|The Burgenland Bunch Genealogy Group
Genealogists researching the multi-ethnic heritage of the Burgenland of Austria and adjoining areas of former West Hungary.
From: "Burgenland Bunch" <>
Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER] BB News No 178 * SPECIAL EDITION * dtdSeptember 05, 2008
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 05:17:42 +0200
THE BURGENLAND BUNCH NEWS - No. 178 - * SPECIAL EDITION *
DEDICATED TO AUSTRIAN-HUNGARIAN BURGENLAND FAMILY HISTORY
September 05, 2008
(c) 2008 - The Burgenland Bunch - all rights reserved
Our 13th Year, Editor: Johannes Graf and
Copyeditor Maureen Tighe-Brown
The Burgenland Bunch Newsletter, founded by Gerry Berghold, retired, is
issued monthly as email and available online at
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 subscribe or unsubscribe, use the change form available from our
Homepage at http://www.the-burgenland-bunch.org. You cannot send email to this
newsletter. If you have problems 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.
1. WHAT KIND OF CHALLENGE!
2. OBITUARY - GERALD J. BERGHOLD
3. GERALD J BERGHOLD Dedication Page (from the BB Website)
4. Who was this man, Gerry Berghold? (by Tom Steichen)
5. THE CREATIVE SPIRIT OF A BIG MAN (by Johannes Graf)
6. Wann mein Schifflein sich will wenden (by Bob Strauch)
7. I will miss him so...Anna's tribute to Gerry (by Anna Tanczos-Kresh)
8. Testimonial to Gerry Berghold (by Frank Paukowits)
9. MISSION COMPLETED (by Bob Unger)
10. Gerry (by Margaret Kaiser)
11. Gerry's Passing (by Kitty Sauber)
12. Nachruf auf Gerry Berghold (by Walter Dujmovits)
WHAT KIND OF CHALLENGE!
When I took the Job as editor of the Burgenland Bunch [BB] Newsletter,
after Gerry's retirement on August 9th, I thought that I would have time to
ask Gerry some questions about to handle things in the Newsletter. I never
thought that the first work I would do would be about his death. But now
it is true, and so I will try to do my best.
OBITUARY - GERALD J. BERGHOLD
Gerald J. "Gerry" Berghold
1930 - 2008
Gerald J. "Gerry" Berghold, age 77, of 327 Walker Street, Winchester, died
Friday, August 29, 2008 at his home after a lengthy illness. Mr. Berghold
was born Sept. 22, 1930, in Allentown, PA, the son of the late Julius
Berghold and Frida Sorger Berghold Carpenter.
Mr. Berghold retired from the Du Pont Company (E.I. Du Pont, de Nemours,
Inc.), Wilmington, DE in 1985 as a manager in the Finance Dept. with 30
years of service, at which time he relocated to Winchester, VA.
He was an honor graduate of Allentown High School class of 1948. He served
in the US Air Force from 1948-1952, leaving with the rank of Staff-sergeant.
During the Korean War, he was stationed at bases in Texas and England. He
graduated from Lehigh University, class of 1957 with a BS in Accounting.
While at Lehigh, he was a corresponding secretary of Alpha Lambda Omega
fraternity and the Town Council.
He was a long time member of the Delaware Blues of the North South Skirmish
Association, and active in the Winchester Glass Club (Glasshoppers). As
founder of the Burgenland Bunch Internet Group and editor of their
newsletter, he received the Austrian Burgenland Gold Medal of
Honor(Ehrenzeichen) in 2001 for his work in promoting Burgenland ethnicity
and became a Lifetime Honorable Member of the International Burgenlandisches
Gemeinschaft. He was a member of Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church,
Winchester, where he had served as treasurer, council member and positions
on various committees.
His wife, Molly Beck Berghold, preceded him in death on May 27, 2008. The
Bergholds were married in Packer Memorial Chapel, Lehigh University, and had
recently celebrated their 51st anniversary. They have two daughters, Mrs.
