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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. 99 Dtd. Sept. 30, 2001
Resent-Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 06:23:17 -0600
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 08:22:45 EDT


(issued monthly by
September 30, 2001
(all rights reserved)



TO RECIPIENTS: If you don't want to receive these newsletters, email with message "remove". ("Cancel" will cancel membership, homepage listings and mail.) Send address and listing changes to the same place. Add your full name to email. To join, see our homepage. We can't help with non-Burgenland family history. Comments and articles are appreciated. Our staff and web site addresses are listed at the end of newsletter section "C". Introductions, notes and articles without a by-line are written by the editor and reflect his views.

This first section of the four section newsletter includes:

* Cantus Felix At The Coplay, PA Sängerbund
* Bethlehem, PA Globe-Times Index On Line
* Minneapolis BB Picnic A Success
* Visit To Pennsylvania
* Szt. Peterfa, Hungary Project Completed


The visit of the Cantus Felix Burgenland Chorus to the Coplay Sängerbund on August 21 could aptly be summarized by saying that they rode in on a musical note and "came, saw, & conquered" a captivated SRO (Standing Room Only) audience.

We drove up earlier in the day & had an enjoyable dinner with fellow BB member Ed Novogratz & wife Nancy at a restaurant in Coplay. During the meal Nancy commented that she been out for a luncheon with friends and all said that they planned on coming to the Sängerbund to hear the choral group from Güssing. We arrived at the hall 20 minutes before the scheduled starting time, & realized that we hadn't come soon enough! All of the street parking areas were already taken, & the adjacent parking lot was almost filled. Inside the hall were a sea of people; all 18 tables, each capable of seating 10, were filled. Bob Strauch did a masterful job attempting to get seats for everyone & managed to bring in additional chairs that were soon filled. I chatted with Bob about the planning of the event & he commented that there was no way of determining how many would attend. He mentioned that a nun, from adjacent Northampton's Our Lady Of Hungary Church, had apparently spread the word about the performance.

Such a large crowd is a tribute to "spreading the word" as well as the power of the Internet. There was no advertising, nor any signs posted, yet the Hall was packed with individuals anxious to hear melodies from Burgenland. Franz Stangl the choirmaster expressed his thanks for the fine attendance & the pleasure it gave the group to sing for so large a crowd. He commented that the group was impressed by seeing a large mural of the castle of Güssing as they entered the Sängerbund. He said that it was a sure indication of the pride, which people in this area must take in their Burgenland heritage.

The group captivated the audience with their acapella singing, & many of the audience could be seen nodding their heads in agreement with the German words which Herr Stangl spoke. He introduced each of the melodies and they were sung in perfect harmony. Indeed, Herr Stangl, a fine voice himself, began one of the tunes as a solo before giving way to the full blending of the group's 14 fine voices. Many of his relatives, living in adjoining Northampton, were in attendance.

We had to leave at intermission since the hour was getting late & we had a long drive ahead of us. Ed Novogratz mentioned in a chat the following day that the 2nd half of the concert was even more enjoyable than the 1st. After the group had concluded it's singing, Bob Strauch & two other "button box" accordionists treated the audience to their musical talents. There was a fine "sing along". A reception was held allowing the members of the Cantus Felix to mingle with the audience. Everyone enjoyed the ethnic "goodies" baked by the ladies attending the event.

The BB was nicely represented by Dennis & Frieda Eberhardt, John & Stella Taus, along with the Novogratz's & ourselves.

When the individual choir members identified themselves and their villages, Dennis & Frieda Eberhardt sought out Eva Zankl, from Bildein, since their fathers came from the same village. They have many relatives in that village & Eva knew some of them. Another young singer with the group met one of her 1st cousins, Stella Miksits, during the reception. It was a most enjoyable evening of beautiful harmonious song, plus meeting cousins from the "Ausser Heimat".


(ED. Note: Along with Allentown, Bethlehem is an important Burgenland enclave in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. Both have daily newspapers and the Allentown Morning Call (Call-Chronicle) has been on line for some time (see our URL list). Margaret now reports that the Globe-Times has put their index on line and copies of articles or obituaries can be ordered.)

Margaret writes: I recently had an opportunity to search the microfilm archives of The Bethlehem (Pennsylvania) Globe-Times. This archive is now searchable at the Bethlehem Area Public Library's website. Since many Burgenländers settled in the Bethlehem area, this information source may be of interest to BB searchers. Indexing of The Bethlehem Globe-Times is still in progress. Earlier and later years are more complete than the middle years. The South Bethlehem district is more fully indexed due to a volunteer whose particular interests lie in South Bethlehem (one of the earliest ethnic areas of Bethlehem).

Search Steps

1. Go to
2. Click on Site Map
3. In the second column, click on Local History.
4. Note there is an index of news articles and a separate index of obituaries and biographical articles.
5. Click on the desired search years within one of the categories.
6. At next screen, click on Search (binoculars icon) at top of screen.
7. At askSam screen, enter search name or other search item. Click on Search.

The Bethlehem Globe-Times Microfilms are available through ILL (Interlibrary Loan). Contact your local library. You may also request the Bethlehem Library to send you a photocopy of any desired articles ($3.00 each). Instructions and request form are included at this site. Other Pennsylvania search sites can be found under "Other Useful Links" and elsewhere on the Bethlehem Public Library website.

Please note that lookups at the Morning Call newspaper ( which were formerly free are now subject to a fee. These may be less than photocopy fees from the Bethlehem Library; however, the time periods are not identical. The Morning Call now archives April 1993 to the present. There are instructions on the Morning Call site to obtain previous articles and their respective fees. The Bethlehem Globe-Times was acquired by the Allentown Morning Call.


The Burgenland Bunch Minneapolis picnic went off without a hitch Sunday, August 13th. After many weeks of horrendously hot, humid weather, a front came through a couple of days before and the weather was perfect with low humidity, scattered clouds and a temperature of about 80 degrees.

