The theme of today's tip is: 'Notes' On A Record!
The one thing I will always emphasis on, is reviewing the actual parish records. A great deal of information can be uncovered about the family simply by just looking at their baptismal, marriage and death/burial records. One thing that is always a pleasant surprise, is later-written notes indicating a marriage, death and even possibly a name change. The remainder of this article will be the examination of the various 'notes' that can appear on church and civil records. I hope it makes you pay close attention to the entirety of your family's records.
This excerpt was taken from the 'comments' (észrevételek) column on a baptismal record from 1854 in the Reformed parish of Szentmihály in Szabolcs megye, Hungary. It states that mother of the child was the same Alfödi Juliánna whose legitimate husband was Nácsa János; but they have not lived together for two years. Recorded by the pastor, Szalai István.
törvényes férje Nácsa
János él ugyan: de 2. év
óta [olta] nem laknak együtt.
Jegyzette Szalai István, lelkész"
Say, perhaps, that this was the baptismal record for your 2nd-great-grandparent. With these additional notes written in about the mother, you will be able to more accurately find our who Juliánna was. The next step you would take, is looking for a marriage record for Nácsa János to Alföldi Juliánna.
"Bende Johannával 19 évig,- másdoik
nejével 15 évig élt,- 1 fiu maradt"
This next example comes from a death record for a 69 year old man. It states that he was married to his first wife, Bende Johanna, for 19 years and his second wife (named on the document) for 15 years, and he had 1 son. These notes open up a wealth of information to be found about the family: two marriage records (one to each wife), a death record for wife #1 and a baptismal record for his son. Watch for any notes and all information provided on those documents, as they'll open up the possibility of even more records.
"első szülött fiu
m.h. 1854 Janu 2"
This example highlights the thoroughness that some parishes had; this 'note' comes from a baptismal record. It states that the child being baptized was the "first born son" and that he died (m.h.=meghalt) on 02 January 1854. This, of course, allows for the possibility of finding several records: firstly, the death record for the deceased child; and secondly, a marriage record for the parents.
Always be thorough in your research and analyze every piece of information on a document. One such item, such as a house number or the mention of a divorce (elvált), could be what makes your brick-wall crumble.