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Re: [S-R] 1910 hungarian census and ethnic breakdowns

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  • Nick Kerpchar
    Norma, My father was a choir director and teacher in the Russian school in Mayfield, Pennsylvania when I was growing up there.  The church was Saint John
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 26, 2011
      My father was a choir director and teacher in the "Russian" school in Mayfield, Pennsylvania when I was
      growing up there.  The church was Saint John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Church (I believe, I don't
      have my genealogy papers handy and it has been many, many years) although three-fourths or more
      of the parishioners were of Rusyn ethnic background (including a large Lemko/Rusyn population).
      The "Russian" school was indeed called Russian School and they taught the Russian language, culture and
      history of the area from which the majority of the original parishioners originated (currently north-eastern
      Slovakia and south-eastern Poland).
      There was a strong Russian Orthodox influence in this primarily Rusyn population and once a year around
      the time of Russian Christmas the "Russian School" put on an event called a "Yolka" (I do not know the
      correct spelling and can only guess at the phonetic version).  It was a combination of Rusyn/Russian cultural
      songs, dances, skits, and a some ethnic refreshments.
      The Russian School and all social events were held in the "Russian Hall" as it was called.  It was a two story
      building about the size of a small theater with classrooms upstairs, a large kitchen in the basement (where pirogi
      and other ethnic foods were made by the "Saint John's Women's Club" in very large quantities for every
      occasion under the sun (holidays, dances, weddings, baptisms, funerals, etc.).  And on the main level was
      a very large auditorium with a good sized stage.  There was even a theater-style ticket booth at the
      entrance.  Oh yes, and there were bathrooms.  The building was right across the street from the church
      and it was the center of social life for the congregation in that area.  The Roman Catholic church in the next
      town, Jermyn, also had a similar set-up.  Talk about peaceful co-existence; when the Catholics had a dance
      at their facility many (if not most) young "Rusyns" from Mayfield would go and when St. John's had a
      dance or big event (carnivals) then the Catholics from Jermyn would come.
      I recall that the "old timers" from the Austro-Hungarian Empire (both Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic and
      Russian Orthodox) would gather at many of the events at St. John's and talk about life in their villages
      before they immigrated to the United States.  Many times us kids around the ages of 6 to 9 would gather
      by these men and sing songs for nickles and dimes (money was worth more in the United States then),
      and if we sang The Star Spangled Banner or America the Beautiful we would get a quarter, each!
      This may be more information than you wanted but "Russian School" was what it was called in Mayfield,
      Pennsylvania and many other communities in New Jersey and New York although the majority of the
      church's congregation may have been Rusyns.
      I hope you have as much fun and pride learning about your Rusyn ancestors.  Nick Kerpchar

      From: circlegirln <NJBQUILT@...>
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 2:46 PM
      Subject: Re: [S-R] 1910 hungarian census and ethnic breakdowns


      Thank you to everyone that responded to my question. My Slovakian ancestors were listed as Greek Catholic in the church registries in Kurov, Slovakia and since the village was 94 % Rusyn in the 1910 census, I think I am indeed of Rusyn ethnic orgin. The Orthodox Church that the immigrant family attended in Pennsylvania, had schooling on Saturday's for children. I heard that my father, whom is now dead disliked going to "Russian School" on Saturdays. I have no one to ask from my father's generation about " Russian School at the Orthodox Church. I am now thinking that "Russian School" may have been "Rusyn School" Does anyone know if this Saturday schooling for children of new immigrants was a Rusyn tradition??? Does the words "Rusyn" and "Russian" sound the same in English?

      Thanks again all responding.

      --- In SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com, "Bonnie Burke" <bonnie@...> wrote:
      > Hi Norma,
      > In answer to your question, yes, it is possible that your ancestors were
      > really Rusyn and not Slovak. I belong to the Slovak-Roots group but have not
      > participated. Your question put up a red flag for me.
      > I am president of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society in Cleveland and we get this
      > comment all the time. People are constantly discovering that they are really
      > Rusyn and not Slovak. As a result, they are able to get a lot of questions
      > answered and a lot of pieces of the puzzle start to fit together. Almost all
      > Rusyns were Greek Catholics (Byzantine) or Orthodox. If you check marriage
      > records in Slovakia, that might confirm the answer. It sure seems like it
      > with 89% Greek Catholic.
      > Info that complicated matters....When Rusyns came to this country, they
      > married in a Greek Catholic church that was established in the neighborhood.
      > We find that sometimes there were only Roman Catholic churches close by and
      > as a result married there. Also, there was the rule in America that the
      > woman had to marry in the man's church and oftentimes Rusyn women married
      > Slovak men. Slovaks were Roman Catholic and Rusyns were Greek Catholic
      > (Byzantine) or Orthodox. So, the Rusyn ancestry would get lost in the
      > process.
      > Please visit our website c-rs.org for basic information on Rusyns. I would
      > be glad to answer any other questions you might have about Carpatho-Rusyns.
      > You made my dayJ.
      > Bonnie
      > From: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com] On
      > Behalf Of circlegirln
      > Sent: Sunday, October 23, 2011 9:45 AM
      > To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [S-R] 1910 hungarian census and ethnic breakdowns
      > There is a 1910 hungarian census online database of slovak
      > towns.(http://www.centroconsult.sk/toolbox/forum.html) I looked up the
      > slovak town of Kuro/Kurov and found:
      > 1910 census data for Kuro 505 people, 3 % Hungarian, 0% Slovak, 2 % german,
      > 94 % russin, 2% other, 8% roman catholic, 89 % greek catholic, 1 ref, 2%
      > jewish
      > I have a question for those more knowledgable than me. The village is 94%
      > russin and 0% slovak. Can some tell me what exactly russin ethnic orgin is?
      > Why there are no slovaks? Kuro/Kurov is about 4 miles from the Polish
      > border. Does this mean my ancestors were really russin and not slovak????
      > Thank you for your time,
      > Norma
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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