Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 1999-07 > 0931520189

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Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 56B dtd 30 April 1999 (edited)
Date: Fri, 9 Jul 1999 07:36:29 EDT

(issued biweekly by
April 30, 1999
(all rights reserved)

This third section of the 3 section newsletter concerns articles about Using
Approximations In Genealogical Files, the Homepage, URL List, Austria &
Kosovo, an OZ Query Update, the Meaning of Family Names-Fandl Name, the
Distribution of Family Names-Berghold Name, and review of A Delightful Little
Burgenland Book.

I recently sent Fritz Knigshofer some Family History sheets from my
genealogy files. He responded with the following question which prompted me
to share my genealogy file dating conventions with the BB.

Fritz writes:<< 1. I wonder about the birth dates you entered ("approx.
1768") as we really know nothing yet, about the ages and places of birth of
the couple. (Mathias Aichorn and Anna Hierzinger) >>

Answer: Fritz you pose an interesting question. One of the things I do in my
genealogy files is enter an "about" birth date for any person without a
proven one. I do this by subtracting 25 years (the general span of years for
one generation) from some known date like the birth of a child or a marriage.
Sometimes I'll use 20 years for a female if something leads me to believe the
wife was younger. "About" is also used when we only have age at death (birth
date calculated from age at death frequently varies by as much as 3 years
depending on month born or estimate of survivors).

Likewise, if I don't have an established place of birth or death, I'll use
the earliest or last one I do have for the family. This allows me to put that
person's existence into some sort of perspective. With a file of over 2500
people, if I don't have at least one date and a location, I can have identity

This is a generally recognized procedure within most genealogical groups-the
abbreviations "abt" (about) or "bef" (before) or "aft" (after) being
recognized as approximations. Likewise, states or countries, without
accompanying provinces, counties or cities are recognized as educated
guesses. This procedure narrows the search area considerably and is more
often correct than not.

In the case mentioned, someone looking for data concerning the record knows
to look around Linz, Austria in the last half of the 18th century as opposed
to any other time or place. The year 1768 was calculated from daughter
Barbara Eichorn's known birth date of 1793 (she being the eldest known child
of that family in the file). One of the reports I can generate is a list of
what is called "end of line" individuals, people whose parents are incomplete
or missing. I keep this report handy when I go to the LDS FHC or wherever.
The approximate data then directs me to the proper time frame and geographic
area. It can be misleading but not often. It is also a good check list for
future research.

Use of these conventions is an LDS suggestion by the way, caused by the
advent of large genealogical computer files and the desire to eliminate as
many duplicates or redundancies as possible. If you send the LDS your
genealogy, they will not accept records without at least one date and
location. It is also of value (but not necessary) for the proper merger of
GEDCOM files (the way various genealogy software shares data). The reference
manual for LDS Personal Ancestral File Software (PAF) has lots of good
suggestions like this. I still use PAF 2.31 as my main system, although I
then GEDCOM this file to three other systems including Family Tree Maker
(Broderbund), Family Origins (Parsons) and PAF 3.0. I also copy it to PAF
2.31 on a laptop to carry to the FHC and other source locations. A little
computer "over kill" perhaps, but I'll never lose all the work done over
these many years. I also generate a pile of reports!

While getting info for one of our new members, I again reviewed the
Burgenland Bunch Home page as a periodic refresher, and I'm always amazed at
what new things I find there. I highly recommend to all BB members that they
review the BB Internet Links periodically. Recently I logged onto one of the
Internet Link web sites "Austria Today," an Austrian weekly news magazine, in
English, and found the following two interesting articles. They show how much
our U.S. politics effect Austria. This email is not in any way suggesting
that the BB newsletters be used to air political issues, but possibly we
could alert our members of an easy method to access "the other side of the
story" from the "Austrian" prospective. I plan to log onto the "Austria
Today's" web site each week for updates.

Austrian Relief for Kosovo Refugees Gathers Strength
The first Austrian convoys carrying aid for refugees from war-ravaged Kosovo
started in a steady stream towards Albania late last week, and the first of
the 5,000 refugees to be settled in Austria were expected to land in Vienna
on Thursday, 15 April. The first convoy was seen off by Chancellor Victor
Klima and Foreign Minister Wolfgang Schssel. The convoy headed for Shkorda,
where the so-called Austrian Camp' for the refugees was set up by Austrian
military personnel and other volunteers. The convoy comprised 65 vehicles
bearing relief supplies for the refugees who will be housed in the Austria
Camp.' Among the material carried in the trucks was material for a field
hospital and other essential goods. In related news the donation campaigns
initiated by humanitarian groups have collected close to ATS 100 million. The
campaign has been titled, Neighbor in Need.'

US Hikes Duties on Austrian Goods
New tariffs will cost Austrian exporters an estimated ATS 1 billion annually.
The United States has slapped a 100 per cent import duty on EU exports to the
US, which will cause Austria an estimated export loss of ATS 1 billion
annually. Austria will be harder hit than most other EU countries, and this
is being viewed by Austrian businessmen merely as punishment because Austria
had lobbied so hard for restrictions on gene-tech food. The measure, which is
set to take effect in June, is in response to the EU ban on imports of
hormone-treated beef, which is exported mostly by the US. One of the biggest
Austrian losers in this round of the on going US-EU trade war is the
motorcycle firm KTM, which says that exports worth about ATS 350 million
annually could be jeopardized by the new tariffs. Other Austrian companies
affected by the move are Lenzing (viscose fibre), Phillips' Austrian
subsidiary (hair-cutting machines), and makers of fruit juices, meat
products, jams and chocolate products....In the dispute over beef hormones,
the EU has banned the import of beef treated with hormones on health grounds.
The dispute has continued for two years without having been resolved. In the
meanwhile, some 90 per cent of American cattle producers have been
affected.....(end of extract)

Albert Schuch has been implementing our plan to use the query column offered
by the Austrian Oberwart Zeitung (Oberwart weekly newspaper). He reports:
"With today's edition, 8 out of the 14 queries I received from BB members
have been printed by the OZ. I am also happy to report the first answer
(below) to the OZ queries!!!

<< "Lynette Wolf" <> To: "Albert Schuch"
This is unbelievable!!! Today I received an e-mail from a Josef Wahrmann.
He is a descendant of Johann Wahrmann who was the brother of my great
grandfather Nikolaus. And my query was printed only two days ago!!!! And he
responded in English!!! Thank you so very much.>>

"Gerry, Thank you so much for letting us know about placing queries in the OZ
newspaper. After reading your March 31 Burgenland Bunch News, I sent my
information to Albert Schuch about wanting to contact descendants of Michael
Wahrman and Maria Pelzer. He translated it and sent it on to the OZ. On
April 21 he let me know the query had been published. I was not very
optimistic because in all my twenty plus years of searching, I have never
come across the WAHRMAN name but thought, "What can it hurt?" I had become
convinced that they dropped out of the sky and landed in Kansas. Lo and
Behold!!! two days later I received an e-mail from a descendant of Johann
Wahrmann who was the brother of my great grandfather Nikolaus. He lives in
Gols and his parents still live in Andau. I am so appreciative of all the
help you have given me. It is because of your help that I placed their
origin at Andau and I found the appropriate LDS church records. This is how
I discovered that Michael and Maria were Nikolaus's parents and who his
siblings were. As far as I knew, Nikolaus and his family were the only ones
to come to America. Who knows where this may lead!!

Ed. Note: I'm sure that Albert and the rest of the BB staff agree with me
when I say "It's results like this that make our BB efforts worthwhile!"

We are all interested in just how our family names were derived and what they
may mean. Various books on the subject of "onomastics" (the very inexact
science of names) are available and some have been mentioned in previous
issues. Two which I use are "German American Names", George F. Jones, 1990,
Genealogical Publishing Company, (12, 700 names) and "A Dictionary of
Surnames", Hanks & Hodges, 1992, Oxford University Press (70, 000 English
surnames derived from foreign sources). While these are of value,
unfortunately they only scratch the surface when dealing with names from a
genealogical microcosm like the Burgenland.

In a small area like the Burgenland, host to many migrations, languages and
cultures, names tend to develop in rather unique ways. For instance, I had
about a dozen definitions of the name "Berghold", most incorporating that
good German word "berg" meaning mountain or hill. The "hold" part was not so
simple and led to a variety of meanings, including a possible corruption of
"ho(e)lden or "hero" or "angel". I liked that one best, "heroes of the hill"
or "angels from the hill" having a nice ring to it and possibly an
aristocratic feudal touch. Alas, Albert Schuch, Fritz Knigshofer and others
convinced me I was day dreaming! In Styria (from where I'm certain the
Bergholds migrated to Burgenland pre 1690), "hold" means among other things a
small plot or shepherds hut. In other words a "berghold" can be a small hut
(plot) in the mountains, probably denoting a poor shepherd eking out a
miserable existence high in the mountains among the rocks and snow. So much
for the picture of a Berghold knight in armor sallying forth from his
mountain fortress, banners flying. Another local Burgenland definition (of
"bergholde") means "vine yard worker" (I like that one least of all, but must
mention that many of my ancestors had or worked in vinyards). Although I'm no
expert, I have a lot of fun looking for definitions of names, but it pays to
look and ask in the area where ancestors lived. You may well get a completely
different answer (and probably not the one you'd like to see).

The above name and many others incorporating complete German words or those
nice Slavic (Croatian) names ending in "its" or "ich" -meaning "son of", are
easier to define than those which are formed in other ways such as language
"sound shifts", "shortened forms", dialects, diminutives etc. The following
is an example of a name that may have been formed from a combination of

Mary Ellen Bell writes to Fritz Knigshofer: "You wrote me...with information
on WEISNER and FANDL family. I am wondering if you might know why so many
Austrian names end with "DL". Also does "FANDL" have a meaning like farmer
or blacksmith ?

