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Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 60A dtd 30 June 1999 (edited)
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 1999 16:14:57 EDT


THE BURGENLAND BUNCH NEWS -No. 60A
DEDICATED TO AUSTRIAN-HUNGARIAN BURGENLAND FAMILY HISTORY
(issued biweekly by
June 30, 1999

This second section of the 3 section newsletter is the sixth 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 21 through 22
are included in this issue. They explain Batthyany conditions of settlement,
movement and resettlement of Croatian Uskoks (Uskoci-Dalmatian pirates from
the area around Senj) into Burgenland and mention names from an early Urbar.

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

Chapter XXI - The Last Immigration of the Croatians

The reader is referred to Chapter 7 " The National Structure of the Croatian
Countries to the Year 1500 (on Page 12) for a better understanding of the
following views.It is necessary to differentiate between the two different
Walachs, the Catholic Croatian and the Orthodox Serbian in the history of
Croatia. The smaller part of the former Roman herdsmen settled in northern
Dalmatia and in the Croatian coastlands, and came into the Croatian sphere of
interests. In the course of time, these descendants of the Romans became
Croatian Walachs with the Roman Catholic faith as a result of living next to
the Croats. To these Croatian Walachs, we must add the many Croat cattle
breeders, who since the 13th century, even before the conquest of Bosnia by
the Turks, were called Walachs. Croatian Walachs are already mentioned as
being in the neighborhoods of
Lika and the coastal regions in 1344, who have their "Croatian Chapter". They
were Catholic and called Croatian Walachs. In the Diocese of Vrlica, Walachs
were mentioned as being from the Tulic family.The Walachs of Northern and
Central BurgenlandWhen the ancestors of today's Croats living in surroundings
of Eisenstadt and Gross Warasdorf fled before the Turks, some Croatian
Walachs also came into Northern and Central Burgenland with them. That
testifies to the following statement: The Urbare of the Hornstein Domain from
1581 shows that a farmer named Vlaschitz lived among the Croats that settled
in Steinbrunn (at that time known as Stinkenbrunn). A Fronbauer (farmer)
named Matthias Walach lived in Wulkaprodersdorf at the same time. Among the
39 fief owners that came into Kleinwarasdorf in 1595, one was named Vlah.
Among the 57 Sllnern (inhabitants who owned no property) that came into
Deutschkreutz in the same year, a Sllner named Vlah was also with them. We
can also add Lucas Glaschitz to the above Walachs as he settled in Oslip in
1527. Since the recorder of the Urbare did not understand Croatian, he wrote
it as Vlasic
Glaschitz instead.The surnames that refer to a Walach descent such as Vlah,
Vlahic, Vlasic, Vlahovic, Walach, Olah, and Tulic are not limited to these
few named. Quite the opposite! Their numbers grew in the 17th
century in other Croatian villages of today's Burgenland as well. Germans
referred to these former Roman herdsmen as Walach, while the Hungarians
called them Olah.The Urbare of 1640 from the Domain of Landsee shows
10 families in Siegendorf with the name Vlasic. Johann Vlahovics, a Catholic
Priest, worked in Wulkaprodersdorf from 1614, and a farmer named Matthew
Walach lived there in 1661. The Urbare of the Domain of Eisenstadt in 1675
testifies that Mate Walach had the services of a half of a fief in
Trausdorf.The surname Vlahic appears 5 times in the Grosswarasdorf priest's
register from 1665 until 1690, and the family name of Vlasic comes up 46
times. On page 93 of his often-mentioned thesis, J. Breu says that a father
with the surname Olah was in Kroatisch Geresdorf in 1667.

The Urbar from the Domain of Landsee of 1640 shows that Georg and Mattias
Tulic living in Siegendorf are of Walachian descent. The Urbar of the Domain
of Forchtenstein says that three families of the Walachian Tulic family,
namely Mate, Ivan, and George Tulic, also lived in Trausdorf an der Wulka. We
can cite 2 families with the surname Vlah-iovi in Kroatisch Minihof, and
three houses that carry this name in Weingraben. This name occurs
sporadically also in Siegersdorf(Horvatzsidany) and other Croat
municipalities.

Walachs in the Domains of Schlaining, Rechnitz, and Rotenturm.
On the territory of the former Domains of Schlaining, Rechnitz, and Rotenturm
are situated 10 small villages on the slope of the Rechnitz Mountain. These
inhabitants settled here only in the 17th century, one hundred years after
the remaining Croats of the surroundings around here. These villages are
Weiden bei Rechnitz, Parapatitsch, Podgoria, Rumpersdorf, Allersdorf,
Mnchmeierhof, Podler, Allersgraben-Rauhriegel, Spitzzicken, Miedlingsdorf,
and Althodis. The Croats of the surrounding localities called the inhabitants
of these municipalities Vlahi. The Urbar of the former Domains of Schlaining
and Rechnitz refer to the inhabitants of Podler, Mnchmeierhof,
Altschlaining, Spitzzicken, and Althodis only with the name "Vlahi (Walach).
St. Martin in dem Wart, and Tatzmannsdorf, which belonged to Hungarian
gentry, were Croatian.

Since the migration of Croats from the Croatian countries ended with the year
1579 or 1593, and because no one had to leave their homeland due to the
Christian offensive, the question remains open, from which area and what
reasons did the ancestors of the above-mentioned municipalities emigrate? J.
Breu says on page 82 in his Dissertation:"Only with the discovery of more
documented material can the question of the Schlaining
Walachian be clarified."

The opinion heard up to now is that the ancestors of this language island
would have been Serbs. One also claims that these Croats, which were also
called Walachs, originally belonged to the Greek Orthodox Church and become
Catholic later. Dr. Mladin Lorkovic says on page 71 and 72 of his
historical work "Narod I Zemlja Hrvata", Zagreb 1939, that at the time of the
great Christian-Islamic War(1593 -1606), only an insignificant part of the
Walachs became Christians. These were namely the District of Warasdin ruled
by a captain and Ivanec, the District of Karlovac and in the regions of
Otocac and Modrus. There are no entries in Croatian Historical works
concerning the immigration into the present day Burgenland.

One can assume that the Croats of the above-mentioned ten small towns did not
come as refugees here, because the Turks were already on the defensive by
then. Therefore these currently open questions can be answered in the
following way:Dr. Knezovic leads us to the first traces of the history of
Croatia when he says on page 208 of his book:"After the fall of Bosnia and
Herzegovina, a large part of the Croatian Catholic people fled before the
Turks to Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia." In Slavonia they were called
"pribjezi" (refugees), and in Dalmatia "Uskoci" (escapees). Later, some
called them "vlahi", "martalici", and "morlaci".

(Pribjezi, Uskoci, vlahi, martalici, and morlaci) are all synonyms for the
Catholic Croats who fled before the Turks. From this point further, we will
refer to these Croatian Catholic refugees as the "Uskoci". Authors note.)

There were several groups of these Uskoci. The best known group was the one
that gathered around the Fortress of Klis near Spalato (Split) from Bosnia
and Herzegovina around the year 1530. Klis was subordinate to Zengg (Senj),
and Peter Kruzic was the Captain of Senj, who included the
Uskoci into the ranks of his soldiers. The Uskoci frequently broke into
Bosnia from the fortress of Klis, which explains why the Turks insisted on
conquering the fortress of Klis at all costs. They succeeded in 1537, as
Peter Kruzic died a heroic death here. The Uskoci were now resettled to Zengg
that had a natural fortification, which was the Captain's headquarters. The
Captain, who was a part of the Croatian military
frontier, was subordinate to a War Council that had its headquarters in Graz.
The Uskoci now became border soldiers who with their descendants constituted
the garrison of the fortress of Zengg for over 80 years. Little by little the
Uskoci joined with a number of defectors from Veneto - Dalmatia who wanted to
escape punishment. In the end the Uskoci were no longer a purely national
group, but a mixture of Croats, Serbians, and Italians. The Uskoci were an
uncommonly bold people, armed with rifles, axes, and Handzars (a type of long
knife) who knew every angle in the Velebit Mountains and on the islands.
Their main strength was
located on the sea. Their monthly wage was four and a half florin (Gulden),
but their pay seldom arrived.

Since the environments of Zengg were barren, the Uskoci were forced by
circumstances to nourish themselves and their members in some way. Due to the
continuous border wars, they undertook raids into the regions of Dalmatia,
Bosnia, and Herzegovina occupied by the Turks, and who searched the mainland
and the sea for their booty. Venice supported the Uskoci way of life when
they were in a state of war with the Turks. When Venice (Venedig) made peace
with the Sultan, he demanded that they terminate their support of the Uskoci
who regularly plundered Turkish ships on the Adriatic Sea. In order to avoid
the Sultans accusations, Turkish goods were placed on Venetian ships. The
Uskoci did not concur, and as a result they searched Venetian ships for
Turkish commodities. Thereupon the Sultan announced that he ordered the fleet
to go into the Adriatic Sea and create order. This did not suit the
Venetians, which led to a war between Venice and the Uskoci. After 1596 the
Uskoci moved against anything Venetian, and it was a devastating war. The
Uskoci took terrible revenge. Even though the Venetians paid with the same
coins, they could not restrain the Uskoci. At last, the Pope interfered.
Through his mediation Emperor Rudolph agreed to resettle the Uskoci from
Zengg. He dispatched General Rabata so that he could settle the Uskoci around
the villages of Otocac, Brinje, Brlog, and Prozor, however the German
military was at Zengg. Rabata proceeded boldly and executed several military
leaders of the Uskoci, and he died in a subsequent mutiny after which the
Uskoci resumed their old way of life again.

However the peace made at the delta of the river Zsitva in 1606 was a heavy
blow for the Uskoci. All war strategies with Turkish countries were strictly
forbidden to them, and in addition they received no more pay. But law knows
no need, and the Uskoci continued to plunder the Turks and the Venetians
again. A violent war then broke out between Venice and the Uskoci from 1615
to 1617 that ended in peace in Madrid in 1617. The perplexing question of the
Uskoci issue was decided there through the negotiation of France and Spain.
Archduke Ferdinand committed himself in this peace treaty to withdraw the
Uskoci from Zengg, burn their ships, and station German military in Zengg.
The greater part of the Uskoci were resettled soon thereafter to the
Croatian-Carinthian boundary at Sichelburg-Zumberak, into a hilly and barren
area, which was called the Uskoken mountains by the new inhabitants for a
long time. The remaining parts of the Uskoci were assigned to the area around
the village of Otocac.

The Croats who fled from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the emigrated Serbs and
Italians lived with their families in Zengg for more than 80 years before
Archduke Ferdinand moved them to other accommodations in Sichelburg. Zengg
was the seat of a Catholic bishop. We can quote from the treatise of the
historiographer Adolf Mohl "Hrvatok bevandorlasa 1553 - ban" Budapest 1915,
page 15:" The former Archbishop Dr. George
Posilovics, while still the Bishop of Zengg, succeeded with great difficulty
in 1894 to obtain the provisional usage of the ancient Slavic liturgy in the
coastal regions with the obsolete Glagolithic language from Rome."

The Dalmatian born Jovan Hranilovic, Greek-Catholic priest of Neusatz (Novi
Sadi), who was famous for his Sichelburg Elegies (songs), claims that the
Zengg garrison had been a Catholic one. In these poems,
Hranilovics describes the heroic past of the Uskoci ancestors, who were
resettled into the stony vicinity of Sichelburg. An annotation under the text
of the poem on page 520 of the aforementioned reading book says
that these former Uskoci were Catholics of the Greek United Church. On pages
82 and 83 in a directory of settlements in the Republic of Croatia dated
December 1, 1956, a hamlet named "Vlasic" is listed as having
15 families and a small village with 60 inhabitants named "Vlasic" in the
territory of Sichelburg. These two places still remind us today of the rich
past of the courageous Zengg soldiers who fled from Bosnia,
Herzegovina, and Dalmatia.

We can pursue the traces of the Uskoci from Zengg further, as they lead us
beyond Sichelburg-Zumberak, and into today's Northern, Central, and Southern
Burgenland. We sang the small ditty "Boze, Boze, Zumber, zumberske druzine."
as we danced the circular Kolo in the author's youth.
The name Zumberak occurs three times in these ditties. For many years the
author sought an explanation for how the word Zumberak came to his hometown,
as Wulkaprodersdorf and Sichelburg are located approximately 280 km distant
from each other. Because no association existed between the villages of
Wulkaprodersdorf and Sichelburg, some ancestors from Wulkaprodersdorf,
Siegendorf or Trausdorf must have brought the name Zumberak here. These are
reminders of their former places of residence, a hypothesis that appears
quite possible.

While in the northern and central Burgenland only individual Walachian
surnames are reminiscent of a later immigration, the so called Walachs from
Schlaining, Rechnitz, and Rotenturm" are a different matter. Spitzzicken was
already newly founded in the 16th century, and all of the remaining Croats
only came here in the 17th Century. The first safe date of its establishment
is indicated in the deed of foundation of the village of Podler. A remark
from the year 1664 about this place states that the first Croats had already
settled in the towns of Schlaining and Mnchmeierhof before the year
1650.Weiden bei Rechnitz, Hunzberg, Podgoria, and Rumpersdorf are mentioned
for first time in 1664. Perepatic Berg and Althodis were mentioned in 1593
and 1698 respectively.Because these Croats did not come from Croatia, we must
look elsewhere for their origins. The only possibility points towards the
area of the Uskoci Mountains, or by Sichelburg-Zumberak, whose barren ground
could not nourish the former crew of Zengg. For these reasons the former
Uskoci gradually left their assigned place of residence, and came into the
neighborhoods of Schlaining, Rechnitz, and Rotenturm from 1650 to the end of
the 17th century.

Adam Batthyany, who was a Cavalry General in the 30 Year War, settled the
first inhabitants near Podler, Mnchmeierhof, and Altschlaining. His
descendants settled the remaining Croats in the villages that were ravaged by
the Heiducken(Hungarian military units) of Nemethys in 1605 and by the
Styrian farmers after 1622. This verifies the Canonical Visitations of the
years 1697-1698 by Stephen Kazo, the Archdeacon of Eisenburg, as it notes
that these Croats did not belong to the Greek-Orthodox church. According to
the priest in Neumarkt im Tauchental, these Croatian inhabitants were Roman
Catholic, to which all belonged without exception. In conclusion to this
consideration, we refer to the Charter of Foundation for Podler.

Podler - (Settlement of Croats by Adam Battyany in 1650)

Among other interesting archives, The Burgenland Provincial Archives also
holds a document concerning the settlement of the southern Burgenland
village of Podler. It is an original parchment with the signature of Count
Adam Battyany from the year 1650, and the entire translated text is shown
here. Unfortunately, the names where the document has been folded are no
longer legible. Furthermore, it is remarkable that the Croats, and the
document undoubtedly talks of Croats, are called Walachs (olahok) in German.
>From the names it can be said that not only Croats but also Germans and
Hungarians, took the opportunity to settle there.

"We, Adam de Battyany, Eternal Count of Gssing, Knight of the Holy Roman
Empire, Lord High Steward of Hungary and Oberster (Commander in
Chief) of that section of Hungary situated on this side of the Danube and the
border area of Canisa, Kammerrat (imperial and royal councilor of the
Treasury) of his Holy Majesty, King Matthias. We make it known herewith to
all those to whom it may concern, that we have abandoned the Meierhof
(agricultural estate) called Polyanizi situated in the territory belonging to
our Castle of Schlaining. All those who desire to do so are allowed to settle
and build houses, for there shall be villages in this place in the future, as
there have been in the past. So far, the following have settled and begun to
build there: Michael Zlatarics, Lucas Czvek, Ivan Balaskovics, Ivan and
Verhas Jrue. In addition to the aforementioned, the following persons have
promised to take up residence there: Glav,...Ive, Stefan Horvat, Juri
Konczer, Matthias Horvat, Vida Verhas, Nicholas Horvat, Silbernagl Moritz,
Kru_, Martin Bencsicz, Johan Balok, and Bark...icz. We grant them liberty for
three years and will grant the same exemptions to all those who settle there
at a later date until they
have built their houses. But we will not allow these liberties to those that
already own a house on our domain and abandon their homestead. With the
condition that they endeavor to build their houses within three years,
and that they start to do their services or Robot (obligatory work) and pay
taxes (within three years), they are after this time obliged to serve and pay
taxes in the way the other Walachs had to serve and pay taxes.
For greater endorsement, we strengthen this Letter with our Seal and our
handwriting.Written in our Castle of Rechnitz on Saturday before the
celebration of Saint George the Martyr, in the year of the Incarnation of the
Lord, one thousand six hundred and fifty.
Adam Battyany

