Europeans are amongst the oldest, and at the same time among the newest, peoples to have settled in southwestern Pennsylvania. The region's earliest settlers were from northern Europe and they were followed by large-scale immigration from eastern and southern Europe at the turn of the 20th century. Peoples of European descent established themselves as "Pittsburghers," contributing mightily to the culture, politics and economic growth of the region. In recent decades these communities have had the good fortune of being enriched by the arrival of new immigrants from their European homelands.
Pittsburghers with ancestral roots stretching back to Europe three centuries, one century, or just one decade are justifiably proud of their contributions to southwestern Pennsylvania. Southwestern Pennsylvanians of European descent were, are, and will be important players in the future of southwestern Pennsylvania, and they are anxious to have readers consult the website to learn more about the many different organizations that represent the peoples of this region whose original ancestral homeland was the continent of Europe.
Arts (film, music, dance)
- Kyiv Ukrainian Dance Ensemble and School: (http://www.kyivdance.net/)
220 Mansfield Boulevard
St. Peter & St. Paul Church Hall
Carnegie, PA 15106
- Poltava Ukrainian Dance Company: (http://www.pghukrainians.org/poltava.php)
- Dance and Song Society of Pittsburgh: (http://www.cdssp.org/)
Celebrating a Living Tradition of English and Anglo-American Folk Dance and Music in Pittsburgh.
- Pittsburgh Scottish Country Dance Society: (http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/jm5h/pscds.html)
A social organization dedicated to preserving Scottish history.
- Hungarian Ethnic Group of Western PA
A dance group preserving Hungarian culture.
13585 Ann Drive
North Huntingdon, PA 15642
Contact: Rose Marie Gerzsenyi
Phone: (724) 864- 0042
- Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theater: (http://www.picttheatre.org/)
Where Irish actors and actresses appear on stage, which premieres many productions by Ireland's top contemporary playwrights and numerous Irish poets.
- St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Parish: (http://stnicholascroatian.com/)
St. Nicholas church on Pittsburgh's North Side is the very first Roman Catholic church formed by Croatian immigrants in the new world ,and St. Nicholas church in nearby Millvale is home to the famous murals by artist Maxo Vanka. If you are in the Pittsburgh area, we invite you to visit us.
- Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church:
1128 Summit St., White Oak, PA 15313
- St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral: (http://www.stnickspgh.org/)
419 South Dithridge St, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
- Free Hungarian Reformed Church of McKeesport
We are rich in heritage, as our roots in the McKeesport area go back to 1922.
101 University Drive
McKeesport, PA 15132-7602
- Forty Martyrs R.C. Church
300 Frasier Purchase Road
Latrobe, PA 15650
Contact: Marta Urban
- Hungarian Reformed Church of Duquesne
Duquesne, PA 15110
Contact: Barbara G. Revak
- Serbian Orthodox Diocese www.easterndiocese.org
Residence and office of His Grace Bishop Dr. Mitrofan
138 Carriage Hill Drive
- Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Cathedral
4920 Clairton Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Rev. Rasko Kosic
- St. Elijah Serb Orthodox Church
2200 Irwin Street
Aliquippa, PA 15001
V. Rev. Stevan Stepanov
- St. Mary Serb
524-526 Third Street
Clairton, PA 15025
Rev. Vladimir Demshuk
- St. George
65 South Keel Ridge Road
P.O. Box 1052
Hermitage, PA 16148
Rev. Svetozar Mirolovic
80 Keel Ridge Road
Hermitage, PA 16148
- St. Nicholas
971-1001 St. Clair Road
Johnstown, PA 15905
V. Rev. Dr. Nedeljko Grgurevich
- St. George
RD 1, Box 91
Carmichaels, PA 15320
Rev. Rodney Torbic
- St. Sava
901 Hartman Street
McKeesport, PA 15132
Rev. Stevan Rocknage
- St. George
30 Tenth Street
Midland, PA 15059
Rev. Stevan Zaremba
- St. Nicholas
2110 Haymaker Road
Monroeville, PA 15146
V. Rev. Dragoljub Malich
Phone: 412-372-9895 (hall) or 412-372-4454
- Holy Ascension
24 North Third Street
Youngwood, PA 15697
Rev. Adam Yontich
2 North Locust Drive
Jeannette, PA 15644
- St. Sava Children's Camp
25072 State Highway 18
Springboro, PA 16435
- Most Holy Mother of God Monastery
25072 State Highway 18
Springboro, PA 16435
The small, but very active Austrian community of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania includes, in its majority, first- and second-generation Americans who still treasure the cultural values of their homeland. There are also quite a number of Austrian nationals who are in the area on temporary assignments at the local universities or as experts at subsidiaries of major Austrian companies (p.e. VOEST-ALPINE Industries, Inc., and ANDRITZ RUTHNER Inc.)
