I have yet to fully develop this page, but I have added
a few questions to get the ball rolling, and plan to
update it continuously as new questions/issues arise.
have you created this website?
To answer this question properly would probably
take a few pages -- the My
Story section gives some background to my
personal interest in Tovste. Apart from being
the birthplace of my ancestors, who emigrated
to Canada more than 100 years ago, Tovste has
a rich history and a fascinating story that most
of the world has yet to hear. I figured that I
was uniquely positioned to share that story with
a wider audience.
Still, when I took on the challenge -- more than
a decade ago -- of developing the website, I couldn't
have imagined how much effort would be needed
to bring it to fruition. I have spent literally
thousands of hours researching the town and writing
the texts that appear here (yet still representing
only a fraction of the information I have compiled);
and then learning Dreamweaver "on the fly"
to be able put these pages together over the course
of several months. If enough people find this
material useful and informative, and respond positively
to it, the effort will have been worthwhile.
think my relatives came from Tluste. Can you help
me to trace my family tree?
As I mentioned above, I have developed this website
in my spare time and with my own resources over
the past several years. I am not a professional
genealogist or historian. The website is the product
of how I have spent most of my free time away
from my "real" profession -- at the
expense of other interests and leisure activity.
In fact, I regret that for the past few years
I have ignored my own family history research
to be able to concentrate on this project. Although
I am not in a position to help you with your own
family tree, I think you will find many aspects
of this website useful for your research. Please
refer to the Welcome Note to get a better sense
of everything this website has to offer.
Having said that, I would love
to hear from you if you have a personal in interest
in or connection to Tovste. If I can give a quick
pointer here or there, I would be happy to oblige.
Please use the Feedback
page for that purpose.
archives have you visited to do your own family
I have made use of many exceptionally
helpful archives in different towns in Ukraine,
as well as abroad. I have listed these in the
and have given an indication of the holdings that
I have found particularly valuable.
I extract some of the images or pages from your
website and put them on my own site?
In a word: no. Most of the photographs and images
you see on the website are my own, or I have obtained
them from other sources who are duly acknowledged.
A few of the images are publicly available from
and are identified as such. If in doubt, you should
assume that the images on this website are copyrighted
and may not be extracted and used without my prior
Except where appropriately referenced,
I have written all of the content on this website.
You are most welcome to advertise the existence
of this website by linking to it from your own,
but please acknowledge the original source.
I use the Quick Navigation that's available on
some pages, the cursor jumps from section to section
as soon as I begin to scroll. How can I prevent
The Quick Navigation tool is great for moving
straight the the section of the document you are
interested in (such as this one). Once you reach
the the desired section, simply click once anywhere
within that section, and you will then be able
to scroll line by line. (Otherwise, scrolling
will immediately take you to the next section
is the best time of year to visit Tovste?
This is obviously a matter of personal preference,
but I would be inclined to recommend early summer
or autumn, when the weather is nicest. This may
vary from year to year of course: I spent two
weeks in Tovste one September and had sunshine
virtually every day. In May (normally late enough
for decent weather) it was cloudy or rainy almost
the whole time. Bear in mind that in spring and
fall, your Ukrainian hosts might be preoccupied
for a few weeks with the regional pasttime of
planting and harvesting potatoes! Winter is probably
to be avoided, as western Ukraine does tend to
receive a lot of snow and cold temperatures (eg.
as low as minus 25 C) , which can create problems
for getting around and keeping warm.
Is it possible to rent a car to travel
around the region surrounding Tovste?
When I first started visiting western Ukraine
in the late 1990's, it was difficult if not
impossible to find companies offering "self-drive"
car rental services to which one might be accustomed
in the West. It was – and to some extent
still is – much more common to hire a
car or a van, with a driver (and perhaps an
interpreter) for a certain period of time. They
will take you wherever you want to go, depending
on your requirements. Times have changed and,
as I explain in the Travel
Information section, it is now possible
to rent cars from both local and international
I personally have little experience hiring
a driver for anything longer than a day trip,
so I am not in a position to comment on particular
companies or rates etc. However, I am familiar
with one tour company, Lviv
Ecotour, operating out of Lviv. Although
I have not used their services myself, I have
met one of the partners and I can vouch for
the fact that he speaks perfect English and
can take you just about anywhere you want to
go in his own vehicle.)
Needless to say, with any tour company, one
should be clear on all of the terms in advance
(for instance, whether you are expected to pay
for meals, accommodation etc.).
it difficult to communicate with the local people
if I don't speak Ukrainian?
This could be an issue when it comes to arranging
accommodation, ordering in restaurants, purchasing
food etc. However, you would be surprised how
far a few simple words, sign language, patience,
and a reasonable translation guide will go. Many
Ukrainians will have worked abroad, so it is not
uncommon to find someone who speaks, say, German
or Italian. This might be an alternative if you
happen to know those languages. Also, there's
a reasonable chance that a younger, school-age
person will be able to speak some English, if
you get stuck when trying to communicate with
an adult. In the end, if you are apprehensive
about the language barrier, the best solution
would be to hire an interpreter to accompany you
for the day.
you recommend hotel accommodation in Tovste or
a nearby town?
The accommodation available in Tovste and the
immediate surrounding area is described in the