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Surname Saturday #1: Gombash

Long have I put off beginning this weekly genealogical meme, but it's about time I started! Before I begin with the actual data, I wanted to talk a bit about the history of my surname and some DNA information.

My surname Gombash was originally Gombás, in Hungary. After coming to America, my 2nd-great-grandparents changed the spelling to aid in the pronunciation of the name. Gombás is a form of the Hungarian word "gomba", which means "fungus" or "mushroom". The term "gombás" implies the original fore-bearer of the surname was associated with mushrooms; either foraging for, growing and/or selling them.

I had my Y-DNA tested twice now; once a few years ago and a second time through a generous friend of mine. All results have come back to conclude that my direct Gombash line belongs to the haplogroup I2a2a, on the human family tree. It appears that our Gombash ancestors seems to have migrated to Hungary hundreds of years ago from the Bosnia-Croatia area.


1. John Edward Gombash, Sr.
b. 02 Oct 1935, Caretta, McDowell County, West Virginia
d. 02 Jun 2005, Joliet, Will County, Illinois
m. Mary Louise Adas; 30 Nov 1957, St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
*Children omitted for privacy.

2. Alex Gombash; born Gombás Sándor (surnames come first in Hungary)
b. 07 Nov 1896, Büdszentmihály, Szabolcs megye, Hungary
d. 04 Jan 1968, Wheaton, DuPage County, Illinois
m1. Emma Hido (born Hajdú Irma); 19 Aug 1916, Kittanning, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania
m2. Catharin Grządziel; 1920-1922, possibly Joliet, Will County, Illinois
*Children omitted for privacy.

3. Alex Gombash; born Gombás Sándor
b. 21 Feb 1872, Büdszentmihály, Szabolcs megye, Hungary
d. 02 May 1931, Goff, Butler County, Pennsylvania
m. Tóth Eszter; 13 Mar 1895, Tiszadob, Szabolcs megye, Hungary
*Sándor; (above)
*Balázs (later Robert); b. 11 Mar 1898, d. Oct 1934
*József; b. 31 Oct 1900, d. unknown (adult)
*Susan; b. 19 Feb 1904, d. Nov 1967
*Gyula; b. 02 Feb 1906, d. unknown (infancy)
*Esther; b. 03 Sep 1910, d. 12 Feb 2000
*Sophie; b. 13 May 1912, d. unknown (infancy)
*Elizabeth; b. 15 May 1913, d. 12 Jan 1948
*Dallas; b. 11 May 1916, d. unknown (adult)
*Julia; b. 31 Jul 1920, d. 22 Jun 2008

4. Gombás József
b. 19 May 1845, Büdszentmihály, Szabolcs megye, Hungary
d. 10 Nov 1886, Büdszentmihály, Szabolcs megye, Hungary
m. Gulyás Zsuzsánna; 15 Dec 1869, Büdszentmihály, Szabolcs megye, Hungary
*Sándor; (above)
*Balázs; b. 23 Aug 1877, d. 07 Mar 1878

5. Gombás Sándor
b. 27 Aug 1814, Büdszentmihály, Szabolcs megye, Hungary
d. 04 Jan 1856, Büdszentmihály, Szabolcs megye, Hungary
m. Sajti Erzsébet; 01 Dec 1835, Büdszentmihály, Szabolcs megye, Hungary
*Miklós; b. 21 Sep 1838, d. 30 Nov 1840
*Miklós, b. 30 Jun 1842, d. unknown (adult)
*József; (above)

6. Gombás József
b. 30 Nov 1793, Büdszentmihály, Szabolcs megye, Hungary
d. 12 Jan 1879, Büdszentmihály, Szabolcs megye, Hungary
m. Mezei Katalin; 06 Jan 1813, Büdszentmihály, Szabolcs megye, Hungary
*Sándor; (above)
*Zsuzsánna; b. 28 Sep 1816, d. unknown
*Juliánna; b. 11 Feb 1819, d. unknown
*Lidia; b. 21 Jun 1820, d. unknown
*Bálint; b. 01 Jun 1829, d. unknown

