Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 1999-07 > 0931347452

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Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 46 dtd 15 Nov 1998 (edited)
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 1999 07:37:32 EDT

(issued biweekly by )
November 15, 1998

All Rights Reserved. Permission to Copy Granted, but Give Credit.

This first section of the 3 section newsletter features the Villages of
Gerersdorf and Steingraben, An Emigration Article from Der Volksfreund,
Village of Zanneg- Hungary, Castles in Hannersdorf and Burg, Food & Wine in
Illmitz, South American Emigration, Selling Mailing Lists and Paprika-the
Taste of Hungary. Thanks to Dale Knebel, Fritz Knigshofer and Albert Schuch
for supplying much of this issue.

42) Gerersdorf (from the Father Leser series-translated by Albert Schuch)
Consists of the "core" village plus places called Riegelberg, Petzischberg,
Steinerberg, Jokischberg, Gadiberg, Hackergraben and Krautgraben. [note:
"Graben" meaning a small valley] Old village names: Grodt, Gyrolth, Grod,
Grooth, Geroth etc. (1400-1600), Giroth, Zenth Goroth, Szent Groth,
Gerersdorf (1600-1800), from 1800 onwards "Gerersdorf anders [otherwise]
Nemeth-szent Grot". Probably named after an early local noble
"Gyrolth"-family. In 1599 Franz BATTHYANY owned 20 houses in "Ghiroth", of
which 16 were deserted in 1608 (after the BOCSKAY rebellion). The Urbarium of
1693 names the following families: MARTH (7), ERNST, BAUER (3 each),
free: BOTKA Georg, KALDI Sigmund and Georg; Sllner: SCHNEIDER (2), JOST,
ROADL, KROBOTH, KOGLER; Sllner in the vineyard hills: FRISCH (2), BOGNER,
KAMEDLER, GROBOTH. On 17th January 1799, while digging a well, the well
digger Georg SATTLER (from Graz), 40 years old, and Katharina, 25 years old
wife of Jakob SPANITZ, were buried alive by the earth. Maria, 17 years old
daughter of Josef HAFNER, survived the accident. Notaries were Georg
KOLLARITS (ca. 1870, also teacher), EBENSPANGER, Alois KAKOSSY (1890), the
wife of Viktor ZAMBO (1909), Julius PACSAY (1909-13), Rudolf KIRNBAUER
(1913-14, died as a soldier in WW I), Andreas LUKATS (1914-30). 14 casualties
in WW I. Number of inhabitants: 1812: 734; 1832: 821; 1851: 790; 1870: 932;
1930: 789 Catholics, 10 others; ca. 1000 (!) Gerersdorf-natives live in
America (in 1930). Belonged to Kukmirn parish, became independent in 1789.
New church built in 1812. Catholic Priests (of Kukmirn parish): Johann
Christoph GRIM (1698), Ferdinand WAGNER (1754), Michael VOLNICS (1772),
Matthias HUTTER (1776), Josef KLEMENT (1783), Franz DOBROVITS (1788); priests
of Gerersdorf parish: P. Daniel BREZOVITS O.F.M. (1789-98), P. Barnabas
O.F.M. (1798-1806), Georg BARBARITS (1806-10), Lorenz ZIDERITS (1810-49),
Simon BIRICS (1850-95), Joseph KOLLAR (1895-1900), Johann TORMANN (1900-05),
Franz PATAKI (1905-17; killed by Hungarian guerillas in 1921, when he was
priest of Pernau), Johann HAIZLER (1917-30). Teachers: Georg ENGER (1768-75),
Matthias BERCZKOVITS (1795-1812?), Michael KOLLARITS (1832), Georg KROBOTH
(1846), Georg KOLLARITS (1871-77), Johann RUISZ (1877-1906), Franz FISCHL
(1906-11), Stefan MERSICS (1911-13), Adalbert KREM (1913-15), Johann KELLER
(1915-16), Julius HOLCZER (1916-17), Julius LANTOS (1917-19), Ladislaus
ZSITLIK (1920-30); second teacher in 1930: Jakob DUJMOVITS. (source: V+H Nr.

