Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 1999-07 > 0931435814

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Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 51A dtd 31 Jan 1999 (edited)
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 08:10:14 EDT

(issued biweekly by )
JANUARY 31, 1999
(all rights reserved)

This second section of the 3 section newsletter contains Comments Concerning
Email, notification of Web Site Help Obtained, articles on Church Names, the
Jewish Presence in Eisenstadt, Changes to A Burgenland Immigrant Enclave, and
Beginning Your Burgenland Search-Part 3.

In the last two months our membership list has been used by others to send
material to all members. One was vetted by me and advance notice was provided
through the newsletter, the other was not. Most recently some received a
"Scientific Survey" from Austria, of interest to some, unwanted by others.
This has caused some members to ask me to put a stop to such mail.

Unfortunately I can not do that as I have very little control over someone
using our email addresses. When you join the BB, your address becomes
available world wide through our web site and our distribution lists. Anyone
can copy them. This of course can result in your receiving junk mail or
unwanted correspondence. While I can take action to stop our membership list
from being used for commercial purposes ("all rights reserved" on BB
correspondence means just that) and will not provide it to other
organizations without informing the membership, I have neither the time nor
the desire to engage in legal or policing actions. Before doing that I'd
dissolve the BB and return to private correspondence.

Since the editors decide what will appear in the newsletters, we needn't
concern ourselves with unwanted material appearing there. Likewise if any of
our members engage in continuous and pervasive blanket commercial mailings to
the BB without clearing with the editors, we will cancel their membership.
There is often a thin line between commercialism and a service or product
that may be of value to Burgenland or genealogical research. As editor and
coordinator, I must reserve the right to those decisions, but please do not
be afraid to forward material to us which you think might be of interest to

I suggest you make judicious use of the delete button or use your email
server's address blocking option to control unwanted mail. I blocked a
particular server only to find that a number of potential members using that
server had been trying to reach me. As a result, I no longer block but
instead delete obvious junk mail without opening it. You may wish to do
likewise. AOL also provides a SPAM service in which they will take steps to
reduce SPAM from being sent to their members. Your server may do likewise. I
hope this clarifies the issue. While I'd like to tell you that you won't
receive any more junk mail or items in which you have no interest, I'm afraid
that is not possible unless we discontinue our web sites, our membership
lists and our distribution lists. If we do that, we destroy the BB.

Homepage Editor hap Anderson writes: "Gerry and all, I received two
volunteers to help with the BB web site ..... Dean Wagner ()
and Bill Rudy (). Dean has HTML experience and will start
immediately. Bill is still learning HTLM editing and should be ready to help
in March." Our thanks to both of these volunteers.

Norm Pihale () writes: << I'd like to have the
name of the Catholic church in each town that I have an interest in. For
Illmitz............Saint Bartholomew Catholic Church
Frauenkirchen......Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church
Wallern............Saint Matthew the Evangelist Catholic Church
Pamhagen...........Catholic Church of the Crucifixion
Halbturn...........Saint Josef Catholic Church
I believe these are correct. Is there any way to find the names of Apetlon
and Tadten churches? >
Answer: This is a little harder than village names. I have two sources of
church names; "Burgenland Kirchen Kulturdenkmler" (BKK-forwarded by member
Tom Glatz) which is a list of those churches which are considered monuments
or are "parish" churches, and the Bezirk books recently issued by Kirsner and
Peternell. Unfortunately, I don't have "Bezirk Neusiedel". Apetlon is not in
BKK and the phone book doesn't help but BKK lists Tadten as "der Erzengel
(Archangel) Michael". As far as I could check your list is correct. I don't
have Illmitz or Pamhagen. I'll run this in the newsletter and maybe someone
else can provide an answer.

I was copied on an answer to new member Aliza Sharon and was intrigued by the
historical connotations. Member Rabbi Avrohom Marmorstein writes: " (Aliza) I
saw your posting about interest in the Burgenland Bunch. You mention in your
posting that you are descended from Austerlitz, and Spitzer. As you may know,
one of the founders of the Jewish community of Eisenstadt was Abraham Spitz
(my g-g-g-g-g-g-g-gf) whose wife was an Austerlitz. Some of the Spitz
descendants became Spitzer.

If you have done some research on the subject, you are probably aware of the
book by Bernhard Wachstein on the old Jewish cemetery of Eisenstadt, and his
two volumes on the old cemeteries of Vienna, in which there is a considerable
amount of information about both these families. (I believe also quite a bit
about Gompertz, some of whom married into the Spitz descendants). The
Austerlitz family is also mentioned in Hock's book about the old Jewish
families of Prague.

Editor's Reply: Rabbi Marmorstein, Thank you for copying me on the above
reply. Could you perhaps comment on the establishment of the Jewish community
in Eisenstadt? Particularly with reference to the earlier periods....Spitzer
is also a name common to German Catholics in the south of Burgenland. I
assume this is due to naming conventions or the source of the name (a
dweller near the peak-of a mountain).One of our staff members points out the
Austerlitz name as being the name of Fred Astaire, one of Burgenland's few
emigrant claims to fame. I associate it with the village site of the
Napoleonic battle. I believe it was also the name of a noble family.... Best
regards, Gerry Berghold

Rabbi Marmorstein's Reply: As in much of central Europe, Jewish residence was
restricted in the Burgenland until the end of the 18th century, but those
towns which were privately owned such as Eisenstadt which was the property of
the Esterhazy princes, could make their own rules. When the Jews of Vienna
were expelled in 1675, gggggggf Abraham Spitz and his wealthier business
associate Samson Wertheimer arranged for them to resettle in Eisenstadt. This
enabled the Esterhazy's, who were a cultured and tolerant bunch, to enlarge
their tax base, and the displaced Jews to continue running businesses in the
Vienna area. The early transactions of the Eisenstadt Jewish community are
preserved in a published book "Urkunden und Akten das Judische Gemeindes
Eisenstadt." Around the same time negotiations were successfully concluded
allowing Jews to settle in Lackenbach, Deutschkreutz, Mattersdorf
(Mattersburg), Kobersdorf, Sopron and Frauenkirchen -these communities became
known as the "Sheva Kehillos" (-Hebrew word for Seven Communities). They were
extremely large and prominent throughout the 18th century and early 19th.
Later, because of the greater number of places where Jews could settle
legally, they declined in size and significance.

Burgenland Bunch charter member Sue Straw contacted me recently and her
questions set off a train of thought which ended up in this article. Sue
writes: << Hi, Gerry! I was amazed at the length of the Burgenland Bunch
membership list in the latest newsletters. You've really created a wonderful
research network for those of us who are researching our Burgenland
ancestors. Are you finding that you're related to all the other Berghold
researchers with ties to Allentown?

I had the chance recently to visit Allentown and Bethlehem when my son went
up to interview at Lehigh University. We drove past the enormous (and now
closed) Bethlehem steel mills. It must have really been something to see
when the steel mills were open and running. As we approached Bethlehem from
the south at night, we could see light spilling up from the valley. The
valley must have been ablaze with light at night when the steel mills were
all operating. (And the air must have been very polluted!) Large segments
of Bethlehem -- many neighborhoods -- seem to have built around the same time
(turn of the century, I'm guessing) to accommodate the newly arrived
immigrant families. Certain streets, judging from their width and location,
appear to have had streetcar lines to get workers to their jobs in the
valley. It must have been a bustling and energetic place at one time. I
found myself wondering what happened to all the people who lost their jobs
when the mills closed. Did Bethlehem and Allentown lose a lot of population,
or did people just turn to other occupations? Do the two towns still have a
strong German flavor or has that been lost as the immigrant generation has
died off? I did notice the Moravian influence (and schools) in downtown
Bethlehem, but the downtown area was clearly struggling to find a new
economic foothold. >>

Ed. Reply: Yes the BB has grown and I hope we can keep it up. Fortunately
we're getting a staff put together to share the burden. I have connected to
all of the Bergholds as well as some other formerly unknown distant cousins
and have also been fortunate in having some of the staff do some research for
my lines....

