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. 12, No. 3   -   September 2002

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Board of Directors:

Oren Windholz, President

Raymond Haneke, Vice President

Joe Erbert, Secretary

Bernie Zerfas, Treasurer

Shirley Kroeger

Ralph Honas

Ray Schoenthaler

Dennis Massier

Ralph Burns

Darrell Seibel

Martha Louise McClelland

Betty Younger


International Board:

Michael Augustin

Dr. Ayrton Gonçalves Celestino

Irmgard Hein Ellingson

Aura Lee Furgason

Rebecca Hageman

Laura Hanowski

Larry Jensen

Dr. Ortfried Kotzian

Edward Al Lang

Paul Massier

Van Massirer

Steve Parke

Prof. Dr. Kurt Rein

Wilfred Uhren

Dr. Sophie Welisch

Werner Zoglauer

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



On Thursday, July 25, 2002 the Society convened its annual meeting at the Ellis, Kansas headquarters.  Minutes of the prior annual meeting and the annual financial report were approved as submitted.  The terms of  Ralph Burns, Martha McClelland, Dennis Massier and Frank Augustine had expired.  Frank chose to retire from the board.  Elected for new terms were Ralph Burns, Martha McClelland, Dennis Massier and Betty Younger.  Elected to the International Board was Laura Hanowski.  Reports of the Regina Convention and of the International Board were distributed.  The new Board of Directors met following the annual meeting and proceeded to reelect the current officers for the ensuing year.  The board will study the feasibility of conducting the 2003 Bukovinafest in Ellis/Hays, Kansas.


 By:  Laura Hanowski, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

(Dieser Bericht auf Deutsch)

The International Genealogical Conference, “Discover Your Roots to Europe," was held in Regina, Saskatchewan 18 - 21 July 2002. The conference was co-sponsored by the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society, the Bukovina Society of the Americas, the East European Genealogical Society, the Federation of East European Family History Societies and the Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe. This was the first time that these societies, from both sides of the border, worked together to sponsor a major genealogical conference. By their collaboration the societies were able to develop a program that featured forty-four expert speakers and panelists from throughout Canada, the United States, Germany, Hungary and Brazil to cover a multitude of topics. Many of these topics could not be offered at a one-host conference. The three hundred and fifty people from five provinces and fourteen states in attendance had a choice of sixty-three sessions to attend. Summaries for all but four presentations are found in the 230-page syllabus.

The programs presented by the Bukovina Society of the Americas featured sessions on settlements of Bukovina people in the Roman Catholic community at Mariahilf, Saskatchewan by Gordon Domm, the Bukovina Germans in Lewis County, Washington by Mary Lee Rose was presented by Irmgard Hein Ellingson and Bukovina Settlements in Paraná and Santa Catarina, Brazil by Dr. Ayrton Celestino.  Michael Augustin, Dr. Celestino and Steve Parke used slide presentations to trace the migration patterns from Bavaria to Bohemia to Bukovina, then to North and South America while explaining how they had conducted their research. There were four presentations about research sources and techniques for tracing Bukovina ancestors from North America, in Germany, Ukraine, Romania and Hungary. These were given by Irmgard Hein Ellingson, Laura Hanowski,  Elizabeth Long and László Rudolph. A session given by Van Massirer explored the influence of the Baptist faith on settlers in the United States and Canada and how the translation of early records of Canaan Church of Crawford, Texas is helping current generations to recognize the effect of religious thinking on their ancestors.

The Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe "A Poland and Volhynia Genealogy Group" (SGGEE) started off with a session about the SGGEE database, followed later with a session on making the best use of the SGGEE web site by Gary Warner. Jerry Frank presented two sessions about the German Migration East to Hungary, Galicia, Bessarabia, the Black Sea and Volga areas, Poland and Volhynia. There was a session about the history and use of the Einwandererzenralstelle (EWZ) records by Richard Benert. This was followed by a two- part presentation showing how to obtain the EWZ documents and how the presenters Irmgard Hein Ellingson and Dave Obee used them to further their genealogical research.