The cultural life of the Austrians in Pittsburgh is centered around the Austrian American Cultural Society, which was founded in 1979. The purpose of this society was to foster among its members a genuine love for Austrian culture and customs; to establish an Austrian Classroom at the University of Pittsburgh; and to provide scholarship funds for University of Pittsburgh students to study in Austria. During the subsequent years, the Society organized annual Austrian balls, dinner meetings, numerous musical performances and trips to Austria for its friends and members. This way the Austrians became part of the colorful ethnic mixture of Pittsburgh
- Austrian American Cultural Society: (http://www.aacs-pit.org/)
P.O. # 362,
Ingomar, PA 15127
- Association of Austrians Abroad-Auslandsösterreicherwerk: (http://www.auslandsoesterreicher.at)
The central service point for Auslandsösterreicher is the Vienna-based 'Auslandsösterreicherwerk' which was founded in 1955. A special concern of the AÖW is the provision of assistance for needy Austrians.
Honorary Consul of Austria: Mr. Edgar Braun
In Pittsburgh, cultural events are a good venue to bump into Belgians: examples include an exhibit on The Flemish Masters: Rubens, Jordaens and Van Dyck at the Frick Gallery; the Rubio Quartet at the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, Belgian artists featured in the Carnegie International, contemporary dance with Choreographer Vandekeybus and prominent choreographer Anne Teresa De Kearsmaker at the Dance Council and more. Belgians coming to Pittsburgh are happily surprised: they discover a wealth of opportunities, a beautiful landscape with great infrastructure, and a wide range of activities for every taste and every age group.
- European Union Center of Excellence (EUCE): (http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/euce/)
The EUCE at the University of Pittsburgh and the European Studies Center are major centers of academic activity within the United States, and are well-known both in Belgium and throughout the EU’s member-states. Further, the EUCE serves as a focal point for EU-related activities in the civic, media, and business communities throughout the tri-state area.
Honorary Consul of Belgium: Anne Billiet Lackner
- British-American Business Council (BABC): (http://www.babc-pittsburgh.org/)
In the Pittsburgh region, the British-American Business Council (BABC) is part of an international business association that promotes trade and investment between the United States and the United Kingdom. It does so through an active program of business and social events, publications, online newsletters and various marketing and trade services. Recent statistics show that the Pittsburgh region has 264 British-owned establishments operating in the region, employing about 7,416 people.
Honorary Consul of United Kingdom: Mark Nordenberg, Chancellor University of Pittsburg
107 Cathedral of Learning
Pittsburgh PA 15260
Bulgarian and Macedonian
Around the year 1900, several Bulgarians came to Pittsburgh and settled in West Homestead, Duquesne, and McKeesport. Around 1910, having secured their economic position, many began to bring their families to the United States. At the start of World War II there were 33 Bulgarian-Macedonian bakeries in Allegheny County. In fact, at one time, the Bulgarian community in Pittsburgh was the largest in the United States.
