Property Ownership Documents

1866 Sale/Purchase Contract
for a Plum Orchard

This document represents the beginning of The Saga of the Plum Orchards. János Molnár bought a small lot containing plum trees that was adjacent to other property he owned in Alsónovaj from the Szegedi widows. This 1866 document is the contract for that sale/purchase. This is the first of four Property Sale/Purchase Contracts we shall see in this tutorial. Unlike the 20th century examples, it is a pure narrative document produced without using a standard form. It is also interesting because two of the signers were illiterate, so we see how that situation was handled.

There are a couple of terms and notations which are used repeatedly in this and subsequent property documents, which are defined in this note: Click to See Note.

Format: 2-page narrative document with wax seal.
Preview of 1866 Sales/Purchase Contract.
Click to See Enlarged Document. Click to See Enlarged Document.
Front --- Back

There is an Additional Notation on the outside of this document after it is folded. Here the case number #3519 is given to the contract, clearly associating it with the court decree and registration application below. The notation is further discussed and is pictured in the following note: Click to See Note.

1866 Application and Court Order to Record Property Transfer

Format: 2-Columns -- Decree at left -- Application at Right.
Preview of 1866 Court Order.
Click to See Enlarged Document.
Court Order

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Content of Contract Document.

  • Header: The document is titled Örökeladási Szersodés -- Enduring Sales Contract. Near the upper left corner of the document a tax stamp was removed at some time in the past. The remains of the pen cancellation are partially visible.
  • Paragraph 1: This paragraph describes the property, names the sellers and the buyer, and specifies the price. The property is one of the Plum Orchards that we will hear a lot about over the next half-century. It is recorded in the Property Register as #158 and consists of 278 square öl Click to See Note. of land adjacent to the Molnár property. It was owned by the late Szegedi brothers -- János and György -- and is being sold by their widows for the price of 40 Fórint. The buyer is János Molnár. Near the end of this paragraph, the paper was ruined by the after-effects of the hot-wax seal being applied on the reverse. Therefore, that part of the document is impossible to read.
  • Paragraph 2: which begins near the bottom of the first page essentially states that the buyer, János Molnár, will immediately pay the widows who own the plum orchard the agreed price without further obligation, on behalf of himself and his heirs.
  • Signature Block: The contract is dated and signed at Alsónovaj on 21 Aug 1866. The left part of the signature block was used by the witnesses in whose presence (elöttünk) the contract was signed. The first is identified as a Clerk of the Court (jegyzö) and attesting witness (névaláiro) -- he is probably the scribe for the entire document. Then there is a biró -- a judge; an s biró -- perhaps "szolgabiró" a district administrator; and a hites a sworn citizen. The names and marks of the two illiterate widows -- Mária Szabó and Mária Német -- are next. See note for detailed description of an illiterate's signature. Click to See Note. The scrawled signature below is of István Szegedi signing as heir to the property -- tulajdon örökos. He was probably the son of one of the women. Finally János Molnár signed as purchaser (vevö). The wax seal of the local government office was applied. It is badly aged and cracked and only the year date of 1866 is legible in the imprint.
Content of Application/Court Order.

This document consists of two parts: on the right side is the actual application for registering the property transfer, on the left a court order approving that registration. For reasons unknown, the property number is listed here as #169 instead of #158, but the case numbers are consistent (#3519) for these two documents and the original contract.

  • The right side of the document begins with tax stamps, the date (Sept 19), and case number (#3519), and then a formal opening to the "Honorable Court of Abauj County."
  • The title of the document is: Application for Conveyance (átirati kérvenye). Next the petitioner is identified as János Molnár who lives in Sárvár "puszta" (an outlying farm).
  • Then the formal request is made that the ownership of the property described on page 129 of the Alsénovaj property register be transferred to petitioner's name, and a listing of the copies submitted is appended.
  • The left side of the document is the court order approving the registration, which begins with the case number (#3519) and the original submission date, then the title "Végzés" (decree).
  • It states that property #169 was sold by the Szegedy widows, and that recording of the transaction regarding pages 129 and 130 of the property register is approved.
  • At the bottom, it is signed by Court Clerk in Kassa (the county seat) and the blue "Seal of Abauj County" (Abauj Megyei Pecsentje) is affixed on Sept 30.