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September 29th 2016
Published: September 29th 2016
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Days 6-8 - Tue. Sept. 27-Thurs. Sept. 29 - Budapest, Nyíregyháza & Pap

Our day started a bit earlier than the majority have so far as we were programmed to hit the highways for a drive into Eastern Hungary for a bit of genealogical exploration. Mary Ann’s family emigrated to Canada in the 1930’s from a town known as Pap, pronounced “Pop”. And for a little note of linguistic trivia: the Hungarian language’s closest relative is Finnish.

The car rental office was only two blocks from the apartment so we hiked our light luggage over there for a 9 am pickup. Everything was going along smoothly until John gave his name and was told that there was no record of his reservation. The agent checked to see if it had inadvertently gone to another of their outlets, such as the airport, but nothing turned up.

The rental agency was very accommodating and found us a vehicle from their fleet, but there was a catch. The car, a Mercedes C200 sedan, had come in very early that morning from another rental and had not been cleaned or prepped for another rental and so we agreed to wait until 11:30 am, which in the end actually was closer to 12:30. Moral of the story: when doing any on-line reservations make sure you get a confirmation that you can print out, or download to your mobile device.

After adjusting the built in GPS we found the M3, a four-lane highway, and headed for Nyíregyháza, which is 230 km east of Budapest. Nyíregyháza, which is the regional seat of government for that area, including Pap, and is where the archives that Mary Ann wanted to visit are located. Fortunately we had a hotel reservation in Nyíregyháza, and this time we actually had printed confirmations in hand.

The M3 is much like any multi-lane highway, cutting through the countryside to avoid built up areas, cities, towns and villages at the average speed of 130 km/hour. The Hungarians have imposed a toll on all multi-lane highways and you require a sticker on your plate, otherwise the police can pull you over and fine you on the spot. Rental cars include the price of the sticker in their rental agreements.

Wednesday was devoted to our drive over to Pap, which is 53 km from Nyíregyháza, and the exploration of the cemeteries, both Protestant and Roman Catholic for Mary Ann’s family members. We had great success and found three of Mary Ann’s aunts and their husbands. We also took the opportunity to drive around the village, view the parish church where her parents were married before returning to Nyíregyháza. Mary Ann and Brooke went over to the archives but even though we arrived back in Nyíregyháza at a reasonable hour in the afternoon the archives had an early closing time so the visit had to be delayed until Thursday morning before our return to Budapest.

Thursday morning we checked out of the hotel and drove over to the archives, which were established in 1723. Mary Ann and Brooke went in to do the research while John & I went for a walk. The research was very successful and several genealogical blanks were finally filled in. After lunch we returned to Budapest via the M3 and returned the rental car unscathed.

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