Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 1999-07 > 0931264074

From: <>
Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 43B dtd 15 Sept 1998 (edited)
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1999 08:27:54 EDT

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

This third section of the 3 section newsletter features an article on Ethnic
Mix, Letter From New Member Frank Trinkle, Data From SS Applications and
Letter From New Member Bob Trask.

Member Judith Ery Colby writes: I'd like to take this opportunity to
congratulate you for putting out such an excellent newsletter! Having edited
our local Porsche Club monthly newsletter for nearly ten years, I can
appreciate all the work and effort that you put into it, and I'm truly
impressed! Since I've been receiving my copies it seems to me that you don't
have very much information for Hungarian Burgenlanders -- perhaps it's just
the last few issues that seem to deal with German and Croatian families. I
know that there are very few Hungarians left in Burgenland. When I visited
the area in 1985, I was really surprised to find that in Unterwart they still
have signs in Magyar on the stores, streets, etc. The elementary school was
also conducted in the Magyar language, but this seemed to be the only
conclave of Hungarians.

Editor's answer: Thanks for the kind words and the question. The proportion
of ethnic material published in each newsletter depends generally on the
material I receive. The Croatian researchers have been doing a lot of work
lately. When I don't receive much, I fill in with articles I write about
general topics or, since my ancestors were from the south, about southern
Burgenland. It's not a matter of there not being many Hungarians left in the
Burgenland. There never were all that many Hungarians (Magyars) in today's
Burgenland region. The proportion has since 1526 probably hovered around what
it is today, 85% Germanic, 13% Croatian and 2% Hungarian. There has also been
a small % of Gypsies and Jews (almost immeasureable since WWII-most of the
Gypsies left live in Hungary and cross the border to provide music). It's
interesting that those active in religion (have decreased in the last few
decades) follow the same proportion, Catholics at 84%, Lutherans 14%,
Calvinists, Jews and miscellaneous the remainder.

While the Magyars overran the area in the 10th Century, they were eventually
driven east of Styria and Lower Austria creating todays Hungary (plus those
regions lost following WWI). Since the border was depopulated, colonists
(Germanic) moved in. The Magyars did provide guard post establishments in the
"Wart" where your people settled and a few other towns along the border. A 20
mile strip, the "Gyupe" between Austria and Hungary was declared a no-mans
land (eventually settled by Germanic and Croatian colonists). The Burgenland
region later was split between the Croatian Batthyany nobility (south) and
the Hungarian Esterhazy nobility (north) with minor nobility mostly in the
middle around the Wart. There are probably more German speakers in Hungary
than Hungarian speakers in Austria. Much Germanic settlement in the Bakony
regions as well as in Transylvanian regions (12th century Saxon
colonization), the Baranya, Batscha (Backa-Kernei), Bukovina, Banat and other
Hungarian border regions (many came during the reigns of Maria Theresa and
Josef II).

We have about a dozen members researching Hungarian border villages and
families. The rest are researching villages in Burgenland proper. All members
are interested in things Hungarian because of the long Hungarian political
administration.The Hungarians never were successful in attempts at
Magyarization of the ethnic mix. Next to independence from the Hapsburgs,
treatment of ethnic minorities in Hungary was their second largest problem.
In fact it was probably a secondary contributing factor toward emigration.
Most Burgenland immigrants to the US prior to 1921 spoke some Hungarian as
well as German or Croatian. It's the mix of the various Germanic tribal
(Styrian, Bavarian, Schwabian, etc.) cultures with those of Magyar, and
Slavic Croatian, seasoned with Gypsy, Judaic and even Turkic Moslem cultures
that give us the unique group we call "Burgenlnders" today. A melting pot
culture now contributing to the American one! Gerry Berghold

LETTER FROM NEW MEMBER (from Frank Trinkle)
Wow! When the Group swings into action, things really move! Thanks for all
the information and guidance. I'm impressed with the high degree of
professionalism of this group. I'm just a beginner at genealogy (albeit a bit
more "mature" in age). But I'll try to participate with meaningful input to
the group production...

Gerry, we have a lot in comon. But first, a brief biography to put things in
perspective. I was born in 1923 in Portland Point (PA), a cement mill town
near what is now Cortland. We moved to Nazareth when I was about 3. I went to
Holy Family School in Phoenix for grades 1-3, when we moved to Bath. My
father worked in the Penn-Dixie cement mill near the Eastern side of town,
known as the "East End" or "East Bath" among other names, which corresponded
to the character of Phoenix in Nazareth. It was populated almost entirely by
Burgenlanders who worked in the adjacent cement mill..

We lived on "Wabash Avenue" (also known as Wabash Alley) which was the street
behind Sacred Heart Church. This was somewhat closer to town center than East
Bath, and we were more exposed to "hamlocks" (mostly Pennsylvania Dutch-ED.
note:-when the first telephone exchange was given the word "Hemlock-HE", it
created a lot of local ethnic humor) and their culture. But the Church was a
German parish, with both German and English services. Oddly enough, our
priest, Father Edward Burkhardt, came from a very well-to-do family from
Philadelphia.. But he spoke fluent German and was a major factor in bringing
his immigrant parish into the 20th centrury while encouraging us to retain
our cultural identity. A great man.

I went through 8th grade at Sacred Heart, then public school 9th grade in
Bath. We had no high school in Bath, so the 9th grader Catholics had to
choose between Nazareth and Northampton for high school. Most of the
Burgenlanders went to Nazareth, the rest including me, to Northampton.

I graduated in 1941from Northampton High . I started at Muhlenberg College in
Sepember 1941, but quit after Pearl Harbor to work in cement mill due to my
father's illness and the likelihood of going into service very soon. But for
about a year, I lived a hectic life - cement mill 8-10 hours a day (or
night), and two or three nights a week playing in a small German (Austrian)
band. I had played violin, baritone and trumpet in high school.When I
graduated, I started playing violin in a band with talented violinist Joseph
Kroboth (sp?) from (West?) Coplay. I later played trumpet, too. Most of our
gigs were in Coplay, Northampton, Nazareth and Allentown. Some of the places
were: Coplay Saengerbund, Hari-Gari Hall, Austrian-Hungarian Club, and others
I have forgotten.But our most regular job was at - you guessed it - Trinkles
at 4th and Washington Streets in Allentown. This was still depression era,
and we didn't make much: $1.00 each per night, $1.00 extra for gas, a free
dinner, and all the beer we could drink (which we did). We didn't get rich,
but we had fun and helped to make other people happy with our music, which
made it all worthwhile'

But all good things had to end, and by November I was off to the Navy. After
the war, I continued my "German" band career, but that story is for another
time.Didn't mean to bore you, but I hope stories like mine may inspire others
to write of their experiences, especially as they relate to immigrant
-"native" relations in the past century. This will help us and our progeny to
understand more clearly who we really are.I'll confine my next missive to
what I know of my genealogy, so we can get on with the mission of finding the
missing pieces. Again, thanks for all the materials, which has already
provided some important clues to pursue.Frank Trinkle


(Ed.-The Social Security Death Index is a very useful genealogical tool. Once
you find an ancestor, more data may be available by ordering a copy of the SS
application. This can now be done on the internet.) Anna Kresh sends the
following: At the Family Tree Maker web site you can search the Social
Security Death Index (SSDI), and if you locate an ancestor, you can
automatically generate a letter of request for that person's Social Security
Number application (Form SS-5) for a fee of $7.00. Visit
http://www.familytreemaker.com; choose the Search SSDI option; locate the SS
record you want; click "Write It", and the request letter is generated.
Print the letter, fill in your name, address, etc., include your check and

(Ed. note-I often receive very interesting replies from my initial contact
with new members. I wish I could publish all of them. Since space doesn't
permit, I occasionally select one that I feel will be of help to other new
members. This one especially looks as if our new member is on the threshhold
of some great discoveries.) Bob writes: This message is actually from your
new member Bob Tratz (our e-mail only goes out with my wife's name at home).
I thought I would pass this message along to thank you for your Burgenland
Bunch information and to illustrate how helpful your putting me in touch with
Steve von Hitritz and Bruce Klemens has been. Their interest in the village
of Oslip has helped and will help in future searches. Hopefully, I can
assist you with a tidbit or two in the future. Your site has been very
informational and I have already read several past issues of your biweekly
since encountering your web page just this past Friday, Aug. 28. Keep up the
good work. Although my German is getting rusty, I hope I may say without
error "Gluckliches Tag!", Bob Tratz

