Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 1999-07 > 0931264176

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Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 45 dtd 31 Oct 1998 (edited)
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1999 08:29:36 EDT

(issued biweekly by )
October 31, 1998
All Rights Reserved. Permission to Copy Granted, but Give Credit.

This first section of the 3 section newsletter features the villages of
Rohrbrunn and Deutsch Kaltenbrunn, Translations from a German Text
Concerning the Village of Wallern, Report of a Trip to Gols, More on the Name
Waldburga, Hianzisch, Language Changes and a Defense of Dialect.

40) Rohrbrunn (the Father Leser series, extracted & translated by Albert
The former BATTHYANY castle in 1930 owned by Wilhelm TILL from Vienna. In
1524 the village "Ndkuth" (Rohrbrunn) was given to Franz BATTHYANY,
consisting of 7 farms. In 1599 the Batthyanys already owned 20 houses in
Rohrbrunn. In 1605 the BOCSKAY rebels destroyed almost the whole village
(most villages in the Gssing area met the same fate!). Number of
inhabitants: 1802: 357 (354 Catholics, 3 Lutherans), 1812: 371 (367 C, 4 L),
1856: 452 (450 C, 2 L), 1930: 750 (748 C, 2 L; in 99 houses). 22 casualities
in WW I, plus 2 m.i.a. and 7 war-related deaths in hospitals. In 1930 9
inhabitants in America. R. has always been a part of Deutsch Kaltenbrunn
parish. Teachers: Josef KIRMANN (1851-99), Franz HOLPER (1899-1925), Rudolf
SCHUH (1925-30), second teacher Pauline SCHUH nee HAIDER (since 1922).
(source: V+H Nr. 12-13/1958)

41) Deutsch Kaltenbrunn
Consists of the "core" village and the "Berghuser" (houses in the hills).
Old village names: Hydegseg (1428-51), Hidegkut (1524), called (Deutsch)
Kaltenbrunn since 1654. Given to Franz BATTHYANY in 1524 as a part of the
Gssing domain. In 1599 Franz B. owned 42 houses, Thomas ZECHY 7 and Andreas
WKY 4. Almost completly destroyed by BOCSKAY's troops in 1605. The houses
were rebuilt, only to be burned down again in 1622 by BETHLEN's army (30
houses). Granted the status of an "oppidum" (market town) in 1647 by King
Ferdinand III. In 1687 Count Adam BATTHYANY gave the land for a (half-)house
to Michael HERMSTREIT for faithful services. The1693-Urbarium names the
following families: SCHMALDIENST (6), BOGNER, ZACH, TAUSCH (5 each), SCHMIDT
SEDLI, VOLLMANN (1 each). Other inhabitants: GUSICH (free), Stefan KISFALUDI
(Dreiigst (= customs) official), POSTAKOVICS (free), Sigmund DES
(Lieutenant). Sllner (small-holders) in their own houses: PUMMER, KRACHER,
(some of them on area owned by the church). Sllner in their own houses in
the vineyard hills: ZACH (3), SEDL (2), FRISCH, LEDERER, FASZBINDER, WEBER,
SIMANDL, HAFFNER, KRIXLER. The Urbarium remarks that the inhabitants have
suffered through many quarterings of Germans (soldiers), so the landlord
(BATTHYANY) has granted them a 50 % tax reduction "until God will improve the