About 45 people attended. They came from all over Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Florida. The Burgenland Bunch has a devoted membership from this region with people consistently making an effort to get together for research, fun, and fellowship. After having the picnic for four years, it is great seeing the fellow Burgenland Bunch members who were strangers only a few short years ago and who are now family... both figuratively and literally! We commiserated over sicknesses and deaths, and celebrated and congratulated achievements and births.

There were people who had been to Burgenland recently and shared pictures and experiences. Dallas and Lorna Leier, who were leaving for their Burgenland adventure the next day, were much envied. And there were several other people who are in the planning stages of their dream trip.

The attendees made great contributions of really delicious food to the picnic this year. Some excellent poppy seed and apple strudels, salads, home canned pickles, and desserts and other finger foods to die for. When asked for her strudel recipe, Mary Keicker laughed and said something like "Oh, you throw in this and that until it looks right"! Just like the old days, there is no written recipe. The traditions continue by being passed from generation to generation.

A real highlight of the day, and a first for the picnic, was live music. Mike Opitz, son of BB member Firmus Opitz, graciously played his accordion for us. It made the day much more festive. Mike has a real talent for the accordion and played beautifully for quite a long time. Thank you Mike! It was a real pleasure. And thank you Firmus for having such a talented, generous descendant!

All-in-all, it was a successful day with pictures, research and fun all around. Thanks to all.

For photos of the picnic, please go to the Burgenland Bunch website at:

VISIT TO PENNSYLVANIA (from Christine Muller)

As I told you in my last writing, I was going to visit Harrisburg and access the Census records. My journey completed yesterday as I spent the day viewing Federal and State Census records for 1920 and then headed east to Coplay, PA, where my grandparents had emigrated.

It was great fun walking around the streets where my mom & her siblings grew up. The people were absolutely wonderful - friendly & helpful in my quest. One gentleman mentioned a woman whom he had known for 26 years and is very possibly my mother's first cousin. She was vacationing but I left my address and hopefully will hear from her.

The information you provided from the article entitled "Burgenland Genealogy in Pennsylvania" was tremendously helpful (available from first homepage archive link). The cemetery list was useful and I actually located the cemetery that the Hungarians (found out from census records that my grandparents claimed Hungary as their home country) used, Our Lady of Hungary in Northampton, the parish is in Coplay. I had a great day and the information I gathered was superb and I wanted to thank you for your help & information. I now have a better understanding of genealogical research and can now forward information to post to your wonderful group.


(ED. Note: Those of us who are serious about expanding our genealogical tree know the utter frustration of having to stop at 1828, the earliest date of most Burgenland church records available from the great LDS archive. If we wish to proceed further, we are normally faced with a visit to the Burgenland. However, having gone that route twice, I must advise that there is never enough time to do a thorough job on site. Too many other things intervene. BB charter member John Lavendoski changed all that when he took a digital camera to Eisenstadt and Szt. Peterfa, Hungary and photographed all of the extant Szt. Peterfa records back to the 1600's. He then convinced Frank Teklits to use them to build a computer file. Frank (also a charter member, now our Croatian editor and my good friend from university days) was also the translator of that magnificent history of Croatian migration, serialized in our newsletters. After two years of intense effort, Frank has finished this new project. He sent me CD's of his work and I must say that it is overwhelming. Even better than the LDS microfilm in that he has cross-referenced and sorted the data. We wish to make this work available to BB members but must first seek permission. Following is Frank's letter asking for just that. We will keep you advised.)

August 6, 2001
Fr. Johann Schneller
Pastor Sts. Peter & Paul Church
Szentpeterfa, Hungary

Dear Fr. Schneller,

It is almost 2 years since my partner in this endeavor, John Lavendoski, forwarded the catalogued, digitized images of the church records of Szentpeterfa from 1681 to 1796 to me. Since August 1999, many hours have been spent reviewing the handwritten records & completing the Phase I digitization process of these records.

Since providing you with a draft version of these records in February 2001, a second iteration through the records has been completed, and a shipment of spiral bound digitized records is being forwarded to you. This carton contains both chronological and alphabetically sorted birth / marriage entries, as well as Image locater files. These Locater Files were created to rapidly find any birth or marriage entry with its digitized image of the original church record. The image locator files are also chronologically and alphabetically sorted for both birth / marriage registers.

Two CD's are included in the submission: One CD contains a copy of the digitized church records as photographed by John Lavendoski in June 1999. The second CD contains the chronological and alphabetically sorted birth / marriage entries for the period of 1681 to 1796, using Microsoft's spreadsheet program, Excel, version 2000.

We ask that you destroy the copies of the draft version of these records that were given to you earlier year to avoid having conflicting records.

Submission of this package completes Phase I of the endeavor and is based on the initial photographing of the church records in 1999.

As written to you in February of this year, it is the time to seriously contemplate how & where to deposit the results of this effort. It would be a tragedy for this effort to result in the storage of these digitized records in a few individuals' desks, soon to be forgotten, whether it is in personal archives, or in a non-accessible archive for old records. Until such a final decision for safe, long-term storage of these digitized records is made, your written permission is requested to place these records on the Internet, restricted to the members of a genealogical group, known as the Burgenland Bunch, of which both John & myself are members.

This group now has over 700 members worldwide, all of who are interested in their Burgenland heritage, and with a small percentage of participants with Szentpeterfa ancestry. Internet sharing of these records would add considerably to the search for their heritage. For your information, last month, Hans Niessl, Governor of Burgenland awarded the Cross of Honor to the President of the Burgenland Bunch genealogy group.

In closing, we extend our sincere thank you for your permission to photograph these treasured records, in addition to your patience, & support of our effort. In return, it is our pleasure to provide you with both spiral bound printed copies of the digitized records, as well as the CD's that include the results of our digitization effort, release level 1.2.1.

Frank A. Teklits
Warminster, PA

Newsletter Continues As No. 99A


(now issued monthly by
September 30, 2001
(all rights reserved)



Check out ALL of the lists shown on our homepage at:

This second section of the 4 section newsletter contains:
* Beilschmidt Research
* Rakicsany and Hianzisch Article
* Another Austrian Newspaper Success Story
* Polka Music
* Harmonia Gypsy Group
* Burgenland 80th Anniversary Concert-Chicago
* Allentown, PA Gleanings
* Folk Art Paintings (Mijo Kovacic)
* Austrian Peace Keeping Missions


(ED. Note-many nice things happened to us during our trip to Burgenland. One was a tour of Rust given by BB members Gerhard and Martina Lang of Eisenstadt. During the tour, we saw an elderly gentleman crossing the street. Gerhard called to him and went forward to meet him. Martina said that's Gerhard's father. What a unique experience. It's not often a tourist gets to meet a local in this way.)

Gerhard writes:

Lots of things happened since your visit in Burgenland. A week after the picnic a "Beilschmidt-meeting" took place in Rust. A young man named Peter Müller-Beilschmidt organized it and I must say it was great. Peter researches all the bearers of the Beilschmidt name and has a lot of contacts to Beilschmidt descendants. We met for dinner in an old Rust inn. Next day we heard about Beilschmidt origins and Peter talked about genealogy. I had a little part for the Rust Beilschmidts and answered a lot of questions. Some people from Rust, who joined that meeting, didn't know that I'm doing genealogical research. I found distant cousins, living in the area of St. Pölten, Lower Austria. They came and brought a lot of material and promised to fill out some research-forms to complete my data. I found it great that Beilschmidts from Eastern Germany joined the meeting too. They are not related, but they read about the meeting at the Beilschmidt-web site and decided to come with 6 or 7 people to take part.

I met a lady from the LDS church in Austria at the BG picnic and talked a lot to her. She sent me copies of a newspaper article concerning numerous internet links to genealogical pages. I retyped them and sent them to Anna Tanczos Kresh for use at the BB link page. Some of them are already known, but I hope she found some useful new ones for our group. I've checked a few myself and I must say that the site of the Ellis Island immigration office is wonderful. I've found the immigration papers of my g-uncle Charles Beilschmidt and his wife Anna, who came to the U.S. in 1923 and another Karl Beilschmidt who left Rust in 1912 and later changed his name to Kruft.

A few days later I received an e-mail from the above mentioned Peter Müller-Beilschmidt, who told me that an Anna Maria Beilschmidt contacted him, looking for relatives. I just had to smile, because Anna Maria is the long sought grand-child of my g-uncle Charles Beilschmidt. I had been in short contact a few years ago, but at that time she didn't seem to be interested in family. Anna Maria now started a search herself and Peter brought us together. I'm in e-mail contact with her and we have a lot to share. I've a few old photos of our families which I shared with her and she was happy to see them.

In the meantime my father died in his 85th year - maybe you remember him from your Rust-visit. Now I'll be moving from Eisenstadt to Rust with the family and I'm going to be "a Ruster" again.

I hope you already found time to recover from your trip to Burgenland. Hope you had a wonderful time over here and for now I say "Auf Wiederseh'n, Gerry!"


Felix writes: In response to a query about Rakicsány you said the following:

"Neuhaus is a village in the district of Oberwart in middle Burgenland, Austria. I have not been able to place Rakicsany castle within that vicinity (I used Prickler's "Burgenland Schlöser Ruinen und Wehrkirchen im Burgenland") and the site may well be in Hungary today. Rohoncz is the Hungarian name for Rechnitz which is in Burgenland."

According to Lelkes György's latest gazetteer, Rakicsán was known as Battyánfalva, located in the district (járás) of Muraszombat of Vas county (megye). It was a small village of 596 souls (Slovenes) in 1911. Today it belongs to Slovenia and is spelled "Rakican" with a hachek over the "c".

Re the Rakicsany search-I still wonder if that was an aristocratic name or not? Do you know if it translates into a current Slovenian word?

i do not speak their language but i just finished an email to a colleague in slovenia who can answer that question: peter hawlina at "SRD"

And, yes, according to the General index of Siebmachers Wappenbuch, there was a Croatian noble family called Rakicsany. I do not have the Croatian volume of that series so I cannot help with more details.

Enjoyed your Hianzisch article and mention of how linguists categorize the Austrian dialects. I have been interested and read quite a bit on this topic ever since I got stuck with my Fasching ancestors whom I traced to 1741 in Budaörs but cannot find out where they came from. Reading about dialects, as well as listening to some words my Hungarian relatives still know, plus finding mention of names these Faschings married into, have pretty well convinced me that they came from southern Bavaria, near the Austrian border. I have plotted the present distribution of Faschings and found them in large numbers in Vienna, Burgenland, Styria then Bavaria. Others in smaller numbers exist in almost every province of Austria. What amazed me about the Hianzisch poem you quoted, is that I could read and understand it without reference to the translation, although I learned the Upper Austrian dialect in the Salzkammergut when I grew up.

Visit my Austro-Hungarian Web Site:


Gerry, A relative on the Simitz side recently visited Canada and I went there to meet her; Brigette Marth-Buehler, my cousin's daughter. She has also been interested in family history and genealogy and has done some research as she was born and raised in Burgenland. She brought a copy of the Bezirks Blatter that contained an article about my family and my research - submitted by Albert Schuch. I was amazed to see family photos and a rather large amount of information published; I had thought at most it might be just a few lines. I have written Albert and the Newspaper expressing my thanks and want to thank you, too, for this wonderful opportunity. Many thanks, Cousin Lea

POLKA MUSIC (from Hap Anderson)

To all, Hi. For all those that are interested in "old time" German polka, waltz u. schottische music ... check the following site:

This mail order site is run by KNUJ radio in New Ulm Minnesota (15 miles from the farm of my great grandfather Weber). The "KNUJ - 50th Anniversary Collection" is a great sampler (2 Cassettes $15, 2 CD's, $25).


Don't know if you've heard of the Gypsy Band called Harmonia, from Cleveland. I've heard them perform twice in Chicago - they were here August 9. They're unusual because they are from Cleveland, and are young people. They are very good.

Anyway, the website is which wii give you info.

They will be performing in NY on Sept. 28 and they are asking for gigs for the 29th & 30th in greater NY area or Philadelphia. I believe you are somewhere in PA and thought if you checked them out, you might be able to refer them.

I'm only passing this on to you in the name of music. There is so little of this type here and it is very beautiful, and from our Austro/Hungarian background.


I rec'd from the BG Chicago, notice of the following:

Burgenländische Gemeinschaft Chicago

Celebrates 80 Years Annexation Of Burgenland to Austria with the Musicverein Siegendorf - A 32 Piece Brass Band From Siegendorf, Burgenland, Austria

Saturday, October 20, 2001
Concert Begins At 7:00 PM
Followed By Dance Music At 8:00 PM To Midnight
At Chicago Gaelic Park
6119 W. 147th Street, Oak Forest, Illinois
Admission: $15.00 Advance Sale Only
(Tables of 10 can be reserved).

I would be willing to make reservations of a table for 10 or more members of the Chicago Burgenland Bunch. It would be a nice opportunity for us to get together and meet each other. I have heard that the group is also visiting New Orleans.

ALLENTOWN, PA GLEANINGS (from M. Szvetitz-Eichelbaum,

As you know, I have just joined your group and am marveling at the things I'm finding. Your membership list looks like a roll call from my elementary, high school, parish, and neighborhood. So many surnames are familiar. I grew up in the neighborhood of Sacred Heart Church, 4th St., Allentown. I was raised in the home of my grandparents - it was not unusual then for grandparents, parents and children to live together. I went to Central Catholic High School, also at 4th St., Allentown, and sending parishes included Northampton, Coplay, Stiles, Catasauqua, Hokendauqua, etc. Sacred Heart was the "German" parish.

I read about your experience w/St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Ridge Ave. & Chew Sts., Allentown. I have been meaning to contact that church for quite some time as I have come across old church bulletins, etc. among articles left to me and my dad by a family friend who passed away. The bulletins date back to the 30s and 40s. and most are in German. The story of how we came to get these things is interesting.

Before I was born my grandmother, Mary Szvetitz, had a friend, Cecelia Groller. Before Ms. Groller died she had my grandmother promise that if anything should happen to her, my grandmother would make sure that Ms. Groller's son, Alfred, was taken care of. From that day until the day Alfred passed away in 1969 he came to our house nightly for a hot meal. Alfred lived in his mother's house on Allen St. in Allentown. When he died he willed his belongings to our family. Among them was an old photo album containing studio portraits of people who are unknown to me, and newspaper clippings and church bulletins from St. Peter's Church. To the best of my knowledge Albert had no surviving siblings or relatives. In going through the items I discovered that Ms. Groller lived with someone named Theresa. There is also a mention of someone named Frank Groller. I had a chance to go through these things again recently and plan to see if St. Peter's is interested. (Ed. Note-suggested contacting Lehigh County Historical Society).


We've done a number of articles on Burgenland music-now it's time for one on art. When Molly and I visited the Freilichtmuseum in Gerersdorf, Burgenland with the Gergers (which we thoroughly enjoyed), we saw a small exhibition of painters who did reverse paintings on glass. These were very nice and I came close to buying one, but they were very expensive. Later in the small shop, Klaus Gerger drew my attention to some post cards with the same type of painting and I bought a large selection. These were of rural peasant scenes done in a very "folkloric" fashion of many years ago or existing villages in a simplistic mode. They are quite good. My favorite is one called "The Bread Vendors" (Brotverkäufer). A small group approaching a small village carrying baskets of bread-a winter scene. The painter is Mijo Kovacic (a series). Ivan Stefanek and Milan Generalic (a series) did some of the others. The publishers of the post cards are Kunsthandel und Edition Luka Basic, PO Box 168, A-1080 Wien.

Surfing the net to find more information I found a painting by Kovacic but no further information. It does appear that these painters are part of a folkloric school popular in Yugoslavia (Serbia, Croatia or Slovenia-I'm not sure).

I don't know if the genre is Burgenländische or not, I hope so since they were sold by the museum. Then again, maybe they were just selling something with rural scenes. I also don't know if these painters are popular in Burgenland. Most of the Burgenland painters of today with whom I am familiar use a modern genre.

In any event, I asked Albert Schuch if he could find some more information about the painters and their work. I'd like to think that the scenes depicted are representative of Burgenland in the early centuries.

As usual, no sooner did I ask than Albert forwarded an answer.

He writes: They are Croatian and as such, former Yugoslavian national artists (with their work usually categorized as "naive art"). You may have found the following sites with some info on them:

Kovacic probably became more popular in Burgenland after an exhibition in Eisenstadt in 1999. See: (URL broken in two lines!)

AUSTRIAN PEACE KEEPING MISSIONS (from Austrian-American Chicago Newsletter, courtesy of Walter Pomper).

After 37 years, the Austrian Federal Army left the island of Cyprus on June 18. It was the longest peace keeping mission for the Austrians, as part of UN forces. Seventeen thousand soldiers, observers, police officers and civilian experts served on this divided island. Austrian UN troops continue to serve on the Golan Heights in Israel. (ED. Note: Given the large US involvement in peace keeping missions such as this, it is comforting to know that we are not alone.)

Newsletter Continues As No. 99B


(now issued monthly by
September 30, 2001
(all rights reserved)


This third section of the 4 section newsletter contains:
* Burgenland Reactions To Terrorist Attacks
* Report Of Terrorist Attack From Burgenländer On Site
* Two Young Austrian Children React
* Concern From Heiligenbrunn Friends
* No Words
* BB Correspondence From Washington, DC
* 911 Tragedy
* From Grand-daughter In NY
* From Burgenländisch Gemeinschaft
* Austrian Tourism Had Increased


Let me use this opportunity to inform you about some reactions in Burgenland to the recent terrorist attacks on the US:

Our provincial government has cancelled all celebrations that had been scheduled for the upcoming weekend commemorating the 80th anniversary of Burgenland's founding. There will only be a mass on Sunday, part of which will be a memorial service for the victims.

Governor Hans Niessl reportedly declared: "The provincial government has resolved to condemn this barbaric act against humanity and that our sympathy belongs with the victims of New York and Washington." Meanwhile Deputy Governor Franz Steindl has asked the municipalities of Burgenland to fly flags at half mast in front of all public buildings.

It was also reported with relief that Hermann Tretter, a native of Glasing in the district of Güssing and owner of a bar in the WTC, has survived the attack. During the bombing of 1993 two of his originally three restaurants had been destroyed.


Dear Mr. Berghold

Thank you all your work with the Burgenland Newsletter. I have just written a report of my experience at the WTC yesterday for ORF (the Austrian Radio Network) in Burgenland. Feel free to publish it. My Grandparents came from Wallendorf, near Heiligenkreuz south of Guessing. I have been there many times. We spoke once. My great grandmother worked in the same cigar factor as yours in Szentgottard.

Servus, John Gibiser Lostys

Yesterday was a very long and lucky day. I work out at the gym on the 22nd floor of the Marriot Hotel, attached to the World Trade Center. I was there from 7:00 to 8:00. At the end of my workout, I went for a swim in the pool, that had a great view of the WTC on one side and of New Jersey on the other side. The pool was usually crowded, but for some reason, I was the only one in it that morning. The sunlight was flowing in from the WTC side and lit up the center of the pool as I did my laps. It was so beautiful and peaceful in the water. Little did I know I was going to be one of the last people ever in the pool and the gym.

There was also a wonderful young Hispanic girl, Rosana, at the desk who just started last month. She just got out of high school last spring and it was her first full time job. She was very happy with the position. Rosana was extremely friendly and polite to the clients and coworkers. On the way to the gym that morning, I bought a coffee for myself and one for her (with milk and two sugars, the way she likes it). That also brought a smile on her face. I don't know what happened to Rosana. I only hope she got out in time.

At 8 I took the elevator to the lobby. There was a large convention getting started on the main floor. The day before, I had seen the convention on the national news. I popped my head into one of the ballrooms- all decked out for a fancy breakfast, but then thought I should not waste time and I should be getting to work. I then walked out of the hotel, through the WTC main floor, and down the two escalator to the PATH train to Newark, (like I did every work day.)

So I missed the bombing by 50 minutes. Gott sei dank! My guardian angel was working overtime that Tuesday.

In Newark, New Jersey we saw it on the TV on the fourth floor. It looked like a movie or video game at first. I could not believe it. Later we were able to go to the 10th floor and see the flames and smoke on the horizon. We saw one building collapse and then the second before our eyes. One coworker (Ace Romer) had a sister who died last month, and a girlfriend who worked in the WTC. He was trying to get her on the phone, but could not get through.

Another coworker Brian had worked with four people who left our company last year and moved to a firm at the WTC. He was awaiting a response to his calls and e-mails, but with no luck. A third worker had a mother and sister who worked in the area. After three hours of people glued to the TV set, getting more upset, they called off work. The FBI also has an office in the same complex so for safety reasons, we left quickly.

The manager, Ajay was heading to London that morning. He was waiting for a 10 o'clock flight and had checked in and was having a coffee in the lounge at Newark Airport, when he saw the first blast on TV. He left and went to the check-in counter and asked about getting his baggage back. They said it was impossible. He said the hell with the luggage and left. He luckily got a taxi before the mad dash to leave the airport started.

There was no way I could cross the Hudson River from New Jersey to Manhattan and cross Manhattan to Queens to get home. So the manager gave me a ride to a friend's home in a nearby town. I had to wait on the lawn until my friend and his wife got home, but I was happy to be in such a safe spot. My friend's daughter, Jena had a teacher whose husband was in the WTC.

In the town of Maplewood there is a nearby mountain. An hour before dusk, we drove up to the mountain. Most of the town was there. There were so many parked cars around. We walked up the last part of the trail and there was a beautiful crescent road on top. On the back of the crescent were green trees and on the other side was a vista of New York City, with smoke still pouring out, where the WTC and the pool was that morning. Someone heard on the radio, that WTC 7 with 42 floors was collapsing. An old woman was leaving the peak, and started to sing an old hymn as she was leaving. The song caught me and went right though me.

There were no planes in the air that day, even though we were not to far from Newark airport. When one came by, everyone stopped and stared, and one father hugged his son, until we saw that it was a military aircraft. Before that day, we never gave a second thought about planes. We had all lost our innocence.

As the sun was setting, the sideways angle of the sun was lighting up some skyscrapers and some people thought other buildings were on fire. Some one said it was just the sunlight. When we saw no smoke from those buildings we were relieved. Everyone was shocked and saddened and nervous. People had already had placed poems and messages for lost ones on pieces of paper and taped them to the rocks. I never saw such touching poems. Tears were in many peoples faces.

This morning, I went back up the hill and a hand full of people where there and smoke was still coming from the site. Later I took the train to Manhattan. The train was almost empty, they did not bother collecting tickets, and a woman across from me was crying quietly. I looked at her understandably but could not say anything. She just wanted to get through the new day in her own way, like I, and every one else did.

In Manhattan, the streets were empty in Greenwich village. A few people were walking sadly on the street. No cars were around. One could hear a Helicopter or a police vehicle in the background. I walked to Houston Street but not further. They would only let people who lived in the area and had identification below Houston. There was still some smoke coming from the site.

My Catholic Church is by the Holland Tunnel south of Houston Street and I wanted to visit the church, but the police had more important work and I did not want to bother them, so I headed back to Queens and home. I wonder if the stained glass windows are still in the church. They were only a kilometer from the blast and faced the WTC. The priest there, Father Euguene, was the only priest who had a full time job in NYC, until last year when he retired. He was a fireman and handled the incoming calls. His father was a fireman too and had died in a fire. I wonder if he went out to help and what happened to him.


(ED. Note:-my cousin Klaus Gerger, a BB corresponding editor, lives in Vienna and Güssing. He has two lovely daughters, Eva and Viktoria, 9 and 11. Klaus writes:

Hallo Molly, hallo Gerry,
The very first question Eva and Viktoria had was:
"Ist den Bergholds eh nichts passiert?" (this didn't happen to the Bergholds-did it?) , so they and we all were glad when we received your mail (that we were ok).I think you can imagine how we feel. All the best, Klaus & family


In a message dated 9/11/01 3:09:23 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

Hallo Ihr Lieben!

Wir hören heute schon den ganzen Nachmittag die traurige Nachricht über den Terroranschlag auf die USA (New York, und Washington). Eine Katastrophe, wir hoffen das es Euch allen gut geht und senden die Herzlichsten Grüsse an alle die wir kennen aus dem sonnigen Heiligenbrunn im Südburgenland.

(Literal translation-all day we've heard of the tragic terrorist attack on the USA. A catastrophe-we hope that you are well. Heart felt sympathy from all in Heiligenbrunn. Included was a picture of Herr Krutzler.)

NO WORDS (from Hannes Graf-Vienna)

Dear all,
I have no words to say how I feel at this time. I see on TV what happened today in New York and Washington. I don't know, if you or your children are involved in it. I hope nobody is a victim., Hannes.


Fritz replies to Hannes Graf:

Thanks for thinking of us here in the US. As you know I work at the World Bank in downtown Washington. My building (though not my office) has an excellent view of the Potomac River, the National Airport and the Pentagon which lies next to this airport. I am sure many of my colleagues must have seen the incredible crash as it happened.

I myself was supposed to fly to Europe on business this afternoon. Therefore, I did not go to work. Before I started packing my luggage, I received an e-mail from our daughter in London, informing me of the World Trade Center tragedy (at that time only the very first event of it). Then our daughter called me, and soon afterwards our son (who studies on the West Coast) when the towers had already collapsed. From then onwards, I watched TV myself, but with the most awful feelings, like I am sure all of you. We are all fine, and I hope I'll not travel for the next weeks!

How close it was for some families is demonstrated by the e-mail I am attaching which came from an occasional correspondence partner in Hungarian genealogy, Laszlo Apathy.


Dear family & friends,

Just wanted to let you know that our daughter Christina, who lives in NYC and works at the World Trade Center is shaken up but A-OK. Christina did NOT go to work at 9am this morning because she had a doctors appointment. Because she lives on the top floor of a 7 story apartment building only about 15 blocks away from the WTC, she heard the 1st airplane just go over her roof and then immediately followed by the big explosion. Christina then ran up to the roof and saw her workplace on fire. We thank Almighty God that she is safe. Please pray for all the families involved with this national tragedy. Love & peace, Laszlo"Les " & Monika

911 TRAGEDY (from Bob Unger)

Bob writes: Gerry: What a day this has been - possibly worse than Pearl Harbor. (Bob and I are both old enough to remember that!) Since it happened on September 11th, one reporter called it the 911 tragedy.

I'm concerned about the well being of Anna Kresh. She sent me an email recently telling me that she was to start her 3 week trip to Austria on September 11th - contingent upon the status of her very ill brother. I don't know from what airport she was traveling from. So possibly she is now stuck in some airport on the east coast. (Ed. -Anna was scheduled to leave Pittsburgh on a later flight. Her trip has been cancelled.)

Glad to hear that you and Molly enjoyed the video (Ed.-Bob sent us a video of the Ungers' recent flight over southern Burgenland.) That video (aerial views of Fürstenfeld, Rudersdorf, Königsdorf, Eltendorf, Güssing, Heiligenkreuz, Poppendorf) was the first taken with my new digital camcorder. Now I am now going to try to convert some of those aerial shots into digital still pictures.

FROM MY GRANDDAUGHTER IN NYC (a 4th generation Burgenländer)

Hi, I tried to call you the other day but couldn't get through--all the phone lines were busy. I'm fine, still in a bit of shock, the whole scene is so surreal. I saw the buildings collapse in front of my eyes as I walked home; I can't describe the disbelief. I'm not very close to the financial district, but close enough that all our streets are closed and from time to time you can smell the smoke. Everyone I know is ok, thank God, and I think people are going to start going back to work tomorrow, but things won't be the same again. Not really feeling like celebrating my birthday tomorrow, either (thank you for the card!). Hope you're well, I love you and miss you.


Wie geht es Ihnen sonst noch immer? Wir fuehlen gerade sehr stark mit unseren Landsleuten in Amerika, alles Gute und herzliche Gruesse
(Hope all is well with you. We strongly support our compatriots in America.)
fuer die Bgld.Gemeinschaft, Renate Dolmanits

AUSTRIAN TOURISM HAD INCREASED (from Austrian-American Chicago Newsletter, courtesy of Walter Pomper).

The 2000/2001 Winter tourist season had record breaking results in terms of earnings and overnight stays. Earnings rose 6% to ATS 112 Billion. Overnight stays increased 3.4%. Most increases occurred in Burgenland with earnings up 16%. (ED. Note: We like to think that the Burgenland Bunch has contributed significantly to this increase. We'll be interested in the Summer figures in the aftermath of terrorist tragedy.)

Newsletter Continues As No. 99C


(now issued monthly by
September 30, 2001
(all rights reserved)



This fourth section of the 4 section newsletter contains:

* BB Staff Hard At Work
* Burgenland Award Continues To Make News
* A Memorial
* Using BB Material In Your Website
* Hungarian Property Description
* BB Staff List


Our staff are continuously at work improving our websites. Hannes Graf has recently alphabetized our membership list and added some helpful flags, while speeding up time required to load to your computers. He has developed two new websites (linked from our homepage)-pictures of our Burgenland award ceremony and a site of Burgenland Songs with words, music and sound. Bill Rudy has moved and improved the village list. Tom Steichen continues to monitor his improved Surname Lists. Anna Kresh continues to maintain the URL list, adding your suggestions and deleting inactive sites. Hap Anderson oversees all as he maintains the homepage. I enjoy writing articles, but I would not enjoy maintaining a website. Our thanks to these intrepid volunteers. One way to thank them is to monitor your data and inform them of anything that needs correction. Changes should be sent to me. ALL email should contain BB in the subject line-this way we know who is contacting us. I am super critical of what email I open. If you use something suspicious in your subject line, I just might delete it. ADD BB TO LET ME KNOW YOU ARE A MEMBER!


At my age I feel I've paid my dues and only owe my long supporting spouse -likewise no one owes me anything. Still it is nice to receive an honor, especially when it can be shared with others. Albert Schuch continues to send me pictures and articles of the honor event still appearing in local Austrian publications, almost two months after it took place. Why is this? In addition to Albert being a great public relations artist, I feel it has to do with an awareness in Burgenland that there are many people in the world who are interested in them. Burgenland is receiving much international attention via the internet. We and they are strengthening the ties that bind us. Wouldn't you feel that way if you became aware that a group of 800 people were interested in you? So many new cousins, so many descendants of those long lost relatives who went to America. I'm pleased that the Burgenland Bunch award is still making news. Hope we continue to do so.

This morning I received a call from Radio International Austria (Vienna)-they asked me for an interview which they edited and released on September 26. Albert Schuch monitored the broadcast and reported it went very well.

Albert Schuch also writes:
I just browsed through today's edition of the daily "Wiener Zeitung" and found a 24 page supplement "80 Jahre Burgenland". I will mail it to you, since you are mentioned (as having been honored with an award for founding the BB). Amongst other things they wrote about the Schönbacher emigration story and included a link to our BB website.

Mr. Strompf just recently included another short article plus photo (of the two of us, taken at the picnic in Moschendorf) in the "Bezirksblatt Güssing/Jennersdorf". I'll send this too and will include the article (plus some others that I have collected in the meantime) when I mail the "Wiener Zeitung" supplement on "80 years Burgenland."


BB member and Corresponding Editor Anna Tanczos Kresh is a descendant of Burgenland immigrants. Anna's brother Frank recently passed away as she was getting ready to visit Austria on the day of the terrorist attack. Their parents stem from villages in the district of Güssing. Their ancestors, like most of our people, tilled the soil and had little educational opportunity. They then came to America and what America offers can not be better understood then by reading her brother's obituary (edited).


Dr. Frank I. Tanczos, 80, died Wednesday, September 12 at his home in Washington, DC. He was a nuclear physicist and rocket scientist whose biography is listed in "American Men and Women in Science".

Dr. Tanczos was born January 2, 1921 in Northampton, PA, the son of the late Ignatz and Mary Schuch Tanczos. He completed 8th grade at Moore Township School at age 10 and Northampton (PA) High School in 1935. At age 14 he entered Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA and in 1939 received a B.S. degree in chemistry. He earned his doctorate in physics from Catholic University in Washington, DC in 1956.

He first worked as a research chemist for the Lehigh Portland Cement Co. In 1943 he enlisted in the US Navy and served on a minesweeper in the Northern Atlantic. In 1946, he began his life-long civilian career in the US Navy, Bureau of Ordnance. In 1959 he served as technical director for the Bureau of Naval Weapons. A primary area of concern was the development of the Polaris and Poseidon missile systems. In 1966 he was appointed technical director of research and technology for the Air Systems Command. He retired into Naval consultant service in 1980.

Dr. Tanczos served on various NASA advisory committees: Chemical Energy Processes, chemical energy systems, and air-breathing propulsion systems. He lectured in the graduate school of engineering at Catholic University. His areas of research encompassed cement composition chemistry, molecular vibrational relaxation theory, energy conversion, propellant chemistry and thermodynamics, rocket and air-breathing jet propulsion, and hypersonic air-breathing propulsion principles. He was a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Physical Society and an associate fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Dr. Tanczos is survived by two brothers, and two sisters. He was preceded in death by three brothers and two sisters. He had no children.

Funeral services were handled by the Reichel Funeral Home of Northampton, with a Mass of Christian Burial at Sacred Heart Church, Bath on Tuesday, September 18. Interment, with military honors, was in the Holy Savior Cemetery, Bethlehem, PA.

Also see The Washington Post; Tuesday, September 18, 2001; Page B07


Our material is under Copyright protection and as stated in our masthead "All Rights Are Reserved." We allow others to copy our work, provided they do not do so for commercial purposes and that they credit the source. We do not wish to become involved in any legal actions so please pay attention to this requirement.

In a message dated 9/2/01, writes:

On the BB site is some information about the village of Punitz, can I use some of it on my web long as I give credit? Bob

Answer: Yes, mention " From the website and archives of the Burgenland Bunch" and supply our URL.

If you quote a newsletter article, show "by author (Gerry Berghold or name of other author) as originally published in Burgenland Bunch News No. xx, dated mdy"


In a message dated 9/21/01 Beth Schrettner Duley ( writes:

When I began researching my ancestors I was very hesitant because of my ignorance of the language and the culture. Thanks to you I have found two earlier generations of family (with more to come hopefully!) plus living relatives across the world who have enriched my life tremendously!

I have come across something which may be of interest to the members but which also puzzles me so I am hoping someone can help explain it.

It is a property register for my great-grandfather Károly Schröttner which records land in Jakabháza, Vas County, Szentgotthard District. It is not dated but other research leads me to believe it dates to March 9, 1876. This is an oversized three page document, the cover page records the above information, the second page is divided into columns and records the lot number, the name of the property, the class of the property, the type and size of property (field vs garden, etc). The third page is also divided into columns and records the gross and net incomes of each property with grand totals. I have place decimal points where the numbers within the headings were separated by column lines. It is written in Hungarian. Selected information follows (it is a long document with nineteen separate entries similar to these):
Lot 281; "Ainselberg"; class 3; 192 öl of grasslands; Gross income: 192; Net income: 1.50.
Lot 335; "Birchwaldacker"; class 6; 814 öl of woods; Gross income: 814; Net income: 60.
Lot 429; "Kleinberg"; class 3; 225 öl of gardens; Gross income: 225; Net income: 2.53.
Lot 526; "Kleinberg"; not classified; 160 öl of House; Gross income: 160; Net income: 0.
Unit of measure totals: Fields = 1.1'009 (I do not understand this total since fields according to my arithmetic equal 2614 öl). Gardens = 498 öl. Grasslands = 874 öl. Vineyards = 0. Pastures = 503 öl. Woods = 246 öl. Reeds = 0.
Total of property measurement (or value?): 4K 97fl (?)
Income totals: Gross income= 4.1'490 Net income = 2483

My questions: 1. Can someone explain the "class" system of rating property? 2. Is there significance to naming properties? Note that there was only one house recorded for the entire register. 3. What is the equivalent of an "öl"? 4. I assume the money designations were korona, can anybody tell me what the modern day equivalent would be? This appears to be a sizable piece of property but (without knowing the equivalents) it appears to be valued at very little. I certainly will appreciate any comments.

ANSWER: Thanks for your kind words. An interesting set of questions. I'll try to answer and also plan to publish in a future newsletter to allow our readers to respond.

I believe an "öl" is an abbreviation of the Hungarian word "negyszögöl" which is a unit of square measure (Területmertekek). One acre (4840 square yds. or 0.46 hectars) = 1125 negyszögöl. So you see this was in total a very small piece of property, but normal for a small holding given time and place. The income values tend to support this.

K=Korone (Crown) -a silver coin of Austria-Hungary current from 1892 to 1925. "fl" is probably Heller. This would lead me to believe that your dating of the document may be in error. I do not know its value in present (2001) dollars. This requires someone well versed in the mathematics of Economics. Values shown may (and probably are) in Austrian units while the measurements are in Hungarian units. In 1910 one English Soverign (Gold Pound) was worth $5 US or 24 Austrian Crowns so a Crown was worth about 21 cents. At a time when the average US weekly wage was not much more than $5, this was not an insignificant amount. About 1900, Austria began using the Crown (Krone)= to 100 Heller. This replaced the old Florin (Gulden) =100 Kreuzer=2crowns. A silver Florin was = 47 cents. (From Baedeker). I don't believe you've interpreted all of the numbers properly.

I believe your document is a copy of an Hungarian census which was held to ascertain tax values or a document to describe a property being offered for sale. It may also be a copy of the "Grundbuch" or village land register. It follows the usual pattern of defining a "Session" or "Hold" -a unit of land granted families for share cropping farming purposes under pre 1948 aristocratic ownership (only the nobility could own land prior to 1848; non-nobility were then allowed to buy the holdings they were sharecropping for 1/3 of the value-the govt. and aristocracy contributing the balance.) A "Session" included on average roughly 17 acres of arable land, some pasturage (grassland or hill), a wood lot, maybe a hillside vineyard or the reeds from a portion of marsh (to thatch houses) and a place (normally in a village) for house and garden plot. These in effect are, I believe, the "classes" of property.

Following is my description of the 1828 Hungarian census (the only one which I have researched)-it comes from Newsletter Archive No. 2. It is similar to what you describe.

The Hungarian Census of 1828 is on 8 rolls of LDS microfilm (nos. 0623007-0623014; see the LDS catalog under Hungary, Vas County, Census) for Vas Megye (county) and covers 615 towns, villages or puztas (manorial work stations). The place names are listed in an alphabetic sequence by Hungarian name with each assigned a number. The header page shows the following with the village name and number hand written: "UNGARISCHES STAATSARCHIVE, ARCHIVUM PALATINALE, LANDSKONSKRIPTION 1828, HUNGARIA, COMITATUS CASTRIFERRIE".

Vas Megye (county) derived from the Latin "comitatus (county) Castriferrei" (pre 1830?).

Only the landowner is listed (name is hand written) along with his (her) holdings in land, livestock, vineyards, major crops or other assets, etc. along with the number of people living with him by type; sons, daughters, servants, etc. The data is spread over a two page form with headings in Latin and entries under each heading.


BURGENLAND BUNCH STAFF (USA unless designated otherwise)
Coordinator & Editor Newsletter (Gerald J. Berghold )
Burgenland Editor (Albert Schuch; Austria)
Home Page Editor (Hap Anderson)
Internet/URL Editor (Anna Tanczos Kresh)

Contributing Editors:
Austro/Hungarian Research (Fritz Königshofer)
Burgenland Co-Editor (Klaus Gerger, Austria)
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)
Home Page membership list, (Hannes Graf, Austria)
Judaic Burgenland (Maureen Tighe-Brown)
Western Hungary-Bakony Region (Ernest Chrisbacher)
Western US BB Members-Research (Bob Unger)
WorldGenWeb -Austria, RootsWeb Liason-Burgenland (Charles Wardell, Austria)

BB ARCHIVES (can be reached via Home Page hyperlinks) or a simple search facility (enter date or number of newsletter desired) at:



Burgenland Bunch Newsletter distributed courtesy of (c) 1999, Inc. P.O. Box 6798, Frazier Park, CA 93222-6798

Newsletter and List Rights Reserved. Permission to Copy Granted; Provide Credit and Mention Source.


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