- Bulgarian-Macedonian National Educational & Cultural Center: (http://www.bmnecc.org)
A nonprofit organization whose mission is to embrace and preserve the cultural values and rich traditions of the Bulgarian and Macedonian people. They also seek to articulate and promote those values and traditions as a way of enhancing tolerance and understanding among all peoples.
449-451 West Eight Avenue,
West Homestead, PA 15120
“In the late 1800s and early 1900s Croatian immigrants flocked to America. Most of our people then settled in Old Allegheny, which is now called the North Side of Pittsburgh. The street called East Ohio St. was known to the Croatians as Mala Jaska. Several people who made their homes here came from that village in Croatia. It was the heart of the Croatian Community in America and to some of us, our birthplace.
One of the most popular traditions was the old wine cellar, several families made their own wine. One of our neighbors, who we called Megar grew his own grapevines. They say he really made good wine from his own garden. Times have changed, many have left the city and moved to the suburbs." - Elsie Juratovich memories
- The Croatian Fraternal Union: (http://www.croatianfraternalunion.org)
The Croatian Fraternal Union is the largest Croatian organization outside of Croatia. At the headquarters in Pittsburgh, the Home Office houses a truly valuable Croatian Cultural room and museum.
100 Delaney Drive
Pittsburgh PA, 15235
Honorary Consul from Croatia: Dr. Marion Vujevich
Between the years of 1880 and 1914, a significant concentration of Czech families settled in the eastern neighborhoods of Allegheny City in a section of Pittsburgh known today as Troy Hill. A small section of this hilltop community became the destination of many Czech immigrants and was called “Bohemian Hill.” It is believed that some Czech immigrants used Bohemian Hill as a gateway to communities in the Midwest and Texas. Others came and stayed, creating one of several Czech clusters in Western Pennsylvania.
- Friends of VIA: (http://viafoundation.org/friends-of-via/)
Friends of Via is a nonprofit organization based in Pittsburgh, PA. It was created in 2005 as a United States-based partner to support the charitable activities of The Via Foundation located in Prague, Czech Republic. Friends of Via works to increase awareness of the Czech Republic and of the Via Foundation’s charitable work in the areas of Czech Cultural Heritage, Community Development, Youth, and the Environment.
- Czechs in the Burgh:
- Czechoslovak Nationality Room @ Cathedral of Learning: (www.pitt.edu/~natrooms/)
Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic: Carol Hochman
The history of Pittsburgh is well documented. But any evidence of Dutch immigrants playing a role in it is hard to find. And while any Pittsburgher can tell you where the Italian, Polish or Jewish in town can be found, asking for the area where immigrants from the Netherlands can be found doesn’t result in any response.
Asking for where to find Dutch might lead you to eastern Pennsylvania (the so-called Pennsylvania Dutch country). That might be an interesting excursion but you won’t find anyone from the Netherlands there (Pennsylvania Dutch derived from Deutsch, German spoken by settlers from Germany and Switzerland).
All of this being true, it is still pretty hard to imagine that no Dutch were involved in the early industrial activities of this town. One of the early enterprises happened to be building boats. The “Woodward Rowlands' Pittsburgh directory for 1852” does suggest Dutch involvement: The name Jacob Vandergrift, with the profession boat builder, is mention in it twice. And a quick look in the telephone directory learned that there are many people here with names starting with van/van der/van de. More Dutch must have found their way to Pittsburgh in the past!
- The Netherlands Society of Pittsburgh: (http://www.tnsop.org/)
The NSOP is an organization that promotes contacts between Dutch people living in the greater Pittsburgh area. Both Dutch citizens and those interested in Dutch culture, language, etc are encouraged to participate in NSOP events.
The history of Pittsburgh is rich in French culture. It was in 1754 that the French built the "Fort Duquesne de la Sainte Vierge" (Fort Duquesne of the Holy Virgin.) After its fall to the English in 1758, the fort was renamed "Fort Pitt," which later became Pittsburgh, but many French names (Duquesne, Ligonier, Marchand, Jumonville, etc...) are still the result of the French presence here.
