Only very few people know that these three famous people have their roots in Slovakia.
Jolie’s father’s paternal grandfather, first name George in English (Juraj or Jur in Slovak), said on his World War I Registration Card that he was born on 24 April 1879 . He immigrated from the Habsburg Empire at around the age of 16 and identified himself and both of his parents as Slovak in the 1910 Census. Contrary to numerous webpages, the town or village where he was born is unknown, his Registration Card does not list it.
Jolie’s paternal grand-grandmother Helen, George’s 7-year-younger wife, gave her birth place as New Jersey, her parents’ ethnicity as Slovak in the 1910 Census, and the country of their birth as(the Kingdom of) Hungary, a province of the Habsburg Empire that included Slovakia at that time. George and Helen lived in Yonkers NY when Jolie’s father Jon Voight was born to their younger son Elmer. Jon Voight was quoted as saying that his grandfather had come “from Czechoslovakia” (a country that separated from the Habsburg Empire in 1918 and contained Slovakia) and first went to Shickshinny in Pennsylvania where he became a coal miner. George later found a job in a hat factory in the Hudson Valley, the Draft Registration Card recorded his employer as the Waring Hat Co. in Yonkers in 1918.
From Vojtka to Voight
George spelled his last name Voytka in U.S. documents. Its common Slovak spelling is Vojtko[VOYT-ko], it ends in -a in about 10% of its occurrences in Slovakia. With either of the endings, the last name developed in the distant past from the diminutive of Vojtech, the Slovak equivalent of Adalbert, an old Slovak and West Slavic name based on the root voj- “combat, war.”
George’s family alternated the spelling of their name between Voytka and Voytko in the U.S. Both George’s sons had changed their last name to Voight by 1929, while their father retained the earlier Anglicized spelling of his original name.
One of them is Paul Newman, a famous Hollywood actor and producer. Newman’s mother , Theresa Garth (in Slovak: Terézia Fecková) was born in eastern Slovakia in a small village Ptičie near Humenné.
Despite the fact that this extravagant artist was born in Pittsburgh his parents came from small village of Miková in the district of Stropkov in the eastern Slovakia.
Andy Warhol’s mother Júlia born Zavacká and father Andrej came from region on the north-eastern border with Ukraine and hence had nationality of Rusyns. Andrej immigrated to the United States in 1914 and his mother came later in 1921 after the death of her parents.
Besides Andy Warhol’s museum in Pittsburgh, there is also Museum of modern art of Andy Warhol in eastern Slovakia, in town of Medzilaborce. The museum was founded in 1991. The town is located just 15 km from Miková, the hometown of his parents. This museum presents Andy’s personal objects, letters and works from Andy Warhol Foundation in New York. Furthermore, you can see works of his older brother Paul and nephew James who worked as illustrators.