Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 1999-07 > 0931637636

From: <>
Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 59A dtd 15 June 1999 (edited)
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 1999 16:13:56 EDT

(issued biweekly by
June 15, 1999

This second section of the 3 section newsletter is the fifth installment of
The Teklits Translation of "Volk an der Grenze ..." (People on the Border),
the history of the Croatians in Burgenland, written by Johann Dobrovich. We
are bringing you most of this book in serial form. Chapters 19 through 20
are included in this issue. They explain the linguistic differences of the
Croat immigrants and how they may be used as a clue to origin in Croatia. You
may wish to look for your village.

by Johann Dobrovich, translated by Frank Teklits
(with assistance of Albert and Inge Schuch)
printed via email by permission of the publishers

Chapter XIX - Immigration of Croatians into Today's Burgenland
There always was a connection between the Turkish attacks and the migration
of the fleeing Croats. The main migration into our cramped homeland lasted
from 1515 to 1579, as we know today. Since three Croatian municipalities had
scarce German majorities around 1579, and many new family names emerged as of
this time, we can assume that the migration was not completed in the year
1579. The so-called "Walachs" settled in the areas of Schlaining, Rechnitz,
and Rotenturm in the second half of the 17th century.The Croatian author Mate
Ujevic wrote about the Migration of the Croats in his book "Gradiscanski
Hrvati","The Croatian farmers left their old homeland in such large
quantities that some Croat areas were void of inhabitants. This fact caused
the Croatian Aristocrats to take a stance against the migration of the
Croatian farmers into Austria and Hungary. In 1532 the Croatian Aristocracy
complained to King Ferdinand about the Hungarian, Styrian, and Austrian
domain owners, that they were enticing Croatian farmers to emigrate, leaving
White Croatia without protection. In 1535, the Croatian Parliament assembled
in Topusko and selected two emissaries from their midst, Johann Tumpic and
Michael Budisic, to present the complaints and demands of the Parliament to
the King. The most serious complaint consisted of the allegation that the
Aristocrats of Krain, Austria and Hungary sent messengers to Croatia,
tempting the Croatian farmers to leave their homeland and to emigrate to the
domains of Krain, Lower Austria or Hungary. The Croatian Parliament requested
the King to prohibit further relocations and arrange for the already
resettled farmers to return to statute labor farming.The protests of the
Croatian Aristocrats and State Parliament were not successful for the time
being. When the emigration did not stop and the Turks oppressed Croatia even
more strongly, the King and the Hungarian Parliament decided in 1550 that the
migration of the Croat serfs would be permitted if they (the subjects)
desired. The Domain owners, under the threat of punishment prescribed by law,
could not detain the emigration of any serfs. Contrary to the continuous
petitions of the Croatian Aristocracy until the end of the 16th Century, the
Croat emigrants did not return to their old homeland."Croat sources testify
that the first inhabitants left the Croatian coastal country of their
homeland, namely from the areas of Senj (Zengg) up to Obrovac, particularly
however from the plains of the rivers Lika, Gacka, and Krbava. The move began
in 1522 and continued until 1527, after which the situation quieted down. The
Turks left these areas in peace for a while because the magnates of the
region, Frangepani and Zrinyi paid them tribute. We find traces of these
emigrants in Trausdorf an der Wulka, Purbach, Schutzen am Gebirge, Oslip,
Apetlon, and Illmitz.

The causes of these first migrations to the north were the repeated attacks
of the Turks on the Croatian coastal country. The painful wounds from the
defeat at Krbava had not yet healed when the Turks began to invade this
region again. They conquered the fortified locales of Knin and Skradin in
1522, and Ostrovica in 1528. Because the Hungarian King Ludwig II could not
send any "soldiers or money (Ducaten)" due to (being in) difficult
circumstances, the inhabitants of the Croatian coastlands were on their own,
and flight was their only way to avoid being killed or taken into slavery by
the Turks. The defeat at Mohacs on August 29, 1526 was momentous not only for
Hungary, but also for Croatia. On hearing the bad news concerning Mohacs, the
inhabitants of Croatia, and particularly those from Slavonia were overcome
with a great anxiety.

Everyone thought of fleeing as they anticipated that the Turkish Emperor
Soliman would destroy everything upon his return. We must understand that
many Croatian refugees arrived in Oedenburg already by the ninth day after
the disaster of Mohacs. It is safe to assume that a part of these Croats
settled in Siegendorf and Baumgarten.

Total confusion reigned in Croatia, when the Croatian magnates selected the
Austrian Archduke Ferdinand to be the King of Croatia on January 1, 1527, but
the Slavonian aristocracy and the Hungarian magnates chose Johann Zapolya to
be King. This duplicate election plunged the country into a three-year civil
war, which the Turks promptly took advantage of and initiated new attacks.
They conquered the fortified cities of Obrovac and Udbina in 1527. The
important fortresses of Jajce and Banja Luka in northwest Bosnia fell into
Turkish hands at the start of 1528. The Turks advanced up to the strongly
reinforced City of Senj (Zengg) after these conquests, and occupied the
entire surroundings of Lika and Krbava in 1529. These events sustained the
torrent of fleeing refugees. When Sultan Soliman stood in front of Wien
(Vienna) in 1529 with a powerful army, and then moved again towards Vienna in
1532, entire areas in West Hungary and Lower Austria were plundered and
devastated. As a result, a massive emigration of Croats began from the
endangered neighborhoods into the regions that were devastated by the Turks
in 1529 and 1532.We find these emigrants in the Lower Austrian villages of
Scharndorf and Petronell in 1531 and in the small towns of Schnau,
Gnseldorf,Teesdorf, and Trumau, near Baden in 1533. From a complaint sent by
this municipality to Emperor Karl IV in July 1716, it follows that Croats
also lived in Drassburg at that time (in the part that was under Paul Vardai,
the Archbishop of Gran).The community of Kittsee had a narrative with the
title "Kittsee und Nachbarschaft" (Kittsee and Neighborhood) from an unnamed
University Professor. From there we read: "The Croats came in the first half
of the 16th century, however sometime after 1526. Jacob Von der Drr, the
Pfandherr (one who loaned money and received a Domain as a mortgage) of the
county of Forchenstein since 1533, settled Croats amicably in the depopulated
localities of this county. Sigless, Drassburg, Stinkenbrunn, Zillingtal etc.
were resettled at that time again. There were already 600 settlers in 1537,
predominantly Croats from southern Bosnia."

Composite: See the Urbaria (Land Registration records) of the Eisenstadt
Domain from the years 1515 and 1527. 12 Croatian families and a Croatian
priest live in Oslip; we find 3 Croatian families in Trausdorf, 1 in Apetlon,
3 in Illmitz, and 2 in Purbach. The Croat, Ivan Post, bought half of the mill
situated in Gschies (now Schutzen am Gebirge), the other half by George
Krabat.Since half of Wulkaprodersdorf, Trausdorf and Antau also belonged to
this Earldom, we can safely assume that Croats also settled in these villages
at the same time.

Unfortunately we only possess the Urbare (Land Registration Records) of the
Hornstein Domain from 1561. We can infer from this that Hornstein and
Stinkenbrunn (Steinbrunn) were already entirely Croatian villages, and
Wulkaprodersdorf was partially Croatian. Rohrbach belonged to the Domain of
Landsee along with Baumgarten and Siegendorf. Since we found Croats in the
last two small towns in 1528, and because Jacob Von der Duerr settled Croats
in several villages of the Earldom of Forchtenstein shortly after 1532, the
first Croats also probably came to Rohrbach at the same time.Oslip,
Trausdorf, Siegendorf, Baumgarten, Zagersdorf, Drassburg, and Zillingtal were
Croatian; Wulkaprodersdorf had a small German majority, while Schutzen am
Gebirge had a substantial Croatian minority. Mullendorf, Grosshflein,
Krensdorf, and Stttera had small Croatian minorities.

In 1542 a Croatian minister named George Soccovich served in the village of
Klingenbach which belonged to the Oedenburg City Domain. Rohrbach still had
49 Croatian and 46 German families in 1649. It should be noted in this
connection, that Adolf Mohl's contention that Kleinhoflein,
Leithaprodersdorf, and Oggau were former germanized Croatian settlements does
not agree with the facts. Both Kleinhoflein and Oggau were purely German
communities in 1569. Only one Croatian, named Windisch lived in
Leithaprodersdorf among 72 German families in 1561. The same was true for St.
Margarethen and Schattendorf. No Croatian families lived in Schattendorf in
1589; of the 87 families said to be in St. Margarethen in 1569, 85 had German
surnames and only 2 had Croatian names.

We also find early traces of the Croats who immigrated from the south in the
District of Pullendorf. In 1522, a Croatian Franciscan was already busy
copying the so-called Keszthely Codex in Lockenhaus, which was the seat of
the Hungarian magnate Kanizsai's family. This magnate's family settled Croats
into their west Hungarian estates who were from the areas surrounding the
castles of Velika and Stenicnjak in Croatia and Slavonia. The Kanizsai family
owned the Domain of Lockenhaus to which Nikitsch and Unterpullendorf belonged
along with 12 other communities, and this family had still other properties
south of Oedenburg. Since the Kanizsai male lineage had become extinct in
1532, the Croats must have been settled before the second Turkish assault
began. It is not well known today which communities within the Domain of
Lockenhaus were settled by the Croatians. Frau Weisspriach, the Baroness of
Landsee, had a Croatian servant in 1523.

A Christopher Krabat stayed in Oedenburg as an envoy of Ferdinand in 1527,
and in the same year a Croat named Veit, along with many other Croatians were
also lodged in Oedenburg.To better understand the settlement history of the
Croats in the district of Pullendorf, we need to present the reader with two
distinct personalities. The first is Field Captain Nicholas Jurischitz, who
received the Domain of Gns (Koszeg) from Ferdinand I for his bravery during
the siege of Wien (Vienna) in 1529. Three years later he managed to stop the
Turks for 25 days in an attack near Gns with 10 horsemen, 28 Hussars and 700
farmers, and in the process foiled the Turkish advance on Vienna. Jeno Hazi,
historian of the royal free city of Oedenburg, Book I. Volume 7, Page 205.
Queen Marie, the widow of Ludwig II, ordered the citizens of Oedenburg to
stop the Croatian refugees from passing through Oedenburg, and provide them
shelter in the city or suburbs, so that the country might increase its
population and property value. Pressburg (Bratislava) on September 7, 1526.
Page 340. A Christoph from Aspang stole two oxen from a Croat in Baumgarten
and pawned them to another Croat in Siegendorf for around 5 Pounds dinarii".

He received the title of Baron, and the badly battered Domain of the
Klostermarienberg Abbey for this heroic deed. Apart from the fortress, 14
villages belonged to the Domain of Gns, and 10 villages belonged to the
Domain of Klostermarienberg. After Hans Kotzianer was killed near Gorjan in
1537, Nicholas Juraschitz who was the Commander in Chief of the military
boundaries set up against the Turks succeeded him. Thomas Nadasdy (1494 -
1562) was the second, but no lesser important personality of that time.
Nadasdy became the wealthiest of the Hungarian magnates as a result of his
marriage with Ursula Kanizsai in 1532. Most of the municipalities between
Lockenhaus and Oedenburg and south of the Lake of Neusiedl were under his
rule. Beside other high offices, Nadasdy held the second highest position in
Croatia as Ban from 1537 until 1540. He, along his wife Ursula Kanizsai were
the owners of the Castle of Velika that was located in Slovenia, and the
Domain of Stenicnjak, which was in Croatia. Since the available armed forces
were not adequate even with the best of intentions to resist the hostile
superiority of the Turks, the castles of Velika, Dubica, Virovtica, and
Moslavina were conquered in 1537.

The Croats in the vicinity of these castles fled, and eventually settled on
Nadasdy's Estates that were located in West Hungary. Jurischitz did
similarly, because he too required industrious hands in order to safeguard
the proceeds of his property for himself. As the Turks pressed forward
farther westward towards Kostajnica, the castles on the river Una came into
danger, and new refugees streamed into the area between Gns and Oedenburg
(Sopron) and into the surroundings south of Lake Neusiedl.

The Turks conquered Slavonia shortly after engulfing the coastal country of
Croatia. Eastern Slavonia was so badly devastated in 1526, that one hardly
found any indications of the former inhabitants after that campaign. The
Turks, without a great amount of bloodshed soon occupied the central portion
of Slavonia after that. Supporters of the Zapolya Party were in this part of
the country. The population in this area survived virtually intact because
they did not offer serious
opposition to the Turks. On the other hand, the inhabitants in the western
sections of the country suffered to such a degree that the land was populated
later largely via the influx of other settlers. The Turks fought a guerilla
war against this part of Slavonia from 1537 until 1543, which to a large
extent was carried out by the so-called Martalozen. Most of the original
inhabitants were either killed or abducted into captivity in these battles.
Many migrated to Western Croatia or towards West Hungary. These emigrants
fled onto the properties of those tycoons who had possessions both in West
Slavonia and in West Hungary, as e.g. the Nadasdy, Batthyany, Erdody families
and others. Particularly many settled on the properties of the Nadasdy Family
who had large Estates in the surroundings of Lockenhaus and Oedenburg.
(Klein-Andre, Amhagen, Kohlnhof, Gross-Andre, etc.) Batthyany led many of his
Fronbauern (farmers) from the neighborhoods of Kopreinitz (Koprivnica) into
southern Burgenland and into the vicinity of Rechnitz and Gssing (e.g. St.
Nicholas in Burgenland). Nadasdy settled his serfs around 1537 and 1538,
Battyany from 1538 until 1545.

Monk Gregor, from Velika (Kanizsay property in Slavonia, north of Pozega)
copied the so-called Keszthely Codex in Lockenhaus from July 24, until
November 1, 1522. (Magyarorszag varmegyei es varosai Vas varmegye (The
Counties and Municipalities of Hungary), the County of Eisenburg, Page 328.)
Settlers came out of Velika into today's Hungarian village of Endred located
to the south of Lake Neusiedl bringing gold-plated chalices and patens with
them from 1515. The Oedenburg (Sopron) historian, Imre Nagy, writes, that the
magnate family Kanizsay had settled Croats from Bosnia and from the
surroundings of the Croatian castles of Velike and Stenicnjak (today's
Sjenicak) onto their properties in West Hungary.Even the Keglevic Family who
had no properties in western Hungary resettled their Fronbauern (farmers)
from their Domain of Bijela Stijena to western Hungary.The Erdody Family
brought their subjects from the surroundings of Moslavina into the areas of
Rotenturm and the Pinka River, and some years later, settlers from the areas
of Rovisce, Raca, and Kopreinitz.The Croats could not hold the areas around
the Una River for long after the fall of the important Castle of Kostainica.
Nicholas Subic, also called Zrinjski after Castle of Zrin, personally assumed
the responsibility for organizing the settlement, and he obtained "salvum
conductum" (free passage) and good settlements for 10,000 farmers from this
area. The relocation into the safe territories of West Hungary and Slovakia
was executed according to plan, and the farmers were allowed to take all
their movable belongings into their new homeland. Along the way the farmers
of the Zrinji Estates went initially from the regions of Kostajnica to
Hrastovica, which occurred after the fall of Kostajnica from 1556 until 1561.
These farmers eventually settled on the Zrinji Estates on the Pinka River,
and in mid Burgenland. During the second phase of this resettlement, the
Croatian farmers from the locale of Kladus migrated up until the Castle of
Stenicnjak and from the historical place of Slunj as far as Krstinja (near
Karlstadt). These last resettlements continued for 14 years, from 1565 until
1579.These emigrants settled in the present-day District of Pullendorf, into
the adjacent Western Hungary, east of Vienna, in Northern Burgenland, into
southern Moravia, and southern Slovakia.

Chapter XX - The Croatian Dialects in Burgenland
A long cherished desire of the Burgenland Croats was to know the area of
Croatia from which their ancestors came. In what has been said up to now, on
the whole, answers have been provided to the questions asked. It is necessary
to point out the dialects of the Burgenland Croats to the extent this
treatise allows, so that our statements appear clear and positive. As is the
case with all large populations, dialects developed among the Croatians over
the course of time. Our Croats did not speak one and the same dialect, and
two distinct dialect groups, namely the Ca and the Sto dialect, are found in
Burgenland.The questioning pronoun "what" is employed as a characteristic
distinguishing feature.The "Cakavci" in northern and central Burgenland ask a
question with "ca", while the "Stokavci" in Southern Burgenland ask with
"Sto". Obviously there are also other linguistic differences between these
two dialects. A third dialect group, the Kaj dialect, is represented in the
Hungarian villages of Amhagen (Homok) and Klein-Andre (Hidegseg) which are
situated south of Lake Neusiedl. The "Kajkavci" living there employ the
asking pronoun "kaj".The predominant part (80%) the Burgenland Croats speak
the Ca dialect, namely the Croats in the Districts of Neusiedl, Eisenstadt,
Mattersburg and Oberpullendorf. The Ca dialect is also in 7 communities
within the Gssing District: Stinatz, Hackerberg, Stegersbach, Heugraben,
Eisenhttl, Reinersdorf, and Grossmrbisch.The remaining Croats of the
Oberwart and Gssing Districts are included with those that speak the Sto
dialect. The inhabitants of Weiden bei Rechnitz, Podgoria, Rumpersdorf,
Allersdorf, Mnchmeierhof, Podler, Allersgraben-Rauhriegel, Spitzzichen,
Miedlingsdorf, and Althodis in the Oberwart District are included among the
Croats speaking the Sto dialect. The Croats of these villages were also
called Vlahi (Walachs). These latter Croats accentuate the first vowel in the
Ca dialect -Sto dialetc, otac-ootac= Vater (father), voda-vooda= Wasser
(water), koza,-kooza= Ziege (goat), trava-traava= Gras (grass),
dite-diite= Kind (child)

The verb ending in the first person singular, past tense, is read as an "o"
in the northern part of Burgenland. Ca dialect ja sam bio=ich bin
gewesen (I was)ja sam vidio=ich habe gesehen (I saw)ja sam nosio=ich
habe getragen (I carried)

The Croats in the central part of Burgenland read the above as: ja sam bio or
ja sam bilja sam vidio or ja sam vidilja sam nosio or ja sam nosil

Only the "Vlahi" of the Oberwart District used the "ia" verb ending. ja sam
bia, ja sam vidia, ja sam nosia

The Croats in Northern Burgenland and in most villages in Mid-Burgenland
spoke the old Slavonian sound "e" in nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs as
"ie", while the Croats in the Oberwart and Gssing Districts spoke it as an

Ca dialect-Sto dialect, piasek-pisak= Sand (sand), tielo-tilo= Korper (body),
lieto-lito= Jahr (year), obied-obid= Mittagessen (lunch), vieter-vitar= Wind
(wind), cviet-cvit= Blume (flower)
(other examples have been deleted-see complete translation)

