Are You A Carpatho-Rusyn?
You Might Be a Rusyn if…..
- You called your grandmother Baba, you might be Rusyn.
- You can be no more specific about your origins than to say that your ancestors came from Austria-Hungary or Galicia, you might be Rusyn.
- Your ancestors immigrated from Eastern Europe to the northeastern US and found work in the coal mines and steel mills of Pennsylvania and Ohio, or the factories of New Jersey and Connecticut, you might be Rusyn.
- Your ancestors spoke a language that they didn’t really have a term for—perhaps they called it “hillbilly Russian” or simply “po-nashomu” (our way of speaking), you might be Rusyn.
- Your ancestors worshipped at a Byzantine Catholic church, you most likely are a Rusyn, priest would have called you “Ruthenian,” the Latin=based western term used for Rusyn. Or;
- Your ancestors might have used other terms for the group, which included, but are not limited to, Rusnaks, Carpatho-Russians, Carpatho-Ukrainians, Uhro-Rusyns, Lemkos, or a derogatory name that’s okay when used by the people themselves to refer to one another, Hunkies.
- Your ancestors immigrated between 1890 and World War I and called themselves Russians, you might be a Rusyn.
- Finally, you ate bobal’ki and pyrohy at Christmas and paska and hrudka at Easter, you might be Rusyn.
Well known Americans of Carpatho-Rusyns heritage:
- Tom Ridge – former governor of Pennsylvania and secretary of homeland security.
- George Pataki – governor of New York.
- Thomas Bell – author of the labor novel ‘Out of This Furnace’, about immigrants in the steel mills of Pittsburgh PA.
- Sandra Dee – actress, born Alexandria Zuk.
- Robert Urich – actor.
- Andy Warhol – artist, photographer, filmmaker, born Andrew Warhola.
- Michael Strank, WW II Veteran USMC, one of six Marines who raised the American flag on Iwo Jima
Source: Humanities Forum Presentation, Elaine Rusinko, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Russian, Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore MD, March 9, 2005,