While working on a story about my great-grandfather Zsigmond Edes I rechecked the birth index from Vukovar where he was born. I stumbled upon an index reference to twin sisters, Rosina and Anna, which I had not noticed earlier.
Spelling variations are a common problem in genealogy research and so is the challenge of deciphering century old handwriting. Edes is a simple name but it can look like Eles, Eder and even Ecles. I followed the reference and found that the twins were indeed baby sisters of Zsigmond.
My initial reaction was delight. My mother had always been fascinated with twins. She dressed me and my year older sister in identical clothes often, and she admitted to a bit of jealousy when her brother’s wife gave birth to twin girls. But before doing my genealogy happy dance a sobering thought occurred to me. I looked more closely at the Latin notes in the birth record. After their names were the words gemelli (twins) and posthumi (after death). My own family records confirmed the sad fact. The twins were born two months after their father died in 1865 from a pulmonary edema.
This wasn’t the first loss for young Zsigmond’s mother, Julianna Vill. Her first husband János Mészáros died of typhus in several months prior to the birth of their son János junior in May 1857. A year later Julianna married my 2nd great grandfather Zsigmond Sr. I already knew of the 3 children born during the short marriage of Julianna and Zsigmond. Now there were 2 more girls to add to my family records. It was a cruel irony that she lost 2 husbands before their children were born. When the twins were born Julianna was barely 30 years old and became a single mother now with 6 children under 10 years old.
Two of her children died in the childhood but we believe Anna outlived her mother. She must have been a comfort for her mother who lost so much in her life.