Carpatho-Rusyns are one of the major ethnic groups of Pennsylvania. From the time they settled the state’s small towns and cities in the late 1870s until the present time, Carpatho-Rusyns have left an indelible mark on the state, and their story should be told. This blog is about a project that will do just that. Read more

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

John Kasich: A Carpatho-Rusyn Pennsylvanian

While Governor John Kasich has been involved in Ohio state politics since 1983, he was born and raised in Pennsylvania.

He also describes himself as
the son of a postal worker and the grandson of a coal miner. His grandfather was so poor, Mr. Kasich recently told voters in New Hampshire, that he would bring home scraps of his lunch to share with his children. “They would even be able to taste the coal mine in that lunch,” Mr. Kasich said. “Some of you can relate to that.”
("John Kasich Balances His Blue-Collar Roots and Ties to Wall Street," New York Times, Aug. 24, 2015)
Wikipedia currently describes his background and ancestry as follows:
Kasich was born in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, an industrial town near Pittsburgh. He is the son of Anne (Vukovich) and John Kasich, who worked as a mail carrier. Kasich's father was of Czech descent, while his mother was of Croatian ancestry. Both his father and mother were children of immigrants and were practicing Roman Catholics. He has described himself as "a Croatian and a Czech". ("John Kasich," Wikipedia, accessed March 8, 2016)
We know that Czech immigrants in Pennsylvania were few and far between. Is Gov. Kasich really, as he has said, of Czech ancestry?

His parents, who both died in August 1987 as a result of an automobile accident, are buried at Mount Calvary Cemetery in McKees Rocks:

(Photo: R. Custer)