|The Burgenland Bunch Genealogy Group
Genealogists researching the multi-ethnic heritage of the Burgenland of Austria and adjoining areas of former West Hungary.
Subject: BB News No. 150 dtd Apr. 30, 2006
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2006 06:18:29 EDT
THE BURGENLAND BUNCH NEWS -No. 150
DEDICATED TO AUSTRIAN-HUNGARIAN BURGENLAND FAMILY HISTORY
(Our 11th Year- Issued monthly as email by )
April 30, 2006
(c) 2006 G. J. Berghold-all rights reserved)
~THIS IS THE FIRST SECTION OF OUR 150TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE WITH SPECIAL
ARTICLES FROM OUR EDITORS, FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS & MEMBERS-THE LARGEST WE'VE EVER
~THE NEWSLETTER IS BEING DISTRIBUTED IN FIVE EMAIL SECTIONS OVER A 24 HOUR
PERIOD. ITS SIZE MAY CAUSE EMAIL SERVER PROBLEMS. IT IS ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE
BB HOMEPAGE AT WWW. BURGENLAND-BUNCH.ORG~
~YOU MAY WISH TO PRINT AND BIND THIS ISSUE-IT IS UNLIKELY WE'LL EVER AGAIN
ISSUE ONE AS LARGE, AS IMPORTANT OR AS ALL INCLUSIVE~
Current Status Of The BB: Members-1290*Surname Entries- 4459*Query Board
Entries-3479*Newsletter Subscribers 1031, Newsletters Archived-150-Number of Staff
EMAIL RECIPIENTS PLEASE READ: You are receiving this email newsletter because
you are a BB member or have asked to be added to our distribution list. To
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"subscribe" or "remove". ("Cancel" will cancel membership, website listings and
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receiving the newsletter as email, it may be read, downloaded, printed or copied from
the BB Homepage. There is also an archive of previous newsletters.
This first section of our 5-section newsletter concerns:
1. Congratulations From Hofrat Dr. Walter Dujmovits-President Burgenlandische
2. Statistics From The 1st Month Of The New BB Homepage (Hannes Graf-150th
3. The Bunch And I (Tom Steichen-150th Contribution)
4. Burgenland Deed Changes (more information from Klaus Gerger)
5. A Changing BB (Tom Steichen-150th Contribution)
6. More Burgenland/Hungary Border Crossings (Hannes Graf)
7. 50th Anniversary Of The Burgenlandische Gemeinschaft
1. CONGRATULATIONS FROM DR. WALTER DUJMOVITS
Dr. Dujmovits writes: Dear Gerry! If somebody laid 150 newspapers one upon
another, he would be surprised by the height of the tower he would see in front
of him. A tower, built just of rather thin paper. It is a difficult and
amazing thing to achieve the 150th issue. On every single page in the Burgenland
Bunch Newsletter we can read news concerning the home country in Austria and
Burgenland as well as the Burgenländer communities all over the world. So we are
all connected. The Burgenland Bunch and the Burgenländische Gemeinschaft are
building a bridge between Burgenland and the communities in the United States
and in other countries.
It is interesting and exciting to edit a newspaper. The readers wish to get
the issues periodically, so the editors probably feel a certain pressure in
what they are doing. Of course, every editor wants to achieve the same standard
and level as he did in the previous issues - so you always have to consider
what can make this issue unique. As the editor of the "Burgenländische
Gemeinschaft" paper, I know, how strenuous it is to publish a paper. We are planning to
publish the 400th issue of the "Burgenländische Gemeinschaft" around Christmas
2006, and right at the end of the year we are also celebrating the 50th
anniversary of the Burgenländische Gemeinschaft. This might be just a fabulous
coincidence, but it will make a very good end to this exciting anniversary year.
Gerry, the Burgenland government appreciates the work that you and your
staff, and those who keep in touch with Burgenländers around the world, are doing.
The Bunch is becoming well known and the newsletter is being read in the
So, I want to congratulate you from the bottom of my heart on the 150th issue
of the Burgenland Bunch Newsletter. It was originated and founded by you and
will be a monument for all the work you have done and still are doing for the
I wish the best for you and your wife Molly, and all the staff and the
writers of the Burgenland Bunch News, and hope that these very important newsletters
will touch thousands of readers for a very long time.
Walter Dujmovits, President and board of the Burgenländische Gemeinschaft
2. STATISTICS FROM THE 1ST MONTH OF THE NEW BB HOMEPAGE (from Hannes Graf)
During January and February of this year, we developed and programmed a new
homepage; it opened, officially, to all members on March 1. A statistical
overview of visits during the first month follows:
There were 4,232 total visitors who opened 25,695 pages, for an average of
six pages for each visit. In total, 47,804 files (html pages, images on pages,
java programs activated by pages, etc.) were opened. The average (maximum)
pages per day was 828 (3,042) and visits was 136 (223).
The top ten most-visited pages were:
- Index and Home Page (first page), 1,500 + 1,200 = 2,700
- Members, 1,500
- Surnames, 600
- Links, 500
- Villages, 500
- House Lists, 450
- Village Maps, 400
- Regions of the World, 300
- Songbook, 200
plus there were several individual Surnames, Maps and Help pages with 100 to
The top entry- and exit-page was the Members page.
There were visitors from 56 countries; the top 10 domains being:
- US .com 32.0%
- US .net 30.0%
- Unknown 18.0%
- Austria 10.0%
- Hungary 2.0%
- Germany 1.7%
- Canada 1.0%
- US .edu. 0.5%
- Australia 0.4%
- Belgium 0.3%
These percentages surprised me because I thought there were, proportionally,
more members from Canada and Australia; however, the first days of April show
similar counts, so they seem not so far from truth.
3. THE BUNCH AND I (submitted by Tom Steichen-150th Contribution)
It was March of 1999, after almost four years of genealogical research, when
I found my first solid clue about the Burgenland ancestral home of my Weiss
family. I had searched local records for a number of years, exhausting the
resources where my Weiss family settled after leaving Austria or Hungary (depending
on which partial record I cared to believe). I then spent much of a year
pestering every poor soul who mentioned Weiss and Austria or Hungary in the same
message (many such souls being Burgenland Bunch members). I knew that my
Halbauer family came from Valla, Hungary (now Wallern in the Burgenland), and that
great-grandmother Theresia had married Josef Weiss and bore three children
before coming to the US... but where she found Josef was a mystery.
My critical clue, as is true of so many in genealogy, was tantalizingly
obscure... or should I say, "obscured"? All my efforts with Theresia and Josef had
failed, so I turned my efforts to their children. I obtained the Social
Security applications of all three born in Europe... the eldest, Josef, Jr., claimed
he was born Hungarian; the next, Mary, claimed she was born in Minnesota! and
the youngest, Frank, claimed he was born in Kasimit or Rasimit, Austria (the
first letter being obscured by an official stamp). Irrespective of its ille
gible leading letter, I suspected that the village name was only a phonetic
spelling, since Frank was 61 at the time he filled out the application and he had
lived most of his life in the USA, coming over before age 2. Nonetheless, I
quickly posted messages to the Austria, Hungary and Burgenland Query boards
telling what little I knew... but, in the following months, resounding silence is
all I received. It seemed apparent, sadly, that I would not be able to complete
this part of my family tree.
It wasn't until August of that year that my messages found the right eyes...
and yes, you know who replied. The first two responses were from Albert
Schuch, who suggested that Kasimit might be Albertkazmerpuszta, and Fritz
Konigshofer, who led me to a source that said I might find records for "Kasimit" in
Feltorony (now known as Halbturn). Both Albert and Fritz were (and still are)
long-time Burgenland Bunch members and staff members.
Because family lore suggested that the Weiss's probably came from near
Budapest, I doubted that this distant village could be correct, but I invested a few
dollars in LDS microfilm anyway... and was grandly rewarded with the marriage
record and four birth records (the earliest child died at birth), plus
ancestral records! With the help of the Burgenland Bunch, a four-year search
It seemed time to give a little back to the BB. In early 2000, I offered to
take on the Surnames pages, which were frozen a year earlier when the prior
editor stepped down; I have continued in that role these six years and have
recently taken on a wider role... but I'll tell you about that in a separate
4. BURGENLAND DEED CHANGES (more from Klaus Gerger)
Klaus writes: A short note on that "Burgenland Deed Changes" article. In
Austria deed changes are registered in the "Land Register" ('Grundbuch' in
The land register is located at the responsible district court (eg. Güssing,
Entries consist of:
* properties, which belong to the real estate holder,
* people to which it belonged (owners) showing respective portions,
* as well as the restrictions, with which those properties are loaded
Anyone can have copies of the actual land register record (fee 8, -EUR,
conditions as of October 2003.) Actual land register excerpts are available at a
land register court, notary or attorney.
The land register was created in its current legal form in 1883 to serve as
the obligatory proof of property ownership, obligations and restrictions under
private law. Since 1990 all entries are digitally present and accessible.
Historic data is kept in books in the district courts dating back to
1930-1960 depending on the court. Access should be possible but it depends on the
staff. Older records are kept at the 'Landesarchiv Eisenstadt' (see
http://www.burgenland.at/landesarchiv). Records prior to 1921 are mostly written in
Hungarian. Generally, onsite access to the records are possible excepting those books
which are not accessible because of restoration.
5. A CHANGING BB - submitted by Tom Steichen-150th Contribution)
Over the past year, it became apparent that the BB needed to change its
websites. The BB was frequently losing members who believed the presence of their
email address on the BB website was the cause of the ever-increasing volume of
email spam they were receiving. Further, two of our long-time Editors, Hap
Anderson (Homepage) and Bill Rudy (Villages), had stopped responding to update
requests and other emails, and Gerry Berghold, our Newsletter Editor, reported
consistent difficulties in sending the BB newsletter to you, with many of the
newsletters blocked by overly-restrictive email policies at member ISPs.
Meanwhile, Gerry, the BB founder and it's heart and soul, also reported that
his health was failing. He is the editor and key writer of the newsletter, a
fount of knowledge about the Burgenland, the driving force behind the Bunch and
the email contact for member changes and new members. If that wasn't enough,
just last month Albert Schuch, researcher extraordinaire, contributor of key
BB resources, and long-time Burgenland Editor, informed us that he felt the
need to step down from his Editor role.
Given the prior dedication of Hap and Bill to the BB, it was with great
reluctance that the remaining Managing Editors chose to move the Home and Village
pages to a new server and to new Editors. Hannes Graf and I have taken on those
roles and have consolidated all BB web pages on a single server managed by
Hannes. We have also implemented mechanisms to hide email addresses from
web-harvesting spiders. This has slightly increased the effort needed to add or
update member information, but it was necessary. We hope to hide addresses further
by implementing a database system, but that may be many months in development.
In addition, to reduce the load on Gerry, we have implemented forms on the
website where current members can update their information and where new members
can provide the information needed to join the Bunch. We have also placed the
current month's newsletter on the BB website so you may access it there if
your ISP blocks the email version. Clearly, if the current problems in sending
the email version of the newsletter are not resolved, we may need to make the
online version our only version of the newsletter.
Klaus Gerger has stepped into Albert's role as Burgenland Editor, adding yet
another BB hat to the one he wears as BB Maps Editor. Anna Kresh continues her
role as BB URLs Editor, updating the ever-changing web-links concerning
Austro-Hungarian and Burgenland genealogy.
The above group constitutes the whole of the managing staff of the BB web
pages. Backing this group is a strong team of Contributing Editors, who provide
articles for the newsletter, keep Gerry informed of happenings in their areas
of interest, and are active in answering member questions about the Burgenland.
Nonetheless, there is always room for more volunteers. If you have considered
becoming involved in the day-to-day operation of the BB, now would be a great
time to start! The BB continues to grow... from 38 members in August of 1997,
to about 600 in early 2000, to over 1,200 members today. Is it time for your
role to grow also? I hope so.
6. MORE BURGENLAND/HUNGARY BORDER CROSSINGS (from Hannes Graf)
Hannes writes: After removing the Iron Curtain, the Austrian-Hungarian Border
is now green, but with few border crossing points. This year the governments
of both countries will sign a contract to establish more "little" crossing
My reply: Hannes-I once tried to cross the border from Moschendorf to Pinka
Mindzent (Allerheiligen) across a plowed field (dirt road) but had to go down
to Heiligenkreuz and cross there; almost a 25 mile detour. I hope the new
crossings will allow autos with people with foreign passports.
(ED. Note: there are four types of Burgenland border crossings. One is for
locals only (farmers etc. going from field to field), another for Austrian or
European Union nationals and a third with customs stations for people with
international passports. The fourth allows one to walk across or ride a bike. I
know of two, one east of Mörbisch am See providing access to the Hungarian
portion of the Neusiedler See and another between Inzenhof and Felso-Ronok. This
allows easy access to local places of interest like St. Emmerich's Church. With
a US passport, crossing by car, use the customs station crossings.
7. 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BURGENLANDISCHE GEMEINSCHAFT
June to July of this year will see this anniversary celebrated with week-long
festivities. The BB will be represented by Chicago Editor Tom Glatz,
Burgenland Editor Klaus Gerger and other BB members. If you are planning a trip to
Burgenland this summer, don't miss checking on the scheduled events as published
in the last newsletter. Plan to attend any and all of what promises to be a
major celebration. A recently received schedule of events (see the BG website)
for July 3 in Mörbisch and Eisenstadt promises to be exceptionally interesting.
Newsletter continues as number 150A.
Subject: BB News No. 150A dtd Apr. 30, 2006
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2006 06:19:50 EDT
THE BURGENLAND BUNCH NEWS -No. 150A
DEDICATED TO AUSTRIAN-HUNGARIAN BURGENLAND FAMILY HISTORY
(Our 11th Year- Issued monthly as email by )
April 30, 2006
(c) 2006 G. J. Berghold-all rights reserved)
~THE SECOND SECTION OF OUR FIVE SECTION 15OTH ISSUE~
~READ OR COPY THE NEWSLETTER FROM THE BB HOMEPAGE. IT IS AVAILABLE ON THE
LAST DAY OF THE MONTH. ~
This second section of our 5-section newsletter concerns:
1. An Immigrant Story-Gerry Berghold-150th Contribution
2. A Typical BB Request-Villages Of Tobaj & Grossmürbisch
3. My Time With The BB-Bob Unger-150th Contribution
4. Taste Of The Burgenland-Forgacsfank Or Fried Twists
1. AN IMMIGRANT STORY- (Gerry Berghold-150th Contribution)
I've been culling the books in my library. They've reached a point where they
overflow shelves, tables, chairs, etc. I have an accumulation of at least
seventy years. Hidden behind some books on a deep shelf, I found a slim black
volume with faded purple and gold decoration. It must have been pushed there
during an infrequent bout of dusting. It was like finding a long lost friend. I
remember it as one of the first books I bought as a teenage high school student
in Allentown, PA. Printed in pencil on the flyleaf is the date 2-8-45 and
$2.00. The title is "Anything Can Happen" by George & Helen Papashvily, published
by Harper Bros. 1945, second edition of a 1940 copyright. I believe the book
was later made into a movie. It's the story of immigrant George Papashvily from
Russia (Georgia) and his first years in America. I remember buying it from
the authors who once visited the Allentown Free Library, as part of a student
program. It is signed by the authors under a fly-leaf inscription which says
"Gerald Berghold, all good wishes."
The book begins "At five in the morning the engines stopped, and after
thirty-seven days the boat was quiet. We were in America....Now began my troubles.
What to do? " What follows are chapters of rather humorous but deeply revealing
incidents that take place from the streets of New York to industrial sites in
Pittsburgh and Detroit followed by an early 1932 Depression trek to
California. Throughout this journey we follow a Georgian Cossack, with little English,
becoming an American, step by step, while retaining all that was good of his
ethnic back ground. It ends "Lotsa other people we are here too. Georgians,
Russians, Greek, Latvian, Estonian, Irish -regular League of Nations, I drink for
all those....it gives me hope when I see us sitting down so peaceful
together, maybe whole world gonna learn how to do it, too. After all it's only
enjoyable way to live....I drink with pleasure...For Home. Its floor is the earth;
its roof is the sky."