A fire destroyed many houses in 1880. 63 casualties in WW I. Number of
inhabitants: 1802: 230 Catholics, 1152 Lutherans; 1812: 255 C, 1206 L; 1856:
448 C, 1030 L; 1930: 548 C, 1160 L, 2 Jewish, together 1710. Church (St.
Nicholas) built due to a report from 1698 "by the ancient Catholics" [i.e. in
times prior to the Reformation]. A chapel in front of the Catholic cemetery
built in 1868, donated by Lorenz LAGLER (# 24). A chapel in the Catholic
cemetery donated by the Rev. Michael RATHNER (his mother is buried in this
chapel). Catholic priests: Alexius Xaverius VODENIGG (1693), Josef BLASKOVICS
(1773-1802), Franz GABRIELYI (1803-15), Josef SZAKATSITS (1815-30), Andreas
KORAUSZ (1830-68), Franz SCHMIDT (1868-75), Michael RATHNER (1875-83), Franz
Xaver BIRICZ (1884-1903), Franz STAMPF (1903-); Lutherans in
Deutsch-Kaltenbrunn: Ca. 1528-31 first Lutheran period, second period started
ca. 1560. When the Catholic counter-reformation started in Styria (ca. 1600),
many Lutheran preachers fled to the BATTHYANY estates, so that by 1610 all
parishes of the Gssing domain were administered by them. In 1618 Balthasar
TILLESIUS was Lutheran pastor in Kaltenbrunn, later Jakob GRUMER (1624) and
Johann KECZIUS (1627). After KECZIUS had left K. in 1627, the Lutheran
Styrians who had come here because of him went away. ["entfernten sich";
note: it is not clear as to whether this means they had settled in K. or just
came here to attend church]. In 1665 Christian ECKHART was Lutheran pastor
in K. In 1862 K. becomes a Lutheran parish, having been a part of Kukmirn
parish since 1783. Lutheran pastors: Theodor HUBER (1862-1906), Stephan SZABO
(1907-13), Alexius SPARAS (1913-22), Kornelius Wilhelm Emil Eduard
GUTTENBERGER (1923-28), Karl CIENCIALI (1929-30). Lutheran elementary school
- teachers: Michael ZACH (ca. 1822), Jeremias MAHR (ca. 1830), Georg HAFNER
(ca. 1832), Georg KNBEL (1833-37), Johann JANISCH (1837-42), Johann MCKE
(1842-66), Alexander KNBEL (1866-96), Joseph FLECK (1896-1921), Karl KAPPEL
(1921-), second teacher Karl JANY (since 1897). 168 pupils in 1930. (source:
V+H Nr. 13-14/1958)
(Next issue-Gerersdorf and Steingraben)

Question from Tom:> The following sentence appears in a german text about
Wallern that I am trying to translate: "Das sind die Huser der altern
Holden, die man auch die Sechsunddreiiger genannt hat." ... The time period
would be 1767-1825. Does anyone know what this means?<

Albert answers: That's a tricky one. Short question, long answer: For one
thing, "altern" seems to be a typo, I guess that would have to be "alten" or
"ltern". But this is of little importance, since the meaning can only be
"old" or "older". Not much difference. Secondly, the word "Holden" is old
German. This is a landowner category. Somehow related to English "(small)
holder". Difficult to translate. Let us first turn to the term
"Sechsunddreiiger": You have to know that each village had a "Hutweide",
which was a pasture used by the whole community. There were certain
regulations on who could bring how many cows to this pasture.

The "Landestopographie des Burgenlandes", Volume 1, District Neusiedl am See,
includes an article on Wallern. This article tells me that the usage of the
Wallern pasture was regulated as follows: Owners of 3/2-farms were allowed to
bring 36 cows on the pasture, owners of 2/2-farms were allowed to bring 24,
owners of 1/2 (half) farms were allowed to bring 12, owners of 3/8-farms 9,
owners of 1/4 farms 6 and owners of 1/8-farms 3 cows.

So the only explanation that I can offer for "Sechsunddreiiger" (36er) is:
These were owners of 3/2-farms (= one and a half farms, whereby farm refers
to the size of the territory, not to buildings), because only they were
allowed to bring 36 cows to the village pasture ("Hutweide"). Because of
this, I would translate "Holden" as "farmers". Hence my suggested translation
of the whole sentence is: "These are the houses of the older farmers, who
were also called 36ers (because they were allowed to bring 36 cows to the
village pasture)."

Tom replies: Thank you for your replies. Albert - you are correct. I
mis-typed "alten." This is very interesting... I knew there had to be some
historical significance but I could not imagine what it was. The sentence
comes from a recently completed work by Father Josef Graisy of Vienna. In
the preface he describes the old house numbering system and indicates that
there were four building periods. The first 109 house numbers are from the
first period and are in the core of the town. The 25 houses mentioned in the
quoted sentence are from the second period. Your translation and explanation
raises additional questions. Why would the house of these "older farmers"
all be built in the 1767-1825 time period? Is it possible that they already
existed and were just incorporated into the town during this time? Or did
some feudal system end at that time? But if this were true, why didn't the
smaller farmers build homes at this time?