Two highlights of the conference were the Friday and Saturday night banquets. The Friday night banquet was hosted by the Bukovina Society of the Americas. Following a short musical presentation by Steve Parke of Pueblo, Colorado Dr. Ayrton Celestino spoke about the German Bohemian Bukovina Families of Rio Negro and Mafra, Brazil. Ayrton illustrated his talk with slides of these Brazilian communities. The Saturday night banquet was hosted by FEEFHS. Thom Edlund gave an interesting description about FEEFHS. Kahlile Mehr used slides to illustrate how records are selected for microfilming, the procedure for doing so and the challenges of cataloguing the European records. Attendees said they learned much from the presentations on both evenings.

John Movius, web master for FEEFHS, Werner Zoglauer, web master for the BSA, and Gary Warner of SGGEE were present throughout the conference to help people with their research problems and to assist them in making the most effective use of their web sites. The SGGEE also brought books and maps to help people trace their Volhynian German roots. The East European Genealogical Society also helped attendees with research problems.

One hundred and ninety five people submitted evaluation forms. The general consensus was that the conference was well organized and had an excellent selection of topics and speakers. It was felt that a conference sponsored by a number of organizations should be held every five or six years, alternating between Canada and the United States. 


  • Richard Carruthers-Zurowski and Laura Hanowski became the latest member of the Lifetime Club at the convention in Regina. Numerous other people became annual members of the Society at that time.

  • Professor Ayrton Concalves Celestino of the Bukovina German Cultural Association, a speaker at this year’s convention in Regina, Saskatchewan, has extended an invitation to all who may be interested in attending to the 13th annual Bucovinafest scheduled for July 4-6, 2003 in Rio Negro/Mafra, Brazil.  Bukovina Society members who attended last year had a very interesting and enjoyable time. 

  • After the Regina conference Professor Ayrton Goncalves Celestino spent some time with Werner Zoglauer in the United States.   They visited Yellowstone National Park, where they joined Werner’s daughter Katherine and family for an evening.  It was only the third time Ayrton had seen snow and had his first snowball fight.  They then took in a Germanfest in Milwaukee, where they discovered a band drummer with the same surname (Schödelbauer) as Ayrton’s grandfather.  In that both families originated in the Bohemian Forest (Böhmerwald), they may well have been distantly related.  According to Werner, “another unbelievable coincidence occurred when my next door neighbor visited. His grandmother, Johanna Auguste Henning was born in 1878. According to Ayrton's book, another Johanna Auguste Henning was born in Rio-Negro in 1881.  Both women are from the same area near Kiel in Germany. The family information of the ladies has other names in common, so we believe that my neighbor’s grandmother may be the sister or close cousin of the Rio Negro Hennings.”

  • The Bukovina Society has received copies of the new book by Professor Ayrton Goncalves Celestino, Os Bucovinos do Brasil.  Consisting of about 650 pages and more than 500 photographs, it stands as the most authoritative source on the history, achievements and acculturation of the descendants of the immigrant generation who in 1887-88 left their ancestral villages of Pojana Mikuli, Gurahumora and Bori to take up a new life in Brazil.  Detailing not only the history of Rio Negro, the book also traces the lives of individual Bukovinian families and their expansion to other localities in Parana and Santa Catarina.  It is written in Portuguese and available for sale for $28.00 US, which includes shipping.

  • On August 3-4, 2002 about 350 members of the Augustine family, including five from Germany and around thirty from Canada held a reunion in WaKeeney, Kansas.  The occasion also marked the centennial of the initial Augustine immigration to the New World. Members of the International Board including Becky Hageman, Werner Zoglauer, Steve Parke and Michael Augustin were also in attendance as well as Society president Oren Windholz.  Family with Michael from their home in Leonberg, Germany were his wife, Bärbel, and children Anja, Eva, and Fabian.  Following the reunion, Oren and his wife Pat hosted the Augustin family and Werner at Cedar Bluffs Lake.

  • John A. Christoffel, a grandson of Josef Augustin and Katharina Schick, a couple from Oberwikow in Bukovina who in 1912 immigrated to Canada, has donated an essay on his family’s experience to the Society’s archives.  Members interested in receiving it should write or e-mail a request to the Society.

