Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 1999-06 > 0930578301

From: <>
Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 18, dtd. 31 Aug 1997 (edited)
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 1999 09:58:21 EDT

(issued bi-weekly by )
August 31, 1997
(all rights reserved)

This edition of the newsletter containsa list of genealogical and older
German words and terms. We also have a tale of Austro-Hungarian Roots in
Henderson, MN, the Burgenland folk song "Our Brother Vitus", the location of
various Burgenland records, and a way to order ancestral village photographs.

The editorial and publishing office of the premier Burgenland newsletter for
Burgenlanders throughout the world is now online. They may be reached at:

You may wish to inquire about membership or availability of publications.
Frau Renate Dolmanits is secretary.

(Various German-Latin-Hungarian terms are used in old records which are
difficult to define. Albert Schuch, Frank Teklits, Joe Gilly and your editor
have had much correspondence concerning some of them them. The following are
excerpts from that correspondence)

Sldner (Sllner)-In modern German, a Sldner is a mercenary, a hired
soldier. In the old documents, Sldner is just a less common spelling of
Sllner with the meaning of basically: an inhabitant with no portion of the
farming land (and woods). If he owns a house, he is sometimes called
Inquilinus > in Latin; if he lives in a rented house, he is usually called
Subinquilinus, sometimes Pauperus in Latin, or Inwohner, sometimes Holde in

LDS Microfilm-The LDS microfilms are of Hungarian origin filmed in 1966 in
Budapest. For Burgenland villages, they filmed only the copies stored in
Hungarian archives. These copies were made from 1828 onwards, due to a law of
1827. Pre-1828-records were only filmed for villages belonging to Hungary in

Janitscharen (Janisaries)-Janitscharen (Turkish word) the "Janitscharen"
(singular: "Janitschar") were the elite infantry soldiers of the Turkish

They were recruited among the people conquered by the Turks; no German word.
Each area under Turkish rule had to yearly furnish a certain number of young
boys. These were taken to Constantinople, educated as Moslems and taught
military skills. Many achieved high rank. They were the Sultan's best troops.
In later years the Corps of Janisaries (like the Roman Praetorian Guard)
eventually controlled the Sultan. This levy of young boys was one of the most
hated aspects of Turkish occupation and rule. The original Turkish word was
"Yeni Ceri", meaning "new troop". The word is said to have come to
Germany/Austria via Italy.

Spahi-Spahi (Turkish word) Turkish soldiers on horseback were called
"Spahi"; as it says in the book, these soldiers were ethnic Turks. Again no
German word. (ed. note-These were the church and village burners! Many
received no pay. They survived on loot.)

Gutsherren-Gutsherren (= laird = land owner; translations suggested by Frank
Teklits ) the ending "-en" shows the plural; land owners would be correct (I
do not know the word "laird"-Ed. note-Scottish for Lord or Squire {land
owner}, so this may be correct too); this refers to the aristocrats, to the
domain (fief) owners, but since they owned almost all the land (apart from
that owned by the church or by the king), landowners will fit too.

Robot-The farmers - unless they were "liberi" (free men) - were obliged to do
certain work for the domain owner; this work was called "Robot"; it was
abolished in 1848. It could be work in the fields or in the vineyards owned
by the domain, it also included supplying transport for the domain; the
amount required (a certain number of days per year) was fixed for each
village. (ed. -Records were kept, copy to the farmers. Some families still
have them. If anyone finds any PLEASE let me know.)

Lanndtagen-Landtagen (= state parliament). Today the "Landtag" of Burgenland
is the provincial parliament, elected by the people; back when the king and
the noblemen had all the power, the "Landtag" was a kind of a parliament of
the nobility; bishops and other high ranking clerics were part of it too,
because they were also landowners (owners of domains, estates). For a long
time, the king had to ask the Landtag in case he wanted to raise taxes - for
example when he needed money to raise an army against the Turks; the Landtag
then allowed a certain sum (which had to be paid by the peasants!); each
province (Styria, Carinthia, Croatia, etc.) had its own Landtag.

Ofener-"Ofen" is German for "oven/stove", but "Ofen" is also the name of a
city! - which is how it is used here: the hungarian capital Budapest was
created in 1872 out of two cities: "Ofen" ("Buda" in Hungarian) on the right
shores of the Danube, and "Pest" on the left shores; with "-er" at the end
"Ofener" = "in/at/of the city of Ofen".

Reichstag-(= Imperial Diet); the "Reichstag" was the legislative council
(parliament) of the Kingdom of Hungary, consisting of high ranking nobility
and clergy; from time to time the king called for the members to assemble; at
this time Ofen (Buda) was still the capital of Hungary (later on, Pressburg
(Bratislava) became the capital, because Ofen and Pest were occupied by the
Turks 1541-1686; Ofen became capital again in the 1780's.

Buergertums-"Buerger" = citizen (of a town!); with "-tum" added, it refers to
all the citizens (of towns) in the land (as a 'class' (part) of society); so
the correct word should be something like "nobility/ aristocracy" for
"noblemen" (in those days, only well-to-do inhabitants of a town were

Nebenhof- (plural: Nebenhoefe) a "Nebenhof" was a minor farm belonging to a
big "Meierhof"; a "Meierhof" was a very big farm (with many workers and lots
of land) owned by a nobleman or by a monastery. "Hof" is to be translated as
"farm" or "estate"; the German word "Meier" developed from the Latin word
"major"; from the English words "Major" and "Mayor" you will guess that the
"Meier" was the man in charge of the farm. Often a "Meierhof" became a
regular village in the course of time - as was the case in Moenchhof. (the
name Moenchhof, that is 'farm of the monks', indicates the ownership of a

Stiftsleute -"Stift" = "monastery"; "Leute" = "people"; so literally this
means "people belonging to the monastery"; "Leute" is used in the sense of
"Untertanen" (perhaps translates as "servants").

Wuestung/en -a "Wuestung" is a (totally) deserted (destroyed) village; -en
indicates the plural; --- a related verb is "verwuesten" (= "to devastate").
--- more words ---
The following are quite difficult to explain; but somehow they all are
related to one another if you have trouble understanding their meaning.
these are essential words if you want to understand the old village

Kleinhaeuslerwirtschaft/en-the word "Kleinhaeusler" is a synonym for
"Soellner" (literally, a "Kleinhaeusler" would be an owner of a small house);
a "Kleinhaeusler" or "Soellner" is a person who does not own a "Session" (see
below) - so usually all he owns is a very small house, a (few) small
field(s) and a few animals; this means he has to earn his living as a
craftsman and/or as a worker for the farmers ("Session" owners) (these people
may also have lived in rented houses) "Wirtschaft", normally meaning
"economy", also can describe a farm with everything belonging to it; so a
"Bauernwirtschaft" can be translated simply with "farm" or in some cases
"land belonging to a farm"; I would translate "Kleinhaeuslerwirtschaft" with
"fields belonging to a Soellner-house"

Session/en-a "Session" (from the Latin word "sessio", which is literally
translated as "seat") is a certain fixed portion of the village land
(including fields, meadows and woods); I would suggest to translate it as
"possession" or to use the Latin word "sessio" (plural "sessiones"); I
personally would prefer the latter; when a new village was founded, usually
each family owned one whole "sessio"; sometimes a rich person may have owned
two or one and a half "sessiones"; as population grew, the "sessiones" were
divided, so later on we often find farmers who only own a 1/2, 1/4 or 1/8
"sessio", other German words for "Session" are "Lehen" and "Ansaessigkeit"

Guetern-"Gut" will usually mean "(Bauern)wirtschaft" = "farm" or "land
belonging to a farm"; the plural of "Gut" is "Gueter"; "von ... Guetern"
means "(out) of ... farms" BUT: just like "behaustes Gut" (a little bit
further down on page 36, literally meaning land with a house on it) you
better translate it simply with "house" or "land belonging to a house",
because it is not clear in this case if the "Gut" is a "Bauernwirtschaft" or
a "Kleinhaeuslerwirtschaft"


