Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 1999-07 > 0933424847

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Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 61, dtd 31 Jul 1999
Date: Sat, 31 Jul 1999 08:40:47 EDT

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

"Human beings were aboard those ships carrying Burgenland immigrants,
not merely ancestors"
(paraphrasing Stephen Vincent Benet's-"Western Star")

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homepage. Comments and articles are appreciated. This first section of the 3
section newsletter contains A PLEA FOR HELP, data on the Village of
Kitzladen, Occupations or Titles, Village of Horvtlv, Hungary, More
Concerning Batthyany Family, BB Article In the Austrian Daily "Die Presse"
and some correspondence and thoughts regarding Surname Endings and the Nikles


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changes please note.

This is the fourth in the series. From: Josef LOIBERSBECK: Das Obere
Lafnitztal. (The Upper Lafnitz Valley.) In: Burgenlndische Heimatbltter

4) Kitzladen
First mentioned in 1337 as "Kecel". The Urbarium of 1532 (Domain Schlaining)
counts 5 farms in "Khytzlrnn", surnames are SIMON, NADLER, BEHAIM,
BROTHROSCH and PENNO. Also a miller named KOCH and two dwellers named KOCH
and MAGEL. In 1580 Count Balthasar Batthyany appointed Thomas BRAUNEISEN as
Lutheran preacher in Kitzladen. Other known Lutheran preachers: Andreas
CRUSIUS (latinized from KRAUSE; 1618-24); Paul KHNEL (1647-52; from Silesia;
in 1652 he was 66 y); Melchior GRTNER (1657-60; from
Schemnitz; later appointed to Loipersdorf, Harkau and Gns).

In 1652, Count Adam Batthyany mortgaged Kitzladen and Loipersdorf to the
Styrian nobleman Georg Albrecht Rindsmaul, a Lutheran who had fled from
Styria; Rindsmaul had the say in these villages until 1729, which is way
Lutheran preachers could remain until ca. 1670. In 1652 the village consisted
of 21 farms, of which 2 were -farms (with land amounting to a sessio), 14
farms and 5 farms. 4 -farms and 3 -farms were deserted. Farmer
HAUSDORFER. Also some dwellers named SCHUSTER, HABERSACK, MLLNER and

Archdean Peter Tormsy's ecclesiastical inspection of 1674 finds Kitzladen at
least formally catholic, priest is Kuno VOGT, 40 y, from Trier (Germany).
There is also a teacher, but his name is not mentioned. In 1697 Johann
SALMHOFER, a Styrian, is (catholic) priest, 40 y, he came to Kitzladen ca.
1689. Teacher is Johann KECK. The parish consists of 90 Lutheran and 37
Catholic families. In 1713 Franz Xaver LEBEL is priest (born in Lockenhaus,
in K. since ca. 1708). Still only a third of the parish population is
Catholic. In 1729 Kitzladen and Loipersdorf returned under Batthyany rule.

Church records start in 1750, when Josef KNIG was priest. Other known 18th
century priests: Matthias MINZKER (1777-95; from Rechnitz), Franz
SCHRATZENTHALER (1795-98; teacher's son from Purbach), Johann STIRLING
(1798-1803, from Pinkafeld). Church records mention teacher Matthias UNGER in
1792 and 1798. 19th century priests: Martin (or Michael) RAUHOFER (1804-14;
from Sopron), Alois HOLZHEU (1814-30; teacher's son from Marz), Josef
EBERHARD (1840-46; from Pernau), Matthias SCHLEGEL (1846-50; from Neusiedl
bei Gssing), Franz SZALAY (1850-51; from Steinamanger), Franz GRILLER
(1851-77), Josef JESTL (1877-1921, from Lockenhaus), Ladislaus ESS (1921-?;
from cs, Hungary). Known (Catholic) teachers: Paul KIERMANN (1809-16),
Ambros JESTL (1829), Johann SCHERMANN (1860-80), Franz HUTTER (1880-1908).
Lutheran children went to school in Buchschachen.

Lutheran missionary Samuel BHM, a native of Kitzladen, died in service for
the "Norddeutsche Mission Bremen" in Africa in 1859. The Urbarium of 1827
lists 27 farmers (21 with a half sessio and 6 with a quarter sessio) and 15
"behauste Sllner" (dwellers living in their own house). Farmer names: 3

20th-century teachers: Franz ZALKA (1908-21; married the daughter of teacher
Franz HUTTER), Josef RUISS (1921-27), Johann ARTNER (1927-28), Josef
HOTWAGNER (1928-38), Koloman GRAF (1938-39), Ferdinand POSCH (1939-40), Franz
REISINGER (1940-42); 1942-45 school in Loipersdorf; Emmerich HLTL (1945-46),
Karl RINGBAUER (1946-47), Hermann JAHRMANN (1947-48), Franz REISINER
(1948-54), Franz MLLER (1954-?). The school is a public school since 1938.
In April 1945 seven houses destroyed or damaged during German-Russian battles.

Statistical data: 1842/43: 196 Catholics, 128 Lutherans, 7 Jews; 1890: 62
houses, 395 inhabitants; 1934: 74 houses, 375 inh.; 1961: 64 houses, 275 inh.
(146 cath., 129 luth.). Decrease from 74 to 64 houses probably due to loss of
Gypsy population during Nazi regime.

I haven't been able to translate the following words. I think that they are
occupations or professions. Can you help me or direct me to someone who can?
Hbler, Hblerstochter, Husler, Kaischler, Lakierer-Gerverbe.

Albert Schuch writes: Only the last one is a profession. The correct spelling
is "Lackierer- Gewerbe", and a "Lackierer" is a lacquerer (or varnisher).
"Lackierer-Gewerbe" means "lacquerer's business". Of the other words,
"Hblerstochter" is a "Hbler's" daughter, so there are only three left to
explain, all of these describe a certain socioeconomic status.

"Kaischler" is usually spelled "Keuschler", and this is a person living in a
"Keusche", which is a small house, or rather just a small hut. In most cases
the "Keuschler" will not own any land etc., he just has his hut and maybe
some small animals.

A "Husler" (or "Kleinhusler") is a person who only owns a house ("Haus"),
also nothing extra (no arable land, no meadows, forests etc., at least not in
a quantity large enough to call him a farmer). Not much difference between
"Keuschler" and "Husler", can be the same, but in most cases the Husler's
house will have been a bit larger.

So we have the "Hbler" left. This name is derived from the word "Hube" or
"Hufe", which means a certain amount of arable land; an old dictionary offers
translations like hide or yard (of land) or yard-land; the "Hbler" is the
owner of a "Hube", and it is difficult to translate into English, but I think
"farmer" will not be wrong. Maybe "landowner" too, but I'd prefer farmer.

HORVATLOVO, VAS COUNTY (from Hizi Atlas by Fritz Knigshofer with the
publisher's permission; atlas availability is mentioned in newsletter no.60).

Horvtlv. The name of this Croatian settlement along the Pinka brook was
first recorded in a document in 1427. The name [-lv = Schtzen] refers to
the original population of Hungarian frontier guards in the Middle Ages. The
titular saint of the medieval church is St. Anne. The church furnishings are
late Baroque. There are several 19th century barns - relics of folk
architecture - in the village. Population is 205. [German name was

(Ed.-for those who might not be aware, the Batthyany family (Lords of
Croatia) were granted the Herrschaft (fiefdom) of Gssing in 1524. They
expanded the holding to eventually include almost all of southern Burgenland.
They held it until recent times. See newsletter no. 59 for more and the
sections from "People on the Border" which mention this family. In my own
genealogy "Berghold-Neubauer Descendants, 1873-1994", I remark that "in a
period of heavy aristocratic oppression, my study shows the Batthyanys to
have been remarkably benevolent. I wonder if our early ancestors would
agree?" None the less, as I once read, "he who does good when he has absolute
opportunity to do evil should be commended not only for the good he does but
also for the evil he surpresses".) The chapter on St. Nicholas in this
edition's section (61A) of "People on the Border" is a good case in point.

