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.  8, No. 2   -   June 1998

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Board of Directors:

Oren Windholz, President

Raymond Haneke, Vice President

Joe Erbert, Secretary

Bernie Zerfas, Treasurer

Ralph Honas

Shirley Kroeger

Ray Schoenthaler

Don Schuster

Dennis Massier

Mary Agnes Lang-Wagner

Alice Fox

Darrell Seibel

International Board:

Irma Bornemann

Paul Massier

Van Massirer

Dr. Ortfried Kotzian

Larry Jensen

Prof. Dr. Kurt Rein

Irmgard Hein Ellingson

Werner Zoglauer

Aura Lee Furgason

Steve Parke

Edward Al Lang

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




BUKOVINAFEST 98 program and registration forms are enclosed with this newsletter. Please let us know of anyone else wishing to receive the forms, or please copy and distribute them to others. As always there are some new people attending, so this picture of the headquarters and museum will let you know what your meeting place looks like.

The Convention motel is the Vagabond Best Western, 2524 Vine St. (Highway 183), Hays, phone 785-625-2511. They have set up a block of rooms for the Bukovina Society at $50.00 per night for up to 4 people. This is the same facility as the festival two years ago with pool, restaurant and free airport service. Any breakfast special included with rooms at that time will be available to our registrants. (note area code 785 is new for Ellis/Hays phone numbers)


Rep. Mike Jaros of Duluth, MN will again be attending the Bukovina festival in Jastrowie and Pila Poland, this year from the 8th through the 14th of June. He ordered 50 society pins to give as mementos to others guests. Bukovinians from Germany, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the Ukraine will be in attendance. Room and board is provided for anyone giving a program or cultural event. The Bukovina Society members are welcome to apply. Mike has interested others in his family to attend Bukovinafest 98 and will be here if he has no primary opposition for his seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Mike served as an election supervisor in Bosnia last September.

Gabi Lunte, a frequent visitor through the years to the society headquarters, received her doctorate with honors May 16th from Kansas University, Lawrence. The Bukovina Society is proud to have been the point of much of her research into the language of the immigrants to Ellis, Kansas. Her dissertation represents an effort to document and analyze the speech of a swiftly disappearing linguistic tradition. Her recordings show two distinct linguistic traces: one, which belongs to the Lutheran "Swabians," points to origins in the Palatinate dialect from Southwestern Germany, and the other which represents the focus of her research, that of the Catholic Bohemians, linked with the Central Bavarian dialect.

Dr. Sophie Welisch gave a talk on Bukovina to the New York Sudeten German Club on April 4th. She said they seemed interested to learn about their co-nationals who had left their Bohemian homeland almost 200 years ago.

Fay Jordaens frequently sends items of interest for the newsletter and we appreciate her interest and that of many others who e-mail or mail us information. We encourage this from all members. Fay's contributions are throughout the newsletter. Fay was the contributor of the map and information on Catalui (Cataloi) to the society.

An interesting item came from the Bukovina-Gen list from Lorne. Some 25 miles north of Yorkton in Saskatchewan, ancestors spent the first winter in a "boordie." A hole in the bank of a creek. Anyone who has lived through a winter in Saskatchewan will appreciate what these people had to endure. The Ellis, Kansas Bukovina branch can relate to the historical note, as Franz Erbert, along with his family and co-immigrants, the first Bohemian Germans from Bukovina to arrive, spent their first months in a dugout on Big Creek in the downtown of Ellis.


Karen Thomas, 2115 Cherry Bend, Houston, TX 77077 found the Bukovina Society and joined. She sends the following history with a request for help. Her paternal great grandfather, Gottlieb Kollatschny came to the United States from Bukovina in 1854. His brother John also came and they were followers of a Reverend Joseph Bergmann who was responsible for these settlers coming to Texas in the 1850s. She believes their village may have been Schlesien. Karen would appreciate any help in getting started into researching her family. Her husband can receive e-mail for her at:

Al Schmidt, 7897 Decarie Drive, Gloucester, ON, Canada K1C 2J4, e-mail:, asks for parentage of the following Reverend Fathers: Franz Astalosch, Leonhard Bartz, Adolf Botkowski, Georg Exner, Eduard Fechet, Walter Gorski, Ernst Haik, Eli as Herbing, Emil Hausler, Leonhard Haschler, Gary Lindenbach, Johann Nowacki, Konrad Obst, Wilhelm Oyen, Viktor Pscheidt, Leo Ritter Von Borowski, Kurt Schmeger, Otto Schmeger, Josef Schmid, Wilhelm Schuhmacher, P.J. Schwebius, Franz Simon, Wilhelm Stadniczuk, Josef Wolf, Robert Zettel, August Zoladkowski. Information on the above would be greatly appreciated - i.e. siblings and ancestors.

An e-mail tip from Beth at the list noted: "Just thought I'd tell you all how amazed I am at the quick response time I've been getting from the Social Security Administration for my ancestor's applications. The address is: SSA Attn: Vincent Sanudo, 4-C-5 Annex Building, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235. Each time I sent a brief letter including the individual's full name, birth date if known, place of birth if known, where lived at time of application, parents' names, and Social Security number. I send a check for $7.00 and don't need a SASE."

From Geoff of the Ger-Rus list, "If anyone is interested in obtaining homestead records for the province of Saskatchewan, I had great success in obtaining the file for my great-grandfather who established his homestead in 1905. They were able to provide me with copies of the file within 2 weeks of my request for a flat photocopying fee of $5.00 (CAD). Records are filed alphabetically." The address is: Brock Silversides, Collections Archivist, Saskatchewan Archives Board, University of Saskatchewan, 3 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Canada S7N 5A4 (Fax: 306-933-7305)

Meanings of names: A good starter book is William "Fred" Hoffman's book titled Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings. Shows how all Slavic surnames were developed.


Marianne Gaschler from Denver, CO has sent a generous donation of her book, Familienbuch des Ferdinand Gaschler printed in 1985. She also sent many family history charts of the Gaschlers gathered during several trips to Germany and Austria. This will be a valuable addition to the society family archives and we hope to incorporate it into the data base.


Any person or organization wanting to promote their genealogy news in Texas can do so on the Family History Show which is broadcast on about 21 radio stations and is available live in the Internet. The radio talk-show is devoted exclusively to family history research. The new website for the on line show is and features schedules of guests, family reunions, workshops, society meetings, conferences, and more. E-mail at: You can send information on your events anywhere in the world. Also available is their quarterly publication, the current issue being 48 pages of information from beginner to advanced for researchers. Their mailing address is: Michael Matthews, Editor, The Family Historian, P. O. Box 1 1605, Carrollton, TX 75011-6605.


Sharon Lewchuk noted that she had two family recipes for Mamaliga and sent them along. Her Dad told her his family used to serve the first one like a bread, along with such meals as stew. Sometimes it would be cut into squares and served along with bacon and eggs.

2.5 cups water (625 ml)
1 cup cornmeal (250 ml)
1 tsp. salt (5 ml)
Serve with melted butter

In a medium size pot with a handle, bring to boil the water and the salt. Slowly add cornmeal and mix steadily as for cereal, until the mixture gets thick enough to serve. Turn off heat and let stand, covered, a few minutes in the pot to loosen so it can be easily turned onto a plate. OR butter a baking pan with sides and put cornmeal mush into the pan. Dot with butter, or sprinkle with crumbled crisply-fried bacon. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350' Fahrenheit. ALSO can cut the prepared Mamaliga squares and fry them along with bacon.

Bukovinian Mamaliga

6 slices of bacon
1 small onion chopped finely
3 Tbsp. butter or bacon drippings (45 ml)
1 cup cornmeal (25 ml)
1 Tsp. salt (5 ml)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. sugar (5 ml)
3.5 cups milk, scalded (875 ml)
3 eggs well beaten
1/2 cup light cream (125 ml)

Fry bacon until crisp. Add onion and fry until clear. Remove bacon and onion. Bacon drippings may be used or you may add butter. On low heat, gently stir in the cornmeal, keep stirring until it is coated with the butter, or drippings. Add salt, sugar and pepper. Scald milk in a separate pot. Add it gradually to the cornmeal mixture, stirring constantly until bubbly and all milk has been absorbed. Simmer until thickened. Remove from the heat and add eggs, cream, bacon pieces and onion. Fold gently. Pour into a shallow pan (1-2 inch sides) or casserole which has been buttered. Bake uncovered in over for one hour at 350" Fahrenheit. Cut in squares and serve hot.

by: Karen Hobbs

(Karen contributed to the last newsletter and has kindly included us with an article again, prepared for the Czech Genealogical Society. Her expertise is in the Austrian army in the 19th Century. She is working on a book of personal narratives of Austrian and Prussian soldiers during the 1860s that will show what a soldier's life was like. Her primary interest in the Austrian Empire is Bohemia before 1870 with limited study through 1900.)

Austrian military records held by the Kriegsarchiv in Vienna contain information about the soldiers who served in the Imperial army before 1868 and in the armies of the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy after 1868. There are a lot of records of various kinds but the ones that are of most use to genealogists are the officer's "Qualifications Tabellen," the regimental musterlists, "Standestabellen," "Kirchenbucher," "Grundbuchblatter," and regimental histories.

