Monday, March 14, 2011

I know many of you read "Elenchus Actorum nobilitarium" and are confused at what it is. I'm going to highlight exactly what this amazing resource is and how you use it. You can find these records on my website here, on my website Hungary Exchange.

The "Elenchus Actorum nobilitarium" is basically an index to the acts of nobility published in Zemplén megye (county), Hungary. Yes, this resources is for nobility. You won't find information pertaining to commoners in these records. Looking at statistics, in the 1700's nearly 5% of Hungary's population was comprised of nobility, which was significantly higher than any of the Western European countries (Austria, England, France, Germany, etc..). So that in mind, it isn't uncommon to find a line of nobility deep in your Hungarian ancestry.

The "Elenchus Actorum nobilitarium" is entirely written in Latin and is essentially organized alphabetically. There are a few exceptions within it's index where some surnames can appear our of order. One major exception is names beginning with S and SZ. These are ignored and organized with each other, example: "Szaloky, Sánda, Sándor, Szanicz". You can see their organized with the exception of S and SZ. A major case with this issue are the surnames Szabó and Szücs. Keep your eyes open, and if you find a surname in my index (which you can find here) don't hesitate to go to that letter's page and use the CTRL and F find function to find your surname on the page.

Now let's highlight a surname and focus on what information is explained and how to go about getting it. I'm going to pick the surname Szük, the surname of my 4th-great-grandmother. Go to the main index page for "Elenchus Actorum nobilitarium" and click on the letter S. This letter has the largest volume of surnames and images, so be patient while it loads if you have a slower connection. Use the CTRL and F find function to find the Szük surname. You'll notice it's located on 3 pages. The first page has the Szük name featured on a simple inserted piece of paper, which means the information was either added later after the index was created or it was missed while creating the index. There are a lot of pages with these inserts and these pages will be duplicated so you can see the information that was behind that piece of paper.

Go to the second page that comes up for the Szük surname and let's look at the first entry. It states the following:

"Szük Georgius per Ferdinandum III
nobilitatur. Prot. 1 pag 94. 1638"

This entry states that Szük Georgius (Szük György in Hungarian) received nobility from King Ferdinand III in 1638. It was recorded in "Protocollum nobilium" 1, on page 94. When entries state "Prot." or "Protoc.", they are abbreviations for "Protocollum nobilium" I just stated. There are a total of 7 "Protocollum nobilium".

One that same second page, let's look at the fourth entry, which states the following:

"Szük Demetry Armales privilegiales cum insignibus
brachy humani tres spiras tritieas tenentis per
Leopoldum 1um Regem elargitae. Fasc. 3. No. 353

This entry states that Szük Demetry (Szük Demeter in Hungarian) basically received a coat of arms from King Leopold I, with a brief description. It was recorded in 1690 in Fasc. 3, Number 353. There are 27 Fasc. available for research which contain nobility records.

To find all these records, go to FamilySearch's microfilm catalog and do a place name search for Zemplén (county). Results will come up and click Nobility Records and then "Acta nobilium comitatuum, Saec. XVI-XIX". From there you can view the film notes and all the corresponding microfilms which will contain the information you need.

If you need any further assistance with these records, don't hesitate to contact me!

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