Is your son thinking of going to Lehigh? I'm a member of the class of 1957.
The wife and I were married in Packer Chapel. Except for the Coke Works the
Beth. Steel is gone. They're thinking of making a mall out of the plant and
leaving all of the structure intact as a museum. Eat a hot dog and see where
your immigrant grandfather wrestled with the output of the rolling mills! Not
a bad idea. In 1947, on an AHS school trip I was allowed to tap a blast
furnace (pushed a button which sounded a warning klaxon and detonated the
explosive furnace plug, causing a roar, a shower of sparks and rivers of
steel) . I've never forgotten the sight!

Allentown-Bethlehem is now becoming a new immigrant enclave, although the
small towns to the north (Northampton, Catasauqua, Egypt, Coplay, etc.) are
still some what Burgenlndisch. People are relocating to the Lehigh Valley
from the NYC and northern NJ ethnic regions like they did years ago, mostly
Hispanic this time although there are sprinklings of other ethnic groups
including Asian. Not too bad a commute to NY-NJ jobs with the new highways.
The Eastern European descendants of immigrants who replaced the Penna. Dutch
who replaced the English who replaced the Indians (3 or 4 tribes in turn) are
in turn being replaced by a new wave of immigrants. Different
cultures-different customs, no strudel or paprika, but Hispanics and Asians
have their good food specialties too! The Burgenland section of Allentown
(6th 10th, 11th wards) is almost gone. Most of the Burgenland clubs and
taverns have closed.

The city centers are also changing, like so many others, but late coming to
this region. Hamilton Street, (main street Allentown) is now pretty derelict
where once it was the place to see and be seen. I met my wife on the
escalator in Hess's Department Store at Ninth & Hamilton Sts. We both worked
there in the early 1950's. The finest clothing, with many helpful sales
people, well groomed shoppers, the latest in all department store goods,
afterwards a choice of fine restaurants, ornate movie palaces, ice cream
parlors or old style snack shops and taverns. A trolley or bus ride home to a
quiet tree lined neighborhood. How nice it was!

Now my old neighborhood (the North end) has many properties boarded up,
although someone just fixed up my family's old homestead (sold in 1982 after
78 years of the same family). St. Peters Lutheran, home church of many
Burgenlanders for 100 years has moved to the western suburbs and the old
church is now a mission church which has become a focal point of the new
neighborhood just as it was for the old, Spanish language church service
instead of a German one. Don't know if the RC Sacred Heart Church at Fourth &
Gordon Sts. has replaced their German mass with a Spanish one. When the new
immigrants become integrated it will all come around again. We relocate for a
better life style (perhaps we should re-think that) and it can still be found
in the Lehigh Valley. Some assimilation already. Lots of changes though.

As I remember it, no one seemed to mind steel works pollution, that smell was
the smell of money although when the wind was just right, the Coke Works
could be pretty pungent and the smoke would turn the snow and a clean white
shirt black. Mostly restricted to South Bethlehem. Mass transit service was
wonderful. A trolley or bus every 7 or 15 minutes, although I had to run to
catch the last midnight trolley from Fountain Hill to Allentown (15 cents)
when the wife and I were courting. Otherwise it cost $1.50 for a taxi. Cabbie
often said, "cheaper to get married".

The reduction in the Steel Works occurred over a period of time following
WWII, so the end didn't appear to be that shattering. Very few of the younger
descendants went to work at the Steel. Most found something better. My
immigrant Sorger grandfather was a brick laying foreman in the Open Hearth
Section, commuting by trolley from Allentown. It eventually killed him (heat
stroke); my father worked for the railroad. I went into the Air Force and
then college, worked for Dupont in Wilmington. Retired to Winchester.
Relocation story of many descendants of older immigrants. Look at the
addresses of our members. Many have relocated. The first generation immigrant
pays the dues, the second lays the groundwork, the third reaps the rewards,
the fourth continues upward mobility or takes it all for granted and the
fifth, who knows? One of my granddaughters (BA, Columbia 1998) is working for
a publishing house in NYC and living in Greenwich Village. From NYC Ellis
Island immigrant back to NYC in five generations, but what a difference in
life styles! Some immigrant families have achieved it in less.

