Danube Swabian Community
“Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world.
In fact, it is the only thing that ever has." ~Margaret Mead

Villages Helping Hands

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors


DVHH News & Milestones
Est. & published at DVHH.org 2003 by Jody McKim Pharr.

Last updated: 09 Aug 2020

2020 April 9 -  2020-2021 DVHH Board of Directors

Jody McKim Pharr, Pres., GA
*Dennis Bauer, V. Pres., NJ
*Rachel Lanning, Sec., AR
Norbert Giesse, Treas., NY
Rita Tompkins, NY
Engel, Roy, CAN
*Bev Franks, CAN

2020 April 9 -  2020 Outgoing Administration

A special thank you to our outgoing Administration for their "years" of service:

~ Jeff Rau, VA
Board of Directors 2017-2020
Board Secretary 2014-2020
*Remains as DVHH Membership Registrar

~ Dan Sedley, NJ
Director of Volunteer Services 2015-2020
Board of Directors 2017-2020

~ Dimitrie, Darlene, CAN
Board of Directors 2017-2020/Pres. 2019-2020

2020 Aug 9 DVHH FACEBOOK Members: 2,716 Members

2020 Aug 9 DVHH Mail list at Groups.IO: 814 Subscribers

2020 Rootsweb Mail lists are being discontinued March 2, 2020, an end of a wonderful era!
Darlene Dimitrie, the current mail list administrator, has secured DVHH a new platform at Groups.IO. It is email based.
Darlene has tentatively set Jan 29, 2020 as our LAUNCH day!  After that, it will be a way to communicate with all Rootsweb subscribers as they are all moving to Groups.IO.  ALL Volunteers and DVHH Members: If you receive an invitation via email to join the new group at IO, please sign up via the email message. It is preferred that you respond asap.
Jan 25 is the last day to post DVHH related stuff on the Rootsweb list. Rootsweb will be retaining the archives for future reference. 

2019 Oct 17 - 2019-2020 DVHH Board of Directors:

President, Darlene Dimitrie
Vice President, Jody McKim Pharr
Secretary, Jeff Rau
Treasurer, Norbert Giesse
Directors, Roy Engel, Dan Sedley, Rita Tomkins

Thank you to our former president, Dan Larson, and our former treasurer, Noelle Giesse.

2018 Oct 17 - ANNOUNCEMENT! Finally, the DVHH has a designated Sathmar Settlement Area Coordinator!
Sarah Coraggio of WA, USA has volunteered on Jun 6, 2018 to be the Coordinator for Sathmar, the FIRST ever!; and soon after assumed the roll of the Web Editor.  Sarah will be bringing life to a neglected area of the DVHH as she develops new content to the Sathmar webpages and developing relationships with other Sathmar researchers.  We welcome Sarah to her new position!. More about Sarah.

2018 Aug 30 - ANNOUNCEMENT! Attention subscribers of the DVHH-L mail list.
From: DVHH Volunteer < dvhh.volunteer@comcast.net>
Subject: [DVHH] DVHH Announcement - New Mail List Administrator

Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2018 8:12 PM
To: DVHH Mail List; Gina Butrico
Subject: [DVHH] DVHH Announcement 

It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to our new Mail List Administrator, Gina Butrico.  A New Jersey native who now resides in Connecticut, she is a research scientist at Yale University, and is totally committed to promoting our Danube Swabian heritage. 

Gina's experience and skills will be a tremendous asset to DVHH, and I am confident that she will serve DVHH extraordinarily well in her new position.  She and Darlene Dimitrie, our other Mail List Administrator have already developed a great working relationship. 

You can read Gina’s bio and see additional information.

We welcome Gina to her new position!

Dan Sedley
Director of Volunteer Services

2018 Jul 19 - ANNOUNCEMENT!
Retiring Director:  Jody McKim Pharr (2007-2018)

2018-2019 DVHH Board of Directors:

Dan Larson, Pres., NY
Jeff Rau, Sec., VA
Noelle Giesse, Treas., NY
Dan Sedley, Dir., NJ
Rita Tompkins, NY
Engel, Roy, Dir., CAN

2018 Jul 15 - ANNOUNCEMENT! Lynn Schablow of AL, USA: Administrative Assistant to Dan Sedley, Director of Volunteer Services.

