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Who's Who in Budapest, 1837, 1845

Data compiled and edited by Peter I. Hidas, Ph.D.
Retired professor of history (Dawson College, Montreal)

Introduction

At the beginning of the 1980s, taking advantage of my newly acquired computer learning I began studying the nineteenth century demography of the Hungarian Jews.  I gathered most of the necessary data in the archives of Budapest, namely in the national and the city archives.  My findings, a statistical analysis of the urbanizations of religious groups in mid-nineteenth century Hungary, were presented at a conference in Jerusalem in January 1988.  In 1992, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem published the study along with the works of other historians under the title Jews in the Hungarian Economy 1760-1945, ed. Michael K. Silber.  You can find my essay "Hidden Urbanization: The Birth of the Bourgeoisie in Mid-Nineteenth Century Hungary", on the internet at: http://www3.sympatico.ca/thidas/Hungarian-history/Jews.html.

Not all of my research material was incorporated in my original study.  In the archives I found several enumerations of the Pest Jews.  These lists were prepared by the authorities for taxation purposes and to establish legal residence in the town.  The 1837 roll contained the listed person's occupation, legal status, town of birth, and date of arrival.  Budapest Föváros Levéltára, Pest Város Levéltára [Budapest Capital City Archives], Tanácsi Iratok [Council Papers, Archivum novum, 1814-1847, 1837].  I matched the 1837 roll against a 1845 list which I found in the Hungarian National Archives (Feudális-kori kormányszervek osztálya [Department of Feudal Age Government Organs (I. osztály) [First Department] C szekció [C section] Helytartótanácsi Levéltár 17.sz.1848 (1913), C 55, Departmentum Judaeorum, 1724-1876].  Here each person's yearly income was also added.  I further followed up the list in the contemporary press (Pester Lloyd) and various registries (e.g. Chamber of Commerce) and the prominent members of the business community in the book by Professors Charles Vörös and Vera Bácskai (Károly Vörös, Budapest legnagyobb adófizetöi 1873-1917 (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1979; Vera Bácskai, A vállalkozók elöfutárai [The Forerunners of Entrepreneurs] (Budapest, Magvetö, 1989)).

The Database

The database consists of the following fields:

  • Surname and Given Name of the head of the family
  • Occupation in the first year listed in the “Year(s) of Registration” column
  • Income in forints per year (available for 1845 only)
  • Place of origin
  • Year(s) of Registration
  • Year of arrival to Pest
  • Comments

There are 1,380 records in the database.  The list is not complete but numerically close to the number of Jewish families present in Pest in 1837.  In 1833, there were 1,356 Jewish families (6,983 persons) in the town.  It is hoped that many of you will find traces of your family you are searching for in order to put more leaves on your family tree.


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