Szekely immigrants in Moldavia

Eliznik home > Romania > ethnographical history > Moldavia > csango > szekely

Szekely people to Moldavia
Szekely massacre

Szekely peasants moved across the Carpathians into Moldavia in order to escape the system of forced recruitment into the Austrian army and the 1764 massacre (see below).  Today they live mainly in about 30 locations in the Trotuş and Tazlău valleys, with a few in the Siret valley mixed with Moldavian Romanians. Their Hungarian dialect is close to that of the Szekely and most are bilingual in the Moldavian dialect of Romanian.

About 70,000 Catholics live in these locations in Moldavia, of which 45,000 can speak Hungarian. One view is that they are all of Szekely Hungarian ancestry, but have been subjected to Romanianisation, which can be seen in those speaking Moldavian Romanian.

The alternative view is that these Catholics who moved from Transylvania were a mix of Szekely and Romanian origin. In all probability the Romanians would have been bi-lingual and can be distinguishable by their Transylvanian Romanian dialect.  This would suggest around 25,000 people of pure Szekely origin.

1479 - 1493 Many Szekely escape to Moldavia, due to the cruelty of Transylvanian voivode István Báthory,
1764 Szekely who had ecvaded recruitment into the Austrian army were gathered in Csíkmádéfalva. To prevent further insubordination 1,300 troops attacked them, killing hundreds, in the early hours of 7th January. The survivors of the massacre, together with others who were intimidated, escaped to Moldavia.
1807 Austrian consul Hammer reported statistics of the Roman Catholic parishes in Moldavia to Vienna:
10 settlements, 4,182 families, 21,307 people.
1940 About one thousand Moldavian Hungarians, who were inhabitants of five Hungarian villages in Bucovina were moved to settle in Hungary,


Ciubotaru, Ion H. (1998), Catolicii din Moldova, Iasi

Giurescu, Constantin (1972) Chronological History of Romania, Bucharest

Guglielmino, C R, De Silvestri, A, Beres, J (2000), Probable ancestors of Hungarian ethnic groups: an admixture analysis, Ann. Human Genetics, 64, pp124-159

Kapalo, James A. (1996), The Moldavian Csángós: 'National Minority' or 'Local Ethnie'?

Martinas, Dumitru (1999), The Origins of the Changos, The Center for Romanian Studies, Iasi

Tánczos, Vilmos (1998), Hungarian in Moldavia, Teleki László Foundation,


© Eliznik2005, First issue Jan-02, Last updated Aug-05