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 József Berkes, Senior Archivist of the National Archives of Hungary

    Suggested Method of Research in the Parish Registers
    Obstacles and Difficulties of Research in Parish Registers
    Censuses of Jews




Genealogy or family history research is a time-consuming, complicated and demanding work. At the same time, its result is often very uncertain because, besides practical experience, special skills and knowledge, as well as persistence, it requires some good luck, too. In most cases, people start it as a hobby, for amusement or from curiosity, then, in many instances it becomes a lifetime passion. On the one hand, snobbism, prestige or fashion, can not be ruled out as motivating factors, not to mention its increasing popularity as a business activity. On the other hand, genealogy also serves much more practical purposes like acquiring citizenship or permissions to reside, as well as inheritance cases, changing of names, compensations and restitution, and more occasionally, scientific purposes, e.g. demographic analyses, sociological, ethnographical or public health surveys.

It must be mentioned at the outset that, regarding the great majority of research cases, there are no complete family histories, even less family trees. Only an insignificant part of the families went through a full-scale genealogical research, has perfect family history publications or deduced family tree (e.g. some aristocrat and noble families whose private archives have been transferred to the custody of a certain institution, or have been published in book form. About commoner and peasant families data or references may be found in local history related publications. In the case of nobles, family trees have also been made for practical reasons. During the 17th-19th centuries, sometimes even earlier, nobles kept record of their relatives by family trees in order to prove who had what rights to the family's domains. In aristocratic circles it was a point of prestige that how far could a family trace back its pedigree in time. Family tree making had become a real cult. Sometimes, this "rivalry" resulted in extreme, even bizarre instances, as mirrored in some family archives. For example, the ducal branch of the Esterházy family had its history traced back as far as Adam.

Researchers have to use different source materials to nobility research and to families of civic, serf, German, Jewish, etc. origin, respectively. The most frequently used languages in the written sources preserved in the Archives are Latin ( the official language of administration in Hungary, as late as the end of the 1830s); Turkish (in Arabic letters); Hungarian; German (in Gothic letters); Church Slavonic (in Cyrillic letters); and more occasionally Hebrew. In most cases, the sources are hand-written documents or registers which makes them even more difficult to read. Consequently, genealogical research requires a certain level of linguistic, palaeographic, as well as historical knowledge.

The first major group of sources derives from oral tradition. However, the reliability of such sources usually goes only as far as the time of grandparents or, sometimes, great-grandparents. Accordingly, because of the unreliability of oral tradition, in many cases, the research of written sources is necessary even beyond the time of grandparents. Sometimes, notes on family events (births, baptisms, confirmations, marriages, deaths, etc.) written in old prayer-books, Bibles or other old and precious books, as well as photo albums preserved in the family can prove to be helpful. Many families have their own little "archives". Due to the compulsory preparation of proofs of origin ordered by the anti-Jewish acts of the 1940s, a significant amount of documents concerning the ancestors seems likely to survive from that period (mainly birth, marriage or death certificates). From the middle of the 19th century, printed death-notices (mourning-cards) had come into fashion. In many cases, besides the nearest lineal relatives (husband and wife, children, parents, grandparents), death-notices mention the more remote and collateral relatives (the so called alliances by marriage), as well. In the National Széchényi Library an about 800,000-piece death-notice collection can be found. Printed funeral orations (sermons), obituaries published in newspapers before funerals, as well as acknowledgements and obituaries published after funerals contain similar information about the family of the deceased. Information about a family's history and origins can also be gathered from other newspaper articles, advertisements, contemporary news, reports, feuilletons, and events. It's worth reading funerary registers and epitaphs, too. Other written sources are chronicles, (auto-)biographies, almanacs (annals), school registers, memoirs, etc.



The parish registers are the most reliable and indispensable sources of family history research. It was Pope Pius IV who, as a result of the deliberations of the Council of Trent, ordered the introduction of regular registration in 1563. In Hungary, in the case of the Roman Catholic Church the Council of Nagyszombat ordered the introduction and maintenance of parish registers at the beginning of the Counter-Reformation in 1611, though sparse registrations occurred at some places before that time, too. Regarding Protestant churches, the full powers to keep registers was granted by Emperor Joseph Habsburg II, in 1785. However, at some special localities (loca articularia), registration had begun much earlier. In Hungary, the regular and compulsory registration of Israelite population was introduced as late as the Bach Era (July 1851), but in that case, too, there were places where registration had begun long before that date.

The microfilm collection of the National Archives of Hungary holds the duplicates of parish registers from the localities of the present territory of Hungary, created by the historical churches - the Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Calvinist, Lutheran and Israelite, before 1st October 1895. In addition, the National Archives, in small numbers, preserves microfilms of registers of the Baptist, Unitarian and Nazarene small churches. Some copies of registers from the territory of the historical Hungary, existed before the Treaty of Trianon, can also be found in the Archives: mainly from Upper Hungary (from the Csallóköz), Southern Hungary (from Bácska), the Northern Borderland (Burgenland), the Mura region (in Slovenia), the Drávaszög (the southern part of Baranya - today in Croatia), as well as some registers from ethnic Hungarian villages in Bukovina.

Public (state) registration was introduced on 1st October 1895. From that date registers have been preserved at mayoral offices, whereas duplicates have been transferred to the competent territorial (county) archives.

Before starting a research in the registers, researchers need to know the wanted person's or family's place of residence, religion, as well as his place and approximate date of birth/marriage/death.



Since the main and most important sources of genealogy are the parish registers, we briefly speak about the technique of research as well. It is always practical to proceed backwards in time (parents, grand parents, great-grandparents…). Besides taking notes, it may prove to be useful to make a family tree sketch to the very bottom of which you write the name of the starting person. Above that, write the name of the father to the left hand side, and the name of the mother to the right. Above the name of the father come the paternal grandparents, above the mother's name the maternal grandparents; then above all that write the names of the great-grandparents (8), the great-great-grandparents (16), (…) the progenitors (64), etc. This is the so called lineal family tree. Of course, the family tree sketch, and the research that goes with it, becomes increasingly complex and complicated if you study and indicate the collateral lines of descent, too.

As computer technology develops, recently the particulars of ancestors are often put into the computer. Computerized data processing can facilitate the analysis of the proper degree of relationship between ancestors and makes easier to establish the correct chronological order. The National Archives of Hungary has no such genealogical database, therefore you cannot search for data on individuals by computer.

In case you know the place and date of birth, as well as the religion of the wanted ancestor, then you have the appropriate point of reference on the basis of which you can start the research. For example, let us suppose that you know about József Tóth that he was born on 20th October 1891, in Szabadka, and that he was of Roman Catholic religion. In Szabadka, at the end of the 19th century there were three Roman Catholic parishes where registration occurred (St. Theresa, St. George and St. Rókus). If you do not know at which parish he was baptized, you need to look over all three of them. Say that you have found the birth (i.e. baptism) entry of József Tóth in the register of St. Theresa parish. From the birth entry, in addition to the place and date of birth, as well as the name, sex and legal status of the new-born, you get information about his parents, István Tóth and Gizella Ágoston, and his godparents, too. In case of a more precise register entry, the parents' place of origin and residence, profession, religion, the name of the baptizer, the name of the midwife, etc. may be discovered. The same applies to the godparents particulars. In the next move you search for the marriage entry of István Tóth and Gizella Ágoston in the register of marriages. In many instances, you need to look over the registrations of 15-20 years, sometimes even more, as in those days 10-15 children were born in one family. Suppose that you have found the wanted entry, the marriage of István Tóth and Gizella Ágoston, on 20th November 1885. The marriage entry can also contain many important information which later may further your research. For instance, besides the particulars of the bride and bridegroom (name, age, place of birth and residence, religion), the personal data of the parents and wedding witnesses, the date of announcement, miscellaneous comments, etc. At the time of the marriage the bridegroom was 22 years old, the bride 19. Consequently, István Tóth was born around 1863, and Gizella Ágoston around 1866. It is advisable, however, to treat the dates calculated this way as approximate data and check the registrations some years backward and forward, because in old times, in many instances, registration dates were treated somewhat "flexibly", especially in the case of brides. In such cases name indexes can prove to be useful. For example, it can turn out that the bride (Gizella Ágoston) was born in 1868 instead of 1866, so she was only 17 at the time of her marriage. In case you have found the birth entries of István Tóth and Gizella Ágoston, (e.g. István Tóth, born: 20th December 1862, name of father: József Tóth, name of mother: Vera Porkoláb; Gizella Ágoston, born: 25th March 1868, parents: Ferenc Ágoston and Ágnes Galacz) you can turn back to the registers of marriages and start searching for the marriage of József Tóth and Vera Porkoláb proceeding backward in time from 1862, or the marriage of Ferenc Ágoston and Ágnes Galacz proceeding backward in time from 1868. The found data can be added to the family tree sketch or a photocopy can be made of the microfilm.