Bob then copies me on email to members Klemens and von Hitritz: "I appreciate
your information about the Zemljak family in Oslip. It is most interesting,
particulary the information about Anna Zemljak and the Oslip history by Anna
Odorfer and translated by Bruce. All I can say is that until I view the LDS
microfilm of RC church records in Oslip (thanks for the roll number), I
cannot be 100% sure that it is the origin of my Great-Great Grandfather
George Zemlock and Great-Great Grandmother Barbara Zemlock who came to
Wisconsin in 1856 or 1857. (some census records which I believe to be
unreliable put it as early as 1853). Barbara was the daughter of a Mathias
and Elizabeth Kern (cf. 1866 Winnebago County, Wisc. church marriage record
of their daughter Mary to a Joseph Sommer, also of Hungary). George (born
about 1819) and Barbara (born about 1817) came to this country not only with
their daughter Mary (believed to be the eldest sibling) but also with Andrew
(my Great-Grandfather) born in 1845-1847 and his brothers Stephen (born 1850)
and Charles (born 1852) all from Hungary. My Grandfather told me in 1965
that the family came from Oslo, Hungary. But I searched maps and gazeteers
off and on for years without finding anything to corroborate that. Then in
1984 I obtained a copy of an 1884 birth certificate in which Great-Great
Uncle Stephen related that they came from Oslop, Hungary. I didn't get
around to doing a decent search of maps and gazeteers for Oslop until just
recently. Naturally, I didn't find anything in the boundaries of old
Hungary, because I confined my searches for Oslop and similar spellings to
present day Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Galicia, and Western Romania. Tried
Internet searches for "Oslop" to no avail. I didn't notice the small sliver
of land next to Austria that was converted to Austria apparently in 1921
(Burgenland). Not until I quickly scanned a book by Dagmar Senekovic titled
"Handy Guide to Austrian Genealogical Records" on Monday a little over a week
ago, did I notice that the village of Oslip, Austria even existed (complete
with parish church records!). According to the book, baptismal, marriage,
and death records are available for the Oslip parish all the way back to the
year 1700 (but only through direct contact with the Roman Catholic Church).
Apparently the duplicate records (on microfilm) are only available for 1828
on? When I went on to the Internet for the Austrian telephone directory a
week ago and tried the name Zemljak as well as Zemlock, I came up with one
match for Zemljak in Oslip. I also noticed one other Zemljak in another
Burgenland community (along with two others elsewhere in Austria--but no
Zemlocks). Obviously the name was changed upon arrival here. Anyway, that
search result convinced me that I had finally found the Zemlock origin
(probably). I saw the Burgenland Bunch website shortly thereafter. I don't
know a whole lot more. My Grandfather only rembembered one story about life
in the old country--He recalled his Uncle Stephen telling of seeing his older
brother (Andrew, my G-Grandfather) carrying a cross in a church procession in
the home village in Hungary. My Grandfather said his Grandfather George was
the village leader in his home place, but I never put much stock in that
story--I figured there was less reason to emigrate then (unless, I guess, you
ran afoul of the wrong person higher up). My G-G-Grandfather George was a
farmer in Winnebago County, but had only 80 acres, so he was not terribly
successful, at least in economic terms. George was still alive in 1900 at
the age of 81, but I have been unable to find a record of him after the 1900
Census. I do know that "Oslip" looks most probable.There are lots of Zemljaks
in Slovenia; I had always wondered if there might be a connection since I
noticed many years ago that a "Zemljak" immigrated to Buffalo, New York from
Laibach (Ljubljana), Slovenia in 1902. I wonder if the Zemljaks came up
from Slovenia? It was interesting to read the Burgenland Bunch history about
the Croatian connection to Burgenland. Perhaps the Zemljaks or Zemlyaks were
originally Croatian rather than Slovenian? Anyway, I ramble on. I really
appreciate all of your leads. Best Wishes."

for information about the Burgenland Bunch.

This thread: