Church Death/Burial Registers

Snapshots from a Greek Catholic
Death Register of a Ruthene Town
1836-1883 -- Documenting
Five Language Changes in Less than 50 Years.

This register is from the Greek Catholic Church in the village of Gellért in Sáros county. It is intended to show that the registers of Greek Catholic churches aren't much different than those of Roman Catholic churches, and is also illustrative of the frequent language changes that may be found in registers from the periphery of historic Hungary. This register is not associated with my family, and I will not go into any detail ... it is simply provided to show examples from a Greek Catholic register which includes a few pages in Russian, using the Cyrillic alphabet.

The village of Gellért is in northernmost Hungary -- in the "High Tatra" range of the Carpathian mountains. Its name in Slovak is Geraltov, in Russian it is Gerált, and in Ukrainian it is Heralt. It is probably typical of the many Ruthene (now usually called Carpatho-Rusyn) mountain villages of historic northeastern Hungary.

For basic background on the Greek Catholic Church: Click to See Note.

1836 Latin Death Register Page.
Latin was typical at this time in all Catholic churches.

Preview of 1836 Latin Register.
Click to See Enlarged Document.

1845 Magyar Death Register Page.
This is an unusually early switch to Magyar for a Catholic church.

Preview of 1845 Magyar Register.
Click to See Enlarged Document.

Previous Example. Top of Category. Next Example.

1850 Latin Death Register Page.
The switch back to Latin happened as soon as the 1848-9 Hungarian War for Independence was lost.

Preview of 1850 Latin Register.
Click to See Enlarged Document.

1854 Russian Death Register Page.
Apparently the Russian language was used during part of the Austrian military occupation of Hungary.

Preview of 1854 Russian Register.
Click to See Enlarged Document.

1858 Latin Death Register Page.
The register goes back to Latin when Magyars begin to regain control of the country.

Preview of 1858 Latin Register.
Click to See Enlarged Document.

1883 Magyar Death Register Page.
Finally, the register goes back to Magyar until the end of WWI when this village becomes a part of Czechoslovakia. Note that entry #13 is the burial of a Roman Catholic by a Greek Catholic priest.

Preview of 1883 Magyar Register.
Click to See Enlarged Document.