Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 2000-12 > 0978268663

Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 91 dtd Dec. 31, 2000
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2000 08:17:43 EST

(now issued monthly by )
December 31, 2000
(all rights reserved)

Look for answers to your questions by using our archives index at:

(Don't Forget The Annual New Year's Celebration From Vienna on PBS)
(Washington, DC area WETA Monday Jan. 1, 2:30 & 8:00 PM Channel 26)


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homepage. We can't help with non-Burgenland family history. Comments and
articles are appreciated. 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 and reflect his views.

This first section of the 3 section newsletter contains:

* Just A Little Interest In Genealogy
* Hazelton, PA Local Center For Slavic Studies
* Rental Car Advisory-Vienna
* Germanic Regions Often Confused With The Burgenland
* Commentary on Austria-2000

JUST A LITTLE INTEREST IN GENEALOGY (The simplest, but least rewarding,
approach to family history.)

Those of us who have been badly bitten by the genealogy bug can never get
enough information. We look everywhere for anything that might add to our
family history. The search is never ending. It is a labor of love, but labor
it is! Hours and hours of pouring over old documents, microfilm, books,
letters, what have you. Family history is a very labor intensive search of
infinite patience and perseverance. There is no easy way to a family history.

Some people however, see a family history advertisement or read an article or
get a computer for the first time and feel they'd like to get involved with
family history-but just a little. Computers and the internet seem to have
been made for genealogy. Newcomers search the web and stumble on a site like
ours and are overwhelmed. Often their interest stops right there. The feeling
can be "this is more than I want- I just want to identify my ancestor's
village of origin-maybe track a few cousins and leave a little information
for my grandchildren." Maybe write something in a family bible. Maybe provide
an introduction to a short genealogy with family pictures that I'd like to
give as a Xmas present. What can I do that's easy?

Others surf the net, read some of the commercial hype that promises a
full-blown genealogy if you only buy their product. They buy and are
disappointed. They then search some of the "free" sites like ours and are
even more unhappy when they can't get a genealogy from us with a click of the
mouse. We've even had some tell us we're misleading people and wasting their
time because we won't (can't) supply them with such!

Well, there is a "simple" approach. In this article we'll provide some
guidance. (Note: the family names, villages, etc. listed in the following are
only an example. A name like "Mill" could have its origin in many places. If
a common name and "the old country" is all you know from oral tradition, the
possibilities could be endless and hopeless.)

* Start with family tradition-list what you know of the family name, its
possible spellings and your ancestors' place of origin. (If you don't know
the villages, only that the family came from Austria/Hungary or better yet
the Burgenland, don't worry, you may find the villages while checking out
other data.) Let's say the family name is now Mill and family tradition tells
you it used to be spelled differently, like Muell or Muehl and you find one
of these names as well as the spelling Mühl in the BB Surname List. You also
find that some immigrants with this name came from the district of Güssing in
the Burgenland and settled in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. Since your
family also lived in the Lehigh Valley and you have relatives there, these
may be your family. You know your grandfather is buried there. (You can now
see why we list family name, village and place settled in our membership

* You might just remember your grandfather telling you that the family came
from the village of Grossmürbish. He might have said Alsomedves. You look in
Albert's list and find Grossmürbish in the district of Güssing. You also find
its Hungarian name Alsomedves. You find others searching for your family name
in this area. The same list tells you inhabitants went to church in Szt.
Nikolaus. Print and save what you find.

* You then check the Austrian phone listing available from the BB URL list
and find some Mühls in Güssing and also in Kemeten and other villages in
south Burgenland.

* You check the maps available from the BB Klaus Gerger Map site and you find
that the villages mentioned are all near each other. You check the old house
listings and find some Mühls. You copy the maps.

* You then check the village histories and find Mühls also listed on the
Urbar lists as well as the LDS Microfilm numbers of the St. Nicholas and
Güssing church records.

* You read a little of what our BB site says about the Burgenland and you've
concluded your search.

What can you tell your descendents based on this simple search?

How about something like this:

"Family tradition and a brief search for family records indicates that our
Mill (Muell) ancestors (beginning with g-grandfather Josef) came from
Austria/Hungary in the province of Burgenland (Hungary pre 1921) in the early
1900's. They were Catholics, spoke German and their name was then spelled
Mühl. They came from villages in the district of Güssing, which is in
southern Burgenland next to the Hungarian border. Mühls have lived in this
area at least from 1857 (date of house lists from BB website). Grandfather
was probably born in Grossmürbisch (Hungarian name pre 1921 was Alsomedves).
They went to church in nearby St. Nicholas or Güssing and their birth records
can probably be found there. There are still Mühls living in the area but we
don't know if they are related. If we check the available LDS duplicate
microfilm of the church records, we can probably find grandfather's baptism
record and prove the data mentioned, maybe find some other family members.
Grandfather settled and died in Coplay, PA which is in the Lehigh Valley of
eastern Pennsylavania. He is probably listed in the 1920 Lehigh or
Northampton County US Census. (More or less can be included depending on
findings and depth of search.)"

The above does two things. It provides a good introduction for a short
genealogy (we should all try for a genealogy of at least five
generations-your grandchildren, your children, you, your parents, your
grandparents) and it is a superb beginning for any of your descendents who
may someday be bitten by the genealogy bug. In addition, you did it all
without leaving the BB website or getting deeply involved. It might also have
exposed you to the bug and you may now be suffering from a bad case of
"genealogyitis". Nonetheless, you did the work and the BB made it possible.

LOCAL CENTER FOR SLAVIC STUDIES (Of interest to Croat & Hungarian Members)

(Extracted from "Center for Slavic Studies is keeping traditions alive-
Cultural organization will hold its annual ball Sunday in Hazleton (eastern
PA) 02/18/00" By KATHY RUFF, Special to The (Allentown) Morning Call, (see
their archives for complete article)

Are ethnic traditions, culture and customs of Slavic countries dying? Not if
the Hazleton Area Center for Slavic Studies has anything to say about it.

Celebrating its 25th year, the center (held) its Silver Anniversary Slavic
Heritage Ball on Sunday in the Hall of Presidents at Genetti's Motor Lodge,
Route 309, Hazleton.

''[The group] was organized in the spirit of friendship to develop, promote
and improve the economic, educational, and social opportunities for the
Slavic residents of the Greater Hazleton area,'' ...

The organization's members are active in the community. The group has
co-sponsored the dedication of the Eckley Miners' Museum and helped raise
funds for the Arthritis Foundation, Catholic Charities and the American
Cancer Society. It has also donated books on Slavic heritage to the library...

The Center for Slavic Studies is a nonprofit organization for people of
central and eastern European heritage in the lower anthracite region. The
club includes Slovaks, Polish, Ruthenians, Russians, Ukrainians, Croatians,
Czechs, Moravians, Lithuanians, Hungarians and others who came to work in the
hard coal mines and settled in eastern Pennsylvania from Europe during the
late 19th and early 20th centuries...

The group meets the fourth Tuesday of every month. A dinner meeting at the
Top of the 80s restaurant near Hazleton offers guest speakers...

Most of the hundred members are senior citizens, and the ethnic traditions,
culture and customs are treasures they hope to preserve and share with

To find out more about the group or to join, call Paul Hackash at
570-645-2748 or Margaret Cammisa at 570-455-3830.

RENTAL CAR ADVISORY (From: Peters, Susan M)

(ED. Note: There are many car rental agencies. I've used many in my travels
both for pleasure and business and found, like in anything else, some are
better than others. I've also found that it is definitely best to make your
auto arrangements before leaving on your trip. Where foreign driving is
concerned, it is also best to read all of the fine print and be aware of
exactly what is required and can be expected. Insurance requirements, border
crossings, return arrangements, etc. all can be very different. Next to
language problems, driving in a foreign country can be your most traumatic
trip experience.)

Susan writes: I want to tell you about a problem I had while traveling in
Austria last Summer (2000). It can serve as a caution to other BB members.

I rented a car through AutoEurope, a car rental consolidator. The rental was
to include all insurance, taxes, etc. and came from Avis. I picked up the
car at the airport in Vienna. All was well, and we were even given a free
upgrade to a Mercedes. They asked me for a credit card. I specifically
asked why, as the rental was paid in full through AutoEurope. They said they
needed it to "process the reservation". I signed the agreement and we were
on our way.

After I got home I received my Visa statement with a charge from Avis for
nearly $440. I immediately wrote to Visa to dispute the charge. I also
wrote to International Customer Service at Avis. Believe me, "Customer
Service" is definitely a misnomer. Dealing with Avis was very difficult from
the very beginning. I couldn't find an address for them. Even their website
shows no addresses. So I had to email them and ask for an address so I could
send them copies of the Visa correspondence. I also copied AutoEurope. Avis
told me that I had authorized the charges by signing the agreement. Period.
The charges included insurance and a Prepaid Fuel Option. After several
weeks, Avis agreed to refund the Prepaid Fuel Option of $67. Their Customer
Service made it very clear that they considered this a very magnanimous
gesture. (The Prepaid Fuel Option allows you to return the car with the gas
tank empty-it pays for filling the tank. At $67 they could have easily done
twice, or more. We had returned the car with a full tank.)

After countless contacts and 3 months of arguing my case, with the two
companies literally refusing to discuss the matter with each other,
AutoEurope finally conceded that they had given the reservation incorrectly
to Avis without the insurance. They agreed to refund the insurance that Avis
charged me. Avis steadfastly refused any help and never even acknowledged
that part of the problem was caused at the Avis counter in Vienna. For
whatever reason, the full amount was not refunded and I will have to accept
an additional $40 charge, far better than the $440 originally charged.

Lessons learned: I still think AutoEurope is the way to go cost wise.
However, next time, I will go over the reservation item by item before I sign
anything when picking up the car. I will never accept "just to process the
reservation" again. And I will never again use Avis. They do not understand
the concept of customer service. It does pay to be persistent, even when the
frustration level is so high you'd just as soon give up.


There has been much change in European History. It is not easy to locate
areas whose names have changed over the centuries. Historical Geography is
not often addressed by our schools. European historical geography can be an
enigma-even the news media often get confused.

So it is with many who are studying family history in Europe for the first
time. Just where are those places mentioned in cryptic family records? All
too often, they end up getting identified as "Germany", since so many
immigrants came from Germanic areas. Notice, I say Germanic, not German. One
can write books about all of the places to which German speaking immigrants
migrated. Let's look at some that are often confused with the Burgenland.
These are not all Germanic areas, some have other ethnicity, but many were
part of the Austro/Hungarian Empire and others still exist today (some
descriptions have been taken from Webster's New Geographical Dictionary,
which see for further description). If you feel your ancestors came from any
of the non-Burgenland regions, don't contact us-except in a very few
instances, we probably can't help.

Algäu-southern Germany along the Austrian border-Lake Constance to Bavaria

Alsace (Elsass)-eastern France along the sw border of Germany

Banat-Tisza River region of Romania, Swabian migration destination

Batschka-part of Hungary and Croatia, Swabian migration destination

Black Forrest (Schwarzwald)-southwest Germany, west of the Rhine, mostly

Bohemia (Böhmen)-western part of Czech Republic

Bukovina-northern Romania

Burgenland-province of Austria bordering Hungary, formed 1921 from Hungarian
counties (part of trans-Danubia) of Vas, Moson, Sopron

Carinthia (Karinthia, Kärnten)-province of Austria, borders Italy and Slovenia

Carniola (Krain)-region of Slovenia, just south of Croatia

Egerland-part of Czech Republic along the eastern border of Bavaria

Erzgeberge-southeast Saxony, Germany and northwest Bohemia

Franconia-northern Bavaria (north-Unterfranken, middle-Mainfranken,

Galicia-upper part of the Dneister River, Poland and the Ukraine

Gorizia- western Slovenia along the Adriatic

Gottschee-northern Slovenia between Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia

Hauerland-south-central Slovakia bordering Hungary

Hegau-southwest Germany near the Danube

Hügelland-literally "hill country", but here defined as the eastern foothills
of the Alps which encompasses much of the Burgenland

Moravia (Mähren)-Czech Republic between Poland, Slovakia and Austria

Nieder-Öestereich-Austrian province of Lower Austria, west and north of

Rosalia-northwest Burgenland-region of the Rosalian mountains including
Drassburg, Forchtenstein, and Matterburg.

Ruthenia-region of the Ukraine

Salzburg-city and province (Land) of Austria

Salzkammergut-region of Austria, east of Salzburg (part of Land Salzburg)

Seewinkel-Lake Corner, area around the Neusiedler See in northern Burgenland

Siebenburgen-Transylvania (now part of Romania)

Slavonia-eastern region of Croatia, south of Hungary, west of the Vojvodina,
north of Bosnia

Slovakia-formerly eastern Czechoslovakia, north of Hungary

Styria (Steiermark)-province of Austria, south and west of Burgenland

Tirol (Tyrol)-province of Austria, south of Germany

Trans-danubia, -the region just west of the Danube Bend (imaginary line drawn
from Budapest to Mohacs)

Transylvania-see Siebenburgen

Upper Austria (Oberösterreich)-province of Austria, mostly north of the Danube

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