Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Update: Hungarian Vital Records Project

Posted by Sam Schleman

I am pleased to announce a major update to the JewishGen Hungarian Database.

This update, of approximately 150,000 records, brings the total number of vital records (births, marriages and deaths) to over a half million, and the total database, which also includes census and other type of records, to over 1.1 million records.

The current update includes:
  • All remaining records for Szeged, for a total of 23,000.
  • 57,000 Pest death records. This completes all vital records for Pest, about 155,000 records.
  • 32,000 records for Bihar county (now in Romania). The majority are for Nagyvarad / Oradea.
  • 5,000 records for Nagy-Mihaly / Michalovce, believed to be the only vital records available from this town.
  • Lackenbach, Mako, Baja, and Trencin. 
  • Homonna records not available from LDS.
  • As a result of the incredible efforts of Marelynn Zipser, 21,000 Poszony / Bratislava records, bringing the total for this town to 28,000.
These accomplishments are due to a group of people who have dedicated themselves to preserving our heritage. They include:

Eva Abraham, Miry Abramovich, Susan Ades, Roger Adler, Tomas Adler, Ann Armoza, Peter Bakos, Mary Blumenstein, Jenny Brichta, Anne Buchanan, Shari and Asher Buxbaum, Martin Cohn, Gizella Czene, Wolf-Erich Eckstein, Marlene Elster, Jackie Erdos, Sylvia Fenton, Sarah Feuerstein, Bob Fisch, Catarina Fischer, Yaacov Fried, George Gelb, Susan Geroe, Sam Glaser, Ava Gorkin, Ivan Greenhut, Imre Grosz, Peter Gyrenes, Tamas  Hajdu, Bob Hanscom, Pamela Hayter, Andrew Hegedus, Agi Herman, Andreas Hirschler, Sara Israeli, Susan Kalish, Gary Katz, Gene Katz, Karen Katz, Yocheved Klausner, Larry Kohn, Ilan Kozma, Vera Kwait, Margarita Lacko, Miriam Laska, David Laufer, Esther Levinson, Diane Lazaar, Lois Levick, Julie Lockwood, Marianne Lods, Yohanan Loeffler, Susan Martin, Alex Miller, Ron Miller, Judi Gyori Missel, Laszlo Oberlander, Jackie  Pataki, Judy Petersen, Susie Phillips, Andy Roth, Andrew & Judith Sanders, Charlene Segot, Anne Selikov, Pat Shaw, Lynne Steensma, Steve Stein, Peter Stern, Judith Steuer, Jennifer Strike, Mark Suss, George Urban, Susana Vendel, Barbara Wasser, Karen Weinberg, Judy Kloogman Weinstein, Ruben Weiser, Henry Wellisch, Marelynn Zipser, Daniel Zur

If you would like to express your appreciation to the transcribers, you could do so by sending an email to the subject of "The Transcribers" on the H-SIG email list. If you would like to make a more concrete expression of your appreciation, a donation to JewishGen at http://www.jewishgen.org/JewishGen-erosity/ would be both welcome and help JewishGen continue to provide these important services.

Everyone should be reminded that these are index records and omit what can be crucial information. You should always go to the source image record if possible.

Approximately 50,000 records are not readily available publicly, if at all.
These records can be identified by the Source indicating the record is from the "SA Ujhely Archives" or the "Bihar Archives" or similar. The source images for those records can be obtained for a nominal fee from the H-SIG "Records Librarian," a new position held by Bobby Furst at bobby1st@gmail.com.

I frequently get questions about which towns are in the database.
If you go to the search page for the Hungarian database at http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Hungary/ and scroll down, you will find a list of the component databases. Each database name is a link which will take you to a table listing the contents of the database.

If we rank Hungarian and Slovak communities according to the number of researchers interested in each town, as per the JGFF, we have now transcribed 21 of the 25 largest communities in pre-Trianon Hungary.
That excludes communities now in the Ukraine or Romania.

Some time ago, I indicated my intention to step down as Coordinator of the Hungarian Vital Records project, but committed to complete all the work that was in progress. With this update to the database, all work outstanding at the time of my announcement has been completed and I am now stepping down. I expect to provide assistance to those people who will be assuming my former responsibilities, but this brings to an end my five-year tenure.

This project has been a wonderful experience for me, primarily due to the great people I have met, worked with and with whom I have formed, what I hope to be, lasting friendships.

In the future, the transcription of vital records will employ a new methodology in which FHL places all the images on-line and provides a customized template (not Excel). This system is termed Family Search Indexing (FSI) and has begun already. An initial project has been created including the vital records for Buda, Obuda, Ujpest, Bekescsaba, Szkesfehervar, Balassagyarmat and Niytra. In order for the vital record's project to continue, we *must* have volunteers step forward to help manage part of these efforts. Unlike in the past, we expect the coordination effort to be divided into multiple, smaller assignments.

If you would be interested in volunteering, or would like to help transcribe these records, contact Vivian Kahn at viviankahn@comcast.net.

Without volunteers, this project will cease to move forward.

Happy Hunting!!!

Sam Schleman
Project Coordinator
Hungarian Vital Records Project

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