Péter Kaponyás and Susanna Kovács are my first genetically confirmed Hungarian ancestors on Ancestry.com.
My 4th cousin, Curt, and I corresponded over a year ago, believing that these two could be common ancestors to us and yesterday Ancestry.com DNA has confirmed that we were indeed 4th cousins, making this connection almost certain.
Péter was born June 1822 to Judit Meszavos and Istvan Kaponyás in the small town of Záhony. Today, Záhony is a small town of almost 5,000 people, which sits at a bridge crossing the Tisza River, connecting Hungary to Ukraine. Then, the town was far from the borders of the much larger Kingdom of Hungary, which was part of the Austrian Empire, ruled by the House of Habsburg.
Juliánna was born in March of 1830 to Susanna Komar and János Kovács in Tiszabezdéd, then known as Bezdéd, less than 7 km south of Záhony. About 1847, the 25 year old Péter married 17 year old Juliánna and they began a family near Záhony.
During this time, Habsburgs were stripping the Hungarian nobility of their authority, transferring it to the central bureaucracy that kept the huge, multi-ethnic Empire functioning. The Kaponyas were likely farmers, although may have been craftsmen as well. In 1847, almost half of farmers paid rents to their local lords, keeping them in a state of quasi-serfdom. Consequently, they deeply resented the aristocracy and welcomed these reforms, while simultaneously supporting nationalists which sought both reform and a return of Hungarian heritage.
Péter and Susanna would witness of resurgence of the Magyar language and heritage, culminating in the Nationalist rebellion in 1848, which Austria crushed, and the compromise of 1867, which saw a return of Hungarian sovereignty and the beginning of modernization.
They had many children together, including my 2nd great grandmother, Terézia, in February 1857, and Curt's 2nd great grandmother, Rebeka, in December of 1852.
Rebeka married Istvan Czetö and they, and their many children, sailed from Hamburg to Halifax in 1900. Terézia married András Daku and they followed her sister through Hamburg to Halifax in 1902, accompanied by their children, including my great grandmother, Luyza (Louise), and her brother, Sandor (Alex).
This genetic match solidly confirms my maternal line back 5 generations, to a small Hungarian village near the Tisza River in 1830. DNA testing is awesome.