Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 1999-07 > 0931006814

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Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 27 dtd 15 Jan 1998 (edited)
Date: Sat, 3 Jul 1999 09:00:14 EDT

(issued biweekly by )
January 15, 1998
(all rights reserved)

This edition of the newsletter contains articles on the village of Hagensdorf
(the Father Leser Series), Data on a Poppendorf School Teacher & Journalist,
Explanation of the 100 Year Old Mysterious Death of Your Editor's
Great-grandfather, New Members' Comments From Austria & Australia, article on
Burgenland & Penna.-German Schatz Family Research (includes data on feudal

THE "UMLAUT'! I've been asked by some members if we can sometimes use the
umlaut in place of the "vowel with e" or "vowel with quotes". It is
difficult for our Austrian members and those of us with previously umlauted
files not to use the umlaut. Those using Windows easily find the umlauted
vowels in the character sets and of course German keyboards are automatic. I
don't know about Mac users. If this causes a real problem for anyone, let me
know, otherwise some of us we'll begin using the umlaut again. You'll thus
find the umlaut designated three ways! The only cardinal sin will be not to
use it at all.

(1873-1949) EXCERPTS (continued from newsletters nos. 21-26; by Albert

13) Hagensdorf: In 1640 Johann RECZER was "Richter". Old surnames of H.
according to the Heiligenbrunn baptism records (mid of 18th century): CSADL
SCHUSTER. A fire on 21 Apr 1843 burned 70 houses. Only the church, the
vicarage, and a few houses were spared. The church (St. Kosmas and Damian)
already existed in 1482. H. was a part of Heiligenbrunn parish 1656-1788,
became an independent parish in 1788, including villages Luising and
Ungarisch Bieling. Baptism records in Heiligenbrunn started 1746, so for
1746-88 this is the source for the villages mentioned above. Priests:
Bonaventura VALENTIS OFM (1788-89), Prokopius MLLER OFM (1789-90), Martin
SZGHI (1790-95), Marcarius LIPOVICH OFM (1795-1803), Hyazinthus GASSNER OFM
(1803-07), Anton MARTINKOVITS (1807-11), Franz RUESZ (1811-55), Franz ILLES
(1856-57), Franz HSZLER (1857-65), Robert SCHLAMADINGER (1865- 96), Josef
SCHMIDT (1866-80), Nikolaus HERCZEGH (1880-87), Josef EBERHARD (1887-1917),
Josef MISCHINGER (1917-??). Known teachers: Emmerich SAYER (died 1821 aged
31), Matthias DKKER (1822-32), Franz VERZELY (1834-48), Stefan REITER
(1853-72), Franz KETTNER (1875, said to have been here for 30 years); but
baptism records say: Franz KEESZ (1876-80); Anton LOIDL (1907-12), his
successors: SCHLAMADINGER, PEIDL, Karl GLANACKY, 1914 Julius GALOS.

Ko"nigshofer, ()
Having tried Altavista for some Burgenland village name (I think "Minihof"),
I found the Burgenland Bunch web site and all the wonderful material on it.
Meanwhile, I read through all your newsletters including the one dated
November 30. First of all, please add me to the Bunch. I'll be honored by
the company of you all. My data and search areas follows: (see New Member
listenings in previous issues)

My great-grandfather, Adolf Knigshofer, was the schoolmaster of Poppendorf
from 1898 to about 1921 (when he died there). Before that, he had taught in
Olbendorf and Gamischdorf. He had come to Hungary from nearby Neudau, and
needed not only a teacher education that was valid in Hungary (which he
received in Oberschtzen), but also had to apply for Hungarian citizenship.
His wife became Bry Francziska, a native of South-Zala county who had been
appointed postmaster in Olbendorf. She died in Poppendorf in May 1900.

Adolf Knigshofer was a correspondent for the Volksfreund, a weekly which was
published (in German) in Szombathely. One of the main subjects of his
reports was about emigrants to the US (from the Lafnitz valley, especially
Poppendorf) and his concerns that the region was losing most of the
productive population this way. As a bit of an irony, of his five children
two emigrated to the US themselves, namely Adelheid (to Milwaukee, WI,
married Schmitz), and Emery to Allentown, PA.

