Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 2000-07 > 0963662213

Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 84 dtd 15 July 2000
Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2000 07:56:53 EDT

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

The Present is the living sum-total of the whole Past
[Thomas Carlyle: "Characteristics"]

Note to recipients. If you don't want to receive these Burgenland Bunch
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non-Burgenland family history. Comments and articles are appreciated. Please
add your full name to email. Our staff and web site addresses are listed at
the end of newsletter section "B". Introductions, notes and articles without
a by-line are written by the editor. This first section of the 3 section
newsletter contains the articles: Response To Language Problems, Name Gulli,
Special Hungarian Web Site Offers Tuition and Translation Service, Those
Troublesome Hungarian Records, Proof For Austrian Citizenship(?), House Names
and Tom Grennes' Visit To Southern Burgenland and Styria.


Newsletter 83 mentions language problems encountered by our immigrant
ancestors. I then mention one of them and use incorrect syntax! Kurt Heinrich
then writes:

Hi: love your newsletters. Would not think of canceling them! Your article on
Language problems has an additional twist you may have overlooked. 'Get off'
in German is 'Steig aus!', and for the whole family you would say: 'Alles
aussteigen!'. The term used in the anecdote about Allentownpa, 'Steig auf'
means just the contrary, namely: 'Get on board!'

I answer:
Heh-heh, how appropriate. An "f" instead of an "s" makes all the difference
in the world. As I said, I know just enough German to get into trouble!

Did my language faux pas cause a chuckle among our Austrian friends? Sorry
about that Albert, Inge, Fritz, Klaus et al!


Patsy writes:

<<I'm still quite new to doing family history work but it has already become
an adventure with some odd incidents. My mother's maiden name is Gulli. Her
parents were from the village of Urbersdorf. I had been told that Germanic
names don't end in vowels, and the origin of Gulli might actually be Italian
[where it may have been spelled Gaulli]. My uncle mentioned this on a recent
trip back to Urbersdorf and discovered, to his confusion, that the mere
thought of there being Italian blood in the family line was horrifying to his
mother [a Kremsner] and various others in the village. [There are no more
Gullies - also spelled Gully - there]. Can anyone help us understand this
reaction? My parents are as baffled as my uncle.>>

My reply:
Swiss names can end in vowels and this could well be where they originally
came from (1600's-1700's). Many Swiss migrated east following the 30 Year's
War. (We've also mentioned documented Swiss migration in the north in village
histories in the district of Neusiedl).

There is also a Gülly family living in Langzeil, one of the attached villages
to Güssing. Probably a descendant of the same Urbersdorf group since
Urbersdorf is also an "Ortsteile: of Güssing. I would also look into the
possibility of links to the name Gilly which is quite common in southern

<<that the mere thought of there being Italian blood in the family line was
horrifying to his mother [a Kremsner] and various others in the village.>>

Burgenlanders can be a pretty clannish group. Germans with Germans, Croats
with Croats, Magyars with Magyars, etc. I wouldn't give it much importance.
The Austrians and Italians also fought many wars. The last in 1918. Read
about the battle of the "Isonzo River" in the latter days of WWI. There is
also the problem over losing the southern Tyrol to Italy following WWI. (I'd
guess Italians are not favorites among the older generation with memories of
WWI, however numerous Italian restaurants and pizza shops are cropping up in


Corresponding Editor Maureen Tighe-Brown advises of a special Hungarian web
site. In addition to Hungarian cultural items, the site can provide Hungarian
language tuition as well as translation services of old family and official
documents from Hungarian to English at an affordable price. Maureen writes:

<<Hi Gerry, Anna Kresh encouraged me to let you know about a fascinating web
site about Hungary:

The site has a lot of photos and map links for Hungary, and many pages
devoted to learning Hungarian for learners at 3 different levels of current
knowledge: absolute beginner, intermediate, advanced. This site is owned
and run by a Hungarian native, Lilla Hudoba, who lives in Philadelphia. The
site has a link directly to her, for anyone interested in receiving her
Hungarian grammar newsletter, put out several times a week through e-mail.
Each newsletter comes with a *.wav file of the spoken Hungarian in the
newsletter, for those who want that. Lilla holds regular chatroom hours for
those who would like to improve their written Hungarian, and she also
welcomes questions by e-mail to her. The cost of all this is $15.00 per year.

....I have been subscribing to these grammar newsletters since January, about
70 in all. Recently, I've been sending Lilla e-mail written in Hungarian,
and she responds with corrections and comments. However, I don't know her

Lilla got her education in Hungary, in mathematics and computer science, and
she is teaching at a college in Philadelphia. In other words, she is not a
trained teacher of Hungarian. On the other hand, she is quite knowledgeable
in the grammar, and is creative in designing her lessons.

Although my primary goal is to increase my reading fluency, my secondary goal
is to speak Hungarian, at least understandably. Through my writing to Lilla,
and her suggestions, I have seen real improvement in my skills. The best
thing about these lessons is that I have found Lilla to be an enthusiastic,
gentle, humorous, and sympathetic person, and she is quite flexible in
offering her services in any way that will help her learners.

We may have some Burgenland Bunch members who want or need to gain or improve
their Hungarian, and they may find this site helpful.>>

Email (from GJB) to

Hello, I am Gerald (Gerry) Berghold, Winchester, VA, founder and coordinator
of the Burgenland Bunch established in 1997. We are a non-commercial group of
now over 550 genealogical researchers interested in the family history of
emigrants from the Burgenland of Austria (parts of Vas, Moson and Sopron
Megye pre 1921). We also include the border villages of Hungary, Slovenia,
Styria and Lower Austria.

As you well know, this region has a rich Hungarian heritage and much of our
material is Hungarian related. Our web site is at:


Here you will find much material such as membership lists, village lists,
family surname lists, maps, links, Q &A, etc. Something like your site. We
also host a Burgenland query site on WorldGenWeb Austria.

I also edit a biweekly newsletter (3 sections of 25Kbytes each) which is
emailed to members by Roots-L. I plan to mention your site in the July 15
edition. If you'd like to receive our newsletter please advise. I've already
asked to be put on your list.

By mentioning your site in our newsletter, you may receive numerous requests
for translation assistance. If you would like me to use some specific wording
concerning this option, please advise.

Warmest regards, Gerry Berghold

Response: From: Hlilla To: GBerghold

<< I am pleased that you visited and liked my site -- hungarotips.com -- and
would like to include it in your newsletter. I also found your site very
informative and helpful, so I will include it with reference in my link-pages
very soon...

Thank you again for your attention and for your time. I believe that our
co-operation and reciprocal links will help our visitors to receive valuable
information for their interests in their heritage. Please let me know if I
can be of any more help. Lilla Hudoba

My answer:
Thanks for the response. As a Burgenland site we must get involved in German,
Hungarian (and older Latin) and Croatian. The German I can almost handle, the
Hungarian and Serb-Croatian not at all, except for my dictionaries. I have
learned to pay strict attention to Hungarian diacritical marks and some words
are becoming familiar.

The biggest obstacle to Burgenland genealogy has been the language barriers
with village and family names in all three languages. We have finally solved
that. For years I thought I had only German heritage because my grandparents
spoke German and the Burgenland was in Austria post 1921-now I find that
their culture was also Hungarian & Croat.

The unfortunate thing is that so many excellent Hungarian works, although
translated into German were never translated into English. It is only
recently with the political changes that Hungarian publications are reaching
the U. S. market. I have been fortunate in acquiring a few. The internet of
course has been a godsend.


As often as we advise how to read those Hungarian records (see newsletters
18A & 43), we still get questions. Understandable as Hungarian is one of the
more difficult languages in that it is unlike most languages encountered in
Europe. One correspondent writes:


<<Mr. Glatz (corresponding editor Tom Glatz) referred me to you for
assistance. We are interested in the Schranz's from Schonherrn. We recently
visited the LDS History Center in Salt Lake City In
and went through the Pinkafeld microfilms. Mr. Glatz had said that the
Schranz, Bohms or Boehms, Zumpf, Kirnbauer and Ullrich families were all
inter-related. I now know exactly what he meant. I will tell you what I
know for sure by (V) for verified and what I surmised as (S) if that is ok.
Now we would like to find more information. I will tell you what I know for
sure by (V) for verified and what I surmised as (S) if that is ok.

Frank Schranz, born February 9, 1901(V) Parents: Frank Schranz and Jessie
Frank Schranz, born November 21, 1871 (V): Parents: George or (Gyorgy)
Schranz and Barbara Boehm(V)
Gyorgy Schrantz, born September 12, 1847:Parents: Gyorgy Schrantz and Maria
Ullrich of Schonherrn(V)(S) They belong to us I think. Found in parish

On the parish record for Gyorgy Schrantz, born September 12, 1847, in
Schonherrn. the 4th column
under Rerezt (I am not sure of the first letter) atyak es anyak it says
Furst, Gyorgy es Honigschnabl, Maria, parafztok. Would this be a set of
parents or god parents???

We could not find the birth register of my father. (Frank Schranz, born 1901
in Schonherrn. Perhaps records not old enough. There were some records for
those years, but couldn't find his. We could not find any information on his
mother Jessie Zumpt), their marriage or her death. His father told us very
little about his life in Schonherrn or his parents and now it is too late to
ask him of course. The only other thing we know is that he had 2 sisters and
a brother who died during WW I.

If I would like a copy of his name in a church register from Austria, where
would I write to make a request? It would be in Pinkafeld. I was also
wondering about census records for early 1900's so we could get the brother
and sisters names. Where would we write the census? Burgenland
Archives?? Hungary???? Austrian Archives????

Would appreciate help on getting some more information on our family and do
we send money along with the request? Are you aware of any microfilms
available in US on the census 1850 to 1910 for that area?

Sorry this was so long, but some of your guidance would be appreciated.
Thank you

Frank and Carol Schranz
Phoenix, Arizona, USA>>

My reply:
Schönherrn (Hungarian name Szepur) is now an appendage (Ortsteile) of
Wiesfleck along with Schreibersdorf and Weinberg in the district of Oberwart.

As you found out by checking the LDS records, Lutheran and RC church records
(1828-1895) are in Pinkafeld (Hungarian name Pinkafö). The civil records
1896-1921 are there as well. Did you look at them? Also, LDS nos. 0700455-457
are for Pinkafeld Civil Records, but 0700458-461 are for the surrounding area
and as such would probably contain the Schönherrn records. You probably did
not search the records for the surrounding area which is why you couldn't
find your family. This is a quite common occurence near the larger villages.
Güssing has a similar arrangement.

To get copies of documents, I'd write in German to:

Stadtgemeinde Pinkafeld
Hauptplatz 1
A7423 Pinkafeld

I'd include a $10 bill for each document requested. You'll be taking a chance
on having the money stolen but it's the easiest way. Otherwise get an
international money order from the post office (a chore).

<<atyak es anyak it says Furst, Gyorgy es Honigschnabl, Maria, parafztok.
Would this be a set of
parents or god parents???>>

Parents (father & mother)-peasant folk=smallholders
Godparents-something like "keresztszülök" or' Kereszt Atyai es Anyjai"-it

I believe you garbled your question. If you have the child's surname, the
father can't have another name unless illegitimate ("spurius" shows under the
given name)?

Records normally read:
Ist column-record number
2nd-birth day
3rd-day of baptism
4th-Kereszt Neve-name of child
5th-Szulek (birth) Atya (father)-Anya (mother)
After each you'll find village of residence or where born as well as
occupation or social standing (standigkeit)
6th Kereszt Atyai es Anyjai-(godparents)


I am not aware of any census records other than the Hungarian census of 1825
as available in the LDS files. There is one for the 1850's but the LDS
holdings are incomplete. The best way to pick up the siblings is to search
the church and civil records paying attention to any house numbers given.


Correspondent writes:

Thank you for all the cooperation in letting me know about the LDS records.
The 3 you recommended were all correct, and I was able to pull up copies of
my mother and father's birth entries. The reason for all
this is , that I'm trying to establish dual citizenship for Austria and the
USA. I have contacted the Austrian Cosulate in Chicago, and they sent me a
list in German of what the requisites were. After paying to get them
translated, I found that I need my mother and fathers birth certificates, as
well as my own. A copy of their wedding cerificate.They were married in
Chicago so that is no problem. A copy of their citizenship papers, which I
guess I can get locally. I'm sure many of your members have done already what
I'm attempting to do, so what I want to know is if the Austrian consulate
will accept the copies from the LDS records of their birth certificates(
mother's & father's) that I made. And if there might be any otherhang ups
that I should be aware of. Thank you in advance for your help again!

My answer:

I don't really know although I'd try to use copies of the LDS records. With
that material, either you or the consulate could obtain official copies from
the Gemeindeamt (town office) in Schachendorf. I have no experience with this
situation. Good luck. G. Berghold

HOUSE NAMES [from Hannelore (Fakundiny) Billowitz]

Ed. Note: We commented on house names in newsletters no. 35, but this is a
good explanation which expands the area where they are used.

Hannelore writes:

A while back I wrote you wondering about the house name of our ancestor
(husband's family line) and what it meant. Adam (son of Anthony)
Billovits/Bilovits of Steingraben lived in the house called "Vari" and he was
"Vari-Adam". While researching my own family line at the Carpathian German
(Poszony) web site I came across this new addition/explanation and wanted to
share it with you:

from internet site: Carpathian German Homepage: Cities

"Familynames/Housenames. In many areas of medieval Southern Germany, large
farms had names, usually one derived from the first family that lived there,
but not always. Very often, since peasants did not have well-defined family
names until the late middle ages, a new family moving in was called according
to their house. After the middle-ages, the habit remained though legal
surnames now existed. In most of the German area, as well as most of the Zips
and Hauerland, house names became akin to a semi-official nickname: Legal
records would state that so-and-so (real name), known in the community as
(alias the house name), etc. Even when locals used exclusively the house name
in their dealings with each other, there was a legal surname as well. But in
some places, like Muennichwies (today Vricko) in the Hauerland, an isolated
mountain village founded in 1450 in the uppermost Neutra Valley, the medieval
usage continued. Until the late 19th century the husband marrying into a farm
(when taking it over) legally received the house name, and it was used
exclusively in all church entries about him and his children.
(from Johann Lasslob, in Heimatblatt Mai/June 2000, p. 5-6) "

