Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 1999-08 > 0936102472

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Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 63 dtd 31 Aug 1999
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 08:27:52 EDT

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

"The person who has nothing to boast of but his ancestors is like a
potato-the only good belonging to him is under ground"- Sir Thomas Overbury:

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We can not help with non-Burgenland family history. Comments and articles are
appreciated. This first section of the 3 section newsletter contains an
Hungarian Border Trip Report From Joe Jarfas (with special data on Hungarian
Border villages of Pornapti and Nemeskeresztr) and much More on
Hungarian Tax Records,

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Joe writes: It should be time to send you the promised 'report' for my recent
trip to Hungary ... and a few hours to Austria. When I received your second
newsletter since I came back I realized I am lacking a bit on organizational
skills that evidently you possess. But let me start by answering the question
at the end of 'Burgenland Bunch News No. 60': Pornapti; ... Croat name? --

Let me add also, to the detailed description, (from a book I received while
in Hungary from a newly discovered relative: Dr Borovszky Samu: VAS VRMEGYE;
part of the series on Hungarian counties published in MDCCCXCVIII - or 1898;
reprinted in 1989 by Dovin Mvszeti Kft., Budapest;), the name of the
village was Porn; had 98 houses and 667 Roman Catholic and Lutheran German
speaking people (in 1898). About the monastery this is what it says: the only
(text carved in) stone left over is built into the wall of the house of the
overseer to the manor of the Bavarian Archduke Lajos and the text follows:
(Ed.-would some Latin scholar like to translate this? Looks like Johann
Draskovitch of Trakostyn -Croatia , of the family that married into the
Gssing Batthyany Herrschaft, with his name followed by his titles, had this
built in 1612.)

The monastery was founded by Chepan, son of Stefan, Palatin of Hungary, in
1221. It was totally destroyed by the Turks. Present church was built in
1780. (The problem with this book is that it is in Hungarian ... and takes me
a while to translate. But there was no Hungarian translation for the Latin
text! And the punctuation implies that there might be letters missing? By the
way the book also has (limited) genealogical information about the old noble
families who where located in Vas megye at the time).

My trip was mainly centered around meeting E-mail and snail mail pals and
visiting with newly discovered relatives. I also promised a not yet proven
relative, whom I call Jersey Jrfs, because he lives in New Jersey and I
discovered his family relations in Hungary, that I will gather his first
cousins and their descendants and drink to his health - and luckily he
promised to foot the bill (because Hungarians like to drink too!). That was
the highlight of my trip because I gathered six
first cousins (out of ten kids of his father's brother and 24 of their
relations for a total of 30) and some of them were not notified 'til the
morning of the event.

In three and a half weeks I drove over 2000 miles and that included three
visits to Austria; first to retrieve my luggage at Schwechat that was lost
for three days! Second when I visited Kirchfidisch to gather data for my
grandmother who was born there in 1875 (actually Kohfidisch) and located her
parents Josef Pomper and Cecilia Teuschler whose data I could not get because
the pastor, Herr Hubert Wieder, could provide me only an hour of his time
(and of course the parish office was closed when I went there!). We even
exchanged an E-mail after I came back, but due to the content of my second
E-mail I am afraid the diocese, whose net he uses, 'nihil forward'-ed my
E-mail because I never received an answer. The third time I drove to Vienna
to visit a good E-mail pal of mine, who also did some digging for me into a
remote cousin who happened to get married in the same district he lives now.
He even went so far that after taking a copy of the marriage register he
translated the old Gothic script for me to modern German and Hungarian as
well ... all neatly printed out from a spread sheet program. Could not thank
him enough for all his efforts - especially since he once translated an 1718
six page Latin document for me within a week. Nice to have friends like that.

With visiting Szombathely, Gyr (my brothers and sisters), Budapest, Pty,
Tata, Pzmndfalu (Jersey Jrfs relatives live there), Pcs, Jk (my Jrfs
line originates there) and Srvr where a 1st cousin twice removed graduated
from high school, did not have too much time left for sightseeing or even too
much food or drink. The family obliged by preparing my favorite meals where
ever I went, but one time I even had to grab a sandwich at a gas station
because the drive was quite long and time too short. But the few times I
enjoyed a restaurant meal (in Budapest on the sightseeing ship) the old
standby for me was Wiener Schnitzel and Palacsinta which is Hungarian for
Palatschinke, crpe Suzette or pan cake with sweet filling. Along the
Austrian border, where the Austrian Schilling is very welcome (and their
presence considerably raised the prices) I also observed a distinct
improvement in service.

Regarding your question "If you can (I assume you'll be near the border), try
to find out where the civil records for 1897-1921 are kept for those villages
NOT transferred to Austria in 1921. These were not copied by the LDS. For
instance, where are the
records for Pinka Mindszent or Szt. Pterfa or Fels Rnk-if you find out
for one village we can guess where the others are. For instance I think
Szentpterfa will be found in Krmend.": I had dealings with the (county)
Archives in Szombathely and they told me that most records for the county are
located there but that also the (usually same old/new) local district seats
will contain copies. The county seat archives' address is:
Vas Megyei Levltr
9700 Szombathely
Hefele Menyhrt u. 1

you can also use:
9701 Postafik 78
Tel.: 36-94-313-265
Fax: 36-94-341-597

They are in the process of relocating! Need larger quarters and a new
building is going up within the same block. When they will actually move is
anybody's guess. Forgot to ask them if anybody speaks English there. The only
other thing I asked them if they respond to written inquiries. They said for
extensive research they have to negotiate a fee - if they can afford the time
- due to limited manpower.

Since I came back I had a chance to do some research at the National Archives
in D.C. - mainly searched ship arrival information for Jersey Jrfs'
ancestors - but had only two days for the task. Also discovered near
Binghamton, where my one daughter lives with my two grand children, there is
an FHC in Vestal. So I 'signed' up there and started to order film to further
my research. I go there once a week and spend 6-8 hours at a stretch, but it
takes them at least two weeks to get the films there. So far discovered a gap
in coverage by them: my brother in law's father supposedly was born in
Jnoshza. I searched all 3 rolls for his name, but could not find him
anywhere. After I made a couple of calls and located a birth certificate it
turns out that he was born outside of that village and he is recorded in
Nemeskeresztr! But I can not locate that name at the Mormon web site
anywhere. Since I am recording the film numbers from the web site to save
time when I hand in my request at the FHC I never learned to use their CD
based search in the office. Maybe I have to try to do that too one of these

All considered the trip was very fruitful. Accomplished about 75% of what I
set out to do - but at a 50% cost overrun!!:-) The cost of the car was way
out of my budget (everybody assumes your company is paying for it so they
charge you an arm and a leg), but with all the places I intended to visit in
a limited time I considered it the only option. So next time I will have to
select fewer places with more time at each.
(end of report)

(Ed. Comments: I answered Joe's question concerning Nemeskeresztr."I know of
at least two Nemeskeresztr in the area you are working. One (don't think
this is yours) is (was) in Sopron Megye.

Page 535 copied from LDS microfiche 6000840 (1873 Hungarian Gazetter-Orts
Lexicon von Ungarn, Joh. Dvorzsak) shows under Comitat Sopron, Bezirk Sopron,
Keresztur (Nemet) (Deutsch Heiligenkreuz) RK (means had its own church) 2213
(inhabitants), Diocese Gyor, 17 ag (Lutherans), Harka (went to church there),
IZR (Jews-had a synagogue) 471, Callvinists 1.

