The News
Dedicated to Austrian-Hungarian Burgenland Family History

July 31, 2014, © 2014 - The Burgenland Bunch - all rights reserved

Editor: Thomas Steichen (email:
Archives at: BB Newsletter Index

Our 18th Year. The Burgenland Bunch Newsletter is issued monthly online. It was founded by Gerald Berghold (who retired Summer 2008 and died in August 2008).

Current Status Of The BB:
* Members: 2266 * Surname Entries: 7457 * Query Board Entries: 5345 * Staff Members: 17

This newsletter concerns:






    - AMTLICHER AUSWEIS (from Anna Kresh, Gerry Berghold & Albert Schuch)
    - ANSWERS TO ABOVE QUESTIONS: (Gerry Berghold & Albert Schuch)



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

Picture of Tom SteichenConcerning this newsletter, after the bits and pieces here in my "Corner," our first full-length article is one about Autosomal DNA Genetic Genealogy. Richard Potetz, a Burgenland descendant (and a member of the BB's new DNA team), tells about his experiences with it in exploring his family history.

Article 3, is one where Frank Paukowits and I write about
the Endangered Burgenland-Croatian Language. Our article is largely based on a scientific paper by Sabine Pawischitz (formerly of the University of Vienna, Department of Slavonic Studies), though we avoid the highly technical linguistic evidence she uses to support her opinion.

In Article 4, Robert A Chapman shares a trip report about his experiences with Genealogy and Touring in a number of countries once joined in the Austro-Hungary Empire.

Article 5 is largely a 1975 Letter from the Burgenländische Gemeinschaft. Julius Gmoser, then President of the BG, wrote a short note for a centennial celebration held in Allentown, PA. We provide a translation and a few additional comments.

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


Grandfatherly Bragging: One of the benefits of being Editor of this newsletter is that I can use it as an occasional forum for personal news... and this is one such item. I am pleased to announce that my second grandchild was born in Washington, DC, in June: here is Henry Von Steichen, resting trustingly on his father's strong hand, a whole 7 pounds, eight ounces and 20 inches long at birth.

One of Henry's great-great-great-grandfathers was also Henry Steichen, though that one was born 154 years before on 21 Jan 1860 in Kehlen, Luxembourg! Though the most recent Henry is just one-sixteenth Burgenländer, I am pleased to introduce him as a kindred soul to all of you!


PA Death Records: Back in the January 31, 2012, edition of the BB Newsletter (No. 217), I mentioned in my "President's Corner" section that I had received a short note from Joe Jarfas (of Equinunk, PA) about " important development in the PA 'record chase'." Specifically, there was "a grass-roots effort to have Pennsylvania's older birth and death certificates be made available online."

Then in the January 2013 edition (No. 228), I reported that Pennsylvania Vital Records Bill SB-361 was signed into law, making death certificates over 50 years old and birth certificates over 105 years old open records. To achieve the open record, the PA State Archives signed a contract with to have the records scanned and made available online. The contract gave exclusive online access to Ancestry for three years, after which the database is to be moved to the Pennsylvania State Archives website where it will be free to all. However, the contract also requires that Pennsylvania residents have free access to this database while on Ancestry.

Margaret Kaiser now reports that the database on Ancestry has been opened and pointed me to a page on the PA Historical and Museum Commission site,, where the process to obtain free access is explained.

I'll summarize that process but will also tell you that you must go to the above link to set up free access via an Pennsylvania account. You begin by entering your zip code in the form at the bottom of this page and, if it is accepted as a PA address, you will receive a link to the Pennsylvania search page.

On that search page, follow these steps to create your free account:

1) Enter your search parameters (name, birth year and location, etc.) on the initial search. page. The results will display entries found in the Pennsylvania State Archives records.
2) Click on any of the documents in the list of results, and you will be prompted to "Create a Free Account."
3) Enter your name and email address and, if desired, opt out of receiving additional communication by checking the appropriate box. will send you a user name and password.
4) View any records available through the Pennsylvania page at any time by signing in to your free account.

Remember, you will have free access only to the records available through Pennsylvania, not to the entire Ancestry database. However, if you already have an account, there is no need to set up a separate Pennsylvania account, as all PA records are included in a regular subscription.

July 30 Update (compliments of Donna Stockl): Donna tells me that death certificates for only 1906 through 1944 are currently available. Given the law allows all certificates over 50 years old to be published, we should expect this database to expand soon to include those for 1945 to 1964. Certificates for post-1964 years will be added annually when they reach 50 years old. Thanks Donna!

Book coverUpdate on book "The Burgenländer Emigration to America": As I will do for a while, 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.”

As of July 30, 591 copies had been purchased and the book was ranked at # 567, meaning only 566 books among the hundreds of thousands on Lulu Press, Inc. have sold more.

The book is available for online purchase for a list price of $10.45, plus tax & shipping. See the BB homepage for a link to the information / ordering page and for any current discounts (the current 'discount' is for free shipping if you select mail shipping or 50% off if you select ground shipping, which is a substantial discount given the low price of the book; good through August 6th via checkout code LJSD14).

Genealogy Gone Astray?: I receive many messages as editor of this newsletter. Not surprisingly, some could be written with greater initial clarity or could use a read-through before being sent... but then they would not be so humorous. I'm going to share an excerpt from one, along with my reply... but with all identifying material altered to protect the guilty. I received this:

I hope your summer is going well so far. My wife and I are going to southern XXXXX for a few days next week to check out a possible family link at the YYYYY Park Zoo.... This will be the first non-kids vacation in a long time...

I pondered this for a moment before responding:

You are going too far with the genealogy thing: “….a possible family link at the YYYYY Park Zoo”? I’ve heard of people supposedly connecting back to Adam and Eve… but going the zoo route is just too far! TOO FAR! …but I have to ask: your side of the family or hers? LOL! I’m still chuckling

The explanation came in a reply:

I guess I opened myself up for [that], didn't I? I didn't want to spend the money to join the DNA testing, and the zoo is definitely less expensive. Seriously, though, my wife's maiden name is YYYYY, and her grandfather's two sisters moved [to that] area and left their younger brother with another relative. My wife is wondering if they may have gone to southern XXXXX. Even if not, she likes zoos...

My thanks to my anonymous correspondent (you know who you are)!

Changes at FamilyTreeMaker: Alan Varga writes: I found this at --

"Starting Sept. 5, 2014, will be making a big change. GenForum message boards, Family Tree Maker homepages, and the most popular articles will be preserved in a read-only format, while several other features will no longer be available, including member subscriptions and the Shop."

So, it looks like Ancestry (the parent company) is shutting down further contributions to these sites. If you have a Family Tree homepage and do not want it preserved, you need to act soon to remove it.

ORF Radio Burgenland: Do you want to know what music is on the radio in Burgenland? is a 80 kbps MP3 stream of ORF Radio Burgenland from Eisenstadt, Austria. Advertised as "With a mixture of expert information and service, Radio Burgenland is your companion through the day, whether at home, in the office, during your lunch break or on the road." It is a German-language pop/folk station with music being presented about equally split between German and English lyrics. Apps available on their webpage for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.

Recipes from the German/Austrian cookbook of the Austria Donau Club: We are still waiting for Frank Paukowits to resume sending materials; while he has his computer room back, he now can't find the recipe book! ...but recipes will return (we hope!).

Cartoon of the Month:



Past Burgenland Bunch Member Marilyn Terrell and I are related... but we don’t know how. We share an identical DNA segment in chromosome 17. Marilyn and I are estimated to be between 4th and distant cousins, with 5th cousin being the most likely, based on the length of that segment.

Our trees share the Pfister surname and our known Pfister ancestors lived three miles apart. Marilyn and I had both used the techniques taught by the Burgenland Bunch to establish our family trees back to the 1828 limits of the LDS Hungarian films. Marilyn has traced her Pfister ancestors back to Michael Pfister, born about 1785 in Krottendorf bei Neuhaus am Klausenbach, Burgenland. My Pfister ancestry is known back to my great-great-great-grandfather, Franz Pfister (1768-1838), who lived and died in Welten, Burgenland. Those villages, Krottendorf and Welten, were then part of the same manor, Herrschaft Dobra/Neuhaus. Too bad our family trees don’t go back far enough to identify the Pfister ancestor we likely share.

How do scientists know our matching DNA segment is not due to random chance? The answer is statistics. The identical segment is too long to have been caused by chance.

“Identical by descent” is the term used by the genetic genealogy scientists to indicate our matching segment came from a shared ancestor. So Marilyn and I are surely related even though we know from our conventional paper genealogies that we can be no closer than fourth cousins. Marilyn’s Pfister entry in the Burgenland Bunch Surname Listings sat near mine but, without DNA testing, we had no idea we were related. The ancestor that Marilyn and I share could have lived just a generation prior to our trees—or 10 generations earlier. Statistics can only tell us what is most likely; in our case, 5th cousins.

The Autosomal DNA testing company 23andMe has tested saliva samples from more than half a million customers. Test results include a list of “DNA Relatives.” My list, now grown to 829 individuals, included Marilyn Terrell, who was willing to swap family tree information. Most of 23andMe’s customers are not interested in who they might be related to; most are only interested what their DNA can tell them of their health. Only 284 of my 829 DNA Relatives even bothered to list a username that might facilitate communication. Nevertheless, I have learned a few things about my ancestry. To explain my findings, I will briefly describe my ancestors’ locations then report my DNA test results.

The ancestors of both of my parents are known back to the late 1700s. Records were found in the matrikels (church books) of the Sankt Martin a/d Raab parish and/or from the adjacent parishes of Jennersdorf and Fehring, Styria. With just two exceptions, all of my known ancestors married someone living within two miles of their home. One exception is my great-grandparents, Johann Pfister born in Welten and Rosina Holtzmann born in Neumarkt a/d Raab, five miles apart. The other exception is my parents, also born five miles apart, Michael Potetz in Neumarkt a/d Raab and Anna Sucher in Wartegg, Schiefer, Styria.

I have just 28 great-great-great-grandparents, instead of the customary 32 (my parents were third cousins through two paths). In the Sankt Martin a/d Raab church records, 75% of marriages were between people born in the same village; 95% of marriages were between people born in the same parish. Since people found partners in the neighborhood of their small villages, all my known ancestors lived within a small area. In fact, the location of all 54 of my known direct ancestors could be covered by a circle six miles across. I expected that my DNA Relatives would all have connections to that small area.

Autosomal chromosomes are the part of our DNA that is tested to find relatives who lived within the last few centuries. Autosomal chromosomes are the 22 chromosome pairs that are not involved in determining sex. The mixing of autosomal chromosomes that goes on for each new generation limits its ability to identify relatives to just the last few centuries. Companies that test autosomal DNA also include the X chromosome in their testing to increase the odds of finding matching DNA segments. For me, autosomal DNA testing resulted in 829 DNA Relatives listed in order of the amount of DNA they match with me. The highest non-anonymous person on my list, Lois Phillips, looked like someone with whom I should be able to find a shared ancestor.

Lois Phillips and I share three DNA segments, two of which are quite long. Mathematically, we are expected to be third or fourth cousins. Lois has a POTETZ grandmother who married a PERSCHY grandfather. I have a POTETZ grandfather who married a PERSCHY grandmother. Both of us have established our family trees all the way back to the limits of the LDS records... but we cannot find any shared ancestor.

Our PERSCHY ancestors both lived in Neumarkt a/d Raab, so that line appeared to be our best chance of identifying a shared ancestor. My great-great-grandparents, Franz Perschy and Theresia Neubauer, living in house 80, were contemporaries of Lois’s great-great-great-grandparents, Franz Perschy and Theresia Holtzman, living in house 35. Both couples had many children in those homes. Those Perschys were almost certainly related because there were few Perschy families—just three in the Burgenland house lists, all living in Neumarkt a/d Raab.

Here are two more failed attempts at establishing relationships via autosomal testing... John Brewer and I both have Zotter ancestors who lived in Neumarkt a/d Raab; Michele Lighthouse, her daughter Caitlin, and I have Pfister ancestors who lived in Welten. I failed to find a shared, documented ancestor with either, though we are DNA Relatives.

My experience with DNA testing, what some people call genetic genealogy, has been gratifying, but not for building my family tree. Sharing information with other genealogy hobbyists is much more effective than DNA testing for building a family tree. Burgenland Bunch members have built much of my tree—DNA testing has not.

Burgenland Bunch member Evelyn Taggart Seegraves added an entire branch to my family tree: my ancestors who lived in Jennersdorf. Evelyn researched her FORJAN ancestry, visited Burgenland, and recorded her trip in the Burgenland Bunch Newsletter (No. 104C, February 28, 2002). That article even has a link to photos. It turned out that Evelyn is my third cousin. We share great-great grandparents, Franz Forjan (1818-1889) and Barbara Sommer-Nagl (1819-1896). For a genealogist, it doesn’t get any better than that.

Just as fruitful for my tree was Burgenland Bunch member Katrina Lehrner, whose research is found at the internet site Her site identified which Maria Zotter birth record was the Maria Zotter who married my great-grandfather, János Perschi, in 1868. The question grew from an incorrect age-of-the-bride entry in the wedding record, which was given as 28. There was no Maria Zotter born in Neumarkt 28 years before that wedding. Katrina Lehrner’s site lists the baptism of every Zotter recorded at the church in Sankt Martin a/d Raab from 1828 to 1895. Through a process of elimination, I agreed with Katrina; the Maria Zotter born on 5 September 1837 was my great-great grandmother, the Maria Zotter who married János Perschi in 1868. Their wedding record should have listed the age-of-the-bride as 30 instead of 28.

That superb level of success in adding to my known ancestors contrasts to my lack of success using DNA testing. DNA testing has not identified a single person with whom I can identify our shared ancestor. Four of my “DNA Relatives” have in their tree the same surname living in the same village. Seven have known ancestors who lived in villages adjacent to villages of my known ancestors. Several more of my DNA Relatives have ancestors who lived within twenty miles of my known ancestors.

Other people do better with DNA testing. Everyone else I know who has had their autosomal DNA tested have found people with whom they can identify their shared ancestor. My wife found third and fourth cousins. People with deeper family trees tend to do better than people like me, whose trees go back no further than ggg-grandparents. Even adoptees have found their birthparents.

In general, DNA testing is not intended to serve as a substitute for conventional genealogy when building a family tree. Nevertheless, sharing information with DNA Relatives is enlightening and enjoyable on its own, and the locations of my DNA Relatives’ Burgenland ancestors are eye-opening:

Here are some examples:

Barbara Larson: Heiligenkreuz im Lafnitztal
Gregory Miklos: Grossmurbisch
Tom Roetz:      Weiselbaum and Rax
Sarah Nagel:    Deutsch Ehrensdorf
Thomas Niss:    Hatzendorf, Styria, but he knows he has
                ancestors in nearby southern Burgenland

What all of these places have in common is that they are all in southern Burgenland. It turns out that not one of my DNA Relatives with a known connection to Burgenland has a tie as far north as central Burgenland.

Another finding, related to the mobility of our ancestors, is that many of my Burgenland DNA Relatives left for other parts of Austria and Germany too.

Here’s an example, a message from my DNA Relative Astrid Hauser:

Königsdorf is the village where my grandparents were living, Josef Pauss and Emilie Pauss... [neé] Emilie Fischl. There are still Pauss and Fischl families in Königsdorf (my cousins). I was born in Salzburg and I am in Germany now!

DNA Relatives with no known ties to Burgenland still help us understand our ancestry. There are lots of DNA Relatives with connections to adjacent countries.

Here are some examples:

John Sikora: My family immigrated from Diogyor (Borsod megye) in Hungary to West Virginia. They came for the most part as coalminers.

Thomas Zmiarovich: I think the connection in our families comes from my father's dad, Nichola Zmiarovich, who was born in Austria-Hungary in 1877 in today's Croatia. He immigrated to the United States in the late 1890's. According to my late uncle, our name has been Americanized and used to be spelled more like Zmijarevic, or close to that. I was told that we had family back in Croatia but I have never made contact with any of them.

Exchanging information with DNA Relatives supplies endless mysteries but, when taken as a whole, broadens our understanding of our ancestry. One lesson is our southern Burgenland ancestors' movement is more east/west than north/south. Another lesson is there was a tie to the lands of the aristocratic Batthyány family. Thirty or so of my DNA Relatives have known ancestry in Burgenland. All were located in Batthyány lands. None are further north than Deutsch Ehrensdorf.

Pondering the location of DNA Relatives can be satisfying if you have an active imagination. The Italians in my DNA Relatives list wonder as much as I about how we came to be relatives. Adriano Squecco has an extensive family tree that goes back to the 1600’s. All of his ancestors come from Carnia (Tolmezzo), a sub-region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, an Italian region close to the southwestern Austrian border. He had hoped DNA testing might sort out some loose ends for other people in his area but, oops, he found me, another loose end. I had hoped my Italian relatives would support the notion that some Imperial troops that participated in the 1664 Battle of Mogersdorf stayed in the area. Other Italians include Fabrizio Sorochia from Bergamo and anonymous Italians from Mestre—both locations in northeast Italy, near Austria. Unfortunately there is no evidence of immigrants from the whole of Italy, as would be expected for the Imperial army. My Italian DNA Relatives are from the part of Italy that once was inside the Austrian Empire, so the normal flow of people could explain our shared ancestry.

Other musings get more support. The family story of the Potetz surname arriving in Burgenland via a soldier with the French army in 1664 gets a little indirect evidence. On chromosome 7, Daniel Mertens, whose ancestors lived in Belgium, and “Anonymous0121,” whose ancestors lived in France, match with me on a particular segment. However, Belgian Daniel Mertens has no explanation of how we might be related. Luckily, my family tells old stories so I can imagine possibilities, like a soldier with the French army.

My DNA Relative fourth cousin Richard Palmer is a descendant of the aristocratic Forgách family. Their estates were in the Slovakian part of the Hungarian Kingdom. He knew of no connection to Burgenland. But we know from the Burgenland Bunch Newsletter that the Forgách family is connected by marriage to Neumarkt a/d Raab, a village of my ancestors. János Sigismund Forgách, the Earl of Forgách, was married to Barbara Batthyány, daughter of Count Franz II Batthyány (1577–1625). Barbara owned half the earnings of Neumarkt a/d Raab at the time of the 1646 Raid on Neumarkt. There is no way of knowing how Richard Palmer and I are related, but I’d like to think I’ve got aristocratic ancestors too.

Even anonymous DNA Relatives are helpful for identifying the location of your ancestors. Most tested people list the birth country of their four grandparents. DNA Relatives who have all four grandparents born in a single country are useful markers in a pile of data. Based on that data, my ancestry is Austrian, which is correct. But in lesser numbers, other countries are represented too. I have at least one DNA Relative with all four grandparents born in the following current countries: Poland, Germany, Hungary, Ukraine, Slovenia, Belarus, Russia, Bulgaria, Italy, Czech Republic, Romania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania, Belgium and France. The wide swath of the globe covered in my DNA Relatives data surprised me because all of my known ancestors lived within a few miles of each other near Sankt Martin a/d Raab. Apparently there was more movement of people than what my known ancestry implies.

Some bits of DNA have been linked to a particular location. Upcoming articles in the Burgenland Bunch Newsletter will explain how autosomal DNA testing can identify the locations of your ancestors 500 years ago. As you will see, my results range far beyond the six mile wide circle that encloses my known direct ancestors.

23andMe, Family Tree DNA, and AncestryDNA all compete for autosomal DNA testing business. A chart comparing Autosomal DNA testing services can be found on the site of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy:

Your saliva might help expand your genealogy. Or, like me, you might have lots of DNA Relatives for whom you don’t know who your shared ancestor was. Then you can ponder how your DNA Relatives might be related to you... and learn a little about your ancestral origins too.

3) THE ENDANGERED BURGENLAND-CROATIAN LANGUAGE (with contributions from Frank Paukowits)

I recently discovered an interesting English-language monograph entitled "Burgenland-Croatian: First Signs of Language Decay," by Sabine Pawischitz (formerly of the University of Vienna, Department of Slavonic Studies). This monograph comes from the book, "Slavic Eurasian Studies No.26: Slavic and German in Contact: Studies from Areal and Contrastive Linguistics," edited by Elzbieta Kaczmarska and Motoki Nomachi, 2014, Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.

The table of contents for the book can be found here: contents; and the text of the monograph here: monograph.pdf.

The monograph author, Sabine Pawischitz, was born in 1979 in Eisenstadt and grew up in a Burgenland-Croatian bilingual family. Her interest in her mother tongues led her to study Slavic (Serbo-Croatian, Russian, Bulgarian) and German (as foreign languages) in Vienna, Zagreb and Belgrade, accompanied by several internships in Bosnia, Bulgaria and Croatia. She has coauthored a number of books on language and education, taught German as a foreign language, and led seminars concerning education in a multilingual setting. She also writes as a freelancer for various Burgenland-Croatian minority magazines.

The current monograph addresses the Burgenland-Croatian language and presents evidence that it is showing signs of becoming defunct. Given that Frank Paukowits has written on this language a number of times, I invited Frank to review the monograph and contribute to this article; he graciously agreed to do so.

The core of the monograph deals with the complex and technical linguistic evidence that supports the argument that the language is decaying, including numerous example sentences that show critical changes to the language; we will largely skip this in our summary, as it is technical and well beyond our knowledge of any language (much less one I know nothing about!). However, the introduction and summary sections are understandable to the average person and present information that we feel our readers can appreciate. [For those of you with a working knowledge of Burgenland-Croatian, we suggest you read the full monograph (link given above) so you can see the specifics of what is happening to it.] With apologies to Ms. Pawischitz for any errors in our interpretation, we shall now proceed to quote her, paraphrase her and, if necessary (smile), plagiarize her in presenting our version of her material.

Ms. Pawischitz begins with the socio-linguistic background of the language, pointing out that Burgenland-Croatian belongs to the family of South Slavic languages. This is so because the ethnic-Croatian group that has lived in the former West Hungary (corresponding to current areas around Vienna, in the Slovak Republic, in Burgenland and western-most Hungary) came in several waves of immigration from different areas of Croatia beginning in the sixteenth century. Three distinct dialects are represented in Burgenland-Croatian, namely Cakavian, Kajkavian, and (Old)-Štokavian (again, related to the areas in Croatia that the immigrants came from).

Pawischitz also tells us that the Burgenland-Croatian standard language (which is an academic construct needed for the required multilingual teaching of the language and the development of required minority public signage in Burgenland) was formed on the basis of the Cakavian dialect, "because it represents the numerically largest group of speakers. Kajkavian and Old-Štokavian spoken in Burgenland include a number of Cakavian peculiarities, which further justified the choice of Cakavian as the common standard language."

Here is the critical fact, as stated by Pawischitz: "Burgenland-Croatian is the only language in Austria to be on the UNESCO ‘Red List’ of endangered languages."

Although Pawischitz states that Burgenland-Croatian "has altogether around 45,000 speakers," she also provides an appendix that tracks the counts, within census records, of people who report being Croatian-speaking (even if multilingual); those counts show a peak of ~43,750 speakers in 1920, diminishing steadily to only ~17,750 in 2001 (the latest available census breakout). This discrepancy in estimated speakers and census-reported speakers is telling, as it suggests that many speakers of the language choose to hide their ability or have too little skill to claim fluency.

Looking at the UNESCO data on the language, they currently estimate only ~30,000 speakers, within 65 settlements in Burgenland, 14 settlements in Györ-Moson-Sopron and Vas counties of Hungary, and 5 settlements in the Bratislava district of Slovakia. They list its 'vitality' as 'definitely endangered.' UNESCO indicates that the critical factor defining that rating is "children no longer learn the language as mother tongue in the home." [If interested, you can learn more about endangered languages at the UNESCO site here.]

Going back to Pawischitz, she asks: "If it is doomed to death, then how is it dying?"

She begins her answer by speaking of the phases a language goes through during decay and eventual death. The first is a phase of complete bilingualism, wherein all speakers of it feel comfortable in both their mother language and in the language spoken by the surrounding majority. For Burgenland-Croatian, all Burgenland-Croats who speak Croatian also speak either German, Hungarian, or Slovak.

Another phase is the loss of accent or the acquisition of a ‘foreign accent’. Pawischitz tells us that it is already true that, if you hear a younger person speaking Burgenland-Croatian, it often seems that the person is speaking German with Croatian vocabulary. She indicates that this phase also includes the deterioration of the standard accentuation, wherein, for Croatian, more and more speakers distinguish only the quantity of an accented vowel (long : short) and no longer distinguish the quality (rising : falling : circumflex). Croatian uses the 'quality' of the accent to express how something (denoted by a verb) relates to the flow of time. For example, in Croatian, the phrases "I helped him" -- "I was helping him" -- "I used to help him" are distinguished by the quality of accent; these all become the same when 'quality' is lost and the nuances of meanings in the language decrease.

An early phase of language decay is the loss of word formation rules and the simple transfer of words or phases from the dominant language. Massive borrowing is a component of language decay and this is already the case for Burgenland-Croatian.

Yet another crucial phase is a decline in the number of speakers; we documented the large decline in Burgenland-Croatian speakers above.

Pawischitz states that the last two monographs on Burgenland-Croatian, Helene Koschat's Die cakavische Mundart von Baumgarten im Burgenland and Gerhard Neweklowsky's Die kroatischen Dialekte des Burgenlandes und der angrenzenden Gebiete, are from the year 1978 and, even back then, language decay was recognized and briefly described.

Pawischitz also describes the field research she performed to assess the decline in the language. Her interest was mainly in the spoken language and her primary comparison was between the language of young speakers (the generation about age 30 who either spoke only Burgenland-Croatian during their childhood but did not use it as teenagers or who learned Burgenland-Croatian as teenagers or adults) versus that of their elders, the generation over seventy years of age.

She notes that "the mother tongue of the seventy-plus generation is definitely Burgenland-Croatian. These people were educated in Burgenland-Croatian, are very religious, pray in Burgenland-Croatian, sing in Burgenland-Croatian, did not leave the house they were born in until they were grown-ups, married Burgenland-Croats, talked to their friends, families, relatives, and children in Burgenland-Croatian, etc. All these people have a very self-confident attitude towards their bilingualism..."

She recorded around 100 hours of everyday speech by various Burgenland-Croatian native speakers from all over Burgenland and transcribed the interviews. She reports these phenomena and signs of language decay:
a) massive borrowing
b) grammaticalization of adverbs and their use instead of verb prefixes
c) unexpected prepositions with verbs
d) monostyle instead of using the verbal aspect or the use of paraphrases
e) increasingly frequent use of the perfective verbal aspect, even in imperfective contexts
f) loss of conjugations and tenses

We will comment only lightly about these, as many of these phenomena require an intimate knowledge of the construction of the language to understand their significance.

For a), she notes that one can now find many German loanwords in everyday Burgenland-Croatian communication as well as words borrowed from Hungarian and Slovak, even to the extent that some common Croatian expressions have gone out of fashion in favor of loaned words or expressions. Further, new vocabulary has been established through the standardization of Burgenland-Croatian.

For b), she notes German influences on syntax and word formation, including constructions with German adverbs and Croatian verbs.

For c), she notes that some verbs are, as a result of German influence, combined with unexpected prepositions and reflexive verbs are turning into transitive verbs, which is an imitation of the German paradigm.

For d, e and f), she indicates monostyle is occurring among the younger generation as they no longer have a grasp of the full language. Burgenland-Croatian within the oldest generation is rich in expression; the younger generation is forced to use paraphrases to communicate beyond simple ideas. The older generation (rightfully) interprets this phenomenon as a gap in the younger speakers’ knowledge of the language.

At this point, we skip the technical body of Ms. Pawischitz's work and move to her concluding comments.

Therein she notes that written Burgenland-Croatian has recently been standardized more or less in parallel with the standard language of Croatia, without reflecting the verbal changes described above. Therefore, the everyday spoken language differs significantly from the Burgenland-Croatian standard. Further, the Burgenland-Croatian found on TV and radio, or in newspapers, is in the standard language... but nobody really speaks like that.

She claims that the standard language tries to conserve some archaic features of Burgenland-Croatian, tries to be comprehensible to all speakers of Burgenland-Croatian (even though there are really three different dialects), and is becoming increasingly closer to the Croatian standard in order to escape the strong German influence. She questions whether this makes sense, even though she acknowledges the importance of a national minority having its own standard language.

Now we add some comments of our own...

UNESCO says that a language is endangered when its speakers cease to use it, use it in fewer and fewer situations, use fewer of its registers and speaking styles, and/or stop passing it on to the next generation. They note that Burgenland-Croatian, even in the minority population, is seen as being old-fashioned and outdated, as a language of less value, with this attitude towards Burgenland-Croatian occurring mainly within the last ten years.

Probably, the one most-significant phenomenon impacting the viability of the Burgenland-Croatian language is technology. The internet, with its extensive use of the English language, has had an especially strong influence on Burgenland Croat children. Television, radio and newspapers also bring the dominant language directly into the home. This technology change parallels the change in Burgenland schools and towns: while bilingual arrangements exist in Croat areas, the primary languages of the young have become German and English.

UNESCO also says it is still an open question whether literacy and education support the existence of a minority language or lead to its death. They question whether the standardization of a language (which has been in progress in Burgenland-Croatian over the last two or three decades) and language planning itself might also result in the decay of a language.

The mobility of the population has also been a problem in sustaining the language. Since Burgenland does not have a vast manufacturing or factory economy, Croat people are forced to seek employment in Vienna and Graz, bringing them into daily contact with non-Croats, which has a further negative impact on the customs and language of the people as a whole. And of course, once there is contact, intermarriage with non-Croats is an all-too-common outcome.

Unfortunately, the forces at play are definitely working against the perpetuation of the Burgenland-Croatian language. The demise of the language is likely inevitable. Yet, there are pockets where the language is still spoken as it was 90 to 100 years ago in the Croatian-dominated towns of Burgenland. However, those pockets are dispersed in the emigrant lands where the Burgenländers settled, in places like Pennsylvania, New York and Chicago. While the language has steadily changed in Burgenland, a more unadulterated form of the language exists here in the United States… spoken as our ancestors did many generations earlier.


My maternal ancestors were Germanic families who lived in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (aka, Austria-Hungary) and that vast area is where the tour and genealogy aspects of this article come into play. That tour traces a large “J” over much of the holdings of that empire, with Prague (Czech Republic) at the top of the shank of the “J” and Ljubljana (Slovenia) at the point-end of its hook.

Historically Europe’s boundaries have been dynamic. This is certainly true of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which was ruled by the Habsburg Dynasty from the 13th century until 1918. Later, in the Cold War era, except for Austria, the countries on this tour were behind the Iron Curtain. Today, all of them are members of the European Union except for Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

For the genealogy aspect, the tour took me to Burgenland in modern-day Austria and the Györ-Moson-Sopron district in modern-day Hungary. Even more specifically, it took me to the town of Gols on the eastern side of the Neusiedler See and the town of Lébény, which is about 30 miles southeast but in Hungary. These two towns are where my maternal ancestors lived and from where they emigrated. At the suggestion of Tom Steichen, this localized geographic region shall be referred to herein as the Heideboden.

After three days of seeing the sites in Prague, the “J” was traveled by train with 2- or 3-night stopovers in Bratislava (Slovakia), Budapest (Hungary), Belgrade (Serbia), Zagreb (Croatia), and Ljubljana (Slovenia). The trains were all well-maintained and punctual. This train travel was supplemented with excursions by auto into Banja Luca (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and the Heideboden.

The area traversed by the “J” as viewed through a train window is beautifully fertile and surprisingly modern. It is interlaced with scenic rivers, notably the Vltava, the Danube, the Sava and the Ljubljanica. Many rail lines are built on the banks of these rivers [see Sava River between Zagreb, Croatia and Ljubljana, Slovenia in picture to the right].

The cities mentioned are modern and filled with history. Even though this trip was taken in September, the cities were alive with a surprising number of tourists. I left each city with the thought, “Gee, I would have enjoyed another day or two in this place.”

People throughout the area were friendly and helpful. Communication in English was common enough, although not as common as in Western Europe [Image to left: Hungarian college students on train who helped translate some of my family documents].

As for hotels and restaurants, all of my hotels had free Internet connectivity (WiFi) and served a complimentary breakfast, some of them with a wide variety of dishes. Restaurants were excellent and moderately priced. Each country seemed to have its own unique version of goulash (gulyás in Hungarian). The goulash as well as other dishes reminded me of my mother’s cooking [Image above right: Goulash at Restaurant Szazeves in Budapest].

The Heideboden is adjacent to the Neusiedler See, Austria’s largest lake. The lake is a haven for wind surfers. In fact, Burgenland is now self-sufficient in renewable energy, mostly through wind-powered plants [Image to right: Windmill farm outside Gols, Burgenland, Austria]. All of Burgenland held festivities during my stay to celebrate this self-sufficiency.

The Economy of the Heideboden is mostly agrarian. In fact, Burgenland is one of the major wine-producing areas in Austria. September is harvest time for these vineyards and the vines were heavily laden with beautiful clusters of grapes.

To get a better sense of the country of my ancestors, I spent a goodly part of two days driving around. I encountered many businesses with signs sporting surnames that I recognized. I was fortunate to be introduced to two families with whom I shared a common surname [Image to left: People sharing common ancestral surnames]. Although we weren’t able to precisely locate a common ancestor, we are convinced that one exists. As I drove, I was moved by the beauty of the countryside. Emigrating from such a place would not have been a decision lightly made!

For genealogy research purposes, I was able to spend one morning perusing the Birth and Baptism Records of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gols, which date back to 1852 [Image to right: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gols]. For this task, I was totally unprepared. First, I had been told that these records were destroyed in a church fire, so I was not expecting to find anything useful. Secondly, those church records are handwritten in Deutsche Script, which is archaic. And, anyway, I do not speak, read or write German. Thirdly, I was there on a Saturday morning and on that day the church library closes at noon.

Fortunately, the pastor and her assistant generously provided some assistance so I was able to find nine entries of interest. Those nine included the entry in 1877 of my maternal grandmother’s birth and baptism [Image to left: Birth and Baptism Records of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gols].

All things considered, the trip was wonderful! In fact, I plan to return later this year for a different tour but one that also includes a stop in the Heideboden.

The author can be reached via e-mail at


The following letter appeared in the program for the "Centennial of the Migration from Burgenland to the United States 1875–1975," held in Allentown, PA, Nov. 11, 1975. Following it, we present a translation and then a few comments.

Liebe Landsleute in Pennsylvanien!

Im Jubiläumsjahr—im Jahr der Auslandsburgenländer—danke ich als Präsident der BG im Namen des Vorstandes allen Mitgliedern und Mitarbeitern herzlichst für die Treue zu unserer schönen Gemeinschaft und für den selbstlosen Einsatz.

Das Jubiläumsjahr möge uns Rückblick und Vorschau bedeuten; dankbar wollen wir rückwärts blicken und gläubig wollen wir vorwärts schauen. So bitte ich alle Mitglieder und Freunde der BG, auch weiterhin in der Burgenländischen Gemeinschaft—im Dienste der Landsleute und im Dienste der Heimat—mitzuarbeiten! Und sollten auch die Zeiten schwerer werden, durch Eure Treue zur Burgenländischen Gemeinschaft und durch Eure Liebe zur alten Heimat werden wir in gemeinsamer Arbeit auch die nächsten 20 Jahre schaffen! "Füreinander und miteinander!" Das sei unser Leitsatz für die Burgenländer in aller Welt auch im neuen Jahrzehnt. Diesem Leitsatz wollen wir auch an die junge Generation, an die Nachkommen unserer ausgewanderten Landsleute, weitergeben, daß sie erkennen, daß auch ihnen—wie ihren Vorfahren—das Burgenland Heimat bleiben will.

Mit Dankesworten, mit der Bitte um Eure weitere Mitarbeit und mit herzlichen Grüßen verbleibe ich Euer

Julius Gmoser, Präsident der BG

Translation (done with assistance from Bob Strauch):

Dear compatriots in Pennsylvania!

In this anniversary year—the year of the Burgenländer abroad—as President of the BG, I thank you sincerely, on behalf of the Board, members and staff, for your loyalty to our beautiful community and your selfless dedication.

May this anniversary year be an opportunity for us to look both back and ahead; we look back in gratitude and ahead in faith. So I ask all members and friends of the BG to continue participating in serving their fellow Burgenländers and serving their homeland! And if the times become more difficult, your loyalty to the Burgenland Gemeinschaft and your love for the old country will enable our joint effort to make it another 20 years. For each other and with each other!" That is our motto for the Burgenländers throughout the world in the new decade. We also want to pass this guiding principle on to the younger generation, the offspring of our emigrant countrymen, so that they realize that Burgenland wants to remain their homeland as well.

With words of thanks, to ask for your continued participation and, with kind regards, I remain your

Julius Gmoser, President of the BG

Comments: 1975 was the 20th anniversary of the Austrian Constitution, which was enacted at the end of the post-WW-II era and the Russian occupation. 1975 also was declared the "Year of the Immigrants" in Burgenland and it was nearly the 20th anniversary of the BG, which was established in 1956. Julius Gmoser drew on all of these facts to declare the next 20 years for the BG as a joint effort with us in America. Julius died in 1985, unable to see whether his twenty-year plan would be a success. Now it is not just 20 years later, but nearly 40 years later... and his BG survives and our BB was born and has already reached its 18th year.

I don't know if Julius ever thought there would be a web-based Burgenland organization like the BB... after all, the "WorldWideWeb" was only proposed in 1987 and the first web "page" appeared in 1990... but perhaps he dreamed there would be a companion emigrant-based society run by "the younger generation" ...he certainly asked for something like us (even if we arrived slightly beyond his 20-year window)!

But we exist and carry our share of the flame, keeping alive this joint relationship. However, as BB president, I wonder too whether we will still exist in another 10 or 20 years—and, if so, who will be leading this organization. Will there be yet another "younger generation" to take over and carry on? Even before then, will there be people willing to join us as staff members when our older volunteers are no longer able to contribute?

So, like Dr. Gmoser, I will sign off this note with his slogan: "For each other and with each other!"  With words of thanks to all who have and will contribute to the BB, and to ask for your new or continued participation. Thus, with kind regards, I remain your Thomas Steichen, President of the BB.


Editor: This is part of our series designed to recycle interesting articles from the BB Newsletters of 10 years ago. However, I did not find a suitable article from July 2004, so I again went back to the early days of the BB, to Newsletters No. 33 (15 Apr 1998) and No. 36 (30 May 1998). In #33, I found an article and response about early Austrian ID documents, which prompted a follow-up article in NL #36. It is the follow-up article that I find more important, but the initial article has value and sets the stage for the follow-up.

Apr 15, 1998

AMTLICHER AUSWEIS (from Anna Kresh, Gerry Berghold & Albert Schuch)

(Ed. note: like many of us Anna Kresh has some family documents in need of translation. While waiting for your editor to help she uses Alta Vista and almost completes her translation. She says:)

"This is the travel paper for my brother from Kr. T. to Germany on his way to Hamburg and return to the US. Re: the line beginning with "zuständig nach" and the one following it - I can't find any good translation for "zuständig nach" and "Staatsangeh" (angehen?) that makes any sense. The "Österr:" and "Staatsangeh." might both be a 2-line response for "zuständig nach". What is "Passau"?

(ORIGINAL) Polizeidirektion in Wien
P. U. 109770 Gesehen Wien 14 Nov 1921
Amtlicher Ausweis
ausgestellt gem Punkt 3 der Ausführungsvorschriften zur Paßordnung für das
Deutsche Reich vom 24. Juni 1916 für Ignatz Tanczos geboren am im August 1912
zu Northampton
politischer Bezirk___________________ Land _____________________
zuständig nach Österr: politischer Bezirk ______________
Land Staatsangeh Wohnung Kroat Tschantendorf
zur Reise nach Deutschland und zurck.
Die vorgenannte Person reist mit Frau Maria Tanczos welche durch den
Reisepaß der Polizeidirektion Wien vom 4. November 1921.
Nr. 10977 legitimiert ist.
Wien, am 4. November 1921
(stamp)POLIZEIDIREKTION (stamp) Öst. Grenzpolizei Austritt
IN WIEN Passau(?) 18 NOV 1921
Bay. Grenzpolizei

(TRANSLATION) Police Headquarters in Vienna
P. U. 109770 Seen at Vienna 14 November 1921
official document of identification
issued in accordance with point 3 of implementing provisions for pass order for the
German Reich from 24 June 1916 for Ignatz Tanczos born on in August 1912
at Northampton
political district ______________ country ________________
zuständig nach (? responsibility for) Austria: political district ______________
country Staatsangeh (?) Residence Kroat Tschantschendorf
to travel to Germany and back.
The aforementioned person travels with Mrs. Maria Tanczos which by the
passport of police headquarters Vienna from 4 November 1921.
No. 10977 is authorized.
Vienna, on 4 November 1921
(Stamp) Austrian Border Police - Exit Passau(?) 18 November 1921
Bavarian Border Police

Anna also sends: ....(here is) another document my brother carried when he traveled from Kr. T. to the US in 1921 at age 9. The Tariff number is 9 with what looks like a combined x and c.

für das Kind Ignatz Tanczos
geboren am im August 1912.
wohnhaft im (?) zum zeit im Wien?
Das Kind reist nach Amerika in Begleitung der
Frau Marie Tanczos
legitimiert durch Paß Nr. 109770 ausgestellt von ? Fed. ? am 4.11.21.
im Wien
und Sichtvermerk Nr. J? 1350
Wien, den 16 November 1921
Gebühr nach Tarif 9x(?). K100.
Deutsche Paßstelle (Stamp) Deutsche Paßstelle in Wien
(stamp) Öst. Grenzpolizei
Austritt - Passau (?)
18 NOV 1921
Bay. Grenzpolizei

for the child Ignatz Tanczos
born on in August 1912
resident in (?) for a time in Vienna (?)
The child is traveling to America in the company of
Mrs. Marie Tanczos
authorized by Pass No. 109770
issued of ? Fed.? to 4.11.21.
in Vienna
and visa No. J? 1350
Vienna, this 16 November 1921
fee after tariff 9x(?). K100.
German Passport Office (Stamp) German Passport Office in Vienna
(stamp) Austrian Border Police
Exit - Passau (?)
18 November 1921
Bavarian Border Police

ANSWERS TO ABOVE QUESTIONS: (Gerry Berghold & Albert Schuch)

Passau is Passau, Germany. The first city north of the Austrian German border on the Danube. Was a border train stop with customs service. Maybe Albert can tell us what the other words are. I'm forwarding your translation for his comment. Gerry

Gerry, you are correct on Passau. The other words: "zuständig nach" is old bureaucratic German, today a similar document would include instead "Heimatgemeinde" or "Hauptwohnsitz" (meaning were a person is regularly living). I'd translate just as "living in" or "resident in". "Österr:" and "Staatsangeh." are abbreviations for "Österreichische Staatsangehörigkeit" (or "Österreichischer Staatsangehöriger"), meaning that the person is an Austrian citizen.

