Area Links Germany  Hungary  Poland


Research Links


In addition to the Black Sea German database, the following links will help you research your German ancestors in Hungary.


* Research Repository
* Donauschwaben Villages Helping Hands

* Federation of East European History Studies
* Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe
* Hungary village research list
* From Germany to Hungary to Russia


Recommended Books

Brandt, Bruce
Where to look for hard-to-find German-speaking ancestors in Eastern Europe. Index to 16,372 surnames  (FHL catalog # 943. W22b; English and German)

Eiman, Johann
Der Deutsche Kolonist oder die deutsche Ansiedlung unter Kaiser Josef II. in den Jahren 1783 bis 1787, besonders im Kőnigreich Ungarn in dem Batscher Komitat (German immigration from the Palatinate area of Germany to Bács County Hungary during the reign of Emperor Joseph the 2nd, during the years of 1783-1787.) (FHL catalog # 943.43  BHsp no. 23; German)

Prohaska-Schöndorf, Hans J.
Die Banater Schlafkreuzerrechnungen (German emigration and settlement in the Province Banat in Austro-Hungary 1766-1804) (FHL catalog # 943.9 W2ph 1982; German)

Stader, Stefan
Sammelwerk donauschwäbischer Kolonisten (list of original settlers to Banat and Batschka) (A must-see resource!)

Many books have been written that are specific to a village.  The best resource for these is the Donauschwaben Villages Helping Hands website.

Other Publications:
Hefner, Angela
Ortssippenbuch Tscherwenka 1785-1944

Tullius, Nick (translation)

Settlements in the Banat 1763-1773

Austria-Hungary Maps & Atlases (DVHH)



From Germany to Hungary to Russia (4 MB) by Gayla Gray and Carolyn Schott




Researching Hungary



Approximately 800 villages were founded in Hungary by German settlers from 1711 to 1750. These German settlers came from the regions known as Baden, Württemberg, Alsace, Lorraine, the Rhineland, Westphalia, Bavaria, and Swabia, as well as from other areas. Even though they came from various regions and spoke various dialects, the Hungarians called them Swabians, and the name came to be used in reference to all Germans who settled in the Danube valley.


Although there had been German immigration to Hungary prior to 1711, the expulsion of the Turks resulted in an organized settlement program sponsored by the Habsburgs. The Habsburgs had three aims: 1) fortify the land against invasion, 2) develop farm land, and 3) further the Roman Catholic religion in Eastern Europe. They offered Catholics of the southwest German states inducements such as free agricultural land, home sites, construction materials, livestock, and exemption from taxes for several years.

The colonization came to be known as "der Grosse Schwabenzug" or the "Great Swabian Trek." The majority of the migration took place in three phases which were named after their Habsburg sponsors:

1.  The "Karolinische Ansiedlung," or Caroline colonization occurred from 1718 to 1737. Fifteen thousand German settlers from this colonization were killed in Turkish raids or died from bubonic plague. This migration was technically restricted to Roman Catholics, but many Lutherans also immigrated to Hungary at this time. Lutherans had to find landlords tolerant to Protestants in order to settle there.

2.  The "Maria Theresianische Ansiedlung," or Maria Theresian colonization occurred from 1744-1772. Seventy-five thousand German colonists rebuilt many of the settlements that were destroyed by the Turks. Again, this migration was restricted to Roman Catholics.


3.  The "Josephinische Ansiedlung," or Josephine colonization took place under Joseph II from 1782 to 1787. This phase consisted of approximately 60,000 new German settlers who increased the economic prosperity of the Hungarian farm land. This migration was open to Protestants as Emperor Josef II had granted freedom of religion in the Habsburg Empire by that time.


After 1789, the government-sponsored colonization was discontinued, but some settlers continued to arrive in Hungary until 1829, after which only those with 500 Guilders cash were allowed to migrate.

Finding your Hungarian Village
Most death records in South Russia will show the deceased's place of birth, and many of the South Russian villages have compiled lists of original settlers and where they came from.


The Black Sea German Database has information on Germans from Hungary to Russia which includes the name of the Hungarian village, if known.  This may be your best clue to  finding your family's Hungarian town. You might also want to check out the Banat village list and the Batschka village list or check out our Hungarian village reference list.

Once you have a name, try Donauschwaben Villages Helping Hands or JewishGen Gazetteer  for finding your village.

Church Records A few church records for Hungary are avilable at
Census Records A 1828 Hungary Land Census is available, but most of our German ancestors had already left Hungary by 1828. It is worth taking a look at. It may be available at  GRHS.