A few years ago, I had never heard of Lácza, yet my family called it home for well over 100 years. What I did know is that my grandfather came from Hungary. I knew that, because as a child I wondered where my last name had come from. My grandfather died when I was 15 years old; my father, a year after that. And now, decades later, I was searching for answers to questions I had never thought to ask.
I set out on a journey of discovery. To find the people, places and events that brought me to this day. This web site is a celebration of my family’s past, and will hopefully give others the tools and the encouragement to dig deeper into their family’s history, to preserve it for generations to come.
György Hogya was born in 1795 in a small Hungarian town named Kis-Rozvágy in Zemplén Megye (or County). The adjectives Nagy (‘Great’) and Kis (‘Little’) are used to denote pairs of historically linked neighboring villages usually thought of as inseparable. Kisrozvágy may be where all Hogyas originate from. The only Hogyas in the town of Lácza, located several miles northeast of Kisrozvágy, are direct descendants.
György Hogya married Eva Nágy who lived in Lácza. They had a son named András in 1826. Around that time, György moved to Lácza to live with his in-laws. György and Eva had more children: István in 1831, Barbara in 1836, József in 1840, György in 1853, and Julianna. Julianna Hogya married a man named József Exös and had three children: József in 1858 (he died that same year), Agnes in 1860 (she died in 1864) and József who was born in 1862.
József married Maria Csonka in a double wedding with brother István on March 3, 1862, and had two children: József, born in 1863 and Maria, born in 1866. Maria Hogya had two illegitimate children: János in 1862 (he died in 1863) and Mária in 1864. No father was listed, so I guess she was one of those wild Gypsy women. Barbara Hogya married János Kovács and had a daughter named Sophia in 1868. György, the youngest of György and Eva’s children, married Julianna Horvath and had a daughter Agnes in 1868.
My ancestors lived in house #14 and #15 in Lácza. They lived there in the 1800’s until early 1900 when they came to America. No street names were given as I guess there were so few that they just numbered the houses themselves. In every census, birth, marriage and death record, their residence was listed as those two houses for the greater part of the 19th century.
József Hogya (born in 1837) had two children: József and Mária. Around 1887, József married Erzsébet. They had five kids: Anna, József, Bertalan, László and Margrit. In 1900 Mária (unmarried and 30 years old) traveled to America. Anna was next (at 15 years of age) in 1904. József followed in 1906. They then sent for Erzébeth, József, László and Margit in 1910. Two years later in 1912, Bertalan joined them.
Meanwhile, in another part of Hungary, on July 18, 1900, János Makayi (27 years old) left his hometown of Ung Csáp to come to America. Two years later, on October 28, Zofia (27 years old) and Gizella (only two years old) joined her husband in Pittsburgh, PA. In 1918, Bertalon (now using the name Bernard) and Gizella (Grace) were married in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
He was born in Lácza, Hungary in 1898 and immigrated to the United States when he was 14 years old. He married Grace Makkai and settled in Perth Amboy, NJ, where they raised a family. He was a carpenter by trade and made violins in his spare time.
He was born in 1919, served in the Civilian Conservation Corps as a teen and later in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he fought in the Pacific during World War II. He married Matilda Dombrowski, had two sons, and was a chemist at FMC in Princeton, NJ.
I played lead guitar in a rock band, visited the pyramids of Egypt (twice!), was an inker at Marvel Comics, and helped create the award-winning celebrity milk mustache campaign—now on display the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.
If you have any news or information on the Hogya family, are interested in searching for your family roots in Hungary, or just wish to write with your thoughts and suggestions, email me.
For locating towns, villages and church records in old Hungary or Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Professional genealogy research to help families find out more about their Hungarian ancestry.
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Links and articles to aid families in researching their Hungarian ancestry online.
Art director / creative director Bernie Hogya’s advertising portfolio website.
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Website devoted to my high school rock band from Sayreville, New Jersey in the 1970’s.