2019_1_Koloh

pdfVolume 8 Issue 1 CONTENTS

Rural Society at the Time of the Cholera Outbreak: Household and Social Structure, Taxation and the Cholera Outbreak in Endrőd (1834–1836)

Gábor Koloh
Hungarian Agricultural Museum
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Endrőd is a village in Békés County along the Körös River. A census taken by the local church administration presents the composition of 663 household from 1835. From the perspective of household structure studies, this source is unique in length, age, and complexity. Furthermore, cholera destroyed the settlement the year before and after the census was taken. The census and parish registers offer sources on which one can study the impact of the epidemic on households. The tax register from 1834/1835 allows for the classification of family heads into tax categories, so we can extend the test to the relationship between financial background and mortality rate. This multivariate analysis uses the sources and methods used in epidemic history, social history, and historical demography.

Keywords: cholera, historical demography, tax registers 1834/35, mortality and welfare, spatial patterns

While browsing the archives of the parish of Endrőd, I came across a parish family book (“register of souls”) dated 1835, the first page of which (after the cover decorated with floral patterns) bore the title Az Endrődi Hivek Összeirása 1835ik Esztendötöl Kezdve G[öndöcs] J[ózsef káplán] (“Register of the Believers of Endrőd as of 1835 A.D. [Chaplain] J[ózsef] G[öndöcs].”

Endrőd today forms part of the town of Gyomaendrőd in southeastern Hungary on the banks of the Körös River. According to András Vályi’s description, it is a “Hungarian village in Békés County, the lord of the manor is Baron Harucher, the inhabitants are Catholic, situated near Gyoma and Ötsöd, belonging to the estate of Gyula, its arable lands are mostly good, meadows similarly, pasture is suitable for cattle of several herds, though some parts of its arable lands are flooded and some parts are nitrous, few woods and reeds, mill is negligible, marketplace is second-class due to its distance.”1 It would require a separate analysis to determine what Vályi meant precisely by “Hungarian village.” In fact, Johann Georg Harruckern, council member of the Hofkammer (the Exchequer of the Habsburg Empire), who received the settlement as part of the estate of Gyula, settled Hungarians and Slavs here in the 1720s and 1730s, mainly from the north of the Kingdom of Hungary, but following the initial period, during the work of parish priest Sámuel Pálfy (1772–1780), celebration of the mass in Slavic languages stopped,2 and as Elek Fényes put it in the mid-nineteenth century, “Slovaks also came, but they have now become entirely monolingual Hungarian.”3 In Fényes’s description, the arable lands are not only “mostly good,” but “they have such fertile, black clay soil mixed with sand that its winter wheat produces 15 seeds and its spring wheat produces 20.”4 Almost all (according to Fényes, 98 percent) of the inhabitants were Roman Catholic. The lord of the manor in the period under examination was baron Flórián Drechsel’s wife, Countess Karolina Stockhammer of the naturalized Stockhammer family.5 Regarding its geographical location, the village is a blank spot for analyses from the perspective of household structure, historical demography, or a deeper social history; only local ethnographic research has produced some serious results.6

The scholarship on household structure is “confusingly rich,”7 so I can present here only a very brief overview. In his book Property, Production, and Family in Neckarhausen 1700–1870, which was published in 1990, David Warren Sabean outlined the following evolution of household structure research: he named Frédéric Le Play and Wilhelm Riehl as the prominent representatives of the first generation of researchers in the field.8 Although the closely related Hungarian literature considers Le Play a sociologist, Sabean emphasizes the ethnographic character (Volskunde) of the research and conclusions of the first generation, where Le Play and Riehl saw the original patriarchal structure of the family9 as a continuous and functional whole with a head and dependent members.10 Le Play defined the stem family (famille-souche, when a married child remains in the parents’ household) and Riehl the enclosed household estate11 (das ganze Haus) as transformations of this patriarchal structure. According to Le Play’s concept, the parent couple lived together with one of their children and his or her family, while the others left the household.12 Sabean regards Karl Bücher as a member of the second generation of researchers. According to Bücher, the basis of the functioning of a household is production and consumption, producing for its own needs, and the family members do not participate in the production of goods. Like Bücher, Alekxander Chayanov, in his analysis of Russian peasant society, also saw the key to the functioning of the household in the close interrelationship of production and consumption.13 The third approach was built on these concepts. It originated in the study of historical demography, mainly in the work of Peter Laslett, who by that time had serious doubts as to the reliability of the widely known concept formulated by Le Play.14

