Chronology of the History of the Moldavian Csángó Hungarians
1211 Endre II, King of Hungary settles a German order of knighthood on both slopes of the Eastern Carpathians with the aim of defending the frontier.
1225 The King drives the knights who wanted to be independent of him out of the country. Instead of them Hungarian frontier-guards arrive, the first group of the ancestors of the present-day Moldavian Hungarians.
1227 Cumanian Roman Catholic Episcopate is established in Milkó in Moldavia (land of the Cumanians that time) with Hungarian secular and church support, to promote the spiritual care of the baptized Cumanians. The Cumanian bishop is a member of the Hungarian episcopacy. Canons, priests, soldiers and working people move to Moldavia from Hungary to ensure the work of the new episcopate.
1342 Lajos the Great, King of Hungary sets up a voivodship out of his vassal territories east of the Carpathians under the name of Kara Bogdania. The name Moldavia appears later.
1371 Roman Catholic Episcopate is established in Szeret.
1460 King Mátyás hounds the Hussites in Hungary, so they escape to Moldavia. Here they found the town Husz, three villages, and Csöbörcsök on the bank of river Dnyeszter.
1457 – 1504 Moldavian voivode István the Great invades Transylvania several times during his reign. He settles the Hungarian captives to Moldavia.
1479 – 1493 Because of the cruelty of Transylvanian voivode István Báthory, many of the Szeklers escape to Moldavia.
1534 The Moldavian Franciscan cloisters get their priors from the motherhouse in Csíksomlyó
1571 The vicar of the town Tatros converts the Hungarian Hussites around Husz and Románvásár back to the Catholic faith.
1574 – 1591 Chancellor of Moldavian voivode Petru Schopu estimates the number of Moldavian Hungarians at 20.000.
1600 – 1606 In the time of voivode Jeremias Movila, the Moldavian bishop Bernard Querini finds 1.591 Catholic, mostly Hungarian families in this area, 10.704 people, in 15 towns and 16 villages. He explains the decrease in their number by the destruction caused by the Tartar invasions. From this time the episcopate in Bákó has been in Polish hands for 200 years.
1607 From the documents of the Parliament in Marosvásárhely: “In the time past very many poor people ran to Moldavia because of the lots of needs and miseries of the deprived country.”
1612 The Parliament in Szeben orders the “watching of the roads and paths going to Moldavia”, and also that “if the poor want to leave Transylvania with their wife and cattle, they must not be allowed, but impeded and given back to their landlord.
1622 The pope declares Moldavia a mission area.
1634 – 1653 Voivode Vasile Lupu asks Rome for a spiritual leader for 12.000 Moldavian Catholic believers.
1641 Apostolic Vicar Peter Diodat gives a detailed account of the settlements of the Moldavian Catholic Hungarians and the number of their inhabitants.
1648 An even more detailed report by Marcus Bandinus, Apostolic Administrator of Moldavia, sent to the Saint Congregation of Missionary Work on his canonical
1671 Szabófalva and five other villages write a letter of complaint to the Saint
Congregation about the missionaries’ abuses of power, and they say if the injury is not redressed they will put themselves under the orthodox bishop’s authority.
1707 Most of the kuruc army (Hungarian freedom-fighters in the 17th and 18th centuries) defending Székelyföld escapes to Moldavia from before the troops of Austrian general Rabutin. Noblemen afraid of revenge go with them. They can return only in 1711.
1764 In the early hours of 7th January, Szeklers called together to a discussion to Csíkmádéfalva are strafed by the Austrian imperial army. The survivors of the massacre, together with the mass of the intimidated people of that area, escape to Moldavia. Some of them go on to Bukovina where they found five villages, the others settle down among the Hungarians in Moldavia. Their most important villages are Frumósza, Pusztina, Szerbek and Lészped.
1781 While escaping, Péter Zöld, vicar of Csíkszentlélek, visits the Hungarian settlements in Moldavia. In his report sent to the bishop of Gyulafehérvár he writes about the priests of the Moldavian Hungarians: “All the missionaries are Italian who cannot speak either Romanian or Hungarian, and they serve the nine Hungarian parishes in a very poor way.”
1807 Austrian consul Hammer, residing in Jászvásár, reports the figures of the Roman Catholic parishes in Moldavia to Vienna: 10 settlements, 4.182 families, 21.307 people.
1827 Hammer’s successor, consul Lippa mentions more than 50.000 Hungarians.
1851 A Moldavian schematism lists 22 parishes, in 16 of which people speak Hungarian. The 22 parishes mean 208 settlements, since several villages belonged to one parish.
1866 Josef Salandri, head of the Moldavian Catholic Mission, publishes a bilingual (Romanian-Hungarian) catechism in Jászvásár.
1884 The Mission is wound up, and a Roman Catholic Episcopate is established in Jászvásár.
1889 Camilli, bishop of Jászvásár, writes in his episcopal letter: “We order that in parish churches all prayers prescribed by the Pope’s Episcopal Letter must be said in Romanian, and not in any other languages.”
1898 The Great Geographical Dictionary of Romania is published in Bukarest, in which you can read: “Most part of County Bákó is Romanian … but among the rural people old settlements of Hungarian origin can be found where they still keep their language and religion … There are settlements of hundreds of families where the inhabitants can say not even a word in Romanian. Such are Forrófalva, Klézse etc.
1905 An essay by Radu Rosetti titled “On Hungarians and Moldavian Catholic
Episcopates” is published in the annals of the Romanian Academy in Bukarest. Rosetti estimates the number of Moldavian Hungarians at 50.000-60.000 and also says that “there must have been considerable Hungarian population settled down in the valley of river Szeret as well as in the valley of Tatros when the Moldavian state was established (in 1342).”
1915 Hungarians in Lujzikalagor ask for permission to use their mother tongue in church. Bishop Camilli’s answer: “Applicants should know that the people’s language in Romania is Romanian and it cannot be anything else. It would be injury against his own nation and also a shame on himself if anyone in this country spoke a foreign language such as Hungarian for example.”
1938 Text of a local notice: “We, Mayor of Ferdinánd (Újfalu) in County Bákó, according to the order of 3rd May, 1938, No. 7621, of the Prefect of County Bákó, inform the habitants of the village that it is forbidden to speak any other language than Romanian in the village hall and in other public places. The language of masses in Catholic churches must be Romanian or Latin. Priests and cantors must not sing the church songs in other language than Romanian … Each person offending against these regulations will be severely punished.”
1940 On the occasion of removing the habitants of five Hungarian villages from Bukovina to Hungary, about one thousand Moldavian Hungarians move to settle in Hungary.
1946 – 1947 More than one hundred Hungarian schools are founded in Moldavia. These are wound up in several years. The Hungarian school in Lészped exists until 1959.
Compiled by Péter Halász