Sunday, April 14, 2013

Searching for Death Records in Bonyhád Hungary

I have (slowly) been working my way through vital records from Bonyhád, Tolna District, Hungary from the late 1890's into the 1900's at The specific record collection is Hungary, Civil Registration, 1895-1980. It is slowly being indexed, but Bonyhád is not indexed yet, so I have to scroll through the records image by image. And to top it off, the title and date ranges of the record types at the links are mostly incorrect, so I first had to figure out what the links really connected to!

Lena Hollander Handler, 1911
I have written about my husband's grandmother, Lena (Holländer) Handler several times, first finding her passenger record, then, by exploring Bonyhád records on a Family History Library microfilm (Registers of Jewish births, marriages and deaths [to 1895]. Text in Hungarian and German) that I borrowed over a year ago, I found and shared her birth record. I also found enough additional records on that microfilm as well as in the online Hungary, Civil Registration, 1895-1980, that I have pieced together several generations of her ancestors.

Her parents were Samuel Holländer and Anna Honenvald. I previously shared Samuel's 1863 birth record and I have been curious to know when he died. I have been looking through these records at and found death records for his mother, Babette (or Betti) Kohn Holländer in 1896 and for his father, Leopold (or Lipod) Holländer in 1907. (I have not yet found Samuel Holländer's death record.)

I have to say that, even though I need to use Google Translate to figure out what is being reported, and I have to decipher handwriting in a foreign language, the one cool thing about these records is that a woman's maiden name is almost always indicated, and especially if the family has remained in the same community for several generations.

The page with the death record for Leopold Holländer, Lena's grandfather, looks like this:
Bonyhad, Tolna, Hungary, "Civil Registration, 1895-1980 (", Deaths (Halottak),
1907-1925, Image no. 245 (1907, No. 17). Death record for Hollander Lipot;

Leopold's record is at the bottom and he is recorded as Lipot or Lipod:

Close up of the above record

Record number 17, registered on February 10, 1907, reports that Lipot [Lipod?] Holländer, occupation házaló [peddler], died on February 8, 1907, at 9 o'clock in the evening. His residence was Bonyhád. [I'm not sure what the words after Bonyhád are, possibly a specific neighborhood or street?]

Izr indicates that he was Jewish. [I search these Bonyhád records by looking for "izr" in the Religion column.] He was 72 years old and he was pre-deceased by his wife, Betti Kohn. [Even his death record notes his wife's maiden name!] His parents were Samuel Holländer and Johanna Weiss [?]. He died of végelgyengülés, or old age.

I will continue to search for a death record for Lena's parents, Samuel Holländer and Anna Honenváld Holländer. And eventually I will go back to the microfilm records and look for their marriage record in Hogyész, another community in Tolna District, Hungary. I can then look for Anna's family.


  1. Thanks so much for the hints, Elizabeth! I've been looking for my Schwartz relatives in Ungvar, Hungary. Lots of Schwartz families in Hungary at that time! But I guess I need a LOT more patience. You're inspiring me to take my time. Thank you! And good luck with the ongoing search.

    1. Marian, I work at these Hungarian records a little bit at a time. Yes, it does take patience and I have to be in the mood to scroll through these images, but it's fun when I do find a family member!

      Thanks for reading and commenting and good luck with your search!

  2. Hi Elizabeth , the words after the town's name Bonyhád mean that he lived on " Budvai Street " . I wonder if the street still exists ?

    Join us at the Hungarian Exchange Genealogy Group ( at Facebook if you need help with reading records. People upload records and we all help each other translate (although it looks like you are doing a good job already ). We would love to have you .


    1. Magda, thank you for clarifying the rest of Lipod's address! And thank you for letting me know about the HungaryGenealogy Facebook page. I have requested to join.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!