″But afterwards, during the reign of King Peter, Kelad and Gút brothers of Swabian descent immigrated. They were born at the castle in Stof."                       -                             -Illuminated Chronicle

That would date the time of their arrival sometime during the years of  1041-46 when King Peter briefly ruled Hungary.

Ruin of Stauf (Stof) Castle in Staufen im Breisgau in Swabian region of Germany.  The castle was built around the year 850 on the edge of the Black Forest -hence the pine tree image on the brothers' shields.

House of Zähringen

The Zähringen Dynasty of the Castle Stauf ruled Swabia until around 1100.

Mihaly Orszag is one                                of the few direct ancestors of this era whose image has been preserved-  statues of members of King Sigismund's court were found in 1974 by archaeologist László Zolnay in the ruins of the palace of King Sigismund that had been discovered under Buda Castle.

"The young optimistic looking person wearing a felt hat is identified as King Sigismund’s young Treasurer-in-Chief by folio 103. Therefore he can be only Michael Ország de Gwth from the clan Gut-Keled."    

                   -- Eugene Csocsán de Várallja:


Buda Castle at Night

Orszag de Guth                                        Gút is a village in Zala County near Székesfehérvár. The earliest record of it is from 1312 when it was in the possession the Guth family who, in 1328, traded the estate for Surany located in Nitra County in Upper Hungary (present day Slovakia).

The Legend of Mihaly Orszag Meeting King Sigismund

“King Zsigmond was returning to Hungary. As he stepped in Hungarian territory, he met a company of some children playing soldiers. One of them was holding a flag. Zsigmond asked him whose soldiers they were. The boy answered they were the country's soldiers. The King asked if they would be the king's soldiers if he was their king. The child replied: "Yes, we would!"  The king liked the answer, and when this boy grew up, he was given the name Országh and he was the founder of the family Országh.”

Šurany Castle of Guthy Family     3D reconstruction

King Sigmond did more than that. He summoned Mihaly to his court and made him a royal squire. Mihaly moved up the ranks quickly becoming the Court Chamberlain in 1433. In that same year he accompanied the king to Rome where the pope crowned Sigismund as Holy Roman Emperor. He was still a young man in his 20s when he became the Royal Treasurer in1436.

Ország de Gút (Guti, Guthy) descended from the ancient Gutkeled kindred.

Although the Guthy family was prestigious in terms of lineage, by Mihaly's time they had become impoverished members of the lesser nobility. He raised the family up to the highest level of the aristocracy, to barons of the realm who were addressed with the prefix 'magnificus.'  

Although he excelled in political spheres Mihaly was also a knight with strong military abilities as well.

He fought with John Hunyady on the winning side of the civil war that followed the death of King Sigmond at the end of 1437. In 1445 Mihaly became one of the seven Captains of the Realm elected to govern the kingdom until the heir to the throne, Ladislaus II, who was not only a child but also held captive in Austria by Frederick III , could be crowned king. The seven captains in turn elected John Hunyady, who had become a national hero for his successful battles against the Turks, as Captain General of the Realm.

Mihaly was serving as commander of Belgrade Castle when the Ottoman Empire under Sultan Mehmed, in an attempt to invade Hungary, attacked the fortress with a force of 80,000- 100,000 soldiers. All Europe awaited the outcome anxiously. Mihaly only had about 2,000 men to defend the fortress. Luckily he was joined by his old friend, John Hunyady and his army of 20,000 men, half of them armed peasants and tradesmen rallied by a crusade preaching Franciscan monk. Together they managed not only to defend Belgrade but they pulled off a miraculous victory, routing the Turks and chasing them out of the kingdom. Pope Callixtus III ordered all of Christendom to pray for the defenders of Belgrade and that all the church bells in Europe ring out at noon in thier honor, a tradition that lasts to this day. John Hunyady died in the aftermath of the battle. No doubt, Mihaly was by his side.  - by Eve Hars

During the reign of King Matthias, a clerk in the royal palace, Janos Thuroczy, decided to write a chronicle of the history of the kingdom during King Sigismund's reign. One of his main sources of information was from interviews and conversations with Palatine Orszag

Below is the prologue to "The Chronicle of the Hungarians" by Thuroczy in which he acknowledges Mihaly Orszag with much praise as his prime source.

Mihaly Orszag witnessed and participted in much of the history the chronicle covers.  So in a sense we have a record of our ancestor's words as well as an image of what he looked like. Thus we know more about this ancestor than we do about any others besides the Podmaniczkys.

Lazslo Podmaniczky married Mihaly Orszag's daughter, Ilona in 1474. Laszlo and Ilona are our direct ancestors back 17 generations which makes Mihaly Orszag and his wife, Barbara Rozgony, our direct ancestor x18. generations

Summary of Mihaly's illustrious career

The Guthi Orszag coat of arms is derived from the Gutkeled crest. Many noble famsilies of Hungary  descend from the Gutkeled kindred including the Bathory who have this coat-of-arms.

"The Chronicle of the Hungarians" by Thuroczy was published in 1488 as an illuminatd manuscript. Above is the illustration on the opening pages.

Views of the Fortress of Belgrade in Serbia. The fort was once the southern stronghold of the Hungarian Kingdom.

Mihaly played a crucial role in bringing Hunyadi's 16 year old son, Matthias, to the throne in 1457. As soon as Matthias was crowned king, he appointed Mihaly Orszag the palatine of Hungary. The palatine was the highest office in the kingdom and the most powerful person after the king. King Matthias is remembered as one of Hungary's greatest kings- as is evident by any visit to Budapest. Mihaly remained palatine until his death in 1484.  

Mihaly accompanied King Matthias on all his military campaigns, providing 5000 soldiers to fight against Emperor Frederick III of Austria in 1461, participating in the conquest of Moravia in 1466  and leading forces into Transylvania in 1467 to quell a rebellion there.

The stories of the Siege of Belgrade and the events leading up to the crowning of King Matthias are so incredible so as to be practically unbelievable- but it is actually real history. For more info check out the first page of the Podmaniczky saga.

by Eve Hars

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Jókő Castle given to Mihaly Orzsag in 1436 by King Sigismund. Above, ruins in 1800s on open hillside and how it looks today overgrown with trees.



in Nograd County in present day Hungary. Pledged to the Guthi Orszags by King Ladislas in 1454.



In present day Slovakia. Pledged to Mihaly Orszag by King Matthias in 1466.  It became the Orszag family seat and remained in their possession for a century until the family name died out in 1567. The ruin draws many tourists for its later connection to the infamous murderess, Countess Bathory.

What is looked like back the then


In Heves County, Hungary. Pledged to the Mihaly by King Matthias. Renovated and updated in 1561 by Mihaly's great grandson, Kristof, a favorite of King Ferdinand Habsburg, despite his conversion to Calvinism. Kristof, who was well educated and spoke several languages,  became the Count of Norgrad. He was a popular and heroic milatry figure in Hungary. He died in 1567 at the young age of 32 and was much mourned by his wife, Ilona Zrinyi and the country.



King Vladislav I donated it to the Ország family (1440-1444).

According to this genealogy chart, two of Mihaly Orszag's daughters married into the Podmaniczky family: Laszlo married Ilona and Laszlo's son, Janos, married Ilona's sister, Bora.

a memorial plaque over a red marble gate once read:


Anne, Maria, Adele and Eve Hars

SIte created by Eve Hars