First steps in family history research

A parish or state register is the key starting point for family history research. In Hungary, civil registers began to be kept from 1st October 1895, and in the period before that, births (baptisms), marriages and deaths were recorded by the denominations active in the country. However, there are spatial and temporal conditions (limitations) for the research of civil registers.

When tracing ancestors from Veszprém County, changes in county boundaries and civil status districts must be taken into account. Veszprém county's borders changed several times during the 20th century. The most significant changes were in 1946 (the settlements of the Balatonfüred district were transferred from Zala County to Veszprém County), in 1950 (the settlements of the Tapolca, Sümeg and Keszthely districts were transferred from Zala County to Veszprém County, and the settlements of the Enying district were transferred from Veszprém County to Fejér County), and in 1979 (the Keszthely district was transferred from Veszprém County back to Zala County).

The searchability of public civil registers is also limited in time: birth registers are searchable after 130 years, marriage registers after 86 years, and death registers, after 30 years. The county archives keep duplicates of civil registers, the keeping of which was completed on 31st December 1980. As a result of time constraints, civil registration data can only be obtained from the civil registers of settlements located within the present area of Veszprém County.

The national database of the National Archives of Hungary also offers the possibility to research church registers in the research rooms of the NAH. The religious registers of the settlements of Veszprém county mostly date back to the 18th century, but the starting date varies from settlement to settlement and from denomination to denomination. The earliest denominational registers of Catholics in the town of Pápa date from 1638 onwards.

Depending on social status, there are still various archival sources from the period before the denominational registers. In the case of noble descent, letters patent, charters, noble censuses, and family archives of noble families, etc. In the case of serfs, population and tax censuses, urbarii (registers of fief ownership), and settlement contracts. Information on the life of the bourgeoisie can be found in town records. Additional information can be gathered from litigation records, house registers, electoral rolls, population movement registers, school registers, etc.

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