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. 3   -   September  1995

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Oren Windholz, President
Raymond Haneke, Vice President
JoAnn Schoenthaler, Secretary
Bernie Zerfas, Treasurer

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


A small but dedicated group of people came to the headquarters during July for the annual meeting of the society. As of the close of the weekend, 6000 names were on the computer data base with more family trees on hand to be entered before Bukovinafest 1996. Eileen Goetz of Hays provided a copy of her family ancestors and dates, and by mail genealogies were received from John Aust Losee of Schenectady, NY on the Jacob Ast/Aust family, ancestry and descendants; and from Loretta Holzberger and Shirley Skar, the descendants of Jacob Presser and Julianna Kurz. James Oberacker of Los Alamitos, CA sent the genealogical charts for ten Catholic families in Bukovina, Bajerle, Ettenhoffer, Hartinger, Hirtreiter, Kruckel, Majerhoffer, Moldovan, Pokoj, Robel, and Wisniowski.

On Friday, July 14th, the board met with Van Massirer to plan for the meeting in Waco, Texas in July of 1997. The meeting facilities will be at Baylor University with a block of rooms available at a motel nearby. Programs of speakers are being lined up by Van with time also scheduled for tours. There are numerous families living in the area of Bukovina heritage who have not been involved with the Bukovina Society that will be able to participate. The banquet and dance will be in the hometown of Van and Mary Massirer, Crawford, Texas. The society will be arranging for a bus to depart the Hays and Ellis area for the Texas convention. More information will be sent with future issues of this newsletter.

On Saturday morning, July 15th, the board met with representatives of the four family reunion committees to coordinate the plans for the 8th Bukovinafest, July 18-21, 1996. The reunions planned are for the families of Augustine, Honas, Deutscher, and Erbert. On Saturday afternoon the membership present met for the seventh annual business meeting, the first as a non profit corporation. The bylaws were reviewed and approved. Election of the new board was held with the following terms: 3 years Oren Windholz, Ray Haneke, Ray Schoenthaler, Shirley Kroeger; 2 years, Robert Schonthaler, Joe Erbert, Bernie Zerfas, Ralph Honas; 1 year Darrell Seibel, Ernie Honas, JoAnn Schoenthaler. The International Board members elected were, Irmgard Hein Ellingson, Irma Bornemann, Paul Massier, Steve Parke, Aura Lee Furgason, Van Massirer, Larry Jensen, Werner Zoglauer, and Edward Al Lang.

The board elected officers for the ensuing year. Joe Erbert has taken on additional duties at his job and wished to step down as secretary, a position he has done well since formation of the society. Thanks to Joe for his work and he will continue to be very involved with the society.

[Photo unavailable]
International Board members Werner Zolgauer, Van Massirer, and Steve Parke worked at the headquarters during the annual meeting.


It is very gratifying to see additions each newsletter to the life time membership list. The companion plaque was installed during the annual meeting at the headquarters listing the new members. The following were added since the last newsletter:
  • 77. Armin & Ingeborg Ast, Ivyland, PA
  • 78. James Oberacker, Los Alamitos. CA
  • 79. Richard & Gayle Schuster, New Jersey


The following tentative schedule is being included to help society members and those attending family reunions make plans for next year. A detailed program with registration form will be mailed out in early 1996. A copy of this newsletter is being sent to all people on the family reunion and society mailing lists in hopes that it will encourage paid memberships. If you are not a member, a form is being included so you can receive the newsletter mailings four time per year.

THURSDAY, July 18th

Evening: Early bird social with foreign dignitaries, time and place to be announced.

FRIDAY, July 19th, Headquarters in Ellis.

Morning: Programs on Bukovina cultural heritage to include demonstrations of crafts by Paul Massier and others.

Afternoon: Programs on Bukovina by persons who have visited the ancestral land, Dr. Ortfried Kotzian from Augsburg, Germany, Prof. Ayrton Celestino Goncalves from Curitiba, Brazil, and Larry Jensen from Ithaca, New York.

Evening: VFW Hall in Hays, a program followed by a social and dance at the annual German Mixer. The Honas brothers will provide the music.

SATURDAY, July 20th, Headquarters in Ellis

Morning: Program on the Bukovina German colony in Rio Negro/Mafra, Brazil descended from pioneers from Poiana Micului. Program on the European migration patterns.

Annual business meeting of the Bukovina Society.

Afternoon: Family reunions. Video presentations or tour for registrants not attending a family reunion.

Evening: VFW Hall in Hays (for society registrants, Deutscher and Erbert families)

Performance of ethnic dance demonstrations by the Bukovina German Dancers of Ellis, directed by Paul and Mary Agnes Lang-Wagner.

German dinner and dance. (A separate location for the dinner and dance for Augustine and Honas families)

SUNDAY, July 21st, headquarters in Ellis

Morning: Ecumenical service in Chapel

There are other significant speakers and programs that are anticipated, but we cannot announce these before confirmation. The society board also encourages anyone who wishes to be a part of a program or present material to contact us for inclusion in the convention.


The annual event is scheduled for Saturday, September 23rd in the Ellis park. The Bukovina Society will conduct the opening ceremonies and operate a booth. Ellis area members of the society are again asked to bring baked goods for sale in the morning. A note is enclosed.


We are pleased to report another name among the immigrants to Ellis from Bukovina and regret that it was not included in prior publications. Oren Windholz and Al Lang have books in print on the Bohemian German Catholics who migrated to Bukovina and established or joined ethnic German communities there. Some of these people later immigrated to Brazil, Canada, and the United States. The ability of Bukovina people to migrate to the United States was severely restricted, if not impossible, after Bukovina was absorbed into the Kingdom of Romania in 1919. Additionally, the United States imposed a quota system which limited immigration to two per cent of a foreign country's population existing here as of the 1890 census. Only a small number of people came to the US from Bukovina and furthermore the quota was then based on all of Romania. A few single people were able to come to the Ellis in the early 1920s through a sponsor or by going to Canada first. One of these was the mother of Mrs. Max Denning of Hays. She said her mother was born Mary Gaube in 1894 in Bukovina some eight years after the start of the migration to Ellis. Mary went to Canada with an uncle who remained there as she went on to Ellis to live with her uncle Fred Gaube who had been married in Bukovina and was childless. The Catholic Gaube family came from Illischestie, a village of more Lutheran population. Fred took his wife's religion. A neighbor of Fred Gaube was Joe Sauer who knew Mary in Illischestie and came to visit and she was befriended by the Webers who lived nearby. Mary married Adam Kreutzer a Volga German in Ellis County. Anyone who can contribute information to the ancestry of this person can write the editor.

James Oberacker who is mentioned in this newsletter as a contributor to the society database is seeking help to expand his work by sending him information on the following: Joseph Hartinger & Anna Maria Bajerle, Barbara Hirtreiter (born abt 1791) & Francis Pankratz of Fürstenthal (is she the widow of Michael Hirtreiter, geb. Pscheith?), Michael Kruckel & Theresia Siks originally of Rehberg, Bohemia, Albert Pokoj (born abt 1803) & Theresia Vodvarka, and Basilius Wisnjowski & Maria Horzenovski. His address is 3821 Fenley Drive, Los Alamitos, CA 90720 or for computer contact

We received a letter from Michele Joubert of Juneau, AK. She was able to respond to a prior Surname Exchange request from Mr. Schadwill and they have made several connections. Michele also reports that considerable Kerth information is available at local LDS Family History Libraries on film number 1474917. She would also like to hear from any member connected to the "Heuchert" surname. A reunion of the Geib family was held in Melville, Saskatchewan over the Labor Day weekend. We regret that publication of this issue of the newsletter was scheduled for after that time. The ancestral villages are Katharinendorf, Zadowa, Landestreu, and Augustdorf. The families are descendants of the colonists Geib, Niebergall, Haas, Dressler, Schappert, Layh, Adam, and more. Anyone with a connection to these families can write Michele at P O Box 32212, Juneau, AK 99803-2212.

[Photo unavailable]
At the society computer were Shirley Kroeger, Gay Schuster, and Rebecca Hageman.


Larry Jensen returned from his third visit to Bukovina this past June. He has a 6 page journal available through E-Mail and it was published in the FEEFHS Newsletter of July 1995.

Steve Parke watches America Online on his computer daily for any news of Bukovina/Romania. He prints it out and is sending it to the society...Three million Romanians will become landowners before the end of 1996 completing a post-communist land redistribution project launched four years ago...Romania wants condemnation of the 1939 Nazi-Soviet pact under which it lost its most cherished territories, Bukovina (Northern) and Bessarabia to the Soviet Union, now in modern day Ukraine...McDonald's opened its first restaurant in Romania in June...Inflation is forecast at 29 percent this year, down from 62 percent in 1994...Romania expects bumper wheat and rye crops this year, opening up the way for exports...

Gabi Lunte was in Ellis again over the memorial weekend to finish her research in Ellis. She plans to come back for the Ellis Oktoberfest.

Thanks to Wilf Uhren from Tulsa, Oklahoma for his past contributions to the Bukovina Society. Wilf has served as an International Board member until his resignation this year. We hope he will be back for future meetings.

LaVern J. Rippley of St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN sent us a copy of the June newsletter of the Society for German American Studies. They reviewed the publications of the Bukovina Society and those of members. Also a notice of the 20th annual meeting of the society with a call for papers to be submitted by October 15, 1995. Abstracts of scholarly papers dealing with the German-American experience should be submitted to: Professor Henry Geitz, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 901 University Bay Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53705.

Max Kade German-American Center will have a fall conference November 3 and 4 towards a survey of German-American museums, historic sites, archives and libraries in North America. Mail information to 401 E. Michigan Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204, or FAX to 317-630-0035.


Prof Ayrton Goncalves Celestino wrote to provide us with an update of the Association of Bukovina German Culture. Their 5th annual Bukovina Week (5a Semana Bucovina) was held during July 1-8 of this year. It was a program of history, music, song, and celebration of their ethnic heritage. The organization has begun a German Course for children and adults twice a week with about 45 students attending. He sent us a copy of a newspaper featuring the Romanian Dancers of Regina, Canada, a videotape of his trip to Bukovina, and copies of the 5th Bukovina Week program which are all available at society headquarters. The big news is Prof. Celestino's plans to attend the 1996 Bukovinafest. He also hopes to travel on to Canada and other locations of Bukovina people.


by: Larry Jensen
In April, I posted a message to soc.genealogy.german about my plans to visit the Czech archive in Plzen to do research on some of my Bohemian-German ancestors. The archive is again open to the public, after being closed for renovations in 1994. It was not necessary to obtain advance permission to study in the archives. For each book examined, the archive charged a fee of 20 Koruna (about 80 cents) which must be paid in postage stamps bought at the post office about a block away.

The clerks at the archives could only speak a little English and German, so it is advisable to come prepared with a list of the records you want to examine, or at least a list of the towns you are interested in. You should know the modern Czech names of these towns, since the clerks were not familiar with the old German names. Also, when you go into the reading room, you will not be allowed to carry a briefcase or handbag ( you will be given a key to a locker for these), so have your notes prepared before you arrive, in a notebook or on loose-leaf paper.

The archive published a bibliography of its holdings in 1958, which is available through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City (EUROPE Book 943.71/P2 A.3sa V.1 or Microfilm 0962395). This book should still be fairly accurate; I examined the records for Srni (Rehberg), for which the bibliography listed 7 volumes of church registers: Births 1789-1861 (3 volumes) Marriages 1790-1864 (2 volumes) Deaths 1790-1866 (2 volumes) In fact the archive had all of these volumes, plus one more register: Births 1862-1895. Some of these older registers are now on microfilm, but none of these microfilms are available through the FHL.

My own personal research at the archive was only a limited success. The handwriting for most of these records are very small, and written in the old gothic script, which made it nearly impossible for me to decipher in the time I had. I decided it would be more effective for me to hire the archivists to research my lines for me. The address for contacting the archive is: Statni Oblastni Archiv v Plzni, Sedlackova 44, CZ-306 12 Plzen, Czech Republic, Telephone +42-19-362 63.

Some hints on finding the archive: look for Republic Square (Namesti Republiky), with St. Bartholomew's Cathedral, in the center of town. Sedlackova Street runs north-south, one block west of this square. The archive shares a large yellow building with a police station, at the north end of this street, at the intersection with Sady 5. kvetna street. The Central Hotel is right on Republic Square, and the (older) Continental Hotel is just one block off the square with single rooms at about $60.00 per night.


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