Laslett questioned the “statements regarding the average size and structure of pre-industrial families and households and the historical change they allegedly underwent.”15 He objected to the fact that, although it had not become an exclusively accepted concept (research by Marion Levy explicitly refuted this hypothesis), it still was a recurrent “stereotype to talk about structures consisting of 30–40 members and three to ten families. When, however, historians analyzed the totality of households of a settlement or estate on the basis of surviving census records, it turned out that in reality, most peasant households were significantly smaller than this.”16 Laslett et al. conducted research covering England and northwestern Europe in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, which revealed a generally higher rate of nuclear families. Deviating results were found in analyses of family structures in the Balkans, where larger, more complex households occurred relatively often.17 The concept of patriarchal (married sons living in the same household with the parents) and stem family cohabitation was thus refuted, facilitating an understanding of the profound economic and social (including demographic) processes taking place in the nineteenth century. At the same time, Laslett’s typology of household structures and John Hajnal’s typology18 (its excessive complexities notwithstanding) also highlighted the relevance of cultural differences and the composition of the community, even if the acceptance of the role of the latter has now been overshadowed.19 The greatest difficulty faced in the research, hence, lies not in the various concepts, hypotheses, and further research prospects, but rather the lack of usable, reliable, and in particular dynamic sources. Although it is true that a dynamic analysis of the evolution of households would and could be more practical for the purpose of understanding the quality of cohabitation and also more meaningful than the mere exploration of regional samples, unfortunately these kinds of analyses can only be done in exceptional cases. Albeit Chaplain Göndöcs also started the parish family book with high hopes in 1835, by 1836 he mostly had recorded only the births up until that time and the information concerning those who had died of cholera (and not even everyone who belonged to this latter group!), and by 1837 only a small number of new or corrected entries had been added, and none were added in 1838. The national census of 1869 is the nearest in time to this period, but its record sheets have not survived from Endrőd (Mezőberény is the only settlement in the county for which the records survived).20

But this is just, so to speak, one of the basic problems regarding the analysis of households. The relevant literature has been discussing the problems of the term “household” for a long time. Gyula Benda used a succinct and witty definition, so it is worth quoting it in its entirety: “The household, i.e. basically a group people living under the same roof and of the same bread, is both an economic and social basic unit before industrialization. In the case of family estates, which were still dominant in the Early Modern period (whether agricultural or artisan in nature), the unit of production (and thus taxation) is also this cohabiting group. The family and the household are also the basal cell of accumulating and transferring wealth—their characteristics are closely related to the systems of inheritance. Finally, it is also a unit of consumption, everyday life is organized in its context.”21 Tamás Faragó, comparing the definition of the household with the definition of the family, wrote that the “household is different from the family both in its concept, content, organization, and system of activities, particularly in the pre-industrial era. Its members are bound by kinship (consanguinity, affinity, or fictive kinship) and by legal relationships (e.g. servants) and functional ties. Its core is usually but not necessarily a family.”22 Understanding and using the term becomes more difficult when it becomes apparent that households have various structures and different sizes even within individual settlements. In such cases, according to Benda, different models are developed which attempt either to present the different variations in their entirety or to present the shades of the various types through in-depth qualitative research, both on the international and domestic levels.23 The interpretation of the function of the households poses another set of problems. More than half a century ago, József Tamásy regarded them as mere economic communities, while Faragó emphasizes that the household group creates the necessary living conditions and ensures the socialization of new members, providing a material and mental “home space.”24 The more recent research of Péter Őri and Levente Pakot highlights the demographic and economic roles of the household, which are easier to grasp in quantitative terms.25

Tamásy highlighted the cohabitation of Croatian extended families in the eighteenth-century Kingdom of Hungary, where the average number of people in one household was over eight, while in Transylvania, Transdanubia, the Great Hungarian Plain, and the northern region of the country not many more than five people lived in the same household (with only minor differences in the different regions).26 Later domestic macroanalyses confirmed the proportion of households with an average of more than five people from the second half of the eighteenth century to the first decades of the nineteenth. Although the nuclear household could still be regarded as the dominant type, “the proportion of complex (extended and multiple-family) households was not insignificant, and at least in some areas, the majority of the population lived in such types of households type in one or another stage of their lives (...).”27 Furthermore, it is important to note that “households with a great number of people and a complex structure occurred primarily among serf peasantry, and only very rarely among landless layers of society.”28 Even though Faragó emphasizes the lack of sources, he did demonstrate the dynamic transformation of the household structure in the period of more than half a century in question. He concludes that in order to avoid the fragmentation of estates, becoming a landless serf (zsellér), or impoverishment, the proportion of complex households increased between 1787 and 1828, but at the same time, the household structures of different villages show various differences on a regional and ethno-cultural level.29 Micro research both confirmed the above conclusions and may have also refined them with restrictions to local circumstances. Such research includes the study conducted by Andorka and Sándor Balázs-Kovács in Sárpilis, where they repeated the above with respect to the size and composition of the households. Faragó broke down his data according to social strata in his examples from Pest county, but his micro findings verify the nationwide conclusions. The study by Magdolna Balázs and László Katus focusing on Central Transdanubia emphasizes the similarity with the Balkan and eastern household structure, while Gyula Benda’s analysis in Keszthely also establishes the dominance of the nuclear family and the more complex structures observed among farmers, serfs and merchants. Thanks to her sources, Ildikó Husz was able to perform an in-depth analysis of the households of Zsámbék in their dynamics, and she confirmed Faragó’s conclusion regarding the temporary increase in households of a more complex composition, similarly to Balázs Heilig’s analysis in Szőlősardó.30

