Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Burgenlanders in Columbus Township, Anoka County, Minnesota

Founded in 1919, Burgenland is the youngest province in Austria.  Its name is derived   from the endings of the four German-speaking border districts (or comitats) of western Hungary: Preßburg now Bratislava, Wieselburg now Moson, Ödenburg now Sopron and Eisenburg now Vasvár.  Located in eastern  Austria, the province has the 3rd smallest area and the 2nd smallest population. Historically and geographically, it is a borderland region,  a narrow belt of land stretching from Slovakia in the north, along the Hungarian border in the east, the Styrian and Lower Austrian borders in the west, and south to the Slovene border. 

Burgenlanders in Columbus Township, Anoka County, Minnesota

Early in our research, we determined that Gerry's maternal grandfather (Franz/Frank Schotl) came from Monchhof in current day Burgenland, Austria.  We know the Schotls came in two groups.  Sons Michel and Matthias went to Bancroft in Kossuth County, Iowa in 1897.  Their parents and remaining siblings went to Bancroft in 1903.  Then they all went to Columbus Township in Anoka County, Minnesota sometime between 1903 and 1905.

We have seen “chain migrations” in other parts of of our genealogy.  We wondered if this phenomena might have played a part in explaining why the Schotls bought farms in Columbus Township.  To determine if there were other Burgenlanders in the area, Shan compiled data in a spreadsheet using the 1880, 1900, 1910 and 1920 US Census and the 1895 and 1905 Minnesota Census.  She gathered data in these categories:
  1.  Last Name
  2.  Maiden Name
  3.  First Name
  4.  Date of Birth (from our research or the census)
  5.  Date of Arrival (as given to census takers, unless we had other documentation)
  6.  Country of Birth (as described in the 1910 Census)
  7.  Father's Country of Birth  (as described in the 1910 Census)
  8.  Mother's Country of Birth  (as described in the 1910 Census)
  9.  Village name in Burgenland (as we find them)
  10.  Columns for each year's census giving the family number as they appear on the census forms pages

We listed everyone who had at least one parent, in the 1910 census,described as German-Hungarian, i.e. Hungarian-Magyar who spoke German.  We have a second spreadsheet for German-Bohemians and a third for everyone in Columbus Township who was “German” but not identified as Hungarian or Bohemian.  The latter group may moved to the other two spreadsheets as we get more data.

It does look as though there was a relatively large number of German-Hungarian families (and single men) in Columbus township.  There are forty five names from fifteen families in six villages that we have identified so far .  These villages are Halbturn, Tadten, Monchhof, Apeton, Deutsch Jarndorf and Saint Andras.  They were all within 10 miles of Frauenkirchen.  In addition there are two people born in Iowa to German-Hungarian parents.  

We sent an early summary to Cathi Weber of the Anoka County Genealogical Society  and it was included in one of their recent newsletters. It was also sent to Tom Streichen and Margaret Kaiser of the Burgenland Bunch.  Both Tom and Margaret wrote back with additions. The surnames are now included on their website. (see surname search here) 

To verify if they may have known each other in Burgenland (or Iowa) before coming to America, we need the village of origin and the maiden names of the married women.  We will continue to search for details about the families to see if our hypothesis is correct.   

The following list is a summary of the spreadsheet data thus far. The summary includes Last name; Maiden name; First name; Village, when known; Arrival date. We have not used any diacritical marks.  There are question marks after some arrival dates because these dates are often inaccurate on census forms and in some instances have added the spouse which is not a category in the data base above.  

 In some cases, the people are from Gerry's family or are friends of the family and these names appear in red type.  We have not listed all of the children of these people on this list, but they are tracked on the spreadsheet.  THIS IS A FIRST DRAFT of the list, so there may be a number of changes as the research goes on.

People we think are Burgenlanders in Columbus Township:

  1. Altenburger, Ludwig/Louis (arrived 1888?)
  2. Altenburger, (Danninger) Elisabeth (arrived 1888?)
  3. Boehm, (maiden name unknown,) Marie/Mary (arrived 1885?) Married Wenzel Boehm
  4. Boehm, (maiden name unknown,) Frances (born in Iowa to G-H parents) Married Frank  Boehm
  5. Boyer, (maiden name unknown,) Anna/Annie (arrived 1887) Married Anton Boyer
  6. Groess, Michael, from Halbturn (arrived 1884)
  7. Groess, (Gefinger) Elisabeth, from Halbturn (arrived 1884)
  8. Groess, Anna/Annie, from Halbturn (arrived 1884) child of Michel and Elisabeth
  9. Groess, Franz/Frank, from Halbturn (arrived 1884) child of Michel and Elisabeth
  10. Hartzi, Johan/John (arrived 1886)
  11. Hartzi, Marie/Mary  (arrived 1886)  Daughter of Johan
  12. Hartzi, (maiden name unknown,) Theresia (John's mother?) (arrived ????)
  13. Hauble, Mattias/Matthew (arrived ????)
  14. Heller, Anton (arrived 1888)
  15. Heller, (Hersherger) Marie/Mary (arrived 1888)  Married Anton Heller
  16. Heller Josef/Joseph (arrived 1888) child of Anton and Marie
  17. Heller, (Lunzer) Marie/Mary from Tadten (arrived 1891)  Married Josef/Joseph Heller
  18. Horwath, Alexander, from Apetlon? (arrived 1892)
  19. Horwath, (maiden name unknown,) Rose, from Apetlon? (arrived 1892) Married to Alexander
  20. Koch, Johan/John, from Monchhof (arrived 1896) went first to Bancroft, Iowa  w/Matt  Schotl
  21. Koch (maiden name unknown) Lena/Magdelena (arrived 1884) Married  Johan/John Koch
  22. Kreishitz/Kreitz, Michel/Michael, from Deutsch Jahrndorf (arrived 1883)
  23. Kreishitz/Kreitz, (maiden name unknown,) Magdelena/Lena from Deutsch  Jahrndorf  (arrived 1883) Married Michel Kreishitz/Kreitz
  24. Kunshier, (Groess,) Theresia/Theresa, from Halbturn, (arrived 1889) Married Joseph Kunshier, Jr.
  25. Lendway (sic?), Joseph (arrived ????) at least one child born in Iowa
  26. Litner, (Lidner?) Andrew (arrived 1880?)
  27. Nolz, Andrew (arrived 1880?)
  28. Nolz, (maiden name unknown,) Marie/Mary (arrived 1881?) Married Andrew
  29. Nolz, Michel/Michael (arrived 1881?) child of Andrew and Marie
  30. Nolz, Josef/Joseph (arrived 1881?) child of Andrew and Marie
  31. Pulver, (Groess) Catherine/Katherine from Halbturn (arrived 1889?) Married German  Pulver
  32. Sanftner, Leo (born in Kossuth County, Iowa to German-Hungarian parents)
  33. Saxe, (Sachs) Johan/John (arrived 1902) from Monchhof Married Katherine Heller)
  34. Schotl, Michel/Michael, from Monchhof (arrived 1897) went first to Bancroft,  Iowa
  35. Schotl, (Hoffman,) Elisabeth, from Monchhof (arrived 1897) ditto Iowa.  Married Michel  Schotl
  36. Schotl, Mattias/Matt Jr., from Monchhof (arrived 1897) (with Johan Koch)  ditto Iowa
  37. Schotl, Johan/John, from Monchhof (arrived 1903) went first to Bancroft,  Iowa
  38. Schotl, (Kornfehl,) Marie Theresia (mother of others), from Monchhof (arrived  1903) ditto  Iowa
  39. Schotl, Franz/Frank, from Monchhof (arrived 1903) ditto Iowa.  Married Rose  Kunshier
  40. Schotl, Marie/Mary, from Monchhof (arrived 1903) ditto Iowa. Married Johan Handler,  Jr.  from Monchhof
  41. Thurnbeck, Georg/George (arrived 1886) from St. Andras
  42. Thurnbeck, (Trautner) Marie/Mary (arrived 1886) from St. Andras
  43. Thurnbeck, Magdelena/Lena (arrived 1886) child of Georg and Marie from St. Andras
  44. Thurnbeck, Jacob/Jack (arrived 1886) child of Georg  and Marie from St. Andras
  45. Thurnbeck, Marie/Mary Jr. (arrived 1886) child of Georg and Marie from St. Andras
  46. Thurnbeck, Johan/John (arrived 1886) child of Georg and Marie from St. Andras    (Married Catherine Hauble)
  47. Thurnbeck, Catherine/Katherine (born upon parent's arrival?) child of Georg and Marie
If anyone has additional documented information they would share with us, we will add it to the spreadsheet and credit them when we send the completed project to the National and Midwest Burgenland Bunch archives and the Anoka County Genealogical Society library.

We have already received updates from Thomas Steichen and Margaret Kaiser of the Burgenland Bunch.  Tom sent us maiden names for Elisabeth Altenburger, Marie Heller, and Catherine Pulver.  He also confirmed the arrival date for the Altenburgers.  Margaret  sent us Hungarian Church records and other resources on the Thurnbecks that allowed us to place the Thurnbecks in Saint Andras, Burgenland.  

We wanted  to know more about the Burgenland area left behind by those who emigrated to Columbus Township, Anoka County, Minnesota.   A quick search of the Burgenland Bunch web site and various web searches provided some photos and current information about  these villages.  

Wine seems to be  the common denominator.  Castle viewing, bird watching, cycling, and health spas all add to a growing tourist interest in the area.

Bridge at Andau after restoration Photo by Steindy

Tadten is a wine growing village with 1,355 inhabitants and lies at the transition from the Seewinkel region to the Hungarian puszta. The Burgenlander Bunch web site for Tadten lists house numbers and heads of house in 1856  (see it here)  

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