In my family history research, I have discovered that many families emigrated
from the same small villages in Austria-Hungary to Henderson, Minnesota.
This is the immigration account of these "German speaking" Hungarians who
lived in and around Henderson and Sibley County.
My Great Grandfather, Franz WEBER and his family, emigrated from
Austria-Hungary, lived in Henderson for a while and settled in Bismark
Township, Sibley County. My Grandfather, John WEBER, was the first child of
Franz and Maria WEBER born in America. Franz and Maria WEBER and their
family, embarked at the port of Bremen, Germany on the steamship S.S. Elbe of
the North German Lloyd steamship company.

They traveled via Southampton, England across the Atlantic and arrived in the
Port of New York on June 19, 1882. Joining them on this journey was Maria's
mother, Theresa WEBER and Franz's brother Johan and his wife Anna WEBER
(Maria's sister).

The Webers on the "S.S. Elbe" came directly to Henderson following the path
of other "German speaking" Hungarian immigrant families that had left the
village of Lebenbrunn in what became the Burgenland, came to America and
pioneered the Henderson area of Sibley County Minnesota. One of the first
was Ladislaus GRASSINGER, his wife Catharina (Weber) and daughters Veronica,
Monica, Maria and sons Albert, Franz and Andrew Grassinger and his wife
Theresa (Weber), who left Lebenbrunn in 1858 and settled in Henderson. They
probably landed at the port of New York and came overland by wagon to
Illinois, then up the Mississippi River by steamboat and into Saint Paul, 103
miles up the Minnesota River to Henderson. Ladislaus and his family lived on
an 80 acre farm on Section 6 in Henderson Township (currently the Robert
MILLER farm), about 3.5 miles west of the town of Henderson. Andrew and his
wife Theresa settled in Chaska in Carver County Minnesota. Albert married in
Henderson, then settled in Brownton, McLeod County. In 1872, Joseph
GRASSINGER with his wife Barbara (WEBER) from Lebenbrunn, came over and
settled in the borough of Henderson. Andrew, Joseph, Albert and Franz
GRASSINGER were brothers and Theresia (Weber) Grassinger, Barbara (Weber)
Grassinger and Anna Weber were sisters of Maria Weber (my great grandmother).
I am currently searching the death location of Ladislaus and Catharina
GRASSINGER, they apparently moved out of the county. Following Franz and
Maria Weber in 1882, there were others. Franz BO"HM and his wife, Theresia
(Weber) and their four children from the neighboring village of Redlschlag,
Austria-Hungary came in April of 1888. The Bhm's changed their name to
BOEHM. Theresia (Weber) Boehm was a cousin of Franz Weber. Also joining
them on their trip was John B. Grassinger and Frank C. Weber, both 16 years
old and both from Lebenbrunn. The Boehm's, John B. and Frank C. traveled
together in steerage on the steamship S.S. Fulda that sailed from the port of
Bremen Germany via Southampton England and arrived in the port of New York on
April 24, 1888 (the same route as Franz and Maria Weber). John B.'s brother
Simon Grassinger made the trip in June of that same year. Mathias PRATSCHNER
from the village of Kogl in 1888. John SCHLOEGEL, with his wife Catherine
(RINGHOFER - HEILING) with their eight children, from the neighboring village
of Salmansdorf in Austria-Hungary made the trip in March of 1889. Joseph
Schloegel and his wife Maria (LEPER) from Lebenbrunn made the trip in that
same year.

Anton PU"RGER(cousin to Maria Weber) and his three children, Anthony, Martin,
and Theresa also came over in 1889 from the neighboring village of Rothleiten
(The Pu"rger's changed their name to Burger before arriving in America).
Andrew Schloegel, his wife Maria Heiling and daughter Rosa also came from the
village of Pilgersdorf in April, 1890.