  • There are numerous spouses without Bukovina heritage who have been very active in the Society.  One such person was Vernon “Curly” Goetz, who died on May 7th of this year.  With his wife Eileen, he attended every activity in the Hays/Ellis area since the founding of the Society.  One of his German dialect stories found its way into the Newsletter a few years ago.  Curly was a lifelong resident of Hays, a combat veteran of the Korean War, a dedicated family man and the best friend of Oren Windholz.

Bukovina Remembrances -
Buxtehude: Fact or Fiction?

 By: Rebecca Hageman, Wichita, KS

"Ich schicke dich nach Buxtehude!" Werner Zoglauer reports that his grandmother’s impatient warning to misbehaving boys rang out through the house. But what was she saying to Werner and his brothers? She will send them...where? Buxte Who?

A nearly forgotten term to many Bukovina descendants, the term "Buxtehude" seemed to have been quite useful for various situations. Buxtehude held several meanings in different families, according to subscribers of the internet Bukovina Gen-List, where this was the topic of a recent lively discussion.

Michael Halkiu’s grandmother probably didn’t use the term to reprimand the grandchildren. In their household, it was almost a curse word, and the children were not allowed to say it (not within their parents’ earshot, anyway).

Buxtehude has evolved to be a derogatory term for a place far from anywhere, adds Fritz Neubauer, from northern Germany. The phrase "All the way out in Buxtehude" was apparently not a good place to be. Michael Augustin, also from Germany, adds that it means "at/from/to the back of beyond" as in "Gehe doch nach Buxtehude," which roughly translates to, "Get out of here, I don’t care (where you go)."

Fairy tales, handed down from generation to generation, took on a significant role to our ancestors, who had very little contact with the world outside of their villages. These stories shaped their morals and values. The ancient fairy tale of the race between the hedgehog (who cheated and won) and the hare (who collapsed and died) is said to have taken place in the Buxtehude moor. The Brothers Grimm, who published this tale in the 1840s, weren’t necessarily noted for sugary fairy tales with happily-ever-after endings. Perhaps the selection of Buxtehude as the setting for this tale added an almost sinister atmosphere to enhance the story line.

The meaning of Buxtehude interpreted by the Zurowski branch of Richard Carruthers’ family was a rude term, roughly the equivalent of "a cat’s hind end."

Do you have a mental image of this awful (dare I say it out loud?)..."Buxtehude?" Surely this place doesn’t really exist; it’s a fairy tale. It’s a threat to unruly children. It’s so bad, it’s a curse word. Right?

Well, not necessarily. It’s on the map. Doug Reckman found it in northern Germany, a few kilometers from Hamburg, in the floodplain of the Elbe, just 5 kilometers from his ancestral village of Jork. Sylvia Hasenkopf has been there. She reports that Buxtehude is a "quaint place with many buildings and thatched roofs dating back a number of centuries" - and not the least bit scary.

Hmmm.... a trip to northern Germany, centuries-old buildings with thatched roofs, and quaint ancestral villages. The real Buxtehude sounds like a delightful place to visit. Well, Grandmother Zoglauer, I have my passport.  Send us to Buxtehude!

If you are interested in subscribing to the Bukovina Gen-List to read or participate in discussions such as this, go to our new website and find the instructions at:


Letter from the Refugee Priest, Reverend Stasch,
to Stefanie (Kraus) Schafhauser in Congers, NY (1947)

Translated with introduction by Dr. Sophie A. Welisch , Congers, NY

In this poignant letter, the author describes the material and spiritual needs of the refugees in post-war Russian-occupied Germany. Many Bukovinians, who had resettled in German-occupied Poland in 1941-42, found their situation untenable, if not downright precarious, and by the winter of 1944 had fled westward to escape the advancing Russian armies. Members of the Kraus family of Paltinossa in southern Bukovina were among the several thousand Bukovinians evacuated by horse and wagon during the last months of the war. Some more fortunate refugees were able to depart by rail, although even here they may have encountered certain difficulties, such as air raids and boarding of the trains by partisans. At war’s end the refugees were destitute, without adequate food, clothing and shelter.