We had a good life in the Lehigh Valley. Those ethnic neighborhoods were
little village enclaves. Shame it had to change, but change is the only
permanent thing and the new immigrants need their chance. Always a pleasure
to hear from you.

Newsletters 47 and 48 covered certain basic steps required for a Burgenland
genealogical search and No. 48 ended with an order of LDS microfilm to be
delivered to your local Family History Center. This tells what to do when
that film arrives.

Plan to spend a full day at the Family History Center and don't forget to
bring all of the tools and material mentioned in the last article. Upon
arrival at the FHC, ask a volunteer to show you where your film has been
filed. Take it to a film reader. If you have a choice (come early) pick a
comfortable spot, you'll be there a while. Check each film box with the pink
receipt copy you were given to determine if all of your film is available by
matching the numbers, film box to receipt. Select the film for the village
matching your ancestor's birth place. Load the film onto the reader; ask for
help the first time. Advance the film to the first frame. It should show film
number, German village name and maybe even Hungarian name, Megye and church.
Make sure it matches your receipt. Now advance all the way to the end,
stopping every so often to get a feel for the contents. Adjust the reader
lens for best magnification and clarity. Use your piece of colored paper to
see if it clarifies the picture better than the white surface of the reader.
You are now probably in a state of shock and sorry you ever started this
business! The image looks like nothing you've ever seen. A bunch of chicken
scratching in unreadable languages. Not to worry, it'll soon become clear. Go
to the very end of the film and look for an index. It'll be a
semi-alphabetized list of names and page numbers or dates. There rarely is an
index but if you find one, you are most fortunate and can use it to look for
your family names and records.

Now go back to the first frame. I'm going to assume you have a pre 1896
record. Post 1896 are civil as opposed to church records and they are more
complex. I'll also assume the data is not in script. If it is, advance until
the script disappears (abt 1840). If you must use a script record you must
learn to read script or find someone to do it for you. You are looking for a
heading that says "Taufen" (German) or "Kereszteltek" (Hungarian)- these
words mean (baptism). You might also see some variation of the words
"Geburt" or "Szlek" (birth). If you don't you might have "Verheiratet" or
"hazasultak" (marriage) and "Tod" or "halottak" (death) records instead.
(Latin headings may also be used). Advance the film until you find baptisms.
You'll also see a year, probably 1828 as well as a month and day in the left
hand column. There may be a sequential number in front of the date. This is a
record number. Ignore it unless you have an index. Let's assume your ancestor
was born in 1879. You are looking for the exact date and parents. Advance the
film until you find baptisms for January 1879. Let's assume your ancestor's
name was Louis (Alois, Aloysious) Sorger and he was born in Rosenberg
(Rosahegy), was RC and you know the RC's of Rosenberg went to church in
Gssing (Nemetjuvar) whose records you're now looking at (you found out all
this good information by following previous instructions). Now start looking
for a given name Aloysious or equivalents under column Keresztneve, born to
a Sorger (under column "atya"-or German "Vater").
Under Jan. 16, you find "Alois", born Jan. 16, baptized Jan. 16, father
"Aloysius Sorger" szul. (born) Rosahegy, a "figula" (potter) , mother
Julianna szul. (born) Tarfass in P-Mindszent, from Rosahegy. Looking closer
you find nr. 225 in front of Rosahegy, this is a house number, remember it.
The parents ages (eletkorya) are 41 and 33. There are also some names under a
column called "Kereszt Atyas es Anyai". These are the godparents. In the last
column you find the priest's name. Have this frame copied (see volunteer) or
hand copy everything you see. If the copy isn't clear, keep it as proof and
copy by hand for clarity. Mark the appropriate line with a high liter of some
sort. DO THIS FOR EVERY RECORD YOU FIND! If you don't you'll be ordering the
film again and again.

There may be more information on this record such as "standing (status)" or
occupation of the parents or god parents, sex of child, whether illegitimate
or not, even the dreaded X which means the child died. You can use your
dictionary later to translate all of this. FHC time is too precious to spend
translating. We have the start of a genealogical ball of string in our hands
and now is the time to unravel it.

We now know that Alois's father Aloysious was age 41 in 1879. This means he
was born between 1837 and 1839, so go to baptisms for 1837 and start
searching for him. Sure enough on May 17, 1838 we find Aloysius Sorger born
Rosahegy to Mathyas Sorger age 28, born Szt Miklos and Magdalena Horvath age
33 born Rosahegy. Since we don't have records from 1809-1811, we can't trace
Mathyas' or Magdalena's birth. But we've found two more generations. We might
trace the mother Juliana Tarafas, but we remember she was born in P-Mindzent
(we later find this stands for Pinka Mindszent, a village nearby-now in
Hungary and we eventually order film and trace it the same way).

Now, we must assume there were more children so we go forward nine months at
a time looking for the same parents from the same place, maybe the same house
number. We find three more a little over a year apart. Three siblings to add
our family!

Now lets go back a few years and do the same thing. We find an Aloysius
Sorger and a Seraphina Schleder who had five children all at nr 225 Rosahegy.
Must be our Aloysius because the age tallies as well as the house number.
What is going on? The last child is even named Aloysius! But wait, we find he
died on the same day he was born (a cross appears on his birth record or we
check the death records for that last child) and we then also find
Seraphina's death. Julianna Tarafas must be Aloysius' second wife. We prove
it when we find their marriage later in the Pinka Mindzent records. (The
film number is found by looking under Hungary- Vas- Pinkamindszent-church

Looking in the Gssing marriage records ("hazasultak") we find that Aloysious
and Serafina were married 13 Sep 1868. The marriage record also supplies
Serafina's parents and corroborates Aloysious' parents. We can't find a
marriage to Julianna (for reason stated above).

We've done well and we have another film (P-Minszent) to order, but it is
still early and we have the Gssing film for 5 more weeks. What should we do.
Well lets find all of the siblings and trace them forward for at least one
more generation. Lets link to other families by their marriage. Start with
Serafina and the Schleder family (mother name Terezia Vider). Eventually we
should also copy all Sorger records since Aloysious had many brothers and
sisters (while Sorger is not a common name we find this a large task and that
to accomplish it we must create a computer data base which groups by family,
using names and house numbers) and link them. Same with allied families. We
should try to find all marriages and scan all death records. In looking at
death records we find that Mathyas Sorger died at nr 225 Rosahegy, that he
too was a "figula" and that he was the son of "figula" Georgious Sorger from
Langzahl and Ursala Artinger from Inzenhoff! Another generation and another
family (Artinger) to try to link and more villages. We find that Georgious
died 13 April 1853 at nr 225 Rosahegy and that he was the son of Gyorgy
Sorger. Another generation. Since the ages were given on the death records we
even have an abt (about) birth date as well as "status-standing" and cause of

Before releasing the microfilm you should make every effort to copy the
available birth (baptism), marriage and death record for at least all of your
blood line family members.

Some other Hungarian words often used:
"a torvenyes atya"-the legal father, "lakohelye"-place of residence,
"szuleteshelye"-place of birth
"eletkorya"-age, "Az anya"-the mother, "haz"-house (number), "ideje"-date,
"nap"-day, "gyermek"-child, "nene"-sex ("fiu"-boy, "lany"-girl)

Member Margaret Kaiser advises that many of the words used in these records
are defined at:
The URL - http:www.bmi.net/jjaso - contains English-Hungarian-Latin
translations of Baptism, Marriage and Death Records. Anna Kresh has also
added the site to our URL list.

When you go home, enter the data you've found on Family Group Sheets while
it's still fresh in your mind. Computer entry can wait until you're
absolutely sure of your data. Test dates to see whether they make sense. You
may have made some errors.

What I've tried to do is show the logic behind searching these records. I
haven't supplied all the German, Hungarian, Latin terms. We have lists of
them in the archives and you can use your dictionaries. There are just too
many and some are of limited importance. You'll find that if you learn to
read one church record you'll be able to read all the variations. Your first
emphasis should be on dates and names. The rest will come with experience. If
you must use script, learn how to read and write your family names and
villages first. Once you start, you'll soon get used to reading the church
records. Hard at first but don't give up, you'll soon become proficient. Our
next step will cover the civil records 1896-1921. Gerry Berghold
(Continued as Newsletter No. 51B)

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