The Germans of the Community of Feketic / Feketitsch
by Dr. Viktor Pratscher
Translated by Brad Schwebler
Table of Contents - page 18-23

On the Way to the New Homeland (the Schwabenzug)

     A year before the publication of the settlement patents, already on 17 September 1781 appeared a similar patent which called upon the settlement of Galicia, called Austrian Poland. After the Polish area was settled the people put their complete trust in the many favorable conditions contained in the patent of 21 September 1782. It resulted in a true migration of people. Everyone streamed to southern Hungary. It seemed as though everyone wanted to emigrate, although the Counts of Emigration forbid it.

     With steadfast beliefs in God they set out.  The great Schwabenzug to the new homeland got under way.  The great hopes spurred them and drove them on.

     The trip to Ulm, or to Regensburg would keep back most on foot. On the average a one way trip to Regensburg was calculated to be 300 kilometers.  That is as far as from Feketic to Belgrade and from there back to Subotica, or as far as from Belgrade to Budapest which is 350 km. With them the elderly, children, and luggage mostly on a wing and a prayer were taken along.  From Regensburg everyone sailed on the Danube but not on a steamship because there were none at the time. The inventor of the steamship would be called a fool for a long time because he wanted to replace the rudder and sail with steam on the water.  From Regensburg to Vienna the trip was claimed to take ten to twelve days and from Vienna to Ofen (Pest) it took four or five days.  The most important stops were Vienna, Ofen (Pest), and Sombor.

     However, not all settlers passed this way.  Some followed another direction and came in a roundabout way to the new homeland.  So Peter Gutwein (who died in Feketitsch in 1929) could relate that according to the family records his ancestors went to Poland with three sons and a daughter and a two-wheeled cart because they already had relatives there.  But they were not allowed to stay here because the settlement was already full.  They knew of the settlement in southern Hungary so they came over the Carpathian Mountains to Ofen (Pest) and Sombor.  At Crvenka they separated.  One son stayed with the father in this community, a second son went to Torscha, and the third went to Sekitsch.  The descendants of the latter live in Feketitsch and have in their possession two pewter plates which they received from the Hungarian chancellery in Ofen (Pest).

     The Pratscher family were residents in the Holzschlag community in what is today Burgenland (Austria) at the time of the Schwabenzug.  The ancestors would link up with the Schwabenzug here and separate in Crvenka.

building master: 2

butchers: 2

bakers: 15

gardeners: 2

coopers: 23

glassblower: 1

beer brewers: 7

belt maker: 2

bean basket makers: 2

Bodaschen burner: 1

hat makers: 2

glove maker: 2

well master : 2

guitar players : 2

woodworkers : 4

copper smelters : 2

iron caster : 1

linen weavers : 55

linen maker : 1  

metalworker : 7

table linen maker : 1

shoemaker : 33

bricklayer (Maurer): 54

quarrymen : 2

meal miller (Muller) : 35

thatch roofer : 1

Ohl miller : 1       

stonemason (Steinmetz) : 8

paper maker : 1  

Stork & hair powder manufacturer: 2

Rothgarber : 4    

cabinet maker : 26

rope maker : 3     

stocking dyer : 3

soap boiler : 3      

stocking makers : 8

saddler : 3       

potter :3

silk handkerchief manufacturer: 1

cloth maker :15

sieve maker : 4         

wagon maker (Wagner) :12

tailor (Schneider) : 36

wool comber :3

steel forger : 2         

woolen maker : 3

nail forger : 10           

brick burner : 4

foot forger : 19

carpenters : 42

     These statistics give us a view of the distribution of the individual branches of businesses at the time.  About the most numerous were the weavers, since there were still no fabric factories at the time.  Noteworthy are the forge specialties: steel, nail, and foot forgers, and next came the metalworkers.  The great number of the coopers shows proof that the colonists came from a wine producing region, but they were also not opposed to beer because there were also many beer brewers among them.  The wig wearers of each period had their own powder manufacturing business.  Notice the outstanding service of the small number of butchers and the lack of salespeople.

     In the 8th, 9th, and 10th months of the year 1785 there were 783 families that immigrated with 4,073 family members and 25,960 Florints in cash.  Of these 260 were tradesmen with 60 weavers (15,591/785).

   Below is a month by month listing of the number who immigrated in 1785:

Families and Souls

Month

Families

Souls

 

Month

Families

Souls

January

 

 

 

July

402

2,075

February

5

98(?)

 

August

334

1,594

March

10

24

 

September

209

958

April

130

598

 

October

330

1,521

May

1,841

8,699

 

November

147

818

June

1,100

5,522

 

December

13

24

     These statistics give us a picture of the distribution of the arrivals in the course of the year.  In the winter months of December and March the number always fell to a family of two people, either because the children were left behind or they were a young childless couple.  About the strongest desire to travel was in the Spring months of May and June.

The families' register mentioned are titled as follows:

No.

Name

Fatherland

Age/

Relig.

Occupation

Wife

Boys/

Girls/

Money/

Pers

1

Joh. Josef Clos

Marienfeld in Nassau

36

evang.

farmer

w/wife

5

1

60

8

2

Joh. Heinr. Heufer

Katzenellenb. in Darmstadt

36

evang.

cooper

w/wife

2

2

100

6

3

Peter Lehr

Godelbach in Braunfels.

59

evang.

farmer & linenweaver

w/wife

0

2

50

4

4

Peter Scheer

Dosemheim

60

ref

farmer

w/wife & 8 children

1

1

0

3

5

Joh. Jacob Huber

Diedendorf in Saarbrucken

35

ref.

farmer & bricklayer

w/wife

2

2

0

6

 Records about the Hungarian settlement business from --- to --- and including the following dates:

  And so follow hundreds and hundreds of names.

   With which the Emperor Josef pursued the care of the fate of the immigrants, as testified for example by his letter to the Count Palffy under number 6,026/85.  (Count Karl J. Palffy was the first court tutor and master of ceremonies to the emperor.)
 
"Dear Count Palffy!

   There are now again so many emigrants arriving from the empire, so that the prompt order for a food pantry would be enacted, now that these people in the Batschka and the Temescher District who have almost nothing arrive there in great numbers, hindering their accommodations, so at once precautions are taken there, so that in the different Ex-Jesuit spiritual and cameral properties where the distribution of the .grounds should be in the works at the time, distributed in relative number and provided with plots of land so that in the practicing of their business in the appropriate regions the needs of the people will be met though not without many delays due to unsuitable preparations bringing with them little ability to meet the necessities and these sad examples warned others to stay away from immigration.  To which end is exactly what happened here in that these people from the same local places who had their passports in hand would be turned away by the settlement commissar.

Records about the Hungarian settlement business from --- to --- and
including the following dates:  Vienna, the 12th of May, 1785.     

Josef e.h."                              
 
   This letter was registered in the 1.) Imperial and Royal Joint Financial Archives; 2.) Royal Hungarian-Transylvanian Court Archive ; and 3.) K.K. Court Chamber Archive.

   Not all settlers were in that much of a hurry.  Certainly, many were exhausted from the long trip.  Quite a few stayed a long time at the cozy beautiful old imperial state by the beautiful blue Danube.  So it is recorded, for example, that a group stayed behind.  They had somehow missed their transportation.  This group was headed by: Niclas Brenner, Jacob Wahl, Matthias Bieber, and Michael Daus.  For that reason they made a petition to the kind hearted emperor for the purpose of granting a longer stay in Vienna, in addition to offering some support.  Under number 14,442/785 their request would be reported as follows: "Only Niclas Brenner was born in Luxemburg where they are considered from Alsace by birth.  Each had some ability.  Michael Daus, however, had 500 Florins in cash which gave reason to believe that there need was not so great and as such their only hope to receive back a sum of money from the lenient majesty in order to extend their stay where 100 others were at the same time ready for four days and could have left."  These officials were thorough in their work and could not be bribed.  As the group observed that their intentions could come out unfavorably, they realized that their petition could come to naught before they were done dealing with it.

   From Ofen (Pest) the way led over the Hungarian heath countryside either on foot or by wagon, for those who had one, to Sombor.  What must  have been the reason why the ride from Ofen to the Batschka could not be continued by ship on the Danube?  To Bezdan or Apatin?

   When they arrived in Sombor they had to hand in their passport.  Each person received one Guilder again and the trip was concluded.  The father of the family started with the whole family, received  a booklet which contained the names of the settlement villages and house numbers where the family should be settled.  The booklet also served to enter the favors which the colonists received.  After the family reported in Sombor each person would be assured daily two Kreutzer and one half liter of meal.  Under ten years would receive the half.  Then some wood, straw, and vinegar.  These would be administered on a monthly basis punctually in advance until the first harvest was brought in.  Under number 16,133/785 the petition for the people of Torscha and Crvenka is available, according to which, as newly settled communities, also tells about how to apply for "further administration of the reward" after the harvest.  The application was not completed.  If the settler family arrived in the fall and the village in which they settled still was not finished, the settlement pension officer gave the father of the family a billet in which he received winter quarters for his family in an older community and the family took their cow and mobile home they already received.

   With the start of spring, it began with the support of the village.  The Hotter was defined.  The straight lines of the lanes are shown with the plow and defined the border of each plot of land.  The farmers began promptly to erect huts which were needed to serve the settlers as accommodations.

(The Way of the Schwabenzuges.
A View of the Old and the New Homelands.)

More to come.... 

Table of Contents
 

Today is September 10, 2008
Last updated:
Wednesday September 10, 2008
 

Feketisch Village Coordinators: Brad Schwebler & Kim Geiger

2003-2012 Brad Schwebler, unless otherwise noted. - Report broken links

Remembering Our Donauschwaben Ancestors