My source, in the absence of any reference to a higher order, is a “church register of souls,” or a status animarum.31 In the source, the households are not distinguished from one another consistently, which also reinforces the foregoing. At the beginning of the family book, the relationships to the head of the household are accurately described, and later the indication of relations perceived as unambiguous (i.e. children) is omitted. In the second half of the book, even the status of alien persons (mainly servants) is often omitted. The heading of the family book is the following: Háznak aszáma, Vezeték és Kereszt Nevek, Sorsa, Kora (Eszt., Holn., Nap), Egy Házi Család Száma, Idegen Vallásúak, Észrevételek, or House Number, Family and Given Names, Fate, Age (Year, Month, Day), Number of People in the Household, Foreign Faith, Comments. As regards people who belonged to a so-called foreign faith, József Göndöcs recorded their number but failed to provide more details. Taking house number 9 as an example, we can first see the name of Mihály Bentsik (Fate: Landowner farmer), followed by his wife and daughters, then a female servant. Without any separation, the records continue with György Vaszkó (Fate: tenant) with his wife, daughter, and siblings. This row is then closed by a horizontal line, the Number of People in the Household is 10, then István Bálint (Fate: in the great vineyard) with his wife and two children. The family number thus increases to 14 people. As far as I know, there were no close family relations between Mihály Bentsik and György Vaszkó, but still, the two family heads were not separated from each other in the family book. In another example, in the case of house number 96, tenant Imre Fülöpp starts the row, followed by his wife, then Mihály Denitska, furrier, tenant, and his wife and daughter. The row is separated by a line from István Farkas (Fate: in the great vineyard), his wife, and son. Then, another line separates them from György Batsa, homeowner farmer, and his family, who should have been in the first place according to the generally applied logic of the family book.

If one compares the values of the earlier censuses and our source, although the number of households would probably have approximated the previous values if I had calculated the number of households along the lines drawn by the chaplain, due to the inconsistencies indicated above, it seemed more practical to apply the considerations of Őri and Pakot. While processing and coding the data, I considered one household where even though several family nuclei lived together, it was clear that they were close relatives, and I distinguished them from those in which, though not separated by a line, the tenants, gardeners, servants, and other employees were not relatives, but had a family.32 According to this method, a total of 960 households could be unambiguously distinguished.

 

Table 2. Average size of households and the number of married men per household, Endrőd, 1835

De facto

population

Number of married men

Number of households

Average

size of households

Number of married men

per household

5,527

1,109

960

5.75

0.92

Source: Believers of Endrőd 1835. GySzIPL

The average size of households in 1835 does not indicate a cardinal deviation from the value of slightly more than five, which is treated as average in the literature. Therefore, the values of Endrőd correspond to the national average, so they (including the number of married men per household) can be considered representative values.

I used the Laslett–Hammel typology to classify the households in which (as seen from Table 3) 65 percent were nuclear households, which fits well in the series of literature refuting the theory of the dominance of stem families. According to the source, in addition to then 25-year-old homeowner farmer, Mátyás Juhász, who was in the lower category of taxpayers with his tax of 3 forints and 5 kreutzer, three widows lived alone: Mrs. István Palócz aged above seventy, Mrs. Mátyás Roncsek nearing her fortieth year of age (Widow Landowner), and Mrs. Mátyás Tímár (aged 22) spent their year of mourning in the period of the family book (October/November 1835).33 Those living in households with no family included János Lábos, the parish priest of Endrőd between 1825 and 1840, the Curator of the Church (caretaker) József Szölösy, and the unmarried manservants working at the slaughterhouse. Lábos’s household included the author of the source, the 28-year-old chaplain József Göndöcs, as well as chaplain János Piringer, the priest’s sister, and two servants. I considered “unclassifiable” the House of the Lord of the Manor, the House of the Village, and the Arany Patkó lodging house, which Göndöcs records as a separate house, even though he also notes that its tenants have been recorded under house no. 2. In the case of another two houses, albeit the Tenants themselves are known, the source only comments on the others that “at this house live a total of ununited Vlachs: 7.” In these cases, the relationships were impossible to explore.

