Names of Property Owners in Northern Hungary, 1427

by Kolosvari Arpadne Julia (Julia P. Szent-Györgyi), © 2008.

The following data come from Engel Pál: Kamarahaszna-összeírások 1427-ból (Akadémiai kiadó, Budapest: 1989). This is an annotated edition of a primary source, namely, the five surviving booklets detailing the collection of a royal property tax in 1427. [1] The booklets were written up by county: Abaúj, Gömör, Sáros, Torna, and Ung. These counties cover an area which is mostly in modern Slovakia, though parts of Ung county are in Ukraine now, and 131 of the mentioned towns and villages are within Hungary's modern boundaries.

The documents are written in Latin, and all five booklets follow the same format: the county is divided into "circuits" (reambulatio), and after giving the name of the circuit judge (iudicis or iudicis nobilium, Hungarian "szolgabíró"), the scribe gives a list of items consisting of a placename, the name of the owner of property there, and the number of units assessed in that place under his name. [2] Because of this format, most of the names are in Latin genitive (possessive) case. The places are listed in no particular order, except for sections of Ung county, which show some effort to sort places by property owner. [3]

Notation: square brackets around a period spelling of a name (or part of a name) are reproduced from my source; I believe they indicate editorial expansion of an abbreviation or unreadable section. If a modern Hungarian name is in square brackets, it means the name is not in use modernly (or not with the same gender). Latin nominatives in square brackets indicate the expected fully-Latinized form of names which don't really look Latinized in the data.


Name Patterns

The following are the most common broad patterns of names found in this set of documents.

Frequency Pattern Details (see Key, below) Examples
353, 27% Given name with locative byname GdL 257; GL 94; other 2 Georgii de Dob, Danielis de Peren, Mychaelis Monak, Nicolai Thybay
304, 23% Given name only G de eadem 201; G 48; G eiusdem 29; eiusdem G 23; other 3 Joze de eadem, Andree, Johannis eiusdem, eiusdem Nicolai
180, 14% Given name with patronymic byname GfG 62; GP 43; GG 42; GfD 30; other 4 Petri filii Herricy, Ladislai Desew, Emerici Johannis, Nicolai filii palatini
172, 13% Description only, no given name D(d)L 90; D 30; D de eadem 25; other with D 18; other 9 dominorum de Palocha, abbatis, nobilium de eadem, episcopi Agriensis
149, 11% Given name with descriptive byname GB 124; GD 22; DG 3 Georgii Cinege, Mychaelis magni, Nicolai palatini, magistri Sebastiani de eadem

Other patterns include those where the taxpayer is not identified by name, for example (Nagbrezna) Pazkasie ... (Kysbrezna) eiusdem "(Greater Brezna) Pazkasia's ... (Lesser Brezna) the same's" (64 examples, 5%); specifically feminine taxpayers such as relicte Jacobi "Jacob's widow's" or domine Cristine "lady Christina's" (57, 4%); and given names with multiple bynames, such as Petri filii Sebastiani de Belse "of Peter son of Sebastian of Belse" (7 examples, all but one of them circuit judges; 0.5%). Note that in this last pattern, all the examples are of the form GXdL, where X is D, B, (f)G, or P.


Special Note on Feminine Name Patterns: Of the 1300 or so items in the data, only about 60 belong to women, and only 10 of them name the woman in question. Of these ten, six are given the title domine "lady's", one is described as relicte "widow's", and three are listed with just the lady's given name. Most of the remaining women are listed using some version of the formula relicte [husband's name]: rG (21), rGX (25), and even (in one instance) rB.

Masculine Given Names, sorted by frequency

I counted each property owner (as identified by the editor in the index) only once, to prevent the richer landowners' names from skewing the numbers. I did keep track of the number of occurrences of each given name, and of the frequency of each variant spelling. The first column gives the modern Hungarian form of the name, and the next one is the most probable or usual Latin nominative form.

Modern Hungarian Latin nominative Occurrences Individuals Percent of individuals Spelling(s) (Latin genitive)
János Johannes 220 66 14.6% Johannis 210, Joannis 1
László Ladislaus 105 57 12.6 Ladislai
Miklós Nicolaus 112 49 10.9 Nicolai
Péter Petrus 67 34 7.5 Petri
István Stephanus 48 26 5.8 Stephani
György Georgius 71 24 5.3 Georgii
Jakab Jacobus 42 21 4.7 Jacobi
András Andreas 58 18 4.0 Andree
Mihály Michael 19 14 3.1 Mychaelis 17, Michaelis 2
Pál Paulus 19 14 3.1 Pauli
Tamás Thomas 29 12 2.7 Thome
Balázs Blasius 15 12 2.7 Blasii
Imre Emericus 48 8 1.8 Emerici
Zsigmond Sigismundus 24 7 1.6 Sigismundi
Simon Simon 19 7 1.6 Sinka 10 [a], Symonis 7, Symion 1, Sinkae 1
Gergely Gregorius 10 6 1.3 Gregorii
Sebestyén Sebastianus 7 6 1.3 Sebastiani
Benedek Benedictus 6 6 1.3 Benedicti
Bertalan Bartholomeus 13 5 1.1 Bartholomei
Mátyás Mathias 7 5 1.1 Mathye
Lőrinc Laurentius 5 5 1.1 Laurentii
Antal Anthonius 4 4 0.9 Anthoni
Ferenc Franciscus 19 3 0.7 Frank 10 [b], Franciscy 8, Francisci 1
Fülöp Philipus 11 3 0.7 Philipi 9, Philipy 2
Dénes Dyonisius 3 3 0.7 Dyonisii 2, Dyonissii 1
Illés Elias 3 3 0.7 Elye
Dávid David 3 2 0.4 Dauid
Ernye [c] 2 2 0.4 Erne
Gáspár Gaspar 2 2 0.4 Gaspar, Gasparis
Márton Martinus 2 2 0.4 Martini
Szaniszló Stanislaus 2 2 0.4 Stanizlay

The following each occurred as the name of a single individual.

Modern Hungarian Latin nominative Occurrences Spelling(s) (Latin genitive)
Mátyus Matheus 18 Mathius 14, Mathyus 4
Dániel Daniel 14 Danielis
Detre Dettricus (from German Dietrich) 8 Dettricy
Henrik Henricus 4 Herricy [d]
[Józsa] [Joseph/Johannes] [e] 3 Joze
[Majos] [Moses][f] 3 Mayosse
Gyula Gwla [g] 2 Gwle
Lukács Lucas 2 Luce
Sándor [Alexander] [h] 2 Sandor
Albert Albertus 1 Alberti
Bálint Valentinus 1 Valentini
Barnabás Barnabas 1 Barnabe
Bereck Briccius 1 Briccii
Domokos, Domonkos Dominicus 1 Dominici
Egyed Egidius 1 Egidii
Gál Gallus 1 Galli
[Justus] Justus 1 Justi
Kelemen Clemens 1 Clementis
Tivadar [Theodorus] [i] 1 Thiuadar

Feminine Names

Four feminine given names occur in the data, each as the name of a single individual: Kathkow, modern Hungarian Katkó, a diminutive of Katalin, Latin nominative Catherina; Cristine, modern Krisztina, Latin nominative Cristina; Marthe (twice) and Marte (once), modern Márta, Latin nominative Martha; and Pascasye, Pazkase, Pazkasie, Pazkasye, or Paskhasye, which the editor translates as Paska. [j]

Based on other contemporary documents, the editor gives names for a few women who are mentioned in the data only by description or relationship (usually as relicte X "X's widow's"). These are: Anna (three individuals, Latin Anna), Dorottya (one person, Latin Dorothea), and Margit (one person, Latin Margaretha).

Patronymic Bynames

Most of the names occurring as patronymics (father's names) occur also as given names, but there are examples of what Kázmér Miklós categorizes as "old secular" names, most of which went out of use during the 1300s. The first column below gives the relevant (modern Hungarian) header name from Kázmér's Régi Magyar családnevek szótára (Dictionary of Old Hungarian Family Names).

Header Name Spelling(s) Frequency Individuals Notes
László filii Ladislai 27, filii Ladislay 1, Ladislai 1 29 3  
Mihály filii Mychaelis 6 3  
János Johannis 16, filii Johannis 2 18 2  
Henrik Herricy 8, filii Herricy 6, filii Herrichy 1 15 2  
Jakab filii Jacobi 7, Jacobi 3 10 2  
Simon Symonis 7, filii Symonis 1 8 2  
Benedek filii Benedicti 3 2  
Pál filii Pauli 3 2  
Lóránd filii Lorandi, filii Lourand 2 2 variant of Roland
Sebestyén Sebastiani, filii Sebastiani 2 2  
Ödén filii Ewdyn 3, Ewdyn 3, Vdyn 2, Vdyni 1 9 1 (Eugenius)
Dezső Desew 8 1 (Desiderius)
Uza Vza 6, Wza 1 7 1 old secular
Dobó Dobo 5 1 old sec.
Imre Emerici 5 1  
Korlát Korlath 4 1 var. of Konrad
Basó Bazo, Baso, Basow 3 1 diminutive of Basil(eus)
Ramocsa Ramacha 2, Ramcha 1 3 1 old sec.
Bod Bod, Bood 2 1 old sec.
Csató Chathow 2 1 old sec.
Dacsó Dacho, Dachow 2 1 dim. of Dániel
Dancs Danch 2 1 dim. of Dániel, Damo(n)kos, or Damján
Elek Allexi, Allexii 2 1  
Ferenc Franciscy, filii Francisci 2 1  
István filii Stephani 2 1  
Pető Pethow, Pethw 2 1 dim. of Péter
Pongrác filii Pangracii 2 1 (Pancratius)

The following each occurred once. Names in parentheses are the relevant (modern Hungarian) headwords in Kázmér. Adfya (Ad), filii Anthoni (Antal), filii Blasii (Balázs), filii Beke (Beke), Bewkes (Benkes), Bodou (Bodó), Boni (Bon, short for Bonifác), Bonch (Bonc), Ders (Derzs), Dettricy (Detre), filii Dominici (Domonkos), filii Egidii (Egyed), Farkas (Farkas "wolf"), Forgach (Forgács), filii Georgii (György), Jwga ([k]), Kompolth (Kompolt), Makow (Makó, dim. of Makarius), filii Mathyus (Mátyus), filii Nicolai (Miklós), filii Petri (Péter), Vyd (Vid), filii Wylhelmi (Vilmos).

Descriptive Bynames

The following Hungarian bynames describe some aspect of the bearer (or an ancestor of his; some of these may be inherited). Some of them can also be patronymics, usually based on "old secular" names. The first column is the (modern Hungarian) byname as given by Engel in the index of landowners, and the third column is derivation information from Kázmér under that heading (or under a cross-reference).

Index Byname Spelling(s) Meaning Frequency Individuals
Apród Aprod "small", "child", or "page" 1 1
Baglyas Baglos "with owl, owl-y" (metaphorical), or "hay-stacker", or "uncombed, tangle-haired" 1 1
Bánó Bano patronymic, or short for an occupation "one who deals with X", or "sad, grieving, regretful" 4 4
Bor Bor patronymic, or "wine": metonymic 1 1
Bot Boo[d], Bod patronymic, or "stick, staff": metonymic 2 2
Cinege Cinige, Cinege "titmouse" (bird) 2 1
Csirke Chyrke "chick, fledgling", or patronymic 1 1
Cudar Zudar "rascally, base, mean" 37 1
Fácán Facian "pheasant" (bird) 2 1
Fakó Fako "faded, dull" 1 1
Fejér Feyer "white" 2 1
Fogas Fogas "big, good teeth" or "giant pike-perch" (fish) 12 1
Gombos Gombus "button-maker" 5 1
Herceg Herceg "prince" 1 1
Hős Heues "young, unmarried man", or "hero" 1 1
Kakas Kakas "rooster" (bird) 1 1
Kaponyás Kaponas, Kapo[nas] "with a type of bucket": metonymic 2 1
Kardos Kardus "with sword": metonymic for a soldier or swordsmith 1 1
Kónya Kona "droopy" 1 1
Kövér Kower "fat, stout" 1 1
Lengyel Lengend, Lengen "Polish, from Poland" 2 1
Ördög Erdegh, Wrdugh "devil" 2 2
Orosz Oroz, [Or]oz "Russian, Ruthenian" 2 1
Orros Oros, Orrus "with (the) nose" 2 2
Pálca Palcha "wand, baton; scepter": metonymic 1 1
Perzselt Perselth "scorched" 1 1
Piros Piros "red" (or rarely, matronymic) 1 1
Polhos Polhos variant of "fluffy, soft" 1 1
Porkoláb Porkolab "castellan" or "warden, jailer" 1 1
Ravasz Rawaz "fox" or "clever" 2 2
Sánta Santha "lame; uneven gait" 1 1
Sós Sos "salty": metonymic 6 2
Székely Zekel "Sekler, eastern Transylvanian" 1 1
Tegzes Texws "with quiver": metonymic for an archer or craftsman 1 1
Tompa Thompa "dull, slow (of wit)", or "apathetic" 1 1
Tornyos Tornus "towering": tall 3 1
Török Thurok "Turkish" 1 1
Törpe Terpe "dwarf" 1 1
Varjú Waryas, Waruy, Wariu 2, Variu "crow" (bird) 5 4
Veres Veres "red" 1 1
Zsoldos Soldus 7, Soldos "mercenary" (soldier) 8 1

It's a stretch to consider them names, really, but the following Latin words occur as descriptions accompanying a given name. Both the given names (represented here as G) and the descriptions are in Latin genitive case. (In the last item, condam is a misspelling of Latin quondam 'formerly'.)

Nominative Meaning Spellings Individuals
banus governor of a province in Hungary's southern marches (Hungarian "bán") G bani 2
castellanus castellan, castle warder (Hungarian "várnagy") G castellani 3 2
iudex judge G iudicis 3
litteratus scribe, scholar ("lettered") G litterati 1
magister master magistri G 1
magnus 'big, great': senior G magni 2
palatinus palatine (highest dignitary of Hungary, second only to the king; Hungarian "nádorispán") G filii palatini 21, G palatini 6, palatini G 3
parvus 'small': junior G parvi 1
plebanus parish priest G plebani 3 1
prior prior (head of a priory) prioris G 1
vaiuoda voivode: governor of Transylvania (Hungarian "vajda") G filii vaiuode 8, G vaiuode, G condam waiuode 1

In addition, the following Latin titles or positions occur alone or with non-personal names (usually with placenames: abbatis de Sceplak, civitatis Cassa, episcopi Agriensis, etc.): abbatis 12 times (4 individual entities; "abbot's"), capituli 3 (1, "chapter's"), civitatis 1 ("of the citizens"), despotis 7 (2, "governor [of Serbia]'s"), dominorum 61 (10, "of the lords"), episcopi 3 (2, "bishop's"), heremitarum 1 ("of the anchorites"), nobilium 28 (23, "of the nobles"), and prepositi 26 (5, "provost's"). There are also ten mentions of the king and queen, none of them by name: domine regine 2, regine 2, regis 6.

Locative Bynames

Engel's placename index lists nearly 1300 towns where tax was collected. Analyzing their names is beyond the scope of this article; I have restricted myself instead to listing the places which occur more than once in locative bynames of taxpayers. (A locative byname is based on the name of a place, and identifies where the person came from, where he lives, or where he owns property.) The modern placenames in the first column are based on the modernized names found in the index of property owners. For those places that appear in the placename index, I've noted the relevant county or counties (by initial: Abaúj, Gömör, Sáros, Torna, Ung).

