The 1848 Hungarian Jewish Census (The Census) was known by its Latin name, “Conscriptio Judaerum. 1848“. It is a survey of Jews in Hungary compiled after the failed Hungarian 1848 Revolution against Austria in the Spring of that year. Though most of it was completed in 1848, in some counties (megyek) it spilled over into 1849. Most of the counties followed the same pattern and were supposed to collect the same data. However, as no forms were supplied the data was collected in some cases on printed forms, but in most cases on plain paper with each recorder following his own locally created hand drawn form or pattern.
The “Census” covered all the counties of Greater Hungary as we refer to the territories under the Hungarian Crown prior to 1918, which included, among others, parts of Slovakia, Croatia, Ukraine and Romania.
Unfortunately, we do not have access to the entire Census. The primary source available to researchers for many years was the records the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) obtained from the Hungarian State Archives and microfilmed in 1970, on seven microfilms. These microfilms are listed in the Family History Catalog (FHLC) at Family Search They may be found by Subject (“Jews – Hungary”) then (“Conscriptio Judaerum“), by Author (“Magyarország. Belügyminisztérium”) then (“Conscriptio Judaerum“). Digital images from the seven films can be accessed at the Family Search website from the Conscriptio Judaeorum, 1848 page.
Since the original database was created, the JewishGen Hungarian Research Division has become aware that records for several other megyek not filmed by the Church or available from the Family Search collection are available from archives in Hungary and Slovakia. We have obtained digital images of many of these records so we can add them to the project. These include records from Szatmar megye in the Nyíregyháza, Hungary, County Archive, records from Pozsony and Csongrad megyek and the Hungarian State Archives and records from Saros and Szepes megyek held by archives in Slovakia. It is possible that the records for additional megyek remain to be found in other archives. The Saros records have been transcribed and incorporated in the website. Transcription of the Szepes records is in progress.
If you know of any census records— whether in Budapest, Bratislava (formerly Pozsony or Presbourg), or in any other regional archives — please let us know!
Information in the Original Data
The Original “Census” includes the following information in columns, as follows:
This is an all-Jewish Census. The only exception might be records for “non-Jewish household domestic help”. The Census is the best source of information on Hungarian Jewry for the 19th Century, as by then Jews had a last name, and it contains people born in the late part of the 18th century, the early part of the 19th century, and those who would still be alive in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
Researchers need to be aware that records for some of the counties do appear not to cover all parts of the jurisdiction.
Census information for all the counties that are available will be included in the database. Not all the data for each record indexed from films available at Family Search is included, as the database is intended to be used as an index to the full original records. Ultimately our goal is to link all of the indexed records with the corresponding page images. The index to records not available at Family Search.
The database was assembled by volunteers from the JewishGen Hungarian Research Division, serving as transcribers, data entry, and validators. We greatly appreciate their efforts in this endeavor, whether they were part of those who started the database as a static file, and/or those who contributed to the searchable database.
Data from the Census was transcribed into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Diacritical marks (usually colloquially referred to as pronunciation marks, such as: á, é, ó, ü, etc) have been ignored.
The database includes the following fields:
Some recorders chose to record families by a single number assigned to the head of the household, and others assigned numbers to each individual. If there is only a Household Number assigned to a record, then it is this number that should be used to look up a record in the LDS microfilm.
If there is both an Individual Number and a Household Number assigned to a record, then the Individual Number represents the number assigned by the recorder and should be used to look up a record in the LDS microfilm.
Sometimes there is only an Individual Number assigned, then that number for the Head of Household is the Household Number for all members of the household, though the Individual Number is used to find the record.
Sometimes there is no number, then a sequential number starting with 9901 is assigned for each household in a given town. In such cases, NO NUMBER appears in the record.
Sometimes the recorder assigned an individual number starting with “1” for each household in the same town, but no Household Number in this case a sequential number for each town starting with 9901 is assigned. Those numbers also donot appear in the record.
Where due to the handwriting multiple possibilities exist as to interpretations, each possibility, up to three, is entered with a question mark and a slash (Example: “Stein?/Stern?”). The search engine will recognize each entry. A single question mark indicates that the name in the Census could not be deciphered. A dash indicates that there was no name. If some letter could be deciphered, and some not, they are entered with a dash for each letter that could not be deciphered (Ex: “S—n”).
Names from the original Census were entered exactly as they appeared on the list. If the name was abbreviated, it was transcribed exactly as abbreviated. We could not be certain if “Abr.” is Abram or Abraham, or if “Mich.” is Michel or Michael. No changes were made in the spellings of the name, either.
All diacritical marks (the little accent marks used above certain letters) were ignored. This simplified transcription and data entry. Their only function is to guide pronunciation, which was not necessary in the construction of the database.
For names that could only partially be deciphered, we entered as many letters as we could, substituting a dash “-” for each letter that could not be read. Sometimes it was hard to tell exactly how many letters are in a name, so the number of dashes may not accurately reflect the number of missing letters. If the name was totally illegible, we put a single question mark in the appropriate column. A single dash in a surname or given name column denotes that no surname or given name was provided in the Census.
Sometimes, the same name can be used as a surname or a given name, such as “Joseph” or “David”. We were careful when transcribing a name such as “David Joseph” to enter the correct given name and surname in their respective columns. By noting the order of names above and below the one in question, we could identify which was most likely the surname and which was most likely the given name. This did become problematic in those cases where there was only one name given. In those cases where the single name could be either a given name or surname, we made two entries. One entry treated the single name as a surname, and the other treated the name as a given name. A notation was made in the Comments column indicating this uncertainty.
If two surnames appeared, such as a maiden name and a married name for a woman, both names were entered using a slash “/” mark between them. The search engine will allow the use of either name as a search term.
We recognize that some names in the database are incomplete or incorrectly deciphered from the microfilm. If you are viewing a microfilm and are familiar with a name that we have entered partially or incorrectly in the database, we would appreciate receiving your recommended corrections.
A special treatment had to be added for the suffixes that appear at the end of names and name places, as follows:
“-(ne)” which appears at the end of the name, but is not part of it, e.g. “Szabo Lajosne”, or “Szabone”, which simply means “Mrs. Szabo”, or “Mrs. Lajos Szabo”.
It appears mostly with widows, and also most of the time it gives us both the maiden name of the widow, and her husband’s name, such as: “Klein Hani, Szabo Lajosne”. In this case the maiden name and the first name are entered in the surname and given name column, and the husband surname and given name is entered in the relationship column, and the explanation of “(ne) Mrs Lajos SZABO” is entered in the comments column.
The same principle applies when the town name includes at the end the suffixes: (be), (ba), (ben), (ban), all meaning “in”, (on), (an) meaning “at”, (i) meaning “of” or “from”, and is therefore not part of the name. The town name with the suffix in () is entered in the town column, and the explanation shown in the Comments column.
Let us remember that we are transcribing, not changing, what is written in the original. If the spelling is wrong, or other than what we think it should be, we enter what was written, whether it is a personal name, relationship or town.
The database currently contains more than 113,000 records, as follows:
The 1848 Census database can be searched via the JewishGen Unified Search.
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), given name, or LDS microfilm number. More advanced searches are available to JewishGen contributors of $100 or more per year.
Approximately two or three percent of the surnames in the database have unknown letters and are thus not complete. In order to find these incomplete names, you may want to conduct a global search of the county or town.
We wish to thank the Genealogical Society of Utah and the Magyar Országos Levéltár (Hungarian National Archives) for granting permission to create this index.
This database is a unique contribution, and would not be possible without the hard work, dedication, and perseverance of our volunteers.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about volunteering for JewishGen’s Hungarian Research Division, please contact Vivian Kahn (vkahn@JewishGen.org).
Please click here to search the 1848 Jewish Census.