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Ethnic Hungarian Info Sources
Posted by: Fred Graham (ID *****8725) Date: October 03, 2002 at 09:46:29
In Reply to: Kovacs in Arad by Phyllis Molnar of 4366

You wrote: "I am searching for Alec (Sandor)Kovacs or his descendants. Last known address was Arad Romania. Mother is Ecatarina Bartok Molnar, Father Stefan Kovacs. Half-brothers Istvan and Janos Molnar. Alec was born about 1918, Maybe in Rovine."

You are mentioning one of the most challenging areas in the world for genealogical research, because of so many wars, upheavals, ethnic cleansing, changes of government, constant shifting of national borders, etc. So many placenames in Central Europe from the 19th and early 20th century have changed since World War I that you really need a special gazetteer of place names from that period of history to match them with the modern names. Ancestors arriving in America often had passports with names that have not existed for almost 100 years - or have changed four or five times since 1900, along with the country which took them over. For example: There is a Kisszentmiklos (Little St. Michael), Uj-Arad Járás, Temes Megye, was in Hungary but is now in Romania and called Sânnicolau Mic. Source = Hungarian Village Finder for the Kingdom of Hungary - -

All these given and last names are Hungarian in origin (called 'ethnic Hungarian'). This is completely logical, since this part of the modern Romania was part of Hungary (under the Austro-Hungarian Empire) right up to the end of WW I. IT IS ESSENTIAL TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THE ETHNIC BACKGROUND OF YOUR FAMILY NAMES when doing research in Central Europe and the Balkans.

Your name Molnar is Hungarian. Have you heard of Ferenc [Frank] Molnar, the writer ? His stage play "Liliom" was made into the American musical "Carousel" by Rodgers & Hamemrstein. And of course Bartok was the surname of the famous Hungarian classical musical composer, Bela Bartok.

Your spelling Ecaterina is more likely Ekaterina (letter 'c' was not often used at beginning of words).

All the other names (Stefan = Shteffan; Istvan = Ishtvan; Janos =Yanosh) are all Hungarian.

**REMEMBER: In Hungaran lists, it is 'last name, then first name'. So you would be addressed as Molnar Phyllis.

Try the following info sources:

- - URL with a guide to translations in Hungarian, Latin, and Slovak church records.

- - gives examples of marriage, death, and baptism registers in Magyar and Latin. Not every register was the same, so you need to adapt it to yours, just using the context of what is in the columns.

In church "anyakonyv" (register), births were recorded until at least the early 1940's in the Magyar fashion with the Father's name "es neje" = "and wife", giving the wife's maiden name.

Birth, Death and Marriage Records from 1866 to 1895 are available for the Presbyterian (Református) Church records in Balsa, Szabolcs megye (county). Go to the nearest Mormon Family Library Center and ask for film Number 632124.

The Greek Orthodox (Görög Katolikus) Church records are available from 1813 to 1895 in LDS/FLC Film Number 601578.

"Hungarian Genealogy" by Nagy Iván (= Nazh Ee-van = Big John) and Magyar Nemzetségi Zsebkönyve. Zoltan NOTE: This book contains only aristocratic families and is in Hungarian. Kosztolanyi said in 2001: You can now buy the "Hungarian Genealogy" books on CD-ROM. This is the "Families of Hungary" by Nagy Iván, with family crest and trees originally published in Pest between 1857 and 1868 in 13 volumes. The CD-ROM contains 6,500 pages of text, 550 crests, 3,700 family trees and more than 10,000 family details. The books were republished in a facsimile edition in Budapest in 1988; with this new CD, the research will be much quicker and easier. A knowledge of Hungarian is required. If anyone is interested in this CD just drop me a line for details of the Budapest based publisher.

- - University of Texas at Austin - extensive collection of MAPS OF THE WORLD showing all historical, ethnic, religious, political, military periods for MOST PARTS of the WORLD - excellent visual displays of CHANGES OF BOUNDARIES, BORDERS, and FRONTIERS resulting from wars and treaties, changing alliances, emigration and immigration of peoples (EXAMPLE: great visual explanation of constantly shifting borders, movements of people, and shifting ethnic patterns in EASTERN and CENTRAL EUROPE)

Versuchen sie mal: - - Check this out for translation from German to English, or English to German.

