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14-1 April 2009


It has been a long time coming, but we finally have the new web site we have long desired! It is still a work in progress with much fine tuning and many additions (especially pictures) still to come, but at least we have something. You can trace the history of our site through previous newsletters, but, to summarize, it has been about five years since we have had an effective and up to date site.

For the past two years, I have been working toward this goal with Steve Herold. Steve volunteered his time and expertise and his server. However, Steve went through a serious car accident, a mugging, a health scare, developments in his personal life, and a demanding new consulting contract. As much as he wanted to complete this project, in the end we decided that he just did not have the time and we had to find another solution. Thanks to Mike O’Brien for offering his server at minimal cost and introducing me to the fairly user-friendly Joomla! Web development software. A huge “Thank you,” Mike, for your guidance over the last six weeks. We borrowed some of Steve’s ideas for the general look of the site, so, thanks again Steve. One small downside is that we will have to accept a fairly unobtrusive advertising sidebar.

As discussed in previous letters, the site has three levels of access. The Public level gives some basic information about Zichydorf and surrounding villages and gives some surname lists so new viewers can determine whether they have some interest in the site. The Registered level gives access to more resources, particularly the user list, which displays username and research interests and allows email contact without exposing your name or email address to casual viewers. The Member level allows access to still more resources, including several extraction databases and a picture gallery (still to be populated).

When you register, you will also automatically be subscribed to an email Listserver. If you are unfamiliar with this term, it allows a member to pose a question to the entire group. I know that some people do not like much email traffic in their inboxes, but I expect that, once the novelty wears off, this will be a fairly low traffic site that will still offer excellent utility when searching for information. Please give it a couple of weeks for any initial enthusiasm to calm down. If you absolutely do not want to belong to the list, you can follow the directions on the site to subscribe to the digest version or unsubscribe entirely.

Please visit the site and register to check it out. I will check at least daily for members and upgrade paid members to member status, giving you full access to the site. Try not to all log on at once for long periods though to avoid crashing the site by overloading it. And, although I have been over the site several times, I am sure that there are some errors and broken links that got by me. Please let me know if you find anything that needs fixing (except that old newsletters will undoubtedly have broken links that I will leave as they were originally reported). I hope you all enjoy our new site!


Many of you will be receiving this newsletter for the first or second time. I obtained many of your addresses through the distribution of Ray Borschowa’s Georgshausen history book translation. Although our group is named after the town of Zichydorf, we have learned through the years that there were very close ties between Zichydorf, Georgshausen, and Setschanfeld and we welcome members from the other two towns. Most of our resources are applicable to all three towns. I hope that you enjoy our newsletter and that you will consider joining our group, which is dedicated to discovering and preserving the history of our towns and families. Annual dues are $10, plus we ask that you contribute an extra $25 to our library fund in the first year only (Total $35 for year one).

We issue our newsletter in April and September and, sometimes, during the winter if we have something to report. I will keep you on the mailing list for two or three newsletters unless you ask to be removed. At that time, if you have not shown any interest, I will drop you from the list. If you receive this by regular mail, please email me so I can obtain your email address for quicker communication and reduced expenses.

Once again, welcome to the gang and I hope that you will join us as members.


People have overwhelmingly told us that they are willing to pay dues, but they forget. Here is a reminder to pay your 2009 dues of $10 if you have not already done so. You may also pre-pay dues for future years at any time. If you think you have paid, but do not see your name, please drop me a line and I will check it out.

Paid for 2009: B. Fritz, E. Mildenberger, E. Flichel, K. Hohban, J. Busch, M. Borkan, E. Hugel, T. Dash, T. Franks, J. Mayer, J. Schwartz, M. Dormuth, H. Kaiser, J. Frass, B. Daniels, J. Molyneaux, S. Gibbard, A. Fulford, J. Miller, J. Molter, S. Weishuhn, N. Stettner, L. Klewinowski, J. Lang, J. Stoeber, T. Schmidt, P. Novak, M. Hueser, F. Dornstauder, A. Roeslein, G. Schwartz, B. Harle, J. Devine, K. Niedermayer, C. Ortman, J. Hayhurst, W. Lix, C. Wilson, D. Miller, E. Henheffer, S. Kragh, S. Pringle, R. Borschowa, J. McNeil, G. Wagner, J. Keller, P. Engler, L. Loos, R. Loos, D. Giroux, L. Knibbs.


The annual Donauschwaben gathering in conjunction with Oktoberfest will be held Sept. 17-19 this year. Once again, there is an impressive lineup of speakers. As of this writing, this year’s details have not been posted, but keep checking


Helmut Kaiser, who has produced so much great research for us, is in hospital for ten weeks of treatment and hopes to be home around the time you receive this. Steve Reiter passed away in Saskatoon, SK, this past winter. Chris Noll was hit by a truck in Regina last summer and is convalescing. Matt Rist passed away in Septemeber in White Rock, BC.


Helmut has produced a 2008 version of the family book. To refresh your memories, this is a grouping of family members extracted from the church books. It has some additions and corrections to the 2005 version from Ken Hohban, Ray Borschowa, and some others. There is also some new data from Kathreinfeld, Nakodorf, Grabatz, Deutsch-Stamora, Molidorf, and Bogarosch. I would not expect any great revelations unless your pre-Zichydorf ancestors come from one of these villages. Helmut has sent me some copies for those who do not yet have the previous version or for those who wish to upgrade. They are $40. You may order from ZVA at the address at the end of this letter.


