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Re: [S-R] "Honestus" Revisited

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  • Vladimir Bohinc
    Dear Janet, Although I am always upset, when I see the question Is this common? , I must say, that it was quite common among the nobles to live dissolute
    Message 1 of 37 , Sep 30, 2004
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      Dear Janet,
      Although I am always upset, when I see the question " Is this common?", I must say, that it was quite common among the nobles to live dissolute lives. They had a lot of money, nothing to do, so they were having fun.Remember, only the King could trial a Noble.
      There is an interesting sying in Slovakia:
      What do the burned cake and an illegitimate child have in common?
      " Taken out too late!"
      Also distinguish;
      - a woman, who was pregnant with a nobody or it was too dark to see, who that was, was doomed.
      - a woman, who was pregnant with a wealthy man possessed a strong weapon. Like today.
      Regards,
      Vladimir

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Janet Kozlay
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 10:41 PM
      Subject: RE: [S-R] "Honestus" Revisited


      I fear my husband's great-grandfather, in the 1840s, might have been
      responsible for a number of these unwanted pregnancies, much to our dismay.
      His diaries make it clear that he was very sexually active--with just about
      anybody in a skirt--serfs, village "gooses" who had moved to the big city,
      neighbors, sisters of boyfriends, even the pastor's wife. One letter to him
      suggests that he had fathered at least one child, though she didn't seem
      that unhappy about it: "Your memory will be forever...because that time, you
      know....I will love him, he will be the only object of my love, because I
      will see you in him....." And he seemed pleased to think that he might have
      impregnated a girl in another casual encounter. Not a pretty picture when
      the results would have been so drastic for the mother and the baby.
      One poem he wrote was about a girl who sent her newborn baby to the
      father telling him either to keep the little girl or pay her. And if he
      chose to do neither, she would see him sleeping in jail. None of these
      options, though, would seem to spare the baby the social consequences of
      being illegitimate.

      Janet


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Vladimir Bohinc [mailto:konekta@...]
      Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 1:49 PM
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [S-R] "Honestus" Revisited


      Dear Andrea,
      I would expect, that they either die in childhood due to no appropriate care
      or they disappeared, if not legitimized.
      However, if legitimized, then their birth record should have been properly
      modified / corrected.
      More illegitimate children were born in the second half of the century
      because of the industrial revolution and also emergence of the middle class.
      For the first, some girls moved away from home to work in the factory and
      many began to live a more loose life.
      For the second, middle class needed maids. Many maids.
      I found very many illegitimate children in villages surrounding a Spa for
      example. Or where the military Garrisons were, or the railroad was built.
      A traditional village out of reach of civilisation did not have many. Almost
      none. Many were just killed before or just after the birth.
      A book about the traditions writes about the screams of a young mother
      echoing through the valley in the middle of the night, when she was killing
      her baby inside with a woodden stick.
      She knew, she would be doomed.
      In Romania, even not so many years ago, women introduced plastic tubes into
      their wombs and walked with that around, just to provoke abortion.
      Nobody really wanted such kids.
      In bigger towns, there were orphanages, where the children could be
      discretely given away and then the state gave them to other families. I
      think, I wrote about this already. In those times, Vienna had about 10000
      (ten thousand) illegitimate births per year. I counted them.
      Best regards,
      Vladimir


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Andrea Vangor
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 7:19 PM
      Subject: Re: [S-R] "Honestus" Revisited


      Someday I will go back over the church records from Rank and Opina, to see
      what happens to people who are born out of wedlock and whose parents
      subsequently marry. Or, at least, who acquire a legal father upon their
      mother's marriage.

      If such a person is described as honestus/a, it would suggest that
      legitimacy can be acquired after the fact.

      My own recollection is that more out-of-wedlock births occurred later in
      the
      19th century, after the time when records were usually written in Magyar
      rather than Latin anyway.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Janet Kozlay" <kozlay@...>
      To: <SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 4:25 AM
      Subject: RE: [S-R] "Honestus" Revisited


      > Dear Vladimir,
      >
      > Your points are well taken. I admit that I did not see any Gypsies in
      these
      > records.
      >
      > Is it not possible, however, that this particular priest gave the
      benefit
      of
      > doubt to everyone and assumed that all his parishioners deserved the
      > designation as "honestus"? Since illegitimacy was not all that rare,
      you
      > would think that some of them might have been "inhonestus," but there
      was
      > not a single instance in these records, over many years, where someone
      was
      > not described as "honestus."
      >
      > If the priest followed the church rules, that sounds as if he would have
      to
      > look up the birth records of every person to determine legitimacy. That
      > could be quite a job.
      >
      > There does seem to be considerable variation in what information the
      priest
      > provided from church to church. I think all of them indicated in some
      way
      > or another if a birth was out of wedlock, but few of them were so mean
      > spirited as to describe a bride as "deflorata" for all the world to see
      for
      > eternity.
      >
      > Interesting discussion, yes?
      >
      > Janet
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Vladimir Bohinc [mailto:konekta@...]
      > Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2004 11:16 PM
      > To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [S-R] "Honestus" Revisited
      >
      > Dear Janet,
      > You correctly observed the widespread use of the word honestus. However,
      you
      > are not correct in saying, that " one could not make inferences about
      > legitimacy..." As I already said so many times; Honestus means
      > legitimate.Whoever.
      > There were church rules, that applied to such records.
      > I sent you a copy of a record, that shows the term inhonestus too. This
      was
      > an illegitimate Gipsy.
      > I do not agree, that the term hosnestus is a honorary one.
      > Since there were church rules, the same information is also included in
      > records written in german or czech or slovenian or polish etc.
      > There is nothing to bother about this.
      > Regards,
      > Vladimir
      >
      > It would be good to read more about the Nobles in Hungary. I just
      translated
      > a part of a biography of one man with Noble title, who describes the
      lives
      > of nobles and how some of them came down to the bottom and lost
      everything.
      > Also to consider is the fact, that in those times, many Nobles were
      Noble
      (
      > although nobilitized by the King) based not on their military or similar
      > services and achievements, but they simply asked the King to give them
      such
      > title.
      > I translated such a plea too. It was business. How to elevate onself
      into
      > higher class.Same as today.
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Janet Kozlay
      > To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 3:54 AM
      > Subject: RE: [S-R] "Honestus" Revisited
      >
      >
      > The discussion several weeks ago regarding this term has been
      bothering
      > me.
      > I had suggested that the term meant "honorable" or "respectable" and
      was
      > not
      > used solely for peasants. Vladimir pinned my ears back a bit on that
      one
      > and said it was never used for the nobility. I assumed then that I
      had
      > been
      > mistaken.
      >
      > However, I just returned from viewing church records where everyone in
      the
      > marriage records was accorded the honorary "honestus" or "honesta."
      The
      > only exception was a few "relicta vidua"s. Most of the bridegrooms
      were
      > designated "honestus juvenis," and the brides were "honesta virgine."
      In
      > some cases the brides were listed as "honesta puella." (Whether this
      > signified a lack of virginity is open to question, since the priest is
      no
      > longer around to ask.) But even the "parentes" were accorded the
      honorary
      > title. In the cases of nobility, the terms were usually "generosus ac
      > honestus" or "honestus ac nobilis."
      >
      > My point here is twofold. First, it seems to be clear that at least
      in
      > these records "honestus" or "honesta" were used so universally that
      they
      > had
      > no real meaning. One could not make inferences about legitimacy,
      > virginity,
      > or any other status, noble or otherwise, from their use. Second,
      there
      is
      > no "rule" that will apply to every church record. Only by looking
      > carefully
      > at the usage in a particular church's record can you make any
      hypotheses
      > about how specific terms were used.
      >
      > Janet
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Vladimir Bohinc [mailto:konekta@...]
      > Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2004 2:42 PM
      > To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [S-R] "Honestus"
      >
      >
      > Dear Andrea,
      > The term honestus only means legitimate. When the latin was changed to
      > slovak, the same meaning was written as:
      > " s poctive suloze", which means from the honest copulation ( or
      laying
      in
      > bed together)
      > German records follow similar rule, so they use the words: ' ehelicher
      > Sohn"
      > for a son, born in wedlock or legitimate.
      > The only respectable members of the community ( parish), were the
      > Landlords
      > and other Nobles and later teachers and other officials and priests,
      but
      > the
      > term honestus was never used for describing them as such.
      > Since this is a historical fact, no consensus is needed.
      > Best regards,
      > Vladimir
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Andrea Vangor
      > To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2004 9:06 PM
      > Subject: [S-R] "Honestus"
      >
      >
      > Do we have any consensus as to the meaning of the terms "honestus"
      and
      > "honesta" that occur in church records written in Latin?
      >
      > Do the terms mean that the person is a respectable member of the
      > community,
      > or merely that he or she is of legitimate birth? Or, is it some
      kind
      of
      > generic low-level honorific for peasants?
      >
      >
      >
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    • Bill Tarkulich
      Caye, I scanned in the entire 25 page summary of Tradicie slovenskej rodiny. Zost. Marta Botikova, Sona Svecova, Kornelia Jakubikova. Brtislava: Veda, 1997.
      Message 37 of 37 , Oct 6, 2004
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        Caye,
        I scanned in the entire 25 page summary of
        Tradicie slovenskej rodiny. Zost. Marta Botikova, Sona Svecova, Kornelia
        Jakubikova. Brtislava: Veda, 1997. 242p. [HQ622.4.T733 1997 Regenstein
        stacks]
        which is referenced in the URL you provided below. If you want it, I'll
        email it to you privately.
        Regards,
        Bill

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Caye Caswick [mailto:ccaswick@...]
        Sent: Friday, October 01, 2004 2:46 PM
        To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: RE: [S-R] "Honestus" Revisited




        Hey you guys . . . look what else I found . . .

        http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/su/slavic/wofam1_00.html

        Those who can read Hungarian or other European
        languages may fare better than I . . . but I certainly understand the topic
        of all this research . . . pretty interesting looking stuff.


        Caye



        --- Bill Tarkulich <bill.tarkulich@...> wrote:

        > Janet,
        >
        > I'm surprised, given the tight control that most
        > small village residents
        > imposed on their citizens.
        >
        > You may want to read some excerpts I pulled from
        > "Slovak Family Traditions"
        > http://www.iabsi.com/gen/public/traditions.htm
        >
        > published by Vydavatelstvo Slovenskej akademie on
        > this exact subject. It's
        > an interesting investigation done by an acknowledged
        > Slovak cultural
        > institution. I would not be so bold as to assume it
        > holds true for all
        > villages, it is certainly interesting since the
        > research was done by Slovaks
        > in Slovakia.
        >
        > Bill
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Janet Kozlay [mailto:kozlay@...]
        > Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 8:38 PM
        > To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: RE: [S-R] "Honestus" Revisited
        >
        >
        >
        > Well, yes, most of it seemed to occur in “small,
        > rural villages" in Hungary;
        > other encounters were in Budapest and on his way out
        > of Hungary as he fled
        > from the Austrians following the 1848-49 war. I
        > will say that he seemed to
        > be pursued as much as he was the pursuer.
        >
        > It is very difficult to find any information on
        > customary sexual behavior.
        > Ethnographers tend to avoid this subject altogether.
        > So there is no way to
        > know whether this behavior was common, or whether,
        > as my translator said, he
        > was a “very hot Hungarian." But the overall sense
        > from the diaries was that
        > premarital and extramarital sex was extremely common
        > in the first half of
        > the 19th century.
        >
        > Although he seemed to “grow up“ a bit after he
        > immigrated to America in
        > 1849-50, my communication with other descendants of
        > these émigrés suggests
        > that they developed a reputation for their open
        > sexual proclivities.
        >
        > I would be especially interested in learning whether
        > this was more common
        > among the nobility than the peasantry, but such
        > information probably just
        > does not exist. Our manuscripts offer a very rare
        > glimpse into one
        > individual's experiences which may or may not be
        > applicable to the wider
        > culture.
        >
        > Janet
        >
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Bill Tarkulich
        > [mailto:bill.tarkulich@...]
        > Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 6:49 PM
        > To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: RE: [S-R] "Honestus" Revisited
        >
        > I cannot imagine this happening in a small, rural
        > village. Did he live in a
        > heavily populated area, city or town? Bill
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Janet Kozlay [mailto:kozlay@...]
        > Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 4:41 PM
        > To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: RE: [S-R] "Honestus" Revisited
        >
        >
        > I fear my husband's great-grandfather, in the 1840s,
        > might have been
        > responsible for a number of these unwanted
        > pregnancies, much to our dismay.
        > His diaries make it clear that he was very sexually active--with just
        > about anybody in a skirt--serfs, village "gooses" who had
        > moved to the big city,
        > neighbors, sisters of boyfriends, even the pastor's
        > wife. One letter to him
        > suggests that he had fathered at least one child,
        > though she didn't seem
        > that unhappy about it: "Your memory will be
        > forever...because that time, you
        > know....I will love him, he will be the only object
        > of my love, because I
        > will see you in him....." And he seemed pleased to
        > think that he might have
        > impregnated a girl in another casual encounter. Not
        > a pretty picture when
        > the results would have been so drastic for the
        > mother and the baby.
        > One poem he wrote was about a girl who sent her
        > newborn baby to the
        > father telling him either to keep the little girl or
        > pay her. And if he
        > chose to do neither, she would see him sleeping in
        > jail. None of these
        > options, though, would seem to spare the baby the
        > social consequences of
        > being illegitimate.
        >
        > Janet
        >
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Vladimir Bohinc [mailto:konekta@...]
        > Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 1:49 PM
        > To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [S-R] "Honestus" Revisited
        >
        >
        > Dear Andrea,
        > I would expect, that they either die in childhood
        > due to no appropriate care
        > or they disappeared, if not legitimized. However, if legitimized, then
        > their birth record should have been properly modified /
        > corrected. More
        > illegitimate children were born in the second half
        > of the century because of
        > the industrial revolution and also emergence of the
        > middle class. For the
        > first, some girls moved away from home to work in
        > the factory and many began
        > to live a more loose life. For the second, middle
        > class needed maids. Many
        > maids. I found very many illegitimate children in
        > villages surrounding a Spa
        > for example. Or where the military Garrisons were,
        > or the railroad was
        > built. A traditional village out of reach of
        > civilisation did not have many.
        > Almost none. Many were just killed before or just
        > after the birth. A book
        > about the traditions writes about the screams of a
        > young mother echoing
        > through the valley in the middle of the night, when
        > she was killing her baby
        > inside with a woodden stick. She knew, she would be
        > doomed. In Romania, even
        > not so many years ago, women introduced plastic
        > tubes into their wombs and
        > walked with that around, just to provoke abortion.
        > Nobody really wanted such
        > kids. In bigger towns, there were orphanages, where
        > the children could be
        > discretely given away and then the state gave them
        > to other families. I
        > think, I wrote about this already. In those times,
        > Vienna had about 10000
        > (ten thousand) illegitimate births per year. I
        > counted them. Best regards,
        > Vladimir
        >
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: Andrea Vangor
        > To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 7:19 PM
        > Subject: Re: [S-R] "Honestus" Revisited
        >
        >
        > Someday I will go back over the church records
        > from Rank and Opina, to see
        > what happens to people who are born out of wedlock
        > and whose parents
        > subsequently marry. Or, at least, who acquire a
        > legal father upon their
        > mother's marriage.
        >
        > If such a person is described as honestus/a, it
        > would suggest that
        > legitimacy can be acquired after the fact.
        >
        > My own recollection is that more out-of-wedlock
        > births occurred later in
        > the
        > 19th century, after the time when records were
        > usually written in Magyar
        > rather than Latin anyway.
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        >
        === message truncated ===




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