The News
Dedicated to Austrian-Hungarian Burgenland Family History

November 30, 2017, © 2017 by The Burgenland Bunch
All rights reserved. Permission to copy excerpts granted if credit is provided.

Editor: Thomas Steichen (email:

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Our 21st Year. The Burgenland Bunch Newsletter is issued monthly online. It was founded by Gerald Berghold (who retired from the BB in the Summer of 2008 and died in August 2008).

Current Status Of The BB:
* Members: 2566 * Surname Entries: 8201 * Query Board Entries: 5709 * Staff Members: 13

This newsletter concerns:


2) ADOPTEES AND DNA (by Frank Paukowits)






1) THE PRESIDENT'S CORNER (by Tom Steichen)

Tom SteichenThis month's collection of bits and pieces in Article 1 starts with an introduction of a new BB staff member, stops in Italy and later by some Latin words, drifts past a mention of new FamilySearch rules and new GenTeam records, lingers for a cup of coffee and a short discussion of a new DNA tool, dwells on some kind words by a new member, and finally meanders to our usual "book report," yummy Burgenland recipe, and (hopefully) a laugh.

Article 2, by Frank Paukowits, discusses the use of DNA in helping Adoptees learn about their birth families, with specific reference to efforts by Jane Horvath for Burgenland-born adoptees. While it does not directly broach the subject of the current legal activities to open up adoption records, this is a hot civil-rights topic.

In Article 3, Donna Stockl talks about her personal experiences about Family Name Changes Not being done At Ellis Island. This is in support of the article I published on the topic a few months back... but it is interesting in its own right!

Article 4 takes on the US Naturalization Act of 1906, a simple act that affected many of our ancestors but is almost more notable for its extensive bureaucratic detail. However, it did establish a nation-wide naturalization process and that the federal government was the final arbiter of naturalization policy (local jurisdictions had control before then).

The remaining articles are our standard sections: Historical Newsletter Articles, and the Ethnic Events and Emigrant Obituaries sections.

New BB Staff Member: I have great news to report! Rachel Rein of California has volunteered to become our new Surnames and Villages Editor, replacing me (happily) in that role. As you will see from her modest mini-bio below, she is an ardent genealogist and web developer with maternal roots in Burgenland, so she has both the skills and motivation needed to be an excellent BB staffer:

Self-Bio: Rachel has been researching her genealogy for 20 years and is delighted to watch more content become available online each year. Her maternal family is from Burgenland and in 2017 she took a trip there to meet her 6th cousins and research in the church archives. She especially loved eating her cousin's homemade lángos. She is a professional web developer and hand-codes her family trees in HTML and CSS. She is excited to help facilitate research as part of the BB team.

She is in the process of updating her BB Member Entry after her recent trip to Burgenland. She is researching PÖLLINGER, MERSLANOVICH, DOBITS, LAKNER, THURNER, SCHUMICH, JACKSICH, JANKOVICH, and STANGL in Schützen am Gebirge, Oslip, and Purbach am Neusiedler See. Her ancestors emigrated to Wisconsin and her cousins live in Trausdorf an der Wulka, Oslip, and Purbach.

In reality, Rachel excluded more from her mini-bio than she included. She is a mother of two children (and many pets, including newts), a graduate of the University of California - Berkeley, and an active Wikipedia editor. She is deep into genetic genealogy, having published at least one article in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy (see, and, since 2004, has been managing of a number of DNA surname projects (see She has a goal of testing for the haplogroup of each of her sixteen great-great-grandparents and has completed twelve so far.

She can be reached via BB email address: Please welcome Rachel to the BB staff!

Travel in Italy: Now that I'm back, I'll say a few words about why there was no newsletter at the end of last month. The reason is that my wife and I were traveling in Italy: Tuscany and then Rome, specifically.

For most of our trip, we were based in the Tuscan spa town of Montecatini Terme, about 25 miles west-northwest of Florence. Montecatini has "Terme" tacked onto its name for two reasons, first there is also a Montecatini Alto, where "Alto" means high and indicates the old, adjacent Medieval hilltown, so the two places needed different names; and second, because there are thermal mineral springs in the town and "Terme" translates to hot springs / spa / bath. Alto was built on the hilltop for its strategic defensive position, a position made even stronger given that the valley floor below was swampy marsh ground until it was channeled and drained in the 1500s. A side benefit of the draining was that the nearby mineral springs were discovered when the marshland dried up. Eventually a new town arose around the springs and it became the main town when gunpowder and cannons eliminated much of the advantage of stone walls in a somewhat elevated position.

However, the old town has survived (mostly as a tourist destination now) and is serviced by a paved road (with an hourly bus), a steep hiking path, and a cable car, known locally as the Funicolare (runs every half hour). Down below in the "new" town, the spas remain quite active, offering the "classical" thermal/mineral water treatments ranging from drinking water (hydropinic care: a "prescription" is required and a typical course runs three weeks... said to be good for liver, stomach and intestines), thermal baths, mud treatments, saunas, massages and "aesthetic" aerosol inhalation therapy. Until we understood how active the spas remained, we had a hard time understanding why there were so many hotels (66 within one mile of the town center, per Trivago) in a town of just 21,000 residents. Given that, there are also lots of excellent restaurants and other "tourist" services in the town.

From Montecatini, we took day trips to many of the well-known Tuscan towns: Pisa and Lucca (the Leaning Tower in Pisa and the still-standing 16th-century stone ramparts around Lucca); Florence (with the original "David"); Siena (the famous Palio horse race); Cinque Terre (five cliff towns along the Mediterranean); and San Gimignano and the Chianti region (Etruscan towers and excellent wines and cheeses—we visited a family-run winery). We even stopped in at the WW-II American Cemetery and Memorial, final resting place for 4,400 American soldiers killed in the northern Italian campaigns and memorial for another 1,400 missing-in-action (mostly air crewmen).

Our final two days were in Rome, where we toured the Coliseum, the Forum, Circus Maximus (and other city sites) the first day, and then the Vatican the next day, with its impressive museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Church.

Throughout, we ate well (but too much!) and greatly enjoyed the regional Italian wines; and we walked way too much (but slept well in trade, despite the time displacement!) ...and my wife spent too much on leather goods and gifts (oh well, at least my pockets were lighter on the trip home, though my suitcase was not!). Our travels never took us into the northern and northeastern regions of Italy that once were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (Lombardy, Venezia, Trieste, Tyrol) ...but Tuscany has its own charms and I'd go there again. Nonetheless, it is great to be home!

FamilySearch To Require Free Sign-in to Search or View Records: On November 16, 2017, FamilySearch announced that, beginning December 13, 2017, patrons will need to be signed-in to search or view historical records. Obtaining a FamilySearch login is both free and easy, and signing in is not a great burden, but both will be required to enjoy all the benefits FamilySearch has to offer. FamilySearch must assure all its partners that its content is offered in a safe and secure online environment, and signing-in fulfills that need.

FamilySearch says it is committed to patron privacy and does not share personal account information with any third party without a patron’s consent (and my personal experience is that it lives up to its commitment!).

If you do not already have an account, see Registering to Use for information about creating a free account.

Burgenland Now Exporting Coffee and Coffeeshops to Turkey: It is a strange world, indeed, when Burgenland invades Turkey, armed with only, of all things, coffee-based expertise! But it is. The coffeehouse chain, Coffeeshop Company, based in Neusiedl am See, currently has eleven franchise stores in Turkey and has contracts to add 39 more Viennese-style shops over the next five years. Two Turkish groups are investing a total of twelve million euros through a master franchise agreement and expect a 50 million euro annual turnover from their fifty shops.

The Coffeeshop Company is one part of the family-run, coffee-based Schärf Group, which was founded by Alexander Schärf of Neusiedl am See when he opened his first coffeehouse in Vienna in 1959. The Group has since expanded into all aspects of coffee: coffee roasting, blending and sales (500 tons per year currently), coffee machines (being a pioneer in modern Espresso-machine technology), coffee house concepts, mobile coffee trucks, coffee corners on cruise ships, catering, franchising, barista training, and even direct contracting with coffee growers.

The Coffeeshop Company, founded in 1999 and now headed by Marco Schärf, the grandson of the founder, is the franchise wing, with 251 franchisee shops in 22 countries, though mainly in Austria, Russia and Turkey.

So, what goes around comes around... and the Burgenland invasion of Turkey is now well underway!

New Records at GenTeam, GenTeam is an European platform through which historians and genealogists, who work independently or as a team on databases, can furnish this data to all researchers. All data at GenTeam is available free of charge. The use of GenTeam also requires no membership fee. GenTeam currently has 17.4 million entries online and 38,200 registered users.

590,000 additional entries were added online this cycle, including:

1: Austrian-Hungary World War I Military Casualty Lists of the wounded, prisoners of war, and the fallen from all member countries of the Habsburg Monarchy, including officers, one-year volunteers, and all confessions: Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Protestant soldiers. In total, there will be approximately 3 to 3.5 million entries. Currently there are more than 458,000 entries from over 720 lists online. Approximately an additional 250 lists are in progress.

