Genealogical Gazetteer of the Kingdom of Hungary

Like so much of Europe, the Hungarian political and geographical boundaries have shifted over the centuries. In 1877 Janos Dvorzsak published an Hungarian locality dictionary, similar to a Gazatteer. The work included the 63 counties of the Kingdom of Hungary with a political and religious classification of the population in each. Genealogical Gazetteer of the Kingdom of Hungary, compiled by Jordan Auslander, was created to outline and compare the 1877 publication with Hungary today.

73 percent of the 1877 entries are no longer part of Hungary and have different names, belonging to different countries. This work is to help genealogists identify the different locations and recognize them for their prior names, ethnic and religious associations. Auslander provides a short history, including a chronology, to Hungary. The background includes an 1877 Population of Hungary by Religion table. The table is broken down by county, showing total population along with the religious breakdowns, including:

  • Roman Catholic
  • Greek Catholic
  • Greek Orthodox
  • Augsburg Evangelical Lutheran
  • Reformed
  • Jewish
  • Unitarian
  • Armenian Orthodox
  • Other

A map shows the boundaries of Hungary in 1877 and the areas lost to Austria, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Romania in 1920. The book has over 500 pages with three columns per page, but was printed on a full 8.5″ x 11″ at a readable font size. The entire book is in alphabetical order for each location. Each entry includes the town name (as it appeared in 1877), the county or district, any alternate names, the current name and country, and the population by religion.

 

Table of Contents

Acknowledgment

A Short History of the Hungarian Region

Religion

Civil and Sectarian Vital Record Keeping

Chronology

1877 Population of Hungary by Religion

Other Hungarian Data

Counties of the Kingdom of Hungary

Partitioning of the Kingdom of Hungary in 1920

Genealogy and Gazetteers

Beginning Research

How this Gazetteer was Compiled

Note on Religious Population Breakdowns

Notes on Translations, Anomalies, Comments and Calculation Errors

How to Use this Gazetteer

Bibliography

Sources Used for this Work

Additional Sources (not consulted for this work)

Internet Resources (not consulted for this work)

Gazetteer of the Kingdom of Hungary

Appendix List of Contemporary Town Names

 

Order Genealogical Gazetteer of the Kingdom of Hungary from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: AV219, Price $45.54.

Understanding Meyers Orts

ftp1“All research in Germany depends on locating the birthplace of an ancestor.” At least, that is the opinion of Fay S. Dearden, as I am sure it is with many others. Despite the wide variety of resources available online and through libraries like the Family History Library, the Meyers Orts Gazetteer remains an important resource to finding places in the old German Empire. The gazetteer lists roughly 200,000 locations.

Meyers Orts was published in 1912, printed in old Gothic typeface. Understanding Meyers Orts: Translating Guide for the Directory of the Towns and Places in the German Empire, by Fay S. Dearden, is effectively a manual to understanding and reading this old gazetteer. This spiral-bound guide demonstrates how to read Meyers Orts entries as well as understanding, translating, the old Gothic script. The majority of the book demonstrates letters and abbreviations as found throughout the book, listed here in alphabetical order. For each entry there is a sample of the old script, a modern typeface copy plus the entry’s meaning in both German and English.

One important note, the Gothic used in Meyers differs form other Gothic alphabets. Plus, there is a specific advantage to having a single resources dedicated to a single resource if you intent to make use of the Meyer Orts Gazetteer.

 

Contents

Meyers Orts – A Directory of Place Names

The Gothic Typeface Used in Meyers

How to Read Meyers Orts Entries

Sample Translation

Common Abbreviations used in the Meyers Orts Gazetteer

 

Understanding Meyers Orts: Translating Guide for the Directory of the Towns and Places in the German Empire is available from Family Roots Publishing, Price: $7.84.

 

Copies of Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs: With Researcher’s Guide and Translation of the Introduction, Instruction for the Use of the Gazetteer are also available from Family Roots Publishing. [Click here to read a review]

Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon

gpc6504Meyers Orts (for short) is perhaps one of the most well know and famous of all gazetteers. Those searching their German ancestry have no doubt heard of it. Some have said, “Almost all serious German research begins with Meyers Orts.” The Gazetteer, first printed in 1912, covers approximately 210,000 cities, towns, hamlets, and dwelling places in the German Empire prior to World War I. The book is still available to individuals and libraries under the title Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs: With Researcher’s Guide and Translation of the Introduction, Instruction for the Use of the Gazetteer, and Abbreviations, by Raymond S Wright III.

The Gazetteer was originally published to assist government and economic entities and representatives in identifying public services, governmental agencies, educational and religious institutions, and transportation and business facilities in each of the thousands of communities. The book even claims it provides heading for all named dwelling places in the German Empire.

Throughout this vast work locality entries are arranged alphabetically and describe each place in terms of the type of community it is (city, village, hamlet, etc.) and the civil, court, military, and religious jurisdictions under which it falls. An understanding of these several jurisdictions will assist researchers in their efforts to find original records that are housed today in church or government offices and archives. Describing these jurisdictions is a crucial as well as significant part of of the researcher’s guide written by Wright.

Raymond S Wright III is a professor at Brigham Young University. His contributions have made this difficult to read book truly accessible to the everyday family historian

Meyers Orts comes as a three volume set, with a total 2,390 pages. Whether the claim that every dwelling place in the Empire is listed is true or not, this is clearly and exhaustive work that has stood the test of time as a key resource for those researching their German ancestry. “This reprint edition includes a third volume consisting of the often-omitted Appendix to Volume II and the scarce Supplement of September 1913. Thus a rare and indispensable work, encompassing thousands of pages and dozens of maps–previously found in only a handful of American libraries–is not only available to researchers but is now a practical research tool.”

The Researcher’s Guide Covers:

Scope and Purpose

  • Unlisted Localities

Understanding Entries in the Meyers Gazetteer

  • How to Read the Gothic Typeface Used in Locality Entries
  • Abbreviations and Punctuations

Using Meyers to Find Records in Archives, Record Offices, and Libraries

  • National, State, and Local Records
  • Religious Jurisdictions
  • State, Provinces, and Districts in Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon
  • Government Records of Births, Marriages, and Deaths
  • Courts
  • Military Records
  • Cities, Town, and Villages
  • Private Jurisdictions
  • Summary

The Introduction Covers:

[An] Introduction

Instruction for the Use of the Gazetteer

  1. Arrangement of Locality Entries
  2. Arrangement of the Content within Locality Entries

 

Copies of this massive three volume set,  Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs: With Researcher’s Guide and Translation of the Introduction, Instruction for the Use of the Gazetteer,  are available to individuals and to libraries from Family Roots Publishing. Price: $294.00.

Also note that the above set of books (less the third supplemental volume) is available at Ancestry.com.

Apart from the informaiton contained within the researcher’s guide, other guides are also available. One suggested reading is Understanding Meyers Orts: Translating Guide for the Directory of the Towns and Places in the German Empire. [Click here to read a review]

 

Where Once We Walked (Revised Edition)

Originally created to help genealogists trace their Jewish ancestors through Europe, Where Once We Walked: A Guide to the Jewish Communities Destroyed in the Holocaust has become a primary resource for finding original town and community names across Europe for all types of researchers, including non-Jewish genealogists. Perhaps no other area in the world has seen as much political change and border movements as Central and Eastern Europe. Germany didn’t exist until the late 1800s, Czechoslovakia didn’t exist until the end of World War I, lost territory to Russia at the end of World War II, and was dissolved into two different countries by 1993. One example shows the “original” town of Lemberg, Austria changing names three time (four names) in just 85 years; Lember, Austria became Lwów, Poland then L’vov, USSR and finally L’viv, Ukraine. Even experienced geographers would have trouble keeping up with these names changes; especially when examining towns by the thousands.

Where Once We Walked covers nearly 24,000 towns in Central and Eastern Europe. Each town is pinpointed by exact latitude and longitude to avoid any confusion with other locations. Towns are listed alphabetically, with contemporary town names spelled as defined by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. There are also 17,500 former Yiddish names given with various spellings an synonyms. Entries include, as available, the town name, country, alternate names (synonyms), distance/direction, latitude/longitude, Jewish population, source codes, and references.

About the Revised Edition. The original publication was in 1991. This edition was published in 2002, after a number of political boundary changes in Eastern Europe. The current edition offered many improvements over the original, including:

  • 4,500 more synonyms. An additional 4,500 synonyms for towns (new total: 17,500) were made possible due to the discovery of two remarkable name-change gazetteers that gave the pre-World War I names for towns that were once part of the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires.
  • Hundreds of towns located. Hundreds of towns that could not be located in Where Once We Walked have now been located and their exact latitudes/longitudes have been added.
  • 800 towns added. The original version of Where Once We Walked was rather rigorous, containing nearly 23,000 towns. This new work includes an additional 800 towns.
  • Town names changed to contemporary names. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, thousands of town names in Belarus and Ukraine have been changed from their Russian names to Byelorussian and Ukrainian names. For example, Grodno, Byelorussian SSR, is now Hrodna, Belarus. Kamenets Podolskiy, Ukrainian SSR, is now Kam”yanets’-Podil’s’kyy, Ukraine. Where Once We Walked: Revised Edition reflects the town names as they exist today, and the Russian names for these towns are now identified as synonyms.
  • Expanded and improved soundex. The Daitch-Mokotoff soundex index has been expanded and improved. Certain Polish and Romanian letters that do not sound identical to their English equivalents have been double coded.
  • Diacritic marks added to town names. The current names of all towns include their correct diacritic marks.
  • Integration of Where Once We Walked Companion. There had previously been published another book titled Where Once We Walked Companion, that made it possible to determine which towns listed in Where Once We Walked were in the vicinity of a particular shtetl. An updated version of this entire work was incorporated into Where Once We Walked: Revised Edition.
  • Eleven new sources of information about the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe have been added including all the towns identified in Miriam Weiner’s books Jewish Roots in Poland and Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldova, the new Pinkas Hakehillot (Encyclopedia of Towns), Finding Your Jewish Roots in Galicia, and others.
  • Many original sources have been updated, such as the yizkor book collection, the holdings of the LDS (Mormon) Family History Library, and those of the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People.
  • Contemporary countries identified. Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia no longer exist. Where Once We Walked: Revised Edition identifies the country in which the towns of these former political entities are now located.
  • Latitude/longitudes corrected. The latest data available from the United States government Board on Geographic Names has slightly different latitude/longitudes for many of the towns. Where Once We Walked: Revised Edition reflects these changes. Where Once We Walked was based on a 1966 version of BGN data. Perhaps due to better mapping capability through the use of satellites, BGN has changed the exact location of many towns throughout the world.
  • Regional names included. Sometimes what is perceived as the name of a town, is, in fact, the name of a region. Included are 45 regional names such as Banat, Bavaria, Bessarabia, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Franconia, Galicia, Gubernia, Kurland, Lietuva, Moravia, Podolia, Pommerania, Prussia, Transylvania, Volyn, and Westphalia to name a few.

 

Contents

Acknowledgements

From First Edition

Revised Edition

Introduction

Introduction to the Revised Edition

Introduction to the First Edition

How to Use This Gazetteer

Section 1: Listing of Towns

Town Name

Country

Alternate Names (Synonyms)

Distance/Direction

Jewish Population

Source Codes

See References

Section 2: Finding Nearby Towns

Section 3: Listing of Town Names by the Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex System

What to Do If You Cannot Find Your Town Listed

Phonetic Index

Check Spelling

Consult Maps

Town May Not Be Listed

Library of Congress

No, Your Family Did Not Come from “Guberniya”

References

Population Statistics

Town Name, Latitude/Longitude

Other Sources

How This Book Was Compiled

Identifying Towns and Their Locations

Synonyms or Variant Names

Diacritic Marks

Atlases, Gazetteers, Maps and Other Sources: A Select Bibliography

Atlases

Gazetteers

Maps

Listing of Towns

Index to Nearby Towns

How to Use this Section

Listing of Town Names Using the Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex System

Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex Coding Chart

 

Get a copy of Where Once We Walked: A Guide to the Jewish Communities Destroyed in the Holocaust from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $83.30.

