Saturday, August 8, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ Hollander of Hungary

I am using the Surname Saturday prompt to review the ancestral lines for my husband's family.

As far as I know, the only Hollander who came to America was my husband's paternal grandmother, Lena, after she married her husband, Joseph Handler.

Thanks to the Family History Library, which has been microfilming (and now digitizing) records from around the world, I have been able to trace Bubbie Lena's ancestors for several generations through the vital records found on FHL microfilms. Hungary records before 1895 are still only on microfilm.

Hungary Civil Registration, 1895-1980 is available online at, though for Tolna District, the records are not yet indexed; you have to browse through them (which is kind of like scrolling through microfilm).

When I searched the microfilm in late 2011 and early 2012, the earliest Hollander I could find was Samuel Hollander, whose name is mentioned in the marriage record and death record for his son Leopold.

Generation 2: Leopold Hollander was born in the 1830s in Bezdán, Bacs-Bodrog, Hungary, according to his marriage record. He married Babette Kohn on June 9, 1862, in Bonyhád, Tolna, Hungary.

The following part of his son's 1886 marriage record has the groom's name on the left: Samu (Samuel) Hollander with his occupation: Pipafaragó (pipe carver) and his birth place: Bonyhád. The next column lists the groom's parents' names: Lipod [Leopold] Hollander with his occupation, also Pipafaragó, and Betti Kohn, and their residence: Bonyhád.

Detail from 1886 marriage record of Samu[el] Hollander and Anna Honnenvald

Leopold's death record lists his occupation as házaló (peddler).

Birth records for Bonyhád, Tolna, Hungary, provide me with the names of the children of Leopold and Babette, born between 1863 and 1883: Samuel, Rosalie, Herman, Hanni, Moritz, Abram, and Ignatz. Another son, Adolf, has Leopold and Babette listed on his marriage record.

I previously shared the death record for Leopold Hollander, who died on February 8, 1907, in Bonyhád of végelgyengülés (old age).

Generation 3: Oldest son, Samuel Hollander, most likely named for his deceased grandfather, as was the custom, was born in Bonyhád on March 24, 1863. He married Anna Honenvald on March 16, 1886, in Hogyész, Tolna, Hungary. (She was born there on November 6, 1861.)

See a map of the area showing where Bonyhád and Hogyész are in relation to each other and to Ilok, Croatia, where his daughter's husband was from.

Samuel and Anna had five children born in Bonyhád: Fanny, a stillborn boy, Lena, Roza and Regina (who died young). I have blogged about Lena's birth record and about her siblings' birth records.

Lena Hollander Handler
Lena's sister Roza married Erno Breuer on February 14, 1913. (I believe this photo is of her family and in-laws.)

I still have to explore the 20th century deaths for Fanny, Samuel, and Anna. Lina's sister and her family died in the Holocaust.

Generation 4: Lena (Hollander) Handler, was born in Bonyhád, on September 5, 1889 (or 1890 - see my blog post about her birth record).

In her hometown of Bonyhád, on March 10, 1909, she married Josef Handler. Ten months later, Arthur was born.

In 1911, Lena immigrated to America to settle in Akron, Ohio, with her husband, returning to Hungary once for an extended visit. One of my favorite blog posts is about finding this family in passenger lists.

The 1940s were a very challenging time for Lena. She lost two sons in World War II and her husband died soon after. When she stopped receiving letters from her sister at home in Bonyhád, she knew that the rest of her family had perished in the Holocaust.

She did live long enough to see several grandchildren become Bar Mitzvah, including my husband, her youngest grandchild.

She died on March 14, 1983, in Akron, Ohio, where she is buried. See her FindAGrave memorial.

Generation 5: My father-in-law (still living).

Generation 6: My husband, whose Hebrew name is Shmuel, named for his great-grandfather, Samuel Hollander.


  1. Probably not related but there was a butcher living in Brooklyn in the 1950s and 1960's by the name of Eugene Hollander. His wife was Serene and they had a son named Norman. Serene and my grandmother were apparently best friends in Hungary, although I have no idea on the details of that. Eugene and Serene came to US in the 1920's. My grandmother did not come to the US and did not survive the war. My mother and father took us to visit Eugene and Serene when I was a child. Unfortunately, I was too young and never asked about anything genealogical. I just checked Ancestry and according to his Naturalization document Eugene was from Munkacs and was born on 8 Oct 1898.

    1. In my research, I have found that Hollander is a somewhat common name and as you can see from this post, my husband's Hollander line is from Tolna district, specifically Bonyhad. I haven't tried to trace any other lines so perhaps a distant cousin ended up in New York - I just don't know.

      Thanks for reading and for commenting!

    2. Not surprisingly, you can also find the surname Hollander in The Netherlands.

    3. Yes, I have noticed many Hollanders in the Netherlands when I have done a surname search. I don't know if it has anything to do with this family.

  2. Did you notice the Hebrew at the bottom of the image? It's hard to make out, but I can see:

    Shmuel son of (something) Yuda (something) Zelig Leib.

    1. I found these records awhile ago and I have had some of the Hebrew translated, but I don't think on this one. However, the Shmuel certainly makes sense - I love that I can find generations of my husband's Hebrew name in this line!

      Does Yuda (something) Zelig Leib make any sense with the given name of Leopold?

      As always, thanks for your insightful comments!

    2. Well, Leib->Leopold wouldn't surprise me. But there are other names before. I'd suggest posting to Tracing the Tribe and seeing if someone can make out the other words. The first "something" looks like Yame, but that doesn't make sense, and the second looks like maybe Henye but it's squashed together so I'm not sure.

  3. I may have some more Hollander information for you. Please contact me.

    1. Zachary - please email me at elizhandler -at- and let me know what information you have.