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.  7, No. 1   -   February 1997

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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




The tentative program for the German Genealogy and Heritage Conference is contained in this newsletter. Enclosed is a reservation form for travel by bus for those living near the route. Please complete and return with your deposit as early as possible. The convention motel is the Holiday Inn, 1001 Brazos Drive, Waco, TX 76704, phone 817-753-0261. The special rate of $58.00 (1-4 persons) is available by mentioning the Bukovina Society (BKS in the motel computer). The meetings will be held at the motel, except for activities noted. The general reservation form with a complete program will be mailed with the Spring newsletter. The registration fee is $25.00 ($12.00 for meeting expense and $13.00 for the dinner/dance) The dance will feature the Musikanten, a 5 piece group from Dallas that dresses in lederhosen, sings and yodels in German. Optional tours are being planned to see Waco, and a country tour of German settlements.


Annual membership renewals are coming in at a very good rate as well as orders for the new book. It is the largest response we have ever received from a mail out. I received a note from one of the members of the Bukovina tour group who has reserved Life Member numbers 99 and 100, and number 97 is on the way according to an e-mail message we just received. This is a great way to endow the society for posterity, as the interest earned from the $150.00 is used for the society. The newest life members:

  • 94. Mr. & Mrs. Carl Lang, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 95. Arlene & Leonard Nielsen, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • 96. Eleanor Schwarz, Hancock, New Hampshire
  • 97. Eric & Elizabeth Ast, Churchville, Pennsylvania

The appeal for donations to the microfilm reader/printer received a quick and generous response. We received nearly half of the $500.00 purchase price and money is still coming in. The machine is now at the headquarters ready for use. Thanks to the following:

  • Loretta Holzberger
  • Elsie Cantelon
  • Bernard Nemechek
  • Frank Braun
  • Eleanor Schwarz
  • Eugene B. Karasiewiz
  • Frank. J. Fries
  • Doris Coddington
  • Eric & Elizabeth Ast
  • Charlotte Albers
  • Carl & Betty Lang
  • Clem Reitmayer
  • Doris Westhusin
  • Anna Kingham
  • JoAnn Schoenthaler
  • Della Ann Binder
  • John D. Kelsch
  • Deanna King
  • Oren and Pat Windholz

[Photo unavailable]
Joe and Bev Augustine sent this picture from the Bukovina tour to the Saint Paul Pioneer Press and was produced in the travel section, in full color. It is a woman in Poiana Micului spinning wool by hand. We stopped to visit with this woman through our interpreter. She said she made woven goods for her home and refused to consider selling any of her products.


Before the tour to Bukovina in September, Werner Zoglauer and Oren Windholz visited their roots in the Bohemian forest and met with distant cousins born in Poiana Micului (Buchenhain), Bukovina now living in Bavaria. Hedwig Baumgartner wrote a poem for her husband Ferdinand about his beloved village, known as "Poinikel." She read it to us and it is being published for the first time with the English translation by Lawrence A. Weigel. Lawrence is a prominent Volga German researcher in Hays, Kansas who has been a speaker and contributor for Bukovina Society activities.

Im fernen Bukowinaland
Das Schicksal hat es weggebrannt
Mein Buchenhain, mein Kinderhaus
Im Herzen löscht du niemals aus.

Karpaten, Hüter in der Not
Sie gaben Arbeit, Schutz und Brot
Im grünen Tal, an Träumen reich
Kann dir an Schönheit keiner gleich.

Dein Bild so weit in Raum und Zeit
ist Stätte der Geborgenheit
"Poinikel" hier'st dein Kosewort
Und heiß es im Erinnern fort.

Vergoldet scheint dein graues Haar
Harmoniumspiel das ganze Jahr
Voll Zierde dein Familienglück
Gesänge nur, blick ich zurück.

Der Toten teuren Ruheort
Und deine Kirche steht noch dort
Relikte, einsam in der Zeit
Als Zeugen der Vergänglichkeit.

Das war mein Dirf, dort am Humorfluß.

In far away Bukovinaland
Fate has burned it down
But in my heart, my Buchenhain
and my childhood home can never by distinguished.

Carpathians, guardians in need,
They gave us work, protection and bread
In the green valley rich in dreams
Nothing can compare to your beauty.

Your picture so broad in space and time
is a place of security
"Poinikel" here it is your pet name
and will always be remembered that way.

Your gray hair shine bright and attractive
In harmony the entire year
I will glance back at your domestic happiness
full of ornaments.

The precious resting place of your dead
and your church still stand there
Relics, lonely in time
As signs of time passing by.

This was my village, there on the Humor River.

[Photo unavailable]
Lena Baumgartner and her friend Hedwig Baumgartner


Mrs. Victoria M. Nied, 15257 N.W. Casey Dr., Portland, OR 97229-7893 wrote with news of her data base progress and would like to hear from others interested. Her ancestors came from Marmarosch County, just west of Bukovina. She believes there are many similarities between her ancestors and the Bukovina Germans and is searching for evidence of marriage between the two groups. Mrs. Nied wrote an article on her ancestors who migrated to the eastern part of the Austrian Empire for the AHSGR Journal. Her names of interest are, Arowitsch, Bobrowitsch, Dazer, Frindt, Jarema, Hoffer, Faltinsky, Holzberger, Horbas, Kais, Kuchar, Königsberger, Oberbüchler, Pilz, Preinesberger, Plakinger, Pojtinger, Reisenbüchler, Reiss, Stadler, Urban, Wisauer, Zauner, Zepezauer, Ziller.

A new member who joined from our internet connection writes he would appreciate any information concerning members of the Eisterlehner, Hunkert (Hunker) family from Germany who lived in the Banat or Bukovina. Josef Eisterlehner b. 23 Jan 1785 in Bocsa (Boksha?) Montana, Siebenbürgen, part of Austria then. Had other brothers and was likely a rifle-maker. According to a relative m. Elizabeth Ott and had sons Franz Xaver and Josef. Other sources indicate he m. Theresia Lindern. Son Franz Xaver b. 6 Sep 1830 in Watra Moldovita, Bucovina. The IGI lists a John Eisterlehner who died in Lorain, Ohio. He is also interested in obtaining information on Becker, Weber, and Hoffman. Please respond to: Richard Baraniak, 15 Piquet Place, Toongabbie, N.S.W. 2146, Australia. e-mail:

Ralf Hermann e-mailed several members again about needing help in the search for his American family ties. He is researching the ancestry of Hermann, Seile(r), and Telscher/Telczer. The ancestral villages are, Suczawa, Radautz, Fratautz, and Gura Humora. He can be reached at:


Mike Jaros generously sent us a copy of his book, Bukovinian & Galician Poles, which follows the migration paths of his family. Mike was born in Germany during the Second World War and then lived in Bosnia and Serbia until the family moved to America in 1960. He has a degree from the University of Minnesota in foreign languages (Russian, Spanish and Latin). His grandparents came to Bosnia from Bukovina and Galicia over 100 years ago.

Van Massirer sent the society a copy of their church book, 75 Years with God at St. Paul Lutheran. This was celebrated in Crawford, Texas on September 15, 1996. Van is a member of the church council.

The 1997 international convention of the Federation of East European Family History Societies will be held on September 27-29 at Salt Lake City, Utah. The site will be the Best Western Salt Lake Plaza adjacent to the Family History Center Library in downtown Salt Lake. The fall period was selected to avoid other conflicting dates and the lesser genealogy traffic at the research facilities. The Bukovina Society, one of the founding members, has been invited to send a representative to speak and participate. President John Movius is calling for lecture papers and volunteers to assist at the convention. Please address to Box 4327 Davis, CA 95617-4327, e-mail to


A major work has been published by the authors containing the genealogies of the German-Bohemian families who in 1835 founded Bori in Bukovina (now in Romania). The nearly 400 page book contains the history of the village and its people with many fine maps and pictures. The authors are Maria Lang Becker, Larry R. Jensen and Sophie A. Welisch, Ph.D. who generously donated a copy to the society. They were speakers at Bukovinafest 96 and have been very involved with the Bukovina Society. The research spanned many sources and years of work. Since the Bori colonial families (Brandl, Gerhardt, Günthner, Haas, Hartinger, Hellinger, Hilgarth, Hoffmann, Hollaczek, Joachimsthaler, Klostermann, Koller, Kraus, Lang, Meidl, Pilsner, Reichhardt, Rippel, Schafaczek, Schaffhauser, Seidl, Stauber and Wellisch) often found mates in neighboring villages, the reader will find copious references to other Bukovina families including Baumgartner, Braun, Flachs, Kwasnicki, Loy, Neumayer, Rückel, Schindelar, Pekar, Tanda, Tauscher, Wamsiedel, and Zawilla among others. The authors have identified descendants of the Bori colonists in 23 countries of the world on five continents. An order form is enclosed for the book which is available by mail from 2 Hughes Street, Congers, NY 10920-1816. The cost in USA: $46, in Canada: $47 (US Dollars), including postage. (delivery 4-6 weeks)

Waco, Texas
July 17-19, 1997

Tentative Program
Thursday, July 17
5:30 p.m. Registration
7:00 Welcome and Introductions
7:10 Background on sponsoring organizations
7:30 Keynote address, Irmgard Hein Ellingson, Bukovina Society
8:00 German and Austrian History, Karl Micklitz, Texas German Society
Friday, July 18
8:30 a.m. Registration
9:00 Genealogy for the Beginner
10:00 Tracing your Roots to Germany & Austria,
Christa Prewitt and Flora von Roeder
11:00 German Lesson I, Baylor University Faculty
Video tour of Bukovina, Oren Windholz, Bukovina Society
12:00 noon Lunch on your own
1:30 p.m. Oral History (how to session), Baylor Faculty
2:30 Computerized Genealogy
3:30 Rigors of Immigration, Patsy Hand, German-Texan Heritage Society
4:30 Early German Customs in Texas
5:30 Dinner on your own
7:30 Writing and Publishing a Family History (Panel)
Paul Massier, Irene Schulze, Velma Wiethorn, and Flora von Roeder
8:30 Happy hour (cash bar and music)
Saturday, July 19
8:30 a.m. Registration
9:00 German influence in shaping of American Society, Dr. Sophie Welisch
10:00 Bukovina German Cultural demonstration
11:00 The German Baptist Movement in Austria, Paul Massier
Dialects and their origins
12:00 noon Lunch on your own
1:30 p.m. Bus tour to points of interest in and around Waco
6:30 Banquet, Crawford Community Center
7:30 Dance


Shirley Riemer, editor of Der Blumenbaum, quarterly journal of the Sacramento German Genealogy Society, has e-mailed us from time to time. The Winter 1997 issue featured an article on the Bukovina Germans in Kansas. She mailed the society a copy. The SGGS has a home page: Der Blumenbaum is a very informative periodical which can be received by joining for $15.00 single, $20.00 couple at P O Box 660061, Sacramento, CA 95866-0061. (Canada, $20.00, overseas $26.00)

Della Binder, 3307 E. 18, Spokane, WA 99223 writes that she is still looking for Alois (Louis) Franz Binder who went to Mexico around 1889, married, had two children and died there between 1900 and 1910. She sent in her Pedigree Chart to the society. Della enjoyed all of our publications and ordered the new book. She said all the Binder descendants still make Mamaliga. The Binders layer their cabbage rolls (Haluschkis) in sauerkraut whereas the other ethnic Germans in her area cook them in gravy or tomato sauce. In the Ellis area, layering in sauerkraut is still common.

Irene Schneider, senior editor at Condé Nast Traveler magazine, just returned from northern Romania where she visited many of the famous painted monasteries. She is in e-mail contact with several members of the society on a feature she is writing.

Margaret Kranich e-mailed another story of her family in Czernowitz her grandfather used to tell. "His father (or possibly grandfather, she is not sure) used to have a hairdresser call at his house every Saturday night to "do" his hair. This included setting it and powdering it!! Then he would sit up in a chair all night so that not a hair would be out of place for going to church the next morning. (I never heard about his wife - I always suspected she was so busy with many children to get ready that she didn't have time to do her hair!)" Margaret has been giving talks about the Bukovina tour around Shrewsburg, MA. She wrote "most people never heard of Bukovina, so were quite curious about it. For Jewish people, the big interest was that we were in the territory where "Fiddler on the Roof" was filmed."

Der Südostdeutsche, the newspaper of the Bukowina Institut of Augsburg featured a picture of the Bukovina monument at the Ellis memorial park. Marie-Luise Kotzian took the picture during Bukovinafest 96. It was dedicated at the annual convention in 1993 by the society. The black granite work was donated by the James and Alberta Wolf family of Ellis.

Romanian voters have elected Emil Constantinescu as president, the first such installation of a leader in history. He is a former geology professor "untainted by communist excesses", according to USA Today. After the overthrow and execution of Nicolae Ceausescu, one of the former communists Ion Iliescu took power without the benefit of election. Prior rulers who didn't die in office have been deposed, killed or banished. The new president recently helped observe the anniversary of the bloody revolution which began in Timisoara in 1989. The bullet holes from that fighting still mark buildings in the city.


Larry Jensen has been busy coordinating many projects for the Bukovina Society involving the internet. He reports that AOL has been expanding in Germany, with 100 listings in Salzgitter and about 25 in Plettenberg alone. He wrote "this promises to open up the lines of e-mail communications to a lot of our German landsleute!" We received our first membership from Australia as a result of our home page on the net. (see surname exchange column) How is that for expanding the Bukovina Society of the Americas? Larry receives numerous e-mail messages thanking him for the work on the Bukovina internet site. One wrote "I am very excited about finding the Bukovina Web Site. I will be sharing this information with my 4 sisters and will be joining the society." To date there have been some 3000 visits to the Bukovina internet site and according to webmaster Larry we average eight per day.

Laura Scott, daughter of Van and Mary Massirer, e-mailed from Texas that she has been exploring our site on the internet. This will keep young people interested and involved with our heritage.

Mary Lee Rose, author and Bukovina leader in Washington has checked in with her new e-mail address, Several people from her area went on the Bukovina tour and Mary said she has heard good reports. Anyone can feel free to contact her for information on Lewis County Bukovina Germans.

Curtis Evans is doing research for his family history, with an emphasis on the Romanian side. However, a great-grandmother was a Schmidt from Galicia. His will send his results to the society and asks anyone who can help to contact him evanscu@CALMVS.ERCB.GOV.AB.CA


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