I am trying to trace birth father's birth and marriage records. He died when I was very young and I was later adopted by my stepfather so my birth father's details no longer show on my birth certificate.

What I know: Mother: birth name: Sinka, Erzsébet Maria, born 03 March 1930 in Soroksàr, Budapest. Died in South Africa in 2006. Her father was Sinka, Gyula.

Father: Bódás, Pól (Paul), presumed born in Hungary, died in South Africa ± 1968. He was an engineer.

They left Hungary during the Hungarian revolution, arrived in Vienna in December 1956. My mother's yellow fever vaccination card in Vienna (April 1957) indicates that they were married, so they may have been married in Hungary or got married in Vienna.

I seek these records because I am applying for Hungarian citizenship. I have my mother's birth certificate but would love more information about my birth father. I would also be interested to know if my birth in South Africa on 1 September 1962 was recorded in Hungary.

1 Answer 1


The name is Pál, not Pól.

If your father was roughly the same age as your mother, then his birth records will not be publicly available for decades yet. Some archives in Hungary use the current law as an excuse to lock birth records for 135 years. Marriage records are supposed to become public after 75 years, but some archivists are applying 105 years in an excess of caution in interpreting the law. (Records become public: 30 years after the person's death; if the date of death is unknown, 100 years after the date of birth or 75 years after the date of the record, whichever is later; if neither birth nor death date are known, then 75 years after the date of the entry.)

  • Not publicly available does not necessarily mean inaccessible to direct descendants. Or would that be different in Hungary? At least in Austria marriage records become available 75 years after marriage but direct descendants can get access before.
    – nebulon42
    Commented Dec 14, 2020 at 19:55

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