Hungary Exchange & Nick Gombash

                  One day, while on the Hungary-L  genealogy mailing list, a serious, young man popped in named Nick Gombash.  It was this link to his website HUNGARY EXCHANGE that opened my eyes to realize that we have a great organizer amongst us   - I was so grateful that someone actually took the time to gather all the digital books about genealogy in Hungary in one spot and share them with us. Generosity in it's finest moment. That's just the beginning of how much Nick has shared with us along the way.

                  In the early days of internet genealogy, we have had so many knowledgeable contributors helping the newbies out at Hungary-L  as we scrolled through the microfilms at the Family History centers for our Hungarian genealogy. There were even a few Hungarian genealogical societies in the USA. Sometimes there were helpful assistants at the Hungarian Churches in Detroit, Chicago, Toledo and many other old enclaves of Hungarian - American roots.  There is a need for helping people with Hungarian records. I delved into it and never looked back. I think this is what seized Nick Gombash when he started out. He never looked back and to see all that he has accomplished on his websites is amazing. He is, no doubt, a knowledgeable and major contributor for anyone discovering their Hungarian ancestry.

                Nick began his genealogy research journey in 2001 on all his family lines, from Yankee to the Europeans. He started up a database for a collection of records called the "Hungarian Marriage Project ". It now holds over 58,700 marriages.  Marriage records are a favorite of mine as you can get up to three, four new surnames to work on if the clerk or preist wrote in the maiden names of the grooms' and brides' mothers. Marriage records also holds clues on the locations of the family names.

               HUNGARY EXCHANGE also has a surname database for fellow researchers to find one another. He indexes thousands of records, faster then a speeding bullet, to create databases for certain regions of Hungary. Nick also expanded his databases range to,  at last count, 150,000 records ! 

              I hope Nick never quits! He works as a professional researcher if one needs to look deeper into their Hungarian ancestry. He  also does Austrian, German  and American research, especially in Illinois.

              I was invited to work with him on his genealogy help group at Facebook. It's a group forum where one can ask for help with translations of records, maps, history and anything genealogical in Hungary.

              Like Nick, I did not want to "blog".  I would rather be holed up in a library and research than blog but to keep the flame going, we have to fan it, spread it out so others can keep it going for the next generation .

            Nick's web pages are a wealth of materials and guidance for anyone working on their Hungarian ancestry. Feel free to stop by at the Hungary Exchange forum at


Magda, you are so right about the importance of helping each other along in our research. There are so many online forums where people gather to share notes about their research and to see if anyone else can help them think through a "brick wall" problem. If it weren't for the generous help and "Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness" that have benefited me along the way, I'd never have accomplished all I've gained in my own research. The beauty of it all is that what we leave on these forums--helping others or seeking help--remains there, searchable, for years to come. It's like an investment in future resources. That's so for the blogs, too. I like how you put it: "to keep the flame going, we have to fan it." It's exciting to see so many more people falling in love with genealogy research!

You resounded my thoughts exactly . I think the next generation will keep genealogy going through the next wave of family history on the internet. I have great confidence in people like Nick.