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. 4   -   December 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




Van and Mary Massirer have lined up speakers and continue to work on an interesting and informative program for Waco, Texas July 17-19. We stay in touch with them through e-mail and will pass on the latest information in the newsletters. The main banquet and dance will be held in nearby Crawford for which they have lined up a good German band. Bus tour plans are being coordinated by chair Ralph Honas. The tentative plan is to have the bus available for the four days both to and from Waco and for local tours and transportation. Estimated cost is $25.00 per day per person. It will run a route from Ellis east on I-70 to Salina, then south through Wichita on I-135 to Waco for people along the way to join up. We will arrive in time for the Thursday evening opening and depart on Sunday morning. Plan on attending this great event in a great part of the country. The next newsletter in early 1997 will have more details and the spring newsletter will contain the program and registration form.



JULY 17-19, 1997

Interested individuals are invited to submit a 100 to 150-word summary dealing with German or Austrian heritage or genealogy. Papers should fit a 50 to 55-minute session. Send summaries to the following address by April 15, 1997:

Van Massirer
124 Canaan Church Road
Crawford, Texas 76638
(817) 486-2366


With this newsletter the annual dues notice is being sent. In order to be cost conscious, it is the only notice sent each year. This is the anchor part of our support and we appreciate the good response. Also part of the form is an opportunity to help enhance the research potential of the headquarters with a special donation. We have acquired a good used microfilm reader/printer from the public library. This has long been one of our goals. Just this past month, children in an Ellis school class were given an assignment to research their family name. We want to make sure the resources are there for everyone, especially the youth, to use.

As the lifetime club gets close to 100 members, please consider this choice on the form. Since the last newsletter, the following is recognized.

  • 93. Ralph & Faye J. Mortensen, 3110 Centenary, Farmington, NM 87402

Thanks to board member Don Schuster who put the society mailing list on our computer.


An order form is enclosed for the new and most definitive work on the German emigration from Bukovina to the New World. The following message to Bukovina Society members is from Prof. Dr. Kurt Rein of Munich, Germany, the principal force behind publication of the book. The translation is courtesy of Dr. Helmut Schmeller.

Doesn't everyone who stayed at home have an (always) rich American uncle? For centuries, the New World has been the principal destination of Germans who either wanted to emigrate or were forced to do so for a variety of reasons. However, the fact that many Germans from areas outside Germany belong to the German language and culture especially in eastern and southeastern Europe should also be included.

A not insignificant group of these immigrants came from Bukovina. Between 1880 and 1915 this small region -- presently part of Rumania and of Ukraine -- provided a disproportionately large contingent of emigrants. They came in several waves from the easternmost reaches of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, an area to which they had migrated only a few generations ago. Now they moved once again, through their German mother country, on to North and South America.

The Bukowina Institut in Augsburg and its American counterpart, the Bukovina Society of the Americas in Ellis, Kansas as well as in Regina, Saskatchewan have for some years been engaged in researching these migrations. In this effort they have been generously supported by the Raimund-Friedrich-Kaindl Society at Augsburg and the Max Kade Center for German-American Studies at the University of Kansas. The outcome of this research is summarized for the first time in this volume and is presented to all those interested in their roots. As many of these Bukovina-Americans no longer speak German or as members of the later generation never learned German in school, the editors have decided on an English edition. It is supplemented by detailed summaries of the various chapters in German and is thereby made accessible to the German readers.

Among the authors featured in this volume are renowned scientists, like the German Professor of Germanistics and Chairman of the Raimund-Friedrich-Kaindl Society Kurt Rein, as well as William Keel, Professor of Germanistics at the University of Kansas and the political scientist Otto Hallabrin from the Bukowina Institut in Augsburg. However, the book would have lost much of its appeal of reflecting experienced history had it not been for the many contributions from immigrant circles, such as Irmgard Hein Ellingson, Paul Massier, Mary Lee Rose, Sophie A. Welisch, Oren M. Windholz and many others. Most important, however, were the some 200 American and Canadian descendants who readily completed the questionnaires and willingly participated in extensive interviews thereby laying the foundations for our research. We gathered information about such topics as the ancestors of the immigrants, their native language and its significance in their new homeland, the reasons for emigration, dates, and the means of transportation. We also inquired after the traditions and customs from the pre-American period which are still observed today and which are proudly referred to as the Bukovina Heritage. Maps and copies of personal documents clearly illustrate and complete the hitherto unexplored field within the Bukovinian genealogical research area and the general emigration research to America.

[Note: Please take a look at our Store for availability and ordering information of the above mentioned books.]


The Bukovina Society was one of the principal sponsors of the annual Oktoberfest in Ellis. Board members provided opening ceremonies and led singing of traditional German songs. The annual celebration started by the Geschwentner family of Rich's IGA continues to grow in popularity each year. Many thanks to the area Bukovina Society members and friends who brought baked goods to the Bukovina booth for sale. This generated nearly $400.00 for special projects. Also sold were the society beer mugs and books. The weather man was our best friend that day as the crowd enjoyed the great German food, polka music, and Gemütlichkeit.


28 people with a deep interest in Bukovina heritage traveled together from September 16th to October 1st. Their bus departed Augsburg after the Bukowina Institut hosted the group with an Haluschkifest, musical concert and tours of the city. A northern route through Austria, Slovakia and the Ukraine was taken to arrive in Czernowitz, the former capital of Bukovina. Ancestral villages were visited in that part of the Bukovina that was absorbed by the Soviet Union during the Second World War. Villages in the southern part of Bukovina were visited from Suceava in Romania. The return route was through Hungary, Austria, and on to Munich for Oktoberfest. A series of articles detailing the journey will be printed in two local newspapers. After completion, reprints will be made available and announced in a future newsletter. Attending from Kansas were Richard and Betty Younger, Ellis; Steve and Betty Augustine, Hesston; Jacque Lucero, Garden City; Agnes Shellhammer, Shawnee Mission; and Oren Windholz, Hays. Others from around the country were Janice Adams, Arizona; Joe and Beverly Augustine, Minnesota; Bill and Jean Carr, Indiana; Wilf and Janet Gagnon, Virginia; Dr. Margaret Garbe, Jodi Garbe, James and Rosemary Stuart, and Doris Wastradowski, Washington; Margaret Kranich, Massachusetts; Eleanor Schwarz, New Hampshire; and Werner Zoglauer, Illinois. From Canada were Carl and Betty Lang, Jacob and Ruth Lang, and Floyd and Else Manz.

[Photo unavailable]
Friedolin Fuchs was a host at his home and drove cousins Werner Zoglauer and Oren Windholz into Bohemia, now the Czech Republic, to visit ancestral villages. Adalbert and Dorothea Sommer Fuchs migrated from Aussergefild (Kvilda) to Bukovina. His brother Adalbert met with Windholz during the 40th meeting of the German Bukovina society in 1989.

[Photo unavailable]
Frieda Flachs, Hedwig Baumgartner, Maria Beer, Ferdinand Baumgartner, and Karl Flachs provided family history information and good food to Werner Zoglauer and Oren Windholz in Bavaria. They are part of a community of Bohemian Germans from Bukovina living in and near Simbach/Inn. All were part of the resettlement (Umsiedlung) to the Reich lands in 1940, mostly from the village of Poiana Micului. They were organized into a small society for nearly 50 years and donated their banner with the Bukovina Coat of Arms to the Bukovina Society of the Americas in Ellis. The banner was brought back by Ellis resident Gisela Staab from her sister Lena Baumgartner one of the members from Kelldorf, Germany. A copy of the recordings of their singing group and other memorabilia was given to the society museum by Ferdinand and Hedwig. Karl Flachs, a prominent Bukovina German researcher, maintains a private collection of his work in his home and has contributed to important publications.

[Photo unavailable]
Part of the tour group to Bukovina in the gardens of the Hapsburg summer palace in Vienna. (photo by Joe and Bev Augustine)

[Photo unavailable]
Norbert and Elly Lang were the first of newly discovered distant cousins to host Werner Zoglauer and Oren Windholz during their pre-tour research into the homelands of the Bohemian German Catholics from Bukovina. Norbert's grandmother was Rosina Erbert Baumgartner of Poiana Micului. Five of Rosina's siblings migrated to Ellis while she and her sister stayed behind with their families. Norbert was related to Ignatz Lang Sr. who migrated to Ellis. Ignatz returned to Poiana Micului after the death of his wife to remarry. Norbert remembered details through family oral history that were confirmed by the obituary of Ignatz in 1954.


Larry Jensen, Ithaca, New York, who created the home page on the World Wide Web for the Bukovina Society has been updating it at intervals. His latest work has been to install MapQuest maps and a new and improved list of links to other sites. The new links site is at

Irmgard Hein Ellingson was a speaker at the 18th Anniversary Conference of the Polish Genealogical Society of America in Rosemont, Illinois. The conference was titled Three Faces of Poland, The Austrian, Prussian, and Russian Partitions. Her two presentations were Multiethnic Migration Patterns in Prussian and Russian Poland, and Multiethnic Migration Patterns in Austrian Poland.

Der Südostdeutsche, the monthly newspaper of the Landsmannschaft der Buchenlanddeutschen of Augsburg featured a picture in front of the sign at society headquarters from Bukovinafest 96.

Pictured were Prof. Ayrton Goncalves Celestino, Dr. Ortfried Kotzian, Maria Becker, Larry Jensen, and his mother Hilda Jensen.

Through the courtesy of Canadian members Al Schmidt and Richard Carruthers-Zurowski, we received a copy of an article in the Ottawa newspaper about the work of Ernie and Chris Sauer. The Sauers have cousins in the Ellis area. Ernie and his son Chris live in Alexandria and operate a restaurant with plans to build a major Casino on Main Street. In addition they plan to develop a 22 room inn from the abandoned Priest's Mill. If a municipal referendum passes in favor, the fellows will be busy.


Mike Jaros, a new life member of the society, attended our festival in July from Duluth, where is a Minnesota State Representative. June 5-9, 1996 he attended and participated in the Seventh Annual Bukovina Festival in Jastrovie and Pila, Poland. It attracted over twenty folk groups from Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine. Every other year the festival offers lectures on Bukovinian history and culture. Bukovina was known as "Europe in miniature" due to its multicultural population. His maternal great grandparents moved from Poiana Micului to Bosnia 100 years ago and his paternal ancestors came from Galicia to Bosnia.

Dr. Z. Kowalski, founder of the festival, was very happy to learn of the Bukovina Society of the Americas and has requested that American folk groups perform at the 1997 festival. Their organization provides room and board for performers. The festival will take place at the end of May in 1997 and Mike will lead a group to visit the Bukovina district, both the Ukraine and Romania and perhaps Bohemia. Anyone interested in the festival and the Bukovina tour may contact Mike at 619 E. 6th St. Duluth, MN 55805, phone 218-727-0412.


We have a number of people with an interest in the Ukraine, and perhaps they could assist in a search for John Masurkevich, born around 1938-40, and last known to be in Chicago. We were approached at an Orthodox Church in Czernowitz during the Bukovina Tour by a man who said he was looking for his brother John. We have an address in Czernowitz for John or anyone to respond to. Please address help to the editor.

The following e-mail message to Werner Zoglauer by Madeline Turner just makes our Bukovina buttons pop off with joy. Madeline was featured in the last Surname Exchange and writes, "I am astounded by the response from my Bukovina Society newsletter surname family history research has taken off in new and various directions. Allen Schmidt has been of tremendous assistance in providing contacts, data and encouragement. In fact, after being such a short time member of the society, I feel as if I found a new home. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the Bukovina Society and folks like you who refuse to let the past die."

Off the internet came a request from Kurt Green for help or information on the following: George Melnic, b. 1894 in Boyan Romania/Ukraine d. May 7, 1943 near Hamilton, Canada, m. 1925 to Vasilika Mihailuc, b. 1908 in Rostoke Romania/Ukraine, d. Feb 11, 1982. Children-John Melnic and Mitchell Melnic. Sorry there was no mailing address, but anyone who can help may contact the Bukovina Society.

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