Church Marriage Registers

1848 Szilsárkány Lutheran Marriage Register

This register is from the Lutheran Church in the town of Szilsárkány (which was often referred to simply as Sárkány) in Sopron county. It illustrates the extreme detail that is occasionally found, and is very helpful to family history researchers. Across the top of the page after the numeric year date (1848) the year is written out.

Szilsárkány was a town (as was Beled) with a large number of relatively small landowners and tradesmen, many of whom were members of the Hungarian nobility. Therefore we see the use of many titles of respect in this register. For a brief summary of some of the Titles of Respect seen here and elsewhere: Click to See Note. This will also give you an idea of the status-consciousness of Hungarians of that period.

I will try to make you aware of the status distinctions that were apparent in this town, for all 13 marriages on this page -- even though all are not shown on the copy you see. Please note that early 1848 was a period when the very last vestiges of serfdom still existed in Hungary.

Format: Extremely Detailed Hand-Drawn Tabular Marriage Register.
Preview of 1848 Marriage Register.
Click to See Enlarged Document.

Previous Example. Top of Category. Next Example.

Content of Register by Column.

  • Sequential Number: (Folyó szám) Entry #2 records the marriage of my great-great-grandparents, and will be the example used here primarily.
  • Wedding Day: (Esküvés napja) The 7th of February.
  • The Newly Marrieds: (Uj házasok) beneath is the direction to provide name, social position, and place of residence. The same information is requested for parents and witnesses.
    • Groom: (Völegény) This entry identifies my ancestor by name (József Berecz) and as a school teacher (iskolatanitó) from Ság in Vas county. He is the only groom on this page given the title Nz -- "the honorable." This may be due to his profession, or the fact that he was marrying the daughter of one of the wealthiest landowners in the community. For a statistical summary of the 13 grooms on the page: Click to See Note.
    • Bride: (Menyasszony) This entry identifies my ancestor by name and as a maiden from Szilsárkány. She is one of six brides (our of 13 on the page) identfied as members of the Hungarian nobility. Her name is prefixed by Nemes and followed by Assony. In other words, the pastor is referring to her as "Her Ladyship, the noble Ethel Szalay." Only she and two daughters of a deceased County Governor (ispán) are so designated. For comments on county administration in Hungary during the 19th century: Click to See Note.
  • Parents: (Szülék)
    • of the Groom: this is a typical entry: Nz. Berecz János iskola tanitó Szergényben T.n. Vasmegyeben, f. N. Gánts Katalin which can be translated fairly literally as: "The honorable John Berecz school teacher in Szergény in Vas County and his wife, the noblewoman Catherine Gánts." [Notes: f = felesege = his wife; N = Nemes = noblewoman; T.n. = Törvényszéki? = judicial district.]
    • of the Bride: again a typical entry: Nz. Szalay Zsigmond köz. f. néhai Nemes Kis Anna, Sárkányben which may be translated as: "The honorable Sigmund Szalay landowner and his late wife the noblewoman Anna Kis, of Sárkány." [Notes: köz = közbirtokos = landowner; néhai = deceased.]
  • Witnesses: (Bizonyságok literally "attestors") In this register, each entry shows the name, status, and residence of three men -- two witnesses (tanök) and the one who "gives away" (kiadó) the bride. Since my ancestor was a Lutheran school teacher, it was normal that one witness was a Lutheran pastor -- who is this case was a cousin of the bride.
  • Remarks Concerning the Marriage: (Öszve-esküdtetö) The name (Sámuel Kiss) of the "local pastor" (helybeli lelkéz) is given with the first entry and then, in general, the word Ugyanaz is used to indicate "as before." For some interesting variations: Click to See Note.