All Antonia’s Babies

budišovský kostel

Church of the Assumption, Budišov nad Budišovskou

Infant and maternal mortality was a fact of life in our ancestor’s lives. But sometimes a family suffered more than their share.

I have been researching a story about Antonia’s daughter Anna Terk and her family. The godfathers of two of Anna’s children were named Ferdinand and Ödön Terk. I thought they were Anna’s brothers and wanted to confirm.

That’s how I wound up spending days going through the church records of Budišov nad Budišovskou, a small town in Moravia.

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Legeslegmegengesztelhetetlenebbeknek

Fiume Harbor about 1900

Fiume Harbor about 1900

Hungarian has been described as the most difficult language to learn.  That might be an exaggeration, but, the agglutinative (little bits of words all stuck together) nature of the Magyar tongue can be daunting. For a while under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Adriatic port city of Fiume was a free state managed by a Hungarian governor. The Hungarians required anyone wanting a position in the government to learn Hungarian. Most of those interested were Italian speakers who found the requirement impossible.

They expressed their opinion in this word scribbled on the walls: ‘Legeslegmegengesztelhetetlenebbeknek’. It means ‘To the most unreasonable ones’. And, no. I’ve tried. I can’t pronounce it.