Greatⁿ-Grandma Katalin, Hajdú Warrior

I have been working on writing stories about my family in context. Finding the right historical sources is challenging. The next step is sifting through the information to figure out my people’s part in history. I really enjoyed the discovery that my way-back Grandmother came from a family of renegade outlaw soldier types and then became a noble.

Édes-Orbán Family

kato egri copyKerekes Katalin is hands down my favorite ancestor. Our lineage gets a little fuzzy in the 17th century so I’m not sure how many ‘greats’ apply. In the early 1600s Katalin was fighting by the side of her warrior husband, Édes Gergely, and his brothers. She received nobility in her own name because of her valor. This was no small accomplishment at a time when women were considered less than human. She was “a big strong armed woman who fought like an animal’ according to the patent of nobility. Her husband’s family was from Székelyföld. No word about her dad, but Katalin’s mother was a hajdú.

The hajdúk (plural for hajdú) had been peasant cattle drovers on the puszta, the eastern plains of Hungary. Driving herds of the big grey long-horned ‘Magyar szürkemarha to market, they had to become fierce fighters to defend themselves on the…

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