As a genealogist you can find small tidbits about family almost anytime of the year. If you are lucky there will be a huge break through every year or two. I have hit the big time twice in the last two months. The genealogy gods have been showering me with kindness this year! My first great find about finding the signature for my 6th great-grandfather can be found here.
I have been trying to identify a hometown in Hungary for over a year now for my mother-in-laws paternal line. We are planning a family trip to Hungary this summer so there has been a lot of work done to identify the family and where they came from. So far my mother-in-law’s paternal grandfather is a concrete wall reinforced with rebar.
I have been working her maternal great-grandparents line as my last hope for finding a place to visit in the homeland. They are John Nagy and Elizabeth Varro from Hungary. On Ancestry.com, I found an entry in the Naturalization Indexes for several men named John Nagy. I was pretty sure I found “my” John since he lived at the same address as my John Nagy did in Whiting, Indiana.
Back in early December 2012 I sent a request to the Indiana State Archives for the naturalization paperwork. Thankfully, when I sent the request I noted it in my research log.
Fast forward to April 2013. As I am getting ready to visit my parents in Virginia and do some research at the Daughters of the American Revolution library, I notice on my research log that I still have not received a reply from Indiana regarding John Nagy. I sent them a follow-up email to check where in the queue I was since our trip to Hungary in August is fast approaching. I received a reply that they had misplaced my original request and would look at mine quickly. I then received another email a week later informing me that the only courthouse in Lake County, Indiana they do not have in the Indiana State Archives is the one I need.(Of Course!!) I was so grateful because the email included information about who I needed to contact to get the records I was looking for.
My next step was to contact the Northwest Indiana Genealogical Society with my request for John Nagy’s naturalization paperwork. Sure enough within 2 weeks a self-addressed envelope was delivered to my mailbox. Genealogy Jackpot #2!
The Declaration of Intention lists his town of birth and his signature!!
Even better, his Petition of Naturalization is a goldmine of information. John Nagy was born in Jablonca, Hungary 15 February 1862. He met a woman named Elizabeth who came from the town of Tenestene, Hungary. They were settled in Jablonca when they had their first child, Mary (my husband’s great-grandmother) in March 1890. In late July 1890, just four months after Mary’s birth, the family boarded the Red Star Line in Antwerp, Germany. They arrived in New York City, New York the 8th of August. The family continued their travels to outside Chicago and settled in Whiting, Indiana. They had five more children between 1896-1905.
Holy Moly! We have a town to visit on our trip this summer. Jablonca now resides on the Slovakia side of the Hungary/Slovakia border. It is about a three-hour drive outside of Budapest to the northeast. I am so excited!! My kids, my husband, and my mother-in-law will all get to visit a town of their direct line in Hungary/Slovakia.