Friday, January 31, 2014

Winter Sale! Save 25%


Winter Sale: Save 25% on all professional research, including the areas of Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic (formerly Bohemia), Germany (and all neighboring Germanic speaking countries), Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia (formerly Czechoslovakia & Hungary) Slovenia and the USA.

You can find more details and information on my professional services, here, and you can contact me at my email address: nickmgombash@yahoo.com

This sale ends on Friday, February 7th, 2014 at midnight, so hurry up and lock in your sale price!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

New Marriage Records Added in January 2014

It's been a busy month for adding new marriage records to the Hungarian Marriage Project. Six new parishes have either been created or updated and over 1,500 marriages have been added. Here's a list of the new marriages that have been made available:



Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ancestry's Acquisition of FamilySearch Records

Ancestry announced two days ago a partnership with FamilySearch, that would add an additional 1 billion records to Ancestry's holdings via FamilySearch. Here is the press release:

PROVO, Utah, Jan. 21, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ancestry.com announced today an extension of their collaborative efforts with FamilySearch International that will make more than 1 billion additional records from 67 countries available on Ancestry.com. These already digitized records, provided by FamilySearch, are in addition to the agreement the two largest providers of family history resources announced a few months ago that will help digitize, index and publish an expected 1 billion global historical records never before published online from the FamilySearch vault over the next five years. 
These additional records, which are already digitized collections, represent a significant expansion to Ancestry.com, which hosts the largest collection of global records available online. The records also add to the aggressive international digitization efforts already in place by Ancestry.com. 
As stated previously by the company, Ancestry.com has a long-term content strategy, which is committed to investing $100 million to digitize and index new content over the next five years. The company is focused on providing access to a global collection of records and expand family history interest in its current markets and worldwide. 
The additional collections include more than 1 billion digitized and indexed records and over 200 million images containing birth, marriage, death, census and church records from Europe, Latin America, South Africa, South America, Asia and more. These collections will provide Ancestry.com customers with rich details that will help them discover new information about their ancestors from around the world. 
"We are excited to be expanding our exclusive, groundbreaking agreement with FamilySearch. In addition to the previously announced plan to together digitize 1 billion records never before published online, we're thrilled to be able to provide our members with access to this additional 1 billion records from 67 countries," said Tim Sullivan, CEO of Ancestry.com. "These new global records will mean even more discoveries for our members." 
A focus on adding global content isn't new to Ancestry.com, who has offices around the world and 12 billion global records already on the website. The site currently hosts record collections dating back to the 1300's that include records around the census, immigration and naturalizations and military, just to name a few. In fact, hundreds of millions of records from Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Eastern Europe have been added in recent years to the billions of records from the company's primary operating markets and record digitization projects are underway for collections from many more countries. These 1 billion additional records are expected to be available on Ancestry.com starting in January and fully published over the next few months. To search records from around the world currently available on Ancestry.com visit www.ancestry.com.

This press release leaves much to be desired and opens up questions. Since the data being acquired is international information and access to any international databases on Ancestry requires a World Explorer subscription, does this mean that you'll need to pay for this subscription to view these new databases? As far as the three new Hungarian databases are concerned (Hungary, Select Baptisms, 1734-1895; Hungary, Select Catholic Church Records, 1636-1895; Hungary, Select Reformed Church Christenings, 1624-1895), yes, you do need an Ancestry World Explorer subscription to view records from these new databases.

So my ultimate questions are: How is Ancestry getting away with charging for this information, when you can access it for free on FamilySearch? What exactly is FamilySearch benefiting from all of this, considering they charge absolutely nothing for patrons to use their website and access their information? It only seems logical that they received something in return, since Ancestry is going to be making an increased profit because of these new databases.

Another thing that's bothering me: is any of this new information on Ancestry that's coming from FamilySearch, being indexed and transcribed by their FamilySearch Indexing volunteers? In my honest opinion, records that are being indexed by the FamilySearch Indexing volunteers should remain on FamilySearch, and it should remain free. Always. The countless amount of hours that these volunteers, including myself, have put into indexing these records.. and now Ancestry is making money off of it?

