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1869 Ung Census Project
Introduction by Vivian Kahn

The objective of this project is to digitize and transcribe records from Ung megye (county), Hungary, which are held by archives in Ukraine and have not been filmed by FamilySearch. These records are only available to most researchers from two on-line vendors, who charge substantial fees for the records. JewishGen’s Hungarian SIG currently has records for 18 towns from this census that were donated by individual researchers who purchased them from private parties. Thanks to the efforts of Hungarian SIG researcher Max Preston, we have identified and engaged a researcher based in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, who is willing and able to digitize a large collection of records held by archives in Uzhhorod so they can be available without a fee to all researchers.

Ung megye historically covered an area that is now primarily in western Ukraine with a smaller area within the eastern-most part of Slovakia.  Uzhhorod, formerly Ungvar, was the largest city in Ung and Sobrance (formerly Szobránc), about 15 km west of Uzhhorod, and now the easternmost town in Slovakia, was the main town in the western part of the area. 

Ung megye (Latin: comitatus Unghvariensis; Hungarian: Ung (vár)megye; also in Slovak: Užský komitát/ Užská župa / Užská stolica; Romanian: Comitatul Ung) was established in the 11th century and was one of the oldest counties in Hungary.  The 1735 census counted 70 Jews in Ung megye. By 1787, the Jewish population had grown to 1,887, which was just over 8 percent of the total Jewish population in Hungary. By the time of the 1869 census, there were 14,356 Jews in Ung comprising about 9 percent of the total; and by 1910 the Jewish population of Ung was 17,587 representing close to 11 percent of Hungary’s Jews. 

The !869 Census was the first census organized by the independent Hungarian Statistical Office. The census sheets for each address have three parts covering at least four pages or images: 

  • The first page has information about the location including the number of bedrooms and whether there are shops or other non-residential uses at the address. The street address is listed if there is one.
  • The second and third sheets identify members of each household at the address including their names (with maiden names for adult women in most cases), ages, relationship to the household head, occupation, religion, and birthplace.
  • The fourth page provides details about the number of domestic animals kept at the location. 

The household register may also include additional details about each household member such as physical disabilities, military service, place of residence of those from other places who are living at the location temporarily and the location of household members who were absent at the time of the census. 

We will only transcribe data for Jewish members of each household but will indicate whether there were any non-Jewish servants or other household members in the comments column.

We propose to enter into a Work for Hire Agreement with Bela Huber, a researcher based in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, to film and digitize 1869 census records held by archives in Uzhhorod. The estimated cost for this project is $5,000, which includes archive fees and the researcher’s time and expenses. Vivian Kahn will coordinate the project. We will be recruiting one or more experience indexers to assist with coordination and validation of records. 

Vivian Kahn
Director of the Hungarian Research Division
March 2023

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