Re: Nr. 9417 AUSWEIS:
wohnhaft im (?) zum zeit im Wien? - more likely: wohnhaft in zur Zeit in Wien.
ausgestellt von ? Fed. ? am 4.11.21. im Wien - maybe: ... Beh. (= Behörde) [ = Authority].
what looks like a combined x and c: - this letter is no longer used, it means "etc."

May 30, 1998


Friends, the story (from Anna Tanczos Kresh et al.) in the last issue of the newsletter (actually, NL #33, 15 Apr 1998, article "Amtlicher Ausweis") about the passports and certificates touches upon the terms Staatsangehörigkeit and Zuständigkeit. From my experience, there is more to these concepts than the article suggests. I would even propose that we combine our knowledge and do some research into the matter, as it would be useful for genealogical research if we could gather the best possible clarification of these terms. Let me start with the mostly anecdotical knowledge I have.

The term "zuständig nach" (belonging to) extended nationality or citizenship "Staatsangehörigkeit" down to the level of a specific parish, market-community, or town. It was an important operational term since it established the place that was obliged to take care of a person that had become a public charge, e.g., a pauper without close relatives to take care of the destitute person.

In many cases, belonging to a village indeed defined the village where one was born or where one usually lived, but I believe the latter two characteristics were incidental, not causal for the definition. As you will see below, you could belong to a village where you never lived (and possibly neither had been born).

When my great-grandfather Adolf Königshofer, an Austrian citizen born in and belonging to the Neudau parish, sought to obtain his first teacher job in then Hungary (now Burgenland), he not only needed to apply for and obtain Hungarian citizenship ("Staatsangehörigkeit"), but also had to find a parish that would accept him, not just as a teacher but for his new "Zuständigkeit" (place of belonging). The new nationality was granted by the authorities of Hungary (I believe the government of Vas county), while the "belonging-to" was granted to him specifically by Olbendorf (Óbér), the village that also gave him his first job. The agreement by the village council of Olbendorf to "accept" my great-grandfather into the village was needed to support his application for Hungarian citizenship.

It is an interesting aspect that within the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy the Austrian and Hungarian citizenships were so clearly separate and mutually un-exchangeable at that time (1880s) except with an application supported by reasons. However, I do not know whether the concepts of "belonging" differed in meaning between the two halves of the empire. In fact, I believe the concept of Zuständigkeit might have been very similar in the whole empire. [One aspect I do not know about at all is whether it was possible to have Austrian nationality while belonging to a parish or town in Hungary, and vice versa.... probably not.]

It clearly appears to have been possible to obtain the "belonging" by making an application and hoping it would be granted. On the other hand, the much more normal way to obtain one's "belonging-to" was by birth, and as I believe, specifically through the place of belonging of the legal parent (normally the father). My other paternal great-grandfather Alois Koller, a teacher, was born in Rechnitz and belonged to that market-town. As a teacher, however, he never returned to his native place. While his many children were born in the five villages he served in his career as a teacher, none of them Rechnitz, the children all remained "zuständig nach" (officially belonging to) Rechnitz (Rohonc).

One of his daughters (and obviously a sister of my grandmother) had a harsh existence in Güssing, living single and giving birth, over time, to three illegitimate children. At the end, she became unable to support herself and transferred to Rechnitz, which had to accept her in the poorhouse as a public charge thanks to her rights to such support stemming from her "belonging to" the village. The concept of Zuständigkeit was still in force between the two World Wars, but in the period after WW-II (my time) it had lost its original meaning as national level social security was taking its operational place.

I was able to establish a similar situation in another branch of my ancestors from Rechnitz, namely the Tivalts, who originally had run a carpenter master business there. In the late 19th century, all descendents of my g-g-g-grandfather had left Rechnitz with their families, but the mentally deranged daughter of one of the branches (of the baker master Josef Tivalt) had to be taken back by Rechnitz after the death of her parents, to provide her a living in the poorhouse as a public charge (although she had been born in Nagy Kanizsa, Zala County, far away from Rechnitz). By the way, the death of this destitute and deranged woman was somewhat of a sensational story, as she escaped the confined part of the poorhouse and jumped into the village well. Her faint cries for help were heard after some hours, and she was recovered alive, but died from her injuries soon afterwards. The story was reported in Der Volksfreund.

When a village did not have a public poorhouse to take care of people who were not able to fend for themselves (or be sustained by close family), the pauper was allocated to a village family for a time, and then to the next family, and so on, in rotation. The point was to give such poor fellow-citizens a place to sleep and food, and they became a temporary part of the household, as long as this was the village they belonged to and which was, therefore, obliged to look after its poor. The German term used in Austria was "Einlieger" (a "sleeper," somebody "laid by the public into the household of a citizen"). One can occasionally find this term as the status of, say, a deceased person in old church records. I do not know, however, the Latin and Hungarian equivalent of the term, the corresponding words used in Hungarian church or civil records.

For the genealogical researcher, the concept of "belonging-to" can sow some confusion because the recordings sometimes did not distinguish between birthplace and place of belonging. A further complication is, in my opinion, created by the concept "gebürtig von." A dictionary will translate this term as "born in" and this is indeed the usual meaning of the term. However, in my experience, the term "gebürtig von" includes, at least in Austrian parlance, the possibility of alternatively meaning the place one belonged to at birth or soon thereafter, i.e., the place of original belonging-to in the sense of the concept of Zuständigkeit. The semantics of "gebürtig (von)" suggests a translation by "at birth, from..." In contrast, there would be no ambiguity about the meaning of "geboren in," (born at) or "Geburtsort" (place of birth), which both can only refer to the physical place of birth.

In the registration records of Graz (by which the police recorded the places of living) I have found examples of relatives who were recorded as born in Neudau, when they in fact had been born in Graz but were still "belonging to" Neudau due to the father's belonging-to. The marriage entry of Gerry Berghold's great-grandfather Emil Langasch in Heiligenkreuz lists Vienna as Emil's place of origin, but since this was likely not factually true (in the sense of his birthplace), it might have been a mix-up with Emil's "place of belonging at birth" -- which could have been Vienna, thanks to Emil's father's origin and still "belonging-to" at the time of Emil's birth.

If one pays attention to the meaning of birthplace versus place of belonging, and considers any dubious single data item as potentially meaning one or the other, the concept of belonging-to can convey additional information, e.g., on the origin of the father, or about a successful attempt by the ancestor to establish "Zuständigkeit" in a particular village. The latter might indicate that the ancestor, or his parents, had at least temporarily lived in that village and established a close relationship with the local community. In the search for the origins of a parallel Königshofer line (no close relation), the living descendents were sure that their great-grandfather had been born in Stübing, a village northwest of Graz, and this is also what his known later records purported. His children had inherited the "belonging to" of the parish of Stübing, though they were born and lived around Voitsberg. Closer search revealed that this man had, in fact, been born in another parish, fortunately for the search, a neighbor parish of Stübing. This result clarified the birthplace, and at the same time opened the interesting new question of how and why he had obtained his belonging to Stübing with its relatively long-lasting effect on at least two generations.



Sunday, August 3: Parish Picnic at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Coplay. Polka Mass at 10:30 AM. Music by the Emil Schanta Band. Info:

Saturday, August 16: Bavarian Biergarten at Emmaus Community Park. Sponsored by the Lehigh Sängerbund. Preceded by soccer game at 4 PM. Entertainment by The Adlers and the Lehigh Sängerbund Folk Singers. Info:

Sunday, August 17: German-American Day at the Reading Liederkranz. Entertainment by Spitze, the Reading Liederkranz Singers, and the Edelweiss and Auerhahn Schuhplattlers. Info:

Sunday, August 17: Summer Dance at Holy Family Club in Nazareth. Music by the Walt Groller Orchestra. Info:

Sunday, August 24: Coplay Community Days at Coplay Parkway. Music by the Walt Groller Orchestra. Info:

Sunday, August 31: Parish Picnic at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Stiles (Whitehall). Music by the Joe Weber Orchestra.


John Mulzet

John J. Mulzet, 89 years, of Macungie, Pennsylvania, formerly of Fogelsville, passed away June 27, 2014 at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Twp.

He was the widower of Rose M. (Muick) Mulzet.

Born in Inzenhof, Austria he was a son of the late John and Julia (Artinger) Mulzet.

John was a welder for the former Lehigh Portland Cement in Fogelsville for 25 years and then for the Tyler Pipe Line until he retired. He was a member of St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Orefield. John loved playing cards, polka dancing, driving his 1967 pickup truck and watching Penn State and the Phillies.

Survivors: Daughter, Kathleen M. wife of Carl J. Ebert of Fogelsville; brother, Stephen M. of Oklahoma City, OK, sisters; Bertha Elane of Allentown, Angeline Rohrbach of Center Valley, and Elsie Ruhe of New Tripoli, granddaughters, Sheryl Mockler of Fogelsville and Tina wife of Andrew Krafts of Silver Spring, MD; 4 Great-grandchildren, Joseph, Sean, Sarah and Hannah. He was predeceased by a sister Julie Turk.

Services: 11 AM Tuesday, July 1 at Keller Funeral Homes, Inc. 1018 Church St., Fogelsville with the Rev. Joseph Kweder officiating. Visitation will be from 10 to 11 AM. Interment will be in Resurrection Cemetery, Allentown. Online condolences may be offered to the family at Contributions: Contributions to be made to St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, 1879 Applewood Dr., Orefield, 18069 or the Alzheimer's Association, Lehigh Valley Branch, 617 A Main St., Hellertown, PA 18055.

Published in Morning Call on June 29, 2014.


Mary Walles (née Adlovits)

Mary Walles, 95, of Bogota, New Jersey, formerly of Bronx, New York, passed away on July 19, 2014.

She was the devoted wife of the late Edward Walles.

Born in Glasing, Austria, she was a daughter of the late Franz and Maria (Unger) Adlovits.

Survivors: children, Mary (Charles) Wagner, Ed (Doris) Walles, Frank (Teri) Walles, and Joseph Walles; grandchildren, Richard (Mandi) Wagner, Elizabeth (Joe) Cilino, Joseph (Robin) Wallles, Ed, Carolyn, Celine, T.J., Bobby, Bridgitte, Tyler, Therese and Katrina Walles; and great-grandchildren, Anthony, Nicole, Beth Ann, Tomas, Lucas, Nicholas, Zachary, Kyle, Michael and Taylor.

Services: Visiting at Petrik Funeral Home, 140 Palisade Ave., Bogota on Monday from 2-4 and 7-9 PM. All will meet at the funeral home on Tuesday at 9 AM for the Funeral Mass at St. Joseph's R.C. Church, Bogota at 10 AM. Interment at St. Raymond's Cemetery, Bronx, NY. In lieu of flowers, donations to Holy Name Hospice would be appreciated.

Published in The Record/Herald News on July 21, 2014


Stefan Szauer

Stefan "Steve" Szauer, age 81, of South Bend, Indiana, died unexpectedly Tuesday, July 22, 2014, in his home.

Born December 26, 1932 in Nikitsch, Austria, he was a son of the late Peter and Francesca (Derdak) Szauer.

Steve immigrated to Toronto, Canada, when he was 18 years old and in 1955 moved to South Bend, IN, where he met the love of his life, Rose Buczolich. They were married on May 21, 1955, in Our Lady of Hungary Catholic Church.

Steve began his working career in the USA as a butcher on a farm and then worked for several years at A&P, also as a butcher. During this time, he became interested in computers and attended school in Chicago to learn data processing. When Steve finished school, he was hired by Uniroyal where he worked in data processing for 38 years until his retirement and Uniroyal closed its doors for good. He then worked for several years at Memorial Hospital. He proudly served his adopted country in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Steve spoke four languages; Croatian, German, Hungarian and English. He was a voracious reader and was especially interested in everything written about WW-II, as his father was killed during that war when Steve was a child, leaving his mother to raise four children on her own.

He was an avid soccer fan enjoying World Cup Soccer games with his son Steve and in his younger days played in a soccer league in South Bend with Hungarian immigrants. Steve was proud to pass his soccer skills on to his grandchildren, Stephanie and Bjorn, who played for St. Jude and Riley High School in South Bend. Steve took pride in his yard and garden, always "puttering" around amongst the plants and lawn. He was an accomplished cook and baker. His specialty was Wienerschnitzel and his apricot squares were the best! Steve was always helping someone, whether it was a Hungarian immigrant looking for a job or needing to get a driver's license, a friend who needed help with landscaping, and especially taking care of his family. Steve would take charge and get the job done.

Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Peter & Francesca Szauer, brother, Peter Szauer, and sister, Maria Pinterich, all of Austria.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Rose, his son, Steve, Jr., and daughter, Sue (Brian) Forsberg of South Bend. He is also survived by his granddaughter, Stephanie (Matthew) Iacobucci of Camby, IN, grandson, Bjorn of South Bend, and great-grandson, Maximus "Max" Iacobucci of Camby, IN. He is survived by his brother, Mathias (Evelyn) Szauer of Eisenstadt, Austria. Steve leaves behind several nieces and nephews in Austria along with many friends in South Bend, Chicago, Toronto and Austria.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Monday, July 28, 2014, at Our Lady of Hungary Catholic Church, 829 West Calvert, South Bend, IN. Burial will follow at Southlawn Cemetery. Family and friends may call from 2:00 6:00 p.m. Sunday, July 27, 2014, in the Zahoran Funeral Home, 1826 S. Kemble Ave., where a Rosary will be recited at 4:00 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of Hungary Church. To leave an online condolence, please visit our website at, or our facebook page, Zahoran Funeral Home.

Published in South Bend Tribune on July 24, 2014


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