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Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County, Hungary Genealogy

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Guide to Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

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How to Find Birth, Marriage, and Death Records in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg[edit | edit source]

The vast majority of Hungarian genealogy research requires only two record groups: civil registration and church records. This article will help you locate and use those two records in online databases, microfilms, and through correspondence.

History[edit | edit source]

Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county was organized after World War II from the previous counties Szatmár-Ugocsa-Bereg and Szabolcs. Before 1991, it was called Szabolcs-Szatmár county.

Civil Registration (Állami anyakönyvek)[edit | edit source]

Hungarian Civil registration began on October 1, 1895 and continues to the present.

Contents:

Births: name of child, date of entry, place and date of birth; names, ages and residence of parents; until 1948, also the religion of parents, names of witnesses.
Marriages: date and place of marriage; names, occupations, dates and places of birth and residences of groom and bride; names and residences of parents and witnesses; until 1948, also the religion.
Deaths: name, occupation, residence and age of the deceased; dates of death and burial; names of surviving spouse and parents; place and cause of death; until 1948, also the religion.


The originals of these registers are kept at Civil Registrars’ offices [anyakönyvi hivatal] in town halls [Állami Nyilvan tartási Hivatal]. Up to 1980 the registrars’ offices sent transcripts of these volumes to the county archives, or, in the case of Budapest, to the municipal archives

For more information, including translated examples of records, see Hungary Civil Registration.

1. Hungarian Civil Registration Online Databases[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com and MyHeritage.com can be used without charge at a family history center near you.

2. Microfilms of Civil Registration for Hungary[edit | edit source]

Microfilms of the original records used for developing the online databases are also available for research. You will find additional records that have yet to be digitized. Currently, they are being digitized, and plans are to complete that project by 2020. Check back occasionally to see if your records have become available. In the meantime, some of them might be available at a Family History Center near you.
To find a microfilm:

a. Click on this link to see a list of records for Hungary, Szabolcs-Szatmár or records for Hungary, Bereg
b. Click on "Places within Hungary, Szabolcs-Szatmár" or "Places within Hungary, Bereg"and a list of towns and cities will open.
c. Click on the town or city you wish to search.
d. Click on "Civil Registration" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Choose the correct event and time period for your ancestor. Kereszteltek means births. Házasultak means marriages, Halottak mean deaths.
f. Some combination of the icons shown below will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record.
FHL icons.png
Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm.

3. Research by Mail[edit | edit source]

If the records you want are not available through the Family History Library, you can write to the Hungarian Embassy to request information. For instructions on how to obtain birth, marriage or death certificate from Hungary go to: Obtaining Birth, Marriage, Divorce, Death Certificates From Hungary The fee is $57.00 per certificate.

Church Registers (Anyakönyvek)[edit | edit source]

Church Registers refer to the records of births/christenings, marriages, and deaths/burials recorded by churches (also First Communions, Confirmations and conversions). At the Peace of Linz in 1645, Hungary successfully forced the ruling Habsburgs to recognize four religions: Catholicism, Lutheranism, Calvinism, and Unitarianism. In 1730, Hungarian Catholic priests were ordered to record non-Catholics in their church register books. Protestants were authorized in 1787 to keep their registers independent of Catholic control.

Contents:

Christening registers - infant’s name, name and surname of father and mother, christening date (most also give the birth date); sometimes names of grandparents; names of godparents.
Marriage registers - names of groom and bride, date of marriage, often include ages, residences, occupations, previous marital status, names of parents, sometimes the birthplace; names of witnesses.
Burial/Death registers - name of the deceased, date and place of death and burial, place of residence; sometimes cause of death, names of survivors, occasionally the date and place of birth.

Church records are the property of the state and are stored in the archives of the various Hungarian counties under direction of the National Archives of Hungary [Országos Leveltár] in Budapest.

For more information, including translated examples of records, see Hungary Church Records.

1. Hungarian Church Records Online Databases[edit | edit source]


Ancestry.com

MyHeritage

2. Microfilms of Church Records for Hungary[edit | edit source]

Microfilms of the original records used for developing the online databases are also available for research. You will find additional records that have yet to be digitized. Close to 100% of church records for all denominations have been microfilmed.Currently, they are being digitized, and plans are to complete that project by 2020. Check back occasionally to see if your records have become available. In the meantime, some of them might be available at a Family History Center near you.
To find a microfilm:

a. Click on this link to see a list of records for Hungary, Szabolcs-Szatmár or records for Hungary, Bereg
b. Click on "Places within Hungary, Szabolcs-Szatmár" or "Places within Hungary, Bereg"and a list of towns and cities will open.
c. Click on the town or city you wish to search.
d. Click on "Church Records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Choose the correct event and time period for your ancestor. Kereszteltek means births. Házasultak means marriages, Halottak mean deaths.Konfirmáltak means confirmations. For records written in Slovakian, Krsty means christenings. Manželstvá means marriages. Úmrtia means burials.
f. Some combination of the icons shown below will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record.
FHL icons.png
Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm.

Reading the Records[edit | edit source]

  • You do not have to be fluent in Hungarian to read your documents. Genealogical records usually contain a limited vocabulary. Use this Hungary Genealogical Word List to translate the important points in the document. In Catholic records, you might need the Latin Word List.

Search Strategy[edit | edit source]

  • Search for the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find his birth record, search for the births of his brothers and sisters.
  • Next, search for the marriage of his parents. The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents.
  • You can estimate the ages of the parents and determine a birth year to search for their birth records.
  • Search the death registers for all known family members.
  • Repeat this process for both the father and the mother, starting with their birth records, then their siblings' births, then their parents' marriages, and so on.
  • If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.