Hungarian Village Finder
This online gazetteer is available for access in the Salt Lake City Family History Library. The former Austro-Hungarian Empire has pieces which have been incorporated into Slovakia, Galicia, Romania, and so forth. Sometimes a small town has changed its name, as the districts and counties within the Austro-Hungarian Empire have been modified by a variety of wars and political shifts. (Example: Many immigrants to the Cleveland, Ohio, area came from Metzenseifen, a German-speaking town from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Family records will list this city with its German name. The city is divided by a river into Lower and Upper Metzenseifen. When this area became part of Slovakia, its name was changed to Medzev and microfilms would be listed under Nizny Medzev and Vizny Medzev. An online gazeteer can be an invaluable help in cases like this.
This gazetteer is useful because family stories or U.S. census records sometimes give a couple of hints about the town in Hungary where a certain ancester might have come from. More often than not an immigrant will simply name a nearby large city instead of giving the actual town or village. In such cases, help can be found, possibly, under Hungary - military records. (which were archived in Vienna and indexed). The Hungarian Village Finder database can help us know the name of the district and county so that we might find these on a map, as well as nearby towns and parishes or synagogues.
a.) In that we don't speak Hungarian (or Slovakian or German or Romanian) we might sometimes not know which words from the "family stories" are important. A town might be designated "Upper ...." or "Little ...." and we might discard some data because a found place name does not contain those Hungarian words prior to the main word.
b.) Secondly, this Hungarian Village Finder index will list all of the counties which have "Acs," for example. ("Acs" means "carpenter, carpenter's axe, timber." "Banya" or "--banya" refers to the mines. We would expect that several counties would have mines. Just as In Germany there are several villages named "Rosenthal," we see on this Hungarian index that there are more than one county with villages having the same name. (Think about cities in America named "Rochester" and "Utica." Did you know that both New York state and Michigan state have cities with these same names?)
This database can be found by accessingfamilysearch.org, and then "library catalog." Enter Hungarian Village Finder in the Keyword search. Refer to "Gazeteer" or "Jewish Gazeteer" in this same website. www.jewishgen.org likewise has helpful information.
Some interesting Hungarian geography vocabulary:
"del" -- South / noon "eszak" -- North
"elvetamutt" -- lower "falu" -- village
"felso" -- upper "hegy / hegyre" -- mountain / hill
"hely" -- place
"keleti" -- East "kis / kicsi" -- small, little
"nagy" -- big "nyugat" -- West
"to" -- lake "volgy" -- valley