2018 Jan 15 -  DVHH.org celebrated its 15th year online!

2017 Sep 3 - Archives of the Banat Swabians of Austria transferred to the Austrian State Archives

On .June 1, 2017, the Executive Committee of the Association of the Banat Swabians of Austria has decided unanimously to transfer the archives of the Banat Swabians of Austria to the Austrian State Archives.

On August 23, 2017 Chairman Dr. Hans Dama handed over to Councilor Dr. Robert Rill, the current head of the War Archive, the extensive material, sorted chronologically by years, consisting of 17 folders, as well as video and audio material spanning 110 years. In addition, there were press releases relating to the Club, its members and Banat personalities.

Some day historians or local historians will certainly show interest in the material and will find there a true treasure, relating not only to the Association's history, but also to historical events of the 20th century - E.g. the Kinderlandaktion (Viennese children sent to the Banat during the great depression) and others.

There remains the photo material (images or photographs) to be evaluated and handed over, also the numerous projects and events organized by the Association.  

But the first step towards the preservation of this valuable material was done... Nick Tullius

2017 Jul 19 - ANNOUNCEMENT!
Retiring Directors:  John Kornfeind (2007-2017), Rose Vetter (2011-2017) and Mary Regan (2011-2017)
Thank you all for your many years of service to the DVHH!

2017-2018 DVHH Board of Directors:

Dan Larson, Pres., NY
Jody McKim Pharr, V.P., GA
Jeff Rau, Sec., VA
Noelle Giesse, Treas., NY
Dan Sedley, Dir., NJ
Rita Tompkins, NY
Engel, Roy, Dir., CAN

2016 Mar 17 - ANNOUNCEMENT! Attention subscribers of the DVHH-L mail list.
From: DVHH Volunteer < dvhh.volunteer@comcast.net>
Subject: [DVHH] DVHH Announcement - New Mail List Administrator

As some of you are aware, Eve Brown is giving up her position of DVHH Rootsweb Mail List Administrator after many years of dedicated service. We would like to thank her for her contributions and the expert way in which she, along with Roy Engel, has handled this task over the years. Roy will thankfully be staying on and we are quite fortunate to have an extremely capable replacement for Eve.

Darlene Dimitrie has agreed to fill Eve’s role, and has been transitioning into this position for the past month. Excellent progress has been made and Darlene is now performing all facets of this very critical position. The transition actually started before the Rootsweb Mail List went down due to technical problems. Now that it is back up, Eve and Darlene both believe that it is time to make this transition official. However, Eve will be on hand in a consultant capacity for a while as Darlene experiences the many details associated with this position.

Darlene has served DVHH very well over the years. She is the Village Coordinator for Hrastovac in Slavonia, and the Guestbook Archivist for DVHH. Last year she completed a major project of updating the Archives from 2005 forward, making them available to all of us for viewing and searching. Her willingness to take on this new responsibility is very much appreciated.

Welcome to your new position, Darlene, and thanks again to Eve for making this such a smooth transition.

Dan Sedley
Director of Volunteer Services

2016 - Rita Tomkins - Membership Newsletter Editor

2015 Sep 28 Guestbook Archives 2005-2015 Updated & Searchable, Darlene Dimitrie, Guestbook Archivist

2015 Sep - Introducing Tom Myers WI -USA, DVHH Genealogy Research Director

2015 Sep - Introducing Loretta Alfano, FL-USA, DVHH Genealogy Research Assistant & Librarian

2015 Sep - Introducing Joseph 'Joe' Matye, MO - USA, Submissions / Content  Manager & Archivist

2015 Aug 31 - Introducing
Dan Sedley, NJ - USA Director of Volunteer Services

2014 Landestrachtenfest Tanzwettbewerb (National costume festival & Dance competition)

Hosted by The United Donauschwaben of Milwaukee
The Schwabenhof, 14750 W. Silver Spring Dr. Menomonee Falls, WI
Aug. 29, 2014 (Friday) The Party Kicks Off At 5pm
Aug. 30, 2014 (Saturday) The Great Times Continue At 11:00am
Aug. 31, 2014 (Sunday) The Fun Starts Again At 10:00am
SEE: The United Donauschwaben of Milwaukee Facebook page