The rate of 19.7 percent of households with multiple families is nearest to the 1808 value of Tiszacsege (18.4 percent), so corresponding to the classification of Faragó with the help of the Laslett–Hammel system, it constituted a temporary group.34 This is worth noting because for Faragó’s group, this temporary nature can be demonstrated in both Calvinist and Roman Catholic settlements, as well as in both Hungarian-speaking and Slovak-speaking settlements, and in this regard, Endrőd has all these attributes. It was predominantly Catholic but with a significant proportion of neighboring Calvinist settlements; it was Hungarian but part of the population was of Slavic origin. The average size of households (obviously) increased with the complexity of the households, and in comparison with the 1869 value, the values of Endrőd (apart from nuclear households) are on average higher by one person.35

 

Table 4. Breakdown of households according to the gender and age of the household head, Endrőd, 1835

 

Age groups

Total

<25

25–34

35–44

45–54

55–64

64<

no data

N

( percent)

Male

66

218

225

174

136

56

3

878

91.5

Female

4

15

13

18

20

7

2

79

8.2

No data

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

3

0.3

Total

70

233

238

192

156

63

8

960

100.0

Source: Believers of Endrőd 1835. GySzIPL

If we look at the distribution of household heads according to gender, the dominance of male household heads is apparent. Men aged between 25 and 44 constituted the main body. More than half of all the men belonged to this age group, while this ratio is only 6.4 percent in the case of men above 64. However, only rarely were older men living in the family not the head of the household as well: in all seven such cases, the man (whether he was the household head’s father or other) was 70 years old or older. In the case of women, a greater number in the older age group of 45–64 became household heads upon becoming widows. The age of non-head cohabiting elder women was 65 or higher.

 

Table 5. Households according to the household head’s gender and the main categories of household structure, Endrőd, 1835

 

Household type

Total

1

2

3

4

5

6

No data

N

percent

Male

0.1

0.7

66.1

13.1

19.9

0.1

0.0

878

91.5

Female

3.8

1.3

55.7

20.3

17.7

1.3

0.0

79

8.2

Total

0.5

0.9

65.3

14.1

20.2

0.8

0.0

957

99.7

Source: Believers of Endrőd 1835. GySzIPL

The correlations between the household types and the household head’s gender are shown by the percentages in table 4. These indicate that higher rates of men are heads of nuclear and multiple-family households, while women have greater proportions in the other variations. The situation of female household heads belonging to the first type has been discussed above. Households with no family show higher values for women only because of the proportions: this is actually one woman, 23-year-old Ágnes Goda, who lived in a household with her siblings. In the case of households with complex families, we can speak about households in which widows lived together with one or more of their married children and the widow did not transfer the household headship to one of her children. This was the case for Mrs. András Cz. Tóth, the widow of a landowner farmer, who paid taxes on nine acres of arable land, 5.5 acres of meadow and 1.5 acres of vineyard and lived together with her two sons, András (25) and István (20) and their wives and children. Accordingly, the conclusions deriving from the values in the table correspond to the findings of the MOSAIC project.36

 

Table 6. Household structure according to the age groups of male household heads, Endrőd, 1835

Household category

Age groups

N

<25

25–34

35–44

45–54

55–64

64<

 

1. Solitaries

0.0

0.5

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.1

2. No family

4.5

0.5

0.0

0.6

0.7

0.0

0.7

3. Nuclear

71.2

75.2

81.8

64.4

41.9

23.2

65.9

4. Extended

19.7

18.3

8.0

9.8

11.8

19.6

13.1

5. Multiple

4.5

5.5

10.2

25.3

45.6

55.4

20.0

6. Unclassifiable

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

1.8

0.1

Total ( percent)

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

N

66

218

225

174

136

56

875

Source: Believers of Endrőd 1835. GySzIPL

The conclusions suggested by the values contained in table 6 also correspond to national trends. Male household heads under 54 years of age dominate in the case of nuclear households, while men in higher age groups are heads of multiple-family households. Those who became household heads young either became heads upon getting married and leaving the parents’ home or inherited the household after their parents had died. They most often were the heads of nuclear households. Less often, if they were not yet married, they lived alone or maybe with other unmarried persons.”37 Aging men, however, lived together with their married child(ren) and their families in increasing proportions.

 

Table 7. Household structure according to the age groups of female household heads, Endrőd, 1835

Household category

Age groups

N

<25

25–34

35–44

45–54

55–64

64<

 

1. Solitaries

25.0

0.0

7.7

0.0

0.0

14.3

3.9

2. No family

25.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

1.3

3. Nuclear

50.0

100.0

69.2

44.4

45.0

14.3

57.1

4. Extended

0.0

0.0

15.4

22.2

40.0

14.3

19.5

5. Multiple

0.0

0.0

7.7

33.3

15.0

57.1

18.2

6. Unclassifiable

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Total (percent)

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

N

4

15

13

18

20

7

77

Source: Believers of Endrőd 1835. GySzIPL

 

In accordance with the above, the ratio of female household heads was continuously shifting from the nuclear to the complex household structure over time. In the latter cases, typically the widowed mothers were the heads of the households, so they continued to manage the household after their husbands deaths. The dynamics of change according to age groups can be seen in the case of both the male and female household heads. In Endrőd, too, younger household heads typically managed the simple (nuclear) households, while elders managed the complex households. It was less typical but did occur occasionally that the aged household head passed the management of the household on to one of his or her children.

For the analysis of the distribution of household structures according to social (specifically, social, occupational, and ethnic) strata, I followed the category system derived from the source, with minor simplifications. This resulted in a total of nine social strata (groups). I analyzed the Roma separately, although they primarily belonged to the landless serf (zsellér) or farmhand (béres) categories.

 

Table 8. Household structures according to the social / occupational situation of the household heads, Endrőd, 1835

Household category

intellectuals

landowner farmers

artisans

small traders

homeowner landless serfs

landless serfs without own home

gardeners

farmhands

Roma

no data

Total

1. Solitaries

0.0

0.3

0.0

0.0

1.1

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

4

2. No family

42.9

0.3

1.7

0.0

0.0

0.5

0.0

11.1

0.0

0.0

7

3. Nuclear

28.6

38.1

88.3

100.0

62.8

93.0

84.2

88.9

63.6

33.3

624

4. Extended

28.6

17.2

6.7

0.0

19.2

5.6

7.9

0.0

18.2

22.2

131

5. Multiple

0.0

44.0

3.3

0.0

16.9

0.0

7.9

0.0

18.2

11.1

189

6. Unclassifiable

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.9

0.0

0.0

0.0

33.3

5

Total (percent)

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

N

7

302

60

5

266

215

76

9

11

9

960

Source: Believers of Endrőd 1835. GySzIPL

The results of Table 8 reflect the findings of previous microanalyses and macroanalyses. Typically farming serfs (or “farmers” to use the term used in the source) lived in this era in multiple-family households in larger proportions, although I should note that their majority in comparison with nuclear households is only relative. For intellectuals, living in households with no family (as seen from the examples above) was characteristic of the lifestyle arising from the nature of their occupations. Local intellectuals were not connected to the local society as regards their family relations. They formed a passing stratum, so to speak: the tenants of the parish house, including the parish priest and the chaplains, were replaced over time, and they typically did not integrate into the local society from the perspective of their family relations. While approximately 36 percent of homeowner landless serfs and Roma lived in more complex households, the ratio was much lower or zero for the others.

The distribution can be refined by performing the above classification also based on the data of the tax census of 1834–1835. Albeit there seemed to be several ways to classify tax censuses, all of them require a more comprehensive processing work encompassing multiple sources, which is currently not possible. Relying on the correlations of production volumes and the amount of taxes paid,38 I evaluated the first nine, then the subsequent one hundred, two hundred and the other taxpayers based on tax values.

By connecting the tax censuses and the household heads, I managed to achieve a two-thirds identification rate. There are some taxpayers in the censuses from Csejt-puszta: administratively, they belonged to Endrőd at this time, but Göndöcs did not record them in his parish family book. The identification was made quite difficult by the fact that in the case of some family names that are very common locally, it was impossible to identify the correct persons without a full analysis of the registers: Hornoks, Tímárs, and Uhrins lived in the settlement in great numbers, and even if the taxpayer was distinguished by an indication of the father’s given name, this was not always adequate to remove all the doubts.

 

Table 9. Household structures according to the taxation category of the household heads, Endrőd, 1835

Household category

Taxpayer’s serial number (tax amount)

 

1–9

(136–295)

10–99 (40–118)

100–199 (19–40)

200–299

(11–19)

300–399

(6–11)

400–499 (2–6)

500–539 (0.1–2)

Total

1. Solitaries

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.7

0.0

4

2. No family

0.0

0.0

1.2

0.0

1.1

0.0

0.0

7

3. Nuclear

25.0

31.6

42.7

56.0

63.6

70.5

76.8

624

4. Extended

0.0

12.3

9.8

15.5

15.9

13.0

8.6

131

5. Multiple

75.0

56.1

46.3

28.6

19.3

14.4

14.6

189

6. Unclassifiable

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

1.4

0.0

5

Total (percent)

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

960

N

8

57

82

84

88

146

151

616

Source: Believers of Endrőd 1835. GySzIPL; MNL BéML IV. A. 6. 1834–1835.

It should be noted for the interpretation of Table 9 that the taxpayers’ serial number was the same in the case of equal tax amounts, and that is why each group of hundreds could contain more than one hundred taxpayers. However, due to the two-thirds identification rate indicated above, I was not able to include everyone in my analysis. The value of the tax amount was determined by converting the kreutzer to forints and adding it to the forint value. The table indicates that the biggest taxpayers lived in multiple-family households in an outstandingly large proportion (75 percent), but the majority of household heads belonging to the first hundred taxpayer classes also lived and farmed in this form of cohabitation. István Hanyecz paid the most taxes in the tax year of 1834–1835: 237 Forints and 38 kreutzer. He is followed by military officer Imre Mészáros, then Mihály Gubucz. Hanyecz lived together with his wife, two sons, and daughters-in-law, as well as his grandchildren, his sibling, and their family, as well as a 16-year old servant boy. Imre Mészáros lived with his wife, children, and the family of one of his sons, as well as one manservant and one female servant. Mihály Gubucz lived and farmed together with his two sons and their families.

All taxpayers in the first tax class are landowners, while the second class also includes a gardener, Imre Vaszkó, and a homeowner landless serf (zsellér), Imre Farkas. Both lived in nuclear households. The number of landless taxpayers increases in the third class, there is a growing number of homeowner landless serfs and also artisans. So, in fact, the tax census indicates that a direct proportionality can be identified among those living from agriculture between the extent of their farming activity and living in households of complex families.

 

Table 10. The proportion of households employing external labor according to household structure categories, Endrőd, 1835

 

Household structure categories

1

2

3

4

5

6

Total

Households employing external

labor ( percent)

0.0

57.1

15.9

27.5

34.4

0.0

21.3

N (total households)

4

7

624

131

189

5

960

Source: Believers of Endrőd 1835. GySzIPL

Households often employed external laborers for a shorter or longer period of time. Upon examining the household categories with families, one sees that the proportion of the households employing external labor increased together with the complexity of the household. These laborers, in most of the cases, were male or female servants. Gáspár Czinger, the town clerk, had two Lutheran housekeepers (though he belonged to a household with no families, while being in the second tax category), while the nobleman and cantor Károly Balla, who lived with his wife, son, and mother, had not only a female servant but also a coachman. The average age of manservants was 17. That of the female servants was 15.

 

Table 11. Ratio of average household size and households employing external laborers according to the household head’s age, Endrőd, 1835

 

Household head’s age

<25

25–34

35–44

45–54

55–64

64<

External laborer

15.7

19.7

20.2

19.3

22.4

38.1

General size of household

1.0

4.3

4.8

6.2

9.0

1.2

Source: Believers of Endrőd 1835. GySzIPL

Table 11 indicates that as the household head’s age increased, external laborers became increasingly involved in the management of the household. The higher percentages appearing in the older age groups suggest that aging household heads tried to replace the younger members of the family having left the household this way.

Regarding the year 1836, Historia Domus of Endrőd recorded the conditions according to which Kornélia Stockhammer leased her estates in Endrőd to the village, as well as (and especially) the assets the church purchased. It also noted that Mátyás Habdza had a wooden cross erected on the outskirts of Endrőd, for which he established a foundation of 50 Forints.39 Homeowner landless serf Mátyás Habdza died in July 1836, aged 75 according to the registers and 80 according to chaplain Göndöcs. The cause of death was senectus, which could be translated today as old age.40 Whether it was he who had the cross erected as a form of thanksgiving for his long life (particular for the era) or his son Mátyás (if one accepts that middle-aged Mátyás Habdza was the son of the deceased, Göndöcs’s error would be quite a big deviation, almost 10 years!) is impossible to determine based on this information: the Historia Domus did not record the month and the day. Either way, according to contemporary popular belief, erecting a cross could be justified by the fact that cholera, which had ravaged in Endrőd in the summer of 1836, had spared Mátyás Habdza’s household.41

Göndöcs made, among others, the following entries at the end of the book: Approx. 200 died in the Year 1831 A.D. in Cholera, and a little below that: in (Year) 1836 A.D. Again approx. 100 died of Cholera. As I have mentioned, Göndöcs completed the family book with, among others, the names of those died in the 1836 cholera outbreak in the following year. Comparing this with the entries of the death register, 75 people died between July 6 and August 21, 1836. In the parish family book, Göndöcs added cholera as the cause of death subsequently for 60 people. Collating the people’s data found in the register and the family book, Göndöcs indicated that a person died of cholera in 10 cases where this is not indicated in the register, and the register mentions cholera as the cause of death in a further 26 cases where it is not added to the family book. This means that a total of 86 people are known to have died of cholera, of whom 71 could be connected to the household register.

 

Table 12. Ratio of households with a member who died of cholera according to household structure categories, Endrőd, 1835

 

Nuclear

Extended

Multiple

Total

Households with a member who died of cholera (percent)

4.8

6.9

10.1

6.1

N (total households)

624

131

189

944

Source: Believers of Endrőd 1835, Register of Deaths of Endrőd, 1835–1836. GySzIPL

 

Our sample makes it possible to compare the ratio of households with a member who died of cholera and the composition of the households. Cohabitation, which meant frequent contact among multiple people, constituted a higher risk factor for the spread of diseases, as reflected by the values of Table 12. Those who died of cholera in the families were in larger proportions women (54.7 percent) than men (46.3 percent). A significant group of the deceased included those aged 1–3 and 45–65.

