Monday, June 27, 2016

Many of our ethnic or national Hungarian ancestors immigrated to America in seek of the freedoms and liberties that our country offered. Hungarians have been finding their way to America for centuries and one of the earliest, if not the earliest, was a Hungarian cavalryman named Mihály Kováts de Fabriczy. He provided faithful military service during the American Revolution, which ultimately took his life, along with Casimir Pulaski and are known for being the founding fathers of the United States Cavalry. Mihály came from a noble family, their name in Hungarian being 'fabriczi Kováts', and rose through the ranks during his military career to gain the title of Captain of the Huszárs. Mihály had offered his military service to the American ambassador in France, Benjamin Franklin, and one particular portion of his letter written on January 13, 1777 to the ambassador proclaimed his desire for independence and his knowledge of war:
"Golden freedom cannot be purchased with yellow gold."
"I, who have the honor to present this letter to your Excellency, am also following the call of the Fathers of the Land, as the pioneers of freedom always did. I am a free man and a Hungarian. As to my military status I was trained in the Royal Prussian Army and raised from the lowest rank to the dignity of a Captain of the Hussars, not so much by luck and the mercy of chance than by most diligent self discipline and the virtue of my arms. The dangers and the bloodshed of a great many campaigns taught me how to mold a soldier, and, when made, how to arm him and let him defend the dearest of the lands with his best ability under any conditions and developments of the war."
Mihály Kováts perished during the American Revolution at the battle of Charleston, South Carolina, and the British had buried his body where he was found. It is claimed that Joseph Johnson, a doctor in Charleston, knew the exact location of where Mihály Kováts' remains lay and that it was at the corner of Margaret John's estate, which later became Huger Street.

Hungary Exchange is offering a holiday weekend sale of 20% off professional services*. Detailed information about what research you can be assisted with can be found here at the Hungary Exchange website. Free estimates and references are always available and I can be contacted directly at my email address: The sale ends Monday, July 4th, 2016, so make sure to get in contact before it expires to take advantage of the sale.

*Cannot be used towards Romanian photography or existing projects.

Friday, June 24, 2016

An often overlooked Hungarian collection on FamilySearch holds a treasure trove of genealogical information. Hungary Funeral Notices, 1840-1990 are printed funeral or death notices, similar to obituaries in other counties, and the originals are currently held at the National Széchényi Library (Országos Széchényi Könyvtár, or OSZK) in Budapest, Hungary. Over a quarter of the collection covers Budapest and the remainder for the rest of Hungary, although I have seen notices for individuals in Austria, Germany and what is now Croatia, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia. The funeral notices were preserved on microfilm by the LDS between 2003-2006 and consists of 582 microfilm and can be reviewed in the microfilm catalog. These were later digitized (accessible through both links above), but 9 microfilm still remain to be digitized. It's unclear why Syatmárz, Syecsez, Syeibert, and Syékely are spelled with SY, when it should be SZ.
Ebeczki-Blaskovich, Ernő-Edelényi Szabó, József 2362003
Füzi, András-Füzi, Szaniszló 2455816, item 1
Gaál, Ádám-Gabler, Anna 2455816, item 2
Kovács, Gabika-Kovács, József 2455817
Kováts, Sándor-Koymári, Imre 2455818
Szász, J. József-Syatmárz, Ede 2455810
Syatmárz, Ede-Syecsez, Ernő 2455811
Syecsez, Ernő-Syeibert, Imre 2455812
Syeibert, Imre-Syékely, Lujza 2455813
Syékely, Lujza-Szél, Juditnak 2455814

  FamilySearch has already provided a great example of what could be found on these funeral notices (above), and detailed explanations of the content can be found on the collection's Wiki page. Apart from the deceased's age, date and place of death and burial, and sometimes how many years they were married, the most beneficial part of the funeral notices are the names of the surviving family members. I have put together a list of terms that are most often found on the funeral notices, which should help with understanding the family relationships being described.

anya mother
anyós mother-in-law
anyósa his/her mother-in-law
apa father
após father-in-law
apósa his/her father-in-law
asszony wife
atya father
dédnagyanya great-grandmother
dédnagyapa great-grandfather
dédunoka great-grandchild
dédunokája great-grandchildren
feleség wife
felesége his wife
férj husband
férje her husband
fia son
gyerek child
gyermeke his/her child
gyermek child
gyermekei his/her children
gyermekeik their children
gyermekek children
gyermekük their child
hitves spouse
hitvese his/her spouse
leánya daughter
meny daughter-in-law
menye his/her daughter-in-law
mostohaanya step-mother
mostohaapa step-father
mostohagyerek step-child
nagyanya grandmother
nagyapa grandfather
nagybácsi uncle
nagynéni aunt
nagyszül grandparent
nagyszülők grandparents
neje his wife
nővér sister
nővére his/her sister
nővérek sisters
özvegy widow, widower
özvegye his/her widow/widower
szül parent
szülei his/her parents
szülok parents
szülött children
született born
sógor brother-in-law
sógora his/her brother-in-law
sógorai his/her brothers-in-law
sógornő sister-in-law
sógornői his/her sisters-in-law
sógornők sisters-in-law
testvér sibling, brother, sister
testvére his/her sibling
testvérei his/her siblings
testvérek siblings
unoka grandchild
unokahúg niece
unokái his/her grandchildren
unokája grandchildren
unokaöccs nephew
unokatestvér cousin
unokaveje his/her grandson-in-law
unokavejei his/her grandsons-in-law
vej son-in-law
veje his/her son-in-law