Ray Borschowa has almost sold out of Lost Homeland Georgshausen: The History of a Village In Banat, translated by Henry A. Fischer and edited by Ray Borschowa and Barbara Hebenstreit. This book permits us unilingual anglophones to access Verlorene Heimat Georgshausen by Josef Wüst. Ray has done a masterful job of pulling together Henry’s translation with Barbara’s (the author’s daughter) insight and wrapping it all up in high production values. It is a magnificent volume with superb pictures. If your family history passes through Georgshausen you must have this book. You can order the book from Ray at . It is $46 USD plus postage.


What will happen to your legacy? You have worked hard to grow your family tree to its present state. Who will preserve and build upon your work when you are no longer able? Will the next generation have to start all over? Or will they be able to find the foundation that you have laid?

I would like to encourage everyone once again to leave a copy of your work, preferably on CD or DVD, with ZVA.. At the very least, send a gedcom file or family book file on CD to Glenn. Also, consider leaving instructions to send your research to ZVA in the event of your passing. You don’t want it to be thrown in the garbage because no one else in the family is dedicated to furthering your work.


Familienbuch der katholischen Gemeinde Deutsch-Stamora im Banat (1806 -*1907/oo/+ 1894) by Helmut Kaiser.

Banaters in Austrian Military Records, Ortssippembuch Deutsch Elemir im Banat, Elisenheim-Josefsdorf Family Register 1872-1899 all by Dave Dreyer. These are mostly working copies of books that Dave has researched, but loaded with good information if your search leads you this way.

Remember To Tell the Children: Strangers and Sojourners by Henry A. Fischer. – 1914 USA County maps – Find A Grave – observations of an Englishman travelling in Banat in the 1830s – online German – English dictionary – Canadian local histories online – Temeschburg/Temesvar – Bremerhaven Emigration Center – Offsenitza Familienbuch – Germanic Genealogy Society in Minnesota


Henry A. Fischer grew up in a Donauschwaben home in Canada surrounded by stories of the homeland. As an adult he has invested more than two decades in Donauschwaben genealogy and history. Fortunately for him, he is comfortable in the German language, but he saw a need to bring the many German language sources to an English audience. Children of the Danube is the result. Henry uses his own family history to tell the story of the Donauschwaben in general. The book begins with a few chapters of historical fiction describing the migration to and settlement in Hungary. Then it becomes more of a conventional history describing the development of the Donauschwaben people through to their eventual demise after World War II. Henry’s book focuses on his own Lutheran family in Hungary, but much of his story applies equally to the Roman Catholics in Banat.

Remember To Tell the Children: Strangers and Sojourners is the second book in a trilogy of historical fiction by Henry A. Fischer. The first book, The Pioneers, dealt with the first three generations of Henry’s family as they carved out a new life in a new land. For these generations, the Homeland was still back in Germany. This book covers the first half of the 19th century, during which the Donauschwaben developed their own identity in their new Homeland. Their language, religion, and traditions bound them together, but separated them from the other cultures with which they were intermingled. They remained outsiders and were seen as foreigners who resisted any attempt at assimilation. Henry’s ancestors were Lutherans living in Hungary, but their circumstances were very comparable to the Roman Catholics living in Banat.

Familienbuch der katholischen Gemeinde Deutsch-Stamora im Banat (1806 -*1907/oo/+ 1894) is another excellent reference work by Helmut Kaiser. Deutsch Stamora was one of a cluster of nearby villages that were all closely tied to Zichydorf. Many of the families were inter-related. This book includes the filial parishes of Dezsanfalva and Malenitzfalva/Gross Gaj until they became independent in 1848 and 1832 respectively. It includes a history, index of town names, and index of wife maiden names.


Many of us have purchased the Zichydorf church records on CD or the Zichydorf Familienbuch compiled by Helmut Kaiser. I am sure that we have all shared some information from these sources with other genealogists. I have no problem with sharing a little bit here and a little bit there or doing look ups for people. One of the most pleasant aspects of genealogy is the community of sharing. But I hope that people are not allowing others to copy the whole package. This is clearly not fair to the people who produced or paid for their CDs. ZVA took a big risk in financing László Rudolf to obtain the records and should be entitled to the reward now that we have them. The people that put up the seed money took a risk too and should not have their contribution devalued by giving away for free what they paid for on speculation. And Helmut has invested his own cash and thousands of hours of labour in his product.


I have made some progress on the book, but there is still a long way to go. It is considerably more work than I imagined to reformat everyone’s submissions. And I am still missing many families. 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:


We have obtained the Gross Gaj and Urmenyhaza church records on CD. Several people with Setschanfeld interests have had good success finding their people in the Gross Gaj records. If you are interested in either of these sets, order from ZVA at the address below. They are $25 per set. We are also in the process of obtaining records from several other towns as reported in an earlier email. I will report further as things develop.Regina Branch will meet at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 19, at Access Communications, 2250 Park St. (north door by the ball diamonds). Executive elections are at the top of the agenda and I am sure we will be discussing what more we can add to our web site.

Zichydorf Village Association News

edited by: Glenn Schwartz

2274 Baldwin Bay, Regina, SK, S4V 1H2





Our Banat trip this past summer was a tremendous success eliciting comments like, “It was truly the trip of a lifetime” and “the tour itself far surpassed my expectations”. The strategy to spend more time in the Banat and less in the rest of Europe paid off in spades. You can review the trip at I may put together another tour for 2010 if there is sufficient interest. I will need to begin planning this fall, so let me know if you are interested.


The RPL Prairie History Room now has a blog at which notes new materials in the collection, advertises workshops and events, links to an online photo album, research guides, and a Google map ( listing local genealogical sources. The library is now subscribed to Ancestry Library Edition and Heritage Quest Online databases at the Central Library only.