Crest of the Bukovina Society of the Americas The Bukovina Society of the Americas
P.O. Box 81, Ellis, KS 67637, USA 
Martha McClelland , President
Bukovina Society Headquarters & Museum, Ellis KS 67637

Home Up What's New? Site Map About Us Genealogy & Contacts Families/Villages Culture & Customs Library Newsletters Map Room Web Museum Store Search Other Organizations Guest Book About This Website Auf Deutsch

The Hays Daily News Sunday
July 21, 1996

8 sections, 74 pages
507 Main, Hays, Kansas


(Posted on the World-Wide Web by the Bukovina Society of the Americas,
on April 25, 2002 with permission of the Hays Daily News, Hays, KS)

Werner Zoglauer, Naperville, Ill. left, helps Martin Flax, Ellis, trace his family history Saturday at the Bukovina Society of the Americas headquarters in Ellis, KS

Werner Zoglauer, Naperville, Ill. left, helps Martin Flax, Ellis, trace his family history Saturday at the Bukovina Society of the Americas headquarters in Ellis during the Eighth Annual Bukovinafest, which continue through today.

Bukovina  Germans  help  trace  heritage

Ellis man wants to keep 200 years of history alive for others

Hays Daily News

  Ray Schoenthaler doesn't mind talking about his Bukovina German heritage.
  In fact, he's a member of the Bukovina Society of the Americas in Ellis for just that reason: He wants to preserve his heritage for future generations.
  A 100 percent" Bukovina German and a board member of the society, Schoenthaler eagerly thumbed through books loaded with information on his fore-bearers - German emigrants from Bukovina- Saturday afternoon during the Bukovinafest in Ellis.
  The annual festival ends today.
  Schoenthaler said the Bukovina Germans aren't much different from the Volga Germans - Germans who set­tled in Russia before coming to the U.S. The Bukovina Germans also moved from Germany to another country - Bukovina - and later left that country for America.
  It started when Bukovina, located on the eastern slopes of the Carpathian Mountains in the heart of what was once Austria, needed more people.
 To encourage population of the sparse province in the 1770s, Austrian emperors subsidized the emigration of colonists to Bukovina, Schoenthaler said.
  People of many different ethnic groups took part in this emigration, including Armenians, Hungarians, Jews, Poles, Romanians and Ukrainians. German colonists came from three distinct areas, southwest Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, he added.
  Later,  as families grew, farmers no longer had enough land to divide among their children, and industry in Bukovina did not grow to the extent it did elsewhere in the Austrian empire.
  When land agents in America enticed the Germans with free homestead land in the 1880s, the settlers emi­grated primarily to Ellis; Lewis County, Wash.; Saskatchewan, Canada; and Rio Negro, Brazil. A second wave of emigration took place after World Wars I and II.
  Schoenthaler said while descendants of these settlers live in Ellis today, many have lost their understanding of where they originated and what their ancestors experienced.

Elva Hillman

Elva Hillman, Yuma, Colo., came to her first Bukavinafest. She hit a gold mine of genealogical data and found a picture of her mother in one of the Bukovina publications.

But Schoenthaler, a fifth-generation Bukovina German whose parents arrived here when they were ages 4 and 8,
said he's noticed that interest is once again on the rise. "My main interest is in keeping the history of 200 years alive for anyone who's interested in knowing about our heritage."
  And Schoenthaler said Ellis is a good place to do this. "We feel Ellis is one of the largest collections of Bukovina Germans who came from Germany."

Chance encounter leads to information on woman's family

Hays Daily News

  When Yuma, Colo., resident Elva Hillman attended the Bukovinafest in Ellis this weekend, she wanted to learn more about her Bukovina German heritage.
  What she found was a picture of her mother in a book on Bukovina Germans, a picture that ultimately led her to some long lost relatives.
  Hillman knew that when her mother, Bertha (Hackl) Korf was 24, she traveled to Yuma from Bukovina. Her mother's friends and relatives traveled to Ellis, while she stayed in Yuma to work and eventually married.
  While that was all Hillman really knew about her Bukovina heritage, Hillman was no stranger to Ellis. She'd been to there many times to visit friends of the family.
  But on this particular trip to the comfortable railroad town, Hillman also wanted to attend the Bukovinafest, "never thinking about what was going to take place," she said.
  It happened on Friday when she met Illinois resident Werner Zoglauer, who was searching the Internet for rela­tives of Bukovina Germans.
  She asked him to do a search for her on her mother's maiden name and found out she had many relatives in the Ellis area.
  "I was kind of neat because I didn't know any of mom's relatives, although I did get in touch with a nephew 10 years ago," she said.
  But Hillman said an even stranger event took place when she purchased a book on the Bukovina Germans. As she thumbed through the pages, she saw a picture of her mother standing with another woman and two men.
  "And I said, `Oh, that's my Mom' "
  "I had seen that (picture) years and years ago. I was so excited I could hardly even nibble (dinner), and that's unusual for me with food," she said.
  Hillman wiped a tear from her eye as she recounted the story, adding that the circumstance has motivated her and her husband, Freddie, to plan a trip to Germany soon.
  Meanwhile, she said with a smile as she mingled with others, "I've got to see who else we're related to."

(The above article was printed on the front page of the Hays Daily News, Sunday edition, July, 21, 1996.)


Top of Page                                 Back to Bukovina Society in the News


Hit Counter Visitors since May 1, 2002               Last Revised: 12/22/06 11:01:16 PM

Beech Tree Leaf

Copyright © 1991-2011, Bukovina Society of the Americas