Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 1999-06 > 0929705570

From: <>
Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 9, dtd. 30 mar. 1997 (edited)
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 07:32:50 EDT

Mar. 30, 1997
(all rights reserved)

This edition of the newsletter primarily concerns an article about
the "30 Years War" written by Bob Unger (one of the Burgenland
Bunch), and email from our first international contact.

WAR -By Robert F. Unger

While attending a monthly meeting of the San Diego German
Research Association, the guest speaker, Dee Semon, stressed that
genealogy can be either dry facts, such as listings of names and
dates, or it can become much more exciting when coupled with
history, i.e. - what was happening at that time, what stressful
situations did your ancestors face, what were their options, what
prompted them to do this or that, etc. To emphasize her point she
made a comparison between the World War II holocaust and the
Thirty Years War (1618-1648). She indicated that most persons in
the audience were probably old enough to have either known about
or actually experienced the atrocities of the holocaust. Then she
asked if we were aware of the fact that the atrocities during the
Thirty Years War were as bad, or worse than, those inflicted on
humans during the holocaust. That statement shocked most in the
room, so she challenged us to do some reading about the Thirty
Years War and learn what our Germanic ancestors faced during that

These comments about the Thirty Years War were drawn from the
following five references: (1) Thirty Years War, by Henrik Tikkanen,
ISN 0-88029-296-2; (2) The Rise and Fall of the Habsburg
Monarchy, by Victor L. Topic, translated by Stephen Hardman, (3)
Austria, A Country Study, U.S. Government Printing. S/N 008-020-
01345-5; (4) The New Cambridge Modern History - The Decline of
Spain and the Thirty Years War, 940.2; and (5) Germany and
Austria, Historical Background Affecting Genealogical Research, by
The Genealogical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints.

>From the time of the earliest movement of Germanic and Slavic
tribes into central Europe until almost modern times, the Germanic
area had been the scene of constant migration of people from one
locality to another. To a large degree this action was prompted by
rivalry among the numerous rulers of small earldoms and
principalities which caused considerable unrest.

A lack of space was a problem in many Germanic areas, making it
extremely difficult for families to survive, and this ultimately
became a major reason for the migration of the Germanic populace.
The Protestant Reformation also had a major influence on the
migration of the Germanic and other European peoples. The
Reformation began during the first quarter of the sixteenth
century, when Martin Luther became frustrated by what he viewed
as corruption and abuses in the organization and doctrine of the
Roman Catholic Church. He then made serious attempts to bring
reform to the Church. Luther failed to accomplish his purpose, but
as a result of his efforts, part of the Roman Catholic Church in
Germany broke away from the main body and adopted his
teachings. This eventually established the Evangelical Lutheran and
Evangelical Reformed churches. Rulers of many of the kingdoms
and dukedoms in Germany followed Luther and took their subjects
with them into this new religion. (Ed. note-under Feudal law "cuius
regio, eius religio"; "he who reigns decides upon religion", viz the
south Burgenland Lutheran Congregation formed by the Batthyanys
while the north under the Esterhazy's remained Catholic).

My ancestors were Lutheran, documented by the fact that their
birth, baptismal, marriage and death records are maintained by the
Lutheran Church (Martin Luther Kirche) located in a town now
known as Eltendorf (Hungarian Ko"rtvelyes), Austria. These
records date back to 1780 and serve as the records for at least
three generations of Ungers. Thus, it can be presumed, with a
relatively high degree of certainty, that my ancestors took part in
the Germanic migration and the Thirty Years War. We are
fortunate that these ancestral records were found, because during
migrations record keeping was difficult. This was especially so
during the Thirty Years War, because during that period a great
number of churches and records were destroyed.

During the period of the Thirty Years War there were two major
classes in Europe. One class consisted of the rulers and land
owners. The other was the poor class of dependent laborers and
servants, or the feudal serfs. The serfs had no freedom of choice
(ed. note-they were not given their freedom in Austria-Hungary
untlil 1848) . They had to obtain permission of their lord if they
wanted to move to another place; but in spite of this, many did flee
without permission.

The Thirty Years War started over religious issues, then escalated
to issues of power and political domination. The war essentially
started when the emperor, Ferdinand, decreed, "Protestants in the
Kingdom have the choice of conversion to Catholicism or to be
exiled." This decree caused havoc because Protestants were the
majority in many areas.

As a consequence, wealthy Protestant land owners and their
followers faced the decision of either converting to Catholicism, or
fleeing to where religious freedom prevailed. However, fleeing
would mean giving up land holdings and other elements of wealth.
When they fled, havoc became widespread because various Catholic
religious orders fought each other for the spoils. In addition, land
owners, i.e. Dukes, Lords, Princes, etc. saw the opportunity to
increase their holdings, so they also sought the spoils, creating an
even greater problem. During most of the Thirty Years War,
fighting took place in the areas we now know as Germany, Austria,
Poland, Hungary, France, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

One of the major ruling powers in Europe at that time were "The
Habsburgs." The Habsburgs are primarily recognized as the rulers
of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, but their "family" influence and
power extended to other parts of Europe. Many of these other
areas became part of the Habsburgs' holdings via dynastic

To comprehend the political environment during the time of the
Thirty Years War, it is necessary to understand that Europe was not
always totally controlled by kings and emperors. Often many of the
"laws of the land" were the results of actions by "Diets," formal
assemblies for discussing or acting upon public affairs. There were
local Diets who took care of local matters, and the general Diets,
who handled the major far reaching laws. For example, when an
Emperor or King died without a male heir, the "Diet" would convene
and select a successor. Delegates to the "Diet" included
representation from royalty and from a group comprising Dukes,
Lords, Princes, etc. This later group acquired their titles and land
holdings mainly through marriages, rewards for accomplishments,
war, wealth, etc. Rewarding land was essentially an early employee
benefit or profit sharing plan. Emperors and King often acquired
their wealth via taxation or from the spoils of war. To reward their
subjects for their achievements, the Emperor or King had the
option of paying off with either cash or land holdings. Over time
these land rewards created a ruling class of its own and collectively
they represented the most powerful influence, but often they were
more interested in maintaining or increasing "their individual share."
As a result it was difficult to join forces for a common cause.

Religious influence was another major factor and the "Papal Court"
attempted to leverage its power within the "Diets" to promote rulers
or laws that favored Catholicism, and the Protestants did the same
type of lobbying. Thus at the outset of the Thirty Years War the
Catholics succeeded when a decree by Emperor Ferdinand removed
the Protestants from high positions and replaced them with
resolute Catholics.

(Ferdinand took this action because of his dominant character and
his military might, versus the weak will of the Diet.) The
Protestants, though numerically the stronger, were unfortunately
not united. Thus, this "political war" for dominance preceded the
fighting war.

The fact that the Thirty Years War lasted so long, 30 years, made a
major impact on all humanity in Europe. The detail of the fighting
and the battles is a topic beyond the scope of this genealogical
effort. But the human atrocities during the Thirty Years War do
have a place in genealogy, by citing the conditions with which our
Germanic ancestors had to deal in order to survive. My
Grandfather's brother's wife wrote in her records the following,
"Grandparents migrated from Leipzig and Frankfurt areas of
Germany during the 30 years religious wars when Protestants had
to flee to keep from being killed."

To conduct the war it was necessary to: (1) impose new levies on
all subjects, (2) raise troops at home, and (3) hire mercenaries
from abroad. This caused general discontent and resulted in
peasant uprisings. At the same time the armies recruited
mercenary soldiers from both the men of the towns and the rural
communities - people without employment and with a taste for
adventure, who responded when they were assured that they would
be paid and would enjoy a degree of impunity in their treatment of
the civilian population. Often due to poor military morale or
leadership, and/or troops not being paid or fed, circumstances of
invariable confusion prevailed, and some troops resorted to pillage,
either in defiance of their officers' instructions or as a result of
their complaisance.

One example of military horror involved Lord Liechtenstein. This
former Protestant who had been converted to Catholicism, and
whose treatment of his former co-religionists was therefore all the
harsher, established a regime of terror. As a consequence a special
court was created to deal first with the rebel-leaders. Then in June
1621, twenty-one persons, including three great lords (the rest
were knights and citizens), were executed in the square of the Old
Town; their bodies were mutilated, their heads and limbs exposed
for years on the gates of the city's bridge.
The severity of their punishment was atrocious, but, it was reported
to be "in accordance with the customs of the time!"

During the Thirty Years War there were a number of terms of peace
signed. For example, a peace treaty was signed at Prague on 31
May 1635.

At that time it seemed that national sentiment had overcome
religious rancor in the hearts of men, as if the people of Germany,
exhausted by suffering and violence, desired only the end of war,
departure of foreign troops, and the restoration of peace in the
Empire. They had seen too many towns burned and pillaged, too
many estates abandoned, and too many epidemics and famines.
They had witnessed armies of both sides indulging their sadistic
inclinations by torturing the peasants, with the wicked stupidity
which uncouth people of this period showed toward animals. But
this 31 May 1636 peace treaty did not last, and the war went on
for 13 more years of human suffering. A book by Grimmelhausen,
The "Adventures of Simplex Simplicissimus", presents an authentic
picture of these horrors which is corroborated by the revelations of
historical documents.

It has been recorded that the civilian population was subjected to
horrors beyond imagination. There were too many dead and not
enough men to bury them, and food was so scarce that they at
times resorted to eating the dead, snails, frogs, grass, or anything
they could find. Often when villages were pillaged, all children were
killed, so that they would not grow up to add to the number of an
opposing religion. An accurate number of lives lost during this war
was never documented, but a modern historian has estimated that
the population of Germany sank 40% in the countryside, and 33%
in the cities.

Ultimately the war ended with peace in 1648. It is concluded that
"all" were so tired and utterly devastated by the long 30 years of
war that peace at any price would be better than continuing the
war. Protestants regained their right to their religious freedom and
they could once again coexist with the Catholics. It was reported
that this coexistence "was strengthened when Catholics and
Protestants ignored the Pope's solemn protest against the clause in
the peace treaties which he considered injurious to the Catholic
church. The claim of a supranational religious authority to interfere
in affairs of state was rejected."

It was very depressing reading about all the hardships our Germanic
ancestors had to endure. Now, having some insight of the Thirty
Years War, one can reflect back upon what was mentioned earlier
in this text, about Grandfather's brother's wife, who wrote in her
records, "Grandparents migrated from Leipzig and Frankfurt areas
of Germany during the 30 years religious wars when Protestants
had to flee to keep from being killed." Considering the fact that she
was born on August 9, 1878, 230 years after the end of The Thirty
Years War (1618 - 1648), proves that the impact of that war
stayed with the Unger family for many generations.

She also wrote in her records that "they left Europe because they
wanted a better life and did not want their sons impressed into the

(Ed. note-the same comments re "religious reasons" were made to
me by older Burgenla"nders of both faiths in the Burgenland. Also,
in a Lutheran Berghold marriage record from Kandel, Bavaria in
1659 is an annotation "Father of the groom, deceased, was Jacob
Berghold, a cavalryman of the army of the prince of Weimar {a
figure in the 30 Yrs. War}. Some time prior to 1693, Bergholds
also emigrated to the Eltendorf area. It would be remarkable if we
could prove that the Ungers and Bergholds (and others?) migrated
together as part of a group fleeing the deprivations following the
war. Bob Unger has done a fine job of explaining one of the most
probable causes of German migration to the Burgenland during the
post 1650 period.)

After this historical research, and the writing of this report, I now
have a greater understanding of genealogy, related historical
events, and the ancestorial involvement. The more that you learn
about the events that shaped our ancestors' lives, the more history
will mean to you.

NEW ULM, MN-A FAMILY CLUE (by G. Berghold)
I was recently contacted by a correspondent from New Ulm who
asked if I knew of a Catholic missionary to that area in 1865 named
Father Alexander Berghold. I have been aware of this Berghold for
some time, but have been unable to link him to my family line. It
appears he is held in some veneration by various congregations in
that part of Minnesota, having started a number of churches,
schools, a hospital and other institutions during his lengthy
priesthood. He also authored several books. After retirement he
returned to Austria, dying in Mooskirchen, Styria in 1918.
Genealogicaly what is interesting about this contact is that Father
Berghold was born in 1838 at St. Margarethen, Styria, about 40
km west of the area of my family line in Eltendorf, southern

My correspondent was able to supply me with some biographical
material including the names of Alex. Berghold's parents, as well as
their Styrian villages of residence (Fro"singgraben, Sinnabelkirchen
and Petersdorf). These villages are all near Graz and have easy
access to the ancient Kormend-Graz highway (today's E65). This
provides research clues and reinforces my guess that some of my
family line migrated eastwards from Stryia into the Burgenland.
Another example of how putting a family name out into the internet
can open some doors and provide clues. Southern Burgenland
researchers may wish to take special note.

