House of Hahót

Miniature of Hahold, Chronicon Pictum

House of Hahót

This clan was brought into Hungary by King Stephen, son of Bela II, in order to aid the said king. They are sprung from the counts of Orlamund. The first to come was called Hadolch, whose son was called by the like name of Hadolch and also Arnold. The people of this country could not pronounce Hadolch, and so he was called by the similar name of Hohold. The clan of Csak conspired with some other clans against the King; it is said that they were defeated by Hohold and by the army which he had brought with him.

- Illuminated Chronicle, 14th century

  • Image of Hahold from the Illuminated Chronicle

Hahold I Hahót

This is a map of early Europe circa 500-800 A.D. before the conquest of the Carpathian Basin by the Magyar tribes. Orlamund was part of the Duchy of Thuringia. The 13th century historian, Akos, wrote that that Hahold was descended from Count Otto of Weimar who took over Orlamund in about  1062. Otto and his family went on to rule as Counts of Weimar-Orlamünde until the dynasty became extinct in 1112. Otto's ancestry traces back through three generations of Counts of Weimar (Dukes of Thuringia) to the early 900s from:

  • Wilhelm I - (d. 963)
  • Wilhelm II (d. 1001)
  • Wilhelm III (d. April 16, 1039)
  • The Frankish conquests between 481 and 814 (from the Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911 - Wikipedia)

Stephen III

In the year 1162 in Thuringia, Hahold I was asked by the exiled Hungarian king, Stephen III, to help him regain the throne that had been usurped by his uncle with the help of the Byzantine Emperor, Manuel I, and the Csak clan. Hahold brought his own own army and defeated the Csak forces. After Stephen III's victory in 1163 over his uncle and the Byzantine Empire, Hahold stayed in Hungary and received land donations and settled down in Zala County near the Austrian border. 

These are images, also from the Illuminated Chronicle, of the 15 year old Stephen III being crowned and then being deprived of his throne by his uncle who, I suppose, is the one with the devious expression running away on a horse with the crown. It reminds me of the picture of the king running away from battle on the Hedervary page.  I find it funny that of all the things to write about in Hungarian history, the author of the Illuminated Chronicle, chose to mention that Hahold's original name, Haldolch, was changed because people couldn't pronounce it. 

  • Stephen III being crowned, Illuminated Chronicle (Wikipedia)
  • The Robbing of the Crown Jewel, Illuminated Chronicle (Wikipedia)

Research about the Family Crest

I was curious about this coat-of-arms because I had not seen the bull figure in any imagery of Hungarian heraldry. At first I couldn't find any information so I decided to research the heraldry of the Counts of Weimer-Orlamund and what I found was pretty cool......

At first when I found the crest above I thought the lion figure was holding two brooms and I wondered if the Counts of Weimer-Orlamund had been janitors (lol). But as it turned out what I thought were brooms were actually bells with peacock feathers at the ends...oh of course. ???? The image is of a tournament helmet and apparently German knights liked to make a happy jingling sound when they walked around so they attached bells to their helmets. ????? Strange but true- the things you learn researching genealogy- priceless. So anyway, the only thing that struck me as connected to the Hahot crest was that the two protruding feathers reminded me a little of the bull's horns so searched a little more and found this.......

The picture above is another incarnation of the same coat-of-arms above but look at the colors- the black, red and gold are the same colors as the Hahot crest. Then I found this........ 

The coat-of-arms of the count palatines of the Duchy of Thuringia in Weimar with the horns of a bull and on the same site I found this.....

Above is the ancient coat-of-arms of the Landgrave (meaning count or prince) of Thuringia. Now if you go back and look at the shield that the Hahold figure from the medieval manuscript is carrying and then at the Hahot coat-of-arms, you see how the family's heraldry is derived from the Counts of Weimar-Orlamund in Thuringia. There is debate among historians because a later medieval manuscript says Hahold came from Styria (today's Slovenia) as opposed to Thuringia as claimed in the Illuminated Chronicle but I think this proves that he definitely came from the Weimar-Orlamund in Thuringia.

  • Coat of arms of the Hungarian Buzad-Hahold noble family, owners of Medimurje County, Croatia, in the 13th century (Wikipedia)

Stories of Harold's Descendants - A Saint and a Sinner

The difference between Panyit and Buzad II is extreme but they both seem to have been a little nutty.

Buzad II - Saint (or close enough)

1209 - Count of Gyor

1222 - Count of Pozsony (now Bratislava in Slovakia)

1225 - Count of Vas

1226 - Ban (Duke/Viceroy) of Slavonia (now Croatia). According to law of the Kingdom, the Bans were considered "Barons of the Realm."

1233 - Renounces secular privileges to become a monk in the Dominican Order.

1241 - enthusiastically insists on being martyred and encourages his followers to do the same during the Mongol Invasion and is consequently burnt at the stake.

1242 (or sometime thereafter) - Beatified as a 'Martyr' by Catholic Church.

Read more about him here.

Panyit - Definitely Sinner

1254 - Captures and imprisons his neighbor in order to take over his estate. Is fined 30 denari (silver coins) by King Bela IV for forgery and violent actions. 

1254 - That same year the castle folk on his estate rebel against him for cruel treatment and disrespecting thier rights and he suppresses the revolt.

1260 - Panyit harasses his neighboring nobles and King Bela confiscates his lands. Panyit flees and joins Bela's son, Stephen V who is Duke of Transylvania. In exchange for his support, Stephen promises to restore Panyit's estates.

1263-64 - Stephen, with help from Panyit, forces his father to cede power to him of lands east of the Danube and is crowned as 'junior king' but when Stephen invades the lands of his sister, Anna, Bela IV gives her troops. She takes command of the army and wins her lands back from her brother.

1266 - A treaty reconciling the father and son kings, specifies that Panyit will be granted amnesty in exchange for promising not to trespass against other landowners.

1267 - Panyit is up to his old tricks again and captures the land of the neighboring family, the Jaks.  On September 15 a court of six nobles including his own cousin denounce him for being "disruptive and a common bandit."

1268 - To avoid being imprisoned Panyit returns lands to the Jak brothers so King Bela gives him back some of his estates.

1269 - But it seems Panyit can't stop causing trouble and his soldiers invade adjacent estates, murder serfs and cut out the tongue of a relative of the Jaks.

1270 - Bela IV dies and Stephen V, former ally of Panyit, is crowned. After investigating the allegations agains Panyit, the the new king orders him to a "trial by combat" to take place on October 6 but Panyit avoids this by paying out 170 denari to his enemies in compensation for murder and property damages.

1272 - He hands over additional estates to the Jaks as compensation.

After this last transaction Panyit remains quiet and no more history is told of him, much to the relief of the new king no doubt. 

You can read more about him here.

  • We descended from Arnold I side. Arnold founded a monastery but his son was a medieval menace and general pain in the ass to the king.
  • Blessed Buzád (lithography - Ungaricae Sanctitatis Indicia, 1692, Wikipedia)

Old Smlednik Castle

The first lords of the region, the Counts of Weimar Orlamunde, built a castle on the hilltop in the 11th century.

  • Old Castle, Smlednik, Slovenia (Paul McClure DC, Flickr)


It is interesting to note that Buzad's seal looks appropiately like a bull while Panyit's seal looks like a devil.

  • Seal of Panyit circa 1230s (Wikipedia)
  • Seal of Buzad II circa 1220s (Wikipedia)

The church in Hahot village

The church in the center of Hahot village was built in the 1700s over the ruins of a Benadictine monastery that was founded by Arnold Hahot (direct ancestor) in 1234 and served as the Hahot burial ground. A wooden statue of Arnold's brother Buzad II was created and erected in 2009.

  • The tomb of Arnold Hahot in the church of Hahot (Wikipedia)
  • Statue of Buzad II Hahot (
  • Roman catholic church in Hahot (Wikipedia)

Harold's relation to you

Interesting Facts

The Lost Kingdom

Nowadays Hungary is a small country we don't hear too much about but throughout the Middle Ages it was the largest cohesive political entitity in Europe. The Kingdom of Hungary existed as an independent realm for over five hundred years from 1000 A.D. to 1526 during which time it was considered one of most powerful countries in western civilization. It included territories of what are now Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Transylvania, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, as well as parts of Austria, Poland and the Ukraine. Yet, history only seems to remember it in its relationship to Austria- first as part of the Habsburg Empire and later as half of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The families whose legends and I present on this site are part of the rich and unbelievably dramatic history the the Hungarian Kingdom that was driven externally by the threat of the Holy Roman and the Ottoman Empires and internally by a constant tension between the monarchs and the powerful barons. This caused a series of battles of succession that, I have to say, kind of make the War of the Roses look like a picnic in the park.

About the Nobility of Hungary

Like most kingdoms in medieval times, Hungary was divided into two main classes, nobles and commoners. But within these groups were further distinctions. The nobility was divided into the categories of "higher" and "lesser." The high nobility were the magnates, families that owned in the area of thirty or more estates that probably included a castle or several castles. They lesser were all the rest ranging from those those that owned twenty estates to those who owned only one impoverished estate to those who owned no estates at all but nevertheless had a coat-of-arms.

There were many noble who had less than well-off peasants.

Some had titles that translate as follows.

The head of the county: comes or ispan = count

Deputy head of county: alispan = viscount

Governor of a territory or sub-nation: ban, voivode = duke, earl, prince (e.g. Ban of Croatia, Voivode of Transylvania)

What made these titles different from their English counterparts was that generally until the 1500s they were NOT HEREDITARY. They only applied to the people during the time they held the office and the rank did not pass on to their children. The king could remove them from their positions and appoint someone else. There wasn't much job security. Patents of nobility and the accompanying coats of arms were hereditary. Nobility could pass on the father's side and the mother's side but property could only be inherited by sons, while the inheritance of daughters was the equivalent of 1/4 of the property's worth in currency.

Interestingly noble women kept their maiden names after they were married while their children took the husbands name.

Barons v. Barons of the Realm

Baron was an informal designation for wealthy lords who owned a large amout of property usually including a castle. All the lords with estates and villages attached by the charter to a particular castle were the baron's banderium, or bannermen. They pledge loyalty to the baron and were under obligation to respond to his call to arms with one "lance" (meaning heavily armored knight) or several archers for every 10- 20 serfs they had, depending on the ratio stipulated at the time.

Barons of the realm were those members of the nobility who held the highest offices in government and in the royal household were usually either descended from the original clans of the Hungarian tribes that settled in the Carpethian Basin in the late ninth century or from the foreign knights that came to the kingdom with their own small armies to provide military support to the Hungarian kings in the 11th and 12th centuries. Originally They were called barones regni, barons of the realm, a status originally only held by the office holder while he was in office but by the late 1300s it also to applied to the descendants of the high office holders. They became known as the magnates and were given the prefix of 'magificus' in documents.

The 19 Families

In the late 1400s, nineteen families were distinguished from the rest of the barons of the realm by King Matthias. They were now called the natural barons of the realm (barones regni natureles). The list included the Orszag, Rozgony, and Hedervary families.

Barons of the Realm

Holders of the highest offices in the Kingdom of Hungary:

  • Palatine
  • Royal Judge
  • Bans of Croatia, Severin & Slavonia
  • Voivode of Transylvania
  • Master of the Treasury
  • Master of the Horse
  • Master of the Cupbearers
  • Master of the Stewards
  • Master of the Doorkeepers
  • Ispan of the Counties Pozsony & Temes