# 494 My First Microfilm Treasure Hunt

494 is the hypotenuse of one Pythagorean triple: 190-456-494. What is the greatest common factor of those three numbers?

• 494 is a composite number.
• Prime factorization: 494 = 2 x 13 x 19
• The exponents in the prime factorization are 1, 1, and 1. Adding one to each and multiplying we get (1 + 1)(1 + 1)(1 + 1) = 2 x 2 x 2 = 8. Therefore 494 has exactly 8 factors.
• Factors of 494: 1, 2, 13, 19, 26, 38, 247, 494
• Factor pairs: 494 = 1 x 494, 2 x 247, 13 x 38, or 19 x 26
• 494 has no square factors that allow its square root to be simplified. √494 ≈ 22.22611

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Years ago my husband and I wanted to research his family tree so I decided to visit the Family History library in downtown Salt Lake City on 8 April 2010. At that time we knew the names of his four grandparents, his eight great-grandparents, and one great-great-grandfather. We knew all of these people were born in Hungary. The information we had was that two of his grandparents were born in a little town called Gyoma in what is now eastern Hungary. We had no idea where his other two grandparents were born. This day was the first time I ever looked at any Hungarian genealogical records. I knew maybe ten words in Hungarian, and I had never even seen similar records in English.

The records were recorded on microfilm which were sorted into Roman Catholic, Reformed Hungarian, Lutheran, and Jewish records. I had no idea what religion his ancestors were, but based on the number of microfilms available for each religion in Gyoma, chances were that they belonged to the Reformed Church. I found a microfilm with Kereszteltek (christening) records from 1883-1895. A volunteer showed me how to put the microfilm on a the reader, and I started looking. I made notes of which records interested me. It was so exciting to find records that had names of people I had heard stories about. It was my intention to photocopy as many family records as I could, scan them into my home computer, and email them to my son, David, who speaks Hungarian fluently but lived in Qatar at the time. However, when I went to make copies, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I could actually copy the records directly onto a flash drive!

I emailed my son that the five hours I spent at the family history library were well spent. I didn’t find any of the christening records I was expecting to find but found about thirteen records of his ancestor’s siblings. I attached the records to the email and waited for morning to arrive in Qatar so he could reply.

The next day he emailed me back, “I only had time to look at the first four (records). I’ll check the rest later. I’ve written some notes below, but I should let you know that you basically just found four people who aren’t related to us.” He then wrote in English what each of the records said.

Later he emailed me, “To continue the bad news, Now that I look at all of them, I can see that they (the great-grandparents) are all listed as godparents. This should explain why you didn’t find much of what you were actually looking for. Now you know, and should be able to look for names in the right column.”

He sent me translations of the page headings so I wouldn’t go wrong in the future. The christening records were two pages wide. Here are the headings with his translations for the first page:

And here are the headings with translations for the 2nd page.

So there you have it. Since I knew so little Hungarian and so little about how christening records are organized, I thought the godparents were the parents.

I had to wait a whole week before I could go back to the library, but this first visit was not a total bust. We still learned a few things about my husband’s great-grandfather, Dániel Finta, that we didn’t know before. We learned that he worked in a factory making shoes because his profession was given next to his name on at least one record. We learned that Dániel was asked on several occasions to be a godfather. Sometimes his wife was the godmother with him, and sometimes his mother was. Because I found these records we now knew his mother’s name, Sára Bíró, as well. We also learned that Dániel belonged to the Reformed Church and his wife, Emília Pribelszky, was Lutheran.

I was grateful for what we had learned and anxious to return again.

How successful were you the first time you looked into your family history? If you were discouraged, please give it another try. It is so worth it. If you were successful, you know exactly what I mean.

# 487 The Forgon Family Tree

Before I write about the Forgon Family, I’ll write just a little bit about the number 487 beginning with something I learned from Number Gossip:

• 487¹ = 487, and 4 + 8 + 7 = 19.
• 487³ = 115,501,303, and 1 + 1 + 5 + 5 + 0 + 1 + 3 + 0 + 3 = 19.