In an ideal case, by means of the research technique described above, the family tree can be traced back continuously even for 250-300 years (about 8-10 generations), however it all depends on many different factors. First and foremost on the researcher's experience, language skills and handwriting expertise, as well as on such objective factors as the time and accuracy of registrations, the mobility of the family in point (peasant families were the most immobile, soldiers, merchants, railwaymen and clerks conducted a much more migratory life), the possible changing of names (Magyarized names!) or religions, etc. The marriage service usually happened at the place of birth or residence of the bride. In case of an engaged couple where the bride and the bridegroom belonged to different Christian churches, the religion of the bride was determinant.

The sketch of the explored family tree of the Tóth family looks as follows:

József Tóth

Vera Porkoláb

Ferenc Ágoston

Ágnes Galacz

István Tóth

Gabriella Ágoston

Born: 20 Dec 1862

Born.: 24 March 1868

Szabadka, St.Theresa

Szabadka, St.Theresa

Married: 20 Nov 1885

József Tóth 
Born: 20 Okt 1891
Szabadka, St.Theresa



Of course, research is rarely as simple as that. Many researchers, for lack of proper information about their families, find serious difficulties even in tracing back their origins until 1895. If there is no indication at the last known entry of the place/date of birth or residence of the explored/found ancestor, or there are inaccurate data - that is where difficulties begin. These concepts were frequently mixed up and the priests who kept the records often used the definitions of the place of birth and residence, which were not the same in every case, inconsistently. In such cases, the most practical solution is to look over some years forward and backward in the registers of the last known entry, supposing that you are lucky enough to find the place of origin or birth of your explored and known ancestor's parents at one of his/her elder or younger brother's or sister's register record. According to the general practice, in the absence of definite birth/origin information, the great majority of researchers continues research in the registers of the appropriate religions of the surrounding localities. In many cases, taking the last known place as their starting-point, they look over all the registers of the localities situated within a radius of 10, 20, 30 kilometres or even more. This is an enormous work, and even this can turn out to be useless. Rarely but not impossibly registrations of one religion can be found in the register of another religion (e.g. a Calvinist in a Lutheran or a Greek Catholic in a Roman Catholic), as that denomination had no parish or church at the time or it was too far away from there. In some cases, supplementary genealogical sources may help to solve such problems (see the next chapter).

Rare family names often encourage inexperienced researchers. The appearance of such a name in another place, county or region, and its unchecked use, in most cases leads astray and more rarely to the expected solution. At the same time, a too common surname (e.g. Horvát[h], Kis[s], Kovács, Nagy, Német[h], Pap[p], Szabó, Tót[h], Varg[h]a, etc.) can be equally deceiving. In such a case, the most advisable is to check such other data of the record as the address, street-number, names of the godparents/wedding witnesses, etc. These can be decisive in identifying the possible circle of persons. Sometimes, registrars used cognomens or nicknames as official family names, or used alternately and mixed actual family names and cognomens.

Inaccurate, imperfect or missing register items can also put an end to a research or at least can make it extremely difficult. As mentioned above, in the 19th century and earlier, registration happened by oral declaration. As a result, especially in the case of outlandish surnames (German, Polish, Slovak, Croat, etc.) mis-spelling was very frequent. There are instances where a certain person's surname is differently spelt whenever it appears in the registers. Sometimes, the registration of a new-born baby had simply been missed out from the register. If a village or small farm lay far away from the parish-church, the baby was weakling and on top of it all there was a cold winter and huge snow, then the midwife fleetingly baptized the baby. If the parents later forgot to announce all this to the parish priest, the baby's birth simply could not appear in the register. Wars, revolutions and other unusual events also affected the accuracy of registrations. This way many persons were registered as legally dead 10-15 years after the actual date of their death, usually with the date and place where eyewitnesses had seen them to die in battle or last seen them alive. Even so, many of them were missed out from the registers of deaths and disappeared in the storms of history. Sometimes whole pages or years are missing from parish registers as a result of fires, floods or just for the lack of priests. If a parish priest died and there was no chaplain, registration stopped. Until the middle of the 19th century the parents of newly married couples were rarely indicated in the registers. For example, István Kiss, (20) and Anna Varga, (19) got married on 27 October 1842. Let us presume that, between 1822 and 1823, 3 Anna Varga-s and 4 István Kiss-s were born in the same town or village. As there is no information about the young couple's parents at the marriage registration, in the absence of identification data (e.g. street name, street-number, godparents, etc.) the research can stall. Registers of deaths can still be looked over to exclude some of the persons with the same names who possibly died before the date of the marriage. From the 80s and 70s of the 18th century backwards, there were frequent inaccuracies in the registrations of births, as well. Usually, the mother's family name was not recorded. For example, István (Stephanus), born on 15 August 1783; parents: Péter Sípos (Petrus) and Anna. In such cases, the researcher should search for the possible brothers and sisters of István in the registers of births created before and after 1783, supposing that, after all, at one of their records the family name of the mother appears. If this does not lead to the expected result, one should search for the marriage registration of Péter Sípos and Anna. If you have good luck and find it, usually there must be indication of the bride's family name. Even so, you can still find more marriages of persons with the same names. In that case, the "real" couple must be identified by means of other registry items. Similar inaccuracies may be found in early registers of marriages and deaths, too (e.g. on 2nd August 1775, János Farkas (Joannes) and Ilona (Helena) got married). When, at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, churches switched over from continuous registration to the registration with tables and columns, such inefficiencies became less frequent but did not completely disappear. As a general characteristic, the older the registers are, the more inaccurate they are, the less data they contain and the more difficult they are to read.



Of course, besides parish registers, mainly as supplementary material, researchers can also use other sources, e.g. national, county and local census returns, as well as lists of taxation and church-rates (tithe, Regesta Decimarum), terriers, copyhold tables, annexes of reports on canonical visitations (Visitationes canonicae), i.e. the Conscriptiones animariums (census of souls), (military) recruitment lists, school registers and almanacs, etc.

By means of these sources it is not possible to trace the continuity of generations, but sometimes they may have significant role in filling gaps. At this stage, mention must be made of the Historia domus, a record kept in parish-churches and chaplaincies. These records may serve with many information about the history of a town or village, as well as the life of the believers and the whole population. For example about the construction of the church and the school, the starting date of registration, succursal churches, settlements or relocations, revolutions and wars, epidemics, floods and fires, weather, etc. Local history monographs also often include helpful genealogical information.



If the subject of the research is a noble family it is always practical to begin with studying the relevant literature. The literature concerning nobility is exceptionally abundant and extensive. The most effective research can be done in major public libraries (e.g. the National Széchényi Library or the better supplied county libraries) or in minor but specialised libraries of museums and archives (e.g. the Library of the National Archives). Only after studying the secondary literature it is advisable to start research into the primary archival sources (see the enclosure). The great majority of researchers is satisfied with finding the family crest or "sheepskin" (patent of nobility) and the donatory (ancestor). Only very few take pains to deduce the line of descent between the two ends and to explore the age-long hiatus systematically. We remark that in Hungary nobiliary privileges were abrogated as early as the period following the 1948-1849 revolution and war of independence, however, the sovereign granted arms as late as 1918. The noble title, privileges and status were terminated on the basis of Article 1. of Act IV/1947: "On termination of certain positions and titles".



In addition to the parish registers the most practical means of research to study the past of civic families is the archives of the relevant city/town. The city of Budapest (Archives of the City of Budapest; 1052 Budapest, Városház u. 9-11), Székesfehérvár, as well as Győr and Tatabánya have their own city archives. Archives of other cities are usually integrated with the competent county archives. Of course, research in the National Archives may also prove to be successful. In the first place, the national census returns of 1715, 1720 and 1828 may be taken into account.



For those interested in the history of serf families, similarly to civic families, (besides parish registers) it is most practical to start with census returns. Coming to know that at which landlord's domain the family lived, the next move is the same as in the case of market-town commoners, research must continue in the family archives of the relevant landlord. In the case of serf or cottar (landless) families it is also advisable to look over terriers (archival call-number C 59), census returns (E 156), as well as church-rate and tithe indexes (Regesta decimarium, E 159), accounts and receipts.



Researchers interested in German settlements of the 18th century (mainly to Baranya, Tolna, the Bakony, Bácska and the Banat) may have luck, in case the settlers got to the southern part of Hungary between 1781 and 1790 as a result of Chamber settlements. Several publications have appeared concerning German settlements; the works of Werner Hacker are highly recommended.


However, if the settlers in point did not get to Hungary in the course of the settlements of 1781-1790, it is almost sure that the relevant list of settlers should be searched for in Vienna.

Neither will the name of the settlers appear in the list if they got to Hungary otherwise than in the framework of Chamber settlements. The names of German settlers brought to Hungary by private landlords (e.g. the Germans in the Bakony, Baranya or the Swabians of Tolna) can only be found in the family archives of the relevant private landlord in very fortunate cases.

Otherwise, in the case of German settlers the same sources must be looked over as in the case of civic or peasant families. The census returns of 1828 must be studied, as at the time of its preparation the settlers already lived in Hungary.



In terms of genealogy, the following sources may also prove to be valuable: county census returns and (county) general assembly protocols, the cadastral land survey records from the age of Joseph Habsburg II, military recruitment lists (Rekrutierungs-register; microfilm collection: B 283-B 967), the nobiliary records from the recent territory of Hungary (Acta Nobilium Comitatuum, 16th-19th centuries; the original records are kept in the competent county archives; microfilm collection: boxes B 1121-B 1430, B 1564- B 1583).



As a result of the economic crisis at the end of the 19th century, until the outbreak of World War I more than 3 million people emigrated from the territory of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy to America, hundreds of thousands of whom were Hungarians. In fact, the emigration-fever reached Hungary as early as the beginning of the 1880s. According to statistical accounts, between 1899 and 1913, 1.390.525 persons emigrated from the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary, among them 400.000 Hungarians, mostly through the seaports of Fiume and Hamburg. More than 86% of the emigrants settled down in the USA. The third and fourth generations of the emigrants descendants give a considerable proportion of foreign family history researchers. Most of them no longer speaks Hungarian, and they have only very confused and inaccurate memories about their families (names, places of birth/marriage, dates, etc.). American researchers tend to generalise - e.g. his/her grandfather/great-grandfather was born/died or got married somewhere in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, presumably in Budapest; his/her grandfather/great-grandfather served in the Monarchy's army and died in World War I, one of his/her great-great-grandfathers was the soldier of Kossuth, etc.

Regarding genealogy, we recommend Hungarian-speaking American researchers the following publications: Puskás Julianna: Kivándorló magyarok az Egyesült Államokban 1880-1940. Budapest, 1982. and Tezla Albert: "Valahol túl, meseországban, …"- Az amerikás magyarok 1895-1920. Budapest, 1987. (this latter has an English translation, too: The Hazardous Quest. Hungarian immigrants in the United States. Budapest, 1993.) From Hungary the great majority of emigrants sailed to America by Cunard Line through the seaport of Fiume. The smaller part of them, however, departed from Hamburg by the Falk & Társa (Falck & Compagnie) company. The emigrations that occurred through Fiume appeared in a local newspaper, the "Kivándorlási értesítő" (c. Emigration Report). This paper, published in Fiume (recently Rijeka, Croatia) between 1903 and 1907, fortnightly provided detailed lists of the emigrants who embarked at Fiume (name, age, place of birth, etc.; microfilm collection: box 47355). Former daily and weekly Hungarian newspapers published in the United States also contain a great deal of information on emigrants (immigrants): Amerikai Magyar Népszava-American-Hungarian People's Voice (New York, 1899-1942); Bevándorló-The Immigrant (New York, 1904-1911), Magyar Híradó-Hungarian Courier (Pittsburg, 1907-1925); Magyar Hírlap-Hungarian Herald (Detroit, 1914-1933); Magyarok Vasárnapja-Hungarians' Sunday (Cleveland, 1901-1927); etc.



To researchers interested in families of Jewish origin we recommend the following publications as primary information: Kempelen, Béla: Magyarországi zsidó és zsidó eredetű családok ("Jewish families in Hungary") I-III. Budapest, 1937-1939; Stein, Artúr: A felekezeti anyakönyvek Magyarországon II.rész, A zsidók anyakönyvei és konskripciói ("Registers of denominations in Hungary, The registers and censuses of the Jews"), Budapest, 1941; Az izraelita anyakönyvi kerületek székhelyeinek és területeinek kimutatása ("Index of the seats and areas of the Israelite registry districts"), Budapest, 1885; Haraszti, György: Magyar zsidó levéltári repertórium ("Hungarian Jewish archival repertory"), Budapest, 1993; A magyar-zsidó oklevéltár (Monumenta Hungariae Judaica) 1-18., Budapest, 1903-1980; Note that the Hungarian Jewish Archives can also be found in Budapest. (Address: 1075 Budapest, Síp u. 12.)

