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The French President has Chinese Ancestry? I think not!

A few hours ago I came across a very interesting blog post about Nicolas Sárközy. It's entitled Nicolas Sarkozy is a Chinese? Ah-huh. It's been bugging me since I read it. It tries to explain the Chinese ancestry of the current French president, and I finding myself very skeptical of what I'm reading.

Here are the facts we do know to be true: Nicolas Sárközy's paternal ancestors were all of Hungarian nobility.. all of them. His grandmother was Katalin Ilona Anna Csáfordi Tóth. Her family name was Tóth with the additional name of Csáfordi. In Hungarian, the 'i' on the end of Csáfordi means 'of' or 'from'. The name was also written in the Latin version as Tóth de Csáford. This means the Tóth family from Csáford.

Here's what the blog post claims. It says that there is "a piece of entry for Toth in Jinshi, the History of Jin as a family name, but also is there a significant nomadic people called Xianbei of whom the Csafordi tribe was belonged to once upon a time". It's entirely possible that there is a Toth family in China and related to the Jin family name, but not the Tóth's of Hungary.

According to Béla Kempelen's book "Magyar nemes családok", ('Hungarian Noble Families' for those of you who can't read Hungarian) the Csáfordi Tóth shares it's origins with the Simaházi Tóth family. It says that family tradition and also old documents verify this as fact. In 1649, during the Turkish occupation, Sebestyén Tóth of the Simaházi family was given his own nobility apart from the Simaházi Tóth's, including possessions in Csáford for which his descendants took their name. The Simaházi Tóth family begins with a Benedek Tóth and his wife Erzsébet Simon. Benedek was granted nobility by King Ferdinand II in 1626 and they resided in Sopron county, Hungary.

The Tóth de Csáford (csáfordi Tóth) Coat of Arms

As for the "Csafordi tribe" suggested in the blog, I can find no mention of such a thing in my Hungarian nobility resources. Csáford was the name of a town in Sopron county, in Western Hungary, it was not the name of a tribe.

The Tóth name is one of the most popular surnames in Hungary. It very simply means "Slovak". It's very unlikely that the Toth family in the "History of Jin as a family name" and the Tóth's of Hungary are the same people. A word meaning "Slovak" migrating from China to the Hungary and Slovakia area just doesn't make sense. How could the word exist before they knew who or what the Slovaks were? It seems to me that people are trying to fabricate family trees!


Gypsygramma said...

Very interesting!

DenverMac said...

I came on this site while looking for verification of something I heard from a knowledgeable friend who stated that: Hungarians descended from Chinese roots. That sounds absurd to me with Hungary being more closely related to Slovic or related roots.

Can anyone shed insight into this?

Ed said...

I never heard of the Magyars (the dominant ethnic group in Hungary) being descended from the Chinese. Instead, I have read different theories that state that the Magyars descend from Hunnish (aka Mongolian) tribes. See: for one source. Interestingly, one of their national heros and the alleged founder of their nation, Atilla the Hun, was a mongol chief.

Ed said...

"I heard from a knowledgeable friend who stated that: Hungarians descended from Chinese roots. That sounds absurd to me with Hungary being more closely related to Slovic or related roots".

AFAIK, Hungarian does not descend from Chinese roots. Hungarian is an Uralic language and related to the Baltic-Finnic languages. Ultimately, I recall it is related to the Altaic languages which include Mongolian.

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