About 500 French people live in Pittsburgh today. They are represented by an Honorary Consul, Jean-Dominique Le Garrec and at their disposal are two organizations, one cultural, the Alliance Française of Pittsburgh, the other one business-oriented, the French American Chamber of Commerce. About 30 American subsidiaries of French companies are based in Pittsburgh. The French-speaking community, however, is large and diversified, due to the presence of Canadians, Belgians, Swiss, Lebanese, representatives of French-speaking African countries and a sizeable number of francophone Americans.
- Alliance Francaise of Pittsburgh: (www.afpitt.org)
The Alliance Française de Pittsburgh, founded in 1903, is a non-profit organization, member of the Federation of Alliances Françaises in the United States. Its purpose is to encourage the study of French language, literature and francophone cultures and to promote activities in the fields of education, the arts and entertainment.
- French American Chamber of Commerce:
c/o Reed Smith, Shaw & Mc Clay
435 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Honorary Consul of France: Jean-Dominique Le Garrec
The history of Georgians traveling to Pennsylvania and settling in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia dates back to just after the Russian Revolution of 1917, when Georgia declared independence on May 26, 1918 in the midst of the Russian Civil War. In February 1921 Georgia was attacked by the Red Army and fell as an independent country. Georgians fled their homeland in numbers and some immigrated to the United States, with a few settling in Pennsylvania. Georgians see great deal of resemblance between Pittsburgh and Georgia’s capital city Tbilisi.
- The Georgian Association: (http://www.georgianassociation.org/)
The Georgian Association is a nonpartisan nationwide membership organization of Georgian-Americans and friends of Georgia that advocates for Georgia and Georgian issues in the U.S. It is the oldest organization in the U.S. representing the Georgian American community. It's mission is to strengthen and support the Georgian-American community on a national level and to support an independent, democratic and prosperous Georgia.
- American Friends of Georgia: (http://www.afgeorgia.org/)
American Friends of Georgia was established in 1994, as a public charity with the mission of helping courageous Georgians establish and maintain care-giving programs to alleviate the suffering of the neglected, the handicapped, the ill, the abused, the young and the elderly. In addition, they want to help the Georgian people restore their national pride and self-reliance as they work to build an economically viable democratic society.
Honorary Consul of Georgia: Mrs. Mahnaz M. Harrison, NHA
German and German-speaking immigrants first arrived in the Pittsburgh region in the early 19th century. They settled in what was then the town of Allegheny, which was annexed into Pittsburgh in 1907 and renamed "North Side." It is located on the north shore of the Allegheny River from downtown Pittsburgh. German-speaking people formed a vibrant community in the section still referred to as Deutschtown, along East Ohio Street and further east on Troy Hill. More recently, there was a minor wave of German immigrants to Pittsburgh in the mid to late 1950s; however, at that time the original German-speaking population had been well assimilated into the Pittsburgh region.
Today, there is no longer a distinct German neighborhood, but traces of the old German community can still be found in the Deutschtown, East Deutschtown and Troy Hill areas on Pittsburgh's North Side. Some of the more prominent landmarks are: St. Mary's Priory (now The Priory - A City Inn) located on Pressley Street since 1888; The H.J. Heinz Company, located on Progress Street since 1896; St. Anthony's Chapel located on Harpster Street since 1880.
- Pennsylvania German Society: (http://www.pgs.org)
Founded in 1891, a nonprofit organization devoted to the study of the Pennsylvania German people and their 300-year history in America.
P.O. Box 244
Kutztown, PA 19530-0294
- University of Pittsburgh German Club: (http://www.pitt.edu/~sorc/germancl)
William Pitt Union, Floor 5, Cubicle 2
- Old Economy Village (http://www.oldeconomyvillage.org)
270 16th Street
Ambridge, PA 15003
Honorary Consul of Germany: Mr. David A. Murdoch
Pittsburgh is home to one of the largest Greek communities within the United States, with close to 40,000 people identifying themselves as having Greek ancestry. Most immigrated to Pittsburgh between 1930-1960, so most are 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation Greek-Americans. They still remain very active within the community, which is apparent in the region's numerous associations, such as the Pan-Cretan Association, AHEPA, as well as GOYA and YAL for young adults.
Pittsburgh is also home to numerous Greek Orthodox churches that hold well-attended festivals. There is also a large student body from Greece that studies at Pittsburgh's prestigious Universities.
- Cretan Association of Pittsburgh:
87 Walker Road
Canonsburg, PA 15317-4818
Dr. Peter J. Nikas
- Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh: (http://pittsburgh.goarch.org/)
5201 Ellsworth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Many circumstances brought Hungarians to America and particularly to the Pittsburgh and suburban areas. At the beginning of the last century, America needed muscle power to work in mines and factories as well as on railroads. Of note, in the Pittsburgh area, cigar manufacturing was prevalent. At one time there were 235 cigar factories in Pittsburgh, which hired Hungarians, and especially Hungarian Jews who were proficient in Hebrew as well as Hungarian.
Since most of the new comers did not speak English, one came, paid for the trip for the next one, and so on, and they formed their own community. They established their churches that served as a cultural center and spiritual house. Since they spoke Hungarian at home and among themselves when they got together, the children spoke Hungarian first and learned English only in the school. They had their own club, newspaper, and fraternal associations. Currently the Hungarian Community sponsors seasonal fairs, dances and other events.
- William Penn Association: (www.williampennassociation.org)
The William Penn Association was founded on February 21, 1886 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, by thirteen Hungarian coal miners. The goal of the founders was to extend a helping hand to each other and to the many Hungarian immigrants who worked and suffered in the mines and industrial centers of America at a period in its history when insurance of any sort was still in the far away future.
709 Brighton Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15233
Contact: Endre Csoman, Membership Activities Manager, ext. 136
- Hungarian Social Club:
A place for Hungarian-Americans to congregate and enjoy home-cooked foods and dances.
3004 Walnut Street
McKeesport, PA 15132
Phone: 412- 678-9871
- Hungarian Home:
Major supporter of community events, included 3 softball teams, a pool team and a bowling team.
4 First Street
P.O. Box 173
Ellwood City, PA 16117
Contact: Jack Simon
Phone: (724) 758- 8771 or (724) 846- 8606
- Jozsa Corner Hungarian Restaurant:
Established 1988; holds Hungarian Night every Second Friday of the month 7 P.M.
4800 Second Avenue
Hazelwood, PA 15207
Contact: Alexander Jozsa Bodnar
The Irish were among the first explorers and settlers of Western Pennsylvania. Fleeing war, economic hardship, or religious and political oppression in Ireland, or arriving as indentured servants or slaves, immigrants pushed inland from the eastern seaboard seeking greater freedom and opportunity. In the mid 1700s Captain George Croghan of Co. Sligo was with George Washington at the battle of Fort Necessity, served with General Braddock, and marched with General Forbes to Fort Duquesne. The petition to create Allegheny County in 1788 contained such Irish names as Casey and Farrell. Many emigrants from the Presbyterian Scots-Irish population in the North of Ireland made this area their home and contributed greatly to Pittsburgh's ethic of hard work and entrepreneurship. Captain James O'Hara built the first glassworks west of the Alleghenies, and part of his estate became Schenley Park.
The Great Famine in Ireland in the 1840s drove over a million desperate people from Ireland, and Pittsburgh became home to thousands of them. "Irishtown" ran from Penn Avenue to Lawrenceville, "Old Limerick" was an area of today's South Side, and "Old Galway" was located at the junction of Fifth and Liberty, downtown. Communities such as Carrick, Castle Shannon, Banksville, Oakland and Greenfield were all named by Irish settlers. The first hospital in Pittsburgh was founded by the Sisters of Mercy who came from Co. Carlow, Ireland, and the college they also founded bears the county's name. Many prominent Pittsburgh families, such as the Olivers and the Mellons, descend from Irish immigrants.
