Tuesday, April 24, 200714:32:34 CET
Appetite for Slovakia genealogy

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WorldVitalRecords.com asked their users records relating to what countries they would like see coming to WVR, after U.S., Canada, England, Germany. Top interests are Ireland (19%), Poland (19%), Scotland (10%), Slovakia (10%). The list closes with Denmark and Italy (2%). Hungary is not even mentioned.

I'd better rush to Bratislava or to Martin and collect some content for RadixIndex.

filed under: Slovakia Genealogy industry


Tuesday, April 24, 200714:09:49 CET
Celebs with Hungarian ancestry down here and up there

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Nicolas Sarkozy looks like winning the French presidential elections. Fearing the retaliation of the Red Army and communist authorities his father left Hungary in 1945 and joined the French Foreign Legion. Now his son is likely to become a president of a country facing immigrant issues. This Sárközy family in Hungary takes its noble predicate from Nagy-Bócsa. Something about the family history can be found here and here. (Both are in Hungarian.) This latter has a paragraph about the grandfather, Dr. György Sárközy de Nagybócsa.

The other Hungarian recently in the news is space tourist, Charles Simonyi.

To read more about famous Hungarians you might want to visit HipCat's page

filed under: Outstanding personalities

Tuesday, April 24, 200713:09:26 CET
Ancestry.de adding reference and research materials

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The not-too-old German branch of Ancestry.com, Ancestry.de provides both for-fee, premium content to its subscribers and free materials to its visitors.

Their press release of Apr 17, 2007 mentions one additional resource to be available for free.

This free one has two features:
- based on phone directories of today's Germany one can observe the geographic distribution of any surname listed in them.
- origins, meanings and linguistical relations of 20,000 German surnames, including the 10,000 most frequent ones can be searched. The source for this tool is the reference work by Duden with the title Familiennamen (Family names).

Visit the Ancestry.de site. Click on "Verteilung" for the distribution tool and "Ursprung" for the origins of surnames.

filed under: Online resources German research

Monday, April 23, 200711:42:43 CET
Zamagurie region DNA research starting off

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K. Melis, the group administrator of the Zamagurie Region DNA Project sent me a kind notice about their efforts "To collect DNA samples for surnames specifically linked to the Zamagurie Region with the goal of identifying potential matches for the project members." (quote taken from the website).

Zamagurie is situated in the northern part of the former Szepes County of old Hungary, now the Spis region of Slovakia, with parts stretching over to Poland. Due to its natural beauty, it's been popular with tourists.

This is the same region where genetealogy started. Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak (Chief Family Historian @ Ancestry.com, co-founder of Roots Television, lead researcher for the PBS Ancestors series) started her own DNA research in Osturna, a village in the Zamagurie region.

The project's webpage lists a photographer with a book about the region, Wojciech Smolak. Any relation to the Smolenyaks?)

I was surprised to see Alzo in the list of surnames being researched in the Zamagurie project. Lisa Alzo has been doing and teaching Slovak research for a couple years now. Any relation?

filed under: Slovakia DNA and genealogy

Monday, April 23, 200710:44:00 CET
Happy birthdays, Hungary-L, Banat-L @ RootsWeb

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Two Hungary-related mailing lists at RootsWeb might celebrate their 10th birthdays these months.

Hungary-L was started somewhen late 2006. Although its archives starts in March 2007, the first archived message refers to an earlier one. Also, I remember messages of late 1996 from the time I jumped on the genealogy bandwagon back in October 1997. My Google search to bring up the older posts by two members I recall as being doyens there (Joe Jarfas and Ron McComb) was not successful. The Internet Archive misses them, too.

The history of the Banat-L is much easier to follow, as its archives start with the first message sent to the list in May 1997.


filed under: Online resources German research

Wednesday, April 18, 200716:09:39 CET
Transylvania resources, galore

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The first year of Romania in the European Union looks like a good one for family historians.

Several sources have noted about the easing access to archives in Romania for foreigners. One no more has to ask permission from the Romanian archives authority in Bucharest, researchers rather can show up right at the archives they would like to visit and fill in the form. To list but one source I could mention the current issue of Nu What's New, Avotaynu's email newsletter.

And thanks to the efforts of the TransIndex site and their associates, the archives are opening up. At least at the level of archival finding aids. The archive's section of their databank service lists the Hungarian-related archival holdings in the state-run archives in Transylvania. Fonds and files names are available in Romanian and Hungarian languages. The structure of the subject index follows the structure of Hungary's county archives.

In Jan 2007 our list pal on the Csaladtortenet list was early to post a link to a relatively new family history site in Transylvania: Family History. Its young creator published a history of the Count Wass family, of which the much debated Hungarian writer, Albert Wass was a member. Now the PDF of the book is available in the Hungarian Electronic Library: The history of the Wass de Czege family / by András W. Kovács.

A couple more Transylvania-related old books have recently been made available in this same digital library, the MEK. The reference books of the histories of Szolnok-Doboka and Szilágy counties, and that of the R. C. Bishopry of Nagyvárad/Oradea had been published in the 19th century, then re-published on CD and DVD by Arcanum and it looks like Arcanum donated them to MEK.

One further donation is the book about the Andrássy family, an opus from 2002 by Mária Gál and Tibor Russu.

filed under: Online resources Romania

Wednesday, April 18, 200715:35:06 CET
FamilyLink.com launched

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OK, following the announcement on the WorldVitalRecords blog I noticed that FamilyLink.com would open on today. And it has just been launched. Registered myself, we'll see how successful this service will be.

filed under: Online resources

Friday, April 13, 200721:03:08 CET
The conception of EnterTransylvania and a Brasov project

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I read in the blog of the Hungarian Electronic Library about the EnterTransylvania project. This would be a collection of various digital resources covering Transylvania.

An other digital initiative to secure medieval and early modern documents might be under way thanks to a grant awarded in 2005. The area covered would be Brasov/Brasso/Kronstadt and the Burzenland region. The award makes it possible to digitize the materials stored in the Honterus parish building.

filed under: Romania

Friday, April 13, 200720:49:33 CET
Ancestry.com opens up Ellis Island and more, again

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Via Dick Eastman I learn that to celebrate the top traffic day of Ellis Island (April 17, 1907) Ancestry.com opens the doors wide. (They did it a couple of months ago, too.) Their collection contains not only the Ellis Island records, but several other ports are covered, as well. A couple of the databases has been updated and their new one (US-Canada border crossings) is also part of the free offer.

filed under: Databases

Saturday, April 7, 200716:18:05 CET
Kosice - Kassa 1892 directory online

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My efforts to find the web traces of GDL, the company mentioned in the previous post, turned out to be serendipity. The Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County Public Library in Miskolc runs a digital library. They offer eletronic publications written or published by the library, and besides that, they also have a collection of old materials. The latter set includes 7 titles. The most interesting two for family history fans are the Historical contributions from the past of Abaúj-Torna County and Kosice (a journal from 1910-1918), and the Kassa (Kosice) 1892 directory.

The directory has chapters like military, church, government offices and agencies, schools, societies, industry and trade people and the list of house owners.

Before accessing the library you'd better throw away you FireFox browser, and approach the site with Explorer. Aargh. Two languages are offered for the navigation on the site: Hungarian and Slovak. To enter, hit the book, click on Dokumentumok, then on Kassai kalauz... Hit "Keresõ" to use the full-text search facility or choose "Lapozgató" to browse through the pages, or "Tartalom" to open the table of contents.

The pages are available both as scanned images of the originals and as text. A word of warning. The text has not been corrected after the OCR phase, I myself have seen several characters that have been recognized with errors.

filed under: Online resources Slovakia Genealogy industry

Saturday, April 7, 200715:35:23 CET
GDL wins archives digitization competition over Arcanum

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The Hungarian National Archives website has just announced the results of a tender competition for the digitization of old maps and pre-1526 charters in its holdings. The competition started in January earlier this year. My "educated guess" for the outcome was that Arcanum would be commissioned for that job.

The results don't match my expectations. GDL has been named as the winner of the competition. A had some faint memories about this company, who are not really known to the public. Now after doing some digging they turned out to be a past winner of an other National Archives competition, that time for the computer filing system of the archives. They have worked for the Archives of National Security Services in the late 1900s, early 2000s (this archives was called the Historical Office those years).

Obviously this isn't good news for Arcanum. Thanks to the post by one of our list fellows on the Csaladtortenet mailing list, we could read about the Arcanum plans for 2007. Their plans included further volumes of the county nobility series by Márton Szluha, maps from the family archives in the holdings of the Hungarian National Archives, manuscript maps, and especially land ownership maps from the Hungarian National Széchényi Library, old cadastral maps from Hungary's counties and "further charters".

One of the two subjects of the May 3, 2007 Day of Hungarian archivists will be the possibilities of digitization of the archives' holdings in Hungary. I could image that GDL would be one of the guests/speakers at this event.

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums Genealogy industry
  
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