I will no longer be devoting any of my valuable time to FamilySearch Indexing, when it means I may be putting money into Ancestry's deep pockets. No, thank you.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Bihor County, Romania - Archives Re-Opening

Just recently, I have received word from my photographer stating that the Bihor county archives in Romania will be reopening soon. They had been closed for quite a long time due to construction and renovations going on at the archive, thus restricting access to researchers and photographers. We're hoping that the archive will be reopening by March/April of 2014, about three months away. Bihor county, Romania was formerly Bihar county, Hungary.

There were many important towns and areas in the former Bihar county, Hungary, including Nagyvárad (today Oradea). The other important towns were Belényes (Beiuș), Margitta (Marghita) and Nagyszalonta (Salonta).

There was a large mix of religions in Bihar county, Hungary, including: Evangelical, Greek Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, Reformed and Roman Catholic.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ukrainian Family History Group Spring 2014 Workshop

Please join the Ukrainian Historical and Educational Center for the inaugural event of its new Family History Group and learn about how to research your genealogy.  Expert speakers Michelle Tucker Chubenko and Mike Buryk will offer their unique insights on various topics related to Eastern European and U.S. immigration history, family research, and the archives available in Ukraine and Poland.

When:  March 22nd, 2014 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Location: Ukrainian Cultural Center
135 Davidson Avenue
Somerset, NJ 08873

Contact:  Phone: 732-356-0132

Email: info@ukrhec.org

Event Fee(s):  Registration fee $ 20.00 in advance, or $25.00 at the door.

http://www.ukrhec.org/events


**Hungary Exchange has no affiliation with the Ukrainian Historical and Educational Center or Ukrainian Cultural Center.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

In honor of the 600 member mark in the Hungary Exchange Facebook group, I decided another contest would be appropriate!

The winner is Kim Bequeaith!

What You Win:

5 FREE hours of professional research, worth $100.
This includes research, translations, digitized copies of all documents found, as well as pedigree and family group reports that display all information found.

Rules:

1. You MUST have Hungarian ancestry to be eligible (family with origins within the former Kingdom of Hungary; that means they could be Croatian, German, Hungarian, Romanian, Slavic, etc.).

2. In order to enter this contest, you must post a comment to this blog post. Within your post please leave your email address (I need to be able to contact you, if you win), and some basic details about the family that you're wishing to know more about. This includes names, dates (estimated is fine), places, etc.

The contest ends Friday, October 4th, 2013, at 11:59pm CST. The winner will be chosen and announced here on this blog Monday, October 7th, 2013, the very latest. The winner will also be contacted. If the winner does not claim their prize within five days, a new winner will be chosen.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hungarian Genealogy: Research Tip #9


The theme of today's tip is: Military Record References

Through-out Hungarian research, it isn't uncommon to come across a notation on a baptism, marriage or death record that mention a soldier's military service. A very large majority of the notations mostly appear on the marriage record of the individual. Within this article, I'm going to show you examples and discuss how to interpret these notes.

I'm going to begin with a notation from a marriage record that's very important to me. It's from the marriage record of my 3rd-great-grandparents, József Gombás & Zsuzsánna Gulyás. It was one of the first records I ever found, when I began my own genealogy research well over 13 years ago.


"Férfi, Gr. Pállfy 14 huszár ezred
44 századábán káplár. Szül:
1845. Soroztarver 1866 14/3.
Szabadság levele kelt Marburg
1869 29/10 (:Jelentetett:)"

The above is an image and transcription of the notes from the marriage record of József Gombás & Zsuzsánna Gulyás. Let's analyze the transcription line-by-line:

Férfi, Gr. Pállfy 14 huszár ezred
=
Groom/Husband, Count (Gróf) Pállfy (actually Pálffy) 14th Huszár (a type of light-cavalry originating in Hungary) Regiment

44 századábán káplár. Szül:
=
[Corporal in-] 44th Company. Born:

1845. Soroztarver 1866 14/3.
=
1845. Enlisted 14 Mar 1866.

Szabadság levele kelt Marburg
=
On-leave letter dated Marburg

1869 29/10 (:Jelentetett:)
=
29 Oct 1869 (:Published/Recorded:)

All together, it means that József Gombás was a Corporal in Count Pálffy's 14th Huszár Regiment, 44th Company. He was born in 1845. He enlisted on 14 Mar 1866 and was on-leave as of 29 Oct 1869 via a letter from Marburg.

Another great example is for the marriage of a man named Imre Rácz, in 1878. Here is an image of the notation:


"Vl. besorozt. 1875
a 24 gy. ezr. 8 comp."

