Saturday, December 4, 2010

Advent Calendar - Christmas Greetings from the Old Country

My grandfather's brother Ivan settled in Satu Mare (present day Romania), a little less than 70 miles from Berezovo, their home in what is today's Ukraine. I believe he sent this card in 1936. Ivan and his brother wrote to one another in Hungarian.

The front reads "Christmas Greetings!"

I've not been able to translate the back fully, or even make out all the letters. It was written in Satu Mare on 15 Dec 1936 and opens with Merry Christmas (thanks to Nick Gombash for helping decode this!) and includes a message of love (szeretettel) and ends with a word meaning the family of (csaladja). I have many letters from Ivan, but this is the only Christmas card.


  1. Well, you may not me able to read the back of the card, but the front is beautiful and you have a wonderful keepsake!

  2. What a very neat thing to have! I wanted to let you know that I am giving you the "Ancestor Approved" Award for your blog. Please go to
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  3. I agree with Teresa and Debbie- what a precious keepsake!

  4. I can make out everything except for the name before csaladja:

    Boldog karacsonyi unnepeket kivonunk nettek es szerettetel csokolunk.

    [unclear] csaladja

    We wish you happy Christmas holidays and kiss you with love.

    The family of [name? unclear]

    The -ja after csalad makes it the thing that is possessed, therefore I am guessing the word before it might be a family name = family of ??. Sorry I don't know how to put the diacritics on.

  5. You angel, Greta! Thanks so much. I think the word is a possessive form of Janos - Hungarian version of Ivan. Don't know why it didn't occur to me that he would use that rather than Ivan since he was writing in Hungarian. You're the elf of the day! (or angel if you prefer)


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