|The Burgenland Bunch Genealogy Group
Genealogists researching the multi-ethnic heritage of the Burgenland of Austria and adjoining areas of former West Hungary.
Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 81, dtd 31 May 2000 (edited)
THE BURGENLAND BUNCH NEWS -No. 81 DEDICATED TO AUSTRIAN-HUNGARIAN BURGENLAND FAMILY HISTORY (issued biweekly by Gberghold@AOL.com) May 31, 2000 (all rights reserved)
John Wenzel (1859-1917)-From Grodnau, District of Oberwart, Organized Emigration Of 45 People From Bernstein Area To Chicago In 1890. Start of the Large Chicago Burgenland Enclave.
Note to recipients. If you don't want to receive Burgenland Bunch newsletters, email Gberghold@AOL.com with message "remove". ("Cancel" will cancel membership, homepage listings and mail.) To join, see our homepage. We can't help with non-Burgenland family history. Comments and articles are appreciated. Please add your name to email, otherwise we must search membership lists. Staff and web site addresses are listed at the end of newsletter section "B". Introductions and articles without a by-line are written by the editor. This first section of the 3 section newsletter contains the articles: Burgenländische Gemeinschaft Affairs, More on Ethnic Cleansing, Italian Immigrant Ships, St. John's Abbey, MN Records, SS Pennsylvania, Tarafas Surname Query and Felix Game Provides Web Site.
BURGENLÄNDISCHE GEMEINSCHAFT PICNIC AND "PARTNERSHIP" CELEBRATION (from Albert Schuch)
The Burgenländische Gemeinschaft office in Güssing is planning a reception in Stegersbach, Burgenland and elsewhere celebrating 25 years of partnership between Stegersbach and Northampton, PA.
A group was planning to attend from Northampton but cancelled at the last minute. I understand some of our members will be in the area around the time mentioned and may wish to attend some or all of the festivities. The timetable of the festival is below.
Fri, June 30
Stegersbach-reception with the Bürgermeister Heinz P. Krammer
Sat, July 1
Walk through Stegersbach with sightseeing.
In the evening Buschenschank (party time)
Sun, July 2
Dorffest at the Hauptplatz,
Lunch and Festival,
Fri, July 7
Guided tour to Güssing with Emigration Museum,
Burgspiel about "Amerikawanderung" in Güssing.
Sat, July 8
5 p.m.: Holy Mass with bishop Dr. Paul Iby
Albert writes: I emphasize the fact that Bishop Iby is coming to Stegersbach on 8 July especially to meet with visitors from America. (I will soon email Hap Anderson and the other BB travellers and ask them to attend, and I will also try to come there myself with my parents.)
Sun, July 9
PICNIC in Moschendorf
I think that the official celebration of 25 years partnership between Stegersbach and Northampton on July 8 will be most interesting. After the mass with Bishop Iby at 5 p.m., musicians from Güttenbach and Stegersbach will start to play at 6 p.m. in front of the Kastell etc. Of course the annual BG picnic in Moschendorf on July 9 is to be recommended too.
MORE ON ETHNIC CLEANSING (Giles Gerken)
On the subject of ethnic cleansing--- When I visited Mosonszolnok Hungary in 1973 I was given a copy of History of the area written by a Hungarian priest in English. It is all quite interesting- but at the end it states that the mostly German population were loaded on trains in 1948 and taken to Germany, mostly around the Stuttgart area. Bishop of Gyor told me that none of my ancestors lived there any longer, he said "Either they left or are all dead" I have not had any luck finding any still living and wonder---- Does anyone have an idea of how to send a query to Stuttgart area to look for names of people who were deported from Hungary"?? The German cemetery at Mosonszolnok must have been used for artllery practice. Only a masonry cross still stood with top missing, all other stones were just rubble. I was told the Russians destroyed it.
ITALIAN IMMIGRANT SHIPS [From Kurt Heinrich]Thank you so much for sending me the Burgenland-Newsletter. After seeing your list of Burgenland Immigrant Ships, it occurred to me that some of your readers may be interested to know that Dover Publications Inc. recently published a 'Picture History of the Italian Line 1932-1977' in which all Italian ships serving at that time are described and shown in pictures. This includes the three ships cited by you: Roma, Saturnia, Vulcania, the Conte series (C. Biancamano, C. di Savoia, C. Grande, C. Rosso, and C. Verde) the Rex and those doing service between Italy and South America, e.g. Neptunia and Oceania. I myself went to Argentina on the Oceania in 1938.
ST. JOHN'S ABBEY AT COLLEGEVILE, MN [From (Louise Fellman)]I don't know if any others from the Minnesota Burgenland Bunch have contacted you recently regarding the above. About three or four weeks ago, our local TV Station had a segment on the above in their program ON THE ROAD with Jason Davis. I have gone into this site several times and tried to get more information about it, but apparently it is not in the Archive at the Station KSTP in St. Paul. However, this is the gist of the program. The Monks at St. John's Abbey have been microfilming old documents from Austria for several years. They showed a deed written on leather that had just recently been filmed. They showed where they have file cabinets filled with copies of documents (written in German, of course) were filed. The said they had a tremendous amount of documents left to be done. These files are open to the public. My Mother-in-law, Elizabeth Fellman Mollner, was a second cousin of Father Deutsch, the Abbot of St. John's Abby for many years. About three years ago I called and talked to Father Vincent and he was very helpful to me in getting information regarding Father Deutsch. Alcion (Henriech) Deutsch was from the town of Wallern, Austria, so maybe this is why the Monks took on the project of filming documents from Austria. In 1938 Father Deutsch was to travel to Wallern and be honored by the parish. The Archbishop of Vienna was going to be there also. At the last minute is was canceled as the Germans came in and occupied Wallern. Later on Father Deutsch took up a collection and sent it to Wallern help them.(I believe this was after the War). The above is written as to my best recollection of my conversation with Father Vincent.
[ Was there a ship called the Pennsylvania? We were hoping to find it on this list, coming out of Germany. Thanks, Ken Simon (UNGER) ]
Yes, it was not listed since it was under 15M tons.
PENNSYLVANIA 1896, Belfast, Ireland, 13M tons, 13 knots, 2522 passengers. Hamburg-America Line. Hamburg-New York service. One of the P-class ships which included the Pretoria, Graf Waldersee and the Patricia. Interned New York 1914, seized 1917, became US transport Nansemond. Laid up 1919, scrapped 1924.
TARAFAS SURNAME QUERYFrom:(John Czekner), WGW Query Board Contact
I saw your posting in the "rootsweb District of Vas, Hungary" website. What is your relationship to Tarafas? We may be related.
My fraternal grandmother's maiden name was Anna Tarafas. According to my family, she was born and raised in the village of Pinka Mindszent. While in Hungary, she met and married Joseph Czekner and had two children. These children both died before Joseph and Anna immigrated to the United States around the turn of the last century. In the United States, they settled in Northampton, Pennsylvania, which is near Allentown. They had ten children.
I know very little about my family before they came to America and have been trying to piece things together. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I would like to have the web address to WGW-Burgenland Query Board you mentioned in your posting on the "District of Vas, Hungary" website. Thank you for your assistance.
My reply: Hello and thanks for the query; Julianna Tarafas, born 18 Feb 1846 in Pinka Mindszent-died 1889 Rosenberg, married Aloysious Sorger, Rosenberg (Güssing). She was his second wife, his first having died in childbirth. Their son Alois emigrated to Allentown. PA in 1902. Julianna was my mother's (Sorger) grandmother. Julianna'a parents were Mihaly Tarafas 1818 and Ilona Schaibl 1819. Siblings were Rosalia 1839, Gyorgy 1841, Antal 1844 and Ferencz 1818. Mihaly's father Stephanus 1758 married Catharina Horvath 1768 and they had four sons, Mihaly above, Ignatius, Georgious and Stephanus.I can trace the line back to Michael Tarafas b about 1685. All data from the church records of the RC church in Pinka Mindszent, LDS microfilm 0601475. Also found Mihaly on the 1828 Hungarian census (LDS microfilm 0623012) as "coloni" (farmer) living with 3 other adults. He was a small holder.
I have not found many families with this name along the border other than in Pinkamindszent (a few in surrounding villages). An old Hungarian family that remained in place over the years. Some of this family later migrated to Northampton, PA but I can't link to them. I have no Tarafas records after Julianna.
I've visited Pinka Mindszent (German name Allerheiligen) which is just across the border from the Burgenland of Austria. Has declined seriously since it was next to the "iron curtain" and a deadend for 50 years. You can see Moschendorf, Burgenland, Austria from the edge of the village. Nearest international border crossing is at Heiligenkreuz.
Named for the Pinka River (brook) which flows nearby, its name means "All Saints on the Pinka." First mentioned in Hungarian records as early as AD 1221. Population around 1900 was 800, now 183. Very isolated, nearby villages are Vasalja and Szent Peterfa. Nearest large Hungarian city, Kormend, nearest Austrian city-Güssing.
Suggest you join the Burgenland Bunch of which I am cordinator and newsletter editor. Burgenland was created from Vas, Sopron and Moson counties in 1921 and ceded to Austria. Costs nothing to join and will give you more information about this region than you'll find anywhere else. We have over 500 members and thousands of pages of newsletter archives. Just follow instructions in our invitation below. Also has the web site addresses you asked for.
(1)G. Berghold; (2)Berghold-Sorger; (3)Berghold-Langasch; Sorger-Mühl
(4) Berghold-Neubauer; Langasch-Kornhaüsl; Sorger-Tarafas; Mühl-Pöltl
FELIX GAME PROVIDES WEB SITEFelix Game is a well known and respected member of the Association of Professional Genealogists. He is a research specialist for Austria and Hungary and is also a professional translator in those languages. Some members may remember him from his superb articles in "Regi Magyarorszag", the newsletter of the Hungarian/American Friendship Society (now defunct). He has written for many other publications too numerous to mention. We have also added his web site to our URL list. Felix has been added to our list of readers and we hope he will provide us with critque and comment on occasion. You may wish to view his web site. He writes:
From: email@example.com (Felix G. Game)
Dear fellow researcher,
I just want to let you know that my Web Site contains all my past articles as well as new ones along with some other interesting stuff. There is nothing to join and nothing to pay, it is all there for you - absolutely FREE on my Austro-Hungarian Web Site. Drop in and look around at
You have received this notice because you have in the past shown an interest in Austro-Hungarian genealogy. This is the only notice you will receive.
(Newsletter continues as no. 81A)
Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 81A dtd 31 May 2000
Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 08:44:20 EDT
THE BURGENLAND BUNCH NEWS -No. 81A
DEDICATED TO AUSTRIAN-HUNGARIAN BURGENLAND FAMILY HISTORY
(issued biweekly by )
May 31, 2000
This second section of the 3 section newsletter contains the report of a
recent trip to the Burgenland by member Bob Hayes (). It
features the Janossomorja, area of Hungary and the Seewinkel around the
Neusiedler See. A fine well written report. Our thanks for Bob's efforts.
You'll notice that (1)Hungary is slowly recovering from its time behind the
iron curtain, (2)this generation of Burgenland youngsters are becoming adept
at English, (3)old graves are hard to find, (4)Hungary was "cleansed of
Germans" and (5)the basilica at Frauenkirchen is well worth a visit. Even
when you prepare for a "family history" trip as Bob did, it is not at all
always easy to link to family. The following would be a fine chapter in any
Burgtenländers family history. I'm particularly delighted to find reference
to a little girl with a given name like "Melody" (Melody Bock from
Rettenbach) appearing in the Burgenland, a Burgenländerin with a Hollywood
name. Times have changed. We wish her and her pets the very best.
MY TRIP TO THE BURGENLAND
Robert G. Hayes
May 18, 2000
After more than two weeks of hard work on business in the Middle East, I was
looking forward to a week in the Burgenland. I had arranged for my employer
to route me back to the U.S. via Vienna, and I intended to travel into
Hungary to see the town of Janossomorja. The towns of Szent Janos and Szent
Peter had been combined in 1970 to form Janossomorja. These were formerly
known as Sankt Johann and Sankt Peter by their German speaking inhabitants,
which included, for hundreds of years, my maternal grandfather's family,
named Perlinger. My great grandfather Paul Perlinger had emigrated from
Sankt Johann in the late 19th century and settled in Nebraska.
I had prepared for the trip. I had joined the Burgenland Bunch, and had
purchased the appropriate guides and maps. I obtained the latest
computerized Perlinger genealogy information and installed it onto a laptop
computer. I was briefed by my cousin and fellow BB member Ron Baxter (who
has been to St. John several times), and had even contacted a Martin
Perlinger in the town of Wallern im Burgenland by e-mail.
Arriving on the afternoon of April 25th, I rented a car at the Vienna
airport, which is extraordinarily expensive, but I wanted the freedom of
getting around without being tied to rail or bus schedules. As I headed east
on Autobahn 4 I slipped in a CD of some of my favorite autobahn music
(Thorogood Live, the one with "Bad to the Bone" on it) and relished the sheer
automotive joy of driving the brand new Mitsubishi at high speed. Less than
20 minutes later I was in the Burgenland.
I had decided to stay in Podersdorf, on the eastern shore of the Neusiedler
See, because of its location near the towns I was interested in and the many
hotels and rooms available. I arrived in the late afternoon, and the
automated hotel/room information center allowed me to pick a place. A three
star pension called the Landgasthof zur Goldenen Traube for OS 400 seemed
reasonable. As I settled into the hotel room and walked out onto the
balcony, I was surprised to hear American rock music drifting over the
landscape. Great, I thought, I've come 7,000 miles for a cultural experience
and I have to listen to Cher belting out her latest hits. As it turned out,
there was a windsurfing competition taking place as well as a big "party"
scheduled for the weekend. Despite the plentiful signage, party tents, and
huge PA system, there weren't very many people around as it was still early
in the week.
I awoke the next morning to a full chorus supplied by the multitude of birds
in the trees along the shore and in town.
I headed out after a fine breakfast, intending to visit Wallern, where Martin
Perlinger lived. I had found Martin by searching the Internet using
Google.com and the Perlinger name. Martin had indicated by e-mail that the
many Perlingers in Wallern had descended from a Johann Perlinger who had come
from nearby St. John's in 1803. It seems quite possible that my ancestor
George Perlinger was Johann's brother, both George and Johann being sons of
Michael Perlinger, my earliest known ancestor in St. John's. I know George
indeed had an older brother named Johann, who would have been 24 years old in
1803. Herr Wurtzinger, the owner of the Goldenen Traube, told me that there
was a Perlinger in Wallern who was a "big man", a vegetable dealer named
Werner Perlinger. When I had first mentioned the name "Perlinger" to him,
pronouncing it as we American Perlingers do (as if it were spelled Purlinger)
there was an awkward pause - then he said "oh, Perlinger!" pronouncing it as
if it were spelled Pairlinger.
I arrived in Wallern in a half-hour or so, after going through the towns of
Illmitz and Apetlon. I stopped at the vintage rail coach that serves as the
tourist information office for Wallern. It was closed until June, as some
folks in the little bahnhof told me. I knew there were Perlingers around, as
there was a banner strung between two trees that said "Perlinger" and had a
picture of vegetables on it. Unfortunately, I didn't have an address for
Martin and he isn't in the phonebook, so I was stuck. I didn't know it, but
Martin had replied to my e-mail from the Middle East a few days before with
his address and phone number in Wallern. Austria is a bit backwards with the
Internet, there's no such thing as an Internet Café outside of Vienna, and I
couldn't get access to my e-mail. So I was unaware of his reply until I
returned to the U.S. a week later.
At this point I was very near the Hungarian border, and I decided to cross.
On the way to Pamhagen, on the border, I laughed to see a pheasant flying low
across the road. The last time I had seen a pheasant was with my uncle
Francis Perlinger in SW Nebraska.
The actual border crossing was uneventful, though some tension was evident,
probably a side effect of Austria's recent political turmoil and the
inclusion of right-wing political factions in the government. I bought $100
worth of Hungarian florint at a small kiosk, then headed directly east on a
small, bumpy paved road parallel to the border that my new Michelin map of
Hungary indicated headed towards Janossomorja.
The landscape was very green and wet, and mostly under agricultural use.
There were large tracts of tall trees separating the fields. The trees
appeared to have been planted, or perhaps they occupied marshy ground
unsuitable for farming. I encountered very little traffic, and much to my
amazement, some of it was draft animals being used to plow the fields and
pull carts. I drove through several little villages, which all seemed to be
in a state of arrested decay. They have electricity, and a few tractors and
small cars and trucks, but aside from that it was like going into a time
machine. The roads were posted, however, and I was in no danger of getting
lost. The remnants of a narrow gauge railroad alongside the roadway were
evident, though it looked like it had been a hundred years since it had been
in use. It was mid morning, and people were out and about, working in fields
and gardens or chatting with neighbors. I saw a stork family in a nest on a
power pole in one village. I amused myself by raising a finger or two off
the steering wheel in salutation as I passed oncoming carts or vehicles, as
we do in the American countryside. Most returned my wave, and then strained
their necks looking to see who in the world I might be.
In an hour or so I arrived at the modern north-south two lane Highway 86 that
runs up to Janossomorja. I soon arrived at the southern outskirts of the
town, and a church spire was evident. Driving towards it, I saw a sign that
said "Szent Peter" and soon was parked at the church itself. Relatively
small and tall by American standards, it seemed to me to be somewhat
awkwardly sited and at an angle with the street, with very little surrounding
yard. A gradeschool full of playing children was next door. Signs in
English, Hungarian, and German identified the church, and with some sense of
awe I realized that I was in the exact place where my ancestors had
worshipped for literally hundreds of years. The church has been rebuilt
several times, but there is a stone foundation and two short columns that are
original and supposedly date back to the Roman Empire. The door was locked,
and although Ron Baxter had told me who had the keys, I hadn't arranged to be
There is a war monument nearby, exactly like those I had seen in every
village throughout Austria. The monument had been erected in 1993, and was
very well done, with gold inlay on the carved names, and flowers all around.
As I inspected the monument, I was startled to see many Perlinger names
listed as casualties in World War II. My mother's cousin Paul "Bud"
Perlinger has often commented that he felt he was shooting at cousins while
he served with the U.S. armed forces in Europe during World War II. He may
have been literally correct. The monument would lead me to believe that they
were in German military units, though they may well have been in the
Hungarian Army, fighting on the eastern front.
The tri-lingual sign next to the monument pointed out that these
German-speaking people had died fighting for this land but nevertheless the
entire German speaking community (4500 people all together) was expelled from
their homeland of hundreds of years, in 1946. Their only real "crime" would
appear to be that they had retained their German language and culture. It
was obvious that there are strong feelings about this, as you can well
imagine. Francis Perlinger has found one woman in Illinois whose maiden name
was Perlinger who survived the ethnic cleansing as a child. When Francis
first spoke to her, she started crying, thinking that all of the Perlingers
from the area had been killed in 1946, and that she was the last Perlinger.
After taking several photos I traveled on towards what I assumed was St.
John. A sign pointed me to the west, and sure enough, there was St. John,
just as I had seen in photos taken by Ron Baxter. It was smaller than I
would have thought, and again, much taller than I would have expected in an
equivalent American church. Like St. Peter, it was painted in golden yellow.
The Hungarians were clearing the lot to the east of the church, and putting
in a plaza of some sort. There was a sign posted in the three languages
describing the church and area. I was something of an oddity to the local
people it seemed, eliciting much staring from the adults and attention from
the children. There's a peace monument in the form of a small hill to the
east of the church and in front of the plaza. It's a pile of soil gathered
from each county in Hungary and dedicated to a unified Hungary. The
German-speaking inhabitants of St. John had constructed the monument in the
early 1900's. The signage again mentions that this didn't save them from
expulsion in 1946. I can only surmise that there was a background of ethnic
tension between the Hungarians and German speaking peoples that this monument
had attempted to diffuse.
The church was locked, though I peered in through the side windows. I
spotted a model of the church inside, and what looked to be the sacristy.
The yellow paint had faded and chipped a bit, and power lines rather ignobly
ran right up to it. Ron Baxter tells me that both churches are used, with
one priest seeing to both.
My attention then turned to the cemetery. I wandered around a bit but soon
found it to the northwest of the church. I entered the cemetery, and
proceeded to walk every square foot of it, hoping to find any Perlinger
gravestone; in particular the stone for my great great grandfather Paul
Perlinger. I had been told that a stone had been erected when he died in the
I was unable to find this or any other Perlinger stone. I was disappointed,
but satisfied that I had tried my best. The Hungarians have taken to
re-using the gravesites near the entrance of the cemetery. German stones
have been uprooted and apparently discarded, and the graves reused. This
isn't all that unexpected - I'm told that European cemeteries typically
recycle every 100 years or so, as the area available for graves is limited.
And until the border opened up, it was likely impossible for relatives of the
former inhabitants to care for their graves. In any event, it was very rare
to see a legible stone more than 100 years old, as the stone face becomes
eroded. I can only guess that the stone used and the engraving technology
were of relatively poor quality. Very many stones still standing are
overgrown or illegible. I did find a few stones marked with familiar names -
Lang, Rongisch, Shimonitz, and Gruber. I found the gravestone of Ron
Baxter's great great grandparents, Mathias Shimonitz and Katharina Perlinger.
The stone is still standing though the Hungarians have reused the gravesite
and a new stone is in front of it.
I took a different route back to Austria, traveling south to the main
east-west Highway 85 that goes to Sopron, then back north to the same border
crossing at Pamhagen I had used that morning. Hungary (at least rural
Hungary) seems to have suffered from its nearly 50 years under communism, and
the contrast between it and Austria is remarkable.
After recrossing the border into Austria I headed on north towards Andau,
which is just opposite St. John. There's a border crossing there, but only
for pedestrians and cyclists. St. John is within walking distance of the
border and perhaps on a future trip I'll try this.
Dominating the skyline throughout the area immediately west of St. John are
the twin spires of the basilica at Frauenkirchen ("Church of Our Lady").
Visible from many miles away across the flat landscape, the church is ten
miles as the crow flies west northwest of St. John. Since it dates from
around 1700, I can be fairly certain that my ancestors worshipped there at
one time or another, though it would have taken several hours of walking to
get there from St. John.
Parking alongside the church, I visited the "Kalverienberg" or Calvary Hill,
which depicts Calvary and the Crucifixion. I had never seen anything quite
like this before. Adjacent to it is a stone monument to the lost parishes
and parishioners in Hungary, including St. John and St. Peter among many
others. The war monument in front of the church lists the name of a George
Perlinger, who had died in World War II. My paternal grandfather's name was
George Perlinger and it's also an uncle's name, and my middle name. While
this George had fought on the wrong side, I was filled with a sense of
sadness and irony.
I was mildly surprised to find the church doors unlocked, and I was
unprepared for what I saw inside. The church interior is absolutely stunning
as it is done in the baroque style, with elaborate statuary, stained glass,
altars, paintings, choir loft, organ, baptistery, et al. The high ceiling is
covered with paintings depicting heavenly scenes. A golden altar curtain
with a small statue dominates the front of the church, and there are several
elaborate side altars. I knelt in one of the plain wooden pews and said a
rosary for the Perlinger family. While I wasn't in the ancestral church of
St. John, I was in a basilica only ten miles away and in a town that a George
Perlinger had died for, so I decided that this was a very reasonable
I returned to Podersdorf, a few miles away, after this very full day. That
evening I visited the nearby grassy beach on the east shore of the Neusiedler
See, and was impressed with its size and the many windsurfers holding a World
The next day I wandered around to the north and west of the Neusiedler See,
and visited Eisenstadt. I had wanted to travel on to Rust, but the road was
blocked for construction. I drove on south on Highway 50, which runs the
length of the Burgenland. I wandered onto side roads from time to time. I
was continually amazed at the beauty of the wooded green hills, and the high
standard of living enjoyed by the area's inhabitants. Many new homes were
being built, all very nice looking in their distinctive style. Cyclists of
all ages were out in force, enjoying the spring weather. The roads in the
Burgenland are narrow, usually have ditches to either side with no shoulder,
and the locals insist on driving them at high speed! Near the Hungarian
border Austrian military vehicles were very much in evidence. I got as far
south as Bernstein, then I turned around and took Autobahn 2 north and
returned to Podersdorf.
The next morning I checked out of the LandGasthof, saying goodbye to the
Wurtzingers, and retraced my previous day's journey to Eisenstadt and then
went on west to Wiener Neustadt, leaving the Burgenland. I headed south on
Highway 54, which was marked as a scenic route on my Michelin map. And
indeed it was. I wandered my way ever southward, almost to Graz then east
and back into the Burgenland. It was getting late, and I started looking for
a place to stay as I headed back north on Highway 50 through Gussing,
Oberwart, and then to Bernstein where I had turned around the day before. I
dropped down off the highway to a small village called Rettenbach where I
spent the night in the Bock family pension. Twelve year old Melody Bock did
an admirable job of translation so I was able to converse with the family
beyond my very limited German. Melody and her sister proudly showed me their
two guinea pigs. The pigs looked to me to be identical to the two my niece
and nephew have. I guess guinea pig appeal is worldwide (though it's lost on
I had read about the cog railway in Puchberg, so the next day I made my way
there, arriving in time to ride the 11:30 train to the summit of the
Shneeberg. It was great fun riding the little steam train up and down but of
course the summit was in clouds so I could see nothing. On a clear day, the
Neusiedler See is visible to the east. After a pleasant night in this very
charming town I made my way back to Vienna, and then flew on home May 1.
In summary I must say this was a rewarding and interesting trip. I hope to
return to St. John and St. Peter. There's still much to be learned about my
Perlinger ancestry. There are at least ten people living in Hungary today
named Perlinger, with Hungarian given names like Gyorgyi and Ferencne. There
are several Perlingers living in Argentina as well. And of course there are
very many Perlingers living in Germany, most famously Sissy Perlinger who is
a noted actress/comedienne. Who knows what I will learn in the future?(End
Newsletter continues as no. 81B)
Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 81B dtd 31 May 2000
Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 08:44:34 EDT
THE BURGENLAND BUNCH NEWS -No. 81B
DEDICATED TO AUSTRIAN-HUNGARIAN BURGENLAND FAMILY HISTORY
(issued biweekly by
May 31, 2000
This third section of the 3 section newsletter concerns a Problem With
Roots-L Archive, That First Trip To Austria, Sterz-Another Taste of the
Burgenland, Austrian American Society-Pittsburg and Member Changes.
ROOTS-L THREADED ARCHIVE FROZEN-ARCHITECTURAL LIMIT REACHED
You may have noticed that the last three editions of the BB Newsletter, Nos.
78, 79 & 80 are not available from our THREADED SEARCH Archive. Numbers 77,
77A and 77B, dated 31 Mar. 2000 are the last available. Roots-L has run into
an architectural limit due to the size of the archives. They are working to
resolve this problem and Charles Wardell, our Roots-L liaison continues to
check on the status. We are hoping that it will soon be resolved. Please be
patient. Newsletters No. 81, 81A & 81B will soon be ready for distribution
(May 31) and it is unlikely that they will be available to the search
facility. Archive searchers may contact me with queries until the complete
archives are again available. Roots-L will continue to distribute our
newsletter. We have been most fortunate in having Roots-L as the distributor
and archiver of our newsletters and we do not plan to make any changes.
Please bear with us.
G. Berghold, Founder Burgenland Bunch and editor BB Newsletter.
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>>>>> "Charles" == Charles Wardell <> writes:
Charles> Hi Marc, When may we expect archiver to work again -- and
Charles> how long till it take for the backlog to be processed ?
Charles> I'm particularly concerned about:
Still working on getting a new server deployed.
Marc Nozell <> http://www.nozell.com
THAT FIRST (AND MAYBE ONLY) TRIP TO AUSTRIA
One of the most difficult tasks I have is helping someone who wants to go to
Austria and visit the home of his ancestors for the first and perhaps only
time. I remember a trip to London in 1973, one of our group thought he could
use it to find ancestors in Scotland! How disappointed he was! My first trip
to Austria was a great three week trip in 1974 but I was not too successful
in tracing family. I did it again in 1993 (five weeks) and I was wildly
successful. Why the difference?
Many obstacles stand in the way of a successful trip but behind them all is
the need for knowledge. Knowledge of the German language, Burgenland history,
geography, culture, foreign travel experience and not least, knowledge of the
villages of origin and names of ancestors. The more of this knowledge one
has, the greater the chance of a successful trip. One can get lucky. I know
of descendants of immigrant Burgenländers who traveled to the Burgenland with
none of this knowledge other than a name and a village. They immediately
found a distant cousin or a bilingual Samaritan who supplied the knowledge
requirement for them. I know of one who was with a tour group and bumped into
a cousin during a pit stop! The angels smile on you when this happens, but be
assured these cases are few and far between. For most of us, it has been over
a hundred years since our ancestors left the Burgenland. Chances of anyone in
the Burgenland remembering them are nebulous to say the least. It is very
likely that no families of the name being sought are still in residence. What
can one do? Well you can use the Burgenland Bunch and get educated. Maybe
find a Samaritan before you leave. Maybe find a distant cousin. Doors may
What if you don't want to do all of this work or don't have time to do it and
still wish to visit the homes of your ancestors? There is a way and that is
to throw money at the problem. Absolutely essential are the names of your
ancestors and their villages. Armed with that, go to your local travel agent
and ask for an armload of brochures offering guided tours of Austria. Enroll
with Elderhostel and check their Austrian programs. Check tours offered on
the internet. Pick a tour that meets your requirements and includes a final
stay in Vienna or one to which you can add a three to five day city tour of
Vienna at the end. Find one that allows one or more full free days in Vienna.
Book the tour and enjoy a guided tour of the many fascinating sites in
Austria-maybe Salzburg, Innsbruck, the Wachau, A Danube Trip, the
Grossglöckner, the ambiance of Vienna, the Spas, the Lakes of the Alps, Baden
and the Vienna Woods, Melk and Dürnstein, etc. The list is endless and you'll
be gaining experience for the final trip to your ancestor's home at the end
of your tour.
With that behind you, now prepare that ancestral trip. Immediately after
arriving in Vienna, explain to your guide that you wish to visit a village in
Burgenland. (Let's use Kleinmürbisch as our example since it's pretty far
south and one of the more complex villages for records. If your particular
village is closer to Vienna, you'll have more time and be able to see more).
In this example, Kleinmürbisch only has a church used as a chapel-the
inhabitants attended mass in St. Nicholas (Szt. Miklos-see that church also,
on the way to Güssing) until about the 1890's then attended mass in Güssing
(so visit that church also). Also visit Grossmürbisch nearby.
Your guide will probably say such arrangements are not possible. Ask your
guide to talk to the concierge in your hotel. If you are staying at one of
the larger hotels like the Vienna Intercontinental on the Johannesgasse, talk
to the concierge yourself. These are the people near the reception desk
wearing cross keys on their coats. In Austria, a good concierge can arrange
anything! (Hand them a good tip in an envelope when you leave if they've been
of service). Tell them you wish to hire a car with an English speaking
chauffer for a full day trip to Kleinmürbisch, Bezirk Güssing in southern
Burgenland. You may have to give up a tour of some sort-tell your guide what
you are doing. Plan on a 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM day if possible. Determine the
cost (probably in the range of $400 to $600 or more depending on type auto)
and find out if you must give the driver lunch and a gratuity (probably).
Confirm when you'll be picked up at the hotel. (Be waiting in the lobby,
ready to go with a full day's supply of camera, film, memo pad, ancestral
data, a tote bag, binoculars, bottles of water, walking shoes, language guide
in case your driver gets stuck, lots of Austrian currency, this is a cash
trip, no credit cards, etc.)
After you meet your driver and go to your auto explain what it is you wish to
do. Tell him you want him to take the shortest route to Kleinmürbisch and
then return through the Burgenland (you'll probably drive via the southern
Vienna-Graz autobahn skirting the Vienna Woods and Baden, the A2, to route
65, and then travel east to Güssing by way of Fürstenfeld (you enter
Burgenland at Rudersdorf) using route 57 from route 65. You'll be driving
through the provinces of Greater Vienna, Lower Austria and Styria. As you
enter Burgenland you'll then pass by or through Rudersdorf, Eltendorf,
Poppendorf and Heiligenkreuz. The Hungarian border is a few minutes east of
Heiligenkreuz-if traffic is light ask your driver to show you the border
station. You can then say you saw Hungary. You then swing north on route 57
through Neustift to Güssing. If your driver knows a better way fine-you want
the quickest, it's about 120 kms to route 65 and another 30 or 40 to Güssing.
Whichever way he goes, ask him to comment on the region. With only one pit
stop you should be in Kleinmürbisch in 2 to 2.5 hours. Kleinmürbisch is only
a few minutes east of Güssing.
It's now about 9:30 AM, so have your driver slowly drive all over
Kleinmürbisch, take pictures of the signs at each entrance to the village.
With a population of only 258 people this won't take long. Visit the cemetery
and look for family names on graves. Record the data and take pictures
everywhere. Visit the church (it may be elsewhere, see Albert's list, may not
be open-if priest is available ask him to check the baptism record of your
ancestor), look for your ancestor's house number if you know it. If you need
help, have your driver ask someone. Get a picture of that house, front , back
and sideways-if someone appears, have your driver speak to them-maybe a
distant cousin! Visit the village grocery (probably an A & O store somewhere
nearby). Buy some snacks (chocolate and cookies are superb) and look at
typical Austrian grocery items. Buy some for souvenirs. Their bouillon cubes
are the best. How about pumpkin seed oil (Kernöhl), paprika, and apricot jam?
Maybe a bottle of local fruit brandy. Ask if they have local postcards. Buy
one of each, you won't find them elsewhere. It's now about 12:00, visit the
local Gasthaus and have a drink (bring the driver with you), ask about lunch.
Buy one or two bottles of local wine. You won't find it elsewhere. You may
have to eat somewhere else but all Gasthauses have something available.
Goulash suppe and a salad, a schnitzel with pomes frits, an open face ham
sandwich or whatever, maybe even a specialty cooking that day. Maybe they
have some strudel! Have your driver tell the Wirt (owner) what you are doing.
He just may know or call someone related to you. Play it by ear. Have lunch
and then do what your relative or Wirt or chauffer may suggest. If no
relative appears, visit the village office (Gemindeamt-may be elsewhere-see
Albert's List) and ask them to check the records for your ancestor. Ask if
they have a village history (Dorf Chronik). Try to buy a copy even though
it's in German. Village histories are jewels of great price. Again play it by
ear. If the clerks at the Gemeindeamt are not busy you may get all kinds of
It's now about 1:30 PM. If time permits, leave Kleinmürbisch and drive slowly
to and through Güssing, the Bezirk of Kleinmürbisch. Take pictures. Take
route 50 north, you are now traveling north through Burgenland. Pit stop in
Bernstein, maybe visit the jade (edelserpentine) shop for a souvenir. Leave
via routes 55 and 50 to Eisenstadt, capital of Burgenland. Try to find time
to see Schloss Esterhazy, probably too late for a visit. If you have more
time, ask the driver to show you Castle Forchtenstein and the villages of
Rust or Mörbisch am See and the Neusiedler See. Take the A3 back to Vienna.
You've made a one day tour of the Burgenland-I've used over two weeks to do
the same. You've made a full circle from Vienna to the south of Burgenland,
made a west to east crossing and traveled almost the full length south to
north. You've seen the home of your ancestors, walked where they walked, saw
their vistas. You've probably seen more than they ever did. You've seen what
life is like in the Burgenland and all it cost was time and money! Now treat
yourself (and maybe your chauffer?) to a Viennese meal with a great bottle of
wine (maybe a Gumpoldskirschner Auslese or a Burgenland Blaufrankisch) to
celebrate. In addition you've seen the very best of Austria as well as the
home of your ancestors, total cost, a few thousand dollars per person (will
vary with season, airline, hotel, length of stay, etc.) A trip to cherish
forever and well within the capabilities of most.
Note: Cost of this Burgenland trip can be considerably reduced and extended
to two or more days if you are an experienced traveler, capable of driving in
Austria and have a smattering of German and are undeterred by large city
traffic or driving in a strange place. Car rental is expensive but
considerably less if you do it without a bi-lingual chauffer. Study foreign
traffic signs if you do plan to drive and rent your auto before leaving, it's
much cheaper. Do not drive to Hungary unless that's where your village is
located. Hungary requires hefty insurance fees. You can always travel cheaper
by yourself, but tours and their guides provide the knowledge and expertise
you may lack. It is not always easy to deviate from a tour agenda, but it
should be no trouble if you do as suggested. The main tour will have ended
and you're more or less on your own on those city tours (they often just
supply a walking tour with a guide, maybe a bus tour or two and transfers as
part of the hotel package. Lots of free time and you can do Vienna on your
own after you return.) If you can extend the trip to a few more days and stay
overnight in a few villages and visit more historic sites you'll add much to
This trip sounds so good I may even try it myself and leave the driving to
someone else next time I'm in Vienna!
STERZ-ANOTHER TASTE OF THE BURGENLAND (Donita M. M. Considine & G. Berghold)
In the United States in the year 2000, it is difficult for most of us to
visualize what it must be like to have limited food supplies. A pantry
wherein we find only the basics like flour, salt, dried beans, cornmeal, etc.
To this we may be able to add some fat, milk, cheese, eggs, some smoked meat,
a few seasonal vegetables and fruits or nuts or whatever. Of course there are
still many places in the world where this is still the case. The Burgenland
pre 1921 (and in some cases later) was one such place. During the Depression
or World War years, there were many such places even in the United States.
Today we have the choice of thousands of food items at our supermarkets as do
people in the Burgenland. Our recipes are now much more complex. Think of
the number of items required to prepare your last dinner.
A cook, faced with limited supplies has the unenviable task of preparing a
nutritious, filling and tasty meal, maybe one that has to be stretched to
fill many hungry people. It is surprising how many such meals have been
developed and have remained favorites. I call them "kitchen food" to
differentiate from the more complex and exotic recipies calling for multiple
ingrediants. We have already discussed other types of Burgenland kitchen
food. Simple dishes which are still great favorites to those who grew up with
them, soul food which brings back memories and remains the taste of the
One such dish is perhaps the simplest of all. Combinations of flour of
various sorts, fat, eggs, salt, milk, etc. The Burgenländers call it "Sterz".
Donita M. M. Considine writes:
<<My maiden name is Marakovits. My Grammy (Mary Stubits from Harmisch, who
is still alive) would often make eiersterz (pronounced almost like
OYah-shtetz with Gram's dialect.) When we would ask Gram how to make them,
she would say, "Take 2 handfuls of flour...." or if we ask how long you cook
them, "They'll be done in no time!" You could never get a straight answer!
Anyway, my uncle measured the amount of flour in her hands one day and we
wrote down the recipe for those who are interested. I still make the
oyahshtets regularly but I think I am the only one in my (second) generation.
2 cups milk (use whole)
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt (adjust to your taste - I add more)
1/3 cup oil
Combine ingredients well. Heat some oil in heavy pot (not non-stick). Must be
really, really hot. Aunt Theresa says that when you think it's hot, it's not
hot enough. I use medium-high heat. Pour batter in pot. Immediately scrape
bottom with a wooden spoon or batter will burn. Then, turn batter
occasionally to let it brown well and break it up into smaller pieces. When
all traces of "wet" have disappeared, remove from heat. Add more salt to your
taste. When I asked Grammy how long it should take, she kept repeating,
"They'll be done in no time." If the oil wasn't hot enough, the eierstertz
won't brown easily and won't seem to cook, even after a long time. In that
case, throw it out and try again. I say from the time the batter goes into
the pot, it should take about 10 minutes or less to cook.
Some Austrian we met in Australia said his mother also makes "stertz".
However, she browns them under the broiler briefly before serving them. Mr.
Kresge (German) at Northampton High School said that his mother also makes a
version of stertz, but she bakes the batter in the oven.
VARIATION (who knew this dish was so flexible??): Aunt Anna recently said
that she puts the oil right in the batter. She adds a bit more oil to the
I reply: Hello Donita, "Sterz"-another group of kitchen or peasant food,
which brings back childhood memories. In addition to"Eiersterz" (egg), there
were Kukrüz (Mais mehl-cornmeal), Hahnsterz (Buchweisen-buckwheat),
Böhnensterz-(bean) and even Blutsterz (blood-with buckwheat when the pigs
were butchered). Cornmeal was another stovetop sterz (sometimes served with
milk like "mush") but the others were oven meals. I wish I still had those
large, black, and high sided pans my grandmother used for sterz and strudle.
My favorite sterz was buckwheat-the crispy pieces around the edges. Needs
lots of salt. Defintely not a favorite with my Pennsylvania Dutch wife.
One Burgenland tradition is that the youngest member of the family has the
right to clean out the dish or pan from which the "sterz" was served after
everyone has taken their share.
The reason for these was their simplicity-nothing extra required. They were
filling, economical and nutritious to a point. There is an art to making them
as you say, they don't always turn out right for such simple recipies. The
old cooks knew just how the batter should look or feel and how hot the stove
should be. Then too, some of our modern ingrediants (particularly flour and
fat-they used lard) differ just enough to make a difference.
My grandmother Hedwig Sorger (Mühl-Pöltl); Güssing to Allentown, PA; often
served sterz with soup on Friday and other fast days. Sometimes in Burgenland
today you can talk a Gasthaus cook into making one for you, but they often
laugh and say -"better things to eat these days!"
Surprisingly, the men seem to ask for them more often than the women. I only
find "Böhnensterz mit speck" (bean sterz with bacon) in my recently published
Mühlgraben (district Jennersdorf) cook book. I guess with prosperity the
peasant foods are dying out in favor of Viennese and world class cuisine. One
does find the more complex things like krautstrudle and pumpkin soup featured
in some Burgenland tourist areas as "regional specialties." My Dad would say,
broil me a steak!
AUSTRIAN AMERICAN SOCIETY-PITTSBURG (Anna Kresh)
Last Thurs. Rudy and I attended the Spring dinner meeting of the Austrian
American Cultural Society at Max's Allegheny Tavern on the north side in Pgh.
Dinner was wiener schnitzel, potato pancakes (really great), dessert was
apfel sturdel. Simply superb.
After dinner George Mandl, the president, gave part 2 of his talk on
Burgenland, its origin and history. It was excellent. In closing he quoted
something by one Gerry Berghold. It was the part about there not being a
"proper Austrian" (see Newsletter no. 76A). He highly praised the BB, and
everyone wanted one of our "business" cards. Looks like we've got another
devoted reader (and maybe some more members).
Laurence Bingenheimer-Emich; (); San Rafael, CA. ASTL, Zahling,
Kukmirn, Neustift, Eltendorf. To St. Louis.
Bob Brandt, (); Elmwood Park, IL . FRITZ, MUELLNER, in
Neumarkt, FUITH, (FUED) (FUIT), MATTIS, KARNER, HOFMEISTER, BENDEKOVITS,
EIGENBAUER, GROSSINGER in Mariasdorf, Oberwart, Southern Burgenland. Settled
in Chicago, Illinois; St. Paul, Minnesota; Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada.
John Czekner, (); Stafford, VA. CZEKNER, Kemesmal,
TARAFAS, Pinka Mindszent, settled in Northampton, PA. SOS, Raba-Gyarmat, SOS
or SOOS, Magyarlak. All villages in Vas Megye, Hungary. Settled in Allentown
Barbara (Hoanzl) Czekner, (); Stafford, VA. HOANZL,
Kukmirn, GUGUMINE, Kukmirn(?), WIESNER, ?, settled in Allentown, PA.
Michael Damhesel;();Tucson, Arizona DAMHESEL;
Stadtschlaining. JANISCH; Stadtschlaining. Settled in Chicago,IL
Renee Golay, (); Huntsville, AL, TOTH, BALOUGH (BALOG)
TZAR (CZAR). Southern Burgenland, western Hungary? Toth's & Baloughs started
in Nazareth PA, some are in FL, or IN. Tzar came to Dayton OH.
Dennis Harren, , Bloomington MN,
PRATSCHNER-SCHERMANN-LEITNER, from Gerisdorf, settled in Rollingstone MN.
Werner Janisch; (); Poppendorf, Bezirk Jennersdorf,
Burgenland. Eduard LEITGEB, born in Rosenberg, between 1920 und 1930,
emigrated to New York. Restaurant owner (Eddies Restaurant), deceased.
Looking for children and descendants. (Sohn: Eduard LEITGEB). Dena RICKETT,
geboren in Rosenberg, born Leitgeb, between 1920 und 1930 emigrated to
Sacramento. Deceased. Suche nach Kindern und Enkel (Sohn: Leo RICKETT).
Lisa Lyle; (); Lake Ridge, VA. My great
grandmother emigrated from Stegersbach in 1910. SAUERZOPF
MURLASITS(MURLASICHS, MURLASICS), TSCAHR, RAIDL (RIEDL), NOVAKOVICH.
Marian Moore, (),Sarasota, FL, KONRATH. Oberdorf,WOLFER,
Kirchfidisch, to Chicago.
Steven Stangl; (), Los Angeles, CA. STANGL, Winten (Eberau).
Kevin Thom; (); Vancouver Canada. I'm looking for any info on
two people. Rosalie HERZOG, born Mar.10 1883 Burgenland, left for Wisconsin
before 1902. Joseph WAPPEL, born Jul.6 1872 Burgenland, left for Wisconsin
Name: C.R.Wyatt, (), Heanor,Derbyshire,U.K. SCHUH and
RINGBAUER, Riedlingsdorf and Loipersdorf.
Effective immediately, my new email address is:
Gary L. Portsche
Karen Schwartzbauer, was (
BURGENLAND BUNCH STAFF Coordinator & Editor Newsletter>
(Gerald J. Berghold; Winchester, VA )
Burgenland Editor> (Albert Schuch; Vienna &
Home Page Editor> (Hap Anderson)
Internet/URL Editor> (Anna Tanczos Kresh; Butler,PA)
Austro/Hungarian Research>(Fritz Königshofer)
Burgenland Lake Corner Research> (Dale Knebel)
Chicago Burgenland Enclave> (Tom Glatz)
Croatian Burgenland> (Frank Teklits)
Home Page village lists> (Bill Rudy)
Home Page surname lists> (Tom Steichen)
Judaic Burgenland> (Maureen Tighe-Brown)
Western Hungary-Bakony Region> (Ernest Chrisbacher)
Western US BB Members-Research> (Bob Unger)
WorldGenWeb -Austria, RootsWeb Liason-Burgenland > (Charles
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