1722 Settlement Contract for Mucsi

1722 Settlement Contract 

In 1720 a census record showed that eleven families were listed in the new settlement of “Nova Possessio Mucse.” They consisted of four Hungarian families: Martinus Apostaghy, Joannes Szkrinyay, Joannes Tóth, Joannes Morvai; four Slavic families: Michael Dukon (judge), Matthias Schleschak, Georgius Schleschak, Adamus Bukovics; and three German families: Balthasar Fuchsberger, Johannes Jahn and Joannes Pot. 

Multiple sources confirm that the first organized group of German settlers arrived in 1721. One of the first tasks to be completed was for the landowner to create a contract with the settlers. This document outlined the obligations of the German settlers and explained the rights granted to the settlers by the landowner.   

Taken from Wendelin Hambuch, Mutsching/Mucsi: Geschichte und Gesellschaft einer ehemalingen fuldischen Gemeinde in Ungarn, Tankönyvkiadó, Budapest, 1988, 60-61. Translated by Steve Jahn on 17 July 2010.  

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I, Claudius Florimundus, Count of Mercy of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nations, by virtue of the following lines, announce to all concerned that after I acquired, with perpetual rights, all these properties belonging to this Domain, [ed. historically known as the Apar Domain], I want to set these and their use in order, and I am striving not only to keep the Inhabitants and the Settlers but to increase their numbers. 

In accordance with your submissive request, I have, as outlined in the Articles listed below, the above listed Villages with their tillable and deserted lands, given and granted for your use, namely the inhabitants of the village of Mucsi. 


The Settlers of the village of Mucsi, however many there are or eventually will be, will give for their use of the lands and services of the Domain in Monies or Labor, 1/9 of fruits, harvests and dram shop income [ed. alcohol sales]. But not fishing and hunting, these rights shall remain the privilege of the Domain owners. If a farmer has a plow team with 6 oxen, his payment shall be calculated as 15 Rhineland Guilden, plus a large tub of wheat and a large tub of feed grain, plus the whole community will give 3 wagonloads of hay annually. If a farmer has a team of 3 oxen, his payment is ˝; if he has a team of only 2 oxen, his payment shall be 1/3. 


Half of the above mentioned payments are due at the Feast of the Holy Soldier and Martyr, St. George [ed. April 23]; the other half is due at the Feast of St. Michael [ed. September 29] of the same year.


The inhabitants of the above named village shall enjoy these lands belonging to their community along with the attached wild lands and the deserted lands of Pahd and Dus, to freely plow them, mow them or graze them, in short, enjoy all the products and fruits of these lands. 


If, at some time there will be acorn bearing oak trees growing, the inhabitants will be allowed to let their animals graze not only within the community boundaries and the wild lands of Pahd and Dus, but also, if there is a shortage of acorns, on other lands and properties belonging to the Domain. 


If in any Village and its boundaries or deserted lands there is a shortage of firewood for their personal use, the inhabitants will be allowed to gather such firewood, provided it does not bear acorns, on any other lands and properties belonging to the Domain. If, however, they require building timber, they will have to apply for a permit with the Estate office. If they fail to do so, they will incur a fine or penalty. 


With regards to the settlement and improvement of the village, it shall be announced here and to all, that the laws and the authority of the Domain leadership shall be upheld at all times. 


With regards to the wrong doers, concerning their fines, the assessment is the privilege of the Domain authority and such fines are paid solely to the authority. 


If new vines are to be planted to create new vineyards, these lands will be exempt from the property tax for six years; after that they will require the customary 1/9 duty. 


If one of the settlers, who has home and belongings, will not be able to assemble a full or partial hoofed team of oxen, he will owe the Domain, if he has a wagon and horses or cows, 3 forint; if he has no animals 1.5 forint.  


If any settlers are not willing to acquire fields and oxen, for the purpose of putting the interests of the Domain at a disadvantage, but want to build up their farm with other animals and utilization, the property of such settlers will be estimated proportionately, or they will be strongly urged to acquire the customary animals and utilities. 


If any one of the immigrated settlers, the native born excluded, is inclined to leave the Domain to settle somewhere else, for all legal reasons and causes, he shall be allowed to freely do so with all his property, providing he has paid his debts and announced his intentions thirty days ahead of time. Also he shall take with him 2/3 of the value of his sold home. 


Because the inhabitants of the above named village, freely and heartily agreed to adhere to and fulfill the twelve points on this list, they shall be assured by me and my family, that the state and the facts of the above mentioned provisions and promises will be kept and preserved. 

Hőgyész, the 27th of July 1722

Mutsching Village Coordinator: Joseph F. Martin, Romeoville, Illinois
© 2007-2015 Joseph Martin unless otherwise noted.
Last updated: 17 Feb 2015, Published by Jody McKim Pharr