I have one additional question. Wallern has a lane called "Salidergasse" on
which the house of the Saliter-Brenner and Vieh-Hter stood. The second of
these would be the house of the cattle guardian. What is thetranslation of
"Salider" and "Saliter-Brenner" -- if any? Would this be aperson's name?
Your help is greatly appreciated.

Albert again answers: Since I now know that the word is "alten", I have to
change my suggested translation, in particular, change "older farmers" to
"old farmers".
Now I don't know anything about these four building periods. The
"36er"-explanation I gave you is the only one I can think of. The feudal
system ended in 1848. As for 1767 and 1825, these are probably years in which
the houses have been counted. In 1767 an "Urbarium" may have been set up
according to the new laws introduced by Emperess Maria Theresia. The
"Urbarium" is a list of all house owners, it shows what they own and what
they have to give to their landlord (in Wallern that would have been Prince
Esterhazy) each year. The 1825-data may come from a "Conscriptio". This is a
similar list, set up for the purpose of collecting taxes for the state and
the county, and also for recruiting soldiers. (Ed.-list is available from LDS

Something doesn't make sense here. Usually the "old" inhabitants of a
village, those whose ancestors were there first, have the largest farms. I
fail to understand why the 36-ers as I have interpreted them would be in the
second period of settlement. Could you e-mail me a larger part of this text?
It is very difficult to translate a sentence without its context.

> Wallern has a lane called "Salidergasse" on which the house of the
Saliter-Brenner and Vieh-Hter stood. The second of these would be the house
of the cattle guardian. What is the translation of "Salider" and
"Saliter-Brenner" -- if any? Would this be a person's name?<

You could also use shepherd for Vieh-Hter. "Saliter" is an old word for what
is presently called "Salpeter", somehow related to the Latin "sal nitri". My
dictionary says the English word is also "salpeter", and "niter" in American
English. This was needed to make gunpowder. (Ed.-potassium
nitrate=saltpeter=niter; adding charcoal and sulphur in correct proportions
produces black gun powder-a low explosive. It is also an important component
of fertilizer. Found in some soils, it is also a by-product of human and
animal (particularly sheep) waste. An old process was to leach waste or soil
with water, filter the liquid and boil or distill. The remaining crystals
were saltpeter of varying purity. Hence a "Saliter-Brenner" was a saltpeter
burner in the same way that a brandy distiller was (is) a "Schnapps
-Brenner). The "Saliter-Brenner" was the man who produced the "Saliter". Also
called "Saliter-Sieder". So "Saliter-Brenner" is not a person's name, but it
is a person's profession. I'd be interested in some more information about
this Wallern book, like publishing date and place, pages and price.

TRIP TO GOLS, BURGENLAND (from Gary Portsche)
To the Burgenland Bunch: This was my third trip to Gols, Burgenland in the
past five years for the purpose of further tracing the Portschy and associate
families that migrated to Nebraska and Kansas in the 1870's and 80's. My
paternal great grandparents, Georg and Rosina Portschy migrated with their
three month old son, Matthias, from Gols to Lancaster County, Nebraska in the
spring of 1875. They settled near Kramer, Nebraska and attended St. John
Lutheran Church. Georg's father, Matthias Portschy, who came over in 1876
and died in 1880 is buried in the church cemetery. Georg and Rosina had a
family of thirteen children and around 1900, moved into Lincoln and settled
there. Rosina died in 1922 and Georg in 1938 and both are buried in Wyuka
Cemetery, Lincoln, Nebraska.

My cousin Richard Mann, II and son Doug departed on July 12th and arrived
Munich July 13th. We rented a car and drove straight away for Gols, stopping
for lunch at beautiful Mondsee. We arrived Gols ,mid-afternoon and checked
into the pension operated by the Brunner family. We were sadden to find that
Herr Werner Brunner had died of a heart attack in 1996 and the family
business was being carried on by Frau Brunner and children.

We stayed in Gols until the following Saturday. During our five days in Gols
we were able to copy about 300 pages of church records. The LDS has copied
the Gols Evangelical records from 1826 to 1895. Our group copied the records
from 1783 to 1826 and I have those records in my possession. We physically
copied each page of the book on a Xerox type copier. I believe it is A5
sized, they're quite large. We copied every page of the birth, deaths and
marriages, 1783 to 1830, as I am researching just about everyone in Gols from
that era since I'm pretty much blood line to all of them. We also gathered
records from Johann Schrammel and Frau Margaretha Heinrich. The town
genealogist, Frau Karolina Allacher presented us with some new information
that traces the Portschy family back to one Hanns Portschy, born 1695.

We made several day trips into Hungary and the Slovak Republic, walking
cemeteries and taking hundreds of pictures. On one of these trips, we were
accompanied by Hans Allacher, who is married to cousin Klara Gyorik. Hans
was born in Ragendorf, now Rajka, Hungary and speaks Hungarian. He showed us
his parents graves as well as the graves of old friends and neighbors. He
provided us with a most interesting day. On Saturday, we headed west and
arrived Nurnburg, Germany in the early evening. We day tripped to Prague,
Czech Republic on Sunday and took an escorted tour of Nurnburg on Monday,
seeing the court where the trials were held and Zepplinfeld, where Hitler
held some of his biggest rallies. On Tuesday, we drove down to Dachau and
took the tour of the concentration camp. Wednesday, July 22, it was back to
the U. S., all arriving safely at our homes that evening. Since arriving
back, I have spent many hours going through the church records and at this
point, have the computer file fairly well organized. You can see the Hanns
Portschy lineage on my home page at http://www.kc.net/~garyport. In the next
few weeks should have the entire file posted in the Gendex server, a
hyperlink being on my home page. I also have a 24 picture slide show of the
on the page.Gary L. Portsche, Olathe, KS

The newsletter (44) discussed this name (Waldburga). For whatever it's worth,
here is a recent posting from a German regarding the female given name
Walburga. I also found the following information through Alta Vista:

St. Walburga, Virgin (Feast day - February 25) Walburga was born in
Devonshire England, around 710. She was the daughter of a West Saxon
chieftain and the sister of Sts. Willibald and Winebald. Walburga was
educated at Wimborne Monastery in Dorset, where she became a nun. In 748, she
was sent with St. Lioba to Germany to help St. Boniface in his missionary
work. She spent two years at Bishofsheim, after which she became Abbess of
the double monastery at Heidenheim founded by her brother Winebald. At the
death of Winebald, St. Walburga was appointed Abbess of both monasteries by
her brother Willibald, who was then Bishop of Eichstadt. She remains superior
of both men and women until her death in 779. She was buried first at
Heidenheim, but later her body was interred next to that of her brother, St.
Winebald, at Eichstadt.

I very much doubt that it (Waldburga) was a given name solely for
illegitimate births! (although the fact that St Walburga was a virgin may
have led people to hint at a "virgin birth"<vbg>). Who knows! (Ed. Note:the
previous article implied that some priests would give Saints' names to
illegitimate children for whatever reason -death of mother, as a penance, as
a mark of dishonor, etc. The name given in these cases would probably have
been that of the saint whose name day was close to the baptism. Saints' names
were popular during the Counter Reformation.)

Part of the above may be based on a misunderstanding of the Catholic Church's
rule that the child must be baptized with a saint's name. The priest does not
assign the name, but will insist that it be that of a saint. One of my
relatives wanted to name her daughter "Vicki Lynn" but as "Vicki" was not a
saint's&nbsp; name she was forced to baptize the child as "Victoria Lynn" as
there was a St Victoria and that was a close enough compromise. My experience
for this particular child-naming topic is limited to a number of RC parishes
in Mittelburgenland, a parish in Westfalen, Germanyand another in Minnesota.
I have seen no evidence whatsoever
that children were named by the priest and illegitimate children (of which in
Burgenland it's only a slight exaggeration to say that there is usually one
on each page) had the same general names as all the others.

