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German Migration to Hungary

Taken from The Game Ancestry

(© by Felix G. Game)

Although it may not explain the history of the Fasching people directly, it will explain it by implication if we consider the historical fact that aggressive colonization programs were undertaken starting at the beginning of the 1700s after 150 years of Turkish occupation. After the Turks, there were only four years of peace followed by Rákoczi's freedom fight (started 1703), which lasted eight years. The retaliatory measures by Austria that followed, again led to much loss. When peace finally arrived, the plague epidemic took over 300,000. In 1711 Hungary's population was a mere 3.8 Million, or 11.79 persons per square kilometer.

Private landowners hired agents in Germany to recruit settlers, promising enough land to start an agricultural existence. The offer was very interesting to people in areas of the upper Rhine and the upper Danube, areas already experiencing food supply problems because of the dense population. Mostly the poor and the have-nots were prepared to settle in Hungary. German lords, not eager to let anyone of substance leave, had started to interfere with the work of the recruiting agents, and only gave permission to emigrate if 5% or 10% of the emigrant's assets were paid as a tax. The height of immigration in terms of quality and quantity was reached about 1720, and petered out in the mid 1700s.

The family Eszterházy was particularly effective in its efforts to re-populate the abandoned villages. They insisted on German immigrants, as did the Bishop of Veszprém, and the Monastery of Tihány. Apart from neighboring Bakony, one of the areas resettled by the Eszterházys with Germans, was Pettend(1) where my great-grandfather Pál Farsang was born.

By way of incentives, the German settler received, apart from his homestead, 47 acres (1 Bauernhufe) of arable land, including 6.4 acres each of meadow and pasture, and occasionally, if available, a parcel of unused vineyard. There was plenty of land available for pasture, so each farmer was further entitled to use 8.5 acres of it for each draft animal he owned. In forested areas settlers could use, for free, all the trees they wanted for building and heating/cooking. In 1717 it was decreed that, "inhabitants of the newly settled (i.e. re-settled) Pázmánd shall be relieved for three years of all taxes and other burdens" (such as the obligation to provide labor to the lord's estate, as well as the obligation to provide quarters for soldiers). At the end of the three year period the settler was obliged to provide some labor and 1/10 of the harvest of all kinds to the estate (lambs, goats, bees, butter, eggs, poultry, etc.). Most of these obligations were quite minimal and removable; Hungarian nobles did not want more than they required to maintain their own households. When Maria Theresia tried to "ameliorate" the lot of the serfs, she laid down rules in her Urbarium which were actually more demanding than what had, in fact, been asked by the Hungarian nobles. The colonization program was successful, in that most of the Svabians drove roots, and their villages reached an exemplary high standard of living. One of the counties in which they prospered was the county of Fejér.(2)

The above periods of colonization coincide with the appearance of the Fasching name in the village registers, and this leads to the conclusion that if they took advantage of these settlement efforts, the Faschings would have had to arrive in the first half of the 1700s. In fact one group of settlers arrived as early as 1701 to Isztimér, then in 1741 another group arrived at Szár, and other colonists arrived at Vérteskozma. What is very exciting for this particular family history, is the arrival of German settlers brought to Etyek by the Jesuits of Komárom in 1741. Etyek is only 20 kilometers north-north-east of Pázmánd and was the intermediate stop of the Faschings' moves from Budaörs to Pázmánd. Representative names for the group arriving at Etyek include several which are connected to the Fasching ancestry: the name Kummer (the village Justice of the Peace) also shows up in our Kreisz/Kummer marriage, Windeisen shows up in a Kreisz/Vindeisen marriage, and the name Rack comes up in a marriage at Etyek of my 4G-grandfather's son Ignác Fasching to Catharina Rack. This would then identify the ethnic group of which the Faschings were also most likely a part. The origin of these groups has been placed by one researcher into the southern reaches of the rivers Isar and Lech - which is the south-eastern part of Bavaria between Munich and Innsbruck.(3) A geographic placement which agrees with other aspects of the author's research.

The oldest Fasching traced, the author's GGGGG-grandfather, was József Fasching who married Rosalia Haasz in Budaörs on 10 November 1774. Since his age at the time of marriage is given as 25, but as 44 at the time of his death in 1791, he was born either in 1747 or in 1749. It has not been possible to determine as yet the name of the place where József was born, but it definitely was not in the parish of Budaörs. It is therefore equally possible that this Fasching moved to Budaörs from another Hungarian village, or that he was born outside of Hungary. Suffice it to say that his marriage in 1774 is the first occurrence of the name Fasching in the Budaörs parish registers. This could very well have been the period when the Faschings came to Hungary, but as we have seen earlier, if they were part of the group from south-eastern Bavaria, their arrival should have been closer to the 1740s.

1. Pettend in the county of Fejér is close to Pázmánd, and this is the locality where György Farsang was born. The first mention of Pettend was in 1429 by King Sigismund (Zsigmond). It has always been a noble estate, crossed by the southern railway line. 
2. Brunner, Georg, ed. Die Deutschen in Ungarn. Südosteuropa-Gesellschaft. München 1989.
3. Erdős, Ferenc: Etyek története.[History of Etyek] FMTÉ 16 (1985). [FMTÉ=Fejér Megyei Történeti Évkönyv] as referenced by István Kállay in his article Ansiedler aus Bayern im Frühzeitlichen Ungarn appearing in the book Bayern und Ungarn, Tausend Jahre enge Beziehungen. Beiträge eines Symposiums der Südosteuropa-Gesellschaft und des Osteuropainstitutes Regensburg-Passau [held at] Passau 17-19 April 1986; ed. Ekkehard Völkl, Regensburg 1988.
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