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© Copyright 1999 : L. Lapikás, Muiden, The Netherlands.
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Please refer to the data found in this file as:
L. Lapikás, Genealogy Lapikás, 8.1, Muiden, 1999.

1. P R E F A C E

In 1972 I spent my holidays in Hungary and Czecho-Slovakia, partly because I wanted to trace my ancestors and find out where they had lived and what they had been doing. Since my own grandfather died already in 1928 not much more was left than a couple of second-hand stories and a dozen brownish pictures. I therefore decided to visit his birthplace Losoncz (presently Lucenec (S)), where the local priest gave me some additional facts and hints. The maiden name of my grandfather's mother pointed to Namestovo (S), but a visit to this place had to wait until 1974. I traveled further to Budapest, where I found one Ernö Lapikas in the telephone directory. He and his cousin Margit, to whom we paid a common visit at her home in Balatonföldvar, came up with a number of stories on the descendance of the Lapikas family and on relatives living in Rumania and probably Canada. Later most of these stories were proven to be quite near the truth.

My brother visited Hungary in 1973 and we got some more information from an archive in Slovakia. I found, via some Canadian telephone directories, a couple of family members in Montreal with whom an irregular exchange of letters started. A visit to Namestovo in 1974 yielded more information on the early Lapikas family living there. The local priest, who received us most cordially, found out that no male descendants of Matthias Lapikas were living there in 1974. In the same year one of my far-away cousins from Canada visited us, telling about some of the vicissitudes of the Canadian branch. Some years went by, in which I wrote occasional letters to my relatives abroad, received always friendly answers, but not many additional facts. A letter to the priest in Namestovo with a request for more information from his side remained unanswered.

My interest was triggered again in 1981 when a letter arrived from Rumania, written by Martha B. Lapikas. Apart from the fact that she featured somewhere in the scarcely documented Rumanian branch I did not know anything more about her and her relatives in Rumania. Since she expressed interest in the history of her family I sent her the facts I had gathered so far, and an extensive correspondence originated. Thus I came to know more about the early generations and the present status of the Rumanian branch. Together with the data I had collected in earlier years and with the knowledge I obtained during a visit to the Canadian relatives in Montreal in 1987 I composed a first version of this genealogy.

In the beginning of the nineties it became clear that there should also be members of the family in the USA. One of them, Ed Lapekas, was sent to The Netherlands to manage a Dutch firm, and as his portrait appeared in a Dutch newspaper it became immediately clear that he was a family member as well. His branch had, upon arrival in the USA, changed the name from Lapikas to Lapekas. A final breakthrough came in 1996 and 1997 when I placed a version of the genealogy on the Internet. Soon a number of contacts arose with family members in the USA and there seem to be several hundreds of them living in the USA now. Especially Ramona Lapekas-de Cajigas, Sean Philip Lapekas and James Simon Lapikas contributed a lot to complete the American branches of the genealogy. A very recent surprise was my discovery that also in Slovakia still a branch of the family is living. Milan Lapikas, who lives near Bratislava, is presently investigating this line with the much appreciated help of another relative Pavel Pajdusak. Finally a visit in 1999 byo Ramona Lapekas-de Cajigas and her father Andrew Lapekas to Slovakia has brought new information from the earliest records on Namestovo. All this new information resulted in the underlying paper. It contains all written information (from archives, official authorities etc.) and all "family stories" confirmed by at least two "independent" sources.

Of course I had to omit a lot of things. Besides the "bare data" people have told or written me stories that are either rather personal, tragic or amusing, but anyway not meant for publication. I have made a honest attempt to avoid description of such details. On the other hand individuals may have been too modest to describe facts that can be interesting for others but not for themselves. To what extent this has happened is beyond my range of vision. Anyway it was unavoidable that subtle meanings of some stories may have been lost in my translation from the original languages (Dutch, French, German) into English. Some final remarks are in order here. First I have to apologize to all those who do not read English, but because the members of our family have (been) scattered all over the world I had to choose some language to describe the data. English seemed the most reasonable compromise (and the easiest for me!). For the time being I have abandoned thoughts to prepare editions in French and/or German.

Second I have to apologize to all descendants of female members of the family, who may be reading this, but do not find themselves represented. This is by no way a question of discrimination, but instead a matter of - admittedly old-fashioned - convention. In a later stage I shall remedy this by also working out the feminine lines. However, since it will not be easy to trace all these people I claim another twenty years for completing this task. My last remark is a friendly but urgent request to all family members to send more information on themselves, their ancestors and descendants : everything is welcome. I shall incorporate it in the next version of the "Genealogy Lapikas".

Louk Lapikás, Muiden 1999.

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