Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 2000-04 > 0955803431

Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 78 dtd 15 April 2000
Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 08:57:11 EDT

(issued biweekly by )
April 15, 2000
(all rights reserved)

Some pre 1921 Royal Austro/Hungarian Abbreviations:

o Shared: Austro/Hungarian "k. u. k." Imperial and Royal-kaiserlich und

o Austrian only: "k. k." Imperial and Royal-kaiserlich-königlich;

o Hungarian only: "k. u." Royal Hungarian, königlich ungarisch or kiraly
magyar ("k. m.")

o The Royal Navy (yes there was a Navy based at Pola [today Pula] on the
Adriatic Sea ) designated its ships as S. M. S. (Seiner Magestäts Schiff)

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't help with non-Burgenland family history. Comments and articles are
appreciated. Please add your name to email, otherwise we must search large
membership lists. Staff and web site addresses are listed at the end of
newsletter section "B". Articles with no by-line are written by the editor.
This first section of the 3 section newsletter concerns The BB Surname List
and a New Maps Section, Are You an Active or Passive Member, Permission to
Copy BB Newsletters, Finding Proper Birth Records When There Are Duplicate
Candidates, Storks Arrive in Güssing, the "Schwarze Madonna" of Güssing, Some
New Maps of Burgenland and Gleanings from the Latest Burgenländische
Gemeinschaft News.


A little over a year ago we had to freeze the Surname List when our
maintenance volunteer resigned. We advertised for a replacement, but not many
members had the necessary computer expertise to take it over and others were
too busy with other matters. Member Thomas Steichen recently volunteered and
he has the new list up and running. It will be a while before the backlog of
entries gets reflected in the file so be patient, Tom has already made
significant inroads into the backlog.

We are considering eliminating the hyperlinks to member's addresses from this
file since you can hyperlink from the member list. Maintenance of email
address changes is very frustrating and time consuming and the fewer places
these have to be made the better, something for members to consider. Although
we realize the internet is changing rapidly and service from any given server
can deteriorate, it is not wise to indiscriminately change email addresses.
It causes newsletter editors severe headaches and can lead to all sorts of
problems in the address and hyperlink files. I'm sorry to say that I've had
to give up on some members whose mail keeps being returned. Keep it simple
and keep it the same where possible and NEVER provide more than one address
and ask us to choose one! You'll invariably cancel the one we choose! Also we
use AOL's automatic reply mechanism and the address you send mail from will
probably be the one to which we reply. So if you're writing from your
friend's house that's the one we'll reply to unless you tell us otherwise. If
you must change email addresses be sure to include old and new addresses as
well as your name when you write us. Ignore these little mail courtesies and
your membership is likely to end up in electronic limbo.

In case you haven't used them, the membership list, the village list and the
surname list are all available from the homepage. Just click on the
hyperlinks and start searching (or use Edit-Find in the Top Window search
mechanism of your Windows or AOL tool bar). New members should:

1. Search the membership list (arranged in the order entered) for addresses
of members researching the same family names and villages (click on a name
and you'll get an addressed email form)

2. Search village list (alpha) for village histories and names of other
interested members(Bill Rudy updates this list monthly and tells me he'll be
linking more village histories as time permits-if you click on village names
in blue, you'll be taken to the village history)

3. Search surname list (alpha) to find those members researching the same
family names and perhaps where they settled

We've always had a map as part of the membership list. It lists just a few
villages, but it's a great pictorial of the Burgenland. The original idea was
that we would add members' villages as they joined. We then got too many
members and had to forgo that nice touch. Charter member Mike Spahitz is a
professional graphics designer (operating as MJS Creations from San Diego,
CA-email www.mjscreations.com) and he contributed that original map as well
as the BB title & Map of Austria, which have become our official logo. Now,
member Klaus Gerger is preparing some Bezirk (district) maps of the
Burgenland which will show all villages. In addition you can click between
German, Hungarian and Croatian names. Another feature which Klaus has added
are the house numbers and family names in Güssing and Rosenberg as of 1857 as
well as showing (on a map) where those properties were located. House numbers
are invaluable when linking families. You can reach (and download) those web
pages which Klaus has completed via hyper link from the homepage.

The BB Newsletter award of the month to both Tom and Klaus for their efforts
on our behalf.


Like all groups, we have active and passive members. We do have some who blow
me off of my complacent perch with new ideas and new material. Then there are
those who are actively into Burgenland genealogy. We hear from some of these
when they cry "Eureka-I found my xxxxfather". Some are deeply into Burgenland
research and end up on our staff. I often have to juggle their many
contributions between issues and some times follow and edit the lengthy
threads that their material generates. Their correspondence often triggers
subjects for future articles and causes me to dig in my library. The majority
of our members however, join and continue to receive our newsletters but we
rarely hear from them again. I often wonder if they're stuck in their
research or never really got started. Maybe some are hoping that they'll hear
from someone who will give them some data. I know there are members who just
like to read about the Burgenland, the newsletters are a little homesickness
or nostalgia tonic. Others may be waiting until they have more time. Nothing
wrong with any of those approaches, one of the ideas behind the BB is to
eventually have a large data base of many Burgenland immigrants and their
descendants with members helping members. In effect everyone pays their dues
when they submit their original data. Thus everyone who joins contributes
and just listing with us often bring results. Unlike some newsletters with
their very impersonal "subscribe" and "unsubscribe" mechanism, if you want to
receive our newsletter you have to contribute something up front. I'm a firm
believer that things you get for nothing have little value. Our reward are
messages like this one which we recently received from William Imre (via Hap

Hap writes: Gerry, I think this was meant for you. It's a good one. :-)

From: William Frank Imre; (); Milan, TN. Michael IMRE, father
came to Chicago in 1923 from Willersdorf. Mother Marie ULREICH, from
Willersdorf or Bad Tatzmannsdorf about the same time.

"Hap; Branch coordinator : My name is William Frank Imre, we would like to
say "thank you all for the posting This was a fruitful posting for our Family
.We have Michael Imre in the posting. Had good results. The posting was
read by Anita Nicka in Bad Tatzmannsdorf municipal administration office,
who gave the E mail address to her good friend Helga Schranz who turned it
over to her daughter Karin Reberger .

Karin has a computer and emailed us a great amount of good family records.
This was on Feb. 7, 2000 a day that we will remember for a long long time.
That was the day we found our Father's Michael Imre Family. With that find
we have gone back 4 Generations on Michael's side . We are still finding more
. Without the posting we would be still looking. So we all like to say thank
you again. Keep up the good work. From the Imre Family. P.S. This posting
made us all HAPPY more then I can say."

Ed. Note-As we've been urging members all along, if you are a passive member,
in addition to the homepage listing, consider a posting to our WGW Query
Board and also contact Albert Schuch for a listing in the weekly newspaper OZ
(Oberwart Zeitung). With enough exposure, you too may hear from some
Burgenland relatives.


Our newsletters are issued under copyright, but we grant permission to copy
for non-commercial purposes. The only caveat we have is that you must mention
the source such as "Courtesy of G. Berghold, Burgenland Bunch Newsletter No.
xx, dtd xx/xx/xx". However, if you copy our newsletters, send them to a
magazine as your work or publish them as a book and sell them, you'll make us
very unhappy.

In a message dated 3/15/00 1:47:09 PM Eastern Standard Time, member Sue Straw

<< I'd like to share some of the historical background contained in an
earlier BB newsletter with some of my cousins and older relatives. I'll
credit the Burgenland Bunch and original author in sending along the
information. May I have your permission to copy this material? Sue >>

Our Reply: Sue you have our permission to copy anything for the purposes
mentioned. If you look at the end of the last section of each newsletter,
you'll find that we say that permission to copy is granted, but provide
credit (mention the source). I want our material to have the widest
distribution among those interested. Regards, Gerry Berghold


Fritz writes: How to buttress the identification of individuals in one's tree
when the information from the direct records are ambiguous:

By custom, marriages were usually held and recorded in the parish where the
parents of the bride lived at the time of the marriage. Therefore, a marriage
entry normally is a good indication that at least the bride was born in the
area of the parish, or that her parents had moved to it. If the groom came
from another parish, the marriage entry often states this fact.

Sometimes one does not have the marriage entry of a couple, and even if one
has it, there were many periods when the marriage records did not contain the
names of the parents of the couple, and in some periods not even the ages of
the couple. If then the search of earlier birth records yields several
candidates for groom and/or bride, continuing the tree of ancestors backwards
becomes ambiguous or even impossible. The situation is all the more
difficult when last names or first names belong to the most frequent ones,
such as Szabó, Nagy or Németh for the former, and János or Katalin for the
latter. What are some of the means the researcher can use to add information
that would allow increasing the confidence that this or that baptismal entry
is the right one for one's own line?

If the searched-for person lived until the introduction of civil recording
which started in October 1895, it can be worthwhile to search for the civil
death record. The civil death records contain data on the names and last
known places of residence of the parents, though in some cases the
persons reporting the death did not know this information anymore. For some
border regions of the former Hungarian Kingdom, LDS has been able to film the
duplicates of the civil records covering Oct. 1895 till about 1920, and the
parents of the deceased were recorded in them at least until 1907.

Austria's Burgenland is a prime example which is completely covered by these
duplicate civil records. For areas of today's Hungary, LDS films are
currently becoming available for the civil records from Oct. 1895 till about

Another good source of information is to track the house numbers where vital
events happened. Some earlier records had used house numbers, but in
general, house numbers were generally recorded from the early 1850s onwards.
One son or daughter usually took over the house of the parents, or the older
generations moved in with one of their children or grandchildren. A
systematic search can often provide clues who of the older generation was
linked to the younger one, with some likelihood of direct descendence.

A very powerful means of increasing the certainty about allocating baptisms
to marriages and deaths is to try to follow all bearers of a particular name,
not only in the baptismal parish, but also in neighboring parishes. Quite
obviously, when one finds early deaths of children, one can
often eliminate certain baptismal entries as candidates. Furthermore, if a
certain couple had a child with the same name later on, then even if no death
record of the first child is found, it can be assumed that it had died early.
Particularly in times of epidemics such as the recurrent occurrences of
cholera, not all deaths were recorded as too many people died and priests
often also got sick. Further, if several marriages and/or death entries are
found for a particular name, the overall arrangement of the entries to each
other will usually make certain allocations more probable than others.

It is always a good idea to search for the records of all childbirths of an
ancestor couple. Not only does this often provide more information on the
status (profession, commoner or nobility), but will also indicate a range for
the possible age of father, and particularly the mother. In a case in the
Styrian portion of my tree, the baptismal entry for a sibling of one of my
ancestors happened to state the parents of the parents. This solved a very
difficult and long open question. However, in Hungarian records I have not
knowingly encountered yet the names of the parents of the parents.

If one has the childbirths of siblings, it is possible to search for their
marriage records. Some of these marriage records may have the parents
stated, serving as additional confirmation for allocating the sibling's birth
entry to a particular marriage. From there, the house numbers (if
any) and the names of witnesses might allow inferences from the marriage
entry of your own ancestor to the most likely birth entry candidate.

Yet another good source of additional information on the identity of an
ancestor is to look for second, third etc. marriages when the spouse had died
early. Sometimes, the entry of the other marriage (which could also be an
earlier one) might have contained data on the age of the couple and on the
names of their parents which the marriage entry of the two direct ancestors
did not record. Since ages at marriage were often incorrect as priests often
tended to amend the ages in the direction of making the age difference
between groom and bride look more acceptable, the additional entries of other
marriages (plus the age stated in the death record) often allow to tighten
the ranges for the real birth year of your ancestor.

The names of marriage witnesses and godparents are also a potential source of
information. Marriage witnesses were often brothers of groom or bride, or
close relatives or close friends of the family. Godparents might have been
the uncle or aunt of the child. It is often only tenuous
information that gets added this way, but in some cases it can make the
difference between ambiguity and certainty.

Other possible sources that could add information or eliminate alternatives
are the parish records for other religions, census records and the records of
church visitations. For instance, LDS has the records of some church
visitations in Somogy county of about 1740 where the visiting "inspector"
from the diocese recorded for every house (including non-Catholics) all names
and ages of people living there including the farmhands. This then is a
goldmine of information for the family researcher.

Finally, if one has conducted all search based on duplicates (as many of the
Hungarian records are for areas no longer in Hungary today), it is sometimes
fruitful to look up the same entries in the original records by visiting the
parish or the archive where they are stored, because priests often made
marginal entries, e.g., on later marriages, or on fathers who identified
themselves subsequently in case of originally out-of-wedlock births, within
the original baptismal record of a person. Since duplicates were sent to the
dioceses at the end of each year, they obviously do not contain these
marginal notes.


Cousin Klaus (Vienna and Güssing) sends a Spring greeting. He writes: "Hope
you are well. Last weekend we were in Güssing. The countryside is turning
green. The stork arrived just this day and moved into his nest opposite our

I read in your last newsletter that you received the Güssing - Körmend
booklet. Did you see the little picture of the "Schwarze Madonna"? You asked
me about it, but in this booklet I saw it for the first time. In my spare
time I drew a map of the district of Güssing with all of the villages with
their Austrian, Hungarian and Croatian names. You can view it at:

I'd be grateful for suggestions. If it is useful other districts will follow."

Ed. Note-We've already addressed Klaus' maps in our lead article. The other
two comments by Klaus triggered the short articles which follow:

STORKS ARRIVE IN BURGENLAND (suggested by Klaus Gerger)

A sure sign of Spring is the arrival of the storks from their winter feeding
grounds in the Nile Delta. They return in late March to the same places every
year to breed and have their young. We read stories of their nesting on top
of Dutch chimneys, but they nest throughout Europe and the Burgenland is a
favorite site. I've seen them in Mörbisch am See, Rust and other Neusiedler
See villages, but not in Güssing so I'm wondering if their colonies are
expanding. A census in the 1970's indicated about 150 nested in Mörbisch and
Rust. It has always been considered good luck to have a stork family on your
roof. I don't know if they choose these spots to be near humans, for warmth
or whether they merely light on the highest spot available. As can be
imagined "Vogel dreckt" can be a problem and many householders erect metal
platforms over their chimneys to keep them from being blocked and provide a
nesting site that can be cleaned and maintained by the storks without
interference. Newer homes have central heating but many Burgenland houses
still use wood stoves and chimneys. The return of the storks is always
eagerly awaited in the same way that we in eastern United States look for the
return of the robins.

The Neusiedler See is an ornithologist's paradise, although there is
ecological concern as tourism and development is balanced against ecological
needs. At present the following may be found at various times of the year.
*Quail, plover, redshank, avocet, glossy ibis, heron and egret. In the rushes
there are bitterns and reed warblers. Wild duck include gadwall, shoveller,
garganey, shelduck, pintail, widgeon, golden eye, teal, eider and velvet
scooter. Wild geese and sea eagles are encountered. (* taken from Austria and
the Austrians, S. Musulin, Praeger Publishers, 1971)

SCHWARZE MADONNA (suggested by Klaus Gerger)

In the Batthyany Crypt of the Franciscan Cloister in Güssing is a Loretto
altar featuring a black Madonna and Child. It was commissioned in 1724 by
Countess Isabella Batthyany and carries on the European traditions of the
black Madonna as epitomized by the "Virgin of Czestochowa". Over five hundred
black Madonna altar pieces may be found in Europe and elsewhere. Most were
commissioned to give thanks for deliverance from some calamity. This one was
probably a thank offering for victory over the Turks. See "The Cult of the
Black Virgin" by Ean Begg, Penguin Books, 1985 for further information
concerning these altar pieces from which some of the following has been

"Art historians advance the theory that these black Madonnas (as opposed to
white-the generally accepted racial characteristic of Mary, mother of Jesus)
are a resurfacing of the powerful pagan goddesses of sexuality, underworld
and earth-wisdom. The Black Virgins are symbols of power and majesty. This
phenomenon has pagan and Gnostic Christian origins that flowed west with the
cult of Mary Magdalene and resurfaced with the Cathars and Templars."