Jan Carr of Lester, PA, and Mrs. Kim Labiak of Mountville, PA, and a son,
Chris Berghold, Winchester. In addition, he leaves six grandchildren and
three great- grandchildren. Also surviving are a brother, Robert L.
Berghold, Boston, MA, a half-sister, Donna Berghold Kotz of Allentown, PA,
as well as other half brothers and sisters.
A memorial service will be held at Bethel Lutheran Church on Saturday at
11:00 A.M., with Pastors Rev. D. Rhodes Woolly and Rev. Dr. Conrad
Christianson officiating. Inurnment at Shenandoah Memorial Park will be
private. Friends may call at any time. Memorial contributions in lieu of
flowers may be made to Bethel Lutheran Church Mission Expansion Fund, 2077
North Frederick Pike, Winchester, VA 22603.
GERALD J BERGHOLD Dedication Page (from the BB Website)
This Website is Dedicated in Honor of
Gerald J (Gerry) Berghold, 1930-2008, Founder of the Burgenland Bunch
Gerry was born in 1930 in Allentown, PA, grandson of four emigrant
Burgenlanders. He attended college at nearby Lehigh University, acquiring a
degree in Accounting. He spent his working career as a financial manager
with Dupont in Wilmington, DE, retiring with his wife, Molly, to Winchester,
VA. In early 1997, at age 66, Gerry published the first issue of an email
newsletter sent to a select group of correspondents interested in the
history and genealogy of the Burgenland. This first step
evolved rapidly into the Burgenland Bunch, an organization formed to foster
preservation of Burgenland ethnic heritage and memory of the Burgenland
Auswanderung. From an initial mailing to 12 correspondents, the monthly
newsletter now goes to over 1500 recipients residing in every US state and
many countries of the world. The website, established in mid-year 1997, now
documents over 5000 Burgenland emigrant family names and holds extensive
historical and genealogical resources. A joint US/Austrian staff of 15
volunteers supports this ever-growing website, provides input to the
newsletter, and provides answers and advice under Gerry's gentle guidance.
Gerry published numerous articles in newsletters and magazines, both here
and abroad, and was honored for his efforts on behalf of Burgenland history.
He was awarded the Ehrenzeichen des Landes Burgenland (Honor Award of the
State of Burgenland) by the Burgenland Parliament, presented in person by
Governor Niessl, in appreciation of Gerry's efforts in fostering the
advancement of Burgenland family history and culture; the Burgenländische
Gemeinschaft recognized him as an honored member. Perhaps, though, Gerry was
most proud that members of his BB staff, Bob Strauch, Tom Glatz, Anna Kresh,
and Frank Teklits, all had been awarded medals by the Burgenland government
in recognition of work performed through the Burgenland Bunch.
On August 29, 2008, after five years of battling cancer, Gerry passed away
in his home in Winchester, VA, having officially retired from the Burgenland
Bunch less than a month before.
It is our distinct privilege to continue to honor his life and commitment to
Burgenland history with this dedication.
Who was this man, Gerry Berghold? (by Tom Steichen)
I met him in person... but only twice... and those two meetings took place
after I had already come to know him well through his electronic voices: his
emails, his newsletters and his BB website. Our first in-person meeting was
just a year and a half ago, when many of the BB staff met with Gerry in the
Lehigh Valley to reconfigure the BB, with Gerry stepping down as BB
President and his mantle thrust on me, as caretaker for his organization.
Our second and last meeting was just a month ago, bittersweet in that he
told me he was giving up the medical fight against cancer and that he was
now largely dependent on his son, Chris, to help him get through his days.
Left unsaid was that this was likely our last meeting -- a probability now
turned into fact.
