Families of Jewish origin

To researchers interested in families of Jewish origin we recommend the following publications as primary information:


  • Béla Kempelen: Magyarországi zsidó és zsidó eredetű családok [Jewish families in Hungary] I-III. Budapest, 1937–1939. (It summarizes the history of the most significant Jewish families and their relations to each other.)

  • Magyar Zsidó Lexikon I–II. [Hungarian Lexicon of the Jews, I–II.] Ed. by Péter Ujvári. Budapest, 1929.

  • In connection with the Jewish denominational registers, we recommend the following works:

  • Artúr Stein: A felekezeti anyakönyvek Magyarországon II.rész, A zsidók anyakönyvei és konskripciói. [Registers of denominations in Hungary. Vol. II. The registers and censuses of the Jews.] Budapest, 1941.

  • Az izraelita anyakönyvi kerületek székhelyeinek és területeinek kimutatása [Index of the seats and areas of the Israelite registry districts.] Budapest, 1885.

  • Note that the Hungarian Jewish Archives can also be found in Budapest. (Address: 1075 Budapest, Síp u. 12.)


In 1993 the Centre of Jewish Studies at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences issued the following book, which includes several remarkable data and surveys the Jewish-related material of the Hungarian archives on the basis of the published finding aids: György Haraszti: Magyar zsidó levéltári repertórium. [Hungarian Jewish archival repertory.] Budapest, 1993. A magyar–zsidó oklevéltár (Monumenta Hungariae Judaica) 1–18. [Hungarian Jewish archives.] Budapest, 1903–1980. Actually, it presents the related charters and the history of the Jews in Hungary from the end of the 11th century. The 7. volume (ed. by Fülöp Grünwald and Sándor Scheiber) treats with the first national censuses of the Jews spanning the period between 1725 and 1748. Each volume is supplied with detailed indices of persons, subjects and place names.

Mention must be made on the fact that the research of these families is perhaps the most difficult one. Several reasons have contributed to this: as we mentioned in the introduction, Jewish population was obliged to adopt family names by Emperor Joseph Habsburg II, for he disapproved of the oriental type Jewish names (e.g. Akiba ben Moses, i.e. Akiba son of Moses) the use of which were inconsequent anyway. That was when Jews adopted German family names, but mass Magyarization of names occurred only from the last third of the 19th century, whereas the 1920s and 1930s saw a massive conversion to Christianity, first and foremost for political reasons and for fear, to avoid the effects of anti-Semite laws and, after all, pogroms. Compulsory registration was also introduced relatively late, in 1851. Due to the persecution of Jews during the Second World War, countless Jewish-related documents (including registers!) had lost or perished. The exceptional mobility of the Jewish people makes research even more difficult (due to their way of life they moved from one place to the other almost permanently).



Censuses of Jews


In addition to the registers of births, marriages and deaths it is absolutely necessary to look over the censuses of Jewish population taken for different purposes and in different times.


  1. Census Returns of Jews of 1725–1728–1755 (Royal Hungarian Locotenential Council, Acta Judaeorum – call-number: C 29) (Microfilm collection:

    boxes 26557
    , 40789–40795.).

  2. Transylvanian Census of Jews of 1813–1845 (F 46) (Microfilm collection:

    box 1605

  3. Country-wide census of Jews of 1848 (Only the material of 23 county and 15 cities survived, organised in the alphabetical order of cities and counties; Police Material of the Ministry of 1848–1849, H 15; Microfilm collection: census returns B 1721–B 1725.)

  4. Census returns of the Jews in 1848. In connection with Pozsony Comitat. (Microfilm collection:

    box 43504

  5. Census Returns of the Jews 1827–1853. Original place of preservation: Hungarian Jewish Archives, Budapest (Microfilm collection:

    box 45851.


From the collections of the Yad Vashem Archives, the following Jewish-related sub-fonds can be found in the microfilm collection of National Archives of Hungary:


  1. Tanúvallomások. (Testimonies.) (Microfilm collection: boxes 40306–40311.)

  2. A mauthaseni koncentrációs tábor magyar fogjainak személyi kartonjai. (Personal cards of the Hungarian prisoners kept in the concentration camp of Mauthasen.) (Microfilm collection: boxes 40312–40316.)


The microfilmed records of the Foreign Office of the former Federal Republic of Germany and the National Archives of Washington contain data on the genealogy of Jewish families as well. (Microfilm collection: boxes 13968–13972.)