Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 1999-09 > 0938697454

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Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 65 dtd 30 Sept 1999
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 09:17:34 EDT

(issued biweekly by
September 30, 1999
(all rights reserved)

Nothing is so soothing to our self-esteem as to find our bad traits in our
(Van Wyck Brooks: From a Writer's Notebook)

Note to recipients. If you don't want to receive Burgenland Bunch
newsletters, email with message "remove". ("Cancel" will
cancel membership, homepage listings and mail.) To join, see our homepage.
We can not help with non-Burgenland family history. Comments and articles are
appreciated. This first section of the 3 section newsletter contains Status
Animas-Another type of Church Record, Mail from Bernstein, Hungarian Border
Villages of Nemesmedves, Rnk and Szentgotthrd, Village of Bernstein and
its Edelserpentine Jade, Announcement of New York Katharina Fest and
Hungarian Record Headings.


In the absence of English literature relating strictly to the Burgenland,
Austria or Hungary, I frequently read articles that cover other Germanic
regions. I do this because of the large Germanic presence in the Burgenland
(84%) and because the format and use of Germanic Lutheran and Catholic
religious records tend to be fairly consistent throughout Europe. Except for
dynastic archives, the church probably has the oldest records. This approach
pays dividends as the following shows:

Some time ago as I was searching for my maternal grandfather's mother. His
baptism in the Gssing church records showed: "Aloysious (Alois)- father
Sorger, Aloysious-witwer (widower) from Rosenberg", mother was listed as
Tarafas, Julianna-witwe Jandrasits-P-mszent. This meant she was the widow
Jandrasits and either he or she were from a place abbreviated "P-mszent". It
didn't take long to find Pinkamindszent (German name-Allerheiligen) just
across the border in Hungary east of Gssing. I searched those church records
and found Julianna's entries.

Those Pinkamindszent records (LDS 601475) were a treasure trove as they dated
from 1731. Using them, I traced Julianna's ancestors back to the 1600's. I
also found an earlier presence of Sorger family which suggested the reason
Aloysious Sr. went there to find a new wife after the death of his first. He
obviously had some distant cousins there who informed him of the availability
of a widow to be surogate mother to his motherless children.

However, in addition to the usual records, I found a strange one dated 1741.
It was a list of 66 names, male and female linked. The title of the list was
"Status Animas". Made me chuckle since my poor Latin translated that to
"condition of the animals". I didn't think it proper for the priest to refer
to his congregation that way. All records being grist for the genealogical
mill, I copied the references to my family names as listed below:

Melchior HORVATH-Anna MAHER, Michael SEIBEL-Marianna EDER, Joannes
Stephanus DOCTOR-Helena HORVATH, Michael TARAFAS-Dorothea ?, Georgious
DOCTOR-Anna ?, Georgious TARAFAS-Helena ?, Mathias NEMETH-Juditha ?.

The value of this listing is that it provides spouse groupings for village
inhabitants who in 1741 were born prior to the date of the earliest church
records (1731). Unanswered was why the list? Questioning some of my
ecclesiastical friends, the best guess was that it was some sort of communion
record, but the title didn't fit.

In the July/Ausust 1999 "Heritage Quest" magazine, in the section "World At
Large", I found an article describing Swiss Parish Registers by Maralyn
Wellauer. Having scanned hundreds of Germanic parish (church) registers, I
was familiar with baptism, marriage, death, communion, confirmation, pew tax
and donor lists. Most were prepared after the Council of Trent (1563)
required Catholic Parishes to maintain baptismal registers. Some parishes
started keeping records even earlier. I was interested in what other Swiss
ecclesiastical records might be mentioned and if they might have Burgenland
counter parts. The article specifically mentioned engagement notices
(Verloblungen), parish histories (Chronik), lists of ministers
(Pfarrerverzeichnis), masses for the dead (Jahrzeitbcher), and minutes of
the church council (Chorgerichtsprotokolle) and some others which the author
stated are unique to Swiss parishes. One of the last mentioned was listed as
Church census, so called Bevlkerungsverzeichnisse (Latin; Status animarum)!
The article states "these were taken (in Switzerland) at odd yearly intervals
from 1632 until 1715. Church censuses began in the first half of the 17th
century. The reformer Johann Jakob Breitinger decreed in 1634 that pastors
should annually make a record of the name and number of every family, their
servants, their ages as well as their degree of education and knowledge of
the scriptures and catechism."

I had found the answer to my question. It would be interesting to determine
to what extant these Swiss records were duplicated in the Burgenland
regions-perhaps by Cannonical Visitation Reports and Urbars? It would also be
interesting to determine if the "Status Animus" found in Pinkamindszent was
an exception, perhaps prepared by a former Swiss parish priest or part of
general Hungarian Catholic ecclesiastical procedures. Has anyone else seen a
record like this?

NEWSLETTER FEEDBACK (from: Fritz Konigshofer)
As always, it was a pleasure to read the newsletter. Here's some feedback.

The parish for Joe (Jarfas) is definitely Karak which is the next village
east of Jnoshza. Nemeskerestr lies to the south of it. The "nemes" in
front of a place name usually describes villages where many lower nobility
lived during feudal times. It applies to this village.

On the census terms, I can only add a speculation on the term szabad szll.
Usually, whenever I see something like szll, I connect it with grape or
vineyard though current dictionaries spell this term with only one " L"
Perhaps "szabad szll" might be the "permissible area for vine growing."

As for the "Uhudler," as far as I know, the term describes a wine made from
direct bearing vines, like Concordia or Isabella, i.e., vines (not merely
rootstocks) which were imported a hundred years or so ago from the Eastern
United States (and incidentally saved the European wine production from the
danger of phyloxerra). Only 10 to 15 years ago, the production of Uhudler
became legal again in Austria, because up to that time there had been a
concern that wine from these direct bearers had too much potential methylene
in it. I fully agree with John though, in that Uhudler is a really unique,
and very pleasant, treat.

MAIL FROM BERNSTEIN (Heinz Laschober and Albert Schuch)
Heinz Laschober sends "Gre aus Bernstein" and mentions that he was part of
a music group called the "Bernsteiner Boys" in Allentown. He writes: "Guten
Tag nach Amerika, Wir durften vor Jahren im in Allentown Musi machen und
hatten viel Spa. Wir waren die "Bernstoaner Buam", darum herzliche Gre.
Schn, dass die Burgenlnder inden Staaten eine so gut gelungene Home Page
haben! Mit freundlichen Gren". (by now, some BB members should have a
little German. Try translating this easy message.)

I copied Albert and he remembered reading about the group in the archives of
the Allentown Morning Call and so told Heinz how to find more. He then sent
two articles which I'm copying and which also mention our musician members
Steve Huber and Al Meixner.

Albert writes: "Lieber Herr Laschober, Herr Berghold hat mir von Ihrem
freundlichen e-mail erzhlt, und ich habe mir erlaubt, aus diesem Anla meine
Notizen aus der Zeitung "The Morning Call" aus Allentown zu durchsuchen. Ich
fge unten zwei Artikel an, in denen die Bernstoaner Buam erwhnt werden.
Meine Notizen stammen von einer Suche im Online-Archiv (Ausgaben ab1984;
http://www.mcall.com) nach dem Stichwort "Burgenland". Wenn Sie nach
"Bernstein" oder "Bernstoaner Buam" suchen, finden Sie vielleicht noch mehr -
falls Sie diese Artikel nicht ohnehin von frher haben. Mit freundlichen
Grssen aus Wien,

(c) The Morning Call (Allentown), July 17, 1986:
The Morning Call.

Steve Huber and his band the Happy Austrians will leave today for a 19-day
tour of Austria and Germany, the first such trip for the band. But not for
most band members. Huber, Coplay, has visited Austria and his brother
Gerhard, also of Coplay, the drummer, was born in Austria. Other band members
Ed Gloss of Emmaus, the trumpet player, and Andy Palco of Whitehall, button
box player, have visited before. For Rich Wolfer of Whitehall, the
saxophonist and clarinetist, this will be the first trip. Mr. and Mrs.
Stephan Huber, the parents of Steve and Gerhard, also will make the trip.

Forty area residents will accompany the band as it plays in Gussing,
Stegersbach, Bernstein, Jenersdorf and Poppendorf all in Burgenland, Austria.
The band also will visit Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck and Munich.

Huber said the trip came about because of the friendship between members of
the Happy Austrians and The Bernstoaner Buam, a band from Bernstein, Austria.
The Austrian band invited the local band to go to Austria and play there.
Huber said it took a year and a half to make the arrangements for the trip.
Among the special events planned for the group are a reunion in Poppendorf, a
pig roast in Heilgenbrunn and a visit to Stegersbach, the sister city of
Northampton. The reunion in Poppendorf will be a special event Huber said,
because people from all over the United States will be attending. The pig
roast is being held by relatives of the Hubers. Huber said two pigs have
already been slaughtered for roasting and the whole town has been invited.
The pig roast will be held the first day the band is in Burgenland. Huber
said the trip will offer the band the opportunity to show the Austrian people
how an American band is carrying on the Austrian traditions.

The band's newest album, ''Austrian Souvenir,'' was made with the trip in
mind. Huber said the album was a ''prelude to this trip'' because it features
the music of the areas the band will visit. The album is available from Prost
Records, Box 105-0, Coplay R. 1, 18037. Although this trip has not even
begun, Huber is already planning for next year, and a trip to Austria,
Germany and Switzerland.

(c) The Morning Call (Allentown), September 11, 1984:

Michele Pfingstl, 8, of Bethlehem shows her feelings (photo) among some of
the 5,000-plus persons who dined on wursts, pastries and goulash, and drank
and danced to their hearts' content Sunday at the 12th annual
Burgenlaendische Gemeinschaft festival at Klein's Grove, Bath. The crowd was
the largest ever, according to Tessie Teklits of the Gemeinschaft, a
worldwide organization dedicated to preserving Austrian traditions.

Busloads of people came from New York and Philadelphia. Miss Burgenland
Lehigh Valley, Issie Schlener of Whitehall Township, and her counterpart from
New York, Linda Borhi, were part of the festivities. The Bernstoaner Buam
from Bernstein, Austria, was the featured band. Local bands were the Happy
Austrians, the Alpiners, the Walt Groller Orchestra and the Al Meixner

HUNGARIAN BORDER VILLAGES (from Hizi Atlas by Fritz Knigshofer with the
publisher's permission; atlas availability is mentioned in newsletter no.60).

Here are two more village descriptions from the Hiszi Atlas for Vas County.
Let me mention that nearly identical village descriptions as in the Hiszi
Atlases can also be found on web site
http://testver.sednet.hu/e_home.html/ However, for some reason the village
descriptions for Vas County have not yet been loaded onto the web site (with
one or two exceptions).

*Rnk* [northeast of Szentgotthrd] The village lying along the river Rba
and along national highway no. 8 was first recorded in 1318. The neo-Gothic
church dedicated to duke St. Emery stands outside the settlement, right at
the frontier of Hungary. It has recently been restored and now serves as the
venue of cultural events. An old timber barn can be found at 48 Petfi
Street. Population is 440. [Ed.: German name was Ober- and Unter-Radling]

