Genealogy in Mezőkövesd- part II.
by Attila Farkas
About my book ‘ Genealogy in Matyóland’ , it is noted that it only deals with Mezőkövesd parish registers. I have to tell, that this was only done because of limited financial and footage causes, but now , true to the title of my book, the parish registers of two additional matyó towns, Szentistván and Tard, are mentioned. I mention other supplementary sources of genealogy research, again, within the limited footage, but I would like to publish more books, since this topic is unexploitable.
Many additonal resources of genealogy research can be found in archives where relics of the past kept. Talking about archives, two quotes comes to my mind, one of them says : ” scripta manent” or in other words ” words fly away, writing remains”. The other quotation says : “HIC MORTUI VIVUNT ET MUTI LOQUNTUR” that is “Here the dead live and the dumb speak”. I think this statement can not be much to append, since the documents preserved in the archives keep the memories of the past. The files reveal what the people did and made and present their everyday life. This quotation is inscribed in the archives of Satoraljaújhely where Ferenc Kazinczy worked for 16 years. The reason I mentioned Ferenc Kazinczy, is that this year is the 250th anniversary of his birth. He is a prominent figure of the Hungarian language, so 2009 is celebrated as the Year of the Hungarian Language. In my book I am using the spelling of the period, so do not be surprised by the spelling of jános kis ( john little) instead of János Kiss ( John Little) since it did occure, that names were written with lower case letters. The word ‘tizedesek’ (decimals) was spelled with double ‘k’, short and long vowels were not always applied according to present day spelling. Notes were written by hand, which are not easy to read, and sometimes blurred or even incomplete. Although, this book contains archives of Mezőkövesd, I would also like to deal with the other two matyó settlements. The texts are often mingled with Latin words, such as 1804 Die 4 novembris – which translates : 4th November, 1804. The Hungarian translations of the months is listed in my previous book.
Birth certificates have been recorded in Mezőkövesd for 333 years now. Truly one-third of a millennium is quite impressive, and this book has had to avoid many distructions through the time to preserve the memory of the ancestors!
Sometimes nicknames are also mentioned in the birth certificates. For example a baptism in 1869 records : “mother’s name : Erzsébet Bán, nickname : Erzsébet Pető.” A marriage certificate in 1872 records : “instead of Anna Kovács, Anna Guba should be written, Guba is being her nickname.” A death certificate in 1872 records : “Ilona Barczy was also known as Ilona Gábor. ” Another death certificate from 1879 reads : ” János Nagy Sípos ( John Big Piper) as commonly was called by the people”, another death certificate from 1891 reads that ” the father’s name was Kovács ( Smith) ( commonly called as Molnár ( Miller). You can see that at that time, nicknames were descriptive names.
The data of people of different faiths are also registered, probably because they were small in number and their ward was not here in Mezőkövesd. Among them were Lutherans ( evangelical ) Reformed ( Calvinists) Greek Catholics and Convertitas ( Convertita : people who are migrating to other religion)
You can meet interesting entries, which are now invaluable , for example, a 1874 entry of a death certificate says : ” The Adalbert 16 hunderedweight bell was tolled for the very first time at this funeral”
Due to footage limitation, this book does not have an explanatory text, since even if somewhat complicated was the way people at the time articulated their ideas, the essence of the text is obvious, and my goal was to fit as many period texts into the book as possible. For better understanding, the book ends with the a glossary of Hungarian and Latin words. Names of holders of certain offices, elections held, and texts of oaths are presented in the book. You may want to note that the book is to show that there was Upper and Lower Tehén Tsordás ( Herdsman) , Lower and Upper Tsikos ( Wrangler) etc. Suggesting that Mezőkövesd also used to be divided into two parts : Upper and Lower Mezőkövesd. I suspect that the upper part was north of the main street, and the lower part strecthed south from the main street. Notary Mihály Búlyi also mentions a ‘ plateua’ and a ‘ highland’ in Mezőkövesd in his writings. The ‘ plateau’ suggests a flat, while the ‘highland’ suggests a hilly region, and this description still does fit to Mezőkövesd, since the south of the main street is flat, while the north side is hilly with steep creek beds.
I wish to thank to the Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County Archives staff who helped me find the records. Thanks for Ferenc Póta, Vicar of Szentistván and József Tóth, Vicar of Tard who had the parish registers to research. I also thank for Mrs András Koncz , Szentistván and Mrs József Fekete, Tard, for their photos
I hope that everyone will benefit from this book !
The book is available in Hungarian!