43) Steingraben
Ca. 3 km west of Gssing. Probably founded by Croatian immigrants in the
second half of the 16th century. Called "Bonnya" or "Bonya" and "Steingraben"
in the 17th century. Steingraben surnames as mentioned in the Gssing baptism
LUSICH. The Urbarium of 1750 names the following families in "Banya, anders
[= otherwise] Steingraben": MIKOVITS (3), BILOVITS (2), PAVITSITS (2),
16-17/1958); Number of inhabitants: 1812: 223; 1851: 250; 1870: 258; 1930:
253 (including 1 Lutheran); always been a part of Gerersdorf parish;
Teachers: Albert RUISZ (1876-78), SZALEK (1878-86), Josef SCHNIDERITS
(1886-1900), Franz MAYER (1900-01), Daniel OSZTOVITS (1902-04), Stefan NEMETH
(1904-05), Josef JAHRMANN (1905-07), Anton KALKBRENNER (1907-08), Irene
PEUSER (1908-30). (source: V+H Nr. 16-17/1958)

(Ed. Note: this begins the final series of Volksfreund articles written at
the turn of the century by Adolf Knigshofer, school teacher in Poppendorf,
and contributing columnist to the newspaper "Volksfreund". Extracted and
translated from the original by Adolf's great-grandson, our Austrian
Contributing Editor, Fritz Knigshofer.

Fritz writes: "I am starting to send you translations of the remaining five
articles from Der Volksfreund, completing my great-grandfather's stories that
dealt with emigration. This first article is from Der Volksfreund of 28 April
1906, page 8. As you will see, the event triggering this somewhat moralizing
article was the return from America of the Feiler family to their native
Poppendorf. Interestingly, as we already know from another emigration story
printed in No. 42 of the newsletter, barely half a year after their return,
the Feilers were once again on their way back to the United States."

Return Of An Emigrant Family.
Last Saturday [21 April, 1906], Josef Feiler returned with his family from
America to Patafalva (Popendorf), all in fresh spirits and good health. He
had spent several years on foreign soil, and came back to his old home
country not only with a tidy sum of money, but also rich in experience. One
daughter is married with a wealthy American, while the 13 year old daughter
not only speaks fluent English, but also accent-free German. Patafalva has
several inhabitants who speak English just as well as German. When they come
together in the inn, one can often hear English.

Our girls who emigrate to the West, mostly marry very quickly over there, and
very few among them will ever see their father's house again. Therefore,
while the departure from the parents is an emotional good-by, in most cases a
reunion will only happen up there, above the stars. Most of the young men, on
the other hand, promise their parents heaven and earth when they depart; as
soon as they are over there -- as one says, over the water -- the lad
forgets, over binges of eating and drinking, his poor father, his sorrowful
mother, and his promise, and .... soon the 17-18 year old writes the
following back to home: I have married this or that woman. When he must
show up at the draft [meaning: back at home?], there are already 3-4 kids
crying behind their parents, and if the military keeps him, then misery and
distress look in through the window. If, in addition,such a young family
fathers also become ill or lose the job, then they finally recognize their
situation and ask themselves: what have I done? There is no way out for such
a man, because it is impossible for him to come up with the money needed to
care for his dependents; thus he and his family remain left to their own

Everywhere you find such emigrants who have not even sent back their travel
money, let alone support the parents in their need. How can it be otherwise:
he has no friend who would warn him, while everybody says to him: come,
come, .... and the result is stuck-together, hung-together, money hard earned
yet easily squandered. Therefore, I would very much like to advise parents,
not to send their sons over the ocean at too young an age, unless they have a
proven friend or relative there, who is able to take the parents' place.
Rarely does one hear that this or that lad behaves well in the West. If he
arrives over there in bad circumstances, than nothing good can be hoped for
anyway; but even if he arrives with good intentions, one can safely expect
that he will also go bad, because bad morals, as will surround him, corrupt
the best man.

Therefore, please let your sons learn a respectable trade, because then they
will also find golden [solid] grounding here in their home country, and will
not be forced to grab the walking stick; even in America, not everything
which glitters is gold. (End of Article)

Gerry, it is ironical that despite my great-grandfather's admonishments as
expressed in this article, not too long afterwards two of his five children
also sought their future in the United States. First, Adelheid emigrated to
Milwaukee in about 1909, where she died barely three years later after
marrying and giving birth to two daughters. In 1914, Emery Ko"nigshofer
emigrated and settled in Allentown. He later owned a beer and wine store
there (the name of the store was something like "Jordan's"). Our relatives
from both branches (Milwaukee and Allentown) greatly helped us (the ones
whose lines had remained in Hungary and Austria) by sending parcels of food
in the difficult years after WW 2. I'll never forget this experience. Fritz

ZANEGG, HUNGARY (From Jill Johnson, )
The Burgenland Bunch is more than just a resource for information about the
beautiful region of our ancestors. It is also an important link to provide
answers about their place of origin too.

Nearly 2 years ago, my mother's first cousin put me in touch with a close
family friend who did not know where her TSCHIDA father came from in Austria.
He had come over as a little boy. I had been researching in the church
records at St. Agnes in St. Paul and had by chance made a photo copy of her
father's two marriage records. One record showed he was from ZANEK and the
other said ZANEGG. None of my maps or resources showed where this place was
located but other information on the records showed it was clearly in the
same general area as my TSCHIDA family from Pamhagen. She mentioned that
she had a cousin in Arizona who was working on the family history and had not
been able to learn the place of origin. I sent her copies of the records for
her to share with her Arizona cousin.

At the Burgenland Bunch picnic in Minneapolis in August, I was looking at
some books that Larry Zierhut had brought and realized that ZANEGG was indeed
a Burgenland village. He was kind enough to send me a copy of the map
showing where ZANEGG is located today in Hungary.

About a month ago, Bill and Winona Leitner joined the Burgenland Bunch. We
began to email and they asked about a TSCHIDA family member came to live in
St. Paul and that he was from ZANEK. I told them that ZANEK was actually
ZANEGG and that I knew where the town was located and that the two names were
pronounced exactly the same. Like good genealogists, they were skeptical of
my interpretation because they had a copy of the actual church record from
St. Agnes in St. Paul that said ZANEK. I shared with them that I had seen
several misspellings of Pamhagen in these church records and that it was
quite probable there was a mistake with the village name in the record they
had too. Yet as we continued to email about this, I finally realized that
their TSCHIDA family member was the same little boy that I had looked for
nearly two years ago. So I went back into my files and was able to pull the
church record from the first marriage for this man, clearly showing that
ZANEGG was his place of birth. The record Bill and Winona had was from the
second marriage. To find out where he was from required looking at both
records. Thus the mystery was solved. It turns out that the woman never sent
the information to her "cousin" in Arizona. That "cousin" turned out to be
Bill Leitner. It is a small world.

CASTLES IN HANNERSDORF & BURG (question from John Kornfeind)
<< You mention the ruins of a castle in the Hannersdorf vicinity with your
response to Gary Saurer of Fort Francis, Ontario. Do you have more
information? Where is it located? >>

Answer: I'm translating from "Der Bezirk Oberwart im Wandel der Zeit"
(Kersner & Peternell): "first mention of the village is in an Urkunde (census
of property) from the year 1406 as 'Samfolua' (Hungarian). The German name
Hannersdorf comes from von 'Heinrichsdorf'...

