BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L ArchivesArchiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 2000-02 > 0951831127
Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 75A dtd 29 Feb 2000
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 08:32:07 EST
THE BURGENLAND BUNCH NEWS -No. 75A
DEDICATED TO AUSTRIAN-HUNGARIAN BURGENLAND FAMILY HISTORY
(issued biweekly by )
February 29, 2000
This second section of the 3 section newsletter contains an article
concerning "A Voyage from Europe to the United States; The 1901 Journey of
the Artinger Family to America." This is another in the series of
"Auswandererschicksal" or immigrant stories from members of the Burgenland
Bunch. We would like to publish similar stories concerning each immigrant
family being researched by Burgenland Bunch members. In addition there is an
article concerning travel time, Burgenland to New York , an article,
Burgenland-Its Formation and Name and an Imre Family Contact from Burgenland.
An Article from the Ardinger Archives by
Dennis B. Ardinger
When the S. S. Kensington sailed into New York harbor on April 18, 1901,
Alois Artinger was only one of the thousand passengers who crowded on deck to
see the Statue of Liberty. They were all glad that the twelve day passage
across the Atlantic was over and each of them felt some apprehension for the
future. This was a new country with strange customs and a different
language. How would they survive here?
As the ship slowly sailed into port and maneuvered to the Red Star Line's
dock, a hundred questions filled his mind. His twelve year old son, Franz,
stood next to him at the rail along with a few neighbors who had made the
voyage with them. What the future had ahead for them was a complete unknown.
His wife and sons were still in Austria, he had no job, and he had only
twelve dollars in his pocket.
* * * * *
Alois Artinger and Maria Zwikl were my great grandparents. (The names are
often found as Louis Artinger and Mary Czwikl or Zwickle) For the past
twenty-two years, I have been slowly gathering pieces of the story of how
their family came to America. It is a simple story not unlike that of
millions of other immigrants yet it stands as a fine example of courage that
can be admired by their descendants and others for many years to come.
Alois Artinger was born in the small village of Sandorhegy, Jaras (Bezirk)
Nemetujvar (Güssing), Vas Megye, Hungary, in 1856. (population 202 in 1873).
Inhabitants were Roman Catholic and attended church in Felsoronok. Today,
Sandoehegy is called Tschanigraben and is in Bezirk Güssing, Burgenland,
Alois was the son of Johann and Theresa Artinger of Sandorhegy. The
population of Sandorhegy was always very small and even today it is only
seventy-eight people. The border between Austria and Hungary now passes near
the town and the village is within the borders of Austria. But, in 1856, the
area was all part of the vast Austro-Hungarian Empire. The village belonged
to Hungary in 1856 and was part of that country until after World War I. In
1921, the name of Sandorhegy was changed to Tschanigraben. It is at the
extreme eastern part of Western Europe.
Mary Zwikl was born October 19, 1865 in the nearby town of Heiligenkreuz im
Lafnitztal in Vas Megye, Hungary. The town was called Raba Keresztur in
Hungary and it is also now part of Bezirk Jenersdorf, Land Burgenland ,
Austria. She was the daughter of Franz Zwikl and Theresa Hauser.
Both Alois and Mary were Roman Catholic and they married in Heiligenkreuz on
January 25, 1883. Alois was 27 years old and Mary was 17. They raised a
large family of boys which included: Franz, born August 3, 1888; Alois, born
February 20, 1890; Herman, born in 1892; Rudolph born June 29, 1895; Joseph,
born November 22, 1897; twins - Johannes and Coleman, (both died soon
afterwards) born February 23, 1901 and Albert, born August 23, 1902. Albert,
my grandfather, was the only son born in America.
The Decision to Leave Hungary
In 1901, Alois, then 45 years old, and Mary, then 36 years old, made the
decision to permanently emigrate to America and cross the Atlantic Ocean
along with others from their town of Heiligenkreuz inVas Megye, Hungary.
This was a major decision and it was a turning point in the history of the
family. It would forever change their lives and, once made, things would
never be the same again.
They would not be alone in making this change. This was a big decision but
it was also being made by many neighbors and relatives. Some had crossed the
ocean before them and there were relatives in the United States encouraging
them to come to Pennsylvania. Among these were Mary's younger brother, Franz
Zwikl, who had gone ahead to McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania (near Pittsburgh) in
1900 and Alois's uncle, John Artinger, who was living in Allentown,
Pennsylvania. Even though the language and customs were different, they were
assured that there was enough of a family support system in place that it
would give them a chance for a much better life. Jobs were plentiful and
finding regular work would not be a problem.
All of the members of the family of Alois and Mary Artinger did not come to
the United States at the same time in 1901. The crossing was made slowly, a
few people at a time, and was not completed until 1913.
What is unclear at this time is whether Alois came to the United States in
1898 with his eight year old son, Alois, as recorded in the 1910 federal
census schedules for McKees Rocks. This record conflicts with one of the
questions asked by immigration officials which was whether the person had
ever been to the United States before. When asked this question in 1901, the
immigration records show that Alois said that he had not been. If he did
come in 1898, then when did he return to Austria to get the rest of the
family? They do not appear in the 1900 census in McKees Rocks. I think the
1910 census may be incorrect. Whoever gave that information to the census
taker may have simply been mistaken about the year.
Alois Artinger sailed in steerage class from Antwerp, Belgium on April 6,
1901 aboard the steamer, S. S. Kensington. The ship stopped at Southampton,
England to take on additional passengers, and then continued the slow
crossing of the Atlantic Ocean at 14 knots (16 mph). He arrived at Ellis
Island on April 18, 1901. A study of the ship's passenger list shows that he
came with only his 12 year old son, Franz, and a few neighbors from the old
country. One of these was Julie Nikitscher, aged 17, who was coming to
Pittsburgh to meet her sister, Teresia. Julie later married John Artinger.
The passenger manifest shows that Alois's destination was Allentown, Lehigh
County, Pennsylvania near Philadelphia. He was going there to meet up with
his uncle, John Artinger. Alois was not a rich man and the records show that
he had only $12.00 with him.
Alois's wife, Mary Zwikl Artinger, made the crossing on the same vessel but
on a later trip in 1901. She departed Antwerp on August 31st, stopped
briefly at Southampton, England, and arrived at Ellis Island on September
11th of that year. She came with her husband's cousin, Juliana Kiglar, and
met up with her husband in Egypt, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania where there
were also some relatives. Egypt is a small town on the outskirts of
Allentown. From there, probably traveling by train, Alois and Mary moved
west to McKees Rocks where the family finally settled. McKees Rocks is in
Allegheny County near Pittsburgh and is located on the Ohio River.
One may wonder why Alois and Mary did not travel together on the long
journey. I suspect that the reason was because Mary had given birth to twin
boys on February 23, 1901. Both twins, named Johannes and Coleman, died
shortly afterwards (the exact date has not yet been determined). It is
possible that either Mary was ill after the boys were born and needed more
time to recover or that the twins lived for awhile but were too ill to make
the long trip to America. Whatever the case, it was decided that in April,
Alois and Franz would make the crossing together and that Mary would catch up
as quickly as she could afterwards.
The overall trip from Heiligenkreuz im Lafnitzal to Allentown, Pennsylvania
must have taken at least five to six weeks. Travel to Vienna and then on to
the port of Antwerp would have taken a minimum of one week. Then there was a
required "pre-sailing" period for preparations. This period could take up to
eighteen days depending on the port. The ocean crossing took twelve days and
then there was the "processing" at Ellis Island. Once completed, the trip to
Allentown could take several days. All together, the traveling experience
made for the adventure of a lifetime. It took not only endurance, but great
Arrival at Ellis Island
When the S. S. Kensington docked in New York City in 1901 after its twelve
day ocean voyage, the steerage class passengers were transported by ferries
to Ellis Island for inspection by United States Immigration Officers.
