HUNGARY-L Archives

Archiver > HUNGARY > 1998-03 > 0891399425

From: <>
Subject: Re: [HUNGARY-L] Godparents and their genealogical importance
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 18:57:05 -0800

magton wrote:
> > From: Felix G. Game <>
> > To:
> > Subject: [HUNGARY-L] Godparents and their genealogical importance
> > Date: Tuesday, March 31, 1998 8:36 AM
> >
> > The original question, whether godparents are, or are not relatives of
> the
> > child cannot be answered categorically because not all families followed
> the
> > same traditions. Remember that many different ethnic and religious
> > back-grounds were involved.
> >
> > A young man starting up a family will pick his "koma" - his best buddy -
> to
> > be the godfather for his children. Often they reciprocate and be each
> > other's "koma", but not always. The fact that the same man will normally
> act
> > as godfather for all the children, is already a big help when trying to
> > place a child into the correct family. The big bonus is that the
> godfather
> > has an important privilege: he must be the first one asked to be a
> witness
> > at his godchild's marriage. If you have seen situations (and who hasn't),
> > where two or three men exist in the same village, and two of them marry
> > girls with the same names, and then you find that two of the fathers also
> > have the same first names, then you know how important it is to have some
> > other dependable way to sort out these people. Look for the name of the
> > witness on the baptism record, you should find him as the godfather.
> >
> > This is a valuable aid, >
> > <
> > I can not stress HOW VALUABLE of an aid this "Godparents" tip has been
> to me.
> I was familiar with the French & German ways of selecting siblings or
> relations for
> Godparents in my families but when I came upon the Hungarian records, I
> was , at first,
> disappointed not to find "relatives" as the godparents. But now, I
> find it a novel tradition!
> Imagine selecting a dear freind to take a lifelong interest in your
> child. They say one can
> not chose his relatives but one can chose his freinds!!
> So, when I collect these godparents,I make a note of the events (
> marriage, deaths) in their lives as I collect the records on my
> family. For instance, a dear Pal Lesko(and his wife) was the godparents
> for all ten of my great-great-grandfather's children .
> It was so neat to see this loyal freind as the godfather year after
> year.
> So when kid # 11 came along, I was taken back as the Godfather was a
> Mihaly Lesko, not Pal!
> Then, I found , before this particular baptism, a death record for Pal
> Lesko. How sad it must have been but apparently,
> Pal Lesko's son took the honor next.
> Another example I had was that the godparents for my
> great-great-grandmother ended up to also be her in-laws!! So
> I guess that's another sign of Hungarian "koma" -ism!
> But now my favorite amusement is looking to see WHO is the most popular
> Godparent in a village! It's uncanny how
> three or four men will be the most popular Godparent around!
> >

I would like to add one more statement this may be another one of those
local traditions. According to my M.I.L
in the town of Visk when you married into a Hungarian family there
you were treated as a full family member like "blood".

This is a little away from the godparent issue but I thought it was
worth mentioning. This is also why my reasearch has been quite difficult
to relay on what was spoken by families word of mouth.
Because when one of the families spoke of a relation or said he or she
is related you did not know if that was a blood relation or relation
by marriage.

Food for thought.

Ron McComb

Kellemes Husveti Unnepeket!
Ronald B. McComb 11311 Western Sunset Dr. Dewey,Arizona,USA 86327-5731
Home Web Page
Web Page Maramoros, Visk Hungary
Web Page Hungary

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