L. S.This document issued in 1650 speaks of 4 Walachs who began building,
and 11 candidates who promised to settle in the future village of Podler. Of
the four men, who had started building, three are Croats and one is a
Hungarian. Of the eleven candidates, three surnames are not readable
in the fold of the document, five have Croatian surnames, two have Hungarian
names and one has a German surname. The Charter of foundation said that of
these eight, five were Croats, two were Hungarians, one was
German, and that they were Walachs.

These circumstances caused the author to ask Joseph Mikisic, the priest
of Weiden, to search the church records of the Neumarkt im Tauchental parish
for Slavic and Italian surnames for the years 1691 to 1711, because these
Walachs belonged to this parish at the time of their settlement.
Approximately 10 surnames were received from the priest. To the author's
surprise, not a single name such as Vlah, Vlahic, Vlasic, Vlahovic, Walach,
Olah or Tulic was seen in the 10 so-called Walach communities. On the basis
of the large dictionary of the Zagreb Academy of Sciences (as far as this
comprehensive work is finished), the source of Croatian History from
University Professor Dr. Ferdo Sisic, among other works, it can be
ascertained that the Schlaining, Rechnitz, and Rotenturm "Walachs" are in
fact Croats. These however have added Serbian and Italian elements in the
course of time.

Chapter XXII - Croatians in Particular Districts of Burgenland

Since this chapter is dedicated particularly to the Burgenland Croats, the
text will deal with the Croats that settled outside of Burgenland only to the
extent that it is a necessity. We addressed the immigration in general in the
Chapter XIX "Immigration of the Croatians into today's Burgenland and into
the Neighboring Lands". In the ensuing sections it will dwell on how
individual Croatian settlements were accommodated in the Districts of
Burgenland.We note beforehand that the villages in the former Domains of
Eisenstadt, Hornstein, Gns, Rechnitz, and Kobersdorf, as well as the Earldom
of Forchenstein at the time of the settlement of the Croats (actually from
1491 to 1649) belonged administratively to Lower Austria. The remaining
communities belonged to Hungary. The living conditions were favorable for the
Croatian settlers in Austria; on the other hand in Hungarian, laws, duties,
and liabilities for the farmers were especially difficult after the Farmers
Rebellion in 1514. Settlers in the Imperial Domains (e.g. Eisenstadt, Gns)
were owners of their houses and
properties. They were able to buy, sell or exchange real estate. In Hungary,
the farmers were only considered as hereditary tenants of the land that they
worked. The new settler was released for some years from duties and payments
so that they could build houses within the prescribed time, cultivate the
ground, and obtain the necessary cattle stalls, tools and seeds.

Croatian villages from the Raab to the Danube Rivers indicate the tracks of
the Turks who took this path towards Vienna in 1532. The Turkish Army's route
took them over the Drava River, Zala County in Hungary, and beyond the plains
towards Vienna. Villages touched by the Turks suffered terribly. They had
just settled these devastated villages before fleeing from the Turks. Many
Croatian settlements ceased to exist in the course of time, especially in
southern Burgenland.

After the 1st World War in 1923, there were 42,010 Croats in Burgenland. Of
this number 5,167 were in Neusiedl, 112 in the Municipal District of
Eisenstadt, 14 in the Municipal District of Rust, 12,522 in the rural
District of Eisenstadt, and 2,933 in the Mattersburg District. There were
11,448 Croats in the Oberpullendorf District, 3,954 in the Oberwart District,
5,819 in the Gssing District, and 11 Croats in the Jennersdorf District. A
total of 10,432 Croats lived in the three Western Counties according to the
1930 census in Hungary, of which 2,925 resided in the former County of
Wieselburg, 4,261in denburg County, and 3,346 in Eisenburg County. The
villages are smaller and in general poorer in southern Burgenland, whereas
the villages become larger and wealthier
towards the north.
(To be continued in newsletter no. 62, this newsletter continues as no. 60B)

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