in the Batschka


Szeghegy (Sekitsch)
in the first century of its existence.

 written by
Johan Jauß /

© Szeghegy book 
Translated by Brad Schwebler

I would like to give special thanks to Marie Jenner for providing pages of the following book to me for translation...Brad.

(All translation rights reserved) *Kula, 1886
Printed by Verkovits Mark.  *(Kula is another Donauschwaben village  in the Batschka region.)
*(Sorry, I can’t make out what it says under that.)

click image to enlarge

Emperor Josef II signing the Settlement Patent*

Go my book, into each house
Stand out what you know
One tears you, one calls you.
Only leave me in peace.
- the author

Table of Contents - Index:  


1.  Origin of the Settlement  1
2.   Emperor Josef II  5
3.  Origin of the Migration 14
“    Settlement Patent   17
4.  Journey of the Emigrators  19
5.   What the Settler Received   23
“   Division of the Szeghegy Hotters (fields) 26
“    Wells, Mills, and Hemp Grinding  27
“    Equipping Churches, Schools, etc.  28
“     Homeowners of the Year 1795  32
6.   Bacs-Bodrog Komitat (Hungarian county) 41
 Census from the Year 1881  59
“   The Bacska (Batschka) in the Year 1881 64
“    The Germans  68
7.    Cultivation of the Land 71
 Rights of the Landlord  75
“    Care of the Subjects   77
 Segregation   86
“   Zehend (Tithe?)   92
“    Robott (work?)  96
“   Noblemen  105
8.    Protestant Church in Hungary  108
“    Batschka Syrmia Seniorat 121
“   Tolerance Act   127
9.  Money, Weights and Measures 131
10  Guild and Commerce  136
“   Guild Chairman 141
11.   Military                                                                   144
12  Bosnia                                                            165
“   Battle for Freedom 1848 167
“    Szeghegy National Guard                                 171
“    Szeghegy Honved (military unit)  177
“    Slaughter near Szeghegy on the 14th of July 1849 182
“   Brotherly betrayal of the Szeghegy 190
13  Church and Pastor 201
“   Wealth of the Church 210
“   Pastors  214
“    Church fathers 217
 Church Treasury 218 
“   Church Council, Bell ringer  223
14.   Schools and Teachers 223
“   Teachers  226
“   Students  229
15.   Szeghegy itself, Names, Hotter (fields)  231
“     Streets 233
“    Roads, Bridges, and Wells  236
“     Culture 238
“   Harvester, Wine cultivation 241
“   Livestock breeding, Trade  232
“   Commerce, Kommassation? 242
“    Lands belonging to the ruler   250
“   Register 251
“   Register of Property  253
“   Administration and Jurisdiction  254
“   Notaries   255
“    Doctors, Veterinarians, Midwives  257
“    Pharmacy  258
“   Chief Magistrate 262
“   The Law  269
“    Small Court Judge, Orphan Register  271
“   Charity, Funds, Insurance service  274
“   Ordnances and Vorspann? (relays)  278
“     Community Treasury 279
“   Currency 282
“    Report / Registration  284
 Wedding suit  289
“   Customs, Weddings  291
“    Children’s baptisms, Funeral Meal   294
“    Language, Music  295
“    Population 296
“   Nazarenes 299
“   Fire Damage  300
“   Ownership  302
“   Scarcity of Crops and Rise in Prices 306
“   Epidemics, Cattle plague 307
“   Brick firing  308
“   Inns and Butcher’s Stall  309
“   Prices  310
“   Associations, Seal  312
“   Results of the Register  315
“    Population Census 326
16.   This Book Itself  396


Chapter 1

The Reason & Purpose of the Settlement

     Anyone who has even a little knowledge of the history of our Hungarian fatherland knows that especially through the many centuries of persistent invasions, wild Asiatic herds, but especially through the Turkish wars and their devastation, our beloved fatherland, which was devastated and depopulated so that after the withdrawal of the Turks, especially in lower Hungary and especially in the region which today forms the Bács-Bodrog Komitat (county), was a desert in the true sense of the word and a traveler could roam for days in this desolate, devastated, and unpopulated region, where now the most beautiful and thriving villages and cities exist, without meeting a human being.  All bridges, roads, and footbridges were destroyed and dilapidated.  Thistles, thorns, and weeds covered the ground which has grown to be the “Brodfruchte” (bread basket) for millions of people today.  Everywhere there was destruction, devastation, ruin, and dilapidation.  But diligent and active hands tidied up and cleared away the rubble and ruins with which these thistles and thorns clogged, destroyed, and dilapidated bridges, roads, and foot bridges.  They whole region lay there depopulated and ownerless, which belonged only to the state – property which nobody received except the state for holy use or revenue.  Then there was nobody there would could have paid anything.

   For a rough picture of what our region looked still looked like two hundred years ago, one thinks of a passageway from Neusatz to Szabadka,  Neusatz was a poor wretched Serbian fishing village.  One the road from Neusatz to Szabadka, one met only the destroyed and dilapidated clay huts of St. Tamás, then again everything was “deserted and empty” until Szabadka.  Szabadka was itself a large, but destroyed Serbian settlement, in which some strewn huts stood, whose inhabitants’ sheep, goats, cattle, and horses grazed on the immense, ownerless meadowlands.  All of the former existing, mostly Serbian villages and settlements, such as Alt-Werbaß, Kula, O-Becse, Zenta, etc. lay in rubble and ash, only here and there individual roaming shepherds lived.  All of lower Hungary was sufficiently distinguished by it that in the last Turkish war the imperial army always had to move along the Danube or Theiß Rivers because all of their life’s needs had to be guided down these rivers to the interior of the Batschka for the horse and rider there was nothing more to give.

    That is, in this sad situation a main concern of the government and the regent was to populate this depopulated region as soon as  the Turks were completely and forever driven out of our fatherland and joy, peace, and order were established and to help bring and end to this evil as far as possible and live and move again in this rich corridor blessed by God.  At first those villages and places where at least individual dispersed inhabitants were met such as St. Tamás, Alt Werbaß, and towns or the neighborhood of the Theiß and Danube Rivers were populated mostly with the returning Serbs who had fled from the Turks.

   As soon as a little life was breathed into these villages, the old villages’ Hotters could no longer be completely cultivated to be enlarged.  So the population slowly and steadily moved through to the unpopulated Batschka in the ‘40’s of the past century.  First under the Empress Maria-Theresia colonies and settlements were begun in lower Hungary right in the corridor.  It is also known that the upper regions of our fatherland were never as poor or depopulated as lower Hungary at this time.  Maria-Theresia was very convinced that Hungary alone, the depopulated lower Hungary, could be populated, not as quickly as wished, which is why the German migrants from overpopulated Germany settled in Hungary, which is in the Banat and the Batschka and because of these settlers the partly old, already existing villages expanded, such as Kula, Veprovácz, etc., and some of the villages were completely newly established such as Filipowa, Hodságh, etc.  All of the pure Catholic German villages of the Banat and the Batschka came into being under Maria-Theresia and Emperor Josef the II from the year 1740 to 1787, compared to all of the pure German and Protestant villages of the Banat and the Batschka for which Emperor Josef the II can be thanked for their existence from the year 1783 to 1787.  Then the arch-Catholic, over-pious Jesuit led Maria-Theresia was on guard against bringing the “Ketzer”, that is the Protestants, into the land, against the enlightened, tolerant people’s friend, Josef the II to whom all people were the same and he made no difference between “Catholic” and “Protestant” in his settlements aimed at the completely right conviction that a Protestant is just as diligent and faithful a subject as a Catholic.

   However it must also be mentioned that during the settlement work of Maria-Theresia and Josef the II the Germans from the upper regions eagerly moved to the settlements in Hungary with other nationalities.  The founding, enlarging, or populating of the Hungarian villages happened at this time.  However all of these settlements appear in one other chapter in detail, “The History of the Batschka”.  Here are only the nine settlements planned by Emperor Josef II which were settled in the following order: in the year 1784 Torscha (Torschau), in 1785 Cservenka (Tscherwenka) and Neu-Werbaß, in 1786 Kistér, Bulkes, Neu-Sziwatz, Neu-Schowe, and Szeghegy (Sekitsch), and in 1787 Jarek.  These shining stars of our imperial house quite quickly populated the depopulated Hungary and they did not mistrust that he was conspicuously favorable to the Germans with his settlements.  The first settlers, especially where the old villages were only built on, they only receive a field and a yard.  Under such favorable conditions Emperor Josef II managed the settlements and what the settlers received will be detailed in a special chapter.  The whole legal relationship under which all settlements were carried out under the title “Urbarium” will be explained in detail.


Chapter 6

History of the Bács-Bodrogh Komitat

     Exact news from the gray antiquity about our Komitat (county) naturally do not exist, only so much has been told to us about world history, also here in our Komitat as in the remaining Hungary – in the gray past, where  the nomads and war hordes of the Celts, Romans, Jazygen, Quaden, Goths, Huns, Vandals, Heruter, Longebarben, Avaren, and Slavs romped.  All of these people, or at least most of them, seldom had places of residence, but moved in there on their robbery sprees where there was something to rob.  One of the oldest known historical facts is that with the arrival of the Magyars or Hungarians in the 9th century in this land, the Batschka, was inherited by Romanian Slavs, whose King Zalán had his seat in Titel. – The first Hungarian Christian king, Stefan the Holy, divided our fatherland into Komitats around the year 1000.  With this opportunity the land was named, but only informally.  The land to the right of the Franzen Canal up to the Danube was called Bács Komitat and the land to the left of the Franzen Canal up to the Theiß was called Bodregh Komitat.  However the borders of these two Komitats so often shifted and changed that today it is impossible to determine one exact border between these two Komitats and in addition to draw from the different times, all the more relating to the writings for here, part already in the past, part in the Turkish times, are lost.  However so much stands historically firm that the region around Szeghegy was already also divided to the Csongrad Komitat. – Individual village names, as they happened to appear in old documents are completely unknown today.  Then again, for others only farmland is found, but it has always been proven that there were formerly villages there – because they also only consisted of earth and thatch huts.  So for example Kutas, Schowrony, and Béla, where today there are no villages, but part of St. Tamas’ Hotter (meadow) was found.




Sekitsch Coordinator

Brad Schwebler

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Last Updated September 09, 2008