On Genealogy in general

Every year more and more people are finding the excitement and interest of tracing their family history. We have experienced that society is sharply divided into two groups, one of which extremely interested in the past, in history of his or her family, while the other part is perfectly indifferent in this respect. There is no room between.

Our suggestion to all that are about to begin to deal with genealogy, with researching ancestors, is start research-work by collecting facts known by relatives.

Only after having done this is it advisable to carry on research in institutions where public data, registers or the copy of these can be found. It is this work, we wish to give you a few useful advice, information on methods and lexology.

This research, GENEALOGY is an investigation during which the researcher deals with birth, marriage and death registers and the indices of them. He or she may get acquainted with last-wills, censuses of noble people and of bourgeois, special literature of Genealogy and with several other church and archive sources.

Following this road the researcher will, with some luck and a lot of research work of feverish activity, and of excitement, be able to construct his family-tree back two or three centuries.

Genealogy - Oxford Dictionary: "( Gk.) investigation of pedigrees. In general terms it is account of descent from ancestor by enumeration of intermediate persons." In a narrow sense origin it is science dealing with origin, descent and coherence of generae. As an auxiliary science of history it may be regarded as requisite. Apart from this, jurisprudence ranges it among its most important auxiliary sciences; i.e. it often has got a deceive effect in lawsuits of inheritance.

The science of Genealogy consists of two parts, a theoretical and a practical one. The first deals with the rules according to which putting together descent, degree of relationship of certain branches, and family data should go.

The part of practice shows rules of applying these.

Applying Genealogy is confined to families with outstanding and essential role in a country. Such as princely and aristocratic families or those of nobility .

Tables of genealogy serve the purpose of demonstrating relationship. These present data of both male and female members of the family, their date of birth, marriage and death as well as certain data telling them from the rest of the members.

Besides, there exists tables of heritage and history, the first one presenting the ones qualified for heritage, while the latter only enumerates the persons oh historical fame.

It is the progenitor who can be found on the top and descendants are tied with lines.

A tree used to be used to show relationship of genealogy ancestors constituting the root, while branches of different colour showed each branch of the family.

Genealogy was first treated as science in the XV. century. Although reality and saga turned up mixed there. Tradition, vanity of certain families and lack of historical critic had contributed to this method. So was it possible for some families to trace ancestors up to the Romans. The first works on genealogy, like those of Rüxner, Turnierbuch Simmern (1527); Zellius, Genealogia insignium imperatorum, regum et principum (Königsberg 1563); Henniges, Theatrum genealogicum (5vol.) etc. are kept in the same spirit. Similar are the works of de Rosiére (1580) in France. It was this work that started the French proverb : "mentir eomme un généslogiste"

It was Strenius (+ 1601), who first began to work on a scientific basis; he elaborated on ancient Roman family history.

His method was carried on by Glandorp és Guilliman (+ 1612), who in his work Habsburgica used documents. Works of Bucelin G. are also of worth to mention, especially Germania topoohronostemmatographica published in1655-68. It was du Chesne (+ 1640) and d'Hogier (+ 1660.), who treated this science on critical bases first. They were followed in France by Anselm 1674., De Laboureur 1683. and Lancelot 1716., in England 1675. Dugdale. In Germany N. Ritterhusius was the first acting this way and his follower J.P Spener, who first combined Genealogy with Heraldy. Ritterhusius was followed by F.W. Imhof and Köhler F. D. The old trend was represented in Hungary by Trophaeum Domus Estoras. Wagner and others worked following this, too. It was in the fifties of the nineteenth century that the work of Nagy István: "Magyarország családai címerekkel és nemzedékrendi táblákkal" (The families of Hungary with coat of arms and tables of orders of generations) (Budapest 1857- 65,12 vol. ) was published. A supplement was published in1868. To be mentioned are essays of M. G. Wertner . It was the Hungarian Society for Genealogy and Heraldry, which aimed at working on Genealogy here. Its gazette the Turul, published quarterly in booklets, dealt almost only with problems of Genealogy. It is the same society that publishes the Hungarian Almanac of Nationalities. So far 2 volumes has been published. Fõrangú családok (Families of aristocracy) (Budapest 1888); Nemes családok (Families of nobility) I. (Budapest. 1905). Works of B. Kempelen: Magyar nemes családok (Hungarian families of nobility) (Budapest. 1911-1913-ig 5 vol.) and Magyar Nemesi Almanach (Almanach of Hungarian Noblepeople.) (Budapest 1909). Family history research is much more than genealogy.

The family historian is interested not only in the familytree and the members of the family but in every information available about ancestors. Where they lived, how they lived , were outstanding individuals one can be proud of among them, what their profession was, what the ate, how they were dressed, what illnesses the suffered from, what caused their deaths, were they poor or wealthy etc.

Records may cast light on a lot of facts though finding your way among the datas well as being able to draw the necessary consequences requires special knowledge .The immense historic data sources. may contain all this information and now it is up to the researcher, his stamina and preparedness whether result follows.

Every minor, insignificant data may be of help in our research, so special attention should be paid to conversation with elderly relatives and to their account. This might spare a lot of superfluous and tiring work later on.

Every note, document , extract, school certificate, notification of death should be collected, moreover the family Holy Bible looked through; Important family events used to be noted in it. Old family books should be treated in the same way to find notes, names there.

Experience proves that much more documents are in the possession of the family you would think and it is wise to collect and systemize them before any other person of other opinion throws them out.

The modest introduction above may be of explanation of what Genealogy really is, and why it is infectious once caught up in it...

Heraldry, the conscience of Genealogy is nothing else as science dealing with coat of arms of families.

Genealogy is popular in Hungary.

State, municipal, also called civil registering , that is birth, marriage and death registers have been on here since 1895.

Church registering of births, marriages and deaths has been going on in Hungary – depending on religions and churches – since about 1590-1650.

A rather small percentage of church registers are indexed. (Index is an alphabetical nameorder showing where a certain name turns up in the register making it unnecessary to look through the entire book line by line.)

The invaluable material to research which can be found in the archives of the National Archive and the Budapest and county ones may be of immense interest of genealogy researchers. We may proudly claim that the collections themselves, their systems and the way they are organised – thanks to the devoted and provided work of our foregoers– are , even on a world-wide scale, outstanding.

Regrettably a lot of archive material has gone lost during the wars having been waged in Hungary, a lot of family archive was burnt either as trash for barbars or intentionally in 1945.