The main reason for the large Hungarian immigration between 1880 and 1893 was
the agricultural crisis in Europe. One of the possible reasons they came to
Henderson was that the terrain was similar to "the old country". The area
around Lebenbrunn is very hilly, like the Henderson area. The latitude of
Lebenbrunn and Henderson is close, Lebenbrunn at 47-28' North and Henderson
at 44-31' North, so the climate would be similar also. Temperate climatic
conditions prevail throughout most of the province of Burgenland, Austria
(Hungary, pre 1921); and the average annual temperature is about 10 C (50
F). Another reason was that in 1889, a fire in the village of Lebenbrunn
burned 38 of the 42 houses. Fire broke out in house Number 3, which spread
immediately to most of the other wooden houses. Only the church, the school,
and house numbers 32, 34, 35 and 41 survived the fire.

In 1921 after World War I, the break up of Austria-Hungary resulted in the
area of Western Hungary being transferred to the Austrians, creating the
province of Burgenland. Therefore, Lebenbrunn is now located in the province
of Burgenland in the country of Austria.

For more information about these families and locations, you can visit the
following Internet web sites:
http://www.rootsweb.com/~mnsibley/ - Sibley County MnGenWeb
http://www.spacestar.com/users/hapander/burgen.html - Burgenland Genealogy

Albert Schuch has tapes of Burgenland folk songs. One dates to the time of
the Turk (1528-1715) and is still sung. Some of you may have learned it from
your parents. He writes: One of the songs from the other Burgenland CD,
"Unser Bruader Veitl" is sung by the "Schlerchor Jennersdorf" (Jennersdorf
school choir). We also sang it in elementary school. It is a song about the
times of the Turkish wars. Lyrics as I remember time (a little different from
those on the CD) are something like: (dialect/German/english)-
(ed. note-this may be the first time you've seen the Burgenland German
dialect called "Heinzen" or "Burgenla"ndisch". Your immigrant ancestors if
from south Burgenland would have spoken it.

It's very phonetic. Burgenland poet, Josef Reichel (born in Gu"ssing) wrote
many well loved poems about his homeland in this dialect. One of the most
well known is "Mei Hoamat" (my homeland):

Unser Bruader Veidl, wl ar a Reida wern
Unser Bruder Veit (Vitus), will auch ein Reiter werden
Our brother Vitus wants to become a rider (soldier) too

Hod er jo kua Reider Ross, wia wl ar uana wern ...
Hat er ja kein Reiter-Ross (Pferd), wie will er einer werden ...
He does not own a horse, how will he get one ...

(Then his mother makes him a wooden horse etc. ...)

Reid, Veidl, reid, da Trk is nimma weid ...
Reite, Veit, reite, der Trke ist nicht mehr weit ...
Ride, Vitus, ride, the Turks are already near ...

Having seen older church visitation and aristocratic family records surface
in various places, I asked Albert Schuch if he knew where some of the
originals were archived and whether they had all been translated. His reply

Visitationen-The script originals are kept in the Dizesanarchiv Eisenstadt
(1757) and somewhere in Hungary, I think in Steinamanger (Szombathely)(1697).
A few others have also appeared in print, but mostly for the northern regions
of Burgenland. In general, very few of the old script documents have been
transcribed. So they can only be used in the archives. (Most scientific works
based on archive material do not mention many names, so they are of little
genealogical value.)

Esterhazy Archives- Parts of the Esterhazy archives are kept in the
Forchtenstein castle. I have never been there and I have heard that it is
very difficult to get access to the archive. It is, after all, private
property. Other parts of Esterhazy archives are kept in the Hungarian
National Archives in Budapest. Parts have been microfilmed for the
Burenlndisches Landesarchiv in Eisenstadt.

