Background

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.

Information in the Original Data

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

  1. Family number
  2. Surname, given name, relationship
  3. Date of birth
  4. Religion
  5. Occupation, profession or source of income
  6. Age group (separately for males and females)
  7. Marital status (separately for males and females)
  8. Presence during the census (separately for males and females)
  9. Notes

The occupations are grouped into 16 categories:

  1. Priests 
  2. Clerks 
  3. Soldiers / Military personnel
  4. Scholars and Artists
  5. Lawyers
  6. Medical personnel
  7. Land owners
  8. House owners
  9. Tradesmen
  10. Merchants
  11. Boat owners and Fishermen
  12. Farm workers
  13. Factory workers
  14. Commerce helpers
  15. Other servants/helpers
  16. Day laborers                                     

Creation of the Database

JewishGen volunteers, Peter Absolon and Eric M. Bloch, have been the main force behind the 1857 acquisition and transcription effort.  

Database Format

The database includes the following fields:

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

Contents of the Database

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

Contents of the Online Database

County (megye)

Status

Number
of Entries

Abaúj-Torna

Completed

9472

Kassa (city)

Completed

1321

Zemplén

In progress

463

S�ros

In progress

99

 

Notes on Searching the 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), given name, or LDS microfilm number.

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.  JewishGen technicians are working on this problem.

It should be understood by all researchers that these are index files, and no attempt was made to replicate all the data in the original registers.  Researchers should go to the source record, wherever possible, to obtain additional information such as witnesses, notes by the registrar, and other information.

Acknowledgments

This database is a unique contribution, and would not be possible without the hard work, dedication, and perseverance of our volunteers.

Special thank you to:

  • Peter Absolon
  • Erich Bloch
  • Vivian Kahn (Director of Hungarian Research)


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).

Search The Database

Please click here to search the 1857 Census.

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