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The 1848 Hungarian Jewish Census Database

Data Extraction and Donation by the JewishGen Hungarian SIG
Introduction by Robert Neu

· The Original Source Data
    · Background
    · Information in the Original Data
· The Database
    · Database Fields
    · Transcription Rules
    · Records currently in the Database
    · Notes
· Search the Database

The Original Source Data

Background

The 1848 Hungarian Jewish Census (The Census) was known by its Latin name, "Conscriptio Judaerum. 1848".  It is a survey of Jews in Hungary compiled after the failed Hungarian 1848 Revolution against Austria in the Spring of that year.  Though most of it was completed in 1848, in some counties (megye) it spilled over into 1849.  Most of the counties followed the same pattern and were supposed to collect the same data.  However, as no forms were supplied the data was collected in some cases on printed forms, but in most cases on plain paper with each recorder following his own locally created hand drawn form or pattern.

The “Census” covered all the counties of Greater Hungary as we refer to the territories under the Hungarian Crown prior to 1918, which included, among others, parts of Slovakia, Croatia, Ukraine and Romania.

Unfortunately, we do not have access to the entire Census.  The main available source at the present time consists of data that was made available to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), and was microfilmed in 1970, on seven microfilms.  These microfilms are listed in the Family History Catalog (FHLC) of the LDS.  They may be found by Subject ("Jews - Hungary") then ("Conscriptio Judaerum"), by Author ("Magyarország. Belügyminisztérium") then ("Conscriptio Judaerum").

We have become aware of additional data obtained by individuals for some counties (Megye) not part of the LDS collection.  We are investigating accessing these records so we can add them to the project.  We have just completed Szatmar Megye.  The original is located in the Nyíregyháza County Archive.  We are just starting to transcribe Pozsony Megye, and will be transcribing Csongrad Megye.  It is possible that the records for a couple of other megye may be located.  If you know of any other records — whether in Budapest, Bratislava (formerly Pozsony or Presbourg), or in any regional archives — please let us know.

Information in the Original Data

The Original “Census” includes the following information in columns, as follows:

  • Col 1: Entry Number for Individual or Family (sometime both).
  • Col 2: Family Name and First Name or relationship and first Name.
  • Col 3: Age.
  • Col 4: Country and Place of birth.
  • Col 5: If a foreigner, has residency permit “yes” or “no”.
  • Col 6: If no permit how long in country, and community.
  • Col 7: Occupation.
  • Col 8: Behavior (really Reputation).
  • Col 9: Remarks (rarely used).

This is an all-Jewish Census.  The only exception might be records for "non Jewish household domestic help".  The Census is the best source of information on Hungarian Jewry for the 19th Century, as by then Jews had a last name, and it contains people born in the late part of the 18th century, the early part of the 19th century, and those who would still be alive in the late 19th century and early 20th century.

The question always arises as to whether it is complete, or at least complete for the counties and locations covered.  Nobody can answer that question.  Though some of the counties do appear not to cover all areas.  All we can say is that it is the best we have for that point in time.

The Database

Census information for all the counties that are available will be included in the database.  However, not all the data for each record on the “Census” will be included, as the database is simply to be used as an index to the full original records.  Ultimately our goal is to link an image with its corresponding index.  Until then, researchers will have to consult the corresponding microfilm to view the complete information.

The database was assembled by volunteers from the JewishGen Hungarian Special Interest Group (H-SIG), serving as transcribers, data entry, and validators.  We greatly appreciate their efforts in this endeavor, whether they were part of those who started the database as a static file, and/or those who contributed to the searchable database.

Data from the Census was transcribed into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.  Diacritical marks (usually colloquially referred to as pronunciation marks, such as: á, é, ó, ü, etc) have been ignored.

Database Fields

The database consists of the following fields:

  • Town / County — identifies the county (megye) and town in which the individual lived.  These locality fields were transcribed exactly as they appear in the Census.  No attempt was made to change, translate or use a more modern version of the locality’s name.

  • Household # / Individual # — These numbers are useful for finding the record in the LDS microfilm.  As mentioned above, each census recorder followed a locally created hand-drawn form.

    Some recorders chose to record families by a single number assigned to the head of the household, and others assigned numbers to each individual.  If there is only a Household Number assigned to a record, then it is this number that should be used to look up a record in the LDS microfilm.

