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Kisgejõcz, Kis Gejocz, Kisgejocz, Kisgejoc, Kis Gejoc, Kisgeocz, Kisgeoc, Kis Geocz, Kis Geoc

 
 
“A picture paints a thousand words…,” words flooding my mind as I look through the fifty plus pictures, which have arrived via the Internet and e-mail, of this small village lying just across the Hungarian border in southwestern Ukraine.  Although I have never been there, it is beginning to feel more and more familiar to me and I find myself dazing off into nowhere, thinking, wondering, trying to imagine.  To absorb.
 
Kisgejõcz, a predominantly Hungarian community, is a small farming village in the region known in English as Subcarpathia in the Carpathian Basin.  To the north and east are the vast expanses of the newly (1992) independent Ukraine and beyond that, Russia.  The Slovakia Republic, once combined with the Czech Republic to form the country of Czechoslovakia lies to the west, and to its south is Romania and Hungary.   Less than one hundred years ago, Subcarpathia belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary as part of the huge Austro-Hungarian empire, and the four megyes (counties) consisting of Bereg, Máramaros, Ugocsa, and Ung, made up the north eastern corner the Hungarians still 
call Kárpátalja. 
However, having been conquered, divided, and acquired by several different empires and countries throughout its history, if one was to call this same region Podkárpátska Rus (Czechoslovakian), Rusinó, Zakarpatskaya Oblast (Ukrainian), Trans Carpathia, Ruthenia, Carpatho-Ukraine, or Subcarpathia Rus, among others, they would not be incorrect.

Like the region in which it lies, it is quite possible for the village of one's birth to also have acquired several names.  Although in a person’s lifetime they may have never lived anywhere else, a record of baptism in 1916 might show Kisgejõcz, Hungary as the birthplace, Malê Gejovce, Czechoslovakia as the place of marriage in 1935, and in 1978, Mali Hejivci, Ukraine as the place of death.  Nor would it be unusual for changes in governments, policies, laws, etc., to create new variations for an old name.  Thus, Kisgejõc, Kis Gejõcz, Kisgeõcz, Kisgeõc, Kis-Gõcz, and its current name Maloye Geyovtse, along with those mentioned earlier, are all one and the same place. 
 
In 1884, under the rule of Franz Joseph I, Emperor and King of the Austro-Hungary Empire, my grandmother, Mária Kosztinka was born in the village of Kisgejõcz, Ungvár járás (district), Ung megye (county), Kárpátalja (region), Magyarország or Hungary.  While this webpage will be one in a series of other village webpages associated with the roots of my ancestors, it has been created in memory of my Nagymama and therefore, closest to my heart.

Six years ago, I had never heard of Kisgejõcz or Ung.  All I knew of my grandmother’s origins were that she had emigrated from Hungary and maybe, “from a place near Czechoslovakia called [Matzelka].”   A good map of Hungary purchased from my local bookstore quickly provided me with the correct spelling and location of Mátészalka, however, my joy was brief when I soon learned that this was not her place of birth.  The first time I encountered the scrawled handwriting of the priest who had entered the actual birthplace in the church record
book of marriages, I had no idea, whatsoever, what it spelled, and although eventually I was able to decipher the
place as Kisgejoc, it would be many hours, tired eyes, and dollars spent before I was able to determine where it
was.  Today, on the other hand, with a computer, Internet connection, and websites like the Ellis Island Passenger Search and Hungarian Village Finder and Gazetteer for the Kingdom of Hungary, it is quite possible to not only learn the place of origin in less than 30 minutes, but to pinpoint it on a map and determine what, if any, vital records might be available on microfilm through the LDS Family History Library Catalog, as well.

Like most people, though, who quickly find themselves lured into the addiction of genealogy, just knowing the location of Kisgejõcz was not enough, and admittedly, found myself becoming obsessed with learning anything and everything I could about this small village.  This, unfortunately, was more difficult than anticipated and although much to my delight, I was eventually able to find some historical background, pictures were nowhere to be found.  That is, until I came across a website offering the services of  photographer, Imre Harasztosi, who was willing to travel to Ukraine for me and not only photograph the villages of my ancestors, but to find some of my cousins, as well!  Finally, my Kisgejõcz has come to life.



Approaching Kisgejõcz

Kisgejõcz in Ukrainian Cyrillic

"Main Street"



"Main Street"

After attending services in
nearby Kereknye for more
than 100 years, this
Greek Catholic Church/school
was established in Kisgejõcz by
the parishoners 10 years ago


In bad need of replacement
or at least repair, the church
was established in the old
foundary



Note the Hungarian
Coat of Arms



Providing directions

 




The one and only market



Taking workers and shoppers
to Ungvár

Reformed or Reformattus
Church serving Kisgejõcz for
more than 100 years



Village cemetary



A typical "backyard" view

Not much different than
my own neighborhood

St. Stephan memorial near
the Reformed Church
“Our faith and Nation 
stands as a rock"




Ferenc
Newly found cousins

István


Ilona



Sandor



Sandor and wife

Sandor--Greek Catholic
church vicar, bell ringer,
tractor driver, and...

farmer



Like her mother, grandmother,
and gr-grandmother before her,
Ilona sews, does the
mending, ......

tends to the livstock,
and...

wins a pair of prizes for
her crossword puzzle expertise



On the way out of town...

heading towards Munkács
(yes, Lenin's image survives)

Leaving Kisgejõcz

All photos in this collection by www.stillhungary.com
The following information for Kisgejõc is a collection taken from various resources which have been noted and credited where possible.
KISGEJÕC
(Translation from Magyarlakta Telepulesek Ezredéve Kárpátalján
by Jozsef Botlik and Gyorgy Dupka, 1993)

Kisgejõc is a predominantly Hungarian village, renamed Mali Hejivci in 1946 when it was acquired by Ukraine.  It is adminstratively connected to its sister city, Nagygejõc.  It lies along the Latorca River, and is 20 kilometers south of Ungvár.  The history of the village is interwoven with that of Nagygejõc.

In 1851 Elek Fényes described the village, “Kis-Gejõc, a Hungarian village in the county of Ungh, south of Ungvár, inhabited by 204 Roman Catholics, 72 Greek Catholics, 455 Reformed (Calvanist),  and 42 Jewish.  It has a Reformed Church and good soil.  Plenty of forests provide acorns.  The earliest historical data is from 1394 when it was Geyeuch, Ramoca-Geyewch”  *(Cs. I., 390).

Population:  794 in 1828, 953 in 1869, 897 in 1910, 937 in 1928, 1007 in 1940, 980 in 1944, 745 in 1989, of these 710 are of Hungarian mother tongue; 736 in 1993, of these 704 are Hungarians.

History:  Kisgejõc first appears at the end of the 14th century as Ramoca-Geyewch.  The property of the Ramocsai family, the village has no great significance or importance since, in addition to the descendents of the family, in 1849 the Butkays also gained parcels of land there.

In 1567 the serf population was listed by name and were Hungarian.  At this time, the village had ten serf families and eight peasant familes.  Four dwellings were found abandoned, their tenants believed to be the casualties of the pestilence raging county wide.

In 1599, the village was called Ramocha-Geõtz and had twenty-five dwellings.  It belonged to Paul Deregnyõi, also known as Paul Bessenyõi.  In 1696, it is listed as Kis-Gehõcz with five serf and one peasant dwelling.  The inhabitants were Hungarian.  The Hungarian population prevailed through the 18th century.  In 1828, the village had 100 dwellings.  At this time, the principal occupation of the inhabitants was farming.  A gypsy colony, Egri farm, Latorca puszta, and Ruszin* colony were also noted as inhabited locations within the village area.

When Kisgejõc was given to Czechoslovakia the name of the village became Malê Gejovce.  During this time there was a Hungarian public school of Reformed denomination with one class and a Ukrainian State elementary school with two classes.  The situation in the village remained the same until after 1938.  At that time, there were 203 dwellings.  In 1940 the population remained predominantly Hungarian except for the noted 102 *[Ruszins], and one Slovak.  The religious breakdown was 147 Roman Catholic, 305 Greek Catholic, 516 Reformed, 38 Jewish, and one of another faith.

During WWII, thirty five people perished.  The Stalinists dragged away 19 men, of which 17 of those died in captivity.  During the purge, one person was condemned and executed. 

Economy:  The land, about to be privatized, belongs to the local collective where many people work. The younger generation look for better working opportunities by commuting to Ungvár. The successful domestic farming is comparable to that of Nagydobrony.  A tradition preserving settlement. The population is slowly diminishing.

Religion: The Reformed church was founded in 1648. The congregation numbered 350 heads in 1991. Their minister is Miklós Stefán. The present church was built in 1844; it burnt down twice in between times. Ferenc Egri made its bell.
   The Roman Catholics are members of the Roman Catholic Church of Nagygejõc. The Greek Catholics reorganized their denomination in 1989.

Institutions and Language:   Since 1945, Kisgejõc has had an elementary school where the education is in the Hungarian language.  In 1990, a secondary school was established.  During the 1991.1992 school year, eleven teachers taught 63 students.  The parents requested the opening of the secondary school in the 1990/1991 school year.  Arrangements to take the secondary school final exams can be made and taken at the Gábor Dayka #2 Secondary School in Ungvár.  The kindergarten can accommodate 50 students and the education is taught in the Hungarian language.

The cultural building was built during the last decade and can seat 330. It is also the cultural focus of the region where Hungarian presentations are held. Hungarian material in the Library is in modest supply.  The 165 members of the *KMKSZ organization of Kisgejõc separated from the organization of Nagygejõc on April 2, 1990.  The president is Ferenc Fegyverneki. They are initiating the formation of the independent self-government of Kisgejõc, the organizing and administration of the cemetary, and the preservation of the traditions.

Memorials and Sights:  Kisgejoõc is the birthplace of Ferenc Egri, the famous maker of church bells.  The foundry building was transformed into an agricultural warehouse after the war, but the remains of the bell making implements can still be found there.

The local organization of the KMKSZ placed a monumnet in the local cemetery on November 1, 1989.  They dedicated a memorial to the victims of the Second World War and of the Stalinist despotism [purges].

*Botlik, József and Dupka, György.  Magyarlakta Települések Ezredéve Kárpátalján.  Ungvár—
 Budapest:  Intermix Kiadó.  1993.

*Cs. I., 390 may stand for History of Hungary by Csolnoky, Vol. I, page 390.

*Although the exact ethnicity of the term “Ruszins” is unknown by the translator, it is most likely meant to be Rusyns and not to be confused with Russians.

*KMKSZ --Karpataljai Magyar Kulturális Szövetség meaning the Hungarian Cultural Association of Karpatalja.

Botlik, József and Dupka, György.  Magyarlakta Települések Ezredéve Kárpátalján.  Ungvár—Budapest:  Intermix Kiadó.  1993. 

From:  The Trajedy of the Hungarians of Transcarpathia
http://www.hungarian-history.hu/lib/dupka/dupka02.htm

KISGEJOC

Administratively linked to Nagygejoc, this village had 980 inhabitants in 1944. Two lists were prepared in Kisgejoc on July 7, 1945 and found in the district archives. On one figure the 53 names of men who, as soldiers, were absent from the village. The second list contains 29 names of men who, according to the local judge and secretary, were deported to the Szambor labourcamp. 

The list of the village's losses compiled by the local. KMKSZ (president: Fegyverneki Ferenc) tells us that of the 82 men, 16 never returned from the camps and 19 died in action in W.W.II. 
In November 1989 a wooden memorial was erected in the cemetery and on November 1. 1991 a memorial was dedicated to the victims of Stalinist tyranny.

From:  Kisgejoc  List of the Dead
http://www.hungary.com/corvinus/lib/dupka/dupka08.htm

Kisgejoc--List of the Dead

Bogathy Ferenc, Csakany Karoly, Hajdu Jozsef, Hajdu Miklos, Halasz Janos, Halasz Jozsef, Kalman Bela,
Kiss Gyula, Ladanyi Janos, Laszlo Gyula, Nagy Albert, Nagy Dezso, Nagy Janos, Novotnyak Gyorgy, Ruszkovics Bela. 

WW II losses: 
Balogh Istvan, Bilakovics Sandor, Bodor Jozsef, Bogathy Odon, Hurik Janos, Javorszky Gyorgy, Kocsis Gyorgy, Kornuta Istvan, Laszlo Sandor, Nagy Antal, Nagy Jeno, Palko Ferenc, Pankotay Zoltan, Ritook Lajos,
Svab Miklos, Szabo Bela, Sztecko Janos, Toth Jozsef, Vasky Janos.

From:  Hungarian Village Finder, Atlas, and Gazetteer for the Kingdom of Hungary  (CD-Rom version)

Ung Megye/Varmegye (County)

County Seat (Székhely):  Ungvár 
Number of Districts (Járás):  4 
Current Location:  Ukraine {UKR}, Slovakia {SVK}, and Hungary {HUN}

1)  Ungvár Járás, Ung Megye
District Seat (Székhely) = Ungvár 
 
Place Name
Popu-
lation
Local
Churches
Nearby Churches of
Attendance
Current Country =
Current Name
Associated
Place Names
Geõcz (Kis-)  »»
{Kisgeõcz}  »»
{Kisgeõc}
960 REF gc  »  Kereknye
jew  »  Csap
rc  »  Ráth (Kis-)
UKR = Mali Hejivci/
      Maloye Geyovtse
Remete-Latorcza  puszta

From:  Hungarian Village Finder, Atlas, and Gazetteer for the Kingdom of Hungary  (CD-Rom version)
and Eötvös University, Department of Cartography Ung megye map

Villages, towns, and cities within an 8 mile radius of Kisgejõcz
(Distances are approximate)

Place Current Location Distance
Kisgejõcz  Ukraine 0.0 miles
Nagygejõcz  Ukraine 1 miles E
Császlócz Ukraine 2 miles N
Hosszúmezõ Ukraine 2 miles E
Kisrát Ukraine 2 miles W
Nagyrát Ukraine 2 miles W
Szürte Ukraine 3 miles W
Kistéglas  Ukraine 3 miles W
Baranya Ukraine 4 miles N
Kereknye Ukraine 4 miles N
Korlathelmec Ukraine 4 miles NE
Hegyfark Ukraine 4 miles NE
Homok Ukraine 4 miles NW
Ketergény Ukraine 5 miles N
Nagylaz Ukraine 5 miles NE
Kisdobrony Ukraine 5 miles SE

 
Place Current Location Distance
Csertész Ukraine 5 miles SW
Konczháza Ukraine 5 miles NW
Gálocs Ukraine 5 miles NW
Minaj Ukraine 6 miles N
Darócz Ukraine 6 miles N
Mélyút Ukraine 6 miles NE
Oroszkomorócz Ukraine 6 miles E
Csap Ukraine 6 miles SW
Ásvány Ukraine 6 miles SW
Palágy Ukraine 6 miles NW
Palágykomorócz Ukraine 6 miles NW
Sislócz Ukraine 6 miles NW
Bátfa Ukraine 6 miles NW
Tarnócz  Ukraine 6 miles NW
Gerény  Ukraine 7 miles N
Radváncz Ukraine 7 miles N
Nagyszlatina Ukraine 7 miles NE
Valkaja Ukraine 7 miles NE
Cigányócz  Ukraine 7 miles NE
Nagydobrony Ukraine 7 miles SE
Doboruska Slovakia 7 miles W
Nagyszelmencz Slovakia 7 miles W
Szirénfalva Slovakia 7 miles W
Õrdarma Ukraine 7 miles NW
Botfalva Ukraine 7 miles NW
Palló Ukraine 7 miles NW
Ungvár Ukraine 8 miles N
Eszeny Hungary 8 miles S
Zahony Hungary 8 miles SW
Tiszasalamon Ukraine 8 miles SW
Budahaza Slovakia 8 miles NW
If you are researching surnames from Kisgejõz or from any of the above listed placenames
and would like to have those names added here, please let me know by sending me e-mail.
Surname(s)
being researched
Village(s) Name(s)
Your e-mail address and
Web Page Link (if desired) 
Fabián
Kojsza / Koisa
Kosztinka / Kostinka
Kukta
Kisgejõcz
Nagygejõcz
Kisrát
Nagyrát
hungarianvillagefinder@hotmail.com

Kosztinka and Kojsza Webpage

OTHER VILLAGE WEB PAGES  COMING SOON

Kereknye (Ung megye)
Ráth--includes Kisráth and Nagyráth (Ung megye)
Nagygejõcz (Ung megye)
Makkosjánosi (Bereg megye)
Kántorjánosi (Szatmar megye)
Máriapócs (Szabolcs megye)


**LINKS**
HUNGARIAN VILLAGE FINDER, ATLAS, and GAZETTEER for the KINGDOM of HUNGARY
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HUNGARIAN VILLAGE PHOTOGRAPHY
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HUNGARY GEN WEB (A Rootsweb site) 
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THE CARPATHIAN CONNECTION
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