Sunday, September 07, 2014

Kovacs aka Kovach

Kovacs aka Kovach : Hungarian or Czechoslovakian? Kovacs aka Kovach : The Debate Continues: Czechoslovakian or Hungarian? For some time, I have been researching my great grandparents with the Kovach name. I am relying on information from my maternal grandmother Julia Kovach Nagy, who is now deceased, and from my mother.

Kovacsland: Biography Of Ernie Kovacs
As a child, I remember my grandmother telling me that her ethnic heritage was Czechoslovakian. I remember my mother telling me that my grandmother actually could speak 4 different languages, of which Hungarian was definitely one.

I would guess that the other languages would be Czech and Slovakian, but I am not sure. It would suggest that my grandmother's heritage was not just Hungarian. Every Sunday she would listen to a radio program that I think was Hungarian.

So does that make the ancestry of Kovacs aka Kovach Hungarian or Czechoslovakian or something else? Are YOU a Kovach or Kovacs? Oh, I would surely love to hear from you!


The Kovacs / Kovach Poll
Please answer our question about Kovacs / Kovach. Are you familiar with the Kovacs / Kovach names?
  1. Yes indeed ... know about Kovacs and Kovach!
  2. Absolutely, I trace my heritage from Kovacs and Kovach too!
  3. I had heard about Ernie Kovacs!
  4. It sounds familiar.
  5. More than one of the above!


Great Grandfather Mihaly Kovacs

My great grandfather, Mihaly Kovacs, was born August 4, 1864 in a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that would later be known as Czechoslovakia. His name was "Americanized" to Michael Kovach, I assume when he came to the United States.

He married Anna Varchola who was born, as a guestimate, in 1870 in a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that would later be known as Czechoslovakia. It is not known of Mihaly and Anna were from the same town, but it would be rather likely that they did not live too far from each other. Mihaly Kovacs / Michael Kovach died on November 22, 1908 in Pennsylvania.

For my generation, Ernie Kovacs, is definitely the most recognizable person with the last name of Kovacs. Who knows, he may be part of my ancestral family tree!

Anyone who has done much research into their family ancestry, if from Eastern Europe, will know that it can be quite challenging! Names and spellings can be quite varied as often pronunciations often dictated the American spelling; and then, many names were "Americanized" or made more mainstream.

What's interesting about the names in my family's ancestry, is that like Kovach aka Kovacs, some of the names are considered "common" or used extensively.


History of Hungary
  • During the revolutions of 1848, Magyar leaders of Hungary and Czech leaders from Bohemia had asserted their independence from Austrian rule. The Magyar leader LAJOS KOSSUTH helped establish a parliamentary democracy with the passage of the March Laws of 1848.
  • Austrian military forces crushed the Czech revolt, but Kossuth's HOME DEFENSE ARMY held firm. Soon afterwards Kossuth was elected president of the new Hungarian republic. But Austrian forces, with the help of 100,000 Russian troops, reasserted control over the defiant Magyars. Kossuth fled to exile in Turkey.
  • In 1867, after ruling Hungary for 150 years, Austrians offered the Maygars the promise of equal power. With the passage of the Settlement of 1867, known in Germany as the AUSGLEICH, the Austrian Empire became the AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN EMPIRE, a dual monarchy.
  • In a dramatic ceremony in Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, the Austrian Habsburg ruler FRANZ JOSEF received the crown of St. Stephen, Hungary's first king. Franz Josef was desperately trying to keep the crumbling empire intact.
  • The HABSBURG EMPIRE was now divided into two main territories: the AUSTRIAN EMPIRE and the KINGDOM OF HUNGARY. Both were ruled by the Habsburg monarch, who was centered in Vienna. Austria remained governed by the FEBRUARY PATENT OF 1861, which established a parliament known as the Reichsrat. The March Laws of 1848 governed Hungary.
  • Although Austria and Hungary each had a parliament to manage their domestic affairs and those of their respective provinces, a joint cabinet controlled mostly by Austrian and Hungarian aristocrats handled foreign affairs, military affairs, and finances. And though in principle the new empire was a constitutional monarchy, the emperor retained considerable powers, especially that of dissolving the parliaments by fiat.
  • The SETTLEMENT OF 1867 (also known as the Compromise of 1867) provided Habsburg rulers with a more stable empire in the short run by securing strength through numbers. The empire retained its place as a great power in Europe. But the heterogeneous nature of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, increasingly anachronistic in an age of nationalism, guaranteed its failure.
  • The Magyar aristocracy aggressively pursued a policy of Magyarization, or forcing minority groups such as Croats and Serbs to assimilate into Hungarian society by adopting its language and customs.
  • Hungary also sought to further its independence from Austria, provoking EMPEROR FRANZ JOSEF I to suspend the Hungarian constitution in 1903.
  • This repression fueled the growth of pan-Slavic terrorist groups such as the Black Hand, which was responsible for the assassination of Austrian ARCHDUKE FRANCIS FERDINAND in 1914, an event that helped trigger World War I.


Ernie Kovacs Related?
ernie kovacs smoking cigar
A distant relative? Ernie Kovacs (January 23, 1919 - January 13, 1962) was a creative and innovative entertainer from the early days of television. His on-air antics would go on to inspire TV shows like Laugh-In, the Uncle Floyd Show, Saturday Night Live and TV hosts like David Letterman.

Kovacs is buried in Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles. His epitaph reads "Nothing in moderation - We all loved him".

For an interesting biography, please read the rest of the story. Wikipedia.


Kovacs Named People
  • Ernie Kovacs - What an interesting man! He was a creative and innovative entertainer from the early days of television.
  • Stefan Kovacs - A former soccer manager who was the manager of France.
  • Frank Kovacs - An American tennis player in the 1940s; he was known as the "Clown Prince of Tennis."
  • Laszlo Kovacs - Born July 3, 1939 in Budapest, is a Hungarian politician and diplomat, currently serving as European Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union.
  • Michal Kovac - Born August 5, 1930, he was a Slovak politician in the early 1990s (member of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia) and the first president of Slovakia.
  • Agnes Kovacs - Born July 13, 1981, she is a Hungarian swimmer.
  • Magda Kosane Kovacs - Born November 4, 1940 in Budapest, is a Hungarian politician and Member of the European Parliament for the Hungarian Socialist Party, part of the Party of European Socialists.
  • Kovacs Genealogy - Kovacs Family Genealogy Forum.
  • Kovacs according to Wikipedia - What a cool list of lots of Kovacs!
  • Searches for information on the Kovac / Kovacs family name.
  • Kovacs listed in the Industry and trade directory of Hungary in 1891 database.

Kovach Named People
  • Michael Kovach - Does Your Front End Know What Your Back End is Doing? by Michael Kovach, VP Software Development and Technology. FullTilt Solutions. Published on iSource Online.
  • Kovach Cemetary List - Hungarian/Albany Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Livingston, LA. Submitted by Don Johnson to the LAGenWeb Archives.
  • Michael Kovach - WTC List - On the World Trade Center public list, Michael Kovach was listed as fine, #4186 Wed Sep 12 13:57:46 2001.
  • Kovach Obituaries - ObitFinder, the national resource for obituaries.
  • Searches for information on Kovach family name.

Anna Kovach Daughters
  • Anna Kovach - Born October 1900 in Pennsylvania. Left home in 1918. Married Andrew Jason and had 2 sons, Frankie and William, and 2 daughters. Last known address: 1844 West 54th Street, Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Julia Kovach - Born October 1, 1905 in Eleanora, Pennsylvania. Father: Michael Kovach. Married Alexander J. Nagy on October 2, 1928 in St. Mary's Church. Had two children, Lillian and Robert John [born May 12, 1931]. She died on April 28, 1978 and is buried in Holy Cross Cemetary in Cleveland, Ohio. Section 11, Lot 4640, Grave 1.
  • Margaret T. Yaniga - Born October 3, 1913 [her birthday had been thought to be October 13th] in Eleanora, Pennsylvania. Father: Joseph Yaniga. Married William P. Taylor who died in 1974. She had 3 children: David, Cindy, and Karen. She died on July 27, 2007 and is buried on Woodlawn Cemetary in Wadsworth, Ohio.


Kovacs Cemetery Listings
Incredible Site to Visit - A select listing of Kovacs from the Cemeteries of Slovakia.

Anna 0 yrs. - June 22, 1916
Anna 0 yrs. - September 16, 1890
Anna 20 yrs. - May 24, 1903
Anna 33 yrs. - September 4, 1916
Bala 1 yrs. - October 2, 1897
Gusztav 1 yrs. - October 12, 1894
Gyula 0 yrs. - May 1, 1893
Julia 22 yrs. - November 6, 1904
Julia 0 yrs. - January 7, 1897
Julia 0 yrs. - September 14, 1895
Julia 1 yrs. - January 3, 1920
Margit 0 yrs. - September 20, 1895
Mihaly 0 yrs. - August 10, 1892
Mihaly 1 yrs. - November 12, 1890
Mihaly 2 yrs. - June 29, 1900
Mihaly 12 yrs. - September 6, 1897
Mihaly 22 yrs. - May 10, 1941
Mihaly 30 yrs. - February 22, 1890
Mihaly 42 yrs. - December 29, 1943
Mihaly 0 yrs. - October 9, 1914
Mihaly 0 yrs. - November 7, 1914
Mihaly 0 yrs. - October 30, 1916

Kovacs / Kovach Cemetery Listings
Below is an extraction of listings from Saint Mary Cemetery in Hermitage, Mercer County, Pennsylvania. Contributed by Terence Whalen [twhalen@svol.net].

Kovach, Anna, b. 1889, d. nd
Kovach, James, b. 1887, d. 1964
Kovach, Joseph E., b. 1914, d. 1969
Kovacs, John F., b. 1911, d. 1941
Kovacs, Joseph J., b. 1913, d. 1973
Kovacs, Rena L., b. 1918, d. nd
Kovacs, Steven L., b. 1915, d. 1945

Slovakia Gravestone Project

The aim of this project, which has been managed by the SGHS since 1991, is to collect gravestone inscriptions from all of the cemeteries from the territory of Slovakia, create a computer database from these data and this way make them more accessible to researchers.

Those, who take part in the project, are volunteers. Thanks to more than 30 volunteers the SGHS was able to collect transcripts from following, more than 70 cemeteries.

The Research Continues!

After the research I've done into the Kovach / Kovacs name, it is apparent that it is a challenge indeed to trace the family lineage for people bearing the name of Kovach aka Kovacs. One has to ask, why is this such a "common" surname shared by so many throughout the same generations in history?

I've found an interesting forum, My Czech Republic, that I've become active in. In a reply post there, Sova said, "Kovacs is a pretty common name (like "Smith" in English)."

Another poster, Zeisig, said pretty much the same thing, "Mihaly Kovacs is a common Hungarian name (kovacs means blacksmith)."

And so the search continues ...
  • I am searching for information on a Michael Hrabcak, born October 1854 in Lucina. His parents were Michael/George? Hrabcak and Anna? (possibly Vasco). Michael Hrabcak married Anna Kovach (date unknown) who was born in July 1864 in Sdoba. They came to the U.S. about 1887 and settled in Carbondale, Lackawana, Pennsylvania and then later traveled to Colorado.
  • We are interested in the family name Kovach but don't have any location except Eastern Slovakia, near Ukraine.
  • Researching the families Tokar, Rubicky, Miller, Kansky, Kovach, Kovacek, Stofcik, Kavuscak, Bacho, Radvansky. Villages: Zborov, Bardejov.
Thanks for visiting!
I love reading your comments! Have you been researching your family tree? Any tips you'd like to share? Are you a Kovach or have a Kovach in your family tree. Hey, we might be related! Let me know.

History: Kovacs aka Kovach : Hungarian or Czechoslovakian was originally created on Squidoo by JaguarJulie on May 5, 2006. Highest lensrank ever achieved: #1,248 overall. Lens #23 in the quest for Giant Squid 100 Club Charter Member 2007.

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