It’s pretty cool that both sums equal each other, but it’s even cooler that 487 is the smallest prime number that can make that claim.

487 = 157 + 163 + 167, so 487 is also the sum of three consecutive prime numbers.

• 487 is a prime number.
• Prime factorization: 487 is prime.
• The exponent of prime number 487 is 1. Adding 1 to that exponent we get (1 + 1) = 2. Therefore 487 has exactly 2 factors.
• Factors of 487: 1, 487
• Factor pairs: 487 = 1 x 487
• 487 has no square factors that allow its square root to be simplified. √487 ≈ 22.068076

How do we know that 487 is a prime number? If 487 were not a prime number, then it would be divisible by at least one prime number less than or equal to √487 ≈ 22.068. Since 487 cannot be divided evenly by 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, or 19, we know that 487 is a prime number.

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Andor Forgon and my son, David. Andor is the caretaker of the Mihály Forgon museum in Mihályfalva. David wrote, “Andor Forgon, who is a distant cousin (If I’ve done my math right we’re tenth cousins twice removed. You’d have to go back to the 1600s to find a common ancestor). Still, he had a lot of interesting information about the Forgon branch of our family and about the history of Mihályfalva.”

My husband’s second great-grandmother was named Erzsébet Forgon. She was born into Hungarian nobility in a little village called Mihályfalva in what is now southern Slovakia. Her parents were Juditha Dancs and Boldizsár Forgon.

Since Erzsébet was born into a Catholic family, we were not able to find her christening record in Mihályfalva. It was very discouraging pouring over the Reformed Church records, seeing plenty of people with the name Forgon, but not her christening record. I found the record of her conversion from Catholicism to the Reformed Church. It’s the last record on the page below. The images are small, but if you click on them, you should be able to read them much more easily.

I was also able to find her marriage record. It is the first entry in the year 1856.

I had almost given up hope finding her christening record. When my son and I visited Mihályfalva three years ago, he asked someone in town where a Catholic would take their children to get baptized. The town named seemed so far away. We looked online a little but did not immediately find her christening record.

Because Familysearch volunteers have indexed so many records, we were able to find Erzsébet’s 9 October 1836 christening record here. Her christening is listed near the top of the second of the two pages of the document.

I was also able to find the 5 June 1809 christening record of her father, Boldizsár son of János Forgon and Krisztina Nagy.  That baptism is the second entry in June, and his brother’s christening is listed right under his.

The 8 May 1768 christening of my husband’s 4th great grandfather, János Forgon, son of Péter Forgon and Borbála Kovács is the third entry on the first page of this document.

This 19 June 1741 document appears be the christening record of my husband’s 5th great grandfather Péter Forgon, son of István (Stephan) Forgon. It is the 7th entry on the 2nd page of the document. This christening occurred in Mihályfalva at a time when mothers were not considered important enough to list on records. Péter and his brother István who was christened 26 April 1743 (1st page; 17 entry) both converted to Catholicism.

All of these ancestors lived in Mihályfalva and the Catholic baptisms were performed in two different towns. I probably would not have found any of them if they had not been indexed and if not for the genealogical work done by one of my husband’s most important relatives. A very short account of his life follows:

One of the most famous people named Forgon was Dr. Mihály Forgon. His 22 October 1885 christening is 4th from the bottom of the first page. While he worked on his law degree he found time to compile descendant charts for the many noble families who lived in Gömör County, Hungary. After receiving his law degree, Dr. Forgon worked as a prosecutor. During World War I, he served as a reserve lieutenant on the Russian front in Poland.  About three weeks after he arrived in Poland, he was tragically and fatally shot. He was only 29 years old.

