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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 

     Much more important were the settlements taking place in the Banat during the decade of 1763-17731. At the Banat Country Administration, headed by Count Perlas, those responsible for the settlement business were especially Administrationsrath Hildebrand, then Knoll, the administrator of the Temesvár District; Laff, Controller of Csanád; and Von Neumann, official with the Transylvanian Salt Depot in Lippa.

     Following the earlier-mentioned Imperial patent of 17 February 1763, each family arriving with  settlement passports received a house and land; in addition, they received the necessary draught animals, household and field tools and implements, together with fodder and grain for one year, or the necessary cash advances, which they had to pay off after three years in small installments.

     On 17 April 1763 Count Perlas submitted a document of identification of Catholics in the four districts of the Banat, according to which there were 32,981 Catholics (including in the city of Temesvár). Under his presidency (since 1752) up to 299 German families were settled; he proposed however an increase of Germans, especially because at that time no German families had been settled in the districts of Karansebes, Orsova and Becskerek.

     This explains why ever-increasing numbers of colonists were arriving in Vienna and receiving their passports and instructions for the Banat. The Viennese city municipal authorities handed each settler three guldens for the journey to Ofen, from the Main Municipal Bank of the city, on account of the Cameral Payment Office in Temesvár; in Ofen they received another three guldens to continue to the Banat. Later on, the colonists traveling to the Banat received the entire fare of six guldens directly in Vienna.

     From April to the end of 1763, about 1000 colonists arrived; in the following year, between 1000 and 2000 arrived; in May arrived numerous parties of released military and colonists from the Hauenstein region, from the Trier region, and from Lorraine. With such an auspicious beginning, an imperial order dated 16 June demanded the continuation of the "German Settlement" to the extent possible, with preference over the retention of the Prädien (pasture land properties).

     Some of the existing localities were extended and their land holdings increased, and some new localities were created. Thus the locality of Gutenbrunn received the Prädium Gutwill for further settlement, and since many settlers arrived in the year 1764, the village of Gutenbrunn could be completed with 164 houses. In the same year, Knoll increased the number of houses in the existing German villages of St. Peter, Bruckenau, Gyarmata, Freidorf and Rékas, the latter place having been previously inhabited by Catholic Serbs. The new houses were allocated to the German arrivals. Knoll also moved a number of Germans to Mercydorf (which had been initially settled by Italians). In the year 1766 he built Billiet with 254 houses.

     In the years 1764 and 1765 Laff expanded the localities of Csanád, Perjamos and St. Miklós with Germans, in a similar fashion. In the year 1765 Hildebrand built Szakelház with 300 houses, Hatzfeld with 405 houses (mostly for families from Lorraine), Gross-Jécsa with 204 houses, and Csadát with 204 houses.

     In 1764 Neumann moved 84 families (mostly German craftsmen) to Lippa and completed Gutenbrunn with 142 houses. In 1765 he built Neudorf with 150 houses and in 1766 he built Schöndorf with 200 and Engelsbrunn with 106 dwellings, and increased Neu-Arad by 82 houses occupied by as many German families.

     The swamps near Versets, drained as a result of the Imperial resolution of 20 February 1763, were occupied by Germans, and trees were planted on parts of the adjacent sandy hills.

     Among the German settlers of these years (1764 to 1766) were also people who brought cash in amounts of 100 fl with them. In the markgravian Baden, the high official Von Hauer led the recruitment of the people from Kirchberg with much zeal. Many volunteered, because they had found out that the settlers were doing quite well in Hungary. The priest Plenkner of the catholic village of Syen in markgravian2 Baden-Baden collected disciplined and moneyed settlers, and in June 1766 moved to Hungary himself with 200 such families. The colonists had already petitioned the imperial authorities for their place to be allowed to bear the name "Landestreu" (faithful to the country), and had received the highest permission on 15 December 1765. A number of moneyed families immigrated from Chur Cöln. In order to attract still more such families, an imperial regulation declared that every family from Chur Cöln that could prove a possession of 100 fl. would receive 1 fl., and every family that could prove a possession of 200 fl. would receive 2 fl., in addition to all the other advantages.  Moneyed families from the remaining parts of the Reich, particularly from Lorraine, Breisgau, Franken3 (Wuerzburg and Bamberg) joined the colonists.

1) We are following here the main work about the Banat, Griselini's History of the Temesvárer Banat etc. However, many additions and partial corrections from the F. M. Documents Nr. 36 and 38 have been added.

2) Baden was a Markgrafschaft, which is a county owned and run by a Markgraf (a type of count).

3) Among the colonists from Franken there were some who even brought with them cash amounts of 300 fl.

[Published at DVHH.org 16 Jan 2009 by Jody McKim Pharr]

 Last Updated: 19 Sep 2017


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