Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 1999-07 > 0931435986

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Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 54 dtd 31 Mar 1999 (edited)
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 08:13:06 EDT

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

A family tree can wither if nobody tends its roots
(these pithy proverbs are often received from members)

This first section of the 3 section newsletter concerns a Free OZ Service for
Finding Relatives, Data on the Middle Burgenland Villages of Deutsch
Gerisdorf, Pilgersdorf and Bubendorf , Hungarian Latin & the 1828 Census and
Different BB Member Categories.

BURGENLAND: (from Albert Schuch)

Your query will be printed free of charge by the "Oberwarter Zeitung" (OZ),
the oldest newspaper in Burgenland. Founded in 1879 as "Oberwarther
Sonntags-Zeitung" and relaunched in 1949 as "Oberwarter Zeitung", the paper
celebrates a "double anniversary" in 1999.

The OZ is a weekly newspaper, with 24 pages per issue, mainly read in
Southern Burgenland, to a lesser extent also in Northern Burgenland and
Eastern Styria. Selected articles of the current edition are always published
on the OZ-homepage <http://www.bnet.at/oz/>;

Decades ago, when the OZ had a large readership among the American emigrants,
Burgenlanders searching for "lost" emigrated relatives or friends had their
query published in the OZ. Now it will be the other way round. Since this is
a free service, it goes without saying that the OZ retains the right to
cancel it at any given time.

To get your query published, send it to Burgenland Editor Albert Schuch
<>, who will translate & edit it and forward it to the
OZ. Your query should be brief and to the point, and it has to include your
postal address. Please note that the number of queries per issues is limited
due to space reasons, so publishing may take some time. As soon as your query
is printed, you will be notified via email by Albert.

The OZ is also available for subscription, the annual fee being 432 Austrian
Schillings (ATS), outside of Austria plus surface mail. To keep the postage
at a minimum (9 ATS per issue; ca. 460 ATS per year), it is mailed without
the TV-program-supplement. For a first-time two-year-subscription, the fee is
630 ATS, outside of Austria again plus surface mail.

Methods of payment: A bill will be mailed to you with one of the first
issues. You can then either transfer the money, or send a check. Payment is
in ATS or USD. (Current exchange rate: 1 USD = ca. 12.5 ATS) BB-members who
wish to subscribe please send your order (with mailing address) to Burgenland
Editor Albert Schuch <>, who will forward it to the OZ

Taken from Josef LOIBERSBECK: "Um Pilgersdorf und Kogl" (translated extracts
from: Volk und Heimat, 1961, # 8 - # 15/16) [including: this issue
Deutsch-Gerisdorf, Pilgersdorf, Bubendorf, later issues Salmannsdorf,
Redlschlag, Kogl, Lebenbrunn, Steinbach.] These may have been sent directly
to some of our older members.

