The first task for Week 2 of the Do-Over is to define Research goals.
My initial research goals are simple. Review the information gathered by other family members and validate it. From there I can extend the family tree.
It sounds straightforward, but when I consider strategies, things get more complicated. My grandparents were all born in Hungary around the turn of the 20th century. However, in 1920, WWI triggered the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and my mother’s family who lived in Transylvania, found themselves now part of Romania. The Hungarian village where my father’s family is from is now in Slovakia.
Records available in these countries are a lot more limited than in the US. There are no census records every decade. There was one census in 1869 and earlier land censuses with minimal information. So I have to start with what I have and work with what is available.
These are the strategies I plan to use for the four main lines of the family;
1) Édes – Thanks to my grandfather’s research, my father’s father’s line is the longest documented pedigree. However, my father was an only child and I know no close cousins from this family. I would like to contact relatives who would have some knowledge of recent generations of the family. But I have bbeenunable to find any.
This is what led me to start at the other end, the ancestral village of the presumed descendants of the 17th century Édes clan. Connecting on Facebook with current Édes families, and searching the FHL films for the church records, I am trying to fill in the blanks. This is what led me towards a one-name study.
2) Kancsal – Father’s mother’s family seems to have stayed pretty close to home for generations, in a western county of Hungary. I connected with a 3rd half cousin from that line whose family immigrated to Australia to escape the communists. Cousin Joe spends many hours in the Family History library conducting one-place studies on those villages. I plan to verify and cite the sources for the research that he is willing to share. And owe him big time!
3) Orban – Mother’s father’s family is the sparsest in ancestral documentation. That grandfather had only one half-sibling. His parents came from large cities in Transylvania to the little village where he was born. My cousins have stories about him, and photographs but little is known about his parents and grandparents beyond their names. There are no online records from Romania at this time, so I am working on recording the family stories as remembered by cousins, and waiting and hoping for the FHL to get an arrangement with Romania to film their records.
4) Nagy – Mother’s mother’s family was very big in their ancestral village. (no irony that the name translates to ‘Big’). I have acquired the church records for the village where my Nagy great-grandfather lived, and the village of his wife. There are gaps here as well. The archived records end in the late 1800s, before they were married. Some of those interim records can be requested from the archives, a slow process that I plan to pursue a bit later.
I think I am going to need a tailored research checklist to focus on these goals. Better add that to my To-Do list.