Do These Records Refer to One Person, Two People, or More?

Some of my husband’s ancestors lived in Dévaványa, Hungary in the 1700s. I came across a death record for an individual who died in Dévaványa but was born in Gyoma, the place where two of my husband’s grandparents were born.

Dévaványa civil death record, number 323, 1899 October 24, Csáki Gergely, age 73 (born about 1827) in Gyoma, married to Karádi Eszter, his parents were the late Csáki István and the late Kis Rebeka.

My husband had a 4th great-grandmother named Kis Erzsébet who lived in Gyoma. Perhaps this Csáki Gergely would be related to her somehow? I decided to look for him in other records and found that he and his wife had one child born in Gyoma.

Gyoma Reformed Church christening record, page 877, Line 188, born 1859 August 6, christened 1859 August 8, a girl, Ester, born to Csáki Gergely and Karádi Ester.

That matches the information in Csáki Gergely’s death record. Great! Let me see if I can find his christening record. I’m looking for a Gergely who was born about 1827 and his parents were Csáki István and Kis Rebeka. I did find a Gergely christened on 12 September 1827 whose father was Csáki István, but his mother’s name was Fekete Rebeka. Also that Gergely died a half year later on 25 April 1828. The couple had another son, István, christened 23 Jan 1829, and one more they named Gergely christened on 12 January 1830. Could that second Gergely be the same as the one who died in 1899?

Suppose one of your relatives died and you reported the death to the authorities. Would you get his/her birth year and mother’s maiden name right? I’m not ready to declare that these two documents refer to the same person, but I’m also not going to eliminate the possibility either.

Some people in Hungary essentially had two surnames. Perhaps Rebeka sometimes listed her surname as Kis. I searched for István and Rebeka’s marriage record.

Gyoma Reformed Church marriage record, page 1009, last entry for 1826 November 15, the widower young Csáki István, age 25 (born about 1801) and Fekete György’s daughter Rebeka, age 29 (born about 1797).

There is no mention of Kis there, and young Csáki István was already a widower? I looked for Rebeka’s christening record and found she appears to have been christened on 13 Jun 1797, the daughter of Vanyai Fekete György and Szabó Ilona. (Vanyai means he was from Dévaványa.) Still no mention of the surname Kis. I found these parents’ marriage record.  Gyoma Reformed Church marriage record, 2nd entry for 29 January 1794, Dévaványa resident Fekete György, age 25 (born about 1769), and the late Bálint Szabó Márton’s daughter Ilona, age 21 (born about 1773). Again, no mention of Kis on either her father’s side or her mother’s side. It looks like I’m at a dead end.

All this means Csáki Gergely might not be related to my husband’s 4th great-grandmother after all, but my curiosity was still peaked about Csáki István being a widower at age 25. I found three records of interest.

  1. Gyoma Reformed Church marriage record page 1000, 16 November 1825, Csáki Gergely’s son István, age 24, wed B. Szabó János’s daughter, Mária, age 17 (born about 1808). This is one day less than one year before the widower Csáki István married Fekete Rebeka. And her name is B. Szabó Mária? Could she be related to Fekete Rebeka’s mother, Bálint Szabó Ilona?
  2. Gyoma Reformed Church christening record, page 73, 21 September 1826, the child christened, Imre, his parents were Csáki István and Kaptsos Mária.  Mária is the right given name, but Kaptsos and B. Szabó are not the same names.
  3. Gyoma Reformed Church death record, page78, 22 September 1826, Csáki Istvánné (Mrs. István Csáki), age 24 (born about 1802). This is just one day after the christening mentioned in the previous record. I looked up the cause of death, pokolvar, to see if it had anything to do with childbirth, but it did not. Pokol means hell, pokolvar means carbuncles. I do not know if the two words are related. Her death occurred less than two months before Fekete Rebeka’s 15 November 1826 wedding mentioned above. (It wasn’t unusual for a father of a new baby to look for a new mother soon after the death of his wife.)

Do these three records belong to one person, two people, or three? I looked for a possible christening record for Mária, and found several records for children born to János (Kaptsos or Bálint) and Ersebet Czegledi. They may be one couple or they may be two, but I arranged the information from the records in a chart here:

Note that Győri István was the godfather of three of the children. Balás Judit (not Ersébet) might have been the godmother all three times as well.

Discrepancies might have been from the participants, the informants, or even the priests. Most people were illiterate back then. I can imagine a person going to the priest when Mrs. István Csáki died. “How old was she?” asks the priest. “I don’t know,” the informant responds. “What were her parents’ names? I’ll determine her age from the christening book,” says the priest. He finds the birth of Mária in 1802, totally unaware that Mária 1802 died in 1807. “It looks like she was 24 when she died,” and that’s what he records in the book. Another possibility is that all the records are exactly correct and belong to different people so there are no discrepancies.

Although I was very interested in looking at these records, and I have an opinion of which records refer to which people, I’m not offering any of those opinions. But if you are related to any of these people, and find my research helpful, go ahead, form your own opinions, and make any connections you feel are appropriate.


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