Dedicated to Austrian-Hungarian Burgenland Family History

(Our 12th Year - Issued monthly as email by G. J. Berghold
February 28, 2007
(c) 2007 G. J. Berghold - all rights reserved


Current Status Of The BB:
Members: 1391; Surname Entries: 4679; Query Board Entries: 3694; Newsletter Subscribers: 1013; Newsletters Archived: 160; Staff Members: 14

EMAIL RECIPIENTS PLEASE READ: You are receiving this email newsletter because you are a BB member or have asked to be added to our distribution list. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send email to G. J. Berghold with message "subscribe" or "remove". ("Cancel" will cancel membership, website listings and newsletter.) You cannot send email to this newsletter. If you have problems receiving the newsletter as email, it may be read, downloaded, printed or copied from the BB Homepage. There is also an archive of previous newsletters.

This first section of our 2-section newsletter concerns:

1. Old Posting Brings Genealogical Dividend (Tom Steichen)
2. Religious Roots & Family History
3. Village Of Gols, Burgenland Has New Bürgermeister
4. New Al Meixner Ethnic Music Catalog Released
5. BB 2007 Annual Mid-West Picnic Date Set
6. BB Success Stories
7. Fasching 2007
8. Recent Obituary

    - Tom Steichen

I noted that you invested in Newsletter 159 two articles (Check Your Spam Filter Or Play Spam Bingo? Solve Computer-Internet Relations Or Do Family History?) gently venting on the issues surrounding use of the Internet and the resulting risk of Spam email. Unfortunately, Spam is the price we must pay for the benefits that result from the wonderfully empowering tool that the Internet is. Personally, because my name and email address is on literally hundreds of web pages and because I have kept the same email address for many years, I receive Spam... sometimes lots of Spam. However, between my Spam filter (or, as I prefer to call it, my "bit-bucket") and use of my Delete button, it usually only takes me a few seconds to place the Spam where it so richly deserves to be: gone! Like you, I have been active in online genealogy for many years, so my email address is on many genealogical pages (including the Burgenland Bunch pages, its archived newsletters, my own personal pages, Rootsweb pages, and many more). In addition, I am professionally active as a statistician, so my email address is on work-related sites as well.

Now here is the important point: none of these sites would have much value to me if other people could not contact me when they see my contributions! That means my address must be visible and it must not change! For that reason, I have had the same email address for at least six years... and I plan to keep it unchanged for many more!

Sometimes one forgets how valuable an unchanged, public email address is; well this past month, I was again reminded of its value: I received a two-sentence email from a Mike "xxx" I had never heard of before. The message simply said, "I have a little info on Wink in Stearns Co. I'll wait to hear from you to be sure this email is current."

Wink is one of my great-eight family names (though not from the Burgenland) and Stearns County, Minnesota is where those great eight all came together. Further, Wink was the family name I have had the most trouble tracking down. They had moved back and forth between parts of central Minnesota and east-central Wisconsin and changed their claimed European homeland in every census! Though I eventually tracked them to the Württemberg region of Germany, I found that they were vagabonds there too, so it was very difficult to expand that part of the tree.

As you might expect, I immediately replied to Mike and found out he was replying to a message I posted over seven years ago! All he had to share was a handwritten note one of his ancestors had written. It listed the names of a few Wink "cousins" that he had never heard of before; he thought maybe I'd have a use for it. Mike scanned and emailed the small scrap of paper that same day (another of the benefits of the Internet world) and I immediately recognized more of my family names. Messages started flying: Hey Mike, what family names are you interested in? (names given) Oh ya? I have the Kugler name too. Do you suppose we are related? Do you have any pictures of your Kugler? Sure. (emailed pictures go back and forth) Wow, your g-g-grandmother Franciska and my g-g-grandmother Marie look like twins (though they were a few years apart in age)! Maybe we ought to look into this.

I go online, explore a Mormon database (undoable without the Internet) and find a marriage record in a nearby German town that might be for the parents of my g-g-grandmother (it lists the parents of the bride and groom too). Mike goes to a Family History Center, pulls microfilm for the German town where my g-g-grandmother was born (he didn't know where his own g-g-grandmother came from), immediately finds my g-g-grandmother and, a few minutes later, finds his g-g-grandmother. All the dates match with what we previously knew and the full parental names match with the marriage record I had found online! Eureka!

Suddenly I had acquired a new cousin, verification for things I thought I knew, and two more generations! Mike gained even more. Plus, our vague knowledge of family movement in the US matched, so we both gained there. I gained all of this in less than a month without leaving my keyboard! Truly, the hassles of a little Spam are nothing, absolutely nothing, compared to this!

PS. As an added bonus, I learned that Mike lives about 35 minutes from my Mother in central Minnesota. I'll be visiting him on my next trip home!


For most of us, there will be little evidence of our passing. A few census notations, or tax lists, entries in some city or phone directories, perhaps a memorial at some school or college and finally a brief inscription on some tombstone or urn niche is all most of us can expect. Given a few generations, even some of that will disappear. Families of faith, however, leave excellent church records that, while subject to deterioration or loss, can last for hundreds of years. Church records of baptism, marriage and death are generally available. In fact, for Burgenland family history purposes, these records are most significant even if earlier ones may have been burned to heat Turkish coffee.

I tend to call these records "religious roots" and, be they Catholic, Protestant, Hebrew or whatever, without them family history would be a much more difficult endeavor. I recently wrote an article for my church newsletter, an adaptation follows. It stresses the importance of religious roots, even beyond their effect on family history.

Religious Roots In A Rootless World
(by Gerry Berghold)

Post WW-II generations, including the baby-boomers, have relocated further and more often than probably any other generation since the great westward or European migrations of the 19th century. In doing so, these generations lost their roots, that multi-generational family grouping of ancestors, grandparents, parents, siblings and children. Family homes, churches, schools, and cemetery plots became only places of memory. The reasons for our relocation today are mostly economic with the hope that relocation may provide success and a good quality of life. In a burgeoning society, people go where work is available and opportunity flourishes. Not much different than the reasons for the Burgenland Auswanderung. Of course modern transportation now makes visits home easy and a family greeting can be a cell phone call or email away. However, neighbors and co-workers are often strangers and cultural and regional differences abound. Many of those who relocate usually acquire a feeling of having lost their roots. Our Burgenland ancestors quickly joined churches and enclaves of their "landsmen" or compatriots. A factor that always helps is finding a church of the family faith. Those who find such can revel in the liturgy of their origin.

I was born to first generation parents of Germanic Burgenland immigrants from the Austro/Hungarian Empire who migrated to America at the beginning of the last century. My wife was born to later-generation descendants of immigrants from the Palatinate of Germany who settled in eastern Pennsylvania in the 18th century. Both families were still Lutherans and we were baptized as such. As we in turn relocated, we found and joined other Lutheran congregations and we began leaving family records as our family grew.

It wasn't until we began a search for family history that we found how deep our Lutheran roots really were. We found that the Bergholds were Lutherans for many generations and we traced them as such in church records here and abroad back to the 17th century. We found their records in St. Peters German Lutheran Church in Allentown, PA, and the Martin Luther Kirche of Eltendorf, Burgenland, Austria, among others. We also discovered that my wife's ancestors were Lutherans from before the time of their migration to America. We found their early records in rural Keller's Union Church (Lutheran & Reformed) in Bucks County, PA, and in a Lutheran Church in Sinsheim, Bavaria. We even found a g-g-grandfather who was a Lutheran pastor at various churches in eastern Pennsylvania.

Finding these religious roots was a revelation of utmost importance. We had deep roots, defying time and distance and, as we attended services, we linked to our ancestors. We are not alone; we are part of a long line of Lutheran ancestors. Need you have such deep religious family roots? I think not, for you can establish new and meaningful roots no matter where, how or if you worship. Family history wise, however, without religious affiliation, you will leave little in the way of records.


Member Gary Portsche writes: Just received information that my 4th cousin, Johann (Hans) Schrammel was appointed Burgermeister of Gols, Burgenland. He is also the Direktor or Principal of the local high school. All details are at  Gary L. Portsche, Olathe, Kansas


Al Meixner writes: Hello Friends, the 2007 #1 Al Meixner Music Catalog / Newsletter is now in effect & online. Polkas, Button Box Music, International Music etc. Check it out at Al Meixner Mail Order Music at:

(ED. Note: You can some hear some authentic Burgenland music at the BB "Songbook" available from the BB homepage. If you are looking for some Burgenland music tapes or CD's, visit Meixner's website.)


Dean Wagner writes: The date for the Burgenland Bunch Picnic is set. I recently reserved the picnic shelter at Trapp Farm Park in Eagan, Minnesota for 10AM - 4PM on Sunday, August 5, 2007. The cost was $128 (plus a deposit of $150). Last year's attendance was just about perfect to cover the costs. The shelter rental also comes with free use of a picnic kit that includes horseshoes, volleyball, and a tug of war rope.


In the BB's earlier days, members would share their stories of success achieved via BB web pages, which we would then publish. As membership grew, we heard from fewer members percentage-wise but even they were too many to share with the membership. In case you wonder if the membership is active and, if active, having any success, read below. I feel these are the tip of the iceberg.

Marsha Jenakovich, Burgenländer/Gradisce Croat writes: I wanted to take the time to thank you personally for the Burgenland Bunch and all of your hard work on behalf of Burgenländers everywhere. You (and the other BB members) have given me something my family had somehow lost along the way - a real understanding of our ethnic heritage. No matter how many times I insisted, "no, I'm not Polish, I'm Austrian," even I could never explain the Slavic name and German cultural/linguistic heritage. I don't know if anyone in the family understood it either - if they did, they didn't explain it to me!

Other than my immediate/extended family from Pennsylvania, I had never before seen my family's name in print. As far as we knew, we were the only family with this name (we joked that it was mangled at Ellis Island). Yet there it was, unmistakably, in the Burgenland Bunch newsletter - and the Güssing Urbariam of 1576! Now, as I spend many splendid hours in the dark, reviewing microfilm records in my local LDS Family History Center that trace my family through Hungary and Austria, I often find myself whispering a quiet thank you for setting me on this path.

But now it's time to say it more directly. Thank you, Gerry, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for your dedication and generosity and the wonderful legacy you have created for all of us. What a wonderful gift.

Pam Kramer writes: I came across your website while researching my ancestry. Once confirmed they were indeed from the Burgenland area, I posted an inquiry on your website. And, to be honest, not expecting a reply. Within a week and a half, I received an e-mail from someone who had seen my post on the site. We corresponded a few times and found we both lived in the same city (Fargo, ND). Out of curiosity, I looked in the local phone book to see where she lived, and found out we were also neighbors, living about a block and a half from each other. She had also turned to the phone book, but I am unlisted. We have continued to correspond by e-mail and have also met in person.

The best part is that we have found that we share ancestors. My great grandmother and her great grandfather were brother and sister. So in part, your website has helped us find each other. We are now able to share information on our families and because we share the same interest in genealogy, we can work together and have twice the fun. I needed to share our story with you and thank you for the Burgenland Bunch website.

7. FASCHING 2007

I can't ignore Fasching with its fastnacht treats.

Lehigh Valley Editor Bob Strauch writes: "We made it thru the ice and snow last Thursday afternoon to the Farmers Mkt to get some Paczki from the Polish stand (they bring them from a Polish Bakery in NYC - these were filled with prune lekvar). And yesterday my folks got some plain fastnachts (taste like they have potato in them) from Ahart's supermarket - which are surprisingly good." (Bob also teased us with a picture of a bakery cart full of fastnachts.)

To which I responded: I went to Martin's supermarket yesterday - they also had some Paczki-filled with Bavarian creme, good but I would have preferred plain. Anyway, I got some! Powdered sugar all over the computer keyboard!


Alfred "Fred" Berner Sr., 74, of Catasauqua, died Feb. 23. He was married to Eleanor E. (Kuchera) Berner. Born in St. Nikolaus bei Güssing, Burgenland, Austria, he was the son of Franz and Agnes (Traupmann) Berner.

Newsletter continues as number 160A.

(Our 12th Year - issued monthly as email by G. J. Berghold
February 28, 2007
(c) 2007 G. J. Berghold - all rights reserved



This second section of our 2-section newsletter concerns:

1. Burgenland Government Delegation To Visit In April
2. Work For Burgenland Immigrants - The Allentown Silk Industry
3. Toronto, Canada & Hungarian Cuisine
4. Some Burgenland Jewish Links
5. The Swamp Of German Ancestry


A Burgenland Government Delegation (may include governor and vice-governor) accompanied by Dr. Walter Dujmovits, president of the BG, will visit the US and Canada April 13-24. Below is their itinerary.

Delegation Program:

Friday 13 April Arrival in New York
Saturday 14 April Meeting with locals
15 April
Holy Mass celebrating the 70th anniversary of der "Brüderschaft der Burgenländer in New York"
Monday 16 April Contacts with officials
Tuesday 17 April Arrival in Allentown, meeting with locals


18 April


• Journey thru Lehigh Valley (Coplay, Nazareth, u.a.)
• 12 Noon, informal Lunch at Northampton "Liederkranz"
• 6 pm, Old Timers Dinnerdance at Northampton Liederkranz, Adm. $10
Thursday 19 April • Possible 7 pm Reception at the Coplay "Sängerbund"
Friday 20 April • Arrival in Chicago
Saturday 21 April • Meeting with locals, Heimat dinner
Sunday 22 April Arrival in Toronto, "Fest" dinner
Monday 23 April Meeting with locals
Tuesday 24 April Flight home from Toronto
Wednesday 25 April Arrival in Vienna

Disbursed as we are throughout North America and elsewhere, it is not possible for the BB to arrange a general meeting with the delegation. However, we do plan to have members of our staff, who reside on the east coast, meet with them in the Lehigh Valley. Two Delegation events, open to BB members, are scheduled there. Both will be attended by BB staff members who will formally greet the Delegation and distribute special BB Invitation Letters. BB members residing in the Lehigh Valley or close by may also attend these events and meet the Delegation and our BB staff members. The events open to the BB are:

Wed, 18 April, Heimat dinnerdance and reception at Northampton "Liederkranz"
Thur, 19 April, (tentative) 7 pm Informal Reception at the Coplay "Sängerbund"

BB representatives will try to reserve tables for BB members at both of those events.

For further details as they become available, or to express your interest in attending any of these public functions, contact Bob Strauch at strauch(at) or Anna Kresh at arkresh(at)

Tom Glatz, BB staff member from Chicago and vice-president of the Chicago BG, has reported that special meetings and a dinner are being arranged for the Delegation visit to Chicago. We have not heard from the Toronto ethnic organization. If interested in attending any of these events, please contact your local BG organizations.

The March issue of the BB newsletter will bring you any last minute changes or additions to the Delegation itinerary.


The following query from the RootsWeb Burgenland Board caught my interest:

Correspondent writes: "Both my mother's family and my father's mother's family all came from Burgenland to Allentown between 1903-1907. Nearly all of them ended up in the silk mills. As I have done research, I see that many other Burgenlanders ended up in the silk mills as well. I know it was a good work opportunity since the silk mill owners in Paterson, NJ, began building mills in Allentown to break the 1913 Socialist movement in their mills there, but with virtually no main industry in Burgenland at the time, how did so many find success in the silk industry?"

To which I respond: One of the main "pull" factors that brought Burgenland immigrants to the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania was the demand for labor. Of particular importance was the fact that much of this demand was for unskilled (and therefore cheap) labor that could be trained. One industry in dire need of labor was the newly formed silk industry that began in Allentown in the summer of 1880. Few Burgenland immigrants, coming from a mainly rural background, had any particular skill, although some had been apprenticed in the building, garment, blacksmith and similar trades. Lack of a skill was especially true of female workers, although there was a tobacco product mill in southern Burgenland (Szt Gotthard) that employed women. Many of these found pre-marriage work in the Allentown cigar factories.

In 1881, the large Adelaide Silk Mill opened in Allentown. Its success paved the way for more; the number growing to over 100 between 1890 and 1930. In 1928, the peak year, there 143 mills in the Lehigh Valley. By 1928, silk and textile production was the 2nd largest industry in Lehigh County. The weaving of silk led to other industries: dye works, loom parts, spindles, shuttles, quills, shipping, etc. By the early 1930's, the silk industry declined worldwide and synthetics took the place of silk. By 1941, 85% of the production involved rayon and acetate. The last silk mill (Catoir Silk Mill) in Allentown closed in 1989.

Immigrants, both men and women, were hired and informally apprenticed to previously trained workers. It was necessary for the apprentice to subsidize his trainer. As they gained experience they were absorbed in production and took part in training others. Some became weavers, loom fixers or foremen, the top jobs. Others had lesser-skilled jobs such as quillers and helpers, lower paid jobs. A quiller earned 12 cents an hour while warpers and weavers earned as much as $30 a week. Until the 1930's, the usual work week was ten hours a day Monday to Friday and four hours on Saturday. Piecework was the norm between 1920-1940. There was major labor unrest in the 1930's, one of the factors that helped lead to the eventual decline of the mills. By the end of the 1950's, the weaving mills were mostly gone, torn down or converted to other production but, as far as Burgenland immigrants were concerned, they had served their purpose and their descendants had been absorbed into the other industries of mainstream America.

The proximity of fabric mills attracted the garment industry and countless immigrant women worked sewing garments, often on a piece-work basis. There were three weaving mills and two garment mills within walking distance of my maternal grandparent's home, one at each end of the 600 block of Jordan Street (Royal & Sondra Factories). I often sat on the front porch and watched the employees go to and from work. These Burgenland immigrants were mainly blue collar workforce but their descendants are now found throughout American industry at all levels of employment. My uncle would say, "do well in school or you'll end up in the mill like me!" Not as bad as it sounds, he worked as an experienced loom fixer whose expertise was in great demand. He retired before his mill went out of business. For immigrants, meaningful work was one of the promises of America.

(ED. Note: Some of the above will be found in "
The Silk Industry In The Lehigh Valley," a Lehigh County Historical Society Publication, Allentown, PA, published in 1993. It contains lists of the mills, dates of operation and illustrations. While it is silent concerning Burgenland immigrants, per se, their involvement in silk and allied mill production is well known family history. A dozen of my family members and many neighbors worked in the mills at one time or another.)

    - Margaret Kaiser

Toronto is one of those large ethnic melting pots where immigrants can be found from most any country or region. Restaurants, both large and small, catering to every group, can be found. In addition, food stores and malls offering ethnic foods have proliferated. I visited one a few years ago and was amazed at what was offered. I was told that a favorite Toronto pastime is sampling ethnic food.

With the establishment of American immigration laws in the 1920's, Canada became a substitute goal for Burgenland area immigrants. Toronto, easily reached via the St. Lawrence Seaway, became one of the main destinations. Many Burgenland immigrants followed following WW-II. Then in 1956, as a result of the Hungarian revolt against Russian occupation, a second surge of Hungarian refugees also migrated to Canada. Toronto was again a favorite goal inasmuch as there were established Hungarian colonies in the city. It is now one of the major ethnic Burgenland enclaves and supports a very active group of Burgenländische Gemeinschaft members.

BB editor Margaret Kaiser recently sent me the following:

Thought you might be interested in this article from the Toronto Star. Please visit link:

"The 37,000 refugees who arrived from Hungary 50 years ago brought schnitzel to Bloor St., but hurry, there's not much left writes Judy Stoffman, STAFF Reporter, in the Feb 15, 2007 edition."  (snip)  "The stretch of Bloor St. running west from Spadina Ave. was once fondly dubbed the "Goulash Archipelago." If you were to go back 30 or 40 years, you'd find a dozen Hungarian restaurants offering cabbage rolls, schnitzel, and wooden plates stacked with enough sausages and roast pork to sustain a Transylvanian village. Today the street's spicy Hungarian flavour is growing ever fainter, as the once flourishing community dies off or disperses throughout the city."  (snip)

See the Toronto Star website for the entire article.

    - Margaret Kaiser

-----Original Message-----
From: celiamale(a)  To: austriaczech(a)
Subject: [austriaczech] Remembering with Gratitude: Dr Kurt Schubert.
Visit our website:

Prof. Kurt Schubert died in Vienna on Sunday 4 February, 2007, aged 84. He was a great protagonist of Christian-Jewish dialogue and Austrian Independence. He established the Judaic Studies Dept at Vienna University [now entitled Institut fur Judaistik] and in 1972 founded the Jewish Museum in Eisenstadt [ref 1] - a town usually associated with Joseph Haydn and the Esterhazy family estates. In terms of Jewish genealogy, the ancient Eisenstadt community with its Esterhazy Schutzjuden plays a rather special role as a melting pot of expelled Moravian, Viennese and Hungarian Jews. The Jewish community was founded in 1378 [ref 2 and 3].

1. Jewish Museum Eisenstadt: with photograph of Prof Schubert on the Home Page
3. Jewish cemetery Eisenstadt:
4. History of the Burgenland Jews {in German}

In terms of Jewish genealogy, Eisenstadt is de-facto covered by our own SIG, but effectively, there is a big overlap with the Hungarian-SIG: It is hard to draw a dividing line. Also googling Burgenland genealogy, brings up many individual sites dealing with this unique area. Address your messages for this list to austriaczech(a) Remember to register or update your family names and towns on the JewishGen Family Finder: This Special Interest Group (austriaczech(a) is hosted by JewishGen: The Home of Jewish Genealogy. Visit our home page at


A major reason for establishing the Burgenland Bunch was the fact that I never could find much about the Burgenland. What little there was, was well hidden in German Genealogy. Now some 12 years later I find that I'm coming full circle and we're receiving queries from people seeking true German roots. What this should tell us is that you don't research by language or ethnic similarities alone - you must research a bit of History and Geography, with the most important data being place of origin. If you can't find that, you will not find anything. But to find place of origin, you must have a nodding acquaintance with history, geography and migration patterns; German genealogy can otherwise be a swamp full of red herrings. The following is a case in point:

Correspondent writes: Would there be any way to research the surname, Glassmyer (Glassmeyer, Glassmeier, Glasmeyer) from Germany. I don't know where the name or the ancestors originated but they came to the USA in the 1700's, before the American Revolution; and the maiden (nee) name of William Glassmeyer's wife was Katherine Wagner, whose family was also here from the early 1700's.

My reply: Our research is limited to the province (state) of Burgenland in Austria. It is one of the nine Austrian provinces. We can't help with Germany. The name Glassmeier translates to "manager-glass factory" possibly.

Pre-revolution immigrants from Germany to the Americas are fairly rare; about 1732, some came through the port of NY. There were a few earlier ones starting in the late 1600's. Others settled in Germantown outside Philadelphia. Most Germans (they came from the Germanic states of the Holy Roman Empire since Germany wasn't formed until 1868) came to the Americas after the Revolution although many of the Hessian mercenaries in the British Army deserted and did not return to Europe. These men came from Rhine-Hesse (they were also recruited from other Germanic states). By far the greatest Germanic immigration came after the Revolution from the Palatinate and are today referred to, incorrectly, as Penna-Dutch (Penna. Deutsch). Over 30K came through the port of Philadelphia from the Rhineland (1730-1830) and settled in Bucks, Berks and Lancaster Counties in Penna. Many later migrated to the Shenandoah Valley and further west.

To find your link at this juncture will not be easy. You'd do best to contact a German or Penna. German (Palatinate) website. Check our URL link list for some possibilities.


The Burgenland Bunch homepage (website) can be found at:

We can also be reached from: (this address also provides access to Burgenländische Gemeinschaft web site)

Use our website to access our membership, village and surname lists, archives, internet links, maps, instructions, ethnic song book, frequently asked questions and other information.

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Burgenland Bunch Newsletter (c) 1997-2007
Archived courtesy of, Inc., P.O. Box 6798, Frazier Park, CA 93222-6798.
Newsletter published monthly by G. J. Berghold, Winchester, VA.
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