Genealogy research in the Hungarian region

*All names and personal details have been changed to preserve with the privacy of those involved

Why is the mother mentioned by her maiden name?

Finding birth records and solving a mystery

Hagai * contacted me through a group on a social network that we are both members of and dealing with “second generation”.

The question of the genealogy research of Hagai * was determined as:
Where and when were his father and mother born in Hungary?

Hagai * wants to find official documents and records to confirm information he has.



How did we start the genealogy research?

Hagai provided quite a few details but these are based on memory and information provided by his father and mother. There is no factual reference in the form of documents or genealogy research. Hagai’s father filled few pages of testimony that are kept in the “Central Database of Names of Holocaust Victims” at Yad Vashem. These testimonies contain close to 50 names of family victims of the Holocaust, but these do not advance the resolution of the research question at this stage. It may be possible to use them later. Hagai could advise his father’s date of birth and the place of birth in Hungary. A brief search for the name of his father’s place of birth led me to the Mormon root search site and there I tried to look up the birth record by the name of the place and the known date.

How does the Mormon root search site help us in genealogy research?

The Mormon root search site allows for extensive genealogy research for most regions of the world. Mormons passed through all of Europe in the 1960’s and filmed and scanned into microfilm (the most advanced technology at the time) the civil records that were not destroyed in the war. In the regions of Hungary most of the registration books have been preserved so that quality information can be found while conducting the genealogy search on their site.

I went to the civil registration books of the place name given to me by Hagai and discovered that the civil registration information of that place had undergone a process of indexing. That is, in addition to the photographs of the listing pages (in which the details are handwritten), it is also possible to perform a search by name (a full digital search according to the search options provided by the site). I ran a search by name and got no suitable results. I tried different searches and even these did not yield the expected result: the father’s birth record.

No result is also an important result!

I checked the data again and tried something else. After all, there can be no result while we have precise details. I went to look for the name of the place that Hagai gave me in the list of place names in the Hungarian regions. I modified the search and found that there is another place with a similar name: TiszaKorod vs. TiszaKarad. A difference of one letter and a similar sound that can be easily mistaken…
I went back to the Mormon website, flipped to the appropriate page in the birth registration book. I reached the birth registration on the requested date and in the requested name – Bingo !! The answer to the research question was found.
And of course every answer brings a new question…

What can be found in a civil register of birth?

The birth record contains the parents’ details: their name, occupation and place of birth, as well as their age at the time of birth. From these data, I saw fit to raise a new question: Since the parents were over 30 at the time of birth, is it possible that more children were born before Hagai’s father?

Can we answer the research question?

I posed a question on the social network about accessing civic records of the two places mentioned in Hagai’s data regarding his family search. The names of the places were given by Hagai from his memory and were based on hearing and not on testimonies or documents. The answer I got was that these records are not digitally accessible (you can not browse through books and search for records) and even in some places are not even accessible in the archive. One of the two places is not currently in Hungary, but in Slovakia and is therefore subject to the laws of the country there and is not accessible at all. Records in archives in Hungary can only be accessed under the strict new state laws: birth records can be searched from one hundred and thirty years back and only by a family member.

The research question is still unresolved: Why is the mother mentioned by her maiden name in the father’s testimony? Solving this question requires further genealogy research and can add new, unknown details to the family tree.

Further research will be described in another post…

Zvika Oren, a genealogist who specializes in family tree building

Over the years I have gained knowledge and experience in various areas of genealogical research: searching records, deciphering documents and tombstones, conducting personal interviews, discovering genealogies, contacting relatives and people with relevant knowledge, collecting findings and organizing them, transferring documents and photos to digital media (including making backup copies) , As well as the production of a family book (Hebrew or English) based on the material collected.

As part of the genealogy research and family tree building, I collect data and search for more data and information in digital information sources: Yad Vashem databases, search engines, locating tombstones, various archives, immigration records, documents regarding name changes and more. I have conversations and interviews with people for the purpose of genealogy research. At the end of the data collection I process information related to the relevant root research. And everything – to discover the genealogies and to collect the documents and photos, to document the preservation and construction of the family tree.

Feel free to contact me Zvika Oren – expert genealogist +972525696309

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