*Szentgotthrd* (including Zsidahegy, Mriajfalu, Rbattfalu, Rbafzes,
Farkasfa, Jakabhza). The small town lying along the river Rba was first
recorded in 1187. In 1183, a Cistercian monastery had been founded here by
king Bla III. The remains of the medieval church and original monastery can
still be seen built in the walls of today's modern theatre. Next to the
theatre rises one of Hungary's grandest Baroque churches with adjoining
monastery, both magnificent examples of architecture with sumptuous
furnishings and decorations. Historically, Szentgotthrd's name is most
memorable for the gigantic battle fought here in 1664, when Grand Vizier
Mehmet Koprl's Turks were defeated by an Imperial army under the leadership
of general (count) Montecuccoli. [Ed.: The battlefield was close to
Wallendorf in today's Austria, and in Austria the name of the battle also
goes by the place Mogersdorf.] The present day town was formed by the
gradual amalgamation of several small settlements such as Farkasfalva,
Jakabhza, etc., which have, however, up to now retained their partial
geographical separation. Mriajfalu, in itself an amalgamation of
Rbakisfalud and Talapatka, has a water reservoir in the middle of a scenic
forest. Szentgotthrd has a frontier station to the Austrian border.
Recently, it has seen significant industrial developments (Opel, Vossen). The
population is 8,662.

*Nemesmedves* [eastnortheast of Rnk] This village with the amenity of
clean air and lying a long way from busy roads was first recorded in 1336.
It has a large forest on its outskirts, stretching for miles, which still
contains the remains of the German WW II defense line. The settlement was
occupied by the Soviet army on April 4, 1945, and a T34 tank was left on Main
Square as a monument. Another interesting monument is a wooden belfry. In
feudal times, a lot of gentry lived here. Current population is 23, making
it the smallest village of the country. [German name was Ginisdorf]

BERNSTEIN & EDELSERPENTINE (suggested by Albert Schuch)
Page 16 of this week's OZ (36/1999) carries an article by Albert Schuch
mentioning that a local type of jade called "edelserpentine" (often called
the green treasure of Burgenland) has been mined here since 1801. His
research corrects an earlier belief that mining started in 1860. It appears
that one Dr. Joseph Oesterreicher wrote of it on 26 Nov. 1801, as well as it
being mentioned in a booklet published in Vienna by Johann Lenk in 1802. The
village of Bernstein is a Marktgemeinde in Bezirk Oberwart and includes the
villages of Dreihtten, Redschlag, Rettenbach and Stuben. Its castle "Burg
Bernstein" , once an important link in the border defenses, is now a well
known first class castle hotel (see Bob Unger Trip Report in BB News No. 36A)
famous for the "ghost of the white lady".

In 1974 my wife and I and two of our children went to see Burgenland for the
first time. We stopped in Bernstein and we bought some of the jewelry made
from edelserpentine. When cut and polished, it produces a green gem like jade
stone, from light green to almost black. It shows up well with gold.
Sometimes large pieces are found and sculpted into goblets or birds and other
valuable artwork. During our visit, my daughter wandered up the road toward
the castle. A roadworker raking stones picked one up and gave it to her. It
was a large piece of unworked serpentine which she still treasures.

I've never heard this stone mentioned by immigrants nor have any ever shown
me a piece of serpentine jewelry. You would think immigrants would have liked
to take a "piece of the heimat" with them. (Some years ago it was fashionable
to put a small bit of Burgenland earth in immigrants' coffins.) I often
wonder if serpentine was too expensive for locals. Albert also mentions that
the stone was worked in Saxony, Sweden and Italy. It's possible that jewelry
was not being made and sold in the Burgenland until later this century.

On a trip just a few years ago we were amazed to find how much this jewelry
has appreciated in value. Instead of buying more we settled for two ice
creams at a "cafe sitzen" overlooking the village center and watched tourists
swarm into the Bernstein jewelry shops.


Here is information on the First Burgenlander Society of New York's annual
Katharina Fest:
Sunday October 31, 1999 at Castle Harbour Casino, 1118 Havenmeyer Avenue,
Bronx, N.Y. 2 P.M. - 6 P.M. Doors open at 1 P.M. "Miss Burgenland Contest",
Schuhplattler's by the Gemuetlichen Enzianer, " The Joe Unger Band" will
perform for your listening and dancing pleasure. Dinner starts at 2 P.M. and
will feature the Castle Harbour special, with unlimited beer, wine and soda.
The price is $33.00 per person. 6 yrs to 12 years is $10.00. For
reservations and information call: Rudy (718) 821-1334, Joe (718) 353-1021,
Erwin (718) 672-6142.

HUNGARIAN RECORD HEADINGS (Hank Dilcher and Joe Jarfas)
Hank writes:I finished the LDS VasDobra birth records and was faced with some
apparent death records.I can't read the headings and there seems to be very
terse entrys by the registrar. Can you help me with these headings? (see
answer). All appear under the page title: uto'lagos eejegyze'sek es
kiigazita'sok. The first column only has a number. The second column only
has a year (1904) and a number (like "3"). The third column only has a
name. I can not read the fourth column. It must be "cause of death."
Doesn't seem to be many deaths recorded, if this is what it is.

Joseph J Jarfas answers:

>1. Ezen jegyzek folyo' sza'ma

Should have been 'jegyzk foly szma'; it means the docket number assigned
to the case; most likely by the court system, the 'alispn' or some such
authority. (But the priest could have just assigned a running record # for
his corrections!)

>2. Anyakonyoi e've's folyoszam, amelyre az utolagos byegvze's, illotolerg
kiigazita's vonatkozik
Anyaknyvi ves folyszm, amelyre az utlagos bejegyzs, illetleg
kiigazts vonatkozik.
Refers to the church book entry; specifically the year of the church record,
that has to be changed. (Official name changes, adoptions, acknowledgment of
fatherhood, etc., will require the keeper of the books to make the entry.)

>3. Annak neve akire a 2. rovatban megjelolt anyakonyvi alapbejegyze's
'megjellt' and 'alapbejegyzs' -- The name of the person in the church
book, who is referenced by # 2 above.

>4. Az utoilagos bejegyzes vagy kiigazitas szo szerinti masolata
Az utlagos bejegyzs vagy kiigazts sz szerinti msolata.
The verbatim entry actually containing the changes required. (The most
important part of the section, where you find out what was changed.)

>5. All under the page title: uto'lagos eejegyze'sek es kiigazita'sok.
Utlagos bejegyzsek s kiigaztsok.
Post record entries and changes.

>6. The first column only has a number. The second column only has a year
(1904) and a number (like "3").

It looks like those books had a yearly numbering system for the records. With
other words started with #1 on Jan 1 of the year - or whenever the first
event occurred - and continued sequentially. Some books I have seen had page
# sequences. (I believe the churches started to standardize this just like
the columnar entries in the 1830's.)

>7. The third column only has a name.

Yes, the person's name whose record had to be added to or modified.

>8. I can not read the fourth column. It must be "cause of death." Doesn't
seem to be many deaths recorded, if this is what it is.

Too bad ... about the indecipherable writing. I have seen them too, and it
can be the most important thing for genealogists - especially for legal name
changes. Since it was also required that the parishes notify each other of
marriages and deaths that occurred in their own neighborhood, the parish
where the person was born should have received those occurrences (usually
they did, but the guy was too busy and did not record them [sometimes]).
Would make life so much easier!! Anyway these entries can be as simple as
death's reported or marriage
recorded. Or any legal change.

Just yesterday I was perusing the film for Ndasd in county Vas and I found
an interesting 'asterisked' entry in April 1848 that run across the page: "A
Marcziusi trvnyek a volt Jobbgyokat flszabaditottk az rbri
tartozsoktl." It refers to the new law (released the previous month
[March]) whereby the serfs were freed of their [financial] obligations to
their lords. Since this entry was written after an entry on 24 Apr 1848
evidently it took that time for the news to spread to this little village.
(Newsletter continues as no. 65A)

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