Over the years, I exchanged hundreds of emails with him. I started as a
simple volunteer handling Surnames, largely as a "thank you" for the help
the BB supplied to me in solving the riddle of my Austro-Hungarian
great-grandparents. At some point, I gained his trust and began influencing
the direction of his baby, the Burgenland Bunch. In his emails, I heard both
his aspirations for the organization and his frustrations. His number one
goal was that the BB lived on past his time; I am happy to say we seem to be
on track to accomplish that. His frustrations... well, I tried to temper
In person, Gerry was a small, dapper man with a quirky sense of humor. His
home library was nearly overflowing with his huge Burgenland collection
wedged among many other books. His Burgenland ethnicity (and pride in it)
was so very evident in person... maybe more noticeable because his
American education muted it in his writing. None of that was a surprise,
however, the near contradiction of finding two huge but disparate
collections in his home -- one of collectable guns, the other of fine
glass -- was a surprise. How did he find time for all his Burgenland work
and all this collecting, and why these collections?
Simply said, both collections made sense. The guns arose out of his interest
in shooting. it was his gun club that first drew him to the Shenandoah
Valley and caused him to settle there in retirement. And glass? Well, glass
was the hobby he shared with his beloved Molly, his reason for fighting his
cancer. She was a gentle soul, one who I met but once as she too fought the
cancer demon; she was gone by the time I paid my second visit to Gerry's
Gerry Berghold, the man, was a multifaceted, complex person. We members of
the BB saw only one small part of his being: Burgenland guru and chief
cheerleader. Yet I saw glimpses of a man who loved his wife, who was so very
pleased and thankful for his son and for his son's help in his final days,
of a man's man of guns and shooting and a lady's man of crystalline glass.
He served in the US Air Force, was educated at Lehigh University and had a
successful career at Du Pont in finance; he lived the American dream yet he
became a symbol for Burgenland ethnicity and pride in that homeland. Gerry
lived a full life, one he could leave knowing he had accomplished much. May
that be said of all of us!
BB President, Tom Steichen
THE CREATIVE SPIRIT OF A BIG MAN (by Johannes Graf)
In December 2000, like every new BB member, I searched the Newsletter pages
of the Burgenland Bunch. After reading all of the Newsletters in the
archives, I wanted to become a member. I had no experience in genealogy
and Web managing, so I made an offer to search for books, if some BB member
needed them. So my first e-mail contact was as all my others, in a very
"Dear Mr. Berghold: My name is Johannes Graf and I live in Vienna
.....I do apologize for my not very perfect English knowledge, I can read
and understand very good, but to write or speak is another pair of shoes."
"Hello Herr Graf-and thank you for contacting us. Thank you for the kind
words. I am sorry for the delay in replying but we publish our newsletter
at the end of every month and this is a busy time. Your English is quite
good, I'm sure much better than my German.......
........take advantage of your kind offer to send us some material. If
(perhaps through your wife) you learn of any special things (like new books
or CDs pertaining to the Burgenland), we would appreciate your sending us
the info for our newsletter....."
So I soon got my first job with BB, to find a book that Gerry was searching
for it. I found it in two days, made the connection with the dealer, and
later, I received this e-mail:
"Hello Hannes; Just to let you know that I received the book from
and I'm very pleased with it. Sehr danke. Gerry Berghold "
>From this moment, Gerry and I had a special connection, sending each other
In the beginning, it was a very special conversation. I or Elfie wrote in
a language (maybe similar to English) and he answered in a language (maybe
similar to German): "Hello Elfie-wie sind Hannes? Ich hoffe das alles sind
ok? Sie kann mir
antwort in Deutsch geben. Servus-Gerry"
As you can see, our e-mails were sometimes very funny, since we were
beginners in each other's language.
After some month, I heard about the Award-ceremony to honor Gerry, at the
Moschendorf-Picnic of 2001. I decided to go there and meet Gerry and Molly
in person. I knew that Gerry liked books, so Elfie and I took some with
us; one had the title, "Bergholde, Sauffhäuser und Bauernschinder", it was
only the coincidence of the title and his lastname the reason to gave it to
I am sorry to say that this day was the first and the last time we met in
person. Also, on that day, he had so much to do, dancing with some
politicians, handshaking with everybody, small-talking with someone, that
we did not have very much time to speak.