Ladislaus writes: Dear Gerry Berghold! I just wanted to congratulate you on
the Burgenland Bunch and all the work that must go with it! I feel a bit
guilty that I am not contributing much more as coming from the Batthyny
Family I could and really should.

If people have any questions on our (the Batthyny Family) or Burg Gssing
then my father (head of the family) could certainly help! He is though a bit
"old fashioned" and would not know how to reply or even read email. So
probably he would either have to write by letter or I email replies for him.
Anyway, it is nice to have so many "old Burgenlandians" or "former
Hungarians" abroad.

Regards the Batthyny archive I can only tell that this is not anymore at the
Krmend Castle. It is now in the state archive in Budapest. One can access it
there but it is not ours anymore.

My father was 7 years old when he with his brothers and parents had to escape
and leave the huge castle with all their belongings before the Russians came
at the end of WW2. My grandfather saved several things, some of which are now
also shown at the Burg Gssing. But of course most of the things got lost in
Hungary and now are "public" property in Hungarian museums... That's life.
Still a bit strange for my father to see his former place where he grew up as
a "visitor" who has no rights. That's "history life". Anyway, once again,
congratulations on your work. Ladislaus E. Batthyny

PS: I actually have a favor to ask to anyone who reads your news letters: I
don't know if you know, but after 1900 there was another "famous" Batthyny,
this was my great grandfather, Dr. Lszl Batthyny-Strattmann, who was a
famous eye specialist and doctor. He built a hospital with his money in
Kitsee (Burgenland) and then in Krmend. There he treated the poor for free!
He is also a so called "Servant of God" which means that there is currently
in process consideration to be beatified by the Holy Father.

To cut a long story short: There is a really great book about him and the
whole Batthyny Family since its beginnings. But it is only written in
Hungarian and is a collection of articles, lots of photo material,
interviews, etc. So far I could not find anybody who could translate it from
Hungarian into English, not to mention someone who would then publish it:
The book is called: Dr. Batthyny-Strattmann Lszl lete, Kpekben,
Dokumentumokban, Trtnelmi Mozaikkal"
sszellitotta (put together by) Puskely Mria. Published 1991, Budapest
Szent Istvn Tarsulat.


Albert writes: A workmate of my sister has kindly informed me that an article
about the "Burgenland Bunch" has been printed in the Austrian daily "Die
Presse" on 22 June 1999, on page 24. Title is "Amerikaner suchen pannonische
Wurzeln", subtitle "Der "Burgenland Bunch" in Pennsylvania sprt im Internet
Verwandte in der alten Heimat auf." (Americans seek Pannonian roots. The
Burgenland Bunch in Pennsylvania traces ancestors in the homeland through the

This article has been written by "Presse"-journalist Klaus Stger from
Gssing, who also edited the "Burgspielzeitung" I already mailed to you, and
the "Presse"-article appears to be a mixture of the modified OZ-article about
the BB printed there (which I originally wrote in February) and info from Dr.
Dujmovits and/or from some "Burgenlndische Gemeinschaft" newsletters. There
were a number of mistakes and while it is nice to read about the BB in a
nationwide daily newspaper it is not so nice to see mistakes included,
mistakes that could have been avoided very easily by contacting the proper

(Ed.-There were a number of inaccuracies such as the Pennsylvania bit above
(which ignores the world wide BB membership). Without printing the entire
text of the article, one item does stand out which is also slightly humorous
and portrays the dangers inherent in translation:

"Laut Berghold haben ber E-mail schon Dutzende Burgenland-Amerikanerihre
Vorfahren in der alten Heimat ausfindig gemacht und Kontakt mit ihnen

This means, that - according to Berghold (all though it doesn't say from what
source I'm being quoted)-dozens of Burgenland-Americans have already found
their ancestors in the old country and established contact with them (i.e.
contact with their long deceased ancestors!) ... Oh if that were only
possible, how many of our genealogical problems would be solved! Obviously
"descendants of ancestors" or "ancestral records" was what was meant.