A good tale of one immigrant's new life in America, it reinforces our
understanding of the fears, problems, hopes and experiences that all immigrants must
undergo when they transplant their roots. Unfortunately it is not a complete
story, we have no beginning in the old world and no ending in the new. There
are missing fragments that we wish the author had shared with us.
Each of our own immigrants from the Burgenland had a similar story but most
are lost like the majority of immigrant stories. How I wish each of us could
sit with our immigrant ancestors and ask the questions that could result in the
complete story of their own personal journey from eastern European emigrant
birth to assimilated American. Too late, too late, we now have only fragments at
best, but as we examine those fragments under the BB microscope, we develop
the general Burgenland immigrant story in full detail. With minor changes, this
story can be taken as the story of each of our individual families. Have you
been able to contribute a fragment to add to the story? That has been the
underlying thrust of my involvement with the Burgenland Bunch.
2. A TYPICAL BB REQUEST-VILLAGES OF TOBAJ & GROSSMÜRBISH
In a message dated 4/4/06, a correspondent writes: I am researching my
in-law's families. Father-in-law DANIEL SCHWEITZER from Tobaj, his father JOHANN
SCHWEITZER, his mother HEDWIG HUBER. He came to the United States and settled in
New York City. My mother-in-law was IDA SOMMER from Grossmurbisch, her mother
was IDA JADRASITS and her father JOSEPH SOMMER. IDA SOMMER's mother settled
in Coplay Pennsylvania. We plan to visit Burgenland and Tobaj and Grossmurbisch
in October and would like visit family in these towns. Can you help?
Reply-these are all names found in southern Burgenland. Spelling of Jadrasits
should be Jandrasits. You will have no problem finding relatives. In Tobaj
you will find Eduard Schweitzer at Nr 43, Johann at Nr 69 and Norbert at Nr 46,
7540 Tobaj, Austria. No Huber families but plenty in nearby villages.
In Grossmürbisch you will find 17 Jandrasits families; try Eduard/Renate,
HS-Lehrer, at Nr 33 or Johann Jandrasits, Bäcker, at Nr 11, 7540 Grossmürbisch,
Austria. Two Sommers, Anna at Nr. 74 and Sommer/Wukovits Gasthaus at Nr 51,
7540 Grossmürbisch, Austria.
Definitely write in German although the schoolteacher probably knows English.
You may want to stay at the Gasthaus in Grossmürbisch, small but comfortable,
or the Hotel Krutzler in nearby Heiligenbrunn. There is also a nice one in
Heiligenkreuz as well Eltendorf and a new one in Güssing.
Sommer family was related to the Wallitsch/ Holzer/Burkhart families who had
the West End Hotel in Stiles (West Coplay) for years. Sommer name goes back to
the early 1700's in Grossmürbisch-church records in Szt. Nicholas (LDS
microfilm), now Güssing. Tobaj church records are in Deutsch Tschantschendorf.
Jandrasits (Croatian) as early as 1524. You will find a Sorger family in
Grossmürbisch, my grandmother was Hedwig Mühl Sorger, born Kleinmürbisch, lived in
Güssing. The Sorgers were from Rosenberg/Langzeil. One Aloysius married Julianna
Tarafass (my grandfather Sorger's mother) whose first husband was a Jandrasits
With the links you mention, you should have a profitable family history
search in this area. Be sure to visit Güssing, castle and Auswanderer Museum,
churches and cemetery. Visit office of Burgenländische Gemeinschaft. Cross the
border for a day trip to Hungary. Lots of nearby attractions-read about them in
our newsletter archives.
You can find a lot more about these families and villages and southern
Burgenland by searching the Burgenland Bunch Homepage. If serious about Burgenland
family history why not join our group? No doubt about your Burgenland
connections. Let us know how you make out.
3. MY TIME WITH THE BB-(from Bob Unger-150th contribution))
Ah! The 150th edition of the Burgenland Bunch (BB) news letter - a time for
reflection. I was introduced to the BB founder and editor, Gerry Berghold, in
November 1993 by Pastor Balser of the Lutheran Church in Eltendorf,
Burgenland, Austria. I had just received some information about my ancestors from
that church and was eager for more. I was told that a man in Winchester,
Virginia was also doing similar research and Pastor Balser gave me his address.
Gerry's subsequent response was a dream come true - he shared with me the results
of years of effort in researching his ancestors in the same area of Burgenland
in which mine had lived.
Gerry soon learned that there were others struggling in their Burgenland
related genealogical efforts, and decided to follow up on his correspondents'
ideas of forming the Burgenland Bunch, which proved to be a most effective and
mutually rewarding means of sharing information. Thus the first edition of the
BB news letter was distributed via e-mail on January 11, 1997 to a grand total
12 recipients. Part of it's opening statement was: "I've just faced up to the
fact that we really are a Burgenland genealogy group. I've therefore decided
that I might as well issue an occasional informal newsletter as opposed to
occasionally forwarding correspondence to others while trying to remember what I
sent to whom." Now, here we are 10 years later, the number receiving the
newsletter has grown from 12 to 1,278 (reference newsletter #149) and is still
growing. That first issue had 4 1/3 pages - later each newsletter grew to as
many as 28 pages, provided by Gerry and a volunteer staff that grew to 17
In my opinion the BB is the most unique genealogical research group in the
world - it is free, asking only that any use of its material be given
appropriate credit, and that members help others with their research efforts to the best
of your ability. From the outset, a number of members offered to become
staff members. I feel privileged to be one of that group.
In my opinion Gerry is the maestro - analogous to a concert master -
directing and leading, others to contribute their best for the mutual benefit of all.
This multi-talented staff created and continues to maintain 18 important
elements of genealogical support, all listed on the BB web site - the web site,
internet links, membership - surname and village lists, query board, village
data, FAQ, just to mention a few. I know that I speak for all BB members in
extending a heart felt thank you for all that he has contributed.
Many consider genealogy research in the most basic form, i.e., the birth -
death statistics. But later that dash in between the birth and death dates
becomes very meaningful - what happened during that period? Few, if any, have
found diaries written by their ancestors in order to get a better understanding
of their lifestyles, opportunities, joys, hardships, etc. We have resorted to
shared information from others who lived during that period of time and in the
area of the world now called Burgenland, Austria. I was fortunate to
discover a book entitled Twenty Five Years of My Life In My Homeland, by Robert
Unger. (Not a blood relative - at least we haven't made the connection as yet.).
That book documents what can be considered the typical life of a young man
growing up in Burgenland between 1897 and 1922. BB members expressed a strong
desire to get a copy of this book, so it was arranged to have the book
republished and hundreds of copies were provided to BB members. Now many can have a
better understanding of what it was like to live during that time.
Some may question the need or merits of genealogical research. Each of us is
a product of our ancestors, good or bad. As such, each is unique - one of a
kind, simplistically represented by unique fingerprints. What we do with the
genes that were passed down to us are the basic tools to shape our lives under
our current environment. When we assess the lives of our ancestors, or our
own, it is often useful to have a list of evaluation factors. Via the internet
I discovered such a list (shortened) that provides the following as food for
What Will Matter-By Michael Josephson
Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten will pass to
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.....
So what will matter?
How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought but what you built, not what you got
but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage, or sacrifice
that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a
lasting loss when your gone.
What will matter is not your memories but the memories that live in those who
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident.
It's not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.
What Will Matter was reprinted with permission of the Josephson Institute of
Ethics. (c) 2006. Full text can be found at: www.charactercounts.org
In closing, I wish to again extend my thanks and appreciation to Gerry
Berghold, and to his wife Molly - because behind every great man there is a loving,
caring, supportive partner. Character is built out of circumstances. From
exactly the same material one man builds palaces while another builds hovels.
Gerry topped that, he founded and nurtured the BB to what it is today -
celebrating the 150th edition of the Burgenland Bunch news letter, an accomplishment
that really matters.
4. TASTE OF THE BURGENLAND-FORGACSFANK OR FRIED TWISTS
A member writes: I was just thinking about my grandmother's Forgacsfank the
other day and then I saw it mentioned in your newsletter. I used to love these
and watched my grandmother make them. Do you have a recipe for this? Roxann,
Vineland, NJ (originally from Allentown, PA)
Reply: I knew when I wrote Forgacsfank that I'd receive a request for the
recipe. The following is from Lang's "Cuisine Of Hungary." These are also called
Bowknots, Csöröge or Fried Twists. Rum adds a nice flavor but you can
substitute vanilla, rum or almond flavoring or a tablespoon of sweet white wine. Sour
cream can be replaced with milk (add a drop or 2 of vinegar). Vanilla sugar
can be made by adding a few drops of vanilla flavoring to the sugar and storing
over night or adding a pod to some granulated sugar. Confectioner's works
just as well but draws moisture so add only before serving. To duplicate your
grandmother's flavor you must try to determine the exact ingredients she would
have used. Every one had their own version. My grandmother fried them in lard,
which can be pretty flavorful. This recipe will give you a true Hungarian
flavor. These have a delicate flavor and should not taste oily so use fresh oil.
Ingredients (makes 16):
1 cup all purpose flour, 4 egg yolks, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon light
rum, 1 tablespoon sour cream, pinch of salt, 2 cups oil, vanilla sugar.
In a bowl mix flour, egg yolks, 1/2 tsp. sugar, rum, sour cream and salt.
Knead into a hard dough. Let rest 15 minutes.
Stretch (roll) into a very thin sheet. Cut into 5x3 inch pieces. Make a slit
in center of each piece. Pull the two diagonally opposite corners to the
center and tuck them into the slit.
Bring oil (2 quart frying pan) almost to smoking point and then turn down to
lowest heat. Fry 2 or 3 pieces at a time for 1 or 2 minutes, turning as they
become golden. Remove with long handled fork and place on absorbent paper
(paper towel works.).
Place on platter and sprinkle with vanilla sugar or confectioner's sugar just
before serving. (sugar will attract moisture and make the twists soft if
added before serving or storage.) They can also be dipped into a little jam for
each person before eating. They will store in an air tight container when cold.
They are nice with coffee, tea or wine.
Newsletter continues as number 150B.
Subject: BB News No. 150B dtd Apr. 30, 2006
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2006 06:21:11 EDT
THE BURGENLAND BUNCH NEWS -No. 150B
DEDICATED TO AUSTRIAN-HUNGARIAN BURGENLAND FAMILY HISTORY
(Our 11th Year- Issued monthly as email by )
April 30, 2006
(c) 2006 G. J. Berghold-all rights reserved)
This third section of our 5-section newsletter concerns:
1. Lehigh Valley, PA Ethnic Calendar-April 2006-Bob Strauch
2. Recent Obituaries Concerning Burgenland Ethnic Families
3. Preparation For Burgenland Emigration-(Anna Kresh 150th Contribution)
4. Village Of Rosenberg (Rosahegy)-"Rosehill"
5. The Downside Of Operating The BB
6. What The BB Has Meant To Me-(Frank Teklits 150th Contribution)
1. LEHIGH VALLEY, PA ETHNIC CALENDAR-APRIL 2006 (from Bob Strauch)
Sat., April 8 - Easter Food and Bake Sale, 8 AM -6 PM, Ss. Peter and Paul
Polish Roman Catholic Church, 1065 Fullerton Ave., Allentown. Polish platter,
$6. Takeouts available. Also, 10:30 AM -1 PM Sunday. (610) 432-2252.
Sat., April 8 - Easter on the Farm, 10 AM -4 PM, Pennsylvania German
Cultural Heritage Center, Luckenbill Road, Kutztown. A celebration of customs and
traditions plus a reading of ''The Egg Tree'' by Katherine Milhous and trombone
music by Don Kemmerer and the Bethlehem Area Moravian Trombone Choir. Samples
of Pennsylvania German food. Children can make onion-skin-dyed eggs, a paper
basket and participate in an egg hunt. Rain date, Sunday. (610) 683-1589.
Sat, April 15 - Blessing of Easter food baskets at most area Roman Catholic,
Greek Catholic, and certain Orthodox parishes.
Fri., April 21 - Grand Re-Opening Button Box Jam Session, Edelweiss Haus,
Main St., Northampton.
Sat. April 29 - Maibaumtanz (Maypole Dance), Coplay Sängerbund, 5th St. &
Schreiber Ave., Coplay. Sponsored by Coplay Sängerbund Mixed Chorus. Dinner at
5:30 PM. Dancing from 7-10 PM to the Joe Weber Orchestra. Mini-concerts by the
Coplay Sängerbund Mixed Chorus and the Hianz'nchor. Crowning of May Queen.
Info and tickets: Claire Glover, (610) 443-1819.
2. RECENT OBITUARIES CONCERNING ETHNIC BURGENLAND FAMILIES
Frank William Lukitsch, Sr., 82, of Allentown, passed away on February 22,
2006. Born in Grieselstein, Austria he was a son of the late Joseph and Rosa
Hermine "Minnie" Preisler, 93 years, of Whitehall, died Tuesday March 7, 2006
in the Lehigh Valley Hospital- Muhlenberg. She was the widow of Joseph
Preisler, who died November 28, 1989. Born in Eisenberg an der Pinka, Burgenland,
Austria, she was a daughter of the late Rudolf and Katharina (Peischler)
Member Lea Simitz Buzby asks us to report the death of Frank Janesch of Rd
Hill , PA on March 28, 2006. He is survived by his wife Lillian Simitz Janesch.
Simitz family has deep roots in southern Burgenland.
ED. Special Note: With sadness we report the death of Leonard M. Kresh, age
46 of Daytona Beach, Florida, who died Tuesday, April 4, 2006. Born October 6,
1959 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, he was the son of Rudolph E. Kresh Jr. and
Anna Rose (Tanczos) Kresh. Anna Tanczos Kresh is the Internet Editor of the
Burgenland Bunch with roots in the southern Burgenland villages of Tobaj and
We offer our condolences to the families of the deceased.
3. PREPARATION FOR EMIGRATION (suggested by Anna Kresh as a 150th Newsletter
Anna writes: One thing I had wanted to do is have an article on just what had
to be done in order to emigrate - such as, required papers to be obtained and
where and why, packing of belongings, travel from one point to another (how
and where), what registration and embarkation was like, any information about
life on board ship - sort of a log of what generally needed to be done.
Reply: What had to be done to emigrate changed a lot according to place and
time. Some needed nothing but some form of identity (birth, baptism, passport
(not many of these were issued to earlier immigrants-they were reserved for the
nobility and moneyed class.) Tickets were bought at a place like Güssing,
from an agent of one of the steamship companies-they would even supply train
tickets to port of embarkation and from NYC to somewhere in the US. There was also
a ship passage contract form that was used to prove passage had been paid.
Citizens of the Empire started out needing nothing else but ID and
tickets-later there were various requirements from the Austrian-Hungarian officials-also
started up in the US when the government began getting worried about the huge
number of immigrants-but most of this was after WWI. There was a time when
you had to have some one in the states vouch for you. A certain amount of money
($10-15) was always necessary to prove you wouldn't be a burden.
In my grandfather's time (1902) nothing was needed but ID, a ticket and $14
in cash. My grandmother (1907) and her mother had tickets sent by her brother
who came earlier and who also needed nothing special. My grandmother mentioned
a passport and some papers from Vienna, but she threw them away years later.
They did take food (as far as the port of embarkation, to eat on the train and
a steamer trunk plus other luggage.) They had 2nd class cabins and so weren't
required to pass through Ellis Island.
You wouldn't need a passport to travel anywhere in the Empire but there were
papers necessary to cross the border with Germany (on the way to the ports of
embarkation) but just when required I don't know. There was no common
situation-so unless you know your family's story-it's all guess work. I'm not sure
about any health documents, they may have been necessary during periods of
epidemics (cholera closed down some of the German ports for two years.)
I understand early immigrants from Germany had it much worse-you needed
permission to emigrate. I never heard of this requirement for our people, since the
serfs were freed from obligation to the aristocracy in 1848. See BB
newsletters 7, 13,23, 41B for more concerning all of this.
None of my books discuss this issue although some do show facsimiles of
various documents but they don't say when required. I tend to believe Albert Schuch
(see below) when he says most evaded any requirement, bought a ticket (often
with help from overseas relatives) and left carrying their few possessions in
whatever luggage they had.
Atlantic crossings could be fierce-there are bad storms particularly in the
winter or early Spring, late Fall could be quite bad-worse in smaller ships.
Before the steam ship, there were very few trans-Atlantic crossing other than
May through October. Your immigrant's ship the Finland (Kroonland was a sister
ship) was not big (under 15000 tons-launched 1902 as a 2 funnel liner for the
Red Star Line Antwerp-Hamburg to NYC run) so she wouldn't have been as
comfortable as a bigger ship. We experienced a bad storm on the QEII (40,000 tons) off
of the NC coast and it moved that vessel up, down and sideways with some
passengers getting broken limbs. Imagine how it was for immigrants on a smaller
ship during a bad storm.
From Newsletter 41B
EMIGRATION PAPERS (correspondence between Roman Paul Weber & Albert Schuch)
Roman writes: "When my grandfather, Paul Weber left Steinbach and Burgenland
with his wife Katalin and my father, Ferenez and daughters, in 1903, could he
just pack up and leave? Or, did the Hungarian government require that he had
to fill out documents or otherwise inform them, in writing, that he and listed
dependents were leaving to emigrate to America, when going, property owned and
how disposed of, and such? If they had to register when they were departing
the country, would such a register record exist today someplace? Budapest?"
Albert answers: This is a good question. There is no doubt that some
emigrants indeed did just pack up and leave. But this was illegal and they would have
had to have had to have special reasons to do so, like avoiding the draft
(military service lasted for 3 years, had lasted for 12 years until some time in
the 19th century), imprisonment, paying for children etc.
I know that they had to apply for permission to emigrate at the k.u.k.
Bezirkskommissariat in the 1850ies (see an article written by Hans PAUL which I
translated for a previous BB newsletter). Later on probably they had to register
at the Bezirkshauptmannschaft. (both meaning district administration). After
the "creation" of Burgenland our territory belonged to Austria. Emigration was
then observed and registered by the "Wanderungsamt" (migration office) in
Vienna. They compiled and published monthly emigration statistics. I think that the
Wanderungsamt received all ship passenger lists.
I don't know whether the Hungarian archives still keep material on the
registration of emigrants for the time ca. 1860-1920 (the PAUL-article proves
existence for the 1850' s; source is the archive in Sopron) but it is possible. If
so, I'd guess that the documents are in the Comitat-archives (would be in
Sopron for Bubendorf area).
4. VILLAGE OF ROSENBERG (ROSAHEGY or "Rosehill")-suggested by mail from
Margaret writes to Ed Tantsits (copy to the BB): I am fascinated with your
statements about your Potzmanns being Burg (Güssing castle) caretakers for 112
years, and also your Great-uncle Robert being Burgermeister in Güssing, and
your grandmother's old house in Rosenberg. I know I would like to know more
about these persons, their jobs, how the house was built, what crops, if any, were
grown, and the tales the ancestors told. Someday when you can collect your
thoughts, perhaps you could be encouraged to write a little something about
ED Reply: You'll find any number of references to Rosenberg in the BB
archives. We also did an article on the Potzmans. Rosenberg has been an appendage of
Güssing for some time. The first mention I've found was in the church records
of Szt. Jakob (Güssing), the 12th century church at the cemetery, replaced as
the Parish church in the 1600's by the Maria Heimsuchung church in Güssing.
There are records of people from Langzeil, another appendage of Güssing (family
names (Sorger-Pöltl -Poeltl) moving there in the late 1600's. I believe the
hamlet was created at that time, never large enough to provide its own
administration. For the most part Rosenberg inhabitants were involved in the
production of grapes and fruit-there are still apple orchards there. My g-grandfather,
his father and his grandfather operated a pottery there for many years as did
the Poeltl family. Contact BB Editor Klaus Gerger (my cousin) whose family
also lived there (his father still has a Rosenberg apple orchard and the Güssing
Cloister owns some vineyards.) Very small community, an Ortsteile of Güssing.
Houses have changed very little-I was there last in 2001. My grandfather's
home (nr 225) was empty and for sale. Large rambling place-once a Gasthaus. Large
wine press in a building behind the home, pottery fragments in the attic. See
Gerger's map site for a map of Rosenberg with family names and house numbers
appended (1858). Homes are typical Burgenland dwellings but most have been
modernized with tile roofs, plumbing, electric, etc. One cousin (Weber family)
told me that their family had occupied the same house in the hamlet for over 300
years. A prayer chapel, erected a few years ago, is the only "civic"
structure. A road comes north-west from Güssing -St. Nikolaus and continues on to the
hamlet of Krottendorf, then splits on the way to Tobaj and Sulz. Rosenberg, a
village with deep and significant roots for me, and a magnificent view of
5. THE DOWNSIDE OF OPERATING THE BB
Our refurbished Homepage has drawn a lot of new interest. Our listing editors
are receiving many new membership forms. Some are creating problems that
require decisions whether to process or delete them. While our Homepage
instructions clearly state that we are a Burgenland site, readers still send us email
concerning other geographic areas. Some do not follow instructions. We do not
wish to turn down any legitimate request, but we also do not wish to add
non-Burgenland data to our files. We expect correspondents to know a little geography
and be aware of the borders of the Burgenland. There have also been a few
discourteous requests-anyone contacting us should read our web page "Notice to
Users." You thank our volunteer editors when you read, understand and follow our
6. WHAT THE BB HAS MEANT TO ME (Frank Teklits 150th Contribution)
The BB is akin to belonging to a variety of guilds, abounding in many
talents, skills, & capabilities. Skills such as detailed historical writings about
Burgenland in general, numerous descriptions of individual villages, the 1930 Dr
Leser series, language translations & writing, web page design capabilities,
URL updates, among many others. There is a bond between the BB membership
willing & able to assist others in a variety of searches or endeavors, all
intertwined with a common desire to share information as well as providing assistance
to anyone interested in whatever the field of interest in Burgenland may be.
Belonging to BB is similar to being a member of a pool of skilled
professionals providing a ready access to any topic of interest in Burgenland.
It would be unfair as well as unwise to single out anyone within the BB, yet
being specific I'd like to highlight how the BB has aided some of my
endeavors. Dr Albert Schuch & his sister Inge Schuch provided untold hours of effort
via email resulting in the translation of an historical text detailing the
Migration of the Croats into Burgenland. Without their talented & dedicated input,
the translation of this text would never have occurred. Dr Schuch is also an
expert in interpreting the improperly spelled Latin wording seen in church
records & he has provided much cogent input in the digitization of the
Szentpeterfa church records. Fritz Königshofer, on one of his many travels, located &
provided a key input from an early Hungarian census allowing me to extend the
family trees to the early 1700's. John Lavendoski provided the initiative
thinking & investment in digital cameras used in capturing some of the church images
of Szentpeterfa, ultimately resulting in the digitization of over 31,000
church records of that village. Bob Unger in one of his articles identified a
Hungarian text identifying all of the Hungarian village spellings & their
equivalents in many languages. This text has proven invaluable while digitizing the
church records of Szentpeterfa. Bob Strauch, Steve Geosits, John Lavendoski, &
Margaret Kaiser all share in responding to the continuing requests from
individuals searching for lineage information contained in the Szentpeterfa church
records. Bob Strauch provides hours of enjoyable input regarding the Lehigh
Valley area of PA, the writers' hometown area. Anna Kresh, "a real "pro" has
responded to many a request of mine in addition to her many other significant
contributions to the work of the BB.
Being a BB member has provided many hours of enjoyment seeing & utilizing the
numerous capabilities of this lively organization, so carefully nurtured
under Gerry Berghold's leadership. I hope no one will be offended be by not seeing
their names mentioned, as each of our endeavors collectively "makes the BB
Newsletter continues as no. 150C.
Subject: BB News No. 150C dtd Apr. 30, 2006
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2006 09:14:37 EDT
THE BURGENLAND BUNCH NEWS -No. 150C
DEDICATED TO AUSTRIAN-HUNGARIAN BURGENLAND FAMILY HISTORY
(Our 11th Year- Issued monthly as email by )
April 30, 2006
(c) 2006 G. J. Berghold-all rights reserved)
This fourth section of our 5-section newsletter concerns:
1. My Contribution To The 10th Year, 150th BB Newsletter-Fritz Königshofer
2. The Location & Population Of Burgenland -Fritz Königshofer
3. The BB From A Bürgenlander's Standpoint-(Klaus Gerger 150th Contribution)
1. MY CONTRIBUTION TO THE 10TH YEAR, 150TH BB NEWSLETTER-by Fritz Königshofer
Sometimes late in 1997, while using the then new and fashionable search
engine Altavista, I hit upon the almost equally new web site of the Burgenland
Bunch, a truly commendable, cooperative effort by Hap Anderson, Mike Spahitz and
Gerry Berghold, the BB's founder. At the time, the world-wide web was a
relatively recent invention and the first graphical browser, Netscape, as well as
its Microsoft clone "Internet Explorer," had just begun to proliferate.
The BB web site with its newsletters, as well as the purpose of the BB,
immediately captivated me. I already was deeply immersed in Hungarian family
history that included the Burgenland. My fascination with genealogy had started in
late 1992 right after an (American) cousin had informed me of an eerie
coincidence. She had mentioned our "Hungarian" line (Béri/Béry) to an otherwise
stranger at a reception in Budapest. This person then traveled to Minneapolis
where he dropped this name to an American Hungarian living there. The latter
turned out to be an unknown cousin with the same enigmatic line. As became
clear, the three of us shared a common great-great-grandfather, though his
great-great-grandmother was different from ours, a first marriage that was news to us.
This cousin from the Twin-Cities happened to know the location of his
great-grandfather's birthplace in southern Zala county, which allowed me to locate a
nearby small "puszta" as the place where my own great-grandmother, the
half-sister of his great-grandfather, had been born. Previously, in our line of the
family, we had looked at, but had never seriously followed up, a wrong place
in Vas county.
Thus started my work with LDS microfilm. After an intensive phase with the
Béri-related records ( leading me from Zala to Somogy county), I had turned to
the line of my paternal grandmother which goes back to today's Burgenland. As
another significant development, from about 1996 onwards, my job brought me to
Budapest for several trips each year. I used free time on evenings and
weekends for visits to the National Library (Széchényi Library). In my first visit
there, a librarian took me to a corner in one of the two large public reading
halls and showed me a booklet from the 1930s or 1940s which listed German
language newspapers and journals that had been published in Hungary. This
booklet was of immense interest for me, as among our family documents we had a
letterhead which showed that my great-grandfather had been a correspondent of the
newspaper "Der Volksfreund" (Friend of the People), but without any further
address information. Now, suddenly and quite unexpectedly, I was able to
establish that this had been a weekly newspaper published in Szombathely. The
Széchényi Library had most Volksfreund issues available on microfilm. During many
stays in Budapest, I was able to read all the issues, which were published until
the demise of the paper mid-way through World War 1.
When I found the BB on the web, I eagerly and rapidly absorbed the early
articles written by Gerry and his collaborators, especially the historical
information abundantly supplied by Albert Schuch. There was another eerie moment
when I read Gerry's story about the death of his great-grandfather, a death
which, as he reported, was shrouded in mystery. As it happened, I had just read an
old obituary in Budapest, written by my great-grandfather in the Volksfreund,
about the accidental and sad death of the very same person, Emil Langasch,
the retired schoolmaster of Poppendorf. According to the article, Emil had been
born in Linz, which provided the first concrete link for Gerry in the ensuing
long process of unraveling his Langasch line.
My great-grandfather, Adolf Königshofer, succeeded Emil Langasch as the
schoolmaster of the Catholic school in Poppendorf. Both individuals came from
outside Hungary. Adolf was born in Neudau, just over the Lafnitz river in Styria.
He went through teacher education in Graz and Oberschützen, and upon
completion of studies, tried to get a job across the border in Hungary. He started
as an assistant teacher in Olbendorf (1880-84), followed by schoolmaster
assignments in Gamischdorf (1884-98) and Poppendorf (1898-1914). Since after the
Compromise of 1867, Hungary was largely independent from Austria, Adolf had to
apply not only to Olbendorf's town council for the town to accept him with
home rights there, but he also needed Hungarian citizenship which he received.
Membership in the Burgenland Bunch has enriched my human perspective
immensely. The experience has been that one happily gives a little help, and gets
much more back. I have been immensely honored by Gerry's trust in inviting me to
the editorial board of the BB. The joint quest for family history has
brought me in touch with many members via e-mail, and with some in person. It has
produced endless speculation in my mind about what factors produced the
creative and especially friendly character of the people inhabiting this historical
borderland, which we cherish through the existence of, and our contributions
to, the Burgenland Bunch. In this very special BB Newsletter issue, let me
close with reflections on the location and population of Burgenland. (next
2. THE LOCATION & POPULATION OF BURGENLAND (by Fritz Königshofer)
The region of Burgenland is among the truly ancient border regions of Europe.
The border between the Roman provinces of Noricum and Pannonia was just a
bit to the west of today's western border of Burgenland. When Hungary emerged
around 1000 AD as a nation accepted by its neighbors, its border to
Austria/Styria continued to change in meandering ways, for hundreds of years, with
constant skirmishes among the local aristocrats loyal to Hungarians or Austrians,
sometimes involving the kings and emperors themselves, leaving the people
inhabiting the area to suffer without end. Plague (until the early 18th century)
and cholera (till the mid 19th century) decimated the population further,
compounded by famine due to the invasion of swarms of grasshoppers. When the
Ottoman Turks threatened Central Europe between 1500 and 1700, the Burgenland was
the staging area for their attacks on Vienna and, even worse, the area of their
disappointed retreat. When the Hungarians rose, about once every 100 years or
so, to gain independence from the Habsburgs, the Burgenland region bore the
related brunt. In 1809, Napoleon's army further harassed the Burgenland.
Looking far back, perhaps a few of the settlers of the times of the Roman
empire survived, and perhaps a few from the Germanic tribes crisscrossing the
region afterwards (Avars, Goths, Langobards etc.) Ethnic German settlers poured
into the area circa 1150 and 1300, making earlier Magyar border guards a
minority. Croats were invited to settle in partially depopulated Burgenland in the
mid 16th century, and also during the 17th century. Another immigration wave
were Lutherans from Styria escaping persecution by the Counter-reformation in
Styria around 1600, and from Lower Austria around 1627. It is quite possible
that the Berghold ancestors in Gerry's male line, and the Trautman/Traupman
and other ancestors of BB members, came to southern Burgenland as Lutheran
refuges from Eastern Styria about 1599.
There is likelihood that some soldiers and members of the entourage of the
Imperial army remained and settled around Mogersdorf in southern Burgenland
(west of Szentgotthárd) after they had defeated the Turks in the famous battle of
year 1664. An early BB member, the late Joe Gilly, always sought for
confirmation about a possible Irish origin of his last name. There are indications that
Irish officers indeed had fought in the Imperial army.
Another immigration and emigration wave happened in the early to mid 18th
century, when areas liberated from centuries long Ottoman occupation in
southeastern Hungary became magnets for new ethnic German settlement treks down the
Danube. Some Burgenland people joined these waves and started new lives in the
Bakony Forest region north of Lake Balaton, and areas further south in Fejér
and Tolna counties. On the other hand, settlers from western Austrian and
German regions, who might originally have been destined farther southeast, stayed
in Burgenland as soon as they had crossed over from Austria into Hungary. I
have a line with last name Rathner/Rattner which arrived in Burgenland from an
area south of Linz in Upper Austria in the mid 18th century and settled in
The final wave occurred in the late 19th century when the nearly independent
and increasingly nationalistic administration of Hungary started to fill
public service positions such as registrars, post office staff, teachers and
priests with Magyars. This was when my great-grandmother from Zala county,
Franziska Béry, obtained the job of postmaster in Olbendorf, where young teacher Adolf
Königshofer met her and fell in love. The time of mass emigration to the
Americas was quickly approaching. Many left for work in the larger cities like
Vienna, Graz, and Budapest. Of the five children of Adolf and Franziska, two
went to the USA (one to Milwaukee, one to Allentown), two remained in Hungary,
and one, my grandfather, ended up in newly created Burgenland, Austria.
The Burgenland has seen a remarkable ethnic mix, even considering that
Austria, as a historical German border region, was a well-known crossroad of
peoples. In Burgenland, German, Magyar, and Slovenians met and mingled, Croats and
more Germans were added, and others (Moravians, Czechs, Slovaks, etc.) also
contributed. However, the mix does not end just with ethnicity; different
religions also managed to co-exist. Even today, Burgenland has a rare Calvinist
element (via the congregation centered in Oberwart). Burgenland was home to many
Jews. Rechnitz, the town of origin of my paternal grandmother's family, can
serve as a splendid example of ethnic and religious variety. Looking back
over centuries, it originally comprised a "German" and a "Hungarian" market
(town), and later housed separate "German" and "Croat" Roman-Catholic parishes.
During the 19th century, there was a time when Lutherans were not much less in
number than Roman-Catholics, and Jews were almost as many as Lutherans. This
kind of cultural experience may have prepared Burgenländers particularly well
for the "melting pot" of North America.
At the double jubilee of 10 years of existence and of issue 150 of the
newsletter, this contribution is dedicated to Gerry Berghold's efforts and success
in creating the continuously growing, far-flung yet deeply-interconnected,
rock-solid and proud achievement known as the Burgenland Bunch.
3. THE BB FROM A BURGENLÄNDER'S PERSPECTIVE-(Klaus Gerger 150th Contribution)
When I started genealogy 10 years ago, I was little aware of any emigrated r
elatives other than two aunts living in Argentina. Discussing family history
with my parents I often heard the words "and he/she went to America". There
where just a few stories, no facts. Some family members had contact with a few
"American" relatives. Going into genealogical detail (church records) showed 2
things: First, nearly everyone from my wife's (Heidi) and my family trees were
born in or around Guessing. I was able to do my research using just the Roman
Catholic parishes of Guessing (German and Croatian), Gerersdorf, Heiligenkreuz
and Königsdorf. Second, I found an increasing number of emigrated relatives
but had absolutely no information on what happened to them in the "new world".
At that time the BB "showed up". Like many researchers, I learned much from
the newsletters. The first was the existence of the LDS, especially their
library in Vienna. I was able to trace the lines of our Inzenhof descendants from
the films of the Hungarian St. Emmerich Parish (Radling/Roenoek). Then the
Ellis Island records went online. I learned about SSDI (death index) and the US
With these tools and the help of American BB friends, I was able to find some
details about emigrated family members. Twelve siblings of my grand parents
and five of Heidi's emigrated to NY and PA and settled there (details can be
found on http://www.burgenlaender.com/klaus/wa_us.htm.) I was then able to
contact a few descendants of these emigrants (Gerger, Fandl, Frisch and Granitz).
The fate of all the others is still unknown.
In the same way that many descendants of Burgenland emigrants are interested
in the history of their ancestors in the Heimat, I'd like to know what
happened to the emigrants in the new world and perhaps get in touch with descendants.
List of our Grandparents and their emigrated siblings:
Holler Mathias had 9 siblings, 4 died young, 5 emigrated to the USA.
Holler Franz 1880-1963 emigrated to Allentown in 1903 with wife Sagmeister,
Maria had 6 children
Holler Johann 1884-1967 emigrated to NY in 1900 married and had 2 children
Holler Andreas 1885-1968 emigrated to Northampton in 1901
Hafner Anna nee Holler 1889-1974 emigrated to USA in 1907married with Hafner
Granitz Maria nee Holler 1895-1957 emigrated to Allentown in 1913 with
husband Granitz Alois and son
Frisch Maria had 4 sisters, 2 of them emigrated, one returned to Burgenland.
Steiner Theresia nee Frisch 1902-1945 emigrated to NYwith husband Steiner
Gustav-had a daughter
Groeller Juliana nee Frisch 1900-1979 was in the USA from 1923 to 1933; had 3
children with her husband Adolf Groeller. Born in NY the children grew up in
Burgenland. The sons emigrated to NY after WW II.
Gerger Richard had 2 siblings surviving childhood both emigrated
Fandl Anna nee Gerger 1886-1980 emigrated to NY in 1905 with husband Fandl
Karl- had 3 children
Gerger Johann 1887-1969 emigrated to Troy, NY in 1906. With wife Muik, Gisela
he had 3 children
Klein Emma was in NY from 1903 for several years before she returned and
married my grandfather in 1908; at least 3 of her 5 step-siblings emigrated
Moyer Mary nee Koller 1879-1967 went to Coplay in 1898; 3 children with 1st
husband Artinger John.
Koller Adolf 1877-? emigrated to Coplay in 1902, he married Schrat, Anna
Koller Josef 1881-? emigrated to Coplay in 1906
Groeller Eduard had 7 siblings surviving childhood, 4 emigrated
Groller Johann 1892-1969 emigrated to Coplay in 1909; unknown if he had
children w/wife Mary
Grollar August 1900-1977 emigrated to PA
Groller Josef 1893-? emigrated to US in 1923
Klement Johanna nee Groller 1904-1967 to Coplay in 1923; had a daughter with
husband Klement, Alois
Schadl Adolf had 6 siblings, a sister emigrated
Schadl Laura had several children in the States.
Newsletter continues as number 150D.
Subject: BB News No. 150D dtd Apr. 30, 2006
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2006 09:17:40 EDT
THE BURGENLAND BUNCH NEWS -No. 150D
DEDICATED TO AUSTRIAN-HUNGARIAN BURGENLAND FAMILY HISTORY
(Our 11th Year- Issued monthly as email by )
April 30, 2006
(c) 2006 G. J. Berghold-all rights reserved)
~OUR 15OTH ISSUE IS DEDICATED TO OUR DECEASED IMMIGRANT BURGENLAND ANCESTORS;
AS TAKEN FROM A SLAVIC PRAYER "MAY THE EARTH REST LIGHTLY ON THEM"~
~IT'S THE EASTER SEASON AND AS TAKEN FROM THE GREEK-"HE IS RISEN-HE IS RISEN
INDEED!"~SO TOO MAY THE MEMORIES OF OUR ANCESTORS BE RENEWED BY OUR EFFORTS~
~THIS IS THE FIFTH & LAST, BUT NOT LEAST, SECTION OF THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY
This fifth section of our 5-section newsletter concerns:
1. The BB-A Dream Come True -Tom Glatz 150th Contribution
2. The BB Is The Best-An Unsolictited Comment
3. Schloss Lackenbach-Lackenbach Palace-An Immigrant Family Home
4. A Request From Eisenstadt
5. Edelweis Haus (Northampton, PA) Reopens
1. THE BB-A DREAM COME TRUE (Tom Glatz-150th Contribution)
The Burgenland Bunch is a dream that came true for me. Being interested in
genealogy for thirty-two years, I often looked very jealously upon other ethnic
and geographical groups in America who were organized. Back in the mid 1970's,
fellow Burgenland Bunch member Wayne Weber and I were the only members of the
Chicago Genealogical Society with roots from the Burgenland. Since I was
corresponding secretary for this group, I had access to periodicals from all over
the US and some from Europe. I was always disappointed never to find much
regarding the former areas of the Austrian Empire.
I have yet to meet any "real cousins" being a member of the Burgenland Bunch,
but I have formed many great relationships through e-mail and in person. I am
grateful to the Burgenland Bunch charter members for the time and effort in
forming the organization and to be able to keep it going so strong. The Second
Raab Valley Reunion, which was held in 2004, in Limeport, Pennsylvania was not
a BB event. However, I felt exhilarated being able to experience a real
historical Burgenland event in the US and with Burgenland Bunch and Burgenländische
Gemeinschaft members. I believe this was a first time happening ever for
Chicago and east coast Burgenländer to be together. I would like again some day to
have such a wonderful experience. The BB has become universal and certainly
transcends all generational lines.
The Burgenland Bunch has brought me culturally closer to my ancestors than I
could ever have imagined. It has given me a detailed look of what life was
like for them and the hardships that they faced emigrating to America and other
parts of the world.
The best aspect of the Burgenland Bunch is that it gives honor and meaning to
these immigrant ancestors!
2. THE BB IS THE BEST-AN UNSOLICITED COMMENT
Again I'm writing to thank you; the Burgenland Bunch is the best. After
searching for the "Heimat" of my grandparents John and Mary Fuchs Huss, purportedly
from St Johann and St Peter, and learning thru the Burgenland Bunch that
neighboring villages so named were now incorporated as Janossomorja, Hungary in
the Burgenland area, I joined your group and through a query in your Newsletter
was contacted by several other members offering help. Yesterday I got the
surprise of my life when Mike Winkler, one of those contacts and without any
request from me, sent me a four-page email not only confirming that these were the
hometowns of my grandparents, but taking my ancestry back three more
generations. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping make all this
possible. Arlene Huss
3. SCHLOSS LACKENBACH-LACKENBACH PALACE-AN IMMIGRNAT FAMILY HOME
Eons ago in BB News 13A, I did an article on the major Burgenland castles and
palaces. I did this since many have survived and all figure prominently in
our Burgenland family history. For some families; however, they figure more
prominently than others. I refer to the very few families who were caretakers and
who actually lived in these magnificent and historical structures. The
Potzmanns as an example, were caretakers of Burg Güssing for 112 years. Following is
a similar case.
Carolyn Clemons writes: I read your website and was especially interested in
your post regarding the above castle. My mother was born and raised in that
castle; she was born to Franz & Theresa Wolf in 1868 and left as a young woman
to work in Vienna, and later immigrated to the U.S. (Her father was the town
miller, and the flour mill, like the castle, was owned by Prince Esterhazy who
maintained an apartment there and who would come and stay once a year to hunt
and enjoy hiking. Because he worked for the Prince, my grandfather was given
an apartment in the castle.) I refer you to a book, "Burgen und Schlosser -
Burgenland" by Harald Prickler. The castle was actually built between 1548
and 1552 by Erasmus Teuffel, and the final form of the castle as you now see it,
was completed by Nicholas Esterhazy in 1618. So your date of 1618 was
incorrect as to when it was originally built - the main body of the castle was done
in 1552. It was a fortress castle with a wide moat surrounding it. A
Catholic church, utilized as the village church, was in the center of the castle
complex, but it burned down in the 1870's. An area of the castle was converted to
become the new church.
My mother talked about how they used to herd the geese into an area beneath
their living quarters - the area had originally been a dungeon to house
prisoners during various wars throughout the region. She also said she felt isolated
from the children in the village because they lived within the walls of the
If you are interested in more details about the castle, I suggest you try to
obtain the above book. The Austrian Embassy referred me to the publisher to
obtain the book. It is written in German, so I had to have it translated.
Reply: Defensive Castle or Residential Palace? (Burgen oder Schlosser?)
Thank you for the comments. I have the book "Burgen und Schlösser, Ruinen und
Wehrkirchen im Burgenland" by Harald Prickler and was well aware of the dates
of the original Lackenbach structure. Dating these old structures requires
some manipulation since most were built or rebuilt on the remains of former
structures. You don't want to give the impression that the older structural
remains are still in evidence when they are not. The village of Lackenbach being
mentioned in an Urkunde (inventory of aristocratic holdings) of 1222 allows lots
of time for building and rebuilding. So it was with Schloss Lackenbach-even
the 1618 date is nebulous since there were major renovations afterward over a
period of considerable time. A major fire occurred in 1806 for instance
requiring changes. Most guidebooks mention "built by Nikolaus Esterhazy in 1618" -I
believe this is also a date carved in stone in the archway of the main entrance.
I imagine the point being that you will see the remains of a structure from
that period as opposed to some other.
Military use and occupation during and after WWII caused much damage and
subsequent restoration, not always original. The book "Burgenland"-Merkurverlag,
states "sehenswert is das schöne Wasserschloss aus dem 17. Jahrhundert" (from
the 17th century.) The book "Burgenland in Alten Ansichten"-Guglia &
Schlag-Bundesverlag has a fine drawing of Schloss Lackenbach by Mathias Greischer from
1680, when it was probably at its peak. The grounds were magnificent, but not
at all defensive except for some external walls and gateways and completely
unlike what can be seen today. The print is in the state library in Eisenstadt.
There is also a one-page description in this book similar to Prickler.
As a fortified (military) castle of the romantic period, Lackenbach is not a
good example like Güssing, Forchtenstein, Bernstein, Lockenhaus, Schlaining
etc. It is more of a residential "schloss" or palace than a fortified castle,
even though some call it a "wasserschloss" as we recognize moated castles (now
dry) -none the less it is worth a visit. It reminds me of parts of the
Esterhazy Palace in Eisenstadt (which also was a defensive castle at one time) or the
many 1800 style residential "schlossen". In the book "Burgenland
Panorama"-Gesellmann & Stefanits, they show a fine picture of the present structure, with
its many arcades. Most of the defensive walls, etc. are no longer extant. It
states "the moated castle (Burg) built by the landlord of Landsee in the 16th
century was altered into a palace (Schloss) by Nicolaus Count Esterhazy in the
17th century. The internal Renaissance Court with arcades on both sides is one
of the most beautiful in Burgenland. It now contains a hunting and forest
Your comments re your grandmother as a caretaker are interesting in that we
have had other immigrant families who had caretaker positions in some of the
castles converted to residences-most having lost their defensive significance in
the late 1700's-early 1800's by order of Empress Maria Theresia. The
Napoleonic occupation also caused the de-militarization or destruction of many
castles. That did not happen to Lackenbach since it was in the form of a residential
schloss as opposed to a defensive castle. Most castles were later abandoned or
turned into residences, museums, hotels, etc. If you were the caretaker of
castle or schloss, you could almost feel you were the owners in their absence.
Castle Bernstein, now operating as a castle-hotel by Countess Almasy, still has
a gaggle of geese in the courtyard. For some reason they attacked my wife
when we last visited until I drove them off. Geese have always been used as
guardians, better than dogs. On a fine morning with a ground mist, if you go up to
the walls of some of these castles, you can almost believe you are in an
earlier century. Likewise, an early visit to a residence "schloss" on an off day
can take you back in time.
I'd be happy to publish an article concerning your families time in residence
in Lackenbach and their journey to America. If you're not a BB member, why
not join us. See our Homepage www. burgenland-bunch.org for instructions.
To which Carolyn replied: Thank you for your kind invitation and for the
wealth of additional information about Lackenbach castle. I only know what my
mother told me about growing up there and my other siblings might have much more
to contribute because they actually visited and saw the "apartment" in which
my mother was raised. My mother's sister lived in Lackenbach until her death;
she was the housekeeper for the village priest.
I was interested in the dates of the castle because it is very obvious from
the arcades, and the differences in the pillars that they were built, or
added, during different periods - some during the Renaissance. I do know that my
mother remembered a canon ball being imbedded in one of the outer walls of the
castle, which, according to a historian friend does put a date on the castle.
And, of course, the moat was dry when my mother was growing up there, with
the drawbridges now permanently fixed in place.
The date that you gave for the fire interested me because that may have been
when the village church, in the center of the castle, burned down. I thought
it was in the 1870's, but then, there may have been two different fires. I
really don't know. As far as my mother was concerned, when asked how old the
castle was, she would just shrug and say that she didn't know, except that it was
"very old." Again, my thanks for your wonderful response.
4. A REQUEST FROM EISENSTADT
In a message dated 4/23/06, writes:
I am in search for my family in the US. Since my grandma (Margit Woschitz,
neé Szabo, born in Kroatisch Minihof) had died in 1991, we have lost contact
with our family in South Bend. I know that there was an uncle living in South
Bend called Leo Wallisch. I found an address under this name in South Bend and
wrote a letter but I didnīt receive a reply. I wonder if you have any
information about the Wallisch family in South Bend?
Reply, I will publish this in the next BB newsletter complete with your name
and email address. Perhaps one of our 1300 members may be able to help you.
Please let me know if you have a reply.
5, EDELWEIS HAUS REOPENS
Ethnic taverns do return. Anna Kresh tells me: My sister just told me that
the Edelweis (Northampton , PA) is back in business. The son has reopened it.
On Friday night the button box accordians are back, and the Saturday dances
will resume next Saturday (5/6/06) with the Joe Weber Orchestra.
END OF NEWSLETTER
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