DNA Projects

Genealogy and DNA Testing Go Hand─In─Hand

Our immigrant ancestors serve as the link between the past and today. We carry them forward through our DNA and into the future through our own descendants. Honor your ancestors by DNA testing today!

Karen A. Melis serves as the volunteer group administrator (GA) for four Geographic DNA projects with FamilyTreeDNA. Today, each of these regions consists of villages that straddle the southern border between Poland and Slovakia. Historically, the ethnically mixed populations included both Slovaks and Poles. Records are not always available except in the parishes themselves. SlovakGenealogy, LLC specialized in researching these areas.

Click on the links below to learn more about each project.

Orava County Geographic DNA Project


Once part of the former historic Orava County, Kingdom of Hungary, this region became divided as the result of a failed plebiscite during the redrawing of borders after WWI. The records for those villages in Poland have not been microfilmed and are available only in the parish. Many of Orava /Orawa emigrants settled in the mid-west and especially Chicago.

Podhale Region Geographic DNA Project


The Podhale Region was settled by both Poles moving further south from Nowy Targ, Slovaks moving east and west from the former Orava and Spiš 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.

Zamagurie Region Geographic DNA Project


The Zamagurie Region is a compact geographic and ethnographic area defined by the natural borders of the Bialka River to the west, the Spisske Magura Mountains to the south, and the Dunajec River to the north. The DNA project includes fourteen villages that were once part of the former historic Spiš County, Kingdom of Hungary. The villages found themselves on the other side of the border with the stroke of a pen after WWI.

Spiš County Slovakia DNA Project


The Spiš County Slovakia DNA project is a geographic DNA project associated with all villages of the former Spiš County (Szepes Comitas) of the historic Kingdom of Hungary.

Spiš County was the fourth largest source of emigrants to the United States following Zemplin, Abov, and Saris Counties. An estimated 11 % of the Spiš population of eastern Slovakia emigrated to work in the coal mines of eastern Pennsylvania, the steel mills of Western Pennsylvania, and the many factories in New Jersey.