One of our internet postings (Burgenland Auswanderung) found an
interested party. He responded to two people on our list. For those
who didn't hear from him directly , his message follows:
Date:97-03-15 16:17:06 EST
From: (Erich Kumbusch)-To:
Hi , I send this letter to you, Tom and George Klucsarics and M.
Thank you very much for your nice letter.We are unfortunately not
living in the area of Guessing. We are living at the west side of
vienna in niederoesterreich. 20 km from the center of vienna. some
klucserics relevants are living in vienna and some in the north of
niedersterreich about 60 km from vienna. The last relevants were
anna and franziska klucserics which are living in kroatisch
tschantschendorf. I show you now my ancestors:
Johann Klucsarits born: approx. 1810, marr. Agatha Keglevits
born appr. 1814
Child: Josef Klucsarits born 02-April 1834 Kroatisch
marr. Eva Dragovits 21-Oct -1848 Kroatisch
Child Johann Klucsarits born 20-Dec -1865 Kr.Tsch. marr
Anna Dragovits, born 27-April-1872

2.Child Anonym Klucsarits

Children from Johann Klucsarics b.Kr.Tsch
1 Eduard Klucsarics 25-March 1906 died 1-12-1989 my
Grandpa !!
marr Leopoldine Holemar 05-Mai 1914 died 3-12-1994 my
both had 6 children, Olga, Leopoldine, Anna, Eduard, Adolf (my
dad) and Gertraude

2 Rudolf Klucsarics born ?? went to USA no contact New
York ??!!!!!!!!!!!
marr Theresia Anonym both had 2 children Rudolf and Johann
Klucsarics no kontacts

3 Maria Klucsarics born ?? went to USA !no contact New
York ? !!!!!!!!!!
marr Anonym Lovrincich both had 3 children Ann, Liliane, John

4 Johann Klucsarics had epilepsy and was killed from the

5 Anna Klucsarics

6 Franziska Klucserics died 02-Juli 1994 both women lived
till they died in the old house of the Klucserics Family in Kroatisch
Tschantschendorf. They were very poor. After then the house was
transferred into a museum !! The house was over 200 years old,
very small and had a thatch roof ,get electricity 1970 I saw it as I
was a child and my father made pictures a few years ago after they

7 Alois Klucsarics no Information and so on

A cousin from my grandpa Eduard Klucserics had a tavern in
Kroatisch Tschantschendorf . Now the restaurants owner is also a
Klucserics !. We didnt met him as we visited the small village.
Kroatisch Tschantschendorf is now a very small village . The area
municipality named Tobaj consists of 6 villages : Deutsch
Tschantschendorf , Kroatisch Tschantschendorf, Tudersdorf, Punitz
, Tobaj and Hasendorf. All 6 villages have 1447 inhabitants .I
bought a few month ago a book about the area of guessing. And
out of this book Ill tell you a little histaory, because this is also
new for us. Till january we explored very intensively the ancestors
of my husband Erich, because we didnt know anything. About the
Klucserics we get a lot of documents from our relevants . But they
arent living in the Burgenland. So, the area from Guessing and also
particular Kroatisch Tschantschendorf was about 1500 -1600
coloniced with croatic people 1788 the responsible church was St.
Nikolaus. I have an excellent genealogical software from USA
Name: brothers keeper.you can load it down from :

I have a neighbour with the name Frantsich .His Grandpa Frantsich
was from Burgenland Kaisersdorf bei (near) St.MartinDo you
know anything in Usa about the Frantsichs.

concerning the Burgenland Bunch, contact .

This thread: