Step by step, there is order in doing genealogy. You can not pick up in the middle, you have to start with yourself going backwards. We all have heard some family stories and sometimes they are just that stories. There is never an end to genealogy. Just when you get few questions answered a new one comes up. Forwarding 2 sites about history of Czechoslovakia which should put few things into perspective. http://web.archive.org/web/20050206091340/www.adc.sk/english/slovakia/index.htmhttp://web.archive.org/web/20050206091340/www.adc.sk/english/slovakia/index.htm http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles/1844842.stmhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles/1844842.stm If your ancestors were Ruthenian (Byzantine Catholic) you might want to look into a book:
GRISAK BOOK There is an excellent book about the Rusyn US-immigrant experience. It's an autobiography of Joseph Grisak, 1873-1950, born in Slovinky, (today's Slovakia). It goes into great depth describing day-to-day living. It has been scanned and is available at www.saed.kent.edu/~lucak/topica/Grisak.pdf It is 352 Kb and 98 pages in length. You will need Acrobat reader.
From the Library of Congress on-line catalog: Title: The Grisak family Authors: Grisak, Michael J. , 1910- (Main Author) * LC Control Number: 79103327 Published/Created: [Merrillville, Ind.] : Grisak, [1978-1979] Dewey Class No.: 943.7/03/0922 B