I’ve included the descendant table Mihály Forgon made for the Forgon family below. After not too many years a descendant chart becomes much too large to fit on one single sheet of paper so Mihály Forgon separated the descendant chart into three additonal tables. The earliest date on the main table is 1573, and it maps the way to the remaining tables as follows:

• Four generations below Forgon János we have Balint who becomes the top of table #IV. (We will see my husband’s family on this table.)
• The next generation has János who becomes the top of table #III.
• That same generation also has Zsigmond, the father of István and Zsigmond who are at the top of table #II.

Dr. Mihály Forgon name is listed near the bottom of table #I under the names of his parents, Rafáel Forgon and Erzsébet Bodon. Forgon and Bodon were both noble families and the most honored surnames in Mihályfalva.

My husband’s second great grandmother, Erzsébet, is listed on this fourth chart. You can see her name in the middle of the chart approaching the right hand side under Boldizsár and his wife Juditha Dancs. Erzsébet’s husband, Ferdinánd Barna, is listed just below her name.

One of the reasons I wanted to write about the Forgon family is because I’ve met one of its members on WordPress. The beautiful Veronika Forgon also traces her roots back to Mihályfalva to this noble family. She is the lovely model featured in these four posts:

Veronika Forgon – Hajógyári Sziget

Veronika Forgon – Buda Castle

Veronika Forgon – Margitsziget

Veronika Forgon – Kopaszi Dam

Update: When I wrote this post I wasn’t exactly sure how Veronika is related to my husband and my children, but after reading it, she contacted us, and now I know! I was thrilled to learn that she is my husband’s 11th cousin, and my children are her 11th cousins once removed.

# 465 Looking for Aunt Betty

My husband had an aunt that I had never met. In fact, he had never met her. She was the baby in her family. The rest of her family had lost contact with her 50 or 60 years ago. All they knew was that she married Herbert Bender and that the two of them had moved to Washington D. C. There may have been some unkind words spoken by them or by her, and there were some very hurt feelings. Some family members didn’t care if they ever saw or heard from her again. Nobody knew her address or phone number.

Forgetting about her just wasn’t acceptable to me so we searched for her on our very limited budget. Back in the day before the internet, when long distance phone calls were expensive, and we lived in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, we drove up to Washington D. C.  One of the things we did when we were there was go to a phone booth and call every H. Bender in the phone book, but none of them was her husband.

Eventually, all of Betty’s brothers and sisters died except her brother, Paul. He was eight years older than she was but was the closest in age to her. Paul came to live with us in 1988, and he brought his photo albums with him. For the first time, we got to see photos of his little sister, Betty. Here are a few of those photos:

The most recent picture of Betty that her brother, Paul, had.

Paul and Betty working together. Betty was 5 years old. The identity of the older boy is unknown. I suggested to Paul that it was his brother, Steve, but he said it couldn’t be. “Ma never would have given him such a bad haircut.”

Paul posing with his younger sister, Elizabeth (Betty).

We were so excited to see these pictures of Betty. Paul had no ill feelings toward his sister so we asked him if he would like to find her. He stated that he wanted to respect her privacy if she wanted nothing to do with the rest of the family.

Paul died in November 2005. I missed him terribly especially since, primarily, I had been the one who took care of him the last 7 1/2 years of his life. We often looked at the pictures and records he left us. There were several pictures of his folks and his siblings, his christening record from Igazfalva written in Hungarian, his passport, his naturalization record, and many other records. I eventually took public transport to downtown Salt Lake City to the Family History Library. I checked out microfilm from Gyoma, Hungary and was thrilled to find the christening record for Paul and Betty’s father, Sallai István. After several months I found the family’s genealogy all the way back to the mid 1700’s. How I wished I could have shared these records with Paul or that I could find Betty and share them with her if she were still alive.

