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Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 126 dtd Feb. 29, 2004
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2004 09:06:48 EST

(Our 9th Year-20 Pages/4 Email Sections Issued monthly by
February 29, 2004
(c) 2004 G. J. Berghold-all rights reserved)

THE PAST." -F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Great Gatsby." ***

RECIPIENTS PLEASE READ: You are receiving this email because you are a BB 
member or have asked to be added to our distribution list.  To discontinue
newsletters, email with message "remove". ("Cancel" will 
cancel membership, website listings and mail.) Send address and listing changes 
to the same place. Sign email with your full name and include BB in the subject 
line. Send no attachments or graphics unless well known to me.  Please keep 
changes to a minimum. To join the BB, see our homepage. If you join, your email 
address will be available from our websites. We can't help with 
non-Burgenland family history. Appropriate comments and articles
are appreciated. Staff and 
web site addresses are listed at the end of newsletter section "C". Notes and 
articles without a by-line are written by the editor and reflect his views. 
Members please exchange data in a courteous and cooperative manner-not to do so 
defeats the purpose of our organization. 

This first section of our 4-section newsletter includes:

1. Hungarian Village Names & BB Work Aids
2. Klaus Gerger-BG Liason  & BB Burgenland Co-Editor-Visits
3. "Blood Washes Blood"-A Family History Search-Book Review
4. Taste Of The Burgenland-Sterz
5. Second Raab Valley Reunion-Heimattreffen-Limeport, PA


One of  our first web pages was Albert's Village List, prepared by Burgenland 
Editor Albert Schuch. This lists the villages in today's Burgenland by 
district. It shows the former Hungarian (or
Croatian) name and the location of the 
parish church and civil office. There are over 400 villages and I find myself 
using this list all the time. I printed it and keep it in my daily work folder 
along with our BB web page layouts, my own filing cabinet list, copies of our 
Invitation and Welcome letters, an Alphabetic Index of our newsletters (dated 
12/31/98), Index of the best from the first five years of the BB newsletter 
(BB News no. 100 dated 10/31/01), a catalog of all the indices from the 
newsletters (you can print same from our Archives Index), and one or two other 
reference aids. Without this work folder, it would take ages to answer queries. 

I must often determine the German name of some Hungarian village and so I've 
asked our staff to put such an alpha list together. I've received a 
preliminary which I've printed
and find it of great help. Eventually we will add this to 
our homepage. Very few of our members, other than staff,  require all of 
these work aids.
Most are interested in only a few villages, but all should have 
an index. I'd recommend that you  print the various available indices to the 
newsletters-sometimes better than using the various search engines to find a 
specific item. If you are like me, you have family history material filed 
everywhere and a key is required. 


My own genealogy has not grown much as a result of the creation of the BB. I 
exhausted all of the easy data sources years ago and became something of a 
guru as a result. Not many people can add to my family history. There 
have been exceptions; however, and you'll find their names on the BB staff 
list-these members have helped me immensely, either by pointing to sources 
previously unknown or engaging in activity for my (our) benefit. 

Klaus Gerger (Vienna and Güssing) has been one of these people. We met 
the Internet when he joined the BB and it turns out we are distant cousins

on my mother's side. He soon provided a lot of material and accepted a job as 
BB associate Burgenland editor, with the specialty of southern Burgenland, my 
area of study. You'll know of him through using his map and village sites 
(Klaus Gerger's Map Site available from the BB homepage). 

Klaus had occasion to come to the US for the first time on a business trip 
and recently spent a weekend with us on his return from Texas. We spent much 
time in front of my computer downloading many of his pictures and files. I've 
been working with them ever since. After leaving Winchester, Klaus then visited 
with BB Austrian editor Fritz Königshofer. Klaus, Fritz, Albert Schuch and I 
spent some time together in Eisenstadt a few years ago. We were delving
into the 
Catholic Diocesan Archives and the Burgenland State Library. I told my 
friends this was a meeting of "Burgenland eagles"-to which Fritz
responded "yes-but 
bald eagles!" Time was all too short and we just skimmed the surface, but 
Klaus has kept at it, photo copying early records for
Güssing and Heiligenkreuz. 
While the job is not yet complete, perhaps we will be able to eventually make 
some of them available on our web site.

I hope that I can eventually meet all of our staff this way-they are great 
people and joining with them has been a benefit that I did not consider when 
starting the BB. I may not have added much to my genealogy but I've certainly 
learned a lot about the Burgenland and made some fine friends.


With our interest in the Burgenland we sometimes forget that there are other 
areas being searched for family history. I enjoy reading about them as I find 
that the problems we encounter are often identical. I recently read the book 
"Blood Washes Blood"-by Frank Viviano, Washington Square Press, Pocket Books, 
2001, ISBN 0-671-04159-2. It is a true story of love, murder, and redemption 
under the Sicilian sun, but underlying it all is the author's search for his 
Sicilian heritage and his family history. He encounters vast cultural 
differences, local naming conventions, name
variations, obstructive religious and civil 
bureaucrats, missing records, help and hindrance from strangers and distant 
relatives, language problems
and last but not least that loyalty to one's village 
that can be both a blessing and a curse to family history searches. All of 
this is overlaid with a most interesting and enigmatic involvement with the 
"Mafioso",  almost a minor history of the Mafia. 

I was struck by the similarity of historical events between Sicily and the 
Burgenland, the cause and effect of the many invasions and migrations. Sicily 
while an island is
as much a "border" between Europe and Asia as the Burgenland, 
only the invaders differ. This has caused the inhabitants to have a village 
orientation to give them strength. For these people, truly the village, not the 
country formed by the present occupier, is the "Heimat."  A villager from the 
Burgenland and from Sicily would find much in common.

Frank Viviano uncovers his family history and solves the riddle posed by his 
grandfather on his Detroit death bed. In the process he uncovers his roots. 
The paperback book is now briefly available from Daedalus Books 
for only $3.98, originally $14.00. I recommend it highly-it is not only
great folk history tale, it is also a great story-proving once again that 
truth is stranger than fiction. If you'd like to know how to trace family 
overseas, do yourself a favor and buy this book-if you have Sicilian
or Italian blood 
in your family, it belongs in your library.

 4. TASTE OF THE BURGENLAND-STERZ (Editor & Bob Strauch)

ED. Note: Paul Orban from Sydney Australia writes:  I was born in Hungary on 
the Austrian border in Sopron (Oedenburg) and migrated to Australia more than 
half a century ago. When I was a child the German speaking population, of 
Schwabian origin, called  Ponzichter (Bohnenzuechter)
had a dish called Sterz. To m
y knowledge there were three versions: plain Sterz, Bohnen Sterz and 
Krumpiern (Kartoffel) Sterz. I wonder If
you have a recipe or know of a website where 
I could obtain a recipe for plain Sterz?

