János Hegedüs





Hegedüs family in Vas county

János Hegedüs (1725?-1790?)

János Hegedüs (1763–1803)

Mihály Hegedüs (1797–1827)

János Hegedüs (1819–1870)

Béla Hegedüs (1858–1945)

Dr Ödön Hegedüs (1905–1997)






He was born in Egyházasrádóc on February 12, 1819. He lost his father (Mihály Hegedüs, 1797–1827) when he was 8, and was brought up by his mother Katalin Magyar (1797–1841). His brother Mihály (1820–1821) died in infancy, and we do not have any information about his sister Terézia (*1825) apart from the birth record in the Calvinist church books of Egyházasrádóc.


http://www.sk-szeged.hu/statikus_html/kiallitas/kollegium2/opapa.jpgAfter her first husband’s death Katalin Magyar married Mihály Fábián, a baker in Egyházasrádóc. They had two children, Mihály (*1828) and Mária (*1830).


After leaving the elementary school in Egyházasrádóc, János Hegedüs began his studies in the Reformed Church College in Pápa. After paying the tuition fee of 30 krajcár, he began the “Grammar” class on November 9, 1833. [Köblös, József ed.: A pápai református kollégium diákjai 1585-1861. Pápa, 2006. 566.] According to the documents of the institution, he attended the fifth form of the secondary school in the 1837/1838 academic year (her mother was still alive), and the sixth form in 1839/40, but there are no data from 1840/1841. In 1841/1842 he began the third year of the law school (his guardian was Zsuzsa Zábrák, which means that his mother had died by 1841). In 1842/1843 he attended the fourth year, and he was living in Körmend. The renowned Hungarian writer Mór Jókai and the most famous poet of the century, Sándor Petőfi studied in the same college: according to the documents published by the college, János Hegedüs (3rd year), Móricz Jókai (2nd year) and Sándor Petrovics (Petőfi, 1st year) were studying in the college in the 1842/1843 academic year. [Köblös ed. 273-275.] They probably knew each other as only 202 students attended the college.


After graduation János Hegedüs began his career as a lawyer in Körmend, a small town in Western Hungary. He married Carolina Margaretha Schricker on February 9, 1851 in Sopron. Carolina Margaretha’s (1831–1861) grandfather moved from Weissenstadt, Bavaria to Sopron in the first decade of the 19th century; her mother Susanna Josepha Krug (or Krueg, 1803-1875) was related to many famous Sopron families (Thirring, Trogmayer, etc.) A chart of Carolina’s ancestors can be seen here. The portraits of her great-grandparents (Ferdinand Krug, 1716-1787 and Eva Maria Trogmayer, 1720-1790) are exhibited in the museum in Sopron.


The Hegedüs-Schricker couple had six children, but only three of them reached adulthood. The parents perhaps followed the tradition of the Germans of Sopron when they chose two given names to all of their children. It must have been unusual to the pastor too, because he always noted in the church book: “double name”. Their first son Gyula Károly was baptized on October 20, 1851 in Körmend. Some weeks later, the proud father wrote the following sentence in a letter sent to the relatives in Sopron:



my son Gyula can already whistle; the girls in Sopron will suffer a lot from now on”


Tragically, the first-born son died at the age of seven weeks. The next Hegedüs-boy, Gusztáv János died in infancy too (1853). Their third son, Géza was born in 1854. Among the family documents there is a hand-written “Verses-könyv”, or “Poetry-Book” with Géza Hegedüs’s name and the date May 31, 1860 on its cover. Perhaps the parents made it for their son when he started school. (Click on the image to see photos of the pages of the booklet.)


Géza, however, died on November 2, the same year. The two youngest boys reached adulthood. Elek Konrád (1855-1944) moved to Vienna in the 1880s and died there in 1944. (The family does not know too much about Elek. All that has been discovered about his life and the process of the online investigation can be read here: In search of Elek.) János and Carolina’s only daughter, Carolina Anna was born in 1857. Later she married a German schoolteacher Johann Weiss and had two children, Paula and Richárd). The youngest boy, Ödön Béla Hegedüs was born in 1858.


The family lived in Keputi Street (today: Mátyás király utca) in Körmend. The map of Vas County (1857) shows their house with János Hegedüs’s name. He also had some land around the town:



The house is still there at 12 Mátyás király utca (King Matthias Street). Later (in 1897) opera singer Mária Németh was born in the same house:


kormendi haz




When the revolution and war of independence of 1848/49 broke out, János Hegedüs stayed in his home town. On October 5, 1848, the newspaper Kossuth Hírlapja published the following news:


Körmend. Sept. 30.

Today our town could be the witness of the Hungarian soldiers’ love of our country. 102 soldiers of the Sándor Hussar regiment from Graz, led by a Polish-born corporal who supports the Hungarian case, came to defend our country in danger. We welcomed the enthusiastic patriots with enthusiasm, and provided them with everything we could. – They said that many of their comrades would follow them, and, unless the intrigues of the camarilla in Vienna thwart them, we can soon welcome them here too. May God give us so many enthusiastic patriots. The armies of 6000 national guards of Sopron County and 3000 national guards of Vas County are marching through our land nows. – János Hegedűs.




János Hegedüs was active in the life of the local Calvinist community. He was elected to be the notary of the Reformed Church of the Őrség region. The September 15, 1861 issue of the journal Protestáns Egyházi és Iskolai Lapok (Protestant Ecclesiestical and Educational Journal) reported as follows: “In the handsome church of the Reformed Church in Körmend, the general assembly was held on August 6 this year co-chaired by the rev. Sámuel Mozgay and Gusztáv Chernel. (…) First the newly elected notaries of the district, i.e. Pastor of Felsőőr Sándor Gueth from the part of the church and lawyer János Hegedüs from the part of the laymen took their oaths and were installed.” [c. 1084]



Hegedus Janos ugyved

(source: arcanum.hu )


János Hegedüs’s wife Carolina died in the same year. She was only 30. During their marriage of 10 years she gave birth to six children, but only three of them were alive when she died.


Hegedüs Jánosné Schricker Karolina hal 1861 Körmend

(source: www.oskereso.hu)


After her wife’s death we do not have much information about János Hegedüs. His name appears in the directories of the Reformed Church: in 1868 he is still referred to as a lawyer in Körmend. His death record, however, mentions him as a resident of the town of Szentgotthárd. It is not known when and why he moved there. He died on January 23, 1870 in Szentgotthárd. He was buried in the cemetery of Szentgotthárd by the Calvinist Pastor of Körmend.


Interestingly, the family tradition held that the Hegedüs couple was killed in an accident while traveling on a horse-drawn carriage. However, the church books prove that their deaths had natural causes, Karolina died of the inflammation of the bowels at the age of 30 and János died of pneumonia at the age of 50. Their three children were brought up by the Schricker family in Sopron.




Carolina Margaretha Hegedüs née Schricker



János Hegedüs’s vest from the mid-19th century


Hegedus Janos jegyzetfuzet         Hegedus Janos jegyzetfuzet hatlap

Covers of János Hegedüs’s notebook. The original leather cover was replaced by beadwork – perhaps made by his wife?


Some pages of the notebook. The date [1]851 is clearly visible on one of the pages:


Hegedus Janos notesz4Hegedus%20Janos%20notesz1Hegedus%20Janos%20notesz2