New BMD databases online for Maramaros megye (county), Hungary, now northern Romania and sub-Carpathian Ukraine

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JewishGen's Hungarian Special Interest Group (H-SIG) is excited to
announce that more than 12,200 birth, marriage, and death records from
the former Hungarian county of Maramaros have just been released as
three new databases on JewishGen. This represents the first live
searchable data from the Maramaros/Maramures Jewish Records Project

Maramaros megye (county) was located in far northeastern Hungary until
1920, but the territory is today split up between Zakarpattiya
(sub-Carpathian) oblast in southwestern Ukraine and Maramures judet
(county) in northern Romania. Because the official languages and
spellings used in the area have changed dramatically over time, as did
the borders, all of the town names in these databases include both
their original Hungarian town names and their modern-day Romanian or
Ukrainian town names, to make searching the data much easier.

These books were kept by rabbis in the Jewish community from
approximately 1851 until October 1895, at which time the Hungarian
government started keeping new civil records that recorded the events
of everyone in each town, regardless of their religion. A few of
these solely-Jewish record books continued being kept after 1895, but
only unofficially. And a few record books, not yet online, actually
date back to the late 18th Century, predating the Hungarian
government's requirements (and in some cases predating local Jews
having surnames).

These record books are today stored in a regional branch of the
Romanian National Archives in the city of Baia Mare, Maramures county,
Romania. Between 2009 and 2011, the books were digitally photographed
by a fabulous Romanian photographer and researcher named Dan Jurca,
who traveled to Baia Mare -- first on behalf of Maramaros researcher
Brooke Schreier Ganz and then on behalf of this newly-formed H-SIG
project -- to digitally photograph every surviving Jewish record book
stored at the archives, all 113 of them.

The photographs he took are being transcribed by a host of volunteers,
and these three new databases represent approximately one quarter of
the eventual record total -- more than 12,200 completed records out of
an eventual estimated 52,000 records. Given that each record has at
least three to six names in it (parents, spouses, the Sendak at each
Bris (!), witnesses, etc.), we think there will be about 200,000
indexed names when the project is eventually completed.

Because the borders of this area have changed so much over the past
century, there are even some records in these databases from a few
towns that were formerly located in Szatmar (Satmar) megye, Hungary
but which are now located in Maramures county, Romania.

But unfortunately, most records for the towns from the northwestern
part of Maramaros megye -- the areas in and near the city of Huszt
(now Khust, Ukraine) and westwards -- were not found in the Baia Mare
archives and therefore are not in this records set. We assume that
those records, if they still exist, are stored in one of the Ukrainian

You can search these three new Maramaros databases in their entirety
from JewishGen's Hungary Database, here:

Furthermore, for the record books where the "town of registration" is
today in Ukraine, you can also search those as part of JewishGen's
Ukraine Database, and for the record books where the "town of
registration" is today in Romania, you can also search those as part
of JewishGen's Romania Database. But if you want to make sure you can
see all of the data, regardless of the town's modern location, use the
Hungary Database interface.

To see which towns and which years are included in this first release,
you can check out the data table here:

That link also has a few sample photos of what the old record books look like.

Finally, for the most up-to-date project updates and listing of what
records survived from which towns and which years, and which ones are
available for transcribers, or have a transcription in progress, or
have a transcription completed, the project's official website is
located here:

Much thanks and gratitude go to our tireless volunteers who have
worked on these old records for quite a while now, and to the more
than thirty volunteers still working on indexing books at the moment.
(We're always looking for more volunteers, so if you like pretty
pictures of old vital records, feel free to join!) Thanks also go to
project co-coordinator Sandy Malek and to H-SIG leader Vivian Kahn for
their help and forbearance. And thanks also go to Romanian researcher
Dan Jurca for photographing all the records, to Budapest-based
researcher Beth Long for originally putting me in touch with Dan and
for all her good advice, to all the generous people who made donations
to the project's fund at JewishGen to help pay for the photography,
and to Warren Blatt and Michael Tobias and everyone at JewishGen for
helping to make this possible.

Brooke Schreier Ganz
Los Angeles, California
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