I would have been wandering aimlessly on my trip. Karen’s final report helped prepare me to make the most of my trip and fill a huge void in family history!

~ Stacia W.

Zamagurie Region/ Southern Poland: Krosnica, Kluszkowce, Maniowy, Czorsztyn, Sromowece Wysne, Sromowce Nizne, Spišská Stará Ves

SlovakGenealogy exceeded my expectation. Many people had the same first and last names. Only through meticulous ruling out names were they able to figure out who my relatives were. They have access to records that are not on-line. The process was very professional. They communicated frequently with questions and an expected finish time. I could not be more satisfied.

Many times family stories are just stories. SlovakGenealogy gathered and presented the facts. Facts I certainly could never have found on my own.

~ Karen F.

Spiš Region: Križová Ves, Vlkova, Machalvoce