Before WW I Hungary was divided into 76 megye (counties) and its territory stretched from modern Hungary to modern Romania. After WW I, the peace treaty of 1920 caused Hungary to lose two thirds of its former territory (see also CROATIA/YUGOSLAVIA).

Federation of East European Family History Societies (FEEFHS)
P.O. Box 510898, Salt Lake City, Utah 84151-0898 - THE Pioneer Web Portal for Central and East European Genealogy since May 1995 - FEEFHS RESOURCE GUIDE, FEEFHS INTERNET JOURNAL, and FEEFHS RESEARCH LIBRARY - The entire web portal is © Copyright 1999 by FEEFHS, all rights reserved.

- webm/cyberspy.gif - Webmaster of FEEFHS

East European Maps - -

- - A major website for INFO on POLAND, HUNGARY, SLOVENIA, GALICIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, SLOVAKIA, BUKOVINA, BANAT Genealogy Listserver (for Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Croatia), TRANSYLVANIA

Genealogy in Greater Hungary - - wrote February 2, 1998: We invite all interested in researching their ancestors in the countries of the former Austro-Hungarian empire to visit our web site. We would be delighted to help you ! Do not hesitate to contact us, we are at your disposal for any inquiry. Free assessment of the prospects of research. Best regards - Peter J. Langh, Managing Partner (**NOTE: they will carge for later services)

MAJOR INFO SOURCE: - German Genealogy Home Page - - Click on map of Germany's 16 Bundesländer (states) and German areas in 7 other countries. Find that elusive ancestor in Germany - a good German research site, also for other countries where German language and influence were prevalent (example: Austro-Hungarian Empire before World War I, also modern Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland)

MAJOR INFO SOURCE: - - As of 1 February 2000, visit the Radix site. Janos Bogardi, who maintains it, has a wealth of useful information, links and services. Bookmark it and visit it frequently. When complete in 2000, Janos Bogardi expected to have some 380,000 records in the database. You can also get these documents from the FHC (Family History Center) of your local Mormon Church.

There was a census done in 1891 to document labor/craftsman. The RADIX webpage - - by Janos Bogardi lists craftsmen and shopkeepers in Hungary in 1891, according to the national census. There are both accented and non-accented surname lists. NOTE: the book does not have a personal name index. The book gives its names in the alphabetical order of professions, then by alphabetical names of cities and towns. Thus, even if somebody knows the place of origin of his researched person, not knowing his profession would force him to check all the professions.

This is a really valuable resource, because genealogy research materials in some of the successor states are either non-extant, destroyed, damaged or simply not accessible because of lack of archival control or because of restrictions on use.

You can click to see a sample page from the book. The profession name is given in Hungarian, Slovak, German, and French.

The site - - has (at the very bottom) a map showing all the counties in the Old Kingdom of Hungary. You can see a 1910 map of the counties at the same site.

Hungarian Village Finder for the Kingdom of Hungary - -

The 1828 Hungarian Census is (the only one ?) available on microfilm to date. Keep track of the house numbers with the families you are researching from the church records, then check them against the 1828 Hungarian Census. This census listed the house numbers, and the names of the occupants in the village - a marvelous resource ! Besides the 1828 Census, there was also one for 1869. For Damoc, Zemplen Megy, there was even an 1857 Census. This was very good because it contained the maiden name of the wife, year of birth, the names of all the children and their years of birth. It was an extremely helpful census to work with.

The 1900 Census for Austria-Hungary can give you information on the number of children, how long they have been in the country, years married, etc. You need to get a precise birth location if possible. If you don't know this, get the estimated date your ancestors sailed to North America, then search the passenger lists for the boats. This is very hard work. Once you find them on a passenger list, it will then tell you where in Hungary they came from (town, county) and usually where they are going. Once you know this, you could probably find the LDS microfilms for the birth and marriage records for their town. U.S. Immigration and ship manifests, and other immigration records, are available through US Government and several different sources.

For help with the Hungarian language, go to website - http://www.tranexp.com2000/intertran - and type
in your message URL - - This web site will translate from many languages to English + 729 other different languages). It is not the best translation, but it gives you an idea of what it says. Nagyon köszönöm ! Thanks a (whole) lot !

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