There are many little Hungarian villages tucked away in the Hargita Mountains in the Székely region of Transylvania. My mother’s family is from there. Relatives still live there, including some that Mother never talked about. Perhaps she didn’t know them either. My great-grandmother Borbála Both was born in 1883 in the village of Csíkkarcfalva ( Cârța in Romanian). A century later my parents travelled there for the first time. This summer my husband and I visited the village with my cousin and her husband as tour guides.
Csíkkarcfalva Church 1983For centuries the village market took place at the foot of the hill in the center of town below the fortified church.
The 15th century fortified church occupies the top of the hill in the center of town. For centuries the town market took place in the main street below.
In my parent’s photo from 1983 a soviet style flat-bed truck raises dust clouds as it rumbles through town. Now the roads are paved. My cousin told me about a local politician who was able to direct infrastructure improvement funds to the village for that purpose. Continue reading →
Sírhely the Hungarian word for gravesite was new to me. Sír (sheer), I knew, means cry and hely (hay) is place. On a day trip from southern Hungary we visited two crying places, scenes of heartbreaking death and destruction that took place over 4 centuries apart.
This is the address where my great-grandparents lived in Kolozsvár, Hungary when my grandpa was born. Today the city is called Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
Some of the buildings on the street are run-down but this looks better and it has some nice details. It has lace curtains in the windows and a bit of a garden in the back. I bet great-grandmother would have loved that.
Inspired by a post on Family Tree Frog ( a great name for a genealogy blog!) I decided to join in on the Spring Cleaning your Blog day. A little late to the game, as I usually am with anything related to housecleaning, I am inviting fellow genealogy bloggers for feedback.
Please comment on something you like about my blog and something you think could improve the look.
Kerekes Katalin is hands down my favorite ancestor. Our lineage gets a little fuzzy in the 17th century so I’m not sure how many ‘greats’ apply. In the early 1600s Katalin was fighting by the side of her warrior husband, Édes Gergely, and his brothers. She received nobility in her own name because of her valor. This was no small accomplishment at a time when women were considered less than human. She was “a big strong armed woman who fought like an animal’ according to the patent of nobility. Her husband’s family was from Székelyföld. No word about her dad, but Katalin’s mother was a hajdú.
The hajdúk (plural for hajdú) had been peasant cattle drovers on the puszta, the eastern plains of Hungary. Driving herds of the big grey long-horned ‘Magyar szürkemarha‘ to market, they had to become fierce fighters to defend themselves on the vast treeless plains.
After World War I and the fall of the Hapsburg Empire parts of Eastern Europe were chopped up by the Treaty of Trianon. Prime cuts went to the winners and Hungary lost 2/3 of its territory and 1/3 of its population. This left substantial ethnic enclaves on the wrong side of borders. Some people migrated; others stayed and made the best of it.
Béla Édes, my grandfather, was 6 years old in 1897 when this map of Kolozsvár was published. His family lived on Nagy utca, shown by the red line drawn on the map.
You may notice the tracks along the street for the villamos (tram) that would have taken the family to the city center (now Unirii Square).
Kolozsvár is located in a wide valley on the bank of the Szamos river. It was described as “a pleasant, clean-looking town, with wide streets diverging from the principal Platz, in which is the Gothic Cathedral of St. Micheal” 1. Szent Mihály templom, as it is known in Hungarian, is at #17 on the map. The imposing cathedral was begun by King Sigismund in 1401 and named for the Archangel Michael, the patron saint of the city. Béla’s Catholic family would have gone there for mass on Sundays, then probably home for a big Sunday meal.
A big Köszönöm! (Thank You) to all our readers from 56 different countries. Today the view count reached 4000 since ÉdesOrbán.com launched last January.
The all time most popular post is ‘Kerekes Katalin and the Warrior Women of Hungary’. I’m glad you liked it. Katalin is one of my favorite ancestors. Watch for another story about her family coming soon.
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