My own grandfather, Koloman Knigshofer, was the only child that remained in
Austria after the partitioning of the new Burgenland. He was a teacher in
Rauchwart, Neumarkt an der Raab, and (after WW II) in Styria. His wife (my
grandmother), Anna Koller, descended from families that had all their roots,
at least over the 19th century, in what is now Burgenland. With regard to
some of the previous material in your newsletter, if the articles from Father
Leser contain data about Pilgersdorf, I would be very keen to know how long
my ancestor Josef Fu"rsatz was teacher there (he must have started around
1832), and what his next station(s) might have been. Another one of my
ancestors, Miha'ly Sza'k, was notary in Pinkafeld in the 1830's, but we do
not know where he might have gone from there, and from where he and his wife
(nee Rathner) had originated. I have seen the family name Szaak mentioned in
the records of Tadten, and Rathner in the area around Lockenhaus, but that is
all I have been able to find out so far.

The name of Burgenland was indeed a construction from the four Hungarian
counties from which the area was to be partitioned. As an earlier BB
newsletter wrote, the German names for these counties were Eisenburg,
Oedenburg, Wieselsburg and Pressburg. The idea for the name Burgenland thus
is linked to the county names, i.e., the fact that these county names
happened to also be names of cities was of no relevance! The name originally
proposed for the new Austrian province was Vierburgenland ("vier" means
"four"), because of the four prospective source counties. The expectation
had been that at least the city of Sopron (Oedenburg) would be part of the
new entity and serve as its capital. In the end, Sopron voted to stay with
Hungary, no piece of Pressburg county (Pozsony) ended up in the new province,
and Vierburgenland became simplified to Burgenland.

The same earlier article in the BB newsletter reviewed the wonderful heritage
of real castles, some of them still magnificent to this day, in Burgenland.
It might be interesting for the Bunch to know that the castle of Bernstein
was the birthplace of Lszl Almassy (on 22nd August 1895) whose remarkable
life has been the subject of the film The English Patient. I also noticed in
one of the past newsletters the review of existing Batthyany family archives.
In my searches at the Steiermrkisches Landesarchiv (Styrian Country
Archives) in Graz, I noted that there is a holding there of Batthyany
archives. However, I have not yet inspected the contents of these holdings.

If anybody in the Bunch needs some specific translation from German or
related language advice, I'd be happy to assist. By the way, everything on
your web-site works fine, but the M to Z index bombs my browser.
Unfortunately, when I work from home, I still have to use an old
(alphanumeric only) Lynx browser, which might find something unpalatable at
this particular web page. Best regards, and thanks for creating the BB! Fritz

Ed. note-for years there has been a persistent story in the Berghold clan
about great-grandfather Emil Langasch, retired Poppendorf school teacher
circa 1850-97, who died under mysterious circumstances while returning from a
journey. While the story was corroborated by present day Poppendorf
residents, I was still unable to verify the story. Adolf Ko"nigshofer,
great-grandfather of member Fritz Ko"nigsdorfer, was a journalist for a
Szombathely weekly newspaper. Recently Fritz visited Budapest and copied some
of his ancestor's articles from the archives of the National Library. Among
them was this story of my ancestor's demise.

From: (Fritz Ko"nigshofer), To
Here is the translation of the full article. The story appeared in the issue
of Der Volksfreund of January 17, 1903, page 3. This weekly was published
between 1883 and 1916 in Szombathely in the German language. (The title) -
" Tragic Death of a Retired Teacher."
'Sir,' a worldly-wise physician some years ago told me, 'nothing is more
terrible than to die abandoned, alone, without another human's presence and
help. I have experienced it on the battlefields of Italy and Kniggrtz,
where many a dying, brave soldier begged me with raised hands and tears to
stay with him until death would relieve him from the suffering; I made the
same experience with other human beings; indeed, I cannot think of greater
evil than to let a human die in loneliness; that's the most bitter fate that
could befall one!'

However, just this kind of death is what the retired teacher of Patafalva
(Poppendorf), Emil Langasch, had to suffer. On the third of this month, he
walked, as was his custom, to Szent Gotthard to withdraw his pension of 50
crowns. At these occasions, he always returned home in best spirits. This
time, however, his routine was to bring him death. He did not return home on
this day. He was found dead on Friday, eight days later, up to the belly
stuck in mud and water in the Lafnitz (river), his head bent forward. He was
first slowly paralyzed by the [cold] water, then fell over due to exhaustion
and drowned.

The fact that he tried to help himself is shown by the steep river banks
which were found completely scratched, and by the willows which overhang the
river bank, because their branches were all broken off, to the extent he had
been able to reach them. When he was found, he still had twigs firmly
clasped in his hands. It must have been a terrible death, knowing he could
not help himself out of the situation, and knowing he was destined to
miserably perish far away from any human help. As to how he got there, the
only explanation is that he was led astray by the lights from the factories.
All the money, except for 2 crowns, was on him. He was transported to the
mortuary of Heiligenkreuz. After an autopsy, he was interred there last

Emil Langasch was born 1834 in Linz, where his father was a k.k. civil
servant who later got posted to Hungary under the so-called "Bach-system."
Emil obtained his teacher diploma in Graz, then came to Hungary, first as
teacher in Nmet-Ujvr (Gu"ssing), then Rba-Keresztur (Heiligenkreuz) ,
Fidisch (Rabafu"zes), Rohrbach, Inzenhof, and finally in Patafalva where he
served for 24 years until retiring after 41 years of overall service. His
pension was 600 crowns (per year) from the state, and 226 crowns from the
school-till. He had been of an iron constitution, having been sick only
twice in his life. Once he got hit by lightning while he rang the
weather-bells, but escaped unscathed; otherwise he was a moderate eater.
With his Viennese humor, his was a welcome guest in social gatherings. (end
of translation). Adolph Ko"nigshofer, the journalist went on to become the
Poppendorf school teacher from 1898 to 1921.

Dear Gerald, I found an e-mail from Norm Pihale, with whom I corresponded
several times. It brought me one of the "Burgenland Bunch"-Newsletters and I
found it nice to read how the Burgenland- Americans are trying to find their
roots back to the "Old World". It seems to be an addiction (on the other side
of) the "Big Pond" to locate the old home of the ancestors. And I must say
that I (also) got addicted on starting my studies. I find it nice, that
there is a group out in the U.S., which has members who tell of their
successes and experiences from their travels to the others. It's interesting
to see that there are many common names among the researched families. As you
found from the subscription form, I'm doing studies on the below mentioned
names, but I think you misread the e-mail signature. These related people
emigrated from the Burgenland to the U.S. and the one man with the
Beilschmidt-name changed it to Kruft, the other names may have been changed
in the naturalization process. So my studies not only reach to Rust and the
surrounding villages. I guess I'm one of the few, who does - until now -
luckless studies the other way round and searching for related people in
America. I'm hoping for a little (information) Xmas present and a little help
from any like-minded people from the U.S. I guess my listing should read:

Gerhard H. & Martina Lang; (), Eisenstadt, Austria;
BEILSCHMIDT, GAAL, KRUFT, PELZ, " migrated to the U.S. with family roots to
the Burgenland free town of "Rust" and environs. If you or anyone else has
some questions and I can help, let me know. Best regards.

Reply: Grss Gerhard, Yes Genealogy is now a most popular hobby, not only in
the United States but in other places as well. There are many reasons for
this, some philosophical, some historical and some undoubtedly due to the
tremendous advances in data communication and storage. Certainly as personal
computers, scanners, genealogical data bases and software proliferate and
make research easier, more and more people join in. A good story is always of
interest and what better story than the one about your own family and their

Burgenland genealogy is something special since Burgenlnders, for the most
part all came from some where else following the Magyar, Mongol and Turkish
wars. Many then went elsewhere when times became bad in the 1800's and
1900's. These people first settled in various "village" enclaves overseas and
now some of their descendants in turn are part of the present great urban
movement. I read recently that most families today have on average four homes
in a life time and workers today can expect to work on average at six
different jobs. A lot of uprooting and movement. My own ancestors in
Allentown, PA were part of over 50 allied or related families who migrated
there from southern Burgenland four generations ago; now there are only a few
of their descendants left. They are scattered everywhere. Yet, I think they
would all like to find their roots, renew old acquaintances and feel part of
something larger than their immediate family.