"the catholic parish church dates from the 13th Century, part of the building
walls mixed with Roman building stones and later Gothic from the 15th
Century. About 1522 there was much damage by the Turks. During the
Reformation the church was used by Lutherans. From this period are two grave
stones of the Lutheran Counts von Rindtsmaul from the years 1649 and 1654. On
the north side of the church one finds the remains of the walls of a fortress
castle incorporating marble lions from the second Christian century (des
zweiten nach-christlichen Jahrhunderts). "

Roman ruins were frequently used for later building purposes. Much easier
than quarrying stone. I assume this "fortress castle" was a defensive work
other than the one mentioned for the village of Burg which follows.

The village of Burg, which along with Woppendorf is part of Katastralgemeinde
Hannersdorf obviously takes its name from fortress or castle. Burg is first
mentioned in 1244. The text used in Burgenland high school history classes
shows Burg as an "old" defensive work during the Mongol invasion. The history
of this village is tied in with a fortress. Not known when they were built.
Called "Ovar" (old fortress). There was even a late Bronze age (1000 B.C.)
earthen wall fort. During Roman times there was a watch tower. In the 10th
and 11th centuries a wood-earth defensive wall was built in which remains of
a settlement have been found. Various owners (Counts of Chem, Andreas
Baumkirchner, Batthyany) added to the defensive nature of the village. Much
destruction in 1489. Today only a few ground works remain. I would guess from
this that all three villages were part of a defensive border network,
although my source is silent re any "burg"in Woppendorf, speaking only of a
an earlier "villa corradi". What I'm saying is that you won't find a castle
like Gssing or some of the other prominent buildings, merely traces of
walls, etc.

FOOD & WINE IN ILLMITZ (from the Minneapolis Star Tribune-courtesy Dale
The November 19, 1997 edition of the Star Tribune has an article calling
Austrian wines the "best kept secret in the wine world", but if you call wine
shops in the twin cities the response may be "Huh? We've got Australian
wines." Willi Opitz, a genial wine maker from the small village of Illmitz
(Burgenland) was named wine maker of the year in 1966 for his late harvest
vintage. He's produced a CD called "The Sound of Wine" that captures the
sounds of wine fermenting in his cellar. The motto on his wine posters is
"Life is too short to waste on bad wine." He named his signature red dessert
wine (a Blauburgender trockenbeerenauslese-definition-the late picking of the
dried grape berries ) Opitz 1 which did not please makers of Opus 1 in Napa
Valley (a Mondavi-Rothschild venture). The micro-climates of the Seewinkel
make many grape varieties viable. Opitz grows welschriesling, weissburgender,
Scheurebe, bouvier, blauburgender, gewrztraminer and grner veltliner. Over
500 other families have vineyards. Austria is the oldest wine-producing
nation in Europe dating back to 700 B.C. in the Burgenland.

In the Oct. 15,1997 edition is an article called "A Tale of Many Meals." The
staff writer's family were visiting Illmitz. Would their relatives keep them
well-fed? As it turned out, the more important question was whether their
family would ever stop feeding them. "Essen, essen, essen advised their host.
They already knew the American version of the Illmitz etiquette. "Eat, eat"
Johanna Nekowitsch Mollner always urged them at her dinner table in St. Paul,
MN. If any was left she would say "Don't you like the food?" Five thousand
miles away her sister Marie Nekowitsch Tschida urged her guests "Essen, essen
und essen." If any was left she would ask "Hast du das Essen nicht gern?"
(didn't you like it?)

EATING IN ILLMITZ (courtesy Dale Knebel -article by Star Tribune-Lee Svitak
Illmitz, a neatly kept village in Burgenland has one cemetery, one church,
two gas stations and a single main street but the 2500 residents can choose
from among 38 eating places. It turns out there is even more eating within
the homes. At the home of Franz Nekowitsch, the writer was served with a
traditional breakfast, thin slices of a variety of sausage, many cheeses,
Kaiser rolls, butter and jams. "Too early for schnapps", the host grinned as
he opened a bottle of his own wine. Franz, a former Brgermeister then took
his guests for a walk following breakfast stopping at the homes of various
relatives. First stop, Josef and Susanna Unger. Breakfast was again waiting.
Essen, essen, essen! Great ceremony and the wine cellar was shown. Bottles
were uncorked and juice and pop for the children. Next house, another
breakfast and Johann and Anna Neckowitsch were unhappy at how little was
being eaten. Once again wine glasses were filled and kirschwasser made its
appearance. After a visit to the nearby national park it was chicken dinner
time. Wine flowed. Come supper, "do you want to eat now or later", the host
asked. Later. To pass the time more family wine cellars were visited. Three
of them. With wine goes food. Two cakes. "Don't you like the cake?" The day
ended around a table with wine, platters of Wiener Schnitzel and a visiting
family silly with much food, wine and merriment. They had eaten well and
honored the family name. Burgenland hospitality had struck again!

Dale Knebel writes that he visited the Stearns County Heritage Center in St.
Cloud, MN, digging for more information on people from Eden, SD. The small
villages to the west of St. Cloud were some of the first settlements for
Burgenland emigrants who ended up in Eden.

SOUTH AMERICAN EMIGRATION (question from Dale Knebel)
Dale asks:<< With the use of the Wallern book, I find more people who went to
South America. Have you ever run across anything that explains that
attraction? >>

Answer: Yes Dale.This happened when the United States Congress passed laws in
the 1920's limiting immigration (the Dillingham Quota Bill of 1921, the
Johnson Act of 1924 and others). In 1923, Burgenland emigration to the US
reached a yearly high of 6,683, then dropped to 523 in 1924 (data from Dr.
Dujmovits, BG newsletter Sept/Oct 1998). Since they were barred or had to
wait to enter the US, Burgenland immigrants went to South America and Canada.
Prior to the great migration ("Auswanderung") to the US, some Burgenlnders
would go to South America (and other places in Europe and North America to
work for part of the year (no work at home)-they would then return home when
seasonal work was over. Ship passage (3rd class) was only about $15.
Dujmovits tells of this seasonal "arbeit" in his book "Die Amerika
Wanderung". It even continued during the heavy emigration period. Since there
was some previous South American experience it followed that, with US
restrictions, emigrants turned toward South America (mostly Brazil and
Argentina) and other places.

In previous articles I mentioned paprika as one of the cornerstones of
Hungarian cuisine. I was recently reading the book "Peppers" by Amal Naj,
Vintage Books, Random House, 1993. In the first chapter of this book the
author develops the history of this unique spice. Native to Brazil, it was
brought to India by early Portuguese traders. The Turks of the Ottoman Empire
later invaded India and besieged the Portuguese colony of Diu near Calicut.
They brought back the "Calicut" pepper (chile pepper-many varieties have
since been developed, both sweet and hot) which then went north with Ottoman
soldiers to their conquered territories in Hungary. From there it was
introduced to the rest of Europe. The story is that a Hungarian harem girl,
released from Turkish captivity in Buda (pest) when the Turks were eventually
driven from Hungary, returned to her village with some seeds and showed
farmers how to cultivate the chile pepper. Stronger than the more expensive
black pepper (the peppercorn or piper nigrum), it quickly became the spice of
the poor. Later sea blockades during the Napoleonic wars cut off the trade in
black pepper and other spices and forced the upper classes to take to chile
pepper pods as well. They were quickly won over. According to an Hungarian
saying "One may yearn for fame, another for wealth, but everyone yearns for a
paprika goulash." The area around Szged and Kalocsa has a micro-climate
particularly well suited to chile pepper production. In 1989 Hungary produced
62,000 tons of these peppers , most dried and turned into the powder called
paprika. By comparison the worldwide production of black pepper, which is
what Columbus was after when he stumbled onto chiles, amounted to some
200,000 tons. (G. Berghold)
Newsletter continued as no. 46A

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