Throughout the Burgenland one will find many religious icons and monuments,
at the entrance to fields and pastures and on the side of highways and
byways. Some were erected to give thanks for immigrant help following periods
of war or economic disaster and say so. These include small wayside chapels,
prayer sites and crosses. Religion has always played an important part in
this region and even earlier pagan beliefs can be traced in fables, tradition
and myth.


It's always exciting when the bimonthly BG news arrives from Güssing. Sixteen
pages from the "alte Heimat"! Editor Dr. Walter Dujmovits is adding some
articles in English. This issue (March/April 2000) had Remembrances from the
Family of John Wenzel (1859-1917) written by granddaughter Emma Wenzel. John
Wenzel led a very early group of 45 Burgenland immigrants from the Bernstein
area to Chicago in 1900. This eventually grew to 30M Burgenländers making
Chicago the largest city of Burgenländers in the world. Another article in
English was from author, retired university professor and BB member Andrew
Burghardt (he wrote "Borderland" among other publications) who continued his
"Early Memories of Burgenland 1956-1957", started in the previous issue. My
first visit to Burgenland was in 1974 and I was fortunate in being able to
see the last of the Burgenland of my ancestors. Andrew Burghardt's memories
take you back another generation.

The Burgenland of year 2000 is a far cry from those days. Old Burgenland, the
little that is left, is now well hidden at the end of rural lanes to nowhere,
although some is maintained as museums for tourists. Only castles, churches,
a few "schlosser" and a very few thatched cottages remain. In place of a team
of oxen and a wagon, you're more likely to see a Mercedes or a huge John
Deere tractor. Older men still wear black boots and blue aprons when working,
but you'll see jeans and Nike footwear on their descendants. Many older
ladies still wear black dresses with aprons and head scarves while tending
their gardens, but you'll see their daughters and granddaughters in church on
Sunday dressed in the latest Viennese or Parisian fashions.

Bobby Strauch, Burgenland correspondent from Allentown. PA continues his
English translation of Burgenland recipes which appear in each issue. This
issue includes veal cutlet with mushrooms and noodles with cheese and bacon
(neither of which are personal favorites-veal should be breaded and fried and
noodles call for cabbage or walnuts and sugar). Bobby is also featured in
some of the German articles dealing with recent ethnic affairs in Allentown
where he can be seen leading his choir or playing the button box accordion.

The remainder of the issue is in German, but includes an immigrant story
about the family of Paul Gross (born in Gaas 1893). "Aus Der Neuen Heimat"
tells what is happening in places settled by Burgenland immigrants like
Coplay, PA or Toronto, Canada and "Aus Der Alten Heimat" tells what is
newsworthy in two pages of clips from the villages- Altschlaining to
Zurndorf. There is an article about the Burgenland Bunch and our journalistic
coup in reporting a new "first immigrant to America-Lorenz Schönbacher -1777"
as reported by Albert Schuch first in an Austrian publication and later by
your editor in the BB news. The article mentions the BB staff by name and
outlines our activities.

Page 15 carries a notice in German that BG membership fees are due.
"Mitgleider im Ausland: Sie können ihren jährliche Mitgleidsbetrag. US$15."

Even if you read no German, you'll find much of interest in the BG news. A
page or two bound with your family history would be a nice touch. Pictures
alone are worth the annual dues of $15 (includes 6 issues mailed postpaid
from Güssing) and membership assures you of a hearty welcome and assistance
in visiting spots of local interest if you ever visit the BG Güssing
editorial offices. You can also order Dr. Walter Dujmovit's great book on the

To join, send your name and address with a personal check for $15 to Frau
Renate Dolmanits, Secretary, Burgenländische Gemeinschaft, 7540 Güssing,
Hauptplatz 7, Austria. Send your subscription via airmail and expect a wait
of up to two months for a reply. Mention that you're a member of the
Burgenland Bunch.

(Newsletter continues as no. 78A)

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