I just thought you might be interested in seeing this since what was true for
Poszony (Austria-Hungary) was probably true for the Burgenland area, also.
Thank you again for the wonderful work you are doing!
Hannelore (Fakundiny) Billowitz


Tom writes:

We just returned from a 25 day trip to Europe that included a three day
visit to Burgenland and Styria. We also visited Vienna, Salzburg, and
Innsbruck in Austria, and the remainder of the time was spent in Latvia,
where I taught international economics at the Stockholm School of

Salzburg with its Fortress and surrounding mountains was impressive. Its
association with Mozart and the Sound of Music gives it greater appeal to
Americans. We had a memorable meal there at the Goldener Hirsch Restaurant
that included an excellent local dessert, Salzburger Nockerln.

We particularly like mountains, and Innsbruck was one of our favorite places.
It is convenient to take a cable railway to Hafelekar (elevation 7655 feet)
for an excellent view of the mountains and the valley of the Inn. We arrived
on a sunny day when the snow was just melting and wildflowers were blooming.

We traveled by rail until arriving in Graz. We rented a car to visit the
countryside of Styria and Burgenland. My grandmother, Rose Ruck Reiner was
born in Minihof-Liebau (South Burgenland, Jennersdorf Bezirk). She and two
sisters emigrated to Chicago and Northwest Indiana, and two brothers
(including Carl Ruck, father of Burgenland Bunch member, Marge Ruck Sullo)
emigrated to New Britain,
Connecticut. Three children remained in Austria and we visited their
descendants, surnames Ruck, Jud, and Huber). One of my mother's first
cousins lives in Fehring, a second lives in Windisch-Minihof, and a third
lives in Minihof-Liebau. My parents had visited Minihof-Liebau 26 years ago,
but I do not speak German, and I had had no direct contact with relatives
until this trip. My wife and I spent one night in Graz, one night at Schloss
Kapfenstein, and one night in Jennersdorf. Two of our best contacts were
relatives who live in Graz, speak English, and are actors at the Theater
Merz. They were generous with their time , and we enjoyed their company.

For travelers to the area who like beautiful scenery, good food, and good
wine, the Schloss Kapfenstein is to be recommended. (Ed. Note. Not far from
the Spa of Bad Gleichenburg, Styria south of Graz, and slightly west of the
village of Mühlgraben in the district of Jennersdorf.) It is 15-20 miles from
Minihof-Liebau, and the Schloss is on a small mountain with beautiful views
in all directions, including views into Slovenia and Hungary. The original
castle dates back to around the year 1000, and it is run by the family
Winkler-Hermaden. One son is the chef and another is in charge of the
winery, and both food and drink were excellent. One of our cousins
volunteered to make savory strudel (potato and kraut) the next day, and it
went very well with Schloss Kapfenstein wine.

In Minihof-Liebau we met a cousin who lives in the house where my grandmother
was born. I asked about the history of the house, but unfortunately some of
the answers were not fully translated into English. It seems that one of the
original buildings was on land owned by the Hungarian Batthyany family, and
it was used for sheep. At some point the land was taken over by some
government and it was then obtained by the Ruck family. I am trying to get
more precise details about the history, but general information about
Batthyany land holdings in the Jennersdorf area given by Burgenland Bunch
members Ladislaus Batthyany and Robert Bathiany corroborate the general
story. Rucks were Lutheran, and they came to Burgenland from Bavaria, in the
neighborhood of Regensburg.

Of course, time was a major constraint, as was my ignorance of the German
language. When I apologized for my lack of German, one relative asked
whether we had schools in America! Nevertheless, the trip was enjoyable and
educational, and I made some useful personal contacts.

We enjoyed the food and drink, especially strudel, schmarrn, Salzburger
Nockerln, and the pumpkin seed oil that is used near Graz. The schmarrn my
grandmother made was simple, but the Kaiser schmarrn that appears on
restaurant menus (for example, at the Hotel Sacher in Salzburg) also contains
raisins or other fruit that was apparently soaked in rum. There were no
kaisers in the Ruck family however. Regards,Tom Grennes.

(Newsletter continues as no. 84A)

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