We often get mail that reads: "I don't know what to do. I have scanned the BB site and read the newsletters, and I have gone through the member and village lists. I found some family names and I think I found their villages. Now what do I do?"
Such questions often are a result of two problems. The first is that the writer is just starting their genealogical research effort. The second is that he or she may have little experience with computers and the internet.
Genealogy: In its simplest form, family history involves linking pertinent data on individuals from family to family. To do this, the families must be traced through available records. You start with what you know and work back from there.
First, obtain the names, dates and places of birth, marriage and death for your four grandparents (assuming you already have that data for your parents; if not, start there). Look at the records you have, check what is missing, then ask relatives what they know. Record it in a notebook. Look for records in the area where your grandparents settled. Old telephone books, city directories, church baptism, marriage and death records, court house records, wills, naturalization papers, US census, Social Security death index, Ellis Island records, etc. If you do not live near the record sources, try the internet. Check our BB URL lists (internet addresses) for helpful sites. Sometimes you must write for information. Get a good genealogical "how to" book and read it.
Once you have your grandparents' data, look for their parents' data. Also, look for information about their brothers and sisters (siblings) and their children. Then do the same for your great-great-grandparents. By that time, you will be an expert and you will know what to do next, but only you can decide how far you want to go.
Computer: Learn how to print, copy, and download files from the internet. Review how to send email. Read your computer instruction books. Practice downloading to a floppy for virus protection. Add the BB web site addresses shown at the end of each newsletter and some of the BB URL listings to your internet address file; help is then just a click away.
Establish a BB file on your computer hard disk or email server. Copy all BB correspondence, newsletters, and downloaded material to this file. Delete it only when it no longer has value. Backup your data.
Buy or download some free genealogy software and load it with your genealogical data. Now you can print some genealogy charts -- an Ahnentafel (ancestor table), a pedigree chart, or family history sheets. Some programs will even prepare a genealogy in book form with pictures.
Internet: Once you find the genealogical data pertaining to your family in the United States, search the Burgenland church and civil records copied by the LDS. Go to the Burgenland Bunch Homepage. Look at the village list. Write down the Hungarian name of the village, its German name, its Bezirk (district) and the location of the church (parish). If you cannot find the information, ask the BB staff or other members who are researching that village. Look at the member list, and write down the names and email addresses of members researching your family names or village. Send them email and ask if they have any information. Offer to share what you have. You must eventually go to a LDS Family History Center and order the film for your church as found above, and then follow research directions supplied in our newsletters.
To use the BB website in your search, click on the following topics (they appear in blue) on the homepage:
Burgenland Bunch Members -- check your listing; is it correct? Search the list (using your browser’s "find" tool) for your family names and villages. If you find members with similar data, contact them.
Burgenland Bunch Surnames -- look for your family names and copy what you find.
Burgenland Villages -- look for your villages and copy the data; click on a village name for available history.
Albert's Village Data -- search for your villages and copy the Hungarian names of the villages, districts, and parishes.
Burgenland-Bunch 'Maps' pages -- copy the map for your village or district and check name lists and house numbers on the 'Houselists' pages.
Having done that:
Go to our archives (click on Burgenland Bunch Archives, there are two sections) and see what has been written about your family name or village. Copy it to your files; maybe it will furnish more clues.
Click on Burgenland Bunch Internet Links to find more sources.
Click on FAQ and other headings to get answers to frequently asked questions or guidance on how to proceed.
If you have a question that you would like to ask, click on Burgenland Query Board.
If you would like to hear some Burgenland music, click on Burgenland Bunch Song Book.
If you would like to check on what is happening in the BB, click on Gerry Berghold Award and BB Picnic.
There is no short cut for this procedure. Someone may have already done it for you, but beware: what was done could be wrong. You will never be sure until you do it yourself. There is nowhere you can go to have someone supply you with a complete genealogy. You might find bits, pieces, and maybe some clues but there is no substitute for doing your own work. The BB can be of immense help, but you must learn to help yourself.
Burgenland Bunch Main Page