As you know there are a lot "German Holy Crosses" including "Heiligenkreuz"
near Szentgotthard, but the above might be yours. Try Sopron Megye,
Keresztur. I don't have the Sopron index at home. Now there is another in Vas
Megye which is an even better fit. Page 752 of the above microfiche gazetter

Comitat Vas, Bezirk Kis-Czell, Keresztur (Felso, Nemes- es Balozsa), rk 698
(went to church in Karako, ag 35, Somlyo (kis Hegyes), ref 1-izr. 16-. I
like this one even better because right above this listing, it shows
"Janoshaza es Kortvelyes, RK 2620 Szombathely, ag 103 Somlyo (Kis-Hegyes),
ref. 1 Nagy-Pirit, IZR 531. LDS for Karako (1789-1895)-nos. 0700998-999.

I've found this 1873 gazetter to be a good source of where inhabitants went
to church. The microfiche is part of each FHC permanent holdings. Arranged by
Megye, then Bezirk then alpha. Use index in back to find page nos. of
villages. Also a German-Hungarian name index."

HUNGARIAN TAX RECORDS (Joe Jarfas, Frank Teklits, Bob Schatz, Drotos Laszlo,
Anna Kresh)

When we ran Bob Unger's article on Hungarian (Burgenland) tax records we
stirred up some interest. First, Frank Teklits asked some questions which Joe
Jarfas answered:

Frank wrote:
I recently received a notice from the FHC that one of the Hungarian Tax
record microfilms I requested was available for review.....

In view of what I was anticipating from the recent emails on Tax Records, the
listing for my Dad's village was quite simple in comparison to the others.
Nonetheless, there are a number of Hungarian category headings that I'd
appreciate whatever assistance you can provide. I have used on-line
dictionaries which did decipher some of the words, but the following remain:

Bels bely = ? (Bels translates to inner/internal/inland; but bely was not
recognized by the dictionary)

Szntfld osztl = ? Could this translate to field/plough-land class or
Rt osztl = ? Could this translate to meadow class or category?

Szabad Szll = ? (Szabad translates to vacant/free/unattached, but the word
Szll was not recognized by the dictionary). The numbers under this category
suggest this is a land category similar to what the Austrians refer to as

Annak Jovedelme = ? (Annak translates to it, but the above words were not
accepted by the on-line dictionary.)

In addition to the above, the following heading labels were translated by
the on-line dictionary.) Szemly = person, Juh = sheep, Tehen = cows

Joe responds:
Bels bely = 'bely' is "hely"; if this was in connection with land it usually
means the inner, central portion of the land; might not have road access to
it. For town, house, yard it defines the same central portion.

Szntfld osztl = ('osztl' nowadays spells 'osztly'); yes, you guessed
right. I still don't know what kind of categorizations they used to
distinguish one land from an other, but there were - evidently - four
different 'quality' set up for them.(Ed,-Bob Schatz responds to this below).

Rt osztl = same here as for 'szntfld' above.

Szabad Szll = that's because the word spells 'szll' (acute o at the end).
In this case though szabad might (could) mean tax free - or that belonged to
the whole community? (Not of course, if it was listed under one particular

Annak Jovedelme = 'jvedelme' -- all it says whatever land/category it
referred to: income therefrom ... or from it.

One more short explanation: 'Marha' sometimes means cows (not only tehn); it
could also mean all the animals in one's possession. (And if you use it for a
person you designate him/her a dumb a--!!:-))

Frank responds: "Marha somehow "rings a bell" with me, as when I got on my
Dad's nerves, I seem to remember it as well a Croatian expression (Du souey
vrag - phonetic spelling) for "you skinny devil". Hearing either of these
terms as well as a few others, I knew it was time to either run, or reduce my
profile. As Gerry may recall from some of my earlier emails, Croatian was our
normal method of communicating when I was very young; Hungarian was spoken
my parents when it wasn't for us to hear what was being said. (It sure

Bob Schatz writes:
Thank you very much for the information in the last newsletter on the 1839
tax records. I was familiar with the 1828 tax records on LDS microfilm, but
not these.

I may be able to shed a little bit of light on two of the category aspects of
these records. As you mentioned, the Property section has four categories.
Villages were classed according to the yield of their land, and the columns
where landholdings are recorded would show the class of the village.
Property recorded under "1-ik" would indicate that the village was "class 1"
and had very fertile soil; "4-ik" would indicate villages whose land did not
have a high yield. (These class designations also relate to the size of a
sessio in a particular village, since one sessio varied in size from county
to county depending on the fertility of the soil.)

In the final columns showing the amount of tax to be paid, the first column
(A Hazi) indicates the amount of tax to be paid to the county/megye (this was
called the "house" or "domestic" tax); the second column (A Hadi) indicates
the amount of tax to be paid to the national treasury (this was called the
"war tax" because the funds were allocated to support the royal armed forces).

Information on the tax system in Hungary can be found in English in Bela
Kiralyi: Hungary in the late eighteenth century, and Henry Marczali: Hungary
in the eighteenth century.

Bob (Unger), you mention that your gggrandfather was one of four farmers who
held more land than the others in the village. Records from the 18th century
show that initially the size of landholdings varied from household to
household; however, at some point in either the late 18th or early 19th
century, it became customary for village lands to be divided equally among
all the farming households - this was not a competitive society like ours,
and village communities made sure that each farming household was equally
provided for. Those households with more land actually required more
property because their holdings (sessios) were on less fertile soil and
therefore more land was needed to achieve the minimum yield to support a
family. We are accustomed to think in terms of quantity of land, but our
ancestors thought in terms of its quality: yield was more important than the
amount of property held, and a farmer with a small holding of fertile soil
was as prosperous as his counterpart who held more, but less fertile, land.
Again, the books mentioned above can be consulted on the agricultural economy
and practices of the time.

Drotos, Laszlo also responds to Bob Unger's plea for help in which Bob says:
I am writing this email in English because I do not understand Hungarian.
Unfortunately the headings on this tax form are old Hungarian words that I
can not find in on-line dictionaries.

Laszlo writes:Have you tried this dictionary?

I'll try to correct your spellings and translations as far as I can:

I.Szemly - Ad = Person tax
csald fejnek = to the family head
Zsellr = cotter
Lakos = resident or dweller (or tenant)
Hzainak = to his houses
1-s = 1st
2-ik = 2nd
3-ik = 3rd
4-ik = 4th
Kap hzbrt = rent he gets for his houses
Kap Malombrt = rent he gets for his mill
vagy jvedelmet = or income
Osztlban=(I don't know, maybe: Osztalkban = share or dividend)
Pengben = in peng (old Hungarian money)
fl. & xr. =(I don't recognize these abbreviations, maybe: ft. (forint) and
kr. (krajcr) which were the units of the peng,100 krajcr = 1 peng forint)
Rtjeinek = [number of] his meadows or pastures
szma = number of

Kaszs szma = number of reapers
IV. Marha - Ad = Livestock - Tax
Lovainak = [number of] his horses
kreinek = [number of] his oxen
Teheneinek = [number of] his cows
Nvendk Marhinak = [number of] his young cattle
Csikjainak = [number of] his foals (young horses)
Juhainak = [number of] his sheep
Kecskjinek = [number of] his goats
Sertvseinek = [number of] his pigs
V. Ipar - Ad = Trade (or craft) - Tax
Bir Kereskedssel = has a shop or trading business
Gyakorol = do some trading business, sell something
Fizet haszonbrt pengben = pays a lease in peng
VI. Mellkes haszonvtelek adja = tax of incidental leases or tenures
Van mellkes haszonvtele = has an incidental lease or tenure?
pengben = in peng
Bormrsbl = from selling wine
Gubacsbul = from selling gall [nutgall]
Maklbul =(I don't recognize this word, badly misspelled)
Ezektl adzik = he pays taxes from the things listed above
A Hzi = into the [treasury]-house
A Hadi = into the war-chest [for military purposes]
Pnztrba = into the chest or treasure house
szvsen = in sum

(Anna Kresh and Bob Unger also exchanged correspondence on this subject which
uncovered some more interesting data to be published in a future issue).

End of first section. Newsletter continues as no. 63A

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