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. 5, No. 2   -   May 1995

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Oren Windholz, President
Raymond Haneke, Vice President
Joe Erbert, Secretary
Bernie Zerfas, Treasurer

Editorial response to
P. O. Box 1083
Hays, KS 67601-1083


As is evident by the picture, the plaque honoring lifers is full and proudly overflowing. A new companion plaque has been ordered and will be on display soon. The endowment created by these funds will keep our heritage going for generations to come. Welcome to:
  • 75. Wes Fuerch, Santa Maria, CA
  • 76. Joni L. Blake, Olympia, WA

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Ray Schoenthaler, museum manager, holds the plaque with the overflowing list of names of society lifetime members hanging below.


Enclosed is a registration form for the annual meeting and genealogy activities. Although there is no fee, a return of the form will give the board information to plan for participants. The headquarters and museum will open on Friday, July 14th at 9:30 for registration and setup. All day Friday and Saturday morning will available for people to access the society computer and work with several members who will also have computers. Virtually anyone who has Bukovina ancestors of Bohemian German origin will be able to get a family tree printed from the database of over 5000 names. Progress is also being made in entering the Swabian German records. The microfilms of the society will be at the headquarters for loan. Saturday, July 15th, the annual business meeting of the society will be held at 1:30 p.m. Information on shopping, historical visits, and other activities will be available. Based on need, the headquarters will remain open through Saturday and Sunday for members. On the evenings of Friday and Saturday, a social and buffet will be scheduled for those attending. Payment can be made at the time of registration.


Yes, you read that right. Our plans are going out that far. We hope you have reserved the dates of July 18-21, 1996 for an exciting convention in Ellis featuring prominent speakers from Germany, ethnic demonstrations, and four family reunions. But we want to alert you know to an exciting plan for 1997 in Waco, Texas. Van and Mary Massirer have been laying the groundwork for the annual meeting to be conducted there which will include regular programs plus a polka dance and opportunity to see historical sites. They will be at both the 95 and 96 meetings in Ellis with information on the area and to plan with the society board an outstanding Bukovinafest. The board has not set a date for the event, but will announce it in a future newsletter. The registration form for the 1995 annual meeting enclosed also has a portion for indicating interest in the Texas convention. We encourage people with suggestions for programs and volunteer speakers to contact Van at 124 Canaan Church Road, Crawford, TX 76638.

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Gabriel Lunte and host Ralph Burns stopped at the society headquarters after a long day of conducting interviews in the Ellis area. Gabi will return in May to continue her research of the Bohemian German dialects of the Bukovina people.


The society computer now has a genealogy program loaded named Brother's Keeper. Anyone with IBM compatible discs who wish their information put on the computer, please send it in. Since this request was published in the last newsletter, James Oberacker of Ft. Collins, CO and Lewis of Canada have sent in discs. We also encourage those who have kept manual records to give a copy to the society. Werner Zoglauer has been helpful in getting us set up.

The Family History Centers will be able to give researchers access to over seven million names of German ancestry soon through their efforts at collecting data in the former East Germany. Dr. Michael Kallam of Ft. Hays University is active in the Hays branch of the Family History Center. He passed on to us information that Bukovina Archives are available on line via Internet at the University of Virginia and University of North Dakota.

The following is offered from the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia newsletter: The World Wide Web access to the Internet can get you the German Russian Genealogical Library at If you have only the gopher connection it is at You may have to work through the gopher menus down to Virginia Tech gopher server where the file exists.

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Pat Windholz and JoAnn Schoenthaler are pictured at the computer for the orientation session.


A fine tribute to our heritage was held on February 26th in Ellis. The Appreciation Polkafest was organized by Mary Agnes Lang-Wagner, a life member of the Bukovina Society and featured the first appearance of the Bukovina German Dancers. The celebration featured Volga German and Bukovina German bands and musicians. The Sunday afternoon event was a packed house with tables added for people from all over Kansas and a few from neighboring states. The dances performed were video taped for future society meetings and a copy was sent Dr. Ayrton Gonçalves Celestino in Brazil. The dances were, Lady Schottische, Pauline Dance, Schottische, Put Your Little Foot Schottische, Annie in Cabbage Patch, Pat-A-Cake Polka, Circle Waltz, Behind the Stove, Katzentanz, Broom Dance, and 7 Step Polka. We are sorry a list of all the musicians was not available, but the main bands were Harold Dorzweiler's Country Dutchmen, Olmer Wittman's Polkaneers, Andy & Sheryl Anderson's Ramblin Andy Band, Leroy Herman of the Hermannettes, Herman & Lorraine Dinges of the Herman Dinges Band from Colorado, Leonard Augustine of the Original Dutchmasters, John Stetinger of the Moonlighters, Elmer Vonfelt, Leon Jantzen, Clem Gaschler of the Younger Band, and Joe Erbert of the Ellis County Dutchmen. At one point when Herman Dinges joined a group on stage, nearly every musician in the hall joined in for a big polka jam session, a rare event for those who were there. To top it all off, the Bukovina Society members there met a native from Bukovina who came from Wichita with his wife to enjoy the polkas, Chris and Tina Likiardopoulos.

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The Bukovina German Dancers are pictured in front from left to right, Paul Wagner, Art Honas, Wilbert Keller, B.F.Cross, and Clyde Lang. In the back from left to right, Mary Wyman, Cecelia Boza, Dorothy Walker, Mary Agnes Wagner, Lorraine Cross, Fern Keller, and Cheryl Lang.

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Bukovina German musician Clem Gaschler played the accordion at the Polkafest with fellow musician Harold Dorzweiler.


Ray Schoenthaler who puts in many hours keeping the museum ready for visitors will again be the host for Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau Twilight Tours to the society headquarters. Each summer season, the CVB gives free bus tours to historical sites in Ellis County for guests of the motels and the public. Ray greets these visitors from all over the world to our home. Thanks to him for the dedication.

Larry Jensen, using America Online to access the Internet, has been scanning newsgroups for new Bukovina connections as evident in the note he wrote for this newsletter on the last page. Larry and Maria Becker will depart for Bukovina May 25th to be joined by her brother Arthur Lang and Erwin Koller. He plans to do more research and will let us know of the results when he returns. He also reported that Dr. Sophie Welisch and her cousin Roland Loy have departed to join a van-load of people to Bukovina. Larry is working with Sophie and Maria on the Bori project which they intend to turn into a book. He hopes to be at Bukovinafest 96 and has been asked to give a program.

The 23rd Annual Genealogy Conference was held on April 21-22 in Topeka. The programs featured James L. Hansen of Madison, WI and other speakers on topics relating to Kansas Russian Germans, Czechs, Mennonites, and military records. Each participant can submit four surnames of families they are researching for printing in the conference syllabus. Membership information is available from the Topeka Genealogical Society, P O Box 4048, Topeka, KS 66604-0048.

The Bukovina Society has joined the Kansas Museums Association. We receive their newsletter, notices of meetings, and other helpful information. Over 160 museums in the state belong to the group.

The Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies will sponsor the 16th annual bus trip to Salt Lake City and the Family History Library September 30th, a vacation and research opportunity. They will also have a trip on July 22 to Boston and the New England Historic Genealogical Society Research Library. Information at P O Box 38858, Topeka, KS 66604-6858. Their 20th Annual Conference will be June 16-17 in Wichita.

The Indiana German Heritage Society conducts an annual meeting and publishes an interesting and informative newsletter plus events throughout the year. Information on membership is available through the secretary at 401 E. Michigan Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202.

Walter Rusel, editor of the Ukrainian Genealogical and Historical Society of Canada wrote to inquire if any member of the Bukovina Society has Ukrainian heritage and has written on Ukrainian research in Bukovina. Many of their members came from Bukovina and would like to hear from us. His address is RR#2, Cochrane, AB, T0L 0W0. Tel/Fax 403-932-6811.

The Germanic Genealogy Society has the following three new books for sale through P O Box 16312, St. Paul, MN 55116-0312: Germanic Genealogy: A Guide to World Wide Sources & Migration Patterns. The Lutherans of Russia, Vol. 1, Parish Index to the Church Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Consistory of St. Petersburg, 1833-1885. Register to the Ahnenstammkartei des Deutschen Volkes.

Irmgard Hein Ellingson has received a scholarship through the Max Kade Foundation at Georgetown University to participate in an exchange program in Dillingen, Germany for teachers of German.

Bringing Bukovina to Cyberspace

by Larry R. Jensen

We've all been hearing about the growth of the Internet, lately. For genealogists, a number of mailing lists and "newsgroups" are helping us to exchange information and make contacts with others sharing similar interests all over the world. I've helped several new members find their way to the Bukovina Society through this electronic "Information Superhighway".

The resources available on the Internet are always expanding. For now, the best place for all of us Bukovinians to gather - to post our questions and share our discoveries - is the newsgroup called "soc.genealogy.german". For more information - or just to say "hello" - send me a note at my e-mail address:


The list of interested people in the Bukovina tour in the fall of 1996 has grown to 41 and notes still keep coming in. A response to the society at this time has no obligation, but will create a priority list of those who will receive final registration forms. At this rate we may have an extra convention, in our ancestral land.


The board has agreed to participate in two events this year in Ellis. The Oktoberfest is scheduled for September 23, which the society has helped sponsor each year. The Ellis Riverfest on June 2nd and 3rd will be a celebration of the 125th year since the founding of the city. The society will operate a booth with the help of the board, spouses, and local members. The museum will be open for the many visitors to Ellis.

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Ottilie Nebl of Augsburg sent a set of pictures of the Carpathian homelands which will be displayed at the museum. The above is a typical village in a valley in Bukovina. Tilly wrote that she has four relatives in Colorado who would like to join the tour of Bukovina in 1996. She was pleased that the emblem on this newsletter of a beech tree sprig came from her album prepared from our visit to Augsburg in 1989. We appreciate the Hummel Easter greeting card.


The Bukovina Society is again represented in The Federation of East European Family History Societies. The organization has grown to 68 member societies from its start of 11 at founding. They now produce a quarterly newsletter with hopes it will evolve in to a FEEFHS Journal. Their resource guide to East European Genealogy is available for $5.00. The guide and membership information is available from John Movius, P O Box 4327, Davis, CA 95617-4327

The Federation will hold a western regional conference in Calgary, Alberta on July 25, 1995 just before the annual meeting of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia. Doug Dale of our International Board is a scheduled speaker.


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