Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 1999-10 > 0939993301

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Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 66 dtd 15 Oct 1999
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 1999 09:15:01 EDT

(issued biweekly by
October 15, 1999
(all rights reserved)

"I can trace my ancestry back to a protoplasmal primordial atomic globule."
W.S. Gilbert: The Mikado

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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 Gssing
Family Names, Religion and Records in the Burgenland, Burgenland
Currency-Current & Historical,and Family Documents.


(Extracted from "Stadterhebung Gssing 1973-Festschrift", wherein Father
Gratian Leser's articles in the 1930's Gssinger Zeitung and the
Draskovich-Batthyany Archives are often quoted as sources).

"Wolfer (Walfer) and brother Heinrich (Hederich)" from Viltonia or Honnsburg
(Styria) with forty riders" build a wooden castle (and dwelling place) on
Mons (Berg) Kiscen. (Simon de Geza writing in the "Gesta Hungarorum of 1282).

Marcus de Kalt writes in 1358, "Then came Wolfgerus with his brother
Hederich, who descended from the Counts of Hainburg, from Deutschland with
300 heavy cavalry ."

Wolfger establishes a Benedictine Cloister and endows it with 10 vineyards,
12 Hufen (unit of measure) of fields and pasture land, 57 people and 24

An Urkunde mentions the building of a masonry fortress "Novum Castrum (New
Castle) in this year, replacing a wooden structure. (Hungarian
"Nemetjuvar"-"the German fortress".

The cloister is dissolved and a masonry castle constructed by order of King
Bela III.

The Pope's Urkunds from these years still mention a Benedictine Cloister
"Monasterium S. Mariae de Monte Quizin" which either still accompanies the
castle or was the Papacy's way of still laying claim to it

Line of the Counts of Gssing dies out. Herrschaft given to Peterfi Family.

Herrschaft mortgaged and lost to the Nikolaus Ujlaky family.

Ujlaky line becomes extinct and Herrschaft Gssing given to Franz Batthyany,
Ban of Croatia, by King Louis (Ludwig) II.

First Mention Of Other Than Dynastic Names:
Tradesmen in this period were mostly German and included Urbanus Filcher,
Blasius Laneator (butcher), Florianus Kowach (smith), Gregor Laneator, the
widow of Krmer Wolfgang and the widow of Krmer Benedikt. Nikolaus Soldos
and Georgius Cherek were two Hungarian merchants. Nikolaus Sanko....Anthonius
de Bozis.

An urbar taken on the feast day of the holy martyr George in 1545 by Franz
von Batthyany, mentions the names of Blasius Mysyak, Peter Horwath, Markus
Rogosar, Jakob Dambsics, Nikolaus Doitsics, Stefan Toth, Simon Sostarics,
Blasius Stansics, Martin Nagy, Peter Robik, Matthias Hirgwala, Matthias Kiss,
Georg Paulikovics, Matthias Kehen, Matthias Belkovics, Johann Gerdasics,
Georg Toth, Barnabus Toth, Johann Berksycs and Peter Medvics.(Ed. Note-these
were probably all close members of his personal military entourage who
accompanied him from Croatia. The names Horwath, Toth, Nagy and Kiss are
still much in evidence in the Gssing area).

Ten Hungarian cavalry captains were part of the castle garrison. Names Kaldy,
Palasthy, Etheny, Fancsy, Hogyeszy, Hidassy, Pottyondy, Vadas, Kun, Keczer.
Each was responsible for 13 to 87 men.

The urbar of 1635 mentions 42 houses in the "innere Stadt" (inner city within
the defensive works). 26 were Hungarian, 7 German, 6 Croatian. Names were
Sanko, Horvath, Farkas, Vincze and Solyom, Franczicz Berendi, Kopjajarto.
Boros, Prosnyak, Voinovics, Lusaikovics, Varadi, Foit, Szarka, Jobbagy,
Hahoty, Pogany, Boldisar Deak, Falusy Deak, Baraszowicz, Kisfaludy, Szilagyi,
Pernesy, Kasnar (Kastner), Czenczy, Bozay, Binkly (Winkler), Puskarics,
Etvs, Bodar (Bader), Bernard.

In "der Hofstat" (outer city-including Langzeil and Rosenberg) were 88
houses, 48 Hungarian, 17 German and 5 Croatian; three families Varga,
Czismasia, Toth and Alcz; two Sanko, Hahoti, Trombitas, Sziarto, Czizar,
Osbold (Oswald), Beller (Weller), Boros and Horvatt; also a Etvs, Barbely,
Maihanowics, Voinovics, Erdely, Solyom, Boldisar Deak, Szcz, Medvesy,
Farkas, Gomkt (Gombkt), Szamaros, Szarkzy, Gdry, Karoly, Longh (Lang),
Fronk (Frank), Harbud, Kopas, Praschay, Herian, Kefer, Drabont (Trabant),
Nagy, Kenyeres, Szabo, Czigan, Doctor Purgolt, Verhas, Bakfldy, Kotsis,
Barbaricz, Lakatiarto, Nemeth, Nadaly, Puskarics, Boite (Beythe) and Bodar
(Bader). Also a cowherd, a swine herd, an Hungarian brick maker, a German
weaver (first Weber?), a Turkish tailor, a German locksmith, a laundry, a
blacksmith, a distillery, a parish house, a "Wirtshaus" (tavern), a mill and
offices of the Herrschaft. The urbar is in Hungarian and
Lakatyarto=Schlosser, Gombkt=Huter, Etvs=Goldschmeid, Szabo=Schneider,
Sziarto=Reimer, Cziszar=Waffenschmeid.

On 4 January 1727, the town council assembled with the following present:
Statt Richter (like mayor), the noble Johann Michael Masznacky, council
members Georg Kollmann, Georg Rssler, Mathiasz Graff, Christoph Schwarz,
Johannes Spanring, Jacob Hack, Johann Karlowitsch, Frantz Prieling, Michael
Sorger and Johannes Gabler. (Ed. Notice the prevalence of German as opposed
to Hungarian or Croatian names.)

The Batthyany urbar of 1732 mentions 36 houses in the Inneren Stadt (13
Hungarian, 3 German) against 141 in the Vorstadt (91 German, 6 Hungarian and
9 Croatian). It appears that within 100 years there has been considerable
German immigration. Also in 1736, 24 Jewish families appear in Gssing.
Samedl, Mayerl, Volff Samuel, Moyses Samuel, Lazar Joseph, Leebel, Adam
Schneider, Boruk, Jacob Israel, Lebel Isaak, Samson Sachter, Isaac, Joseph
Ferencz, Urban Isaac, Lebel Jacob, Hirsl Jacob, Joseph, Abraham Perll, Joseph
Kloser, Leffmon, Moyses Adam, Joseph Salamon, Abraham Barok, Moyses Abraham-a
total of 76 in all.

In the vicinity of Krottendorf (nw and part of the outer city) are 17 houses
with the following families (occupations in German follow some names). Georg
Kratzer, Hans Geigner, Matthias Klanacsky, Weber, Untertan aus Eisenhttl;
Georg Frisch, Leibkutscher; Hans Preiner, Heizer, Georg Fuchs, Schumacher;
Martin Unger, Trabant; Martin Preiner, Schweinehalter; Simom Mayr, "Huitter";
Georg Szakacsics, Johann Deutsch, Christian Friedrich, Ochsenknecht;
Christoph Artinger, Johannes Karlovics, Nicholaus Marther, Simon Gugonaufer,

A lengthy listing of inhabitants both in the inner and outer city is also
available. This will be published in subsequent newsletters.

Bob writes: "Thanks very much for the information on your family. My
grandfather, Stephen Poandl, was Catholic. My grandmother was neither
Catholic nor Lutheran but Evangelical. When I visited Austria I was pressed
for time but did drive past an Evangelical Church in Rudersdorf."

Ed: Lutheran and Evangelical are synonymous terms in Austria. Also referred
to as "Augsburg Confession". The history of the church in the Burgenland is
fascinating. I've found that in southern Burgenland it pays to search the
records of all faiths.

The Batthyany Family (the Herrschaft or aristocracy) were very tolerant and
during a period when religious feelings ran high (Reformation, Counter
Reformation, the 30 Year's War, etc.) their tolerance attracted settlers
(refugees) of all persuasions. Hebrew, Catholic, Lutheran and Calvinist (the
latter being mostly Hungarian).

In 1538 Mathias Biro von Devai, a follower of Luther, began preaching in
Gssing. Very charismatic, he soon converted the region. Balthasar Batthyany
(1543-1590), who then had the Herrschaft of Gssing took a Lutheran wife and
turned protestant as a result. Thus most of southern Burgenland (below
Oberwart) became Lutheran. "Cuius regio eius religio" -he who reigns
determines religion. Since Styria and other surrounding Germanic regions were
and remained strongly Catholic, many Lutherans migrated to Batthyany
territory creating the small Lutheran enclaves you find today around
Eltendorf, Kukmirn and Stegersbach(about 14% of Austria today is still
Lutheran). There are also some enclaves in what was Esterhazy territory
(northern Burgenland) around Rust and Mrbisch am See. Balthasar's grandson
Adam; however, returned to the Catholic church in 1630. The crown also
declared for the Catholic faith. This ended the protestant era in the
Burgenland and within 20 years Lutheran churches were closed or again
Catholic, although Lutheran prayer houses (Bethausen) were still allowed.
Adam then built the existing Franciscan Cloister and Kirche Maria Heimsuchung
in Gssing making this region a very strong Catholic center. In 1781 Joseph
II issued the Tolerance Patent, which again allowed Lutheran churches, and
most now date from that time. In some villages we find both Lutheran and
Catholic churches (Kukmirn, Stegersbach, etc.). The present spirit seems to
be an ecumenical one and I've attended joint memorial services honoring
emigrants to America because of monetary help they've supplied over the years
to rebuild churches, etc. During WWII, churches in Heiligenkreuz, Eltendorf,
Knigsdorf and elsewhere suffered much war damage as the Russians moved west.

All this helps me understand my ancestors better, but my main interest is in
the availability of records. The church records of baptism, marriage and
death are the most complete. In Latin, German and Hungarian, some are in
script but they can be translated. To find them we must know the history of
the church in the area. Very little has survived from the 1500's. Many
churches did not keep records until about 1550 (decreed by the Council of
Trent) and many that were kept were probably destroyed when the Turks moved
on Vienna. Later in 1602, the Kurruzen Wars (Hungarian revolution) destroyed
what remained (Gssing and most villages in the district were burned at this
time). Later (1683) the Turks came again to Vienna. As a result, records
before 1700 are scarce. Most churches start around 1770. Some out of the way
Hungarian churches have records from the 1600's. Some Austrian catholic
records predating those stored in churches are available at the
Diozesanarchiv in Eisenstadt. We have corresponded with Dr. Hans Peter Zelfel
who is the custodian and some of our members have visited and copied records.

Lutheran records for the most part are located in the churches. During the
Nazi era, some were photocopied (the records show stamps to that effect) and
may be in Lutheran Archives or they were sent to Berlin and lost.

The LDS (Mormon Church) microfilmed everything (all of today's Burgenland
churches of all faiths) available in archives in Budapest (mostly church
1828-1896 and civil 1896-1921). They have not as yet been successful in
copying pre 1828 records or many from other Austrian states. There is still
some reluctance to allow LDS copiers everywhere. These LDS records, available
from their family history centers have become the main source of Burgenland
genealogical data in the US. I have since learned that that are is also an
LDS family history center in Vienna.

Having exhausted these records for my families, I'm now looking for any older
surviving ones. It's just possible that some may exist in some of the church
libraries, monasteries, state archives, family holdings, etc. The Cloister in
Gssing as an example has a large library of incunabula and early church
records and books which have only been studied by a few people. It is not
generally open to the public. Father Gratian Leser (Prior and Librarian-now
deceased) translated some in the 1930's dealing with village history,
published them in the Gssing Zeitung and we've (Albert Schuch, et al)
translated those into English. The Batthyany archives now in Budapest have
only been scratched. The Esterhazy records in Castle Forchtenstein are also
not generally available to the public. There is more and more interest in
this area and many Austrian-Hungarian scholars are using the subject for
dissertations. Thus they dig for us. Problem is getting English translations.
We have also been able to locate and translate some early Canonical
Visitation and Urbar records from the 1600's. They mention family names but
give no details. Still they prove the existence of a family name at an early
period and may someday lead to place of origin. I also find that church
record keeping differs in various parishes, almost at the whim of the parish
priest-some kept more records than others. So the search continues.


Albert Schuch copied me when he answered a question from Bob Schatz. As is
often the case, this suggested the subject for an article. The many different
types of currency and coin circulating in the Burgenland area over the
centuries would have required the services of an accountant. Most aristocrats
or merchants used money changers, bankers, stewards or keepers of the
exchequer. I'm only going to list later period coins and monetary units
originating in Austria or Hungary. Be aware many others circulated quite
freely. If some economist in the BB would like to try calculating current
values in dollars I'd be forever in their debt.

Albert writes: Bob, following is my answer to a question I received recently.
I think you sent a similar question some time ago and I never replied. Maybe
this answer is of use to you too.

Question... 4400 florins. I tried to look florins up and found no
information, do
> you know how that would convert to dollars?

Answer...The florin (in German: Gulden) was the standard currency unit in
Austria-Hungary until 1892, when it was replace by the Krone (2 Gulden = 1
Krone). My Muret-Sanders-Dictionary (published in 1905) gives the following

1 Krone = 0.203 Golden Dollars or 0.196 Silver Dollars; which makes 1 Krone =
20.263 Cents or 19.644 Cents (s.c.) Hence: 1 florin = 0.405 Golden Dollars or
0.393 Silver Dollars; which makes 1 florin = 40.525 Cents or 39.287 Cents

Some Austrian-Hungarian Coins and Units of Currency (see "Dictionary of Coin
Names", Adrian Room, Routledge,Keegan,Paul Publishers 1987).

Conventionstaler-a thaler struck in 1753 following agreement that 2 gulden
were to be worth 1 thaler. Best known after 1780 was Maria Theresia thaler.

Ducat-well known silver or gold coin circulating for years in many forms
throughout Europe. First gold ducat issued in Venice in 1284.

Filler-low value coin of Hungary corresponding to the heller. In 1892 worth
1/100th of Austrian krone. In 1925 1/100th of a pengo. Currently 1/100th of a

Florin-name from gold coins of Florence first struck in the mid 13th century.
Became interchangeable with other gold coins of equal weight.

Forint-Hungarian equivalent of the florin equal to 100 filler. Again
introduced in 1946 to take the place of the pengo. Now aluminum.

Fnfzehnkreuzer-15 kreuzer coin of Austria struck 1659-64 under Leopold I to
pay for Turkish War expenses

Goldgulden-main gold coin of southern Germany from 15th century. Issued to
supercede gold coins of Italy (like florin). About the size of a ducat but
not as pure or heavy in gold.

Groschen-chief silver coin of the Holy Roman Empire, now 1/100th of the
Austrian schilling. (in Germany the name can be used to mean a 10 pfennig

Gulden-original gold coin of Germany, Austria and Hungary. Corresponded to
the florin, and Dutch guilder. In use 14th to 17th centuries. Silver thaler
was also referred to as gulden.

Haler-smallest unit of Czech currency =1/100th koruna. Equals Hungarian

Heller-silver coin first struck in Germany in the 13th century. Spread to
Austria when struck as a copper piece. In Austria equal to 1/100th of a krone
from 1893-1925.

Koruna-silver coin of Hungary 1892-1925.

Kreuzer-Austrian copper coin equal to 1/100th of a florin as late as 19th

Krone-Austrian silver coin from 1892-1925 with a value of 100 hellers.
Pictures a crown.

Maria Theresa Thaler-best known of all silver thalers in use 1753-1960's
(throughout mid east). Date frozen at 1780. High quality minting and silver
content. Has portrait of Empress Maria Theresa. Still a fine Austrian

Marienducat-various ducats which portrayed Virgin Mary. Hungarian struck in
17th century, also Marienthaler.

Mark (from 1924 Reichsmark-now Deutschmark)-German coin struck in 1506. In
silver in 1873, value was set as 100 pfennigs.

Pengo-silver coin of Hungary 1925-1946 = 100 filler.

Pfennig-well known German coin originated as silver denier, later (16th
century) copper piece, now worth 1/100th of a mark. It, penny and pengo are
all derived from the Roman denarius.

Schilling-main monetary unit and coin of Austria since 1925. Divided into 100
groschen. Name relates to English shilling. Value fluctuates between .08 and
.09 dollars,

Thaler-the predecessor and progenitor of the dollar. Originated in the Tyrol
and Bohemia. Large silver coin originally equal in value to a gold gulden.
First minted in 1518 in "Joachimsthal" mine (Joachim's valley) hence
"thaler". Became popular on an international scale. Accepted everywhere. When
Austrian gulden was introduced, value was set as 2 gulden = 1 thaler.

Ungaro-Italian name for Hungarian ducat.

FAMILY DOCUMENTS (Suggested by Dave Schmaldienst and Joe Jarfas)
Families save all sorts of things. Some have genealogical value. My
grandfather Sorger had a big iron Meilinck safe on his 2nd floor in
Allentown. It required three men and a boy to move it. When I opened it in
1982 hoping to find treasure, I wasn't disappointed. Found some old Austrian
pocket watches, a gold coin and other bits of personal jewelry, old deeds,
cancelled mortgages etc. The family naturalization papers were there as well
as certificates of birth, marriage, death and some old European
correspondence. No passports or emigration papers. There were some strange
things, like receipts for burials that took place years ago, tradesmen's
receipts from when the house was built and a stack of receipted tax and water
bills. Had any been in Hungarian I'd have tried to translate them and been

Now along comes Dave Schmaldienst who found just such a trove and he asks if
I know what they are. These are in Hungarian so I can just scratch the
surface, (my answers are in parens) and I sent them to Joe Jarfas. His
answers follow:

> I. Kotelezveny (Indenture or agreement?)

This could be a mortgage, intent to buy or sell real estate or something
similar. (Would the document be folded along the long axis and written
accordingly? - at least on one side?)Dave if you have a scanner and attach it
to an E-mail I can tell more.

> II. Hazassagi anyakonyvi kivonat. (abstract from marriage certificate)
> 35 szam (number) 1897
> Down the page a little
> 1. mint volegeny: Schmaldinst Josef (groom's name)
> 2. mint menyasszony: Simandel Julianna (bride's name)
> Stamped in purple ink on the bottom on the page a circle
> RADAFALVAI ( this is the Hungarian name for Rudersdorf)
> (A crest in the center)
> ANYAKONYVI KEROLET (request for registration of birth or marriage)

This should tell you Josep and Julianna's parents, address and age.

> III. The next certificate is all hand written and very hard to read
> Top left corner is two numbers 8493 897
> To the right of the numbers is the following as best as I can read it.
> Szimandel Julianna pevj.
> Schmaldinst Jonsefue nt
> hideg Ruti la Ros Revvenye -- Hidedkuti vros trvnye? or ???

This is a deposit or statement to a notary - from the looks of it. It
might have involved the sale of a real estate, possibly as a result of
leaving. Or it could be a tax statement to make sure they fulfilled their
obligation to the state. Again a scan would help. (I have some similar
documents regarding real estate transactions - all hand written - so I know
what it looks like to you ... and I know the language!)

> IV The certificate is part printed and mostly hand written
> Tekintetes
> kir.jarasbirosag mint telekkonyvi hatosaghoz
> Szent-Gotthardon
> KERVENYE (application)

This is definitely a real estate transaction of sorts. Whenever somebody
bought or sold real estate it had to go to the circuit court to record the
deed or change owners, etc. since the courts were the holders of registration
> V. A Mortage paper from Allentown, Lehigh County listing the Mortgage
> book and page.

This of course you recognize as the same in English .
Newsletter continues as no. 66A

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