21 farmers lived in Gerisdorf in 1519. Some of their family names are
mentioned: 2 PUFF, 1 STYFTER, 1 GROFF, 2 KALMAN, 1 WARGA, 1 AROS. Gerisdorf
was then "governed" by the "Richter" of LOCKENHAUS. In 1528 Gerisdorf had its
own Richter, Johann KALMAN, who was also Richter of BUBENDORF and
SALMANNSDORF. In 1597 only 17 farmers are listed for Gerisdorf. Names
mentioned are Gaspar KELEMEN, Andre KIS, 4 SCHERMANN, 2 KOGLER, 2 KOGER, 1
STIFTER. In 1605 Gerisdorf was looted and torched during the
Bocskay-rebellion. In 1608 13 farms are mentioned, only one of them has not
been burned in 1605, and only two of those burned have started rebuilding
their houses. The 2 mills seem to have been left unharmed too (in 1605). In
1639 we have 27 farmers and 2 "Sllner", in 1661 around 40 farmers and 2
Sllner. Names mentioned (1661) are EPIT, JANOS, CLEMEN (KELEMEN), and 5
SCHERMANN. Domain owners in this area (ruled from the LOCKENHAUS castle) were
the noble families KANIZSAY (until 1535), then NADASDY (until 1675), and from
1676 ESTERHAZY. The NADASDY were Lutherans until 1643, when Count Franz III
became a Catholic again. This meant that the inhabitants of his domain had to
return to the Catholic faith also. The (r.c.) Canonical Visitation of 1697
reports that there is no church in D.G., but that they have a bell fixed in a
kind of a wooden tower. In the following years the Kuruzzen-uprising and a
plague-epidemic may have caused some casualties, but in 1720, 40 families and
2 mills are still reported.
In 1733 the community erected a wooden chapel, which was replaced in 1836 by
the (still existing) church (Holy Trinity). School teacher Franz WENINGER
wrote (1836) that 64 families have contributed to the building of the church.
D.G. continued to belong to the parish Pilgersdorf. A book published in 1833
reports 444 inhabitants. The school is said to be in existence since around
1767, the name of the first teacher is remembered as Johannes SCHERMANN. In
1860 Count STRACHWITZ built a small factory where copper ores from Glashtten
bei Schlaining and from Redlschlag were melted. The coal came from Bubendorf.
The inhabitants of D.G. profited by carrying out transports. By 1875 Count
STRACHWITZ was bankrupt and shot himself. This of course was the end of the
smelting business. In 1873 a new school house was built. Teachers were
1883-85 Ferdinand FLUR, 1886-1917 Josef SCHEDL, 1917-50 Nikolaus SCHERMANN,
from then on Gustav THURNER. Statistical data: 1836 - 465 inhabitants; 1896 -
69 houses, 351 inhabitants; 1900 - 71 houses, 354 inhabitants; 1910 - 67
houses, 343 inhabitants; 1933 - 347 inhabitants; 1934 - 332 inhabitants; 1951
- 67 houses, 286 inhabitants (of these 218 worked in the agricultural
sector); 1960 - 70 houses.

PILGERSDORF (V+H 9-10/1961)
North of D.G.; first mentioned in 1225 as "villa Pylgrim"; in the times of
the Gssing quarrels (late 13th century) the castle of "Pilgreimsdorf" was
taken by Duke Albrecht (of Hapsburg); from around 1390 P. was owned by the
noble family Kanizsay, 1447-88 they rented it out to the family
von-Pottendorf, the owners of Kirchschlag and Krumbach (both in Lower
Austria); in 1535 P. (and the whole domain Lockenhaus) came under the rule of
the noble family Nadasy by way of marriage; a report of 1528 counts 26
farmers in P., 8 of them were 'libertini', i.e. 'freed men' - this means they
don't have to give money and/or agricultural goods to the domain owner, nor
do they have to work ("robot") for him (on his fields); usually one could
become a 'libertinus' by paying a large sum of money to the domain owner In
1528 Martin MOLNAR was "Richter" (kind of a mayor) of Pilgersdorf. In 1597
Martin REISNER was Richter, and the village was inhabited by 29 farmers and 7
"Soellner" (people without farming land).

The NADASDY family (the local aristocrats) was pro-Lutheran, so from 1596
onwards Lutheran pastors like Benedikt PYRUS, Veit ALTENMARKTER, Matthias
active in this area. (As said in part 1, the NADASDY returned to the Catholic
faith in 1643.) Several exiled Lutheran noblemen who had to leave Styria in
1629 settled in this area. They 'rented' villages or parts of villages from
Count NADASDY. Names of these Styrian/Carinthian aristocrats are: Sigismund
SPEIDL, Bartholomaeus Mensdorff, Sigismund HOHENWARTH, Karl PREINBERGER,

A document ("Urbar") of 1661 lists around 40 farmers. Among these were: 3

The "Visitation" (kind of a church inventory for a whole church district) of
1697 mentions a church made of stone, consecrated to Holy Aegidius (Egyd). A
house for the priest does exist, but at this time the teacher lives in it.
The priest, a monk, lived in the monastery in Lockenhaus. A school house also
does exist, but it is not used (in 1697). In 1720 28 farmers and 16 "Sllner"
are counted in P. In 1731 twelve inhabitants still were Lutherans, in 1780
ten. Catholic church records started in 1720 (baptisms) and 1758 (weddings,
deaths), but were destroyed during the great fire of 1855. Probably in 1789,
but definitly in 1804 Kogl became a parish of its own (including Lebenbrunn).
In 1807 the Catholics of Redlschlag were added to the Kogl parish (formerly
they had also belonged to the P. parish).