Unfortunately, Austria is one of the places where access to family records is
difficult, for a lot of reasons like language, convention, political
reorganization, etc. which I will not go into here. Fortunately, the
Hungarian Burgenland Archives in Budapest have been copied and are readily
available here in the United States. This adds great impetus to Burgenland
research. It is the purpose of the Burgenland Bunch to "show the way" to
those interested in these records as well as finding others. Sharing
information and bringing relatives together is also part of what we do.You
are not alone in seeking family descendants among the immigrants. Erich
Kumbusch, Albert Schuch, Klaus Gerger and Heinz Koller are Austrian members
who are also engaged in such research. You will find their addresses as "CC"
(carbon copy) to this email. I plan to use your email and this answer as an
article in edition 27 of the Burgenland Bunch newsletter. This will bring
your search to the immediate attention of all of our members (90 todate). I
hope your own research will be successful and helped by belonging to the
Burgenland Bunch. Gerry Berghold

New member Victor Fischer traces his Burgenland Croatian Immigrant Ancestors
from Koszeg. Below is part of his email response to Anna Tanczos Kresh, with
information concerning his mother's family:

"Of my grandmother, her name was Tanczos Maria-Margit..... (she suffered
from) despair at the loss of the house, land and possessions at the Communist
takeover, Communist persecution, other family matters). She had five
children, the first, my aunt, born in 1921, my mother Margit Hedwig in 1923,
my uncle Arpad probably in 1925 (died in Melbourne in 1995) and then two more
daughters, Adel Cecilia and Magdi. All are in Melbourne, except Magdi in
Budapest. I will check but Maria-Margit was probably at least nineteen when
married putting her birth at around 1902 or there about. She was the third
child of five, of Aranka (maiden name not yet known), who died sometime in
the 1930's and Zoltan, the town pharmacist who also died sometime in the
1930's. She had two older sisters, Aranka and Maria, both described as
educated, and two younger brothers, Viktor and Zoltan. That is all I know
from my mother's remembering; I assume all things being equal that this
Viktor would have inherited the pharmacy. I have visited the
pharmacy/apothecary, fully - and impressively - restored in the early 80's,
near the well in the main square within the town walls.

"My mother's father was Gratzl Frigyes (Frederick Gratzl) who died in 1937 at
age 42, putting his birth in 1895. He lived and died in Koszeg - presumably
was born there - and was the youngest by many years of nineteen children,
and there is some unclarity about whether he died primarily of cancer and/or
complications from a war injury (as mentioned previously he was a military
man and a teacher of cadets; hopefully I will be getting the name of the
academy to which he was attached soon). He was also apparently an anti
communist activist very attached to the Catholic Church, which caused
considerable problems for the family after WWII; the only other thing I know
of his siblings at this stage is the third youngest was named Kalman.

"I have visited my grandparents' grave in Koszeg and seen the family's former
home which is now apartments, outside the town walls, but eerily recognizable
from the water-color paintings and pencil sketches that my grandfather had
made. Eerie because it had been a picture on a wall at home throughout my
childhood, mysterious suggestion of a bygone time, and here it was , quite
real and although never seen before, recognizable even to the stump of the
chestnut tree in the front yard. The drawings show a large, prosperous and
generous two story house with a large vegetable garden and a separate
building with a water wheel - presumably a mill, I am not sure if it was in
use as such in my mother's time. There are other drawings of orchards with
views of Koszeg; the perspective suggests a few kilometers out of town.

"My grandfather was the son of Gratzl Johann, flour miller in Koszeg who died
in 1923, and Elisabeth nee Hoeffler who died in 1936 at age 89, making her
born around 1847. Elisabeth's parents were Johann and Julianna nee Thiek."
Will keep you informed of my progress, and thanks once more regards, U.Viktor

BURGENLAND ARTICLE -SCHATZ ANCESTORS (from Bob Schatz). I'm mailing you today
a copy of the article I wrote in 1991 on my Schatz great-great-grandparents.
I had originally intended to submit this to the National Genealogical Society
Quarterly for possible publication, but I never did (I was a member for a
number of years). The information on manorial tenancy which I'd like to
present for a future newsletter will be abstracted from the text..

Until 1840 in Hungary only the nobility had the right to own land. Other
than the "ko"nigsleute" who would have lived in a royal town or demesne, the
bulk of the population were free tenants and had what is known in law as
leasehold (or copy hold) proprietorship (even the houses lived in were not
owned outright by their residents but were the property of the lord). In
1840 laws were passed by the Hungarian Diet which allowed non-nobles the
right to purchase real estate, but it was not until the April Laws of 1848
that the tenants were all granted freehold proprietorship.

Our ancestors in Burgenland were not Leibigen (serfs), but rather
Unterthanen. Leibigenschaft was completely abolished in the Habsburg lands
by Josef II in the late 18th century. Untertha"nigkeiteit (Jobbagiontum is
the Magyar term, I believe) was abolished by the 1848 April Laws in Hungary
(earlier in the "Austrian" lands and Western Europe). It implied a
contractual arrangement with the Grundherr or land owner. (ed. note-has
anyone ever seen a copy of an Untertha"nigkeit contract?)

Property ownership was also a requirement for any kind of political
participation at the district or megye levels, and our ancestors therefore
were not eligible. Interestingly, this attitude also prevailed in the early
years of our republic: only property owners were allowed the right to vote at
any level, local or national. It is also interesting to note that the
etymology of our word FARM derives from an Old French word meaning lease or
contract. FARMER still has as one of its definitions "a person who pays a
fixed sum for a source of income" (Webster's). I think it's important that
members of the Bunch do not apply our contemporary American concepts of
farming and property-ownership to their Burgenland ancestors.This would be a
total misreading of history and that society.

In a way, understanding these facts of European life certainly helps us
understand the appeal of America all the more. When my colonial ancestors
received their deeds for 300+ CONTIGUOUS acres (and the right to vote for
representation in the Pennsylvania Assembly), it was as if they had been
ennobled in the Old Country. Such property holdings were completely unknown
in Europe for other than nobility.

You wrote me that you'd like to share my information on genealogical research
with the Bunch. Please feel free. When I started my research in high school
and college (way back in the 70s!) the LDS had not yet filmed the records in
Budapest (ed. note: while filmed in the 1960's, I don't know when they were
first released to the public), which explains why I decided to hire a
genealogist in Austria to help me out with the generations before my
great-grandparents. As I think I wrote you before, I stopped research in the
LDS records in 1991.

The other week you also wrote that your wife's family is Pennsylvania German.
My maternal ancestors, the Kerns and the Troxells, were some of the earliest
families to settle in Egypt, PA (at that time the northern frontier of Bucks
County). Their gravestones are still to found in the graveyard of Egypt
church, and one of their stone houses built in 1757 is on the National
Register of Historic Places. Another of my ancestors was the gentleman who
brought the State House bell (the Liberty Bell) north for safekeeping in
Allentown (then Northampton Town) during the British occupation of
Philadelphia. Growing up, we were much more aware of our maternal heritage,
and it still gives me a deep satisfaction and pride of place and citizenship
when I visit the "sites" and experience the connection to my past. The fact
that my grandparents and great-grandmother were so loving makes it all the
more potent.

I've often speculated that if William Penn had also traveled through the
Alpine region as well as the Rhineland, advertising his "Holy Experiment",
would those of our ancestors who migrated to Hungary in the 18th century have
moved to North America instead? Probably not, because, as faithful Catholics
(for the most part), they probably would never have migrated to a colony of a
Protestant king. Which may explain why the only groups to immigrate to
America from Habsburg territory in the 18th century were the Lutherans from
Salzburg and the United Brethren ("Moravians") from Bohemia and Moravia.
(There was an early Pennsylvania-German Catholic settlement in Bally, PA, but
I don't know where those families originated.)

concerning the Burgenland Bunch, contact .

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