Village Index Maps Travelogues
Genealogical Digs Genealogy Narratives Biographies

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors



About the Banat Area

The old ("undivided") Banat comprises areas of present-day western Romania, north-eastern Serbia, and southern Hungary, with a total area of 11,013 square miles. It was an Ottoman province from 1552 to 1718, when it became part of Habsburg Austria. Planned colonization by the Habsburg emperors brought large numbers of German settlers from the western regions of the Empire to the Banat. By 1910 there were 388,000 ethnic Germans (locally called Swabians, later Danube Swabians) in the undivided Banat. By the Treaty of Trianon (1920) about two-thirds of the Banat became Romanian; almost a third became Serbian/Yugoslavian; only a small area around Szeget remained within Hungary

The Romanian part is centered around the regional capital of Temeschburg / Temeswar (German) Temesvár (Hungarian), Timisoara, Romania (Official). Other important cities are Arad, Lugosch/Lugos/Lugoj and Reschitz/Resicza/Resita. The area north of the city of Arad, although located north of the river Marosch/Maros/Mures also contained a number Danube-Swabian communities and is, therefore, usually included in studies or articles dealing with the Banat.  Banat is a region in south-eastern Europe, located between the rivers Danube in the south, Theiss / Tisza / Tisa in the west, Marosch /Maros / Mures in the north, & foothills of the Carpathian mountains in the east. [Nick Tullius]

3 Counties of Banat - 1778

In 1778, Maria Theresia sacrificed the rule over the hereditary land to the peace in the Empire and let it integrate into the Hungarian association of states. As a result of the inclusion of the Banat into Hungary, its territory was divided in three counties (Vármegye) (Fig. 3)as it had been before the Turkish occupation. The western strip, from the Marosch to the Danube and along the Theiß (Tisza), formed the county of Torontal, with its county seat in Großbetschkerek. The largest part of this county, with the exception of the area around Großsanktnikolaus, is today on Serbian territory. In the middle, in the form of a narrow strip of the same length, was the Temesch county (Temes), whose administration was located in Temeswar. It included, among others, the localities of Neuarad, Lippa, Busiasch, Detta and Tschakowa, as well as Werschetz, Weißkirchen and Pantschowa which today belong to Serbia. Count Christophor Niczky was appointed the first Prefect

(Comite) of Temesch County.  The eastern strip of the Banat was the county of Karasch-Severin (Krassó-Szörény), which also extended from the Marosch (approximately between Batta and Soborschin / Savarsin) to the Danube (between Basiasch and Orschowa) and its tributary, the Tscherna (Hungarian: Cserna). The county seat was located in Lugosch. Anton Zollner, 2002 (German)

Timis county is a county (judeţ) of western Romania, in the historical region Banat, with the county seat at Timisoara. It is the largest county in Romania. The name of the county comes from the river Timiş, known in Roman antiquity as river Tibisis or Tibiscus. Name variants are Timiş (Romanian), Temes (Hungarian), Tamiš (Serbian), Banat Bulgarian: Timiš)

Torontál county was located in the Banat region. It shared borders with the Kingdom of Serbia and the Hungarian counties Szerém, Bács-Bodrog, Csongrád, Csanád, Arad and Temes (the first county was part of Croatia-Slavonia). The river Danube formed its southern border, the river Tisza its western border,
and the river Maros its northern border.

Banat Coordinators:

Nick Tullius
Ottawa - CA

Alex Leeb
Calgary, CA

Jody McKim Pharr
Woodstock, GA

News & Latest Site Additions . . .
Last updated: 07 Sep 2014


Johann "Hans" Grimm, long time Banater friend and associate, author of the Neubeschenowa Family Book CD, died on 6 August 2012, at the age of 84th years. [published at 13 Nov 2012]

Anton Bedö-Zollner, b. Lippa, died 01 Jan 2009, age 74.  Historian & writer, shared his findings freely.

Stefan Heinz Kehrer died on December 18, 2009 in Berlin, at the age of 96 years.

Robert Rohr, born in Werschetz, Banat; renown Danube Swabian Music Historian, Composer and Author.  Died on January 10, 2008, at 85 years old.  See Tribute to Robert Rohr

Books & Reviews

Banater Kalender 2014 - The Banater Kalender 2013 is a book-type calendar with 312 pages of text and high-quality photos, on heavy, glossy paper. It is a real high-quality  piece of Banat history, than can be enjoyed  even without reading the German text.

Stefan Jäger Wandkalender 2013 (Wall Calendar) Stefan Jäger - Bilder unserer Heimat.  With 13 color prints after paintings by Stefan Jäger. Practically every month, and on this page: our name days. Order the book from or by e-mail to for 10 Euros (8 Euros cost + 2 Euros shipping).

Din Banat în Canada - Cronica unei călătorii de-o viaţă, Romanian version of Nick Tullius' - "My journey from the Banat to Canada"

Kirchweih Fest: A Donauschwaben Celebration from Europe to America by Elizabeth Walter - An illustrated narrative about the Kirchweih Fest. [published at 15 Mar 2012]

From Franzfeld to Mansfield, A Journey Through Tito’s Death Camps by Edna Schuster Becker

Banater in Südostrumänien 1951-1956. Sterbefälle im Baragan, Uwe Detemple. 1951 decreed the Romanian Interior Ministry to relocate "dangerous elements" of a 25 km wide zone along the border with Yugoslavia. 12,791 families with 40,320 persons were deported to the Baragan level in southeastern Romania. After the abolition of forced stay 1955/56, many families returned to their villages in the border region. In Baragan remained not only their homes and fields, but also their deaths. The comprehensive documentation of all 1000 deaths of Banatern from 121 villages of Banat.

Städte und Dörfer (Towns and Villages)  Editor: Elke Hoffmann, Peter-Dietmar Leber and Walter Wolf. Contributions to the settlement history of the Germans in the Banat. Series: The Banat and the Banat Swabians, Volume 5, published by the Landsmannschaft der Banater Schwaben, Munich 2011, ISBN 3-9229979-63-7, large format, 670 pages + 1 map, price € 45 - plus shipping costs.

My journey from the Banat to Canada by Nick Tullius.  In the first part of this volume, the author describes life in a Banat-Swabian village during and after the Second World War.  The second part of the book deals with the migration of the author to join his father in Canada, and his integration into the new environment.
[published at 23 Jul 2011, updated 9 Sep 2011] Review by Hans Gehl | Review by Jody McKim Pharr 

The Shadow of Herta Müller at the Nitzkydorf Cemetery By Viorel Ilişoi, Translated by Nick Tullius 28 Oct 2009 [Published at 30 Oct 2009]

Herta Müller, 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature Recipient!  Born in Nitzkydorf, Banat.  Info and publication list.

Magdalena (Leni) Gärtner Martin *Setschanfeld. Author of "Sheltered in the Shadow of Your Wings" -review by Arlene Prunkl [published at 13 Jul 2010]


"My Mother tongue - OUR PEOPLE WRITE SCHWOWISCH - MEMORIES OF MY YOUTH IN THE BANAT": Exams in Temeswar & Village Music in the Homeland by Nick Tullius. The Banater Post published these two short stories written in the schwowisch dialect by Nick about his Banat home village of Schandrhaas.  A reminder of days gone by but still close at heart.  [Published at 20 Apr 2014]

Survivor Story: Anni Tissl Turkalak

How that hat got on top of the church
by Nick Tullius [b. Alexanderhausen] The original version of this article was written in the “schwowische” dialect of Alexanderhausen and published in the biweekly newspaper “Banater Post”, Nr. 23-24, of December 10, 2010. The English translation was done by the author.  [published at 02 Feb 2011] 

Threshing machines, steam engines and tractors
by Nick Tullius [b. Alexanderhausen] The original version of this article was written in the “schwowische” dialect of Alexanderhausen and published in the biweekly newspaper “Banater Post”, Nr. 23-24, of December 10, 2010. The English translation was done by the author. [published at 10 Feb 2011, Jody McKim Pharr] 

Settlements in the Banat (1763‑1773) [Chapter 10 from volume 3, of the book "Ethnographie der Oesterreichischen Monarchie" by Karl Czoernig, 1857] Translated by Nick Tullius 27 Oct 2008, [Published at 18 Jan 2009] 

Shift of Languages in the Works of Robert Reiter by Imre J. Balázs (Cluj/Romania). Robert Reiter, later known as Franz Liebhard) was born in 1899 in Temesvar.

The Banat – a “Penal Colony“ of Maria Theresia? by Dr. Hans Dama.  The article was written by Hans Dama in reply to a claim by Wassertheurer that the Banat was transformed into a "Penal Colony" by Maria Theresia. A version of it was published in the Banater Post. [Contributed by Hans Dama, translated by Nick Tullius [Published at 23 Sep 2008]

Ethnic Germans in the Banat: Forgotten —Yet Timely —History By Stefan Bastius [published at 01 Mar 2010]

Short History of the Nitschkydorf Church, translated by Duncan Gardiner [published at 01 Mar 2010]

Villages Lorrains En Yougoslavie
by André Rosambert, 1933 L'Illustration (French Magazine), 01 Apr 1933 N. 4700. Article of interest to Banaters, and all those who have roots from the Lorrain area. A focus on Saint-Hubert, Charleville and Seultour. [published at 15 Oct 2010]

Villages Lorrains En Roumanie
by André Rosambert, 1934 L'Illustration (French Magazine), 24 Nov 1934 - Issue N. 4786 Article of interest to Banaters, and all those who have roots from the Lorrain area. A focus on Triebswetter, Charleville and Seultour and Mercydorf.  [published at 13 Sep 2010]

Banat Villages with German Inhabitants Church name - map keys

The End of the German Banat Villages - The Anton Bedoe Zollner Series

French & German Settlers from Alsace-Lorraine, Luxembourg & Trier - includes 106 family names & a small list with statements of origin by Peter Schiff (Mercydorf 1734-1934)

Civic Culture in Banat and Transylvania (Between 1880 and 1918 an unprecedented demographic explosion happened in the towns of the region. New and numerous buildings were constructed not only in the big cities, but in small towns, too, giving them a European architectural configuration.) The Role of Timisoara in the 1989 Transformation of the Romanian   Political Order. (External Link)

Banat Danube Swabian & the Baragan-Steppe Bărăgan-Steppe


Heimattreffen Mercydorf by Michael Klaus (YouTube) 21 Sept 2013 in Gaimersheim

Danube Swabian in Bulgaria (A resettlement area)

Two postcards that the Romanians created for Hans Dama [published at 15 Nov 2012]

Adam Müller-Guttenbrunn House Museum Tour

Banater Benefit Society & Banater Athletic Club Papers, Cleveland, Ohio, 1911-1960 Erster Deutsch-Ungarischer Unterstutzungs Verein (Banater Benefit Society and Banater Athletic Club Papers, Cleveland, Ohio, 1911-1960)

Original 1921 list of the original members of the Cleveland Banater Club Deutsch Ungarischer Heim Fond

New Banat Map by Günther Philipp and Hoefer Verlag had developed this Banat Map and kindly contributed it to the DVHH.  Click the image to the right to open into a PDF file.  You may save this map to your computer.  (Günther Philipp b. Neu-Arad) [published at 10 Feb 2011, Jody McKim Pharr]

Neue Banater Bücherei by Anton-Peter Petri, 1982-1992 Series Index [published at 17 Aug 2011]

Aus unseren Banater Dörfern (E: From our Banat Villages) 1978 Kerwei, Musik, Feuerwehr (Fire Department) Aus unseren Banater Dörfern, Pipatsch-Kulener for Jahr 1978, Neue Banater Zeitung, Timisoara [published at 12 Aug 2010]

Prayer for today - A beautiful prayer in gothic script from the 1880's. (by the parish priest of Saint-Lambert church in Münster, 1883) Translated  by N.Tullius  [published at 01 Mar 2010]

Maria Radna Basilica Restoration & Collection of Votive Pictures of Maria Radna

Alexanderhausen Village Photos taken the summer of 2008 by Nick Tullius

Village Coordinators & Lookups

William Knuttel -St. Hubert, Charleville, Seultour. See lookup details on the Banat Village Index. [06 Apr 2009]

Peter Knapp, PA, Village Coordinator for Kleinbetschkerek [12 Nov 2008]

Ray Borschowa, Village Coordinator: Georgshausen. [19 Aug 2008]


Florimund Claudius Graf Mercy (1666-1734) ~ "Count Mercy – Colonizer and Governor", written by Wilhelm Reiter. Contributed by Jody McKim, translated by Nick Tullius 20 Sep 2008, [Published at 08 Oct 2008]

Franz Bittenbinder, one of the best-known and most versatile painters, commercial artists and caricaturists of the Banat.

Hans Gehl Named Honorary Professor & Acceptance Speech by Hans Gehl


As of 17 Jul 2012, DVHH discontinued its Membership 'Partner' level. The existing Partners will be grandfathered into their prospective regions of research for all time. In the Banat we have:

Families of Barbara Hilderson - BAUER, BIER , DAMM, DIX/TIX, EDELMAYER, EICHERT, ENGELMANN, HAFNER, HEIN/HAIN, HENZEL, JOCHUM, JOST/JOSZT, KULBURG, KUHLBURGER, LAUT, MAIER, MORITZ, OCHSENFELD, PFEIFFER, SCHMIDT, SINGER, STEMPER, TASSINGER, WEBER, WEINHOFER, WELS/WELSCH, WINDENBERGER, WOLZ/WOLCZ from Banat Villages: Alexanderhausen, Arad, Baratzhausen, Billed, Bogarosch, Lenauheim, GrJetscha, GrKikinda, Hodon, Johannisfeld, Knees, Temeschburg: Fabrikstadt, Franzstadt, Warjasch.

Families of Susan Sander - Sander/Szander, Reichert, Schlee, Weisenburger, Steger, Hettman, Schmalpach, Schneider, Freher, Groo, Stolcz, Folcz, Kastner, Haiberger, Umerlin, Lais,Gruber, Lump, Hacker, Wisbar, Neu from Banat Villages: Glogowatz, Neupanat

[Published at by Jody McKim Pharr]

 Last Updated: 07 Sep 2014

Keeping the Danube Swabian legacy alive




NEWS ©2003-2014
Donauschwaben Villages Helping Hands,
a Nonprofit Corporation

Webmaster: Jody McKim Pharr
Last Updated: 19 Jun 2014
Keeping the Danube Swabian legacy alive

Support DVHH