After Gerry and Molly went back to Virginia, I began doing Web design, and
I made the very first BB web page about that day in 2001 when Gerry was
honored. I have always been sad that there is no photo of me and Elfie
with Gerry and Molly from that day. Maybe someone does have a photo; I
don't know. Some days later, I become the BB members' page editor, and
thus I started a staff-career with the Burgenland Bunch.
Every time, after Gerry and I had an e-mail conversation, I had some ideas
to create some new pages. On one day, he told me about singing in his
young days, so I started posting the first songs in the Songbook, together
with Tom Steichen, who posted the melodies and the translations. On
another day, Gerry mentioned the need to know where the BB members lived,
so I started the "where we are page". And later, he suggested having all
the BB web pages at one site, so I took out the BB web domain and the
Webspace, and began to combine my pieces with those of the other BB
In the past few years, Gerry's e-mail correspondence with me became less
frequent, because he was busy handling his cancer and Molly's cancer, too.
I missed our e-mail conversations, because I had my best ideas after them.
Gerry, as you say it every time: "Machs Gute!"
I will miss you.
Wann mein Schifflein sich will wenden (by Bob Strauch)
Altes Marienlied, das noch bei Begräbnissen von Burgenländern in Coplay
gesungen wird. Old Marian hymn that is still sung at the funerals of
Burgenländers in Coplay:
Wann mein Schifflein sich will wenden
Wann mein Schifflein sich will wenden in den Port der Ewigkeit,
Wann sich wird mein Leben enden in dem letzten Seelenstreit,
Steh' Maria, mir zur Seiten, lass' mich Dir befohlen sein;
Hilf' den letzten Kampf ausstreiten,
/: Hilf', o teure Mutter mein! :/
Wann mein Los sich wird entscheiden, lege Deine Fürbitt' ein,
Lass' nicht ew'gen Schiffbruch leiden, ach, die arme Seele mein;
O Du Mutter aller Gnaden, reich' mir Deine Friedenshand,
dass kein Feind mir möge schaden,
/: Rette mich ins Vaterland! :/
Freie Übersetzung/free translation:
When my ship enters the port of eternity,
when my life ends during the final battle for souls,
Mary, stand by me, let me be committed to you,
help me to endure the last struggle,
Help me, o beloved Mother mine!
When my fate is decided, intercede on my behalf,
do not let my poor soul suffer an eternal shipwreck,
O, Mother of mercy, offer me your hand of peace,
that no enemy may harm me,
bring me into the homeland.
I will miss him so...Anna's tribute to Gerry (by Anna Tanczos-Kresh)
It was May of 1997 and I was interested in delving a little further into our
family history than what was written inside my Mother's worn and tattered
German prayer book. I typed my maiden name into an Internet Search engine
and found a treasure trove -- Gerry's Burgenland Bunch. It was a glorious
find that led to almost ten years of associating with an unbelievable man
who cannot and will not ever be forgotten. Just a hint of a question and
Gerry poured out a fountain of information, full of facts, dates and
background that a researcher in his wildest dreams can only hope for. Gerry
made it possible for me to finally compile the story of my parents' lives
that has already become a family treasure to their descendants. He has my
undying gratitude, for it would have been impossible without him. We all
grew to love our Gerry like a brother. No one can ever replace him, but we
know that he has gone on peacefully in the knowledge that he has formed a
most unusual dedicated group of volunteers, led by a protege and staff who
will carry on in his honor the work he so loved.
Gerry has left us to join his beloved Molly and we grieve for him, but what
a legacy he has left us and so many others who still will know of this great
man though the fruits of his generosity and selflessness. Gerry, we will
miss you greatly, but we thank God that we were so blessed to have known
Anna Tanczos Kresh
Testimonial to Gerry Berghold (by Frank Paukowits)
All of us in the Burgenland Bunch (BB) were saddened to hear of the recent
death of Gerry Berghold. While we knew that he was seriously ill, I don't
think any of us were ready for his passing, so soon after his wife Molly's
death only three months ago.
Gerry was a very special person. Not only was he an accomplished
genealogist, but he was a visionary who was committed to using technology to
spread and preserve the heritage and traditions of Burgenland, which he
cherished so much. And he did this with a passion and commitment you rarely
While I had numerous e-mail exchanges with him over the years, I did not
have an opportunity to meet him until April 2007, when a delegation of
government officials from Burgenland paid a visit to the United States. As I
remember, there was a lot of discussion as to whether Gerry could make the
trip to Pennsylvania to meet the delegation, because of his illness and
problems getting around. Everyone wanted him to come so that he could be
recognized by the Austrian officials for the work he had done with the BB.
Maureen Tighe-Brown offered to serve as his personal/medical aide for the
duration of the trip. I realized then that people would go to any lengths to
accommodate their beloved leader and friend.
When I got a call from Margaret Kaiser inviting me to Anna Kresh's sister's
home in Northampton to have lunch with BB executive staff members at the
time of his visit, I was thrilled. Gerry was so warm and welcoming. However,
the one thing that struck me was that he was able to talk so openly about
his pending death, and how the group needed to plan for the transition. His
ability to focus on these matters, and not be self-absorbed in his illness
made me realize that he was a very special and gifted person.
Gerry's legacy to us is the Burgenland Bunch. If there was one thing he
would want from us is that we continue and support the work of the Group
under Tom Steichen's leadership. Considering all that Gerry did for us, I
think that that is not such a big request. It's the least we can do to honor
him and memorialize his name.
As you would always say, Gerry, from all of us to you : "Macht's gut."
MISSION COMPLETED (by Bob Unger)
The term Mission Completed defines what may have been
Gerry's last most satisfying thought. Each human born on this earth has
the potential to serve others in a manner pleasing to God. Many search
for years for that special way to serve, some find it and others don't.
Gerry found his mission was to unite the people of Burgenland, both the
living and the dead, in a most unique manner, conceiving the idea of
forming an internet organization that he called the Burgenland Bunch.
The Burgenland Bunch is an internet media that functions to give
ancestors of Burgenlanders a means to communicate with others searching
for relatives both living and deceased. It is a link to the past as well
as a connection between Burgenland relatives today, all over the world,
as well as those still in the Mother country.
I first met Gerry in my early genealogical research efforts, through
correspondence with the minister of the Lutheran Church in Eltendorf,
Burgenland, Austria, in November 1993. The minister told me that a man
in Winchester, Virginia, Gerry Berghold, was doing research of the same
area in which my ancestors lived. That started a friendship that grew
and grew over the years - growing to be like brothers. Ultimately in
1997 Gerry started the Burgenland Bunch newsletter, completing 176
issues in almost 13 years. Each news letter averaged in size from six to
twenty-four pages and each issue was on time. Such dedication! Being the
Burgenland Bunch editor, as well as helping others with their
genealogical research was truly his passion. His rewards were the many
letters of appreciation from those whom he helped. He received not a
penny of income for this work, but paid much out of his pocket to
provide for resource material to help the cause.
Now Gerry surely is in heaven celebrating with all his relatives,
thanking him for a job well done.
We will miss you Gerry. You are a hard act to follow.
Western US BB Members-Research, Bob Unger, El Cajon, CA, USA
Gerry (by Margaret Kaiser)
The officers and membership of the Burgenland Bunch honor and are grateful
to Gerry Berghold for conceiving and building the Burgenland Bunch (BB)
internet group. The BB grows screen by screen, family name after family
name, identifies where records are located, answers queries, and supports
various projects for the purpose of sharing Burgenland culture and history.