Periodically we looked at the social security death index for Elizabeth Bender born April 7, 1921. We didn’t find her, but that was a good thing because that might mean she was still alive. One problem with knowing that for sure was that since she was a woman, her surname would be different if she ever married someone else. I loved searching through these old records and indexes. I learned that if I was in the right time and place, I could find a gold mine of records, but if I wasn’t, there was nothing to be found.

Family Search has been indexing records over the last several years. In June 2014, I was able to find this indexed marriage license record.

I was tickled to find out that Herbert Bender’s occupation was a Statistician, and amused that Elizabeth Sallay said she was 22 years old and born in Cleveland, Ohio. At the time she was actually 19 years old, and she was born in Hungary.

If I had been searching through microfilm marriage records all by myself, I never would have looked in Columbus, Ohio; instead, I would have spent years searching through Cleveland marriage records. But because of an indexer, I was able to find their marriage record, and get her husband’s date of birth. That date helped me know I had found the correct person when I found his name under the social security death index and the United States Public Records. The public records gave me a phone number, but it had been disconnected. It also gave me an address. She had been born 93 years previously, and it appeared that if she was still alive, she had probably moved to a different location. I found a list of the homeowners in that Maryland neighborhood. It was obvious that the list was a little old, but I was determined to write some letters to see if anyone remembered her. I googled one of the other houses and discovered it was for sale. The site also gave a list of all the houses in the neighborhood, when they were last sold, and who was the seller and the buyer. I discovered that her house had been sold in May 2013. It was possible I was just over a year too late! She and her husband were listed as the sellers, but estate was written after his name. I called the real estate agent who sold the house. He told me that this now 93-year-old aunt was still very much alive, and he gave me her phone number. I called the number and was able to talk to her!

It turned out that my son, John, lived only 40 minutes away from Aunt Betty! He immediately made arrangements to meet her. Steven and I flew out to Virginia at the end of July, and John took us over to meet her as well.  She shared stories and pictures with me that I would never have otherwise known or seen. Since she was 93 years old, she had a caregiver, Ingrid Graham, who was absolutely wonderful. Ingrid explained that after Betty sold her house, they moved into an apartment that included amenities that Betty couldn’t take advantage of, so they moved again. The real estate agent would not have known of this second move except Betty continued to get a gas bill for the house she sold. About a week before I called the agent, her caregiver had written the real estate agent a letter requesting his assistance in resolving the gas bill, and the letter had her new address and phone number. Thus the gas bill mix-up was part of the miracle of finding Aunt Betty! This trip to meet her was the highlight of 2014 for me.

Here is a picture of Betty when she was younger. The picture was taken by my husband’s father:

And here is a picture of my husband Steve, Betty, and me that was taken last summer.

Sadly Betty died in December 2014. My husband flew out to Ohio to attend her funeral, but I was recovering from surgery and couldn’t travel. Ingrid planned a memorial service for her in April because there were others who wanted to attend the funeral in December but couldn’t. I was very grateful to be able to attend the memorial service yesterday and reconnect with Ingrid and others who were part of Aunt Betty’s life.

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Now I’ll share the factoring information for the number 465.

465 = 1 + 2 + 3 + . . . + 28 + 29 + 30, so it is a triangular number represented by (30 x 31)/2.

465 is formed by three consecutive digits so it can be evenly divided by 3. It is not divisible by 9 because the middle digit of the three consecutive digits, 5, is not a multiple of 3.

• 465 is a composite number.
• Prime factorization: 465 = 3 x 5 x 31
• The exponents in the prime factorization are 1, 1, and 1. Adding one to each and multiplying we get (1 + 1)(1 + 1)(1 + 1) = 2 x 2 x 2 = 8. Therefore 465 has exactly 8 factors.
• Factors of 465: 1, 3, 5, 15, 31, 93, 155, 465
• Factor pairs: 465 = 1 x 465, 3 x 155, 5 x 93, or 15 x 31
• 465 has no square factors that allow its square root to be simplified. √465 ≈ 21.5638