The officer's "Qualifications Tabellen" are voluminous records of each officer's personal information, his various assignments, notes about how well he performed his duty and recommendations regarding promotion. Regimental musterlists are lists of names of common soldiers who are on active duty at a given time. The lists usually do not give additional information about the individual soldiers named. "Standestabellen" are regimental monthly reports. They list the regimental staff by name and rank. They divide the regiment into battalions and each battalion is further divided into companies. Each company will list soldiers on active duty and whether they are present. Those not present are listed under such additional headings as "deserted," "in hospital," assigned to "special duty detachment," "in prison," "on leave," etc. Monthly reports usually give the home town of each active-duty soldier and the name of his wife if he is married.

"Kirchenbücher" are military church records. They record marriages, births, baptisms and deaths of active duty soldiers and - if they are married - of their family members.

"Grundbuchblatter" are the personal records of individual soldiers. They tell where he came from, give a physical description of the soldier and have brief notations about when he mustered in and out, and where he served while on active duty and his status at the time he mustered out (discharged with certificate or in the reserve).

(Every year or so hand-written copies were made of the hand-written military records kept by the various Austrian regiments. The originals would be updated from time to time while the copies were not. A "Grundbuchblatter" that does not show both the date mustered in and the date mustered out is probably an incomplete copy. The more-complete record maybe found with a second search.) Regimental histories list such things as who commanded the regiment over time, where it was recruited and where it was stationed from year to year, in which campaigns the regiment participated and who received medals. The Imperial Austrian army had as many as 500,000 soldiers on active duty during wartime and because the rules for conscription exempted just about anyone who was in the upper classes, had an education, an "essential" profession or trade or enough property, the majority of the common soldiers were from the lower classes or peasant population. (As late as 1890 Bohemian soldiers were still almost 20% illiterate.) Since many of those who went to America were from that same group, it is often worthwhile to search for military records when trying to document an ancestor's hometown, date of birth, or other information that is difficult to find elsewhere.

The Kriegsarchiv will do a general search for given records but they must know the regiment number and the approximate dates of service. Microfilmed military records (several thousand films) at LDS Family History Centers are also identified by year and by regiment. Most peasants served in the infantry. The infantry included Jäger battalions, Landwehr battalions, and regular infantry regiments. Each category of infantry kept its own muster lists and rolls and each one was recruited from a fixed geographical district. When there is at least a vague idea of which political district might have been an ancestor's home, it is usually possible to find the right regiment or infantry unit. But the age when men were eligible for the draft and how long they had to serve is equally important in order to determine if the possibility that an ancestor served in the army. The age for conscription gives the first year a man might have served and the active-duty portion of the service obligation tells the last year. Because common soldiers generally could not marry, the service obligation also affected the age when a man might marry. The later a man married, the greater the possibility that he served in the army. Typically, if a man arrived in America after age 28 and if his marriage did not take place until he was 28 years old there is a good chance that he served in the Austrian army. Married men were ineligible for the draft. During wartime it was not uncommon for young men who faced induction to contract a quick marriage to avoid service. Often the newlyweds would have to live with parents and be virtual hired hands in the household because the young husband was not yet able to provide for a wife.

Exemption was also given to men who were disabled or who had poor vision or were otherwise unable to handle a rifle. There were some men who actually mutilated themselves, cutting off their "trigger fingers" in order to make themselves ineligible. Sometimes this did not work and these men still had to serve in the transportation corps. Volunteering for service was attractive because it was one way to shorten the service obligation. Before 1868 certain volunteers only had to sign up for one or two years and at the end of that time their military obligation was fulfilled -- before 1868 such volunteers could not be recalled to active duty again. Volunteers were free to marry and to emigrate as soon as their one or two years of service was over. Ancestors who served as volunteers might enter the army at an earlier age than if they were drafted or they might enter it a year or two after they were eligible for conscription but had not been selected. Many who volunteered would do so out of patriotism during mobilization for war so it is helpful to know which wars were fought during the period a given ancestor was eligible to volunteer. The Austrian army always recruited volunteers but when there were not enough of them they had to fill out the ranks by conscription. Generally, local authorities received quotas to fill and they could do that any way they wished before 1868. For many villages it was an opportunity to empty the jails and poor houses and to get rid of any undesirables, mental defectives, or anyone else who was considered a burden on the community. But they also used a lottery. Under the rules for the lottery, all eligible men of conscription age received a number and those whose numbers were drawn had to report for induction. Wealthy men could purchase an exemption from the authorities. Others whose lottery numbers were "unlucky" would buy a "lucky" number paying the "lucky" man to report in their place. Impoverished peasants could provide a windfall of from $600 to $1200 for their families in this manner. There were other exemptions from conscription which were based on the young man's status in his family (an only son) or in the community (a priest) which changed from time to time. Until 1848, noble lords might choose to ignore exemptions if they wanted to punish someone -- they could force a man who might otherwise be exempt from the draft into the army as punishment for shirking, unpaid, debts, rents or taxes, or for other real or trumped-up transgressions.

The eligible age for conscription and the service obligation changed several times during the 19th century. At the beginning of the century soldiers faced a lifetime obligation which meant that once they finished active duty they could be recalled into the army at any time. The lifetime service obligation was the most oppressive of all the conscription rules. It caused many young men to abandon their homes and flee to foreign lands or to big cities where they would be unknown and could avoid recruiters and conscription officials. One devise used to make the lifetime obligation less oppressive was the "indefinite furlough" during peacetime. Under this rule a man could be inducted, serve for a training period of about 18 months to two years and then he was put on "indefinite furlough" without pay. This allowed him to return to his home to make a living. If war broke out, he would be recalled. Furloughed men were not carried on regimental muster rolls. The rolls listed only the men on active duty at any one time. Disability of one kind or another that showed up after a soldier was inducted might lead to his early release. Most men who were mustered out for sickness or disability would receive a discharge certificate and the notation "discharged with certificate" would appear on his "Grundbuchblatter."

by: Richard Carruthers-Zurowski

(Richard is a great contributor to the Bukovina-Gen mailing list and permits us to reprint his articles in the newsletter. He does private genealogy work and is available at: 34a Acacia Ave., Rockcliffe Park, Ontario K1M 0P4, CANADA or

In the early 1990s, with the political thaw behind the "Iron Curtain", Bukovinian genealogical research really took off for most of us with Lutheran, Reformed (Calvinist), and Roman Catholic ancestors after the reunification of Germany. Records that were held by the East Germans in a repository in Leipzig (Zentralstelle für Genealogie, since renamed the Deutsche Zentralstelle für Genealogie) that had been gathered under the auspices of the "Reichssippenamt" were filmed by the new federal authorities in April and May of 1991.

These records were collected to document the origins of the ethnic German Community and only by chance shed light on people of other ethnic backgrounds. Unfortunately, the existing parish registers one can access via the Mormon Genealogical Society of Utah outlet, your local Family History Centres, are mostly not going to cover the largest ethnic groups in Bukovina, the Romanians and Ukrainians (Ruthenians) unless there was intermarriage with Roman Catholics or Lutherans/Calvinists or conversions (which did occasionally take place). Almost all the ethnic Romanians belonged to the Greek Orthodox Church (Romanian autocephalous branch) while the Ukrainians belonged in the main to the same church, though some from the more westerly part of Ukranian settlement (i. e. Galicia and Bukovina) that had fallen under Polish rule were Greek Catholics (Uniate). Most of the records of the former denomination have yet to be microfilmed, while those for the latter are slowly turning up in some isolated instances in the Mormon Family History Library Catalogue due to the work being done to copy records at the L'viv branch of the Ukrainian State Archives hq'd in Kiev. (L'viv was at one time the only city in the world that was the see city of three Catholic bishops i/c separate rites of that Church, i.e. the Armenian, Greek (a.k.a. Ukrainian or Uniate), and Roman.

It should be noted that the Orthodox and Greek Catholic records will be of interest not only to Ukrainian and Romanian Bukovinian researchers but also to members of other ethno cultural groups. As shown in the Illischestie book by Johann Christian Dressler, edited by Irmgard Hein Ellingson, many of the children later baptized by the itinerant pastor of the Milleschoutz Protestant pastoral charge (parish) to which Illischestie belonged until 1858 when he got to town on his rounds through Bukovina (Alt-Fratautz and Sereth in the north all the way to Illischestie and Tereblestie in the south and points in between) were first baptized by the local Greek Orthodox priest (a.k.a. pope) because of he was 'in situ' and people wanted their children's births recorded at once and the rite of baptism performed officially (even though any baptized Christian can baptize an unapprised infant with validity according to most main-line churches). Presumably this gave rise to the writing of the ONLY baptismal entry made in a parish register for children who died before the Protestant pastor arrived. Illischestie is not the only place where this was the practice. It should be noted too that this practice has given rise to some confusion about birthdates as the Orthodox use(d) the older Julian Calendar (indicated by the abbreviation a St.., alten Stils, for Old Style, in Irmgard's translation, though she did not explain that usage anywhere) while the Protestants and Catholics used the Gregorian Calendar (n.St., neuen Stils). The actual day was the same but the date was expressed differently.

Enclosures with this newsletter:

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