The BB is a unique, special interest group. Members, who currently number
1652, rarely meet each other individually but meet virtually. Occasionally
members meet at ethnic events. Most meet by generally communicating using
modern technologies. Members freely share individual and group knowledge
while pursuing Burgenland ancestral research.
I joyfully and accidentally discovered the Burgenland Bunch more than 10
years ago. I couldn't resist calling Gerry who graciously shared his area
knowledge. Possibly some of Gerry's ancestors were neighbors of my
ancestors. A few years later Gerry visited Burgenland and graciously
photographed a Györi family gravestone in St. Emmerich (Rönök) church
cemetery, and also returned with area brochures and books of mutual
interest. All these were always offered with his extensive Burgenland
knowledge and support.
Gerry and BB membership have deep ened and enriched my Burgenland knowledge
and have delivered many excellent friendships and experiences. I've been
able to attend Burgenland events where I heard Hianzen (dialect) singing,
seen Burgenland faces, and heard tales from the past, as well as met
delegations from the Burgenland. So to our dear friend, spiritual
Burgenland cousin and BB founder, Gerry and his dear wife Molly, may God
always be with you and yours. I stand up proudly, thank you and salute you.
Gerry, as you desired, the BB commits to continue to grow in the light of
your founding memory. Auf weidersehen from the BB membership, wherever we
are in the world, in Burgenland, in the USA or in other lands. We extend
our deep condolences to the Berghold family on their loss.
BB Contributing Editor, Szt. Gotthard & Jennersdorf Districts; LDS
Gerry's Passing (by Kitty Sauber)
I'm so sorry about Gerry's passing, and it is hard to think of the
Burgenland Bunch and News without Gerry's input. My condolences to his
family and to the Burgenland Bunch .
Gerry's brilliant concepts & skill in shaping the Burgenland Bunch and News
will not be forgotten. I appreciated his helpfulness with his generous
information sharing to my e-mail inquiries in the past.
Nachruf auf Gerry Berghold (by Walter Dujmovits)
Nur 3 Monate nach seiner Frau Molly hat Gerry Berghold diese Welt verlassen.
Betroffen und traurig läßt er seine Angehörigen und seine große Zahl von
Freunden in Amerika und im Burgenland zurück. Mit der Gründung von
Burgenland Bunch hat Gerry eine Brücke geschlagen von der Generation der
burgenländischen Einwanderer zu ihren Nachkommen. Somit hat er die
Erinnerung an die alte Heimat in Amerika wachgehalten und die Verbundenheit
mit dem Burgenland über mehrere Generationen. Diese Tat hat eine historische
Dimension und sichert ihm einen ehrenvollen Platz in der Geschichte des
Burgenlandes. Die Burgenländische Gemeinschaft, mit der er von Anfang
zusammengearbeitet hat, schuldet ihm
großen Dank. Ich persönlich verliere mit Gerry einen verläßlichen Partner,
einen treuen Freund und einen besonders liebenswerten Menschen. Gerry hat
vielen Menschen viel Gutes getan. Gott möge es ihm in der Ewigkeit
Gerry Berghold has left this world
only 3 months after his wife, Molly. He leaves behind family members and a
great number of friends in America and Burgenland who mourn his passing. In
founding the Burgenland Bunch, Gerry built a bridge between the Burgenländer
immigrants and their descendants, thus keeping the memory of the homeland
alive in America and maintaining ties with Burgenland over several
generations. His work had a historical dimension and assures him a place of
honor in the history of Burgenland. The Burgenländische Gemeinschaft, with
whom he collaborated since the start, is greatly indebted to him. With Gerry
I lose a reliable colleague, a loyal friend, and an especially kind human
being. Gerry did much good for many people. May God repay him in
END OF NEWSLETTER
NOTICE (Terms and Conditions): The Burgenland Bunch (BB) was formed and
exists to assist Burgenland descendants in their research into their
heritage and, toward that end, reserves the right to use any communication
you have with us (email, letter, phone conversation, etc.) as part of our
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Burgenland Bunch Newsletter (c) 2008
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