Hungarian Genealogy 101: Researching Your Roots in America and the Austro-Hungarian Empire

Confusing geography, unfamiliar languages, and surname and place name changes are just a few of the challenges associated with genealogical research in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.  If you’re among the 1.4 million Americans with Hungarian roots, we’ll help you trace your Magyar ancestors by helping you sort out issues with names and places, explaining history and directing you to the most useful records on both sides of the pond. Genealogists with ancestry in areas formerly ruled by Hungary—such as Croatia, Slovakia and Romania—also will learn about history, records and resources that will likely factor into their research.


$99.99 ($89.99 for VIP)

Course Length:

4 Weeks


Lisa A. Alzo

Start Date:

View upcoming course schedule for dates.


  • A history of Hungarian immigration—and what it means for your research
  • What records to search for in North America and in Hungary
  • How to locate and research records in Hungary
  • Tips and resources for identifying your Hungarian ancestors’ birthplace or town of origin
  • Strategies for overcoming research obstacles


  • Genealogists with known Hungarian roots who want to “cross the pond” and begin their overseas research (this class isn’t designed for intermediate to advanced researchers who have significant experience using sources from Hungary)
  • Members of Hungarian heritage clubs or churches who wish to expand their family trees and honor their heritage
  • Researchers with Eastern European roots in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, which controlled Slovakia, Croatia and parts of Romania, at the time many Eastern Europeans immigrated to America
  • Librarians serving areas where many Eastern Europeans settled, whose patrons are descendants of Hungarian, Slovak, Croatian or Romanian immigrants


  • This course assumes you understand the basics principles of genealogy and have done some investigation into your family history. If you are a total beginner, take the Discover Your Family Tree course before enrolling in this class.


Lesson 1: Learning Historical Background

  • Introduction
  • Understanding the Austro-Hungarian Empire and its implications for genealogy research
  • Hungarian immigration and emigration
  • Quiz

Lesson 2: Researching Over Here—North American Records

  • Preparing for old country research
  • Setting research goals
  • Research roadmaps
  • Determining names and places
  • Key records
  • Exercise

Lesson 3: Researching Over There—Hungarian Sources and Resources

  • Locating the ancestral town or village
  • Using maps, atlases and gazetteers
  • Hungarian record sources
  • Utilizing the Family History Library
  • Writing to the archives
  • On-site research
  • Exercise

Lesson 4: Overcoming Research Obstacles

  • Common problems and pitfalls
  • Language barriers
  • Collateral research and cluster genealogy
  • Using social media to find Hungarian cousins
  • Other strategies
  • Exercise

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