The Juhász Family
The Juhász family lived in Pusztakovácsi, which is only about 5 miles from Nikla, when George’s grandfather, Sándor Berzsenyi paid a visit to his neighboring landowner, Kálmán Juhász to congratulate him on the birth of his daughter, Mária Lenke during the winter of 1874-75. Upon seeing the beautiful Lenke (as she was called throughout her life), he vowed to marry her when she grrew up. Indeed, he did so, with the marriage taking place 24 years later. She remained one of the most beautiful women of Somogy throughout her life.
Kálmán’s parents were János Juhász and Franciska Pretsinszky, who were married in 1832 in Kiskomárom. Franciska was the daughter of a Polish military officer, who took refuge on the estate of his friend, Antal Juhász (the father of János) when the Russians occupied his country. Franciska and her brother, Peter both stayed in Pusztakovácsi throughout their lives, but so far we didn’t succeed in locating either Peter’s descendents or the descendents of Kálmán’s only brother, József. On the other hand, George managed to establish connection with many of the descendents of Kálmán’s two sisters, Jusztina and Szidónia, and thus has lots of third cousins relating him to the Fodor, Barcza, Babochay, Tevely, and other families. He is also in contact with a second cousin in Canada, who is the grandson of Lenke’s brother, Béla Juhász.
According to the family story related by Márta Juhász (the mother of the second cousin mentioned above), the founder of the pánfalvi Juhász family was the captain of a fortress during the struggles of Hungary to keep the Turks out of the country, who was captured by the Turks and was made to guard their sheep. Hence they called him “juhász”, the Hungarian term for “Shepard”. When he managed to escape, the King honored him by giving him a village named Pánfalva and the forename bearing the name of the village. However, he kept the name “Juhász” too, and hence the family name (with the forename).
Our search continues for documents proving the nobility of the Juhász family, the coat of arms of the family, as well as for the ancestors of Antal Juhász. One of George’s third cousins located a likely candidate for the coat of arms, as well as some literature that is in agreement with the family legend described above. Moreover, this wonderful relative, Hédi Szabó nee Fodor also identified a probable relative via a side branch. Such finds are often most beneficial since our distant cousins might know a lot more about our ancestors that we do.