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The 1857 Hungarian Census

Introduction by Peter Absolon


The 1857 Census is a population census, enumerating individuals of all religions, regardless of property ownership. The census was mainly recorded in the German language. The 1857 Census is distinguished from 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 the ages of 14 and 20 while others in the household were asked only for their year of birth.  Prescribed categories were used for classification by profession.  Representatives of both sexes were put into age categories, but females had fewer and broader age groups than males.

FamilySearch has filmed portions of the 1857 Census for nine counties but none of these have been indexed to date. The amount of surviving material is considerable. The material of many towns survived, but some are incomplete: Buda, Győr, Sz�kesfeh�rv�r, Szentes, T�rkeve, Baja, Kecskem�t, Cegl�d, Magyar�v�r in Hungary, T�rgu Mureş, Satu Mare, Baia Mare in Transylvania (Romania), Kosice (Kassa) in Slovakia. At this time, the rural archive material is also significant, including census sheets for the counties of S�ros (379 villages in Slovakia) and Aba�j-Torna (134 villages in Hungary, 123 villages in Slovakia). Very important surviving materials remain in county Maramaros (Transylvania, 165 villages), Zempl�n (17 villages, mostly in Slovakia), N�gr�d (54 villages in Slovakia), Sopron (16 villages in Hungary, 51 in Austria), Tolna (8 villages in Hungary), Csan�d (32 settlements, most of them in Hungary, some of them in Romania), Esztergom (3 villages in Hungary, 2 in Slovakia).  The red areas and dots on the map below represent counties and communities where the 1857 Census schedules are extant.


Information in the Original Data

The original Census includes 9 main columns of information, as follows:

a)     Family number

b)     Surname, given name, relationship

c)      Date of birth

d)     Religion

e)     Occupation, profession or source of income

f)      Age group (separately for males and females)

g)     Marital status (separately for males and females)

h)     Presence during the census (separately for males and females)

i)      Notes

The occupations are grouped into 16 categories:

a)     Priests 

b)     Clerks 

c)      Soldiers / Military personnel

d)     Scholars and Artists

e)     Lawyers

f)      Medical personnel

g)     Land owners

h)     House owners

i)      Tradesmen

j)       Merchants

k)     Boat owners and Fishermen

l)      Farm workers

m)   Factory workers

n)     Commerce helpers

o)     Other servants/helpers

p)    Day laborers                                     


Creation of the Database


Peter Absolon and Eric M. Bloch, members of the JewishGen Hungarian Special Interest Group (H-SIG), have been the main force behind the 1857 acquisition and transcription effort.  The available records from Aba�j-Torna county have been photographed and transcribed, together with 6 towns from Zempl�n county that were found available online. Efforts are now focused on Sáros county (the second county with the highest amount of surviving material).


Database Format


The fields displayed in this database are:


  •        Town:  Hungarian shtetl name (town/village name).  The name spelled as listed in the original census.

  •        District:  Hungarian járás (district).  The name is spelled in accordance with the actual record, or if not listed in the record, spelled in accordance with the information from the 1877 Hungarian Gazetteer

  •        County:  Hungarian megye in which the shtetl is located.

  •        House # / Family #:  A number assigned by the census taker to the household.

  •        Reference: Either local Archive name and volume identification or LDS microfilm reel where this record can be found.

  •        Name:  Surname and Given Name of the individual.

  •        Relationship:  Relationship to head of household.

  •        Birth Date:  Birth date of the individual.

  •        Comments:  Miscellaneous notes.

Transcription Rules

Names from the original Census were entered exactly as they appeared on the original list.  If the name was abbreviated, it was transcribed exactly as abbreviated.  No changes were made in the spellings of the name, either. If a surname was omitted (for family members) then the assumed surname was entered in square brackets. Also, following obvious misspellings of people or town names, the probable correct spelling was added in brackets.

All diacritical marks (the little accent marks used above certain letters) were ignored, with the exception of umlauts, which we included.  This simplified transcription and data entry. Their only function is to guide pronunciation, which was not necessary in the construction of the database.

Records in the database

The database currently contains more than 11,000 records, as follows:

County (megye)


of Entries




Kassa (city)




In progress



In progress




Notes on Searching the Database


The 1857 Census is searchable via the JewishGen Hungary Database.  In addition to the usual search of surnames and towns, you can use the "Global Text Search" of all fields to find all entries for a particular county (megye) or given name.


If you are searching for a hyphenated town name or county, you must enter only the name before the hyphen or after the hyphen, but not both.  At this time, the search engine is not capable of handling hyphenated names.

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Last Update: 12 Mar 2019   WSB
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