Kállay family

Nobles, bourgeois, noble-bourgeois, bourgeois-nobles

(Abstract of the Hungarian original work)

Donating to culturallife and science has been a custom in the Kállay family for years. For example, Miklós Kállay (1754-1820) famous vice-count of Szabolcs county made a donation of ten thousand Forints to the The Royal Hungarian Ludovica Defense Academy in 1807. Or András Kállay (1849-1919) lord-lieutenant of Szabolcs county was a generous maecenas of the Red Cross, the local museum and the Nyíregyházi Városi Dalárda (Choir of Nyíregyháza) as well.

The Kállay family de Nagykálló belongs to the ancient Hungarian noble families, their ancestors settledin the Carpathian Basin in the time of Árpád and the Hungarian Conquest. The family originated from the Balog-Semjén genus, had a significant role in the history of Hungary nationwide and locally. Their archives, which was started from the 13th century, were given by Ödön Kállay (1815-1879) to the National Museum of Hungary. Today these documents are in the National Archives of Hungary. The family members served in different positions in lower or higher ranks in the course of the history of Hungary. For example, they were chief judges of the county, vice-counts, lord-lieutenants, ministers, members of the Diet of Hungary, envoys, chamberlains, etc. in service of emperors and kings. They were famous for their loyality to kings and emperors in the course of the history of Hungary.

Their documented history started in the era of the end of the Árpád dynasty (c. 895-1301). During the Oligarchic Era (1270-1321)they lost their lands. Afterwardstheysupported Charles Robert (1310-1342) King of Hungary and took part in the Battle of Rozgony, 1312, hence they got back their lands. From that time on the family increased its lands and property. The family's recently used coat of arms with the dragon were developed during the reign of Sigismund of Luxemburg (1368 – 1437) King of Hungary and Holy Roman Emperor. Their lands increased further during the reign of Matthias I (1458-1490) King of Hungary.They fought in the Battle of Mohács in 1526, after which hard times came. Their lands in Szabolcs county in the direct neighbourhood of the territoriesinvaded by the Ottoman Empire, became less profitable, since the public safety got worse.

The family lost their lands in Nagykálló at the end of the 16th century and at the beginning of the 17th century. 15 frontier castles were built on the lands owned by the Kállays, which provoked conflicts between the commanders of the castles and the members of the Kállay family. Also the settling of the Hajdúk (guerrilla fighters against the Ottoman rule) in Nagykálló provoked conflicts between the Hajdúk loyal to the king and the earlier settled Hajdúk loyal to István Bocskai. After long lawsuits the Kállays lost their lands in Nagykálló for a long time. At the end of the 17th century only one male person remained in the Kállay family, Miklós Kállay.

Two branches developed in the Kállay family at the beginning of the 18th century, the Napkor branch and the Oros branch. The members of both branches served in significant positions nationwide and locally, moreover a count named János Kállay also belonged to their family.

Today the memories of the family members are treasured in the Kállay Collection, Nyíregyháza, which was opened on 10th March 1993. Kristóf Kállay, the museum founder's private collection has been still growing thanks to the donations of the family members, of people in relation to the family or even of people who have no connections to them. The first director of the Kállay Collection, Sarolta Lakatosfamiliarized people with its name, its section of phaleristics anditssection of the Order of Malta. Shealso wrote the biography of several family members.

We, the successors also hold in high regard the Kállay family de Nagykállófor their significant history and their altruistic donations, and we continue the work of 18 years done by Sarolta Lakatos.

Dr. Attila Ulrich


Kállay  Collection

2nd Floor 8, 1 Széchenyi Street 

Nyíregyháza H-4400


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