The origin of the present mérai Dienes family (sometimes beckói Dienes or korláthi Dienes) can be traced back with concrete data nearly for four hundred years. Our ancestor Dienes János – together with his brother Mihály – got his letter patent of nobility (coat of arms) from king Ferdinand II which was declared in 1623 June 10 at Aszaló, a smaller settlement in Hungary at that time. According to family memory, János was the captain of a smaller border fortress, and his family was also one of those families wich lost all their belongings so also their documents in the war with the Turkish invaders at the end of the 16th century. So the King probably only confirmed the family’s nobility. That fact, that János – together with his brother – fought against the Turks, is confirmed by the family’s coat-of-arms on which the man seen in the middle of the golden-silver decorated shield holds a straight sword in his right hand and a Turkish cut-off head in his left one.
From the 17th century history of the family only some names remained as János (John) (1640-1705), Zsigmond (Sigismund) and György (George) – these names were later also fancied by the family. They were probably smaller landowners in the northern part of Hungary, Zsimond and György probably the sons of János. They presumably married with similar small landowner families. One of them supposedly moved to Alsóméra (from there originates the forename mérai) , where the son of Zsigmod, Samuel (1749-1799) was born – and this is already a concrete data.
Dienes János (1780-1844), the son of Sámuel moved from Alsóméra to Felsoméra and some of the the descendants of his eldest son – also Zsigmond – lived there unto the second half of the 20th century. The smallest son of János: Dienes László (1816-1889) was also born in Felsoméra – and he is the great-great-grand-father of Dávid Dienes who has made this home-page.
The above named Dienes László did not stay in Felsoméra. He became the landstreward of the family of count Károlyi’s manor, married in 1851 and had three sons. He sent his sons to the best schools and to universities: the oldest Barnabás (1852–1923) learnt law in Eperjes (Hungary) and in Vienna, Kalman (1854–1903) studied medicine in Vienna and the third Gyula (1855–1921) studied at the Technical University in Munich.
Barnabás (or Barna – as we name him nowadays) worked as a lawyer, than became the director of one of the flood control (dike) companies of the river Tisza (for promoting the erection of dikes). The company’s name in Hungarian is Alsó-szabolcsi Tiszai Ármentesito Társulat. Barna married Pusztay Ilona (1860-1934) and lived with his family first in Tokaj, later in Debrecen. They had eight children: three daughters : Klára (1878–1959), Rózsa (1880–1971), Katalin (1900–1979,) and five sons: Kálmán, Pál, Lajos, László, Barna) The boys and the smallest daughter Katalin had well-known names in Hungarian cultural history, art and literature, even in international scientific world.
Just to mention shortly some of them here:
– Dienes Kálmán (1881–1954) became an engineer building bridges in Hungary
– Dienes Pál (1882–1952) became a mathematician worked in England
– Dienes Lajos (1885–1974) became a research physician and lived in USA
– Dienes László (1889–1953) lived for shorter time in Germany, Russia and came back to Hungary where he died as the director of the Budapest Municipal Library
– Dienes Barna (1895–1953) lived in the USA as a protestant minister
– At this generation we must name the wife of Dienes Pál: Dienes Valéria (1879–1978) philosopher, dance theoretic
From the next generation:
– The son of Kálmán Jay Dienes (1918-2014) became a research physicist in the USA
– The sons of Pál: Zoltán Dienes (1916-2014) became a mathematician and reformer of teaching mathematic, staying mainly in Canada
– Pál’s other son, Dienes Gedeon (1914–2005), worked in cultural communication, and was a dance historian and critic, lived in Hungary
– The son of László named also László lives in the USA. as a linguist
– The grandson of Klára named Vigh Tamás became a well-known sculptor and professor at the University of Arts in Budapest
– The younger daughter of Katalin – Czellár Katalin – became an architect, dealing with history of architecture, publishing several books about miscellaneous topics
Note. In Hungarian we use always the family name first
Note. During our genealogy research we found several families with the name of Dienes, which are not in connection since the 17th century with our family, but they might be our earlier relatives.