The "Mrs. Kraus," referred to in the first line of Father Stasch’s letter, is Katharina née Aschenbrenner, the wife of Lorenz Kraus, who had taken refuge in the town of Goldberg in Soviet-occupied Germany. Her sister-in-law, the recipient of the letter in the USA, made a successful appeal to the Landsleute as well as to local Catholic church authorities in her parish for contributions of food and clothing to assuage the immediate needs of Father Stasch and his assistants.

Three members of the Kraus family Natalia [1895-1971], Stefanie [1897-1957], and Josephine [1905-1987], had immigrated to the United States between 1912-1923 and established families in the New York area. Their siblings, Karl ([1900-1970], Wenzel [1903-1975], Albertina [1907-1938], and Lorenz (1909-1968] had remained in their homeland until 1940 when the three brothers with their families and their mother, Theresia née Häring [1874-1944], relocated to Germany. The father of the family, Wenzel Kraus (1868-1937), did not live to witness the exodus of his family from their ancestral homeland.

In Paltinossa, Mrs. Theresia Kraus lived adjacent to the Catholic Church, and its priests were often invited guests in her home. In addition, she and her family made themselves readily available for service to the parish and the community. Her daughter, Josephine, who for more than ten years sponsored a weekly prayer meeting in her home, actively carried on this tradition. In turning to the Kraus family for material assistance, Father Stasch had found true benefactors.

The original letter is on file in the archives of the Bukovina Society.


Reverend Stasch Bad Sulza
Office of Pastoral Duties Apoldaerstrasse 5


Journal No. 263/V/47 August 16, 1947

Very honored benefactor!

Mrs. Kraus suggested that you might be able seek aid through ecclesiastical authorities for us in our need. I would sincerely implore you to put in a good word for us with the appropriate authorities.

In Bad Sulza, a community of about 3000 inhabitants wherein many refugees live without bag or baggage, there were previously no Catholics. Now there are 800. In this region, which lies in a valley between small mountain ridges, there are twenty villages, all of which include those who have fled their homeland. Because of the shortage of priests, all are served from here. Another 1700 Catholics live in these communities. One priest and three female assistants stand ready to serve them. In all weather, snow and cold, heat and rain, we must visit these communities. There are 425 children to be educated; masses, baptisms and funerals, confirmations, spiritual counseling, etc. must be provided for 2500 people. We are all refugees, i.e., we arrived here without material goods, driven from hearth and home; inadequately dressed, we pursue our duty. No one can even envision our distress. We lack shoes and clothing, coats and stockings, in short, everything with which to counter the inclemency of the weather. However, the pastoral work is most essential. Above all, the refugees desire it. Then again, it involves the Kingdom of God. Here the local population is absolutely neo-pagan and knows nothing more about Christianity. We cannot let our stalwart people succumb to this spirit of worldliness.

Our entreaty is as follows: send us one pair of shoes size 40, and two pairs size 38, 3 dresses size 46, and three coats size 46. Female clothing is greatly desired. Stockings are needed.

Our nutritional need is also great. With the few calories, allotted to us through rationing cards, the trips through the countryside are barely possible. At the same time we have to reckon with the winter when our entire pastoral work may collapse from lack of clothing and nourishment.

Understand our distress, which is born of necessity. We receive nothing from general contributions through the community. We live in the Russian zone. If you can help us, then we beg you to do so for the love of God.

Respectfully yours,

Stasch (signature)

Spiritual Adviser for Refugees



By: Eilleen Lupastin, Regina, Saskachewan, Canada

Chapter 4, "Sweet Bucovina, My Bucovina," of Eilleen Lupastin’s monograph, Lupăşean Family from Bukovina: A Monograph of One of Canada’s People—The Romanians (Regina, SK, by the author, 1983), pp. 42, 45-7, discusses the history, customs and traditions of the ethnic Romanians. Here the author describes the production of cloth as well as and the cultural and historical influences on fashion and design. These methods of processing cloth persist in some regions of Bukovina to this day. In pp. 49-50, 52 the author focuses on Romanian homes considering style, building materials, decorations, and utility. (Footnotes have been omitted.)

[In Bucovina] important crops of flax and hemp were used for spinning and weaving. Hemp fiber was a main source for textile material to make bed linen, towels, and tablecloths. Hemp was plucked out of the fertile ground, then bound in bundles and dried in the sun. About the middle of August when the hemp was dry it was immersed in the river and tied to two wooden poles driven into the river bottom. For two weeks the hemp was submerged in the water, then washed in the river and placed in the open sun to dry by spreading the washed bundles out to bleach. The hemp bundles were hauled home in a wagon, then lined up against the walls of the house for additional drying. The hemp-breaker was used to break the dried hemp stalk to separate the fiber from the stalk.

After the hemp was "broken," the hemp bundle was struck against a wooden pole to further separate the fiber from the stalks so that the fiber could be peeled from the bleached and dried stalk. The final step in refining the hemp fiber before it could be spun into fine thread was combing the hemp with a comb. The hemp was ready for processing into a fine fiber, which could be spun into hemp thread by hand. The refined hemp was spun into yarn either by a spinning wheel or a spindle during the slow winter season. The yarn was then wound from the spool.

During the winter months materials were woven. From the homegrown hemp, bed linen, tablecloths, towels and underwear were woven. In the spring all the linen, all made out of hemp, was placed into a large open vat the day before washday. A coarse linen cloth was spread over the washing on which a layer of ashes was spread. From a nearby kettle a boiling solution of alkaline and water was poured over the ashes in the vat. The hot mixture would seep through the ashes and laundry and drain into a container under the vat. Then the mixture was re-boiled and the same procedure continued for a whole day. (*This was the pre-soak cycle!) The next day the coarse, heavy linen had to be thoroughly beaten on a bench with a wooden beater while soaking wet, to beat the remaining dirt out of it. The procedure of the day before was repeated once more. This process would further bleach the linens.

Hand-pulled homegrown flax straw, after the seeds and heads were removed, was soaked for two weeks in the river, where it was anchored with rocks, in order to rot the fibers. The flax was then dried and beaten to leave the fiber, which was then carded and racked. This fiber was spun into thread, then woven into fabric, which was bleached with boiling ash water and shrunk by soaking and drying. Bolts of flax linen were unwound on clean pebbles of clear brooks and left for the sun’s rays to dry and bleach. This process went on for weeks. All seams of the garments were made from this linen and were hand-sewn and hemstitched through the garments including the hem.

Romanian men wear the white tunics and leather sandals which the sculptured reliefs of the Column of Trajan in Rome faithfully depict captive Dacians wearing in the second century A.D. The Romanian men’s costume, made of wool, linen, hemp or cotton, uses white as the basic color. The plain coarse linen shirt, which hangs down over the trousers like a workman’s blouse, is worn long like a tunic over a pair of long, tight straight trousers made of homespun sloth. Men’s clothing was designed to be form fitting, and comfort was not regarded as essential. The trousers, which fit rather tightly to the leg, are in summer of linen and in winter of a coarse white cloth. The man’s embroidered side-slit shirt is confined at the waist by a wide woolen belt, or a broad red or black leather belt, which contains various receptacles for holding money, pistols, knives or forks.

The shirt is covered with a sheepskin jacket with the skin side elaborately embroidered and hemmed with the fur of wild animals. The fur is worn inside except during a rain. This is the buniţā. An embroidered coat of woolen cloth, or a large overcoat from coarse white cloth, or a sheepskin pelisse are worn in winter. Leather moccasins with a turned-up toe, sandals made from an oval-shaped piece of leather drawn together by leather thongs, cover the feet and are fastened by the leather thongs wound around the ankles and lower legs. Those shoes are excellent for climbing. In summer a black felt hat with a round crown and medium-to-wide brim is worn. In winter a fur cap, a lambskin hat, high and pointed, covers the head. There is simple elegance in the men’s outfits.

The women’s costumes are of refined richness. Undoubtedly, the most valuable piece is the white blouse with richly embroidered sleeves and front, blue and black, more often including lively colors and fanciful motifs, namely flowers. The thread pleating around the neck goes back to early Thracian, Illyro-Thracian sources. Romanian women considered tightly fitting dresses unseemly and ugly, and dresses that showed the bosom uncomely. There was always ampleness in the clothes. Women’s clothing was to be pretty, not comfortable. A skirt and a cover for the skirt – a single piece of material wrapped around the lower body – had pleats that were always vertical and extra big on the upper part of the dress. The straight-falling one-piece folding skirt, gathered at the waist, is austere with vertical stripes, green, golden and yellow upon a black foundation, hemmed with a broad red or blue band.

Particularly elegant are the sleeveless jackets, short fleece-lined coats, or fur vests with loose lower parts and rich embroidery, adorned with the fur of wild animals. The head is generally covered with a scarf, a brightly colored kerchief that varies with the different districts. The way a scarf is worn and its color often indicates the age, social position and marital status of the wearer. These peasant costumes, worn nineteen centuries ago, are still worn by Romanian peasants today. This indicates an ancient and stable community that is dignified and elegant. Authentic pride and consciousness of one’s worth is sometimes proven by the costume pieces that are so noble.

The costume varies with different localities. Each village has its own set of colors and patterns using the blue, scarlet and white in Oriental designs. Each village has its traditional motif in embroideries, as does each family. The long Turkish domination left an imprint of ornate orientalism. Designs tended to be geometric; a style handed down from the Thracians. The preponderance of geometrical patterns in Romanian folk art places it in contrast with that of Western Europe. The ability to use color effectively is perhaps the one major distinguishing feature in all types of Romanian art. Bukovinian art is characterized by its abstract geometrism. Each region has Romanianized the techniques and decorative models of the East.

[In considering the architecture of Bukovina-Romanian homes, we note that] they are usually painted white. Some are built of wood, others have walls of clay or bricks while roofs may be made of thatch, shingles or tiles. The house is surrounded by a yard, which is enclosed by a fence, often elaborately woven from wattle. The yard is entered through a gate, often in the form of an archway of which the posts are sometimes elaborately carved. The provincial forms of the Bukovinian houses are in Secession, neo-classical, and baroque styles, an extremely eloquent example of assimilation. Houses shine cheerfully, with white walls under the gray cap of the shingled roofs among the green trees of the landscape with its gently arching lines along the apple tree orchards. The whitewashed walls, overhanging thatched roofs, and terraces surrounded by suburban horticulture are typical in neighboring Moldavia. The roof projects over the house and is supported by wooden pillars at the corners. At the entrance of the yard there is usually a beautiful gate with two pillars carved with all kinds of motifs in geometric design. The attractive cottages have wooden fences and hand-carved doors, bright decorations in Byzantine designs, flame-colored hangings on their walls, homespun carpets and down pillows piled to the ceiling.

There is no chimney and the smoke must find its way out among the rafters. Meat is hung in the attic from the rafters to cure as the smoke finds its way out through the breathers. In Moldavia one often finds a symmetrical house plan with the entrance door in the center of the house front. The house is single-storied and surrounded by a narrow raised terrace. The interior consists of two or three rooms. The walls of the rooms are lined with wooden benches covered with long woolen rugs. Wall rugs made from hemp and wool are part of every cottage’s decoration. A beam runs above the bed and is used for hanging clothes. There are well-ordered houses. The house is clothed in colors: upon the shining white of the walls, the warm colors of the woolen rugs and chest covers, the lively colors of the ornamental towels, the cheerful rainbow of the enameled pottery and of the golden-haloed saints of the icons. There is one thing that all Romanian homes have in common. They are full of hand-painted plates, jugs, pots, bright woven rugs and tablecloths. Agrarian and pastoral life has generated a rich culture with varied functions blended with artistic valences. Wall carpets, covers for chests, towels to be hung on walls, embroidery, carved wooden furniture, iron and wooden utensils for the kitchen are a synthesis of the folk art. Near the peasant house there are usually some farm buildings, such as a barn, a shed for livestock, a pigsty, a chicken coup, and a corncrib [which supplement the traditional Romanian homestead].


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