On the Ethnic Origin of the Magnate Clan Hont-Poznan (Hont-Pázmany)

K otázke etnického pôvodu veľmožského rodu Hont-Poznanovcov

Research of the oldest aristocratic clans in Hungary encounters several difficulties. Sources of the period until as late as the 12th century usually noted only names of nobles without any mention of their family affiliation, nor any other genealogical relation, such as father or grandfather. Therefore, genealogical trees of most Hungarian aristocratic families can be put together only from the 13th century. However, there are some exceptions, such as the Hont-Poznans, an exceptional family that is written into the early medieval history of Hungary. The chronicler Simon of Kéza states in his Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum written around 1282 that they were two blood brothers coming from Swabia in Germany. This fact was without any verification or scrutiny taken for granted by older as well as contemporary Hungarian medievalists.
The first among Slovak historians to examine the origin and position of the Hont-Poznans in Hungary was Juraj Hodál. In his study from 1946 he claimed that the above mentioned clan was not of German, but of local Slovak origin. His affirmation was based on the analyses of used family names and by localization of the clan's oldest land possessions. His arguments prove that Hont and Poznan were not brothers as their family possessions were separate at first and the two families fused only in the 12th century. In the 13th century the name was hungarised into Hunt-Pazman and according to some popular etymology also the Honts´ original coat of arms was changed.
The study focuses on those aspects of the research of the Hont-Poznans that were overlooked by Juraj Hodál, who did not fully realise the importance of the "name criterion." The name criterion is a method based on the common phenomenon of the early medieval period when certain significant names in individual families were periodically repeated. The custom is an evidence of a strong surviving cult of ancestors.
The author made up a genealogical table of the Poznan family, distinguishing two major and some other side family lines from the half of the 12th century. The founder of the first major line was Kozma. His four grandsons living in the second half of the 12th century founded four main lines of the family. All the other Poznans were logically integrated in the other major line, whose founder was comes Mojš (Moses).
Their hereditary lands formed large units and lied in the middle and north parts of the Nitra and Váh rivers area, whereas lands acquired later were mixed with those of the king and jobagiones and were situated in the southern parts of present day Slovakia. Most of the lands of Hont-Poznans were situated behind the river Dráva (ultra Dravam) and as there had been no donation charters for these lands it can be assumed that these were the oldest family possessions. The author's supposes that the family was probably granted these lands by the generous donation of the young prince Stephen in 997, as a reward for his retinue led by the very Hont-Poznans who defeated the king's opponent and uncle Kopáň (Cuppan/Koppány).