Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hungarian Parish Records Guide #1

I thought it would be a great idea to create a few guides to help others with their research. These series of guides will be all about parish records and how to decipher them. I'll include image examples to help explain as well. I'll also do a range of records from different points in time. I'll do this because the records usually tended to change drastically from whenever they began to 1895.

The first few guides will pertain to the Hungarian Reformed Church (Magyarországi Református Egyház). It is the second-largest denomination in Hungary. The first is, of course, Roman Catholic. The Hungarian Reformed Church is in the Calvinist tradition, therefore it is sometimes refered to in English as the Calvinist Church.

Let's begin with a style of record you're most likely to encounter when you first begin your research. This is a baptism from 1895.

(Click the image for a larger view)

The top left and right of each page should give a page number, no matter which denomination church records you're viewing. Beginning on the left page are the typed words "Keresztségi anyakönyv a" , meaning "Baptism register the". This is followed by written words "taktaszadai ev. ref." This is simply the name of the town and which denomination church these records belong to. The following page begins with "egyházban 1895-ik esztendöben. This means "church in the year 1895". So the heading of the pages mean "Baptism registers of the Taktaszada Evangelical Reformed church in the year 1895".

The first column is "Sorszám" which means "Number".

The second column is "Napja a", meaning "Day of". This is followed by two subsequent columns below it: "születésnek" and "keresztelésnek". The first meaning birth and the second meaning baptism, so naturally "Day of birth" and "Day of baptism".

The third column is "A keresztelendõ", meaning "The christened's". Then this is followed by four subsequent columns. The first of which is "neve", which translates literally to mean "name". The next is "neme" which means "gender", and followed by two more subsequent columns. The first is "fi" meaning "male" and the second is "nõ" meaning "female". The last two subsequent columns are "törvényes" and "törvénytelen". They mean "legitimate" and "illegitimate".

The fourth column is "Nevük és polgári állásuk a szülléknek". This means "The names and occupations of the parents".

The fifth column, which begins on the second page, is "Lakhely, házszám". "Lakhely" means "location" and "házszám" means "house number".

The sixth column is "Nevük és polgári állásuk a keresztszülléknek". This means "The names and occupations of the baptismal parents". They are otherwise known as the god-parents or sponsors.

The seventh column is "Keresztelõ személy neve". This means "Name of the baptizer". This was usually the priest or pastor of the church.

The eigth and last column is "Észrevételek". This means "comments".

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