In May of 1998, Sandra and I traveled to Hungary for two weeks with a tour sponsored by Magyar Marketing. Elizabeth Szabo, a cousin of ours (at least we think so) the owner, ran the tour. We visited many of the important tourist sites in Hungary traveling all over the country and had a wonderful time.

After the group went home, Sandra, Elizabeth and I rented a car and traveled to the Northeastern part of the country and visited the villages where Sandra's grandmother, Maria Kocsis Horvath was born (Felsóregmez) and Bodrogszerdahely (now in Slovakia) where her Grandfather, Michael Helmeczi was born. We also visited other sites associated with her family. The people were wonderful and it was one of the most rewarding weeks in our life.

In March,1999 the three of us returned to Hungary for a week to plan a trip for family members. We visited the villages again and making arrangements for the July trip. In Bodrogszerdahely, we discovered that Sandra had over 20 cousins. In July well over 40 relatives showed up for a delightful and emotional day. We were also able to and look at the church registers in the individual churches and spend a full day working in the county archives.


In Felsoregmec, our family collected money and purchased a new organ for the historic 12th century Reformed Church where our Grandmother, Borbala Kocsis and her siblings were baptized and worshipped before they came to America. Paul arranged for a friend to translate the history of the church into english and added an update to this church history. We left copies of this translation with the minister to pass out to the visitors who come almost every week.

On Saturday, July 10, 1999 we held a service to dedicate the organ. Sandra played the organ for the service which was attended by the congregation as well as the americans. The church service was a beautiful and moving one which was followed by a dinner and fellowship with the church members. Pictures were taken, gifts were exchanged, stories were told and tears were shed.

In Bodrogszerdahely,on July 11, 1999, our bus was met at the church by about 45 family members from a 70 mile radius of the town. All ages were represented from men and women in their 80's to a baby who was just a few weeks old. It was a day that was both joyful and sad. One of the family members had passed away during the night but everyone was there to meet us and to temper the sadness.

At the church door we were welcomed with a beautiful speach telling us about the history and pride of the family and thanking us for traveling so far to meet them. The grandson of the lady who had died a seminary student, was presented with his robes at the Mass. What an important event for us all to share.

After Mass and a brief visit to the cemetery we all enjoyed a wonderful dinner in a local restaurant. Gifts, speaches, tears, conversations, hugs and kisses. What an experience. We all then were given a tour of the town ending at a cousin's farm. On the way back to the restaurant, we stopped to see the house where our grandfather had lived. Supper, more pictures and a tearfull farewell. Our regret was that we could not stay for several days.

In May of 2001, Sandra and Paul returned to Hungary and Slovakia. This time we traveled by ourselves and stayed with members of our family in Kosice and Bodrogszerdahely. Needless to say, we had a wonderful time. Our relatives took us on trips visiting many of the important sites in the area. And did we eat - the best of home cooked food. Home made cherry soup, home made wine and the best hospitality that you could find anywhere in the world.

Here are some of our pictures from Bodrogszerdahely

St. Michael's Greek Catholic Church

Interior of St. Michael's Greek Catholic Church

A Group Portrait at the End of A Wonderful Day

Cousin Emilia

Cousins Iren, Janos and Livia

Janos and Norbert

Mass at St. Michaels

Sandra standing in front of Her Grandfather's House

For more pictures, please visit My Yahoo Photo Albums .

The following four sites will give you an idea of the part of Hungary where our families originated. They are partly in English and partly in Hungarian. Please check through them and look at the pictures.

This site contains all sorts of information including many pictures and lots of tourist information.

This site comes from the previous one and concentrates on our County. Be sure to click on Hegykoz for information on grandmother's village, Felsoregmec.

A page and several pictures about Felsoregmec. This text is only in Hungarian.

This site gives alot of information on the area where the HELMECZI/HELMACY lived.


Revised 23 December 2004


Revised 23 December 2004

Here is a 1910 Map of Zemplen County, Hungary.

You can find the towns in which the Helmacy, Kocsis and Horvath families lived.

Here are three sites that tell about immigration from Central Europe and life in New Jersey. The Carpathian Connection will take you into the complete site. The others will take you to pages about life in Passaic, where our Helmacy, Horvath and Kocsis families lived, and Garfield, where many members of the family are buried.

MIHELY HELMECZI (Michael Helmacy) traveled from Bodrogszerdahely to New York. After a few years in Brooklyn, he moved to Passaic where he married Maria Kocsis Horvath. After their first child (Mary) was born they went to Franklin, NJ where he obtained employment at the zinc mine. Franklin is famous for its minerals and has a wonderful Mineral Museum. After a while he moved his family to Wantage Twp. and farmed for a few years. He then brought his now expanded family back to Franklin and again worked for the mine as an above ground manager and translator.