Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Varchola Family Name

I have been researching a maternal family name of Varchola. The spelling of this name has varied throughout the years. You can find ancestors who spelled it Warhola or perhaps Varhola or Warhol like Andy Warhol.

If you are into genealogy and have done any digging into your family's ancestry as I have, you probably have found that your inherited last name was most likely changed -- and possibly changed more than once! For example, Andy Warhol was originally a Varchola.

I'm a member of a variety of Yahoo groups which are into genealogy and family ancestry research. I am interested in learning and connecting with anything and everything Varchola! On any given day, you can read about those researching their families genealogy finding that their relatives have MANY variations of last names which may SOUND similar, but surely are spelled quite differently!

Andy Warhol Brief

Andy Warhol was born as Andrew Warhol in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His parents, Ondrej (Andrew) Warhola (original surname was Varchola, he changed it after coming to US) and Júlia Zavacká, were working class immigrants of Ruthenian ethnicity from Miková, in northeast Slovakia; his father worked in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. The family was Catholic. In the third grade, he came down with a disease called St. Vitus' dance, which is caused by a virus that affects nerves and is thought to be a complication of scarlet fever. This disease changed his looks, and his life, forever.

Anna Varchola - Great Grandmother

My great grandmother, Anna Varchola, was born, as a guestimate, in 1870 in Czechoslovakia.  She married Mihaly Kovacs, who was born August 4, 1864 in Czechoslovakia.  His name was "Americanized" to Michael Kovach, I assume when he came to the United States; she became Anna Kovach as well.  As Michael Kovach died November 22, 1908 in Pennsylvania, Anna remarried.

Anna [Varhola] Kovach had a total of 11 children although reportedly 8 died from childhood diseases such as tuberculosis.  She had 2 daughters with Michael, Anna and Julia; and a third daughter, Margaret with her second husband.  Anna died in 1932 in Cleveland, Ohio, and is buried in Calvary Cemetary.

A few years ago, I was doing some online research on the Varchola name.  It was at that time, that I learned Andy Warhol was also born a Varchola.

Julia Kovach Nagy as a teenager
Julia Kovach Nagy as a teenager on the left

Anna Varchola Kovach Daughters
  • Anna Kovach - Born October 1900 in Pennsylvania. Her father was Mihaly Kovacs - Michael Kovach. Left home in 1918. Married Andrew Jason and had 2 sons, Frankie and William. Last known address: 1844 West 54th Street, Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Julia Kovach - Born October 1, 1905 in Eleanora, Pennsylvania. Her father was Mihaly Kovacs - Michael Kovach. Married Alexander J. Nagy on October 2, 1928 in St. Mary's Church. Had two children, Lillian and Robert John [born May 12, 1931]. She died on April 28, 1978 and is buried in Holy Cross Cemetary in Cleveland, Ohio. Section 11, Lot 4640, Grave 1.
  • Margaret Theresa - Born October 3, 1913 in Eleanora, Pennsylvania. Her father was Joseph Yaniga. Married William Taylor and had 3 children: David, Cindy, and Karen. Died July 27, 2007 in North Canton, Ohio.
Anna Varchola Kovach's two daughters, Margaret and Anna
Anna Varchola Kovach's two daughters, Margaret and Anna.
Anna Varchola - Mihaly Kovacs Family Tree
My very first attempt to research the Varchola and Mihaly Kovacs - Michael Kovach family, I put together this family tree. This was before computers! Remember typewriters? Gosh, this must have taken forever to type to look this good. I'm thinking this family tree was prepared over 20 years ago!
Anna Varchola - Mihaly Kovacs Family Tree
Anna Varchola - Mihaly Kovacs Family Tree
repared by Julie Ann Brady
Varchola Reader Comments
In February 2012, I received a couple of comments from Joanne Fitzwilson. "My paternal grandmother's name was Warhola. Angela. Her baptism lists her name as Varchola. She was born in the Carpathian Mt. Area of Poland which is near Andy Warhol's parents' both place. She came to Pittsburgh Pa by herself at about age 16 around 1904. And met my paternal grandfather while attending a wedding in Pittsbugh. I misspelled my grandmother's baptismal last name. It is Angela Warchola just like Andy Warhol's father's birth name. My greatgrandfather's name was Stephanus Warchola. Anybody able to read a Polish Baptiismal paper? Or know anything about the Warchola family in 19th century Hungarian-Austrian Empire?"

Varchola Reader Comments
Varchola Reader Comments

Varchola - Warhola : Andy Warhol was originally created on May 5, 2006 as a Squidoo Lens. You can find it on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine at https://web.archive.org/web/20121122094407/http://www.squidoo.com/varchola.

Varchola Warhola Andy Warhol Squidoo lens screen capture
Varchola - Warhola : Andy Warhol was originally created on May 5, 2006 as a Squidoo Lens.
I have written more about my maternal grandmother Julia Nagy.

P.S. It has been some six months since I have written on my blog. I apologize to my readers for having been absent this long. You see, I have been experiencing some life changing events. The last blog posts were about some unfortunate experiences I encountered as I explored senior living alternatives. The Attorney General of Florida, Pam Bondi, has made it her mission to help protect seniors in the state from unscrupulous business dealings. I reached out to her to help me with my complaint against Concord Management and Palm Coast Landing Senior Apartments. I don't know when I can put this bad experience behind me. I hope soon!

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