In the past, verifying data via surface mail took a long time and a
jounalistic "faux pas" could be overlooked. With the advent of email, this is
no longer the case.

SURNAME ENDINGS - NIKLES NAME (from Margaret Kaiser and Beth Nikles)
Subj: Surnames ending in "sz". Margaret writes: Yesterday, I received the
Aug.-Sept. issue of German Life magazine. Included is an article, entitled,
"What's in a (German) Surname?" by Jurgen Eichhoff. I found this article
interesting. One of the names mentioned is Unger, meaning "from Ungarn."
(This is so obvious, yet my brain had not made the connection.) (Ed.note-"er"
is a south Germanic suffix denoting "from" a particular place).

There is a passage which reads, "Names are language-specific: German family
names are embedded in the German linguistic environment. More specifically,
these names will often reflect the dialect area from which they originated.
The German sound shift that changed the p, t, and k of the original German to
pf or f, is ts (spelled z in German), and ch (the "ach" sound) is the
underlying reason for the northern forms. . ."

I have seen names in the parish microfilms where a name, such as Nikles,
appears sometimes as Niklesz. I thought the z represents the German letter
Esszett (ss). Would the name have been pronounced as Niklests (based on
Eichhoff's account)? These name endings were mostly not carried over to
America, and were not always used in the parish records either. Can you add
your thoughts as to how to regard those names ending in sz?

Eichhoff also writes, "Finally, mention should be made of the ending i
(rarely -y) found only in Switzerland, e.g., Welti, Marti, Kubli. Many
immigrant families in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin show this ending, which in
the New World became -y or -ey, like in Hershey. Wouldn't a name like Gyori
(Gyri) fit into this category even though not from Switzerland? A follow-up
to my previous message:
1. I received some comments from Beth Nikles which I post below.
2. I also recollect that once I asked a Hungarian counsel what Gyori
translates to, and he responded it probably means someone from Gyor. The
parish records in the Ronok area contain many Gyoris. I don't know if Gyor
is a valid speculation. I have no reason to think all these Gyors migrated
to Ronok and the southern Burgenland. Any comments?

Beth writes: As to the surname NIKLES, so interesting that your E-m would
come at this time. I happened upon a list of NIKLES surnames, after a sort of
random search I was doing, and wound up in a series of E-m's back/forth w/a
Gerhard Nikles of Switzerland, in which country he still resides. He advised
me that he has his NIKLES tree traced back to the year 1350. Yes, that is
what he wrote, 1350 !!! He is snail mailing me his tree and additional info.
At any rate, apparently his NIKLES have spelled it in this way at least since
then; without a "z" ending.

My husband's NIKLES of Neustift bei Gussing roots>Nazareth, PA, spell it as
such, as well. However, it is pronounced in Nazareth and area around, as
"NICK-LESS." Others, including "our" family here, pronounce it as, NICK-uls
or just like the small coins, pennies, "nickels", etc.

There is a photograph in the possession of the Nikles Nazareth, PA branch of
our NIKLES, that shows several men standing in front of a shop with a banner
or store sign over the shop, with the name "NIKLESZ", with the "z."
Speculation seems to be that one of the men may have been a brother of our
Grandfather, (Grandpop Nikles = John Nikles, Sr. , born in Neustift>
Nazareth, PA) and that it was photographed "in Europe." Of this speculation,
there is no confirmation.

Additionally, also this month, I have made contact with a Roland NIKLES, Esq.
of CA. He, too, is originally from Switzerland>Canada in 1960's>CA, USA. I am
under the impression that his branch have always spelled it NIKLES, without a
"z", as well.

Editor's comments:
There are some points to consider when addressing the questions raised. We
are looking at a large span of time. There were many changes to languages
plus, in the Burgenland, periods of Croatian, German or Hungarian
spellings. Likewise intermarriage between the nationalities gave rise to
family sound changes which (particularly among the illiterate) resulted in
various third party spellings. There weren't many names which constantly
retained the same spelling. In addition German spelling wasn't really fixed
until late in the 19th Century.

Then there were emigration changes. This has been discussed before. We know
that immigration officials did some awesome things in spelling eastern
European names. Phonetic spelling - spelling like it's pronounced - was
frequent both in America and also in Europe before emigration (when many
emigrants received their first "official" papers). Pronunciations still
differ. My Nikles acquaintances in Allentown and Stiles, PA pronounced their
name not Nick-Less as Beth mentioned above, but Nick-Liss. I've also heard
Nick-el-iss. The Burgenland pronunciation of Berghold is not the English
Berg-Hold but German Bear-Kolt.

This accounts for many changes in spelling. There are others. The many
migrations which repopulated the Burgenland regions brought specific names
into the region which may already have had the same names, now changed. I
think about Neubauer, Neybauer and Niebauer for instance or Berghold -
Bergholdt - Bergholde -even Berkholt and Perkolt. Berghold - Neubauer
spellings didn't stabilize in my south Burgenland records until late 1600's
(the last known Berghold migration).

Consulting "German-American Names", by G. F. Jones; I come to the conclusion
that the "z" ending applied to Nikles as "Niklesz" is a purely Burgenland
change probably resulting from Magyarization. It would then have been dropped
when German again predominated and would have been redundant in English. The
change could have come about by a Hungarian priest replacing a German one.
I've seen similar changes. It would be interesting to check the records and
see if they fit either the dates of political change or a change in priests.
Jones' book doesn't show the name Nikles which is probably a local variant of
the similar names he does show, which are Nick, Nickel, Nickels, Nicklas and
Nicklaus, all deriving from a 4th Century Lycian bishop (Hanks & Hodges,
Dictionary of Surnames) or the famous pope Nicholas I (858 AD), later
canonized as St. Nicholas (Jones). The name stems from the Greek "Nikolaus"
(nikan - to conquer + laos - people). The Hungarian equivalent is "Miklos".
Slavic (Croatian) is "Mikulas". There is a village next to Gssing called St.
Nicholas (Hungarian Szt. Miklos) which was founded by Croatians (see
newsletter 61A). The name appears in all Germanic areas. It includes two
surname suffixes, diminutive "L" + "es" added to "Nik"; or "off spring of
small - little- Nicholas". A link to Switzerland is nebulous although there
is proof of Swiss migration from the region around Lake Constance to northern

Surname endings can denote an area of origin, but only when there is a
certainty that the name has not been changed for some other reason. The "z"
added to "s" is not the "z" of "tset" but proably the writer's handling of
the double "ss-sz" pronounced "essz". The "es" surname suffix on south
western Germanic names signifies the patronymic "offspring of". There is no
Germanic suffix "esz" so it's probably an Hungarian addition..

To answer the Gyori question, I'd need to know a little more Hungarian. Does
adding the suffix "i" to a proper Hungarian noun signify "from"? Migration
from Gyor to Felso Rnk is possible. There was much relocation among the
Burgenlanders (even though they may have only migrated into similar ethnic
villages). I doubt if this is an example of the Swiss patronymic "i" ending.
Member Joe Gilly and I earlier discussed the Burgenland name Gilly, also
found spelled Gilli. Joe is convinced the name came from an Irish immigrant.
Both Swiss and Irish mercenaries served in military organizations which
fought in Burgenland regions. How many (as well as those from other places)
stayed in the Burgenland? All sorts of possibilities arise.

I have a map somewhere which shows the areas of the Germanic countries where
particular surname endings were prevalent. Most Burgenland German name
endings seemed to originate in the "high" German or southern areas like
Bavaria, Swabia, Franconia and the Palatinate.

I'd record spellings as found, assuming there is other proof of linkage
like-house numbers, same village, parents names, etc. Just be fairly certain
they belong to your family!
(newsletter continues as no. 61A)

This thread: