Archiver > BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER > 2001-08 > 0999261055

Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 98B dtd Aug. 31, 2001
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 08:30:55 EDT

(now issued monthly by )
August 31, 2001
(all rights reserved)


This third section of the 4 section newsletter contains:
* Netherlands Member Visits Burgenland-Offers Book Suggestions
* Visit To Burgenländisch Pennsylvania And Ellis Island
* Rakicsany-A Classic Search For The Origin Of A Name


Just returned from another trip to Austria and Hungary to continue the
research of my Tallian ancestors and their Vlach-Croatian history in
Burgenland and Hungary. As a result of visiting the archives in Eisenstadt
and Szombathely, Dr. Haijszan in Güttenbach and the priests in Dürnbach and
Neumarkt im Tauchental, I brought home to Holland a number of books, that
also might be of interest to members.

>From the Landesarchiv, 7001 Eisenstadt, Freiheitsplatz 1 (room 319) Austria:

* ..nach Amerika, Burgenländische Forschungen,Sonderband IX, Eisenstadt 1992,
ÖS 290,-richly illustrated catalogue of the Auswanderer-exhibition in
Güssing, 1992,
in German.

* Archivar und Bibliothekar, Bausteine zur Landeskunde des burgenländisch-
westungarischen Raumes, Burgenländische Forschungen, Sonderband XXII,
Eisenstadt 1999, ÖS 220,-, in German.

* Kanonische Visitation 1757 Südburgenland, Burgenländische Forschungen 71,
Eisenstadt 1982, ÖS 280,-, in Latin.

Through Dr. Haijszan of the Panonski Institut in Güttenbach:
* Bauerntum und Kirche bei den südburgenländischen Kroaten, Güttenbach 1990,
ÖS 200,-in German.

* Dürnbach-Vincjet im Wandel der Zeit, the village-history, in German, ÖS

>From the Pfarre Neumarkt im Tauchental:
* Calendarium defunctorum parochiae Kethely (Neumarkt, Mönchmeierhof,
Rauhriegel, Allersgraben, Allersdorf, Podler and Dornau). A great and helpful
book containing all dead and their dates from 1786-1986. ÖS 55,-.

>From Vas Megyei Leveltar, Szombathely,Hefele M. u. 1 Pf.:78, Hungary.
* Historical magazines from this archive. Available: 1997/1 and 2, 1998/1 and
3, 1999/3, 2000/2 and 3. In Hungarian, but with great supplements (copies of
old maps etc.), more than worth the USD 0,50 per magazine! Dr.György Benczik
speaks English.

>From the HKDC, Johann Permayerstrasse 9, 7000 Eisenstadt, Austria:
* Ausgewählte Dokumente zur Migration der Burgenländischen Kroaten im 16.
Jahrhundert. by Palffy-Pandzic-Tobler, Eisenstadt 1999. In German.

* Hoheitszeichen der kroatischen Gemeinden des Burgenlandes,
by H. and L. Prickler, Eisenstadt 1997. In German.

If planning a trip to Burgenland, ask for brochure Das Burgenland macht Ihnen
den Hof(e-mail: ). Nice to spend a couple of nights on a
farm or bed-and-breakfast instead of an expensive hotel. I stayed at Theresa
Novakovics, Güttenbach nr.268, in the Güssing area, for 200 ÖS (appr. USD
15,- per night), very clean and very friendly, besides the abundant breakfast
she served me some homemade pastries (Topfengolatschen). Her friendliness
makes up for the fact that she doesn't speak English.

(Geshel, Robert)

Bob writes: I left Phoenix, AZ on Saturday, July 28th on a red-eye flight to
Philadelphia, via Dallas. As I was going to the Northampton, Jim Thorpe and
White Haven areas of Northeastern Pennsylvania to search for the burial site
of my Grandparents, I decided to stay in Allentown, PA. On Saturday, after I
arrived in Allentown, via a rental car from the Philly airport, I drove
around Ormrod, Cementon, Coplay, Egypt and Northampton searching out Churches
and Cemeteries. I was able to eliminate a number of possible burial
locations. I spent a couple of hours walking Our Lady of Hungary cemetery in
Northampton. I managed to find numerous Keschl's...including my Grandfather's
Brother Anton and his wife Mary. I didn't find my Grandmother or Grandfather!

Sunday I drove to Ellis Island...very easy drive on I-78 to exit 14B of the
New Jersey Turnpike. I spent about four hours at Ellis Island, and visited
the Statue of Liberty. Took many pictures in a sequence to duplicate the
views our relatives would have seen when they arrived in America. In a few
weeks, the photos and copies of Ellis Island documents will be posted on my
web site. Note: I am maintaining my web site at two locations:
www.geocities.com/bgeshel, and www.users.qwest.net/~bgeshel/.

While at Ellis Island, I printed out manifests for my Grandparent and
uncles...nice quality 11" X 17" prints...quite suitable for framing (which I
intend to do!)

I was very surprised by the condition of New York Harbor...in the late 1960s,
I was stationed on a ship berthed at the old Brooklyn Naval Shipyard...in the
morning, it was best to not go outside...the stench from the harbor was that
bad! Now I saw people enjoying the day on the water! I also noticed that the
harbor had the smell of the sea...not of garbage! What a change in 30 years!

Monday, I visited the Rectory of Our Lady of Hungary Church. If you would
like to get info from this church, don't waste your time...to call them
unfriendly would be gracious on my part! On the other hand, Pastor Miller of
the Lutheran Church on Main Street went so far as to make a call to
California to an elderly former resident of Northampton to see if she could
help. He even reviewed the burial records with me to see if my grandparents
might be in the Lutheran cemetery. In addition, every other church I
contacted, was more than willing to review their records for me. As I
couldn't get any information for Our Lady of Hungary Church... the second
most likely location to find my Grandparents, I drove up to Jim Thorpe to see
if I could find land records for the property my Grandfather owned in the
Lehigh Tannery area. The people at the Carbon County Courthouse were very
helpful. I was able to get copies of the deeds executed by my grandfather. I
found that he and his family moved from Northampton to Lehigh Tannery in
1917. He sold the land in 1933, when he and my Grandmother moved in with
their Daughter, Mary (Geshel) Ackers and her husband Leo.

In White Haven, I visited with a childhood friend, and we walked Laurel
Cemetery (the most likely burial site of my Grandparents). We found many
people we remembered, but no sign of my Grandparents. While at the cemetery,
I remembered visiting it with my Father back in the 1950s, I remember looking
down at a gravestone that read, "Robert Geshel"...as that is my name, I was
interested who was buried there...my Father told me, "That's your
Grandfather." Well, for the life of me I couldn't find the tombstone, and
the gentleman, Marshall Clymer, who has the records for the cemetery didn't
have any record of my grandparents being buried there...but, as he said, "the
records are incomplete" In one of those, "semi-senior moments," I neglected
to ask if maybe the plots were in Leo and Mary Ackers' name...well, I really
did want to write to the gentleman with the cemetery records!

I found out that the records from the old Kocher Funeral Home are in the
possession of the unofficial town historian, Earl Searfoss...we had a chance
to visit. He was busy at the time and he will review the records and let me
know what he finds.

Overall, it was a good trip. I didn't find the burial site of my
Grandparents, but I did find his Brother and Sister-in Law; I found the land
records, I visited Ellis Island, and I had a chance to visit with a childhood
friend whom I hadn't seen in 20 years...all in all, a very good time.

Something I found after I returned home...I didn't realize it at the time,
but my Grandparents lived on Newport Ave...just North of Our Lady of Hungary
Church. Anton Keschl and his wife Mary (Maria), lived on Canal St., again in
Northampton. Drove right by both locations.

Next year...back to the Burgenland to fill in all the blank spots in my
records. Then I begin to trace ancestors on my Mother's side! Oh fun!


Andras Rakicsany () writes: I have been trying for a long
time to find something about the "history" of my name. Until today I was very
unsuccessful. Perhaps you will be able to tell me where my name comes from
(or point me in the right direction). Your newsletter has a paragraph
containing my last name.

- acquired the Neuhaus fortress and "Rakicsany" castle in 1620
- was living at Rohoncz in 1620

Answer: Above data is from Batthyany family ancestral data, supplied by one
of our Batthyany members. Search for Batthyany in our membership lists
available from our home page, also in our newsletter archives. Franz
Batthyany acquired the Herrschaft of Güssing (and eventually all of southern
Burgenland) in 1524 from Hungarian King Lajos (Louis) II. They held property
there (in Austria) down to the present day although property in Hungary was
taken over by the Hungarian Govt. following WWII. Some Batthyany records are
held in the State Library in Budapest, others are still held by the family,
but many have been well documented in the Burgenland State Library. There is
nothing in English except for what we have translated in our archives.

Neuhaus is a village in the district of Oberwart in middle Burgenland,
Austria. I have not been able to place Rakicsany castle within that vicinity
(I used Prickler's "Burgenland Schlöser Ruinen und Wehrkirchen im
Burgenland") and the site may well be in Hungary today. Rohoncz is the
Hungarian name for Rechnitz which is in Burgenland.

It is rare for one of these medieval names to survive unaltered without being
mentioned. It is very possible that you are a descendant of this family but
the name may also have been taken by those living within the castle area or
as workers or servants. This is such an interesting case that I am copying
two of our Burgenland editors in the hope that they may shed some light on
the subject.


>From Burgenland Forschungen-Kanonische Visitation 1757 Südburgenland
Index-Rackicsan-sehe Rakic'an p341
p341-...des habe die Verwitibte Graff Batthyanin Eine gebohrene Graffin von
Stratman, dass sie Meinen Eltern die Herrschaft Neuhauss und Rackicsan
Verkauffet vor die Marckht Pfarr Taussent Gulden Restanten so Bey denen
Untterthanen Gebleiben und Mein Vater übernohmen hat...

You'll notice the archaic German. This does nothing more than establish what
appears above (that the Batthyany bought the place).

>From Georg Wagner "Das Türkenjahr 1664"
Index Rakicsa'n 2km easterly of Mura Szombath 148
p148-(the chapter deals with Montecuccoli's forces approaching the Battle of
Kormend)...Am 26 Juli berichtete er Montecuccoli, er sie am 2 4 mit dem
Kaiserlichen von Rajkazin (wohl Rakicsa"n, 2 km sö. Mura Szombath)

Mentions a place-the emperor's forces from Rajkazin. Must have been a

So, looking at my Hungarian material, I find Mura Szombath is now in Slovenia
under the name Murska Sobota-2 km se of there is a village called Beltinci. I
guess the best we can say for this is that your name comes from the place
mentioned but whether your ancestors gave their name to the place or took it
from the place name is anyone's guess. This whole territory was owned by the
Batthyany for 500 years.

Later I sent the folowing:
(Robert Bathiany) has mailed me a series of references to
subject name, all of which again support the ownership of Herrschaft
Rakicsany (other villages were included) by the Batthyany family. In
Auto-Wander-und Freizeitkarte (a 1:100 000 scale map) -Steirmark, Graz Süd
Burgenland, I find the village of Rakic'an in the former Yugoslavia
(Slovenia) a few kms se of Murska Sobata (Olsnitz), just below the se
Austrian border and south of Hungary. It lies just off of route 10-1,
connecting Radkersburg, Styria with Murska Sobata. A castle marker appears on
the map just outside of this village. There is now no doubt in my mind that
your name stems from this place.

In the index of the LDS (Mormon) Family History Center, I find that Rakicsan
was in Vas Megye (county), Hungary pre 1921. It was in the district of
Murasombathely (now Murska Sobata). The 563 RC inhabitants (1878) attended
church in the parish of Murasombathely. Microfilm of the RC church records of
Murasombathely from 1828-1867 are available from any LDS Family History
Center as film nos. 1529711-Item 3 and 1529712-Item 1. Using these records
you should be able to locate others with your name. If your name stems from
the minor nobility these records will show "noblisse (or equivalent) as the
"standikeit" (standing) of the people involved. If the records do not show
this, you will know that your ancestors took their name from the name of
their village of origin. It may also appear in Hungarian works concerning

Fritz Königshofer then writes:

Dear Mr. Rakicsány, It was interesting to read your enquiry. Gerry has
already identified the location of Rakicsán which, in the late days of the
Hungarian Kingdom (before WW 1) went by the Hungarian name Battyánfalva,
populated by about 500 ethnic Slovenians. The other place listed in the
Batthyán record you cited is likely the village of Neuhaus am Klausenbach
(and rather not the Neuhaus near Güssing). Neuhaus am Klausenbach lies at
the southern tip of the Burgenland, next to both Austria and Slovenia. My
Dehio guide of Burgenland states that the market town of Neuhaus am
Klausenbach was a possession of the abbey of Szentgotthárd, but came into the
ownership of the Batthyány family in 1607.

The relation between your family name and the village of Rakicsán may date
back to very old times. It would be most important for you to first trace
your ancestry back from today. Your ancestors may not have lived in or near
Rakicsán for hundreds of years.

I have the CD-ROM of the multi-volume series on Hungarian noble families by
Nagy Iván (originally published in mid 19th century). This has no entry on
the family Rakicsány. However, it contains one reference to a Mrs. Rakicsány
under another noble name. I also checked the multi-volume series on
Hungarian nobility published by Béla Kempelen around 1900. While it has
nothing on Rakicsány, it has an entry on a family Rakiscán (like the name of
the village) with the short text "Vasmegyében elõfordulo család" what I take
to mean "a family from Vas county." Most interestingly, the entry refers to
a more detailed entry about this family in the book by Gyula Balogh on the
nobility of Vas county, page 121 (the book's title is "Vas vármegye nemes
családjai," Szombathely, 1901). The book by Balogh has been filmed by LDS
and thus can be ordered from a Family History Center near you. If you happen
to live in Hungary, you can access the Balogh in the main reading room of the
National Library (Széchényi Library) in Budapest.

Newsletter continues as no. 98C

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