2: Vienna Catholic Baptism, Marriage and Death Indexes from 1585 to 1915: New entries were added for Baptisms from parishes 02 Sankt Johann Nepomuk, 03 Landstrasse, 04 Wieden Paulaner, 05 Sankt Josef Margareten, 06 Gumpendorf, 07 Sankt Ulrich, 08 Alservorstadt Pfarre, 08 Alservorstadt Krankenhaus Gebäranstalt, and 20 Sankt Brigitta; Marriages from parishes 06 Mariahilf and 09 Votivkirche; and Deaths from parish 01 Sankt Stephan.

3: Protestant records of Kukmirn, Burgenland were added thanks to Patrick Kovacs (these same records are on the BB website).

4: Roman Catholic Parish Register entries were added for the Burgenland villages of Kogl, Lockenhaus, and Unterrabnitz

Latin Exonyms for Central European Places: An exonym is a name applied to a place by non-natives (for example, Vienna is an exonym for the place that the natives call Wien). Here (in italic text) are some the Latin names that the Romans used for towns and places near Burgenland:

Budapest (created 1873 from first 3 below)
  - Óbuda (old Buda) - Aquincum
  - Pest - Contra Aquincum
  - Buda - (none, developed after Roman era)
  - Nagytétény (joined Budapest in 1949) - Campona
Györ - Arrabona
Körmend - Arrabo
Köszeg - Ginsium
Mosonmagyaróvár - Ad Flexum
Sopron - Scarbantia
Szombathely - Savaria

Moson Megye - Comitatus Mosoniensis
Sopron Megye - Comitatus Soproniensis
Vas Megye - Comitatus Castriferrei

Eisenstadt - Ferreum Castrum
Graz - Graecia
Vienna - Vindobona

Bratislava - Istropolis / Posonium

Roman Province that included Burgenland - Pannonia
Roman Province west of Pannonia - Noricum
Medieval Kingdom of Hungary - Regnum Hungariae / Ungariae
Medieval Kingdom of Hungary - Regnum Marianum (Kingdom of Mary, Roman Catholic name)
Kingdom of Hungary, 1867–1918 - Transleithania (unofficial)
Austrian Empire, 1867–1918 - Cisleithania (unofficial)

Members of the Hungarian Diet - Natio Hungarica (i.e., Hungarian Nation)
National Motto of Hungary - Regnum Mariae Patrona Hungariae (Kingdom of Mary, the Patroness of Hungary)

Addendum: Shortly after I published this edition of the newsletter, I received a comment from Réka Kiesz (our expert in "ancient and historical handwriting") saying: "Reading your article about Latin names of places, I wonder if your readers, i.e., members and researchers, are familiar with Grässe's Orbis Latinus. This is a compilation of old Latin names of cities that librarians and researchers of old books use a lot. The dictionary is available online as well: Hope this is a good addendum to your database."

I don't know about all you readers, but I was not aware of this book, so I'll share it with you (and here seemed as good a place as any to mention it). After looking up a few of the exonyms I report above, I see there is not a perfect agreement between what I report and what is found in this resource... but then the Grässe text provides many variations for a given place so I'm not surprised I found at least one more! Also, this is the second (1909) edition, edited by Prof. Dr. Friedrich Benedict, of the original 1860 book by Dr. Johann Georg Theodor Grässe. Professor Benedict notes numerous additions and corrections were made in his edition. Further, there is a 1972 edition (which I presume has even more "additions and corrections"!). Despite all that, this still beats wondering "what was that strangely-named place?" least I think so!

TeloYears "Health Tracking" Program: While watching a college football game this past month, I could not help but notice a commercial for a new genetic test called TeloYears. The commercial points to (owned by Telomere Diagnostics, Inc.) and advertises a telomere-based test and health tracking program that "...uses your DNA to help you measure and improve your vitality."

The TeloYears test measures the length of the telomeres, which are DNA-protein structures, the so-called "protective caps" on the ends of DNA strands, that tend to shorten and fray with age. The TeloYears results report claims to provide "...the age of your cells in TeloYears, or the actual age of the typical man or woman whose telomere length is similar to yours."

While telomere length has been proposed in the medical research literature to be a potential biomarker of aging, the evidence does not seem very convincing that it is useful:

- A 2010 paper concluded: "Although telomere length is implicated in cellular aging, the evidence suggesting telomere length is a biomarker of aging in humans is equivocal."

- A 2013 paper said: "Currently, it remains unknown whether, in human populations, telomere length is a biomarker of aging for a whole organism or a biomarker of aging in specific tissues. The data suggest that, overall, if telomere length is a biomarker of human aging, it is a weak biomarker with poor predictive accuracy compared with many traditional covariates."

- In 2016: "...change in telomere length did not predict change in cognitive or physical abilities. This study shows that, although cognitive ability, walking speed, lung function and grip strength all decline with age, they do so independently of telomere length shortening."

- And in 2017: "Our review suggests that at present it is difficult to draw a reliable conclusion regarding the contribution of TL [=telomere length] to neurological disorders."

One exception appears to concern certain cancers, where the cancer itself causes rapid shortening of the telomeres, making telomere length predictive of the severity of the cancer... but that seems unrelated to their use as a biomarker for normal aging.

Given that the basic TeloYears test costs $99 and the "advanced" TeloYears + TeloCoach program is $199, I think the "small print" found on the website says it all:

- The TeloYears test is not intended for screening, diagnosing, treating or preventing diseases or medical conditions.
- The information provided by the TeloYears test should not be used to replace medically appropriate screening tests recommended based upon actual age or other risk factors nor should the information be used to make decisions about diagnosis or treatment of diseases or medical conditions.
- The TeloYears test has not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Kind Words (always appreciated!)...

John Grabner
(of Canada) wrote to the BB staff:
A big thank you.

Exactly one month ago, I had just one piece of paper about my heritage on my father's side. I could not even read this paper. Worst, I had no idea of where to look.

You introduced me to and translated a bunch of documents to get me started.

Now, I have 20+ documents of my family and can trace my family name to 5 generations.

Gen 0. John Grabner (Ottawa 1961)
Gen 1. Johann Grabner (Fürstenfeld Oct 14, 1934)
Gen 2. Maria Grabner (Riegersdorf Dec 1, 1911)
Gen 3. Andreas Grabner (Groß Wilfersdorf Nov 9, 1885)
Gen 4. Johann Grabner (Ebersdorf May 13, 1842)
Gen 5. Andreas Grabner .... working

The Grabner family and I thank you for giving this start.


In a similar vein, Herman Schuber (of Dublin, GA) wrote:

I want to thank you so much for posting the links to the Hungarian Civil Records a few months ago. I have gone through all of the records for Pöttelsdorf and Balf, which has given me a wonderful treasure of names and relationships. I am particularly pleased that I have been able to document the parents (and paternal grandparents) of my grandmother, Elizabeth Strommer of Balf. She died before I was born and my Dad and his sister seemed to know very little of their family history, and, I now realize, much of what they told me was not correct. I can’t really fault them because I also now realize that they never actually saw any of their grandparents. My grandfather and grandmother arrived in 1913 (he from Pöttelsdorf and she from Balf) and first met in Chicago, but neither of them ever returned to Europe.

Apparently, there was much emphasis placed on the mother’s birth (maiden) name. On each of the records I examined, the woman was always identified as First Name, wife of Husband’s Name, born as Maiden Name. This is extraordinarily helpful in tracing maternal lines. On most U.S. records, including the census, the wife is identified by her married name and it can be difficult, if not impossible, to determine the maiden name unless you can locate the marriage record. Even then, the record usually only shows the maiden name of the bride, and nothing about her parents.

What I found particularly helpful in the death and marriage records was the information about parents. On the marriage records, the names, birthdates and birthplaces of the bride and groom were shown, but also the names, ages, and birthplaces of both sets of parents. On the death records, the birthdate and birthplace of the deceased are shown along with the name and birthplace of the spouse, and the names of the deceased’s parents including the birthname of the mother. This has allowed me to trace my grandmother’s paternal ancestry back two generations, all from the comfort of my den.

My searches were somewhat limited because my family was Lutheran, and the records for the Lutheran Church are not available, only the Civil Records. Nevertheless, I have gathered sufficient data to keep myself busy for a little while. Hopefully, the Lutheran records will someday be available. Otherwise, I will need to travel to Salt Lake City, since the LDS centers in my area are open only for a few hours a day and only a few times a week.

Anyhow, thank you, thank you, thank you. I love the BB!

[Ed. note: I published these two 'thank you' messages mostly because they mention useful tools for research (the first message noting the digital Graz-Seckau diocese records and the second mentioning the extraordinary useful details in the Hungarian civil records). {It is not that we do not appreciate being thanked—we do appreciate it!—but we are thanked almost every month!}

Also, I wanted to comment on the availability of the Lutheran records in digital format, their current absence being mentioned by Herman: it is expected that these microfilm records will eventually be made available in digital format, as all films are being converted.

FamilySearch gives two reasons why such films are not currently available as digital collections:

1. The microfilm may be scheduled for future scanning (all should be completed within the next two years).
2. The microfilm may have been scanned, but have a contractual, data privacy, or other restriction preventing access (these restrictions are likely the key reason that FamilySearch is requiring users to be signed in to access digital records after December 12 (see tidbit above)... i.e., so they can offer previously-restricted digital collections.)

Herman suggested that he might go to Salt Lake City to access the old microfilms... that is, indeed, a current option, as the microfilm collection is being maintained and is accessible at the Family History Library (however, all indications are that it, too, will move to digital-access-only once the complete collection is digitized). But I'd wait until after December 12 to see if the digital Lutheran records become available after sign-in is required!]


Book coverUpdate for book "The Burgenländer Emigration to America": Here is this month's update on purchases of the English issue of the 3rd edition of Dr. Walter Dujmovits' book "Die Amerika-Wanderung Der Burgenländer."

Current total sales are 1226 copies, as interested people purchased 29 more books during these past two months.

As always, the book remains available for online purchase at a list price of $7.41 (which is the production charge for the book, as we purposely choose not to make a profit so we can avoid dealing with the income tax consequences and so you can obtain the book at as low a cost as possible!), plus tax & shipping. See the BB homepage for a link to the information / ordering page and for any current discounts (and there is at least one discount on price or shipping available most of the time... if not, wait a few days and there will be one!).

Side note: The book makes a great Christmas present!

Burgenland Recipes (now edited by Alan Varga): This recipe comes to us courtesy of contributor Christine Rubba, whose roots are in Steinberg/Oberpullendorf. She now lives in Alberta, Canada.

Gefüllte Paprika / Stuffed Green Peppers (from Christine Rubba)

1 cup (100 gram) rice, boiled
1 onion, cut and diced in small pieces
2 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1 to 1-1/4 lb (500 gram) ground meat,
    half beef and half pork
1 egg
salt & pepper, to taste
3 to 4 green peppers, halved, insides removed
1 can of tomatoes, diced or crushed
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp to 1 Tbsp sugar

How to make it:
1) Cook rice per package instructions.
2) Brown onions in 1 Tbsp oil until soft (2 to 3 minutes); let cool.
3) Mix rice, onions, ground meat, egg, salt and pepper.
4) Stuff green peppers with the meat mixture.
5) In an oven-safe frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp oil, add green stuffed peppers and brown lightly. Top with tomato sauce and garlic then put in oven at 350° F; add water if necessary. Roast in oven for about 1 hour, then put on stove top and sprinkle with sugar according to your taste. Serves 4 Persons.

Guten Appetit!

Reminder: We no longer have a "regular" source for Burgenland recipes. As evidenced above, a few readers have shared favorite family recipes, and we do have a reserve for a couple of months now, but if contributions stop coming in, we'll be begging again! So, please consider sharing your favorite Burgenland recipes or recipe books with us. Our older relatives sadly aren't with us forever, so don't allow your allow your favorite ethnic dishes to become lost to future generations. Send your suggestions to BB Recipes Editor, Alan Varga. Thanks!

Cartoon of the Month:


2) ADOPTEES AND DNA (by Frank Paukowits)

Jane Horvath, Co-Administrator of the Burgenland DNA Study Project and BB member, has been working with two adoptees from the Project to identify the most likely birth ancestral lines by using DNA research techniques. This is not a simple undertaking.

The availability of birth records for adoptees is governed by state law. While the trend has been to open up these records and make them accessible to adoptees, the majority of states still keep them sealed and shield the names of birth/natural parents and other related information from the adoptee.

Alaska, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon and Alabama allow unrestricted access by an adoptee to their original birth certificate. In eight other states, the adoptee can secure the original birth certificate, but there are certain restrictions. These states include: Illinois, New Jersey, Indiana, Colorado, Connecticut, Montana, Washington and Ohio.

Given the legal constraints imposed on many adoptees relating to their birth certificates, the task of identifying birth lines for adoptees understandably is much more complicated than for traditional situations. Notwithstanding, Jane was able in one case to identify both birth parents, verification pending adoptee's access to original birth records.

The other case is much more complex, but she was able to isolate the likely ancestral lines of the natural parents and is very close to identifying the mother, who would have been born nearly 100 years ago. These discoveries were the result of comparing y-DNA haplotype, maternal haplotype and using autosomal testing methods, such as triangulation and “in common with” analyses, as part of the review process (both of these techniques will be addressed in detail in subsequent BB Newsletters).

As part of her analytical research, Jane developed branches of family trees for a number of different surnames, which she would be willing to share with people in the Burgenland DNA Study Project and other interested parties. Some of the Burgenland surnames in question that kept cropping up in her review were: Katics, Derkits (Dergits), Jandrisovits, Czitkovits, Hafner, Wukovits (Vukovits), Zloklokovics. Their locations include several villages along the Strem River and its tributary, the Zickenbach, between Güssing and Stegersbach. She has also merged her current research into her own tree and the trees of two other project members. Additional surnames include: Horvath (Kondorfa / Krottendorf, Vas Megye); Paar (Brennbergbanya / Brennberg, Sopron Megye); Hodl, Granitz, Ring (Mogersdorf / Nagyfalva); Gratzer, Garger (Güssing / Németújvár and Strem / Strém); Sinawehl (Neustift bei Güssing / Újtelep and Forchtenau / Fraknó); and Schrammel, Schmalczl, Schnalczer (Harmisch / Hovárdos, Pornóapáti / Pernau, Vas Megye, and Deutsch Schützen / Németlö).

Jane maintains a page where you can find these trees ( If you are interested and have a Burgenland surname in your family, I suggest you take a look and see if there is a family tree branch that is available. It could save a lot of time in your continuing research efforts if there is one. Also, if there are any other adoptees who are in the Burgenland DNA Study Project who have hit a “brick wall” in their research, consider getting in touch with Jane at She might be able to provide some guidance.


Greetings Mr. Steichen, what I have to say is not to contradict your article, but to support it and possibly offer another possible cause for spelling changes in immigrant surnames in the US.

My great-grandmother Maria Pelzman and her half-sister Anna Pelzman, both of Bocksdorf, married two seemingly-unrelated (to each other) men from Stegersbach with the surname Peischl. My great-grandfather was Josef Peischl and the other man was Michael Peischl.

My great-grandfather Josef and the other Peischl man named Michael sailed in April 1904 on the same ship to NY, each giving the same address and person (Alois Peischl) in Philadelphia as their contact and destination. I have documentation that Alois was Josef's brother, which is noted on the ship manifest. Michael reported that Alois was his uncle but I can't verify that. [Editor: my read of the records below says that Michael was joining his uncle Jos(eph), not Alois, but the address was the same, less a spelling variation (Carlton/Kerlton; but there is no Kerlton St. in Philadelphia). I have blown up the relevant sections for Donna's review, as that may change her interpretation.] The information I have makes that relationship seem unlikely.

Passenger manifest records for Josef (top) and Michael (bottom) Peisch(e)l, SS Vaderland, arriving NYC 5 April 1904 from Antwerp, showing Josef joining brother Alois Peitschl, 915 Carlton St, Phil., PA, and Michael joining uncle Jos Peischl, 915 Kerlton St, Phil., PA

The men Josef and Michael left their wives and children in Burgenland when they made this trip. Josef had 6 children and Michael’s wife was expecting their first child at that time (a daughter who was born in November 1904).

Agreeing with you, their surnames on this trip and the surnames of their wives and children on subsequent trips to the US were spelled nearly the same (certainly with no more variation than I found in the Burgenland records’ spellings of their surnames).

My grandmother Hedwig Peischl Stoeckl (the only of the 6 children to come to Philadelphia when she was an adult) was married in Vienna in 1920 and came with my grandfather, Ferdinand Stoeckl, to Philadelphia in March 1921. She was the 4th child of Josef Peischl and 3rd daughter. My father was born in Philadelphia in August 1922.

During my childhood, my grandmother spoke almost exclusively to my father and in German (which I did not understand), so I learned nothing of my grandmother’s family. For that matter, I learned nothing of my grandfather Ferdinand’s family either. He died in 1941, some years before I was born.

My father seemed not to listen when my grandmother spoke to him. When I asked him about his parents and their families, my dad said: “God gives you your relatives: thank God you can choose your friends.” End of conversation.

That’s another story, but suffice it to say that I learned nothing about the family from being taken to grandmom’s house as a child. At least, that’s what I thought.

When I was very young I heard my grandmother talking about a Tante Rose and sometimes Oncle Charlie. Later I would learn that Rose was the oldest daughter and Charlie was the youngest son of my great-grandfather Josef Peischl. So when I became an adult and my grandmother had died and my father continued as before to share no information, I believed that my grandmother had a sister named Rose and possibly a brother named Charles.

Some years later after the death of both my parents, I found the marriage certificate from my grandparents’ wedding in Vienna. From that I learned my grandmother’s birth surname: Peischl and her birth place: Szent Elek (Stegersbach).

I remember that I contacted the Catholic parish church in Stegersbach and a kind gentleman there sent me copies of the baptismal entries for my grandmother and for two of her siblings. These two siblings were new to me. But we had no Rose and no Charlie (Karl).

Sometime later I joined the Burgenland Bunch and, with the help of some members, learned that Rose was born in Bocksdorf. On the church record, it showed that she was born before her parents married, but it also showed the date of their marriage. Now I had Aunt Rose’s birth date and birth place.

Going a bit back in time, I do remember that in the 1970s my parents and my grandmother and I attended a memorial Mass for Aunt Rose. She had been living alone for quite some time. I recalled that the Mass was at the Church of the Gesu in North Philadelphia.

When I found Aunt Rose’s birth date and birth place I wanted to find her death certificate. I did not know whether or not Aunt Rose had married. So I did a search in the Social Security Death Index for her with the information I knew. I got a hit in the 1970s and when I checked the zip code information, the location was in the same zip code as her parish, the Church of the Gesu. Now I saw that when she died her surname was Diehl.

So I sent for her death certificate. Was I surprised to see her birth surname listed as BEISHL (not Peischl) on that certificate! Add to that, the informant was recorded as her cousin Herman BEISHL. No wonder I could not find any of these Peischl relatives in the US. Their name was being spelled with B instead of P.

Then my childhood memory came back to me. I remembered hearing my grandmother saying (in conversations with my father) Beishl Charlie. She pronounced the first letter of his surname like B instead of P. I think my grandmother was talking about her younger brother Karl (known as Charles in the US). I was still puzzled as to why she said his last name first. One of my Austrian BB friends told me that this practice was left over from Hungarian days in Burgenland. People said the last name first.

This was the breakthrough I needed to find all the Peischl relatives that came to Philadelphia. From then on, I found them in census records, military records, city directory records, citizenship records and others.

My conclusion is that most of the time, the person recording the information wrote what s/he thought s/he heard. I doubt my Burgenland-American family members were asked to spell their surnames, especially in the early years. I also noticed that the names of census-takers and of officials at the immigration courts appeared to not be of Germanic background: their names seemed quite Anglo. It was obvious that the official wrote the information on the applications for citizenship. I often was puzzled with their spelling of places of origin of the immigrant.

These are the spellings I found in early US records (definitely after Ellis Island) for these Peischl people: Beisel, Beishl, Beischel, Beishel, Beischl, and Baschell. The first two spellings are in use by family members today.

Now I do have an illustration in the family of what you said about someone changing the spelling of his surname when he became a citizen.

My great-grandfather Josef Peischl died in 1914 in Philadelphia without becoming a US citizen. His death certificate was full of errors. He died of TB in a hospital and it appears there was no family member present to give information for the death certificate. The death certificate reports that he was born in Germany (he spoke German: where else would he be born?). His surname was spelled Bishel, so I wasn’t sure I had the right death certificate. But then I saw the address for his residence. His sons gave that same address when they registered for the WW-I draft in 1917-1918 and the family lived at that address in the 1920 census. So this was the right person. So his children (except my grandmother, who was married when she came to Philadelphia) used some form of the name with the initial B, not P.

But the other young man on the ship back in April 1904 did apply to become a US citizen. He completed that process in May 1914. He became a US Citizen with the name Michael Beischl. But at the end of the citizenship ceremony he had his name changed to Michael Peischl, the original spelling.

It seems the confusion must have persisted because the informant on Aunt Rose’s 1976 death certificate was Michael Peischl’s son Herman Peischl. Still his name was recorded on the certificate as Herman Beischl.

So here (from this death certificate) were two cousins (Rose and Herman), one with surname Beischl (Rose) and the other with surname Peischl (Herman), because his father had changed the family name back to the spelling from the time he left Burgenland.

It is interesting that the person who wrote the certificate spells the name Beischl for both: maybe Herman didn’t want to cause confusion or the writer heard the same name twice.

Since I learned this information, I have been in contact with descendants of both Peischl and Beishl parts of the family. Some are “sure” they are related to the other branch because of the Peischl name. I’ve told them they are definitely related because these two Peischl men (Josef and Michael) married two half-sisters (Maria Pelzman and Anna Pelzman) in Bocksdorf. I know that the women are related, but I have my doubts that their male ancestors Josef and Michael are related to each other (except by their marriages to the Pelzman sisters).

It took so many years to unravel this and learn of the similar pronunciation of initial P like B in the Burgenland German language. That made all the difference. Before that, the family members came to the US, bit by bit, and then “disappeared” once they left Ellis Island. It was very frustrating for some years, but so rewarding when they were found.


The Naturalization Act of 1906 was an act of the United States Congress signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt that revised prior law and required immigrants to learn English in order to become naturalized citizens. The bill was passed on June 29, 1906, and took effect September 27, 1906.

The legislation established the federal government as the arbiter of naturalization policy and created the
Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization. Since 1802, states had been tasked with determining procedures for the American naturalization process and state-level courts were responsible for cases relating to naturalization. The standards across states were often unique and carried out inconsistently. The 1906 legislation established a uniform standard procedure across the United States. The legislation’s establishment of the Bureau of Naturalization and Immigration was ended and its functions transferred to the Homeland Security Department in 2002.

Below I provide the full text of the Act. I know it is a bit long but I want you to see the level of bureaucratic detail that is present. In reality, only three or four of the thirty-one sections apply directly to the alien being naturalized. Nonetheless, I hope you find it interesting.

An Act To Establish a Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, and to provide for a uniform rule for the naturalization of aliens throughout the United States

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

That the designation of the Bureau of Immigration in the Department of Commerce and Labor is hereby changed to the "Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization," which said Bureau, under the direction and control of the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, in addition to the duties now provided by law, shall have charge of all matters concerning the naturalization of aliens. That it shall be the duty of the said Bureau to provide, for use at the various immigration stations throughout the United States, books of record, wherein the commissioners of immigration shall cause a registry to be made in the case of each alien arriving in the United States from and after the passage of this Act of the name, age, occupation, personal description (including height, complexion, color of hair and eyes), the place of birth, the last residence, the intended place of residence in the United States, and the date of arrival of said alien, and, if entered through a port, the name of the vessel in which he comes. And it shall be the duty of said commissioners of immigration to cause to be granted to such alien a certificate of such registry, with the particulars thereof.

Sec. 2. That the Secretary of Commerce and Labor shall provide the said Bureau with such additional furnished offices within the city of Washington, such books of records and facilities, and such additional assistants, clerks, stenographers, typewriters, and other employees as may be necessary for the proper discharge of the duties imposed by this Act upon such Bureau, fixing the compensation of such additional employees until July first, nineteen hundred and seven, within the appropriations made for that purpose.

Sec. 3. That exclusive jurisdiction to naturalize aliens as citizens of the United States is hereby conferred upon the following specified courts:

United States circuit and district courts now existing, or which may hereafter be established by Congress in any State, United States district courts for the Territories of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Hawaii, and Alaska, the supreme court of the District of Columbia, and the United States courts for the Indian Territory; also all courts of record in any State or Territory now existing, or which may hereafter be created, having a seal, a clerk, and jurisdiction in actions at law or equity, or law and equity, in which the amount in controversy is unlimited.

That the naturalization jurisdiction of all courts herein specified, State, Territorial, and Federal, shall extend only to aliens resident within the respective judicial districts of such courts.

The courts herein specified shall, upon the requisition of the clerks of such courts, be furnished from time to time by the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization with such blank forms as may be required in the naturalization of aliens, and all certificates of naturalization shall be consecutively numbered and printed on safety paper furnished by said Bureau.

Sec. 4. That an alien may be admitted to become a citizen of the United States in the following manner and not otherwise:

First. He shall declare on oath before the clerk of any court authorized by this Act to naturalize aliens, or his authorized deputy, in the district in which such alien resides, two years at least prior to his admission, and after he has reached the age of eighteen years, that it is bona fide his intention to become a citizen of the United States, and to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly, by name, to the prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of which the alien may be at the time a citizen or subject. And such declaration shall set forth the name, age, occupation, personal description, place of birth, last foreign residence and allegiance, the date of arrival, the name of the vessel, if any, in which he came to the United States, and the present place of residence in the United States of said alien: Provided, however, That no alien who, in conformity with the law in force at the date of his declaration, has declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States shall be required to renew such declaration.

Second. Not less than two years nor more than seven years after he has made such declaration of intention he shall make and file, in duplicate, a petition in writing, signed by the applicant in his own handwriting and duly verified, in which petition such applicant shall state his full name, his place of residence (by street and number, if possible), his occupation, and, if possible, the date and place of his birth; the place from which he emigrated, and the date and place or his arrival in the United States, and, if he entered through a port, the name of the vessel on which he arrived; the time when and the place and name of the court where he declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States; if he is married he shall state the name of his wife and, if possible, the country of her nativity and her place of residence at the time of filing his petition; and if he has children, the name, date, and place of birth and place of residence of each child living at the time of the filing of his petition: Provided, That if he has filed his declaration before the passage of this Act he shall not be required to sign the petition in his own handwriting.

The petition shall set forth that he is not a disbeliever in or opposed to organized government, or a member of or affiliated with any organization or body of persons teaching disbelief in or opposed to organized government, a polygamist or believer in the practice of polygamy, and that it is his intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce absolutely and forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly by name to the prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of which he at the time of filing of his petition may be a citizen or subject, and that it is his intention to reside permanently within the United States, and whether or not he has been denied admission as a citizen of the United States, and, if denied, the ground or grounds of such denial, the court or courts in which such decision was rendered, and that the cause for such denial has since been cured or removed, and every fact material to his naturalization and required to be proved upon the final hearing of his application.

The petition shall also be verified by the affidavits of at least two credible witnesses, who are citizens of the United States, and who shall state in their affidavits that they have personally known the applicant to be a resident of the United States for a period of at least five years continuously, and of the State, Territory, or district in which the application is made for a period of at least one year immediately preceding the date of the filing of his petition, and that they each have personal knowledge that the petitioner is a person of good moral character, and that he is in every way qualified, in their opinion, to be admitted as a citizen of the United States.

At the time of filing his petition there shall be filed with the clerk of the court a certificate from the Department of Commerce and Labor, if the petitioner arrives in the United States after the passage of this Act, stating the date, place, and manner of his arrival in the United States, and the declaration of intention of such petitioner, which certificate and declaration shall be attached to and made a part of said petition.

Third. He shall, before he is admitted to citizenship, declare on oath in open court that he will support the Constitution of the United States, and that he absolutely and entirely renounces and abjures all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly by name to the prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of which he was before a citizen or subject; that he will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and bear true faith and allegiance to the same.

Fourth. It shall be made to appear to the satisfaction of the court admitting any alien to citizenship that immediately preceding the date of his application he has resided continuously within the United States five years at least, and within the State or Territory where such court is at the time held one year at least, and that during that time he has behaved as a man of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the same. In addition to the oath of the applicant, the testimony of at least two witnesses, citizens of the United States, as to the facts of residence, moral character, and attachment to the principles of the Constitution shall be required, and the name, place of residence, and occupation of each witness shall be set forth in the record.

Fifth. In case the alien applying to be admitted to citizenship has borne any hereditary title, or has been of any of the orders of nobility in the kingdom or state from which he came, he shall, in addition to the above requisites, make an express renunciation of his title or order of nobility in the court to which his application is made, and his renunciation shall be recorded in the court.

When any alien who has declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States dies before he is actually naturalized the widow and minor children of such alien may, by complying with the other provisions of this Act, be naturalized without making any declaration of intention.

Sec. 5. That the clerk of the court shall, immediately after filing the petition, give notice thereof by posting in a public and conspicuous place in his office, or in the building in which his office is situated, under an appropriate heading, the name, nativity, and residence of the alien, the date and place of his arrival in the United States, and the date, as nearly as may be, for the final hearing of his petition, and the names of the witnesses whom the applicant expects to summon in his behalf; and the clerk shall, if the applicant requests it, issue a subpoena for the witnesses so named by the said applicant to appear upon the day set for the final hearing, but in case such witnesses can not be produced upon the final hearing other witnesses may be summoned.

Sec. 6. That petitions for naturalization may be made and filed during term time or vacation of the court and shall be docketed the same day as filed, but final action thereon shall be had only on stated days, to be fixed by rule of the court, and in no case shall final action be had upon a petition until at least ninety days have elapsed after filing and posting the notice of such petition: Provided, That no person shall be naturalized nor shall any certificate of naturalization be issued by any court within thirty days preceding the holding of any general election within its territorial jurisdiction. It shall be lawful, at the time and as a part of the naturalization of any alien, for the court, in its discretion, upon the petition of such alien, to make a decree changing the name of said alien, and his certificate of naturalization shall be issued to him in accordance therewith.

Sec. 7. That no person who disbelieves in or who is opposed to organized government, or who is a member of or affiliated with any organization entertaining and teaching such disbelief in or opposition to organized government, or who advocates or teaches the duty, necessity, or propriety of the unlawful assaulting or killing of any officer or officers, either of specific individuals or of officers generally, of the Government of the United States, or of any other organized government, because of his or their official character, or who is a polygamist, shall be naturalized or be made a citizen of the United States.

Sec. 8. That no alien shall hereafter be naturalized or admitted as a citizen of the United States who can not speak the English language: Provided, That this requirement shall not apply to aliens who are physically unable to comply therewith, if they are otherwise qualified to become citizens of the United States: And Provided further, That the requirements of this section shall not apply to any alien who has prior to the passage of this Act declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States in conformity with the law in force at the date of making such declaration: Provided further, That the requirements of section eight shall not apply to aliens who shall hereafter declare their intention to become citizens and who shall make homestead entries upon the public lands of the United States and comply in all respects with the laws providing for homestead entries on such lands.

Sec. 9.
That every final hearing upon such petition shall be had in open court before a judge or judges thereof, and every final order which may be made upon such petition shall be under the hand of the court and entered in full upon a record kept for that purpose, and upon such final hearing of such petition the applicant and witnesses shall be examined under oath before the court and in the presence of the court.

Sec. 10. That in case the petitioner has not resided in the State, Territory, or district for a period of five years continuously and immediately preceding the filing of his petition he may establish by two witnesses, both in his petition and at the hearing, the time of his residence within the State, provided that it has been for more than one year, and the remaining portion of his five years' residence within the United Slates required by law to be established may be proved by the depositions of two or more witnesses who are citizens of the United States, upon notice to the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization and the United States attorney for the district in which said witnesses may reside.

Sec. 11. That the United States shall have the right to appear before any court or courts exercising jurisdiction in naturalization proceedings for the purpose of cross-examining the petitioner and the witnesses produced in support of his petition concerning any matter touching or in any way affecting his right to admission to citizenship, and shall have the right to call witnesses, produce evidence, and be heard in opposition to the granting of any petition in naturalization proceedings.

Sec. 12. That it is hereby made the duty of the clerk of each and every court exercising jurisdiction in naturalization matters under the provisions of this Act to keep and file a duplicate of each declaration of intention made before him and to send to the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization at Washington, within thirty days after the issuance of a certificate of citizenship, a duplicate of such certificate, and to make and keep on file in his office a stub for each certificate so issued by him, whereon shall be entered a memorandum of all the essential facts set forth in such certificate. It shall also be the duty of the clerk of each of said courts to report to the said Bureau, within thirty days after the final hearing and decision of the court, the name of each and every alien who shall be denied naturalization, and to furnish to said Bureau duplicates of all petitions within thirty days after the filing of the same, and certified copies of such other proceedings and orders instituted in or issued out of said court affecting or relating to the naturalization of aliens as may be required from time to time by
the said Bureau.

In case any, such clerk or officer acting under his direction shall refuse or neglect to comply with any of the foregoing provisions he shall forfeit and pay to the United States the sum of twenty-five dollars in each and every case in which such violation or omission occurs, and the amount of such forfeiture may be recovered by the United States in an action of debt against such clerk.

Clerks of courts having and exercising jurisdiction in naturalization matters shall be responsible for all blank certificates of citizenship received by them from time to time from the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, and shall account for the same to the said Bureau whenever required to do so by such Bureau. No certificate of citizenship received by any such clerk which may be defaced or injured in such manner as to prevent its use as herein provided shall in any case be destroyed, but such certificate shall be returned to the said Bureau; and in case any such clerk shall fail to return or properly account for any certificate furnished by the said Bureau, as herein provided, he shall be liable to the United States in the sum of fifty dollars, to be recovered in an action of debt, for each and every certificate not properly accounted for or returned.

Sec. 13. That the clerk of each and every court exercising jurisdiction in naturalization cases shall charge, collect, and account for the following fees in each proceeding:

For receiving and filing a declaration of intention and issuing a duplicate thereof, one dollar.

For making, filing, and docketing the petition of an alien for admission as a citizen of the United States and for the final hearing thereon, two dollars; and for entering the final order and the issuance of the certificate of citizenship there under, if granted, two dollars.

The clerk of any court collecting such fees is hereby authorized to retain one-half of the fees collected by him in such naturalization proceeding; the remaining one-half of the naturalization fees in each case collected by such clerks, respectively, shall be accounted for in their quarterly accounts, which they are hereby required to render the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, and paid over to such Bureau within thirty days from the close of each quarter in each and every fiscal year, and the moneys so received shall be paid over to the disbursing clerk of the Department of Commerce and Labor, who shall thereupon deposit them in the Treasury of the United States, rendering an account therefore quarterly to the Auditor for the State and other Departments, and the said disbursing clerk shall be held responsible under his bond for said fees so received.

In addition to the fees herein required, the petitioner shall, upon the filing of his petition to become a citizen of the United States, deposit with and pay to the clerk of the court a sum of money sufficient to cover the expenses of subpoenaing and paying the legal fees of any witnesses for whom he may request a subpoena, and upon the final discharge of such witnesses they shall receive, if they demand the same from the clerk, the customary and usual witness fees from the moneys which the petitioner shall have paid to such clerk for such purpose, and the residue, if any, shall be returned by the clerk to the petitioner: Provided, That the clerks of courts exercising jurisdiction in naturalization proceedings shall be permitted to retain one-half of the fees in any fiscal year up to the sum of three thousand dollars, and that all fees received by such clerks in naturalization proceedings in excess of such amount shall be accounted for and paid over to said Bureau as in case of other fees to which the United States may be entitled under the provisions of this Act. The clerks of the various courts exercising jurisdiction in naturalization proceedings shall pay all additional clerical force that may be required in performing the duties imposed by this Act upon the clerks of courts from fees received by such clerks in naturalization proceedings. And in case the clerk of any court collects fees in excess of the sum of six thousand dollars in any one year, the Secretary of Commerce and Labor may allow to such clerk from the money which the United States shall receive additional compensation for the employment of additional clerical assistance, but for no other purpose, if in the opinion of the said Secretary the business of such clerk warrants such allowance.

Sec. 14. That the declarations of intention and the petitions for naturalization shall be bound in chronological order in separate volumes, indexed, consecutively numbered, and made part of the records of the court. Each certificate of naturalization issued shall bear upon its face, in a place prepared therefore, the volume number and page number of the petition whereon such certificate was issued, and the volume number and page number of the stub of such certificate.

Sec. 15. That it shall be the duty of the United States district attorneys for the respective districts, upon affidavit showing good cause therefore, to institute proceedings in any court having jurisdiction to naturalize aliens in the judicial district in which the naturalized citizen may reside at the time of bringing the suit, for the purpose of setting aside and canceling the certificate of citizenship on the ground of fraud or on the ground that such certificate of citizenship was illegally procured. In any such proceedings the party holding the certificate of citizenship alleged to have been fraudulently or illegally procured shall have sixty days personal notice in which to make answer to the petition of the United States; and if the holder of such certificate be absent from the United States or from the district in which he last had his residence, such notice shall be given by publication in the manner provided for the service of summons by publication or upon absentees by the laws of the State or the place where such suit is brought.

If any alien who shall have secured a certificate of citizenship under the provisions of this Act shall, within five years after the issuance of such certificate, return to the country of his nativity, or go to any other foreign country, and take permanent residence therein, it shall be considered prima facie evidence of a lack of intention on the part of such alien to become a permanent citizen of the United States at the time of filing his application for citizenship, and, in the absence of countervailing evidence, it shall be sufficient in the proper proceeding to authorize the cancellation of his certificate of citizenship as fraudulent, and the diplomatic and consular officers of the United States in foreign countries shall from time to time, through the Department of State, furnish the Department of Justice with the names of those within their respective jurisdictions who have such certificates of citizenship and who have taken permanent residence in the country of their nativity, or in any other foreign country, and such statements, duly certified, shall be admissible in evidence in all courts in proceedings to cancel certificates of citizenship.

Whenever any certificate of citizenship shall be set aside or canceled, as herein provided, the court in which such judgment or decree is rendered shall make an order canceling such certificate of citizenship and shall send a certified copy of such order to the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization; and in case such certificate was not originally issued by the court making such order it shall direct the clerk of the court to transmit a copy of such order and judgment to the court out of which such certificate of citizenship shall have been originally issued. And it shall thereupon be the duty of the clerk of the court receiving such certified copy of the order and judgment of the court to enter the same of record and to cancel such original certificate of citizenship upon the records and to notify the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization of such cancellation.

The provisions of this section shall apply not only to certificates of citizenship issued under the provisions of this Act, but to all certificates of citizenship which may have been issued heretofore by any court exercising jurisdiction in naturalization proceedings under prior laws.

Sec. 16.
That every person who falsely makes, forges, counterfeits, or causes or procures to be falsely made, forged, or counterfeited, or knowingly aids or assists in falsely making, forging, or counterfeiting any certificate of citizenship, with intent to use the same, or with the intent that the same may be used by some other person or persons, shall be guilty of a felony, and a person convicted of such offense shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than ten years, or by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Sec. 17. That every person who engraves or causes or procures to be engraved, or assists in engraving, any plate in the likeness of any plate designed for the printing of a certificate of citizenship, or who sells any such plate, or who brings into the United States from any foreign place any such plate, except under the direction of the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, or other proper officer, and any person who has in his control, custody, or possession any metallic plate engraved after the similitude of any plate from which any such certificate has been printed, with intent to use such plate or suffer the same to be used in forging or counterfeiting any such certificate or any part thereof; and every person who prints, photographs, or in any other manner causes to be printed, photographed, made, or executed, any print or impression in the likeness of any such certificate, or any part thereof, or who sells any such certificate, or brings the same into the United States from any foreign place, except by direction of some proper officer of the United States, or who has in his possession a distinctive paper which has been adopted by the proper officer of the United States for the printing of such certificate, with intent to unlawfully use the same, shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars, or by imprisonment at hard labor for not more than ten years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Sec. 18. That it is hereby made a felony for any clerk or other person to issue or be a party to the issuance of a certificate of citizenship contrary to the provisions of this Act, except upon a final order under the hand of a court having jurisdiction to make such order, and upon conviction thereof such clerk or other person shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than five years and by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars, in the discretion of the court.

Sec. 19. That every person who without lawful excuse is possessed of any blank certificate of citizenship provided by the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, with intent unlawfully to use the same, shall be imprisoned at hard labor not more than five years or be fined not more than one thousand dollars.

Sec. 20. That any clerk or other officer of a court having power under this Act to naturalize aliens, who willfully neglects to render true accounts of moneys received by him for naturalization proceedings or who willfully neglects to pay over any balance of such moneys due to the United States within thirty days after said payment shall become due and demand therefore has been made and refused, shall be deemed guilty of embezzlement of the public moneys, and shall be punishable by imprisonment for not more than five years, or by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars, or both.

Sec. 21. That it shall be unlawful for any clerk of any court or his authorized deputy or assistant exercising jurisdiction in naturalization proceedings, to demand, charge, collect, or receive any other or additional fees or moneys in naturalization proceedings save the fees and moneys herein specified: and a violation of any of the provisions of this section or any part thereof is hereby declared to be a misdemeanor and shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than two years, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Sec. 22. That the clerk of any court exercising jurisdiction in naturalization proceedings, or any person acting under authority of this Act, who shall knowingly certify that a petitioner, affiant, or witness named in an affidavit, petition, or certificate of citizenship, or other paper or writing required to be executed under the provisions of this Act, personally appeared before him and was sworn thereto, or acknowledged the execution thereof or signed the same, when in fact such petitioner, affiant, or witness did not personally appear before him, or was not sworn thereto, or did not execute the same, or did not acknowledge the execution thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, or by imprisonment not to exceed five years.

Sec. 23. That any person who knowingly procures naturalization in violation of the provisions of this Act shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars, or shall be imprisoned not more than five years, or both, and upon conviction the court in which such conviction is had shall thereupon adjudge and declare the final order admitting such person to citizenship void. Jurisdiction is hereby conferred on the courts having jurisdiction of the trial of such offense to make such adjudication. Any person who knowingly aids, advises, or encourages any person not entitled thereto to apply for or to secure naturalization, or to file the preliminary papers declaring an intent to become a citizen of the United States, or who in any naturalization proceeding knowingly procures or gives false testimony as to any material fact, or who knowingly makes an affidavit false as to any material fact required to be proved in such proceeding, shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

Sec. 24. That no person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for any crime arising under the provisions of this Act unless the indictment is found or the information is filed within five years next after the commission of such crime.

Sec. 25. That for the purpose of the prosecution of all crimes and offenses against the naturalization laws of the United States which may have been committed prior to the date when this Act shall go into effect, the existing naturalization laws shall remain in full force and effect.

Sec. 26. That sections twenty-one hundred and sixty-five, twenty-one hundred and sixty-seven, twenty-one hundred and sixty-eight, twenty-one hundred and seventy-three, of the Revised Statutes of the United States of America, and section thirty-nine of chapter one thousand and twelve of the Statutes at Large of the United States of America for the year nineteen hundred and three, and all Acts or parts of Acts inconsistent with or repugnant to the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed.

Sec. 27. That substantially the following forms shall be used in the proceedings to which they relate:


                                  DECLARATION OF INTENTION

              (Invalid for all purposes seven years after the date hereof)

____________, ss:

I, ____________, aged ______ years, occupation ______, do declare on oath (affirm) that my personal description
is: Color _______, complexion ______, height ______, weight _______, color of hair ______, color of eyes ______,
other visible distinctive marks ______;
I was born in _______ on the _______day o f_______, anno Domini ______:
I now reside at ______; 
I emigrated to the United States of America from ______ on the vessel ______;
My last foreign residence was _______.
It is my bona fide intention to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly to _______, of which I am now a citizen (subject);
I arrived at the (port) of ______, in the State (Territory or District) of ______ on or about the ______ day of _______ anno Domini _______;
I am not an anarchist;
I am not a polygamist nor a believer in the practice of polygamy;
and it is my intention in good faith to become a citizen of the United States of America and to permanently reside therein. So help me God.

(Original signature of declarant) _____________.

Subscribed and sworn to (affirmed) before me this ____ day of ______, anno Domini ______.

[L.S.]                                                 _____________
                                                 (Official character of attestor)

                          PETITION FOR NATURALIZATION

                                 ______ Court of ______

In the matter of the petition of _____________ to be admitted as a citizen of the United States of America.

To the ______ Court:

The petition of ____________ respectfully shows:

First. My full name is ______ _______.
Second. My place of residence is number _____ _______ street, city of ______, State (Territory or District) of ______.

Third. My occupation is _____________.

Fourth. I was born on the ______ day of ______ at _____________.

Fifth. I emigrated to the United States from ______ on or about the ______ day of ______, anno Domini ______, and arrived at the port of ______, in the United States, on the vessel ______.

Sixth. I declared my intention to become a citizen of the United States on the ______ day of ______ at ______, in the ______ court of ______.

Seventh. I am __ married. My wife's name is ______ _______. She was born in ______ and now resides at ______. I have ______ children, and the name, date, and place of birth and place of residence of each of said children is as follows: ______; ______.

Eighth. I am not a disbeliever in or opposed to organized government or a member of or affiliated with any organization or body of persons teaching disbelief in organized government. I am not a polygamist nor a believer in the practice of polygamy. I am attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and it is my intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce absolutely and forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly to ______, of which at this time I am a citizen (or subject), and it is my intention to reside permanently in the United States.

Ninth. I am able to speak the English language.

Tenth. I have resided continuously in the United States of America for a term of five years at least immediately preceding the date of this petition, to wit, since ______, anno Domini ______, and in the State (Territory or District) of ______ for one year at least next preceding the date of this petition, to wit, since ______ day of ______. anno Domini _______.

Eleventh. I have not heretofore made petition for citizenship to any court. (I made petition for citizenship to the ______ court, of ______ at ______, and the said petition was denied by the said court for the following reasons and causes, to wit, ______ ______, and the cause of such denial has since been cured or removed.)

Attached hereto and made a part of this petition are my declaration of intention to become a citizen of the United States and the certificate from the Department of Commerce and Labor required by law. Wherefore your petitioner prays that he may be admitted a citizen of the United States of America.

Dated _______

                                       (Signature of petitioner) ____________

______ ______, ss:

______ ______, being duly sworn, deposes and says that he is the petitioner in the above-entitled proceeding; that he has read the foregoing petition and knows the contents thereof; that the same is true of his own knowledge, except as to matters therein stated to be alleged upon information and belief, and that as to those matters he believes it to be true.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this _______ day of ______, anno Domini _______.

[L.S.]                                              _______ _______,
                                                Clerk of the ______ Court

                                  AFFIDAVIT OF WITNESSES

                                      ______ Court of _______

In the matter of the petition of ______________ to be admitted a citizen or the United States of America.

____________, ss:

____________, occupation ______, residing at ______, and ____________, occupation ______, residing at ______, each being severally, duly, and respectively sworn, deposes and says that he is a citizen of the United States of America; that he has personally known ____________, the petitioner above mentioned, to be a resident of the United States for a period of at least five years continuously immediately preceding the date of filing his petition, and of the State (Territory or District) in which the above-entitled application is made for a period of ______ years immediately preceding the date of filing his petition; and that he has personal knowledge that the said petitioner is a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and that he is in every way qualified, in his opinion, to be admitted as a citizen of the United States.
                                                                             _______ _______,
                                                                             _______ _______.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this _______ day of ______, nineteen hundred and _______.

[L.S.]                                        _______ _______,
                                        (Official character of attestor)

                              CERTIFICATE OF NATURALIZATION

Number _______
Petition, volume _______, page _______
Stub, volume _______, page _______

(Signature of holder) ______ ______.

Description of holder: Age, ______; height, ______; color, ______; complexion, ______; color of eyes, ______; color of hair, ______; visible distinguishing marks, _______. Name, age, and place of residence of wife, ______, ______, ______. Names, ages, and places of residence of minor children, ______, ______, ______; ______, ______, ______; ______, ______, ______.
____________, ss:

Be it remembered, that at a ______ term of the ______ court of ______, held at ______ on the ______ day of ______, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ______, ______, who previous to his (her) naturalization was a citizen or subject of ______, at present residing at number _____ _______ street, ______ city (town), ______ State (Territory or District), having applied to be admitted a citizen of the United States of America pursuant to law, and the court having found that the petitioner had resided continuously within the United States for at least five years and in this State for one year immediately preceding the date of the hearing of his (her) petition, and that said petitioner intends to reside permanently in the United States, had in all respects complied with the law in relation thereto, and that _he was entitled to be so admitted, it was thereupon ordered by the said court that _he be admitted as a citizen of the United States of America.

In testimony whereof the seal of said court is hereunto affixed on the ______ day of ______, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ______, and of our independence the ______.

[L.S.]                                                       ____________,
                                                    (Official character of attestor)


No. of certificate, ______.
Name ______ ______; age, ______
Declaration of intention, volume ______, page ______.
Petition, volume ______, page _______

Name, age, and place of residence of wife, ____, ____, _____ Names, ages, and places of residence of minor children, ______, ______, ______; ______, ______, ______; ______, ______, ______; ______, ______, ______; ______, ______, ______; ______, ______, ______; ______, ______, ______; ______, ______, ______; ______, ______, ______.

Date of order, volume ______, page______.

(Signature of holder) ____________

Sec. 28. That the Secretary of Commerce and Labor shall have power to make such rules and regulations as may be necessary for properly carrying into execution the various provisions or this Act. Certified copies of all papers, documents, certificates, and records required to be used, filed, recorded, or kept under any and all of the provisions of this Act shall be admitted in evidence equally with the originals in any and all proceedings under this Act and in all cases in which the originals thereof might be admissible as evidence.

Sec. 29. That for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this Act there is hereby appropriated the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, out of any moneys in the Treasury of the United States not otherwise appropriated, which appropriation shall be in full for the objects hereby expressed until June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and seven; and the provisions of section thirty-six hundred and seventy-nine of the Revised Statutes of the United States shall not be applicable in any way to this appropriation.

Sec. 30. That all the applicable provisions of the naturalization laws of the United States shall apply to and be held to authorize the admission to citizenship of all persons not citizens who owe permanent allegiance to the United States, and who may become residents of any State or organized Territory of the United States, with the following modifications: The applicant shall not be required to renounce allegiance to any foreign sovereignty; he shall make his declaration of intention to become a citizen of the United States at least two years prior to his admission; and residence within the jurisdiction of the United States, owing such permanent allegiance, shall be regarded as residence within the United States within the meaning of the five years' residence clause of the existing law.

Sec. 31. That this Act shall take effect and be in force from and after ninety days from the date of its passage: Provided, That sections one, two, twenty-eight, and twenty-nine shall go into effect from and after the passage of this Act.

Approved, June 29, 1906


Editor: This is part of our series designed to recycle interesting articles from the BB Newsletters of 10 years ago. Below is a discussion by Gerry Berghold and Fritz Königshofer on a question raised by Maureen Tighe-Brown about the meaning of the village designation of a Marktgemeinde (market town).

November 30, 2007

(M. Tighe-Brown, F. Königshofer, et al.)

Staff member Maureen Tighe-Brown writes: "My" market town of Deutschkreutz (Németkeresztúr, prior to 1921) was a Marktgemeinde from 1295, according to the town's anniversary book published in 1995. However, I can't find a legal definition, despite my perusal of Internet sources.

Gerry Replies: Maureen, You probably already know that permission to conduct a market was a jealousy privilege of the crown or, in some instances, the aristocracy of a given area. The early establishment of so-called "free towns" (Freistadt) with market rights is a case in point.

The larger cities like Vienna, Buda, Eisenstadt, Rust, etc., gained their size and importance through establishing markets - some weekly, others on various occasions. Vienna and Buda even received (from the crown) the right to force merchants to unload and offer their goods at those places (even though they may have been journeying elsewhere, so-called "staple rights".) These larger markets became "fairs" and were mostly annual affairs of international importance. I assume the weekly markets were a necessary adjunct. (A good summary of town development will be found in "Budapest: A History From Its Beginnings To 1998," Gero & Poor Editors, East European Monographs, No. CDLXII, distributed by Columbia Univ. Press, 1997.)

Because of the economic value and tax benefits in holding a market, the right was often offered as a reward or inducement for service to the crown. As such, market communities or Marktgemeinde were established throughout the Germanic areas (and elsewhere as well).

I am not sure if the term "Marktgemeinde" in Burgenland has the same connotation today. Perhaps it is now merely a historical designation? I do know that villages are still identified as Stadt, Marktgemeinde or Katastralgemeinde or none of these. In the district of Güssing (28 villages and 28 Ortsteile) there is only one Stadt (Güssing which has weekly market) but 7 Marktgemeinden: Eberau, Güttenbach, Kukmirn, Ollersdorf, St. Michael i. Bgld., Stegersbach, and Stinatz. (from "Der Bezirk Güssing im Wandel der Zeit," Kirsner & Peternell.) A history of Güssing (Stadterhebung Güssing 1973, Festschrift, Grossdurckerei Leykam AG, Graz) has an early photo of the Güssing market. I have not searched for its market history, although it had the status of a "castrum" [castle/fortress] in 1263 and an "oppidum" [market town/city] in 1391.

Probably in order not to dilute the benefits to be received, the larger District (Bezirk) or Gemeinde include outlying villages in their "Markt" area, as Deutschkreutz does with the village of Girm. I am not sure if Marktgemeinde status requires any governmental sanction today. All of my village books use the term Marktgemeinde, for those designated, as part of their identification. Below is one example of many:

Horitschon (village) - Marktgemeinde; Katastralgemeinde Horitschon, Unterpetersdorf. (from Burgenland Geschichte, Kultur Und Wirtrschaft, In: Biographien, Edition Roetzer)

A. Kubinyi in "Urbanization In The East-Central Part Of Medieval Hungary" (included in "Towns In Medieval Hungary," page 120, The Problem Of Market Towns, edited by L. Gerevich, Colombia Univ. Press, 1990) offers some insight (the indented items below) into this question:

"The development and the status of a city, both of the Regalis Civitas Strigoniensis [Royal City Esztergom, located on the Danube River] and of the Civitas Archiepiscopalis [a neighborhood in Estergom now called Víziváros = Watertown] were ensured by their right to stop the traffic of the markets, beside and belonging to the harbors, and to levy a toll on the goods... such tolls were gradually transferred into the hands of the church."

Note while specifying riparian areas [the interface between land and a river or stream], this could also apply to the various "goods" roads that crossed borders, streams or other natural barriers. The entire Burgenland border was a stopping and unloading place for goods in shipment between Hungary and Austria. While much of this activity had to do with customs levies, unloading often suggested sale of goods to preclude the cost of reloading and trans-shipment. The village of Zahling (near Eltendorf in southern Burgenland) has a history of having once been such a village on the Salt Road from Salzburg to Hungary and its connection to the Fürstenfeld, Styria, Austria to Körmend, Hungary road. Is this why nearby Kukmirn is still a Marktgemeinde?

"...the settlements in Hungary included not only the towns proper but also the so-called market towns (oppida), enjoying more or less urban liberties... Hungarian scholars use the term market town (oppidum) collectively for denoting the franchised settlements which were not free royal towns, and whose burghers were therefore serfs."

"The market town (a non-fortified town in its literal sense) is not a specifically Hungarian phenomenon. It is readily comparable with the Bavarian-Austrian Markt."

I also get the feel that most markets may have been under the control of the local church since not only did they receive tolls and taxes but the market places often were located near or at the church. How this all involves the smaller villages of Burgenland is beyond me, but the similarity is there. I also find very early mentions of market privileges like you did (i.e., 1295). Kirsner & Peternell state in Marktgemeinde Deutschkreuz (Bezirk Oberpullendorf im Wandel der Zeit), "Wahrscheinlich schon einige Jahre vor 1429 war dem Ort das Marktrecht verliehen worden; in der vorgenannten Urkunde wird Keresztur als "oppidum" (Landstadt) genannt." ["Probably some years before 1429, market rights have been awarded; in the aforementioned document, Deutschkreutz is called an "oppidum" (rural city)."]

An interesting question. I wonder how much "work & income" the Marktgemeinde provided local villagers?

Fritz Königshofer also replies: Wikipedia has a long entry (in German) on the terminology of the subject in Germany, which is similar to the meanings in Austria. The web address is There is a shorter Wikipedia entry on Austria, atÖsterreich).

Here is what I can pull from my head. The basic political unit has been, and is, the Gemeinde. The Gemeinde traditionally had three tiers, namely, a normal Gemeinde, a Marktgemeinde or Markt (market town), and a Stadtgemeinde or Stadt (translated as city, Latin: urbs). Market towns had the right to hold markets. Cities had even more rights, and inhabitants with home rights in the cities were not subject to the bondage by dominions.

Over the last century or so, the differences have been lessened, so that today the promotion from Gemeinde to Markt or from Markt to Stadt, have more symbolic than real importance.



November 17 - December 23: Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem. Info:

November 17 - December 23: Weihnachtsmarkt in Bethlehem. Info:

Saturday, December 2: Lancaster Liederkranz Mixed Chorus Christmas Concert at Zion Lutheran Church in Landisville. Info:

Sunday, December 3: German Language Advent Candlelight Service at Huff's Union Church in Herford Township. Info:

Sunday, December 3: Christkindlmarkt at the Reading Liederkranz. Info:

Tuesday, December 5: German/English Advent Singstunde at Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem. Info:

Sunday, December 10: Mini-Christmas Concert by the Coplay Sängerbund Chorus at the Coplay Sängerbund weekly Sunday dance. Music by the Joe Weber Orchestra. Info:

Sunday, December 10: Christmas Dance at the Holy Family Club in Nazareth. Music by the Walt Groller Orchestra. Info:

Sunday, December 10: Christkindlmarkt at the Lancaster Liederkranz. Info:

Sunday, December 17: German Christmas Service with the Reading Liederkranz Singers at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Reading. Live broadcast on WEEU 830 AM. Info:

Sunday, December 31: New Year's Eve at the Coplay Sängerbund. Music by the Emil Schanta Band. Info:

Sunday, December 31: New Year's Eve at the Lancaster Liederkranz. Music by the Maria and John Quartet. Info:

Sunday, December 31: New Year's Eve at the Evergreen Heimatbund in Fleetwood. Music by the Josef Kroboth Orchestra. Info:

Sunday, December 31: Silvesterball at the Reading Liederkranz. Music by the Walt Groller Orchestra. Info:

Sunday, January 7: German Christmas Service at St. John's Lutheran Church in Emmaus. Info:


Friday, December 1, 7 pm: Heimat Abend. Austrian Donau Club, 545 Arch Street, $3. Music by Frank Billowitz.

Saturday, December 2, 9 am - 3 pm: Weihnachtsfest (Holiday Fair). Austrian Donau Club, 545 Arch Street. Music by Ron & Fred “Scha-Musi”.

Friday, December 15, 7:30 pm: Heurigan Abend. Austrian Donau Club, 545 Arch Street, $3. Music by Schachtelgebirger Musikanten.


Julius Leitner

Julius Leitner, 85, of Clifton, New Jersey, passed away on Wednesday, October 11, 2017.

Born and raised in Gaas, Austria, Mr. Leitner came to the United States in 1956 and settled in Clifton. He was employed as a cabinet maker with Sommer Company in Carlstadt for many years and then Missbrenner Prints in Clifton, retiring in 1997.

Mr. Leitner had been a faithful and active parishioner at Holy Trinity R.C. Church in Passaic. He was a member of the Holy Trinity Choir and served as a lector at German Mass on Sunday. Mr. Leitner also was a member of the Holy Trinity Golden Agers, the Kolping Society and the Mens Tri Club.

He was predeceased by his parents, Julius and Susanna Leitner and one sister, Hilda Kapescki, all of Austria.

Survivors include: his beloved wife, Mathilde (née Kaindl); four children, Maria Leitner, Erika (Alois) Weiss, Judy (Peter) Tropona and Julius Leitner; ten grandchildren: Jennifer (Wayne), Christopher (Joanna), Karl (Michelle), Peter, Jude, Vanessa, Julius IV, Harrison, Ava, and Alexa; three great-grandchildren: Brooke, Leo and Jackson; one sister, Johanna Neukum of Kinnelon; and one brother, Wilhelm Leitner of Austria. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Theresa and her husband, Frank Eller and by many nieces and nephews in both the United States and Austria.

Visiting hours will be held Sunday from 3 to 7 pm at Bizub-Quinlan Funeral Home, 1313 Van Houten Ave., Clifton. Funeral services will be held Monday 9:15 am from the funeral home followed by a 10:00 am Mass at Holy Trinity R.C. Church, corner of Hope Ave and Harrison St, Passaic. Entombment to follow at Calvary Cemetery in Paterson. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Holy Trinity R.C. Church, 226 Harrison St, Passaic, NJ 07055. Please visit for driving directions and online condolences.

Herta Zickgraf (née Heilimann)

Herta Zickgraf, 74, of Vernon, New Jersey, passed away peacefully at home on Nov. 27, 2017, after a long illness.

Herta was born in Güssing, Austria, and immigrated to the United States in 1961.

Herta was a member of Holy Counselor Lutheran Church in Vernon and enjoyed gardening, cooking, baking and doting on her family.

Herta was the beloved wife for 54 years of Klaus Zickgraf, of Vernon; devoted mother of Robert Zickgraf and his wife, Bernadette, of Vernon, Eric Zickgraf, of Vernon, and Susan Potzer and her husband, Jason, of Vernon; loving "Oma" of Chase, Hannah and Andrew; and dear sister of Ingrid Stimpfl, of Austria.

Funeral service will be at 11 a.m., on Thursday, Nov. 30, at Ferguson-Vernon Funeral Home, 241 Route 94, Vernon. Interment to follow at Glenwood Cemetery, Glenwood. Memorial gifts to Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, 99 Sparta Ave., Newton, N.J. 07860 would be appreciated. Information and condolences can be found at

Published in The New Jersey Herald on Nov. 29, 2017

END OF NEWSLETTER (Even good things must end!)

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