Understanding Meyers Orts

“All research in Germany depends on locating the birthplace of an ancestor.” At least, that is the opinion of Fay S. Dearden, as I am sure it is with many others. Despite the wide variety of resources available online and through libraries like the Family History Library, the Meyers Orts Gazetteer remains an important resource to finding places in the old German Empire. The gazetteer lists roughly 200,000 locations.

Meyers Orts was published in 1912, printed in old Gothic typeface. Understanding Meyers Orts: Translating Guide for the Directory of the Towns and Places in the German Empire, by Fay S. Dearden, is effectively a manual to understanding and reading this old gazetteer. This spiral-bound guide demonstrates how to read Meyers Orts entries as well as understanding, translating, the old Gothic script. The majority of the book demonstrates letters and abbreviations as found throughout the book, listed here in alphabetical order. For each entry there is a sample of the old script, a modern typeface copy plus the entry’s meaning in both German and English.

One important note, the Gothic used in Meyers differs form other Gothic alphabets. Plus, there is a specific advantage to having a single resources dedicated to a single resource if you intent to make use of the Meyer Orts Gazetteer.

Contents

Meyers Orts – A Directory of Place Names

The Gothic Typeface Used in Meyers

How to Read Meyers Orts Entries

Sample Translation

Common Abbreviations used in the Meyers Orts Gazetteer

 

Understanding Meyers Orts: Translating Guide for the Directory of the Towns and Places in the German Empire is available from Family Roots Publishing, Price: $7.84.

The Gazetteer of Scotland

Dictionary.com defines gazetteer as simply: “a geographical dictionary.” I have seen, and even reviewed on this site, many books titled Gazetteer. However, The Gazetteer of Scotland, by Rev. John Wilson, may be the first book I have ever seen that hold 100% true to this definition. No maps, that’s an atlas, no legends, no charts, nothing more than terms and definitions. Now, of course, those terms are key, each representing a location. Towns and cities are naturally a part of the book, but so are hills and mountains, lakes and streams, geological formations, parish seats and so much more. Though I find this to be exactly what a gazetteer should include, even the author, ironically, claims the book to be more than the average gazetteer:

“Besides the usual information, as to Towns and Places contained in Gazetteers, it gives Statistics of Real Property, Notices of Public Works, Public Buildings, Churches, Schools, etc.; whilst the Natural History and Historical Incidents, connected with particular localities, have not been omitted.”

Originally published in 1882, this book coincides nicely with the Census of 1881. Likely, every town and village listed in the census is listed in this gazetteer. Some entries give you counts, like Craighead: “place in Campsie parish, Stirlingshire. It has a public school with about 108 scholars.” One entry provides a precise location, with knowledge of a school and employment for 108 individuals. A researcher knows the area existed in 1881, that people were employed there, and now can consider other related records that may still exist to provider further information.

Most entries are short, a few words to a few sentences. There are a few however, such as Glasgow, which take many pages but provide great details and history, like the fact the Glasgow Bridge was on the Clyde at the head of the harbour, was built in 1835, spanned 560 feet at 60 feet wide and cost 37,000 pounds. The city’s water supply is covered, churches are examined, information is direct yet plentiful. At 473 pages, anyone searching Scottish ancestry will likely find this gazetteer both thorough and invaluable.

A copy of The Gazetteer of Scotland can be obtained from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: HBW9007, Price: $24.50.

A Listing of Over 200,000 United States Post Offices Found Online

postal history Thousands of Post Offices have come and gone. Many of these offices operated where our ancestors are recorded as having lived. Today we might look at a map and find that no such place exists. A quick way to ascertain where a place was located – and when folks received mail there is to check out Jim Forte’s Postal History website. Jim sells postal covers of all kinds – and he is set up so that you can be notified if a cover for your place of interest comes available. Included on the site is a listing of over 200,000 post offices that operated at one time or another. See: http://postalhistory.com/