History of settlement

The history of Kibéd


The origins of the name of the settlement are still a mystery as opposed to those of the surrounding settlements. Folk etymology comes up with several definitions, but these are very naïve and can not be considered a safe starting point. (The whole territory where Kibéd lies today used to be a marsh, reeds made it impossible for the land to be cultivated, impossible to be inhabited because of the noise made by waterbirds, the bellow of bulls and the wanderer might have asked the question Ki bőg, ki bég?, the Hungarian translation for Who bellows? thus the name Kibéd.


It is more likely that the name of the settlement is of foreign origin, it’s etymology is still unclear. There have been many transformations along the ages.

:• in 1499 - Kibjed;
• in 1503 - Kibjed;
• in 1561 - Kibed;
• in 1575 - Kybed;
• in 1602 - Kibed.

The current official name of the settlement originates from 1919 after the changes in the empire, the difference is that in Romanian it is spelt Chibed. As a conclusion we can state that the name of the settlement has been the same for more than 500 years. It is still a mystery when and how the settlement was established. What we do know for sure is that the lower, middle and upper region surrounding the Kis-Küküllő river has provided favourable living conditions for ages. The Kis-Küküllő river together with its side rivers provided the drinking water, the forests rich in game provided food, and the valleys shelter from enemies. Besides these the salt plants from Parajd, Szováta attracted many people form the surroundings. In the neighbouring villages, towns Nagykend, Erdőszentgyörgy, Hármasfalu they have found ruins of former settlements. There is no doubt that there used to be an ancestral, ancient settlement. The first settlers we know for sure at Kibéd’s borders were the Romans. The Csombod castle can be found in this area. On the right of the Kis-Küküllő river, on the peak of the so called Csombodháta mountain, which separates Kibéd from Sóvárad, one can see the ruins of a fortress which had been built by Romans in the 1st century AD. Two streams have their sources at the foot of the mountain, one of these is Kövespatak (Stony Stream) and it flows towards Kibéd. The other stream flows towards Szénégető and Sóvárad.

Dósa György an inhabitant form Kibéd was the owner of the territory where the fortress used to stand. According to folk traditions he bought this place because he found out the intentions of Maria, the Romanian queen to build a villa in the neighbourhood. He hoped he would be able to sell his piece of land later for a good price but he didn’t manage to do so.

The castles of Mikkháza and Sóvárad served the purpose of accommodation for the Roman soldiers. The brick found at Várad with the inscription C.P.A.L.P „Cohors pedestris Alpinorum” states, that a unit of the alpine pedestrian soldiers (which belonged to the XIIIth legion) used to reside in the castle. After the Romans’ retreat there is a period of silence in the upper valley of the Küküllő river. But surely there have been migrating people who stayed for shorter or longer periods of time in the surroundings. They used to put up their tents, fish and hunt in the upper valley of the Kis Küküllő river. The stronger population not only defeats the weaker one but also assimilates it. As it happened with the Slavo-Bulgarian population when our ancestors showed up with weapons in their hands in the clearing. The fight did not last for long but the settlement proved longlasting, up until today.

A document which dates from the year 1863 and was written by a priest from the village Kibéd gives evidence of two separate settlements. Kibéd came into existence after their union. The document mentions that the two separate settlements are very close to each other. Even though their inhabitans are genealogically related they have separate grazing grounds and fields on the right and left banks of the Kis-Küküllő river. It is unknown when the two settlements united. The settlement which came into existence retained the name of Kibéd. The village which got assimilated was called Rétfalva. Officially the name disappeared but unofficially the name still exists today. They use it when they refer to the southern part of the village.

The first written evidence about the existence of the village dates from the year 1499 and deals with a trial. This document uses the Kijbed name.

The first statistical fact dates from the year 1567 and deals with a tax registration. The document states that the village of Kibéd has 20 gates. In those times 6-10 families used to live behind one gate, each consisting of 6-7 family members.

In the description of Szekely Land on page 28 Orbán Balázs recorded that in 1869 the village, Kibéd had 460 houses with 620 families living in them. The church records from 1939 talk about 700 houses inhabited by 972 families. Kibéd had the length of over 2km and the width of 700 m in those times. It was regarded as the most densely inhabited territory along the Kis-Küküllő river. The houses were very close to each other and this was quite dangerous in case of fire, which could spread easily from one house to the other.

Kibéd is first mentioned as having an independent church in church documents dating from 1567. The Reformed Church of Kibéd, the school, the Seprődi János house and the building of the consumers’co-operative are considered historical monuments.

The first church of the village was built of stone in 1552 by the catholic congregation according to the minutes of the local church. This church was renovated in 1640 by the reformed congregation and a wonderful tower was built to it. In the kuruc wars of the year 1709 the church burnt down. In 1710 at the cost of the congregation’s sacrificial work it was rebuilt. A very nice old gate remained from the former church. As the population was growing continuously between the years 1781-1782 they renovated the church and even expanded the building with a side-wing. In 1786 a stone wall was built around the church. The church as we see it today was built between 1820 and 1926. In 1826 another side-wing was attached to it. The other side buildings of the church were built in the following years: the mill of the church in 1827, the brick burner machine in 1847, a store/container for grains in 1875.

The church organ from Kibéd which still functions with its initial wooden pipes was made by the famous székely Bodor Péter in 1846-47. Bodor Péter stated that he did not make the organ for the purpose of earning money, but he made it because he wanted to show others that the Hungarians can also create and other nations should learn from them.

From administrative point of view Kibéd belonged to Marosszék (which constitutes the northmost part of Székelyland) the since the XVth century.

After the „seats”as administrative centres had been liquidated, from 1872 with the appearance of the counties it becomes part of Maros-Torda county. Until the Peace Treaty of Trianon Maros-Torda county belonged to Nyárádszereda.

From 1926 on, in the era of Independent Hungarian Territories/Departments it belonged to Székeyudvarhely and then to Maros county, to the Erdőszentgyörgy department. As part of the Maros department it was an independent commune until 1968. After the establishment of the counties in 1968 it was attached to Makkfalva commune due to the communist policy according to which several villages were merged in order to consolidate the local authorities. One commune had over 7000 inhabitants.

In 2002 there was an election in the commune Makfalva. The inhabitants of Kibéd requested that the commune should become a separate administrative unit again, they organized a referendum and voted for it.

Since 2004 Kibéd has been an independent commune in Maros county.

The first written evidence about the existence of the village dates from the year 1499 and deals with a trial. This document uses the Kijbed name.

The first statistical fact dates from the year 1567 and deals with a tax registration. The document states that the village of Kibéd has 20 gates. In those times 6-10 families used to live behind one gate, each consisting of 6-7 family members.

Let’s sum up the most important historical events chronologically:

-1st century AD after the liquidation of the Roman settlement several waves of migrating people crossed over the territory.

-the first written document about Kibéd dates from 1499

-the first church of the settlement was built in1552

-the first forms of educational institutions were established in 1600

-the tower of the church was built in 1640

-four fairs were organized in 1827

-the current educational institution was built in 1850

-the railway was built in 1896

-the agricultural reform took place in 1896

-nationalization took place in 1948

- revolution took place in December 1989

Last update: 12.05.2017