Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 2000-09 > 0970319428

Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 88 dtd Sept. 30, 2000
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2000 09:10:28 EDT


(issued monthly by )
September 30, 2000
(all rights reserved)

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non-Burgenland family history. Comments and articles are appreciated. Always
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: Newsletter Frequency Change, Szentpeterfa
Record Update, Croatian Origins, Rohrbach an der Teich, Brandies from
Kukmirn, Transdanubia-Mother of the Burgenland and some Roots-Web Information.


Agewise, I have just passed the proverbial three score and ten-my biblical
allotment as it were. I admit to feeling less spry then when I began this
newsletter four years ago. As a child I thought if I could live to the year
2000, I'd die happy, now 2020 looks pretty good. As a young man I once told a
friend he was an "old man!" His reply "if you live long enough you'll get old
too!" A worker last week removing a dead tree threatening my property saw me
watching and said "Hi old man, I guess you're glad that tree is down."

I'm reminded of my immigrant Burgenland great uncle Josef Mühl (1875-1971), a
tailor, apprenticed in Güssing, who retired in Allentown-Bethlehem three
times. In his late eighties, he admiited to feeling tired on occasion. His
fingers had trouble grasping the needle and his eyes couldn't see the
stitches. He still made his own suits-although he was 96 when he left us!
Fortunately my fingers have no trouble pounding the computer keyboard and I
switch glasses, but my wife says I do become touchy and remote as those
biweekly newsletter deadlines approach. All this is by way of introducing my
decision to change the BB newsletter frequency from bi-weekly to monthly.

Looking back over 88 issues of the newsletter (some 250 sections of 7-8 pages
each-some of the earlier ones were shorter and issued weekly), I'm proud of
the large amount of material we've made available. Our homepage lists and
links, our newsletter and WGW Query Board archives are the world's largest
source of English language material, pertaining exclusively to the
Burgenland, available anywhere. Charter member Mike Spahitz said "take it
easy-you'll runout of material!" We'll never run out of material. There is a
vast amount that has not been translated from European language sources.
There are many village histories we haven't found and the Burgenland
Landesarchive, Esterhazy and Batthyany archives, as well as the Vienna and
Budapest Library material will never be completely copied and translated.
(Our staff are well aware of the work we still have before us!)

Still, we have already provided an in-depth source of material for those
Burgenland immigrant descendants who wish to research their family histories.
I estimate that it should take a beginning researcher one or two years of
casual study to get up to speed (ignoring any concurrent study of
language(s), history, geography or genealogy basics). One can spend many days
reviewing our lists and archives. Most new members receiving our newsletters
are well behind older members. A little like the person buying their first
computer and trying to make sense out of some of the computer trade
magazines. The result has been some confusion and lots of repetitive
questions, whose answers are usually in the archives. People and time
constraints being what they are, new members tend to ask rather than dig into
the records. I'm hoping a less frequent newsletter will change all that and
provide both time and incentive for them to look into what is already
available. In other words, don't look to the monthly newsletter to tell you
about your village or family name or how to get started. Use the homepage
lists, the archives index and our welcome letters.

I hope our newsletter will mature as a result of this change and be less
repetitious. It will still carry news of pending events, ethnic trivia and
new member listings and URL changes. It will still carry examples of
interesting problems, opinions, trips, etc. It will hopefully carry more
articles dealing with new research and translations. Some short shelf life
material and lengthy threads may fall between publishing dates and not be
published. The new frequency will give us all some time to breathe between
issues. I won't be changing the size, format or policy of the newsletter.

We should make more use of the WGW Query Board between issues (see the
address in our staff listing if you've never used it). Many of our members
read those queries and most are being answered. You also have the option of
receiving an email copy of what is posted either as individual queries or in
a digest mode. Post a question and see what happens. One reminder-where the
site asks for surname being researched-enter only the surname, not given name
or anything else (it can also be left blank). If you enter extraneous
material, it garbles the surname locator (which see) and then Charles Wardell
(as WGW-Austria Host) gets after me to edit it! Please follow instructions.

I look forward to another period of BB development and growth and refer you
to the archives and WGW as you eagerly await our new monthly newsletters!