The aforementioned differences in dialects did not originate in Burgenland,
but were brought here from the South. Since the same dialects are still
detected in the native country (Croatia) today, they point us to those areas
from which the ancestors of the Burgenland Croats emigrated. If we compare
the above-mentioned dialects with those of the 16th century, we can
determine: Croats, speaking the Kaj dialect, lived, and still live today
between the Kulpa and Mur rivers in Zagreb (Agram). Therefore, the ancestors
of the above mentioned inhabitants of Klein-Andre and Amhagen must have
descended from this area. History of the 16th century provides us an answer
to the question why the inhabitants of only these two municipalities fled:
The Turks were only able to conquer the eastern strip of land of the so-
called Kajkavstina. Since the Turkish advance was halted here, the
inhabitants of this section of Croatia did not have a compelling reason to
leave their homeland. Slavonia is situated east of these areas where the Kaj
dialect is spoken, and lies between the Drava, Sava, and Danube rivers.
Croats speaking the Sto dialect lived, and still live here even today. The
Turks devastated the eastern part of this countryside, when they moved
against Mohacs in 1526. The central portion of Slavonia was easily occupied
soon thereafter, and its inhabitants remained and did not flee. The western
part of the country was bitterly contested however, and the Turks conquered
this part of the land only after a long struggle. The inhabitants of these
areas fled partly to west Croatia, and partly to west Hungary. Hungarian
magnats also had properties here that they occupied with Hungarian Fronbauern
(farmers). If we find Croatian settlers with Hungarian surnames e.g. in St.
Nicholas or in Sulz, both of which are in Burgenland, it is an indication
that we have found refugees from West Slavonia here.The Caj dialect was
spoken from the Kulpa south until the small river of Zrmanja between the Mur
River and the Adriatic Sea, and in all of Dalmatia. The northern part of this
area was initially restless, and suffered most of all of the regions in
Croatia under the Turks. The Turks devastated this countryside eight times
from 1469 until 1528, and led their prisoners into bondage. Inhabitants of
whole regions left their homes because insufficient help came to their aid.
The fear of the Turks was so great that these refugees settled first in the
today's northern Burgenland, and in the eastern part of Lower
Austria.Settlers also came here out of the northwestern areas of Bosnia,
after the powerful Castle of Jajce and the important town of Banja Luka had
fallen into Turkish hands.Those Croats who came from the coastal lands in the
first half of the past century were called the Water Croats, those from
Bosnia however were known as the Bosnian-Croats.Since the Croats coming from
the coastal regions had lived together with the Italians, they brought
several Italian expressions that the Croats of northern Burgenland still use
today, e.g. ostarija (Inn), facol (kerchief), eimitor (grave yard), placa
(alleyway), skuro (dark), baril (kegs).Other expressions also support the
above-mentioned statement. The Croats of the Parndorf Heide (heathland) say
to persons who cannot be trusted: "Ti stari Venecijan" (you old Venetian).
The Croats of Gattendorf still use expressions that are associated with
fishing or the sea, while in other communities within the same
language-island groups also originating from the coastal areas such
expressions are no longer used. According to Minister M. Fertsak, the reason
for this may be that in Gattendorf the Croats continued to fish in the river
Leitha.The Croats in Northern Burgenland called the cold and bitter North
wind "bura" just as the inhabitants of the coastal regions did.The Castle of
Gusic being situated in the proximity of Senj (Zengg) suggests where the
ancestors of the Trausdorf families named Gusic may have lived.The surname
Dobrovich appeared already around the year 1100 on a stone blackboard in the
monastery of St. Lucia on the island of Krk-Veglia. Adolph Mohl associated
the mountain name of Kutrova, which is situated near Otoca, with the surname
Kutrovac in Sigless. Folk songs and traditions of the North Burgenland Croats
speak of galleys and mermaids. The Croats in the Oberpullendorf District form
a second group speaking the Ca dialect, however they knew no Italian words.
The North Burgenland Croats place the "j" in front of the noun or numeral
that begins with an "i" or an "e.

North Burgenland- Oberpullendorf District, jigla-igla= Nadel (needle),
jime-ime= Name (name), Jivan-Ivan= Johann (John), jedan-edan= ein (one),
jednosto-ednosto= einhundert (one hundred). The prefix "j" is also placed
before a few verbs beginning with an "i".
(Other examples may be found in complete translation)

The aforementioned linguistic deviations and some differences in accentuation
point to the fact that these Croats did not come from the coastal country,
but rather from areas located to the East. Some names provide references to
where the former homes of these Croats were located. Thus a house is still
called "Zrinskova Haus" (Zrinyi's House) today in Frankenau. The Zrinska Gora
Mountains rise between the Kulpa and Una Rivers. The Castle of Zrin, from
which the Croatian magnate family Subic received the surnames of Zrinski or
Zrinji, was there.The Kanizsai-Nadasdy family brought many Fronbauern
(farmers) into central Burgenland from the surroundings of their Castle
Stenicnjak that was located south of the river Kulpa.The Castle of Kirin is
located east of the castle of Stenicnjak, where the village of Kirin is
located today. Several families live in Kroatisch Geresdorf and Kroatisch
Minihof with the surname Kirin.

Branimir Tukavac said in his article "Iz nase stare domovine" (From our old
Homeland), that the inhabitants of the Warasdorf region came from this
vicinity, and replenished settlements possibly already existing between 1565
and 1579.The previously mentioned third group of the Ca dialect speaking
Croats lived in the western part of the Gssing District. A special
linguistic feature of theirs is it that they speak the unit digit before the
tens digit while counting. (25 is spoken as five and twenty- fnfzwanzig.)
The Croats of the Parndorf language island group count similarly. All the
remaining Croats however put the unit digit after the tens digit. (25 is
spoken as a twenty five - zwanzigfnf.) The Sto and Caj dialects have few
differences relatively speaking except for the linguistic variances mentioned
in this chapter.
(To be continued in newsletter no. 60, this newsletter continues as no. 59B)

This thread: