Keep Going KraznaHorka

                                    This record from 1768 shows a lady named Helena Skolnoky ( aka Szolnik ) who died, at the age of 62, in her village, Varalja . This was a hamlet that was located at the bottom of a cone-shaped hill under the towers of a medieval fortress called KraznaHorka. It's located in Slovak Ore country and still operates as a castle museum of local history.When Helena Skolnoky was born in 1702, Varalja was in the province of Gömör in Hungary. This is not the oldest record I have for this family but it was nice to see this record so beautifully written in the Latin clerical scribe and intact after 250 years in some church vault. Hungarian women are generally written with their maiden names so if I did not know from the baptismal records of her children that she was married to Andras Mész, I would not have spotted her.  Because her age is given in her death record, I was able to pinpoint her baptismal as well as the baptismal of her siblings and then, went further back to a marriage record in 1722 for her parents. The handwriting was not consistent so I had to really strain to read the 1720's records. I try different lighting on the microfilm viewers, move to more modern readers with zoom capabilities, turn the lights off in the room, make negative copies. I tried all the tricks in the book to focus and decipher the records .

                                I was lucky with this one Szolnik /Mész family as they are natives of the village since the records were started in 1686.  I think they were miners or trades people. They are not listed in 1715 census. I actually traced  the family of Mész from an earlier record in Roznava, another mining town in Gömör, to the marriage here in KraznaHorka - Varalja.  I found records for all their life events and will keep going . You can see the Krazna Horka Castle area, which is a tourist attraction with dramatic Hungarian history, in these links .,a/en.html.   Plus,