Hello to all, I have completed correlating the births of the 1760 Decade with
the marriage records, & thought that you may be interested in an update. The
number of births recorded in the 1760 Decade amounted to 736, which brings
the total birth count to 4343 from the period of 1681 to 1769 inclusive.

Approximately 22% of the births recorded in the 1760's were from marriages
shown in the church registry. The number of births from marriages recorded in
the Szentpeterfa church files has increased by approximately 5% over the
1750's. I consider this number to be on the low side due to the fact that
there are periods where the marriage & birth files are both incomplete. As an
example, there are but 3 marriages recorded in the entire 1700 decade. There
are no birth records for the years 1689, 1691, & 1721. Other years have
incomplete files. Hence, I anticipate this percentage to increase since the
church records are anticipated to be considerably more complete than in the
earlier periods. I intend to complete the same statistics for the 1770, 1780,
& 1790 Decades, & forward them to you as they are available. (Note that the
records in this register terminate in the year 1796.)

I have a strong feeling that these percentages will increase slightly after a
2nd pass through the marriage records is completed, which is planned after I
enter all of the births through & including 1796. This is due to be "my being
higher up on the learning curve", & most of all utilizing a vastly more
superior program when attempting to read the entries. Adobe's Photo-Shop is
the best I've used to date. I am also of the opinion that a detailed study of
the handwriting characteristics for each church pastor (or scribe) will also
increase the accuracy of the digitizing process. Alas, for records in some
periods of time, I doubt that any software tool, or study, will enable the
reading of some terribly written entries.

CROATIAN ORIGINS (Janet Cobb, Frank Teklits, et al)

To Messrs. Teklits and Berghold, In regard to the website of the Burgenland
Croatian Culture Center, whose address you published earlier in the summer...

As you may know, the website pages are now available in English. They
contain an excellent history & timeline for Burgenland, besides information
about the Center and its activities. I wrote to them and asked a question
about the dialect map, since I had previously read that there were three or
four Croatian dialects spoken in Burgenland and this map appears to list
seven. Here's the reply I received from Mr. Franjo Schruiff of the Center:

"...The map on our homepage shows the villages and regional/dialectal groups.
Generally, you will find mostly "cakavian" dialects among the Croatian
population in Burgenland. But there are also some regional differences
inside the Cakavian population. And at this level you may distinguish among
the Haci, Poljanci, Dolinji, and so on.

"The name "Haci" has its origin in the Croatian name of the region in the
north of Burgenland. It is called "Hati", in German "Heideboden"
(>>heathland). "Poljanci" is coming from Polje, meaning >> field. This group
lives in the valley of the river "Wulka". (The Wulka passes Mattersburg and
Eisenstadt, then flows into the Neusiedler See.)

"Both groups are Cakavian, and the differences are not very big. But they
feel as "a little bit different" communities, mostly because of regional

"Today it is not possible to give an answer where the people from the
different regions originally came from. We know only where the old home-land
of the Burgenland Croats was in general."

I thought this information might be of interest to Burgenland Bunch readers
so I am forwarding it. Mr. Teklits, a question I asked you about the
possible origins of my family surname was also answered by Mr. Schruiff. I
just want to thank both of you gentlemen for answering my previous letters to
you and for publishing the address of this organization.

Comment from the editor:

<< "Today it is not possible to give an answer where the people from the
different regions originally came from. We know only where the old home-land
of the Burgenland Croats was in general." >>

Janet-this is not exactly correct. There have been a number of
Austrian-Hungarian scholars who have correlated regional origins using both
the dialect similarities as well as the family names in both early Burgenland
(Güssing Herrschaft) and early Croatian Batthyany Urbars. They pinpoint
Burgenland Croatian origin to villages south of Zagreb-some of which never
recovered from the Turkish incursions and no longer exist. A knowledge of
local Croatian history would be necessary to find their exact location.
Robert Hajszan in "Die Kroaten der Herrschaft Güssing", Literas-Wien Verlag
1991 is just one of the available references. There are others and the field
is growing, albeit slowly. One of many examples (there are 149 pages of them)
Hajszan shows is:

>From the Güssing Urbar of 1576-the family name Krysanytt (later Krasanits?)
in Grossmürbisch correlating to Krysanchych in the Urbar of 1519 Stynychnyak
(Croatia) -the Castrum (castle)

>From the village of Rauchwart 1576 to Stynychnyak-village of Lypye 1519
Kattych (Kattits?) to Kachych

Admittedly not for amateurs, this requires the ability (which I don't have)
to read the 16th century languages and script and only pinpoints family
names-not individuals. It is also necessary to be able to trace the changes
which have taken place in the spelling of the family and village names
through 3 or 4 languages! Except for the recent work of Frank Teklits none of
these sources have been translated from the German. Something to look for and
be aware of however. Would that we had the same for German immigrants to the

ROHRBACH AN DER TEICH (from Albert Schuch)

Albert responds to a WGW query:
Burgenland Province
Austria Queries A new message, "Rohrbach emigrants," was posted by Albert
Schuch on Mon,18 Sep 2000 It is a response to "family search," posted by
scott a kulowitchon Mon, 18 Sep 2000Surname: The message reads as follows:
-------------------------As Fritz Königshofer writes, your
ancestors definitely came from Rohrbach an der Teich in today's southern
Burgenland. Quite a number of inhabitants of this village emigrated to the US
prior to 1906, as a stone cross still tells us today. It has been built in
1906 and was paid for by donations from the Rohrbach emigrants. The
inscription says: "Zur größeren Ehre Gottes. Gespendet von den rohrbacher
Amerikanern. 1906" - Names inscribed are:Vinz. Jos. FREY 22, Joh. u. Johanna
OSVALD 5; Maria HEFLER und Tochter 11; Ant. OSVALD und Cecilia 16; Mich. und
Aloisia OSVALD 23; Joh. und Anna OSVALD 23; Jos. und Maria OSVALD 80; Mart.
und Ther. OSVALD 77; Ant. WOLF 70; Anna OSVALD 75; Joh. und Ther. OSVALD 65;
Ant. OSVALD 82; Ther. ERNST 87; Georg KANTHAUER 31; Joh. REICHSTÄDTER 36;
Jos. RADAKOVITS; Jos. SCHUH 79; Franz KNAR 37; Jos. HALPER 69; Ign. OSVALD
49; Joh. LAKINGER 59; Aloisia SCHUH 45; Fanni CSEBITS 76; Fanny und Rosa
KROLIK 17; Franz OSVALD 81; Rosa OSVALD 50; Anton OSVALD; Josefa OSVALD;
Mich. und Ther. OSVALD; Mich. und Ther. KAPPEL; Ign. OSVALD 33; Josefa BRODL
65; Paul SCHUH 47; Mich. und Maria PLANK und Sohn 12; Vinz. und Ther. OSVALD
und Tochter 23; Franz und Kath. KULOVITS 30; Franz, Maria und Fanni OSVALD
21; Joh. Franz und Pauline GRAF 90; Franz und Maria MAYERHOFER 12; Joh. und
Ther. KAPPEL 84; Franz und Johann FREY 48; Vinz. und Aloisia SCHUH 45; Joh.
PUTZ 24; Mich. WOLF 27; Joh. OSVALD 9; Jos. OSV!ALD 13; Mich. und Ther.
STEINER 4.(Numbers following surnames are house numbers in Rohrbach an der

BRANDIES FROM KUKMIRN (suggested by Albert Schuch)

Kukmirn (which also administers the villages of Neusiedl, Limbach and
Eisenhüttl)in the district of Güssing, is the village of origin for many of
our members. About one thousand Kukmirn villagers emigrated. It has two
churches, RC and Lutheran, whose records are available from the LDS. It was
the scene of the dedication of a BG immigrant memorial in 1993, which I
attended. The Bürgermeister, Reinhold Fiedler, a local gasthaus owner is also
a "schnapps brenner" or distiller of some skill. He supplied me with a bottle
of "birnen" (pear) schnapps, which I hand carried home and treasured as long
as it lasted. There are other distillers of fruit brandies in the area and it
has become known for the excellence of their products. There is even a
"schnapps" museum. Unlike American brandies, which come in plain bottles, the
Burgenland brandies are put up in very artistic, colorful bottles which are
collected for their beauty as well as their tasty contents. I received a
beautiful blue one from Klaus Gerger when I visited him in Vienna last year.
Now there's a Kukmirn web site and you can see some even if you can't taste.
Albert writes:

Fine brandies from Kukmirn.
Fine Website in German & English.

Regards, Albert
For Gerry: Includes many nice glass photos!


I have a list of names (almost a litany), which I use to search for
information concerning the Burgenland. As you know, the name "Burgenland"
didn't exist until 1921, so if you check any index for that name you will not
find much. If you use Austria or Hungary or Austro/Hungary you'll get much
more than what you want. I'm always chagrined when a history will jump from
Vienna to Transylvania without mentioning anything in between. Royal Hungary
(from the 16th Cent. or Western Hungary (before 16th Century or after 1848)
will sometimes work but double names are rare in an index. Pannonia helps but
frequently refers only to Roman times. Lately the use of this name for the
Burgenland region is appearing in more and more Austrian publications. The
Hungarian county (megye) names of Vas, Moson and Sopron will sometimes work
but only in an Hungarian index. One name that works often is Transdanubia
(translates to "over or across the Danube"-German "Donau"-Hungarian
"Duna")-this "across" presupposes you are standing in the middle of Hungary,
just east of the Danube (where it flows south) and are looking west.

The Danube, one of the world's great rivers stretches for 1800 miles from a
spring in the Black Forest of southern Germany near Donaueschingen to the
Black Sea. It runs east through Regensburg and Passau, Germany, to Linz and
Vienna, Austria and on to Bratislava, Slovakia, then continues east to
Budapest, Hungary where it abruptly heads south to Mohacs, Hungary. It is
then joined by the Drava and again turns in an easterly direction to
Belgrade, Serbia where its volume is increased by the Sava River. It then
continues east, forming the border between Romania and Bulgaria, eventually
creating a massive delta which now includes parts of Russia, Romania and
Bulgaria, before emptying into the Black Sea. The delta is a very important
bird sanctuary and breeding ground. I was fortunate in being able to cover
the entire distance (from Passau, Germany to Ismail, Russia) by riverboat a
few years ago. An odyssey comprising eight days of unimaginable historical
and romantic interest. Unfortunately, due to Balkan problems, this trip is no
longer offered as a tour, although it might be possible to arrange it in
sections as an individual traveler. The area beyond Mohacs takes one through
the Balkans and the river route used by invaders. From Ismail, it is an
overnight trip to Istanbul, Turkey by ship.

Travel writers like to point out that the "Beautiful Blue Danube" of the
Strauss waltz is not blue at all but a muddy brown (they cavil over the
beauty part). In the winter it can be a steely gray from alpine runoff. We've
found that on a warm, sunny afternoon, following a long lunch, with the river
banks slowly passing by, the river is beautiful and as blue as the sky.
Likewise on a soft summer night, following a well wined dinner, with wife in
hand and a waltz playing in the background, it can be a romantic, star
studded, glistening deep blue-so much for reality! I'm sure that's how
Strauss saw it.

On its banks you'll still see women washing clothes, fishermen's huts, stock
and geese being watered, crumbling castles, river hamlets and village scenes,
not to mention urban bridges, promenades and shipping quays. You'll also see
Roman remains (the Rhine, Danube and Euphrates rivers defined the borders of
the Roman Empire), Austrian/Hungarian-Turkish-Balkan forts and palaces,
Balkan army maneuvering and a large hydroelectric dam where once the "iron
gates" (rapids) caused transportation problems, but bucolic scenes still
predominate. Between urban areas you can still see bits of "old Europe" -the
whole historic panorama. You can even imagine the first crossing of the river
by the Goths in AD 377, the beginning of the end of the Roman Empire. The
river's former wild nature has been subdued and tamed but it can still assert
its authority on occasion, flooding river towns and villages and changing
channels. If you haven't read one of the many excellent books about this
river, you're in for a treat. Check your local library. The National
Geographic Society's archives also have much Danube material.

All of this is but a prelude to the name Transdanubia, a portion of whose
western region now includes our Burgenland. For all intents and purposes,
Transdanubia is that part of Austria/Hungary which lies west of the
Budapest-Mohacs Danube River bend, ending at the Styrian-Lower Austrian
eastern borders and south of the Vienna-Budapest urban line to about the Raba
river and the Yugoslavian border. An area about 130 miles east to west and
perhaps 80 to 100 north to south, say 13000 square miles (mostly in
Hungary)-of which Burgenland takes up about 1530 square miles or a little
more than one tenth. This area is unique in that it differs from other parts
of Austria/Hungary-being hill country (Hügeland), neither Alpine nor Plain
(puszta). It has a different geography. It also has an older history and has
always been borderland and a racial melting pot. The mixture has spawned a
unique culture, part German-part Magyar-part Slav. The portions of interest
to us from north to south, start with the Leitha River region below Vienna
and the Neusiedler See (Hungarian Lake Fertö), the northern-most part of the
Burgenland. East of that area, crossing the border we find the Moson
villages, the Slovakian border and finally urban Budapest. As we drop south
from the Neusiedler See we come to many other streams which wend their way to
the Neusiedler or eventually, after joining other rivers, empty into the
Danube. Among them are the Leitha, Wulka, Rabnitz, Pinka, Lafnitz and Raba.
They add their names to many of our Burgenland villages. East of them are the
Sopron villages, the Bakony Hills and Forests of Hungary and Lake Balaton. A
little further south and we find the Vas villages. East of there and across
the Danube, we enter the Hungarian Plain. What we've just delineated was most
of the Roman Province of Pannonia. If it wasn't for tribal, nationalistic and
ethnic differences, Burgenland could well be part of a country called
Pannonia or Transdanubia. Perhaps one will arise some day in the unimaginable
future if Magyar and German and Slav can ever be completely reconciled.
History has shown the futility of considering the area as Pan Magyar, Pan
German or Pan Slav.

In looking for information concerning the Burgenland, don't fail to look
under the name Transdanubia, it is truly the mother of the Burgenland.


RootsWeb is no longer accepting monetary contributions. I am changing the 1st
link below to their main homepage at
www.rootsweb.com. No changes contemplated to 2 and 3.

If you are not yet aware of this change, you may like to take a look at this
link (how-to-subscribe).

(ED. Note: Roots Web began as a free, non-profit, no-contribution
organization. They grew to a size which required more hardware and software
than their staff could personally fund. They then began accepting
contributions-and many of us, who utilized their services, contributed. Roots
Web then made a decision to open their web sites and newsletters to
advertising. This now funds their hardware and operating costs so they no
longer seek contributions. Users of the "free" internet should be aware that
many of those providing the services do so at personal cost in time,
perquisites and money. Your BB service is provided "cost free" through the
donation of personal server provided space and software which is supplied to
staff members as part of their "server" enrollment (that which is covered by
their AOL fees as an example). Likewise, the distribution services are
provided "cost free" to the BB by Roots Web. Like PBS televison, so-called
"cost free" service is really provided by the generous support of others.
This is in addition to the "free" services provided by contributors of
articles and web site design and list maintenance. Remember this as you enjoy
what the BB has to offer. You repay us by your cooperation.)

o RootsWeb <http://www.rootsweb.com/rootsweb/how-to-subscribe.html>; - premier
genealogical service; all your family names should be listed on Roots Web.
o RootsWeb - Guide to Tracing Your Family Tree
<http://www.rootsweb.com/~rwguide/>; - Guide designed with the beginning
genealogist and new RootsWeb user in mind
o RootsWeb WorldConnect Project <http://worldconnect.genealogy.rootsweb.com/>;
- RootsWeb users have uploaded more than 6.2 million names of their ancestors
to the RootsWeb WorldConnect Project; online search facility; new GEDCOMs
uploaded at the rate of one million names per week.

(Newsletter continues as no. 88A)

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