    If there is both an Individual Number and a Household Number assigned to a record, then the Individual Number represents the number assigned by the recorder and should be used to look up a record in the LDS microfilm.

    Sometimes there is only an Individual Number assigned, then that number for the Head of Household is the Household Number for all members of the household, though the Individual Number is used to find the record.

    Sometimes there is no number, then a sequential number starting with 9901 is assigned for each household in a given town.  Of course NO NUMBER appears in the record.

    Sometimes the recorder assigned an individual number starting with “1” for each household in the same town, but no Household Number in this case a sequential number for each town starting with 9901 is assigned.  Of course that number does not appear in the record.

  • Name — contains the surname and given name of the individual.  When the surname appears only for the head of household, it is repeated for each member of the household.  When no surname appears, sometime for domestic help, a dash or a blank is entered, indicating there was no name.

    Where due to the handwriting multiple possibilities exist as to interpretations, each possibility, up to three, is entered with a question mark and a slash (Example: "Stein?/Stern?").  The search engine will recognize each entry.  A single question mark indicates that the name in the Census could not be deciphered.  A dash indicates that there was no name.  If some letter could be deciphered, and some not, they are entered with a dash for each letter that could not be deciphered (Ex: "S---n").

  • Age — the Age is entered as it appears in the Census.

  • Relationship to Head of Household — the relationship is shown in English, according to a set translation (neje = spouse, fia = son, etc.).

  • Birth Town — the town/locality of birth, if any, is shown as it appears in the Census.

  • Birth Country — the country of birth, if any, is shown in English, as per standard translation (Magyar = Hungary, Lengyel = Poland, Orosz = Russia, Erdely = Transylvania, etc.).

  • Film # — the LDS Family History Library microfilm number, or Reference of other source of the original data.

  • Comments — Remarks, as they appear in the Census.

Transcription Rules

Names from the original Census were entered exactly as they appeared on the list.  If the name was abbreviated, it was transcribed exactly as abbreviated.  We could not be certain if "Abr." is Abram or Abraham, or if "Mich." is Michel or Michael.  No changes were made in the spellings of the name, either.

All diacritical marks (the little accent marks used above certain letters) were ignored.  This simplified transcription and data entry.  Their only function is to guide pronunciation, which was not necessary in the construction of the database.

For names that could only partially be deciphered, we entered as many letters as we could, substituting a dash "-" for each letter that could not be read.  Sometimes it was hard to tell exactly how many letters are in a name, so the number of dashes may not accurately reflect the number of missing letters.  If the name was totally illegible, we put a single question mark in the appropriate column.  A single dash in a surname or given name column denotes that no surname or given name was provided in the Census.

Sometimes, the same name can be used as a surname or a given name, such as "Joseph" or "David".  We were careful when transcribing a name such as "David Joseph" to enter the correct given name and surname in their respective columns.  By noting the order of names above and below the one in question, we could identify which was most likely the surname and which was most likely the given name.  This did become problematic in those cases where there was only one name given.  In those cases where the single name could be either a given name or surname, we made two entries.  One entry treated the single name as a surname, and the other treated the name as a given name.  A notation was made in the Comments column indicating this uncertainty.

If two surnames appeared, such as a maiden name and a married name for a woman, both names were entered using a slash "/" mark between them.  The search engine will allow the use of either name as a search term.

We recognize that some names in the database are incomplete or incorrectly deciphered from the microfilm.  If you are viewing a microfilm and are familiar with a name that we have entered partially or incorrectly in the database, we would appreciate receiving your recommended corrections.  Please send your feedback directly to the Coordinator, Robert Neu, at roneu1@yahoo.com.

Suffixes on Hungarian Names

A special treatment had to be added for the suffixes that appear at the end of names and name places, as follows:

"-(ne)" which appears at the end of the name, but is not part of it, e.g. "Szabo Lajosne", or "Szabone", which simply means "Mrs. Szabo", or "Mrs. Lajos Szabo".

It appears mostly with widows, and also most of the time it gives us both the maiden name of the widow, and her husband’s name, such as: “Klein Hani, Szabo Lajosne”.  In this case the maiden name and the first name are entered in the surname and given name column, and the husband surname and given name is entered in the relationship column, and the explanation of "(ne) Mrs Lajos SZABO" is entered in the comments column.