In 1820 the monastery in Lockenhaus ceased to exist. Already from 1801-1821
P. had had a priest who was no monk, this was Paul HAFNER. His successors
were 1821-1838 Josef Nepomuk Johann HESSE (from Prague), 1838-54 Josef KISS,
1854-74 Franz POPP (from Lockenhaus), 1874-88 Michael SCHLAMADINGER, 1888-95
Vinzenz PEHAM (from Pinkafeld). From 1917-21 Anton KNCZL was priest. He was
pro-Hungarian (wanted the Lockenhaus-area to stay a part of Hungary), so he
went to Kszeg (Gns) in Hungary in 1921. His successors were Stefan PORITS
(1922-35) and Josef WOHLMUTH (1935-51) ...

A wooden school house is reported in 1780, in 1815 mentioned again as very
well built, in 1858 it was enlarged. In 1928 a new school house was built.
Known names of teachers in P. are: Johann GREINER (1652; from Nrnberg,
Germany); Johann Michael PLZ (1769-1815; from Litzelsdorf); Johann FRSATZ
(1815-1836; from Rohrbach); Josef LEHNER (1836-1887), Josef EKAMP
(1887-1903), Johann HOLZER (1903-17); Rupert WENINGER (1918-38), Josef
WIESINGER (from 1938 onwards) "Kreisnotar" (this is a civil servant, his name
may appear on civil documents) were: SZENTGYRGYI (1874-86), Josef KOFALVI
(1892-1921), Stefan FARKAS (after 1923); in Austria the "Kreisnotar" was (is)
called "Oberamtmann" A post office does exist in P. since 1870. First
telephone was installed in 1921, in the same year a police
("Gendarmerie") station was opened. Electricity was provided for some houses
from a local mill after WW I, in 1950-51 for the rest of the village.
Statistical data: 1833 - 68 houses, 621 inhabitants; 1842/43 - 712 inh.; 1863
646 inh.; 1896 - 113 houses, 625 inh.; 1900 - 116 houses, 637 inh., among
them 4 Jews; 1910 - 118 houses, 604 inh. (5 Jews); 1923 - 638 inh. (2 Jews);
1934 - 642 inh.; 1951 - 125 houses, 620 inh. (of these 428 worked in the
agricultural sector)

BUBENDORF (V+H 11/1961)
The village B. lies southwest of Pilgersdorf, on the slopes of several hills.
First mentioned in 1390 as "Lachofalva", in 1397 "Latorfalu" (a Hungarian
name), etc... The "Urbar" of 1672 calls it "Puebendorff". B. is said to have
suffered during the Turkish siege of Gns (Kszeg) in 1532 and during the
Bocskay-uprising in 1605. Like all neighbouring villages, the inhabitants
became Lutherans, soon after the domain owners (NADASDY) had done so ... In
1649 the village was rented out to the Styrian lord Friedrich Sigismund
SPEIDL. An "Urbar" of 1661 counts 13 farmers and 2 "Sllner". The "Urbar" of
1672 reports still 13 farmers and 6 "Sllner". Another 2
"Sllner"-houses are deserted. During the 'kuruc'-uprising of 1704-1709 the
village has been looted (this applies to the whole area). In 1720 B.
consisted of 24 farms, 10 "Sllner"-houses and 1 mill. The wooden chapel
(Saint Anna) was replaced by a church in 1812. After a great fire in 1866 the
inhabitants obviously thought it safer to exchange St. Anna for St. Florian
(prayers to this saint were and are said to prevent fires). The
copper-smelting-business in Deutsch Gerisdorf (of count STRACHWITZ) has
already been mentioned. The coal used there came from a mine near Bubendorf,
which was exploited from 1860 onwards (for several years). 60 miners from
Bohemia are said to have worked here. (this number seems a bit exaggerated to
me!) In 1874 the village got its own cemetery. A school house was built in
1918. (article says 1819, but in view of the context this appears to be an
error) Before this, the children went to school in Pilgersdorf. From
1918-1957 Julius HOLZER was teacher, from then onwards Rudolf TATALIN.
Mentioned "Richter"-names are: Paul PUHR (1597), Andreas PETZ (1673) and
Michael PUHR (1890). Electricity was first provided in 1950. Statistical
data: 1822: 49 houses, 306 inhabitants; 1842: 346 inh.; 1863: 325 inh.; 1896:
57 houses, 328 inh.; 1900: 61 houses, 324 inh.; 1910: 61 houses, 316 inh.;
1923: 305 inh.; 1934: 305 inh.; 1951: 59 houses, 272 inh. (173 of these
employed in the agricultural sector)

