This is the English translation of the 17th century history of the Origins of the Édes family.
“The document below is a copy of the original that was found a few years ago in a Bonfini History folio left to us by István Édes. It was inside the wood book cover, turned towards the wood by the side which had handwriting on it and its borders were covered by the dog skin’s edges and folded over by it. (The folio was inside a wood book cover which was covered by dog skin, and the text was as if the inside lining of the cover/ ZR). This is how we discovered it: my grandchild was too small to reach the table during lunch, so I put this huge old book under him to raise him a bit. During lunch he started to play with it and broke the dog skin with his nails.
“Pro memoria: The Édes clan originally came from the Székely region of Transylvania. They fought on the side of his majesty Gabriel Bethlen Prince of Transylvania, who rewarded their loyalty and valor with a large land-estate donation. Because this land was flat in a valley next to a mountain, our forefathers called it Sima (Plain).Originally the clan’s name was Éde, without the “s”. The Éde clan’s warriors served our graceful lord Prince Bethlen faithfully all through his reign, and after him they served his successor young István Bethlen also with great loyalty and bravery. However there was a mean evil man, whose name was Giurány, but it was pronounced Zsurány, who deserted the service of Bethlen and went over to serve the powerful György Rákóczy. This Zsurány told many a nasty lies about the Éde(s) to Rákóczy, no wonder he was called „Baj” (Trouble), because he managed to get into trouble many a hard and good warriors. He took the Sima land from the Éde(s) and occupied it as his own. This evil soul was an Italian man. The Éde(s) were hardly able to get away with their lives and they managed to run all the way to Érsekújvár.
Here they were able to find refuge but only if they converted to Catholicism from Calvinism. Bishop Imre Losy recognized the true value of those Éde warriors whose name is written Édes today; saw that they were excellent warriors so he donated them 3 neighboring lots of land in Újvár. And because they denied that they were noble warriors of Bethlen, the bishop requested nobility for the Éde clan with instância urgent application anno 1637. The main receiver of the first patent of nobility was Gerő (Gergely) Éde, however in Újvár his name was changed to Édes. With him the following also received patents of nobility: Vince, Ferenc, Mátyás and György, furthermore also the wife of Gerő, because she was a large and strong female animal, a warrior in her own right who participated in the fights, but she was always her husband’s and her lord’s subject2. She was born to a Hajdú mother in Hadház, and her name was Kató Kerekes. Soon after that they also acquired estates in Kisbér and Peszek. However Rákóczy grew very powerful and led an uprising and attacked the Újvár area. Among his followers were those Hajdú relatives of the Éde(s) who when they happened upon them turned the alliance of the Éde warriors. So they left the side of the Germans (bishop Losy’s circle) and went over to the side of their relatives, and together they turned on the Germans, and on top of that they returned to their original religion to Calvinism. After the magnificent prince Rákóczy won and ended the fighting with a peace treaty his army retreated and left Újvár. Those who supported him and stayed behind were punished and persecuted. Those who were hanging unto him were tortured by the grand inquisition, which confiscated their estates and all their possessions, arrested all these warriors whom they were able to find and for those who happened to manage to get away and went into hiding they searched after them to the death. The situation also became hot for the Édes clan and rumors were spreading about them which said that they have betrayed not only the German king the Hapsburg emperor but the one true God as well. It was said about them that they became heretics and criminals, whose souls were destined to purgatory, all deserving death, hell and damnation and none of them would have survived if their looming executioners would have found them. But God intervened. There was a Dutch earl who owned estates in Hungary in those days, first he took them under his protection, and later the Gyulay earl protected the Édes army. This has been written by me: István Édes, captain of the second company of the Pálfy squadron of the uprising, just the way I heard it from my father. – this was found in the binding of the folio, written by hand by István Édes
Added by Albert Édes: After careful consideration of the above document I would like to add the flowing remarks:
- There is a place called Sima in Szatmar-Szabolcs County. Both are possessed by noble families. Where did Gabriel Bethlen donate land to the Éde(s)? – it is not known. One of these Simas is owned by the Suranyi Bay (Bay=Baj=Trouble) family. Perhaps this was the original Éde estate.
- They were the warriors of Bethlen. One reason why they were hiding this fact might have been that they did not wish to betray that they have already fought against the Germans previously several times, because this fact would have hardly endeared them to the bishop. They changed their name with adding one “s” to it. It is possible they did this because they were afraid of Rákóczy, because they were strong enemies of him, and this was the reason they went as far away from him as they could, because in those days Rákóczy took away with force the estates of István Bethlen himself and occupied them, and he persecuted Bethlen’s supporters in 1630-35.
- Bishop Imre Losy was on their part and applied for nobility for them in 1637. And they received the patent letter with the big seal on March 20, 1638. In which this expression: “e statu et conditione ignobility, qua hactenus perstitisse dicuntur” suggests that they have been warriors of noble rank even before that, only they said that they weren’t. Kató Kerekes, the wife of Gerő also received nobility on her own right, but she was the exception, there are no other female names mentioned in the patent letter of nobility, only this: “et successores eorum utriusque sexus” 3.
- The Hajdú relatives. These must have been the blood relatives of Kató Kerekes, for whom it must have been easy to recruit the Édes army to their side when the victorious armies of Rákóczy were already at Pozsony.
- A Dutch earl. My father Gergely Édes told me also that in those days Madar and Marcelháza was owned (on what right? nobody knows) by a Dutch earl, than later the Gyulay earl. When did it become the property of prince Pálfy, only the prince’s archive would be able to tell. It is well known that the Calvinist church in Madar is among the oldest ones and during the religious fights when several Calvinist villages lost their churches (the Catholics converted the churches into catholic churches) Calvinists of these villages came to the service here. The only reason they couldn’t take the church in Madar from the Calvinists was that many from the noble warrior army came to settle there and they were well able to protect it.
István Édes who left behind this family history did not write with historical accuracy and in a scientifically researched manner, instead he wrote down what he heard from his father orally. That he wasn’t a stupid man shows the fact that he owned Bonfini’s History.
Where might the Éde(s) settle besides Érsekújvár? Traces of this may be found in the old church registries. We know for certain that Édes families lived in the following places: in Kürt which is close to Újvár, in Perbete, Szentpéter, Gyalla, Madar, Marcelháza, Komárom, Kömtöd (today Kömlőd), Tata, Monor, Vasad, Kiskunszent-miklós, where we know of three families living today. There is one family in Székesfehérvár also.
Their diploma of noble rank has been publicly announced in 1638 in Esztergom County, then later in 1699 in Komárom County. With these words: “Franciscus, Paulus, Jacobus, Klemens, Stephanus, Gregorius, Georfius et reliqui Édes nunc in possessione Madar degentes et commorantes” / this expression: stopping and staying indicates that Madar was not their main family seat.
However there was a widespread investigation of the validity of all noble ranks in the country in 1755 by the committee which seat was in Pozsony. They summarized the results of their investigations and issued a “extractus operis investigationalis nobelium” and in this they are saying the following about the Édes clan: “pro indubitatis nobilbus agnoscuntur Andreas, Georgius et reliqui Édes omnes omnio Madarienses”. At this point at least this branch of the family made Madar its permanent residency. By the way it is actually without any doubt that all the Édeses spread all over the home country are descended from the same clan: from those five men who left Transylvania in 1635, so all branches of one tree.
I recorded this for the sake of my descendants on May 20, 1865.
The coat of arms of the Édeses is in the spirit of the noble name: it is on a red shield, and there is a bee hive in the middle of it, at its bottom honey is pouring out from it, and on the top is a hand holding a sword.”