Semerjian families migrated from where


Dr. Claus Stephani

*New way (Bucharest), Vol. 30, July 29, 1978, p. 3.

Published on the World Wide Web with the permission of the author
by the Bukovina Society of the Americas, April 3, 2004.

This Page in English

The beech country, Bukovina, was the easternmost province of the former Austro-Hungarian monarchy and came to Austria after the Russo-Turkish War on May 7, 1775 as “payment” for mediating the peace agreement.

In the same year, 1775, the Austrian authorities began to work out a large-scale "immigration plan" for this area, which has been inhabited since the earliest times by Romanians and in some areas by Ukrainians (Little Russians, Hutsuls, Ruthenians). In the span of a century, the Romanian indigenous population of northern and southern Bukovina - with the main towns of Cernăuţi (Chernivtsi), Vijniţa (Wisntz), Siret (Sereth), Rădauţi (Radautz), and Suceava (Sutschawa) - numerous settler groups of different nationalities from all parts of the monarchy. In addition to German-speaking officials, miners, craftsmen and farmers - from Transylvania, the Banat, the Spiš and Slovakia, from Galicia, Bohemia, etc. - there were also settlers from Germany - the Rhine-Main area, from Baden-Württemberg, Franconia - , furthermore Jews, Hungarians, Ukrainians, Lippowans, Poles, Armenians, Czechs, Slovaks, Serbo-Croats, Italians, Tatars, Bulgarians and Gypsies were settled.

For centuries, immigration of German population groups from Transylvania - craftsmen, merchants, surgeons, pharmacists, etc. - to different parts of the Moldau - to Baia (Moldenmarket), Sasca (Klein-Saska), Cotnari (Kotnersberg), Tirgu Neamţ (Neamtz), Roman (Rommesmarkt), Iaşi (Jassy), Huşi (Husch), Saşa (Sassa), Băcau (Backau), Trotuş (Trotesch), Bîrlad (Berlad) and others - and in South Bukovina - to Suceava (Sutschawa), Sasovîi-Rog (Saxon Horn), Sasca (Saskaberg), Seret (Sereth) etc. - took place. However, some attempts to settle were unsuccessful; For example, the southern Bukovinian village of Zabeşeic (Philippen), founded in 1760, was abandoned at the beginning of Austrian rule, and in 1790 the old German settler houses were sold. Likewise, the village of Sadagora (Gartenberg), founded in 1771, where German draperies from Silesia had settled, went under after about fifteen years.

The Buchenland Germans only came into the country after Austria had taken possession of Bukovina. At first - under Empress Maria Theresia - it was mainly civil and military officials who were brought into the country as employees of the Austrian administrative organs and in most cases also settled here. Soon afterwards, craftsmen and tradespeople were called into the country, who were given great relief - such as B. Tax and military exemption - granted. After these German-speaking professional groups mostly settled in the cities, the Austrian military administration proposed to the central offices in Vienna that German workers and peasants should also be brought into the country. These German immigrants came to Buchenland in several stages. According to their areas of origin, there were three different larger population groups: Spiš "Saxony" - from the former Spiš and Gründler Land (Slovakia) - so-called Swabians - from Baden-Württemberg and the Rhine-Main area - and German Bohemia from the Bohemian Forest.

Between 1780 and 1781 manganese ore, copper and iron ore deposits were discovered in the south of the country, which passed into the possession of Karl Manz Ritter von Mariensee: at that time, German miners began to be recruited in various Spiš villages.

When bricklayers and carpenters from Transylvanian regiments began building a blast furnace in Iacobeni (Jakobeny) in 1783, the first Spiš miners settled here in 1784 after this project had been carried out; At that time the Fundu Fieru (Eisenthal) settlement was built on Eisenbach, a tributary of the Golden Bistritz. With the help of the Zipser, the Manz’sche ironworks - the first plant of its kind in southern Bukovina - was put into operation. These first Spiš settlers are likely to have come to Buchenland from the area between Gelnicé (Göllnitz), Zmelnicé (Schmöllnitz), Opáka (Altwasser), Stoi (Stoss) and Iaco (Untermetzenseifen).

In the meantime (1782) the first two settler families from the Banat had also arrived in Chernivtsi; they were settled in Roş (Rosch near Chernivtsi). In the same year twelve families, also from the Banat, immigrated to Chernivtsi and were housed in half-dilapidated wooden houses in Molodia (Jungheim), Ciucica (Zutschka), Mitoca (Lippowen) and in the villages of the monasteries Putna, Barnovschi (Banowsky) and Dragomirna settled.

In 1783 the Austrian Mining and Mining Commission and the Salt Research Office opened the extraction of salt in Solca and in the Solka foothills - but at the same time on the Pleschberg northwest of Jakobeny - and in the early 1990s southwards in Cacica (Katschika), where German-Bohemian workers had already settled between 1790 and 1795. The names of the first Zipser and Austrian skilled workers and officials who opened the salt factory in Solka have been documented: Johann Wamser (machine master and carpenter), Leopold Eissert ("controller"), Melchior Theiss (supervisor), Golz and Krone ( both official hussars), Josef Fleckhammer, Dominik Aystetten, Johann Bolberitz, Barthel Brettner, Georg Sturm, Franz Steiger (all factory supervisors) and Johann Wannsiedel (miners).

In 1786 a new wave of immigrants - twenty-five men and five women - came to Jakobeny and Eisenthal from different villages in the Gründler Land (Spiš).

In the period 1782-1787 farmers and artisans from Franconia and Swabia - some came from Austria - were also settled in the area of ​​Cîmpulung Moldovenesc (Kimpolung) and Sutschawa, among others, in Bălănceana (Balatschana), Bosance (Bosschtsche), Brašcea (Braschka), Bucşoi (Bukschoja), Dorna-Candreni, Dorna-Vatra, Gemine (Dschemine), Cliţ (Glitt), Gurahumora, Capucodru, Cîmpulung-Sat (German-Altkimpolung), Corlata (Korlaten), Masanaieşti, Putna, Valea Putnei (Putnathal), Stulpicani (Stulpikany) and Stupca (Stupka); In the northern beech country, in Stăneştii de Jos (Unterstanescht), Zadowa, Cotman (Kotmann), Vijniţ (Wisnitz) and Hliboaca (Hliboka), German farmers also settled in the 1980s.

Today it is hardly possible to determine from which areas the Swabians or Franks immigrated directly, since some of them came to Bucovina via Galicia or the Banat; So it must be said that the large population group that was later generally called “Swabians” was made up of immigrants whose ancestors came from Baden-Württemberg or from other parts of Germany and the monarchy.

Some of these Swabian families had come along on the large "Swabian trains" that pulled the Danube down into what was then the Banat; however, they could no longer find any free ground there. And when they heard that it was still possible to settle up in the Buchenland, they moved on. The situation was similar with some of the German immigrants who had been settled in Galicia by Emperor Joseph II, but where too little land had been allocated to them; they too moved on to Buchenland. Here they were each given twelve hectares of arable land, a wooden house, farm implements, seeds and cattle. The newly founded settlements were able to develop economically well in a short time.

However, in the second half of the 18th century, some settlements were built on the initiative of various nobles and other landowners. B. in the northern beech country, near Vijniţa (Wisnitz) - Alecsandreni (Alexanderdorf), Catranieni (Katherinendorf), Nicolai (Nikolausdorf) and Dealul iederii (Eichenau) on the Kleiner Sereth. The settlers - mostly German Bohemia - had to undertake to clear the vast forests and create arable fields and meadows.


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