Archiver > DONAUSCHWABEN-VILLAGES > 2003-11 > 1068903069

From: "Mike O'Brien" <>
Subject: [DVHH-Villages-L] A village page success story - Kudritz
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2003 08:31:09 -0500
In-Reply-To: <009401c3ab41$b50678b0$5a839144@Knees1950>

I've been collecting information about Kudritz since I learned that it
existed about two years ago. I say "collecting information" rather that
"researching" because I don't think the amateurish gathering of facts like
the shiny rocks I used to collect from the stream behind my house as a kid
qualifies for the lofty team "research". Because Kudritz is such a small
town I never really expected to come across many people who knew of or were
descended from the town. But my results have been surprising.

I first learned of Kudritz from a faint, almost illegible "T Kutas" scrawled
in pencil on my great-grandmother's Immigration Inspection card from the
S.S. Ultonia. Never having heard of the Banat, it took some work to figure
out this refered to "Temeskutas", the Hungarian name of Kudritz.

I have come across a number of names that are now very familiar while
tracing my ancestry back to the founding of the town: Braun, Tetz, Jager,
Bornhoffer, Zeitler...the list goes on. I have contacted the descendants of
some of some of these families because of close ties to my own.

Almost exactly a year ago, Jody and I started talking about what was to
become the DVHH project. Jody was already in the process of pulling this
together, and I had learned of the project through Glenn Schwartz of the
Zichydorf Village Association. A few phone calls and emails later I had
signed on as webmaster and donated space for the project. Plus, I was on
the hook to build a web page for my village.

I started with a history I had already compiled, primarily from Susan
Clarkson's excellent article, "History of German Settlements in Southern
Hungary", and Jakob Rosenberger's "Die Kudritzer Familienbuch". I sprinkled
in some geographical facts, maps, and photos to produce a very basic page
about "my" village. I was pleased with the results, but also realized few
people would be interested in learning about this teensy village in the
middle of Serbia.

So now, a year later, I thought to share my results:

Through search engine optimization, my page is now the highest-ranked "hit"
on Google when searching for Kudritz. It didn't cost me a dime, and anyone
can do it. This is already paying dividends.

I have spoken to or traded emails with descendants of not less than 8
different Kudritz families from all over the world...some right in my

Of the 8 families I have heard from, I have a documented relationship to 7.

I am compiling a family history for a descendant of the town's founder,
Johann Tetz. I am distantly related to this person through the second
marriage of her grandfather.

I heard from a Zeidler/Zeitler family descendant who lives an hour from me
in Laural. The Zeitlers have a relationship to the Tetz family through an
18th century marriage. He heard of me through an internet search.

I heard from a descendant of Valentin Berger and Ignatz Heiser, who bought
the town in 1828 and were knighted by the government, taking the surname "de
Kudritz" (which they magyarized to "Kudritzy"). This gentleman has more
information for me on the town and its history, but has been busy moving to
a new home in Frankfurt.

I contacted descendants of the Bornhoffers in Cincinatti. I know the family
originates in Kudritz and is related to mine, but not how. Bornhoffers were
witnesses and godparents throughout my family tree. Sadly, not only did
they not have any information on their ancestry, they plainly were not

Most recently I heard from a family in Clinton, VA (about 2 hours from me),
who had found my village pages through an internet search. They told me
that they knew their grandfather was born and died in Kudritz and were
looking for more information on the town. Not realizing they didn't already
have the information, I told them the date their grandfather was killed in
action in WWI, as well as the date his brother was killed in action 3 years
later - right off the photo of the WWI memorial in the town. I was
surprised to learn that they knew only that he was killed in action. What a
thrill it was to be able to give someone else that feeling you get when you
find a major piece of information about an ancestor! I have started an
email exchange with this family and already have a couple of photos to add
to my village pages. Everyone wins.

So here's a success story. This is why I got involved in this project.
This is what keeps up my enthusiasm. Now, with some new photos and
recharged enthusiasm, I'm going to do some more "tuning" to get better
results in the search engines, add some photos to my pages, and maybe dig
for some more facts about the village.

Mike O'Brien
DVHH Webmaster and Kudritz Village Coordinator
Lovettsville, VA

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