Immigrants boarded the ferries either at the Red Star Line's company docks or
were escorted directly from the ship for processing.
On the island, Immigration Officers inspected the passengers and made
decisions on who could stay in the United States or, in some cases, who had
to be returned. Immigration laws prohibited the admission of those with
dangerous contagious diseases, or those who suffered any disability, whether
physical or mental, that might inhibit their ability to make a living.
Public Health Service doctors were stationed on Ellis Island to screen the
passengers. If the doctors determined that an arriving immigrant suffered
such a disease or disability, and it was not curable, they could be forced to
return to the country from which they came.
Immigrant aid organizations tried to relieve the boredom and fears of new
arrivals and they often accompanied them during their processing.
Representatives of social service agencies with offices on Ellis Island often
helped women and children traveling alone. Under the law, unaccompanied women
and children could not be admitted except into a husband or relative's
custody. Sometimes ethnic organizations accepted responsibility for such
immigrants and saw that they were safely reunited with their family or
When Mary Zwikl Artinger arrived on September 11, 1901 she was traveling with
her husband's cousin, Juliana Kiglar and others from her hometown. I do not
know for certain if her husband, Alois, was there to meet her in New York
City or whether he waited for her arrival in Egypt, Pennsylvania.
Final Settlement in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania
Alois Artinger had no problem finding work as a laborer in McKees Rocks and
here he lived out his days on Bouquet Street surrounded by many neighbors
from "the old country". He died there in 1910 and is buried in St. Mary's
Cemetery. Mary lived to the ripe old age of 95 and died in 1961. She is
buried with him. I cherish the few memories I have of sitting on her front
porch talking to her when I was 13. She always retained a thick accent and
is remembered to this day as being an excellent cook. How I wish now that I
had talked with her and written down the stories of the other members of the
family in Austria-Hungary, her emigration, and her life. Retracing her steps
now would be so much richer in detail.
TRAVEL TIME, BURGENLAND TO NEW YORK (G. Berghold)
Denis Ardinger asks the following question:
In a message dated 2/6/00 12:49:30 PM Eastern Standard Time,
<< I do have a question that may be of value to others that I have not seen
specifically addressed and that concerns the travel time between Burgenland
and New York City. I found in the newsletter that the travel time could have
been as short as 10 days. However, I thought it was much longer based on
information on the Ellis Island website where it says that the European ports
required emigrants to be at the embarkation port many days, and sometimes
weeks, in advance of departure. >>
Answer: Hello Dennis, First let me thank you for forwarding your family
history. I read it with much pleasure. Linking the descendants of our
immigrant ancestors is the first requirement for research in the Burgenland.
I was also pleased to see that you prepared a family history as well as a
genealogy. Most of the data you will find in the BB newsletter archives is
more appropriate for a family history, since it would be impossible for us to
research all of the family genealogies. I hope that the genealogical data can
be found and shared via the membership...
Since you obviously have this material on disk, I strongly urge you to edit
your Family History for our newletter. Requirements would be text only (send
it as .txt file), less than 25K bytes (about 7 pages....We'd publish your
edited story as a complete section B of the newsletter. Following that I'd
suggest joining the Burgenlandische Gemeinschaft ($15/yr) and sending it to
them as an "Auswandererschicksal". This way you preserve the story for
To get back to your question which is a good one to be shared in the
newsletter. One of the things you'll find in our archives are some
itineraries. You'll notice that they all differ depending on time frame and
route (before and after the establishment of steam ships and rail transport
among other variables). Some ships in the 1890-1920 period, could make the
voyage in as little as 7 days, others required as much as 14. Size of the
ships grew enormously during this period (2M tons in 1870 to over 50M tons by
1914). Weather and schedules were of course a factor. It was not unusual for
immigrants to spend a few weeks waiting for a departure or in quarantine
during epidemics. Travel to port of embarkation was also subject to many
variables. There were also itineraries involving transfers (indirect
migration) to another ship in England or France although lines operating out
of Hamburg and Bremen and Antwerp were mostly direct (between 1870-1910, 1.3
out of 1.8 million eastern European migrants used the first two ports).
During the period in question you'll also find that "travel agents" were
established throughout the Burgenland (there were 5, I believe, in Güssing
alone). These would sell a "ticket" for travel to port of embarkation,
ultimate port of destination and on to US destination, very similar to what
agents do today. Migrants making those kind of arrangements were sped to
their destinations, any governmental or health interference aside. I've even
seen early 1900's cases where these "tickets" were purchased in the US by
relatives and forwarded through agents in Europe. My own maternal grandmother
(1905 arrival in NY), her sister and mother received their rail and
ship"tickets" this way from her brother in Allentown.
In 1871, the White Star "Oceanic" crossed from the UK in 8 to 10 days. In
1890, HAPAG's "Augusta Victoria" made 7 days Southhampton to NY, down from
10-12, for older ships. From this point on, a week became the norm for the
larger more modern vessels (which were being built to accommodate the
lucrative immigrant trade). So assuming a peasant, "ticketed" in Güssing
could make the proper connections, he could easily reach Hamburg in 2 days
(rail and river transport), spend one day clearing port and reach NY 7 -10
days later. Total trip, 10-13 days. With scheduling or health problems or
bureaucratic interference, yes this could easily expand to a month or more.
You should also be aware that up to 25% of migrants returned (most being
seasonal "arbeiter" or workers). Short travel time and cheap fares is what
made this possible.
You might also read newsletters nos. 7, 13 and 36 if you haven't already done
so. The book "Crossings", The Great Transatlantic Migrations, 1870-1914; by
Walter Nugent, Indiana Univ. Press, 1995 is well recommended. The source of
much of what I've stated.
I'm planning an article on immigrant ships of the 1890-1920 period in excess
of 15M tons. I'll show the average crossing times where available.
BURGENLAND, ITS FORMATION & NAME (G. Berghold)
In a message dated 2/13/00 7:46:52 AM Eastern Standard Time,
<< Just to complete your very interesting and well performed Burgenland page:
Burgenland was formed not out of some parts of three but of four Hungarian
counties. The fourth is Poszony (Preßburg, Bratislava) to which some villages
in Northern Burgenland belonged. >>
Reply: I appreciate your kind words and your interest, but I believe you'll
find that only the Megyet of Vas, Moson and Sopron contributed villages to
the Burgenland. The northern most villages today in the vicinity of
Bratislava (old Pozsony Megye) are Kittsee, Edelstal, Pama and Deutsch
Jahrndorf. These are the only Burgenland villages which could possibly have
fallen under the jurisdiction of Pressburg (Bratislava-Hungarian Pozsony
Megye). I use a map with a scale of 1:200,000 (1cm=2km) and all villages are
Villages in Slovakia immediately over the border are Petrzalka (Engerau)and
Rusovce. Berg, Wolfsthal and Hainburg are in the province of Lower (Nieder)
Austria. They may have been in Pozsony Megye, Hungary.
Joh. Dvorzsak in "Orts-Lexicon Von Ungarn", pub. 1877 shows the following
(subsequently seconded by Josef Loibersbeck: "Am Waasen". In: Volk und
Heimat, 1966 and Karl Semmelweis in "Die Bezirkseinteilung des Burgenlandes
nach dem Anschluss an Oesterreich im Jahre 1921, in Burgenländische
Forschungen Sonderband VII, Eisenstadt 1984, ppg.378-385):
Kittsee-(Hungarian name Köpcseny)-from Moson Megye (county), Bezirk
Edelstal-(Hung. Nemesvolgy- from Moson Megye, Bezirk Rajka
Pama-(Hung. Kortvelyes)-from Moson Megye, Bezirk Rajka
Deutsch Jahrndorf-(Hung. Nemet and Horvat Jarfalu)-from Moson Megye, Bezirk
If you know of any villages in the Burgenland which you are certain came from
Pozsony Megye, please let us know. The above sources don't mention any.
The political sub divisions of Hungary pre 1918 were Megye-Comitat (county or
province); Jaras-Bezirk (district). Today in the Burgenland, they use the
Austrian German titles which are Land-Province, Bezirk (district or county)
and Gemeinde (community of villages).
All of the remaining approximately 400 towns and villages as we move north to
south came from the three Megye mentioned, most being from Vas (Vasvar).
Burgenland received its name from the "burg" ending of the names of the
counties (Megye) from which it was proposed by the Treaty of St. Germain
(1919) that they were expected to be derived. The four "Burgen" are Pressburg
(Bratislava), Wieselburg (Moson), Odenburg (Sopron) and Eisenburg (Vasvar) as
you mention. The subsequent Treaty of Trianon (1921) and the Plebescite
changed all that and the original proposed Burgenland border shifted west,
leaving some villages and towns in Hungary; most important being the Odenburg
salient. (see page 173, "Geschichte Des Burgenlandes-Lehrbuch für die
Oberstufe"-available from the Landesarchiv-Eisenstadt). The original proposal
could well have included villages from Pozsony Megye in the north as well as
Odenburg in order to include the railroad. Today all that is remembered is
that these refer to castles in these places and that "Burgen" or castles is
part of the name.
Not to belabor the issue, you'll find that Prof. Andrew Burghardt, in his
English language historical geography of the Burgenland, "Borderland", Univ.
of Wisconsin Press, 1962; states on page 208, "Until the time of its transfer
to Austria, Burgenland had consisted of the western portions of three
Hungarian megye (being the counties of Vas, Moson, and Sopron-my addition).
Each of these comitats had been focused on its own central town..."
Both the manner in which the Burgenland acquired its name as well as the
regions from which it derived are often misconstrued, as a result of changes
which took place between 1919 and 1921. I believe you'll find our data
correct. Much local trauma evolved from the treaties which dismembered the
Empire and Hungary. Compared to the large portions of land lost to other
countries, the Burgenland region was minor and meant little to Austria or
Hungary. A name for the new province was the least of the problems. None the
less, the plebiscite contributed to the omission of the "Burgen" which today
are not part of Burgenland. It might have been better if they had selected
the name "Heinzenland" however, there are more than enough castles left in
the Burgenland proper to justify keeping the name. See our newsletter no.13A.
Regards, Gerry Berghold
P. S. You may wish to join us or scan more of our material. See attached
AN AUSTRIAN CONTACT (from William Imre)
Bill () writes : Hello Gerald...thanks for all the help. We
received the following email:
Karin Rehberger[ ]
My name is Karin REHBERGER. My grandfather was Alexander IMRE, born in 1901.
He was the brother of your father. My mother, Helga SCHRANZ gave me your
E-mail. She is your cousin, born in 1942. She is living in Bad Tatzmannsdorf,
and so do I with my little daughter JENNY. I don't know exactly how I can
help you. I would be glad to hear more of you in the next time. My mother has
an old book, where I found the names of your parents and grandparents. Your
grandfather was Alexander IMRE, born 1.7.1863 in Oberwart; Your grandmother
was Maria IMRE, her name before the marriage was KIRNBAUER, born 4.5.1875 in
Willersdorf. They married 21.1.1894 in Oberschützen. I hope I could help you
a little and I am very happy to hear from you. I didn't know that I have
some relationship living in the USA. My grandparents told me often about
their brothers and sisters who went to USA a long time ago. But no one said
exactly where they are living. I am really happy to hear from you!!!!!! Sorry
for not writing earlier, and sorry for my English. It isn't the best. It's a
long time over that I learned this language. Write back if you need more
information and I will try to get it.
(Newsletter continues as no.75B)