What are the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic celebrating in 2018 and what does that have to do with the United States? The year 2018 marks the centennial anniversary of the founding of the former Czechoslovakia after World War I. In 1993, the country split up into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and both countries will be marking the anniversary.

Come and hear Iveta Blahutova, Genealogy Research Analyst from the Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence speak on the history of Czechoslovakia and Czech and Slovak Genealogy at the Mary Paxton Study Class for women at 1:30 p.m. March 12, in the Whistlestop Room at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum.

Iveta has been interested in genealogy for years. She started working at MGC in 2011 and since then she has been assisting customers with their genealogy research, especially those with a connection to Central and Eastern Europe. She herself came from former Czechoslovakia and lived in both the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic. She guides customers with their research, and shows them how to decipher and read genealogy records in various European languages. She is also a moderator of the German Genealogy Discussion Group established at MGC. Moreover, she would like to establish another discussion group with focus on the Eastern Europe genealogy, including Russia. Currently, she is working on a Polish Genealogy Class, and then she wants to develop other special lectures, such as How to Read Old German Script. Her newest class is Researching Your German Ancestor, which she presented in February 2018.

Iveta truly enjoys this new direction in her career. There is always something new to learn every day, either to discover by tracing her own family tree or exploring the resources MGC has to offer.

She is a graduate from the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, Faculty of Law. Her focus since high school years has been history, social studies, law, history of law, old manuscript, and languages.

She is also an active member of the Czech and Slovak Club of Greater Kansas City. In addition, she is a member of the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Her hobbies are reading, hiking, and cross-country skiing.

There will be many events in 2018 celebrating Czechoslovakia in the United States and the world. Slavicfest in Sugar Creek will be June 8 to 9. See the Czech and Slovak Club of Greater Kansas City at the website https://csclubkc.wordpress.com/ or their Facebook page for a list of major Centennial Events in 2018. You may see the Czech and Slovak costumes and dances every year at the Ethnic Enrichment Festival in Swope Park, Kansas City in August. National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has photographs of their exhibits, information and interviews on their webpage. Strawberry Hill Newsletter also has a Calendar of events.

Please email Cynthia Horn, Vice-President in charge of programs for the Mary Paxton Study Class, at CynthiaHorn88@yahoo.com for directions to our location so we can save you a chair.