- Irish Centre of Pittsburgh: (http://www.pittsburghirish.org/irishcentre/index.htm)
Events, language and dance classes provided.
6886 Forward Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
- The Pittsburgh Irish Network: (http://www.pittsburghirish.org/index.htm)
This web site has been developed to promote the Irish-American culture in Pittsburgh, Pa. The many Irish oriented events that comprise a distinctive part of the ethnic fabric of the area have a place here to be promoted and coordinated. Visitors to the area can easily see all things Irish in Pittsburgh and take advantage of its rich and exciting heritage.
- The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh: (http://www.iiofpitt.org/)
This organization promotes mutual understanding between the Catholic and Protestant communities in Northern Ireland and supports job creation throughout all of Ireland. The Ireland Institute has a three-year training program in the Pittsburgh region.
425 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh PA 15219
- Irish Nationality Room Committee, University of Pittsburgh:
This civic group supports the cultural activities and intercultural exchange programs associated with the beautiful Irish classroom, one of 26 designed in the national style of the ethnic groups that have settled in Pittsburgh, all located in the University of Pittsburgh's towering Cathedral of Learning. The committee awards an annual scholarship for summer travel and study in Ireland.
Honorary Consul of Ireland: James Lamb
For over a century, Italians have played a major role in the development of Pittsburgh. From the capital of steel and ethnic groups to the city of universities, transplants, robotics and multi-national companies; Pittsburgh has undergone more than one Renaissance.
The Italian/Italian-American community is one of the largest in the region. The various associations reflect the needs and interests of every citizen and his/her descendants. The Columbus Day Parade in Pittsburgh is the second largest in the country. Artifacts and oral history are housed in the Italian-American Collection of the Senator John Heinz History Center. Radio Italia welcomes you daily with news and music from Italy. There are also a few radio programs for the Italian-American community. Study abroad and exchange programs in Italy are hosted by Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh (and scholarships are available through the Italian Nationality Room). Numerous are the achievements of the Italian and Italian-American community here.
- Heinz History Center: Italian American Collection: (http://www.italianamericancollection.org/)
Founded in 1990, the Italian American Collection is one of the largest repositories of Italian-American artifacts, photographs, oral histories, and archival materials in the United States. It is dedicated to documenting, preserving, and interpreting the history and culture of Western Pennsylvania's Italian Americans through exhibitions, educational programs, publications, and community outreach.
Honorary Consul of Italy: Dr. Carla E. Lucente
The first Lithuanians settled in Pittsburgh in 1871, but the community did not really begin to grow until 1884. The large influx of immigrants from Lithuania that began in the late 1860s was due to the emancipation of the serfs in 1861, an unsuccessful revolt against Czarist Russia in 1863, the famine from 1867 to 1868, and the beginning of the universal conscription into the Russian Army in 1874. On arrival, the immigrants were then drawn to the steel mills and the soft coal mines of Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas.
Many thriving Lithuanian communities built churches in their neighborhoods, the oldest being St. Casimir in the South Side, built in 1893. Though many Lithuanian communities had developed around Pittsburgh, the South Side became a prominent neighborhood for many families; it had become a working man's community and many immigrant families had settled there.
- Lithuanian Citizens Society of Western PA: (http://www.pittsburghlithuanians.com/)
Founded in 1912, it is the largest Lithuanian organization in the Pittsburgh area. Its mission is to provide Lithuanian educational and cultural opportunities to the Pittsburgh community, and to provide assistance to deserving charitable, cultural, and educational institutions, the members of which are of Lithuanian descent.
1721 Jane St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Polish settlers first arrived in Pittsburgh in 1885, a strong influx that
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