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.
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
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.