JewishGen Home Page

Abaúj-Torna Records Project

Project Leader: Vivian Kahn
JewishGen Liason/Advisor: Avraham Groll


The objective of this umbrella project is to photograph, digitize and transcribe records from old Hungarian megye (county) of Abaúj-Torna which have not been filmed by FamilySearch.  These will include records from the Hungarian State Archives, the Slovak State Archives branch in Košice (formerly Kassa, Hungary), and census and vital records found in the Košice Municipal Archive, and other municipal archives in Slovakia.

The project began more than a year ago with the acquisition and indexing of images from the 1848 Abaúj-Torna Census, which was filmed by the Hungarian State Archives, and vital records from Abaúj-Torna villages and towns held in the State archives branch in Košice.  Both of these efforts were funded by earmarked donations to the Hungarian SIG General Fund, and most of the records have already been indexed and incorporated in the JewishGen Hungary Database.

Abaúj-Torna County

Abaúj-Torna megye historically covered an area that now includes part of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County in northeastern Hungary, and the Kosicky region (kraj) of Slovakia.  Košice is the second largest city in Slovakia after Bratislava and the largest city in eastern Slovakia, with a current population of about 240,000, including a small Jewish community.

Jews first settled in Kassa after the Diet of 1839-1840 passed legislation permitting them to live in royal free towns.  Until that time, Jews lived in nearby Rozgony (now Rozhanovce, Slovakia) and would only come to the Kassa fairs.  Town officials tried to impede Jewish settlement even after 1840, in an attempt to protect Christian trade guilds.  The Jewish community grew significantly after the 1850s with 2,178 Jews in 1869 and 6,723 in 1910 (10% and 15.2% of the total population respectively), making it one of the larger Jewish communities in Hungary.  In addition to attracting many Jews from the more developed parts of western Hungary, Kassa experienced significant immigration from Galicia.  Following World War I, Košice became part of the new country of Czechoslovakia.  (Seešice).

1857 Census

The next component project will be the acquisition and indexing of images from the 1857 Hungarian Census of Abaúj-Torna County, held by the Slovak State Archive in Košice.  The 1857 Census is a “people” census, enumerating the individuals of all religions, regardless of property ownership.  The census was mainly recorded in German language.  The 1857 Census is distinguished from several others because it was conducted for the purpose of counting men for military service.  For this reason, it includes an exact birthdate for men between 14 and 20, while others in the household were asked only for their year of birth.  FamilySearch has filmed portions of the 1857 Census for nine counties, but none of these have been indexed to date.

The first phase will be to create digital images of the voluminous census data sheets.  The archive fund contains data from 177 villages and towns from Abaúj-Torna County including Kassa, which is not covered in the 1848 Census, and many smaller places.  A partial list includes:

Old Hungarian Name Modern Name
(Abaúj-)Nádasd Trstené pri Hornáde, SK
(Abaúj-)Szina Seňa, SK
(Hernád-)Csány Čaňa, SK
Almás Jablonov nad Turňou, SK
Alsónovaj Novajidrány, HU
Bárcza Barca, SK
Búzafalva Valaliky (Buzice), SK
Csécs Čečejovce, SK
Felsoméra Méra, HU
Jászó Jasov, SK
Kassa Košice, SK
Kassa-Újfalu Košická Nová Ves, SK
Nagy Ida Veľká Ida, SK
Rozgony Rozhanovce, SK
Somodi Drienovec, SK
Szepsi Moldava nad Bodvou, SK
Szkáros Skaros, SK
Torna Turňa nad Bodvou, SK
(Hernád)-Zsadány Ždaňa, SK

The second part of the project will be transcription of the records, which are mainly in German and written in Kurrent script (Kurrentschrift).  Information in the records includes name, birth date, religion, occupation, marital status, house number, householder name, etc.

Estimated Cost

We propose to enter into a Work for Hire Agreement with Peter Absolon, a researcher in Košice, to undertake filming and digitization of the 1857 Census records.  The estimated cost for this component project is $5,000, which includes archive fees and the researcher’s time and expenses.  Peter estimates that the total cost per day will be 51.27 euros, and that it will take about three months to photograph all of the records.  Peter has also agreed to coordinate the project, and Eric Bloch, who coordinates H-SIG’s Other Census Records project, has volunteered to help with validating records.

Hungary SIG JewishGen-erosity Projects
Last Update: 10-Aug-2017   WSB
Edmond J. Safra Plaza | 36 Battery Place | New York, NY 10280
646.494.5972 | | © 2019, JewishGen. All rights reserved.