Sunday, July 11, 2021

Hungarian Documents - Another Resource

If you have family that came from Hungary, or adjacent areas like Galicia, you'll want to check this out--a growing repository of images from Hungarian archives, along with indexed records that will direct you how to find originals.

Prison Record for Wolf Berkovits, originally of Nereshaza, Maramaros, Hungary (currently Neresnytysa, Ukraine)

Hungaricana's Levéltári Iratgyűjtemények (Archival Collections) has a growing repository of records of people who lived across Greater Hungary--and the general vicinity.  While my family lived in the part of Hungary that is now Ukraine, I have found some records relating to them as well--sometimes for branches that moved to Budapest, and others who had business in the city.  I've also found records for people from Galicia, which had a huge Jewish population.

So how do you search and what can you find?

  1. Go to (where you can also see a list of what is included).
  2. Use the search box on the top where it says "Keresés: Levéltári Iratgyűjtemények" and start searching.
  3. Remember that you can use Google Chrome to translate the pages automatically.  (You'll still need to have someone help you translate actual documents, if you do not understand Hungarian.)

 Some tips:

  1. Search for surnames with multiple spellings.  Different spellings will have different search results (but don't worry about diacritics/accent marks).  
    1. I found different records by searching for "Rutner," "Ruttner," and "Ruthner."  
    2. I found different records for searching for "Fuchs," "Fuchsz," and "Fux." And "Tuchs" and "Tux" as well!
    3. If your name ends in -vics, search with -vits, vic, -vitz, etc.
  2. Search for towns where your family lived, using Hungarian names.  Especially if your family is from a small village, you may find records of interest--including those where your own family surname was misindexed, so won't be found when searching by surname.
  3. Think about transcription errors and search using those.  I found a Moskovics indexed as Noskovics, for example. 

Some of the results will have attached images, such as the one above.  From here, I learned that a neighbor of my relatives ended up in prison in Budapest, hundreds of miles away.  His record gives the names of his parents (including his mother's maiden name) and that of his spouse.  We also get a physical description of Wolf.  There's also copious information on his crime and living circumstances, which can help flesh out his life's story.

Many of the results are just "fact of"--they will tell you that a person is involved in the mentioned record, but the record has not been digitized.  

Hungaricana Index Result for Jakab Salamon Ruttner

As seen above, my cousin Jakab Salamon Ruttner has an entry in notarial documents from 1941--and is involved with the maintenance of his sister.  Jakab Salamon had several sisters, some of which I've "lost" likely because they married and I do not know their married names.  I'm hopeful that this document will help me to locate one of those sisters and potentially give me more information about this branch of the family.

But this only tells me that the document exists, it isn't the document itself.  I've worked through the process to request a digital copy and I'm waiting on that.  If it works, I'll post the steps here in a future post.  I requested several documents, so hopefully this'll come through!

UPDATE: Instructions on how to order documents can be found here.

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  1. What are the differences between what we can find here resource and what Macse has?

    1. They’re completely different. I use MACSE almost solely for their indexed vital records. This site has no vital records.

  2. Do you know if there is a straightforward way to download the documents when they are already linked from the indexed records? I found three prison records for my gg-uncles which all link to the document itself, and clicking on the document brings it up in a viewer where I can zoom in and read the whole thing at a great resolution, and even adjust the contrast and brightness. Awesome! Except there's apparently no obvious way to actually *download* the image of the full page; all I can do is view it in their proprietary viewer.

    Some messing around with the "inspect" function in Chrome turned up a folder that might contain the file I want (the URL is long and starts with, but the best I was able to do using that method was to download some tiled, low-resolution images of the document. I'd ideally like a complete image of the page at a decent resolution so I can upload it to ViewMate for a translation. Am I missing something in the UI that would allow me to easily download the full page?

    1. Some are available on the original archive website as well. You can also Google to see how others have used dezoomify and other workarounds.

    2. Thank you!! The dezoomify extension was totally new to me, and it worked beautifully. Off to figure out how to best compress a 43 MB PNG file down to a 3 MB JPEG...

  3. I've been following my wife's Hungarian and pre-cursor family tree. I found all the direct details - with siblings at each level - back to "unconnected" forebears, born about 1820s, from the JewishGen Births and marriages - based on the "Rabbis List", which I looked through also. This leaves the post 1895 details. I've used Hungarian Vital records, to find subsequent birth, marriage and death information - and also turn of the century criminal details - of course, not passed down in family lore. So I'm up to date with modern details - except the "disappearance" of a Hungarian soldier in 1916 - not on casualty lists yet "died in the WW1". (Was he shot - by his own side - or did he join up with a false name - see criminal above - or did he "shoot through"). Budapest records are relatively easy, but records from Ungvar are less. My wife's grandmother was born there in 1890. Some siblings are noted as born in the "SubCarpathian" online records but not her. I think this lady's father, a Dodeles, came from Brody - a DNA connection and records from Gesher Galicia. His wife was a Diamand - rather common name as you know. The rest of the Hungarian family appears to come from Muncacz - with very common - to there - surnames or from little towns on the edged of modern Slovakia, before moving to Budapest. In summary, the only records I've accessed are the Rabbi Lists - Neolog records, the later Hungarian Vital records but I don't know how to go beyond - further back - no precise details and common surnames - e.g. Krausz, Spitzer, Mermelstein. My own background is from Belarus. At least I can follow the Hungarian records - starting in German and then becoming Hungarian - my wife can assist with the latter. I'm always interested in finding more. Your blog is a great discovery.