Batthyany Archives-The Batthyany-archives for the domains of Schlaining,
Pinkafeld and Kittsee are kept in the Burgenlndisches Landesarchiv, so they
are quite easy to access. I have seen parts of them for my masters thesis. It
is more difficult to get access to the Herrschaftsarchiv Gssing in the
Gssing castle. I think right now it is almost impossible. The Batthyany
archives of Krmend have been transferred to Budapest, so they are part of
the Hungarian National Archives today. Again, parts have been microfilmed for
the Landesarchiv.

Availability of the church records:-Those which are kept in Eisenstadt in the
Dizesanarchiv are in theory open to the public. But you have to make an
appointment. VERY little space there, so they won't wish to attract many
people. I was there a few months ago, but only to check which books they kept
there and which were in the parishes (for a few villages). I will be able to
tell you more about the Dizesanarchiv in a few weeks, since I plan to look
for leather workers in the church records of two parishes some time in
August. - As regards the records kept in the parishes, I guess you are more
or less at the mercy of the local priest. (ed. note: again copies of records
from 1828, the basis of the LDS Salt Lake City microfilm collection are in
the Hungarian National Archives in Budapest.)

Mary Montoya recently sent me some historical material concerning the village
of Halbturn. Included in the package was advertising material from James A.
Derheim who operates under the name "European Focus Photography". For a
price, Derheim will contract to provide pictures of ancestral villages in
Europe. Mary wrote "he does a wonderful job".

Leland Meitzler, Executive Editor of Heritage Quest Magazine, has also used
his services and recently wrote an article in that magazine (Mar/Apr
1996-issue #62) concerning Derheim's work and how pleased he was with the
results. Derheim apparently puts a group of contracts together in a general
geographic region and then personally visits the site and takes photographs.
Prices (1996) for Austria start at $395 for 20 or more photos at one
location, $485 for two, etc. While not cheap, this is considerably less than
one would pay to visit the area and take pictures. While I took hundreds of
photos on my last 5 week trip, my cost for film and processing alone was
about $200 and I was burdened with 2 cameras, lenses, filters and a sack of
film. In addition one would generally not have Derheim's experience or
photographic expertise. A substitute until one can take that long planned
trip. (Derheim advertises in Heritage Quest magazine).

LANGUAGE TIP (from A. Schuch)
In early German, the letters "B" and "P" are often interchanged. This is a
very important point, especially when reading old records. You should tell
those members who do not know about this. This interchange can still be
observed today in spoken language: In Burgenland (and probably any other
Austrian) dialect, P is often pronounced B. Same applies do "D" and "T", but
not as often.

An interesting letter of 1899:-When in 1899 the Protestants of
Frstenfeld/Styria built their church, they were desperately in need of
money. Among others they asked Protestant 'Burgenland' emigrants in America
for help. On 12 Dec 1899, Johann RUISS of Kukmirn sent the following letter
from Allentown: (translated):
"... vicar ILGENSTEIN (of Frstenfeld) asked me to collect money for the
Frstenfeld community ... we collected 100 $ and 50 Ct, which I am sending
you today. May it be a New Years Day gift. ... We are all just workers doing
day jobs (I hope this is the right translation for "Taglhner") and we cannot
do much ... Although all of us are Hungarians, we don't forget our German
brothers at Hungary's border." (ed. note: In 1997 purchasing power, that
$100.50 would be about $4635.00! Bread has gone from $0.03/loaf to $1.39)

Your editor is extremely pleased to report that as a result of an article in
the Burgenla"ndische Gemeinschaft newsletter, he has found a previously
unknown third cousin and proved a link to another. Klaus GERGER from Vienna
and Gu"ssing contacted me last week, sent me his family GEDCOM and
established a solid link to my ancestors. We and former BB member Jude Mulvey
share Johannes Po"ltl (POELTL) of Rosenberg (Gu"ssing) as a great great
grandfather. Klaus has two young daughters who along with my six grand
children have now acquired many new cousins. Klaus will be joining our group
as soon as he prepares his membership listing. I'll be reporting more on this
contact later.

concerning the Burgenland Bunch, contact .

This thread: