Local heritage book Katzendorf (Caţa)
This Local Heritage Book database is comprised of 6123 people.
Among other things, we can understand the collection of developing written and oral lore to be a contribution towards the safeguarding of the Siebenbürgen cultural heritage. After the breakup of the totalitarian regime in Rumania, and the subsequent mass exodus of Siebenbürger Saxons as of 1990, there is a heightened urgency for such actions, so that the traces of existence of our origins don’t become lost irretrievably. Preserving an overview of the whole requires a wide range of small detail, and at the same time a “lining up of mosaic tiles.”
The publishers of numerous Siebenbürgen Heimatbucher have done justice to this effort, also recently Rolf-Dieter Happe, the author of the book Katzendorf in Siebenbürgen. His two volume richly illustrated work offers the reader an excellent historical and local overview of the past and present of this Siebenbürgen-Saxon village. Geographical location, the economy, social organizations and instituions, church, school and other aspects of spiritual life are depicted here with much love and detail and bonded together to a nicely rounded whole, that can be rightly viewed as exemplary.
My contribution to the preservation of the Katzendorf cultural heritage can and should be limited solely to family research. Indeed I was not born in Katzendorf myself, though my father was a “genuine” Katzendorf farmer’s son. These origins meant a lot to him and he has remained connected to his home place. Early on he explained to me, as we were looking at a family picture from the year 1899, the relationships between our ancestors and in that way got me excited about family research.
The hope is that this database will impart an awareness of familial ties to a village community to the present generations of this community who are living at this time for the most part in the Diaspora, and preserve it for the following generations as well.
In the search for family connections between individual persons and the families of a community we have turned to various written and oral sources.
For written sources we primarily rely on church registration books (baptisms, marriages , deaths) which were kept by community parishes and in the rectory.
In Katzendorf the first and oldest church registrations were entered by Pastor Gustav Lang, a native-born Repser. He was born on 7.25, 1685 and presented in Katzendorf on 8. 27, 1710. In the same year he also married. His wife, Catharine, bore six children from 1711 to 1727. He died of a stroke on October 13, 1732 at the age of 50, and was buried in the church.
His first daughter, Anna Catharina (b. 11.11, 1711, baptised on 11.14.1711) is the third child to be registered in the baptismal record. Beginning the list of children born and baptised however, is Catharina Wagner, born 10.10. 1711, a daughter of Hannes Wagner and his wife Catharina.
The legibility of the originals of the registration books had begun to deteriorate over the course of time, so in 1962 church curator Michael Kasper No. 97 industriously and carefully transcribed all data into a Registration Index. All baptismal, marriage and death data were seamlessly recorded. The entries are in alphabetically ordered blocks, and organized chronologically within the blocks. This index has been bound in book form in horizontal format, 45 x 26 cm in size. It resides now (2002) with the current Church Curator Andreas Müller No. 38 (formerly No. 280).
The last entry in the baptismal registration is the birth date of Luise Ewae (b. 3.22.1946).
A further important data source is the Kirkliche Familienbuch, which lays out the regulations of the Lutheran Landeskonsistorium A.B. in Katzendorf in 1885, as well as in other communities of the Landeskirche. The last entry was recorded by Pastor D.Dr. Christoph Klein, later Bishop of the Landeskirche, on May 9, 1964 (death date of Anna Petri, nee Helwig).
The Familienbuch is bound in portrait format, 38 x 24 cm, and is divided into three sections:
This book consists of two volumes, each page containing one family relating to Hof number.
Volume I, pp. 1-138 for entries as of 1895-1940
In May 1997 I had the opportunity to copy the Registration-Index and the Familienbuch and to bring it to Germany. I stored various data from it on the hard drive of my computer using the genealogical Program AHN-DATA by Holger Kötting. It then became clear that as of 1964, as mentioned above, no more family data from Katzendorf was available. In order to expand the missing data as much as possible up to the present, I decided to create a family questionnaire.
Last but not least, I would like to mention the many personal messages which were bestowed upon me, quite apart from the answers on the questionnaire, both written and oral, from both Katzendorf and non-Katzendorf countrymen.
Many thanks once again to all who contributed to the collection of family data. Through your additional help it was possible in the end to store a total of 5,473 personal data records and to establish links to corresponding families in the AHN-DATA Program. All who helped are listed by name in the Source Information at the end of the book.
All data stored in AHN-DATA can be transferred as so-called GEDCOM Data to another program 9PC-Ahnen 2001) by Günther Schwärzer of Pleystein), which provides for a special edition form for a Sippenbuch.
Naturally the existing sources do not contain all the data, such as for example were included in the questionnaire, because that would have gone beyond the parameters of the goal. Therefore we limit ourselves here to reproducing data that is usual in such registration entries, i.e., birth, marriage and death data.
In gathering present day data, other people besides those born in Katzendorf, that is to say, former residents, have come along, also those who have “married in,” whereby the the narrow Katzendorf framework for many families has been expanded. So whereas up until the early 20th century marriage took place almost exclusively within the community boundary (“not above Hattert”), in later years many marriages took place outside of the community. And thus many names which sound foreign to our ears can be found in the Sippenbuch, above all those who emigrated earlier (for example to Übersee). People who bear these names are related to Katzendorf families and descend from them.
Of course in recent times almost all names appear of children born in Germany after the exodus, because our new home is here once again (mainly), from which our ancestors emigrated 850 years ago.
Waiblingen, October 2002
Remarks / Sources:
The compiler will make available the following data for download (in German):
Translated by Karen Gebhardt Shepard