Surname Saturday – The Szanto Family of Flemington, New Jersey

Matyas and Rosa Bako Szanto, with their children, Michael and Steven - Photo belonging to Cindy Doran

Matyas and Rosa Bako Szanto, and children, Michael and Steven – Photo belonging to Cindy Doran

Surname Saturday looks at different family names, and today is about the Szanto or Santo family of Flemington, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. The Szanto surname is from Hungary and is an occupational name for a plowman. It is sometimes seen this way – Szántó. “Matyas Szanto was born in 1890 in the town of Petervasara, in the county of HevesMegye, in MagyarOrsag, or Hungary. His father was a magistrate, and there were eleven children in the family.  He came to America in 1909. He started working at the Foran Foundry, in Fleminton, NJ, as a molder. Rosa Bako was born in 1895 in the town of Feher Byrmat, in the county of SzatmarMegye, also in Hungary. Rosa came to America in 1911 with her two sisters and one brother. Her sisters were Theresa and Sophie, and her brother was Julius. Matyas and Rosa met in Flemington, New Jersey while she was vacationing on the George Doby Farm on Old Croton Road, outside of Flemington. They met, and three months later they were married on October 21, 1922, by a Hungarian minister from Perth Amboy, in the Presybertarian church in Flemington.” [Source: Cindy Doran, from a family history written January, 1989].

Although the photograph is undated, it is possible to guess the date from when the children were born. Steve was born July 30, 1924, and Michael was born April 17, 1926. I think it had to have been taken circa 1930. When Steve was born, his birth certificate read Santo instead of Szanto. Matyas let his sons keep their American name. Rosa was a Protestant, but Matyas was Roman Catholic, and they raised their boys as Catholics.

The family history that their granddaughter, Cindy Doran, wrote is an absolute gem of a story, about a family adapting to American ways, while retaining their Hungarian customs. Later I will try to save it as a PDF, and research the family in more depth.

This summer while in New Jersey, I went to the cemetery that Matyas and Rosa Bako Szanto were buried, Saint Magdalen de Pazzi Cemetery, in Flemington, NJ. Right next to that cemetery, separated by a road and gate, is the Prospect Hill Cemetery where Michael and Emma Santo are buried.  On a beautiful sunny day, Cindy and I looked at the gravestones and took photos. So many of the names on the gravestones brought back memories of families that I knew from Hunterdon County.

Cindy Doran at her grandparent's gravestone, Flemington, NJ

Cindy Doran at her grandparent’s gravestone, Flemington, NJ

IMG_3845

Matyas Szanto (1890-1962) and Rosa Bako (1895-1957), Saint Magdalen Cemetery, Flemington, NJ.

To find out more about the parish history of the Saint Magdalen de Pazzi Parish and Cemetery please use this link: http://www.stmagdalen.org/about-history

Michael and Emma Santo, and their son, Steven Santos gravestones, Prospect Hill Cemetery, Flemington, NJ

Michael and Emma Santo, and Steven Santo, their son’s, gravestones, Prospect Hill Cemetery, Flemington, NJ

Michael Santo (1926-1998) and Emma W. Santo (1928-2009), Prospect Hill Cemetery, Flemington, NJ

Michael Santo (1926-1998) and Emma Waldron Santo (1928-2009), Prospect Hill Cemetery, Flemington, NJ

To find out more about the Prospect Hill Cemetery in Flemington, NJ, you can use this link: http://www.prospecthillcemeterynj.com

Both cemeteries can be found at Find A Grave.

For a list of some notable people with the surname Szanto please click here.

Surname Saturday is a blogging prompt suggested by Geneabloggers. You can click on the photographs to enlarge them.  Good luck researching your family names!

Copyright 2015 by Maryann Barnes and Genealogy Sisters.

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About Maryann Barnes

I live in Virginia and enjoy meandering walks back into the past. I also enjoy old photographs and sharing family research.
This entry was posted in Blog Prompt Series, Family research, Prospect Hill Cemetery, Saint Magdalen Cemetery, Surname Saturday, Szanto / Santo and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Surname Saturday – The Szanto Family of Flemington, New Jersey

  1. Veronica Westbo says:

    Lovely.

    >

  2. Jill Santo Makarick says:

    Thank you for this Maryann. It means a lot to me that my parents and grandparents are remembered. I shared it. (Hope you don’t mind)

  3. Charlotte Barnes says:

    In my younger years I shared the love of this family. From this love God gave us a gift. Our baby girl Barbara Lynn. I am grateful and thankful to have been a Santo.

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