Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 1999-07 > 0931087263

From: <>
Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 36 dtd 30 may 1998 (edited)
Date: Sun, 4 Jul 1999 07:21:03 EDT

(issued biweekly by )
May 30, 1998
(all rights reserved)

This edition of the newsletter contains articles on a Source of Immigrant
Ship Photos, Definition of "Staatsangehrigkeit" and "Zustndigkeit", A
Critque of Travel Guides, Another Burgenland Organization, More Transylvanian
Material-A Strange Itinerary, Reasons For Emigration and the Northampton, PA
Catholic Church.

I recently found the following web site and reported it as a new URL:
<http://home.att.net/~paul.petersen/ships.htm>; - provides photos and data on
our ancestors' passenger ships; fee: approx. $8.25 U.S.; site contains 100
print pages of passenger ship listings (see also Paul's home site at
<http://home.att.net/~paul.petersen/index.htm>; for other links.

On 3/30/98 I sent $8.25 to Paul Petersen at the "Ship of our Ancestors" web
site requesting a photo of the ship my father sailed on when he emigrated to
the U.S. Nine days later I received two glossy photos of the ship on which
my father emigrated from Kroatisch Tschantschendorf via Antwerp in 1906. They
are captioned "S.S. FINLAND, 1902 Red Star Line; Courtesy The Peabody Museum
of Salem". Also film negatives for 3 photos, a money-back guarantee, a copy
of an advertising flyer (circa 1890) for the North German Lloyd Line, with an
accompanying short story about the shipping line "boys" hanging around the
docks reporting the latest news on the incoming ships, a photocopy of 2 pages
from "Passenger Liners of the Western Ocean" with info on the FINLAND and a
7-page reprint from "The New York Times Marine Intelligence Column", December
23, 1866, entitled CASTLE GARDEN, with sub-headings: Experiences of an
English Emigrant; Description of the Emigrant Depot at Castle Garden; The
First Night There; Despondent Emigrants; Difficulty of Obtaining Situations;
Wreck of the Scotland.

He also listed for me all the Mxxx book codes, titles, and authors from which
he receives his material and stated that all of the books are held in
collection at Mary Cheney Public Library, Main St., Manchester, CT 06040 and
are available for inter-library loan. He also provided a list of the
abbreviations used in the web site. You will be amazed at the number of ships
listed. I am very pleased with the info I received from Mr. Peterson. Be
sure to see this special treat.

(Fritz Konigshofer)
Friends, the story (from Anna Tanczos Kresh et al.) in the last issue of the
newsletter about the passports and certificates touches upon the terms
Staatsangehrigkeit and Zustndigkeit. From my experience, there is more to
these concepts than the article suggests. I would even propose that we
combine our knowledge and do some research into the matter, as it would be
useful for genealogical research if we could gather the best possible
clarification of these terms. Let me start with the mostly anecdotical
knowledge I have.

The term "zustndig nach" (belonging to) extended nationality or citizenship
"Staatsangehrigkeit" down to the level of a specific parish,
market-community , or town. It was an important operational term since it
established the place that was obliged to take care of a person that had
become a public charge, e.g., a pauper without close relatives to take care
of the destitute person.

In many cases, belonging to a village indeed defined the village where one
was born or where one usually lived, but I believe the latter two
characteristics were incidental, not causal for the definition. As you will
see below, you could belong to a village where you never lived (and possibly
neither had been born).

When my greatgrandfather Adolf Knigshofer, an Austrian citizen born in and
belonging to the Neudau parish, sought to obtain his first teacher job in
then Hungary (now Burgenland), he not only needed to apply for and obtain
Hungarian citizenship ("Staatsangehrigkeit"), but also had to find a parish
that would accept him, not just as a teacher but for his new "Zustndigkeit"
(place of belonging). The new nationality was granted by the authorities of
Hungary (I believe the government of Vas county), while the "belonging-to"
was granted to him specifically by Olbendorf (br), the village that also
gave him his first job. The agreement by the village council of Olbendorf to
"accept" my great-grandfather into the village was needed to support his
application for Hungarian citizenship.

It is an interesting aspect that within the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy the
Austrian and Hungarian citizenships were so clearly separate and mutually
un-exchangeable at that time (1880s) except with an application supported by
reasons. However, I do not know whether the concepts of "belonging" differed
in meaning between the two halves of the empire. In fact, I believe the
concept of Zustndigkeit might have been very similar in the whole empire.
[One aspect I do not know about at all is whether it was possible to have
Austrian nationality while belonging to a parish or town in Hungary, and vice
versa.... probably not.]

It clearly appears to have been possible to obtain the "belonging" by making
an application and hoping it would be granted. On the other hand, the much
more normal way to obtain one's "belonging-to" was by birth, and as I
believe, specifically through the place of belonging of the legal parent
(normally the father). My other paternal great-grandfather Alois Koller, a
teacher, was born in Rechnitz and belonged to that market-town. As a
teacher, however, he never returned to his native place. While his many
children were born in the five villages he served in his career as a teacher,
none of them Rechnitz, the children all remained "zustndig nach" (officially
belonging to) Rechnitz (Rohonc).

One of his daughters (and obviously a sister of my grandmother) had a harsh
existence in Gssing, living single and giving birth, over time, to three
illegitimate children. At the end, she became unable to support herself and
transferred to Rechnitz which had to accept her in the poorhouse as a public
charge, thanks to her rights to such support stemming from her "belonging to"
the village. The concept of Zustndigkeit was still in force between the two
World Wars, but in the period after WW II (my time) it had lost its original
meaning as national level social security was taking its operational place.

I was able to establish a similar situation in another branch of my ancestors
from Rechnitz, namely the Tivalts who originally had run a carpenter master
business there. In the late 19th century, all descendents of my
g-g-g-grandfather had left Rechnitz with their families, but the mentally
deranged daughter of one of the branches (of the baker master Josef Tivalt)
had to be taken back by Rechnitz after the death of her parents, to provide
her a living in the poorhouse as a public charge (although she had been born
in Nagy Kanizsa, Zala county, far away from Rechnitz). By the way, the death
of this destitute and deranged woman was somewhat of a sensational story, as
she escaped the confined part of the poorhouse and jumped into the village
well. Her faint cries for help were heard after some hours, and she was
recovered alive, but died from her injuries soon afterwards. The story was
reported in Der Volksfreund.

When a village did not have a public poorhouse to take care of people who
were not able to fend for themselves (or be sustained by close family), the
pauper was allocated to a village family for a time, and then to the next
family, and so on, in rotation. The point was to give such poor
fellow-citizens a place to sleep and food, and they became a temporary part
of the household, as long as this was the village they belonged to and which
was, therefore, obliged to look after its poor. The German term used in
Austria was "Einlieger" (a "sleeper," somebody "laid by the public into the
household of a citizen"). One can occasionally find this term as the status
of, say, a deceased person in old church records. I do not know, however,
the Latin and Hungarian equivalent of the term, the corresponding words used
in Hungarian church or civil records.

For the genealogical researcher, the concept of "belonging-to" can sow some
confusion because the recordings sometimes did not distinguish between
birthplace and place of belonging. A further complication is, in my opinion,
created by the concept "gebrtig von." A dictionary will translate this term
as "born in" and this is indeed the usual meaning of the term. However, in
my experience, the term "gebrtig von" includes, at least in Austrian
parlance, the possibility of alternatively meaning the place one belonged to
at birth or soon thereafter, i.e., the place of original belonging-to in the
sense of the concept of Zustndigkeit. The semantics of "gebrtig (von)"
suggests a translation by "at birth, from..." In contrast, there would be no
ambiguity about the meaning of "geboren in," (born at) or "Geburtsort" (place
of birth), which both can only refer to the physical place of birth.

In the registration records of Graz (by which the police recorded the places
of living) I have found examples of relatives who were recorded as born in
Neudau, when they in fact had been born in Graz but were still "belonging to"
Neudau due to the father's belonging-to. The marriage entry of Gerry
Berghold's great-grandfather Emil Langasch in Heiligenkreuz lists Vienna as
Emil's place of origin, but since this was likely not factually true (in the
sense of his birthplace), it might have been a mix-up with Emil's "place of
belonging at birth" -- which could have been Vienna, thanks to Emil's
father's origin and still "belonging-to" at the time of Emil's birth.

If one pays attention to the meaning of birthplace versus place of
belonging, and considers any dubious single data item as potentially meaning
one or the other, the concept of belonging-to can convey additional
information, e.g., on the origin of the father, or about a successful attempt
by the ancestor to establish "Zustndigkeit" in a particular village. The
latter might indicate that the ancestor, or his parents, had at least
temporarily lived in that village and established a close relationship with
the local community. In the search for the origins of a parallel Knigshofer
line (no close relation), the living descendents were sure that their
greatgrandfather had been born in Stu"bing, a village northwest of Graz, and
this is also what his known later records purported. His children had
inherited the "belonging to" of the parish of Stbing, though they were born
and lived around Voitsberg. Closer search revealed that this man had, in
fact, been born in another parish, fortunately for the search, a neighbor
parish of Stbing. This result clarified the birthplace, and at the same
time opened the interesting new question of how and why he had obtained his
belonging to Stbing with its relatively long-lasting effect on at least two

I collect European travel guides. I never pass up a used Baedecker and I
often buy discounted outdated guides which can serve as a snapshot of a point
in time. The reason I like them is the encapsulated information they
contain. Often history and geography are presented in some detail. Each
guide; however, approaches the subject in a different way. Some are better
for our puposes than others. Recently American Express "Sign & Travel"
included a small "Guide to Guidebooks". A synopsis of that article follows to
which I've added comments and a few favorites of my own (note that some may
no longer be published):

Baedecker-150 year old classic-culture, history, architecture (both old and
new will often pinpoint elusive places-good modern city guides)-the GJB
"best" choice
Berlitz-good city and regional guides, detailed with language helps
Blue Guide-(old called Muirheads's)-encyclopedic guidebook-history, culture,
architecture, the arts, itineraries-often found for specific cities and
Collins-"Traveller"-good larger city guides
Corvina-"Complete Guides"-Hungary, Lake Balaton & Budapest-lots of local
Fieldings-general guide-rough it in luxury, upscale
Fodor's-"Gold Guides"- in depth itineraries, hotels and restaurants
Fodor's-"Modern Guide Series"-older editions are classics-lots of
everything-heavy on accomodations & eating
Fodor's-"Up Close"-top sights in depth
Frommer's-Complete Guide-traditional-off the beaten path, hotels, eating, maps
Frommer's-$-A-Day- economy version, B&B's, pensiones, ethnic eating
Let's Go-budget, student, quick tips-Harvard student publication
Lonely Planet-budget, politics, climate, general sights, history
Michelin-lots of information, history , culture, architecture-city & country
Phaidon-Cultural Guides-superb coverage, photos, maps and ethnic treasures
The Rough Guide-budget, highlights what to avoid
Travel & Leisure-upscale, culture maven, the finer things
World Budget Guide-maps, tips, some history and geography

If you need a quick and ready introduction to Austria and Hungary, read a few
travel guides. If you see an old Austrian Baedecker, (particularly pre 1921)
buy it.

Two years ago when the Edelserpentin group from Bernstein came to America, I
became friendly with some of the entourage. I learned that a new organization
had been founded in Bernstein called the Burgenlaendische Hianzische
Gesellschaft. I wrote to one of the group several months later asking for
more information about the society. Yesterday in the mail I received their
Hianzen-Kalender 1998 along with a letter and a fact sheet about the
organization. I will send you a copy. The cost of joining the organization is
50 schillings. Maybe it would be good to send them more since postage is so
expensive for them. I haven't been able to read everything easily, since it
is all naturally in German. There is lots of nice culture in the book. The
pictures are black/white. It's very interesting. I see explanations of the
Hianzisch dialect as well as Lieder & prose & poetry. I am going to join. The
book reminds me of the "Deutscher Kalender 1996 Jahrbuch der Ungarndeutscher"
that I have. That book comes from Budapest and is hard to get. Address:
Burgenlaendisch-Hianzisch Gesellschaft (Hianzenverein) A-7431 Bad
Tatzmannsdorf, Postfach 24

(From Albert Schuch)-about the Hianzen-Verein (Burgenlndisch-Hianzische
Gesellschaft): I am also a member. Membership is indeed 50 Schillings per
year, but the Kalender costs an extra 80 Schillings. I bought it in Vienna.

Thanks for the help in finding Salzburg (Romania). My Geographical Dictionary
lists Aiud as being also known as Strassburg. Book on Transylvania states
Vienna sent people there after Revolution to take charge.Vo"lligrand (has my
ancestor's) birth record Nov 1849. In 1867 Dual Monarchy Authorties in
Budapest came down hard on all minorities to Magyarize, I think they (my
people) got tired of it by 1875 & left without permission. One paper shows
single word Riga, so I think they went straight north to Ukraine (then) on to
Riga, where I'm told people caught small ship to HULL England, train across
England to Liverpool. There large ships sailed to N.Y, Philadelphia or
Quebec City. I put Query in Transylvania Website (Wilkommen bei
Siebenburgen) but no answer yet. Thanks again for your help. Im gong to
explore asking National Archives if there is any current plan to index Ship
Records from the Battery (NY) which are stored at Ft. Dix, NJ. If they say no
funds I'll write to Congressman & complain, Surely we could spare a little
Foreign Aid to help a lot of Americans who are looking for ther roots. What
do you think? Could we shake anything loose?

(Frank Teklits, John Lavendoki, Fritz Knigshofer. Ed. Note: As expected
Fritz's translation of his great grandfather's article {March 31, 1998}
concerning emigration to America inspired some comment). A brief email
interchange follows:
Read your article with interest...I thought that I had to comment on the last
paragraph, adding just a bit more elaboration concerning the reference to
Northampton, PA- my birthplace. It states:
>>and aren't there lots of emigrants who bid their old home country goodbye
forever, and make America their permanent residence? Just in this very
moment, there is an effort underway in Northampton, PA, to build a Catholic
Church. The congregation there consists completely of emigrated workers from
Hungary and meanwhile counts 3,000 souls. Most of them are from our county
[Vas], namely from the villages: Szentpeterfa [Postrum], Porno [Pernau],
Nemethazas [Nemethasos]... Deutsch Ehrensdorf?], Lipocz [Steinfurt], Tobaj,
and other places." (end)<<

The referenced Northampton church happens to be called "Our Lady of Hungary"
and it was consecrated on May 13, 1907. The parish is flourishing today, and
retains its name. The statement that the congregation consists of all
emigrated Hungarians is not the case. Had it read "The congregation there
consists completely of emigrated workers from Burgenland ......" would have
been a totally accurate statement. I hesitate to mention the names of the
Burgenland villages represented by the early parishioners as I do not wish to
leave one of them unmentioned. The number 3000 also seems a bit high, but I'd
prefer to leave it as said rather than challenge it, as Northampton today has
approximately 12,000 inhabitants. The 1st classes in the parish school
started in September 1914, and were held in the church basement. An adjoining
parish school was ready for occupancy in September 1917. I am fortunate
enough to have a copy of the 50th Jubilee booklet (1907 - 1957) that
commemorated the occasion from which I am referring. The initial paragraph in
the section titled "A Short History" from the booklet perhaps says it the

"Father Charles Zrinyi, assistant pastor of the Hungarian Catholic Church of
Bethlehem (PA), came in 1906 to Northampton to visit some of the members of
his former flock from Szentpeterfa, where he had been stationed. Along "Bank
Row" (ed. Comment - This is an entire story in itself) on Main Street, he
found his fellow countrymen in many of the homes, and he was amazed to learn
that so many Croatians, Hungarians and Austrians were in Northampton. He
suggested that a parish be organized to provide for the religious life of the
people. ....."
The church was completely torn down & rebuilt within the past 10-12 years. It
was a parish that for years had priests who were conversant in both Hungarian
& German languages. Serving as an altar boy, I can recall as a youth when
there was only a single Mass said in English on a Sunday, while in all the
others the homilies were said in either of the two languages. The 1st Mass
was generally said in German, while the Hungarian Mass was the 8:00 service.
Of course this is no longer the case with English being the language used for
today's services. My thanks for including the article. My comments are not
intended to be critical in the least, but rather indicate the relevance of
the statement written in 1907 to my home parish.

Perhaps John Lavendoski, the only organist (that I'm aware of) from Our Lady
of Hungary parish who has had the pleasure of playing the organ in the
Church of his ancestors, (St. Peter & Paul in Szentpeterfa,) as well as Our
Lady of Hungary can provide additional comments.

(John Lavendoski) Frank's comments are right on the money. The interesting
thing to me is that the practice of a German Mass at OLH continued until at
least until 1979 when I was an Altar Boy and Hungarian language handouts were
still plentiful at that time. The current pastor has done away with all
that, but the most elderly members of the Parish no doubt remember all these
things. I have often thought that what we should have do at OLH for the 75th
anniversary is to make a sort of video scrapbook by interviewing elderly
people from the parish on videotape and collecting their reminisces of the
"old days" of OLH and Northampton.

(Fritz relies:) Frank, John, Thanks for the feedback. As you are aware, in
this case I was only the (hopefully) faithful translator of an old article. I
wonder whether it was not indeed correct to call the congregation as
completely consisting of Hungarians. There was no Burgenland yet at that
time.The common bond of the members of the congregation was perhaps the
Hungarian nationality, though there were ones with Hungarian, and ones with
German, as their mother tongue. Of the villages listed in the article, Szent
Pterfa and Porn actually remained in Hungary after the separation of the
Burgenland. When I translated the article, I was also (like you) surprised by
the large size of the congregation (3,000) compared to the smallness of even
today's Northampton, PA. My note in parentheses ("today's Allentown") was
made a bit as a challenge for our editor who hails from the area, and who, I
hoped, would correct me. Gerry rose to the challenge in his unimitable,
authoritative yet equally gentle, way. I must add that my old encyclopedia
reported that Allentown's "incorporated" name had been Northampton (ed.-this
is correct, called Northampton Town; name changed to Allentown ca 1811,
today's borough of Northampton was formed later, north of the Allentown City
limits.), and it listed Northampton only as a borough, therefore I had indeed
thought the church might have been built within today's city limits of

for information about the Burgenland Bunch.

This thread: