The following text was printed with permission for the benefit of the Burgenland Bunch Genealogy Group.
It appeared serially in consecutive issues of the Burgenland Bunch newsletters beginning with Newsletter No. 55A dated April 15, 1999.

Burgenland Research Paper # 47

Released by the Provincial Archive of Burgenland

People at the Border - Destiny and Mission
On the History of the Burgenland Croats

by Johann Dobrovich

Translated by Frank Teklits (with assistance of Albert and Inge Schuch)

printed via email by permission of the publishers

BB Editor's Foreword
[Ed note: written April 1999]

When the Burgenland Bunch was started in 1997, the purpose was to provide an organization wherein Burgenland researchers could correspond with one another for mutual help and assistance. While the subject of Family History was paramount, broader issues of history, geography, and culture could also be addressed. The organization and its newsletter would thus provide a media for questions and answers and a place where topics could be discussed and literature distributed. Our experience over the last 28 months has not changed that purpose, but our effort has progressed far beyond expectations. Our original eight members have now grown to over 300, our archives are bursting at the seams and, unlike many genealogical archives, ours contain much original research of which we can be justly proud.

The Burgenland, being first an Hungarian province and later an Austrian one, it follows that the literature pertaining to that region is generally found in languages other than English. Some members have utilized their translating skills to bring us English extracts of the available foreign literature. Rarely published in English, some is now becoming available to English readers for the first time. Burgenland Editor Albert Schuch, Austrian Editor Fritz Königshofer and others have been assiduous in their searches for material in Austro-Hungarian archives and libraries. Their findings and subsequent translations have provided much of this new material. This has enabled the Burgenland Bunch (BB) to share in pioneering effort in the field of Burgenland Family History. Now Croatian Editor Frank Teklits joins that group of translators and brings us a definitive history of Croatians in Burgenland from a recognized authority.

Family history is more than a compilation of our ancestors. To be meaningful, it must include their origins, migrations, religious history and culture. Their "total story," as it were. Frequently lost or unavailable without intensive search, such information, when found, is invaluable. We now have one "total story" of the Croatians in the Burgenland. I hope similar material will become available for all ethnic Burgenland groups.

Frank Teklits has devoted much time and effort in translating this work, without thought of compensation. It is a labor of love and does honor to his ancestors. His acknowledgments specify the sources to which he has turned for help. I feel we can rely on the exactness of translation. He has kept us advised of his progress from the beginning and many of the answers to his questions have been thoroughly discussed within the BB and have already found their way into the newsletters as articles and definitions of archaic terms.

I am full of admiration for Frank's efforts and the help extended to him by other members. His translation joins the urbar, visitation, village data and early newspaper translations as part of BB original research. My thanks join his, especially to the Burgenländischen Landesarchiv for their permission to publish this translation. Gerry Berghold

Acknowledgments by Translator Frank Teklits

My personal thanks to the various contributors, and supporting individuals. In any successful endeavor, there are many contributors that deserve recognition for their contributions. In the translation of the text "Volk an der Grenze..." (People on the Border) by Johann Dobrovich, special thanks are in order to the Burgenländischen Landesregierung Landesarchiv und Landesbibliothek and Dr. Felix Tobler for their permission to make this translated text available via the Internet to the members of the Burgenland Bunch.

Special thanks are also in order for the constant support & contributions made by Albert Schuch, without whose inputs, this effort would never have been completed. Inge Schuch also deserves thanks for her significant input in the translation of many of the later chapters when Albert was called to serve his country. Thanks are in order to John Lavendoski for providing the original text of Dr. Dobrovich's work from which the kernel of a thought to translate came about. Thanks are also due my cousin Stephen (Mooney) Frisch for his challenging statements concerning a probable Croatian ancestry that led directly to my commitment to translate Dr. Dobrovich's text. Last but not least, a very special thanks to my wife for her patience, understanding and support during many long days and nights of work.

Introduction - Frank Teklits

Dr. Dobrovich's text "Volk an der Grenze," which is volume 47 within the series "Burgenland Research" (Burgenländische Forschungen), was released and published by the Provincial Archive of Burgenland in 1963. The book is based on the migration of the Croatians and is the result of two decades of research by the author on the reasons for the Croatians leaving their original homeland and migrating into the Province of Burgenland. The text begins with the earliest origins of Croatia, and progressively walks the reader through the tragedies of the Ottoman Wars and into the new Croatian homeland in the various Districts and villages of Burgenland. The author's findings are the result of researching numerous Urbars (Land Registration Records), Visitations (ecclesiastical inspections) throughout Burgenland, and other historical sources. A chapter is devoted to the three Croatian dialects used within Burgenland and areas of Croatia where these same dialects are still used today. Based on these dialects, the author draws some conclusions of various Burgenland regions or villages deemed likely to be the descendants of Croatians and from which areas they stem. There are 8 chapters devoted to either specific Districts of Burgenland or Regions of the Province. The Chapters on the Districts of Güssing, Oberwart, Oberpullendorf, Neusiedl, and Northern Burgenland provide extensive coverage of the various Domains & associated villages. Throughout the book, Dr. Dobrovich has sprinkled determinations that allude to areas within Croatia that may have been the original homeland of the Croats who migrated to specific villages in Burgenland.

A Village Register was compiled by the author and contains well over 600 different names of Burgenland villages, Croatian names for many of the Burgenland villages, as well as for other names. Each village and or city is referenced to a specific page(s) within the text for the ease of finding the text associated with a village.

The BB staff has decided to make the text available via the Internet as a part of the biweekly BB newsletter. The staff's thoughts are to make the various Chapters on the Districts of Burgenland available initially to the membership, and gradually to include all of the chapters in the text. It is also planned to provide to the membership, via the newsletter, a separate listing of each village named in the BB Homepage and whatever information, if any, is provided in the translated text for the specific locale. This effort will be completed on an alphabetical basis over a period of time.

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: The Indo-Europeans
Chapter 2: The Slavs as a Separate Indo-European Language Group
Chapter 3: The Beginning of the Croatian Historical Writing and The Migration into the South
Chapter 4: Theories about the Prehistoric Period of the Croats
Chapter 5: The First Centuries in the New Homeland
Chapter 6: The First Form of a Croatian Nation in the South
Chapter 7: The National Structure of the Croatian Countries to the year 1500
Chapter 8: The Turkish Storm
Chapter 9: The Bogumiles in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Chapter 10: The Conquest of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Turks
Chapter 11: Strength and Organization of the Turkish Political System
Chapter 12: The Decline of Croatia from the 15th Century Until the End of the 16th Century
Chapter 13: Serbian Islands in Croatian Lands
Chapter 14: The Weakness of Christian Occident
Chapter 15: Ban Peter Bereslavic
Chapter 16: Soliman II
Chapter 17: Burgenland Settlements Before the Immigration of the Croatians
Chapter 18: The Croatians in Battle with the Turks
Chapter 19: Immigration of the Croatians into today's Burgenland and into Neighboring Lands
Chapter 20: The Croatian Dialects in Burgenland
Chapter 21: The Last Immigration of the Croatians
Chapter 22: The Croatians in Particular Districts of Burgenland
Chapter 23: The District of Jennersdorf
Chapter 24: The District of Güssing
Chapter 25: The Croatians of St. Nikolaus
Chapter 26: The District of Oberwart
Chapter 27: The District of Oberpullendorf & the adjacent Parts of Hungary
Chapter 28: Northern Burgenland and the Western Lake Neusiedl
Chapter 29: The District of Neusiedl
Chapter 30: Services Owed to the Landlords
Chapter 31: The Religions of the Croatians in the 16th and 17th Centuries
Chapter 32: Epilogue
Village Register
Original Citation

Return to Top

Foreword - Johann Dobrovich

Before World War I, and the two peace treaties of Saint Germain (Sept. 10, 1919) and Trianon (June 4, 1920) that returned Burgenland back to Austria, our home was to most people a book with seven seals. Since this time, many lapses have been made up. The Burgenländisches Landesarchiv (Provincial Archive of Burgenland), das Volksbildungswerk (The Society for Education of the People) and admirers of Burgenland's parts, already wrote a small library concerned with the history of our home. For as long as the native history of our country was neglected, the local Croats knew only fragments of their past also. Adolf Mohl claims in a history book written in the Hungarian language published in 1915, "A horvatok bevandorlasa 1533-ban" (The immigration of the Croats in 1533) that the first Croats come into the small Lower Austrian village of Schönau in 1533. Only a few educators knew of his work that initiated the historiography of the Burgenland Croats. Martin Mersic, the priest in Baumgarten found a document in the archives of the City of Ödenburg in 1929 that testifies that Croats were already living in Baumgarten and Siegendorf in 1528. The same priest put an entry into the 1931 cultural society yearbook of the Croatians according to which, a list of the "Weinzehent" (a tax amounting to 1/10th of the annual wine production) can be found in the Ödenburg city archives for some small villages around Ödenburg and Güns. This list contains the names of former Croatian wine growers who have come from their old home country and in 1557 paid the "Weinzehent" in Gross Warasdorf, Klein Warasdorf, Nikitsch, Kroatisch Minihof, Nebersdorf, Unterpullendorf, Grossmutschen, Drassburg, Klein Andre, and Amhagan. Shortly afterwards we read several articles written by Martin Mersic Sr., and Martin Mersic Jr., Ignaz Horvath, Branimir Tukavac, and Vjekoslav Marhold, in the Croatian newspaper Hrvatske Novine, in the Croat calendar, and in the annuals of the Croatian cultural association. These writings describe one or other events from the past of the Burgenland Croats. Vjekoslav Marhold wrote an article for Ernst Loger's book, "Local history and Geography of the Mattersburg District in Burgenland," pages 111–113, where he says: "One can presume that the migration of the Burgenland Croats had started in the year 1522."

In 1934 the Croatian historian, Mate Ujevic, published a book in 1934 entitled "Gradiscanski Hrvati" (The Burgenland Croats). In the chapter "Povjesna Pozadina" (Historical Background), M. Ujevic explains why the ancestors of our Croats left their old homes, as well as where and when they settled down. Josef Breu's dissertation "Die Kroatenansiedlung in südostdeutschen Grenzraum" (The Croat Settlements in the southeastern German border area), is by far the best work that was written on this topic by a non-Croatian author. His treatise best appreciates the historical importance of this National Migration in a scientific way. The segment of his work that is dedicated to the colonization of the Burgenland Croats must be regarded as especially valuable as he studied the related German, Hungarian and Croatian literature. He also explored the Urbare (Land Registration Records) of the former Domains in Burgenland, archives of the Hofkammer (Imperial Treasury), as well as the Visitationen (ecclesiastical inspections) of the Gyor (Raab) diocese from the time of the immigration of the Burgenland Croats into their present home. We must mention Eugen Biricz's dissertation, "Geschichte der Einwanderung der burgenländischen Kroaten" (History of the Immigration of the Burgenland Croats), which was written in 1949. Among other things, Biricz refers to the fact that at the time of danger, a significant number of the upper and lesser Croatian nobility left their homes and settled in Austria and Hungary. The Burgenland Croats had a desire to know the history of their ancestors for a long time. In order to satisfy this wish, the author of this treatise collected the necessary documentation for over two decades, and studied the existing literature Austrian, Hungarian and Croatia in this relationship. He also explored the Urbare (Land Registration Records) of the former Domains in Burgenland, as well as the Visitations (ecclesiastical inspections) of the Gyor diocese from the time of the immigration of the Burgenland Croats into their present home. With this preparation and with the assistance of the Burgenland central government, the author published his Croatian treatise "Iz stare domovine u nepoznatu novu" (From the old into an unknown new Homeland) in 1952. The interest in this edition was great and in four weeks all copies were out of print. Before the publication of the aforementioned treatise, Mr. Bögl, who at that time was Landesrat (a member of the provincial government), desired that the author also publish his work in the German language. This was the case because the German population of the country also desired to know the history of the Burgenland Croats. We note with joy that large parts of the German population took an interest in the Croatian population and in their fate. And that is understandable since Croatia was a pillar of the Danube monarchy through the centuries. The Burgenland Croats have lived in harmony with their fellow German citizens for more than four hundred years. They shared a common fate with them in times of war and in peace. To better understand the history of the Burgenland Croats and their way of thinking it is of benefit to brush on the past of their old homeland. As an introduction one might mention that the emergence of the Croats in the Balkans was of significant importance to the future existence of the East Roman Empire. As a result of the destruction of the barbaric Avar Empire by the Croats in the area of the present day Yugoslavia, the encircled Byzantines were freed of a dangerous opponent. This allowed them to put up a successful resistance to the advance of the Arabs. As the Turkish half-moon threatened also to inundate the Christian Western civilization, "The Croats formed a 350 year long living bayonet fence at the military border, against which waves of Turkish armies often broke through." These apt words of a prominent German historian are a positive recognition of the painful sufferings and sacrifices of the Croatian people in the fight with the half-moon (Turkish crescent) for the Western Christian civilization.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter I - The Indo Europeans

Linguistic comparisons have long revealed the existence of a relationship between the Slavs, Germans, Romans, Greeks, Thracians, Illyrians, Celts, Balts, and Indians. From this we conclude that they are united by a common descent from an ancient people whose language is called Indo-European. The question as to where we are to look for the homeland of these ancient people has been discussed many times before, however, up to now without a satisfactory answer. Due to philological, archaeological and anthropological facts, we are of the opinion that the home of the Indo-Europeans lies in the northern part of central Europe and the Scandinavian countries. Others assume that the cradle of the Indo-Europeans lies somewhere in Mid Asia, in present day Turkestan, or Armenia. They think that before the linguistic and consanguineous unity that lasted for many centuries was lost, the inhabitants of this area settled elsewhere. Furthermore, they assume that the Indian branch migrated southeastwards, all others however westwards, except for the Armenians and Iranians who remained in their original country. Others search for the original homeland of the Indo-Europeans in the central Danube area. Of course these are only more or less astute speculations; they have not led to a reliable and generally acceptable outcome. The Indo-Europeans already lived in communities in the early Stone Ages, and their civilization stood on relatively high level. Their emigration from an ancient homeland, and the origin of the new nations caused by the immigration is dated at the beginning of the Bronze Age (between 1600 and 1000 BC). Why and how it came thereto, research has still not been able to clarify. The only thing known for sure is that the linguistic differences between the Indo-European tribes were minor at the time of their separation and they went their rhetorical ways with the passage of time.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter II - The Slavs as a Separate Indo-European Language Group

The Slavs as an Indo-European language group probably had as their oldest residence a fertile East European area located between the Weichsel (Vistula), Dnieper, and Desna rivers, and the western Dvina and the Carpathians mountains. Their neighbors were the Germanic peoples to the west, the Balts (Lithuanians, Latvians, and Prussians) to the north, the Finns to the northeast, and the Thracians to the southeast. We identify three different branches with the present day Slavs, depending on their place of residence: Western Slavs: (Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, and Lausatian Serbs), Eastern Slavs: (Russians, Ukrainians), Southern Slavs: (Slovenes, Croats, Serbs, and Bulgarians). While the other Indo-European tribes split more and more, the Slavs continued to stay in their old homeland for a long time, where they still spoke a common language in 200 AD.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter III - The Beginning of the Croatian Historical Writing and The Migration into the South

The writing of Croatian history begins with a treatise by the Byzantine Emperor, Constantine Porphyrogenet. He wrote an extensive report of the immigration of Croats into the Balkan Peninsula between the years 948 and 952. In Chapter 30 of his work, "Die administrando imperio," he writes, "Those who research how Slavic people took Dalmatia away from us can gather it from this report." Constantine tells of Saloniki being conquered by the Avars in 614 and continues: "when the Avars saw that this was a beautiful country, they settled there. At that time the Croats lived beyond Bavaria where the White Croatians now live. However, a part of the people separated themselves, namely five brothers, Klukas, Lovelos, Kosentizis, Muhlo and Hrobatos with their sisters, Tuga and Buga. They came with their people to Dalmatia between 634 and 640 AD and found the country governed by the Avars. After years of fighting, the Avars were overcome, a part of them were massacred and the remainder subjugated. Ever since that time, the Croatians ruled over this land. They found a few more Avars there, and one could see in them that they are Avars. Furthermore, the remaining Croats stayed with the Franconians and were called white Croats. They had their own rulers. They became subjects of Otto, the great king of the Franks and Saxons."

Constantine Porphyrogenet writes that a part split off of the Croatians who had come to Dalmatia, and conquered Illyria (note 8) and Pannonia (note 9). These Croatians had their own sovereign who maintained friendly relationships with the rulers of the Dalmatian Croats.

The answer to the question why a part of the Croats left their northern homes (in Galicia, Bohemia, and Moravia) gives us the history of the Byzantine Empire from 574 to 624.The Avars were deadly enemies of the Byzantine Empire. They lived off robbery and warfare, and plundering opulent Konstantinopel must have been desirable for them. Additionally, since the hostile Persians threatened the Byzantine Emperors, the Byzantines were forced to pay 80,000 to 200,000 gold coins annually as tribute to the Avar ruler Hagan beginning in the year 574. Nevertheless the Avars were not satisfied with that. They conquered one town after the other, and jointly beleaguered even Konstantinopel itself with the Persians in 626. The Byzantines barely managed to save the capital of the Empire. Then King Herakles, an able diplomat and a brave Army leader, sought and found assistance from the White Croatians (note 7). They managed to break the power of the Avars between 630 and 640 in the area of today's Dalmatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, and Herzegovina. Thereupon the White Croatians left these primitive countries and conquered the countries known today as Croatia and Slavonia. In Chapter 31, the imperial author repeats the above statement with a variation, that the Croats had come to Dalmatia by the decree of the Byzantine Emperor, who assigned the devastated and deserted country to them as their domicile.

Archdeacon Thomas, the historical writer from the city of Spalato (Split), describes the arrival of the Croats in the following way in the second half of the 13th century: From the area of Poland, which was called Lingones, Totila came with seven or eight tribes (septem vel octo tribus nobilium). They regarded the country where the Croats now live as a favorable abode, and received it on the desire of the Prince of the country since it had few inhabitants. Thereupon they subjected the natives by force, suppressed them and forced them into their service. The Croats mixed with the original population over a period of time, and finally became a people with a uniform way of life, customs, and language. Both sources that describe the arrival of the Croats concur on the major points. According to either author, the Croatians were organized into seven or eight tribes that conquered the land and subjugated the natives that included the Avars, the former rulers of the country.

note 7: Dalmatia comprises today's Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, & Dalmatia. White Croatia was situated in today's Galicia, Bohemia and Moravia.

note 8: Illyria was originally the eastern coastland by the Adriatic Sea.

note 9: Pannonia was a Roman province in the central Danube Region (which included present Burgenland)

The imperial author, living 300 years closer to the immigration of the Croats, has more details. He knew the name of the Croatian leaders, describes the liquidation of the Avars by the Croats, and refers to the early expansion into the territory of the Balkans and the Danube. He knew that the country that the Croats conquered was already called Croatia at this time. Archdeacon Thomas, who described the events of the arrival of the Croats through a space of 600 years, calls our attention to an important sociological occurrence: The Croatian tribes intermingled with the subjugated natives to become a nation with the same customs and speech.

Up to 1864 nobody doubted the statements of Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenet and Archdeacon Thomas. First Racki, Jagic, and a few others denied the above statement. The best Croatian history writers, among them Glumpowicz, Grot, Nodilo, Klate, Niederle, Zupanic, Westberg, and in the more recent times Hauptmann, Rus, Segvic, and Sakat proved that the crux of the statements of the Emperor Constantine and the Archdeacon Thomas are correct. Their views, based on Croat tradition and their description of historical facts, e.g. of political and social structures, are correct. The arrival of the Croats in the South was an invasion by horsemen who disassociated themselves from Greater Croatia, who successfully fought the Avars and eventually defeated them. This undertaking served the goals of Byzantine politics that was to have one barbarian nation conquered by another.

As a politically organized nation, the Croats soon understood the importance of Christianity and Rome. The Christianization of the Croats already began after 640, and around 680 they signed a treaty of historical importance with the Pope. Viseslav, the first Croatian Ruler, was baptized around 800. The Popes guided the conversion of the Croats and they sent priests to Croatia and Dalmatia to teach and baptize the people. From the time of the immigration of the Croats into their present homeland up until the present time, the Croats never attacked other countries to conquer them. They have only defended their homeland. This characteristic defined the treaty (of the Croats) with the Pope, the Holy Agatho, who reigned between 678 and 681. The Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenet speaks of the present Treaty: "The baptized Croatians will not fight outside of their homeland with strangers, because the Pope, who sent them priests, and had them baptized during the reign of the Roman King Herakles gave them certain prophecies and regulations. The baptized Croats had a signed contract in which they vowed to Saint Peter, steadfastly and for forever to neither invade nor fight a foreign country, that they would live in peace with all those who wished to make a similar vow to the Pope. Should however another people break into the Croat homeland and fight them, God will lead the Croats to war and protect them, and that the follower of Christ, Saint Peter, will grant them victory."

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter IV - Theories about the Pre-Historic Period of the Croats

The first Croat names we find are on inscriptions from the 2nd and 3rd centuries in Tanais, where the city of Azov is situated today at the mouth of the river Don in the Sea of Azov. In the era of the Roman Emperors, Tanais was an active Greek trading colony. The crossroads for the commerce of numerous neighboring people was located here. There are two preserved grave inscriptions in this city with the names Horoathos and Horovathos. (By comparison, Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenet speaks of a Croatian leader "Hrobatus" from the country of "Hrobatien.") If we omit the Greek ending os, we have the Croatian country's name of "Horvat."

Responsible scientists agree among themselves that these two names, Horoath and Horovath, are correlated and pertain to members of the Croatian people, or a Croat tribe who came into the Greek colony of Tanais. Many of today's leaders in Slavonia, Croatia, Hungary, & Austria had families named Horvath who sought refuge during the Turkish Wars. Niko Zupanic (note 12) cites different examples that indicate that during the Roman times several leaders in Tanais had surnames that defined their nationality. These examples prove that in the time of the Romans in this country, newcomers were so named that their surname defined their origin. This thesis gains some credibility if we consider other possible links of the Croats to the Iranian world, since a Croatian tribe lived in the proximity of the Sea of Azov during the time of the Roman Emperors. Niko Zupanic (12), Hauptmann (12), and Sakac (14) developed the theory of the Iranian origin of the Croats in the last few years based on the epitaphs found on the graves. With the help of this theory, many previous unintelligible aspects of the early Croatian history are clarified today, so that it has received much attention in research. It should be noted that only the thesis of the Iranian origin of the Croats can explain the name "Horvath," the title of a Croat dignitary Banus, the names "White" and "Red Croatian," and the Bogumile phenomenon. According to this theory, the Croats were a branch of the Caucasian Iranians, who lived somewhere in the western Caucasus during the era of the Roman Emperors. The Caucasian Anten were another branch of this group. In the 2nd and 3rd century, they fought with the Goths who dominated the rulers of the south Russian steppes and the Slavs. The Mongolian Huns who were Asiatic horsemen, found Europe towards the end of the 4th Century AD, and demolished the Empire of the East Goths in Southern Russia. Thus began the migration of the people. Some fled before the Huns; others followed them as allies or subjects. During the rule of Attila, the sphere of influence of the Huns extended from the Chinese wall to the Rhine River and from the Red Sea to the Baltic Sea. The Iranian Croats and Anten were defeated in the Hun assault, the others were included as allies in the Hun Empire. The Huns sat between Danube and the Theiss in the Pannonian plain holding the Slavs in check, while the Croats and Anten remained behind the Carpathian Mountains. We find the first traces of the Croats at the Weichsel (Vistula) River in the early phases of the migration into the Germanic Hervasaga, perhaps the German name for the Carpathian Mountains, Hervadja-fjoll. In the 5th Century, the Croats controlled the lower part of the river Vistula so that tribes wandering through had to search for other passageways for a long time.

After the death of Attila in 453, the Croats and Anten (Antes-a Caucasian tribe later Slavizised) were freed from the yoke of the Huns. They dominated a weak Slavic upper class via warfare and took their language and customs. In consideration of the writings of the Byzantines Jordans, Prokops, King Mauritius, Menandres, and of others, like the so-called Bavarian Geographer (19th century), the Arabian author Masudi (16) and the Nestorian Chronicle, Hauptmann comes to the following conclusion in view of the coexistence of the Antens and Slavs. In the 5th Century, the Anten had already formed an alliance with the Slavs in the area of today's Russia, from which an expanded realm developed in 6th century. This realm was under the guidance of Mezamers around 550, and was so powerful that it stopped the tide of the Avars for a long time. At that time, the alliance between the Anten and Slavs included all of western Galicia and some of Silesia, so that this realm extended from the Oder River to the Black Sea. Its center lay at the bow in the State of Cervenjana, in the future Red Russia.

12 Niko Zupanic = "The primordial Croats" in the collected works of King Tomislav
O kavkasko Sakac = "Of the Caucasian-Iranian ancestry of the Croats"

14 Comparing Kings of the Svevladischen House of Sovereigns. In the middle of the 6th century the Avars succeeded in destroying the Antisch-Slav Empire, and from this time the name Anten disappears from history.

16 The Arab Masudi says, "As discord came along, the organization disintegrated, and the population garnered for themselves. Each nation selected their ruler." The Croats living at the Weichsel (Vistula) River led an independent existence since that time. The original Iranian Croats commingled with the subjected Slavs. An independent Croatian people with a Slavic language had already begun to come into existence in the 5th century. "The Antish-Slavic leaven began at that time, under the wings of the Antish State and in the framework of the colossal Hun Empire, to create the beginnings of the Greater or White Croatia in the Slavic areas by the Weichsel (Vistula) river."

17 A branch of the Croats living in the north turned against the Avars and broke their power in the old Roman province of Dalmatia during the time of the wars of liberation of the western Slavs under Samo (623–658), and after the siege of Konstantinopel by the Persians and Avars. At that time a new southern Croatia developed, while the old Croatia still continued on in the north. Some sources still mention its existence in the 9th to the 11th century. In his paper, "The Iranian Origins of the Croats according to C. Porphyrogenitus".

18 Sakac says that the Old Iranian Croats lived between the Don River and the Caucasus. By this he means that they came from the Old Persian province of "Harahwati." We find this name on three stone monuments of the Persian King Darius I (522–496 BC). Sakac maintains that the first Croats by the Vistula River are descendants of settlers from the Old Persian province of Harahwati. The Old Persian sacred script Awesta speaks of the "Harahwaiti." Acceptance of the origin of the Croats from the Old Persian province of "Harahwati" can still be supported by the following examples. The Swiss Orientalist L de Saussure says the old Iranians would have defined the directions with a color-coded system. Green was the color for the east, white for the west, black for the north and red for the south. The Greek historical recorder Herodet (who died around 425 AD) reports that the old Persians called the sea which was situated south of them the Red Sea, which is known today as the Indian Ocean. They called the sea to the north of them the Black Sea, and sea to the west of them the White Sea. When we read in a later chapter of this treatise about the "White Croats," it implies that Croatia was situated west of the original Croatia, i.e. in Galicia and Bohemia. Today's Montenegro was called "Red Croatia" in early history because it was situated to the south of White Croatia. The titles of high Croatian dignitaries, "Banus" and "Zupan" have the same meaning in the Croatian and Persian languages. The individual next in rank to the King was called "Ban" in old Iran just as it was in Croatia until 1918, The term "Zupan" is an old-Iranian administrative title. The early Croats were divided into Zupanien's (Komitate - Counties), and they were under the administration of a Zupan. These were structured under an "Erlauchten Banus," ("Noble Ban"), who resided in Zagreb (Agram). This Iranian theory, according to which the ancestors of today's Croats lived in the Caucasus, is based on the so-called Gothic theory according to which the Croats had been a branch of the Goths. A leading indication of this was that the Croats had the same energy to create their own country as did the Goths, but which the other Slavic branches lacked.

19 Sakac = "Of the Caucasian-Iranian ancestry of the Croats"

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter V - The First Centuries in the New Homeland

The emergence of a Croatian army in the Balkans was quite valuable for the Byzantine Empire. The fall of the Avar rule in the earlier Roman provinces of Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyria made it possible for the Byzantine emperor, to concentrate its entire military strength on the Arabs and Saracens. After overpowering Persia and the Byzantine Provinces of Palestine and Syria, they conquered the cities of Jerusalem, Antiochia, and Edessa, and all of Egypt with the exception of Alexandria. In the year 1643, Alexandria also opened the gates for the Arabs. It is valid to question what fate would have dealt to the Byzantine Empire and Southeastern Europe in that time would they have had the peace loving Croats in place of the hostile Avars as neighbors. Thus Constantine III, the grandson of Emperor Herakles, was able to stop the Arab invasion, and obtain peace with the new enemy for a long time with favorable terms. Only then could Constantine III think of strengthening the Empire in the Balkans. In a conscientious consideration of the distribution of power in the Southeast at that time, one must admit that the Croats who appeared in the Balkans in this critical time and destroyed the Southern Avar Empire, saved the East Roman Empire and Southeastern Europe from the harsh reign of the Turks for a long time. The Croats lived in their new homeland as the Greek historical writer Prokop already wrote from old Slovenia: "No one person prevails over mankind, they live together in a democracy." Over a long period of time, all power was centered in the hands of numerous Zupans (District Leaders) who were a few prominent and aristocratic leaders. The King left them alone, he did not interfere in their internal affairs, and was content with being a nominal administrator. The Croats were aware of the fact that they lived in the realm of an Emperor who did not exert direct influence over them. The Northern Croats met numerous so-called Southern Slavs in their new homeland that came here from the left bank of the Danube since the 6th Century. They had settled here south of the Danube River since 547. Under the weak reign of Emperor Phokas (606–610) new, and powerful groups of Slavic tribes settled in the sparsely settled Byzantine Provinces.

Emperor Herakles war against the Persians (610–615) was a favorable opportunity for the Slavs to expand into all East Roman provinces i.e. in Pannonia, Illyria, Thrace and up to the Peloponnese. The Croats were the dominant nationality while sharing their new homeland with the southern Slavs. Some Avars still lived among them, about whom Emperor Constantine Prophyrogenet wrote in the 10th Century: "...and one sees in them, that they are Avars."

The remnants of the native Illyrian inhabitants probably also lived among the southern Slavs. The largest minorities were the Romans whom the Croats called "Walachs." The majority of these Romans lived in the coastal regions where they controlled shipping for a long time. A smaller portion of them lived as herdsmen scattered in the mountains.

Internal unrest and unfortunate wars weakened the East Roman Empire. The Dalmatian Croats became the subjects of Carl the Great (Charlemagne), the ruler of the Franks, under whom they remained until 878. Carl gave the Croatians the freedom to choose their rulers and obligated them to military aid and delivery of gifts, otherwise he gave them a free hand. The last Croats in Pannonia and Dalmatia converted to Christianity during his reign. The first known Christian Prince of the Croats was Viseslav (around 806), and his residence was in the city of Nin. When the descendants of Carl the Great suppressed the Croats, they defended themselves and were forever free from the rule of the Franks in 877.


Under the reign of Prince Branimir (879–892), the Byzantine Emperor had to position his primary strength to the east against the Arabs. Branimir adeptly took advantage of this predicament, and the Croats with the help of Rome, became independent in ecclesiastical and political affairs. The Kingdom of Croatia became a principality in the year 925. Prince Tomislav, who later became King, unified the Pannonian and Dalmatian Croats. Under his reign, the Patriarch of Konstantinopel relinquished their past jurisdiction over the cities and islands of Dalmatia, and returned it to the Pope. The Roman Emperor transferred the administration and defense of Croatia to the Croat Regent. Starting with the King Tomislav I, the Croats had their own national kings for 170 years.

Stefan Drzislav merits being mentioned among the successors of Tomislav. In return for his military assistance in the war against the Bulgarians, the Byzantine Emperor confirmed the transfer of the former cities and islands of Dalmatia to him by conferring on Stefan the title of King by sending him Crown, Scepter, and Sword. Drzislav was the first crowned King of Croatia and Dalmatia.

Radovan died in 1083, and was the only son of the last Croatian King Zvonimir and Queen Helene, who was the sister of Hungarian King Ladislaus. Ladislaus, the King of Hungary, was appointed to the Croatian Throne in 1089 by a party of Croatian magnates and representatives of the cities of Dalmatia upon the death of King Zvonimir. Beginning with the year 1097, the Croatians and Hungarians had a common King for 429 years and were allied in a personal union. 

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter VI - The First Croatian State in the South

The following remarks provide information on the borders of those countries conquered by the Croatians during their expansion in the south. Emperor Constantine Prophyrogenet speaks of Dalmatia, Pannonia, and Illyria. Montenegro, western Serbia and part of today's Carinthia still border on today's Croatia.

The four Croatian countries of White Croatia, Pannonia, Red Croatia, and Carantania were created in this expanse. The area of White Croatia and Croatian Pannonia remain in today's Croatia, but Croatia could not retain the other two countries.

1. White Croatia, within today's Dalmatia and Bosnia, was the focal point of the Croatian settlers. It extends from the small stream Rasa in Istria, to the River Cetina in Dalmatia, south and west of the rivers Der and Drina. This was the most heavily settled area by the Croats, and it was the center of political power and the focal point of all internal political communication of the Croats starting with the initial arrival of the Croats up to the time of the Turkish invasion. Here the Croatian name was transferred for the first time to the Pre-Croatian Slavic inhabitants, a fact confirmed by Archdeacon Thomas already in the 13th century. According to Constantine Prophyrogenet, the Croatian land between Istria and the small river of Cetina around the middle of the 10th century was known only as Croatia. According to a statement from the Russian Chronicle, Nestor and others, it was also called White Croatia to distinguish it from the other southern Croatian areas.

2. Pannonian Croatia extended from the north of White Croatia to the Rivers Mur, Drava and the Danube. Two centers emerged in this country in the former Roman towns of Siscia (Sisek) and Sirmium (Mitrovica). Only the westerly portions of this territorial tract were continuously included in the Croatian community of states. Sirmium (Mitrovica) was a part of Hungary for a long time. White Croatia was more densely settled than Pannonia-Croatia. Pannonia Croatia was adjoined to the Prince of Svatopluk's Moravian Empire during the time of Prince Bratislav (880–900 AD). This nation bordered on the old Greater Croatia, the homeland left behind by the southward migrating Croats in the 7th century.

By the end of the 9th Century, the sphere of influence of the Slavic Princes in the region extended from the Vistula (Weichsel) River to the Adriatic Sea.

This self-contained unity was destroyed by the invasion of Hungary and by the destruction of the Moravian Empire. During the time of the Dalmatian Croatian King Tomislav, when Hungary as a wedge separated the northern and southern Slavs from each other, Pannonia-Croatia was united with White Croatia. After the personal union of Croatia and Hungary (1091), the area between the Kulpa, Sava, and Drava Rivers was called the Country of Slovenia from the 12th to the 16th centuries. Pannonian Croatia was settled for the second time by the Croats after many left White and Red Croatia for the north during the Turkish war. Ever since this time, the core of the territory of Croatia has been located between the Mur, Drava, Danube, Sava, and Kulpa rivers.

3. The small country of Red Croatia was situated between the little stream of Narenta and the Skutari Lake, and its eastern boundary was the upper course of the Drina River. On the whole, Red Croatia was situated in today's Montenegro. Similarly Pannonia-Croatia was also a nation of subordinated importance to Red Croatia, and up to the middle of the 10th Century was combined with White and Pannonian Croatia. It was a national sovereignty known as the Kingdom of Duklja from this time on. Towards the end of the 12th century, it was under Serbian sovereignty.

4. Carantania was the fourth Commonwealth created by the Croats, but which the Slovenians had settled. The ancestors of today's Slovenians penetrated the holdings of the Langobards in the former Roman Province of Noricum, and up to the end 6th century, took possession of the entire territory from the Adriatic sea to the sources of the Drava, Save, and Mur rivers. Valuk, the first Slovenian Duke appeared around 640, and his seat was on the river Glan in today's Karnburg (Krnskigrad). Underneath the castle was the "stone throne," on which the free Slovenian farmers still enthroned their Duke in 1414. Carantania fell to Bavaria in 772 and soon thereafter was under the sovereignty of the Franks.

At the same time, when the political power of the southern Croats achieved its apex in their homeland, the Croats disappeared in the former Large Croatia, because the remaining Croatian population was essentially depleted.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter VII - The National Structure of the Croatian Countries to Year 1500

The pre-Croats of Slovenia were the majority of the inhabitants found by the Croats in the south, whose arrival into the new homeland has already been described. Waves of these Croatian warriors merged into a nation with the same customs and language. The process of amalgamation was fulfilled without extraordinary difficulties because the linguistic differences between the people were minimal.

The Romans, or rather the Romanized Illyrian Celts, formed the predominant part of the non-Slavic population after the arrival of the Croats. They had been scattered by the Avars from the north and the south, and they drifted towards the east and the Adriatic Sea. They formed two social layers after the arrival of the Croats. The citizens of the Dalmatian Nation who were well to do, retrieved their islands from the Avars, and resumed the Christianization of the Croats on the mainland. These Romans were called Latiners in the 12th Century. The Croats forced their way into the Roman cities of Dalmatia during the time of the Croatian Kings. The 2nd ethnic group of Romans consisted of herdsmen, who were pushed into the mountains from the fruitful plains by the Croats. The Croatians called them "black Walachs" to differentiate them from the urban Walachs (Morowalachs).The Latin seaside inhabitants in the states of Zara (Zadar), Trau (Trogir), Spalato (Split), Ragusa (Dubrovnik), and Cattaro (Kotor) were already significantly intermingled with Croatians in the 11th Century. The Croatianization of the cities by the Adriatic coast progressed rapidly in the 12th Century. The clergy welcomed Pope Alexander with Croatian songs when he visited the city of Zara in 1177 AD. In the year 1345 AD when the citizens of the State of Zara dispatched a delegation to the Croatian-Hungarian King Ludwig I with the petition that the King liberate them from the Venetians, all of the delegates had Croatian names. The Croatianization process took place more rapidly in the smaller villages along the Adriatic Sea. The Dalmatian Nation was Croat at the end 14th Century, partly by influx, partly by assimilation. The aristocratic upper classes in the coastal territories of Dalmatia remained Roman and were not amalgamated with the Croats. German, Hungarian, and Italian craftsmen settled in the free cities situated between the Kulpa, Sava, and Drava rivers as early as the 13th Century. Organized guilds of Croatian, German and Italian nationalities were found in Zagreb (Agram) in the 14th century.

The crafty Morowalachs expanded very strongly in an easterly direction in the 14th Century. They were mainly in Macedonia and Thessalonica which bore the name Greater Walachia (Megale Vlahia) in the 13th and 14th centuries. The Walachs at that time still spoke the Roman language.

A Walach or Roman settlement area extended along the Adriatic from Cattaro to Istria in the 12th century opposite from the eastern Walachs. New Walachs moved into the Croatian countries in the 14th century, but for the most part they were Slavic. According to Ferdo Sisic's "Povijest Hrvata u vrijeme narodnih vladara" (History of the Croatians to the time of the current National Rulers), Zagreb, 1925, page 276, the word "Vlah had no meaning in the nationality since the XIII Century." This was the result of a greater part of the Slavic population being occupied with cattle breeding, and hence were called Walachs. There were "Croatian Walachs" already in 1322. Walachs Alpine dairies were mentioned in the area of Lika (south of Fiume) in 1344, and also eight years later in the surroundings of Zara. They moved gradually from the hills into the cities and onto the islands. Walach Alpine dairies crowded the area from Dalmatia to Fiume (Rijeka) at the start of the 15th century. The Walachs did not have fixed residences because they lived in chalets as herdsmen moving frequently. They were known as the "Croatian Walachs" in the surroundings of the city of Lika, and were believers of the Catholic faith. Walachs were mentioned as being from the Tulic Family in the district of Vrlica (south of Zengg).

Walach immigrants lived in West Slovenia around Esseg (Osiek) and in Sirmien from the 12th until the 14th centuries except for a few, isolated Hungarian immigrants. Hungarians streamed into the land between the Drava and Sava rivers, especially in the 14th century. The king distributed land among the Hungarian aristocrats who brought their subjects with them.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter VIII - The Turkish Storm

We can better understand the Croatian struggle against the Turks by describing relevant Turkish history in a short summary of the strife between the Turks and the ancestors of the present day Burgenland Croats. The Turks came out of central Asia from Turkestan, in the boundless spaces of the Turans where numerous tribes had lived for centuries, and called themselves Turks. The Seldschuken (Seljuk Turks), a Turkish tribe immigrated in the 11th century as far as the Middle East and created a nation there. The Tatar assault under Ghenghis Khan moved towards Europe two hundred years later. Another Turkish tribe with Osman (1288–1336) as its leader, came to Asia Minor while fleeing before the Tatars, where it received grass pastures from the Seldschuken in the proximity of Byzanz. Here the Turks converted to the Muslim faith. Osman took the title Emir (Lord, Supreme Commander) and expanded his state at the expense of the Byzantine Empire. His son Orhan conquered Nikomedien and Nizea and arrived before the gates of Konstantinopel.

He succeeded in putting together Seldsuchken of every small state into an Ottoman Empire. Orhan later justified the Turkish position of power on the premise that it formed the basis of their military strength. The territory was organized into military precincts, the so-called Sandschaken, and placed a standing army onto it, who were always prepared for war. He is credited for the cruel instruction requiring children to be taken from conquered nations as a form of human tribute, and then educate these captured Christian children as Turks. As these Christian children matured they received military training and became the Janitscharen, the feared storm troops of the Turks, who fought against their own compatriots. The Turks preserved their own soldiers in this manner. The Turks that served in their cavalry were called Spahi. The Spahi and Janitscharen propagated fear and frightened Europe for a long time.

Orhan left a well-organized and powerful nation to his son Murat (1362–1389). The status of the Byzantine Empire in the Balkans was extremely weak during this time. Struggles for power around the throne and internal disagreements were the reason for the decline of this former powerful force. As the Byzantines used the Turks frequently for assistance, they acquainted them enemy (the Turks) with the Bulgarian and Serbian countries. They crossed the Dardanelles in 1352 and conquered their first European stronghold. Two years later they captured the base of the peninsula of Gallipolli, opening the path to Europe for the Turks. The Turkish might grew surprisingly rapidly. Murat conquered Adrianopel in 1361 and settled in Turkish Thrace. The Bulgarians were conquered next in the Balkans, and tribute obligation was made compulsory. When Murat also defeated the Serbians on the Maritza River, the southern Slavs were placed under Turkish rule. On St. Vitus Day June 15, 1389, Bajazid attacked (decimated) Serbian forces under Prince Lazar on the fields of Kosovo. The Turks consolidated and maintained their rule over the Serbians for over 500 years. In 1430 the Turks took possession of the Venetian naval base at Saloniki near Varna until 1444, which thwarted the attempt to obtain help from Hungary's King Wladislaws I. Soon thereafter Hunyadi's Army of 24,000 men bled to death in two battles on the fields of Kosovo (Amselfeld).

Mohammed II was a competent soldier and an able statesman whose goal was to subdue the remaining Balkans. He conquered Konstantinopel, the capital of the Eastern Church, after thorough preparations in 1453. Constantine XI, the last Byzantine Emperor, died a heroic death in the fight for the city, sealing the end of the Thousand Year Grecian Empire with his death. The impression of this disaster was enormous in the Christian world. One can also justifiably ask why the Christian West did not hasten to aid Emperor Constantine in his distress. The reason for this delay however was the schism splitting the Christian East and West. The dislike, one can even say the hate against Rome in Konstantinopel was at the present time still the greatest danger, so great that the public opinion was: "Rather the Turban than the Tiara." Because Constantine supported a union with Rome, many citizens remained inactive. The Emperor had only 7,000 men, with whom he held off a 160,000 man Turkish force for two months. Thus the decline of this old realm could not be stopped any longer.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter IX - The Bogumiles in Bosnia and Herzegovina

In the administration of Ban Kulin (1170–1204), a new religion began to spread in Bosnia, which was a religious controversy that flared up and would become a disaster for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Byzantine soldiers brought the new doctrine from Asia to Europe. It gained a foothold initially in Bulgaria, where the priest Jeremias gave the doctrine a Slavic look, and wrote Slavic church books. Jeremias called it Bogumile, and the new doctrine was named after him. A summary of the substance of this doctrine follows: There is a God who is the origin of everything good, and a bad spirit, who is the epitome of everything bad. The good principle has a soul and created everything invisible, the bad principle created material and concomitantly our earth. The soul came from a good God when it was united with the body, which is material and therefore is the work of the devil. God the Father sent Christ his greatest angel to earth. He supposedly assumed a human body and died on the cross. Christ's task was to point the people to their true destination by his death, remove the soul from its evil body and return it to God. The act of redemption is not the crucifixion, as this has only the importance of an example. Determining one's true purpose causes the redemption of the human being. This understanding of his destiny and the faith in it leads man towards his final goal after death. The ultimate goal is in the liberation of the Soul from the prison of its body and of its return to Heaven. The similarity of this doctrine with Christianity is only superficial, in reality there is a fundamental discrepancy. The final goal of the Christian does not lie in the return of only the spiritual soul to God, but of the whole human being who needs not only the soul but the body as well to be complete and blissful in the next world. The crucifixion is not the apparent death of Christ with an apparent body, but a real death as an act of redemption of the God incarnate, who is in inseparable union with material since the beginning of our chronology. The Bogumilen differentiated between the perfect and the imperfect, where the perfect abstained from riches, ate no meat and no food that was prepared from animals. They condemned bloody vendettas and war, and swearing was disapproved. These severe rules did not apply to the common believers. The monks initially accepted the Bogumile, and the new belief maintained a monastic organization in Bosnia. The Bosnian Pataren called themselves "good Christians." A "djed" (equivalent to a bishop) was the leader and "starci" (priests) were his representatives. Services, consisting of prayer, writing and reading, were held in houses, in which one did not bear bells that were called "trumpets of the devil," and there were no pictures, not even crosses.

