Kleinjetscha in Banat


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Village History: based on the 2001 Kleinjetscha family book by Dietmar Giel unless otherwise noted.



  Kleinjetscha is located in the 11,000-square-mile area called the Banat.  When Kleinjetscha was founded, the Banat was part of the Habsburg Empire.  The area has changed hands two times since.  More recently, in 1920, the two-thirds of the Banat that includes Kleinjetscha became part of Romania.
before 1860   Part of the Habsburg Empire
1860-1920   Part of Hungary
since 1920   Part of Romania
1769   Settlement by German-speaking people was planned, and the village took the name Kleinjetscha.  The first colonists began arriving from Lorraine, Alsace, Luxembourg, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Austria.

The town was laid out in eight blocks, separated by streets lined with acacia trees.  Two main roads intersected Kleinjetscha: one connected Gertianosch in the south with Billed in the north; the other connected Großjetscha in the northwest with Beregsau in the southeast.

The church, school, and tavern were to be located in the center of the village; the mills on the outskirts; and the raised
cemetery—planted with chestnut, pine, and fir trees—at the edge of the village on either side of the road to Billed.  Grapes, wheat, corn, rye, oats, barley, sugar beets, and hemp were to be planted in the surrounding fields.


 Map after Giel 2001
(click map to enlarge)


1770 Johann Biero, the first village teacher, arrived from Luxembourg and began instructing the children in reading and writing.
Farmers   76
Professionals   17
Married Women   90
Widowed Women    6
Sons   97
Daughters   87
Others   4
TOTAL   377
 By the second year of the settlement, 99 houses had been built, and there were 377 inhabitants.  

 Table after Giel 2001


The first priest, Peter Graff from Oberweißenbach in Rhineland-Palatinate, established a Roman Catholic parish in Kleinjetscha and, from his own funds, constructed the school and chapel building.

1813   The Roman Catholic Church was dedicated on April 24, a magnificent baroque structure with a high-vaulted nave and pointed steeple serving as a bell and clock tower.  On the interior were a main alter and two side alters, a stone slab floor, heavy wooden benches, and a spiral staircase leading to the choir and tower.
Expansions &
1831   Thirty-three new homes were built to accommodate additional German settlers. 
1840   A new, larger school was built.
1957-1959   Seventy-five new homes were built along the road to Gertianosch to house the post-World War II influx of Romanian colonists.
1964   Eight classrooms were added to the school.
1978   The roads to Gertianosch, Billed, and Großjetscha were paved.
1811     Fire    37 homes, the chapel, and the inn destroyed
1823     Hail Storm    most crops destroyed
1831   Cholera Epidemic    76 people died
1863   Drought    wells dried up; crops and trees damaged
1865   Fire    80 homes and the church steeple destroyed
1866   Cholera Epidemic    24 people died
1870-1880   Malaria Outbreaks    most households suffered
1914-1918   World War I    35 died in military service
1943-1945   World War II    32 died in military service; 3 others also died
1945-1948   USSR Deportation    127 men and women deported on January 18, 1945, to Soviet labor camps; 27 died in the USSR
1951-1956   Baragan Deportation    145 men, women, and children deported on June 18, 1951, to the Baragan-Steppe in eastern Romania; 8 died there
Poplulation   In spite of the high mortality rate, the village population grew steadily from the 377 inhabitants of 1771.  Between 1830 and 1890, over 5300 children were born.  Kleinjetscha remained almost exclusively a German community until after World War II.  Today, it is a community of mostly Romanian people; few if any ethnic Germans remain.


German Romanian Hungarian Other


1742 16 9 3
1531 1506 6 18 1
1131 1095 18 8 10
1076 1012 25 30 9
1241 543 661 6 31
1213 383 783 11 36
1113 20 1018 37 38
1154 7 1055 38 54

Table after Romanian Wikipedia Iecea Mică entry


See also the English translation of  Father Zenz's presentation at the 200th anniversary celebration
of the founding of Kleinjetscha
contributed by Kathy Plourde

(click above image to go to
the complete translation)


The Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Kleinjetscha
1769 – 1969
By Pfarrer Adam Zenz
October 25, 1969
Translation by Kathy Plourde with the assistance of Matt Potje and Alfred Schmidt

 . . . Drop by drop, time goes by in the sea of eternity.

As if in a mirror, I see five to six generations back in the past of the community and as if in an echo, I hear the voices of the stately ranks of these generations, who since the time of settlement stayed and left, how they spoke and what they suffered.

It was the year 1769, that is two hundred times that spring has come over the fields and meadows of this community with all its splendor of flowers and birdsong, the joy and awakening of life.

Two hundred times, it has become summer since the first wheat sheaves were brought in and two hundred times that the blessings of the autumn harvest were stored safely in attics and cupboards, in cellars and in sheds. Since then, however, the cold winter has peacefully blanketed the work-weary departed of your family in the cemetery with its white wings.  . . .



  Giel, Dietmar (2001).  Familienbuch der katholischen Pfarrgemeinde Kleinjetscha im Banat: 1772-2000. Friedrichsdorf: Zentralstelle für Personen- und Familiengeschichte.

© 2004-2019 Jane Ehardt Moore, unless otherwise noted
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Last updated: March 06, 2019