The above transcription translates out to the following:

Vl. besorozt. 1875
=
Groom (Vőlegény) enlisted 1875

a 24 gy. ezr. 8 comp.
=
the 24th Infantry Regiment (gyalog ezred) 8th Company.

All together, it means that the groom, Imre Rácz, enlisted in 1875 into the 24th Infantry Regiment 8th Company.

It's difficult to to make sense of these notations sometimes, because of the confusing abbreviations (such as the ones above: gy., ezr., etc). Here is a list I created to help with the military term abbreviations:

br. = báró = Baron
ddr. = dandár = Brigade
ezr. = ezred = Regiment
fhdgy. = főhadnagy = Lieutenant
gr. = gróf = Count
gy. = gyalog = Infantry
gy. ddr. = gyalog dandár = Infantry Brigade
gy.e. = gyalog ezred = Infantry Regiment
gy.ezr. = gyalog ezred = Infantry Regiment
gy.hdotly. = gyalog hadosztály = Infantry Division
h. = honvéd = Private (in Infantry)
hdgy = hadnagy = 2nd Lieutenant
hdotly. = hadosztály = Division
ho. = hadosztály = Division
hsz. = huszár = Hussar/Huszár
hsz. e. = huszár ezred = Hussar/Huszár Regiment
kat. = katona = soldier
loszd. = lovasszázad = Squadron
lov. = lovasság = Cavalry
őrn. = őrnagy = Major
örv. = örvezeö = Lance Corporal
otg. = osztag = Section
szbg. = szabadság = On-leave
szbglt. = szabadságolt = On-leave
szk. = szakasz = Platoon
sz. = század = Company
szd. = század = Company
szdos. = százados = Captain
tbk. = tábornok = General
t. = tiszt = Officer
zlj. = zászlóalj = Battalion
zszlj. = zászlóalj = Battalion

Monday, April 8, 2013

I've been thinking about offering a contest over at Hungary Exchange for the past few months, and now is the time! Here are the details:

What You Win:

5 FREE hours of professional research.
This includes the research & translations, and you're provided with digitized copies of all documents found as well as pedigree and family group reports that display all information found.

Rules:

1. You MUST have Hungarian ancestry to be eligible (family with origins within the former Kingdom of Hungary).

2. In order to enter this contest, you must post a comment to this blog post. Within your post please leave your email address (I need to be able to contact you, if you win), and some basic details about the family that you're wishing to know more about. This includes names, dates (estimated is fine), places, etc.

The contest ends Sunday, April 14th, 2012, at 11:59pm CST. The winner will be chosen and announced here on this blog Monday, April 15th, 2012. The winner will also be contacted. If the winner does not claim their prize within five days, a new winner will be chosen.

Good luck!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The winner has been chosen: Amy Walp

Now for an interesting twist! There will be a 2nd place & 3rd place winner! The 2nd place winner will receive 3 FREE hours of research. The 3rd place winner will receive 1 FREE hour of research.

The winner for 2nd place: Pam

The winner for 3rd place: Diane Edes


Note: All winners were chosen randomly with a 'Random Picker' for blogs specifically designed for blog contests, such as this.

Eastern European Research Workshop

I received an announcment today from Peg, Conference Administrator for the FEEFHS, about an Eastern European Research Workshop. This workshop will be held between August 6-10 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

I am not a speaker nor contributor to this workshop, I am merely passing on the word to others who may be interested. Please note that this is not a free workshop. Early-bird registration (prior to June 20th) is $139, and anything later is $159. This includes the networking reception, three-day workshop, syllabus, consultation and the closing banquet. There are single-day registrations available, also. You can find out more information at the following website: www.feefhsworkshop.org


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hungarian Genealogy: Research Tip #8


The theme of today's tip is: In-Depth Analysis of Hungarian Marriage Records

Today, I'm going to teach you how to decipher every part of a Hungarian marriage record, and share with you what each piece of information can tell you. I am going to put each piece of the marriage record we're analyzing, into red boxes for ease of use for you, the reader. We will work through this marriage record, step-by-step. For easier viewing, you can click on each image for larger views. Let's begin!

For reference, this is an 1830's marriage record from the Reformed parish of Taktaszada, Zemplén county, Hungary.

The beginning of the record (after the entry number [#6] and the date of marriage [December 17]), states the place of residence of the groom. It states "Dadáról helységünkbe". This states that the groom was a resident of the town of Dada (shortened form of Tiszadada). This tells you that his baptism record may be found in the Reformed parish records of Tiszadada, and that there may actually be another reference to this marriage in the parish records of Tiszadada. It's worth checking both parishes of the groom and bride, to check for two marriage records (one would be a reference to the original marriage), in hopes of the additional marriage record providing additional information not stated on the previous record.

This second box states the name of the groom's parents. Not every marriage record will provide the names of the groom and bride, so you've gotten lucky when it provides their names! This entry states the father and mother are "Hajdú András" (s. f. = és feleség; and wife) "Fónzó Erzsébet". You now have the groom's parents, and information to use to find the groom's baptismal record. You must also take note that since the groom was NOT from the parish in which the marriage is occurring, a name may mistakenly be listed incorrectly. (An example would be: the mother's name was actually Juliánna, but was written as Johanna.) Because the groom was not from the parish in which the marriage was occurring, the parish priest performing (and recording) the marriage didn't have the baptismal records to refer to, to find the groom's baptism and parent's names. The information had to be provided by word-of-mouth, and although rare as it may be, it was occasionally misheard and incorrectly written. Much more reason to check for the additional marriage record in the groom's parish!

This box is easy enough to decipher. It's the groom's name: "Ferencz". This given name is in Hungarian, although it's very common for given names in Hungarian records to be in Latin, and sometimes also in German. Depending on the area your family is from, it could be written in Slovak and Ruthenian, also. I created an excellent guide to Hungarian given names, which includes their English and Latin variations. You can find that here

The next box describes the place of residence of the bride and her family. It states" Baái lakos", which means they were a resident of Baái (correctly written as Báj). As I stated above with the groom's place of residence, it would absolutely be worth your time to check the Reformed parish record of Báj, in hopes of finding another additional marriage record. This marriage record is a unique one, as the bride isn't being wed in her home parish; the bride was almost always married in her home parish. Knowing the place of residence of the bride and her family, you now have a good guess as to where she may have been baptized!

Following the place of residence of the bride's family, is listed the names of the bride's parents. They're names are as follows: "Szentpéteri Mihály" and "Szalai Juliánna". With the place of residence (Báj) and now the name of the bride's parents, you have an even better shot at finding the bride's baptismal record. As I stated above, when the individual "was not from the parish in which the marriage was occurring, the parish priest performing (and recording) the marriage didn't have the baptismal records to refer to, to find the bride's baptism and parent's names. The information had to be provided by word-of-mouth, and although rare as it may be, it was occasionally misheard and incorrectly written. Much more reason to check for the additional marriage record in the bride's parish!" Now all we need is the bride's name.

And finally, we have the bride's name: Rebeka! With her given name, the name of her parent's and her place of origin/residence, you should be able to accurately find her baptismal record! As I stated above, it can sometimes depend on the geographical area in which your family was from, for what language the given name was written in. The obvious choices are Hungarian, German and Latin; but if your family was from northern Hungary, it could very well appear in Ruthenian (a cyrillic script and completely different alphabet than we English speakers use) or Slovak. If your family was from western Hungary, parts of the Banat or other large Germanic settlement areas, the names could appear in German. Moving farther south, you begin to come across Croatian and Serbian names. Far to the north-east you run into Ukrainian and Ruthenian (again), and finally east and south-east you come across Romanian. As I mentioned above, I created a Hungarian given names list with variations in English and Latin; you can find that list here.

This marriage record didn't appear to list any witnesses to the marriage, which leads me to believe that this is actually the testimonial recorded entry of the real marriage record. I suspect that the real FULL marriage record will be found in either Tiszadada or Báj, but likely Báj as it's the bride's parish.


Within this marriage record, it appears that both parents of the groom and bride were living. Occasionally, you will come across a marriage where some of the parents are deceased. I'm going to give you an example of this with an additional marriage record, from the same page as the above marriage. In this record's highlighted boxes, you will find the names of the groom's parents: "néhai Szadai Mihály" and "néhai Nyakas Judit". The word "néhai" is Hungarian for "late" or "deceased". This means that each of the parents are deceased. You will sometimes see "néhai" written shortened as "néh." There's also the Latin variations: condam and quondam. You can find genealogical word lists for the following languages here: Hungarian and Latin.