ED Reply-There are more than three versions! Some were made of cornmeal-other 
used buck wheat and I believe some also used plain flour plus the bean 
(mashed) that you mention. Another, Blut Sterz was made with blood from 
slaughtering. One version
even has potatoes added. There is also an egg sterz. There are 
boiled and baked and fried variations. The cornmeal sterz is a variation of 
mush or the Italian polenta or the Romanian mamaglia. I prefer polenta.

Some types of sterz were added to soup-I had a buckweat sterz dish with soup 
in a restaurant in Jennersdorf in 1993. The owner was very proud of having it 
on the menu as an authentic Austrian dish! I believe this dish stems from 
Styria, as it is very popular there as well as Burgenland. Most recipes involve 
just meal plus water, salt and fat. A very simple dish.

I still have not supplied you with a recipe. I will research this and prepare 
a newsletter article. 

For those who never ate any, let me say it is one of the simplest recipies 
but also one that is hardest to make properly. Notice that simple ingredients 
are really all that is required (even though one recipe uses a blender!) You 
might have to be brought up on it to like it, but like so many other Burgenland 
dishes-it can be a comfort and bring back memories. It also helps to have a 
grandmother show you how to make it. One type of Srerz not mentioned is baked 
buckwheat-this was always my favorite-crispy and swimming with lard-yum-yum-alas

not good for us any more! Still if someone has a good recipe, please let me 
have it. I asked Lehigh Valley editor Bob Strauch for help, he writes:
Here are some English-language Sterz recipes.    
 Eiersterz (Egg)
1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. flour
4 eggs
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1 stick butter (4 oz.)
Place in blender the eggs, flour, milk, and melted butter. Blend at high 
speed for 2 to 3 seconds. Turn off and scrape sides, then blend again for 40 
seconds. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. in a 13X9 enamel pan, melt the stick of 
butter in oven. Do not burn. Pour in batter. bake at 400 degrees for 15
then bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Cut into serving portions and serve at 
once. This goes with soup.
(From "Recipes Old and New: St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church", 
Allentown/PA. Recipe submitted by Erna Blaukowitsch Zotter of Allentown.)
Riebelsterz (Potato)
1 1/4 lbs. baking potatoes, boiled until just tender and chilled overnight, 
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. unsalted butter
1/3 c. lard
Peel the potatoes, grate them coarse, and in a bowl toss them with the flour 
and the salt (the mixture should remain crumbly). In a large heavy skillet, 
heat the butter and lard until the fat is hot and in the fat cook the potato 
mixture over moderately high heat, turning over portions of it
frequently with a 
spatula, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are crisp and brown. 
Serve with sauerkraut, coleslaw, or crisp bacon.
(From the article "Austria's Narrow-Gage Railways" by Lillian 
Langseth-Christensen, Gourmet August 1984.)
Babsterc/Bohnensterz/"Bean Mash"
7. oz beans
14 oz. flour
3/4 oz lard
2 Tbsp. salt
Soak the beans overnight. Rinse and place in 3 pt. of cold water. Cook until 
very soft. Drain the liquid and reserve. In a heavy pot or iron skillet, mix 
the flour and salt and, stirring constantly, cook to a golden color. Do not add 
any lard or oil! Gradually add 1 3/4 pt. of the hot bean stock to the flour 
and blend until smooth. Heat the lard and pour over the stock. Now add the 
cooked beans. Let rest for a few minutes, then mash the beans with a fork.
Before serving, place the beans into an ovenproof dish and warm in a 
preheated oven. The dish is even better if the top is
browned a bit. Bean mash can be 
served as an appetizer with salad, sour cream, or buttermilk. It is also an 
excellent accompaniment to meat dishes prepared with sauce or gravy. 
(From "A Taste of Hungary: Sopron and Environs", by Zoltán Halász and Károly 
Bohnensterz (Bean)
1 (15 or 16 oz.) can red dark kidney beans
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 sticks (6 oz.) butter, margarine, or shortening
Add 1/2 can of water to beans, 1 tsp. salt, and bring to boil. Put flour in a 
deep frying pan. Heat flour, stirring constantly until it is very hot, then 
add the boiling beans with water a little at a time until it is all used. Then 
take a big fork, mix mixture until it is crumbly. Heat shortening or butter 
until very hot, spoon over mixture (it should sizzle), stir it up and around. 
Now it is ready to eat. Eat it with a spoon, and drink it with buttermilk or 
regular milk.
(From "What's Cookin' in Austrian Kitchens around Chicago" by the Jolly 
Burgenländer Social Club. Recipe submitted by Irma Schulock.) 
Türkensterz/Polentasterz/Kukuruzsterz (Cornmeal)
2 lb. cornmeal
3/4 lb. bacon
2 qt. water
Bring water to a boil and salt. Stirring vigorously, add cornmeal gradually. 
Cover, put in a moderate oven, and let steam until the liquid has evaporated 
and the Sterz is very firm. Fry bacon in a cast-iron pan until crisp; drain, 
keeping fat in pan, and keep bacon pieces warm. Using a fork, break apart 
cornmeal mixture and transfer to bacon
fat in cast-iron pan (should be crumbly, not 
solid). Stir well, serve, and top with fried bacon.
(From "The Cooking of Burgenland and the Other Austrian Provinces" by Alois 

Meanwhile, here's a page (in German) about Sterz w/recipes:

On Saturday, September 25, 2004, a second reunion for the villages of 
Raabfidisch (Rábafüzes), Jakobshof (Jakabháza), Oberradling (Felsörönök), and 
Unterradling (Alsórönök)
will take place at the St. Joseph Parish Center Social Hall 
in Limeport/Pennsylvania (a few miles south of Allentown). The event is open 
not only to first-generation immigrants and their descendants, but to anyone 
interested in attending. The day will commence at 1:00 PM with a social hour, 
followed at 2:00 PM by a Schnitzl and Bratwurst dinner, served family-style. 
Imported German
beer and soda is included (BYOB for wine and/or mixed drinks). At 
3:30 PM, the "Hianz'nchor" will present of program of folksongs, and the Emil 
Schanta Band will provide dance music from 4:00 - 8:00 PM.  Tickets are 
$25.00 per person and must be purchased in advance. 

For more information or tickets contact: Terry Deutsch 610-437-2741 or Rudi 
Schuster 610-965-2610. Bob Strauch can be contacted at

Newsletter continues as no. 126A.

Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 126A dtd Feb. 29, 2004
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2004 09:07:18 EST

(Issued monthly by
February 29, 2004
(c) 2004 G. J. Berghold-all rights reserved)


This second section of our 4-section newsletter includes:

1. Some Fastnacht Comments
2. More Schachendorf Data From WWII
3. Mail Offers For International Family Yearbooks
4. Anna Kresh Elected To Board Of Pittsburgh Austrian Society

1. SOME FASTNACHT COMMENTS (suggested by Bob Strauch)

(ED. Note: Of all of the Burgenland ethnic treats, I would find it hard not 
to consider Fastnachts (Krapfen-Kropfn-Raised Doughnuts) number one. When the 
various US doughnut chains began to be popular in the 1950's, they differed 
from the local bakeries by the addition of very many more variations containing 
much more sugar. Plain raised or sugared/glazed doughnuts [some filled with 
jam] were replaced by chocolate covered, sprinkles, cinnamon, coconut,
ground nuts, crème, etc. The original Fastnacht or Krapfen disappeared except 
for a few ethnic bakeries. Now I no longer find them although some of the 
jelly filled come close to the original. Our local Winchester Martin's (Giant 
Foods) do carry the original unfilled seasonally (they must come from 
Pennsylvania), -like Xmas and other holidays they start offering
these seasonal treats 
about 6 weeks ahead of Fastnacht. Our marketing
types must always try to improve 
on the original or see how many choices can be offered. I shouldn't eat 
doughnuts at all, but once a year (sometimes
twice!) I defy my doctor and my wife 
and indulge. This year was no exception. As a child, my grandmother had two big 
porcelain bowls (Reindles she called them in dialect? maybe from 
Ründe(l)-anyway we still have them
dents and all) which she filled with doughnuts for every 
Fastnacht-I couldn't get enough. They were the plain variety-crisp on the 
outside-mildly sugared and with a perfect yellow stripe around the middle. 
Following are some Fastnacht comments from Bob Strauch.)

Fastnacht Festivities (from Allentown Morning Call)

 Angela Davis, radical voice of the 1960s, Black Panther sympathizer, 
Communist and acquitted murder suspect will address ''How Gender Structures the 
Prison Industrial
Complex'' at 7 p.m. Feb. 27 in Lehigh University's Zoellner Arts 
Center.... Her talk at Lehigh is part of its Just Globalization lecture series 
organized by the school's Humanities Center. Admission is free. Information: 
Bob asks: How does this qualify as a "Fastnacht Activity"? Maybe they're 
serving donuts at the reception afterwards?

A Fastnacht dance was also mentioned-does one dance with doughnuts between 
the couples? That would be fun!

This year the local paper turned Fastnacht into a local holiday frolic-Bob 
sent me many extracts including a tantalizing, mouth watering, full color 
picture of a perfect "Krapfen!"

He also writes: Weis Markets (Lehigh Valley)  has pretty good ones. They're 
made with potato flour, so they're light, and not gummy, which I hate. I'm 
two dozen tonight to a singing session for our "Faschingsfeier". One of
ladies still makes her own Kropfn. There are others who do also. 
One of my singers, also a BB-er (Gus Eckhart), told us of an interesting 
tradition. Gus' wife Mary was born in Kreuzstätten near Arad in the Banat (now 
Romania) and came to NYC with her folks in the 1930's. Gus' mother-in-law made 
her own Kropfn every year. I don't know if they called them Kropfn. The Germans 
in Kreuzstätten originally came from Alsace-Lorraine in the 1700's and might 
have had another regional name for them. Anyhow, coins were inserted into the 
doughnuts - a quarter, a dime, and a penny. Whoever found the quarter in their 
doughnut was proclaimed King/Queen, whoever got the dime was Prince/Princess, 
and whoever got the penny was the Hosenscheisser/-in.

>From The Morning Call 
Looking for Fastnachts?
February 18, 2004
(for our Lehigh Valley, PA  BB members)

If you have not yet ordered your fastnachts for Fastnacht Day on Tuesday, you 
can order or find them at the following locations (edited).

Orders only

St. John's Lutheran Church, 826 Mahoning Drive West, Mahoning Township. 
Pickup is 6-8 p.m. Monday or 8-10 a.m. Tuesday at the church. Order
soon by calling 

Schoeneck Moravian Church, 316 N. Broad St. Extension, Nazareth. Pickup is 
noon-5 p.m. Monday. Deadline to place orders is Wednesday. Call 610-759-0376.

Goodwill Fire Company, 7723 Hamilton Blvd., Trexlertown, is selling 
fastnachts Feb. 21 to 23. Orders were taken, but a few
extras may still be available. 
Call Monday after 11 a.m. for extras: 610-395-9759.


Saylor's Bakery, 17th and Liberty streets, Allentown, across from the Main 
Gate at the Allentown Fairgrounds, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, orders 
in advance and walk-ins, 610-433-5508. 

Bakers Dozen, 644 Gravel Pike (Route 29), East Greenville; 3 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
Tuesday; traditional potato doughnuts in plain, sugared, cinnamon, powdered and 
glazed, orders in advance or walk-ins, 215-679-2132.

Village Bake Shoppe, 751 Union Blvd., Allentown; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday; 
plain, powdered or sugared; orders up to day of or walk-ins. Closed Monday. 

Schubert's Bakery, 49 N. Broad St., Nazareth; 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday; 
orders in advance or walk-in, 610-759-2932.

Egypt Star Bakery, 608 N. Front St., Allentown, 9 a.m. Sunday, 7 a.m. Monday 
and Tuesday, no orders in advance, 610-434-8516;; 45 N. Front St., Coplay, 9 
a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, order in 
advance or walk-in, 610-262-5115; 2225
MacArthur Rd., Whitehall, 610-434-3762; hours 

Emmaus Bakery, 415 Chestnut St., Emmaus; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday (only Feb. 23 
due to Fastnacht Day); 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday; orders in advance preferred, 
also available in store. Glazed, plain, sugared, powdered sugared and cinnamon 
sugared. 610-965-2170.

Copyright (c) 2004, The Morning Call 
ED-maybe you can check these out next year. 


Member John Rajkovacz writes: 
I have a some questions that are of interest to me. The Charles Petti 
referred to (in previous
newsletter) I remember when I was in the army of occupation 
(US) and obtained a Gray Pass in the four power city of Vienna to go into the 
Russian Zone and visit my grandparents in Schachendorf and Grosspetersdorf. My 
grandfather Karl Balogh with family members had a reception for me in the 
Petti Gasthaus in Schachendorf. Is this Charles Petti from the same family? 
(Forwarded to Charles via his sister who is a BB member.)
My other question relates to the tragedy of my grandfather's brother Miklos 
Balogh. During WWI, he was awarded the big silver medal for personal heroism. I 
have a picture of him in Hungarian uniform and the medal identity was 
by my daughter's father-in-law, whose own father was awarded this medal
WWI.  In Austrian military archives, can I find out what distinguishing event 
was the cause for this award? Daughter's father-in-law arrived in US in the 
1960's and has said that the Communist party deleted much of the historical 
archives and I thought that it may still be available in Austria.
In December of 1944, Miklos was arrested by the Gestapo for allegedly hostile 
activities along with a brother-in-law with surname Arth. There were about 15 
others that were arrested and subsequently beheaded in Graz. My uncle in 
Chicago (when still alive) said mass for him at St. Stephen of Hungary
Is there documentation about their alleged acts as I know of no sabotage 
directed by the victims. I know that Hitler was not a favorite
of theirs especially 
with their sons serving in the German army. My impression is that they were 
Hungarian patriots. I also know that Miklos was a bold individual who had a 
strong sense of injustice. I would be interested
in any information that could be 
obtained. (ED. Can anyone help?)