I've created an example family tree from the information provided in the funeral notice of Borbála Dienes, who is stated as the wife of Lajos Dobay, the Reformed pastor of Nagy-Sármás. Her funeral notice provides the name of her husband, children, sons-in-law, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Austria, Vienna Population Cards, 1850-1896

The FamilySearch database entitled Austria, Vienna Population Cards, 1850-1896 documented local residents and travelers living in Vienna for the time period of 1850 through 1896, with the original documents being housed in the Wiener Stadt- und Landesarchiv (Vienna City and Provincial Archives). These records have been preserved on microfilm through the LDS and consists of 3,173 microfilm, which can be reviewed here in the microfilm catalog. Although there lacks to be a complete index for this collection, a great deal has already been indexed and provided online. I personally found the search form for this database to be rather limiting, with it not providing an option to search for an individual's place of birth, so I figured out a work-around.

Running a basic search for Hungary in the "Any Place" section on FamilySearch pulls back over 31 million results. We can restrict these results to specific Collections through the filter options on the bottom left of the search tools, which is shown in the red square to the left. Clicking on Collections brings up many categories of records, including 'Birth, Marriage, & Death', 'Census & Lists', 'Migration & Naturalization', 'Military', 'Other', and 'Probate & Court'. Scroll down to the second from last category entitled 'Other' and chose Austria, Vienna Population Cards, 1850-1896, with over 10,000 results. From here you can narrow the search down even further to your specific surnames and localities of interest, but be forewarned that Hungarian localities may likely be spelled in their German equivalent. One such example is Raab, or Rab, which is Győr in Hungarian. Unfortunately, digitized images of the content is not viewable through the index, so ordering of the microfilm is still necessary.

I have retrieved a copy of one of the documents to highlight important information that is contained in these records. This specific example is for an "Elek v. Eördögh", whose surname was likely Eördöghi/Eördöghy in Hungarian, that was residing in Vienna's district XVIII at Währingerstrasse 113 number 2. It states that he was born in Miskolcz Ungarn (Hungary in German), was a citizen of Maglod Ungarn, was born on 03 August 1863, was of the Evangelical faith (Augsburg Confession Evangelical), and that his wife was Etelka in Ungarn.

Other countries apart from Hungary can also be found in these indexes, including Romania (Rumänien) and Slovakia (Slowakel or Tschechoslowakei).

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hungarian Immigrants to São Paulo, Brazil's database, Brazil, São Paulo, Immigration Cards, 1902-1980, has been updated today and many Hungarian immigrants can be found arriving in São Paulo throughout this database. Searching 'Hungria' as the place of birth, which is Hungary in Portuguese, will bring back over 1,400 results for São Paulo immigrants who were born in Hungary. The content is entirely in Portuguese, so you will need to ready your dictionaries and Google Translate. The best part? Most have pictures of the individuals! I particularly like José Furst's fun tie in his picture.

There is the chance that you will run into spelling variations because of the language differences, such as with this example of the widowed Etelka Izsó's immigration card that was filed in 1920. Her name appears as Etelko Izso and her parent's names as Antol Izso and Lidia Tokoic. Anyone familiar with Hungarian genealogy would know that Antol is correctly spelled as Antal and that her mother's surname was likely originally spelled as Takács.

What I have garnered from the Hungarian results in this database, is that it appears a good deal of the immigrants had arrived during the 1940's-1970's and many as 'stateless'. It's clear that these immigrants were fleeing Hungary because of the communist and Soviet Union hold over Hungary and the Hungarian People's Republic.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Baptismal Record of Béla Lugosi

Béla Lugosi is well known for his portrayal of Count Dracula in the classic 1931 film Dracula, but many do not know that Lugosi wasn't his original surname. He was born as Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó on 20 Oct 1882 and baptized nine days later on 29 Oct 1882, in the Roman Catholic parish of Lugos, in the former county of Krassó-Szörény, Hungary. Lugos is today known as Lugoj in Timiș county, Romania. He was the legitimate son of István Blaskó, a bank director of Nyitra, and his wife Paulina Vojnits, who were residents of Lugos in house number 6. Béla's godparents appear to have been Ferenc Bayer, a municipal deputy judge, and Vilma Küszer. He was baptized by the assistant parish priest, Albin Teppé, and was delivered by the midwife Róza Perisutti.

Information was later recorded in the 'Observationes' column which mentioned his marriage to Ilona Szmik on 25 Jun 1919 in the Roman Catholic parish of Szent-Anna in Budapest. Their civil registration marriage record was entered on the same day in District II of Budapest, which also states that the couple were divorced a year later. The 'Observationes' column of Béla's baptismal record further states that he changed his surname to Lugosi in the same year of his marriage. It's clear from his civil registration marriage record that his surname change occurred prior to his marriage. He took on the surname of Lugosi because of his place of birth, with Lugosi literally meaning 'of Lugos' in Hungarian.

Béla later had to emigrate Hungary because of his involvement in the failed Hungarian Communist Revolution of 1919, due to his actions on 21 Mar 1919 which resulted in criminal lawsuits for his violations of personal freedom, charges against military affairs, and also prosecution for his actions taken against actors' union leaders. He moved around Europe for a year before finally leaving his last permanent residence in Trieste, Italy, arriving in New Orleans on December 4, 1920 aboard the ship Graf Tisza Istvan.