7. Gombás György
b. about 1762, Büdszentmihály, Szabolcs megye, Hungary
d. 04 Mar 1832, Büdszentmihály, Szabolcs megye, Hungary
m. Sára Fodor de Hajdúnánás; 21 Jan 1789, Hajdúnánás, Hajdú megye, Hungary
*Zsuzsánna, b. 21 Feb 1791, d. 01 Mar 1795
*József, (above)
*Miklós, b. 20 Jun 1796, d. unknown
*Sándor, b. 06 Sep 1798, d. unknown
*Zsuzsánna, b. 30 Aug 1801, d. 18 Feb 1858
*Erzsébet, b. 07 Jan 1804, unknown
*Bálint, b. 17 Jul 1806, d.  06 Aug 1806
*János, b. 17 Jul 1806, d. 26 Jul 1806
*Bálint, b. 02 May 1808, d. unknown
*Juliánna, b. 20 Mar 1812, d. unknown

8. Gombás Péter
b. unknown
d. unknown
m. unknown
*György, (above)

The Hungarian-Jewish Family Tree of Zsa Zsa Gabor


Lately, on my down time from work and helping out family, I've been doing some sleuthing into Zsa Zsa Gabor's family a bit more. Back in February, I had stumbled upon Zsa Zsa's maternal aunt's marriage record. Her name was Rozália Tilleman and she was married to a man named Manó Rein. You can find that previous entry here. Well I've done a bit more digging, and I've found a lot more information to add to Zsa Zsa Gabor's family tree!

There has been much dispute about Zsa Zsa Gabor's mother's correct birthdate. Well, I have found Jolie Gabor's birth record! Zsa Zsa Gabor's mother was born as Janka Tilleman, on 30 September 1896, in Budapest District VII; the birth was registered on 02 October 1896. Her father was listed as "Tilleman Jona Hersch" (surnames were written first in Hungary). He was a sugar salesman by trade and born abt 1865 in Drohobycz, Galicia. Her mother was listed as "Reinharz Chawe Faige". She was born about 1872 in Boleczhow, Galicia. They were both of the Jewish faith and resided at Király utcza (street) 21, Budapest District VII. I'm not really sure where Jolie Gabor came up with the name "Jancsi", claiming her father wanted a boy. Janka is the Hungarian version of the feminine name Johanna.

Two years later, I found the birth record for Janka's sister, Rozália Tilleman; Zsa Zsa's aunt that I had found the marriage record for, earlier this year. She was born on 05 October 1898 in Budapest District VII; the birth being registered on 07 October 1898. Her father was listed as "Tilleman Jóna Hersch". He was a café manager by trade and born about 1865 in Drohobycz, Galicia. Her mother was listed as "Reinharcz Chawe Feige"; born about 1872 in Bolechow, Galicia. They were both Jewish and resided at Király utcza (street) 17, Budapest District VII.

Knowing that Jona Tilleman was deceased prior to his daughter Rozália's marriage in 1923, I went in search of a marriage record for Chawe Feige Reinharz.. and I found one! She was remarried on 27 November 1928 in Budapest District VI, to a doctor named "Kende Miksa" (remember, surnames first!) He was a widower of the Jewish faith who was born on 05 December 1864 in Klenócz, Czechoslovakia (previously Klenócz, Gömör county, Hungary; today Klenovec, Slovakia). He was the son of the deceased "Kohn Mór Lipót" and the deceased "Klein Resi". He was also a resident of Pannonia utcza 8/a, Budapest District V. The bride, "Reinharz Chave Feige", was listed as divorced (had she divorced Jona Tilleman prior to his death?) and born on 28 November 1873 in Bolchow, Poland; she was a resident of Rákóczi utcza 54, Budapest District VII. She was the daughter of the deceased "Reinharz Eisig" and the deceased "Stein Dwora". Witnesses to the marriage were "Hacker Bertalan", residing at Budapest District VI, Munkácsy utcza 3, and "Dr. Grosz Menyhért", residing at Budapest District V, Pannonia utcza 8/a (same residence of the groom).

With all the information gathered together, I have been able to research back to Zsa Zsa Gabor's maternal great-grandparents. Above, you can find a basic family tree to help explain the family relationships.

Does anyone know when Jona Hersch Tilleman died? When Vilmos Gábor, father of Zsa Zsa, was born and died.. and where? If you have any additional information, please contact me!