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Naming Customs

Surname (or a family name) is used first, followed by the given name

NAGY János John Nagy
KOVÁCS Mária Mary Smith
  • there is usually just one given name
  • surnames are generally a single names
  • patronymics were usually not used

This rule is also followed in Hungarian parish registers.

Surnames were usually derived from common sources such as trades, qualities, ethnic origins, place names etc.

SZABÓ Ferenc Frank Taylor
MOLNÁR Lajos Louis Miller
KIS Mihály Michael Little
FEHÉR Erzsébet Elizabeth White
TÖRÖK Katalin Catherine Turk

Titles of nobility are put before the surnames

gróf NAGY János Count John Nagy

The equivalent of Mrs. is the particle né (wife) which is added to a husband's name.

NAGY Jánosné Mrs. John Nagy
  • names of Hungarian married women take on special forms.
  • Klausenberger Ignáczné Bival Rosália means that Rosália Bival married a man named Ignácz Klausenberger.
  • the -né means wife of.


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