A Remembrance of the Past; Building for the Future." ~ Eve Eckert Koehler

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

The Hungarians of Feketitsch

by Dr. Viktor Pratscher, 1936
Translated by Brad Schwebler

     In the year 1885 the political community and the Hungarian reformed church community celebrated the 100 year jubilee of their establishment.  At this opportunity wrote at the time teacher Bakai that during the rule "of the gloriously remembered" Josef II, the settlement of the Hungarians in our Comitate was especially busy. 

     From the communities of Kunhegyes and Tissa-Bura the destitute Hungarians of the Puszta-Feketity settled here.  Part of the Pradien, Kisch-Dobra, and Parastinac would be granted to the Hotter.  Later the Pusta Velity came with it.  (Pradien, like the Pusta, were meadowlands with grass that would not be farmed.)

   The petition for the purpose of the movement of the Hungarians from Kunhegyes can be found in the National Archives in Budapest under number 3592/85.  They asked for the favors which the other colonists also received.  They wanted this to last.  "The Kun-Hegyescher passengers of the caal (Kameral-aerarisch) to the Pradium Feketity (Feketity Plains) moved with the payment of 18 Rhine Guilders for the building of a house, the necessary tools, the contributions, and fees for three years and what could be used towards their meals for three years, stretched out as a lasting substitute.  1785 on the 16th of March."  signed by Comite Brunsvik, Revay, Kempelen, Bacsak, Havor, and Settner.

   Under number 4062/85 the settlement of 250 families from Kun-Hegyes would be allowed on the Pradium Feketity in the (Batschker caal Bezirk).  The colonists were assured under number 3592/85 praying and promised favors were kept.  Under number 13,071/85 there were 198 families registered from Tissa-Bura, Tissaders, Tissakalok, and Tissaabad.

   They asked in addition that if they were to move to the Pusta-Kula could they be granted the favor to be completely tax-free for the next five to six years.  From the written report this was usual and should be done.  "Emperor Josef personally wrote on the petition, " I am pleased to take the time to announce the success of the bureau. Josef  e.h."

   It is well known also that the Feketitsch colonists came from the last named village, that is probably why it was not full of Kun-Hegyesher families.

   It was therefore a planned settlement of 250 families, exactly as many as the German villages.  Each family received 18 Rhine Guilders, three to six years burden free (they demanded no more!), as an interest-free loan, enough grain for bread and seeds, and a house and barnyard with the usual dimensions of farmland.  The Hungarian reformed church community demonstrated and all of the inhabitants were in a state of unrest for a year because they believed that they should have been settled in the favorable Pusta: Fekete-to (Pester Comitat, near Kecskemet).  Bakai wrote that this name could be found in the settlement document but would be crossed out.  It was probably from Feketity Fekete-Hegy from which the settlers had something called 'Fekete' at the time.  Many settlers were not satisfied with that, feeling betrayed they migrated back.  As it came the transcript provided the church community with information.  In the first year after the settlement a commissar came, examining the application of the farmlands and it was apparent that many hardly knew where there fields lay.  The commissar moaned about this and called them vagabonds.  This made the noblemen indignant, offending their honor.  At noon they penetrated into the room of the community cashbox and took the cashbox with them.  They never came again.

     It is noteworthy to establish that Kun-Hegyes was not the only place not to succeed in recruiting enough families as was planned.  It would take another five, though smaller communities to achieve the needed number of 250 families.  For the reasons indicated the Hungarians generally would not come here.  Finally it seemed probable that for the above reasons the gaps which originated with the Hungarians would be filled, with the pull of the nobility, with Slovakians.

   These evangelical Slovakians merged with the Hungarians and until 1820 they also went to the reformed church.  The many non-Hungarian sounding family names are from these evangelical Slovakians who stayed behind.  Their number can be estimated to be several hundred today.  The virtue of their Slovakian blood is certainly well received by the Hungarians.

   The large and beautiful Hungarian reformed church was built from 1800 to 1802 with a belltower on it, which was similar to the one that can be seen on the German reformed church today.

   "Until 1820 the political community and the church community were one in administration and finances."  Then came the Germans in ever greater numbers.  Bakai also said, "The diligence of the Germans did not exist without the influence of the Hungarians."  They slowly began to rival the Swabians.  Today, though, the surrounding area belongs to the progressive Hungarians.

   In 1868 the church was renovated and a 38 meter higher tower was built.  The tower clock was purchased by the political community and again the Swabians did the work.

   In the year 1935 there were 3104 souls in the Hungarian reformed church community. In the year 1925 it was still 3823.

1.) 1935 Protestant calendar.

Note: Original includes a name registry.

[Published at 2003 by Jody McKim Pharr]

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Webmaster: Jody McKim Pharr
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