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Carpatho Rusyn Cultural Center

  • 20 June 2022 12:54 PM
    Reply # 12822871 on 12820316


     I reached out to Rich Custer for help with an answer to where these records might be. Rich 's knowledge of Rusyn genealogy and history in Pennsylvania are vast. This is what Rich shared with me:

    St. John's Greek Catholic Church (later Cathedral) in Homestead/Munhall was founded in 1897. However, there are no original metrical records for the church that I'm aware of, from ~1897-1950. 

    Pre-1897 records for Rusyns living in Homestead & Munhall can be mostly found in the books of St. Nicholas Church in Duquesne, although the church closed within the last year or two and I don't know where the records currently are. St. Nicholas was the first Carpatho-Rusyn Greek Catholic church in western Pennsylvania, founded in 1890. (In 1918 it transitioned to the Orthodox Church, but that's not super relevant to the question at hand.) I have digital images of the oldest records and they begin only in 1891. Before that I would expect that any records of local Rusyns would be found in Roman Catholic churches.

    But since you say the children were born in Pittsburgh, and thus the parents probably also lived in Pittsburgh, the baptisms are probably recorded either in the closest Roman Catholic church to where they lived, or in the Czech parish in the city (St. Wenceslaus, founded 1871).  (By the way, the first Slovak Roman Catholic church in Pittsburgh was not founded until 1895.)

  • 18 June 2022 11:15 AM
    Reply # 12820887 on 12820316


       I am not aware of any such documents at the Cultural Center. I will look into where the baptismal records might be found. Thanks for asking.

     Just a thought about birth records in the Wilkes-Barre area. I found a record of my grandmothers birth in Wilkes-Barre in a register at the counthouse. At that time these records were stored in a sub basement which was damp and chilly. I believe, researchers protested about preservation conditions and they are now stored in a suitable place. 


  • 17 June 2022 4:24 PM
    Message # 12820316

    Good Afternoon Everyone!

    I have been communicating with a distant relative concerning our Racz family genealogy for some time and recently he wrote to me to see if I had any information on St John the Baptist Church, which is now the home of the Carpatho Rusyn Cultural Center. He wrote:

    "Do you know the name of the church in Pittsburgh that some of the children of Josef [Racz] were baptized in?  I know my grandfather George was born in Pittsburgh.  It would be great if you confirmed it was the Rusyn Church in Pittsburgh. St John the Baptist Greek Catholic Church in Pittsburgh is now the Carpatho-Rusyn Cultural Center for the U.S. - But you probably know that already. So, if not too much trouble please let me know.  Thanks again for all your research."

    I told him that I was a member of the Carpatho Rusyn Society and will look into it, via reaching out in the Forum.  Just like his grandfather, George Racz/Race, b. 1890/1, my great-grandmother, Mary Racz/Race too was born in Pittsburgh (b. 1889) according to family records, as one other sibling too, Joseph Racz/Race(b.1888), which was also confirmed that my 2nd great-grandparents, Joseph and Julianna (Milyo) Racz moved to and were living in the Pittsburgh area right after they were married in Minooka, PA  (2/22/1888). 

    During my research on my great-grandmother, I was never able to find any written birth or church records on her as someone once chalked it up to probably being born at home, etc. for which there were possibly no records for that and settled with that reason for several years, until this correspondence from my relative that it got me thinking as I put the two leads together. 

    So, it may have been discussed in prior years, but I'm asking if anyone would know if the Cultural Center would have any birth records available from what was once, St John the Baptist Greek Catholic Church?  Just wondering and thank you in advance.   

    Last modified: 17 June 2022 5:42 PM | Anonymous member
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