2014-2015 DVHH Board of Directors:

Dan Larson, President, NY
Jody McKim Pharr, V.P., GA
Jeff Rau, Secretary, VA
Noelle Giesse, Treasurer, NY
Rose Vetter, Director,, BC
John J. Kornfeind, Director, AZ
Mary Regan, Director, NY
Beth Tolfree, Admin. Assistant, CA

2014 Mar 15: Introducing our new Cooking Donauschwaben Style! Recipe Coordinator Anne Dreer and Editor Rose Vetter.

2013 July 8 : Introducing the new DVHH Mascot . . . "Lissi"

2013 Apr : DVHH 2013 Board of Directors

· Dan Larson, President, NY- USA
· Jody McKim Pharr, V.P., GA-USA
· Rose Vetter, Secretary, BC-CAN
· Noelle Giesse, Treasurer, NY-USA
· John J. Kornfeind, Director, AZ-USA
· Mary Regan, Director, NY-USA

2013 Guestbook Administrator:
Robert "Bob" Horvath,  Kitchener - CAN

2013 Darlene Dimitrie Guestbook Archivist

2013 Apr : Thank you Bob & Marie Nelson & Welcome Bob Horvath!

Bob & Marie retire after serving 3 years as DVHH Guestbook Administrators. We welcome our new Administrator, Robert "Bob" Horvath of Kitchener, CAN.

2013 Jan : Jane Moore retires as DVHH Membership Registrar after 5 years of service. We welcome our new Registrar, Jeff Rau of VA-USA. Thank you Jane Moore & Welcome Jeff Rau!

2013 Introducing Rita Tomkins, NY-USA, DVHH Correspondent
  Survivor Story: Anni Tissl Turkalak

     2013 Event Report: Tag der Donauschwaben USA & Kanada - Detroit, MI
     2014 Membership Newsletter Editor

2012 Apr : DVHH 2012 Board of Directors

 · Jody McKim, President, GA-USA
 · Mike Polsinelli, Vice President, MI-USA
 · Nancy Wyman, Treasurer, FL-USA
 · John J. Kornfeind, Director, AZ-USA
 · Mary Regan, NY-USA
 · Rose Vetter, Director, Ontario-CAN
 · Dan Larson, Director, NY- USA

July 2011 24: DVHH Gets Mention in Prestigious Genealogy Magazine

I am pleased to inform you that by virtue of pure coincidence, I recently had the privilege and good fortune to meet the publisher and editor of “Internet Genealogy” magazine, Mr. Edward Zapletal.  Mr. Zapletal has been kind enough to mention the DVHH website in the “Net Notes” section of the upcoming August/September 2011 issue. The mini article is the first one which appears in the notes and it describes our website accurately and concisely. Better still, Mr. Zapletal has indicated that there are plans for a full-page story about the DVHH in a future issue!

Internet Genealogy magazine has been in existence for a number of years and is distributed throughout the U.S. and Canada. It features articles which range from interesting case histories to articles providing practical information on researching family roots all over the world. To find out more about this magazine, including subscription information and a synopsis of the current and upcoming issues, go to www.internet-genealogy.com

The magazine is also available at “Borders, Barnes & Noble” and “Books-A-Million” in the U.S. and at “Chapters” in Canada. The Aug./Sept. 2011 issue also includes a free CD of software version 5.0 of “My Heritage Family Tree Builder”.

Roy Engel

2011 Jul 07: Thank you Mike O’Brien

Dear DVHH Mail Listers and Volunteers,

For those of you who don’t know Mike O’Brien, he has worked with the technical aspects of the DVHH from it’s beginning in late 2002. I didn’t know Mike when he emailed and volunteered to provide the DVHH with free web space; (thanks to Glenn Schwartz, who had passed along to Mike my original proposal for the DVHH concept). It was not easy for Mike to work with me since I didn’t know the first thing about publishing web pages, but his instruction and encouragement I learned.

In 2007 when the DVHH formed a nonprofit, it was only fair that we started paying Mike a monthly server fee. Early this year Mike notified us that he planned to retire from being a web provider, but offered to assist us in transferring to a new one. Mike worked on this endeavor which took about 3 months; this was no small task since there are hundreds of web pages at dvhh.org.

I want to personally thank Mike O’Brien for his endless hours given to the DVHH over the last 8 years; mostly working behind the scenes and assigning Village Coordinators their web sites. If it were not for Mike getting us started online, I’m not sure if it would have taken place. Initially there were some doubting Thomas’ but with Mike’s help we had a great foundation. Thank you Mike for all you’ve done

2011 Apr 12: DVHH 2011 Board of Directors

 · Jody McKim, President, GA-USA
 · Mike Polsinelli, Vice President/Secretary, MI-USA
 · Nancy Wyman, Treasurer, FL-USA
 · John J. Kornfeind, Director, AZ-USA
 · Mary Regan, NY-USA
 · Rose Vetter, Director, Ontario-CAN

2010 Apr 12: DVHH 2010 Board of Directors

 · Jody McKim, President, GA-USA
 · Mike Polsinelli, Vice President, MI-USA
 · Karen Preston, Secretary, NV- USA
 · Nancy Wyman, Treasurer, FL-USA
 · John J. Kornfeind, Director, AZ-USA
 · Jane E Moore, Director, UT-USA
 · Henry Fischer, Director, Ontario-CAN

Beth Tolfree, DVHH Secretary since 2007, retires from the Board of Directors.  John Kornfeind, DVHH Treasurer since 2007, retires but remains on the board.  Taking their places is Karen Preston as Secretary and Nancy Wyman as Treasurer.  We look forward to their contributions and thank them for assuming these roles.  Our deepest appreciation goes to Beth and John for their service to the DVHH and for doing such a great job as Secretary and Treasurer, both vital jobs to our organization!

2010 Jan 15: DVHH.org celebrates its 7th year online!

2009 Aug 18: New village site for Obresch & new webmaster - I am very proud to announce that we have a home page for the village of Obresch. Thanks to Ludwig Keck (web master) and support from many of you. www.dvhh.org/obresch  Grüße, Eve Brown

2009 May 12:  Ludwig Keck, our new Village Coordinator for Schowe - It is with much enthusiasm that we announce the addition of a new addition in the Batschka corner!  www.dvhh.org/schowe.  Ludwig has produced a website to be proud of, and we hope you will take the time to view it and congratulate him for a job well done.  If you have roots in the Schowe area, please contact Ludwig to share info.
With kind regards, Nancy Fredenberg & Dennis Bauer, Batschka Coordinators

2009 Apr 15: DVHH 2009 Board of Directors

 · Jody McKim, President, GA-USA
 · Mike Polsinelli, Vice President, MI-USA
 · Beth Tolfree, Secretary, CA-USA
 · John J. Kornfeind, Treasurer, AZ-USA
 · Jane E Moore, Director, Ut - USA
 · Henry Fischer, Director, Ontario - CAN
 · Karen Preston, Director, NV- USA
Retiring Directors: Alex Leeb, Nick Tullius, Hans Martini; thank you all for your service to the DVHH!
Noted appreciation goes to Beth Tolfree, as DVHH Secretary, John Kornfeind as DVHH Treasurer, and Mike Polsinelli for handling our legal matters --all are time consuming jobs!  We welcome Karen Preston, long time List subscriber, Lookups Guide and DVHH Member to our board of Directors!  Here's to another great year of discovery!  Best Regards to all, Jody McKim, President.

2009 Mar 17: Boris Masic, of Apatin, Serbia joins Beth Tolfree as Apatin Village Coordinator.  (German correspondence only, please)

2009 Jan 16: DVHH Mailing List ~ DONAUSCHWABEN-VILLAGES-L [DVHH], List Administrator Alex Leeb retires.  Hats off to Alex for the years of hard work maintaining our mail list and his dedication to serve our subscribers with their needs.  Alex is still with us, so we look forward to his continued comments and advice.  Thank you Alex!

2009 Jan 16: DVHH Mailing List ~ DONAUSCHWABEN-VILLAGES-L [DVHH], New List Administrators, Roy Engel and Eve Brown team up to keep our list maintained.  Thanks to both of you for assuming the roles.

2009 Jan 01: DVHH joins the affiliate program of Footnote.com, where you can view the most exciting original source documents available for the first time on the internet. When you enter their web site from a link at DVHH.org and purchase a subscription, we earn commissions. Thank you for your support.

2009 Jan 01: DVHH joins the affiliate program of NewspaperArchive.com.  Discover Your Family History In The World's Largest Newspaper Archive! They have an easy and intuitive interface and a lot of content. If you are looking for birth notices, marriage records, death notices, or any family news that might have been printed in a newspaper. When you enter their web site from a link at DVHH.org and purchase a subscription, we earn commissions. Thank you for your support.

2008 DVHH.org is quoted many times in the FEEFHS Journal Volume 16, 2008, The Swabians in Central and Southeastern Europe pg 6 by Irmgard Hein Ellingsonhttp://net.lib.byu.edu/~tke8/hist_354/Readings/vol_16.pdf

2008 Dec 23: The Editorial Committee initiated our latest addition "Destination: The Americas"

2008 Nov 12: Peter Knapp of PA, volunteers as the Village Coordinator for Kleinbetschkerek. Peter first heard of the DVHH at the 2008 Cleveland event.  Welcome aboard Peter!    

2008 Nov 1: Henry Fischer assumes the roll of DVHH Editorial Chair.

2008 Nov 30: Dennis Bauer assumes the role of Membership Drive Chair.

2008 Sep 14: New Slavonia Regional Coordinators - Robin Grube, of California, USA & Zeljko Lekšić of Dakovo, Croatia.  Welcome aboard Robin & Zeljko!

2008 Aug 29, 30, 31: The DVHH goes to Cleveland! - Celebrate in Cleveland! Landestrachtenfest mit Wettbewerb 2008

(National costume festival & competition) USA & Canada, Hosted by the Donauschwaben German-American Cultural Center, Cleveland, OH - Labor Day Weekend at Lenau Park. Beth Tolfree - DVHH Event Coordinator

2008 Aug 08: [DVHH] Announcement - DVHH Members Update by Jane E. Moore. Membership Registrar: The Donauschwaben Villages Helping Hands (DVHH.org) membership continues to grow. In eight months, 57 people have joined us, and we now have members from Austria, 3 provinces in Canada, and 19 states in the USA.  http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/DONAUSCHWABEN-VILLAGES/2008-08/1218231121

2008 Apr 25: Announcement - Donauschwaben Villages Helping Hands (DVHH) Non-Profit Corporation 2008 Board of Directors are as follows: Jody McKim (President), Michael Polsinelli (Vice President), Beth Tolfree (Secretary), John Kornfeind (Treasurer), Nick Tullius - Director, Alex Leeb - Director, Henry Fischer - Director, Hans Martini- Director, and Jane E. Moore - Director.  We’ve made some great strides in 2007 pursuing our goals for the DVHH, particularly forming a 501c3.  I especially would like to express my gratitude to Mike Polsinelli for handling our legal matters; Beth for being a great Secretary and John Kornfeind for the Treasurer position.  These jobs are VERY time consuming and each one deserves applause!   I also appreciate them continuing these positions into 2008.   We extend our appreciation to the 2007 Board for their time and involvement this past year; departing Directors are John Busch, Gabi Bugaisky & Tina Leto.  Here is to a great 2008!  Jody McKim

2008 Mar 24: Membership Update - 37 Members

2008 Jan 31: Franz Bohn of Sellersville, PA initiates the Displaced Persons Camps section at the DVHH. He and Anne Dreer of Guelph, Ontario, Canada are the new Coordinators.

2007 Nov 4: First DVHH Membership Announcement http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/donauschwaben-villages/2007-11/1194204996

2007 Oct 27: David Kemle, WA volunteers as the Village Coordinator for Mramorak

2007 Oct 26: DVHH, Inc. received its tax exemption under 501(c)(3) from the IRS

2007 Sept 1: The DVHH has a new banner.  It includes our long time DVHH poppy logo along with the beautiful new logo that Tina Leto designed for us recently, bringing to life the long time DVHH slogan, "Remembering Our Donauschwaben Ancestors."  Our new banner made it's debut at the Tag der Donauschwaben 2007, in Mansfield, OH.  The DVHH joins the Landesverband der Donauschwaben, USA, for the Tag der Donauschwaben USA & Kanada 2007! Hosted by The Mansfield Liederkranz, Mansfield Ohio 34 new DVHH mail list subscribers signed up at the event! Map Raffle Winner: Trudi Hassmann Ward of Ohio!

2007 Aug 30: Eve Brown, MI, takes the position of Regional Coordinator for Syrmia, in addition to her existing duties on the DVHH Editorial Committee.

2007 Jun 26: Start Planning - Sat. Sep. 1st & Sun. Sep. 2nd, 2007.  The DVHH will be joining the Landesverband der Donauschwaben, USA for the Tag der Donauschwaben USA & Kanada 2007! Hosted by The Mansfield Liederkranz.  We encourage everyone to be there.  Let's celebrate the Donauschwaben! More information

2007 Apr 21: The DVHH was represented at the Landesverband der Donauschwaben, USA Conference in Akron, Ohio.  DVHH members present were: Ray Martini, Tina Leto, Dennis Bauer & Hans Kopp.  Tina Leto delivered a short speech & passed out DVHH flyers.

2007 Apr 30:  DVHH Finance & Resource Development Announcement: Committee members are: Nancy Fredenberg, Chair, John Busch, John Kornfiend & Mike Polsinelli.

2007 Apr 27:  DVHH Editorial Announcement: Committee members and regions represented are: Gabriele "Gabi' Bugaisky, Ph.D, Chair (Banat), Nick Tullius, P.Eng. (Banat), Henry Fischer (Swabian Turkey), Rose Mary Keller Hughes (Special Programs) (Banat), Nancy Fredenberg (Batschka), Eve Brown (Syrmia), & Rose Vetter (Batschka)

2007 Apr 25: DVHH Public Relations & Membership Announcement: The committee members are: Tina Leto, Chair, Alex Leeb, Nancy Fredenberg, Nick Tullius, Dennis Bauer. 

2007 Mar 23: New Village Coordinator: Kevin Bootz of VA, is the new Jarek Village Coordinator

2007 Mar 22: New Village Coordinator: Hermine M. Linz for Keschinzi; Semelzi

2007 Mar 13 Announcement - Donauschwaben Villages Helping Hands (DVHH) is now a Non-Profit Corporation!
2007 Board of Directors: Directors: Jody McKim (President), John Busch (Vice President), Beth Tolfree (Secretary), Nancy Fredenberg (Treasurer), Michael Polsinelli - Director, Gabriele "Gabi" Bugaisky - Director, Nick Tullius - Director, John Kornfeind - Director, Tina Leto - Director. 

2007 May - Letter to the Family Tree Magazine editor from Beth Tolfree (click image to right)

2007 Mar 01: Announcement - Donauschwaben Villages Helping Hands (DVHH) is now a Non-Profit Corporation.

2007 Feb 26: New Village Coordinator: Village Coordinator: Josef Martin - Mutsching

2007 Feb 20: We have over 100+ pairs of helping hands listed in our Registry!

2007 Feb 07: Announcement - DVHH List Subscribers . . . From time to time we are notified by concerned list members who were contacted by Professional (Commercial) Researchers soliciting business.  Although there are some we may personally recommend, the DVHH does not endorse any business nor do we condone private solicitations made by "non-subscribing" companies. To our knowledge, there are "no" Professional Researching Companies subscribed to the DVHH mail list.  If you receive a private solicitation for such services and would like a recommendation for the solicitor, please contact the List Administrator in private.

2003 Sep 06: The DVHH Mail List commenced.

2003 Oct 27: The dvhh.org domain was obtained.

2003 Jan 15: The DVHH project officially went online.

Original DVHH Banner by Mike O'Brien


Last Updated: 09 Aug 2020

Last Updated: 10 Aug 2020

DVHH.org ©2003 Donauschwaben Villages Helping Hands, a Nonprofit Corporation.
Webmaster: Jody McKim Pharr
Keeping the Danube Swabian legacy alive!