HUNGARIAN LATIN & 1828 CENSUS (Gerry Berghold & Fritz Knigshofer)
Many of our members realize that early Hungarian records, both church and
civil use numerous Latin words. Latin was for some time the "official"
language of Hungary. (considering Hungarian language problems, this isn't
surprising) and of course the church. Latin; however, like all languages
varies according to time and place. A Latin word or phrase used in England or
Germany for instance can differ considerably as to exact meaning. The
definition in 1900 can difffer substantially from that in 1750, etc. Likewise
when using an English-Latin dictionary as compared to a German-Latin or
Hungarian-Latin one, we can be misled as to true meaning. If you wonder why
some of us agonize over the meaning of certain words found in Burgenland
records, this is the reason. As an example, the 1828 Hungarian Land Census
(available from LDS microfilm) uses Latin headings exclusively. Martha M.
Connor* (see end of article for items she can furnish), translator of many of
these census records had the headings translated by a professional who for
reasons quoted wouldn't guarantee his translations.

Recently Fritz Knigshofer addressed this probelm in the Budapest Library. He
writes: Subj: Re: occupations - Latin
Last Saturday, I had a few hours in the Szechny Library in Budapest and
used the opportunity to check the Latin dictionaries in the reference section
there. These are the holdings I found:
[1]"Glossarium Mediae et Infimae Latinitatis Regni Hungariae" (glossary
of middle and earlier (?) Latin in the kingdom of Hungary), by Anton Bartal
(Ed.), Teubner, Leipzig, 1901.

[2]"Lexicon Latinitatis Medii Aevi Hungariae" (lexicon of middle-ages
Latin in Hungary), by Jnos Harmatta and Ivn Bornkai (Eds.), Akadmi ai
Kiad, Budapest, 1987 and following.This is in several volumes, of which the
issues up to the letter H have been published so far.

[3]"Glossarium Vocum in Politicis ac Juridicis negotiis" (glossary of
[the language] spoken in political and legal affairs), by Antal Szirmai,
Cassova (Kosice?), 1801.

[4]"Dictionarium Latino-Hungaricum et Hungarico-Latino- Germanicum," by
Priz Ferenc Ppai, Budapest, 1995.

[5]"A Latin nyelv Sztra" (dictionary of the Latin language), by Dr.
Henrik Finly, Budapest, 1884.

Of these books, [1] and [2] are clearly erudite terminological books, while
[4] and [5] are dictionaries. Number [3] is a slim volume whose importance
stems, I believe, from its early publication date and the suggestive title.
What do these books say about the word "carnifex"?

Number [1] defines the word as "lanius qui carnes vendit et facit" (butcher
who sells and produces meat). The Hungarian equivalents are given as
mszros and hentes, German "Fleischer," i.e., butcher in English. No other
meanings are provided.

Number [2] states the meanings as follows: (1) bak, hhr, kinvallat;
meaning hangman, executioner, or torturer; (2) hhrlelk, gyilkos; which I
translate as "execution-style murderer"; and (3) mszros, hentes; which we
already had as meaning butcher.

Numbers [3] to [5] translate the word only into the meaning of hangman or
executioner, with the Hungarian words hhr, hengr, brtn (prison-ward),
and bak.

As you can see, we have no clear answer from these Latin dictionaries!
Interestingly, the Latin word lanius translates to executioner as well,
besides the (more common?) meaning of butcher. I think it still remains most
likely that the term in the records of Nemet Csencs referred to the meaning
of butcher or perhaps knacker/flayer as Albert has suggested. If you can
follow the related person into one of the periods where the Hungarian
language was used for entries, then you might find the pastor's Hungarian
equivalent for his use of carnifex in Latin.