In this paper, I conducted a closer examination of a geographical area hitherto unexplored in terms of household structure analyses, namely the settlement of Endrőd in Békés County. It was useful to process the previously dormant parish family book to get a better understanding not only of the geographical space, but also of the period after 1828. I was able to use a complete source which is rather rare from the 1830s, or even the immediately preceding or subsequent decades, which could be used well both in terms of the richness and (with some reservations) the quality of the data. In summary, the results correspond nicely to the findings of earlier macroanalyses and microanalyses, and therefore the main conclusions can be extended to this region. My findings confirm the dominance of nuclear households. However, I was able to point out that due to the relatively higher proportion of complex households, the village has an interim character, so we may have managed to record a state in the ongoing process of the simplification of households. We can regard as a characteristic specific to this settlement that older household heads employed an external person in significantly larger proportions than the younger generations, which can be explained by the departure of the younger members of the family and thus can also be interpreted as a manifestation of disintegration. Furthermore, the analysis according to tax classes refines the uniform belief that typically peasant families lived in multiple-family household structures. The ratio of this type is much higher where the household head paid more taxes. The health risk arising from the cohabitation of multiple people is also worth noting, the real threat of which is reflected by the relevant difference in the number of deaths from cholera in each household structure.

Archival Sources

Békés County Archives of the Hungarian National Archives (MNL BéML)

IV. A. 6.: Békés vármegye adószedőjének iratai [Documents of the Tax Collector of Békés County] 1834–1835. Accesed on September 25, 2018. https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/435710?availability=Family percent20History percent20Library

V. B. 326. d.: Mezőberény nagyközség iratai [Documents of the Village of Mezőberény]. Census doc. 1869.

Archives of the Szent Imre Parish of Gyomaendrőd (GySzIPL)

Endrőd, Register of Deaths. Accessed on September 25, 2018

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0ByjN02LbwH6sb2FNdlg0NWFmdm8? usp=sharing

Believers of Endrőd 1835: Az Endrődi Hivek Összeirása 1835ik Esztendötöl Kezdve G[öndöcs] J[ózsef káplán] (Register of the Believers of Endrőd as of 1835 A.D. [Chaplain] J[ózsef] G[öndöcs]).

Historia Domus: Historia Ecclesiae, et Parochiae Endrődinensis conscriptu Anno 1833.

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1 Vályi, Magyarországnak leírása I, 577.

2 Márkus, Békés vármegye, 282; Pesty, Békés megye Pesty Frigyes helynévgyűjtésében, 40; Karácsonyi, Békésvármegye története II. kötet, 97; Iványi, 200 éves az endrődi Szent Imre templom, 52.

3 Fényes, Magyarország geographiai szótára.

4 Ibid.

5 Historia Domus: Historia Ecclesiae, et Parochiae Endrődinensis conscriptu Anno 1833, GySzIPL, 41; Szilágyi, “Egy 19. század eleji birtokelidegenítés esete,” 771–94; Szilágyi, “Indigenák és helyi társadalom,” 140–47.

6 See the Endrődi füzetek [Endrőd Journals] series published between 1992 and 2014.

7 Őri, and Pakot, “Háztartásszerkezet,” 165.

8 Sabean, Property, production, and family, 89.

9 For more detail, see Andorka, “A család és háztartás nagysága,” 147.

10 Andorka, “A család és háztartás nagysága,” 147; Melegh, “A tizenkilencedik század eleji városi háztartások,” 135.

11 Translated by Gergely Krisztián Horváth; see Horváth, Bécs vonzásában, 35.

12 Sabean, Property, production, and family, 89; Andorka, “A család és háztartás nagysága,” 147. Melegh, “A tizenkilencedik század eleji városi háztartások,” 135–36.

13 Sabean, Property, production, and family, 95.

14 Sabean, Property, production, and family, 99; Bácskai, Család, háztartás, társadalom, 7; Andorka, “A család és háztartás nagysága,” 147–48.

15 Melegh, “A tizenkilencedik század eleji városi háztartások,” 135.

16 Andorka, and Faragó, “Az iparosodás előtti,” 402.

17 Ibid., 402–3.

18 Hajnal, “European Marriage Patterns,” 101–43; Hajnal, “Two Kinds of Preindustrial Household,” 449–94.

19 Fauve-Chamoux, “Strategies of Household Continuity,” 138; Bácskai, “Család, háztartás, társadalom,” 7; Derosas, and Saito, “Introduction,” 1; Oris, and Ochiai, “Family Crisis,” 23; Őri, and Pakot, “Háztartásszerkezet,” 166; Szołtysek, “Rethinking Eastern Europe,” 389–427; Szołtysek, “Spatial Construction,” 11–52.

