Civil Vital Records Examples

Civil Vital Records

This section shows six examples of post-1895 civil vital records. The Hungarian government mandated, beginning 01 October 1895, that all births, marriages, and deaths be recorded by civil authorities. These records were created and maintained at the civil registrar's office (sometimes called a notary's office) in each city and town. Residents of small villages were required to report these vital events at the nearest registrar. Duplicate copies of these records were provided to the national archives. The churches continued to maintain their records of church rites -- including baptisms, weddings, and burials -- but these records (except for a few Slovak church records filmed rather recently) are not available as FHL microfilms.

As noted in the FAQs, most Hungarian-Americans will focus their search for ancestors in the pre-1895 church parish registers. The most likely scenario for use of the civil registers is to locate marriages of immigrants that took place after 1895, or the post-1895 births of children who immigrated to the U.S. with their parents. Myself, I have used these civil registers only to a limited extent. I had no great difficulty locating the proper towns for my family's civil records. But, this may be a practical concern for others. Many gazeteers, several of which are available on microfilm from the Family History Library, provide information about the locations of the notary offices. Inquire at your FHC.

The civil registrar's books put into use in 1895 for the registration of vital information were not only voluminous, but were printed on very high quality paper -- ie. they were expensive to both produce and store. It soon became apparent that significant cost savings would accrue using more compact formats and less expensive papers. Therefore, the format of the records was changed first in Budapest, then larger cities. By 1906, the more compact format was in use throughout the country. An example of the original format is shown for a birth, a death, and a marriage. Also, three examples of the more compact format are shown. These are a 1910 birth and an 1898 marriage in Budapest, and a very unusual birth in Pennsylvania recorded in Battyánd. Please note though, the FHL has microfilms of very few post-1906 records. Hopefully, this data won't be critical to your family research.

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