The same principle applies when the town name includes at the end the suffixes: (be), (ba), (ben), (ban), all meaning “in”, (on), (an) meaning “at”, (i) meaning “of” or “from”, and is therefore not part of the name.  The town name with the suffix in () is entered in the town column, and the explanation shown in the Comments column.

Let us remember that we are transcribing, not changing, what is written in the original.  If the spelling is wrong, or other than what we think it should be, we enter what was written, whether it is a personal name, relationship or town,

Records Currently in the Database

With this February 2007 update, we now have transcribed over 88,000 records.  The exact number of records is shown in the table below.  At this time, all FHL records in all 7 microfilms for a total of about 85,000 records have been transcribed.  You can still become a transcriber.

The following table lists the records available on the microfilms and their status.  As noted in the table, there are some towns and counties waiting for a volunteer to come forward.  PLEASE VOLUNTEER TO HELP.  Contact the Coordinator, Robert Neu, at roneu1@yahoo.com.

Microfilm
number
County (Megye) Status # of
entries
719,823 Debrecen completed 119
Esperjes completed 168
Gyongyos completed 540
Gyor (town only) completed 187
Miskolc completed 2,955
Modor completed 18
Nagyszombat completed 183
Pecs completed 246
Sopron completed 136
Szakolcza completed 229
Szentgyorgy completed 422
Ujvidek completed 1,223
Temesvar completed 4
Trencsen (city) completed 705
Zombor completed 131
Bekes Megye completed 247
Baranya Megye completed 4,128
Bihar Megye completed 3,191
719,824 Csanad Megye, Mako only completed 1,231
Csanad Megye (balance) completed 398
Fejer Megye completed 3,646
Gyor Megye completed 917
Hajdu Megye completed 531
Komarom Megye completed 3,447
Kozep-Szolnok (Szilagy) Megye completed 1,872
Krasso (Krasso-Szoreny) completed 1,028
Kraszna Megye completed 150
719,825 Maramaros Megye (partial) completed (as available on LDS microfilm) 178
Moson Megye completed 1,218
Szabolcs-Szatmar, Kisvarda only completed 719
Szabolcs-Szatmar (some) completed 9,984
Tolna Megye completed 1,781
719,826 Trencsen Megye completed 9,910
Turocz Megye completed (see under #754,368)
Ung Megye, Ungvar only completed 1,197
Ung Megye (balance) completed 6,781
719,827 Vasvar Megye completed 3,352
Veszprem Megye completed 7,521
719,828 Zala Megye, Nagykanzsa only completed 104
Zala Megye (balance) completed 7,190
Zemplem Megye, Homonna/Ujhely completed 9
Zemplem Megye (balance) not available
754,368 Turocz Megye completed 541
Esztergom Megye completed 740
Not microfilmed by the FHL; in Nyíregyháza County Archive Szatmar Megye completed 4,435
Not microfilmed by the FHL; Hungarian National Archives Film 43504 Pozsony Megye in progress 3,646
Not microfilmed by the FHL; Hungarian National Archives Film B1722 Csongrád Megye to be transcribed  

Notes on Searching the Database

The 1848 Census database can be searched via the JewishGen Hungary Database interface.

In addition to the usual search of surnames and towns, you can use the "Global Text" search of all fields to find all entries for a particular county (megye), given name, or LDS microfilm number.  More advanced searches are available to JewishGen contributors of $100 or more per year.

If you are searching for a hyphenated town name or county, you must enter only the name before the hyphen or after the hyphen, but not both.  At this time, the search engine is not capable of handling hyphenated names.  JewishGen technicians are working on this problem.

Approximately two or three percent of the surnames in the database have unknown letters and are thus not complete.  In order to find these incomplete names, you may want to conduct a global search of the county or town.

We wish to thank the Genealogical Society of Utah and the Magyar Országos Levéltár (Hungarian National Archives) for granting permission to create this index.  We also thank the transcribers, as without their donation of time and effort this index would not exist.  Lastly we thank the support team from JewishGen: Warren Blatt, Michael Tobias, and Joyce Field.


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