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12-1 April 2007


Our first web page was hosted by FEEFHS (Federation of East European Family History Societies) until the webmaster left and set up an alternate site in 2001. We moved with him to his new site, CEFHA. However, he has been unresponsive for more than two years. As a result, both sites are badly out of date. Steve Herold at has offered to help us get up and running again. I hope to have a new site available this spring. It will have all the best content from the previous two sites, plus updated newsletters, plus additional new content, including Shirley Gibbard’s extractions from St. Mary’s Church in Regina, SK.

The researcher list will be password protected to help ensure your privacy. We can also password protect the other information, if desired. This raises a question of philosophy. Our practice in the past has always been to allow unrestricted access to our info to attract new contacts and encourage them to get involved and share their information with the rest of us. This sometimes works, but, often people freeload off the members who pay and contribute data, without ever paying or contributing any data themselves. Is it time to restrict access to our pages? Is there any point after they have been in the public domain for so long? Should we restrict just new pages? If we do restrict any pages, what should allow access? Is it enough to register on the researcher list? Should you have to contribute some data? Should you have to be a paying member? What are your thoughts?


Herr Georg Kurzhals passed away in Pforzheim, Germany on March 18, 2007. It was a very sad day for all of us who remain interested in our ancestral home, and especially for those of us who were lucky enough to meet him in person last summer. In the early days of our group, Herr Kurzhals was very helpful with encouragement, cash, and physical assets. He retained his strong sentimental attachment to his home, despite having everything he knew taken from him 60 years ago. If I remember correctly, he never saw his home again.


I am considering another tour to the Banat for May/June, 2008. I plan to follow a similar itinerary to our 2006 tour, but with more time in the Banat and less in the rest of Europe. I plan to include the museum at Sindelfingen and the festival at Ulm though. (You can review the last trip at However, all of this is up for debate. If those who want to go prefer different options, I will respond accordingly.

On the pervious tour we spent three weeks and traveled by bus from Frankfurt to Banat and back. We briefly visited several villages besides Zichydorf.

Another option would be to skip western Europe entirely, fly to somewhere like Budapest or Belgrade, and take a bus from there. With this option, we could shorten the trip to two weeks. However, it may be a little more difficult to secure a reputable bus company in this part of the world.

If you are interested, let me know ASAP and I will put together a separate mailing list and keep you informed as things develop. Plan to spend airfare plus about $3,000 CAD or $2,500 USD for ground transportation, food, and lodging, for a three week trip and proportionately less for two weeks. Due to unforeseen events, the last trip only came together late with several people undecided until the last minute. For this next one, I intend to have much more lead time with a substantial deposit well in advance so that I can plan around those who are really coming.


People often ask me if it is possible to contact their relatives in Plandiste. I generally tell them a discouraging story. Firstly, it is rare to find people of German ancestry there today. Secondly, email is not that common there and it is hard to track down street addresses or telephone numbers. And, thirdly, few people can speak or correspond in English. But one of our members, Barbara Anne Daniels, recently hit the jackpot.

Barb was researching the Helmut Kaiser CD Zichydorf im Banat 1789-1945. Her grandmother Anna Piller Bavle had three sisters. One of the sisters Anna Piller (Ami) was married to a Franz Reiter. They had four children Nikolaus , Maria, Franz-Johann and Heinrich. She learned that Nikolaus was married to Anna Armbruster and they had two children, both born in Georghausen, Elisabeth and Anna-Theresia. She knew that Ray Borschowa was working on translating the Georghausen book so she emailed him and asked if he had run into Elisabeth and Anna Theresia’s names. He replied that Elisabeth, born 1935, and Anna Theresia, married name Nedelko, born 1940, both lived in Georghausen as of 1991.

She next asked how she could follow this up on the ground in Serbia. Ray & I suggested that she contact Stasa Cvetkovic. Stasa could not find the surname Nedelko in the phone directory so he called City Hall in Georghausen and explained why he was looking for Anna Theresia Nedelko. The lady he spoke with said “there is no one with that surname but my mother’s name is Anna Theresia and my father’s name is Nedelko. My mother is of German heritage.” She went home, spoke with her mother, and called Stasa. The next day, Stasa emailed that Dubravka (the daughter) had called him and confirmed that she was Barb’s second cousin and was as excited to learn about Barb as Barb was to learn about her.

The going has been slow as Barb does not speak or write German or Serbian so they are going through Stasa. She can’t believe how ironic it was that the lady working for City Hall would be her cousin. Barb sent her many pictures of their two grandmothers. Elisabeth, the aunt, remembers her first pair of eyeglasses coming from an aunt in America, Barb’s grandmother.

I guess it can be done if you follow the clues and put in the required effort! And it helps if you have a helper like Stasa who has access to local information and can work as a go-between.


From the Banat to North Dakota By Dave Dreyer and Josette Hatter does not have a direct connection to Zichydorf, but it tells the stories of people from the same area who came to North Dakota as pioneers. It is not a history book, but a compilation of first person accounts by the actual pioneers about their life in the old country, their journey to North Dakota, and their struggles to begin anew on the North American plains. I am sure their experiences closely parallel those of our Zichydorf ancestors. It has not yet arrived in the library, but should be in very soon.

