There are several periods in the history of the country that saw mass ennoblement; few Hungarian kings issued so many armalises[1] than Ferdinand III, and most of this took place between 1647 and 1656.

The letters patent granting armorial bearings given to Marton in 1649, to Istvan in 1651 and to Mihaly in 1656 also fall into this era. Emblems present in coats of arms – weaponry, a Turkish head cut off, crescent – show that merits gained in battles against the Turks served as the basis of the reward.

We find numerous examples both during the reign of kings before and after Ferdinand III of armalises with identical or nearly identical texts to be consequently issued to several members of a given family. The cause of this phenomenon can in most cases be traced back to gaps in contemporaneous records. Independent recommendations of various patrons before or later led to the issuing of armalises concerning different members of the family.

1649, the time of the award granting armorial bearings given to Marton was a period right after the end of the Thirty Years War and the renewal of the peace treaty with the Turkish Empire. As a newly married person – probably through his wife – Marton Galgoczy was an inhabitant of Miskolc; it was so that the first proclamation of the award took place in Borsod county.

Karoly Galgoczy, in his book published in 1896, considered Istvan as the oldest ancestor of the family. We consider Istvan’s letters patent of 1651 as the “universal document” of the family that became divided into seven main ramifications after him.

Mihaly received the letters patent from Ferdinand III with the help of the husband of her sister, Anna (his brother-in-law was the catholic younger Istvan Orban). The king imposed strange conditions on Mihaly: he had to convert from Calvinism to Catholicism! At that time Istvan Orban held office in Vienna, at the court chancellery. This was the key to winning the letters patent as well; he also included one of his brothers-in-law, Mihaly in the letter – perhaps with the intention of converting him to Catholicism.

If we consider István Galgoczy as the very first ancestor, with his seven male co-beneficiary descendants the family became divided into seven main ramifications.
After the death of the oldest ancestor the descendants sold the Debrecen house, and founded families in different counties because of various official assignments, marriages and other causes: 
    Gyorgy – He got to Munkács in Bereg county; we consider him the founder of the 
        Galgoczy family of Munkács,

    Marton – moved to Borsod; he is the founder of the Ecseg line of the family. A branch
        of the Ecseg line spread to Transylvania – to Szakely land and Hunyad county –; 
        another branch spread to Pest county, to Nagykoros and its surroundings,

    Mihály – became the founder of the Galgoczy family of Mad and Nagy-Talya in
        Zemplen county. This line of the family later also spread to Abauj and Ung,

    Janos – his offspring remained in Szabolcs county,

    Zsigmond – we do not have reliable data at present (his offspring, if any, are likely to
        have lived in Szabolcs and Zemplen counties),

    Peter – we do not have reliable data at present (his offspring, if any, are likely to have
        lived in Szabolcs and Zemplen counties),

    Pal – the youngest sibling became the founder of Galgoczy family of Bilke in Bereg
        county; this line of the family later spread to Szathmar and Szabolcs counties.

The Zemplen, Szabolcs and Borsod county members of the family, even because of the proximity of their dwellings, crossed and mingled with each other several times.


(A detailed description of the family’s lines and branches referred to
above can be reached through the left hand menu.)


[1] Armalis: coats of arms or letters patent without a royal donation of estate ­– those nobles who together with their coats of arms did not receive an estate from the king. These were therefore practically landless and are referred to as „nobles with armalis” in Hungarian historiography (as opposed to the landed gentry). 


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