The Spread of Bogumilentum
The doctrine first entered into Serbia from Bulgaria. When the Serbian King Stefan Nemanja saw how rapidly it spread among the Serbian domain owners and recognized that it could become dangerous as the prevailing religion of the country, he took drastic action. He called the state parliament together and seized the leading men of the movement. He ordered their tongues to be cut off, and send them into exile. Their books were burned, possessions were confiscated and divided among the poor. The Bogumilen were exterminated in Serbia by using such cruel actions. The Bogumile emerged around the middle of the 12th century in Bosnia and remained there the longest. The Bosnian domain owners and Ban Kulin were among the first to profess to the Bogumile doctrine. Pope Innocent III requested the Croatian-Hungarian King Emmerich to conduct an investigation. He placed the responsibility on Ban Kulin and forced the Bosnian domain owners to renounce the new Bogumile doctrine under oath in 1203. A greater part of the Bosnian-Herzegovina domain owners converted to the Bogumile doctrine in the later centuries. When the Turks conquered Bosnia and the Herzegovina, the Bogumilen embraced the Islamic religion, and almost one out of three Bosnians were Muslims by 1931.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter X - The Conquest of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Turks

After the fall of Serbia and Konstantinopel, Bosnia was next in the Turkish queue. Once the Turks managed to secure a foothold in 1415, they were in Bosnia to stay. From 1437 on, Bosnia faced compulsory Turkish tribute. Bosnia could not fill this obligation with regularity since it was continually involved in wars. The Turks took castle ruins as payment for outstanding obligations that they then converted into military arsenals. They gained a military foothold in the Bosna Valley where they incorporated their sphere of influence into a part of the country. As long as the Hungarian King Matthias Corvin (Corvinius) granted protection to the Bosnians, they could withstand the Turks. The Sultan conquered Bosnia with 150,000 men in 1463 while it was feuding with the Roman-German Emperor Frederick III. Matthias Corvin could have dislodged the Turks from Northern Bosnia again, but after his death Bosnia became conclusively Turkish, and remained that way up to 1878. Sultan Mohammed II, the Conqueror of Konstantinopel, only waited for the right time to subjugate Herzegovina. Initially he occupied only a part of the country, but as a result of the betrayal by a few Pateren, all of Herzegovina fell into the hands of the Turks in 1482.

The Privileged Position of the Bosnians
Unlike the other countries in the Turkish Empire, Bosnia was a country with special standing. The Turks allowed the Bosnian aristocrats to retain the right of succession. This preferential treatment was granted to the Bosnian-Herzegovina magnates, who went to Konstantinopel before their country was conquered, embraced Islam and obtained this special regulation for their countrymen because they were well respected. The Sultan accommodated the Bosnians in this manner since he expected them to come to his aid during the conquest of other Christian countries. The Bogumilen aristocracy, who in their hearts had already spurned Christianity, converted entirely to Islam. A few different minded magnates fled abroad. Islam was a major event in the history of Bosnia. With a single stroke, quarrel and disagreement disappeared among the noblemen, and all forces united in the struggle for Islam and hatred for their Christian countrymen.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XI - Strength and Organization of the Turkish Political System

We have seen the Turks coming from Turkestan and subjugating Asia Minor and the entire Balkans in a short period of time. The Turkish Empire was the first great power of its time after the fall of the East Roman Empire and the conquest of North Africa. The principal reason for this success was a highly organized Nation. Turkey was a military state, and the Sultan with absolute power, was its chieftain. The whole country was at his disposal and he assigned it to various soldiers for their benefit, but after they died, the land reverted back to the state. Bravery in war was rewarded not only with property, but also with high positions in government or military service. Their religion promised a preferred place in Heaven for any soldier killed in war. The armament of the Turkish Army was superior to that of the Balkan Countries. The Sultan demanded blind obedience, and controlled all political, economical, and military resources. The last Turkish Emperors were not only good soldiers, but also intelligent statesmen, who understood perfectly how to exploit the weaknesses of their opponents. The date of each assault was carefully chosen to take advantage of a weak neighbor, or neighboring powers that were at odds with each other. Examples of such favorable opportunities for the Turks were the enmity between the Eastern Church and Rome, the Bogumile in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the second schism in Germany. These religious controversies were one of the primary reasons that the Turks were able to settle in the areas of Eastern and Middle Europe. The first Turkish Emperors did not permit the stronger nations to suppress the weaker ones, nor were their subjects required to pay intolerable duties. The Turks assured a peaceful life without regard to the religion and nationality of all of their subjects, and they allowed the subjected countries to retain their fortunes, laws, faiths, customs, and in some cases even the former administration. Because of this wise and humane attitude, the Christians did not regard it to be a misfortune if they were under Turkish rule. That occurred later when the Turkish Agas and Pashas became cruel tyrants and the most evil of feudal lords. They prepared a bitter fate for the Christian subjects (raja) of the Sultan without any rights, which made it even more difficult to bear the loss of freedom.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XII - The Decline of Croatia from the 15th until the end of the16th Century

When the Turks first surfaced in the Balkans, their national organization was far superior to that of the Balkans states. Additionally, the position of a farmer was considerably more favorable in the first period of the Turkish expansion under Osman than under the domestic rulers. This was also a probable reason for the rapid decline of the Balkans states. The most serious consequence of the Christian-Islamic struggle on Croatian soil was the splitting up of a previously homogenous people. The 100-year struggle between the Islamic and Christian worlds was fought with utmost bitterness on both sides, and the line of combat ran crosswise through Croatia for 250 years. Both sides had their own "demolition-commandos" that were used for raids against the enemy. Innumerable Croats left their homeland either as emigrants or as prisoners from the 15th through the 18th Centuries. The national focal point of the Croats slowly started to shift toward the north in the beginning of the 15th century. Aristocracy and common people alike exited en masse from the endangered areas to the still safe northern Croatia, into the region between the Kulpa, Sava, and Drava rivers. Later these strangers went to Hungary, Carinthia, Styria, to Lower Austria and Moravia, into Slovakia, over the sea to southern Italy, and to Flanders. The emigration of the Croatian people was made in two waves. In the 16th century the 1st wave of emigration swept into northern Dalmatia, the region of Lika, and the area between the Vrbas, and Kulpa Rivers, and West Slovenia, where the Christian-Islamic boundaries were established after the fall of Bosnia. These refugees initially populated Upper Croatia. The Burgenland Croats are the descendants of the Croatian refugees of that time. We are not concerned with the 2nd wave of emigration because it does not apply to the subject of this treatise. Besides these two large emigration streams, Croats still fled in smaller groups from their homeland in the 15th and 16th centuries. One cannot determine with precision the number of refugees based on the status of exiting research. It amounts however to several hundred thousand refugees. The Croatian people suffered a still greater loss by mass abductions. 100,000 Croats vanished into the Turkish Empire. Finally, innumerable losses were incurred in the battles of the 300-Year old Wars between Turks and Croats. This deeply moving period of the Croatian past is sparsely investigated even today. Professor Pavicic concerns himself in detail with the emigration of the Croats during the time of the Turks, but unfortunately his labors remain scantily published even today (note 25). Valuable material can be found in the short but informative commentary "The Catholic Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Past and Present" of Draganovic. The following chronological overview summarizes only the most important dates from that period of time. Abducting Croats into slavery already began early in the 15th century and continued to the end of the 16th century. One can estimate the seizure of more than 10,000 subjects in each generation. Only the largest predatory assaults are mentioned in the following paragraphs.

1. The first Turkish invasion occurred in 1415 when the Turks pushed forward over Bosnia and Croatia toward Cilli (Celje). They plundered villages and towns along the way and caught around 30,000 slaves. The area around Sissek (Sisak) suffered particularly at that time.

2. Mohammed II, the Turkish Sultan, led 100,000 adult slaves out of Bosnia, and 30,000 boys upon the collapse of the Kingdom in 1463.

3. The Turks broke out of Bosnia into the area around the cities of Lika and Krbava in 1469, and penetrated up to the fortress of Zengg (Senj) which was subdued with minimum difficulty. From there they assaulted the area around Modrus and reached the river Kulpa as far as Carinthia. 60,000 people were led off on the return path. A second Turkish strike occurred in the same year, and an additional 15,000 Croats were taken captive.

4. The Turks initially plundered in Dalmatia until they were in front of the city walls of Split, Sebenico (Sibenik), and Zadar. From there they broke through Croatia up to Ljubljana and Celje, and 30,000 Christians were either arrested or slain in this foray.

5. Croatia and Slovenia were struck heavily in the autumn of 1474. The region around Zagorje was heavily damaged at this time, as the Turks lived there for 14 days and abducted 14,000 people. Dalmatia-Croatia also suffered severely in the same year. The chronicler Unrest wrote at this time that Slavonia was so ravaged in this tug of war, "that one could not see neither house nor human for 10 miles." The chronicler further reported: "Croatia is almost entirely burned down, looted, and the people dragged away. Only some cities and attached villages remained. The territory around Karst is in ashes and for the most part looted. The region of Zagorje is to a large extent burned down, the people led away, and the livestock snatched away."

6. In 1494, the Turks crossed the Sava river around Mitrovica, thrust towards Zagreb (Agram), and plundered particularly in the areas of Zagorje and Samobor. They swept away 7,000 slaves in the invasion of Styria.

7. 10,000 people, under the rule of the Keglovic family, were led into slavery in 1510 from the regions of Bijela Stijena and Seoci (Western Slavonia).

8. In 1514 the Bosnian Moslems took 3,000 prisoners in Lika and Northern Dalmatia.

9. Sultan Soliman returned to Croatia after the abortive siege of Güns (Koszek) in 1532. He began with the devastation and capture of slaves near the place of Rasinja, in the District of Koprivnica. A part of his army under the leadership of the Grand Vizier Ibrahim, moved from the village of Krizeci above Gudovac, Cazma, Moslavina, and Velika Kraljeva into the area by the river Sava. The Sultan led the second part of the army along the river Drava beyond Kopreinitz (Koprivnica) and Veroze (Virovitica) in the County of Pozega which was then still in the hands of the Christians. The Sultan forbid robbing at the place called Gorjan (District of Sisak), because his army was already on Turkish ground. 50,000 Croats were dragged into slavery at that time.

10. In 1536, Pascha Mahmud Johiogli broke into Slovenia, plundered 39 villages around the town of Pozega and led 70,000 Croats into captivity.

11. The Bosnian Pascha broke into the region between the Una and Kulpa rivers in 1556 that had remained relatively spared until then, conquered the city of Kostajnica, and dragged 45,000 men, women, and children into slavery.

12. In the years 1591 to 1592, the Bosnian Pascha Hasan annihilated over 100 villages and led 35,000 people out of the areas of Petrinja, Jaska, Turopolje, and BozjakovinaIn a period of 177 years, around 500,000 people were carried into slavery from the 12 wars in the Croatian countries. This number refers only to the prisoners captured during the large Turkish raids. However with the smaller daily incursions committed by the so-called Martalozen, the Croats incurred additional personnel losses. Whereas this "handed down" information about the number of casualties appears rather overstated to us, it provides however a vivid picture of the devastation wrought on the Croatian countries. We estimated the number of inhabitants (in Croatia) prior to the Turkish Wars to total approximately 2,000,000 people. The number of the prisoners was derived in proportion to the number of inhabitants. Sources described Christian Croatia as a desert in the 16th century. Bosnia was more inhabited since the Turks settled a part of the Christian slaves there. The bulk of the captured Croats however were scattered throughout the entire Turkish Empire. While innumerable Croats were abducted to the southeast, hundreds of thousands sought liberation by emigrating to the south, west, and particularly to the north. About 30,000 Croats settled in today's Burgenland. 

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XIII - Serbian Islands in Croatian Lands

The deserted areas that resulted from the disappearance of the Croats did not remain uninhabited because the Turkish landholders needed workers, and they also wanted to protect the border against the Christian world. For this purpose, a coarse, restless, pastoral tribe was fetched who emerged from a mixture of Slavic, Roman, and Albanian blood from the area of the later Montenegro, and from the mountains between the Adriatic Sea and the river Drina. These people who were called Walachs and who mostly spoke a Roman language started to move along the Dinari Alps and the Velebit Mountains up to Istria in the 14th and 15th centuries. [(note 25) Pavicic Stjepen: "On the language in Slavonia up to the Turkish War and the Great Migrations in the 16th and 17th centuries, Volume 22," and "the Settlement of the Lika Area" in the Almanac of Lika, 1934.] The collapse of the old order that achieved its high point in the 16th and 17th centuries in the Balkans facilitated this move. The Turkish Lords soon recognized the utility of this enterprising, merry (martial?), and restless pastoral tribe, and incorporated them into their military units. Thus Turkish auxiliary and reconnaissance troops came into being. In the 15th century, these shepherds were already on the Turkish border, by the lower Vrbas River in middle Bosnia, and established on the right side of the Dinaric Alps. The Turkish Walachs settled in all districts between the villages of Orljavac and Ilova (in Pozega County) after the heavy fighting in West Slavonia. The Walachs along with the Turkish military pushed into the spacious settlements vacated to a large extent by the population resulting from the conquest of the lower Una river area, and the castles of Cetingrad and Knin. After 1556 they established themselves in the river basin of the upper Una River, where a part of the original inhabitants had been taken prisoner, and the others fled to either Austria or Hungary.

Sometime later the Turkish settled the Walach shepherds near the southern Velebit Mountains. Around 1550, the Turkish authorities ordered wide wooded areas to be cleared that stretched from the Una river beyond the villages of Lapat and Srba until Adlina, Lovinac and Koren, and led people in there from the interior of the Balkans peninsula who had Orthodox beliefs. The expansive fields of central Lika that had remained empty were finally settled around 1577. Special formations were set up on the Turkish side along the entire Croatian border that provided military services on the Turkish military boundary. The farmers of this field were not required to do Robot (obliged to do certain work for the domain owner), however together with their Islamic Land owners they were obliged to wage war against the Christians. After the surrender of Bosnia in the 15th century, all of Bosnia formed a military boundary against Croatia. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Turkish military border extended from West Slavonia and Turkish Croatia, by the Una river area and Lika until the Velebit Mountains. The Turks settled the Walachs there, who were the Turkish auxiliary troops that were mentioned earlier. The Croatian State Parliament in the 16th century complained that the Walachs and Martalozen (pillaging auxiliary troops), as the Turkish vanguard, scorched and burned villages causing harm and abducted people in smaller raids. The Croatians finally ordered in 1586 that every captured Martalozen be speared alive (impaled?) to serve as an example of deterrence. The Croatian Parliament had never passed a resolution like this against the Moslems. 12,000 Martalozen reinforcements were stationed along the entire length of the Bosnian border from the Drava River to the Adriatic Sea by the end of the 18th century. The Turks had 6,500 regular soldiers besides these Martalozen. The settlement of the Walachs in Croatia established the foundation for the Orthodox Church in the 16th and 17th centuries. There were 10 Roman Catholic Diocese in today's Bosnia and in Herzegovina before the Turkish Wars with 45 Franciscan monasteries, and numerous monasteries of the St. John, Benedictine, Paulist, and Dominican Orders. Several convents of the Order of St. Claire also existed. Bogumiles lived alongside the Catholics also in this time, in those parts of Bosnia that belonged to Croatia before the arrival of the Turks. Orthodoxy appeared in Bosnia and Herzegovina only after the defeat of Bosnia. During the 16th century, Serbian Orthodox cloisters were established on the territory of the Turkish Empire up to the Croatian Turkish boundary. Walach herdsman and Walach auxiliary troops accompanied the Orthodox priests. In the 19th century, this Serbian influence finally imparted a Serbian mentality to the immigrated Orthodox Walachs on Croatian territory. The Serb settlement is to be differentiated from the Montenegro-Walach settlement, which came about through the systematic movement of Serbian nationalism from the south to the north. This movement led across Sirmien (Mitrovica) into the eastern part of the Batschka and into the Banat. The third component of today's Serbian nationality in the Croatian areas resulted from mass conversions of Catholics to the Orthodox Faith during the time of the Turkish Domain owners. Draganovics was the first to refer to this fact which had been overlooked up to now. There is good verification that entire Catholic communities converted to the Orthodox faith, particularly in eastern Herzegovina in the 17th century. The reason for this was twofold. There was a scarcity of Catholic priests, and publications with an Orthodox clergy viewpoint of Catholicism that had the full support of the Turkish authorities. The same process took place in Montenegro, where traces of the earlier Catholics had vanished in the 17th century. 

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XIV - The Weakness of the Christian Occident

In order to turn away the ever-approaching Turkish danger, the Croats and Hungarians sought aid from their western and northern neighbors. After the death of Matthias Corvin in 1490, the noblemen appointed the good-natured, but weak Bohemian King Wladislav to the throne, who was a very energetic and faithful supporter of the farmers and citizens, but was not a friend of the Domain owners. The most urgent concern of the aristocracy was that the City of Ofen (Budapest) State Parliament remove all of the regulations of the former King Matthias Corvin that were concerned with the military and state tax assessments. In their egoism, the nobility went so far as to subordinate the public and national interests to their own. The consequence of a weakened royal power was evidenced shortly however, particularly in the nation's financial state of distress, which was the primary reason for the later nationwide decline. Under pressure from the aristocracy, Wladislav had to disband the "Black Army," which numbered 150,000 men under Matthias Corvin on land, and 330 warships which were deployed on the Adriatic sea, and the Danube, Drava, and Sava rivers. Archduke Ferdinand of Austria married Anna, the daughter of Wladislav in 1521, and one year later Ludwig, the son of Wladislav II, married Maria of Austria, who was the sister of Ferdinand. By this marriage, the Roman-German Emperor Carl V became the brother-in-law of the Bohemian-Hungarian-Croatian King Ludwig II. In view of the imperial sphere of influence that extended via Spain, the Netherlands, and a part of America, the Croats and the Hungarians depended upon appropriate external aid against the attacking Turks. The state of affairs of the State deteriorated even more upon the death of Wladislav II in 1516, when Ludwig II the only son of Wladislav succeeded his father onto the throne of Bohemia, Hungary, and Croatia at the age of ten. The fact that he did not receive the correct educators and guardians did not improve the already diminished image of the state. Greedy tycoons siphoned off the greatest part of the revenue for themselves. The need of the rural population, the middle class, and even of the royal court was great, but the wantonness of the nobility was even greater. The necessary money for the army was missing. Not even Ludwig II himself could remove this evil as he was aged and married to Maria from Austria. The weaknesses of the State's political body also became apparent in other respects at that time. The feudal system enabled the nobility to encumber the farmers with intolerable burdens. Since the time of Ludwig I (14th century), the farmer in addition to the Zehent (a one tenth tax on his crops and bred cattle) was still obliged to deliver one ninth of his profit to his domain owner. He had to do Robot (an obligation to do certain work for the domain owner) one day every week, pay a Gold ducat per annum, in addition to performing many other services. In addition, for a long time he was not allowed to leave a hard-hearted Lord for a better one. The plight of the farmer led to subsequent uprisings in Hungary, Croatia, Austria, and Germany. Perhaps the farmers did not attack the Turks in 1514, but rather their own rulers. It wasn't only the castles that fell into the hands of the Turks because of the unfortunate laws of 1514. The conditions were not rosy in Austria and Germany either. The egotistic and miserly aristocracy did not want to make the urgent sacrifices here in the best interests of the State. In addition to this the second schism, the Reformation destroyed the original unity of the state, and prohibited an attack against the Turks for a long time. Hantsch aptly describes the powerlessness of the empire when he says:

"One saw Hungarian and Bohemian envoys in the Emperor's court in a constant and fruitless endeavor to secure extensive assistance against the attacking enemy from the East. Who could deny King Ludwig the right of aid to the Kingdom? It was not only in the interest of the Kingdom, but as a holy obligation to Christianity, in which the Kingdom held the recognized position of preeminence. The Hungarian King, who could not rely on a cohesive internal power, relied on the effectiveness of treaties and kindred spirit. In vain! The Empire missed the important moment to extend its influence to the East. Because of its own fragmentation, it was no longer capable of grasping a European function and putting aside the interests of its factions. The damage inflicted on the Empire by the Reformation had already been too heavy."

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XV - Ban Peter Bereslavic

When the Turks saw the impotence of the Croatians and Hungarians, they exploited the opportunity and attacked the Una River area, which the Ban Peter Bereslavic, Bishop of Veszprem, defended heroically. Ban Peter defeated the Turks several times in the years from 1513 until 1518 and the courageous Ban turned to all sides for assistance. Ragusa (Republic of Dubrovnik) sent him minor help, the Pope sent grain, gunpowder, and cannons, but the Croatian Parliament gave him only money for the Army. In spite of his bravery, the Ban barely managed to resist the superiority of the Turks. After the Turks had conquered the entire area up to the river Una, only the strong fortress of Jayce remained as an island within the Turkish area. Being an island within a Turkish controlled area, food and weapon supplies for Jajce were heavily endangered. The Ban succeeded to safeguard them when he defeated the Turks in the vicinity of Jayce in 1518. The Turks broke through again in 1520 to Istria. Ban Berislavic moved against the Turks in their retreat and engaged them in battle. A battle occurred in the month of May in the mountains of Pljesevica between the cities of Korenica and Bihac, in which the heroic Ban was killed. He was mourned not only in Croatia, but also in the courts of Pope Leo X, King Ludwig II, and King Karl V.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XVI - Soliman II (1520–1566)

Soliman II became the leading ruler of the Turks in this year, and the Turkish Empire reached its apex under his administration. He conquered Belgrade in 1521, which was the golden key to Hungary and Slavonia. An imminent collision between Hungary and Turkey was anticipated after the fall of Belgrade. In those times Croatia experienced difficult days, and Ban Joannes Karlovic (1521–1528) defended the country heroically. The Turks in the meantime conquered the fortifications of Knin and Skradin in 1522 and in the next year Ostrovica as well. Because King Ludwig II didn't send a single soldier or ducat to them during this great plight, the Croats turned to King Ferdinand of Habsburg who supported them with money and armed forces. Thus Ferdinand concurrently protected his domains of Krain, Carinthia, and Styria. We have now come to the period of time during which the first Croats came as refugees out of the Croatian coastal lands, from the areas surrounding the towns of Knin, Skradin, and Ostrovica, into today's northern Burgenland, and into the villages of Drassburg, Baumgarten, Siegendorf, Oslip, and Trausdorf.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XVII - The Burgenland Settlements before the Immigration of the Croatians

The Plague that decimated the population of the country raged in the years 1409 and 1410. The second half of the15th century was witness to a long-standing war between the Hungarian King Matthias Corvin, and the Roman-German King Friedrich III. (The castles of Hornstein, Oslip, and Trausdorf were destroyed in this time period. We can safely assume that the castle of Wulkaprodersdorf suffered the same fate.) All circumstances suggest that the villages of the Wulka valley suffered greatly, and in addition, another long persistent economic crisis arrived. A high percentage of the sparse settlement of this area can be attributed to these circumstances. The Turks moved against Wien (Vienna) in 1529 when the country had just barely recovered. Along the way they ravaged many villages in the current Districts of Neusiedl and Eisenstadt. Three years later the Turks moved again towards Vienna, however this time they didn't march north along the River Danube, but over portions of Burgenland. The courageous Nicholas Jurischitz stopped them for 25 entire days at Güns (Koszeg). Ferdinand I and Karl V his brother used this time to assemble the German Army for the protection of the endangered city of Vienna. Burned villages and people abducted into slavery were the hallmarks of these Turkish invasions. Among other things, Adalbert E. Winkler writes in his book "Die Zisterzienser am Neusiedler See" (The Cistercians by Lake Neusiedl), "The Turks raided the village of Mönchhof and the adjacent farms belonging to it for the first time in 1529. The village was burned and plundered, many of the inhabitants who could not save themselves in time by fleeing were abducted or killed. The destructive deeds of the advancing Turks affected the surroundings as well." This fact follows from a letter of the Abbot Christoph, in which he says: "the Turks have destroyed the village of Halbturm along with a stud farm located there." In the same year (1529), the Turks also destroyed all villages in the proximity of Mönchhof that belonged to religious institutions such as Vogeldorf, Pellendorf, Katzendorf, and Muhldorf. The subjects in the monastery abandoned these villages as a result of the devastation, which remained deserted for a long time, and were subsequently lost to the monastery. Villages that belonged to religious institutions such as Zechun, Lendorf, and Michldorf to Opfer, also fell in the Turkish invasion of 1529, only Mönchhof and Podersdorf were gradually rebuilt again. The other farms and municipalities whose inhabitants did not return remained abandoned, and soon ruins and rubbish heaps were the only remaining evidence of their previous existence. The Urbar compiled by Captain Jacob Stamp for the Ungarisch-Altenburg Domain in 1546 provides even after 17 years of busy rebuilding efforts, a still moving depiction of these times aptly characterizing the scene of this militant period. The Philologist Moor placed the responsibility for the depopulation of west Hungary in the 15th Century on the Plague of 1409–1410 and the border wars between Friedrich III and Matthias Corvin (Adolf Mohl, "History of the County of Oedenburg." Volume 1, 1889). Of the 23 whole or partial settlements belonging to the Domain of Ungarisch-Altenburg, 9 were totally or partially deserted (Zitzmanndorf, Halberndorf, St. Andrea, Eggendorf, Parndorf, Neudorf, Radensdorf, Billern, and Rittern), of which only a few were settled again. We gather from the work "Der Verwaltungsbezirk Neusiedl am See" (The administration of the District Neusiedl by the Lake) that the villages of Kittsee, Pama, Gattendorf, Potzneusiedl, Parndorf, and Neudorf bei Parndorf were destroyed to a large extent in 1529. Only after the retreat of the Turks did the Croats newly resettle them. Since we already found Croatian Franciscans in Pressburg (Bratislava) in 1520, and the nearby lower Austrian villages of Scharndorf and Petronell were inhabited by Croats in 1531, it is probable that Croats were also able to come to some of the above-mentioned villages, as these were easier to reach than Pressburg, Scharndorf, and Petronell. This theory is supported by the fact that the Croatian inhabitants of the above mentioned municipalities came from the Croatian coastal areas which its inhabitants left after repeated attacks of the Turks around 1530. Only Neudorf bei Parndorf was settled with new Croats later in 1570. Among the villages that were destroyed by the Turks it is necessary to count three small towns lying on the right-bank of the Danube River that were given to Czechoslovakia after the Second World War: Karlburg=Rosvar, now RusovceKroatisch, Jahrndorf=Hrvatski Jandrof, now Jarovce, Sarndorf=Cunovo, now Dunavee.

Municipalities that belonged to the Ungarisch-Altenburg Domain suffered less. Twenty-six years after the retreat by the Turks, 6 of the 35 villages located in the Domain remained deserted. The devastation reached its climax in these municipalities in the early 16th century according to the Urbar (Land Registration records) of the Domain of Eisenstadt of 1515, and the real estate register of the Earldom of Forchtenstein. In Wulksprodersdorf (in the Domain of Eisenstadt) 10 out of 19 whole sessiones (a certain fixed portion of the village land) were desolate. 8 farmers cultivated the land belonging to 9 farms (Bauernwirtschaft). One farmer even cultivated fields belonging to a Söllner house (home of an inhabitant owning no land). The fields of 9 farms and 1 Söllner house were deserted. Six out of the 21 possessions in Trausdorf (Domain of Eisenstadt) were deserted. None of the 13 possessions in Trausdorf (Earldom of Forchtenstein) were deserted. Fourteen out of the 30 farms in Oslip (Domain of Eisenstadt) were deserted. Seven of the 23 farms in Zagersdorf (Domain of Eisenstadt) were deserted. Fourteen out of the 19 farms in Antau (Earldom of Forchtenstein) were deserted. Two out of the 9 farms in Drassburg (Earldom of Forchtenstein) were deserted. Twelve out of the 28 farms in Sigless (Earldom of Forchtenstein) were deserted. Zillingtal and Steinbrunn were totally deserted before the immigration of the Croats. The following remark is associated with Zillingtal in the Land Registration Records of the Earldom of Forchtenstein: "this village has been totally deserted and was re-populated with Croats." Twenty out of the 53 pieces of land belonging to houses in St. Margarethen were deserted. Eighteen out of about 79 pieces of land belonging to houses in Purbach were deserted. Twenty-eight out of 36 lands belonging to houses were deserted in Krensdorf, besides a deserted mill. Seven out of 48 pieces of land belonging to houses in Forchtenau were deserted. Seven out of 44 pieces of land belonging to houses in Marz were deserted. Five out of 38 pieces of land belonging to houses in Pottsching were deserted. Seventy-two out of 156 pieces of land belonging to houses in Mattersburg were deserted besides two deserted mills. Four out of 8 pieces of land belonging to houses in Zemendorf were deserted. None of the12 pieces of land belonging to houses in Stöttera were deserted besides a deserted mill. We read from the last page of the Forchtenstein Urbar (Land Registration Records) from the early 16th century: "These and many more villages and areas were totally deserted. Nobody knows exactly where they had been situated and what they contributed to the domain. Furthermore the names of these villages and grounds are not known." Klingenbach, which belonged to the Oedenburg City Domain, had 14 serfs and 10 Kleinhäusler 26 years after the withdrawal of the Turks (Johann Ban in his historical work "Sopron ujkori Tortenete").

J.K. Homma writes as follows in his paper "Zur Geschichte der Herrschaft Nebersdorf" (The History of the Domain of Nebersdorf): "The series of settlements around Nebersdorf were significantly thinned out in the 14th and 15th centuries. Partially this is the consequence of the Black Death in 1409–1410, of the border wars in the second half of the 15th century, and of an economic crisis that resulted from both events." As a minimum, Zaka (Purtzelsdorf), Minichhof, and Rosgrunt as well as Ambus (Spanfurt) were already deserted in 1455. In this year, the Abbey of Klostermarienberg complained that although the deserted settlements had belonged to its property, the inhabitants of Lutzmannsburg had occupied some of the territory of Zaga, Minihof, Rosgrunt and Ambus. As was already suggested, the number of Sessiones (a certain fixed portion of the village land) had decreased by such a large count that some communities were almost deserted. This was also the case with Nebersdorf, Grosswarasdorf, Grossmutschen, Kleinmutschen, and Langental (Karako). Thus in the first half of the 16th century, the aristocrats of the country were forced to repopulate their properties with new settlers. This was not an easy beginning. The Ambus-Spanfurt settlement was a deserted village in 1504 because, at the end of the 15th century, new settlers still had not arrived, one had to lease the property to the farmers of Lutzmannsburg, and later on it had to be incorporated into the municipality of Lutzmannsburg. The recruitment of German settlers led to mediocre results, because in our area, the times following the border feuds and Turkish wars were still much too disorderly and dangerous for the Germans. "So only the Croats were available as settlers for the area, those who left their homeland because of the attacking Turks, and appeared in the border area either on the orders of their landlords, who like Nadasdy, had property in Croatia also. Or they were just in search of a new home on their own after their houses were destroyed. The small town of Niczkyschen in the Domain of Nebersdorf was settled with Croats in this way."

The Croatian villages of Kaiserdorf and Weingraben were only settled after 1553. From the Urbar of the Domain of Landsee of 1640 we gather that 33 out of 85 families in Kaiserdorf were given deserted sessiones (a certain fixed portion of village land) and, 34 out of 66 families in Weingraben were given the same. The village of Langental was only founded between 1784 and 1845, and it is situated where the old Slavic villages of Draguta and Karako were located in 1229 until 1430. In the history of Lockenhaus we read the often-said sentence: "in 1608 everything was like it was in 1597, but most mills were burnt to ashes by the Turks." The sad status of the Domains is further highlighted by a second sentence which says that in 13 communities of the Domain, fully 1/3rd (31 out of 90) of the quarter (1/4th) sessiones were abandoned, not being worked, or burned down. Approximately 8 years after the withdrawal of the Turks, the Land Registration records of the Schlaining and Rechnitz Domains for the year 1540 show that the villages of southern Burgenland were still sparsely settled. A large part of the farms were desolate after the Turkish campaign of 1532.

1. 31 farms out of the 80 in Rechnitz were deserted.
2. 12 farms out of the 21 in Prinzendorf were deserted.
3. 3 farms out of the 6 in Melesdorf were deserted.
There are other totally deserted villages here, and since they were very overgrown, the number of abandoned farms is not very well known.
4. 3 farms out of the 7 in Zachenbach were deserted.
5. 9 farms out of the 18 in Schachendorf were deserted.
6. 5 farms out of the 10 in Schandorf were deserted.
7. 24 farms out of the 45 in Hodis were deserted.
8. 10 farms out of the 22 in Durnbach were deserted.
9. 13 farms out of the 18 in Grossnahring were deserted.
10. 7 farms out of the 13 in Schilding were deserted.
11. 6 farms out of the 11 in Zuberbach were deserted.
12. 2 farms out of the 3 in Allersdorf were deserted.
13. 5 farms out of the 13 in Neumarkt were deserted.
14. None of the 6 farms in Altschlaining were deserted.
None of the 6 farms in the suburbs were deserted, and 6 of the 19 farms were deserted in the city.
15. 3 farms out of the 7 in Drumling were deserted.
16. 8 farms out of the 9 in Grafenschachen were deserted.
17. 3 farms out of the 11 in Loipersdorf were deserted.
2 farms has been abandoned there, and no one knows when the last inhabitants dwelled in them.
18. None of the farms (out of 5) in Kitzladen were deserted.
19. None of the farms (out of 13) in Buchschachen were deserted.
20. 2 farms out of the 17 in Alhau were deserted. Besides these, there were also 18 deserted farm places, 14 of them that were overgrown with thorns and flowers. As long as the inhabitants can remember, no one ever lived in these places.
21. None of the farms (out of 23) in Wolfau were deserted.
22. 4 farms out of the 20 in Kemeten were deserted.
23. There were 23 farms in Grosspetersdorf and 6 places where a house had been built. There were 12 abandoned and deserted places in a village towards the West where farmhouses had been built.
24. 4 out of 7 places where farmhouses had been built in Miedlingsdorf were deserted.
25. There were 6 farms and 3 deserted places where farmhouses had been built in Welgersdorf.
26. There were 4 farms and 3 deserted places where farmhouses had been built in Hannersdorf. There was also a deserted mill.
27. In Burg an dem Pinka were 8 active farms, and 1 deserted place where a farmhouse had been built.
28. There were 3 farms and 1 deserted place where a farmhouse had been built in Eisenberg an dem Pinka.
29. Everything is abandoned in Woppendorf since the Turks had taken away all of the inhabitants.
30. There were 4 farms and 3 deserted places where farmhouses had been built in Badersdorf.
31. There were 2 farms and 2 deserted places where farmhouses had been built in Grossbachselten and Kleinbachselten.

The expanded Domain of Güssing also must have been sparsely settled, because its owner, Franz Batthyany, obtained an agreement in 1524 from King Ludwig II, to settle Croats acquired from his Croatian farms on his new properties. The year 1532 appears to have passed by without incident for the Domains of Güssing and Eberau, as alleged by Nicholas Jurischitz in his letter to Ferdinand I from Güns on August 30th, 1532. In this letter we read among other things, that Vizier Pascha Abraham asked Jurischitz why he did not surrender to the Turkish Emperor Soliman as Franz Batthyany and Peter Erdody did, who had given up their fortresses, and remained unharmed. From this selection of historical data taken from all parts of our country, we can conclude that our current homeland was very sparsely settled in the 16th century prior to the immigration of the Croats, and that therefore most of the soil remained uncultivated.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XVIII - The Croatians in Battle with the Turks

The fields near Krbava - The Croatian Field of Blackbirds: We have already mentioned that because of the pressure of the Aristocrats, King Wladislav had to dismiss the strong "Black Army," even as the Turkish danger approached ever closer. From Bosnia, the Turks repeatedly attacked Krain, Carinthia, and Styria in order to plunder these countries. When the belligerent Pascha Jacob attacked with a strong army from Croatia into Krain and Carinthia, the Croatian Ban with the Croatian Aristocracy awaited him in the fields of Krbava. The Croatian army was completely routed here on September 9, 1493, and the blood of the Croatian Aristocrats remained on the battlefield. The fields of Krbava became for the Croats what the field of the blackbirds was for the Serbs. A long period of battles followed after this defeat during which the Croatian people desperately defended their homeland. After the battle of Krbava the Turks swarmed into the counties of Lika and Krbava up to the Adriatic Sea.

The following note, written into his prayer book by a Glagolithic Priest, is indicative of the terrors that the Croatians endured at that time: "Then the mothers, widows, and many others began to cry. Over all these areas a great sorrow spread among all mankind, as could not be remembered to have been the case since the Tatars, Goths, and the heinous Attila." 10,000 dead or badly hurt men remained on the fields of Krbava, while the hostile army spread out into the villages as far as the Una River to kill or take prisoners. When the last of the Turkish troops had retreated and the remaining inhabitants from Lika and Krbava returned to their homes, anguish arose that stirred the hardest of hearts. Divnic, the Bishop of Nin, also depicted the misery of the Croatians as described above in a letter to Pope Alexander III. He reported that he was a witness to a bloody slaughter that the Turks carried out among the Croatians. Among other things he wrote, that the Turks devastated the fields, felled trees, and destroyed villages and cities. They plundered from prisoners, kept them under yoke as animals, or crucified them, drove them barefoot and naked over sharp rocks, led them bound in ropes until half dead, or tied them to horses tails. With whips and clubs they beat crying, emaciated women, who were bespattered with the blood of their children. They abused maidens and persons consecrated to God. Children and young men were led into slavery bound as animals. They used all kinds of instruments of torture. Whenever he would recall the horrors, he could hardly keep from fainting, because his mind went blank. Soldiers that fell on the fields of Krbava lay unburied and were left to the wild animals and birds of prey. Countless rigid corpses lay everywhere on the paths, and were torn to pieces by wolves, bears, and other animals. No one was there capable of burying the dead.

Similar descriptions depict almost two centuries of the history of Croatia. The Turks fell back many times with bloodied heads before heroic defenders who were eventually forced to retreat before the superior strength of the foe, however the Turks gained ground step by step. Masses of refugees fled from their dwellings and fields after the lost battle with only their most essential belongings into safe countries such as Hungary, Styria, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Slovakia, and Moravia. Since these ruined countries were sparsely settled and lacked industrious people, the aristocrats required these unfortunate refugees because they endeavored as it was said, "to adorn their properties with many people."

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XIX - Immigration of Croatians into Today's Burgenland

There always was a connection between the Turkish attacks and the migration of the fleeing Croats. The main migration into our cramped homeland lasted from 1515 to 1579, as we know today. Since three Croatian municipalities had scarce German majorities around 1579, and many new family names emerged as of this time, we can assume that the migration was not completed in the year 1579. The so-called "Walachs" settled in the areas of Schlaining, Rechnitz, and Rotenturm in the second half of the 17th century. The Croatian author Mate Ujevic wrote about the Migration of the Croats in his book "Gradiscanski Hrvati,"

"The Croatian farmers left their old homeland in such large quantities that some Croat areas were void of inhabitants. This fact caused the Croatian Aristocrats to take a stance against the migration of the Croatian farmers into Austria and Hungary. In 1532, the Croatian Aristocracy complained to King Ferdinand about the Hungarian, Styrian, and Austrian domain owners, that they were enticing Croatian farmers to emigrate, leaving White Croatia without protection. In 1535, the Croatian Parliament assembled in Topusko and selected two emissaries from their midst, Johann Tumpic and Michael Budisic, to present the complaints and demands of the Parliament to the King. The most serious complaint consisted of the allegation that the Aristocrats of Krain, Austria and Hungary sent messengers to Croatia, tempting the Croatian farmers to leave their homeland and to emigrate to the domains of Krain, Lower Austria or Hungary. The Croatian Parliament requested the King to prohibit further relocations and arrange for the already resettled farmers to return to statute labor farming. The protests of the Croatian Aristocrats and State Parliament were not successful for the time being. When the emigration did not stop and the Turks oppressed Croatia even more strongly, the King and the Hungarian Parliament decided in 1550 that the migration of the Croat serfs would be permitted if they (the subjects) desired. The Domain owners, under the threat of punishment prescribed by law, could not detain the emigration of any serfs. Contrary to the continuous petitions of the Croatian Aristocracy until the end of the 16th Century, the Croat emigrants did not return to their old homeland."

Croat sources testify that the first inhabitants left the Croatian coastal country of their homeland, namely from the areas of Senj (Zengg) up to Obrovac, particularly however from the plains of the rivers Lika, Gacka, and Krbava. The move began in 1522 and continued until 1527, after which the situation quieted down. The Turks left these areas in peace for a while because the magnates of the region, Frangepani and Zrinyi paid them tribute. We find traces of these emigrants in Trausdorf an der Wulka, Purbach, Schutzen am Gebirge, Oslip, Apetlon, and Illmitz.

The causes of these first migrations to the north were the repeated attacks of the Turks on the Croatian coastal country. The painful wounds from the defeat at Krbava had not yet healed when the Turks began to invade this region again. They conquered the fortified locales of Knin and Skradin in 1522, and Ostrovica in 1528. Because the Hungarian King Ludwig II could not send any "soldiers or money (Ducaten)" due to (being in) difficult circumstances, the inhabitants of the Croatian coastlands were on their own, and flight was their only way to avoid being killed or taken into slavery by the Turks. The defeat at Mohacs on August 29, 1526 was momentous not only for Hungary, but also for Croatia. On hearing the bad news concerning Mohacs, the inhabitants of Croatia, and particularly those from Slavonia were overcome with a great anxiety.

Everyone thought of fleeing as they anticipated that the Turkish Emperor Soliman would destroy everything upon his return. We must understand that many Croatian refugees arrived in Oedenburg already by the ninth day after the disaster of Mohacs. It is safe to assume that a part of these Croats settled in Siegendorf and Baumgarten.

Total confusion reigned in Croatia, when the Croatian magnates selected the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand to be the King of Croatia on January 1, 1527, but the Slavonian aristocracy and the Hungarian magnates chose Johann Zapolya to be King. This duplicate election plunged the country into a three-year civil war, which the Turks promptly took advantage of and initiated new attacks. They conquered the fortified cities of Obrovac and Udbina in 1527. The important fortresses of Jajce and Banja Luka in northwest Bosnia fell into Turkish hands at the start of 1528. The Turks advanced up to the strongly reinforced City of Senj (Zengg) after these conquests, and occupied the entire surroundings of Lika and Krbava in 1529. These events sustained the torrent of fleeing refugees. When Sultan Soliman stood in front of Wien (Vienna) in 1529 with a powerful army, and then moved again towards Vienna in 1532, entire areas in West Hungary and Lower Austria were plundered and devastated. As a result, a massive emigration of Croats began from the endangered neighborhoods into the regions that were devastated by the Turks in 1529 and 1532. We find these emigrants in the Lower Austrian villages of Scharndorf and Petronell in 1531 and in the small towns of Schönau, Gänseldorf, Teesdorf, and Trumau, near Baden in 1533. From a complaint sent by this municipality to Emperor Karl IV in July 1716, it follows that Croats also lived in Drassburg at that time (in the part that was under Paul Vardai, the Archbishop of Gran). The community of Kittsee had a narrative with the title "Kittsee und Nachbarschaft" (Kittsee and Neighborhood) from an unnamed University Professor. From there we read: "The Croats came in the first half of the 16th century, however sometime after 1526. Jacob Von der Dürr, the Pfandherr (one who loaned money and received a Domain as a mortgage) of the county of Forchtenstein since 1533, settled Croats amicably in the depopulated localities of this county. Sigless, Drassburg, Stinkenbrunn, Zillingtal etc. were resettled at that time again. There were already 600 settlers in 1537, predominantly Croats from southern Bosnia."

Composite: See the Urbaria (Land Registration records) of the Eisenstadt Domain from the years 1515 and 1527. 12 Croatian families and a Croatian priest live in Oslip; we find 3 Croatian families in Trausdorf, 1 in Apetlon, 3 in Illmitz, and 2 in Purbach. The Croat, Ivan Post, bought half of the mill situated in Gschiess (now Schutzen am Gebirge), the other half by George Krabat. Since half of Wulkaprodersdorf, Trausdorf and Antau also belonged to this Earldom, we can safely assume that Croats also settled in these villages at the same time.

Unfortunately we only possess the Urbare (Land Registration Records) of the Hornstein Domain from 1561. We can infer from this that Hornstein and Stinkenbrunn (Steinbrunn) were already entirely Croatian villages, and Wulkaprodersdorf was partially Croatian. Rohrbach belonged to the Domain of Landsee along with Baumgarten and Siegendorf. Since we found Croats in the last two small towns in 1528, and because Jacob Von der Duerr settled Croats in several villages of the Earldom of Forchtenstein shortly after 1532, the first Croats also probably came to Rohrbach at the same time. Oslip, Trausdorf, Siegendorf, Baumgarten, Zagersdorf, Drassburg, and Zillingtal were Croatian; Wulkaprodersdorf had a small German majority, while Schutzen am Gebirge had a substantial Croatian minority. Mullendorf, Grosshöflein, Krensdorf, and Stöttera had small Croatian minorities.

In 1542 a Croatian minister named George Soccovich served in the village of Klingenbach which belonged to the Oedenburg City Domain. Rohrbach still had 49 Croatian and 46 German families in 1649. It should be noted in this connection, that Adolf Mohl's contention that Kleinhoflein, Leithaprodersdorf, and Oggau were former germanized Croatian settlements does not agree with the facts. Both Kleinhoflein and Oggau were purely German communities in 1569. Only one Croatian, named Windisch lived in Leithaprodersdorf among 72 German families in 1561. The same was true for St. Margarethen and Schattendorf. No Croatian families lived in Schattendorf in 1589; of the 87 families said to be in St. Margarethen in 1569, 85 had German surnames and only 2 had Croatian names.

We also find early traces of the Croats who immigrated from the south in the District of Pullendorf. In 1522, a Croatian Franciscan was already busy copying the so-called Keszthely Codex in Lockenhaus, which was the seat of the Hungarian magnate Kanizsai's family. This magnate's family settled Croats into their west Hungarian estates who were from the areas surrounding the castles of Velika and Stenicnjak in Croatia and Slavonia. The Kanizsai family owned the Domain of Lockenhaus to which Nikitsch and Unterpullendorf belonged along with 12 other communities, and this family had still other properties south of Oedenburg. Since the Kanizsai male lineage had become extinct in 1532, the Croats must have been settled before the second Turkish assault began. It is not well known today which communities within the Domain of Lockenhaus were settled by the Croatians. Frau Weisspriach, the Baroness of Landsee, had a Croatian servant in 1523.

A Christopher Krabat stayed in Oedenburg as an envoy of Ferdinand in 1527, and in the same year a Croat named Veit, along with many other Croatians were also lodged in Oedenburg.To better understand the settlement history of the Croats in the district of Pullendorf, we need to present the reader with two distinct personalities. The first is Field Captain Nicholas Jurischitz, who received the Domain of Güns (Koszeg) from Ferdinand I for his bravery during the siege of Wien (Vienna) in 1529. Three years later he managed to stop the Turks for 25 days in an attack near Güns with 10 horsemen, 28 Hussars and 700 farmers, and in the process foiled the Turkish advance on Vienna [Jeno Hazi, historian of the royal free city of Oedenburg, Book I. Volume 7, Page 205]. Queen Marie, the widow of Ludwig II, ordered the citizens of Oedenburg to stop the Croatian refugees from passing through Oedenburg, and provide them shelter in the city or suburbs, so that the country might increase its population and property value. Pressburg (Bratislava) on September 7, 1526. Page 340. A Christoph from Aspang stole two oxen from a Croat in Baumgarten and pawned them to another Croat in Siegendorf for around 5 Pounds dinarii.

He received the title of Baron, and the badly-battered Domain of the Klostermarienberg Abbey for this heroic deed. Apart from the fortress, 14 villages belonged to the Domain of Güns, and 10 villages belonged to the Domain of Klostermarienberg. After Hans Kotzianer was killed near Gorjan in 1537, Nicholas Juraschitz who was the Commander in Chief of the military boundaries set up against the Turks succeeded him. Thomas Nadasdy (1494–1562) was the second, but no lesser important personality of that time. Nadasdy became the wealthiest of the Hungarian magnates as a result of his marriage with Ursula Kanizsai in 1532. Most of the municipalities between Lockenhaus and Oedenburg and south of the Lake of Neusiedl were under his rule. Beside other high offices, Nadasdy held the second highest position in Croatia as Ban from 1537 until 1540. He, along his wife Ursula Kanizsai were the owners of the Castle of Velika that was located in Slovenia, and the Domain of Stenicnjak, which was in Croatia. Since the available armed forces were not adequate even with the best of intentions to resist the hostile superiority of the Turks, the castles of Velika, Dubica, Virovtica, and Moslavina were conquered in 1537.

The Croats in the vicinity of these castles fled, and eventually settled on Nadasdy's Estates that were located in West Hungary. Jurischitz did similarly, because he too required industrious hands in order to safeguard the proceeds of his property for himself. As the Turks pressed forward farther westward towards Kostajnica, the castles on the river Una came into danger, and new refugees streamed into the area between Güns and Oedenburg (Sopron) and into the surroundings south of Lake Neusiedl.

The Turks conquered Slavonia shortly after engulfing the coastal country of Croatia. Eastern Slavonia was so badly devastated in 1526, that one hardly found any indications of the former inhabitants after that campaign. The Turks, without a great amount of bloodshed soon occupied the central portion of Slavonia after that. Supporters of the Zapolya Party were in this part of the country. The population in this area survived virtually intact because they did not offer serious opposition to the Turks. On the other hand, the inhabitants in the western sections of the country suffered to such a degree that the land was populated later largely via the influx of other settlers. The Turks fought a guerilla war against this part of Slavonia from 1537 until 1543, which to a large extent was carried out by the so-called Martalozen. Most of the original inhabitants were either killed or abducted into captivity in these battles. Many migrated to Western Croatia or towards West Hungary. These emigrants fled onto the properties of those tycoons who had possessions both in West Slavonia and in West Hungary, as e.g. the Nadasdy, Batthyany, Erdody families and others. Particularly many settled on the properties of the Nadasdy Family who had large Estates in the surroundings of Lockenhaus and Oedenburg. (Klein-Andre, Amhagen, Kohlnhof, Gross-Andre, etc.) Batthyany led many of his Fronbauern (farmers) from the neighborhoods of Kopreinitz (Koprivnica) into southern Burgenland and into the vicinity of Rechnitz and Güssing (e.g. St. Nicholas in Burgenland). Nadasdy settled his serfs around 1537 and 1538, Battyany from 1538 until 1545.

Monk Gregor, from Velika (Kanizsay property in Slavonia, north of Pozega) copied the so-called Keszthely Codex in Lockenhaus from July 24 until November 1, 1522. ("Magyarorszag varmegyei es varosai Vas varmegye" [The Counties and Municipalities of Hungary], the County of Eisenburg, Page 328). Settlers came out of Velika into today's Hungarian village of Endred located to the south of Lake Neusiedl bringing gold-plated chalices and patens with them from 1515. The Oedenburg (Sopron) historian, Imre Nagy, writes, that the magnate family Kanizsay had settled Croats from Bosnia and from the surroundings of the Croatian castles of Velike and Stenicnjak (today's Sjenicak) onto their properties in West Hungary. Even the Keglevic Family who had no properties in western Hungary resettled their Fronbauern (farmers) from their Domain of Bijela Stijena to western Hungary. The Erdody Family brought their subjects from the surroundings of Moslavina into the areas of Rotenturm and the Pinka River, and some years later, settlers from the areas of Rovisce, Raca, and Kopreinitz. The Croats could not hold the areas around the Una River for long after the fall of the important Castle of Kostainica. Nicholas Subic, also called Zrinjski after Castle of Zrin, personally assumed the responsibility for organizing the settlement, and he obtained "salvum conductum" (free passage) and good settlements for 10,000 farmers from this area. The relocation into the safe territories of West Hungary and Slovakia was executed according to plan, and the farmers were allowed to take all their movable belongings into their new homeland. Along the way the farmers of the Zrinji Estates went initially from the regions of Kostajnica to Hrastovica, which occurred after the fall of Kostajnica from 1556 until 1561. These farmers eventually settled on the Zrinji Estates on the Pinka River, and in mid Burgenland. During the second phase of this resettlement, the Croatian farmers from the locale of Kladus migrated up until the Castle of Stenicnjak and from the historical place of Slunj as far as Krstinja (near Karlstadt). These last resettlements continued for 14 years, from 1565 until 1579.These emigrants settled in the present-day District of Pullendorf, into the adjacent Western Hungary, east of Vienna, in Northern Burgenland, into southern Moravia, and southern Slovakia.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XX - The Croatian Dialects in Burgenland

A long cherished desire of the Burgenland Croats was to know the area of Croatia from which their ancestors came. In what has been said up to now, on the whole, answers have been provided to the questions asked. It is necessary to point out the dialects of the Burgenland Croats to the extent this treatise allows, so that our statements appear clear and positive. As is the case with all large populations, dialects developed among the Croatians over the course of time. Our Croats did not speak one and the same dialect, and two distinct dialect groups, namely the Ca and the Sto dialect, are found in Burgenland. The questioning pronoun "what" is employed as a characteristic distinguishing feature. The "Cakavci" in northern and central Burgenland ask a question with "ca," while the "Stokavci" in Southern Burgenland ask with "Sto." Obviously there are also other linguistic differences between these two dialects. A third dialect group, the Kaj dialect, is represented in the Hungarian villages of Amhagen (Homok) and Klein-Andre (Hidegseg) which are situated south of Lake Neusiedl. The "Kajkavci" living there employ the asking pronoun "kaj." The predominant part (80%) the Burgenland Croats speak the Ca dialect, namely the Croats in the Districts of Neusiedl, Eisenstadt, Mattersburg and Oberpullendorf. The Ca dialect is also in 7 communities within the Güssing District: Stinatz, Hackerberg, Stegersbach, Heugraben, Eisenhüttl, Reinersdorf, and Grossmürbisch. The remaining Croats of the Oberwart and Güssing Districts are included with those that speak the Sto dialect. The inhabitants of Weiden bei Rechnitz, Podgoria, Rumpersdorf, Allersdorf, Mönchmeierhof, Podler, Allersgraben-Rauhriegel, Spitzzichen, Miedlingsdorf, and Althodis in the Oberwart District are included among the Croats speaking the Sto dialect. The Croats of these villages were also called Vlahi (Walachs). These latter Croats accentuate the first vowel in the noun: Ca dialect-Sto dialect: otac-ootac = Vater (father), voda-vooda = Wasser (water), koza-kooza = Ziege (goat), trava-traava = Gras (grass), dite-diite = Kind (child).

The verb ending in the first person singular, past tense, is read as an "o" in the northern part of Burgenland. Ca dialect: ja sam bio = ich bin gewesen (I was) ja sam vidio = ich habe gesehen (I saw) ja sam nosio = ich habe getragen (I carried).

The Croats in the central part of Burgenland read the above as: ja sam bio or ja sam bilja, sam vidio or ja sam vidilja, sam nosio or ja sam nosil.

Only the "Vlahi" of the Oberwart District used the "ia" verb ending: ja sam bia, ja sam vidia, ja sam nosia.

The Croats in Northern Burgenland and in most villages in Mid-Burgenland spoke the old Slavonian sound "e" in nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs as "ie," while the Croats in the Oberwart and Güssing Districts spoke it as an "i."

Ca dialect-Sto dialect: piasek-pisak = Sand (sand), tielo-tilo = Korper (body), lieto-lito = Jahr (year), obied-obid = Mittagessen (lunch), vieter-vitar = Wind (wind), cviet-cvit = Blume (flower). (other examples have been deleted-see complete translation)

The aforementioned differences in dialects did not originate in Burgenland, but were brought here from the South. Since the same dialects are still detected in the native country (Croatia) today, they point us to those areas from which the ancestors of the Burgenland Croats emigrated. If we compare the above-mentioned dialects with those of the 16th century, we can determine: Croats, speaking the Kaj dialect, lived, and still live today between the Kulpa and Mur rivers in Zagreb (Agram). Therefore, the ancestors of the above mentioned inhabitants of Klein-Andre and Amhagen must have descended from this area. History of the 16th century provides us an answer to the question why the inhabitants of only these two municipalities fled: The Turks were only able to conquer the eastern strip of land of the so-called Kajkavstina. Since the Turkish advance was halted here, the inhabitants of this section of Croatia did not have a compelling reason to leave their homeland. Slavonia is situated east of these areas where the Kaj dialect is spoken, and lies between the Drava, Sava, and Danube rivers. Croats speaking the Sto dialect lived, and still live here even today. The Turks devastated the eastern part of this countryside, when they moved against Mohacs in 1526. The central portion of Slavonia was easily occupied soon thereafter, and its inhabitants remained and did not flee. The western part of the country was bitterly contested however, and the Turks conquered this part of the land only after a long struggle. The inhabitants of these areas fled partly to west Croatia, and partly to west Hungary. Hungarian magnats also had properties here that they occupied with Hungarian Fronbauern (farmers). If we find Croatian settlers with Hungarian surnames e.g. in St. Nicholas or in Sulz, both of which are in Burgenland, it is an indication that we have found refugees from West Slavonia here. The Caj dialect was spoken from the Kulpa south until the small river of Zrmanja between the Mur River and the Adriatic Sea, and in all of Dalmatia. The northern part of this area was initially restless, and suffered most of all of the regions in Croatia under the Turks. The Turks devastated this countryside eight times from 1469 until 1528, and led their prisoners into bondage. Inhabitants of whole regions left their homes because insufficient help came to their aid. The fear of the Turks was so great that these refugees settled first in the today's northern Burgenland, and in the eastern part of Lower Austria. Settlers also came here out of the northwestern areas of Bosnia, after the powerful Castle of Jajce and the important town of Banja Luka had fallen into Turkish hands. Those Croats who came from the coastal lands in the first half of the past century were called the Water Croats, those from Bosnia however were known as the Bosnian-Croats. Since the Croats coming from the coastal regions had lived together with the Italians, they brought several Italian expressions that the Croats of northern Burgenland still use today, e.g. ostarija (Inn), facol (kerchief), eimitor (grave yard), placa (alleyway), skuro (dark), baril (kegs). Other expressions also support the above-mentioned statement. The Croats of the Parndorf Heide (heathland) say to persons who cannot be trusted: "Ti stari Venecijan" (you old Venetian). The Croats of Gattendorf still use expressions that are associated with fishing or the sea, while in other communities within the same language-island groups also originating from the coastal areas such expressions are no longer used. According to Minister M. Fertsak, the reason for this may be that in Gattendorf the Croats continued to fish in the river Leitha. The Croats in Northern Burgenland called the cold and bitter North wind "bura" just as the inhabitants of the coastal regions did. The Castle of Gusic being situated in the proximity of Senj (Zengg) suggests where the ancestors of the Trausdorf families named Gusic may have lived. The surname Dobrovich appeared already around the year 1100 on a stone blackboard in the monastery of St. Lucia on the island of Krk-Veglia. Adolph Mohl associated the mountain name of Kutrova, which is situated near Otoca, with the surname Kutrovac in Sigless. Folk songs and traditions of the North Burgenland Croats speak of galleys and mermaids. The Croats in the Oberpullendorf District form a second group speaking the Ca dialect, however they knew no Italian words. The North Burgenland Croats place the "j" in front of the noun or numeral that begins with an "i" or an "e."

North Burgenland-Oberpullendorf District, jigla-igla = Nadel (needle), jime-ime = Name (name), Jivan-Ivan = Johann (John), jedan-edan = ein (one), jednosto-ednosto = einhundert (one hundred). The prefix "j" is also placed before a few verbs beginning with an "i." (Other examples may be found in complete translation)

The aforementioned linguistic deviations and some differences in accentuation point to the fact that these Croats did not come from the coastal country, but rather from areas located to the East. Some names provide references to where the former homes of these Croats were located. Thus a house is still called "Zrinskova Haus" (Zrinyi's House) today in Frankenau. The Zrinska Gora Mountains rise between the Kulpa and Una Rivers. The Castle of Zrin, from which the Croatian magnate family Subic received the surnames of Zrinski or Zrinji, was there. The Kanizsai-Nadasdy family brought many Fronbauern (farmers) into central Burgenland from the surroundings of their Castle Stenicnjak that was located south of the river Kulpa. The Castle of Kirin is located east of the castle of Stenicnjak, where the village of Kirin is located today. Several families live in Kroatisch Geresdorf and Kroatisch Minihof with the surname Kirin.

Branimir Tukavac said in his article "Iz nase stare domovine" (From our old Homeland), that the inhabitants of the Warasdorf region came from this vicinity, and replenished settlements possibly already existing between 1565 and 1579. The previously mentioned third group of the Ca dialect speaking Croats lived in the western part of the Güssing District. A special linguistic feature of theirs is it that they speak the unit digit before the tens digit while counting (25 is spoken as five and twenty: fünfzwanzig). The Croats of the Parndorf language island group count similarly. All the remaining Croats however put the unit digit after the tens digit (25 is spoken as a twenty five: zwanzigfünf). The Sto and Caj dialects have few differences relatively speaking except for the linguistic variances mentioned in this chapter.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XXI - The Last Immigration of the Croatians

The reader is referred to Chapter 7 "The National Structure of the Croatian Countries to the Year 1500" (on Page 12) for a better understanding of the following views. It is necessary to differentiate between the two different Walachs, the Catholic Croatian and the Orthodox Serbian in the history of Croatia. The smaller part of the former Roman herdsmen settled in northern Dalmatia and in the Croatian coastlands, and came into the Croatian sphere of interests. In the course of time, these descendants of the Romans became Croatian Walachs with the Roman Catholic faith as a result of living next to the Croats. To these Croatian Walachs, we must add the many Croat cattle breeders, who since the 13th century, even before the conquest of Bosnia by the Turks, were called Walachs. Croatian Walachs are already mentioned as being in the neighborhoods of Lika and the coastal regions in 1344, who have their "Croatian Chapter." They were Catholic and called Croatian Walachs. In the Diocese of Vrlica, Walachs were mentioned as being from the Tulic family.

The Walachs of Northern and Central Burgenland

When the ancestors of today's Croats living in surroundings of Eisenstadt and Gross Warasdorf fled before the Turks, some Croatian Walachs also came into Northern and Central Burgenland with them. That testifies to the following statement: The Urbare of the Hornstein Domain from 1581 shows that a farmer named Vlaschitz lived among the Croats that settled in Steinbrunn (at that time known as Stinkenbrunn). A Fronbauer (farmer) named Matthias Walach lived in Wulkaprodersdorf at the same time. Among the 39 fief owners that came into Kleinwarasdorf in 1595, one was named Vlah. Among the 57 Söllnern (inhabitants who owned no property) that came into Deutschkreutz in the same year, a Söllner named Vlah was also with them. We can also add Lucas Glaschitz to the above Walachs as he settled in Oslip in 1527. Since the recorder of the Urbare did not understand Croatian, he wrote it as Vlasic Glaschitz instead. The surnames that refer to a Walach descent such as Vlah, Vlahic, Vlasic, Vlahovic, Walach, Olah, and Tulic are not limited to these few named. Quite the opposite! Their numbers grew in the 17th century in other Croatian villages of today's Burgenland as well. Germans referred to these former Roman herdsmen as Walach, while the Hungarians called them Olah. The Urbare of 1640 from the Domain of Landsee shows 10 families in Siegendorf with the name Vlasic. Johann Vlahovics, a Catholic Priest, worked in Wulkaprodersdorf from 1614, and a farmer named Matthew Walach lived there in 1661. The Urbare of the Domain of Eisenstadt in 1675 testifies that Mate Walach had the services of a half of a fief in Trausdorf. The surname Vlahic appears 5 times in the Grosswarasdorf priest's register from 1665 until 1690, and the family name of Vlasic comes up 46 times. On page 93 of his often-mentioned thesis, J. Breu says that a father with the surname Olah was in Kroatisch Geresdorf in 1667.

The Urbar from the Domain of Landsee of 1640 shows that Georg and Mattias Tulic living in Siegendorf are of Walachian descent. The Urbar of the Domain of Forchtenstein says that three families of the Walachian Tulic family, namely Mate, Ivan, and George Tulic, also lived in Trausdorf an der Wulka. We can cite 2 families with the surname Vlah-iovi in Kroatisch Minihof, and three houses that carry this name in Weingraben. This name occurs sporadically also in Siegersdorf (Horvatzsidany) and other Croat municipalities.

Walachs in the Domains of Schlaining, Rechnitz, and Rotenturm.

On the territory of the former Domains of Schlaining, Rechnitz, and Rotenturm are situated 10 small villages on the slope of the Rechnitz Mountain. These inhabitants settled here only in the 17th century, one hundred years after the remaining Croats of the surroundings around here. These villages are Weiden bei Rechnitz, Parapatitsch, Podgoria, Rumpersdorf, Allersdorf, Mönchmeierhof, Podler, Allersgraben-Rauhriegel, Spitzzicken, Miedlingsdorf, and Althodis. The Croats of the surrounding localities called the inhabitants of these municipalities Vlahi. The Urbar of the former Domains of Schlaining and Rechnitz refer to the inhabitants of Podler, Mönchmeierhof, Altschlaining, Spitzzicken, and Althodis only with the name "Vlahi" (Walach). St. Martin in dem Wart, and Tatzmannsdorf, which belonged to Hungarian gentry, were Croatian.

Since the migration of Croats from the Croatian countries ended with the year 1579 or 1593, and because no one had to leave their homeland due to the Christian offensive, the question remains open, from which area and what reasons did the ancestors of the above-mentioned municipalities emigrate? J. Breu says on page 82 in his Dissertation: "Only with the discovery of more documented material can the question of the Schlaining Walachian be clarified."

The opinion heard up to now is that the ancestors of this language island would have been Serbs. One also claims that these Croats, which were also called Walachs, originally belonged to the Greek Orthodox Church and become Catholic later. Dr. Mladin Lorkovic says on page 71 and 72 of his historical work "Narod I Zemlja Hrvata," Zagreb 1939, that at the time of the great Christian-Islamic War (1593–1606), only an insignificant part of the Walachs became Christians. These were namely the District of Warasdin ruled by a captain and Ivanec, the District of Karlovac and in the regions of Otocac and Modrus. There are no entries in Croatian Historical works concerning the immigration into the present day Burgenland.

One can assume that the Croats of the above-mentioned ten small towns did not come as refugees here, because the Turks were already on the defensive by then. Therefore these currently open questions can be answered in the following way: Dr. Knezovic leads us to the first traces of the history of Croatia when he says on page 208 of his book: "After the fall of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a large part of the Croatian Catholic people fled before the Turks to Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia." In Slavonia they were called "pribjezi" (refugees), and in Dalmatia "Uskoci" (escapees). Later, some called them "vlahi," "martalici," and "morlaci."

(Pribjezi, Uskoci, vlahi, martalici, and morlaci) are all synonyms for the Catholic Croats who fled before the Turks. From this point further, we will refer to these Croatian Catholic refugees as the "Uskoci." Author's note.)

There were several groups of these Uskoci. The best known group was the one that gathered around the Fortress of Klis near Spalato (Split) from Bosnia and Herzegovina around the year 1530. Klis was subordinate to Zengg (Senj), and Peter Kruzic was the Captain of Senj, who included the Uskoci into the ranks of his soldiers. The Uskoci frequently broke into Bosnia from the fortress of Klis, which explains why the Turks insisted on conquering the fortress of Klis at all costs. They succeeded in 1537, as Peter Kruzic died a heroic death here. The Uskoci were now resettled to Zengg that had a natural fortification, which was the Captain's headquarters. The Captain, who was a part of the Croatian military frontier, was subordinate to a War Council that had its headquarters in Graz. The Uskoci now became border soldiers who with their descendants constituted the garrison of the fortress of Zengg for over 80 years. Little by little the Uskoci joined with a number of defectors from Veneto-Dalmatia who wanted to escape punishment. In the end the Uskoci were no longer a purely national group, but a mixture of Croats, Serbians, and Italians. The Uskoci were an uncommonly bold people, armed with rifles, axes, and Handzars (a type of long knife) who knew every angle in the Velebit Mountains and on the islands. Their main strength was located on the sea. Their monthly wage was four and a half florin (Gulden), but their pay seldom arrived.

Since the environments of Zengg were barren, the Uskoci were forced by circumstances to nourish themselves and their members in some way. Due to the continuous border wars, they undertook raids into the regions of Dalmatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina occupied by the Turks, and who searched the mainland and the sea for their booty. Venice supported the Uskoci way of life when they were in a state of war with the Turks. When Venice (Venedig) made peace with the Sultan, he demanded that they terminate their support of the Uskoci who regularly plundered Turkish ships on the Adriatic Sea. In order to avoid the Sultan’s accusations, Turkish goods were placed on Venetian ships. The Uskoci did not concur, and as a result they searched Venetian ships for Turkish commodities. Thereupon the Sultan announced that he ordered the fleet to go into the Adriatic Sea and create order. This did not suit the Venetians, which led to a war between Venice and the Uskoci. After 1596 the Uskoci moved against anything Venetian, and it was a devastating war. The Uskoci took terrible revenge. Even though the Venetians paid with the same coins, they could not restrain the Uskoci. At last, the Pope interfered. Through his mediation Emperor Rudolph agreed to resettle the Uskoci from Zengg. He dispatched General Rabata so that he could settle the Uskoci around the villages of Otocac, Brinje, Brlog, and Prozor, however the German military was at Zengg. Rabata proceeded boldly and executed several military leaders of the Uskoci, and he died in a subsequent mutiny after which the Uskoci resumed their old way of life again.

However the peace made at the delta of the river Zsitva in 1606 was a heavy blow for the Uskoci. All war strategies with Turkish countries were strictly forbidden to them, and in addition they received no more pay. But law knows no need, and the Uskoci continued to plunder the Turks and the Venetians again. A violent war then broke out between Venice and the Uskoci from 1615 to 1617 that ended in peace in Madrid in 1617. The perplexing question of the Uskoci issue was decided there through the negotiation of France and Spain. Archduke Ferdinand committed himself in this peace treaty to withdraw the Uskoci from Zengg, burn their ships, and station German military in Zengg. The greater part of the Uskoci were resettled soon thereafter to the Croatian-Carinthian boundary at Sichelburg-Zumberak, into a hilly and barren area, which was called the Uskoken mountains by the new inhabitants for a long time. The remaining parts of the Uskoci were assigned to the area around the village of Otocac.

The Croats who fled from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the emigrated Serbs and Italians lived with their families in Zengg for more than 80 years before Archduke Ferdinand moved them to other accommodations in Sichelburg. Zengg was the seat of a Catholic bishop. We can quote from the treatise of the historiographer Adolf Mohl "Hrvatok bevandorlasa 1553-ban," Budapest ,1915, page 15: "The former Archbishop Dr. George Posilovics, while still the Bishop of Zengg, succeeded with great difficulty in 1894 to obtain the provisional usage of the ancient Slavic liturgy in the coastal regions with the obsolete Glagolithic language from Rome."

The Dalmatian born Jovan Hranilovic, Greek-Catholic priest of Neusatz (Novi Sadi), who was famous for his Sichelburg Elegies (songs), claims that the Zengg garrison had been a Catholic one. In these poems, Hranilovics describes the heroic past of the Uskoci ancestors, who were resettled into the stony vicinity of Sichelburg. An annotation under the text of the poem on page 520 of the aforementioned reading book says that these former Uskoci were Catholics of the Greek United Church. On pages 82 and 83 in a directory of settlements in the Republic of Croatia dated December 1, 1956, a hamlet named "Vlasic" is listed as having 15 families and a small village with 60 inhabitants named "Vlasic" in the territory of Sichelburg. These two places still remind us today of the rich past of the courageous Zengg soldiers who fled from Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Dalmatia.

We can pursue the traces of the Uskoci from Zengg further, as they lead us beyond Sichelburg-Zumberak, and into today's Northern, Central, and Southern Burgenland. We sang the small ditty "Boze, Boze, Zumber, zumberske druzine." as we danced the circular Kolo in the author's youth. The name Zumberak occurs three times in these ditties. For many years the author sought an explanation for how the word Zumberak came to his hometown, as Wulkaprodersdorf and Sichelburg are located approximately 280 km distant from each other. Because no association existed between the villages of Wulkaprodersdorf and Sichelburg, some ancestors from Wulkaprodersdorf, Siegendorf or Trausdorf must have brought the name Zumberak here. These are reminders of their former places of residence, a hypothesis that appears quite possible.

While in the northern and central Burgenland only individual Walachian surnames are reminiscent of a later immigration, the so called Walachs from Schlaining, Rechnitz, and Rotenturm are a different matter. Spitzzicken was already newly founded in the 16th century, and all of the remaining Croats only came here in the 17th Century. The first safe date of its establishment is indicated in the deed of foundation of the village of Podler. A remark from the year 1664 about this place states that the first Croats had already settled in the towns of Schlaining and Mönchmeierhof before the year 1650. Weiden bei Rechnitz, Hunzberg, Podgoria, and Rumpersdorf are mentioned for first time in 1664. Perepatic Berg and Althodis were mentioned in 1593 and 1698 respectively. Because these Croats did not come from Croatia, we must look elsewhere for their origins. The only possibility points towards the area of the Uskoci Mountains, or by Sichelburg-Zumberak, whose barren ground could not nourish the former crew of Zengg. For these reasons the former Uskoci gradually left their assigned place of residence, and came into the neighborhoods of Schlaining, Rechnitz, and Rotenturm from 1650 to the end of the 17th century.

Adam Batthyany, who was a Cavalry General in the 30 Year War, settled the first inhabitants near Podler, Mönchmeierhof, and Altschlaining. His descendants settled the remaining Croats in the villages that were ravaged by the Heiducken(Hungarian military units) of Nemethys in 1605 and by the Styrian farmers after 1622. This verifies the Canonical Visitations of the years 1697–1698 by Stephen Kazo, the Archdeacon of Eisenburg, as it notes that these Croats did not belong to the Greek-Orthodox church. According to the priest in Neumarkt im Tauchental, these Croatian inhabitants were Roman Catholic, to which all belonged without exception. In conclusion to this consideration, we refer to the Charter of Foundation for Podler.

Podler - (Settlement of Croats by Adam Battyany in 1650)

Among other interesting archives, The Burgenland Provincial Archives also holds a document concerning the settlement of the southern Burgenland village of Podler. It is an original parchment with the signature of Count Adam Battyany from the year 1650, and the entire translated text is shown here. Unfortunately, the names where the document has been folded are no longer legible. Furthermore, it is remarkable that the Croats, and the document undoubtedly talks of Croats, are called Walachs (olahok) in German. From the names it can be said that not only Croats but also Germans and Hungarians, took the opportunity to settle there.

"We, Adam de Battyany, Eternal Count of Güssing, Knight of the Holy Roman Empire, Lord High Steward of Hungary and Oberster (Commander in Chief) of that section of Hungary situated on this side of the Danube and the border area of Canisa, Kammerrat (imperial and royal councilor of the Treasury) of his Holy Majesty, King Matthias. We make it known herewith to all those to whom it may concern, that we have abandoned the Meierhof (agricultural estate) called Polyanizi situated in the territory belonging to our Castle of Schlaining. All those who desire to do so are allowed to settle and build houses, for there shall be villages in this place in the future, as there have been in the past. So far, the following have settled and begun to build there: Michael Zlatarics, Lucas Czvek, Ivan Balaskovics, Ivan and Verhas Jrue. In addition to the aforementioned, the following persons have promised to take up residence there: Glav,. Ive, Stefan Horvat, Juri Konczer, Matthias Horvat, Vida Verhas, Nicholas Horvat, Silbernagl Moritz, Kru_, Martin Bencsicz, Johan Balok, and Bark...icz. We grant them liberty for three years and will grant the same exemptions to all those who settle there at a later date until they have built their houses. But we will not allow these liberties to those that already own a house on our domain and abandon their homestead. With the condition that they endeavor to build their houses within three years, and that they start to do their services or Robot (obligatory work) and pay taxes (within three years), they are after this time obliged to serve and pay taxes in the way the other Walachs had to serve and pay taxes. For greater endorsement, we strengthen this Letter with our Seal and our handwriting. Written in our Castle of Rechnitz on Saturday before the celebration of Saint George the Martyr, in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord, one thousand six hundred and fifty."

Adam Battyany

L. S. This document issued in 1650 speaks of 4 Walachs who began building, and 11 candidates who promised to settle in the future village of Podler. Of the four men, who had started building, three are Croats and one is a Hungarian. Of the eleven candidates, three surnames are not readable in the fold of the document, five have Croatian surnames, two have Hungarian names and one has a German surname. The Charter of foundation said that of these eight, five were Croats, two were Hungarians, one was German, and that they were Walachs.

These circumstances caused the author to ask Joseph Mikisic, the priest of Weiden, to search the church records of the Neumarkt im Tauchental parish for Slavic and Italian surnames for the years 1691 to 1711, because these Walachs belonged to this parish at the time of their settlement. Approximately 10 surnames were received from the priest. To the author's surprise, not a single name such as Vlah, Vlahic, Vlasic, Vlahovic, Walach, Olah or Tulic was seen in the 10 so-called Walach communities. On the basis of the large dictionary of the Zagreb Academy of Sciences (as far as this comprehensive work is finished), the source of Croatian History from University Professor Dr. Ferdo Sisic, among other works, it can be ascertained that the Schlaining, Rechnitz, and Rotenturm "Walachs" are in fact Croats. These however have added Serbian and Italian elements in the course of time.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XXII - Croatians in Particular Districts of Burgenland

Since this chapter is dedicated particularly to the Burgenland Croats, the text will deal with the Croats that settled outside of Burgenland only to the extent that it is a necessity. We addressed the immigration in general in the Chapter XIX "Immigration of the Croatians into today's Burgenland and into the Neighboring Lands." In the ensuing sections it will dwell on how individual Croatian settlements were accommodated in the Districts of Burgenland. We note beforehand that the villages in the former Domains of Eisenstadt, Hornstein, Güns, Rechnitz, and Kobersdorf, as well as the Earldom of Forchenstein at the time of the settlement of the Croats (actually from 1491 to 1649) belonged administratively to Lower Austria. The remaining communities belonged to Hungary. The living conditions were favorable for the Croatian settlers in Austria; on the other hand in Hungarian, laws, duties, and liabilities for the farmers were especially difficult after the Farmers Rebellion in 1514. Settlers in the Imperial Domains (e.g. Eisenstadt, Güns) were owners of their houses and properties. They were able to buy, sell or exchange real estate. In Hungary, the farmers were only considered as hereditary tenants of the land that they worked. The new settler was released for some years from duties and payments so that they could build houses within the prescribed time, cultivate the ground, and obtain the necessary cattle stalls, tools and seeds.

Croatian villages from the Raab to the Danube Rivers indicate the tracks of the Turks who took this path towards Vienna in 1532. The Turkish Army's route took them over the Drava River, Zala County in Hungary, and beyond the plains towards Vienna. Villages touched by the Turks suffered terribly. They had just settled these devastated villages before fleeing from the Turks. Many Croatian settlements ceased to exist in the course of time, especially in southern Burgenland.

After the 1st World War in 1923, there were 42,010 Croats in Burgenland. Of this number 5,167 were in Neusiedl, 112 in the Municipal District of Eisenstadt, 14 in the Municipal District of Rust, 12,522 in the rural District of Eisenstadt, and 2,933 in the Mattersburg District. There were 11,448 Croats in the Oberpullendorf District, 3,954 in the Oberwart District, 5,819 in the Güssing District, and 11 Croats in the Jennersdorf District. A total of 10,432 Croats lived in the three Western Counties according to the 1930 census in Hungary, of which 2,925 resided in the former County of Wieselburg, 4,261in Ödenburg County, and 3,346 in Eisenburg County. The villages are smaller and in general poorer in southern Burgenland, whereas the villages become larger and wealthier towards the north.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XXIII - The Jennersdorf District

The search for Croat settlers in this district has brought little success since their traces were lost over the last centuries. We can say with certainty that a great number of Croats settled in Kroboteck (Croatian Hill). The name Kroboteck and the Flurnamen (name given to a certain part of the land belonging to a village) Krobatischberg, and Horwathengreuth already refer to Croatian inhabitants. Dr. Breu is of the opinion that Croats had settled in this place in the 16th Century. The Urbar (land registration record) of St. Gotthard for the years 1719 and 1723 show occasional Croatian or Slovenian surnames in every village on the left bank of the Raab River. Only in the Battyany villages on the lower reaches of the Lafnitz River were Croats represented in greater numbers, who had already lost their independence before 1698. Franz Batthyany, the former Croatian Ban, probably settled these Croats with consent from King Ludwig II in 1524. The Croatian Historical writer Klaic (Povijest V., 19) says of these Croats: "They could not live quietly and securely because of the fear and continuous raiding of the wild Turkish enemy, when the same enemies torched houses, dwellings, and buildings, and dragged away their assets and animals as booty." One fourth of the families in Poppendorf were Croatian in 1635, almost a tenth in Heiligenkreuz, and a strong tenth in Raabfidisch. A large number of Croats also settled beyond the Mur River in northern Slovenia, whom the Slovenian population readily absorbed since both ethnic groups of people are language related. The fact that the District of Jennersdorf was in the path of the Turkish Army in 1532 is the reason for the absence of a Croatian population. Let us mention in passing that in 1537 a ferry was built in the vicinity of the delta of the River Mur into the Drava River near Legrad. This allowed the Croatian refugees to continue their journey via the Hungarian County of Zala into the District of Güssing, and then farther to the north. 

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XXIV - The District of Güssing

Among the old homesteads of the Croatians settled in the 16th century, we could distinguish five groups of settlements in the space of the former Domains of Güssing, Eberau, and Körmend. Most Croatian villages were situated and still are today in the center of the Strem Valley up to the Hungarian town of Körmend. Besides these, there are still three smaller and one larger group of settlements. The sources for these settlements include: "Outline from the History of Güssing up to the end of the 16th Century" by Vera Zimanyi, "Burgenland Research," Eisenstadt, 1963; "The Settlement of the District of Güssing," by J. Schwarz, Graz 1951; and "The Croatian Settlement in the southeast German Border Area," Vienna 1949. Additional sources included, "The Conscriptio" (tax records owed to the King) of the Eberau Domain of 1617, the Urbar of the Güssing Domain of 1635 and occasional Zehentverzeichnisse (a tenth part of the harvest tax register) of the County of Eisenburg of 1563. According to these documents, the following were pure or predominantly Croatian villages in the District of Güssing: Grossmürbisch (Veliki Medves), Kleinmürbisch (Mali Medves), Reinersdorf, St. Nicholas (Sveti Mikula) im Burgenland (i.B.), Krottendorf bei Güssing (Zablje Selo), Steingraben (Bojane), Rehgraben (Prascevo), Eisenhüttl (Jeserjani), Heugraben (Zarnovca), Sulz (Seskut) i.B., Schallingdorf (Saledrevo) i.B., Tudersdorf (Tudorica), Kroatisch Tschantschendorf, Hasendorf (Zajcje Selo), Stinatz, Stegersbach (Santalek), St. Michael (Sveti Mihalj), Punitz (Punic), Neuberg (Novo Gora), Kroatisch Ehrensdorf (Hrvatski Hasas), Steinfurt (Lipovac), Güttenbach (Pinkovac), St. Kathrein (Katalena) (i.B.), Harmisch (Vardes), Edlitz, (Hobdelci) and Kulm (Kolom) (i.B.), for a total of 26 villages. The following clear or predominantly Croatian villages were in neighboring Hungary: Kroatisch Schützen (Hrvatske Sice), Prostrum (Petrovo Selo), Kroatisch Nadalja (Nadalja), Harasztifalu (Hristavice), 91 Berkifalu (Berek), and Gross Kulken (Veliki Kuked), all together a total of 6 villages. According to J. Schwarz, the influx of new Croatians settlers had most likely started in 1525. So many colonists had already arrived around 1535 that one could speak of a new Croatian settlement. The communities of Mürbisch and Reinersdorf were already mentioned in the 14th Century, both of which appeared to be divided into two parts in 1635. Both Gross- as well as Klein-mürbisch had a Croatian majority in 1635, and both communities were still Croatian in 1698. The ancestors of today's Croatians migrated into the eastern part of old Reinersdorf, the original part of this village was called Deutsch Reinersdorf in 1635; the eastern section received the name of Kroatisch Reinersdorf or Zamar. From the census of 1923 it is taken that Reinersdorf was nearly half-German, and determined to have a small Croatian majority. 20 families came from Croatia to Güssing on April 25, 1545, and requested Franz Batthyany, the Ban of Croatia, to take them into his Domain. Franz Batthyany gave them a place covered completely with forest and scrub around the church of St. Nicholas, where they founded a small village. It remained a part of the community of Güssing for a long time and only became an independent municipality in 1631. The Urbar of 1635 says the community is predominantly Croatian. The Visitation of 1698 acknowledges that the village was Croatian, as was later written by Fr. Gratian Leser in a 1928 Güssing newspaper. The unique document of the foundation of this community from the time of the immigration of the Croats into Burgenland is included at the end of this chapter. The small village of Krottendorf is located two kilometers from St. Nicholas in Burgenland. In the 17th century, we frequently come across these small villages under the names of Horvatfalu, Hrvatsko Selo, and other similar names. The Visitation of 1698 also testifies to the Croatian nationality of these new establishments.

Steingraben, Rehgraben, and Eisenhüttl are also new Croatian establishments, which the Urbar of 1635 verifies that Croatians founded these three villages. The same source states Heugraben to be a Croatian populated village with the name of Sirovnica. The author is of the opinion that the current Croatian name for the village of Zarnovica reminds us of the locality of Zrnovnica, which is south of Zengg by the seashore. Zrnovnica and the village of Stijena located in the area of the Una river point to where the Ca dialect speaking Croats of this district (Güssing) came from. We come across the Croatian Aristocrat Sanko de Ragosio in Sulz in 1539, that from all appearances, was settled by him and other Croats. A Zehentverzeichnisse (one-tenth-harvest tax directory) of 1565 shows that Croats resided in Sulz.

The four small villages of Schallendorf, Tudersdorf, Kroatisch Tschantschendorf, and Hasendorf, situated in the northern surroundings of Güssing, were new Croatian establishments. Schallendorf was a Batthyany possession and founded by Croats. Kroatisch Tschantschendorf, Tudersdorf, and Hasendorf were possessions of independent noblemen. From a document of 1582, we discovered that Tudersdorf and Kroatisch Tschantschendorf lay on aristocratic ground whose occupants for the most part spoke Croatian. A few Croatian families settled here in the territory of today's Hasendorf which the Croatian aristocrat Zaychich received from Franz Batthyany, and after whom the new village was named.

The Urbar of Güssing of 1752 listed 12 subjects (servants) in this village, eleven named Malics and one with the name Bihovics. Stinatz, a large Croatian village, is situated in the northern corner of this district, which was a newly Croatian founded community according to the 1635 Urbar of Güssing. It had 60 sessiones (a certain fixed portion of village land including fields, forests and meadows) and 4 Söllner (inhabitants owning no portion of farmland) in this year. In Chapter XIX, "Immigration of the Croatians into today's Burgenland and into Neighboring Lands," we said that the population of Kostainica migrated as far as to Hrastovica (a community around Petrinje) after the surrender of Kostainica in the year 1556. The villages of Hrastovica and Petrovo Selo point towards the old hometown. According to R. Lopasic and I. Csaplovics, the ancestors of Stinatz came from the surroundings of the Castle of Stenicnjak. The Hungarian Historian Imre Nagy asserts that the family of Kanizsay-Nadasdy obtained their servants for their estates in the County of Ödenburg from the vicinity of the Castle of Stenicnjak. Because the people of Stinatz spoke the old Slovenian "e" as "i," but the people from Stenicnjak said it as "ie," the opinions of Lopasic and Csaplovics are not justified.

Stegersbach, the largest municipality of the district, is situated southeast of Stinatz on the left bank of the small Strem river. A Croatian settlement was added in the east of old Stegersbach, which the Urbar from Güssing of 1635 says separated from the old community. The old municipality was called Deutsch-Stegersbach, and the new community was called Kroatisch-Stegersbach. The new community included more territory, and more inhabitants. Kroatisch Stegersbach had 85 Wirtschaften (a farm with everything belonging to it) in 1635, while Deutsch Stegersbach had 44. The village of St. Michael received Croat settlers in the 16th century, which the Visitations from the 17th and the 18th centuries refer to as being a Croatian community.

Jandrisovits says in Volume 4 of his "Urkunden und Dokumente" (Documents and Records), that 15 Croatian refugees established the small village of Punitz in 1553 on Batthyany property.

Croats also established the villages of Neuberg, Kroatisch Ehrensdorf, and Steinfurt. Neuberg was purely Croatian in 1635, Kroatisch Ehrensdorf was Croatian in 1698 (according to the Visitation), Steinfurt almost entirely Croatian in 1635, and totally Croatian in 1698.

The small towns of Güttenbach, St. Kathrein and Harmisch already existed before the colonization of the Croats but were newly founded by Croatians. The Konskription (records of taxes owed to the King) of Eberau from the year 1617 says that St. Kathrein is almost entirely Croatian. Harmisch was purely Croatian in the years 1698 and 1720. Two small towns, Edlitz and Kulm, situated on the right bank of the Pinka River are mentioned as being Croatian according to Visitation of 1698, and were newly founded by Croats. Kroatisch Schützen, situated east of Deutsch-Schützen and located on the Hungarian side, was almost entirely Croatian. Five Croatian villages, Prostrum, Gross Kulken, Kroatische Nadalja, Berkifalu and Harasztifalu, are situated in Hungary close to the border with Burgenland.

Prostrum and Gross-Kulken were predominantly Croatian in 1698. The 1603 Urbar of Körmend shows the localities of Kroatisch Nadalja, Berkifalu, and Harasztifalu to be Croatian founded. The first Croats of these villages came from the region of Moslavina, Roviste, Raca, and Koprivnica, and were settled here after 1545 by the Erdody family. A second group came between 1557 and 1561. After the fall of Kostajnica in Croatia, Nicholas Zrinyi led the move from his estates into this region also. The traces of these Croats settled by Zrinyi in the Domain of (Vep) Weppendorf from 1557 until 1561 have been totally obscured, and virtually nothing is known of them.

The Urbar and Konskription also show occasional Croatian family names in other villages of the Güssing Domain. Many Croat families lived in the suburbs of Güssing in the 16th and 17th Centuries, some of who were of noble descent. According to the 1635 Urbar of Güssing, approximately 1/10th of the inhabitants in the center of the city had Croatian surnames and 1/6th in the suburbs. It shows smaller Croatian minorities in Neustift, Gerersdorf, Deutsch-Kukmirn, Ungarisch-Kukmirn, and in a subsidiary of Neusiedl. 1/10th of the servants in Ollersdorf were Croats, and 1/4th in Rauchwart. Nine of 30 families in Gamischdorf were Croatian. Of the 77 children baptized between 1669 and 1688 in Deutsch Tschantschendorf, 20 came from Croatian parents. Croats must still have lived in Olbendorf (Lovrenac) in 1846 since Franz Kurelac assembled 5 Croatian ballads here. In the Croat founded village of Tobaj, 6 of the 40 subjects were Croats in 1635, and the Croatian aristocrat Nikolaus Zemlitsch had already been found in Tobaj in 1531.

The name Batthyany is closely associated with the immigration of the Croats into this area, and Franz Von Battyany had already received approval from Ludwig II in 1524 to settle farmers from his Croatian and Slavonian Estates to his newly acquired estates. The subsequent resettlement was carried out from 1532 to 1547, which Vera Zimanyi describes as:

"Croats fleeing before the Turks probably appeared in isolated areas of west Hungary around 1529 that were devastated as a result of the Turkish campaigns, and they migrated in larger groups in the 1530's. It was in the best interests of the domain owner to settle new workers particularly after the Turks devastated the County of Eisenburg and also the heavy losses sustained by the villages in the Domain of Güssing in 1532. Franz Von Batthyany, who was at this time the Ban of Slavonia and also had estates in the Turkish endangered areas of Slavonia, henceforth began planning on resettling the fleeing farmers from the Croatian-Slavonian regions partially from his own estates. Partially he gives land in the vicinity of Güssing to his Servitores; partially he has the servants transferred to the County of Eisenburg principally however at his own expense. The Servitores were lower ranking Croatian aristocrats to whom he entrusted the settlement process, and in this way e.g. Hasendorf [Vasnyulfalva-Zaicfalva] came into being through the settlement organized by Simon Zaychich who received this property from Batthyany in 1530. In a similar way Nicolaus Sanko received Sulz in 1539. In 1538 he instructs his managers of Tornischtscha and Gereben and writes to Christopher Batthyany, who is staying there at that time, that they will start to do something in order to resettle the poor people, that they will send carriages for the refugees and bring them to Güssing. He exhorts Christoph in a second letter to not let them depart as miserably as those who recently came to Güssing. He writes to the custom officers on their way, provides the refugees with documents so that they can bring their belongings along duty-free.

In 1539, he personally sends a group of about 30 families from Gereben to Güssing. Still in the same year he starts the move of his partially Slovenian, partially Croatian subjects on their way out of Samlatscha (Zamlaca in the District of Sissek, author's note) into the direction of the County of Eisenburg. The movement continued for 40 to 50 years, even into the second half of the century. In 1547 he writes in another letter that he is at present not able to send carriages for the refugees, but that they should come nevertheless, as he would give a sessio (a certain fixed portion of village land) to everyone."

Croats settled in the Domain of Güssing and were distributed among the following villages: Eisenhüttl, Grossmürbisch, Hasendorf, Kroatisch Stegersbach, Kroatisch Reinersdorf, Krottendorf, Neuberg, Punitz, Rehgraben, Schallendorf, Steinfurt, Steingraben, Stinatz, St. Michael, St. Nicholas, and Heugraben.

These villages constituted the "Croatian District," and the "Croatian Area" had its own administration. Vera Zimanyi's says to the question of the so-called Walachs who lived in the former Domains of Schlaining and Rechnitz: "The designation 'vlach' or 'Olah' does not define a nationality, as Kranzmayer assumed in his "Burgenlandisches Siedlungsnamenbuch" (Burgenland Settlement Name Book, page 245). Gyula Szekfu already referred to it ("Magyarorszag Tortenelme," on page 472 and the following pages), that the old name for "vlach" or "valach" was "Olah" in Hungarian, as it is clearly expressed by Nicholas Esterhazy's diplomat Tassi Gaspar. Therefore we understand that "Vlachen" means that the Vlachen came from Slavonia, the others we call Razan. These "Vlachen" from Slavonia and/or Croatia are in reality not Romanians, but they are southern Slavs themselves, who lived somewhere in Bosnia, in Herzegovina, in the upper Dubrovnik (Ragusa) country in the Middle Ages, and were certainly an ethnically mixed nation. It was of decisive importance for their development that their Domain owners converted to the Islamic Faith, and ran their estates as Bosnian Begs (Turkish nobleman) in Turkish ways with slave labor. The majority however continued their traditional way of life with goats and as shepherds.

There were also subjects with Slavic names in the Domains of Rechnitz-Schlaining, who had the "vlachi exemptions" and paid little taxes (in the villages of Sirokanyhaza, Baratok majorja, and Rauch-Rigli or Szeleni-Jeszik. Urbar I, number 3, 1636).

Count Thomas Erdody, owner of the Domains of Eberau, Rotenturm, Csatar, and Kormend, was devoted to the Lutheran faith. Count George Zrinyi moved the Lutheran printing press from Warasdin to Eberau by Count Thomas Erdody's request in 1587, where the Slovenian printer Manlius also was brought. Manlius worked until 1592 in Eberau, then in Deutsch-Schützen, Güssing, Deutschkreutz, and Sarvar, before all traces of him disappeared after 1604. He printed only Hungarian works, a Latin-Hungarian dictionary and the "Neue Zeitung aus Ungarn" (New Newspaper of Hungary), and his Croatian endeavors never were printed.

Croatian villages that belonged to the Domain of Eberau are Eberau, Kulm im Burgenland, Harmisch, St. Kathrein im Burgenland, and Kroatisch Ehrensdorf, all of which were owned by independent aristocrats. According to the census of March 7, 1923 the following formerly predominantly Croatian villages were now completely German: Eberau, Edlitz im Burgenland, Kleinmürbisch, Krottendorf, Kulm im Burgenland, Punitz, Schallendorf im Burgenland, St. Michael im Burgenland, Steinfurt, Steingraben, and Tudersdorf, a total of 12 villages all together. Croatian nationals in Harmisch had fallen by 40%, in Stegersbach it fell by 20%, and in Sulz by 10%.

The Croats from Stinatz, Hackerberg, Stegersbach, Heugraben, Eisenhüttl, Grossmürbisch, and Reinersdorf spoke the Ca dialect pronouncing the "i," while in the other Croatian villages the Sto dialect was spoken.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XXV - The Croatians of St. Nikolaus (Szent Miklos)

A Document from the Time of their Settlement
We, Franz Batthyany, our Imperial Majesty's counselor, make it known to all those to whom it may concern, that in the year 1545 on the day of Saint George the Martyr, several Croats such as Blasius Mysyak, Peter Horwath, Marcus Rogosar, Jacob Dambsycs, Stephen Toth, Simon Sollaricz, Nicholas Doech, Blasius Stanitz, Martin Nay, Peter Robek, Matthew Hirgwala, Mathew Kiss, Peter Medeycs, George Paulykowycs, John Gerdarkics, Matthew Belkowycs, John Broksycs, Barnabas Toth, Matthew Kehen, and George Toth came to us imploring and reported that because of the continual robbing of the Turks and due to the danger of being dragged into inhuman captivity, that they could no longer remain in Croatia and were forced to look for a peaceful place with their wives and children. Because of the situation, they urgently asked us to include them and assign an appropriate residence to them in our Domain in the areas of Güssing, since we were always anxious to enlarge our Domain and embellish it with this large group of people. We showed the above mentioned Croats the desolate place around the Church of Saint Nicholas that was located below Güssing which was heavily wooded and surrounded by thorn hedges, and transferred it to them free from all taxes for twelve years, beginning with St. George's day in 1545 until St. George's day in 1557 when the exemptions ended. The above-mentioned Croat then came up to us and requested that we assess the taxes and duties for them like for the other citizens, but since their land was very small they said that they would not be able to serve and pay taxes like the other subjects. So they implored us to grant them exemption from the duties owed us, and to make a decision, which would have validity for all times. Considering their diligent work clearing the forest, removing the thorn bushes and the building of houses, we grant their supplication so that they can remain in our Domain. We decided to give the above mentioned Croats a contract, according to which they would be exempt from all taxes, duties, payments, and tributes as owed to us and our castle. With the exception of cases where it is absolutely necessary, they are not to be forced to do manual services in a way differing from that what was customary in Croatia, where they as subjects (Podvorci) owed the following services to their land lords. That is namely, if two (people) own a whole sessio, one of them must come to work on one day, and the other one has to come on the following day. The man goes to work, and conversely the woman can remain at home, but when work is urgent and our castle requires them without delay, men and woman have to go where they are told. If they are finished with us at harvest time, they are free to look for their own particular work, and food for their needs. We give this contract to these Croats as well as for all those who will come in the future and be allocated dwellings near the above-mentioned Church of St. Nicholas. We therefore sternly instruct the Prefeckts, administrator, managers and all those entrusted with our affairs, as well as the current and future servants of our castle at Güssing, to hold to this contract and not dare to force these Croats to perform any other services. Given on May 9, 1558 (Translated by Karl Semmelweis from a Photostat of the Hungarian original.)

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XXVI - The District of Oberwart

The District of Oberwart is located south of the hills of Güns and Rechnitz, between Lower Austria and Hungary. At the time of the immigration of the Croats into this district, this part of the country belonged to the Domains of Bernstein, Rotenturm, Schlaining, and Rechnitz. While the District of Güssing experienced a more or less strong influx of Croatian settlers in all of its parts, the western half of the Oberwart district in the Domain of Bernstein remained free of Croatian settlers.

Ferdinand I gave the Domain of Schlaining and Rechnitz to Franz Batthyany in 1527. However, the legitimate heirs of these two properties were successful in postponing delivery to Franz Batthyany until 1544. In this year, and with the concurrence of Ferdinand I, the heirs of Andreas Baumkircher reached an agreement with Franz Battyany and his wife, according to which, the Battyany family bought half of the Domains of Schlaining and Rechnitz. Emperor Maximilian II gave the second half of the Domain of Schlaining with all of its accessories to Balthasar Battyany in 1574.

The Domain of Rechnitz

In the paper "Zur Herrschaftsgeschichtes des suedlichen Burgenlandes" (History of the Domains of Southern Burgenland), J.K. Homma also touches on the colonization of the Croats in both of these estates. Between 1538 and 1545 according to the register, Croats were settled in the following villages of the Domain of Rechnitz: Dürnbach (Vincet), Zuberbach (Sabara), Schachendorf (Cajta), Schandorf (Cemba), Grossnahring (Velika Narda), Kleinnahring (Mala Narda), Oberschilding (Gornji Catar), and Unterschilding (Dolnji Catar). The last four of these villages are located in Hungary. We must include Rechnitz (Rohunac), Markthodis (Novi Hodas), and Althodis (Stari Hodas) among the Croatian settlements of this Domain. Rechnitz may have experienced a Croatian migration between 1544 and 1554, while Markthodis and Althodis were settled with Croats later. Althodis appeared to be authentic for the first time in 1664. In 1697, Rechnitz had a population of 662 Croatians in addition to 1572 Germans. The Walachs of Althodis had a privileged position in the Domain of Rechnitz. Battyany settled his serfs here from the environments of Kopreinitz (Koprivnica) right after the conquest of West Slavonia by the Turks.

The Domain of Rotenturm

Rotenturm was in the possession of the Erdody family from 1496 until 1557. Peter Erdody completed an agreement with Nicholas Zrinyi on February 12, 1557, in which the Zrinyi Domains of Eberau, Rotenturm, and Csatar in the County of Zala were transferred in exchange for the Castle of Medvedgrad near Zagreb (Agram) and Rakonok (Rakovac) in the Slavonian county of Kreuz (Krizevci). In 1612, the royal Curia decided that the heirs of Zrinyi were obligated to transfer the Domains of Eberau and Rotenturm and all accessories to the Erdody family in return for the castles of Medvedgrad and Rakonok plus a payment of 12,000 florins redeeming an old loan.

Erdody had already settled Croats in the Domains of Rotenturm and Eberau from the area of Moslavina and several years later from the territories of Roviste, Raca, and Kopreinitz. Nicholas Zrinyi, his successor, led his Croats from Slavonia in 1557 to 1561 to the estates of Eberau, Rotenturm and Vep (in Hungary). These were from the area of Kostajnica and Hrastovica. In addition, Croats were settled in Spitzzicken (Hrvatski Cikljin), Eisenzicken, Kleinzicken, Kotezicken, St. Martin im dem Wart, Neuhaus im dem Wart, Mischendorf, Weiden bei Rechnitz (Bandol), Parapatitisch (Pereparic-Brig), and Stefanshof (Humper). Spitzzicken had to have received new settlers before 1614, since the files of the county after 1614 contain no more "Ujszek" but "Olah-Cziklin," which means Walachian-Zicken. Relatively speaking, many Italians (Talliani) were found in this village among the new settlers in the 17th Century. Therefore the small town received the name of Olah-Cziklin after them, since Italians and Roman Walachs are of same origin. Spitzzicken had 10 households with the surname Talliani, 12 with Croatian names, and two with other surnames in 1686. In 1697, the parish of St. Martin im dem Wart was predominantly Croatian while the parish of Mischendorf was predominantly German.

The Domain of Schlaining

Within the Domain of Schlaining, Croats settled in Podler (Poljanci), Mönchmeierhof (Marof), Altschlaining (Stari Solon), Podgoria (Podgorje), with UnterPodgoria (Bosnjak-Brig), Rumpersdorf (Rupisce), Allersdorf (Kljucarevac), Allersgraben-Rauhriegel (Sirokani), Miedlingsdorf (Milistrof), Neumarkt im Tauchental (Ketel), Kleinpetersdorf (Mali Petrstof), and Hannersdorf (Sampovar). We already noticed in Chapter XXI, "Der letzte Einwanderung der Kroaten" (The Last Immigration of the Croatians) that the Croats in the Domain of Schlaining, with the exception of those in Neumarkt im Tauchental, Kleinpetersdorf, and Hannersdorf, are also called Walachs. Among the Croats of Dürnbach, the author found a verbal tradition according to which the Walachs of Schlaining were to have come around 100 years later than the ancestors of the Croatians of Dürnbach, Zuberbach, Schachendorf, and Schandorf. As the Walachs are understood to be descendents of slavicized Romanic herdsmen who belonged to the Orthodox Church, and fought against the Christian Western Civilization with the Turks, and as the ancestors of the Schlaining Walachs always were Catholics and fought against the Crescent, it is time to put this fact into a proper perspective. The question why the Batthyany family settled these Croats here in the 17th century is necessary to be answered, and the events in the first half of the 17th Century provide a response. The Haiduckenoberst Gregor Nemethy destroyed almost all villages in the Battyany Domain in 1605, because Franz Battyany who served under King Rudolph II sided with the Emperor in the Turkish War. The devastation of his land and the political events of that time forced Battyany to later side with Bethlen Gabor. After the withdrawal of Bethlen Gabor from West Hungary, the Imperial military leader Collato and Nicholas Esterhazy conquered Güns, Rechnitz, and Körmend in 1621. Soon thereafter the Styrian farmers devastated 9 villages in the Domain of Schlaining, and 7 in Rechnitz. Therefore, the Battyany family was now interested in the acquisition of new settlers and workers for these destroyed villages. They succeeded in converting Adam Battyany who served as a Cavalry General in the 30 Years War and sided with the Emperor. The following villages are not listed in the Urbare of the Domains of Schlaining and Rechnitz of 1544: Mönchmeierhof, Podler, Allersgraben-Rauhriegel, Weiden bei Rechnitz, with Parapatitisch and Stefanshof, and Podgoria with Bosnjak-Berg. We can assume that Croats founded these places. According to the often-quoted treatise of Dr. Breu the following villages were once totally or partly Croatian:

1. Kleinpetersdorf. 17 families lived in Kleinpetersdorf in 1720, and 14 of them had Croatian surnames.
2. Kleinzicken had 9 families with Croatian surnames, one family with a Hungarian name and one with a German name.
3. Virtually only Croatian surnames were represented in Kotezicken around 1700.
4. Mischendorf. In 1697 Gregor Bratey, a Styrian by birth, who could have been Slovenian as well, was the priest here. However, the Croats did not understand him. The teacher was named John Stubitz. From 1715 until 1723, a third of the community had Croatian names. Flurnamen (names for a certain part of the land belonging to a village) from this time are Cikarnin, Cila, Krajcici, Med Vodami, Na Veliki, Sinoska, Polig Njega, and Velika Sinoska.
5. Neuhaus (Krobotsdorf) was a Croatian place according to canonical inspection of 1698 and 15 Croat and 2 German families lived here in 1720.
6. In the history of the Lutheran parish in Grosspetersdorf written by John Schmidt, we read on page 151: "At the Synod in Buek (Wichs) in 1661, the people of Hannersdorf demanded that a Croatian sermon be held each month as it seems that Hannersdorf still had a partial Croatian population at that time. The Synod gave the request no consideration and the inhabitants of Sziget im dem Wart were denied permission for their minister Adam Bokany to hold regular Croatian religious services in Hannersdorf." 60 years later (in 1720) in Hannersdorf there were 19 families with Croatian surnames, 21 with German names, and 4 with Hungarian names. A fifth of the Flurnamen are still Croatian today. Two different dialects were spoken in the village according to Mr. Karner.
7. Altschlaining had 8 Germans and 6 Walachs with Sessionalisten (full farmers), and 4 Söllner (inhabitants owning no portion of land) in 1719. Three of the Söllner had German names and only one had a Croatian name. The Germans had a village judge, and the Croats had a vice-judge. The Flurnamen Draga Ograd and Lipa are reminders of the former Croats of this locale.
8. The Croats were in the minority in Eisenzicken in 1698.
9. Approximately half of the population in St. Martin im dem Wart was Croatian in 1720.
10. The Croats were a minority in Rechnitz (known as Deutschmarkt, and Ungarmarkt at that time) where they were a 1/3rd of the population in 1717. The Croats had their own priest from 1660 until 1740. The Flurnamen Dolnji, Jedankertsch, Knaseno, Nimsko Polje, Paraga, Pesceno, Pod Trnjem, Pod Glavicami, Ripisce, Stubjak, etc. speak for the fact that to a large extent, the Croats there were farmers. In 1697, the Croatian priest was Matthew Frankovich, and the schoolmaster was John Baritz.
11. Markthodis was a community with mixed inhabitants in the 17th century, with the Germans being the predominant majority, while the Croats constituted a strong minority. Among other things, the Croatian Flurnamen of Palinka, Pescenica, Za Kapelom acknowledge this even to today.
12. The priest in Neumarkt im Tauchental in 1697 was "principaliter Chroatica ac deinde Germanica" (spoke Croatian principally and also German). A priest named George Radosticz, who was a Croatian, could not preach well in German. Some Croatian names from Neumarkt from 1692 are Subasics, Jagodics, Bunschiz, Csacsinovics, and Horvath. Poschendorf (Bozok) which was beyond the Hungarian border had a Croatian majority in the 16th century. Franz Kurelac had accumulated 13 Croat folksongs here in 1847, which is a confirmation of Sangesfreudigkeit (the popularity of singing folk songs) by the youth there. The Croats were a third of the inhabitants in Szerdahely in 1720, and a fourth of the population in Welem (Velemba). The Croat minority was negligible in Zachenbach (Cak).

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XXVII - The District of Oberpullendorf and the Adjacent Parts of Hungary

From the Landsee mountain range, the small Hungarian lowlands stretch towards the last outlet in the hunchbacked hills. Ödenburg borders to the north of this hilly region, and the hills of Güns are to the south, and the District of Oberpullendorf is located in this expanse. If we include an approximate 20-km wide strip (of land) with this district in neighboring Hungary, we have the area where the largest portion of the Croats settled after the siege of Güns. We can cite around 40 villages in the Domain that admitted the fleeing Croats at that time because this region suffered the most during the siege of Güns. Therefore there was an urgent need for people who would bring new life to the burned down and partially deserted villages. Croats were settled in the following domains:

The Domain of Lockenhaus

It is known that the Kanizsay family settled the first Croats who immigrated into this domain. However since the last Kanizsay had already died in 1532, prior to the siege of Güns and before 1532, this family had settled their subjects onto their estates from Bosnia and the surroundings of the Croatian Castles of Velike and Stenicnjak. In addition to the other villages, Nikitsch (Filez), Unterpullendorf (Dolnja Pulja), and Dörfel (Drfelj) belonged to this Domain. Nikitsch is the largest Croat community in mid Burgenland, and it was a German community at the time of the settlement of the Croats. The gardens lying behind the Earl's mill in the east, which are still called Nimsko Selo (German Village) today, are reminders of this. Germans may still have lived in Nikitsch in 1586. Franz Nadasdy writes as follows to Gregor Stansics, his friend and champion of the Lutheran Faith, on December 6 of this year: "I need a third minister for Nikitsch, he should be a Croat or a German." Since only inhabitants with Hungarian surnames paid the Weinzehent (1/10th tax of the years wine production) in Unterpullendorf in 1557, we must assume that Unterpullendorf was a Hungarian village in earlier times, and that Croats first settled here after 1557. Hungarians may still have dwelt in Unterpullendorf in 1646 because the Visitation (Canonical Inspection) of this year says: "The people of Unterpullendorf asked for a Hungarian clergyman who should speak two languages." Of Dörfel, where in 1661 many families carried the same names, the Visitation says: "Hic parochiani omnes Catholici et Croatae" (Here the members of the parish are all Croats, and everyone of them is Catholic). Three large Flurstücke (pieces of village land) still have Croatian names today: Rawnica, Krasica and Sina-Feld, while Kogel, Weingebirg and Anserswald are German.

The Domain of Güns

At the time of the settlement of the Croats, this Domain was the property of Nicholas Jurischitz, the heroic defender of Güns for 15 years. He died in 1544. One may confidently assume that as the Commander in Chief of the Croatian Imperial Army, he brought settlers out of the endangered areas and into his devastated villages. The number of Croats settled in Grosswarasdorf (Veliki Boristof) and Frankenau (Frakanava) must not have been very large. To be precise, the Urbars of this Domain from 1569 shows that among the farmers in Grosswarasdorf in addition to 32 German families there were only 26 Croatian (families), and among the Kleinhäuslern (a person who does not own a sessio) besides 13 German families, there were 14 Croatian (families). At the same time in Frankenau, 20 Croats and 19 Germans were shown among the farmers, and 7 Germans and only 2 Croatian family names amid the Kleinhäuslern. New Croat settlers had to have come later since they only achieved a majority in these places after 1569. The Croatian Language Island of Temeton (Temerje) in Hungary that belonged to this Domain had 52 Croatian surnames among 68 owners of whole sessios in 1569. 42 of its 54 new settlers had Croatian names, and of 12 listed small farmers, 6 had Croatian surnames. 100 out of the 136 households had Croatian surnames.

The Domain of Klostermarienberg

This Domain belonging to Cistercians was initially granted to Baron Nicholas Jurischitz on February 2, 1533, but their possession was returned after his death. Klostermarienberg belonged to the Nadasdy family from January 24, 1568 until April 30, 1672. The domain contains Kloster (Klostr), Mannersdorf (Malistrof), Strebersdorf, Kleinwarasdorf (Mali Boristof), Kroatisch Minihof (Mjenovo), Prössing (Prisika), Siegersdorf (Zidan), Bleigraben (Plajgor), Unterloisdorf (Podrlostrof), Oberloisdorf (Nadrlostrof), and Karl. After the siege of Güns, all villages of the Domain received Croat settlers except Oberloisdorf, Strebersdorf, and Karl. Kleinwarasdorf, Kroatisch Minihof, Prössing, Siegersdorf, and Bleigraben are still purely Croatian today. Unterloisdorf had a Croatian majority in 1675 and 1676. In 1622, Croatian surnames were predominant in Mannersdorf, and in 1678, the minister in Mannersdorf was under the administration of the Trausdorf Croats along with the subsidiaries of Unterloisdorf and Klostermarienberg. The schoolteacher of Mannersdorf who in addition also taught the children of the subsidiaries was a Croat from Klostermarienberg. In 1608, 75% of the population of Klostermarienberg had Croatian surnames. We are not wrong in assuming, that Andrew Mihalevic, the Deputy Abbot of the Cistercians, included Croat settlers in the villages of the Abbey from 1547 until 1555. In the list of inhabitants of Kroatisch Minihof from 1622 appeared a Söllner (an inhabitant owning no land) named George Zrin, whose surname alludes to the Castle of Zrin situated by the river Una in the possession of the Zrinyi family.

The Domain of Landsee - Lackenbach

At the time of the immigration of the Croats, the following properties were given to this Domain: Earl Ulrich Von Grafeneck, the owner's son, sold the Domain to Baron Sigismond Von Weisspriach in 1506, and after his death his widow was the owner until 1523. Landsee was notorious at this time for being a robber's nest. She looted villages in northern and central Burgenland with her servants, and after her arrest in 1523, Hans Von Weisspriach, her son, was the owner of the Domain up to 1548. It can be safely asserted that Croats had settled in the villages of Unterfrauenhaid (Svetica), Lackendorf (Lakindrof), St. Martin (Sveti Martin), and Horitschon (Horicon). Lackenbach (Lakimpuh) was also allowed to receive Croat settlers during the same period of time. After the death of the Hans Von Weisspriach, Ernst, Christopher, and Andrew Teufel were the owners of this Domain until 1553. The latter two sold the Castle of Landsee along with its villages to Nicholas Olah, the Prince Primate of Hungary, who owned Landsee and Lackenbach until 1561. Since Kaiserdorf (Kalistrof) and Weingraben (Bajngrob) were founded in 1558, we can assert that Nicholas Olah, the Archbishop of Gran, settled the villages with Croats. Both villages are new Croatian establishments. Kaisersdorf had 51 Croat, 23 German and 8 Hungarian households in 1640, while Weingraben had 62 Croat, 3 German and 1 Hungarian households. In 1627 Kroatisch Geresdorf (Geristof) also belonged to this Domain. Bidermann reports that "a small village with Chrabathen (Croatians)" existed in 1534 close to the Styrian border between Blumau and Steinbach. One must accept that the "small village with Croatians" was soon deserted because the Urbar of Lockenhaus from 1597 and the Urbar of Landsee of 1627 list villages existing only today in the mentioned region. Several people can be found in Neutal even today with Croatian surnames. Unterfrauenhaid and Lackendorf were newly founded entirely by Croatians; this comes unmistakably out of the Urbar of Landsee of 1627 and the Visitation of 1674. Of the 42 people mentioned in Lackendorf in 1627, 38 were Croatians and only 4 were Germans. Of the 36 mentioned in Unterfrauenhaid, only 1 was German. The Visitation of 1674 writes of Lackendorf: "Hic parochiani sunt meri Croatae, omnes Catholici" (Here the members of the parish are purely Croats, and all of them are Catholic.) In 1674, a Croatian priest from Unterpullendorf was serving in Unterfrauenhaid that had a teacher who was born in this village and who also was a Croat. In 1627 within the village of St. Martin, more than half of the owners of sessiones had Croatian names, while the farmers had almost all-German names. In 1674 St. Martin had a priest that came from Trausdorf, and a Croat teacher that was from Pama. In 1627, a strong third of all owners of sessiones in Lackenbach had Croatian names, and the Flurnamen of Selica, Tutka, and Kreutschitz still point today to an extinct Croatian nationality. Horitschon had a Croatian minority for a long time, and in 1627, 14 of the 38 sessios had Croatian names, and of the 16 Hofstättlern (ones who own a house and land, but the size of the land is less than an "Achtel"), only 2 had Croatian family names. Several of the Flurnamen are reminders of the former Croats of this place. Only Kaiserdorf, Weingraben, and Kroatisch Geresdorf are Croatian today of the 10 aforementioned villages of this Domain.

The Domain of Nebersdorf

The villages of Nebersdorf (Susevo), Grossmutschen (Mucindorf), Kleinmutschen (Pervane), and the youngest village of the district, Langental (Longitolj), belonged to this Domain. Nebersdorf was in the possession of the Hungarian Magnate Niczky family from 1340 or 1348 until 1944, while Gross and Kleinmutschen belonged to the Hungarian Aristocrat Sennyey. According to Dr. E. Moor, the Croats in Nebersdorf took over a Hungarian village. Dr. Moor claims that Grossmutschen was also a Hungarian village like Nebersdorf before the settlement by the Croats. In 1557, John Kovacsi and Benedict Tornazczi paid the Weinzehent (a 10th of the years wine production) in Grossmutschen, where Croats were already living in 1558, and who were named Blasius Markovic (Markoyth), Benedict Barilic (Barylyth) and Phillip Tonkovic (Thonkoyth). In the past century a great number of gypsies were in Langental that earned their livelihood by being musicians, who constituted almost half of the population after the First World War.

The Domain of Kobersdorf

Microfilmed data was taken from the Landesarchives (Provincial Archives of Burgenland), Esterhazy Archives Budapest, Repository 10, Bundle A, Number 2.1585: The division of the Domain of Kobersdorf between the daughters Margaret and Anna of John Choron occurred in this year. The inhabitants of Chorondorf (Tschurndorf) were: Nicole Walatych, Bartholomew Hasz, Peter Jarychowyth, Bartholomew Wagher, Mark Bonyth, Andrew Mendesyth, Paul Popowycz, John Byskowycz, Michael Kranchyth, Martin Rybaryth, Andrew Maryessowyth, Matthew Syranowyth, Stephen Popowyth, Gregory Swychyth, Peter Bonyth, Stephan Mariasowyth, George Radanowyth, Martin Wypawcyz, Matthew Ghrwbycz, Stephan Kranchyth, George Rebachyth, Thomas Maryassowyth, John Byztanyth, Mathew Kolryth, Michael Czwythowyth, Michael Maryassowyth, and Michael Syranowyth. Among the 27 subjects were 25 Croats and 2 Germans. There were 19 German families in contrast to 12 Croatian families in Lindgraben, and all of the other villages in the domain of Kobersdorf are German. The next Urbar of the domain of Kobersdorf is from the year 1702. Within the ethnic structure of the domain at this time were the German villages of Markt Kobersdorf, Weppersdorf, Kalkgruben, Oberpetersdorf (which had a Croatian family) Lindgraben (with a Croat farmer's family), Neudorf, Stoob (with two Croat farmer's families), while Tschurndorf was a mixed-language municipality. Nine of the 21 owners of Sessionalisten (full farmers) listed were Croatian, and they were George Kaneschitz, Hans Kaneschitz, Michael Horvath, George Weleschitz, Matthew Weleschitz, Laurence Mojmositz, Michael Karoschitz, Andrew Weleschitz, and Michael Kerbaschitz. Hans Von Weisspraich was the owner of this Domain from 1523, and his son-in-law, Hans Choron from April 20, 1563 until 1585. In 1581, the subjects of the Domain of Kobersdorf complained to Archduke Ernst of Lower Austria that Hans Choron expelled Germans from their houses and farms, and settled Croats and Hungarians. Hans Choron was the Stadthauptmann (Town Captain) and Obersgespann (nominal head) of the county of Ödenburg from 1571 until 1584. He founded Tschundorf, and as was already said, settled Croats in this village. The Catholic Priest Ambosius Turczicz worked in this Domain, who attended the ecclesiastical Synod in Szombathely in 1579 with George Draskovich, the Bishop of Gyor (Raab).

Neighboring Hungary

The western parts of the small Hungarian lowlands bordering on the District of Oberpullendorf were also badly damaged during the siege of Güns. Except for the already mentioned villages of Pressing (Peresznye-Prisika), Siegersdorf (Horvatzsidany-Zidan), Bleigraben (Olmod-Plajgor), and Temeten (Tomord-Temerje), the Croats began settling in 1537 in 18 robbed and devastated villages. Andrew Perneszi from Schützen (Sopronlovo) wrote about these Croats in 1574 to Emperor Maximilian II: "After the capture of Sziget by the Turks, I came with my family to Schützen and built a Castle here. That is why more than 600 farmers fled before the Turks."

The Croats who fled here came partly from the Una River area, partly from western Slavonia, and the precincts of Zagreb (Agram). Surnames indicate that a part of these refugees settled here in the neighboring villages of Nikitsch, Kroatisch Minihof, and Kleinwarasdorf.

The Croatian village of Kohlnhof (Kophaza-Koljnof) that belonged to the city Domain of Ödenburg (Sopron) was completely deserted in 1531, and its territory initially leased to the Croats from Baumgarten for several years. Only 18 owners of whole, half, and quarter sessiones lived in Kohlnhof in 1552, and from a total of 12 farmers, there were 7 German and 5 Croats. According to J. Hazi, Croatian surnames already were a majority among the vineyard owners in Kohlnhof in 1559, and in 1715 there were 35 Croatian surnames, 2 Hungarian and 20 surnames. (Acsady 1715)

The Croats discovered a strong Hungarian population segment in Klein-Andre (Hidegseg-Vedesin), as 22 of the 35 subjects in 1559 were of Croatian descent (from the Urbar of Sarvar). The Croats were the majority in a previous time period, before Hungarian families became predominant again.

From a spoken language point of view, both Klein-Andre and Amhagan (Homok), which had fewer Croatian surnames than Klein-Andre in the 16th and 17th centuries, had to be defined as Croatian villages. The Croats of both villages spoke the Kaj dialect, which delineates the area of Zagreb (Agram) within Croatia.

The Croat municipality of Undten (Und-Unda) was a subsidiary of the Croatian parish of Nikitsch according to Visitation from 1646. In 1720, Undten had 19 Croatian, 2 German and 16 Hungarian named families.

Adolph Mohl alleges that in 1663 the inhabitants of Heiligenstein (Hegyko) were Hungarian and Croatian. The Croatian minority was insignificant however in relation to the Hungarian population. Mixed speaking localities, in which the Croats constituted a majority or a minority, were: Gross-Andre (Endred - Endrisce). In 1557, the aforementioned Croatian surnames from Gross-Andre in the Deutschkreutz Weinzehent register were in the majority. An altar cloth with a Croatian inscription was found according to the Protestant Church Visitation of 1631. The church provost said that their ancestors brought it with them from Velike in Croatia.

Kleinzinkendorf (Kiscenk-Mala Cenka). According to a document of 1553, the Croat farmers Peter Kovacics, Nicholas Kralich, Michael Pastrich, and Michael Chermetich left their ruler, Ladislaw Szalay, and settled in the village of Kohlnhof that belonged to the City Domain of Ödenburg. They still found occasional Croatian surnames in Kleinzinkendorf in 1537 according to information from Hirlap Soproni from February 21, 1937.

Perestagen (Peresteg). The village name of (Prosteg-Weit) refers to a Slavic origin according to Adolf Mohl. Families with Croatian names (Vasarich, Kirkovics, Lovranics, Ivancsisc, Praznik, Derdak, Pinezich, Zubrics, Sinko, etc) still live in the community today, and all of these are old established farmer's families. As per the Urbar of Sarvar, the immigration of the Croats took place in the 17th century and 7 Slavic surnames are encountered in 1608 within this community. According to (Acsady 1715), 47 families with Hungarian and 18 with Croatian surnames came to Perestagen.

A Croatian immigration was already evident in Sopronszecsen in the 16th Century. According to Jeno Hazi, the Croats constituted a strong minority among the vineyard owners where it shows 9 families with Hungarian names and 10 with Slavic surnames in 1720. Acsady also asserts the same for the years of 1715 and 1720 where several Croatian Flurnamen are still preserved (Duzina, Kamenjak, etc). Unfortunately Acsady's results are only at our disposal for Petohaza, which lists 12 Croatian, 6 Hungarian, and 2 German names. One can conclude from it that the Croats forced the Hungarian population into the minority here also. A strong Croat minority was formed in the neighboring community of Schültern (Suttor). The Urbar of Szeplak of 1594 mentions 54 surnames, 9 with Croatian names, 8 Horvath's and 10 Toth's. The surnames of Horvath and Toth constituted half of the Croat inhabitants of the village Fertoszentmiklos. St. Nicholas also received a Croatian influx from the lower Ikava River in the 16th century. The Croatian family names listed here among the vineyard owners already represented a significant minority there in 1557 according to Jeno Hazi. The surnames of Horvath and Toth constituted approximately 1/4th of all families in the census made between 1560 and 1584. The villages of Csapod and Himod, situated some distance from the above-mentioned communities, received a slight immigration of Croats in the 16th Century. Several Croatian surnames from the village Csapod are listed in the Deutschkreutz Zehentregister (1/10th part tax on crops and bred cattle) in 1557. The Urbar of 1584 from Szeplak included the names of Horvath and Toth who constituted 1/4th of all families. In 1715, Acsady counted 17 Hungarian and 2 Croatian surnames in Himod, where Adolph Mohl mentions an alley that still carries the Croatian name of Jedina today. Mohl also tells us of a narrow alley called "Jedan" in Bosarkany that even today still has families with Croat names, e.g. the family Kursics.

Schützen (Lovo-Livir): Jeno Hazi found some Croatian surnames for 1557 in Schützen, that by 1559 including the names of Toth and Horvath that already constituted a slight one-third of all surnames. The Protestant pastor of the community was Matthew Muschits. In 1631 the Croats demanded that they be preached to in their native language. The Church congregation owned a printed Croatian Graduale (a song) in this year. John Gubaschitz, a Croat, was the minister of the community during the time of the Counter-Reformation. We find in this place even today many Croat surnames such as Babic, Jagodic, Juranic, Milkovic, Music, Nadaric, Palovic, Radic, Sedenie, Stefanic, etc. Croatian refugees, such as the families Gracol, Horvath, Podar, etc, lived in Güssing (Kovesd-Kevesd) before the Turks. Güssing also possessed a Croatian Graduale in 1631. Adolph Mohl reports that according to the Visitation of 1631 those from Heiss (Kaptalanvis-Visija) were former Hungarians and Croatians. In 1715, there were 26 families with Hungarian surnames, and 5 with Croat names, but in 1720, 20 Hungarian, 2 Germans, 4 Slovaks, and 4 Croatian surnames were counted. According to the oldest sources one finds occasional Croat family names in Lindgraben, Schwabenhof, Drassmarkt, Steinberg, Oberloisdorf, Lockenhaus, Liebing, Rattersdorf, Roggendorf, Strebersdorf, Lutzmannsburg, Raiding, Ritzing, Neckenmarkt, Girm, and Deutschkreutz, Grosszinkendorf, Holling, Pinnye, Losing, Ebergoc, Szeplak, Agyagos, Vitnyed, Hovej, Tschapring (Csepreg), Wichs (Buk), Horpacs, Ujker, Ivan, Csomote, Beled, and Güns (Koszeg).

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XXVIII - The Northern Burgenland and the Western Lake Neusiedl

This region is comprised of two Districts, the larger and easterly situated District of Eisenstadt and the westerly located District of Mattersburg. The ancestors of the Croats living here found acceptance in the five Domains existing at that time, namely in the Domains of Eisenstadt, Forchenstein (owned by an Earl), Hornstein, Landsee, and in the Domain of the city of Ödenburg.

The Urbars for this area before the 16th and 17th centuries include the Urbars of the Domain of Eisenstadt for the years 1515, 1527, 1569, 1588, and 1675. Urbars of the Grafschaft (a Domain ruled by a Count) of Forchenstein of 1569 and 1675, Urbars of Hornstein from 1561 and 1563, and the Urbar of the Domain of Landsee for the years of 1627 and 1640 complete the list. The history of the City of Ödenburg gives us ample narratives about the village of Klingenbach.

As in the other regions of Burgenland, the Croatian villages of these two districts also lie in the plains. The fact that relatively many Croats found acceptance in the plains of the Wulka can be attributed to the following causes.

Emperor Friedrich in association with the Hungarian king Matthew Corvinus drove out the wild and plundering Army of the elder Giskra from this area in 1463. The castles of Hornstein, Oslip, Trausdorf, and Wulkaprodersdorf were probably destroyed during that time. Turkish Cavalry ranged throughout the land during the siege of Wien (Vienna) in 1529, burning villages, and killing men capable of arms, while dragging women and children into hard slavery.

Adolph Mohl says that the Domain of Hornstein had also suffered considerably during the first siege of Vienna. Many perished because of the sword, others were dragged into captivity, and villages rose in flames. The beautiful church of Steinbrunn built in the Gothic style was destroyed at this time.

In 1532, a large Turkish Army moved against Wien (Vienna) again. While the brave Nicholas Jurischitz defended Güns with his 27 Hussars and 700 farmers who had fled into the fortress against the main power of the Turks, the Turkish vanguard wrought mayhem in the area between the Neusiedl See and the Rosalia Mountains. In the beginning of September, the Turkish Emperor came with his entire military strength and remained in Eisenstadt for a few days.

General Herberstein reports as follows of the Turkish move: "Then the Turks left Güns (Koszeg) going on to Eisenstadt, Wiener Neustadt, and Hartberg," and a Turkish record says "on the following day they encamped before Selesno (Ed. Comment: Zelezno-Eisenstadt). This was a large city with a substantial castle, solid walls and high bulwarks, whose inhabitants knocked on the gates of grace and surrendered, thus sparing the Church in Eisenstadt." (Excerpts from the history of the City of St. Martin's parish church, Dissertation of Rudolf Sobotka, Eisenstadt 1955, pages 29 and 30.)

The inhabitants at the edge of the Leitha Mountains and Lake Neusiedl sought refuge in the dense forests and in the reeds of the lake. A part of the population could surely have rescued themselves by fleeing to Forchenstein, Ödenburg or Wiener Neustadt. Thus a whole series of villages whose inhabitants did not take flight in a timely manner were exterminated. These villages in which Croatian inhabitants reside today include Sigless, Zillingtal, Steinbrunn, Antau, Baumgarten, Drassburg, Klingenbach, Zagersdorf, Wulkaprodersdorf, Trausdorf, Oslip, and Hornstein, among others.

The Domain of Eisenstadt

From 1491 until 1647, this imperial domain belonged administratively to Austria, but in ecclesiastic aspects it was a part of the Diocese of Gyor (Raab). It was transferred from 1508 to 1571 to the following Pfandherrn (one who loaned money and received a domain as a mortgage):

Dr. Veit Von Fürst from 1508 to January 3, 1515, Christoph Von Zinzendorf from 1517 to 1527, Ernst Von Fürst from 1527 to 1533, Moritz Von Fürst from 1533 to March 30, 1553, and Hans Von Weisspriach from 1553 to 1571.

Emperor Maximilian II returned the mortgage sum of 77,361 florins and 11 denari for the Domains of Eisenstadt and Forchtenstein to the heirs of Hans Von Weisspriach in 1572.

Communities belonging to the Domain of Eisenstadt gave the following number of florins to Emperor Maximilian: Eisenstadt-4000, Kleinhoflein-2200, St. Georgen-200, Purbach-2500, Schützen am Gebirge-1000, Zagersdorf-400, Trausdorf-300, Donnerskirchen-600, Apetlon-500, and Illmitz-350 florins. Emperor Maximilian had issued separate warranty letters for all these municipalities in which he guaranteed that he never again sell or mortgage the same again.

The Eisenstadt domain was governed henceforth by a Hauptmann (Captain) and a Burggrafen (Count of the castle, who were subordinte to a Rentmeister (Treasurer of the Domain). Burghauptleute (Supreme castle administrators) of this Domain were, Hannibal Von Zinzendorf from 1571 to the 8th of August 1571, Seyfreid Von Kollonitsch from 1572 to 1599, John Bernard Lobl from Greinburg from 1599 to 1609, and Leonard Hellfried from Meggau from 1609 to 1622.

Palatine Nicholas Esterhazy received the total of 400,000 florins as a mortgage for the Domain of Eisenstadt and the Earldom of Forchenstein in 1622. The Castles of Forchenstein and Eisenstadt have been in the hands of this once powerful family ever since this time. That Croats were settled in the Domain of Eisenstadt before 1529 or 1532 prove the following facts:

1. A Casper Tursich (Turschitsch) appears as the first Croat in Trausdorf as per the 1515 Urbar of 1515 of Eisenstadt, and a Croat named George Walich (Balitsch), in Purbach. They are the first authentically proven Croats in today's Burgenland.

2. The Croatian historiographer Mate Ujevic writes on page 7 in his treatise "Gradiscanski Hrvati," Zagreb 1934: "From 1552 until 1526, the inhabitants of the Croatian coastal area moved from the precincts of Zengg (Senj) and from the mountain valleys of Lika, Gacka, Krbava into the county of Ödenburg."

3. On September 7, 1526, Queen Maria, the widow of Ludwig II, ordered the citizens of Ödenburg to stop the migration of the Croatian refugees through the city, and give them shelter in the town or suburbs, so that the country (Hungary) would not decline in population and power. (Bratislava on September 7, 1526.)

4. 22 German families lived in Oslip in 1527, in addition to 13 Croatian families and a "Pfaff krabat" (Croatian priest). Two houses and a Meierhof (a large farm) stood vacant. Trausdorf has 33 German families in addition to 3 with Croatian surnames. The Oslip priest, who had lived in a "1/4th" house (a house on a quarter sessio), was the first Croatian clergyman in the former District of Eisenstadt.

5. Half of the mill in Schützen am Gebirge was bought by the Croat, Ivan Post, and George Krabat bought the other half.

As was already mentioned in Chapter XIX, "Migration of the Croatians into today's Burgenland and into Neighboring Lands," large masses of Croats left from the imperiled regions within their homeland after 1532. Considering the fact that in 1532 Croats were already settled in Petronell, Scharndorf, Schönau, Günselsdorf, Teesdorf, and Trunau near Baden in 1533, it is safe to assume that many Croatians settled into the current Northern Burgenland communities that were destroyed by the Turks. It should be said that in 1569 within Oslip (Uzlop) there were 54 Croats and 2 German households, while in 1675, it had already grown to 110 households of which 94 had Croatian surnames, 14 with German names, along with a Hungarian, and an Italian surname.

According to the Urbar of Eisenstadt, there were no Croats living in Zagersdorf (Cogrstof) in 1527. Of the 48 families in 1569, 32 had Croatian surnames and 16 had German surnames. In 1589, of the 40 families who lived in this village, 31 had Croat surnames, and 9 had German names, while in 1675, 37 Croatian surnames, and 10 with German surnames are found.

Trausdorf (Trajstof). The Urbar of 1569 (the Eisenstadt half) provides the following data: 28 households with a 1/2 sessio, 9 with a 1/4 sessio, 1 with ¬ and 1/8 sessio's, 1 with 1/8 and 1/16 sessio's, 2 farms, and 4 mills. Altogether there were 45 households with 35 Croatian and 10 German surnames. Marr Latitsch, the minister in Trausdorf, owned a farm according to the Urbar of 1589. The Urbar of 1675 indicates that there were 9-2/4 houses, 47 houses, 6 Hofstättler (persons with a house but no land) and 11 Kleinhäusler (owners of small houses). There were a total of 68 households of which 58 had Croatian surnames, and 10 had German surnames.

Antau (Otava), Eisenstadt half. The Urbar from the year 1569 shows the following data, 9 full sessio's (certain fixed portions of farmland belonging to the village), 15 half sessio's, 2 full sessio's, plus other fractions, 1 Hofstatt (farm), and 15 families with German surnames and with 13 Croatian surnames.

In 1675 it shows 4 whole sessio's 22 half sessio's, one large farm, 9 small farms, and one shepherd's house. In the year 1675 there are 4 whole sessio's, 22 half sessio's, one large Hofstättler, 9 small Hofstättler, and one shepherd's house. 38 of the 49 households had Croatian surnames and 11 had German surnames. Wulkaprodersdorf (Vulkaprodrstof) belonged to the Domain of Eisenstadt and was in the eastern half. There were still no Croats living in Wulkaprodersdorf in 1527, that included 25 German families. The Urbar of the Domain of Eisenstadt of 1569 for this part of the village indicated that it had 24 half sessio's, 5 quarter sessio's, one 3/4 sessio, and 4 Hofstätten (a house with no fraction of a sessio). 20 of the 34 households had German surnames while 14 had Croatian names. 68 families lived in this part of the village in 1675, as there were 57 Croatian and 11 German surnames. The rising number of Croatian surnames in this village suggests a new Croatian immigration in the 17th century.

Schützen am Gebirge (Cesno). In 1569, there were 5 Croat families living in this community, growing to 7 in 1580 and 16 in 1589. The Visitation (ecclesiastical inspection) of 1651 says that the parish priest is German and Croatian. According to Adolph Mohl, Schützen am Gebirge had Croatian ministers in the years 1641, 1668, and 1684. 31 of the 105 families in 1675 were Croatian. The years from 1533 to 1553 meant a period of significant rebuilding for the Eisenstadt Domain. During this time the Pfandinhaber (mortgage owner) Moritz Von Fürst obtained only a small benefit from this Domain, whereas the subjects had difficult times under the reign of Hans Von Weisspriach from 1553 to 1571. The farmers could recover financially only after the retraction of the Domain's stringent requirements via the imperial chambers, where the Robot and payments in kind were calculated more humanely on the royal properties.

The Earldom of Forchtenstein

The Earldom of Forchtenstein belonged administratively to Austria from 1491 to January 19, 1626, but remained ecclesiastically under the Diocese of Gyor (Raab). The Earldom was in the hands of the Hardegg family at the time of the immigration of the first Croats to Drassburg. Emperor Maximilian sold the Earldom of Forchtenstein for 24,000 Rhine guilders to Heinrich Pruschenk in 1495, who was the Earl Heinrich of Hardegg mentioned in the documents; however the Emperor reserved the right to re-purchase it for himself. After the death of Earl Heinrich, Forchtenstein went over to his son, who gave the Earldom to Johann Cristoph for 5 years in 1520. After this sequence of events it was ceded again into the hands of Earl Johann, however for only 4 years, who then transferred the properties to his wife.

Up to 1533 Count Julius of Hardegg, the brother of Heinrich, was the owner of the Grafschaft (Domain owned by a Count). In this year he mortgaged it to Jacob Von der Dörr, with the approval of Emperor Ferdinand I, under the condition that the Emperor could take it back at any time after settling the remaining mortgage value.

Jacob Von der Dörr, the new mortgage holder of Forchtenstein, was an old, proven soldier who gave all of his attention to his possessions. He did not ignore the dreadful misery of his subjects after the Turkish invasions of 1529 and 1533, and alleviated their difficulties as much as possible. Jacob Von der Dörr settled Croats with favorable terms in the populated localities, as there were already 600 subjects in 1537 who were mainly Croats out of southern Bosnia.

Jacob Von der Dörr did not intend to retain the Earldom for his lifetime, and endeavored to sell his possessions. With the consent of King Ferdinand, Cavalry Captain Erasmus Teufel acquired Forchtenstein with Weisspriach's money, and in the spring of 1546, he handed it over to Weisspriach, also with Ferdinand's approval.

A document of King Ferdinand I shows us how Weisspriach came to this domain. The wife of Weisspriach lived on the farms of King Ferdinand as the Lord High Stewardess, and as the educator of the children of Ferdinand. In this position she had acquired earnings which obligated her to the sovereign family.

After thirteen years in a benevolent Domain, the Knights of Von der Dörr as well as the Croatian subjects of the Earldom came under the money-greedy Weisspriach for 22 difficult years. Weisspriach was able to exploit the Earldom as he desired since it had been left to him without any conditions. He sold not only the Earldom's houses, but also its fields and meadows, and because he didn't keep an accurate real estate register, there were many errors in the Urbar as well as in the book of vineyard land registrations.

Conditions changed in Forchtenstein after the death of King Ferdinand. The complaints of the subjects of the Earldom reached the throne of the Emperor Maximilian, which led to a reprimand of Weisspriach, and finally to the redemption of the Earldom.

The villages in the Earldom of Forchtenstein contributed their redemption costs in the following way. Mattersburg gave 3,000 guilders, Breitenbrunn 2,200, Grosshöflein 2,000, Steinbrunn 200, Zillingtal 250, Krensdorf 600, Forchtenau 250, Mullendorf 200, Pottsching 500, Pamhagen 400, Wallern 200, Wiesen 200, Sieggraben 150, Haschendorf 100, Marz 100, Schattendorf 300, Zemendorf 50, Stotter 200, Antau 150, Drassburg 80, and Trausdorf 100 guilders.

After the redemption, Heinrich Vo Zinzendorf managed the Earldom for a short period of time, followed by the 17 long years of Seyfried Von Kollonitsch. John Bernhard Lobl and Leonard Hellfried were the supreme castle administrators for 22 years. In 1622, the Castle of Forchtenstein along with the villages came into the possession of Nicholas Esterhazy, who along with the Earldom also received the rank of Count.

The Croatian Villages of this Earldom in the 16th and 17th Centuries:

Sigless (Ciklez)
After 1532, the village consisted of 8 whole sessio's (certain fixed portions of farmland belonging to the village), 18 half sessio's, and 2 farms. Sigless still belonged to the Earldom of Forchtenstein, but it was under the control of Jacob Von der Dörr. When he sold it to Erasmus Teufel, he retained Sigless should the village revert to the Earldom after the death of Weisspriach, which probably occurred after 1570. Von Rappach was the proprietor of this village in 1569.

According to the 1675 Urbar of the Earldom of Forchtenstein, Sigless had 23 half sessio's, 48 quarter sessio's, 2 old Kleinhäusler (a person who does not own a sessio), 27 new Kleinhäuslern, and 1 mill. 57 of the 71 farmers had Croatian surnames, and 14 had German surnames. 6 of the 30 Kleinhäusler had Croatian surnames, 24 had German surnames, and the miller's family was also German. In the 16th century, the ratio between the Croats and German families placed the Croats in the majority.

Zillingtal (Celindof)
In the Urbar of Earldom of Forchtenstein from the year 1569 is the following often-said remark: "This village was entirely deserted previously and is resettled with Croats." We can assume from this sentence that similar conditions prevailed in Sigless, Steinbrunn and in other communities as they were in Zillingtal after 1532. The Earl of Forchtenstein had the right to appoint the priest of the parish of Zillingtal. In 1569, there were 20 whole sessio's, 8 half sessio's, and  2 three-quarter sessio's in Zillingtal. There were 7 Hofstätten (a house with no part of a sessio or land), and 20 new settlers. 28 of the farmer's families had Croatian surnames and 2 had German names. 21 of the 27 Kleinhäusler had Croatian surnames while 6 carried German names. A whole sessio consisted of 34 Joch Aecker (5755 square meters of arable land and meadows). Zillingtal had 57 houses in 1569, while in 1589 there were 65 houses.The Urbar from the year 1675 provides the following data. There were 13 whole sessio's with the parish rectory, 5 three-quarters sessio's, 31 half sessio's, one 1/8th sessio, one 3/8th sessio, one 5/8th sessio, 16 quarter sessio's, for a sum total of 68 sessio's. It also showed 38 Kleinhäusler, and 1 Meierhof (large farm). 60 of the 68 farmers had Croatian surnames, while there were 7 German and one had an Italian surname. 31 of the 38 Kleinhäusler had Croatian names and 7 had German names.

Steinbrunn (Sukapron)
Adolph Mohl writes in his paper, "Szarvko es urai," that some who were under the Fürst family came from Steinbrunn to the Castle of Forchtenstein, and that Croats were settled in Steinbrunn during the reign of this family. Moreover says Adolph Mohl, that according to the Urbar of 1561, Steinbrunn was at one time almost entirely Croatian. The Earl of Forchtenstein had the right to appoint the priest of the parish of Steinbrunn. According to the Urbare of 1588 and 1589, the village had 2 whole sessio's, 4 _ sessio's, 12 half- sessio's, 1 ¬ sessio, 1 Hofstatt (farm), 1 half-Hofstatt, 1 mill, 1 priest, and 23 houses. The size of a full sessio was 24 square measures (a measure = 5755 square meters) of arable fields and meadows, and 6 Tagwerk (an area that one person could work in a day) in a wine garden. The size of a half sessio was 12 square measures of arable fields and meadows and 6 Tagwerk in a wine garden; a whole Hofstöttler (a person that owned a house & land, but less than an Achtel) had a small garden. Joseph Breu includes Steinbrunn and Zillingtal in the list of deserted communities, those totally deserted villages that were later resettled again with Croatian settlers.

Drassburg (Rasporak)
An article from Vjekslav Marhold (Nasa Domovina, 1933, pages 73 to 75) provides us additional information about the history of this village. From it we learn that the Counts of Forchtenstein, Paul and Wilhelm, were the owners of this village in 1433. Paul Vardai, the Archbishop of Gran at that time, gave a part of this village to Thomas Nadasdy. 37 farmers belonged to this feudal estate during this period of time. Furthermore, the greater part of the village remained in the hands of the Counts of Forchtenstein. We find from a Drassburg subject of Emperor Karl VI, that the first ancestors of these Croats had already settled in Forchtenstein by 1517, and even earlier in Drassburg. The Drassburg farmer's complaint drawn up after 1734 gives us an insight into the feudal system at that time. Baron Mesko, the new owner of the former Nadasdy section, demanded intolerable services from his new subjects under Hungarian law, whereas the Drassburg farmers wanted to pay only those taxes which were prescribed for them in the Urbar of 1675 according to the previous Imperial custom.

In 1588 and 1589, Drassburg had 5 whole sessio's, 8 half sessio's, and 1 quarter sessio. There were 12 Hofstätten, besides 4 mills, a parsonage, and 31 households. A whole sessio had 25 measures of arable fields and meadows and a Tagwerk in the meadows. A half sessio had 12 measures of arable fields and meadows and a half-day of Tagwerk in the meadows. A quarter sessio had 5 measures of arable fields and meadows and a half-day of Tagwerk in the meadows; Hofstötten had a house but no part of a sessio or land. An Edelhof (large farm) owned by the Nadasdy family with 37 Holden (people who do not own farmland) belonged to the village, as well as 2 Pfarrholden (people with houses on church land) who were newly settled on the grounds of the parish. There were a total of 71 houses in the community.

Trausdorf (Trajstof)
Forchtenstein subjects. On March 16, 1537, the envoys of Ernst Von Fürst, mortgage holder of Eisenstadt, and the Knight Jacob Von der Dörr, owner of Forchtenstein, agreed that Ernst Fürst would receive from Jacob Dörr the village of Antau and the devastated village of Weichslgut (located between Prodersdorf and Trausdorf). In return, Dörr would receive Trausdorf from Fürst. According to the 1569 Urbar from the Earldom of Forchtenstein, the Earl had the right to appoint the priest of the parish of Trausdorf. Trausdorf consisted of 27 half sessio's, 10 quarter sessio's, 1 quarter and a sixteenth sessio, 1 eighth and a sixteenth sessio, and 2 farms in 1569. 33 of the 41 households had Croatian surnames and 8 had German surnames. 2 of the 4 miller families had Croat surnames, while the other 2 were Germans. The Urbars of 1588 and 1589 show no whole sessio's, 12 half sessio's, 14 quarter sessio's, 3 whole Hofstätten, 3 mills, and 1 parish house for a total of 33 households. There were 51 Holden in Eisenstadt in these years. Half sessio's consisted of 15 Joch Acker and 2 Tagwerk in the meadows. Quarter sessio's consisted of 8.5 Joch Acker and 1 Tagwerk Wiese, and whole farms had 3 Joch Acker and 2 Tagwerk. There were only 3 households with German surnames in 1589. Marx Latitsch, the minister, owned a Hofstatt. In 1675, a rectory was here in addition to 41 fiefs and 4 Kleinhäuslern in the part of the village that belonged to the Earldom of Forchtenstein. In 1675 there were in this part of the village a whole sessio (that belonged to the rectory), 8 half sessio's, 1 three/eighths sessio, 27 one-quarter sessio's, 4 one-eighth sessio's, and 3 Kleinhäusler. In addition, there was a schoolhouse, a community guesthouse, 3 mills, for a total of 51 households, of which 47 had Croatian surnames and 4 had German names.

Croatian Minority Communities of this Earldom

Grosshöflein (Velika Holovajna)
This village was still lightly settled in 1569, 10 of the 13 sessio's held German surnames, and 3 had Croatian names. All of the 9 farmers had German surnames, and the 4 miller families were also German. In 1589 Grosshöflein consisted of 2 whole sessio's, 2 three-fourths sessio's, 48 half sessio's, 12 one-quarter sessio's, 13 whole small farms, 1 mill, 1 bathroom, 9 foreign Holden (3 from the ruler of Khörnberg), 6 Pfarrholden (houses on land owned by the parish), a minister and a school. The total number of houses in the community amounted to 90. A half sessio had 18 Joch Acker and 20–24 Tagwerke in wine gardens. A one-quarter sessio had 9 Joch Acker and 12 Tagwerk in the wine gardens. The Hofstöttler owned no land. There were 82 sessio's in the community according to the Urbar of 1675. 60 of the owners had German surnames while 22 had Croatian surnames. 49 of the 51 Kleinhäusler had German surnames, as did 7 of the 8 Söllner (inhabitants owning no land).

Mullendorf (Melindof)
In 1569, 7 of the 35 sessio's, 2 of the 9 Kleinhäusler, and 3 of the 7 Holden were Croatian. According to the Urbar of 1589, this village had 3 whole sessio's, 20 half sessio's, and 16 quarter sessio's. In addition to the 11 Hofstätten (a house with no part of a sessio or land), it had a mill, a butcher shop, 5 foreign Holden (3 of which were from the Lord Von Rappach, and 2 from the Lord of Khörnberg), a parish and a school. The total number of houses amounted to 59. A whole sessio consisted of 46 Joch Aecker and 1 newly planted vineyard. A half session consisted of 23 Joch Aecker and a newly planted vineyard. A quarter sessio consisted of 10.5 to 12.5 Joch Aecker. 13 of the 67 sessio owners had Croatian names in 1675, and all of the 39 Söllnern were German.

Krensdorf (Krenistof)
It can be proven that Krensdorf also had a Croatian minority in the 16th and 17th centuries. 6 of the 40 households in 1580, and 4 of the 47 owners of properties including houses in 1589 had Croatian surnames. The Visitation (ecumenical inspection) of 1641 noted that the inhabitants of Krensdorf could speak German and Croatian. 16 of the 67 farmers in this community had Croatian surnames according to the Urbar of 1675.

The Domain of Hornstein

This Domain belonged administratively to Austria from 1491 to 1647, but for ecclesiastical purposes, it belonged to the Diocese of Gyor (Raab).The owners of this Domain included: Dr. Veit Von Fürst from 1504 to 1515 Ernst Von Fürst from 1515 to 1533 Moritz Von Fürst from 1533 to 1553 Hans Conrad Von Fürst from 1553 to 1561 Knight Leonard Püchler from 1561 to 1567 Püchler's widow and her son Maximilian from 1567 to 1582 The Püchler Heirs from 1582 to 1590 Baron Ruprecht Von Stotzingen from 1590 to 1600 Georg Von Stotzingen from 1600 to 1614 Octavian Adolf Von Stotzingen with brother and sister from 1614 to 1631 Octavian Adolf Von Stotzingen alone from 1631 to 1642 John Rudolph Von Stotzingen from 1642 to 1648 Count Frank Nadasdy from 1648 to 1671 The State Treasurer (Fiskus) from 1671 to 1702 The Fürst Esterhazy Family from 1702.

Dr. Veit Von Fürst came from Germany, who was an honorary doctor of the University of Tubingen, and bought the Domain of Hornstein in 1504 from his nephew Ulrich Grafeneck. 4 years later he became the mortgage holder of the Domain of Eisenstadt. Since he received the rank of Stadthauptmann (town captain), he moved to Eisenstadt where he died. Because he was childless, his brother Ernst was his heir, followed by his sons Moritz and Hans Konrad. The Turks devastated the Domain of Hornstein twice during the time of Ernst Von Fürst, the first one occurring in 1529, and it was also severely battered during the siege of Vienna. In 1561, 32 years after the Turkish siege, Seibersdorf, which belonged to this Domain, consisted of only 12 rebuilt houses and a Meierhof (large farm). The Church in Leithaprodersdorf was also destroyed, as well as the Johannes Chapel in Loretto that was built by Kanizsay in 1431. But after three years, the Turks emerged for the second time, as Nicholas Juraschitz stopped them this time for 4 full weeks at Güns. After the conquest of Ödenburg, the Sultan remained in Eisenstadt until the end of August, whose surroundings had just been devastated by troops carrying out a scouting raid. From there, he dispatched envoys to Emperor Karl V. Then came the fatal withdrawal of the rearguard of the Turkish Army through Styria. According to Adolph Mohl, all earlier Visitation documents were destroyed during the two Turkish drives of 1529 and 1532, and were in fact eradicated even in Gyor (Raab). Ernst Von Fürst settled the Croats in Hornstein and on his property in Stinkenbrunn (today's Steinbrunn) after the retreat of the Turks. The exact point in time of this settlement is unknown, however Adolph Mohl places the time of settlement in the year 1536.The Knight Leonard Püchler purchased the property of Hornstein along with the fortress for 13,200 guilders from the widow of the last Von Fürst, and the purchase agreement is dated March 27, 1561. Before he gave his consent to sell, Emperor Ferdinand had ordered the drawing up of a new Urbar. According to this newly written Urbar, the following belonged to the Hornstein Domain: There were 64 houses in Hornstein, 75 in Leithaprodersdorf, and 30 in Wimpassing. In the Stinkenbrunn (today's Steinbrunn) portion of the village, there were 30 houses 28 houses in the Hornstein half of Wulkaprodersdorf, and 50 houses in Pottelsdorf. Croats were settled in Hornstein, Stinkenbrunn, and Wulkaprodersdorf.

Adolph Mohl writes in support of Dr. Wiedemann's work in Volume 4, pages 417 & 418, in his treatise "Die Einwanderung der Kroaten im Jahre 1533" (The Immigration of the Croats in 1533) that the minister of the Hornstein Croats in 1544 was Neurschi, while in 1597 however it was Paplitsch. The domain owners treated the village priests cruelly, akin to common serfs; but thanks to the clerics exemplary life and ardor, the inhabitants remained firm in the Catholic faith. In 1563, 64 families lived in Hornstein (Voristan). Two farmed on whole sessio's, 42 on half sessio's, and 20 on quarter sessio's, the priest was given a half sessio, and 52 of the 64 households had Croatian surnames. These conditions suggest that Hornstein must have been almost deserted during the period of time of the new settlement. "A purchasing estimate is very informative concerning the settlement of the Croats in the Domain of Hornstein. This estimate that might have been prepared in 1561 says that the village of Markt Hornstein contained 64 houses and a Meierhof (a large farm), as it was founded in this 55th year. Croats inhabited the majority of these houses. If we equate the number (55) with the year 1555, then we can set the time of the Croat immigration into the Domain of Hornstein." (Dr. August Ernst, Allgemein Landestopographie, Volume II.) The Urbar of 1563 shows 29 sessio's to be in the Hornstein half of Steinbrunn (Stikapron). Five of which were full sessio's, 3 three-quarter sessio's, 17 half sessio's, and 4 quarter sessio's. 27 of the 29 households had Croatian surnames while the remaining had German names. Wulkaprodersdorf (Vulkaprodrstof). The Hornstein section of Wulkaprodersdorf had 30 families in 1563. 21 of them had German surnames and 9 were Croatian. 23 of the total of 26 sessio's were whole, 2 were half sessio's, and 1 was a quarter sessio, in addition to 3 Hofstättler, and a mill. According to the Visitation of 1597, George Ladmitsch, the minister, worked here since 1557, and he preached in German and Croatian. 25 Joch Acker and 2/4's of a wine garden belonged to the rectory. Furthermore, each owner of a half sessio gave a measure of heavy and light corn annually to the minister. In 1675, the former Hornstein part of the village was assigned to the Earldom of Forchtenstein. There were a total of 35 sessio's in the Forchtenstein section in this year, of which 1 was a whole sessio, 10 were half sessio's, and 24 were quarter sessio's. There were 8 Kleinhäusler, 1 blacksmith's shop, and the ministers' wine cellar. 32 of the 44 households had Croatian surnames and the other 12 were German.

The Domain of Landsee

An abridged version of the history of this Domain is contained in Chapter XXVII, "The District of Oberpullendorf and the Adjacent Parts of Hungary." The small villages of Rohrbach and Siegendorf located in the Districts of Mattersburg and Eisenstadt also belonged to this Domain. Baumgarten gave the Order of Saint Paul along with other possessions to Ulrich Grafeneck and his son Count Wolgang Grafeneck in 1475. Upon the requests of the daughter of the founder, Elizabeth, the Baumgarten monastery was placed under the Order's Residence in Wandorf along with its other properties in 1526. The monks left the burned out monastery in 1493 and moved into the Order's residence in Wandorf. The Baumgarten monastery was totally destroyed by the Turks in 1529 and 1532, and after the withdrawal of the Turks, Hans Von Weisspriach, the owner of Landsee, took over the monastery, and its associated properties. The first Croats had already settled in both Siegendorf and Baumgarten before 1528. An occurrence from the year 1528 has already been stated: A Christoph from Aspang stole two oxen from a Croat in Baumgarten and pawned them to another Croat in Siegendorf for around five pound denarii. Since the Croats of neighboring Drassburg are already verified as being there in 1517, the Croats of Baumgarten, Siegendorf, Drassburg, Oslip, Trausdorf, and Steinbrunn belong to the first Croatian settlers of this region. Since the village of Rohrbach belonged to the same Domain as Siegendorf and because at that time the District of Mattersburg was sparsely settled, it can be assumed that the first Croats in Rohrbach immigrated at the same time as the Croats in Siegendorf. Unfortunately, we have no precise data for Rohrbach until 1627 and no data at all for Baumgarten and Siegendorf until 1640.The Urbar of the Domain of Landsee from 1627 identifies 44 Sessionalisten (full farmers) in Rohrbach (Orbuh), of which 36 had Croatian surnames and 8 had German names.18 of the 32 Hofstättler had Croatian surnames, and the other 14 had German names. 6 Holden had German surnames. 54 of the total of 82 families were of Croatian descent and 28 from German lineage. The fact that the portion of those with German names among the Hofstättlern is higher then among the Sessionalisten (full farmers), and greater among the Holden (Söllner) than among the Hofstättlern, indicates that by 1627 a German immigration was already under way. Since the Croats already constituted 2/3rds of the population in Rohrbach in 1627, the proportion must have been more favorable for the Croatian population in the 16th century. Thirteen years later according to the 1640 Urbar of Landsee, 51 of the 95 families who lived in Rohrbach had Croat surnames, while the other 44 had German names. The municipal judge was a Croat. The number of Croatian named inhabitants' fell by 3, while the German named increased approximately by 16. The former Croatian nationality disappeared from this domain in the 18th and 19th centuries. The last Croat of this municipality, a blacksmith, died in the first years of this century, and he received a Croatian burial in accordance with his wish.

Baumgarten (Pajngrt)
It is evident from a testamentary input of April 11, 1529 from Peter Aichelsperger, the tailor in Ödenburg, that Baumgarten had a minister in this period of time. In 1535, the Baumgarten Croats leased a Hotter (village territory as a whole) "large section of fields by the Unten" located in Ödenburg. These two pieces of information suggest that Baumgarten must have been well settled in the years 1529 and 1535, because its inhabitants leased a larger number of properties in the Ödenburg Hotter.

Baumgarten had 39 households in 1640 according to the Urbar of Landsee. Of the listed family surnames, there were 36 Croatian surnames, 2 German and 1 Hungarian name. Of the 39 sessio's, 1 was a whole, 2 were three-quarters, 7 were halves, 29 were quarters (1/4), 6 were one-eighth, 3 were one-quarter and an eighth sessio. A school teacher taught in a room above the vestry in the community, where he also lived. According to the Urbar of Landsee, there were a total of 135 families in Siegendorf (Cindrof) in 1640. Of the total of 135 surnames, 116 of them were Croatian, 16 German, 2 Hungarian, and one had an Italian surname. The Urbar showed 1 whole sessio, 3 three-quarters, 24 half, 40 one-quarter, 5 one-eighth, 2 one-sixteenth's, 3 one-eighth's and 1 one-quarter sessio's. 47 Hofstättler lived in the community. The minister owned a half sessio, and a schoolhouse also existed.

The Domain of the City of Ödenburg

More villages belonged to the City of Ödenburg that were subservient to the city, such as the villages that were in the Earldom of Forchtenstein were subservient to the Counts of Forchtenstein. These villages were Agendorf, Wandorf, Harkau, Klingenbach, Loipersbach, Wolfs, Kohlnhof, and Mörbisch.

The city of Ödenburg purchased Klingenbach (Klimpuh) on July 13, 1418 for around 500 Viennese pounds from the Viennese citizen John Weispacher. In 1672, the City of Ödenburg sold Klingenbach to the Bishop of Gyor (Raab), Georg Szechany, on the condition that the city could buy it back again for the original purchase price. Ten years later the Bishop gave Klingenbach to the Jesuits of Güns from whom it was bought back again by the city in 1698. Klingenbach was a German community before the settlement by the Croats. A Missal printed in Gran (Esztergom) in the year 1500 that is in the Gyor Diocesan library, provides proof that Germans lived in Klingenbach in 1515. A note written in German is found on the first page from Frank Pankratius who was the priest in Klingenbach at the time, that the former minister owned 5 Joch of ground, 2 wine gardens, 3 gardens and 3 meadows. Furthermore this Missal certifies that Klingenbach already had a Croatian priest named George Sokovits in 1542. Written in this missal in 1542 in Cyrillic script were the Croatian "Vaterunser" (The Lord's Prayer) and later an Easter song (Osterlied), except for the last two sentences of the "Our Father" which were written with Glagolithic characters.

14 Fronbauern and 10 Söllner lived in Klingenbach in 1558 for a total of 24 Croatian and German families, and our source indicates that the number of the Croats increased as a result of a new settlement. Klingenbach with the villages specified above belonged under the sovereignty of the city of Ödenburg until 1848 or 1853. According to Hungarian law the Fronbauern delivered a ninth of their harvest to the city of Ödenburg, and performed 52 days Robot annually, in addition to other duties and taxes.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XXIX - The District of Neusiedl

The language islands of Parndorf include Parndorf, Neudorf, Kittsee, Pama, Gattendorf, and Potzneusiedl. The Estates of the Earl of Harrach, Parndorf (Pandrof) and Neudorf (Novo Selo) were at that time royal Dominican farms and constituents of the County of Wieslburg, which later belonged to the Domain of Ungarisch-Altenburg.

In 1525, King Ludwig II of Hungary granted his approval to Leonhard III Von Harrach, owner of the Domain of Rohrau, to acquire the communities of Parndorf and Neudorf, which were situated in the Hungarian area. The Pressburg Chapter issued the letter of transfer a year later. Both villages were badly affected when the Turkish Army inundated this area in 1529, as both villages lay deserted for a decade. This condition changed in 1563, when Leonhard IV received the right of abode in Hungary, and as a result was entitled to own and rule over Domains in Hungary. Harrach began with the settlement in Parndorf, and a few years later in 1570, he also initiated the re-settlement of Neudorf. Alarmed by the Turkish threat, the German population did not want to settle in this endangered outpost. Harrach therefore admitted Croat refugees for the settlement of new villages just as they were being accepted elsewhere in Burgenland. They cultivated the frugal arid ground and changed wasteland into blooming fields. Lucas Masnik, the minister of Parndorf, was present at the Diocesan Synod of Szombathely (Steinamanger) in 1579. According to Harrachs' Urbar of 1600 (Volume II 15 copy Hofkammerarchiv Vienna (Treasury Archive, Vienna) B 29 E ff.) there were 80 farmers’ houses and 18 Hofstätten in Parndorf; in Neudorf there were 40 inhabited and 30 deserted houses. The ecclesiastical Visitation of 1659 praises the inhabitants of Parndorf who were all Catholic Croatians, for being diligent churchgoers. Neudorf was populated entirely with Catholic Croatians in the years of 1659, 1674, and 1696.

The Domain of Kittsee

The Domain of Kittsee, which only consisted of some small towns, is located in the northern corner of the District of Neusiedl between the Danube and Leitha rivers. The Counts of St. Georgen and Bösing were the owners of this Domain at the time of the immigration of the Croats into this area. Wolgang Bösinger was the Oberkammerer (chief treasurer) of King Ludwig II and his advisor since 1526. After the disaster of Mohacs, he supported the Habsburg party and maintained his loyalty to King Ferdinand I until the end of his life (1537). Six years later, his son Christoph also died, and the male lineage of the younger Bösingers expired with his death. Margaret, the daughter of the deceased Count Franz Bosinger who died in 1534, married Wolfgang Von Puchheim, Lord of Göllersdorf, and she inherited the Domain of Kittsee in 1546. After the death of her husband around 1578, Kittsee received a new Lord in the person of Baron Johann Listy who married Elizabeth, the daughter of Wolfgang Von Puchheim. Johann Listy is shown as the Domain owner in the Visitation log of 1646. Listy supported the Reformation, whereas the Croatian subjects in Pama and Kroatisch Jahrndorf remained true to the Catholic faith. Kittsee (Gijeca). The first Turkish troops came to Kittsee in September 1529, and they destroyed the 300 hundred year old Church of Pankratius, numerous houses, and decimated the population. The time of the new settlement is not known. The inhabitants of the village are partly Croats and partly German according to the "visitatio canonica" (canonical Visitation) of 1659. The Croats themselves have always been well known for their Catholic faith. Around 1715, the population consisted of 48 Fronbauern (farmers) and 28 Kleinhäusler (a person who owns a house, but no part of a sessio). Pama (Bijelo Selo). The Turks also destroyed Pama in 1529, which was probably a subsidiary of Kroatisch Geresdorf after the new settlement by the Croats. The village was also totally devastated in 1620 during the Bethlen War (part of the 30 Years War). According to the county's descriptions of 1552/1553, the village included 10 portae (technical term for a tax system). According to canonical Visitation of 1674, the community was entirely Croat in 1659, with all inhabitants being Croatian except for two Lutheran farmers from Kittsee. In 1696, the only Germans were a shepherd and a miller. 38 farmers and 16 Kleinhäusler lived in the village in 1715. c.

Estates of the Gentry

In the late Middle Ages members of the gentry who constituted the middle class in the feudal system were found in Gattendorf and Potzneusiedel. Gattendorf (Rauser). On June 22, 1442, by order of Elizabeth, the King's widow, the Chapter of the Pressburg Cathedral introduced Georg Von Gattendorf into the ownership of the property of Gattendorf. On February 3, 1453, the same George de Gatha (or Kattendorf) received from Ladislaus V of Hungary, the confirmation of all documents for the Domain of Gatha and the income of the Lucrum camerale for loyal service. (Lucrum camerale is the equivalent of income to the state.) Since he had no male heirs, his estate went over to his cousins Johann, Paul, and Ladislaus after his death. Gattendorf received its Croatian name (Rauser) from a family named Rausch. According to the canonical Visitation of 1659, the greater part of the inhabitants were Catholic Croatians, while most of the Germans were Lutheran. The population count around 1517 was 27 Fronbauern (farmers) and 37 Kleinhäusler.

Potzneusiedl (Lajtica) was first mentioned at the end of the 13th Century and may have been founded by Counts named Poth. The county descriptions of 1552/53 list the owners as Bathory and Nedvely with 4 and 6 portae respectively. In the 18th century, the village was subordinate to Count Harrach's Domain, Bruck an der Leitha. Around the middle of the century it was a possession of Baron Von Bender, before it finally came into the hands of Prince Batthyany. The village may have been devastated in 1529 during the war with the Turks, after which Croats settled it. According to the Visitation of 1674 and 1696, all parish children are Croatian with the exception of a German shepherd and a German weaver; according to the Visitation of 1659 all inhabitants are Catholic Croats, except for a Lutheran. The total population in 1715 was 17 farmers and 4 Kleinhäusler.

More villages are located in the east of the District of Neusiedl where Croats had settled in the 16th Century, as they share a common nationality with the ancestors of the current Burgenland Croats. Three of these villages that in the 16th century were entirely Croatian, and which were given to Czechoslovakia after the 2nd World War are: Kroatisch Jahrndorf (Hrvatski Jandrof) - nowadays Jarovce; Sarndorf (Cunovo) - nowadays Dunavec; Karlburg (Rosvar) - nowadays Rusovic.

Andreas Zoncic, a minister, served in Kroatisch Geresdorf in the 2nd half of this last century, where he lived modestly, and dedicated his savings to the education of Croatian clergymen and teachers. Karlburg is located in the vicinity of this village, where in 1659 only a Hungarian and two German farmers lived in addition to the Croats. More recently this municipality was already German, while Sarnhof is still Croatian today.

In neighboring Hungary, the two Croat villages of Palesdorf (Bezonja) and Kroatisch Kimling (Hrvatska Kemlja) are located in the County of Wieselburg. Matthew Miloradic-Mersic, a Croatian Priest/author, who was a strong supporter of a Croatian nationality in Burgenland, lived in the latter village.

Villages that were more or less Croatian in the 16th century were: Leiden (Lebeny). The Croats were in the majority here and Hungarians in the minority. Ungarisch-Kimling (Ugarska Kemlja) was half-Croatian and half-Hungarian in 1659. Hungarians, Croats, and Germans lived in Ragendorf (Rajka). Hungarians, Croats and Krainers lived in Galing (Kalnok).

The residents in Niklo (Lebeny-Szent Miklos) were Hungarian and Croatian according to Alexander Payr. Hungarians, Croats, and Germans lived in Otteveny.

In the District of Neusiedl one could find scattered Croatian surnames in the 17th century. A total of 44 Croatian surnames were found in the villages of Jois, Tadten, Frauenkirchen, Halbturm, Winden, St. Andrä„, Mönchhof, Illmitz, Neusiedl, Andau, Wallern, and Podersdorf.

There were a total of 49 Croatian surnames in neighboring Hungary in 1720; Ungarisch-Altenberg had 17, Halaszi 10, Wieselberg 14, Zanegg 3, Nagybarat 3 and 2 in Rabacsanak. The easternmost Croatian settlement was a village known as St. Johann bei Raab (Sveti Ivan) which was situated in the County of Gyor (Raab). According to Adolph Mohl, Croatians from Kroatisch Kimling settled here instead of those Hungarians who had been driven out in 1718 because they supported the Calvinist Church. There were a total of 61 Croatian families in 1720. According to Professor Fenyes, 400 Croats lived here in 1840; whereas there were only 300 as per the census of 1857.

The Hungarians may have been the majority in the community. Since the inhabitants had only Hungarian clergymen and schoolteachers since 1870, Croat children were brought up Hungarian, thereby the usage of the Croatian language gradually ceased. The author often had occasion to speak with the Croats there from 1897 up to 1901, who spoke the Ca dialect of the Croatian coastal areas. In their funerals, they placed a Croatian prayer book under the head of the deceased in the casket. The inhabitants of the village said that a part of the Croatian immigrants came here from Parndorf.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XXX - Services Owed to the Landlords

Duties and Services of the Settler in the Imperial Domains of Forchtenstein, Eisenstadt, Hornstein, Kobersdorf, and Güns

These properties were under the administrative authority of the Lower Austrian Chamber up to 1626 or 1647. After these domains were returned to Hungary, little by little the Hungarian regulations came into effect. In contrast to the serfs in Hungary, the new settlers in the above-mentioned domains were free owners of the sessiones assigned to them. They could inherit, buy, sell, or exchange houses and properties. Every change of property had to be reported to the Domain and was recorded in the real estate register.

In the first half of the 16 century, duties and services were very small, because the settlers still had to build dwellings, buy tools and seeds, breed cattle, and make the ground arable. Building material and firewood were free of charge from the manorial forests. As far as one can ascertain from the Urbar, on the whole, the obligations of the settlers in the imperial Domains were equitable. Apart from the Zehent (1/10th tax on crops and bred cattle), which was renounced by the church voluntarily and without claiming indemnity in 1848, there were the following obligations:

Only the two best farms of every village in the Domain were required to pay the Zehent in the first half of the 16th Century. The Robotleistungen (obligation to do a fixed amount of work for the domain owner) was assessed to be 12 days of labor annually. During the Robot "one was sustained with considerable eating and drinking." A miller from Wulkaprodersdorf for example, paid annually 30 Metzen (measures of grain), and 2 hens. As per the Urbar of 1561, the Hornstein farmers (63 in total) had to buy 17 or 18 Eimer (containers of wine) from the Domain annually, and pay a two-cent markup on approximately a quarter of a liter. The owner of a whole sessio had to give (to the owner of the domain) 3-1/2 shillings on St. George's and St. Michael's Day, 42 cents at Christmas, 5 hens and one loaf of cheese during the carnival, and 30 eggs at Easter. Half or quarter sessio's paid correspondingly less.

In 1569, the subjects in the Domain of Eisenstadt had to work 12 days of Robot with a draught animal, those who had neither ox nor horse did 12 days of hand labor, "whereby one should sustain them with considerable eating and drinking." The Kleinhäusler had to pay 4 shillings for not having to perform Robot. The Gertreide (grain) and Weinzehent (wine tax) from the two best farms in the Domain amounted to approximately 6 guilders in cash for each village. If millet or buckwheat were cultivated, one had to provide 1/10th Mandel or Kornmandel (unit measure of corn) (1 Mandel = 20 sheaf's). The community of Oslip had 7 whole sessio's, 41 half-sessio and 8 Kleinhäusler in 1569. They had to pay annually, 36 guilders, 1 shilling, and 10.5 pennies tax in addition to 64 hens, 596 eggs, 124 loaves of cheese, one measure of flour (1 Mut = 30 Metzen), and 12 measures of grain. A miller provided 12 measures of grain and had to pay 2 shillings and 12 pennies of Robotgeld (money paid instead of working Robot) to the domain owner. The community had to buy
approximately 35 Eimer from the domain. Each Achtring (subdivision of about 1.4 liters) of a container of wine was around 2 cents more expensive than the normal price. Duties and services were also customary in the other communities of the Domain.

Duties were raised in the 17th century because of the oncoming Turkish threat, however the Robotleistung was not. Certain duties of the community of Sigless were selected from this time period as a typical example of what taxes were required in 1675:

A local tax (Steuergulden) of 30 guilders, 15 Kreuzer, A small tax of 25 guilders, 2.5 Kreuzer, Wine tableware (Weingeschirr) tax of 70 guilders, Tax for the cantonment of the Hussars of 166 guilders, A vineyard tax (Bergrecht) of 35 Eimer, Recorders cash (Schreibergeld) of 17 to 18 guilders, A fruit tax (Fruchtzehent) of 1 Kreuzer for each shed, A wine tax (Weinzehent) of 2 Kreuzer for each Eimer, A 1/10th tax on the harvest of Buckwheat, seed, and vegetables On Pentecost Day, the village residents of Sigless and Zillingtal jointly had to give 10 to 11 Eimer (580 to 638 liters of wine), in addition to giving annually to the kitchen (of the administration). These donations included 5 calves, 6 geese, 6 piglets, 296 hens, 700 eggs, and some butter. The butcher shop provided 1/2 hundredweight (25 kg) of tallow. During the elections of the Richter (administrative head of the village) each citizen had to pay 1 Groschen (unit of currency). Similar duties were also required in the other communities of the former Imperial Domains. Two pieces of evidence prove that the Hungarian regulations for duties did not come immediately into force as a result of moving the above mentioned domains to Hungary.

Franz Kurelac found a song in Unterpullendorf in 1847 with the title "Jacka od zelezanskoga polja" (Song of the fields of Eisenstadt). In this song, the Croats (living) in the surroundings of Eisenstadt praise the fact that they are neither serfs, nor Fronbauern (farmers who had to perform Robot). They were able to call themselves "gospoda" (gentlemen), who lacked nothing, and had everything they desired.

A complaint of the Drassburg farmers also mentions the above contention to Emperor Karl VI in the year 1734, in which the farmers complain that the new mortgage owner of the Esterhazy part of the village demanded intolerable taxes and duties based on Hungarian regulations. They appealed to the Emperor to ensure that they owe the new creditor, Adam Mesko, only as much taxes and Robot as were owed according to the Urbarium of the Earldom of Forchtenstein of 1675. From this document consisting of 29 sheets one can conclude that the Hungarian feudal regulations were in agreement with the Hungarian county
authorities, effective in this area only from 1734.

The domains of the present day Burgenland remained with Hungary, and Hungarian regulations were enforced within these domains. Settlers in the Hungarian area could freely dispose of only their mobile possessions. Farms and plots of land did not belong to the farmers, but rather to the Domain owner, and the subjects had to carry all of the national tax burdens. They paid the fixed portal tax, the extraordinary war taxes and also the various Urbarial duties to the owner of the Domain for the usage of the house, fields, vineyards, meadows and pastures belonging to it.

(Only the Urbarial duties such as those on houses, fields, etc. were paid to the Domain owner, while the portal and war taxes were paid to the County. Ed note)

According to the 7th decree of Wladislaus II in 1514, all married farmers received 1gold guilder (100 Dinari) annually, half on St. George's Day, and half on St. Michael's day. Each week they had to perform a day's Robot, every month they had to deliver a capon, and give a ninth of all their plantings. A goose was given at Pentecost and St. Martin's Day, and every house gave a fatted pig as a gift at Christmas. Adult sons were not allowed to leave the domain property. Later laws and royal enactment's gave the farmers some relief. In 1555 the war tax on the subjects was reduced to one-half (1 florin). The subjects were allowed to sell home made wine from St. Michael's Day until St. George's Day. According to the 14th decree of Ferdinand I. In the year 1553, serfs could not be forced to work at the castles without pay.

A domain owner who illegally prohibited a tenant from moving away had to pay a fine of 100 florin (fl) upon the first reminder, and a fine of 200 fl was due at the time of a second reminder. If he took the risk of obtaining a third reminder, he stood to lose the sessio in question. (17th decree issued by King Ferdinand I in 1556.) The house that the subjects had purchased or built themselves could be sold within a 15-day period. The migrating farmer was allowed to keep inherited property not belonging to the farm, newly arable land, vineyards and meadows, but he had to provide the Urbarial duties attached to these in the future.

As a result of the depression of the subjects, Maria Theresa initiated (1764/65) a uniform and comprehensive Urbarialwesen (the relationship between feudal lords and serfs) for the entire country. She ordered the development of a universal Urbar, for which short summaries of the most important aspects are presented as they pertained to three categories of inhabitants: Settled farmers (Bauern) with house, farm, gardens, treading ground, exterior fields and meadows, Dwellers (Kleinhäusler) with house and buildings, Lodgers (Inwohner)

Land: A farmer's house included 1.1 square Klafter of land belonging to the "intravillanum" of the village. Depending on the quality of the soil, a farmer owning a full sessio owned the following amount of "intravillanum" land: In Wieselburg County: 20 to 26 Joch fields and 3 to 5 Joch meadows, In Ödenburg County: 16 to 22 Joch fields and 3 to 5 Joch meadows, In Eisenburg County: 18 to 22 Joch fields and 3 to 4 Joch meadows.

One Joch was calculated to be the equivalent of 2 Pressburg Metzen. In addition the farmers received a pasture (Hutweide) and were allowed to take wood from the forests of the lord (domain).Work duties (Robot) owed to their Lord: A farmer with a full sessio had to work with two of his cattle or horses one day each week for his lord. Dwellers and Lodgers had to do 18 or 12 days of manual labor per year respectively for their lords. Taxes: The Neuntl tax required a farmer to give a ninth part of his harvest to the domain. A "Bergrecht" (duty) had to be paid to the lord in wine growing areas irrespective of the amount of the harvest. Other duties: A dweller and lodger had to pay 1 florin per year to his lord, which had to paid on St. George's Day and St. Michael's Day. A farmer who owned a full sessio was required to give annually 2 hens, 2 capons, 12 eggs, and « Mass (liter) of lard. Every 30 sessiones had to give between themselves a calf or 1 florin 30 kreuzer. All duties related to inheritance, inventories, and divisions of property were abolished, as well as a duty of a tenth portion of inherited, exchanged, or sold goods. Other taxes such as the Quartiergeld, the Husarengeld, Sichel, and Zettelgeld and so forth were also abolished. Law Article VII of 1840 allowed the subjects to pay off all duties owed to the feudal Lord. The land continued to be treated as the property of the domain owner. Law Article V of 1844 provided access for the subjects to all public offices. The year 1848 or 1853 respectively finally brought the long awaited liberation of the farmers and Söllner. Liberation was also implemented in Hungary via a series of Law Articles approved in 1848. Law Article IX decreed the lifting of all urbarial regulations of Robot, Zehent (1/10th tax), Neuntel (1/9th tax), and Geldabgaben (tax money). The domain owner received a remuneration of 700, 650, or 600 guilders for every whole sessio located in Wieselburg, Ödenburg, or Eisenburg Counties depending on the quality of the Bauernwirtschaft (land belonging to the farm). The Kleinhäusler had to pay a standard sum of 50 guilders. The former subjects could also eliminate the payment by installments.

Return to Table of Contents

Chapter XXXI - The Religions of the Croatians in the 16th and 17th Centuries

From the history of the settlers from Oslip and Baumgarten we have already seen that the Croatian clergy immigrated along with the Croats. Croats in the surroundings of Eisenstadt and Mattersburg brought the Slavic church services from their home country which the Grecian missionaries Cyril and Methodius introduced by preaching religion among the heathen Slavs. They also composed the Glagolithic (Slavic) alphabet and used it for the compilations of the Holy Script into the Slavic language. Pope Hadrian II approved their compilations of the Holy Script and the Slavic church services around 868. Pope Johannes VIII had approved of the Slavic church services around 880, which were in addition to the Latin services always allowed in the Diocese of Kin and Krk.

In the first half of the 16th Century, the Croats in the surroundings of Eisenstadt held their church services in the old Slavic language, which is verified by a missal found in Klingenbach that was printed in the city of Gran (Esztergom) in 1500. In 1540, George Soccovich the priest in Klingenbach at that time wrote the Croatian "Our Father" on the first page in Cyrillic and Slavic characters, and in 1564 the Easter song "se je goristao" (The Savior is arisen!). Around 1560 the Latin language was mandated for the Croatian church services, which many had difficulties with.

In 1569, they asked the imperial Commissioners in Eisenstadt, whom Emperor Maximilian II dispatched to take action against the mortgage holder Hans Von Weisspriach, to say the Mass in the old way. Because they were not responsible however, the imperial officials did not make a decision on this issue. The old Slavic Liturgy was not well known among the Croats in central and southern Burgenland because these Croats came partly from the Una River area, partly from Slovenia and Bosnia, where church services were held in the Latin language.

That the Croats had a sufficient number of clergymen at the end of the 16th century vouches for the fact that they could give priests even to some small German villages. Andrew Mihalich was the administrator of the Abbey of Klostermarienberg in 1544; Pankraz Rosics, Lucas Medrowonicz, and Jacob Iglicz were the priests in Podersdorf, Winden, and Weiden in 1579. We can assume that George Draskovich, the Bishop of Gyor, coming from Zagreb (Agram) would strive to obtain priests from the old homeland for the Croatian communities of his new Diocese during his episcopacy (1578–1587), because the Diocese of Gyor (Raab) did not have a Seminary for priests. A.T. Vanyo says on page 58 of his book "Die katholische Restauration in Westungarn" (The Catholic Restoration in Western Hungary), that in 1646, Martinsberg, Grosswarasdorf and Unterfrauenhaid had priests from the Diocese of Zagreb (Agram).

The Reformation and the Croats

The first wave of the religious schism reached the area of today’s Burgenland during the time of the immigration of the first Croats, and the second religious schism began as the Turks threatened the borders of Croatia after the conquest of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1517. While Emperor Karl V and the Imperial Diet were preoccupied with the teaching of Martin Luther in Worms, the Turks took advantage of this opportunity to capture Belgrade, the gateway to the Middle of Europe. Soliman II, the Turkish Emperor, split the German states in a second attack in 1526. He destroyed the small but heroic army of the Hungarian King Ludwig II near Mohacs, and occupied the Hungarian lowlands. Because the German estates were split into two antagonistic camps, neither Ferdinand I or his brother Karl V was able to provide the necessary aid in to their brother-in-law the Hungarian King Ludwig II that had been agreed upon in pacts. The disagreements within the Christian community were thus partially responsible for the bitter 100-year-old lot of Croatia.

King Ludwig II was killed in the battle near Mohacs. Also found with him were six dead Bishops, one of them being Blasius Paxy, the Bishop of Gyor. Ferdinand assigned the revenue of the Bishopric of Gyor, of which today’s Burgenland was a part, initially to his German treasurer. But in 1530 it was assigned to the Protestant Paul Bakics, who refused to hand over the property to Bishop Franz Ujlaki, who had been appointed in 1535. The Protestant tycoons enjoyed the estates of the Diocese of Gyor (Raab) for approximately 30 years after the death of Paul Bakics. After the death of Emperor Ferdinand, those Domain owners who had become Protestants appropriated church properties one after the other. In the preface of Volume 4 of his document, P. Jandrisevits writes that Thomas Nadasdy had a warehouse full of church vessels and precious objects in his castle at Sarvar. According to the principle of that time, "cuius regio, eius religio" (he who rules the land determines the religion), the Protestant domain owners employed Protestant preachers in their Domains.

The laws of the country in 1557 and 1559 still prohibited the Protestants from a public practice of their religion; however the nobleman paid scant attention to this ban. Only in 1576 did the Protestants, under the leadership of Franz Nadasdy and Balthasar Battyany, publicly dissociate the Catholic Church from the Protestants, and profess the Lutheran Doctrine as their religion as paraphrased by Philip Melachthon. There were with few exceptions, as virtually every Domain in today’s Burgenland, and the towns of Ödenburg, Eisenstadt, and Güns were Protestant by the end of the 16th Century.

When the domain owners in Burgenland constrained the Croats religiously, they turned to Emperor Ferdinand I, and requested his permission to be allowed to retain their old religion. Emperor Ferdinand, who granted the Croats the right to select their clergymen themselves, did not want the Domain owners to use Protestant preachers. In some communities, like e.g. Hornstein and Oslip, the Croats adhered to this privilege until 1592, even if the right had already been denied to them.

These facts are confirmed by a report of the discussions with the Protestant ministers which was held in 1591 in Csepreg under the chairmanship of Franz Nadasdy, which speaks only of the presence of Hungarian and German ministers. This can be readily explained since only Catholic clerics worked in the Croatian villages on the basis of the Imperial privilege. Domain owners in the territory of the Diocese of Gyor respected the privilege of the Croats up to the end of the 16th Century. When Emperor Rudolf II started the Catholic restoration, several domains replaced the Lutheran pastors with Catholic priests.

"The Lutheran Nobility, knowing that with the Lutheran faith their power was in danger too, took up the fight against the Emperor by supporting the uprising in Bohemia and Moravia, and joined with the Transylvanian Prince, Stefan Bocskay." (Quote from Marrascher, Das Evangelium in Burgenland.)

This struggle unfolded into a national uprising against the reign of the Hapsburgs. In 1605, although Battyany and Königsberg who were Protestant sided with the Emperor, Nadasdy and Franz Dersffy, who were also Protestant, sided with Stefan Bocskay. During this time the Protestant Domain owners as well as several Croatian villages belonging to their Domains began to employ Protestant or Calvinist ministers. Since no indigenous Croats were available to them, they imposed Hungarian, German, Slovenian, Istrian clerics, or clergymen from the island of Mur on the Croats. The effects of this new stance of the Protestant Domain owners in the individual districts will be pointed out in the following pages.

The District of Neusiedl

Alexander Payr, Professor of Protestant Church history, was knowledgable in detail with every village of this district where Protestantism took root. In the case of Kittsee there isn’t a mention of even a single Croat in the community who would have been a follower of Martin Luther. J. Rittsteuer says, that Protestantism had found an opening under Johann Listy the Domain owner among the Germans, on the other hand the Croats were always known as being Catholic.

Kittsee (Gijeca) was approximately half Croatian and half German. Ministers’ Eliseus Homberger, Thomas Sieffert, and Johann Plankenauer worked here from 1617 to 1674, and as their names suggest, all three were German. The ecclesiastical Visitations from 1648, 1659, and 1674 verify that all Croats in this community were Catholic, however, the German inhabitants were followers of Martin Luther. When Alexander Payr mentioned that the Protestant community in Kittsee declined after 1674, he meant that the German residents converted back to Catholicism.

Pama (Bijelo Selo) may have been initially a branch of Kroatisch Jahrndorf (Visitation of 1648), ecclesiastically however, it belonged to the community of Kittsee in 1648. The inhabitants of Kittsee were Croatian and Catholic according to the Canonical Visitations of 1648, 1659, and 1674.

Gattendorf (Rauser). The parish dates from before the Reformation. According to the ecumenical Visitation of 1659, the greater part of the population were Croatian Catholics, with the Germans for the most part being Lutheran (Allgemein Landestopographie Volume 1, 1954, Page 193).

Potzneusiedl (Lajtica). According to the Visitation of 1659 all inhabitants are Catholic Croats except for one Lutheran; according to the canonical Visitations of 1674 and 1696, the parish children were Croatian Catholics. The two German families of a shepherd and a weaver are Protestant.

Parndorf (Pandrof) and Neudorf near Parndorf (Novo Selo). No Protestant preachers were employed here because the Domain owners of both villages were always Catholic. Lucas Masnik, the minister of Parndorf, attended the Diocesan Synod at Szombathely (Steinamanger) in 1579. The Visitation of 1659 says that the people of Parndorf were good Catholics, and diligently attended Church services. Neudorf was a branch of Parndorf after the new settlement by Croats. Neudorf was a Croatian community, in which all of the inhabitants were Catholics. Croatian Churches and folk songs from this region that came into being at the time of the Counter-Reformation, give testimony to the painful suffering of the Croats in the Bocskay and Bethlen Wars in 1605 and 1619–20. (Pama was totally ravaged in 1620, Parndorf was severely and repeatedly afflicted.)

The Districts of Eisenstadt and Mattersburg

Historians regard Ernst Von Fürst as the apostle of the Reformation in this region. He began to act as a protector in 1532, when the Protestants were expelled from Austria, a part of whom settled in Eisenstadt and in the neighboring communities under the protective wing of Ernst Von Fürst. What was started under Ernst Von Fürst came into full bloom under Baron Hans Von Weisspriach, whose family stems from Krain. Sigismund Von Weisspriach was already the administrator of the castle of Forchtenstein in 1462, and he purchased the castle of Landsee in 1506. His son, Baron Hans Von Weisspriach, began as the proprietor of the Domains of Landsee, Kobersdorf, and Obergespan (head of the county) of Ödenburg in 1523 and became the richest man in the county of Ödenburg after he mortgaged the Domains of Forchtenstein and Eisenstadt. He soon sided with the Protestants, and in 1541 signed a petition with the other Magnates for King Ferdinand to grant the Protestants freedom of worship. So it is readily understood that he made every effort to support his religion in Eisenstadt.

The Catholic minister vanished here in the same year that Weisspriach came to Eisenstadt, as the Apostate George Eckel worked here under the protection of Weisspriach. Therefore, Weisspriach received two imperial admonishments within a short period of time (1557 – 1560), and George Eckel was forced to leave Eisenstadt after 6 years.

We know that Hans Von Weisspriach called Stefan Consul from Regensburg to Eisenstadt after the death of Emperor Ferdinand in 1568. The following information is provided to provide an appreciation of the significance of this appointment.

Stefan Consul, who came from the village of Pinquentinus (Buzet) was a Catholic cleric in Istria, that belonged to Venice at the time. The Croatian historian Dr. Bucar considered him to be a Croat. Primus Truber, the Slovenian Reformer and contemporary of Stefan Consuls says he (Consuls) was more Italian than Croat, and that those former Italians are former Croats. Dr. Theodore Else, former Pastor of Laibach alleges that Stefan Consul was a former Italian, who was driven out of his parish in Pisino vecchio (Old Pazin) in 1549 because he became a Lutheran, and went to Laibach where he was a preacher. After a short time he was forced to leave Carinthia and moved to Germany. He roamed around for a long time before he reached Urach, where he and Anton Dalmatin translated the Lutheran Bible from 1560 to 1564 into Croatian. He remained occupied there in the printery of Baron Johann Ungrad who was a fervent supporter of Martin Luther. With the approval and financial support of Maximilian II, German princes and cities, he set up a Croatian print shop in the city of Urach in Wurttemberg to facilitate the circulation of the new doctrine among the Croats. This print shop published a total of 20,300 books from 1560 to 1564 at a cost of 10,287 guilders and 22.5 florin. It must be said that no contribution was received from the Croatian countries, neither from Ban Peter Erdody, nor from Nicholas or George Zrinyi that were also interested in this enterprise in the beginning. The books were printed in Glagolithic and Cyrillic characters by the end of 1563, and with Latin characters in 1564. These books were intended for the common people of Croatia, Dalmatia, Istria, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Rumania, and Turkey. However, they had only modest success for their efforts and large expenditures, and the expectations that they put into this undertaking were not fulfilled, and the following causes can be stated for not attaining their goals. The books were printed in Glagolithic type characters which was only used in some areas, and partially in Cyrillic print which was seldom used by the Croats, and not many people were able to read and write at that time. In the 16th Century, few schools existed in the Croatian (as well as in most of the German) villages of today’s Burgenland. The greatest barrier against the use of Protestant books was the creation of the stringent laws that Emperor Ferdinand had issued in 1528, 1529, and 1560. Violations of these laws were punishable by drowning or with a fine of 300 florins. (Which was equal in value to that of a whole farming sessio. Editor’s note.) Reading of heretical books was severely prohibited according to the regulations of 1529, and booksellers avoided selling Protestant books because of the harsh punishments.

Small wonder then that Peter Erdody, who was at that time the Ban of Croatia, reported, "in no way did it shut down the Croatian books." Primus Truber joked in his letter (October 29, 1564) to the Carinthian Ständte (high-ranking clergy and nobility) that he would make use of the paper from the Croatian books to make cone shaped bags (Stanitzel) to pack groceries. The printing ceased to exist after the death of Ungrads on Dec 27, 1564, as these books were dispatched to the south where a large portion of them was destroyed in Wiener Neustadt, and the remainders were burned in Graz and in Carinthia. The Viennese bookseller Ambrose Froehlich sent Protestant Books written in the Croatian language to the following personalities living in the area of today’s Burgenland. Some catechisms were sent to Hans Von Weisspriach. The New Testament, some devotional books, the book "Vernuenftige Lehre" (The Rationale Doctrine), and 2 catechisms were sent to Count Nicholas Zrinyi, and two catechisms were dispatched to Andreas Froehlich in Baumgarten. Hans Von Weisspriach received the books, because he donated 50 Talers (a currency unit) to the Croatian print shop. Count Nicholas Zrinyi didn’t pay what he owed for the books received, and Andreas Froehlich received two Catechisms without having ordered them.

After the closing of the Croatian print shop in Urach, Stefan Consul left with Anton Dalmatin to Regensburg from where they still published two devotional books in 1568. Then came the appointment of Stefan Consuls by Hans Von Weisspriach to come to Eisenstadt with the mission to convert the Croats of the Domain of Eisenstadt Protestantism.

A difficult assignment awaited Stefan Consul in Eisenstadt. As previously mentioned, we already know of the intense desire of the Croats to remain Catholic, and that they received an Imperial privilege to choose clergymen for themselves as a result of their request to the Emperor. Stefan Consul ran into a unified defense in Eisenstadt, and we have only a single message of his work in the precincts of Eisenstadt. At the very beginning of Consuls activity, Bartholomaus Pica, the province secretary writes on September 16th, 1568 from Graz among other things to Nicholas Gallus, the Superintendent of Regensburg, the following: "He writes to me as well as to others, that this superstitious tribe, (the Croats in the precincts of Eisenstadt, Editor’s comment) stubbornly reject his efforts."

This remark of Consuls verifies that he had encountered sufficiently strong resistance from the Croatians that that no matter how hard he tried, he was bound to fail. In his eleven years in Eisenstadt, Consul not only had the support of the potent Weisspriach, a fervent Protestant, who even tried to convert the Jews over to Lutherans, but even the goodwill of the emperor. In lieu of this, the Croatians remained Catholic in the surroundings of Eisenstadt and Mattersburg. This verifies that the 280-year-old Croatian ballad "Songs of the fields of Eisenstadt" that was found in Unterpullendorf in 1848 goes on to say, that the Croats were always Catholic in the surroundings of Eisenstadt.

During the reign of Maximilian II (1564–1576), a large part of the German communities of these Domains had Lutheran pastors, which can be explained by a number of factors. For one, the Domain of Eisenstadt and the Earldom of Forchtenstein were in the hands of Protestant owners and castle administrators for more than 50 years. Additionally, numerous German clergymen converted to Protestantism during the Reformation as verified in the Wimpassing Jahrbüch (Wimpassing Almanac) on pages 48, and 90. After the death of Maximilian and with the appointment of George Draskovich as the Bishop of Gyor (Raab), relationships changed between the religious denominations.

Maximilian’s Catholic educated son Rudolf II (1576–1612) succeeded him. The new Emperor in the third year after his ascent to the throne, called George Draskovich, the Bishop of Gyor (Raab), and the Catholic clergy to the Diocesan Synod at Szombathely (Steinamanger) on August 2, 1579. The purpose of the Council was to strengthen the faithful clergymen, and lead the fallen clerics back to the bosom of the Church.

In this act, the ruling circles of the new religion saw a threat and reduction to their power and forbade the clergymen residing under their authority to go to Szombathely (Steinamanger). Seyfried Kollonitsch did the same when he as an employee of the Catholic Emperor, forbade the Catholic clergymen of the Domains of Eisenstadt and Forchtenstein to attend the Synod, threatening them that they would lose their income and their parish. The Croatian clergy of the Domain of Eisenstadt and the Earldom of Forchtenstein remained at home under the impression of being prohibited. Johann Kolonicz the minister of Siegendorf, and Matthew Kaplicz the minister of Hornstein, came to Szombathely (Steinamanger) since they were not under the authority of Seyfried Kollonitsch.

It is easy to understand why Emperor Rudolf and Bishop Draskovich disagreed with the order of Kollonitsch and that a response from the highest authority came very quickly. When Archduke Ernst, the brother of Emperor Rudolph, came into power in Vienna, he threatened Kollonitsch with the risk of being dismissed. Only with great humiliation did he manage to receive grace from the Emperor who resided in Prague. Archduke Ernst allowed 30 parishes of the Domains of Eisenstadt and Forchtenstein to be inspected in 1582 and 1583. The Visitation found Flacian (Lutheran) ministers in 21 parishes whose places were subsequently taken by Catholic priests. There was no exchanges of ministers in the Croatian villages, because without exception they were Catholic. The German inhabitants remained with the new religion and pushed the new teaching as far as possible within their power; only the Croats remained strong Catholics, and if they had the power to do so, would have driven away all but Catholic priests. The ecclesiastical authorities were of the opinion from old that the Burgenland Croats were Catholic to this time.

It was wrong to believe that the Lutheran oriented population would have become Catholic overnight simply with the installation of Catholic clergy in the villages controlled by the Emperor. For an explanation of this view, some communities might be mentioned where fate allocated a role to the Croats. Grosshöflein had a Protestant minister named Wolf in 1548. Stefan Hasler, a follower of Flacian, who fled here from Styria under the protection of Seyfried Kollonitsch in 1577, remained only 5 years in Grosshöflein. In 1582, Archduke Ernst sent Vicar Wolfgang Spillinger from Ödenburg and Adam Ankerreither, the Canonical Provost of Gyor, to Grosshöflein, to bring a Catholic priest, Johann Perger, to take the place of Stefan Hasler. Wolfgang Spillinger reported to the Archduke, that Peter Pogner, the mayor of Grosshöflein and a large part of the inhabitants opposed the installation of Catholic priests. The mayor threatened that the Croats and the other Catholics would be in trouble as soon as the Commissioners left the village.

The Croats of Grosshöflein were Catholic in 1582 even though a Protestant preacher had worked in the community for 34 years. Only one Croat, named Gregory Otzolich, became a Protestant. Because this rebelled against civil and religious authorities, he was interrogated, charged, and jailed by the Klosterrat (an institution established by the Emperor to reform Lutheran parishes).

Donnerskirchen was a stronghold of Lutheranism or rather Flacianism at that time, where Johann Hauser worked as the Superintendent of the territory of the Domain of Eisenstadt. He taught the inhabitants of Donnerskirchen such a disgust for the "Papist abomination" of the Mass, that in 1593 in spite of threats of severe punishments, of the 102 inhabitants who had been ordered to attend the church services of the Catholic priest George Klopfer, only 35 persons attended. 66 of them even refused to listen to a single sermon, or at least pro forma attend the service. Just one man named Leopold Herits said that he was Catholic, and attended the Catholic Church services.

A Croat was murdered in Donnerskirchen on April 25, and two of his countrymen came immediately from Mannersdorf to the rectory to call on the priest. When the priest appeared in front of the judge’s house accompanied by the two Croats, the murder victim had been placed into the judge’s home by then, and no one else had been admitted. However an exception had been made with the young son of Captain Kollonitsch, who was allowed to enter the house as a legitimate official, since the Donnerskirchen people persistently refused to recognize their legitimately appointed priest. Only a few Croats sided with the priest because they were the only Catholics, and whom he could rely on at any time.

The few Croats in Oggau retained their Catholic faith among their fellow Protestant citizens. Three Croats with their families, the only ones that Oggau had, alone had the courage to attend the installation ceremony of the new priest, Paul Weiher, on the third Sunday after Easter in 1588. A lot of people would gladly have partaken in this ceremony, but dared not in fear of the intolerant authorities of Flacian. Despite this pressure, the few Croats openly admitted being Catholics. Johann Ban, the Ödenburg historian, writes in his work, that of the villages belonging to the city Domain of Ödenburg, only Klingenbach and Kolnhof did not accept the doctrine of Martin Luther.

In the territory of the City Domain the Croats were unshakably Catholic, while the German population was almost completely Lutheran. The Lutheran town council sent Protestant ministers to the Croats of Klingenbach and Kolnhofer from 1576 up to 1582. Of these Protestant ministers, Casper Dragonus who probably also spoke Croatian tried especially diligently to win the Croats over to the teachings of Martin Luther. They remained staunch Catholics although the Klingenbach Croats experienced many hardships from the Town Council of Ödenburg for 80 years.

Baumgarten and Siegendorf belonged to the Domain of Landsee that the Archbishop of Gran, Nicholas Olah, purchased from the brothers Christopher and Andrew Teufel in 1553. Ten years later, Nicholas Olah gave Baumgarten to his sister Helene Olah as a lifelong benefit. Dean Martin Mersich found the following statement of Prince Esterhazy in the Budapest Archives concerning the award of Baumgarten to Helene Olah: "The paper written by Nicholas Olah, Archbishop of Gran, archived under the number 1563, Repositorium 12 No. 555, left the property of Baumgarten and a house in Ödenburg to his sister Helene as a lifelong benefit." Alexander Payr writes that Archbishop Olah bought a house in Ödenburg where Helene Olah lived for 1400 Gulden in 1563, where the Protestant environment eventually made her become a Lutheran. She died in 1579 or 1580.

Lately they tried to provide verification that the people of Baumgarten and Siegendorf had accepted the teachings of Martin Luther already in the 16th Century. In association with this assertion is the following explanation from (Burgenlandisches Forschungen, Number 8, Eisenstadt, 1950, pages 12, & 13):

"As diligently as Nicholas Olah (Archbishop of Gran) campaigned for the counterreformation, he met little success at first which is readily explained. After all, he was against the powerful force of the Aristocratic Church patrons, who for the most part championed the renewal of the church. That was the case with Helene Olah, the blood relative of the Archbishop, who as the Mistress of the Estate of Baumgarten held her protective hand over the Lutherans there.

This explains why many of the Croats living in Baumgarten were Protestants, where incidentally, Croats are known to have settled as early as 1528. Andreas Froehlich, the brother of the aforementioned Viennese bookseller Ambrosias Froehlich, was another Protestant preacher in Baumgarten who was also a friend of Stefan Consuls. Andreas, who was provided with a number of Protestant books printed in the Croat language at Consul’s behest, served as a Protestant missionary for a while in Schönau, Lower Austria which also had a Croatian population at that time.

That there were clerics by the name of Lofronitsch and Krichonitsch working for several years within the communities of Siegendorf and Baumgarten, and yet these villages remained Lutheran as was reported by the ecclesiastical inspectors in 1597, is indeed a testimony to the effectiveness of this man."

Note that the above quotation is not fully identical with the wording of the relevant document in Budapest. In the Budapest document, it means that Archbishop Olah left his sister Helene the right to have a lifelong benefit, therefore she was neither an owner nor a patroness of Baumgarten.

Consider the sentence "one more Protestant preacher in Baumgarten was … Andreas Froehlich". We can accept Andreas Froehlich only as long as it is not proven that other predicates had worked in Baumgarten. The author of this treatise obtained Volume III of Wiedemanns for himself, where there isn’t a word on page 652 that says that Andreas Froehlich proclaimed the Lutheran Doctrine to the Croats in Schönau, Gunnelsdorf, or Trumau. To the contrary! Froehlich must have been a splendid Catholic priest, because the Croats voluntarily increased his pay, which his Lutheran Domain owner reduced. The Croats gave him 42 heavy and 42 light units of grain (Metzen) annually as a substitute for the part of his pay which his Lutheran Patron, Salomon Vogt, had reduced. When Froehlich later gave up his priesthood, he surely did not do so because of the Croats there, but due to his Lutheran patron who wanted to appropriate the remaining portion of his parish earnings. The quotation says additionally that the Viennese bookseller, Ambrose Froehlich, functioning in the job that Stefan Consuls provided his brother Andreas Froehlich, "on the orders of Consul gave a number of Calvinist printings to his brother."

In "Acta University Thubengensis, Slavic printing, Vol. III" we read that Ambrose Froehlich, the Viennese printer and town councilor, had noted the following lines in his invoice: "Meinen Bruder, Andre Froehlich, Pfarrer in der Croatian Sprach zu Paumgartten near Ödenburg auf Befehl des Herrn Consul geschenkt, Eremplar." (Donated to my brother Andre Froehlich, a Croatian priest in Paumgartten (Baumgarten) near Ödenburg, on the orders of Mr. Consul, one piece each.)

The quotation is a reference to the two Lutheran Catechisms written in the Croat language, one with Cyrillic, and the other with Glagolithic lettering (that were forwarded to his brother Andreas. Ed. note). "A number of Protestant books" meant only two copies, which Andreas Froehlich received without ordering them.

Some consideration will now be given as to what year Ambrosias Froehlich sent the two mentioned Catechisms to his brother Andreas in Baumgarten. Both the Cyrillic as well as the Glagolithic Catechism was printed in Tubingen in 1561. Ambrosias Froehlich, the printer, died in August 1563. It therefore can be presumed that since Stefan Consul had sent these books after the first or second year after the distribution of his catechisms, and since Ambrosias Froehlich died in 1563, it can be assumed that Andrew Froehlich had already received the two catechisms in Baumgarten in 1561 or 1562. Since Nicholas Olah, the Archbishop of Gran, left the Domain of Baumgarten to his sister Helene in 1563, he must have already transferred Andreas Froehlich from the village of Schönau in Lower Austrian to Baumgarten. Therefore, the beneficiary of Baumgarten, Helene Olah, allowed Andreas Froehlich to remain here as the Catholic priest.

Archbishop Olah dealt severely with the Protestants. In an agreement with Gregoriancz, Bishop of Gyor, Archbishop Olah decreed on 25 May 1565 that Pastor Adam Szalathy be banished from the city of Ödenburg. On 18 April 1566, he denied permission for Ödenburg to seat the Lutheran minister Simeon Gerengel. If Archbishop Olah tolerated no Protestant clergymen in the free city of Ödenburg, it cannot be imaged that he would allow a Protestant clergyman on his estate in Baumgarten where his sister Helene only had the right to live. Archbishop Olah died in 1568. Another detail should be mentioned. The Lutheran doctrine began to spread initially in the small German towns in the City Domain of Ödenburg around 1580, when Helene Olah had already died. Neither Alexander Payr nor Johann Ban mention anywhere that Helene Olah attempted to convert the Baumgarten Croats to Protestantism while living in Ödenburg. The statement that Lutheranism was widespread at the time of Helene Olah in Baumgarten has therefore no historical basis.

Consideration is now given as to how the second assertion of the stated quotation must be viewed, in that the allegation says that the Visitation of 1597 found a Catholic priest in Siegendorf and Baumgarten but a Lutheran population. This argument contains a contradiction since Franz Dersffy, the Lord of Landsee, Baumgarten and Siegendorf, was a diligent Lutheran. Can it be imagined that he would have installed a Catholic priest for the Lutheran inhabitants of Baumgarten and Siegendorf? If he installed a Catholic priest for them, he did so only because the Catholic inhabitants of Baumgarten and Siegendorf asked for one like the Croats of Unterfrauenhaid, Lackendorf, and Lackenbach did in 1595 who threatened a revolt if Dersffy sent them another Lutheran Preacher. See the report of the clerical Visitation: "Our wives in the parishes of (Unterfrauenhaid), Lackendorf, Lackenbach, and Raiding threaten a revolt if a Lutheran preacher would come again."

J. Rittsteuer, minister of the city of Eisenstadt, and Vicar Mersich had the original of the Visitation (report) of 1597 to which Wiedemann refers. The Visitation contained nothing from which one could conclude that the communities of Siegendorf and Baumgarten had been Lutheran.

Rittsteuer says it is not very plausible to say that the communities were Lutheran only because the Catholic priest in Siegendorf bemoaned the fact that the Judge of Landsee refused to pay him the Kollektur (money owed to parishes) for 6 years. Nor was it credible to say that the municipality of Drassburg withdrew a wine garden from the church "ohne fuge" (without a title, without a right) unlawfully.

Archvicar Conrad Glockel whose supervision included Siegendorf and Baumgarten, reports in 1592 that the Croats remained fervent Catholics, and he did not say that the inhabitants of Baumgarten or Siegendorf were former Lutherans. The fact that the people of Siegendorf were not Lutherans can be verified with still other arguments. Both Alexander Payr, as well as J. Rittsteuer mention that Johann Kolonic, the priest in Siegendorf, attended the Church Synod at Szombathely (Steinamanger) in 1579.

According to Alexander Payr, Ursula Csaszar, who was born as an Olah and was the Mistress of the Landsee Castle, sent him there. Johann Kolonic had positively worked in Siegendorf after 1579, and since Siegendorf had a Catholic priest again in 1593 named Johann Lovranic, thus Siegendorf continuously had Catholic clergymen. Who could have made Siegendorf Lutheran at a time when they had no Protestant clergymen?

Professor Payr from Ödenburg, who thoroughly knew the denominational situation of this region and was a Protestant himself, never mentioned that the inhabitants of Siegendorf, Baumgarten, Drassburg or other Croats of this region had been Lutheran. After working in Siegendorf for 6 years, Johann Lovranic (Lofronitsch, Laurakovititsch) was appointed in 1598 to be the priest in Hornstein. Franz Dersffy, the Lord of the Domain of Landsee, employed a Protestant minister in Siegendorf on this occasion. The list of the Protestant ministers who paid the 1 to 3 Gulden tax in 1599 doesn’t mention their nationality. That was at the time when the Turkish Wars and the Counter-Reformation almost split the inner structure of Austria, the domestic power of the Emperor, and the house of Austria almost brought itself to a catastrophic situation.

It is not known how long this clergyman, forced on the Catholic Croats, was retained in Siegendorf. Obviously he spent only a short time in Siegendorf, since the Empire-wide meeting of 1638 does not mention Siegendorf among those communities taken by Nicholas Esterhazy from the Protestants after 1612.

The District of Oberpullendorf

The Nadasdy family played a principal role in this District during the time of the Reformation along with the participation of the Domains of Landsee, Kobersdorf, Nebersdorf, Grossmutschen and Kleinmutschen.

Franz Nadasdy was the first among the Hungarian magnates to endorse the Reformation, and since the Nadasdys played the most prominent role among the followers of Martin Luther in our area, and were the last to turn against the Protestant faith, this family will be dwelt on in more detail. Last but not least, the reason for dwelling on the Nadasdy family is also due to the fact that numerous Croatian villages were in their possessions.

Thomas Nadasdy (1494–1562) who was the son of the Cavalry Captain, Franz Nadasdy was the founder of the powerful Nadasdy family. After his marriage to Ursula Kanizsay in 1532, the Nadasdy family ranked among the wealthiest and most distinguished Hungarian families. Nadasdy was in continuous royal service beginning in 1532 until his death. He was in the town of Speyer in 1526, when the political representatives of the kingdom, in the face of the Turkish threat and the hostile attitude of the French until a church synod was held to decide the issue, decided to accept the Doctrine of Luther. That Nadasdy was favorably disposed to the new Doctrine is evident from the fact that he sent the youthful Johann Sylvester to the Lutheran University at Wittenberg at his own expense. Sylvester returned to Sarvar after finishing his theological studies in 1534, where he was a teacher initially, before became the Preacher of the Court. Correspondence with Melanchthon shows the inner feeling of Nadasdy to the new doctrine.

Since Nadasdy was in the service of the Catholic King Ferdinand, it was best for him to present himself as being a Catholic. He therefore employed Catholic clergymen in his court. The King must have admonished Nadasdy because Sylvester complained that his position with him had become uncertain. After two years Johann Sylvester left Sarvar, and went to Vienna.

A Catholic influence extended over Nadasdy these days. In 1554, Thomas Nadasdy was selected as the Palatin (King’s Deputy) in Bratislava (Pressburg). In his final years Nadasdy turned against Catholicism and returned to the Protestant faith. This is evidenced by his appointment of the Protestant minister Matthias Szegedi to Sarvar in 1560 as his court preacher, and entrusting him with the upbringing of Franz, his only son. Thomas Nadasdy died in 1562. Franz Nadasdy was 13 years old at the time of his father’s death, and under the guidance of his teacher Demetrius Sibloti and Minister Szegedi, became a steadfast Protestant. The death of the fervent Catholic King Ferdinand, and the preferrance of his successor Maximilian toward the Protestant Doctrine during the latter’s 12-year reign, was a positive factor in the dissemination of the Protestant teachings. An ecclesiastical organization of the Protestants was established at this time, which resulted in their secession from the Catholic hierarchy. The Protestant leaders of the counties of Ödenburg, Eisenburg, and Zala convened under the protection of Franz Nadasdy and Balthasar Batthyany in 1576 and accepted the creed as paraphrased by Melanchthon as their foundation. They chose Pastor Matthias Szegedi as their Superintendent and professed the Augsberg Confession (Lutheranism) as their faith which "differed from the Roman Catholic Faith in many matters."

Three years later when the new Bishop of Gyor (Raab) and the royal Chancellor (1578–1587) called the clerics of western Hungary to the Church synod at Szombathely (Steinamanger), it was an unpleasant embarrassment for the Lutherans. The Protestant oriented Domains, and the cities of Ödenburg, Eisenstadt, Rust, and Güns did not permit their Catholic clergymen to heed the Bishop’s call to take part in the Church synod convened in Szombathely (Steinamanger). Seyfried Kollonitsch and Erasmus Praun, the previously mentioned castle administrators of Eisenstadt and Ungarisch-Altenburg acted in a similar manner.

These sanctions resulted in a comparatively small number of clerics participating in the Synod at Szombathely (Steinamanger) that convened on August 2, 1579 in the spirit of the Council of Trent. Unfortunately, the list of the clerics present was lost, and a second list shows only 28 names of clergymen present at the Synod. Among these were 13 Croats:

1. Peter Marasics from Neudorf near Parndorf,
2. Michael Strinczicz from Larlburg,
3. Pankraz Risicz from Podersdorf (German parish of the Cistercians of Heiligenkreuz)
4. Lukas Modrowonicz from Winden (German parish of the Cistercians of Heiligenkreuz),
5. Jacob Iglicz, minister from Weiden (parish from a Chapter of Gyor (Raab),
6. Lukas Masnik, minister from Parndorf,
7. Matthias Kaplicz, minister from Hornstein,
8. Ivan Kolonicz, minister from Siegendorf,
9. George Radoczi, minister from Kaiserdorf,
10. Andreas Turczicz, clergyman of the Domain of Kobersdorf,
11. The minister of Nikitsch,
12. George Paswadicz, minister of Kroatisch Geresdorf,
13. Vitus Tegularius, minister of Prössing.

The large percentage of the Croat clergymen in the Synod vividly reflects the attitude of the Croats against the Reformation. It should still be noted that several of these came from the listed parishes in spite of the prohibition by their Domain owners against the Church Synod held in Steinamanger, and as a result they risked losing their parish and income.

The manner in which Franz Nadasdy spread the Reformation within his Estates is evident from a letter of the Hungarian cleric, Stefan Tetany, addressed to the former, wherein he asserts that he deeply regrets not having complied with Nadasdy’s request so far, but wished for later. Because Nadasdy might require of Tetany to renounced his Catholic Faith, he now voluntarily promised, uncoerced and with good conscience to abide by the Bible, the decisions of the four General Councils and the statutes of the Lutheran denomination. Should Nadasdy ask anything else from Teteny, then would he please make it known to him (Teteny), so that he would be able to recognize the good and holy will of Nadasdy and comply with it. We can assume from the contents of this letter written in 1599, that Franz Nadasdy also placed a similar demand on other Catholic clergyman, and that Stefan Tetany may have become an apostate under coercion. Nadasdy acted in accordance with the principle: "Cuis regio, euis religio" (he who rules the land, determines the religion).

Two letters still show the manner of the thinking and acting of the contemporary Nadasdy, and it is necessary to take a look into that period of time to properly understand these letters.

Six theologians wrote the book "Liber Concordiae" (The Book of Unity) in 1580 to yield a common basis from the various schools of thought of the Reformation, Lutherans, Calvinists, and Flacuis Illyricus. Domain owners submitted the statutes of the new theory to the Pastors, teachers, sextons, and other employees for signature, and whoever refused to sign was relieved of their office. The desired goal was not attained with this approach however, as the schools of thought of the Reformation theologians was already so diverse, that they could not reach an agreement.

