I'm kicking off my journey with my great uncle Dick D'Orsay, Treasure Hunter!
When Elmer and his little brother, Deczo came to America they wanted to put the past behind them. They were proud of their Hungarian names but it must have become evident very early that life in their new home would be easier if they simplified their names.
So they decided to use the name of the town in France where they grew up. So "Szikszay" became "Dorsay". Translated as "from the town of Orsay". Dick added an apostrophe for who knows why.
To make this a bit more challenging, my mother, Jeanette Dorsay, married Don Dilley (my father) and moved out west to Colorado. They divorced when I was seven. Mother re-married, Robert Ashmun. Eventually he adopted me. So that is how I became Neal Ashmun.
Having lost both parents by 1918 to sickness and suicide, Grandpa Elmer and his brother Dick, were under the care and guidance of their uncle, Janos. Hungary was in crisis. “The old order collapsed under the harrowing weight of a lost war.” Being a member of the failed Karolyi Government and hunted by the communists, Uncle Janos left Hungary and urged the boys to do the same. By 1923 they had immigrated to America. Grandpa Elmer brought his new bride over from Budapest and started a family in New York City. Uncle Dick had other adventures in mind and headed to Florida. As a lifeguard on Miami Beach family lore has it that he once swam out in a hurricane to rescue drowning swimmers.
Vermes, Gabor, “The October Revolution in Hungary from Karolyi to Kun”, Hungary In Revolution 1918-1919 Nine Essays, 1971, University of Nebraska Press