*(certain Hungarian counties -megye, including Moson, but not Vas or Sopron
are available for $25 plus $3.00 postage each from Mrs. Martha Connor, 7754
Pacemont Court, Las Vegas, NV 89117). She can also furnish a "Book of Cities"
-all of the cities named in the 1828 census, 52 counties, for $15. Mrs.
Connor has been working on this particular census for many years and is the
acknowledged expert. For those who may not know, this census arranged by
villages within megye, names only heads of households, their holdings and
assets, number of persons in the household by type and value for tax purposes.

As I'm contacted by people wishing to be members I can't help but reflect on
the various categories of Burgenland immigrant into which they fall,
descendants of and/or immigrants from the mid 1800's, 1890's to 1914 first
wave, 1918-1924 second wave, emigrants to Canada and South America when US
quotas were established, refugees from the 1938 anschluss, post WWII
emigrants (the 1950's wave) and now a descendant of some who migrated to
Hungary and in turn migrated to the US as a result of the cold war. Truly the
Burgenland "auswanderung" has many aspects; however descendants now all seek
the same thing, a link with the "Heimat". The Burgenland Bunch was founded to
help find that link.

Our new member writes: Hi, It is an answer to a prayer to have discovered
your group. I won't bore you with the details, but I'm searching for my
grandmother's background. Her name was Eleonora Oswald, married Ignc
Horvth. Either he or her or both were from Vasvrsvr. I'm ashamed to
admit that I have no idea of their birth dates, but judging from my father's
birth year, 1908, and her wedding picture, she must have been in her early
20's at her marriage. That could make her date of birth around 1885-1888.
Her husband, Ignc, seem to have been a few years older, he was a cantor,
teacher and also composed church music. He died young, when my father was
just a baby, probably around 1909 or so. My father was an only child, he has
passed away also, so it would be wonderful to find out something about the
family. There is one more bit of information, my grandmother's parents had
some kind of a business there. Thank you for your help, Jolan E. Fagerberg

<< Hi, this is my second letter tonight. I was so excited to discover you,
that I did not give you the proper information....The names I'm researching
are: Oswald (or Oszwald) and Horvth. The town the were from originally
was Vasvrsvr:, now Rotentrum an der Pinka.in the Burgenland Province,
southeast of Oberwart. They did not emigrate, I did from Hungary in 1956. I
would very much like to join your group. My E-mail address is
. >>

Reply: Thanks for your note. A number of Oswald and Horvath names are still
found in the Rotenturm phone book, but don't get excited as I'm sure you know
these are common Burgenland names, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are
related to you since you are sure your ancestors were from there. Rotenturm
is in Bezirk Oberwart just southeast of Oberwart off of route 63. It includes
the villages of Siget in der Wart and Spitzzicken. Population 1993, 1430, no.
of houses 549. Brgermeister in 1993 was Franz Pomper.

First mentioned in a Schenkungurkunde (deed of gift) from King Ludwig in 1355
as the village of "Weresuarfelde". Present name comes from Berthold II von
Ellerbach 1456. Came into the possession of the Erdody family in 1613.
Schloss Rotenturm built 1862-66 by the Erdodys. Restored 1977, park created
around it in 1995. Church is the Pfarrkirche "Allerheiligen" (all saints)
started in 1489, but present building dates from 1779, restored often. The
Pinka river flows from Austria into Hungary and eventually joins the Raab. I
have maternal ancestors from the village of Pinkamindszent along the Pinka in

(181) ROTENTURM AN DER PINKA / (Hungarian name-VASVRSVAR)-rc church+
EISENZICKEN (147), OBERDORF (175); lu to OBERWART (177)
Famed for its red tower as its name suggests. ROTENTURM-("red tower")-a
"schloss" built over an earlier (1334) moated castle. The church reords
1828-1896 and civil records 1896-1921 are available as LDS microfilm (from
any Family History Center located in any Mormon Temple-see phone book) nos.
0700751-2, 0700630-637. (I closed with the usual-Welcome to the Burgenland
Bunch etc...).
(Newsletter continued as 54A)

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