Modern placename County Spellings Occurrences Individuals
Bárca A Barcha, Baroch 2 1
Beje G de Bey 2 1
Berzevice S de Brezeuice 20 3
Besenyő   Besenow 2 1
Budamér S Bodomer, de Bodomer 6 7 1
Csap U de Capy, de Chapy 2 1
Császlóc U Cascholch, Chascholch 2 1
Csetnek G Chithnyk, de Chethnek, de Chithnek 2, de Chithnyk 6, de Chythnek 4, de Chythnyk 3 17 3
Csoltó G de Colthow 2 2
Daróc S, U de Daroch 2 1
Derencsény G de Derenchen, de Derenchez, de Renchen 3 1
Dob   de Dob, de Doby 6, Doby 4 11 1
Dobó S de Dobo 3 2
Dobsza A de Dobow, de Dobsa 2 2
Eger   Agriensis 2 1
Füge G de Figey, de Fyge 2 3 2
Gagy A de Gaad, de Gad 5, Gaag 7 1
Gecse A de Geche 2 1
Helmec U de Helmech 2 2
Homonna   de Homonna 2, de Hompma 6, de Hompmona 3 11 2
Jánosi G de Janosy 2 1
Jászó A de Jazow 7 1
Kapi S de Kapy 7, Kapy 5 12 1
Lapispatak S, A de Lapispatak, de Lapispathak 2 2
Lelesz   de [Lelez], de Lelez 5 6 1
Liptó   de Lipthouia, Lypthow 2 2
Losonc   Lochonch 7 1
Lucska S, U de Luchka 2 1
Mislye A de Mysle 6 1
Németi A, U Nempthy 2 2
Pálóc U [de] Paloch, [Paloch], de Paloch 2, de Palocha 9, Paloch 11 24 4
Pásztó   de Pazthoh, Pa(zthoh) 2 1
Pelsőc G de Pelsewch 2, de Pelsewcz 3, de Pelsewlch, de Pelsowch 4, de Pelsowlch 15, de Pelsowlcz 26 3
Perény A [de Peren], de Peren 33, Peren 26 60 6
Putnok G de Puthnok 5 2
Recsk   de Reechk 7 1
Roskovány S de Roskouan 3 1
Rozgony A de Rozgon 3, Rozgon 4 7 3
Ruszka A, U de Ruzka 3 1
Sebes S de Sebes 8 1
Semse A de Scempse 4, de Scemse 5 9 2
Siroka S de Siroka 2 1
Somos S de Somos, de Somus 9, Somus 12 22 3
Sóvár S de Souar 3 1
Szalonna   de Zalona, de Zolna 2 2
Szécs G de Seech, de Zeech 7, Zeech 9 3
Szécsény   de Zechen 4 1
Szepes   Scepsyensis 3 1
Széplak A de Sceplak 3, Sceplak 3 6 2
Szeretva U de Seredahel, de Zerethwa 2 1
Szin T de Schyn 2, de Scyn 2, de Sczen, de Sczyn 4, de Zeen 10 1
Szuha G de Zwha 2 2
Tarkő S de Tarcha 2, de Tarku, de Tarkw 7 10 3
Ternye S de Terne 2 2
Trocsány S de Trochan, Trochan 2 1
Upor   de Vpor 3 1

Undeciphered Bynames

For completeness, the following are the fourteen bynames (27 occurrences, 2%) which I have been unable to decipher with any certainty. Names in parentheses are the forms (if any) found in the index of property owners. All but Bebek and its variants [m] occur for a single individual: Akor (Akor); Bako (Bakó); Bebek 2, Bebuk, Bubek 4, Bwbek 3, filii Bebek (Bebek); Bodolo (Bodoló); Bonch; filii Buken; filii Fykche; Kecher 2, Kekcher 2 (Kecer); Koporch (Koporcs); Lanchelath (Lancelát); Ozolch (Osolt); Sor (Szor); Vidar (Vidar); Zobona (Szobonya).


[1] The tax was called in Latin lucri camare "profit of the chamber", since it went directly to the royal treasury (called Kamara in Hungary up to the 19th century). The tax was assessed according to the number of "portals" or "gates" (Latin porta) belonging to a particular person. It didn't matter if two or more houses used one gate, or if one house had more than one gate.

[2] The use of the masculine pronoun is not accidental: only 5% of the property owners are women, all but two of them identified as widows - and one of the exceptions is the queen.

[3] Engel (the editor) hypothesizes that the random order is a result of the method of data collection, which probably involved some sort of improvised record at the scene of tax collection (perhaps slips of paper, perhaps even sticks of wood with the information carved onto them using the old Hungarian runic alphabet). The booklets are all in one scribe's handwriting, and appear to have been written up as a continuous task, with an eye toward permanence and presentability.

[a] Kázmér s.n. Sinka: < Sinka ~ Simka hypocoristic (shortened form of Simon, or possibly Simjén < Lat. Simeon, old ecclesiastic personal name + -ka diminutive suffix).

[b] Engel treats Frank as a different name from Ferenc (Franciscus); two landowners are named as the former, one as the latter.

[c] Kázmér s.n. Erne: < Erne ~ ? Ernye old secular personal name. Engel notes that this name was written in error for Emerici.

[d] Kázmér s.n. Herke notes that Henrik had a variant Herrik.

[e] Kázmér s.n. Józsa indicates that this can be a pet name for either Joseph or Johannes. Modernly, Józsa has changed genders: it's now used as a feminine counterpart of József "Joseph".

[f] Kázmér s.n. Majos indicates that this is a variant of Moses (through the form Moyses, shortened to Mojs ~ Majs). It's not uncommon as a patronymic.

[g] Kázmér s.n. Gyula: < Gyula old secular personal name. As a patronymic, it's usually spelled Gyula or Gywla, or sometimes Giula. In 12th-13th century documents, it appears as Giula, Gyula, Gula, and Iula. Its occurrence here as a given name is very surprising: like most "native" (non-Christian) names, Gyula went out of fashion during the 1300s, and wasn't revived until the 1800s. The name is modernly sometimes translated Julius.

[h] Ladó says Hungarian Sándor derives from an Italian or German diminutive of Alexander. The equivalence is not in question, but I have been unsuccessful so far in locating an example of a man identified both ways, or even of Alexander in use later than the 13th century.

[i] Kázmér says Tivadar derives from Latin Theodorus. Ladó concurs, and adds the derivation sequence Teodor, Tiodor, Tiadar, Tivadar.

[j] This is not a name that made it into the modern Hungarian name pool, and Kázmér doesn't mention it as a feminine name. (This individual is clearly a woman: she's called domina 'lady' several times.) Kázmér s.n. Paska: < Paska ~ Páska prob. hypocoristic (from Paszkál ~ Lat. Paschalis old ecclesiastic personal name's earlier Paskál ~ ? Páskál variant). For a nominative form, my best guess is to replace the final 'e' with 'a': Pascasia and variants.

[k] The editor identifies this person as the son of Juga, from Slavonia.

[m] According to Kiss Lajos, there is (modernly) a hill called Bebek in the Bükk mountains, between the Szamos and Kraszna rivers (near modern-day Romania, I think), and another peak called Bebek-tető in Gömör county (modern-day Slovakia). He derives the placename from a personal name recorded in 1325: Dominicum, dictum Bebek, and says the personal name is of Slavic origin. Whatever its origins, the name is clearly functioning in these records as an inherited family name. It was a prosperous family: it's represented by four individual property owners, along with many items belonging to the family as a whole.


Engel Pál: Kamarahaszna-összeírások 1427-ból. Part of a series: Új Történelmi Tár: Fontes Minores ad Historiam Hungariae Spectantes. Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1989.

Fehértói Katalin: Árpád-kori személynévtár (1000-1301). Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 2004.

Kázmér Miklós: Régi Magyar családnevek szótára, XIV-XVII. század. Magyar Nyelvtudományi Társaság, Budapest, 1993.

Kiss Lajos: Földrajzi nevek etimológiai szótára. 2 volumes: A-K, L-Zs. Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1997.

Ladó János: Magyar utónévkönyv. Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1984.