As far as I can tell, the parents and family were always the one to name the
child! I can imagine that in rare cases they might have picked a name from
the saint's name day, but I guess one would have to look for clusters on the
various saint days to see if there was any pattern at all. One very common
pattern is for the child to be given the name of one of the godparents. The
other common pattern is for a name to pass down through the generations.
Therefore, in one branch of my family there is a Simon in every generation,
but no Johann. In another branch there is a Johann in every generation, but
no Simon until the lines merged - then there was John & Simon as second
names. In the case of the Westfalen family, the name Bernard was passed down
from grandfather to son to grandchild.

That some children received uncommon names like Walburga should not be
surprising as some people give their children unusual names today and some
people always have. One of my uncles was named Rufinus. Why, I don't know as
the others had names like Paul, Peter, Maria and it was not the godfather's
name and the name had never previously appeared in the family lines. I'm
looking for a calendar with saints' names to see if St Rufinus day is around
Mar 25. It's true that stillbirths did not have godparents as there was no
need for the normal religious duties of a godparent since there was no child.
Some notations that I've seen indicate that these children were given a post
mortem baptism by the priest. As far as the illegitimate children, they were
quite common (as stated above) and they had godparents and were often given a
godparents name or a traditional family name. Quite often you will find a
marriage for the parents some time afterwards. In some other cases the length
of time between the marriage and the birth was considerably less than the
gestation period - about a week in one case in my lines. The RC church has
always frowned upon illegitimacy, but the practice of the people clearly was
at variance with that. I do know that in Sweden it was common practice to
bear a child or be pregnant prior to marriage to guarantee that children were
possible. This was to insure future workers for the farm.

Ed. Note: I struck some sparks in my use of the word "corrupted" when
referring to dialects. First Yvonne Lockwood took me to task for Croatian and
Hianzisch and now Bob Schatz has some remarks concerning Pennsylvania Dutch
(Pennsylvania German or "pennsylvnisch deitsch"). The best I can say is that
I used Webster's fourth definition of corrupted "to alter from the original
or correct form or version" as opposed to "change from good to bad". None the
less, both members have a point and I admit to a poor, albeit descriptive,
choice of words. Bob writes: Just wanted to add some thoughts and general
ramblings to your questions about Hianzisch in the current newsletter, and to
defend the language of my Pennyslvania German forebears!

You asked if Hianzisch "is an early form of German dialect which was
corrupted like Pennsylvania Dutch." For Shame! Pennyslvania Dutch is not a
"corruption" at all - it is from the Rhineland dialect family with a few
variations coming in via the Swiss and even fewer from English. Rhinelanders
can understand Pennsylvania German and vice versa. Several Pennsylvania
German plays have been performed with great success in the Rhineland within
the last 20 years. It is a rich and expressive language and contains an
extensive technical vocabulary which belies the myth that it is a "corrupted"
form of language or a language of unsophisticated people. I grew up with the
language at home and later studied it with a very erudite man who eventually
wrote a Pennsylvania German grammar book. Many contemporary speakers know
that it is a much older language than the standard or literary German
(Schriftdeutsch) in use today. A professor of mine taught that standard
German is actually a child of Martin Luther, and evolved from his translation
of the Bible. This professor claimed that Luther went around asking various
groups "would you understand it if I wrote it such and such a way?", and then
arrived at an idiomatic consensus.

Linguists divide German dialects into three main bodies: High, Middle and
Low. High German (Hochdeutsch) is so called because it is the family of
languages spoken in the Alpine region in the south, and would include
Hianzisch, Viennese and Styrian. The Middle German group is actually the
family from which English evolved, and (I suspect but am not sure) the German
dialects in the Zips and Transylvania. Low German (Plattdeutsch) is the
language family from the North, on the littoral plain. It is a common but
unfortunate attitude that standard German is "high" and therefore right and
proper, and that dialects are "low" and therefore unacceptable or low-class.
This is simply another sad expression of that human tendancy to regard some
people and cultures as better than others. In point of fact, most standard
versions of European languages are simply the dialects of the royal houses
which eventually gained hegemony - modern standard English, for example, is a
version of the language which evolved in the royal court in London; it would
be a very different language today if a royal house in York had gained the
upper hand.

We live in a culture which puts a heavy premium on the written word, but we
must remember that language is primarily oral and dynamic, and that
"standard" languages also only evolved once writing became popular and
standardized. Our sense of "proper" English is the result of being taught
grammar - "this is the right way!" But the reality is quite different: there
are many ways, and all too often the "right" way is simply the way of those
in power. Remember too that for centuries in Europe the language of the
educated person was Latin; human snobbery referred to local native speech at
any class level as "the vulgar" (hence the "Vulgate" version of the Bible).

Regarding Hianzisch, I regret that I did not have the opportunity to hear
and speak it growing up. My grandparents from Urbersdorf died long before I
was born, and no one spoke Hianzisch in our family; I would have liked to
have had that experience as well as the Pennsylvania German one. The beauty
of language really intrigues me, I love words, and I take a great deal of
delight in the infinite variation of human speech. Like Nature, language is
always evolving and taking on new forms of expression. I feel that we should
not use words like "corruption" when discussing languages because this
implies a kind of fall from a state of purity, which, after all, never
existed. Otherwise, even our English would be considered "corrupt" because
it is no longer German, or Latin or French, and yet it is all of these.

Incidentally the "Dutch" in Pennsylvania Dutch is not the misnomer that many
people think it is. Frequently someone will claim that it is an English
corruption of "Deutsch" or "Deitsch", but in actuality "Dutch" was at one
time the legitimate English word for "German". Eventually it was limited in
its meaning to the people and Germanic language of the Netherlands. Sorry if
this is a little incohesive. I wish I could also add more on Hianzisch.
Fritz mentions the theory of Count Heinz, which I have read in several books
on Burgenland.

Marcus B. Lambert author of the above dictionary opens with a preface that
may cast more light on the subject of dialect. After defining the PA-German
area (a good piece of PA east of the Susquehanna River) and defining the
early German and Swiss settlement in that area, he has much to say about the
dialect. He explains that the German-speaking immigrants came almost
exclusively from southwestern Germany (the Palatinate, Baden, Alsace,
Wrtemberg, Hesse) and Saxony, Silesia and Switzerland. The majority were
from the Palatinate and next in number were the Swiss. The germanic element
in their speech was thus strongly pfalzisch and schweizerisch. It resembled
the Westricher dialect more than any other. Constant intermingling then
resulted in a smoothing out and leveling effect. This homogeneity was further
advanced by (locally produced) German publications and exposure to printed
religious tracts and sermons. In discussing the influence of English on the
German in the formation of the dialect, he points to an "analogy between
debased (sic) German with English intermixture, and Chaucer's debased (sic)
Anglo-Saxon with Normon intermixture." He mentions that the characterization
of "debased" is likely to be misunderstood. (As it was when I used it.) He
explains that the dialect as it is spoken today (1920's) is largely German as
it was spoken by the peasants two centuries or more ago and is in no sense
debased, EXCEPT (sic) as it has been influenced and changed by English (as
little as 12%). This of course is Bob Schatz's point mentioned previously. He
concludes with more comparisons and then mentions that there has been no
written standardization, which has led to much confusion and the need for a

I would like to add one further point. Hearing this dialect for many years as
a native of the Lehigh Valley, I can vouch that many of the speakers
frequently had an incomplete knowledge of the vocabulary and often
interjected English or worse, German-hybridized English, when they weren't
sure of the more commonly used dialect words that had developed or become
more or less standard. It's this sort of thing that was in my mind when I
chose the words "corrupted" and "debased". If I went to Austria today and
said "Ich wishen das meinen descriptionen auf Pennsylphonische Deutsch war
besser oder mayglich klarliche verstehen", I'm sure that my remark would be
understood but considered corrupt speech by both Burgenlnders and
Pennsylvania Germans. If you reread my Xmas story from the Dec. 15 issue of
the Burgenland Bunch News, you'll find more of the same. While I had very few
comments re that story (perhaps it was a humorous balloon that didn't float),
Albert Schuch did ask if I knew anyone who spoke German like that. I assured
him that some people did, mostly second and later generation descendants of
emigrants with no formal schooling in German. I also have a PA-Deitsch
brother-in-law (Zimmerman by name) who is addicted to hiking. He once hiked
into a remote valley in Switzerland, spoke PA Deitsch and was well understood
except for some of his Americanisms!
(continued as Newsletter No. 45A)

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