Carpatho-Rusyn Resource Toolbox

This page is a work in progress and I will be adding lots of resources over the next few days and then more as I come across them.

Who are the Carpatho-Rusyns?

Carpatho-Rusyns are a Slavic people who have never had a homeland of their own. Centuries ago, they settled in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in areas that today include southern Poland, the Presov region of eastern Slovakia, part of Ukraine and a small portion of Romania.

In census and other records, they are called Rusyns, Ruthenians, Rusnaks, Uhro-Rusyns and, occasionally, Carpatho-Russians or Carpatho-Ukrainians. The commonality among Rusyns, both in Europe and among the immigrants to the United States, Canada and other countries is their adherence to the Orthodox church. Most belonged to what used to be called the Greek Catholic Church and today is known as the Byzantine Catholic Church, reflecting its ties to Eastern Orthodox religions.

Historical and Cultural Information

Carpatho-Rusyn Society Heritage Radio Program
Carpatho-Rusyn Surname Listing – informational purposes only
Carpatho-Rusyn Immigrant Listing – informational purposes only
Udol (Ujak)/Hajtovka Surname Listing
Carpatho-Rusyn Heritage DNA Project
Who Are the Rusyns?
Tom Peters: Researching the Carpatho-Rusyns
Society for Rusyn Evolution
Rusyns
Rusyn History, Culture and Language
Many Things Rusyn
Carpathian Ruthenia
Carpatho-Rusyn People
Carpatho-Rusyns
Carpatho-Rusyn Heritage
Carpatho-Rusyn Americans
Pascha & Customs of the Carpatho-Rusyn People
The Carpathian Connection
Genealogy of Halychyna/Eastern Galicia
Forgotten Galicia
The Byzantine Forum
Byzantine Rite Catholics
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
The Lost Homeland & Lasting Identity of the Lemko People
Romanian Greek Catholic Church
Finding Yesterday’s Children
Carpatho-Rusyn American Archive (magazine)

Rusyn Language

Bitaeme! Welcome! A Textbook of Rusyn (YouTube)
Bitaeme! Welcome! A Textbook of Rusyn (purchase book)

Church/Census Records

FamilySearch is a free website that houses millions of records worldwide. Users must register for a free account to access records.

FamilySearch – 1869 Census of Hungary
FamilySearch – Slovakia Church Records, including Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic Churches
FamilySearch – Greek Catholic Church records in Western Ukraine
Slovak National Archives

Reference Tools

FamilySearch – Poland Gazetteers
FamilySearch – Slovakia Gazetteers
FamilySearch – Ukraine Gazetteers

Useful Phrases in Carpatho-Rusyn
Guide to Rusyn and Latin Alphabets
FamilySearch – Hungarian Genealogical Word List
FamilySearch – Latin Genealogical Word List
FamilySearch – Polish Genealogical Word List
FamilySearch – Romanian Genealogical Word List
FamilySearch – Slovak Genealogical Word List
FamilySearch – Ukrainian Genealogical Word List
Causes of Death (Carpatho-Rusyn Cyrillic)

Organizations, Societies & Websites

Carpatho-Rusyn Society
Rusin Association of Minnesota
Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International
FEEFHS – Foundation for East European Family History Studies
The Lemko Project (blog) and Facebook group The Lemko Project
The Lemko Association
The Carpathian Connection
Carpatho-Rusyns Everywhere (Facebook)
Carpatho-Rusyns Interested in DNA Research (Facebook)
The Carpatho-Rusyn Heritage DNA Project
Rusyn Genetics: Abstracts and Summaries
The Andy Warhol Museum
The Society for Rusyn Evolution
Rusini Slovenska (Facebook group, posts in English)
National Carpatho-Rusyn Cultural Center
All Things Carpatho-Rusyn (Pinterest)
Polish Genealogical Society of America
Rusyns in Pannonia
Ukrainian History and Education Center
Database of the Ukrainian Residents Born Between 1650 and 1920
Find Lost Russian & Ukrainian Family – blog by Vera Miller
Digging into Lemko and Ukrainian Family History in Poland, Ukraine and the U.S.

Facebook has more than 16,000 links to genealogically- and historically-themed groups. Katherine Willson created a PDF list of all of them that was last updated by her in 2021. Since then, Cyndi Ingle of Cyndi’s List has continued to update the groups.

Ruthenian Genealogy

Many Rusyn immigrants first settled in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Ohio. In order to locate European records, one needs to first determine the village of origin perhaps identified in U.S. records.

The FamilySearch Research Wiki is free to use and has excellent historical information and categories of links that will help tell the story of our ancestors’ lives. Links to vital records agencies, county histories and local historical and genealogical societies and many other types of record information are found there. Just choose your county of interest.

Connecticut
New Jersey
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Poland Genealogy
Romania Genealogy
Slovakia Genealogy
Ukraine Genealogy

YouTube

How to Use the Wikisource Ukraine Website
How to Use the TsDIAL Website (L’Viv Archives)
How to Find Censuses of East Galicia and Bukovina + Homestead Records and Passenger Lists for Albertans
How to Use the Wolyn Metryki Website
How to Find Vital Records and More on AGAD (Polish Central Archives) Website

YouTube has many videos that cover many Rusyn topics. Here’s a small selection:

Are You Rusyn? A Guide to Finding Your Ancestry
Rusyn Media
How Is Life for Rusyns in Ukraine?
The Lands of Subcarpathian Rus’ in Austria Hungary
DJIMavic Mini Hajtovka z vtacej perspektivy 2021 c01 (drone view of a small Rusyn village)
Exploring Kosice, Slovakia
Who Are the Hutsuls?
St. Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Cathedral, Passaic, New Jersey
Rusyn Folk Songs
The American Lemko
Rusyn Culture, Art, and Cuisine
Carpatho-Rusyn 2020 Summer Seminar Series – Growing Up Rusyn
Carpatho-Rusyn 2021 Summer Seminar Series – The Poetics and Politics of Nicholas Karabelesh

Be sure to search not only for religion, but also towns, churches, art and music!

Books

If you are of Carpatho-Rusyn descent and would like to read more about your heritage, there are several sources.

FamilySearch is normally an excellent resource for accessing digital books. In this case, while there are thousands of genealogy books available, most of the Rusyn collection is under copyright protection and can’t be viewed online. Google Books is, unfortunately, much the same. However, Internet Archive appears to have permission from several modern day authors who write about Carpatho-Rusyns both in English and other languages to present their writing.

A general search for RUSYN brought up too many results to share, including the journal by Dr. Patricia Krafcik, a Rusyn authority – Carpatho-Rusyn American.

A second search for Dr. Paul Robert Magocsi, a professor, author and probably best known Rusyn expert, brought up two terrific results. the first is 545 results which can be browsed.

The other is the Paul Robert Magocsi Carpatho-Ruthenica Library, which houses a collection of 596 items, written in various languages, including English, Rusyn, Slovak and Latin, among others. Many are accessible digitally, but some of the more recent books are listed, but under copyright and no files are accessible.

A quick reading list is found on GoodReads: GoodReads List of Carpatho-Rusyn Books.

For those wanting to build a home library of Rusyn history, the first stop for purchasing books should be The Carpatho-Rusyn Research Center (C-RRC) – They have a fairly extensive catalog of books about Carpatho-Ruthenia and ship quickly. Ask for a publications list – sometimes their prices are way better than other online sellers. (For example, The Lemko Studies handbook ($45.00 from C-RRC) by Horbal was found with a second hand seller online listed for $1495.50 !!!)

Others websites to check out included eBay, Amazon and AbeBooks.

In addition to the recommended books below, I’d highly recommend purchasing the Map of Carpatho-Rusyn Villages – only $18.00 from C-RRC! All known villages are included on this large (30″ x 40″) map. It’s worth every penny of$18.00!

1. With Their Backs to the Mountains, Paul Robert Magocsi, Central European University Press, Budapest- New York, 2015. This is the premier book written about Rusyn history in terms of details and depth of information. Dr. Magocsi is a professor at the University of Toronto and has published many books and articles about Carpatho-Ruthenia and its peoples. I’d highly recommend purchasing this as a reference book. ($45.00 from C-RRC)

2. Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups, Stephan Thernstrom, Editor, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England, 1980. This book has nine pages (200-209) dedicated to statistical information about Rusyns who settled in the United States. There are also numerous footnotes identifying scholarly works for further reference. An added benefit is that information on the collateral ethnic group to which your family belongs (Polish, Romanian, Ukrainian or Slovak) can be found in this book, too. (There are often copies on eBay for under $25.00.)

3. Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture, Revised and Expanded Edition, Paul Robert Magocsi and Ivan Pop, University of Toronto Press, 2005. ($75.00 from C-RRC)

4. Carpathian Rus’ A Historical Atlas, Paul Robert Magocsi, Governing Council of the University of Toronto, 2017. ($28.00 from C-RRC)

5. The People from Nowhere, Paul Robert Magocsi, V. Padiak Publishers, Uzhhorod, Ukraine, 2006. ($24.50 from CRRC – see below)

6. The Rusyns of Hungary, Maria Mayer, East European Monographs, Columbia University Press, New York, 1997. ($24.50 from C-RRC)

7. The Rusyns of Slovakia, Paul Robert Magocsi, 1994 ($65.00 on Amazon)

8. Our People, Carpatho-Rusyns and Their Descendants in North America, Paul Robert Magocsi, 2006 (Out of print from C-RRC. $50.00 on Amazon)

9. Lemko Studies: A Handbook, B. Horbal, 2010 (with an updated 2021 edition available)

10. The Rusyn-Ukrainians of Czechoslovakia, Paul Robert Mabocsi, 1993 (Out of print at C-RRC)

11.  Byzantine Rite Rusins in Carpatho-Ruthenia and America by Walter C. Warzeski, 1971 ($45.00 on EBay)

12. The Byzantine Rite – A  Short History, Robert F. Taft, 1992 ($10.00 online)

13. Mapping Stateless People: The East Slavs of the Carpathians (revised), Paul Robert Magocsi, 2018, ($8.75 from C-RRC)

14. The Lost World of Subcarpathian Rus’: Photographs of Rudolph Hulka, 2016 ($45.00 from C-RRC)

15. God Is a Rusyn: An Anthology of Contemporary Carpatho-Rusyn Literature, edited by Elaine Rusinko, 2011 ($30.00+ online)

16. Peoples of North America: The Carpatho-Rusyn Americans, Paul Robert Magocsi, 1989 ($20.00 online)

There are two other books, which are definitely in the collectible category, as they are somewhat rare and expensive.

Andy Warhol is arguably the most famous Rusyn. Raymond M. Herbenick wrote Andy Warhol’s Religious and Ethnic Roots: The Carpatho-Rusyn Influence on His Art. Mellen Press still carries the book, but it’s $200.00. However, that is much cheaper than the $350-500 prices when the book is found on Amazon or EBay.

Another fun book is Rusyn Easter Eggs from Eastern Slovakia by Pavlo Markovyc, 1987. It costs around $100.00 when copies can be found for sale online.

Learning to speak the Rusyn language is not for the faint of heart. C-RRC has several language books for sale, including Let’s Speak Rusyn (Presov Region edition, Transcarpathian edition and Lemko Region edition. Each is just $15.00.

These books are basic vocabulary and phrase guides, but are helpful because they present information in 3 columns – English translation, Cyrillic alphabet appearance and a pronunciation guide using our alphabet.

Stefan M. Pugh published an actual textbook (бітаеме! Welcome!) for learning Rusyn in 2021, but a sound knowledge of the Cyrillic alphabet and its sound system is essential, as there are no tapes or videos to help with pronunciation. ($32.75 from C-RRC)

Genealogy Tips & Family History