Mention must be made on the fact that the research of these families is perhaps the most difficult one. Several reasons have contributed to this: as we mentioned in the introduction, Jewish population was obliged to adopt family names by Emperor Joseph Habsburg II., for he disapproved of the oriental type Jewish names (e.g. Akiba ben Moses, i.e. Akiba son of Moses) the use of which were inconsequent anyway. That was when Jews adopted German family names, but mass Magyarization of names occurred only from the last third of the 19th century, whereas the 1920s and 1930s saw a massive conversion to Christianity, first and foremost for political reasons and for fear, to avoid the effects of anti-Semite laws and, after all, pogroms. Compulsory registration was also introduced relatively late, in 1851. Due to the persecution of Jews during the Second World War, countless Jewish-related documents (including registers!) had lost or perished. The exceptional mobility of the Jewish people makes research even more difficult (due to their way of life they moved from one place to the other almost permanently).

Censuses of Jews

In addition to the registers of births, marriages and deaths it is absolutely necessary to look over the censuses of Jewish population taken for different purposes and in different times.

1. Census Returns of Jews of 1725-1728-1755 (Royal Hungarian Locotenential Council, Acta Judaeorum - call-number: C 29) (microfilm collection: boxes 26557, 40789-40795)

2. Transylvanian Census of Jews of 1813-1845 (F 46) (microfilm: box 1605)

3. Country-wide census of Jews of 1848 (Only the material of 23 county and 15 cities survived, organised in the alphabetical order of cities and counties; Police Material of the Ministry of 1848-1849, H 15; microfilm collection: census returns B 1721-B 1725)

4. Census Returns of Jews 1827-1853. Original place of preservation: Hungarian Jewish Archives, Budapest (microfilm collection: box 45851).



Regarding family history research, the question of renaming (Magyarization) may also be crucial. After all, if you do not know who Magyarized his name from what and when, research can easily stall. Magyarization assumed more considerable proportions in the second half of the 19th century, and again between the 20s and 40s of the 20th century. Two publications deal with this subject: Waltherr, Imre: Névváltoztatások ("Changing of Names") 1817-1871 (manuscript, Hungarian; the Library of the National Archives of Hungary), 1872. Szentiványi, Zoltán: Századunk névváltoztatásai. Helyhatósági és miniszteri engedéllyel megváltoztatott nevek gyűjteménye ("The Changing of Names in Our Century") 1800-1893. Budapest, 1895.

The renaming records of the 20th century (1904-1944) are kept in the Archives of the Ministry of the Interior (K 150). Only the alphabetical card-indexes have microfilm copies (microfilm collection: boxes 30789-30809).



The more significant microfilmed genealogical sources preserved in the Microfilm Collection of the National Archives of Hungary are as follows:

Libri Regii - (A 57) 1527-1867 years (microfilm collection: boxes 37217-37251)

Libri regii dignitatum - (A 62) 1786-1867 (microfilm collection: box 23353)

(Libri regii primae classis - B 18) Transylvanian Royal Books 1687-1848 (microfilm collection: boxes 7191-7204)

(Libri regii dignitatum secundae classis - B 20) Transylvanian Royal Books 1790-1848 (microfilm collection: boxes 7204-7205)

Libri Regii - The National Archives of the Chapter of Gyulafehérvár - (F 1) 1581-1680 Transylvanian Royal Books (microfilm collection: boxes 1193-1205; 2330; 26516/2 and 39237-39245)

The National Archives of the Convent of Kolozsmonostor - Protocolla, libri regii et stylionaria (F 15) 1534-1708, Transylvanian Royal Books (microfilm collection: boxes 1576-1596)

Royal Books - Ministry Responsible for the Affairs Concerning the King - (K 19) 1867-1918, Transylvanian Royal Books (microfilm collection: boxes 7042-7047)

Acta nobilium (records concerning proofs of nobility under Charles Habsburg III and Maria Theresa) 1723-1784 (C 30) (microfilm collection: boxes B 1089-1120 and 9384)

Departmentum nobilitare 1783-1848 (records of the department established to confirm nobility) (C 57) (microfilm collection: boxes B 968 - B1089; the list and the name index are in the boxes B 968-975)

County nobiliary records (and county assembly protocols) see the National Archives' List of Records, Index of Microfilms or the computer database.