I have again received an offer for the "Current Year Berghold Family 
Yearbook" plus a complete revision of
the classic "Berghold Family History."  A free 
Berghold Family CD Rom is also included. All for only $39.85 plus $5.00 
processing fee. Sounds
good-doesn't it but like they say-if it sounds to good to be 

This is the same family history offer I covered in a newsletter last year. I 
feel a repeat is in order. Following is a query concerning this offer and my 
answer. You may also have received such an offer.

Reader writes: Hello, I came across your website while searching the internet 
for the Family New Company in Denver.  You asked to let you know if anyone 
else comes across it.  My brother-in-law received just such an advertisement 
this week
and was quite excited.  When he told me about it I asked him to let me

first check it out as it sounded like one more genealogy rip-off.  His letter 
was for an Italian name, with the letter telling him a few details which I 
myself would have sprung for had I not started studying genealogy a few years 

A few of the details seem eerily like my work on the family, and I have never 
knowingly up-loaded my files or a GEDCOM to anyone. The name is not a common 
one in America so they have to have some kind of filler or great imagination 
to produce a full CD about this family.  About 3 years ago I did put together a 
small packet for a few other family members and I wonder if this firm has 
that.  More than half of the people in my file are living and would not want 
their personal information used like that. What can be done when someone does 
something like this, would I have to buy the book or CD first to see what 
information it does have and if the information is mine, then what?  I
hate to have to 
buy the thing, but if it does include family information that was given to me 
in trust, then I need to do something to stop this book. Thank you for having 
this website, any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Reply: It is very difficult to prove copyright infringement without engaging 
in expensive lawsuits. I seriously doubt if this firm used any of your 
material (of course that depends on how much you've made
available on line.) The only 
way you can be sure is to buy the book and make a comparison, maybe that's 
what they count on. I too had the same feeling but like you, I know that one 
can't find my data unless it has been taken from someone I've given a Gedcom, 
Pedigree chart, Ahentafel, etc. Even then it would  take some editing effort. 
There is much general net information available
concerning family if one uses the 
on-line telephone lists (where people with your name live), census records 
(after 10 years), social security death index (family longevity record-their 
reference to mine was wrong.) They imply
24 data bases were used., if true and if 
they've taken the data correctly, the book may well be worth the money, if 
you don't want to search those bases yourself.) Much of this data is considered 
to be in the public realm and may be used by anyone for any purpose other than 
criminal. It wouldn't be too hard for someone to put together what looks like 
a family history, then pad it with generalities (ethnic recipies for ethnic 
names etc.) Include a list of Ellis Island family names from the Ellis Island 
web site. Maybe one would even pay $45 just for that? Add a few geographic 
items and you almost have a book.
Then add a few pictures of Europe or wherever. 
Maybe even a general coat of arms. People like to see their name in print and 
salivate over the possibility of aristocratic links. These firms dote on that. 
In other words you put together a general format, use software that will drop 
selected data in given spots and then prepare a book manuscript. Replace  the 
family name from the offer (appears in 19 places) and you can use it for 
everyone in the phone book-see
what I mean? You could also buy legitimate family 
history data from software firms and copy it-again copyright infringement and I 
doubt if they'd open themselves up to criminal action. Still, given enough 
orders, money can be made.

This firm, The Family News, 1181 S. Parker Rd. Ste 105, Denver, CO 
80231-2152, as stated
again sent me an order form for the Year 2004 International 
Berghold Family
Yearbook-price $44.85. Same hints of great family data as last year 
including reference to the "classic Berghold Family History"-whatever that is. 
No doubt in my mind that it is a legal scam (they can prove that they deliver 
a family book-however it will not have anything in it that you can't find 
elsewhere and most importantly it will not link families with any degree

of accuracy or provide sources.) I think these people are treading on the 
very fringe of postal crime just like the offers for family coats of arms that 
have been around for years.  Like a former president implied-it all depends on 
your definition of words-they use the term Family Yearbook-note they don't say 
genealogy. Show it to a genealogist and he will shake his head and laugh. How 
much research will someone do for $45 less material cost-not very much! Last 
quoted fee for research from a qualified genealogist that I had was $50/hr plus 
any travel expenses with a $500 minimum. 

In reading the fine print I see no reference to their qualifications, in 
addition they tell you "This data is for you to do your own genealogical
and "custom copies are printed if enough orders are received." Their email 
address is

I constantly tell our 1100+ members-"Only you or a close relative can put 
your family history together-even then check what the close
relative has done!" A 
stranger won't fill this bill! 

If you want to pursue this, I'd suggest contacting the postal authorities. 
They've clamped down on the coats-of -arms scams in the past. I can't be 
bothered and I put mine in the trash with the rest
of the junk mail. I've answered 
your query in some depth as I am again passing it on in an article to my 

BB Internet Editor Anna Kresh writes: I don't know if I told you that I was 
recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Austrian American Cultural 
Society in Pittsburgh, PA. One of my tasks is to set up a web site for the 
Society. It is now up and running, although
it is still "under construction", but 
it will give you an idea of what the Society is doing here in Pittsburgh. Our 
annual Viennese Ball is coming up on March 27th, so everyone is pretty busy. 
The URL is

Also, I have been asked to give a presentation on "Austro-Hungarian and 
Burgenland Genealogy" for the Cranberry
Genealogy Club on March 20th. How I wish 
you were there to answer the difficult ones.

ED. We congratulate Anna on her achievement. Pittsburgh area members may wish 
to attend both functions.

Newsletter continues as no. 126B

Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 126B dtd Feb. 29, 2004
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2004 09:07:50 EST

(Issued monthly by
February 29, 2004
(c) 2004 G. J. Berghold-all rights reserved)

MUSICIANS. (See archives for Haydn and Liszt)***

This third section of our 4-section Newsletter includes:

1. Lehigh County, PA To Offer Bilingual Polls
2. New Year's Expression "Guten Rutsch"
3. Thanks For The Anniversary Messages!
4. Tantsits Welcome Klaus Gerger
5. Member Shares Positive BB Experience
6. BB Primer-Searching For US Relatives
7. Any Gmosers Out There?
8. Request For Gigler Family Data


(ED. Note: I received the following information that appeared in the 
Allentown Morning Call. Whether you consider the idea of bilingual polls
good , bad or 
indifferent, I wonder how our Burgenland German, Hungarian and Croat 
naturalized immigrants felt during their period in the Immigration Pot? I can't 
remember my grandparents ever voting-can you?)

Lehigh County to offer bilingual ballots at 25 polls. Twenty-four of them are 
in Allentown. The other election site is in Whitehall Township. Hispanic 
leader praises the 'strong stand.'

By Dan Hartzell
Of The Morning Call. February 19, 2004

Twenty-four polls in Allentown and one in Whitehall Township, where at least 
4 percent of the voting-age population speak primarily Spanish, will offer 
bilingual ballots beginning with the April 27 primary election.

The three-member Lehigh County Election Board unanimously adopted the 
Spanish-and-English ballot plan Wednesday. County Executive
Jane Ervin, chairwoman of 
the board, called the change ''proactive'' and noted the county is exceeding 
the requirements of a federal court order that prompted Berks County's 
conversion to dual ballots in last year's election.
The Lehigh board also approved a 
host of other changes intended to facilitate, as well as encourage, the 
participation of Spanish-speaking residents
in the election process. Among them are 
improved poll-worker training, having Spanish-speaking workers at the 
specified polls, and hiring a part-time employee to coordinate Spanish-language 
programs overall.

The Lehigh changes were greeted by a chorus of plaudits Wednesday, with area 
Hispanic leaders and state election officials alike praising the board for 
what they consider its foresight. But with about 35 people attending Wednesday, 
mostly county officials and reporters, only Allentown resident Peter B. 
Hrycenko sang clearly off-key,
asking in vain for Lehigh cost estimates. After the 
meeting Hrycenko said the changes discriminate against other 
residents, and fail to promote the prompt learning of English - something

immigrants previously took pride in accomplishing, to the benefit of society 
overall, he said. ''I'm totally opposed to this whole concept of language 
assistance,'' Hrycenko said.

The wards where Spanish ballots will be provided are Whitehall, 2nd District, 
and in Allentown, 1st through 5th; 6th Ward, 1st and 2nd districts; 7th Ward, 
1st and 2nd districts; 8th Ward, 1st, 2nd 3rd, 5th and 6th districts; 9th 
Ward; 10th Ward, 1st, 3rd and 4th districts; 14th Ward, 1st and 2nd districts; 
16th Ward, 2nd District, and 19th Ward, 2nd and 4th districts. (ED. Many were 
previously Burgenland Wards.)

2. NEW YEAR'S EXPRESSION "GUTEN RUTSCH" (suggested by Inge Schuch)

The more German I learn, the more I realize that I don't know many idiomatic 
expressions. While I'm wishing my Austrian friends "Ein Glückliches Neu Jahr" 
they are telling each other to have a "Gute Rutsch." I know that rutsch in 
German means slide but how does this relate to New Year?

Viennese and Kleinpetersdorf  BBmember, interpreter par excellanz and my very 
good Burgenland guide and friend Inge Schuch tells me when she writes:
Der traditionelle Silvester-Gruß "Guten Rutsch!" hat überhaupt nichts mit 
rutschen zu tun. Der viel beschworene "Rutsch" leitet sich vom hebräischen Wort 
für Neujahr ab: Rosch ha-Schana ("Anfang des Jahres"). Es handelt sich um eines 
der vielen Wörter, die aus dem Jiddischen ins Deutsche eingeflossen sind, so 
wie auch "Chuzpe", "malochen", "Massel", "meschugge", "schmusen", "Stuss", 
"Tacheles" und
"Zoff". Guter Rutsch heißt also wörtlich: guter Anfang! " (Der Spiegel, 
December 2003)

I will try to translate and make Inge smile: Auf Englisch: The traditional 
new Year's greeting (have a) "Good Slide" perhaps has nothing to do with 
sliding. The many times used "Rutsch" stems from the Hebrew word for New
ha Schana (the beginning of the {Hebrew} year) It appears to be one of the many 
Jewish words which have entered the German (vocabulary), such as Chuzpe, etc. 
Good Rutsch therefore means "good beginning." From the newspaper "Der 

In the same way that English has incorporated many other foreign words and 
phrases, so too has German and the German spoken in the Burgenland has an even 
greater admixture of Slavic and Hungarian. Perhaps someday, as languages borrow 
from each other, we will all speak a common language.

Inge and her brother Albert (our Burgenland Editor) normally write to me in 
English. Every so often they will interject a little German perhaps hoping that 
I will learn some more of their language. It is a good way to become 


On January 31, my wife and I were anticipating our 50th wedding anniversary 
Feb.1, when the UPS delivered an Imperial Torte from Vienna-an Austrian 
anniversary present from Albert and Inge Schuch-it didn't take
us long to demolish 
it!. It was much appreciated as were the many other nice messages we received 
from friends and BB members on the occasion of our anniversary.


Ed & Priscilla Tantsits write: Klaus, Welcome to the USA. We hope you are 
enjoying  your visit with Gerry. If You would ever get to visit the  Lehigh 
Valley let us know of you visit before you come. Best
regards to Heidi, girls and 
the rest of the families in Güssing.

Gerry, I know that you are in the Sorger family tree line. I am doing my 
family tree now for the Tantsits tree. Boy, this name has been spelled so many 
different ways.

My great grandfather Franz Tantsits married Anna Klein, daughter of Georg 
Klein and Anna Weider. Baptism sponsors were Georg and Anna Sorger. All in 
Langzeil. Ties also go over to Klaus' family.

Best regards to everyone. Klaus enjoy your trip. It pays to read the BB 

(ED-I'm sure the Tantsits are distant cousins, we always feel all of the 
Burgenland is related one way or another, at least those of us from the same 


Tom Platzer writes: I have been a member of the group for 6 months and have 
enjoyed your newsletters. Since joining the group I have had some positive 
results from being listed on the membership
list. Someone from the Burgenland was 
looking for a relative in the USA. I in turn was looking for a relative in 
Halbturn, Austria. The person that made contact with me happened to live in the 
village next to Halbturn, thus she was a valuable resource and was instrumental 
in making contact with lost family members. Another note of interest, I sent 
a letter to Austria to an address on an old letter dated 1921. The letter 
found its way to Halbturn. The family still lived at that address three 
generations later! My resource provided
a telephone number to the residence I was 
looking for. I encountered a
little language barrier. I am unable to speak German an
d Johann Brundlmayer was unable to speak English. Fortunately his granddau
ghter was present
and interpreted for us. This encounter proved most valuable in 
the identification of old family pictures without names and helped to resolve 
some perplexing dead ends.  Hopefully next year we can visit the Burgenland and 
rekindle the ties with lost family members.  I thought I would share this 
positive experience and the benefit I encountered belonging to the Burgenland 


(ED. Note: Most of the BB members live in the US and we sometimes forget that 
people overseas  are also looking for relatives and descendants who 
It is just as hard for them to conduct a US search as it is for us to 
search foreign records. Anna Kresh, URL editor has supplied the following 
suggestions to one such person-it could just as easily be used by anyone, 
correspondence follows.)

Subj: Search for relatives from Vas megye and Austria 

I am from Budapest, Hungary and have been searching for years for our 
who immigrated to the USA, but without any luck so far. I have  found your

name in the Burgenland Bunch Newsletter archive on the internet and thought I 
would ask for your help. I realized from your newsletter that I might have 
been searching for the wrong names because one of my ancestor  immigrated from 
Vas megye (Iron country in English or Eisenberg in German) and it is possible 
that they were registered under the Eisenberg name by accident.

All I have is a short description from my aunt in Budapest, my father's 
sister who is in her 80s now and this is how she remembers:

In 1912 or 1913 Emil Mandl married to Anna Horvath immigrated to Milwaukee, 
Wisconsin USA by ship through Fiume, Italy and opened a shoe business. We 
believe they had children Anna and Ferenc but maybe more. Emil Mandl was from 
Austria and Anna Horvath was the sister of my father's father Lajos Horvath.
Horvath was born in 1889 in Vas Megye (Iron county) in Hungary and was married 
to Rozalia Horvath. We unfortunately lost track of Emil and Anna. My father 
and his sisters would like to find their aunt Anna or her relatives.

Is there any advice you could give me what would be the best way to search 
based on the data I have? Thank you very much in advance for any
clue or advice. 
Timea Horvath

*Anna replies: Timea, Thus far I do not have any Horvath in my ancestry list; 
but perhaps you can get some further information from the following.

The first place you may wish to search is in the Social Security Death Index. 
This will list U.S. citizens for whom the following has occurred:
~ he/she received some sort of payment from the Soc. Sec. Administration
~ he/she has died
~ his/her death has been reported to the S.S.A.

If you check the following SSDI locations you may be able to get some 
information. I found some entries that may apply to your
search. Please bear in mind 
that you can enter wild card searching, for example, for the first name you 
may wish to enter only the letter L, or L*, or even leave the first name blank.

These SSDI sites provide data in different formats. Compare them for best 
results. SSDI at FTM - Social Security Death Index data from Family Tree Maker; 
provides better last-known-address; option to generate a letter requesting a 
copy of the Soc. Sec. Application SSDI at Family Tree Legends. SSDI at Ancestry 
- Ancestry's Social Security Death Index search online 

In addition, you might try to find the name in one of our online telephone 
directories. Note that if the person has/had an unlisted phone number, it would 
not appear on this list. You can try the "Find a Person" option at either or

*To which I add: Timea Horvath
You do have a problem in that the Horvath name is a very common one. 
Nonetheless, since you know that your family
origin was from the Burgenland area you 
may well find some data by listing with us. Vas Megye is (was) not that 
small-over 400 villages both before
and after the creation of Burgenland in 1921. If 
you can determine the village, we can then direct you to the appropriate 
records. Since you do
have US immigrants I would suggest you start by searching the 
Ellis Island Records (see our URL List) which may provide a clue as to 
village of origin. Not many immigrants from southern Europe left from Fiume. 

I believe you would find it of value to list with us although we can not 
success. In any event you will learn much about the Burgenland, Vas Megye

before 1921 and the location of various records. You may even find relatives 
by checking our membership lists. See our letter below re how to do this. 
(Timea joined our group.)

Member Brad Ziegler writes:  I am looking to get into contact with anyone 
related to any Gmosers from the Burgenland area.  I recently got a chance
to look 
through the Roman Catholic records from the area and am trying to piece 
together the Gmoser family.  If possible for your next newsletter
to the "bunch," 
could you
place a request for people to contact me via email ( 
if they are connected to the family?  I have seen the website and found only 
one or two others with that surname listed.  Thank you for the great website.  


Leo J. Seman, BB member writes: I am trying to obtain information on my 
Grandfather Johan Gigler (born Oct 15, 1874) and my mother
Teresia Gigler ( born 
April 13, 1907); both were born in Hilegenkruz, Burgenland, Austria. I do not 
have any information as to middle names, birth records, or baptismal  records. 
It would also be nice to have the names of my grandfather's parents.

Hallo Leo, during the Christmas holidays I had a look at the Heiligenkreutz 
records, but lost my notes. :-((Found them today ;-)) Here is what I found at a 
quick look (From 1834 up to 19.. I searched in a printed index which does not 
contain all availiable information from the original records). Best regards 
from,Austria, Klaus Gerger

All references Heiligenkreuz (hung. Rabakeresztur), catholic records

Teresia Gigler ( born April 13, 1907)
reference: TB X S87 Nr. 15
Theresia Gigler
born 13.4.1907
bapt. 16.4.1907
father Gigler Joannes
mother Posch Maria
loc. Rabakeresztur 76

Johan Gigler(born Oct 15, 1874)
reference: TB VIII S159 Nr. 45
Janos Gigler
born  14.10.1874
bapt.  15.10.1874
father  Gigler Mihaly
mother Petermann Terez
loc. Rabakeresztur 46

reference: HB VIII S10 Nr. 9
Gigler Mihaly (age 31)
Petermann Terez (age 19) father Petermann György

reference:  not found in TB VI but see *) or more info in the original 
marriage record
Gigler Mihaly born 1843

reference: TB VI S89 Nr. 39
Petermann Terez
born 26.06.1851
father Peterman György
mother Koller Erzse
loc Rába-Keresztúr

reference: HB not found in VI 1837-1852, but see *)
before 26.6.1851
Peterman .. (age ..)
Koller .. (age ..) father .. ..

* Probably the bride was not from the village of Heiligenkreuz. A search at
shows Koller in the following Jennersdorf district (JE) villages at that 
Count: Surname: Village: District: Time:
5 Koller Bonisdorf JE 1858
4 Koller Heiligenkreuz JE 1858
4 Koller Kalch JE 1859
3 Koller Minihof Liebau JE 1858
1 Koller Mühlgraben JE 1858
5 Koller Neuhaus JE 1858
2 Koller Poppendorf JE 1857

13 Gigler Heiligenkreuz JE 1858
2 Gigler Poppendorf JE 1857

Newsletter continues as no. 126C.

Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 126C dtd Feb. 29, 2004
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2004 09:08:35 EST

(Issued monthly by
February 29, 2004
(c) 2004 G. J. Berghold-all rights reserved)

BREAK 1500 IN 2004!***

**Membership Editor Hannes Graf writes: At the end of carnival, our 
membership reached a "nice number": It was 1111.  In Austria/Germany
this is called a 
"Schnapszahl". (Brandy-Number). It brings luck -sometimes good. We had nearly 
30, 000 hits on my BB-pages alone in the last two years. (ED: Our data has 

This fourth section of our 4-section newsletter includes:

1. Splitter From The Burgenländische Gemeinschaft (BG) News (Jan./Feb. 2004)
2. 1786-1790 House Numbers-Heiligenkreuz am Lafnitz- A South Burgenland 
3. There Are Two Towns Called Szombathely
4. Rainbow Over Burg Güssing-Portent Of A Great Burgspeile?

(Join and support the BG by contacting the Burgenländische Gemeinschaft, 
Hauptplatz 7, A-7540 Güssing, Burgenland, Austria. Email  
Complete articles -some in English-will be found at

and are available to anyone. Klaus Gerger is the BG liason with the BB. )

*Burgenland Parliament declares 2004-The Year Of Folk Culture. BG does 
likewise. (A declaration such as this means that various festivals and
will follow suit. Look for much folk music and cultural activity if you visit 
Burgenland this year.)

*A short list of the best Burgenland wineries.

*The story of the stone Turk's head found on a chimney (house number 106) in 
Purbach dates from 1532.

*This is the season for dances and balls held in Vienna and elsewhere. Years 
ago, Burgenländers anticipated these events locally in fire halls and 
Gasthausen with much enthusiasm-now young people go to discos
all the time and only 
the elderly look forward to such seasonal activity. Walter Dujmovits, Jr. has 
written the article in English.

*Article from BB entitled "Preparation For Emigration."-English

*Five immigrant deaths reported.

*Address by Elisabeth Tarnok-the present Miss Brüderschaft der Burgenländer 
(NY) -English

*Auswandererschicksal (Immigrant Story) concerns Kedl family from 

*Picture shows farmer family from Neuberg, 1924. 

* Annual BG Picnic set for July 4, 2004 at Moschendorf wine museum.

*Güssing  Burgspiele set for June 25 through July 24.


House numbers are covered in some detail in former newsletters. They are a 
great help in linking families, but they rarely appear before the mid 1800s. 
While scanning some early Heiligenkreuz baptismal records, furnished by BB 
Burgenland co-editor Klaus Gerger, I found some
in the period Jan. 1786-Feb. 1790. 
Spellings are as found -some were unreadable and are not listed. I have not 
used the umlaut or Hungarian diacritical
marks. Don't let the  numerous spellings 
of family names mislead you. Multiple numbers mean there were multiple 
families. If your family origin
is southern Burgenland and your name is listed, it 
could mean your families may have lived in the house numbers mentioned, at 
least during that period.
It would be of value to compare family names with this 
list, Klaus Gerger's house lists, early Urbars, canonical visitation reports 
and the 1828 Hungarian Census. This may help in tracking movement. Many of the 
names are also found (in their various spellings) in Kanonische Visitation 1757 
Südburgenland, prepared by Josef Buzas in Burgenländische Forschungen, volume 
71. This source is in Latin (and has been partially translated for us by 
Albert Schuch and may be  found in the village lists.) The opening lines are:

Visitatio Canonica Parochiae Kereszturiensis aut Szent Kereszthiensis

Germanicae et Filialium ejus Folso Ronok cum Ecclesia Sancti Emerici, 
Poppendorff vero Jakobhaz, Fuzes et Goder seu Inczenhoff, Similiter in Diocesi 
Jaurinensi Inclito
Comitatu Castrierrei, Districtu vero Nemeth Uyvariensi Situatarum 
Ann 1757 Die undecima Mensis Septembris peracta.

The allusions to the scope of the parish  are obvious.

Two major events took place in the Heiligenkreuz parish about this time. 
First was the completion of the Martin Luther Kirche in nearby Eltendorf, which 
drew Lutheran members from the Heiligenkreuz parish about 1775-after this time 
Lutheran Bergholds for instance who appear in the Heiligenkreuz records now 
show up in Eltendorf. Martin Luther Kirche was erected in 1783, prompted by the 
1781Edict of Toleration. Renovations to St. Emerichs (Ronok) slightly to the 
east of Heiligenkreuz, also drew nearby Rabafüzes and Ronok  and possibly 
 and Jacobshaza parishioners from this parish. Few appear in Heiligenkeuz

records after 1790. A general decline in the congregation of  the 
Heiligenkreuz parish from 1800 forward follows. This is a perfect example
of why it is 
important to search nearby parishes for family records.

The village of Heiligenkreuz dates to the late 1300's and the church became 
an independent parish (separated from the mother church-where?) in the 15th 
century. It is known as the church of the Holy Cross and
a huge cross (crucifix) 
is found over the stark altar in the sanctuary. Between 1616 and 1625, the 
church was Evangelisch (Lutheran). A report of the Canonical visitation of 1697 
will also be found in our archives and village lists.

Villages mentioned  within the parish records are Heiligenkreuz 
(Rabakeresztur), Inzenhoff (Borosgodor); Jakobshof
(Jakabháza); Poppendorf (Patafalva); 
Raabfidisch (Rábafüzes), and Oberradling (Felsörönök), and Unterradling 
(Alsórönök)-combined under Ronok.

Heiligenkreuz  House Numbers
Fleischhakker 43
Gall 71
Gibiser 64, 76
Gigler 24
Groller 147
Heber 132
Jagovits 18
Jurisits 87
Koller 141
Lang 12, 10
Maar 26
Marx 120
Neubauer 31
Nikischer 84
Niklesz 81, 102
Oberecker 19
Pauer 172
Peitl (Beitl) 38
Pelzman 112
Petermann 73
Reisinger 81
Schwartz 105
Steidl 25, 108
Teutsch (Deutsch) 82, 103
Unger 34
Veber 40

Inzenhoff House Numbers
Adam 23
Artinger 105
Gollinger 42
Jost 12, 61
Joszt 163, 79, 27
Keppl 34, 2, 21
Kurta 99, 50
Mulezet (Mulzet) 15
Pamer 45, 111
Perger (Berger) 64
Pinter 28
Plaukovits 90
Schaeffer 32
Veidinger (Weidinger) 105
Volff 113
Zmicz (Simits) 7

Jakobhaza House Numbers
Balas 10
Handhoffer 17
Kiss 14
Pendl 12
Plaukovits 41
Schlaffer 3
Schmidt 9
Szaller 38
Vass 28

Poppendorf House Numbers
Fandl 44
Fashinger 13
Gamler 25
Groller 71, 39, 47, 17
Hemer 30
Hesinger  (Hezinger) 54,52
Jursits 80
Karner 97
Kern 3
Kraller 49
Krem 45
Kutz 17
Medl 81,36, 63
Pariz 99
Pauman (Bauman) 34
Pleszl 65, 74
Schabhuttel 57
Steiner 87, 78
Steltzer 83, 76
Teutsch (Deutsch) 12, 1
Veidinger 48
Veinhofer (Weinhofer) 20
Weber 61
Zimetz (Simitz) 40
Zach 27
Zottl (Zettl?) 43, 15

Rabafüzes House Numbers
Balas 61
Failer 73
Hamewr 104
Joszt 1, 88, 36, 21, 29
Judt 100, 101, 74
Kefer 22
Kerbler 85, 13
Knaucz (Knaus) 89
Krabath 147, 66
Krantz 93
Kreitz 154
Kropf 7, 35
Kurta 135
Lang 44
Neubauer 57
Pfeiffer 109
Schadl (Schandl) 15
Schoadl 37, 50
Schaukovits 39
Schmidt 85
Seidenberger 97
Stoiber  (Kloiber?) 43
Toth 60, 27, 156
Tott 39
Trinkler (Trinkl?) 2
Veber (Weber) 92
Virth (Wirth) 17
Visinger 1218
Weber 32
Zwetelits 36

Ronok House Numbers
Artinger 14, 11
Gangl 76
Gerger 77
Hauser 73
Jan (Jani?) 48
Leopold 96
Maar 35, 95
Niklesz (Nikles?) 39
Pfeiffer 84
Santa (Schanta?) 66
Schmidt 53, 88
Schuster 50, 78
Steidl 8
Stern 87
Unger 86
Vindish (Windish) 36, 3
Zeglevitz 4

Villages outside the parish which are  mentioned:
Kukmirn-Supper 44
Tschanigraben (Sandorhegy)-Artinger 19


(ED Note: Szombathely (Steinamanger), Hungary appears frequently in 
Burgenland family history. It is
the fourth largest city in Transdanubia and the seat 
of Vas County, Hungary. It has a population of 80,000. It was built on the 
ruins of Roman Savaria
and is thus 2000 years old. The name first appears in 1250, 
although Savaria is mentioned much earlier. It incorporates at least nine 
smaller settlements-Hereny, Olad, Zanat, Szentkiraly, Kamon, Perint, , 
and Gyongyosherman and Szolos. In the 18th century, Empress Maria Theresia

crated a Roman Catholic diocese with Szombathely as its head. It has both a 
Franciscan and Dominican church and monastery. The Dominican church is
built on the house that belonged to St. Martin. Just 20 kms southeast of 
Rechnitz in Austrian Burgenland, it was well known to Burgenland
immigrants. Many 
would have considered a trip there as a trip to the Gross Stadt. Immigrants 
who claimed it as their place of origin probably came from nearby villages. We 
now find that there is a village with a similar name in Slovakia-don't be 
confused.) Bob Strauch writes to a recent member:

Dear Carolyn, I am the Lehigh Valley/PA editor for the Burgenland Bunch and 
noticed your info in the membership list. The name "Rima Szombathely" sounded 
familiar to me, but not from Burgenland or Western Hungary. There is indeed the 
city of Szombathely near the Burgenland border, but the prefix "Rima" pointed 
me in another direction. There is a town called "Rima-Szombat" (or 
Rimaszombat), which is now located in southern Slovakia
and called Rimavská Sobota in 
Slovak. The town and surrounding area have a sizable ethnic-Hungarian 
I checked the Ellis Island Database ( for the 
surnames Farkas, Fabry, and Kiss. Farkas
and Kiss are almost impossible to search 
without a first name (there were over 3300 Farkas' alone). There were about 200 
Fabrys, and most seemed to come from either Slovakia or territory that was 
part of Hungary until 1921 and
is now part of Slovakia. I hope this info will be 
of help to you. 


When I visualize southern Burgenland, I see Castle Güssing framed against a 
blue sky. It is the most prominent physical feature of the area. For 1000 years 
it has dominated both the geography and lives of the nearby inhabitants. When 
you stop anywhere within horizon limits and raise your eyes you see Burg 
Güssing. Our immigrant ancestors all had this vision and thus we, who visit the 
southern Burgenland, can become one with them, seeing what they saw. It was the 
primary eastern view from my own grandfather Sorger's home in Rosenberg.  Many 
pictures of Burg Güssing exist and they are used in brochures extolling the 
virtues of Burgenland to such an extent, that the castle has become a symbol of 
Burgenland, if not of rural and historic Austria. It is even featured on 
postage stamps and currency.

Recently Klaus Gerger gave me a picture of the Burg taken on a sunny day with 
an immense rainbow anchored on its ramparts. Klaus told me that it may have 
been taken from the air by BB member Heinz Koller. Heinz as you may know is 
from Güssing and is well known as something of a poet, author, student of the 
Hianzen dialect and an active member in many local historical and cultural 
organizations including
a leadership role in the annual Güssing Burgspiele (historic 
castle plays). We were guests of the Kollers at such a performance a few 
short years
ago and I can attest to how moving and successful they are. Heinz is 
an artist with a camera and I have some of his work including a picture of the 
Burg rising above the clouds as well as a winter view.  The earliest sketch of 
the castle that I have seen dates from the late 1400's.

The picture with the rainbow reminds me of a Franconian tale. During the 
unrest of the 1500's, a castle was under siege, and the inhabitants were

starving .  After a brief shower, a large rainbow appeared over the castle. 
Some thought it portended disaster, others thought salvation was at hand. Later 
that day the leader of the besieging forces appeared with a white flag to 
demand surrender. The castle leader approached and discovered his brother-in-law.

The castle was saved! (The Tale Of The Celestial Sign taken from "Beneath the 
Cherry Sapling"-Legends from Franconia, by Norbert Krapf, Fordham University 
Press, 1988.) 

Does the rainbow in the picture I have been given portend a good future for 
Burg Güssing? I hope so even if it may only mean that this year's Burgspiel 
will also be another resounding success. This year's play is "Die 
Kreuzelschreiber" by Ludwig Anzengruber, a comedy with song in three acts.
The play under the 
direction of Frank Hoffmann will be performed June 25 at 20.30 hours and at 
various dates in July. If you are in the area don't miss it. If you attend the 
BG picnic on July 4, you can also attend a Burgspiel performance on July 2, 3 
or 8. While it helps to know a little German, even if you don't, a nighttime 
performance at Burg Güssing will unite you with your ancestors.

Further information concerning the castle may be found in our archives. A 
brief history and description of Burgenland castles will be found in BB 
newsletter 13A.


BURGENLAND BUNCH STAFF (USA residents unless designated otherwise)
Coordinator & Editor Newsletter, (Gerald 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, 
Judaic Burgenland, (Maureen Tighe-Brown)
Lehigh Valley Burgenland Enclave, (Robert Strauch)
Szt. Gotthard  & Jennersdorf Districts, (Margaret 
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 HOME PAGE (WEB SITE) (also provides access to Burgenländische 
Gemeinschaft web site.)

The BB is in contact with the Burgenländische Gemeinschaft, Hauptplatz 7, 
A-7540 Güssing, Burgenland, Austria.

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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