Aug 152011
 
Adelheid (Pohl) Stewart

Adelheid "Ida" (Pohl) Stewart

I recently noticed FamilySearch.org added more Hungarian records.  I quickly found a new lead in the search for the birthplace of my grandmother, Adelheid “Ida” (Pohl) Stewart.  She immigrated to America in 1893 when she was but 2 years old along with her mother and two older siblings.  They departed from Hamburg, Germany, where the ship’s manifest listed them as living in Fünfkirchen, Hungary.

I found two index entries in the Hungary Catholic Church Records at FamilySearch.org.  Both are baptismal records.  One is for Lipot [Leopold] Pohl and one is for Maria Pohl, the two older siblings of my grandmother Adelheid Pohl.  Unfortunately my grandmother does not appear in the index.  But, it does indicate the family was living in Szabolcs, in the county of Baranya, Hungary (see map1).

Fünfkirchen, Austria-Hungary

Map showing Fünfkirchen (Pécs) in 1892. Szabolcs is to the northeast.

Szabolcs, today named Mecsekszabolcs, is very near Pécs, Hungary.  Pécs was also known as Fünfkirchen by the Germans.  It would have been Austria-Hungary at that time.  These baptismal records are therefore consistent with the Hamburg manifest.  More importantly, it tells me the specific church records in which I hopefully will find my grandmother’s baptismal record.

My great-grandfather Albert Pohl, immigrated in 1892, one year prior to his wife and children.  (See my earlier post, Genealogy at the NOAA.)  He settled near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and worked as a coal miner.  Szabolcs was also a coal mining district.  I assume he worked as a coal miner in Szabolcs before coming to America.  He probably chose Pittsburgh because he had coal mining experience and thought he could easily get a job.  Perhaps friends and relatives in America wrote letters back home describing the opportunities available in Pittsburgh. In the map below, the locations of mines are indicated by crossed hammers.2

Map of Pécs

Map showing Pécs, Hungary in 2003. Mecsekszabolcs, formerly Szabolcs, is to the northeast.

Whenever more records become available in an online collection, it pays to search again for your ancestors.

Footnotes
  1. Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem [Eötvös Loránd University] 3rd Military Mapping Survey of Austria-Hungary, http://lazarus.elte.hu/hun/digkonyv/topo/3felmeres.htm []
  2. Nemzeti Kulturális Örökség Minisztériuma [Ministry of Cultural Heritage], http://lazarus.elte.hu/hun/tantort/2003/palyazat/ []

  6 Responses to “To Grandmother’s House We Go”

  1. At long last I was able to view the microfilm today for the Hungary Catholic Church Records (LDS Microfilm 601952). I found the baptism record for my grandmother Adelheid Pohl. Although she did not appear in the online index, just as I suspected, she does appear in the actual records.

    She is listed as “Adel” with parents Béla [Albert] Pohl and Maria Bittner. She was born December 13, 1890 and baptized the next day on December 14. Finally I’m able to say conclusively she was born in 1890. The year was always in doubt as to whether it was 1889, 1890, or 1891. She apparently celebrated her birthday on December 14, although according to the record she was actually born December 13.

    She was indeed born in Szabolcs, Hungary. The record introduces yet another name for her. Was her name Ida, Adella, Adelheid, or now Adel? Adel is probably short for Adelheid. And a new mystery surfaced. Her mother’s maiden name was probably Bittner, with a B, rather than Pittner, with a P.

    So, just by chance I found grandmother’s two older siblings in the online index. That led to the hypothesis, now confirmed, that she was there too. I was lucky to find her. My mother would have been so tickled to learn where and when her mother was born.

  2. Our families have a similar history– from coal mining in Pecs Hungary to coal mining in Pennsylvania! My grandfathers family came from Pecs. First Josef Simon came in Aug 1892 aboard the Dresden which sailed from Bremen Germany to Baltimore & NYC. In August 1893, aboard the Weimer, the rest came– his sister, her husband, his wife and 3 children through the port of Baltimore. Joseph Simon and his nephew, Steve Saifer were killed in the Darr Mine explosion of Dec 1907 in Smithton/ Jacob’s Creek PA.

    Our families probably knew each other. Did they travel together? Where did your ancestors settle near Pittsburgh?

    • Hi Donna, Thanks for your very interesting reply! I think it is very likely our families knew each other. My great-grand father Albert Pohl was also aboard the SS Dresden in August 1892. His wife and family came over the following year in August as well, except they were on the SS Scandia. They settled in Linhart, PA, near Turtle Creek.

      See my biography of them (PDF format). There’s also a remote chance our families were related somehow. See their family group sheet.

  3. My great grandfather was also baptized in Szabolcs in Baranya county and his brother was from Funfkirchen. They came here in the late 1880s although i never did find a manifest. They settled in Pennsylvania as coal miners too but in Duryea in western Pennsylvania. I cant find a baptismal record for the brother born in Funfkirchen though. And i never could go back further than my great grandfathers baptismal certificate on family search. Its hard finding german records in hungary

  4. My great grandparents where from Funfkirchen and settled in Duryea PA wondering how you found the records in the Hungarian Churches?

    • Hi Janine, I was lucky to find the names of other members in my grandmother’s family in the Hungarian church records at FamilySearch.org. Although my grandmother’s name was not indexed, I ordered the microfilm and searched it myself. I had no problem finding her.

      If that strategy doesn’t work for you, perhaps you can figure out what religious denomination your ancestors practiced. Then order the microfilm of that church’s records. I think there are many more microfilms than are available online at FamilySearch.org. And, the ones that are online are not always complete yet. Good luck.

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