Doing a successful genealogy research requires to have a good understanding of the sources which have to be used. Since the kind of sources and their availability vary from one country to the other it is better to work with a specialist of this specific country. The aim of this page is to give you a short overview of the variety of documents we will use in our research.
Types of genealogy sources
Genealogy sources are generally divided into 2 categories : primary and secondary sources. Primary sources are documents which were recorded at the time of the event by someone directly involved or by the actual person. For example birth, marriage and death certificates are primary sources. We can also consider as primary sources various military records, naturalization records, some notarial documents and census information. Secondary sources are all kind of documents which were created after the event or by someone who was not directly involved in it. However, it should be noted that the line between primary and secondary sources if often blurred, for example while some website specialized in genealogy consider death certificates as primary sources, some others consider it as secondary.
Genealogists prefer using primary sources because they are considered as being more accurate (although they may also contain some errors). At We Came from Hungary we try to cross-check as many sources as possible to get the most accurate information. We generally start with birth certificates which are the most easy documents to research (most of Hungarian birth certificates are indexed) and then marriage and death certificates before checking secondary sources.
Nowadays a wide range of documents are available online. However, in order to built a complete family tree we often have to go to local archives and travel to the countryside or even abroad to places which were part of the Kingdom of Hungary before 1920. Please contact us if you would like to discover your Hungarian roots. We will do a short preliminary for free and send you the results with a price offer.
Hungarian vital records
In Hungary, birth, marriage and death certificates started to be recorded at a municipal and state level in 1895. Before that, the various Christian churches (Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Calvinist, Lutheran) and the Israelites were keeping vital records separately. This is why knowing the religion of your ancestors is a great help in building your family tree. You will find more information about Christian and Jewish vital records here :
- Christian genealogy in Hungary
- Jewish genealogy in Hungary