Remember To Tell the Children: The Pioneers is the first book in a trilogy of historical fiction by Henry A. Fischer, of Oshawa, Ontario. Inspired by a promise he made to his mother to “remember to tell the children,” Mr. Fischer first wrote Children of the Danube, the story of the migration to the Banat by his ancestors. The sequel to tell the rest of their story evolved into this new trilogy. Instead of authoring a dry historical document, he brings the story to life by weaving political history together with family history and family stories to create characters. Although it is history, it reads like a novel. And, although it takes place in Hungary, north and west of the Banat, I am sure that the experiences would be similar. For those who are not keen on historical research, this book should be a painless way to understand what life was like for their pioneering ancestors 250 years ago by a historian who tells a good story.

I have to admit that other responsibilities did not allow me the time to read the whole book, but I did read the first couple of chapters to get a feel for it and I came to the conclusion that it looked like a good read. As an aside, Mr. Fischer is also working on a translation of the Georghausen Heimatbuch that should be available soon.


-Translated AKdFF newsletters 115-121. Issue 116 in particular has info on some Zichydorf families.

-Remember to Tell the Children – reviewed above.

-The Fertich Family of Canada by Jade Fertich.

-From the Banat to North Dakota – on order – should be in soon – reviewed above.

-Setschan Familienbuch – on order – should be in soon.

– I received a tip that the December ’06 issue of Family Tree Magazine has an 8 page article about ethnic Germans from outside of Germany’s borders, including the Donauschwaben. I am on the waiting list to have a look.


The Federation of East European Family History Societies is holding its annual convention July 12-14, 2007 in Salt Lake City, Utah. You may recall that FEEFHS was the original host of our web site and held their convention in Regina in 2002. For further information, check their web site at


All volumes of Stader’s Sammelwerk which were out of print have now been reprinted and are available from the AKdFF. It is expected that the next issue of the series, starting after Scha will be available in 2007, a delay from the previous estimate of 2006.


There is a ceremony on April 5, 2007 to launch this publication online. I did not see an advertised URL, but I suspect that it will use the current advertising URL at At least there should be a link from there. You may recall that we were able to get Zichydorf into this book in an article on “Danube Swabians.” You might also find info on some of the Saskatchewan small towns where your ancestors lived.

ON THE WEB – used and out of print books – family site including Bavle, Kaufmann, Kaip – home page for Georghausen, Alt Letz, and Setschanfeld – new Saskatchewan Archives site focused on settlement – microfilms at the Pancevo archives – Latin-English dictionary from Sorin Fortiu – Donauschwaben helping hands – Haus der Donauschwaben – Hungarian genealogy – Fertich family site – Hochban family site – which one of these

Http:// – Internet Genealogy magazine – search for books by title, author, subject, etc. – sends you an email alert whenever the keyword you enter has a new Google entry – town names in German, Hungarian, Romanian, and Serbian


I know that it is already 2007, but this project will get done eventually. Please continue your work of writing your family’s story and contact Glenn to coordinate your efforts. Submit your ideas for a book title and win a FREE BOOK! Please submit your old family traditional recipes to Tim Novak, 2903 Quinn Drive, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, S4P 2W2, Phone: 306-522-2558, E-mail:


Please add the following to the list:

Knibbs, Loretta, Box 149, Stoughton, SK, S0G 4T0, Phone: 306-457-2498, Email:, Searching: Bavle, Boverley, La Bav, PavBavle, Tyson, 420 Vaughan St., Moose Jaw, SK, S6H 5N2, Phone: 306-693-7870, Email:, Searching: Bavle, Kaufmann, Kaip. See his web site below.


For anyone new to our group or who has somehow missed hearing about it, we have the Zichydorf church books from 1787 to the 1950s on 3CDs for $30 per set. Order from the address at the end of this letter. I have also obtained the records for the town of Kudritz, about 20 miles east of Zichydorf. If anyone else has an interest in this town and would like to share the costs please contact me.

I am compiling a list of errors and omissions on the CDs that I will post on the web. Please report any anomalies that you discover to me so that I may include them.


Paid for 2007: J. Molter, B. Fritz, S. Weishuhn, B. Anwender, M. Kainer, J. Lang, G. Schwartz, A. Roeslein, .E. Mildenberger, E. Flichel, C. Noll, A. Neison, K. Hohban, P. Engler, J. Busch, A. Ritter, J. McNeil, D. Giroux, R. Borschowa, S. Schultz, D. O’Shaughnessy, S. Gibbard, C. Ortman, T. Novak, J. Shenher,J. Stoeber, K. Niedermayer, F. Fornstauder, N. Stettner, B. Daniels, S. Erdman.


Regina Branch will meet at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 6, at Access Communications, 2250 Park St. (north door by the ball diamonds). Mark your calendar and bring some Zichydorf friends.

Zichydorf Village Association News

edited by: Glenn Schwartz

2274 Baldwin Bay, Regina, SK, S4V 1H2