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Industry and trade directory of Hungary in 1891
Story of this database
Back in late 1998 wandering in the stacks area of our library a thick volume caught my eyes. When I opened it I realized it was a book full of names. Should it be more accessible that would be a great resource for family historians and for a couple of other researchers - I thought. So, I started entering data found in the book. I published the project description on my genealogy pages, and received many positive talkback from visitors. These remarks encouraged me very much, so I went ahead with data entering. Input was accomplished by late September 1999. The fourth quarter of 1999 was spent with proofreading, assembling and programming data. On February 1, 2000 the database went public.
The source of the database
The source of data is a book published in 1892. Here is its complete bibliographical description:
Magyarország iparosainak és kereskedőinek czím- es lakjegyzéke / ... szerk. Jekelfalussy József. - Budapest : Pesti Könyvnyomda Részvény-Társaság, . - LXVI, , 2435 p.
English translation of these words is: Directory of craftsmen and merchants in Hungary / ... ed. by József Jekelfalussy. - Budapest : Pesti Könyvnyomda Részvény-Társaság, . - lxvi, , 2435 p.
According to its foreword, editor József Jekelfalussy, a well-known statistician of his age had a request from the minister of trade to compile a directory that would include the names of all the craftsmen and merchants living in the country. Practically, this yellow pages would help business people to find contacts. During data collecting Jekelfalussy and his colleagues used a wide spectrum of sources. The sheets of the national census of 1891 proved to be the core dataset. Additional sources include official records at ministries of industry, of agriculture and of trade, reports received from business chambers and from statistical offices.
The fact that the sheets of the national census perished since the 1890s makes this volume a real valuable resource. Its 380,000 listed craftsmen and merchants cover 10-15% of the working population of Hungary of those times.
To meet the needs of its potential users, businessmen that is, data are divided alphabetically into occupations, then into alphabetical lists of settlements. Within the settlement level names of persons are sorted alphabetically, too.
There is no index of persons' names attached to this publication. Here is where RadixIndex can help modern users: the indexed database concentrates on searches for persons, yet other types of queries are also possible.
The geographical scope of the database
The database covers all the regions and territories of 1890's Hungary. The book also incorporates Croatia, records for this territory is not included in the database though. When talking about pre-1920 Hungary one should notice that beyond its modern borders it incorporated regions that went to successor states:
- parts of Austria, now known as Burgenland
- today's Slovakia
- the western part of today's Romania, i.e. the historical Hungarian territory Transylvania
- the Banat area (now in Romania and in Yugoslavia)
- the Bacska (partly in Yugoslavia)
- parts of new Hungary's Zala County, now partly in Croatia and Slovenia
- parts of new Hungary's Vas County, now partly in Slovenia and in the above mentioned Burgenland.
The scope of records
One record consists of person's name, occupation and settlement. In case of a city, street name and house number is usually given, as well. This is not a par excellence genealogical database, since it mirrors the situation at one point in time, and does not have information on family members.
A couple of publications helped me to prepare this online database:
To determine current names of settlements I primarily used the book edited by György Lelkes: Magyar helységnév-azonosító szótár / szerkesztette Lelkes György. - 2. kiad. - Baja : Talma Könyvkiadó, 1998. - 930, IV p.,  t. [English translation: Dictionary identifying Hungarian settlement names/ edited by György Lelkes. - 2nd ed. - Baja : Talma Publishers, 1998. - 930, iv p.,  plates.] This book gives, besides other information, current names of settlements listed in the 1913 gazetteer of Hungary.
There were a couple of settlement names that could not be found in Lelkes' publication, mostly because their names changed between 1892 and 1913. In these cases I took an other reference book on place names: Magyar igazgatástörténeti helységnévlexikon : 1723-1918 között; továbbá a későbbi államkeretekbe osztott területek részletes adataival kiegészítve általában 1989-ig / [írta] Gyalay Mihály. - Budapest : [s. n.], 1989. - 904,  p. +  térképlap. [English translation: Dictionary of settlement names in the public administration history of Hungary / [written by] Mihály Gyalay. - Budapest : [s. n.], 1989. - 904,  p. +  map sheets.] Gyalay's work contains a wider range of settlement names, however, his "current names" of settlements is often outdated. Therefore, I used it with care.
Lelkes transcribed the names of settlements now in the Ukraine from their original Ukrainian script to the Latin letters of the Hungarian alphabet. Since English transliteration from Ukrainian differs from that of Hungarian, I had to find an other grip on how the Ukrainian originals of settlement names should be written.
I found settlement names in Cyrillic script in the publication: Kárpátalja településeinek nemzetiségi - anyanyelvi - adatai, 1880-1941 / [szerk. Kepecs József]. - Budapest : Központi Statisztikai Hivatal, 1996. - 263 p. [English translation of title: Ethnical and vernacular data of Subcarpathia's settlements, 1880-1941 / [ed. by József Kepecs]. - Budapest : Central Statistical Office, 1996. - 263 p.] Having identified settlements, I have transliterated their names from Ukrainian to English, using standard transliteration.
The basis for English translations of given names were standard modern Hungarian to English dictionaries, and their English to Hungarian counterparts. When needed, I also consulted Ladó's authority work on Hungarian given names: Magyar utónévkönyv / János Ladó. - Budapest : Akadémiai Kiadó, 1984. - 256 p. [English translation of title: Book of Hungarian given names / [by] János Ladó. - Budapest : Akadémiai Press, 1984. - 256 p.] Information from this book is available on the internet, too: click! In some cases other internet resources proved to be helpful, as well. I would like to mention Babynamer.com here.
This project could not have been accomplished without the positive feedback and encouragement I received from various people coming through my site. I am also grateful to Mr. Felix G. Game, who helped me with proofreading the translations of occupations. My special thanks go to my home institution, the Pécs University Library for preserving and making available that book. My library also furnished me with a seat and when needed, I could use its computer equipment.
This work is dedicated to my family, and especially to my wife, Matyó :)
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