Genealogical tables 13th-19th century (National Archives, Section P) (microfilm collection: boxes B 1431-B 1470)

Genealogical tables 16th-19th century (Archives of the National Government Authorities of Transylvania, the National Archives of the Chapter of Gyulafehérvár) (F 6) (microfilm collection: boxes B 1470 -B 1471)

Genealogical tables 16th-19th century (Judicial Archives) (O 59) (microfilm collection: boxes B 1471 -B 1473)

Károly Pataki-collection 1500-1899 (A 133) (microfilm collection: boxes B 1583 -B 1585)

Peláthy-collection 1500-1899 (R 272) (microfilm collection: boxes B 1534 -B 1563)

Daróczy-collection (microfilm collection: boxes 40593 -40684; the original manuscript is preserved in the Ráday Archives)

Minor Fragments of Family Fonds 1527-1957 (R 319) (microfilm collection: boxes 47504 -47544). This contains family records and fragments of fonds which cannot be integrated into the family archives of the National Archives. The families are arranged alphabetically.

Domestic crested charters and nobiliary papers 1526-1923 (R 64). Only an insignificant fragment of this is on microfilm (229 selected frames). It was transferred to the custody of the National Archives from the Archives Department of the Hungarian National Museum. Meanwhile, it has been considerably expanded by purchase, donations and rearrangements. The publication entitled "A Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum könyvtárának címereslevelei" ("The Crested Charters of the Library of the Hungarian National Museum") vol. I-VIII; Budapest, 1902-1942 by Antal Áldássy, as well as the alphabetical card-index of family names have been created by processing these records.

Foreign crested charters and nobiliary papers 1541-1882 (R 126). ). These were transferred to the custody of the National Archives from the Hungarian National Museum, as well. Largely, charters of Holy Roman emperors, imperial palatines, Austrian archdukes and Estates, as well as Russian tsars, Polish kings, etc., along with several conferment (of knighthood) and some diplomas of indigenatus. Some of them are Hungarian-related. These have no microfilm copies.

Conscriptio Portarum. Records concerning the preparations of the national censuses of 1715 and 1720, their administration and the modification of tax system carried out on the basis of the census returns. 1695-1720 (N 76) (microfilm collection: boxes 3149 - 3152)

Antiquiores conscriptiones (N 77) (microfilm collection: boxes 3152 - 3154)

The census returns of 1715 (N78) (microfilm collection: boxes 3119 - 3131)

The census returns of 1720 (N79) (microfilm collection: boxes 3131 - 3149, 3154)

The census returns of 1728 (only the material of some counties preserved in county archives ) (microfilm collection: boxes 8374 - 8386)

Departamentum urbarie 1723 -1848 (C 59) (microfilm collection: boxes 4107 - 4314, 20667-20702)

The national census returns of 1828 - Conscriptio regnicolaris (N 26) (microfilm collection: boxes B 1 - B 282, 8612, 25389 -25404) Only the heads of housholds are named, the other adult family members (aged 18-60), as well as servants, serfs, and the landless are indicated in points of numbers. The number of major domestic animals is also indicated.

Only the material of some towns and counties survived from the census returns of 1857, mainly fragmented. (microfilm collection: boxes B 1726 - B 1735, B 1751 - B 1804, B 1809, B 1811 - B 1813)

The census returns of 1869 are also very deficient and only contains the records of some towns and counties (microfilm collection: boxes B 1474 - B 1533, B 1586 - B 1720, B 1735 - B 1751, B 1804 - B 1810, B 1813 - B 1816 )

Dicalis (tax) census returns (Conscriptiones portarum) 1530-1707 (E 158) (microfilm collection: boxes 1627 - 1686)

Regesta decimarum (church-rates/tithes census returns) 16th-18th cent. (E 159) (microfilm collection: boxes 9537 - 9935)

Terriers of 1785/1786 (Transylvania only) (F 51) (microfilm collection: boxes 24995 - 25023)

Urbaria et conscriptiones - U et C (terriers, contracts) 15th-19th cent. (E 156), card- index in the main research room (microfilm collection: boxes 2201a - 2577a, 31537-31538)

Miscellaneous census returns (Transylvania) 16th century to 1809 (F 49) (microfilm collection: boxes 8643 - 8676)

The census returns of 1750 (Transylvania only) (F 50) (microfilm collection: boxes 26469 - 26515)

National nobiliary census of 1754-1755 (Cathalogus Nobilium A 75) (microfilm collection: box 40788)

Transylvanian census returns of Jews 1813-1845 (F 46) (microfilm collection: box 1605)

Cziráky-terrier 1819-1820 (Transylvania, Conscriptio Czirakyana) (F 52) (microfilm collection: boxes 25674 - 25727)

