Saturday, March 5, 2016

A recent request for guidance in the Hungary Exchange group on Facebook sparked my curiosity about the accuracy of the Hungarian baptismal indexes available at I helped verify the location of her ancestor's place of birth and while reviewing the document I noticed that quite a few of the baptisms on the page had been indexed incorrectly, including the specific entry we were looking for. I decided to copy & paste the index from FamilySearch spanning three pages from the Roman Catholic parish of Fehér-Gyarmat, Szatmár megye and then transcribed a correct version of what actually appears on the original documents. I have made my corrections in RED BOLD text below.

Child: Gyula Gyula
Baptism: 6 January 1880 6 January 1880
Father: János Pálvék János Pálvik
Mother: Zourzainna Kajas Zsuzsánna Vajas
Child: Janós  Janós 
Baptism: 10 January 1880 10 January 1880
Father: Jósef Dominyak József Dominyák
Mother: Julia Becsi Julia Bécsi
Child: Imre  Imre Géjza
Baptism: 14 January 1880 14 January 1880
Father: Sándor Balika Sándor Balika
Mother: Ilona Borbat Ilona Bernát
Child: Erzsébet  Erzsébet 
Baptism: 29 January 1880 29 January 1880
Father: József Fábián József Fábián
Mother: Erzsebet Bede Erzsébet Bede
Child: János  János 
Baptism: 2 February 1880 2 February 1880
Mother: Lidia Kricsa Lidia Kricsa
Child: József  József 
Baptism: 10 February 1880 10 February 1880
Mother: Maria Lajtás Maria Lajtár
Child: Sándor  Sándor 
Baptism: 19 February 1880 19 March 1880
Father: János Izáko János Szabó
Mother: Eszter Pörök Eszter Török
Child: Rozália  Rozália 
Baptism: 21 March 1880 21 March 1880
Father: Gyórgy Ráto György Rátz
Mother: Maria Ruvzka Mária Ruszka
Child: Gizelea  Gizella
Baptism: 17 April 1880 17 April 1880
Mother: Anna Lang Anna Lang
Child: Róza  Róza 
Baptism: 18 April 1880 18 April 1880
Father: Antal Leneveis Antal Lencsés
Mother: Zuzanna Német Zsuzsánna Német
Child: Gyula Gyula
Baptism: 29 April 1880 29 April 1880
Father: János Ormós János Ormós
Mother: Gisza Izabó Zsuzsánna Szabó
Child: Katalin Katalin
Baptism: 13 April 1880 13 May 1880
Mother: Veronka Talpos Veronka Talpos
Child: Erzebét Erzsébet
Baptism: 18 May 1880 18 May 1880
Mother: Zsuzsánna Erdélesi Zsuzsánna Erdélyi
Child: Terez Teréz
Baptism: 20 May 1880 20 May 1880
Father: László Magyar László Magyar
Mother: Katalin Kevitan Katalin Kuritán
Child: István István
Baptism: 30 May 1880 30 May 1880
Father: István Ratz István Rátz
Mother: Zsuszanna Guhást Zsuzsánna Juhász
Child: Lajos Lajos
Baptism: 7 July 1880 7 July 1880
Father: Ferencz Gapek Ferencz Csapek
Mother: Julia Lencvés Julia Lencsés
Child: Maria Magdalena Maria Magdolna
Baptism: 22 July 1880 22 July 1880
Father: Agoston Drusbáezdiz Ágoston Drusbáczky
Mother: Zsuszanna Riskó Zsuzsánna Riskó
Child: Szerra Szerena Ilona
Baptism: 22 July 1880 22 July 1880
Father: Pál Netes Pál Veres
Mother: Borbála Kocsas Borbála Kocsis
Child: István István
Baptism: 6 April 1860 6 April 1860
Father: Káraly Dombrádás Károly Dombrády
Mother: Erzibetah Govaja Erzsébet Gavoja
Child: Andreás András
Baptism: 29 July 1880 29 July 1880
Father: Pál Bures Pál Bures
Mother: Julia Gógyer Julia Tógyer
Child: Johanna Johanna
Baptism: 19 August 1880 19 August 1880
Mother: Julia Lakatso Julia Lakatos
Child: Lajos Lajos Ignácz Dezső
Baptism: 6 January 1871 6 January 1871
Father: Péter Filep Péter Filep
Mother: Laura Kocsa Laura Kocsis
Child: Gyula Gyula Jenő
Baptism: 30 October 1880 30 October 1880
Father: Gyula Bokor Gyula Bokor
Mother: Matild Picsis Matild Csiky
Child: Marton Peter Matyas Márton Péter Mátyás
Baptism: 17 October 1880 17 October 1880
Father: Péter Filet Péter Filep
Mother: Laura Kocsis Laura Kocsis
Child: Ilena Ilona
Baptism: 25 November 1880 25 November 1880
Father: Sándor Poszovics Sándor Popovics
Mother: Zsofia Miski Zsófia Miski
Child: Aranka Jolán Aranka Jolán
Baptism: 19 December 1880 19 December 1880
Father: Géza Kormos Géza Kormos
Mother: Emilia Szunyogi Emilia Szunyogi
Child: Julianna Julianna
Baptism: 27 December 1880 27 December 1880
Father: István Kozma István Kozma
Mother: Borbála Molnár Borbála Molnár
Child: Borbalas Borbála
Baptism: 27 December 1880 27 December 1880
Father: Ansal Kocsis Antal Kocsis
Mother: Maria Kerchet Maria Kerekes
Child: József József
Baptism: 8 January 1881 8 January 1881
Father: József Bányay József Bányay
Mother: Verona Péterssy Verona Péterffy
Child: Bertalan Bertalan
Baptism: 31 January 1881 31 January 1881
Father: József Szás József Sztahura (Szászhegyesy)
Mother: Erzsébet Tar Erzsébet Tar
Child: Sándor Sándor
Baptism: 11 March 1881 11 March 1881
Father: József Duchnooszky József Duchnovszky
Mother: Matild Dul Matild Dul
Child: István István
Baptism: 19 April 1881 19 April 1881
Father: Pál Kerekes Pál Kerekes
Mother: Kasalin Sinkovics Katalin Sinkovics
Child: Gyula Gyula
Baptism: 26 April 1881 26 April 1881
Father: Lajós Besenyödy Lajós Besenyödy
Mother: Karolin Szucs Karolin Szücs
Child: István István
Baptism: 5 May 1881 5 May 1881
Father: Mihály Nyizoniczki Mihály Nyizsviczki
Mother: Borbala Demeter Borbala Demeter
Child: György György
Baptism: 8 May 1881 8 May 1881
Father: György Deák György Deák
Mother: Erzébet Nagy Erzsébet Nagy

91% of the indexed baptisms on these three pages have errors. Only three entries out of the 35 are entirely correct. Granted that this only covers three pages from one single parish, but it gives you an idea of the accuracy of the indexes we are provided with. It became very clear after transcribing these three pages that whoever indexed these for FamilySearch obviously isn't familiar with Hungary or its language. The fact that they misspelled the most common and simple Hungarian given-names, which are spelled correctly on the original document, is evident enough. Zourzainna? Gizelea? Erzibetah? I also have my suspicions that whoever indexed these records is familiar with the German Sütterlin alphabet, confusing many letters for the long S.

Where are these indexes coming from?

Thursday, March 3, 2016's Hungarian Civil Registration Records has added a new database today called Hungary, Civil Registration, 1799-1978. I'd like to discuss some errors and issues I have with this database.

First off, I'm not entirely sure why the content is listed as beginning in 1799, since civil registration didn't begin in Hungary until October 1, 1895. From what I can see there are no images available for browsing and minimal indexes are available. The source information states the following for the database:

Original data: Hungary, Civil Registration, 1895-1980. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013.

These indexes came from FamilySearch, where they are easily browsable and searchable (for the sliver of what has been indexed so far). For Free. I began to wonder if the indexes were indeed one and the same from FamilySearch, so I did some searching. I know for a fact that I indexed and arbitrated the civil registration records for the town of Szentmihály in Szabolcs county, where my great-grandfather was born. I not only indexed his birth record, but those of his siblings. I searched only by the parent's surnames (Gombás and Tóth) and they immediately popped up. It's the same content from FamilySearch.

(Click for larger view)

I'm not particularly fond of spending my time indexing for an effort that I believed would always be available for free and then having Ancestry benefit from it monetarily. Had I known that FamilySearch would provide this content to Ancestry and that they would charge for it, I never would have spent my time indexing these records. I understand that FamilySearch can do whatever they wish with their content, but this doesn't sit well with me. I am officially done indexing for FamilySearch and Ancestry.