Hungary SIG #Hungary Trip reports, anyone! (& interchangeable names) #hungary


I can hardly believe that people are returning >from voyages of discovery in
Hungary at this time of year, and are not bombarding H-sig with exciting
reports of great finds! Please deluge us with notes about cemetery
inscriptions, local archives unfilmed through Mormons, local knowledgeable
experts, and all the usual things one can only find on the spot.
Lajos/Ludwig/Louis/Lewis is one name in various translations. In the Austro-
Hungarian empire, before 1860-something Hungarian names were routinely written
in their German form at the discretion of the person keeping the register.
This did not mean that the person was called Ludwig, just written down as
Ludwig, although called Lajos. (At a much earlier time we find the use of
Latin forms of names, although these were never used in common speech.) Such
is the nature of the multi-lingual empire. After that time there was legal
approval for the use of Hungarian names in official records, but older usage
still prevailed sometimes. We often see people recorded by Hungarian version
at birth, German version at marriage and Hebrew-Yiddish name at death and
vice-versa. One should really not make an issue out of this at all.
Incidentally I had another example recently of two people asking for
information >from the archives in Bratislava about common ancestors, and
getting different items of information.
And for those of us who are part-(Ost-)Galitzianer, like myself you can
receive different answers >from the archives in Cracow and Warsaw about the
availability of pre-WW1 registers for communities now in Ukraine but
originally part of Austrian Galicia. One person will be told we have that
town, the next person will be told we don;t have it. Personal visitors have
had considerable success with a display of greenbacks (US$$$)
Best wishes,
Rabbi Avrohom Marmorstein