Research advice for ACKERMAN in Hungary or Subcarpathia #hungary #subcarpathia

Carole Bass

I have hit a brick wall in researching my ACKERMAN ancestors and am looking for advice.

In a breakthrough early this year, I found the birth record of my great-grandfather Bernath/Bernhard Ackerman in Benk, Hungary, DOB 21 Sep 1874. The birth is recorded twice, in the Jewish registries for Mandok — presumably the closest town with a registry — and for Kisvarda. In each case, the father is listed as H. Ackerman and the mother as Debora Spira. The sandek is Elias Moses Spira.

With this information, I was able to locate some distant Spira cousins who generously shared their research. I believe that Debora Spira, my gggrandmother, was born around 1841 in Gemzse, Hungary, near Benk. But I am stumped on the Ackerman line. I can find no other births to this couple (siblings of my great-grandfather), and no marriage or death records or even a full first name for my gggrandfather. In addition to the JewishGen search engine, I have paged through metric books for many nearby towns. I've also looked through many records from Munkacs (now Mukacheve, Ukraine), home to numerous Ackerman families. I've found nothing that our terrific JewishGen volunteers hadn't already recorded.

My hunch is that H. Ackerman came from outside the Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg area that remained in Hungary — perhaps originating in Subcarpathian Ukraine or Slovakia. I further speculate that the family didn't stay long in Benk, but returned to H. Ackerman's home area. But that's speculation, and I haven't found any promising leads on JewishGen, FamilySearch, or the Sub-Carpathia Genealogy page.

I've pursued the DNA route as well. There are no close matches, because my great-grandfather is my most recent Jewish ancestor. He left his Jewish identity behind, married a Catholic woman from now-Slovakia (in Germany), and immigrated to the U.S. in 1903, settling near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I was thrilled when my DNA test revealed a bit of Jewish ancestry; my great-grandfather kept it a total secret, and nobody in the family had any inkling. 

Would be grateful for any suggestions of where else I might look. Having spent years hunting down the source of my Jewish DNA, I'm both eager and determined to continue tracing my heritage in that direction.

Carole Bass

Carole Bass

I perhaps should have mentioned that I have many U.S. records for the family. None of them says where Bernard was born (except for one reference to the nonexistent "Darthmouth, Austria"), which is why it took me ten years to figure out where he came from.

Carole Bass


Regarding research in Carpathia , you can contact Mr. Bela ( Baruch) Huber  from Ungvar ( Uzhgorod) . 
His email : huberbelay@...

All the best , 

Mark Friedman