Why were so many children labeled "illegitimate" in Birth Registration (Metrical) Books of Subcarpathia - late 1800s #hungary


Susan H. Sachs
 


There seem to be numerous births that were considered "illegitimate" by the authorities - nearly 20% of all births - in Munkacs between 1886 -1890.
Was this because of a bureaucratic dereliction on the part of parents who, for whatever reason, had not recorded their union in the official Marriage Registrations - as was often true in Galicia where the rabbis were said to advise couples not to register their marriages?  [In which case the term "illegitimate" is an unnecessary slur upon the issue of what might have been perfectly kosher unions.]  Or was Munkacs of the late 1800s indeed a pocket of improprieties?  That characterization however contradicts both scholarly accounts and oral histories of this former Jewish community that is usually described as traditional and conservative in its values and practices?  Does anybody know?
Susan H. Sachs
Israel

Virus-free. www.avg.com


Shimy Karni
 

Hello,
I also saw this in my family history. At the beginning I was very surprised as  I saw that my grandfather and all his brothers and sisters were called "illegitimate". Also it makes the children's surname to be the name of the mother.
Someone explained to me that it happens if the parents' wedding is not registered in the local office then they become illegitimate.
Just a technical issue. My cousin asked me if he is also illegitimate (in a hummer)?
I told him that in the Jewish law you don't have to be registered in the Polish books to become married, there are other 3 ways...
So, to summarize it was because the Jews had a Jewish wedding and were not registered in the local office.

Best Regards,
Shimi Karni, Israel


‫בתאריך יום ה׳, 26 באוג׳ 2021 ב-16:05 מאת ‪Susan H. Sachs‬‏ <‪susan.hersh.sachs@...‬‏>:‬


There seem to be numerous births that were considered "illegitimate" by the authorities - nearly 20% of all births - in Munkacs between 1886 -1890.
Was this because of a bureaucratic dereliction on the part of parents who, for whatever reason, had not recorded their union in the official Marriage Registrations - as was often true in Galicia where the rabbis were said to advise couples not to register their marriages?  [In which case the term "illegitimate" is an unnecessary slur upon the issue of what might have been perfectly kosher unions.]  Or was Munkacs of the late 1800s indeed a pocket of improprieties?  That characterization however contradicts both scholarly accounts and oral histories of this former Jewish community that is usually described as traditional and conservative in its values and practices?  Does anybody know?
Susan H. Sachs
Israel

Virus-free. www.avg.com


Mark Resnicoff
 

Hi Susan,

In addition to what Shimy said, it cost money to register births, marriages and deaths in the local government offices and not all families had the funds to do so at the time of the event. I have seen several records from the Subcarpathia area in which the birth was originally considered illegitimate because the parents were not "legally" married, but notes were added to the birth records years later indicating the parents were "officially" married sometime after the birth, therefore the birth was now considered legitimate.

Best Regards,

Mark Resnicoff


m.rind@...
 

I see that Munkacs was within Austria-Hungary. Were the Familiant laws in effect there? These restricted the legal permissions to marry among Jews in Bohemia, Moravia, and Austrian Silesia. In some locales one is continually finding, in the records of the 18th and early 19th centuries, Jewish births recorded with only the mother named and the birth marked "unehelich," though in some cases there is a note naming the father and recording that he acknowledged the child as his own. After the Familiant laws were repealed in 1849, many Jewish children were retroactively declared legitimate and allowed to assume their fathers' surname.
--
Miles Rind
Cambridge, Mass.


Susan stone
 

Hi susan S...
Basically everyone already had good explanations but the simpilest one is....They just  had a Jewish Marriage!  My grandmother in Hungary and  all the rest were labeled "illegitimate".  AND...they had the mother's name.
Believe me I was shocked 20 years ago.

Susan S.
Evanston, IL


beer_tom@...
 

Just to agree with most people.  I was surprised to find that my great-grandparents (originally from Galicia but then living in Budapest) had a synagogue wedding in Vienna in 1905.  They already had four children by that stage, all duly recorded as legitimate in the Budapest births register.  The notes to the 1905 wedding specify that 
The ritual marriage took place in Pest in the year 1880.   
If anyone has any idea why they chose Vienna, rather than Budapest, for their second wedding I would be interested.  My best guess is a romantic holiday.

As to the familianten laws.  I do not think that they applied to the Munkacs area.  

Cheers
Tom Beer
Melbourne, Australia


Veronica Zundel
 

Certainly in Poland, where my mother's birth family came from, Jewish marriages were not recognized in law and there was no civil marriage, only religious, so the wife could not use the husband's name and her children would have been seen as illegitimate. This was the case with my grandparents and my mother's birth siblings (she was later adopted, the others went into the Jewish orphanage in Vienna where her parents had fled to in WWI, but got separated on the way so my grandmother had no means of supporting her children after giving birth to my mother in Vienna.

--
Veronica Zundel, London
Searching descendants of Josef Jakob Horoschowski b. 1905 Drohobych


deltagints@...
 

Maybe you can learn something from books like -

Jewish Marriage and Divorce in Imperial Russia
(Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry)
Paperback – November 1, 2001