Fritz replies: Unfortunately, I am an amateur when it comes to the
interpretation of family names. However, I believe the following might be
the answer to your question. The -l ending is the southern German diminutive
(dialect) form of names or nouns and belongs in the same category as endings
like -ila and -lein. This ending is used as the diminutive ending for words
in German from around Munich to Eastern Austria. In northern Germany, the
diminutive ending is -chen and variations of it.

Therefore, Fandl would be the diminutive or "intimate" ending for Fan. In
my opinion, the "d" crept in because the form Fanl for German tongues
automatically produces the "d" sound in between. However, I have no
convincing idea what Fan might have stood for, perhaps Stefan (the German
form of the name Stephen). Many family names were derived from intimate
forms of first names, such as the last name Zenz from the first name Vinzenz
(Vincent). Therefore, perhaps Fandl was derived from Stefan(d)l, a more
intimate (i.e., diminutive) form of Stefan.

I'll check your question with good acquaintances and friends who, I believe,
might know more about the subject. Will see whether your question rings a
bell with one of them.

(Ed. Note: the closest G. F. Jones comes to Fandl is Fandrich (ensign) from
Fnner, probably unrelated. I also wonder about the word "Vandal"-one of the
worst of the migrating Germanic tribes who came through the region, overran
Italy and Spain and ended up in North Africa! "V" in German is pronounced "F"
so could it follow that we have a more romantic answer? Lots of fun. Anyone
else have a theory?)

If you happen to have some family names that are not too common (don't try
Horvath), it might be interesting to check the Austrian phone books to
determine in which cities and villages the name appears. This gives you a
good idea about possible migration sites. I did this for the name Berghold
and came up with the following. By the way there are people who will do this
for a price; I don't know of any at present but check some of the genealogy
sites and our URL lists.

Distribution of Present Day (1996) Bergholds
Province & Number of Number of Berghold Families Listed in Phone Books
Styria 122, Lower Austria 8, Salzburg 7, Carinthia 1, Burgenland 2,
Vorarlberg 3, Tyrol 1, Vienna 20, Upper Austria 0; Total 164
(conclusion-Styria has to be point of origin-supported by other clues)

Villages (Cities)-with more than 2 Berghold families -all in Styria except
Bad Gleichenberg 7, Empersdorf 4, Fernitz 7, Gssendorf 3, Graz 26,
Hofsttten 3, St. Margarethen 3, Sinabelkirchen13, Vasoldsberg 6, Vienna 20.

list, Anna Kresh, editor)

o Austrian Family Names with E-Mail Addresses <http://email.findit.at>; -
online Austrian E-mail address book

o Austrian Telephone Directory <http://www.etb.at/>; - The complete online
Austrian telephone directory

o Deutsche Telekom AG <http://www02.teleauskunft.de/cgi-bin/tron.cgi>; -
German online telephone (and CD) book with Yellow Pages

o Infospace <http://www.infospace.com/>; The ultimate guide for finding
people, places, and things (some worldwide); includes Reverse Lookup (by
telephone or Fax number, area code, or e-mail address)

o Mtav White Pages (English) <http://www.matav.hu/matav-html/istart_e.html>;
- Hungarian Tel Service Provider (English version)

o Mtav White Pages (Hungarian)
<http://www.matav.hu/matav-html/istart_h.html>; - Hungarian Tel Service
Provider (Hungarian version)

When he's not attending to his many other duties, our Burgenland editor
Albert Schuch haunts used book stores and antique shops, looking for old
Burgenland literature. He recently found a German-English travel book
"Burgenland", authors Pflagner & Marco, 1970, Frick Verlag, Wien. It's only 5
X 4 1/2 inches in size, hard back, with colored photos of Burgenland sites
north to south. The front cover depicts a street scene in what may be Purbach
and the back cover depicts a stork's nest in what has to be Rust. Each of the
80 scenes is numbered with a description in German and later in English. A
pocket on the last page holds a colored pictorial 1:200.000 relief map of
Burgenland. My library has many fine Burgenland travel books acquired over
the years, but this one is really something special.

Albert generously gave me a copy when I met with him in Vienna recently. I
later discovered he had previously found another which he had also given
away. Just recently he wrote to tell me that he had found a third and that he
plans to keep this one in his library! I'm so pleased with this little book
that if it were still in print we'd arrange to make it available to BB
members. I plan to bring you extracts of all 80 descriptions under the title
"Delightful Little Book Extracts". I'm starting with the last which depicts
the southernmost boundary marker:

80. "The village of Tauka lies in a 'Ditch' of the Neuhaus highlands-the last
frontier post of Burgenland in its southerly Three Countries Corner; Aistria,
Hungary and Jugoslavia touch here. A simple frontier stone marks this spot."

for information about the Burgenland Bunch.

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