Cesuses of Jews 1725-1728-1755 (Acta Judaeorum - C 29) (microfilm collection: boxes 26557, 40789 - 40795)

National census of Jews of 1848 (towns and counties alphabetically arranged) (H 15) (microfilm collection: boxes B 1721 - B 1725, list and index: 31143-31144)

Census of Jews 1848, Pozsony County (microfilm collection: box 43504)

Census of Jews 1827-1853. Original place of preservation: Hungarian Jewish Archives, Budapest (microfilm collection: box 45851)

Military conscription lists - with some exceptions (e.g. Heves County) 19th century to 1918. (The original list are preserved in the county archives, microfilm copies: microfilm collection: boxes B 283 - B 967)

Hungarian Royal Chancellery (Acta Miscellanea, Fasc. 5 Genealogy-related records, 17th-19th cent., A 120; microfilm collection: box 31618)

Protocols of canonical visitations (Visitationes canonicae) - mainly usable in genealogy in case they include the so called "Lista Animarium" i.e. "census of souls". Arranged by dioceses and deaneries; microfilm collection: boxes 52, 847-850, 1687-1691, 2591-2599, 4456-4458, 5197-5201, 10491-10498, 13745-13748, 20013-20017, 21076-21086, 21168-21197, 21769-21794, 21937-21964, 23358-23373, 23443-23619, 23717-23749, 23781-23854, 26687-26690, 29061-29067.

Conscriptiones animarium (censuses of souls):

Borsod County

year 1780

box 16754

City of Debrecen


box 16751

Csanád County


box 31720.

Komárom County

year 1774

box C 541.

Pest County


boxes 16750-16751.

Somogy County


box 16754.

Upper Szeged Minorite Order


box 31720.

Tolna County


boxes 16752-16754., 

Turóc County

year 1771

box C 541

Veszprém County



Zala County



Parish Registers
: arranged in alphabetical order and by denominations. The publication entitled "Egyházi anyakönyvek mikrofilmmásolatai" (Microfilm Copies of Parish Registers); Budapest, 1977, by Margit Judák; the card-index of the Óbuda Division of the National Archives; the microfilm inventories of Series A, as well as the computer database of the Department of Reprography on the Internet give a bold outline of them. The publication entitled "A Magyar Országos Levéltár Filmtárában mikrofilmen őrzött anyakönyvek katalógusa I-II. NAH, Budapest, 1998 (The Catalogue of Microfilm Copies of Parish Registers Preserved in the Microfilm Collection of the National Archives of Hungary) provides much more detailed and up to date information then the above mentioned Judák-repertory. The Kálniczky-inventory, besides the basis number, also indicates the microfilm call-numbers of parish registers, as well as the very detailed index and list of succursal churches, just as the computer database does. In addition, it gives details on place name versions, providing an extensive place name index, too. As a local history curiosity, it also often indicates the date of construction of the church (chapel, synagogue), its architectural style, as well as its patron saint. The position of registers in the microfilm collection: boxes A1 - A 5583, in Series C the microfilm copies of registers from Upper Hungarian settlements preserved in the National Archives of Hungary. In addition, sporadic microfilmed registers can be found in the so called "large series" (e.g. registers of different denominations of Kolozsvár, boxes 6457-6482). Recently, the registers microfilmed following the close of Series A are kept in the "large series", too. The duplicates of consular registers (1898-1918) have no microfilm copies; Reference code: MOL N 113.

The records of the National Board of the Order of Knights (originals in the Archives of War History; microfilm collection of NAH: boxes 48150-48177). Order of Knights ("Vitézi Rend") -related records are also preserved in NAH (N 109, Ladula SSS 1921-1944; records of the National Board of the Order of Knights, P 1709, from 1940-1946 but these have no microfilm copies). In Hungary, the title of knights were terminated in 1945, but it was kept alive abroad, what is more, it was accepted by the International List of Orders of Knights, in 1992. In the same year, the Order of Knights was restored in Hungary, too.

Székely (Szekler, i.e. Magyar of Eastern Transylvania) lustrum registers and nobiliary census returns 1635-1737 (F 136, microfilm collection: boxes 1710-1712)

Homagialia 1706-1839 (F 138, microfilm collection: boxes 9392, 45212-45223) The crested seals of several Szekler families can be found in the homagialis texts.


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Last Update: 15 November 2020                                                    Copyright © 2003-2021, Bill Tarkulich