20 MNL BéML V. B. 326. d.

21 Benda, “A háztartások nagysága,” 109.

22 Faragó, “Nemek, nemzedékek, rokonság, család,” 393–483. 455.

23 Benda, “A háztartások nagysága.”

24 Tamásy, “Az 1784–1787. évi első,” 527; Faragó, “Nemek, nemzedékek, rokonság, család,” 455. Faragó distinguishes these functions from the family by giving the following explanation: “albeit the terms of family and household can coincide, it is an undeniable fact that the two are not always the same. A family is not necessarily characterized by cohabitation, the socialization of new family members and the performance of household functions do not always occur within the family, and the ‘home space’ also often extends beyond the family.” Faragó, “Nemek, nemzedékek, rokonság, család,” 455–56.

25 “In past societies where reproduction of the population was connected primarily to the institution of marriage and where the households (groups of people actually living together and cooperating, whether they were relatives or not) represented the basic unit of work and consumption in addition to demographic reproduction, the marriage customs and the rules of forming a household had a direct impact on population development.” Őri, and Pakot, “Háztartásszerkezet,” 164.

26 Tamásy, “Az 1784–1787. évi első,” 530–31. Regarding the usability of extended family, see: Andorka, and Faragó, “Az iparosodás előtti,” 414.

27 Andorka, and Faragó, “Az iparosodás előtti,” 437.

28 Ibid., 437.

29 Andorka, and Faragó, “Az iparosodás előtti,” 437; Faragó, “Nemek, nemzedékek, rokonság, család,” 460–68; Faragó, “Különböző háztartás-keletkezési,” 36–37.

30 Andorka, and Balázs-Kovács, “A háztartások jellemzőinek,” 229–33; Andorka, and Faragó, “Az iparosodás előtti,” 417–21; Balázs, and Katus, “Közép-dunántúli paraszti,” 166; Benda, “A háztartások nagysága,” 134. Husz, Család és társadalmi reprodukció, 69–74; Heilig, “Paraszti háztartások”, 253–54.

31 Andorka, and Faragó, “Az iparosodás előtti,” 403.

32 Őri, and Pakot, “Háztartásszerkezet,” 171–72.

33 Mátyás Roncsek died in January 1835, István Palócz in February, and Mátyás Tímár in September.

34 Faragó, “Rokonsági viszonyok,” 256.

35 Őri, and Pakot, “Háztartásszerkezet,” 174.

36 “In higher age groups, there was a greater chance to live together with one or more married children, much as there was a higher chance of remaining alone after becoming widowed or living under the same roof with people other than relatives. The phenomenon of women becoming heads of the households was related to special stages of the life cycles of the households. Living alone could be typical both of younger and older household heads, recently widowed household heads with children tended to be younger women (nuclear households), while living together with married children as the heads of the household was more typical of older women (households with extended or multiple families). In conclusion, the household heads’ gender was an important factor of the composition of the household.” Őri, and Pakot, “Háztartásszerkezet,” 176.

37 Ibid.

38 Kövér, A tiszaeszlári dráma, 111–18.

39 Historia Domus: Historia Ecclesiae, et Parochiae Endrődinensis conscriptu Anno 1833. GySzIPL, 41., 59.

40 Endrőd, Register of Deaths, 10 July 1836. GySzIPL

41 On the implications of cholera in Hungary, see: Mádai, “Kolerajárványok,” 2–3. 330–51; Dávid, “Az 1831. évi kolera,” 293–312; Gecsei, Cholera morbus; Boa, “Kolerajárványok a 19. századi,” 193–205; Tamás Faragó conducted an in-depth qualitative analysis for Maramureş County, see: Faragó, “Humanitárius katasztrófák,” 19–78. For its implications regarding Békés County, see Magyary-Kossa, Magyar orvosi emlékek, 114; Dávid, “Az 1831. évi kolera,” 293–312; Mádai, “Hat nagy kolerajárvány,” 68.

 

Table 1. Number of houses and households in Endrőd (1787–1835)

 

1787

1817

1828

1828–1829

1830–1831

1835

 

Census

census

national census

census

taxation-related

census

parish family book

Houses

388

607

705

664

640

665

Households

504

862

780

821

688

960

General size of household

5.38

5.54

8.13

5.75

Total number of inhabitants

2,712

4,779

5,401

5,527

Source: Erdei, Békés megye, 113; Believers of Endrőd 1835. GySzIPL

 

Table 3. Household structure according to main household categories, average size of households, Endrőd, 1835

Types

Households

Population

Average

size of households

N

percent

N

percent

1. Solitaries

4

0.4

4

0.1

1.0

2. No family

7

0.7

30

0.5

4.3

3. Nuclear

624

65.0

2,979

53.9

4.8

4. Extended

131

13.6

810

14.7

6.2

5. Multiple

189

19.7

1,698

30.7

9.0

6. Unclassifiable

5

0.5

6

0.1

1.2

Total

960

100.0

5,527

100.0

5.6

Source: Believers of Endrőd 1835. GySzIPL

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