Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 1999-07 > 0931637166

From: <>
Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 58B dtd 31 May 1999 (edited)
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 1999 16:06:06 EDT

(issued biweekly by
May 31, 1999

This third section of the 3 section newsletter contains Announcement of a new
Homepage Addition, articles concerning Viennese Orphans Raised in Burgenland,
Burgenland Member Seeks Relatives, Passenger Ship Immigrant Data, Source of
Microfilm, Excerpt Concerning Esterhaza Palace-Eisenstadt, Zahling Emigrants
to Allentown, PA . The LDS is now on-line at >www.familysearch.org<)

During our last member poll, members unanimously mentioned our "village
historical series" as being their favorite newsletter articles. As a result
they have been our lead articles ever since. Burgenland editor Albert Schuch
has been kept busy finding and translating them for us. We've covered most of
southern Burgenland and we're now working on middle Burgenland. We've also
done a few of the northern villages. Bill Rudy, one of our homepage
volunteers, is now adding them to the "Village" page of the homepage. In this
way members (both new and old) and casual visitors can find them without
searching the newsletter archives.

If you go to the homepage and click on "Villages", you'll find some of the
village names in blue or bold font-these are hyperlinks. If you click on them
you'll be taken to the village historical writeups. While Bill has just
started adding villages (mostly Father Leser's southern series), it's our
intention to bring you all we have in the near future, time permitting.
Another addition in our continuing efforts to bring you quality data. Our
thanks to Bill for his efforts on our behalf.

You may have noticed that Gssing has been among the missing as far as the
historical village series is concerned. The reason for this is that we have a
lot of material on this village--now a city (Stadt); a few books full. We
will be getting to it, my translation skills permitting, in the future. It
may just be necessary to publish it in parts.

VIENNESE ORPHANS IN BURGENLAND (taken from correspondence between Margaret
Kaiser and Fritz Knigshofer)
Ed.-In scanning south Burgenland church and civil records one often finds
reference to the death of orphan children who were being raised by Burgenland
families. The records are usually identified with a large city name, like
Wien or Graz and a number. While infant mortality was high during this
period, a number of these orphans survived to adulthood and some obviously
emigrated. One might be among your ancestors. One such case, exemplifying the
value of raising such orphan children follows.

>From Margaret: "My family housed one of the children from Vienna. The
circumstances were that the authorities took new born infants away from the
mother when the child was illegitimate. These children became wards of the
state and were farmed out. The families that housed them received a small
stipend in exchange for the children living and helping on the farm. At
about 12(?) years of age or so, the stipend stopped. Then the child was to
return to Vienna, and begin to work I suppose. My great-grandfather and his
foster child from Vienna went together to the train station for the boy's
return trip. My great-grandfather decided at the train station that he
didn't want to return this child, and so he stayed with my family. This boy
knew of his mother (name) and other (younger?) siblings, but I don't believe
he ever met them.

When I searched the film with the matrikels of Felso Ronok (Hungary), another
remarkable point were the many children noted as born in other places, but
who died in the village. Often, there are more deaths recorded in the early
1890s of these "imported" children than deaths in the indigenous population.
Meanwhile, I have encountered similar cases in other villages of Southern
Burgenland (and neighboring Vas county), but the numbers for Felso Ronok must
be among the highest. Most of these children are listed as born to single
mothers in Vienna or Graz, perhaps orphans and/or children born to unwed
mothers, and many died as babies. I wonder why these orphans were placed in
the care of villages in what is now Burgenland and environs. After all,
these areas were parts of Hungary at the time, whereas the children came from
Austria. I am also curious how many of these children survived and grew into
adulthood. As I recall the Felso Ronok records, there either would have had
to be huge numbers of these allocated children, or else many of them did not
survive. I telephoned Fritz and told him of my (foster) greatuncle's
experience as a ward from Vienna. Fritz thought other BB's would benefit
from the sharing of my greatuncle's story. I wrote his daughter who updated
her Dad's family tree biography, and also shared some specific thoughts in
response to Fritz' observations. (The story of Margaret's foster great-uncle
follows as written by one of his daughters):

Leopold (Leo) Barth
Leo was born in Vienna, Austria on November 5, 1900, and his wife,
Hermine Sommer, was born in Coplay, PA, on July 6, 1904. They had five
children (including the author).

At birth, Leo, having been born to a 19-year old unwed mother, was
considered a ward of the City of Vienna, and instead of having
orphanages, there was a program whereby wards were placed in foster homes in
the rural areas of Austria. Johann and Teresia Reissinger Spirk were awarded
custody of Leo, and took him to their home in Felsrnk, Hungary when he
was only 10 days old. These children were subsidized in the foster homes
until they were 10 years old, but when Leo's time came to return to
Vienna, it was decided by mutual agreement with his mother, who by that time
had married, that he was to remain in the Spirk home. However, they received
no further compensation for him, and Leo earned his way by working for
Johann on the farm, because Johann's sons, Frank and Herman, had already
left for America.

Johann Spirk asked his son, Frank, to help Leo get to the United States.
Leo stayed in Felsrnk until May 21, 1922, when he too left for America,
via the Port of Bremen, Germany, on the ship President Fillmore.
Leo became a naturalized citizen of the United States. Frank had
advanced the money to Leo for passage to the States. Upon arrival, Leo went
to work as a carpenter apprentice at the Goldsmith Planing Mill in
Catasauqua, PA, which made it possible for him to repay his foster brother,
Frank, for the costs of the passage in four months time. A record of this
transaction was found while going through his papers after his death.

Notably, Leo worked as a carpenter in the building of the Hill-to-Hill
Bridge and the Globe Theatre in Bethlehem, PA and the Conewingo Dam (over
the Susquehanna River) in Maryland. All his life he was a very honest and
industrious individual. His work ethic was phenomenal. He was always
concerned that he "stole" a day from the Lord when he felt he had not
accomplished something worthwhile. His carpentry skills enabled him to draw
up plans when he built a second floor on their 3-room house on Montclair
Avenue in Bethlehem in the early 40's, and several years later when he built
a summer/hunting cottage in the Pocono Mountains at Peck's Pond, PA. Leo
worked as a carpenter until 1932 when he became Steward/Manager of the
Fountain Hill Beneficial Society at 1529 Broadway, Bethlehem, PA. (He
later served as Chairman of the Building Committee of the Society and
was its President from 1941 to 1945.) In 1937 he went into business for
himself asproprietor of Barth's Grille (bar and restaurant) at 700-704
Broadway in Bethlehem, PA, where he worked for 30 years until his retirement
in 1967.

When he retired, Leo and Hermine, moved to Rockland Street in Bethlehem. Leo
continued to be busy with his carpentry in his retirement. There are many
hand railings still in existence that he built mostly for relatives. It
bothered him when he saw steps without hand railings.

In spite of hunger in his early years and developing allergies from having
to sleep in the barn year around, he always credited Johann Spirk (his
foster father) for saving his life when he was young. Johann would always
make sure Leo drank from the milk pail before it was taken into the main
house. Leo always talked fondly about his "father" (Johann), the only
father he ever had. Since the "state" did not pay for his keep after the age
of 10, not much food was available to him. Times were very difficult, and
this is why Johann asked his son, Frank, to help Leo come to America. Before
Johann died, he wrote and asked Leo to see to it that Johann's grand
daughter, Maria be brought to America. Shortly before the start of World
War II, Leo sponsored Maria, and she came to live with Leo and his family.
Allergies and asthma became more severe in his later years, and eventually
resulted in heart damage which claimed his life at age 81.

(Daughter's notes: It isn't any wonder that these Viennese children died
young. They just didn't have the food. What there was, was probably taken to
market, and there was not much left. From what was said, and left unsaid. I
gather now, that I am thinking about it, perhaps the families had little
enough to eat without having to worry about feeding a foster child,
especially when they no longer received compensation, he was just an extra
mouth to feed. Imagine the cold and hunger he must have endured all of his
early years. As I told you before, Dad was a fanatic about us having enough
food to eat, even during the Depression. He had rather bitter memories of
his childhood, and rightly so. Thank God for Johann Spirk, or we would never
have known our wonderful Dad. In spite of just six years of schooling a more
intelligent or honest man one couldn't find.)

Most of our members are looking for Burgenland descendants of their families.
Not often do we find a Burgenlander looking for American descendants. Gustav
Schermann writes (translated) ()

Hallo Gerry Berghold, hallo Friends! Many greetings from the Burgenland
My name is Gustav Schermann, I'm 55 years old, born in Zahling number 27
(later number 20) A- 7562 Eltendorf, Burgenland. My deceased father had two
brothers who emigrated to Amerika between 1900 und 1920. One brother, my
uncle Rudolf Schermann lived in St.Louis, 8568 Drury Lann, 15 MO. Another
brother's (my uncle Johann Schermann) address is unknown. I only know that
he was a farmer and his wife Stefanie died around 1960. Perhaps he lived in
Milwaukee or also in St. Louis. My great wish is to find something of my
relatives and eventually contact and visit them. If possible, I seek your
help and remain with many greetings, your Gustav Schermann. (Ed. note: Albert
Schuch was able to provide some possibilities from the Soc. Security death

Almost every genealogist or descendant of immigrants wants to find the
details of how their ancestors came to America. Few realize that with the
advent of the "net" this is becoming easier. The following is a recent story:

Mike writes: Do you have any ideas on how I can find the names of passenger
ships that carried immigrants from Bremen, Germany to New York? The date my
grandfather sailed from that port was December 20, 1911, but I don't have
the name of the ship.

Answer:The LDS has microfilm of ships from Bremen arriving in New York. I
don't have the film numbers. You might also try one of the following (from
Anna Kresh's URL List):

o CIMO - Cimorelli Immigration Manifests Online
<http://www.cimorelli.com/vbclient/shipmenu.htm>; - find a ship by name, date,
port of arrival
o Hamburg Passenger Lists
<http://www.genealogy.net/gene/www/emig/ham_pass.html>; - list of microfilms
of Hamburg passenger lists (1850-1934) available for loan from the LDS-FHC
o Immigrant Ships
<http://www.fortunecity.com/littleitaly/amalfi/13/ships.htm>; - you may find a
description of your immigrant ancestor's passenger ship here
o ISTG - Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild <http://istg.rootsweb.com/>;
volunteers are transcribing passenger lists; the work is ongoing, with more
ports of arrival being added, and a new Resource Center is planned
o Liners of the Golden Age <http://www.powerscourt.com/liners/index.htm>;
o Ship Photos <http://home.att.net/~paul.petersen/ships.htm>; - provides
photos and data on our ancestors' passenger ships; fee: approx. $8.25 U.S.;
site contains approx. 100 print pages of passenger ship listings
o Ships to America <http://www.primenet.com/~langford/ships/shiplist.htm>; -
(in progress) index of Ship Passenger Lists to American plantations and

o Steamship Historical Society of America
<http://www.ubalt.edu/www/archives/ship.htm>; - Langsdale Library, Univ. of
Baltimore; over 200,000 ship photos; brochures, plans, ship books, ship
lookups; you may arrange a personal visit to examine files
o Transatlantic Passenger Ships
<http://ping4.ping.be/picavet/Waas_America_Travel01.shtml>; - information on
ships carrying emigrants via port of Antwerp, Belgium between 1830 and 1950

The following is also of interst: Father Alexander Berghold was a missionary
to Minnesota in the 1880's. He built a number of Catholic parishes and was an
author and poet of some note. He came from Styria in the vicinity of Graz and
returned there when he retired. He wrote "Land & Leute" in 1891. It's a
compilation of his travels in the US, Europe and the Near East. Included with
the book is a table of "Short Travel Routes". It appears to be an
advertisement for the North German Lloyd Steamship Line. It advertises "a
little less than nine (possibly six or seven days) Bremen to New York
leaving every Wednesday and Sunday evening (1890-91). It mentions that
passengers from Austria can travel as quickly from Bremen as they can from
Hamburg (obviously a shot at their competitor HAPAG (Hamburg American Packet
AG). It also lists the travel time from Bremen to Wien as 27 hours, and the
mileage from New York to various American cities.

Mike replies: Thanks for the great info you provided. I have 3 passenger
lists that were obtained from the National Archives and Records
Administration. Using the Cimorelli website I was able to verify where the
ships sailed from. I also used the website to approximate the date my
grandfather entered the U.S. I sent off for a passenger list for a specific
date and ship. I hope to find him on a list this time. Thanks so much for
the very valuable info!!!

In a message dated 99-05-12 08:50:29 EDT, you write: << If anyone knows of
another source for Burgenland church record films it would probably be
Gerry, so I am CCing him in on this. Maybe he has a suggestion. Gerry, also
US Census films - best source? >>

No, Burgenland church record film is not available (for purchase). If it ever
is, I'll buy a reader and order most of southern Burgenland. As it is now, I
have an FHC within a few minutes of my home.

The very best source of available microfilm (census, etc.) is:
o AGLL, Inc. <http://www.agll.com>; - Heritage Quest Magazine publisher; this
site in transition; will merge into Heritage Quest site; products, tools,
resource links, microfilm. They also sell readers. Write: AGLL (American
Genealogical Lending Library), P.O. Box 329, Bountiful UT 84011-0329. Tel.

DELIGHTFUL LITTLE BURGENLAND TRAVEL BOOK (continued from previous newsletters
and taken from the German-English travel book "Burgenland", authors Pflagner
& Marco, 1970, Frick Verlag, Wien.)

2. Esterhaza Palace in Eisenstadt. Having been built as a medieval castle in
1371, the palace passed into the possession of the Esterhazy family in 1622.
Count Paul Esterhazy made many alterations 1663-1672. He commissioned the
Italian master builders Carlo Martino and Carlo Antonio Carlone to give the
palace its present character. The four corner towers and the facade
decorations date from that time. The Eisenstadt sculptor Hans Mathias Mayr
created the 18 stone busts of Hungarian military leaders. In 1797 - 1805, the
palace was altered by the French master builder Charles Moreau to a more
classic style. He added the colonnade on the garden front and also the Haydn
Hall, which stretches over two stories.

On 6 June 1926 the weekly "Der Freie Burgenlnder" quoted from a German
newspaper published in Allentown ("Der Friedensbote"). This paper wrote that
the first Burgenlnders came to Allentown in the years 1889-1891. It gives
their names as: Franz DECKER (WOLF), Franz FANDL, Franz BANDL (LEITGEB), John
KOLOWITSCH and others, all of them coming from Zahling. A bad cucumber
harvest in Zahling was said to have been the reason for emigration. Many of
those first immigrants returned, many died, but some were still alive in
1926, like Joseph TRINKL, Franz UNGER, Joseph LAMM and Emmerich KOLOWITSCH.
(Note:your editor would like to find copies of the "Der Friedensbote"-if any
members from the Lehigh Valley can help-please contact me. As a child in
Allentown, Trinkl and Kolowitsch were names well known -G. Berghold).

for information about the Burgenland Bunch.

This thread: