Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 1999-09 > 0938697476

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Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No.65A dtd 30 Sept 1999
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 09:17:56 EDT

(issued biweekly by
September 30, 1999

This second section of the 3 section newsletter is the eleventh 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 29
and 30, which spell out tax requirements, are included in this issue.

Chapter XXIX - The District of Neusiedl

The language islands of Parndorf include Parndorf, Neudorf, Kittsee, Pama,
Gattendorf, and Potzneusiedl. The Estates of the Earl of Harrach, Parndorf
(Pandrof) and Neudorf (Novo Selo) were at that time royal Dominican farms and
constituents of the County of Wieslburg, which later belonged to the Domain
of Ungarisch-Altenburg.

In 1525, King Ludwig II of Hungary granted his approval to Leonhard III Von
Harrach, owner of the Domain of Rohrau, to acquire the communities of
Parndorf and Neudorf, which were situated in the Hungarian area. The
Pressburg Chapter issued the letter of transfer a year later. Both villages
were badly affected when the Turkish Army inundated this area in 1529, as
both villages lay deserted for a decade. This condition changed in 1563, when
Leonhard IV received the right of abode in Hungary, and as a result was
entitled to own and rule over Domains in Hungary. Harrach began with the
settlement in Parndorf, and a few years later in 1570, he also initiated the
re-settlement of Neudorf. Alarmed by the Turkish threat, the German
population did not want to settle in this endangered outpost. Harrach
therefore admitted Croat refugees for the settlement of new villages just as
they were being accepted elsewhere in Burgenland. They cultivated the frugal
arid ground and changed wasteland into blooming fields. Lucas Masnik, the
minister of Parndorf, was present at the Diocesan Synod of Szombathely
(Steinamanger) in 1579. According to Harrachs' Urbar of 1600 (Volume II 15
copy Hofkammerarchiv Vienna (Treasury Archive, Vienna) B 29 E ff.) there were
80 farmer's houses and 18 Hofsttten in Parndorf; in Neudorf there were 40
inhabited and 30 deserted houses. The ecclesiastical Visitation of 1659
praises the inhabitants of Parndorf who were all Catholic Croatians, for
being diligent churchgoers. Neudorf was populated entirely with Catholic
Croatians in the years of 1659, 1674, and 1696.

The Domain of Kittsee
The Domain of Kittsee, which only consisted of some small towns, is located
in the northern corner of the District of Neusiedl between the Danube and
Leitha rivers. The Counts of St. Georgen and Bsing were the owners of this
Domain at the time of the immigration of the Croats into this area. Wolgang
Bsinger was the Oberkammerer (chief treasurer) of King Ludwig II and his
advisor since 1526. After the disaster of Mohacs, he supported the Habsburg
party and maintained his loyalty to King Ferdinand I until the end of his
life (1537). Six years later, his son Christoph also died, and the male
lineage of the younger Bsingers expired with his death. Margaret, the
daughter of the deceased Count Franz Bosinger who died in 1534, married
Wolfgang Von Puchheim, Lord of Gllersdorf, and she inherited the Domain of
Kittsee in 1546. After the death of her husband around 1578, Kittsee received
a new Lord in the person of Baron Johann Listy who married Elizabeth, the
daughter of Wolfgang Von Puchheim. Johann Listy is shown as the Domain owner
in the Visitation log of 1646. Listy supported the Reformation, whereas the
Croatian subjects in Pama and Kroatisch Jahrndorf remained true to the
Catholic faith.Kittsee (Gijeca). The first Turkish troops came to Kittsee in
September 1529, and they destroyed the 300 hundred year old Church of
Pankratius, numerous houses, and decimated the population. The time of the
new settlement is not known. The inhabitants of the village are partly Croats
and partly German according to the "visitatio canonica" (canonical
Visitation) of 1659. The Croats themselves have always been well known for
their Catholic faith. Around 1715, the population consisted of 48 Fronbauern
(farmers) and 28 Kleinhusler (a person who owns a house, but no part of a
sessio). Pama (Bijelo Selo). The Turks also destroyed Pama in 1529, which was
probably a subsidiary of Kroatisch Geresdorf after the new settlement by the
Croats. The village was also totally devastated in 1620 during the Bethlen
War (part of the 30 Years War). According to the county's descriptions of
1552/1553, the village included 10 portae (technical term for a tax system).
According to canonical Visitation of 1674, the community was entirely Croat
in 1659, with all inhabitants being Croatian except for two Lutheran farmers
from Kittsee. In 1696, the only Germans were a shepherd and a miller. 38
farmers and 16 Kleinhusler lived in the village in 1715. c.

Estates of the Gentry
In the late Middle Ages members of the gentry who constituted the middle
class in the feudal system were found in Gattendorf and
Potzneusiedel.Gattendorf (Rauser). On June 22, 1442, by order of Elizabeth,
the King's widow, the Chapter of the Pressburg Cathedral introduced Georg Von
Gattendorf into the ownership of the property of Gattendorf. On February 3,
1453, the same George de Gatha (or Kattendorf) received from Ladislaus V of
Hungary, the confirmation of all documents for the Domain of Gatha and the
income of the Lucrum camerale for loyal service. (Lucrum camerale is the
equivalent of income to the state.) Since he had no male heirs, his estate
went over to his cousins Johann, Paul, and Ladislaus after his death.
Gattendorf received its Croatian name (Rauser) from a family named Rausch.
According to the canonical Visitation of 1659, the greater part of the
inhabitants were Catholic Croatians, while most of the Germans were Lutheran.
The population count around 1517 was 27 Fronbauern (farmers) and 37

Potzneusiedl (Lajtica) was first mentioned at the end of the 13th Century and
may have been founded by Counts named Poth. The county descriptions of
1552/53 list the owners as Bathory and Nedvely with 4 and 6 portae
respectively. In the 18th century, the village was subordinate to Count
Harrach's Domain, Bruck an der Leitha. Around the middle of the century it
was a possession of Baron Von Bender, before it finally came into the hands
of Prince Batthyany. The village may have been devastated in 1529 during the
war with the Turks, after which Croats settled it. According to the
Visitation of 1674 and 1696, all parish children are Croatian with the
exception of a German shepherd and a German weaver; according to the
Visitation of 1659 all inhabitants are Catholic Croats, except for a
Lutheran. The total population in 1715 was 17 farmers and 4 Kleinhusler.

More villages are located in the east of the District of Neusiedl where
Croats had settled in the 16th Century, as they share a common nationality
with the ancestors of the current Burgenland Croats. Three of these villages
that in the 16th century were entirely Croatian, and which were given to
Czechoslovakia after the 2nd World War are:
Kroatisch Jahrndorf, (Hrvatski Jandrof) - nowadays Jarovce; Sarndorf
(Cunovo), - nowadays Dunavec; Karlburg (Rosvar), - nowadays Rusovic.

Andreas Zoncic, a minister, served in Kroatisch Geresdorf in the 2nd half of
this last century, where he lived modestly, and dedicated his savings to the
education of Croatian clergymen and teachers. Karlburg is located in the
vicinity of this village, where in 1659 only a Hungarian and two German
farmers lived in addition to the Croats. More recently this municipality was
already German, while Sarnhof is still Croatian today.

In neighboring Hungary, the two Croat villages of Palesdorf (Bezonja) and
Kroatisch Kimling (Hrvatska Kemlja) are located in the County of Wieselburg.
Matthew Miloradic-Mersic, a Croatian Priest/author, who was a strong
supporter of a Croatian nationality in Burgenland, lived in the latter

Villages that were more or less Croatian in the 16th century were:
Leiden (Lebeny). The Croats were in the majority here and Hungarians in the
minority. Ungarisch-Kimling (Ugarska Kemlja) was half-Croatian and
half-Hungarian in 1659.Hungarians, Croats, and Germans lived in Ragendorf
(Rajka). Hungarians, Croats and Krainers lived in Galing (Kalnok).

The residents in Niklo (Lebeny-Szent Miklos) were Hungarian and Croatian
according to Alexander Payr. Hungarians, Croats, and Germans lived in

In the District of Neusiedl one could find scattered Croatian surnames in the
17th century. A total of 44 Croatian surnames were found in the villages of
Jois, Tadten, Frauenkirchen, Halbturm, Winden, St. Andr, Mnchhof, Illmitz,
Neusiedl, Andau, Wallern, and Podersdorf.

There were a total of 49 Croatian surnames in neighboring Hungary in 1720;
Ungarisch- Altenberg had 17, Halaszi 10, Wieselberg 14, Zanegg 3, Nagybarat 3
and 2 in Rabacsanak. The easternmost Croatian settlement was a village known
as St. Johann bei Raab (Sveti Ivan) which was situated in the County of Gyor
(Raab). According to Adolph Mohl, Croatians from Kroatisch Kimling settled
here instead of those Hungarians who had been driven out in 1718 because they
supported the Calvinist Church. There were a total of 61 Croatian families in
1720. According to Professor Fenyes, 400 Croats lived here in 1840; whereas
there were only 300 as per the census of 1857.

The Hungarians may have been the majority in the community. Since the
inhabitants had only Hungarian clergymen and schoolteachers since 1870, Croat
children were brought up Hungarian, thereby the usage of the Croatian
language gradually ceased. The author often had occasion to speak with the
Croats there from 1897 up to 1901, who spoke the Ca dialect of the Croatian
coastal areas. In their funerals, they placed a Croatian prayer book under
the head of the deceased in the casket. The inhabitants of the village said
that a part of the Croatian immigrants came here from Parndorf.

Chapter XXX -Appendix:
Services owed to the Landlords

Duties and Services of the Settler in the Imperial Domains of Forchtenstein,
Eisenstadt, Hornstein, Kobersdorf, and Gns

These properties were under the administrative authority of the Lower
Austrian Chamber up to 1626 or 1647. After these domains were returned to
Hungary, little by little the Hungarian regulations came into effect. In
contrast to the serfs in Hungary, the new settlers in the above- mentioned
domains were free owners of the sessiones assigned to them. They could
inherit, buy, sell, or exchange houses and properties. Every change of
property had to be reported to the Domain and was recorded in the real estate

In the first half of the 16 century, duties and services were very small,
because the settlers still had to build dwellings, buy tools and seeds, breed
cattle, and make the ground arable. Building material and firewood were free
of charge from the manorial forests. As far as one can ascertain from the
Urbar, on the whole, the obligations of the settlers in the imperial Domains
were equitable. Apart from the Zehent (1/10th tax on crops and bred cattle),
which was renounced by the church voluntarily and without claiming indemnity
in 1848, there were the following obligations:

Only the two best farms of every village in the Domain were required to pay
the Zehent in the first half of the 16th Century. The Robotleistungen
(obligation to do a fixed amount of work for the domain owner) was assessed
to be 12 days of labor annually. During the Robot "one was sustained with
considerable eating and drinking." A miller from Wulkaprodersdorf for
example, paid annually 30 Metzen (measures of grain), and 2 hens. As per the
Urbar of 1561, the Hornstein farmers (63 in total) had to buy 17 or 18 Eimer
(containers of wine) from the Domain annually, and pay a two-cent markup on
approximately a quarter of a liter. The owner of a whole sessio had to give
(to the owner of the domain) 3-1/2 shillings on St. George's and St.
Michael's Day, 42 cents at Christmas, 5 hens and one loaf of cheese during
the carnival, and 30 eggs at Easter. Half or quarter sessio's paid
correspondingly less.

In 1569, the subjects in the Domain of Eisenstadt had to work 12 days of
Robot with a draught animal, those who had neither ox nor horse did 12 days
of hand labor, "whereby one should sustain them with considerable eating and
drinking". The Kleinhusler had to pay 4 shillings for not having to perform
Robot. The Gertreide (grain) and Weinzehent (wine tax) from the two best
farms in the Domain amounted to approximately 6 guilders in cash for each
village. If millet or buckwheat were cultivated, one had to provide 1/10th
Mandel or Kornmandel (unit measure of corn) (1 Mandel = 20 sheaf's). The
community of Oslip had 7 whole sessio's, 41 half-sessio and 8 Kleinhusler in
1569. They had to pay annually, 36 guilders, 1 shilling, and 10.5 pennies tax
in addition to 64 hens, 596 eggs, 124 loaves of cheese, one measure of flour
(1 Mut = 30 Metzen), and 12 measures of grain. A miller provided 12 measures
of grain and had to pay 2 shillings and 12 pennies of Robotgeld (money paid
instead of working Robot) to the domain owner. The community had to buy
approximately 35 Eimer from the domain. Each Achtring (subdivision of about
1.4 liters) of a container of wine was around 2 cents more expensive than the
normal price. Duties and services were also customary in the other
communities of the Domain.

Duties were raised in the 17th century because of the oncoming Turkish
threat, however the Robotleistung was not. Certain duties of the community of
Sigless were selected from this time period as a typical example of what
taxes were required in 1675:

A local tax (Steuergulden) of 30 guilders, 15 Kreuzer, A small tax of 25
guilders, 2.5 Kreuzer, Wine tableware (Weingeschirr) tax of 70 guilders, Tax
for the cantonment of the Hussars of 166 guilders, A vineyard tax (Bergrecht)
of 35 Eimer, Recorders cash (Schreibergeld) of 17 to 18 guilders, A fruit tax
(Fruchtzehent) of 1 Kreuzer for each shed, A wine tax (Weinzehent) of 2
Kreuzer for each Eimer, A 1/10th tax on the harvest of Buckwheat, seed, and
vegetables On Pentecost Day, the village residents of Sigless and Zillingtal
jointly had to give 10 to 11 Eimer (580 to 638 liters of wine), in addition
to giving annually to the kitchen (of the administration). These donations
included 5 calves, 6 geese, 6 piglets, 296 hens, 700 eggs, and some butter.
The butcher shop provided 1/2 hundredweight (25 kg) of tallow. During the
elections of the Richter (administrative head of the village) each citizen
had to pay 1 Groschen (unit of currency). Similar duties were also required
in the other communities of the former Imperial Domains. Two pieces of
evidence prove that the Hungarian regulations for duties did not come
immediately into force as a result of moving the above mentioned domains to

Franz Kurelac found a song in Unterpullendorf in 1847 with the title "Jacka
od zelezanskoga polja" "Songs of the fields of Eisenstadt". In this song, the
Croats (living) in the surroundings of Eisenstadt praise the fact that they
are neither serfs, nor Fronbauern (farmers who had to perform Robot). They
were able to call themselves "gospoda" (gentlemen), who lacked nothing, and
had everything they desired.

A complaint of the Drassburg farmers also mentions the above contention to
Emperor Karl VI in the year 1734, in which the farmers complain that the new
mortgage owner of the Esterhazy part of the village demanded intolerable
taxes and duties based on Hungarian regulations. They appealed to the Emperor
to ensure that they owe the new creditor, Adam Mesko, only as much taxes and
Robot as were owed according to the Urbarium of the Earldom of Forchtenstein
of 1675. From this document consisting of 29 sheets one can conclude that the
Hungarian feudal regulations were in agreement with the Hungarian county
authorities, effective in this area only from 1734.

The domains of the present day Burgenland remained with Hungary, and
Hungarian regulations were enforced within these domains. Settlers in the
Hungarian area could freely dispose of only their mobile possessions. Farms
and plots of land did not belong to the farmers, but rather to the Domain
owner, and the subjects had to carry all of the national tax burdens. They
paid the fixed portal tax, the extraordinary war taxes and also the various
Urbarial duties to the owner of the Domain for the usage of the house,
fields, vineyards, meadows and pastures belonging to it.

(Only the Urbarial duties such as those on houses, fields, etc. were paid to
the Domain owner, while the portal and war taxes were paid to the County. Ed

According to the 7th decree of Wladislaus II in 1514, all married farmers
received 1gold guilder (100 Dinari) annually, half on St. George's Day, and
half on St. Michael's day. Each week they had to perform a day's Robot, every
month they had to deliver a capon, and give a ninth of all their plantings. A
goose was given at Pentecost and St. Martin's Day, and every house gave a
fatted pig as a gift at Christmas. Adult sons were not allowed to leave the
domain property. Later laws and royal enactment's gave the farmers some
relief. In 1555 the war tax on the subjects was reduced to one- half (1
florin). The subjects were allowed to sell home made wine from St. Michael's
Day until St. George's Day. According to the 14th decree of Ferdinand I. in
the year 1553, serfs could not be forced to work at the castles without pay.

A domain owner who illegally prohibited a tenant from moving away had to pay
a fine of 100 florin (fl) upon the first reminder, and a fine of 200 fl was
due at the time of a second reminder. If he took the risk of obtaining a
third reminder, he stood to lose the sessio in question. (17th decree issued
by King Ferdinand I in 1556.) The house that the subjects had purchased or
built themselves could be sold within a 15-day period. The migrating farmer
was allowed to keep inherited property not belonging to the farm, newly
arable land, vineyards and meadows, but he had to provide the Urbarial duties
attached to these in the future.

As a result of the depression of the subjects, Maria Theresa initiated
(1764/65) a uniform and comprehensive Urbarialwesen (the relationship between
feudal lords and serfs) for the entire country. She ordered the development
of a universal Urbar, for which short summaries of the most important aspects
are presented as they pertained to three categories of inhabitants:
Settled farmers (Bauern) with house, farm, gardens, treading ground, exterior
fields and meadows, Dwellers (Kleinhusler) with house and buildings, Lodgers

Land: A farmer's house included 1.1 square Klafter of land belonging to the
"intravillanum" of the village. Depending on the quality of the soil, a
farmer owning a full sessio owned the following amount of "intravillanum"
land: In Wieselburg County: 20 to 26 Joch fields and 3 to 5 Joch meadows, In
denburg County: 16 to 22 Joch fields and 3 to 5 Joch meadows, In Eisenburg
County: 18 to 22 Joch fields and 3 to 4 Joch meadows.

One Joch was calculated to be the equivalent of 2 Pressburg Metzen. In
addition the farmers received a pasture (Hutweide) and were allowed to take
wood from the forests of the lord (domain).Work duties (Robot) owed to their
Lord: A farmer with a full sessio had to work with two of his cattle or
horses one day each week for his lord. Dwellers and Lodgers had to do 18 or
12 days of manual labor per year respectively for their lords. Taxes: The
Neuntl tax required a farmer to give a ninth part of his harvest to the
domain. A "Bergrecht" (duty) had to be paid to the lord in wine growing areas
irrespective of the amount of the harvest. Other duties: A dweller and lodger
had to pay 1 florin per year to his lord, which had to paid on St. George's
Day and St. Michael's Day. A farmer who owned a full sessio was required to
give annually 2 hens, 2 capons, 12 eggs, and Mass (liter) of lard. Every 30
sessiones had to give between themselves a calf or 1 florin 30 kreuzer. All
duties related to inheritance, inventories, and divisions of property were
abolished, as well as a duty of a tenth portion of inherited, exchanged, or
sold goods. Other taxes such as the Quartiergeld, the Husarengeld, Sichel,
and Zettelgeld and so forth were also abolished. Law Article VII of 1840
allowed the subjects to pay off all duties owed to the feudal Lord. The land
continued to be treated as the property of the domain owner. Law Article V of
1844 provided access for the subjects to all public offices. The year 1848 or
1853 respectively finally brought the long awaited liberation of the farmers
and Sllner. Liberation was also implemented in Hungary via a series of Law
Articles approved in 1848. Law Article IX decreed the lifting of all urbarial
regulations of Robot, Zehent (1/10th tax), Neuntel (1/9th tax), and
Geldabgaben (tax money). The domain owner received a remuneration of 700,
650, or 600 guilders for every whole sessio located in Wieselburg, denburg,
or Eisenburg Counties depending on the quality of the Bauernwirtschaft (land
belonging to the farm). The Kleinhusler had to pay a standard sum of 50
guilders. The former subjects could also eliminate the payment by
(to be continued as newsletter no. 66A. This newsletter continues as 65B.

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