Eleven years later something similar occurred in the area of the former West Hungary. When Franz Nasdady saw a portion of the ministers (among them also Superintendent Beythe) drifting towards the Calvinist faith, he invited every predicate of his, Batthyany’s, and other Estates to a theological discussion in Csepreg in 1591. The ministers, under the chairmanship of Nadasdy, negotiated for two days without achieving a agreement, and the two parties finally parted in a disgruntled manner. Superintendent Beythe argued for the view of the Calvinists, while the majority of the ministers upheld the Lutheran view, as the abyss between the two schools of thought became ever wider. In order to bridge this chasm, all of the ministers met again on September 12, 1595 in the village of Meszlen (near Güns) and wrote a German book "Liber Concordiae" similar to the so called "Formula Concordiae." Every minister and teacher was to sign this book and judge himself accordingly; those who didn’t sign were removed from office. The Calvinist Pastor of Güns (Koszeg), Paul Thesaurarius, had to endure the same. Even though he signed the book, he still had to leave his office which is deduced in the following two documents taken from Jandrisevits’ Volume 4, page 78:

Güns, March 11, 1596

Paul Thesaurarius (Kinceses) the preacher of Güns wrote to his senior Johann Reczes in Csepreg, that while he did not consider himself beyond the challenge regarding the genuineness of his faith, nobody, not even Franz Nadasdy, had the right to force him at any time to sign the book "Formula Concordiae." It was not possible to have done that up to this point in time and hence the depening rift between the Protestants and Calvinists may not have occurred.

Güns, April 10, 1596

Paul Thesararius, the pastor of the town of Güns, apologized to his senior, Johann Reczes in Csepreg for his comment on the necessity to sign the book "Formula Concordiae" and asked him for his forgiveness as well as from Franz Nadasdy. Furthermore, he asked his senior to intercede with Franz Nadasdy for him that if the great Synod were convened, he was ready to ask for pardon publicly.

Franz Nadasdy was a successful military leader against the Turks and at the age of 6 was the Obergespan (County Head) of the County of Eisenburg. He died in 1604.

Franz Nadasdy’s son Paul (1598–1633), who lost his father at the age of six, succeeded him. A second misfortune beset him when his mother became emotionally disturbed, and as a thirteen-year boy he had to request that she not be executed as an evil malefactor.

The Catholic Church went on the offense against the Reformation at this time. Authoritative Protestant circles chose experienced and trustworthy tutors and teachers for the young Paul, who would see to it that he became a Protestant and supported the new Doctrine. They also attained the latter goal, as he remained Protestant until his death.

At the beginning of the 17th Century the Catholic Church obtained a distinguished lawyer in the Jesuit Peter Pazmany, the subsequent Archbishop of Gran, who on the basis of his persuasive reasoning and theological education quickly regained a major portion of the Protestant tycoons to the Catholic faith. Then as these tycoons, using the very same principle "cuis regio, eius religio" that their fathers had utilized to build the Catholic Church, now took Churches away from the Protestants, the latter sought aid from among the Bohemian Protestants, and the Calvinist Princes of Transylvania. Nicholas Esterhazy counted Paul Nadasdy among those whom Gabor Bethlen, the Prince of Siebenburg (Transylvania) recruited against Ferdinand II. When Grand Duke Bethlen came to Ödenburg with his army on November 30, 1619, Paul Nadasdy joined him in the encampment near the village of Deutschkreutz. Nadasdy eventually added his name to the agreement formally concluded here with Gabor Bethlen, and signed on July 14, 1620, upon which Bethlen was to be made King of Hungary in Besztercebanya. On Nov. 8th, 1620, Ferdinand II conquered the united Protestant armed forces of the winter King Friedrich at White Mountain. According to a message of the unfortunate outcome, Bethlen withdrew his troops from West Hungary after the battle, and led them to the border with Moravia. After Bethlen and his army had retreated, the Imperial military leaders Count Collalto and Nicholas Esterhazy devastated the villages of Csepreg, Deutchkreuz, Lovo, Cenk, and Pereszteg in retaliation for the defection of Nadasdy. After reconciling himself with Ferdinand, Paul Nadasdy became a General and was elevated to the status of a Count. He died in the year 1633.

Franz Nadasdy Jr. (1621–1671)

The death of the 35-year-old Paul Nadasdy was a severe blow for his Protestant subjects and their anxiety soon proved to be well founded. His widow, born Judith Revay, was married in 1638 to Count Adam Forgach who was a Catholic. From a letter of Nicholas Esterhazy dated May 6th, 1638 from the Castle of Deutschkreutz, one can see that the Protestant servants sought to prevent the marriage of their Mistress. To intimidate the widow, the servants burned down a portion of the city in Sarvar, and burned large heaps of straw in the Estate of Deutschkreuz. 300 Hungarian Protestant preachers were dismissed when the widow married Count Forgach in Eisenstadt, according to a writing of George Dobronoki, the Director of the Jesuit house in Ödenburg.

Palatin (King’s deputy in Hungary) Nicholas Esterhazy visited his relative and neighbor Franz Nadasdy more frequently as he made an effort to win his young relative over to the Catholic faith. After some years, he persuaded Nadasdy to visit Italy. Catholic Italy and Nicholas Donellan, the Augustinian from Wien (Vienna) completed the efforts of Palatin Esterhazy. It was a big surprise on Nov. 25, 1643, when the 22-year-old Franz Nadasdy publicly declared that he was a sincere and true son of Catholicism in the Church in Csepreg. Franz Nadasdy married Countess Julia Esterhazy, the daughter of the Palatin Esterhazy three months later on Feb. 6, 1644. A Catholic restoration set in after the conversion of Franz Nadasdy in his Estates that extended over a long period of time, because the Reformation was deeply rooted in his Hungarian villages.

The Nadasdy family had two extensive possessions in central Burgenland, namely the Domain of Lockenhaus, and the former religious Estate of the Cistercians in Klostermarienberg.

The villages of Langeck, Salmannsdorf, Deutsch-Gerisdorf, Mitterpullendorf, Pilgersdorf, Piringsdorf, Oberrabnitz, Steinbach, Hochstrass, Steinberg, Drassmarkt, Dörfel, Deutschkreutz, Rattersdorf, Liebing, Nikitsch, and Unterpullendorf belonged to the Domain of Lockenhaus. The villages of Dörfel, Nikitsch, and Unterpullendorf were Croatian, Croatian-German; and Hungarian-Croatian respectively.

The villages of Markt Mannersdorf, Oberloisdorf, Unterloisdorf, Karl, Kleinwarasdorf, Kroatisch Minihof, Strebersdorf, Siegersdorf (Horvatzsidany), Bleigraben (Olmod), and Prössing (Peresznye) belonged to the religious Domain of Klostermarienberg. The villages of Karl, Strebersdorf, and Oberloisdorf were German, all of the other localities were either partially or totally Croatian.

Both Domains had only Catholic clergymen up until 1586. That fact suggests that the inhabitants of both Domains initially sought Protestant clergy for the villages of Lockenhaus, Mannersdorf, and Nikitsch on Dec. 6, 1586. Since none were found in Burgenland, he (Nadasdy) wrote to his friend Gregory Horvath Stanschlitz, the Vice-Governor of the County of Zips in Slovakia, to send him three Protestant ministers that were needed in Lockenhaus, Mannersdorf, and Nikitsch. Four communities belonged to the Mannersdorf parish, while three belonged to Nikitsch. Because the residents of the parish were bilingual, the minister of Mannersdorf and Nikitsch should speak both Croatian and German.

Since the list mentions only Protestant ministers present at Csepreg in 1591, it is assumed that not a single Croat participated in the meeting convened by the Protestant Franz Nadasdy. Hence it follows that since no Protestant ministers were forced upon the Croatian subjects of Franz Nadasdy by 1591, the Croats were free to practice their Catholic faith. The Jandrisevits archives say that Nadasdy only installed a Lutheran minister in Siegendorf in 1595, and since this minister no longer appeared on the list of 1599 it proves that he did not remain in Siegendorf for a long time. We first found a Protestant minister in Nikitsch in 1599. Since to this time the Protestant sources spoke neither of Nikitsch nor of any other Croatian village, we must assume that someone attempted to convert only the parishes of Siegendorf and Nikitsch to Protestantism, but for some unknown reasons it only remained an experiment. Franz Nadasdy, the energetic and enthusiastic Patron of the Protestants soon died (1604). We are of the opinion that the ministers serving in the Croatian parishes of Nikitsch and Siegendorf were not Croatian, otherwise Jandrisevits would have had to locate their names among the 663 signatures of the book "Formula Concordiae." His six-year old son, who because of his youth could not intervene in religious quarrels, succeeded Franz Nadasdy.

Protestant sources mention the former religious Domain of Klostermarienberg again in 1603. Protestant Church inspectors in the village of Ivan were given instructions to audit the small towns of the former religious Domain of Klostermarienberg, and the Visitation inspectors were Hungarians, namely Blasius Koszegi and George Murakosi. The writings of A. Payr do not mention whether they fulfilled their assignment, and which denominations they found among the Croats. Therefore if Protestant sources did not speak of the Croats in the Domains of Lockenhaus and Klostermarienberg as being Protestant, we can assume that they remained Catholic during the Reformation even though their Domain owners were Protestant for 75 years.

The attitude of the Croats from Dörfel at that time is noteworthy. After his conversion Franz Nadasdy Jr. took back the churches of Steinberg and Oberloisdorf (from the Protestants) and replaced the Protestant minister with a Catholic priest. However, the royal Commission returned the two churches to the Protestants on Nov 18, 1646. Since the inhabitants of Dörfel explained that they were Catholic in former times, and that they no longer desired to be subordinated to the Protestant minister of Steinberg, the Commission therefore left them to their Catholic belief. They remained Catholics during this time although the small village had Protestant ministers for 56 years.


The claim that Nicholas Esterhazy prosecuted Protestants in this community from 1637 until 1661 is based on a misunderstanding. Unterpullendorf belonged to the Domain of Lockenhaus and was the property of the Nadasdy family, therefore, Nicholas Esterhazy could not have had any authority regarding the inhabitants of Unterpullendorf.

The list of the Protestant clergymen from the Visitation for the years 1595 and 1599 shows that while the minister of Mitterpullendorf paid the prescribed taxes, the minister of Unterpullendorf did not. There must have been numerous Hungarians still living in Unterpullendorf in 1646 since the Visitation from this year says "The inhabitants of Unterpullendorf asked for a Hungarian clergyman who speaks two languages." Thomas Gubanoczi, the former clergyman of Asszonyfalva, was borne of Hungarian parents in Unterpullendorf. Jeno Hazi writes in his preface to the Visitation (ecclesiastical inspection) by the Archdeacon Peter Tormasy in 1674, "It wasn’t here a long time ago, that Thomas Gubanoczi from Unterpullendorf became a convert to the Catholic Faith."

Villages belonging To the Domain of Landsee:

German villages: Landsee, Drassmarkt, Neutal, Ritzing, Raiding, and Neckenmarkt.
Croatian villages: Unterfrauenhaid, Lackendorf, Kaiserdorf, Weingraben, St. Martin, and Geresdorf.

Horitschon was a German–Croatian village

Nicholas Olah, the Archbishop of Gran, purchased the Domains of Landsee and Lackenbach in 1553. He transferred both possessions in 1561 to Nicholas Csaszar, the son of his sister Ursula, who married Anna Frangepan of Slunj in the year 1560 in Sopron. In 1579, the wife of Nicholas Csaszar (a widow since 1575) sent seven Catholic clerics from her two Domains to George Draskovich, the Bishop of Gyor (Raab) for the Synod in Szombathely (Steinamanger). They were Anton Stesser from Drassmarkt, George Radoczi from Kaiserdorf, George Paswadicz from Kroatisch Geresdorf, Johan Kolonicz from Siegendorf, George Grotthi and Michael Lingvan who were the priests in Nikitsch.

Ursula, the daughter of Nicholas Csaszar, married the Protestant Franz Dersffy in 1560, and inherited the Domains of Landsee and Lackenbach after the death of her father. On Oct 25 1586, the married couple gave a house in Mitterpullendorf to their preacher George Murakoszi. Franz Dersffy was a persuasive and fervent Protestant, who won his wife over to the Reformation, and was anxious to lead his Catholic subjects to the new doctrine after the conversion of his spouse. J. Rittsteuer writes about Dersffy’s behavior against the Croats in his Burgenlanischen Heimatblattern (1955, Notebook 1, page 27):  "According to the report of the Visitation 1597, the inhabitants of Markt St. Martin are faithful Catholics, and they are also Croats. By command of the Domain owner Franz Dersffy, this parish was administered by the preacher of the village of Drassmarkt where even the inhabitants were dissatisfied with their minister."

The community had complained that they had often asked their ruler Dersffy for a Catholic priest, but that they had not been able to get one. Against their conscience they had to endure this preacher and his services.

The Croatians of Saint Martin took a more radical action against the above-mentioned preacher by simply forcing him to resign, "because many, especially the Croats refused to pay him anything, even in the face of the threat that they would not be allowed to bury their dead in the cemetery." St. Martin had no minister at all in 1597. The Catholic Croats refused to accept a Protestant, and the Lutheran landlord didn’t allow them to have a Catholic priest.

Wiedemann writes about the parish of Unterfrauenhaid in his Volume 4, Page 420 saying that Dersffy employed the Catholic priest Thomas Klopfer in 1595, because the Catholics of the villages of Unterfrauenhaid, Lackendorf, Lackenbach, and Raiding threatened a rebellion, if a minister came again. Wiedemann says further, that the minister of Kaiserdorf, Peter Visanich, admitted to being a Catholic on May 15, 1597. For a while, the inhabitants of Kaiserdorf and Weingraben had to accept a Lutheran clergyman on short notice.

Franz Dersffy participated in the Bocskay rebellion in 1605. Together with Thomas Nadasdy Jr. on June 17 1605, he wrote a letter from Lackenbach to the city of Ödenburg and the imperial military leader Trautmannsdorf, of whom he demanded that the troops be withdrawn peacefully. After the death of Dersffy, his daughter Ursula inherited the Domains of Landsee and Lackenbach. She married the Hungarian tycoon Nicholas Esterhazy on November 22, 1612, after being the wife of Franz Magochy for a short time.

Esterhazy was a Catholic, whose wife was also a convert to the Catholic Faith, who entrusted the Jesuit Matthias Hajnal with the mission to lead the subjects back to the Catholic Church that had fallen away during the reign of Dersffy.

The Domain of Kobersdorf

It is known that Hans Von Weisspriach was a fervent Lutheran, who had already been an advocate of the new doctrine in 1541, and that he had ample opportunities to render good service to the Reformation until 1561. His Catholic son-in-law Johann Csoron succeeded him and sent a Catholic priest, Ambrose Turchich, to the Synod of Szombathely (Steinamanger) in 1579. The new Domain owner was the Governor of Odenburg County, who supported the Odenburg Catholics against the local Lutherans, and whom he called to account for an indignation in a letter dated July 17, 1585. Csorons successor was also a Catholic. Thomas Nadasdy Jr. was a Protestant who functioned with a Lutheran thought process. Baron Johann Kery who drove the Protestant minister George Takstoris out of Kobersdorf after 1638 was also a Catholic. The fact that the ecclesiastical inspector for the Bishop of Gyor (Raab) placed the communities belonging to the Castle of Kobersdorf under the authority of the Croatian priest of the predominantly Croatian community of St. Martin, verifies that the inhabitants and their priest were dependable Catholics.

The Domain of Nebersdorf

According to Professor Payr, the Niczky Family was Protestant at the time of the Reformation. It is understandable that a clergyman of Nebersdorf paid a tax of three Gulden in 1599. Since Jandrisevits did not find the signature of a Croat clergyman from Nebersdorf in the "Formula Concordiae," the above-mentioned clergyman must have been a Hungarian, and only a temporarily preacher of the Niczky family. Nowhere does a Protestant source say that Nebersdorf had been a Protestant village at any time, therefore, a Protestant influence on Nebersdorf was impossible because it already was a subsidiary of the community of Kroatische-Geresdorf at the time of the Reformation.

The first Domain owners of Grossmutschen were the Sennyey, who were Hungarian Aristocrats, and also Protestants. The Sennyey family must have had Protestant subjects in Grossmutschen, since the ecclesiastical Visitation of 1646 says that the Protestants in Grossmutschen would convert, if they had a good clergyman. It is possible that these Protestants were the Hungarian subjects of their Hungarian landlords. In 1697, Grossmutschen and Unterpullendorf were entirely Catholic communities.

Between the years 1665 and 1690, the surname Vlahich appears 5 times and the name Vlasich 46 times in the Grosswarasdorf register. The Vlahich and Vlasich families must have immigrated sometime after 1675 because these names do not appear in the Grosswarasdorf Urbar (Land Registration records) of 1675. Both surnames are of Roman origin. In Chapter VII, "The National Structure of the Croatian Countries to the Year 1500" we refer to both eastern and western (Vlahen in Croatian) Walachs. The Eastern Walachs embraced the Greek Orthodox Religion, while those from the west who settled from Cattaro up to Istria, found themselves drawn into the Croatian sphere of interest in the northern parts of their settlements, where they intermingled with Croats and became Catholic. Because every bearer of the name Vlahich and Vlasich without exception between 1675 and 1690 was registered in the Grosswarasdorf register as Catholic, it can be assumed that they were descendants of the Croatian Walachs who fled before the Turks from the Croatian Coastal region.


The Burgenländischen Landesarchiv (Provincial Archives of Burgenland) has a document in which George Bogmitsch, a minister from Frankenau, confirms on March 23, 1615 that he had obtained 16 Gulden and 15 Kreuzer from the municipal council of Schlaining for the house of his wife Elisabeth that she had inherited from her parents, Christoph and Veronika Slager. Benedict Kleuber and George Freyesband signed this document. From this document it has been concluded that the inhabitants of Frankenau had been faithful to the Reformation. On the other hand the following is to be said.

The document does not provide an indication anywhere that the inhabitants of Frankenau changed their original religion, and furthermore, the following is to be considered. From 1605 to 1616 the Domain of Güns along with Frankenau was bestowed to Thomas Nadasdy Jr. who was a Protestant. In 1605, Nadasdy sided with Stefan Bocskay, the Calvinist Prince from Transylvania, against Emperor Rudolph II. Nadasdy alone, as Lord of the Domain and patron of the Church was allowed to install George Bogmitsch as the minister of Frankenau. The above-referenced document doesn’t say a word about the work of Bogmitsch (who possibly came from Carinthia), neither does it mention how long Bogmitsch remained in Frankenau. In the historical work "Magyarorszag varmegyei es varosai" (The Cities and Counties of Hungary) Budapest, 1898, page 144, the following sentence is to be read: "In 1616, the King (Matthias II, editor’s note) awarded the city and the Domain of Güns to the Hungarian tycoon Thomas Szechy, while retaining the patronage of the city and the churches."

One can presume that the Emperor was dissatisfied with the Lutheran Nadasdy for some reason since Matthias II withheld this imperial domain from him. The fact that Matthias II retained the patronage over the churches in the Domain of Güns for himself is indicative of the reason why Matthias II took this Domain from the Protestant Nadasdy. In this manner the Emperor tried to prevent future Domain owners from imposing non-Catholic priests on a congregation that was Catholic. If one supposes that George Bogmitsch came from Frankenau after 1615, he remained there only for a year.

The Districts of Oberwart & Güssing

Where does the name of the ‘Walachs’ who lived in the District of Oberwart come from? On page 48 of this treatise it is said that Croats immigrated into the Domains of Schlaining, Rechnitz, and Rotenturm in the 17th century, and that they were also called "Walachs." We will briefly indicate where this name had its origin. Loibersbeck writes in his historical treatise under the title "Spitzzicken," that this village did not appear in the Eisenburg County records as "Ujszek" since 1614, but separately as Olah-Ciklin (Walachischzicken). Since there were 24 established families in this village in 1686, 10 named Tallian, and all of the rest of them bearing either Croatian or Hungarian surnames, there is a contradiction between the place name Walachischzicken and the names of its Talliani inhabitants. The Hungarian word Olah is called Walach in German, however, none of the Talliani (Italians) are Walachs. The author of this treatise then asked Jeno Hazi directly, Chief Archivist (Oberarchivar) of Ödenburg for his explanation why the Hungarians call today’s Spitzzicken, by the name of Olahcikleny, or Walachischzicken (a name that can be traced back to 1614) although Walachs never lived there. Especially when this is a Croat village among whom the surname Talliani (Italian) prevails even today. In May 1961, the following response was obtained from J. Hazi, who is thoroughly knowledgeable with the history of the former West Hungary:

"It is certain that the name of the village, Walachischzicken, (Spitzzicken) located in the County of Eisenburg, is not associated in any way with the Transylvanian Walachs or Romans. I myself cannot explain the origin of the composite name of this place other than attributing its coinage to the carelessness, or superficiality, so as not to say apathy of county officials. I cannot think of any other reason.

In the middle of the 16th Century the name Walch meant Italian in Germans, while the Germans used to call an Italian a Walch. County clerks who had a poor grasp of German made the mistake of translating the German term Walch (meaning Italian) with the word 'Walach' that meant Romanian. This mistake was constantly repeated up to this very day, and that is how the village name of Walachischzicken originated for what correctly should have been called Italienischzicken."

Marton also wrote in the magazine "Sorakozo" under the title "The Nationalities of Western Hungary" in 1939, that the word Olahcikleny should more accurately read Italienischzicken.

When viewing the history of the evolution of the language it is found that "Walch" and "Walach" probably have a common root but still have different meanings. Walch however means Italian, whereas Walache or Walach means Romanian. Spitzzicken is only one example of this "Walachischen" error, which we also found in the founding document of the village of Podler. If we find ancient Croatian, German, Italian and Hungarian surnames in the second half of the 17th century, and only two or three of Serbian origin in the so-called "walachisch" villages, we must assume that the county clerks, just as in the case of Spitzzicken and Podler, simply did not distinguish properly between Walach and Walch. They erroneously referred to the Croats and Italians who came into this area after 1650 as Walachs.

Concerning the author’s question whether the ancestors of the so-called Walachs were Orthodox Serbs, as some state, and who would have embraced the Catholic faith here only later, J. Hazi answers: "I have studied the Croats of western Hungary and the space in which they lived very thoroughly. However that Orthodox Serbs would have settled here between 1650 and 1700, and would have only later converted to the Catholic faith, as you write in your letter, is something I have never heard of before. It is my firm belief that this theory is totally unfounded."

A remark remains to be added to Chapter XXI, "The last Immigration of the Croatians"

As Archduke Ferdinand was moving the garrison of Zengg into the region of the Uskoken Mountains, in the area of Sichelburg-Zumberak, they met the descendents of those Croatian refugees whose ancestors had settled here after the conquest of Bosnia and the Herzegovina by the Turks. Franz Vanicek mentioned them in his "Spezialgeschichte der Militaergrenze" (Special History of the military Border) Volume I, Vienna, 1875. Vanicek thinks that the Uskoken who fled to this region in 1515 were in reality Walachs who were soon drafted for military service.

According to Mladen Lorkovic, a part of the Walachs became Christians only at the time of the great Christian-Islamic War (1593–1606) when the Christian Front proved to be the stronger one.

Additional data for the problems of our so-called Walachs

"Beginning with the 13th Century the word Vlah (Walach) did not infer a nationality, but rather an activity such as herdsman or cattle breeder. By that time the formerly Roman population had long since been slavicized, and many Croatian cattle breeders were referred to as Vlahi (Walachs), or herdsmen, as well as cattle breeders." Ferdo Sisic, "Povijest Hrvata u vijeme narodnih, vladara" (History of the Croats at the time of the National Kingdom), Zagreb (Agram), 1725, page 276.

After the conquest of Bosnia, along with the fortified places of Knin, Skradin (1522), Ostrovica (1528), and after the fall of Jayce and Banja Luca, the Turks were situated in the counties of Lika and Krbava (1529). Hordes of Catholic Croats left their homeland at that time, and these refugees were called Uskoks in Dalmatia. A band of these Uskoks were discovered around 1530 near Split (Spalato) by the fortress of Klis, who after the Turks had captured Klis in 1536, moved to Senj (Zengg) in 1537. A second group of these refugees (600 Bosnian families) fled to Krain, where the provincial authorities granted them residence in the Domain of Sichelburg (Zumberak) including all the mountain areas (Uskoken mountains) that had been devastated by the Turks.

In contrast to Croatian history, Fr. Vanicek, in his Special History of the Military Boundary, Volume 1, Wien (Vienna), 1875, classifies the Uskoks settling down in this area as Serbs (Walachs) who manned the local border. However he adds that in the Austrian military records and monographs "up to the end of the Austrian-Bavarian-War of Succession those border units were only described as being Heiduken (a military unit formed by Stephan Bocskay), Slovaks, Savestromers, (inhabitants of the Sava river area) or Croats." Vanicek, in his preface to Volume VIII, goes on to say that the "border guards are often commonly mentioned with the name of Croats." Lastly Vanicek mentions: "Thus there was no other way than to continue using the term Border Units." Serbs here, Croats there, they all simply ended up being referred to as border units.

Vanicek reports on page 2 of his book that the Uskoks of Sichelburg were initially placed in an ecumenical relationship under the Patriarch of Aquileja, and later under the Archbishop of Görz. He doesn’t say anywhere that the Uskoks of Sichelburg revolted against them. Thus, based on the evidence provided by the Greek Catholic priest, Jovan Hranilovics, and the poet from Neusatz (Novi Sad), these "walachischen Serbs" must have been Catholic Croats, as already pointed out in Chapter XXVI on the Croats in the Oberwart District.

A new influx of colonists came from Bosnia and Croatia because of the brilliant victory over the Turks by the river Kulpa. In 1597, Count Herberstein, Border Captain of Warasdin, succeeded in recruiting several thousand families from Turkish-Croatia and the so-called Small Walachia under the leadership of ("Knez") Vukovics and Plasinovic for a settlement. A large contingent of colonists settled down in the border area of Warasdin (Vanicek, page 76–77). The Kapitanate (counties) of Kopreinitz (Koprivnica), Kreuz (Krizevci) and Ivanic belonged to the Generalat (Province) of Warasdin.

It has been debated that the Walachs in the District of Oberwart are descendents of the Serbian Border guards who once were settled in the Generalat (Province) of Warasdin.

The following facts however argue against this opinion:

The border guards there had already had dwellings and good plots of ground, and they were content with their officers. They had a high regard for their officers, and therefore didn’t have a reason to leave their new homeland where they were allowed to practice their religion because of imperial privileges. As the Bishop of Zagreb (Agram) once again placed the question of incorporation into the foreground when the commission met in 1628 in Wien (Vienna), the Warasdin border guards protested against their provincialization to Captain-General Count Von Trautmannsdorf. They explained that they would rather be beaten to pieces than to renounce their German commanders and be subject to clergymen since they were content with their new homeland, and had no reason to leave their dwelling place between the Sava and Sava rivers.

The rulers of the Domains of Schlaining, Rechnitz, and Rotenturm became Catholic again during this time, and were intolerant of non-Catholics. On January 9, 1634, Adam Batthyany drove off all Protestant preachers from his 4 Domains, as he wanted only Catholics in his estates. Thomas Erdody became a Catholic in 1607, and he demanded a strict Catholic creed everywhere. Therefore the Domains of Schlaining, Rechnitz, and Rotenturm were not suitable residential areas for Orthodox Serbs, who did not want to be subject to Catholic clergymen. The following facts still argue for the origins of the "Wlachs" from the regions of Zengg and Sichelburg:

1. The Uskoks of Zengg rarely or never received pay, and as a result could not live without raiding since they possessed neither houses nor properties. The Uskoks of Zengg were prohibited to foray into the Turkish area after the peace treaty of Zsitvatorok (1607). The stony properties of the soil just barely nourished the families of the Uskoks there, thus both the residents of Zengg, as well as the Uskoks of Sichelburg had sufficient reason to search for a new homeland.
2. A portion of the surnames of our Walachs originates from Bosnia, and partially from the Croatian coastal areas or from Croatia.
3. Their religion was Roman and Greek Catholic. The members of the United Church used the old Slavic language for church services (as did the Orthodox) and also wrote in Cyrillic.
4. Only Catholic Croats fled out of Bosnia in 1535 because around this period of time Bosnians were Catholic and Bogumilentum, and as a result the Orthodox faith could only gain a foothold in Bosnia later.

One last comment has to be made. Zengg was the seat of a Greek Catholic Bishop, and several communities in the Croatian coastal areas also allowed the old Slavic Liturgy with Cyrillic script. A missal found in Klingenbach into which the priest at the time, George Soccovich, wrote the Croatian "Our Father" in Cyrillic and Glagolithic characters is proof of this. The Croats of northern Burgenland used the old Slavic language in their church services until 1560 just as the Orthodox Serbs. These facts were the reason that some regarded these Catholic Croats who did not use Latin in their church service as Orthodox Serbs. A case in point is a document that originates from Pinkafeld in 1675 which speaks of Roman and Romanian-Roman inhabitants. Since the Orthodox never called themselves Romans, the designation Romanian-Roman can only refer to a group of Catholics affiliated with the United Church. George Cermec, a native Croatian, was the responsible Catholic priest in Neumarkt when Archdeacon Tormasy visited there in 1674. The Archdeacon found all sorts of pieces of clothing and objects used at the Mass, a sign that the "Wlachs" belonging to the parish were Catholic Croats. That no one of Serbian Orthodox origin lived in our so-called Walach villages is evident from S. Kazo’s ecclesiastical Visitation of 1697, which found only Catholic Croats in the villages visited.

1. Croat Villages in the former Domains of Batthyany:
a. The Croat villages of Dürnbach, Zuberbach, Schachendorf, and Schandorf were in the District of Oberwart.
b. The Croat villages of Grossmürbisch, Kleinmürbisch, Reinersdorf, St. Nicholas, Krottendorf, Steingraben, Rehgraben, Eisenhüttl, Heugraben, Sulz, Schallendorf, Stinatz, Stegersbach, St. Michael, Punitz, Neuberg, Steinfurt, and Güttenbach were in the District of Güssing.
2. The villages of Tudersdorf, Kroatisch Tschantschendorf, and Hasendorf were the possessions of the Gentry.
3. Croatian villages in the former Erdody Domains included:
In the District of Güssing these consisted of Eberau, Kulm in Burgenland; Edlitz im Burgenland, Harmisch, St. Kathrein in Burgenland, and Kroatisch Ehrensdorf.

Villages in the Batthyany Estates at the time of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation

Franz Batthyany, the former Ban of Croatia and founder of the Batthyany dynasty, was a faithful Catholic until his death on November 28, 1566. The son of his brother Christoph was also a Catholic, however Christoph’s wife, Elisabeth Svetkovitsch, was a Lutheran. Christoph Batthyany died in 1567.

Christoph’s son, Balthasar (who was borne in 1543) spent his youth in the ruling families of Vienna, Paris and Holland, and like his ancestors, was initially a Catholic. On January 30, 1566 he married Dorothy Zrinyi who was a Lutheran and the daughter of Nicholas Zrinyi, the hero of Szigetvar. Now the mother and daughter-in-law together saw to it that Protestant doctors and teachers came into the house. After the death of her husband, Elisabeth Svetkovitsch persuaded her son to use a Protestant clergyman as a tutor, and to convert to the Protestant faith. Balthasar was already a fervent Lutheran in 1570. On April 18, 1576 Balthasar brought the clergyman Stefan Beythe into Güssing who succeeded to convert his Lords and patron over to the cause of the Calvinist Reformation. The influence of clergyman Bethye lasted for 32 years in Güssing. Balthasar Batthyany died on February 21, 1590.

Balthasar Batthyany and Dorothy Zrinyi had two daughters and a son, Franz, who was born on July 26, 1576. He, like his father, also fought successfully against the Turks. He did not follow the example of the many others that sided with Prince Bocskay in 1605 however, and King Rudolf II rewarded his loyalty with the bestowal of the Domain of Kormend. Franz Batthyany also had a Lutheran wife, named Eva Poppel. He was forced by circumstances to side with Gabor Bethlen, the Prince of Transylvania, in the Thirty Year war, and voted in Bratislava (Pressburg) on February 20, 1620 that Bethlen should become the Hungarian king. Bethlen visited him in October 1620 in Rechnitz. The direction of the Calvinist Reformation achieved its pinnacle of development under the reign of Franz Batthyany, and the ministers used by him must have had stood in awe of him as Peter Jandrisevits writes on page 164 in Volume 4 of his records and documents: "Through the demise of Franz Batthyany the German and partially also the Croatian priests of the Gussing area were freed from a nightmare." Franz Batthyany died on September 15, 1625 in Schlaining at the age of 52.

His son Adam (born in 1609) was next in line after the death of Franz Batthyany. At his mother’s urging, George Zvonarich, the son of the Lutheran Superintendent Michael Zvonarich was his tutor. Adam came to the Court of Ferdinand II in Vienna after the death of his father, where influenced by Peter Pazmanys and his theological writings, he converted to the faith of his ancestors in 1630. The Jesuits began their missionary efforts in 70 Batthyany owned villages’ two years after his conversion. The Provost of Szombathely (Steinamanger) took possession of the churches from the Calvinists in Güssing at the bequest of Adam Batthyany on April 13, 1633, and on January 9, 1634 he ordered every Lutheran and Calvinist minister on his 4 Domains to leave his property within 15 days. Balthasar, Franz, and for a short time also Adam Batthyany, Elizabeth Svetkovich (Christof’s wife), Dorothy Zrinyi (Balthasar’s wife), and Eva Poppel (Franz’s wife) were all fervent Lutherans. The Lords of the Domain kept Calvinist predicates and doctors in their castles and villages, while their wives had Lutheran predicates and doctors. Religious quarrels were a constant and relentless visitor in Güssing, said Jandrisevits. Total uncertainty prevailed in the villages, and even the clergymen did not know with whom they should side. The people knew only that those in power were against the Catholics.

The religious instability of Balthasar Batthyany and Stefan Bethye made a unfavorable impression on the people. Balthasar was a Catholic until his 27th year, after which he was a Lutheran, and lastly he became a Calvinist. Stefan Bethye, the minister of Güssing was made a Lutheran Superintendent in 1585, but quit on June 3, 1591 bidding the assembled Lutheran predicates an irritated farewell, before becoming a Calvinist in 1595. Peter Pazmany, the Archbishop of Esztergom (Gran), writes the following words about him: "You spent your youth with us, your manhood years among the Lutherans, and your last years in the camp of the Calvinists." The confusion became complete, when the ministers of Bernstein, Pinkafeld, Schlaining, and Kitzladen announced a third trend of the Reformation around the year 1580, to the so-called Flacianism. Some Lutherans saw a risk in this doctrine, such as Simon Hubner, the clergyman of Güns and a follower of Flacian, who quit his post as in 1586.

After this introduction, it is necessary to examine how the Croats living on the Batthyany properties fared in the 64 years during which their masters were Calvinists. Above all it should be noted that no Croatian minister is known to have left his faith. When the Protestants, under the protection and leadership of Franz Nadasdy and Balthasar Batthyany, expressed their intent to sever themselves from the Catholic Church, neither the Croats under Batthyany nor Nadasdy were present. We searched in vain for Croats or for Croatian clergymen in the discussions in Csepreg in 1591, where Franz Nadasdy wanted to bring clergymen with different ideas under one roof. There were no Protestant clerics in the Croat villages of the Batthyany Domains until the end of the 16th Century. A directory in 1599 shows the name of the clergymen who paid the prescribed tax in Schandorf, Dürnbach, Podler, and Schildung (Csatar). This list does not state whether these predicates installed by Batthyany were Croatian and who they were. A second list of 1601 already mentions 8 Croat villages where Protestant clerics worked, namely in Podler, Eberau, Schachendorf, Schandorf, St. Michael, Stegersbach, St. Nicholas, and Hodis. This list reveals neither the nationality nor the names of the ministers at that time. The minutes of the Calvinist Church Synod in Olbendorf from November 1 to 3, 1618 provides the names of the clergymen serving in the Croatian municipalities for the first time.

They were Matthias Visnjac (St. Michael), Peter Stansics (Stegersbach), Michael Tüske (St. Nikolaus), Nikolaus Kotel (Schachendorf), Michael Pomperics (Schandorf), George Tisinai (Dürnbach), Ivan Vinica (Rechnitz), Gregory Runics (Nahring), and Andreas Artner (Hannersdorf).

Stefan Macheropaeos was the first known clergyman of Schandorf in 1612. A record written in the village of Papa on June 27, 1628 shows Matthias Sutak as the clergyman in Rechnitz, Michael Kelcz in Nahring (Narda), and Martin Szekszo in St. Michael. The last two clergymen appointed for Schandorf in 1651 and 1658 respectively were Thomas Gubanoczi and Michael Szmodics. They could not begin to perform their services however because of the hostile attitude of the Catholics in Schandorf who chased them away from the village. Of the 20 ministers sent to the Croats, 5 were Hungarians, namely Michael Tuske, Nikolaus Kotel, Stefan Szilagy, and Thomas Gubanoczi, in addition to Michael Kelcz who was of Hungarian Gentry. The Germans sent were Andreas Artner, Wilhelm Fromm, Macheropaeos-alias Stefan Schwertfeger, Andreas Pinder and George Werner. Ivan Vinica from the village of Vinica, George Tisinai from the village of Tisina, Matthias Sutak from Belica and Matthias Vismac (Visnjac) were sent from Slovenia or the Island of Mur. Ivan Subdilics was from Krain. Martin Szekszo was of unknown nationality, and Michael Szmodics was a Magyar (Hungarian) Croatian. The nationalities of Peter Stanics, Michael Pomperics, and Gregory Runics are unknown to us.

Alexander Payr says on pages 193 to 196 of his book, that Superintendent Beythe won the Hungarians on the Batthyany properties over to the Calvinist Doctrine, but the German clergymen remained loyal to the Augsburg Doctrine by rejecting every approach made by Beythe. A. Payr mentions several such conversations, but nowhere does he say that the clergymen of the Croatian communities were invited to the meetings. Payr also states that a part of the ministers in the Croat communities sided with the Lutheran Germans, while the others sided with the Calvinist Hungarians. To the extent that the ministers in the Croat communities were consecrated clergymen, in the opinion of Jandrisevits they were secret Catholics.

On the basis of the information from the documents of A. Payr and Jandrisevits we can determine that Stefan Macheropaeos, the clergyman of Rechnitz, visited from time to time the meetings of the clergymen in the Nadasdy District. He came to the Synod at Schützen (Sopronlovo) in 1615 where the clergymen received him with hostility. They drove him away with the words, "Go away from us, because you are an enemy, we do not want you to stay in our midst and deliberate with us." Our source does not say whether Macheropaeos was driven out because he sympathized with the Calvinists or with the Catholics. Ivan Vinica, the minister of Schandorf, participated in the main synod for Protestant clergymen at Csepreg in August 1613. The Calvinists counted both ministers among the Calvinists, because the municipalities in which they served were counted among the Calvinists.

Three Croatian ministers attended the Calvinist Synods of 1618, 1619, 1620, 1624, and 1629. More than half did not appear at the statutory meetings of the Synod even though the attendance of each clergyman was required. After Franz Batthyany, the stern Patron of the Calvinist Districts, died in 1625, George Tisinai from Dürnbach participated in the large Calvinist Synod in Kormend on May 28, 1629, as the only Croat minister. It was the last time that a clergyman from a Croat community was present at a Calvinist Synod. The mentality of the ministers installed in the Croat communities by Batthyany is shown by the 191 records in Volume 4 of the Jandrisevits documents of 1629. By this is meant, "the new Calvinist Superintendent should be selected from the Batthyany areas so that the Croatian clergy are then forced to recognize him."

The Croats had 18 communities in Estates located within the District of Güssing. They were the majority in 3 communities that were situated on the properties of the gentry. Of these, only 3 parishes, St. Nikolaus, St. Michael, and Stegersbach, had Protestant clergymen. According to Zimmerman, the villages of Grossmürbisch, Hasendorf, Krottendorf, Punitz, and Kroatisch Tschantschendorf belonged to the parish of St. Nikolaus. According to Schwarz, the villages of Güttenbach, Neuberg, Rauchwart, Gamischdorf, and Schallendorf belonged to the parish of St. Michael. It is not known how the German parishes were split among the remaining Croatian communities. Most ministers were Wenden, Slovenian, Krain, German, or Hungarian. Even if the ministers spoke the Croatian language and had not met any resistance from the people, their sermons could not have been too effective since they were in the parishes for only a short period of time. Although Balthasar Batthyany was converted to Protestantism in 1570, the first Croatian Calvinist clergymen were not installed in the Batthyany Domains until 29 years later. However, this point in time was unfavorable for the dissemination of the new Doctrine, because the plague raged at the end of the 16th Century, and the population was substantially depleted. The following remark is read in the tax lists of the community of Punitz in 1588: "because of the plague, 26 houses stand vacant." The epidemic emptied residences in other small towns as well.

The fact that the Croats had no sympathy for the Reformation can also be traced back to the following events. In June 1605, swarms of Bocskay, Hungarians, Turks, and Tatars under the command of Gregor Nemethy attacked southern Burgenland and devastated Güssing, where they almost completely burned down the Batthyany villages. The Haiducken (military unit formed by Stefan Bocskay) led by Gregor Nemethys annihilated everything that fell into their hands in Pinka and Lafnitztal. They burned everything except one house in Güttenbach and Punitz. All houses were destroyed by fire in Neuberg. A comparative view of the destruction can be made in the following communities:

In 1608 there were only:
8 houses in Grossmürbisch, compared to 12 houses in 1599,
6 houses in Olbendorf, compared to 28 houses in 1599,
6 houses in Stegersbach, compared to 34 houses in 1599,
6 houses in Rauchwart, compared to 40 houses in 1599,
2 houses in Gamischdorf, compared to 10 houses in 1599,
2 houses in St. Michael, compared to 20 houses in 1599,
2 houses in Runersdorf, compared to 8 houses in 1599.

On the average, only a fifth of the houses were rebuilt in the Batthyany villages three years after the assault of the Bocskay troops. Güssing still had quite a few ruins in 1625, and it was years before the destruction of the Bocskay Rebellion was fully repaired.

Southern Burgenland suffered relatively little when it was allied with Gabor Bethlen, the Transylvanian Prince, during his campaigns in 1619 and 1620. Nevertheless, many houses stood empty in the Pinka area because people abandoned their farms due to fear. According to Schwartz, they returned only after the situation had subsided again,.

Some of the important locales where Calvinist ministers were used are now mentioned.

Güssing had three churches at the time of the Reformation, a Hungarian Calvinist, and the above mentioned churches of St. Jakob, (German) and St. Nikolaus (Croatian). George Zwetschich, an Istrian, was Batthyany’s courtyard minister for a short time in 1618. We know that Michael Pomperich (1618) and Michael Tuskiszentgyorgy (1618 up to 1627) were ministers in Güssing for the Croats, and Zimmerman also mentioned an Ivan Subdilich from Krain.

Stegersbach. At the time of the Reformation, a major portion of the village was Croatian, while a smaller part was German. Peter Stansich was the Croatian pastor from 1618 to 1619. The church synod held in Olbendorf ended on November 2, 1619, and he was reinstalled two years later because the clergymen Michael Pomperich (Schandorf), George Tisinai (Dürnbach) and Ivan Vinica (Rechnitz) vouched for him. George Werner, a German, was determined to be the pastor of the community in 1624.

St. Michael im Burgenland. In 1635, only 1 out of 26 families had German surnames in St. Michael im Burgenland. A Protestant minister paid a tax of 1 Gulden (60 Kreuzer) in 1601. Ivan Vinica was the minister from 1618 until 1619. The Vinica family came to Eberau from the Island of Mur. Martin Szekszo, the pastor of St. Michael in 1628 and 1629, did not attend the Synod of the Calvinist clergymen in Kormend in 1629. Adam Batthyany converted to Catholicism in 1630, and after a 17-year-old dispute, succeeded to win back 90 churches from the Protestants, among them being the Church of St. Michael. In place of a Calvinist cleric, St. Michael received a Protestant clergyman in the person of Thomas Gubanoczi, who left this community after 6 months, and went to the village of Asszonyfalva. The position of the minister was still vacant in 1652. The fact that Gubanoczi left his position after a half year, which was still vacant 5 years later allows us to assume that the Catholic Croats of St. Michael and its subsidiaries desired to avoid the imposition of a Protestant minister, and wanted the Catholics to be like the remaining Croatians in the Batthyany Estates.

Casper Dragonus was the minister in Rechnitz in 1591, and was one of the attending clergy that signed the minutes of the discussions in Csepreg, however he did not sign the book "Formula Concordiae." Before his work in Rechnitz he was a secular civil servant of George Draskovich, the Bishop of Gyor (Raab). In 1614, a preacher named Dalmata was in Rechnitz. He could be not identical to the Anton Dalmata, who was an employee of Stefan Consuls as asserted by Alexander Payr on page 570 of his book, since Anton Dalmata never worked in Eisenburg County. He returned from Regensburg to Laibach, where he died in 1570. In 1617, Stefan Macheropaeus was the minister of the Croats in Rechnitz. Ivan Vinica was the minister here in 1618, and Matthias Sutak in 1628. Both the Lutheran as well as the Calvinist preachers were forced to leave their posts after 1630.

Schachendorf. The only name known here is that of Nikolaus Kotel, who was a Hungarian that worked here as a minister from 1601 to 1620, and who left for Kormend in 1620.

Dürnbach. A minister of Dürnbach paid a tax of 2 Gulden in 1599. George Tisinai, who was a Slovenian from the village of Tisina worked here from 1618 up to 1627. In 1620, he complained in Gussing that Michael Richardi, the minister of Heiligenkreuz in Lafnitzal had torn out some hairs from his beard and harassed him. Tisinai was the only Croat minister who attended the main Calvinist Synod in Kormend. Adam Batthyany also expelled the Protestant minister out of Dürnbach in 1634.

Schandorf. A Protestant minister of this community paid a tax of 1 Gulden (60 Kreuzer) in 1601. Stefan Szilagi, a Hungarian, who was probably here in 1612 and also 1613, was the name of the first minister known here. In 1613, a complaint was voiced against Gregor Runich, the minister from Nahring (Narda), that he fed the communion wafer to the faithful in Schandorf, that occurred during the time that Stefan Szilagi was the minister in Schandorf, for which the Calvinist superiors punished Runich. Michael Pomperich was the minister here in 1618 and 1619. On August 24, 1619, the inhabitants of Schandorf asked the main Calvinist Synod in Kormend, for permission to take Communion in the form of a Host. A Calvinist Synod was held in Schandorf in 1628. After the death of her husband, Eva Poppel did not want the ministers to be subordinated to the Calvinist Superintendents, but rather to the Lutherans who had their seat in Sarvar.

We have already mentioned that Adam Batthyany had renounced Calvinism, and became a Catholic. In 1634 he, as the Domain owner and Patron of the Church, instructed that all ministers would have to leave his Domains. However the Protestants resisted the insertion of Catholic clergymen, and recovered 90 churches later with the armed intervention of Bocskay and Bethlen.

Law Article VI of 1647 ordered that the churches of Schandorf, St. Michael, and Hannersdorf be reverted back to the Calvinists. The Protestant Superintendent Musay transferred clergyman Thomas Gubanoczi back to Schandorf in 1651 "because he had deserted his post in time of danger (1634)," and had gone to Asszonyfalva. However, Gubanoczi, could not stay in Schandorf as the Croats of Schandorf drove him out as they tried once again to force a Protestant minister into Schandorf. The clergyman Michael Szmodicz was sent to Schandorf in 1658 who the inhabitants wouldn’t even permit into the village.

The Croats had a narrow majority in Hannersdorf at the time of the Reformation. The community already had a Protestant clergyman in 1601. Andreas Artner, a former Catholic priest, was sent here in 1616 who remained in Hannersdorf until 1619. His successor was Wilhelm Fromm (1624), and Matthias Molitor, a teacher in Schlaining, was installed as the minister in 1626. Hannersdorf was a German Calvinist parish in 1629 that Adam Batthyany also returned to Catholicism in 1634, and it remained Catholic for 13 additional years. The State law of 1647 awarded the Church in Hannersdorf to the Protestants. Andreas Pinder was the minister of Hannersdorf in 1659, and he was German like his predecessor. The Croats of Hannersdorf demanded at the Protestant Church Synod in Wichs (Buk) in 1661, that once a month someone preach to them in the Croatian language. The Synod decided: "this has not been customary up to now, therefore it shall not be done in the future either." In 1663, Minister Johann Schenker who was from Transylvania (Siebenburg), came to Hannersdorf.

The Erdody – Zrinyi Domains in Eisenburg County

Nicholas Zrinyi acquired the Domains of Eberau, Rotenturm, and Csatar in 1557. In exchange for these Domains, Zrinyi transferred the Croatian castles of Medvedgrad located near Zagreb (Agram), and Rakovec that was in the County of Bijelovar-Kriz to Peter Erdody. This exchange of estates caused a lasting 56-year debate between the Erdody and Zrinyi families. During this period of time, sometimes the Zrinyi family and sometimes the Erdody family are mentioned as the proprietors of Eberau and Rotenturm.

At the time of immigration of the Croats, a large portion of the Hungarian tycoons became advocates of the Reformation, who appropriated church properties, destroyed several monasteries, drove monks and cloistered nuns away, and imposed Protestant clergymen on the Catholic farmers. The Erdody and Zrinyi families who left Catholicism acted in a similar manner.

The aristocrat Berchtold Ellerbach founded a monastery in 1460 or 1473 in Kulm. His widow Barbara and sons Johann and Stefan completed the building in 1482 which made the monastery a valuable property. The monastery also found other benefactors. On February 5, 1558 Nicholas Zrinyi and Peter Erdody destroyed the cloister and acquired its possessions. On August 14, 1559, the General of the Order of St. Paul complained that Nicholas Zrinyi and Peter Erdody had torn down the Monastery of Kulm and confiscated its property. The general also complained that he had been forced to sell Hagensdorf, because Zrinyi threatened to kill him if he did not give up the property.

After the death of Nicholas Zrinyi in 1566, his 17-year-old son George became the proprietor of the Domains of Eberau, Rotenturm, and the Island of Mur. He was a Catholic in his youth, introduced to the teachings of Martin Luther later in life, and became a supporter of Calvinism a few years before he died. According to the Croatian historiographer Bucar, George Zrinyi at the age of 20, on the advice of Baron Nicholas Malakoczi, expelled the Catholic clergyman from the Island of Mur, transferred the Churches to the Protestants, and removed the holy pictures from the churches. The Prior of the Order of St. Paul from St. Helena rebelled, whereupon Zrinyi had him imprisoned and tortured in 1580, and it is said that the Prior did not survive the results of being tortured. Count George Zrinyi died on May 4, 1603 in Weppendorf (Vep).

After the death of George Zrinyi, his son George Jr., who was five years old when his father died, inherited the estates in Eberau, Rotenturm, Weppendorf, and the Island of Mur. His guardian, George Thurzo, educated him in the Protestant religion. Zrinyi, as the Lord of the Estate of the Island of Mur, prohibited his Catholic farmers from attending the Church of the Order of St. Paul in St. Helena with a penalty of 12 Gulden.

The fact that in 1619 the Catholic farmers on the Island of Mur complained about their Domain owners because of the prohibition of the Catholic Church services is noteworthy. We said previously that the father of George Zrinyi Jr. had driven the Catholic clergymen off the Island of Mur in 1569. The fact that his son 50 years later had to forbid the farmers from attending Catholic Church services lets us conclude that the farmers on the Island of Mur retained their Catholic faith.

In 1620 Stephen Szilagy, the former minister of Schandorf, was still a preacher at the court of George Zrinyi Jr. in Tschakaturn, when Zrinyi converted to Catholicism two years later while under the influence of Peter Pazmany.

He placed 100 Gold ducats on the altar of the Church in Tschakaturn on the day of his conversion, and he expelled the Protestant clergymen from the Island of Mur. Hence, the former 14 villages with Catholic rectories received Catholic clergymen again. The Zrinyi families were Protestant or Calvinist for approximately 65 years.

We cannot provide information at the present time concerning the behavior of the Zrinyi family towards their Croatian subjects because of a lack of information. We only know that in 1598 Gregory Tschebenich (a boy’s teacher) stayed in Eberau and a preacher from there paid a tax in 1599 and 1601. According to Schwarz, Doctrine of Luther was not able to gain a foothold in the area of Eberau.

The Erdody family was Protestant for approximately 70 years, and Thomas Erdody, the Ban of Croatia, became a major opponent of the Protestants after he was converted. While they were holding proceedings at the State Parliament in Bratislava whether to permit Protestantism into Croatia, the Ban angrily removed his sword and spoke thusly to the ranking clergy and nobility: "With this sword I will exorcise this plague from my country. We have three rivers, the Drava, Sava, and Kulpa, and from one of these we will let our guests drink."

In 1612, the Erdody family received the Domains of Eberau and Rotenturm with the castles and all accessories back again. Thomas Erdody sternly demanded the Catholic creed from his citizens and subjects, and reminded the residents of Eberau of their promise in 1552 to employ only Catholic clergyman. They have kept this promise since 1615.

The Croats and the Reformation

In order to understand the position of the Croats in relation to the Reformation, it is necessary to consider the situation of the Croatian refugees. As was said previously, the Croats immigrated into the Balkan Peninsula and won their national independence from Byzantium with the help of the Popes at that time. Furthermore, they could rely on this assistance if their national existence was endangered. Toward the end of the 15th century, the Pope rendered support in the form of grain, powder, and cannons, as the then isolated Croats desperately defended the last vestiges of their homeland against the superior strength of the Turks, The Croats were consequently obligated to Rome.

The continuous danger that the Balkans nations were in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries did not give them a possibility to think about the ideas of a John Wycliffe, or Jan Hus or to consider the deplorable state of religious affairs. The western religious quarrels were foreign to the Croat immigrants in Burgenland who only felt the detrimental effects of the first and second religious schisms.

All religious tenets of the Catholic Church were not defined before Martin Luther and the Council of Trient (Trent). In 1549 for example, the following conditions prevailed in Ödenburg: "The teaching concepts of the old and new doctrines surged in such disarray that the inhabitants of Ödenburg either believed that they were good Catholics when in fact they were good sectarians, or meant to be good sectarians and were nevertheless Catholics."

Zimmermann also aptly describes the religious uncertainty at this time: "We can see e.g. from the following how long it took Protestantism to become a sharply defined special form of Western Christianity differing strictly from the Roman ecclesiastical system." In 1563, the supporters of the Reformation of the town of Erlau even presented their confession to Emperor Ferdinand I under the title of "Confessio Catholica" (Catholic Confession). "This is proof for how much the people longed for a reunification of a church that would be renewed at all levels, until these hopes were shattered by the unsuccessful end of the Reformed Council of Trent."

It can be seen from a regulation of King Ludwig II that the Lutheran teaching was already proclaimed in the city Ödenburg in 1524. Thomas Wiedemann writes on page 421 in Volume 4 of his work: "Simeon Gerengel came to Ödenburg in 1565 where this enthusiastic man was quickly able to convince the inhabitants of his views."

The Lutheran doctrine only became generally accepted in Ödenburg after a period of 41 years, and this process lasted even longer in the Lutheran German communities around Ödenburg. It was also similar during the Catholic restoration because the subjects remained Protestant much longer after the conversion of Franz Nadasdy.

The following information is found on page 102 of T.A. Vanyo’s book: In the Archdeanery of Gyor (Raab), the Catholic ecclesiastical inspector was hardly able to visit 5 or 6 communities in 1659, while in 1697 he called on more than 30. Two-thirds of these 30 communities had a Catholic majority, while the population in the other third was about half Catholic. Since the Nadasdy’s were Protestant for over 100 years, the root for a Trans-Danube Protestant Church District was formed by their subjects. 16 years after the conversion of Franz Nadasdy, the ecclesiastical inspector could visit only 5 or 6 communities because the remaining were Protestant. After 54 years, more than a third of the subjects were still Protestant.

The conditions were similar in Burgenland. Even with the dismissal of 21 Protestant clergy in northern Burgenland in 1582 and 1583 and with the installation of Catholic clergymen, not all of the population became Catholics immediately. The same situation also applies to some communities in central Burgenland. A decade passed before the Catholic renewal was accepted, and one seventh of the Burgenland population is still Protestant or Calvinist even today.

The above data reflects the inaccuracy of the viewpoint that the Croatian population became Protestant or Calvinist because of the use of Protestant or Calvinist clergymen in some Croat towns. The use of non-Catholic clergyman in several Croatian villages for long periods of time does not necessarily mean that the Croats lost their Catholic faith. There is no proof for this latter thesis anywhere, and to the contrary, some indications speak for the fact that Croatian subjects were secretly Catholic while living in the Lutheran Batthyany Estates. Gregor Runich, the minister of Nahring (Narda), fed the Croatian inhabitants of Schandorf the communion wafer during the time of the reformation, and the inhabitants of Schandorf still wanted the Host for Holy Communion in 1619. The Croatian residents of Eberau promised to remain Catholic just before 1557. Thomas Gubanoczi, the Protestant clergyman of St. Michael, had already left his parish after a half year because he could not stay there. The Croats of Schandorf drove away two clergymen that had been sent to them.

We thus come to the question whether the Croats of that time were Protestant or Calvinist, or whether they remained Catholics during the time of religious coercion (1595–1630–1643). Relevant Hungarian, German and Croatian literature does not mention a single case where the Burgenland Croats of that time would have voluntarily requested or selected a Protestant, Calvinist, or a Flacian minister.

The fact that the Protestant or Calvinist Domain Owners had in most cases used non-Croatian speaking preachers for the Croats does not necessarily mean that the population left their old faith. For example, Stefan Consuls fully enjoyed the support of Hans Von Weisspriach, Christopher Zinzendorf, and Seyfried Kollonitsch for eleven years in Eisenstadt, nevertheless he could not achieve his goal among the Croats in the surroundings of Eisenstadt.

The Croats of Grosshöflein, Dörfel, and Kittsee had Protestant ministers for 34, 56, and 57 long years respectively while still remaining Catholic. The Croatian inhabitants of Klingenbach and Kohlnhof remained true to the faith of their fathers despite the pressure that was exerted for 80 years in the Protestant borough of Ödenburg.

Many Germans and Hungarians resisted becoming Catholic after the domain owners returned to the Catholic Church, and if the Croats had been Protestant, they would have resisted also. This is not known however of the Croats as they were not only faithful in their own communities, but even defended Catholic priests in other municipalities.

Only one Burgenlander was among the ministers assigned to the Croatian communities.
He was born of Hungarian parents in Unterpullendorf, and was named Thomas Gubanoczi. The Burgenland Croats avoided being preachers during the time of the Reformation. When they were allowed to profess their religion freely however, the Croats of the Gyor (Raab) Diocese gave relatively far more Catholic clergyman than other ethnic groups. The ecclesiastical Visitation of 1659 found 48 Croatian and just 17 German and Hungarian clergymen in their inspections of 65 communities. The ecclesiastical Visitations of the Gyor (Raab) Diocese unanimously emphasize the steadfastness of the Croatians in their faith. On September 12, 1592, Conrad Glockel, Office of the Archdeanery and ecclesiastical inspector of Ödenburg, reported to the Klosterrat (Imperial Monastery Council): "The Germans are thoroughly devoted to the new Doctrine, only the Croats remained strict Catholic." The historian Adolf Mohl writes on page 20 of his often-mentioned book: "The Croats formed a solid rock, that resisted the stormy tide of the Counter-Reformation." T.E. Vanyo writes in page 63 of his work: "The Croatian population remained closed to the concepts of the Counter-Reformation."

O. Gruszecki says in his treatise "Die Burgenländischen Kroaten" (The Burgenland Croats): "The Croats always remained Catholic." Other German and Hungarian circles similarly mentioned the steadfastness of the Croats in their faith during the time of the religious schisms.

Let us finally mention that there is no trace in the literature of the Burgenland Croats that indicates that the ancestors of the local Croatians were Protestant or Calvinist. On the contrary, a 280-year-old today "Songs of the Eisenstadt Field" (Jacka od zelezanskoga polja) was discovered in 1848 in Unterpullendorf, which says the local Croats “were always Catholic" and were "always ready to shed their blood for their faith."

Some lay and religious Croatian songs from the 30-Year War convey a similar conviction.

Return to Table of Content

Chapter XXXII - Epilogue

It has been seen that the Croats were called onto the Balkans in the 7th century by the East Roman Emperor Herakles. There they took up the fight with the Awars, who had settled into the former Roman Provinces of Dalmatia, Illyria, and Pannonia, and after a struggle of several years, the Croats destroyed the Awars Kingdom in the south. As a result, they created a mortal enemy with the East Roman Empire that enabled Byzantium to concentrate its military strengths on the Arabian invasion. The fact that the Croats succeeded to take away the southern half of the Empire of the powerful Awars, who ruled Hungary, Carniola, Styria, Lower Austrians, and the present day Yugoslavians, gives us an idea of the importance of their military power. Not until 150 years later in the two Wars of 791 and 796 was Karl the Great able to conquer the northern half of the Awar Empire.

Furthermore, the immigration of the Croats into the Balkans meant a strengthening of the Christian camp, as the Croats accepted Christianity and lived in peace with the East Roman Empire.

The peaceful attitude of the Croats towards their neighboring nations represents a remarkable fact in European history, since in their 1300-year-old history, they never attacked, conquered, or plundered an adjoining nation.

The Turkish occupation of Croatian soil, after the step by step conquest of the remaining Balkan States in the 15th and 16th centuries, brought on the darkest hour in the history of the Croatian people. In a time span of 177 years, half a million people were abducted and put into slavery, thousands fell in a war offering no prospects of winning, and thousands more had to flee and leave their homeland. Despite everything however, they did not follow the example of the Bogumile who accepted the doctrine of Mohammed and were allowed to retain everything they owned. The Croats would also have been able to expect preferential treatment if they had converted to the Orthodox faith.

The Turks favored all Christians disassociated from Rome for political reasons. Zimmermann remarks correctly: "They (the Turks - Editor) viewed the Catholics as supporters of the Pope whom they viewed as their primary enemy in the European defensive front. During their conquering marches towards the west, the Turks frequently destroyed, subjected, and abducted into slavery everything which stood in their way." The Croats did not take refuge in opportunistic actions, even when they were left alone in their struggle for survival as a result of the religious quarrels among the European Christians. The path of the Croatian refugees from Croatia has been followed up to the new homeland.

After a long investigation, it was successfully proved that the so-called "Walachs" who immigrated into the former Domains of Schlaining, Rechnitz, and Rotenturm in the 17th century were neither Walachs nor Serbians, but Catholic Croats. The appendix gives us an insight into the feudal system until the liberation of the farmers and the repeal of the Urbarial obligation. In the last chapter we referred to the actions of the Haiducken (military unit of Stefan Bocskay) and the Turkish and Tatar soldiers in 1605. The devastation that punished particularly the Batthyany villages was not well suited to facilitate the mission of the serving ministry.

Balthasar and Franz Batthyany employed Protestant ministers for the Catholic Croats, most of who spoke no Croatian. In spite of this, there is no shred of supporting evidence that the Croatian subjects had given up their Catholic Religion. The reports of the ecclesiastical inspections of the 17th century also testify to the religious loyalty of the Croats.

The history of the Croatians has now been followed up to the 17th Century. In the confusing abundance of details, it is necessary not to lose the perspective that the Croats were a people on the border, both in the old and new homeland. There the Croats protected the threatened Byzantium and built a Christian state. After they were a mature member of the Western Civilization, the Croatians did not hesitate to defend it even without assistance from neighboring states. They rebuilt the destruction in their new homeland, and always retained what came down from their fathers.

Return to Table of Contents


Village Register of German-Croatian Names & Places Mentioned in Text

(Numbers following village or city names designate page numbers where they will be found in original publication. Croatian names are given for those villages settled by Croatians.)

Adrianopel - 14, Agendorf - 66, Agram - 9, 10, 14, 19, 34, 41, 49, 54, 72, 90, 97, Agyagos - 56, Alexandria - 10, Alhau - 27, Allersdorf - 27, 33, 37, 49, Allersgraben-Rauhriegel - 33, 37, 49, 50, Althodis - 33, 37, 40, 48, Altschlaining - 27, 37, 40, 49, 50, Ambus - 25, Amhagen - 32, 33, 34, 60, Amselfeld - 15, Andau - 68, Antau - 25, 30, 54, 59, 60, 62, Antiochia - 10, Apetlon - 29, 30, 56, Aquileja - 90, Asow - 8, Aspang - 31, 65, Asszonyfalva - 85, 95, 96

Baden - 30, 58, Badersdorf - 27, Bajngrob - 53, Bandol - 49, Banja Luka - 29, 35, Baratok - 46, Baumgarten - 3, 23, 29, 30, 31, 54, 57,64, 65, 72, 76, 78, 80, 81, Beled - 56, Belgrade - 23, 72, Belica - 93, Berek - 43, Berkifalu - 43, 45, Bernstein - 48, 93, Besztercebanya - 84, Bezonja - 68, Bihac - 23, Bijelo Selo - 67, 74, Bijela, Stijena - 19, 32, Billern - 24, Bleigraben - 52, 54, 85, Blumau - 53, Bojane (Steingraben) - 43, Bosarkany - 56, Bösing - 67, Bosnjak-Brig - 49, Bozjakovina - 19, Bozok - 50, Breitenbrunn - 60, Brinje - 39, Brlog - 39, Buchschachen 27, Budapest - 22, 39, 54, 78, 79, 88, Buk - Wichs - 56, 96, Burg an der Pinka - 27, Buzet - 75, Byzanz - 14, 100, 101

Cajta - 48, Cak - Zachenbach - 50, Canisa - 41, Cattaro - 13, 14, 87, Cazma - 19, Celindof - 60, Cenk - 84, Cemba - 48, Cesno - 59, Ciklez - 60, Cilli - Celje - 19, Cindrof - 65, Cogrstof - 58, Csapod - 55, Csatar - 46, 49, 93, 97, Csepreg - 56, 73, 83, 84, 85, 93, 94, 97, Csomote - 56, Cunovo - 24, 68

Deutsch-Gerisdorf - 84, Deutschkreutz - 37, 46, 55, 56, 84, 85, Deutsch-Kukmirn - 45, Deutsch Reinersdorf - Deutsch-Schützen - 43, Deutsch-Stegersbach - 45, Deutsch Tschantschendorf - 45, Dörfel - 51, 83, 84, 89, Dolnja Pulja - 51, Dolnji Catar - 48, Donnerskirchen - 57, 77, 78, Draguta - 26, Drassburg - 3, 23, 25, 30, 57, 59, 60, 65, 70, 80, 81, Drassmarkt - 56, 85, 86, Drfelj - 51, Drumling - 27, Dubica - 32, Dubrovnik - 13, 23, 46, Dürnbach - Vincet - 27, 48, 49, 91, 93, 94, 95, Dunavec - 68

Eberau - 28, 43, 45, 46, 49, 91, 93, 94, 98, 99, Ebergoc - 56, Edessa - 10, Edlitz - Hobdelci - 43, 45, 46, 91, Eggendorf - 24, Eisenberg an der Pinka - 27, Eisenburg - 32, 40, 42, 43, 45, 71, 72, 81, 83, 88, 95, 96, Eisenhüttl - Jezerjani - 33, 43, 44, 46, 47, 91, Eisenstadt - Selesno / Zelezno - 23, 25, 30, 33, 37, 41, 43, 56, 57, 58, 59, 62, 63, 64, 68, 69, 70, 72, 73, 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 82, 84, 99, Eisenzicken - 49, 50, Endred- Grossandra / Endrisce - 32, 55, Endrisce - 55, Erlau - 98, Esseg - Osiek - 14, Esztergom - 66, 72, 93

Fertoszentmiklos - 55, Filez - 51, Fiume (Rijeka) - 13, Forchtenau - 25, 60, Forchtenstein - 25, 30, 37, 57, 59, 60, 62, 64, 66, 69, 70, 75, 77, Frakanava - 52, Frankenau - 34, 36, 52, 88, Frauenkirchen - 68

Gacka - 29, 58, Galing - 68, Gamischdorf - 45, 94, Gattendorf - 24, 35, 66, 68, 74, Gereben - 45, Gerersdorf - 45, Geristof - 53, Gijeca - 67, 74, Girm - 56, Gissing - 56, Görz - 90, Gorjan - 19, 31, Gornji Catar - 48, Grafenschachen - 27, Gran - Esztergom - 30, 53, 61, 66, 72, 78, 80, 84, 86, 90, 103, Graz - 38, 43, 76, Gross-Andre - 32, 55, Grossbachselten - 27, Grosshöflein - Velika Holovajna - 30, 60, 62, 99, Gross Kulken - Nagy-Kolked - 43, 45, Grossmürbisch - Veliki Medves - 33, 43, 46, 47, 91, 94, Grossmutschen - 26, 34, 53, 81, 87, Grossnahring - 27, 48, Grosspetersdorf - Veliki Narda - 27, 50, Grosswarasdorf - Veliki Boristof - 26, 33, 37, 52, 72, 87, Grosszinkendorf - Nagy Cenk - 56, Gschies - 30, Gudovac - 19, Güns - Koszeg - 3, 19, 23, 28, 31, 32, 41, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 57, 58, 63, 66, 69, 72, 82, 83, 88, 93, Günseldorf - 30, Güssing - 27, 32, 33, 36, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 56, 88, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, Güttenbach - 43, 45, 91, 94, Gusic - 35

Hackerberg - 33, 47, Hagensdorf - 97, Halaszi - 68, Halberndorf - 24, Halbturm - 24, 68, Hannersdorf - Sampovari - 27, 49, 50, 93, 96, Harasztifalu - 43, 45, Harkau - 66, Harmisch - Vardes - 43, 45, 46, 91, Hartberg - 57, Haschendorf - 60, Hasendorf - Vasnyulfalva - 43, 44, 45, 91, 93, Hegyko - 55, Heiligenkreuz - 42, 82, 96, Heiligenstein - Hegyko - 55, Heiss - Visija - 56, Heugraben - Sirovnica - 33, 43, 44, 46, 47, 91, Hidegseg - Klein-Andre - 33, 54, Himod - 55, Hobdelci - 43, Hochstrass - 84, Hodis - 27, 93, Hovej - 56, Holling - 56, Homok - Amhagen - 33, 54, Horitschon - 53, 85, Hornstein - Voristan - 23, 30, 37, 41, 56, 63, 64, 69, 73, 77, 81, Horpacs - 56, Horvatfalu - 44, Horvatzsidany - Siegersdorf - 37, 54, 85, Hrastovica - 32, 44, 49, Hristavice - 43, Hrvatska Kemlja - 68, HrvatskeSice - 43, Hrvatski Cikljin - 49, Hrvatski Hasas - 43, HrvatskiJandrof - 24, 68, Hrvatsko Selo - 44, Humper - 49, Hunzberg - 40

Ilova - 20, Illmitz - 29, 30, 57, 68, Ivan - 56, 85, Ivanec - 37, Jajce - 23, 29, 35, Jarovce - 24, 68, Jaska - 19, Jerusalem - 10, Jeserjani - 43, Jois - 68

Kaiserdorf - 26, 53, 82, 85, 86, Kalistrof - 53, Kalkgruben - 54, Kalnok - Galing - 68, Kaptalanvis - Heiss - 56, Karako - 26, Karl - 52, Karlburg - Rusovce - 24, 68, Karlovac - 38, Karlstadt - 32, Karnburg - Glan - 13, Karst - 18, Katalena - 43, Katzendorf - 24, Kemeten - 27, Kevesd - 56, Kirin - 36, Kiscenk - Kleinzinkendorf - 55, Kittsee - Gijeca - 24, 30, 66, 67, 74, 99, Kitzladen - 27, 93, Kladus - 32, Klein-Andre - 32, 33, 34, Kleinbachselten- 27, Kleinhoflein - 31, 57, Kleinmutschen - Pervane - 26, 34, 53, 81, KleinMürbisch - Mali Medves - 43, 46, 91, Kleinnahring - Mala Narda - 48, Kleinpetersdorf - MaliPetrstof - 49, 50, Kleinwarasdorf - Mali Boristof - 37, 52, 54, 85, Kleinzicken - 49, 50, Kleinzinkendorf - 55, Klingenbach - 25, 31, 56, 57, 66, 72, 91, 99, Klis - 38, 90, Kljucarevac - 49, Kloster - 51, Klostermarienberg - Kloster - 25, 31, 52, 72, 84, 85, Klostr - 52, Knin - 20, 23, 29, 90, Kobersdorf - 41, 54, 69, 75, 81, 82, 87, Kormend - 46, 94, 95, Koszeg - 23, 31, 56, 57, Kovesd - Gissing - 56, Kohlnhof - 54, 55, 66, 99, Koljnof - 54, Kolom - 43, Konstantinopel - 11, 14, 16, 17, Kophaza - Holling - 54, Kopreinitz - Koprivnica - 19, 32, 45, 48, 49, 90 - Koren - 20, Korenica - 23, Kosovo - Amselfeld - 14, Kostajnica - 19, 32, 45, 49, Kotezicken - 49, 50, Kotor - Cattaro - 13, Krbava - 19, 28, 29, 58, 90, Krenistof - 63, Krensdorf - Krenistof - 25, 30, 60, 63, Krizeci - 19, Krk-Veglia - 35, Krnskigrad - 13, Kroatisch Ehrensdorf - Hrvatski Hasas - 43, 45, 46, 91, Kroatisch Geresdorf - Geristof - 36, 37, 53, 67, 68, 82, 86, Kroatisch Jahrndorf - HrvatskiJandrof - 24, 67, 68, 74, Kroatisch Kimling - HrvatskaKemlja - 68, Kroatisch Minihof - Minichhof - 3, 33, 36, 37, 52, 54, 85, Kroatisch Nadalja - 43, 45, Kroatisch Reinersdorf - 43, 46, Kroatisch Schützen - 43, 45, Kroatisch Stegersbach - 45, 46, Kroatisch Tschantschendorf - Hrvatska Cenca - 43, 44, 91, 94, Krobotsdorf - 50, Krottendorf bei Güssing - Hrvatfalu - 43, 44, 46, 91, 94, Krstinja - 32, Kulm - 43, 45, 46, 91, 97

Lackenbach - Lakimpuh - 52, 53, 80, 86, Lackendorf - Lakindrof - 53, 80, 85, 86, Laibach - Ljubljana - 75, 95, Lajtica - 68, 74, Lakimpuh - 53, Lakindrof - 53, Landsee - 26, 30, 31, 37, 51, 52, 53, 56, 64, 65, 75, 78, 80, 81, 85, 86, Langeck - 84, Langental - Longintol - 26, 53, 54, Lapat - 20, Legrad - 42, Leiden - Lebeny - 68, Leithaprodersdorf - 31, 63, Lendorf - 24, Liebing - 56, 85, Lika - 14, 18, 19, 20, 28, 29, 37, 58, 90, Lindgraben - 54, 56, Lipovac - 43, Livir - 56, Ljubljana - 19, Lockenhaus - 26, 31, 32, 51, 53, 84, 85, Lovo - Livir - Schützen - Sopronlovo - 56, 84, Loipersbach - 66, Loipersdorf - 27, Longitolj - 53, Loretto - 63, Lovinac - 20, Lovrenac - 45, Losing - 56, Lutzmannsburg - 25, 52

Madrid - 39, Mala Cenka - 55, Mala Narda - 48, Mali Boristof - 52, MaliMedves - 43, Mali Petrstof - 49, Malistrof - 52, Mannersdorf - Malistrof - 52, 78, 85, Markthodis - Nove Hodas - 48, 50, Marof - 49, Marz - 25, 60, Mattersburg - 4, 25, 33, 42, 56, 59, 64, 65, 72, 75, 77, Medvedgrad - 49, 97, Melesdorf - 26, Melindof - 62, Meszlen - 83, Michldorf - 24, Miedlingsdorf - Milistrof - 27, 33, 37, 49, Milistrof - 49, Minichhof - 25, Mischendorf - 49, 50, Mitrovica - 12, 19, 21, Mitterpullendorf - 84, 85, 86, Mjenovo - 52, Modrus - 19, 38, Mönchhof - 24, 68, Mönchmeierhof - Baratok majorca - Marof - 33, 37, 40, 49, 50, Mörbisch - 66, Mohacs - 29, 35, 67, 73, Moslavina - 19, 32, 45, 49, Mucindorf - 53, Muhldorf -24, Mullendorf - Melindhof - 30, 60, 62, Mürbisch - 43, Mutschen - 43

Nadalja - Nadrlostrof - 52, Nagybarat - 68, Nahring - 93, 96, 99, Narda - 93, 96, 99, Nebersdorf - Susevo - 3, 25, 26, 53, 81, Neckenmarkt - 56, 85, Neuberg - Nova Gora - 43, 45, 46, 91, 94, Neudorf bei Parndorf - Novo Selo - 28, 63, 78, 88, 96, Neuhaus - 49, 50, Neumarkt - 27, 40, 41, 49, 50, 91, Neusatz - Novisad - 39, 90, Neusiedl - 42, 45, 68, Neustift - 45, Neutal - 53, 85, Nikitsch - Filez - 3, 31, 51, 54, 82, 85, 86, Niklo - 68, Nikomedien - 14, Nin - 11, 28, Nova Gora - 43, Novi Hodas - 48, Novi Sad - 39, 90, Novo Selo - 66, 74

Oberloisdorf - Nadrlostrof - 52, 56, 85, Oberpetersdorf - 54, Oberpullendorf - 32, 33, 35, 42, 47, 50, 51, 54, 64, 81, Oberrabnitz - 84, Oberschilding - GornjiCatar - 48, Oberwart - 2, 33, 34, 42, 48, 88, 90, 91, Obrovac - 29, Ödenburg - Sopron - 3, 25, 29, 31, 32, 42, 51, 54, 55, 56, 63, 65, 66, 73, 77, 79, 80, 81, 84, 86, 88, 98, 99, 100, Otteveny - 68, Oggau - 31, 78, Olahcikleny - 89, Olah-Cziklin - 49, Olbendorf - 45, 93, 95, Ollersdorf - 45, Olmod - 54, 85, Orbuh - 65, Orljavac - 20, Osiek - 14, Oslip - Uzlop - 23, 25, 29, 30, 37, 57, 58, 65, 69, 72, 73, Ostrovica - 23, 29, 90, Otava - 59, Otocac - 38, 39

Pajngrt - 65, Palesdorf - 68, Pama - 24, 53, 66, 67, 74, 75, Pamhagen - 60, Pandrof - 66, 74, Papa - 93, Parapatitsch - Perepatic Berg - 37, Parndorf - Pandrof - 24, 35, 36, 66, 67, 68, 74, 82, Pellendorf - 24, Perepatic Berg - 40, Pereszteg -Perestagen - 84, Peresznye - 54, 85, Pervane - 53, Petohaza - 55, Petrinje - 44, Petronell - 24, 30, 57, Petrovo Selo - 43, 44, Pilgersdorf - 84, Pinnye - 56, Pinkafeld - 91, 93, Pinkovac - 43, Pinquentinus - 75, Piringsdorf - 84, Plajgor - 52, 54, Podersdorf - 24, 68, 72, 82, Podgoria - Bosnjak-Brig - 33, 37, 40, 49, 50, Podgorje - 49, Podler - Poljanci - 33, 37, 40, 41, 49, 50, 89, 93, Podrlostrof - 52, Poljanci - 49, Poppendorf - 42, Poschendorf - Bozok - 50, Pottelsdorf -63, Pottsching - 25, 60, Potzneusiedl - Lajtica - 24, 66, 68, 74, Pozega - 22, 38, Prag - 77, Prascevo - 43, Pressburg - 24, 31, 66, 68, 71, 81, 92, Prinzendorf - 26, Prisika - 52, 54, Prössing - Peresznye - 52, 54, 82, 85, Prostrum - PetrovoSelo - 43, 45, Prozor - 39, Pullendorf - 30, 31, 32, Punic - 43, Punitz - Punic - 43, 45, 46, 91, 94, Purbach - 25, 29, 30, 57, Purtzelsdorf - Zaka - 25

Raab - Gyor - 4, 41, 42, 54, 59, 63, 66, 68, 72, 77, 81, 95, 99, Raabfidisch - 42, Rabacsanak - 68, Raca - 32, 45, 49, Radensdorf - 24, Ragendorf (Rajka) - 68, Ragusa - 13, 23, 46, Raiding - 56, 80, 85, 86, Rajka - 68, Rakonok - 49, Rakovec -97, Rasporak - 61, Rattersdorf - 56, 85, Rauch-Rigli - 46, Rauchwart - 45, 94, Rauhriegel - 33, 37, 49, 50, Rauser - 68, 74, Rechnitz (Rokunac) - 26, 28, 32, 33, 37, 40, 41, 46, 48, 49, 50, 88, 90, 92, 93, 94, 95, 101, Regensburg - 75, 76, 95, Rehgraben (Prascevo) - 43, 44, 46, 91, Reinersdorf (Zamar) - 33, 43, 46, 47, 91, Rijeka - 14, Rittern - 24, Ritzing - 56, 85, Roggendorf - 56, Rohrbach (Orbuh) - 30, 31, 64, 65, Rohunac - 48, Rome - 7, 11, 15, 17, 39, 98, 101, Rosgrunt - 25, Rosvar - 24, 68, Rotenturm - 28, 32, 37, 40, 41, 46, 48, 49, 88, 90, 97, 98, 101, Rovisce - 32, Rumpersdorf (Rumpisce) - 33, 37, 40, 49, Runersdorf - 94, Rupisce - 49, Rusovce - 24, Rust - 42, 82

Sabara - 48, Saledrevo - 43, Salmannsdorf - 84, Saloniki - 6, 14, Samlatscha - Zamlaca - 45, Samobor - 19, Sampovar -49, Santalek - 43, Sarndorf - Cunovo/Dunavec - 24, 68, Sarvar - 46, 54, 55, 73, 81, 84, 96, Schachendorf - Cajta - 26, 48, 49, 91, 93, 95, Schallendorf - Saledrevo - 44, 46, 91, 94, Schandorf - Cemba - 26, 48, 49, 91, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 99, Scharndorf - 24, 30, 58, Schattendorf - 31, 60, Schilding - Csatar - 27, Schlaining - 26, 28, 37, 40, 41, 46, 48, 49, 50, 88, 90, 92, 93, 96, 101, Schnau - 3, 30, 58, 79, Schültern - 55, Schützen (Cesno) - 54, 56, 94, Schützen amGebirge - 57, 58, 59, Schwabenhof - 56, Sebenico - 19, Seibersdorf - 63, Selesno - 57, Senj - 19, 29, 35, 38, 58, 90, Seoci - 19, Seskut - 43, Sibenik - 19, Sichelburg (Zumberak) - 39, 40, 89, 90, 91, Siegendorf (Cindrof) - 3, 23, 29, 30, 31, 37, 40, 64, 65, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 85, 86, Siegersdorf (Horvatzsidany) - 37, 52, 54, 85, Sieggraben - 60, Sigless (Ciklez) - 25, 30, 35, 57, 60, 70, Sirmium - 12, Sirokani - 49, Sirokanyhaza - 46, Sirovnica - 44, Sissek (Sisak/Siscia) - 19, 45, Sopron - 25, 32, 54, 86, Sopronlovo - 54, 94, Sopronszecsen - 55, Spalato - 7, 13, 38, 90, Spanfurt (Ambus) - 25, 26, Speyer - 81, Spitzzicken (Hrvatski Cikljin/Olahcikleny/Olah Cziklin/Walachischzicken) - 37, 40, 49, 88, 89, Split - 7, 13, 19, 38, 90, Srba - 20, St. Andrä - 68, Stari Hodas - 48, Stari Solon - 49, Stefanshof (Humper /Hunzperg) - 49, 50, Stegersbach (Santalek) - 33, 43, 44, 45, 46, 90, 93, 94, 95, Steinamanger (Szombathely) - 67, 74, 77, 81, 82, 86, 87, 92, Steinbach - 53, 84, Steinberg - 56, 84, 85, Steingraben - 43, 44, 46, 91, St. Georgen - 57, 67, St. Gotthard - 42, Stijena - 44, Stikapron - 64, Stinatz (Stinjaki) - 33, 43, 44, 46, 47, 91, St. Johann bei Raab (Sveti Ivan) - 68, St. Kathrein (Katalena) - 43, 45, 46, 91, St. Margarethen - 25, 31, St. Martin im den Wart - 37, 49, 50, St. Martin (Sveti Martin) - 53, 57, 85, 86, 87, St. Michael (Sveti Mihalj) - 43, 45, 46, 91, 93, 94, 95, 96, 99, St. Nikolaus (Sveti Mikula) - 2, 47, 92, 94, 95, Stöttera - 25, 30, Strebersdorf - 52, 56, 85, Suttor - 55, Sulz (Seskut) - 35, 43, 44, 45, 47, 91, Susevo - 53, Svetica - 53, Sveti Ivan - 68, Sveti Martin - 53, Sveti Mihalj - 43, Sveti Mikula - 43, Szent Miklos - 68, Szeplak - 55, 56, Szerdahely - 50, Szigetim den Wart - 50, 54, Szigetvar - 92

Tadten - 68, Tanais - 8, Tatzmannsdorf - 37, Teesdorf - 30, 58, Temerje - 52, 54, Temeton - 52, Tisina - 93, 95, Tobaj - 45, Tomord (Temeton/Temerje) - 54, Topusko - 29, Tornischtscha - 45, Trajstof - 59, 62, Trau - Trogir - 13, Trausdorf (Trajstof)- 23, 25, 29, 30, 35, 37, 40, 52, 53, 57, 58, 59, 60, 62, 65, Trient - 98, Trogir - 13, Trumau - 30, 79, Tschakaturn - 97, Tschurndorf - 54, Tudersdorf (Tudorica) - 43, 44, 46, 91, Tudorica - 43, Tubingen - 63, 80, Turopolje - 19

Udbina - 29, Ugarska Kemlja - 68, Ujker - 56, Ujszek - 49, 88, Und - 54, Unda - 54, Undten - 54, Ungarisch-Altenburg - 24, 25, 65, 82, Ungarisch-Kimling (Ugarska Kemjla) - 68, Ungarisch-Kukmirn - 45, Unterfrauenhaid (Svetica) - 53,72, 80, 85, 86, Unterloisdorf (Podrlostrof) - 52, 85, Unterpodgoria - 49, Unterpullendorf (Doljna Pulja) - 3, 31, 34, 51, 53, 70, 77, 85, 87, 99, 100, Unterschilding (Dolnji Catar) - 48, Urach - 75, 76, Uzlop - 58

Vardes - 43, Varna - 14, Vasnyulfalva - 45, Vedesin - 54, Velemba - 50, Velika Holovajna - 62, Velika Kraljeva - 19, Velika Narda - 48, Velike - 55, (32, 51), Veliki Boristof - 52, Veliki Kuked - 43, Veliki Medves - 43, Venedig - 38, Vep (Weppendorf) - 45, 49, 97, Veroze - 19, Vincet - 48, Vinica - 93, Virovitica (Veroze) - 19, Visija - 56, Vitnyed - 56, Vlasic - 39, Vogeldorf - 24, Voristan - 64, Vulkaprodrstof - 59, 64

Walachischzicken - 88, 89, Wallern - 60, 68, Wandorf - 64, 66, Warasdin - 38, 46, 90, Weiden - 41, 72, 82, Weiden bei Rechnitz (Bandol) - 33, 37, 40, 49, 50, Weingraben (Bajngrob) - 26, 37, 53, 85, 86, Welem (Velemba) - 50, Welgersdorf - 27, Weppendorf - 45, 97, Wichs - 50, 56, 96, Wien (Vienna) 23, 30, 31, 32, 41, 43, 57, 63, 67, 76, 77, 81, 84, 89, 90, 91, 92, Wieselburg - 42, 68, 71, 72, Wiesen - 60, Wimpassing - 63, 77, Winden - 68, 72, 82, Wittenberg - 81, Wolfau - 27, Wolfs - 66, Woppendorf - 27, Worms - 72, Wiener Neustadt - 57, 76, Wulkaprodersdorf (Vulkanrodrstof) - 23, 30, 37, 40, 56, 57, 59, 63, 64, 69

Zablje Selo - 43, Zachenbach - 26, 50, Zadar - 13, 19, Zagersdorf (Cogrstof) - 25, 30, 57, 58, Zagorje - 19, Zagreb - 10, 14, 19, 34, 38, 41, 49, 54, 58, 72, 90, 97, Zaicfalva - 45, Zajcje Selo - 43, Zaka - 25, Zamar - 43, Zamlaca - 45, Zanegg - 68, Zara - 13, 14, Zarnovca - 43, Zechun - 24, Zelezno - 57, Zemendorf - 25, 60, Zengg - 14, 19, 29, 35, 38, 39, 40, 44, 58, 89, 90, 91, Zidan - 52, 54, Zillingtal - Celindof - 25, 30, 51, 60, 61, 70, Zitzmanndorf - 24, Zrin - 32, 36, 52, Zrnovnica - 44, Zsitvatorok - 90, Zuberbach (Sabara) - 27, 48, 49, 91, Zumberak - 39, 40, 89, 90.

Return to Table of Contents

Original Citation

Dobrovich, Johann. 1963. "Volk an der Grenze - Schicksal und Auftrag. Zur Geschichte der burgenlädischen Kroaten" (People on the Border - Destiny and Mission. History of the Burgenland Croats). In: Burgenländische Forschungen, vol. 47, Provincial Archive of Burgenland, Eisenstadt.