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

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Vol.  6, No. 3   -   September 1996

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Board of Directors:

Oren Windholz, President

Raymond Haneke, Vice President

Bernie Zerfas, Treasurer

Robert Schonthaler

Ralph Honas

Shirley Kroeger

Ray Schoenthaler

Joe Erbert

Don Schuster

Dennis Massier

Mary Agnes Lang-Wagner

Alice Fox

P.O. Box 81, Ellis, KS 67637 USA
Editorial response to
P. O. Box 1083
Hays, KS 67601-1083




One of the largest and most successful festivals was experienced in July by hundreds of members brought together by a program of interesting programs and special guest speakers. The list of people who helped with the convention is way beyond tally. The board of directors works all year in preparation, and speakers come from great distances to present programs. Special thanks to Dr. Ortfried and Marie Luise Kotzian who became part of our lives for a week in Ellis County. Their first trip to America began with four days in New York City where they saw many historical sites, then to Hays and Ellis where they met, talked and sang with hundreds of Bukovina Society members. Special thanks also to Prof. Ayrton Celestino, president of the Association of Bukovina German Culture in Rio Negro, Brazil. He brought greetings from the organization of descendants of the immigrants to that country from Poiana Micului in Bukovina. He has traveled to the Bukovina ancestral land, his roots in the former German Bohemia and after the Kansas visit went on to Canada. Thanks to Werner Zoglauer who brought an 8000 name data base to put into the society computer and for his help to members seeking information. Out of state speakers who gave presentations were Larry Jensen, Irmgard Hein Ellingson, Dr. Ed Brandt, Ken Meter, Dr. Sophie Welisch, and Maria Becker. The Honas family band with Joe Erbert provided the music for the mixer. The ecumenical service participants were Bob Schonthaler, Rev. Steve Parke, A.J. Herl, Rev. Wayne Ellingson and several of the guest speakers.

The Honas and Augustine families gathered over 300 people at two locations for a Saturday evening celebration. The Erbert and Deutscher families joined the society banquet and dance to help bring attendance there to 250 people. The main banquet menu was a big hit. VFW Hall managers Tim and Sharon Hertel prepared a buffet of galuskies, hochzeitbraten, gurkensalat, kaesenudeln, bohnen und nudeln and rahmnudeln.

Elected to the board of directors at the annual meeting were Don Schuster, Dennis Massier, Mary Agnes-Lang Wagner and Alice Fox. Elected to the International Board was Dr. Ortfried Kotzian. Thanks to outgoing members Darrell Seibel, Ernie Honas, and JoAnn Schoenthaler. The board will meet in the fall to elect new officers and plan for future activities.

[Photo unavailable]
In front of the Bukovina Society coat of arms banner are the distinguished foreign guests Dr. Ortfried Kotzian, Marie Luise Kotzian and Prof. Ayrton Celestino.


The dates are set for Waco, Texas July 17-19. Hosts Van and Mary Massirer extend a welcome to all members. They are working on a program with a similar format as past Bukovinafests. Information will be available in each newsletter and a program and registration form will be mailed in the spring of 97. A chartered bus is planned to originate in Ellis and pick up participants along the way.


Larry Jensen received e-mail from Brazil from Wilson Rodycz of Porto Alegre who is looking for information on his ancestors Walentin Rodecz (Rodycz) and Katarina Karspeska, possibly from Bukovina.

Larry Jensen also reports that the Winter 1995 issue of East European Genealogist, the Journal of the East European Branch of the Manitoba Genealogical Society had two interesting articles. One was by Rev. Christopher L. Zugger, "The Soviet Consumption of Northern Romania (Bukovina and Bessarabia)" which particularly discusses the effect of that event on the churches and clergy. The second, by Jeff Picknicki Morski, "Pyrohy and Piranhas: The Ukrainian Immigration in Southern Brazil" is about Ukrainians from eastern Galicia who settled in southern Brazil, very near our Bukovina "Landsleute" in Rio Negro/Mafra. Some 45,000 came between the years 1891-1914.

a letter from SIBERIA is now accessible via the World Wide Web at John D. Movius of Davis, CA and Larry Jensen of Ithaca, NY helped the Capuchin Province with this project.

The 12th Annual Meeting of Indiana German Heritage Society Joint Program with Palatines to America was held on March 29-30.

The 46th meeting of Die Landsmannschaft der Buchenlanddeutschen Bukowina) was held May 26-27.

The Kansas State Historical Society conducted their 19th annual spring meeting in Hays June 7-8 and set aside time to visit the Ellis museums. They toured the Bukovina Society headquarters and gave a donation to the museum.

Irmgard Hein Ellingson gave a paper at the Federation of Eastern European Family History Societies in Minneapolis during the June 8-12 convention. Her presentation was German, Czech, and Slovak Immigration to Bukovina and Volhynia.

According to U.S. News and World Report Germans first came to America in large numbers in the 1720s, mainly to Pennsylvania. A second and much larger wave began in the 1830s and lasted until 1930, with most going to the Midwest and the upper Plains states. Today people who list German ancestry first on the census form make up 23 percent of the population.

Three student from Sweden are writing a thesis about the Bukovina and Galicia area. They have requested information through e-mail from Larry Jensen and Oren Windholz. They made a field trip there in June of this year.


The lifetime membership grew around the time of the convention. Several people discovered the society and mailed their dues in and Darrell Seibel recruited more at the festival. All lifetime members were recognized and honored at the annual banquet. The names have been entered on the plaque in the entry way of the headquarters and museum. New members of the lifetime club since the last newsletter are:

  • 82. Elsie A. Reidel, Ellis, KS
  • 83. Mr. & Mrs. Vergil Augustine
  • 84. Fay Frombach-Schmahl
  • 85. Ruth Frombach-Schmahl
  • 86. Dorothy Walker, Brownell, KS
  • 87. Michael J. & Annette M. Jaros, Duluth, MN
  • 88. Mary Erbert Shellhammer, Shawnee Mission, KS
  • 89. Lawrence & Delores Bodine, Hays, KS
  • 90. Arthur & Betty Deutscher, Ellis, KS
  • 91. Donald D. & Ruth E. Schuster, Hays, KS
  • 92. Guy & Kathy Windholz, Hays, KS

[Photo unavailable]
Werner Zoglauer 's father Oscar was not able to attend the Bukovinafest, so Werner did the next best thing. He dialed up he father on his cell phone and had him visit with society guest Ortfried Kotzian.


While the primary source of e-mail capability is being on line with one of the many services at a monthly fee, e-mail can be free. There are several services available, and JUNO sent us a free copy of their software. I have not installed it yet, but pass on the following information from the disc jacket: System requirements: 386 PC or higher) running Windows 3.1(or higher) 4MB RAM; 10MB free disk space; 3.5" floppy drive; VGA monitor; 2400-baud modem (9600 recommended). There is an agreement which is displayed during the account creation which you should read and understand before using. Call 1-800-654-JUNO for copies of the disc.

[Photo unavailable]
The ecumenical service closing each convention was well attended. It was followed by a coffee and donut farewell.


In response to Joneen Burrell's challenge to find the first settlers from Bukovina to the New World, Margaret Kranich wrote that her grandfather, Georges Kerth, had lived in several countries after leaving his home in Czernowitz, the last being Brazil (Rio de Janeiro). He had met and fallen in love with a young woman but was told by her father she was too young to marry (19), and Georges would have to wait a few years. During this time he came to the United States to see the Centennial celebration in Philadelphia with the intention of living there if he liked it. It was 1876 and he liked it and stayed. He enjoyed living in an area of Philadelphia called Germantown, was in the January 1880 city directory and applied for citizenship by May 12th. In 1882 he returned to Rio, married the girl on July 29th, and returned to honeymoon in New York City, and raised seven children in Philadelphia.

Ray Schoenthaler submitted information on an early immigrant family who came to Ellis, Kansas on June 10, 1886. John and Clara (Zachman) Huber with children Katharina, Susanna, Marie, Luise, Frank, Wilhelm, Johanna.

[Photo unavailable]
Ellis mayor Paul Shepherd receives a plaque and commemorative plate from Pro. Celestino from the people of Rio Negro / Mafra in Brazil. The same presentation was made to Hays mayor Dan Rupp.

[Photo unavailable]
Maria and Ed Becker from New Jersey visit with Trudy Eberwein from Colorado. Ferdinand Eberwein was born in Romania and Trudy is from a colony of Bukovina Germans in Eastern Canada.


Matthew Breindel, College of the Desert, E-Mailed Larry Jensen asking for information on Zoblotov and the family name Breindel. He lists only an E-Mail address, so response can be mailed to the editor. He found the society on the internet.

Madeline Wentzel Turner, 17597 S. Holly Lane, Oregon City, OR 97045 found the society through our home page on the internet. She said it provided more background than they ever imagined possible. Her primary family names of interest are Mirwald (Mierwald), Issel Fiesel, Kalfoni, Sauer, Miller, and Schmidt. Secondary names are Manz, Wentzel, Senske, Sitz, Radi, and Trojan.

Della Binder, 3307 E. 18th Ave, Spokane, WA 99223 would like to correspond with people with similar surname interests. Jakob and Josefa Binder were from Frahsin and Stulpikani. Josefa's parents were Samuel Gotsch (Kotsch) and Magdalena Kupferschmid, married in 1840. Jakob's mother was Barbara Gregor from Schwarztal. Jakob and Josefa Binder immigrated to Sprague, WA in 1889.

Nancy S. Janda, 1738 N. Sunfish Dr., Warsaw, IN 46580 sent in her ancestry chart to the society. She is compiling information on the descendants of Michael Silzer (1827-1883) and Anna Fritz (1831-1905) and is willing to share with others interested. Other names are Johann Fritz (1881-1964) and Louise Silzer (1885-1966), Andrew Silzer (1880-1938) and Eva Zachman (1889-1962), Peter Wendling (1886-1942) and Aurelia Silzer (1884-1955). She also has information on the descendants of Christian Fatteicher (1871-1940) and Maria Silzer (1877-1957), Johann Silzer (1885-1943) and Maria Wagner (1890-1976) in Saskatchewan, Canada.


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