Dupont settlers and their descendants in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire

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Ernsthausen

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Historical Introduction

Author of the following text is David Alan Peter Witte, cited from the website http://www.vectorconstruction.com /Ernsthausen/ErnsthausenHistory.htm:

"The placement of the village of Ernsthausen (Ernesthaza) was historically documented by the former larger settlement of "Vidaegyhaz" with a famous abbey. The settlement was destroyed by the Turks in the 1500’s.

Ernsthausen was founded and settled from 1790-1835 and each ruling country changed the towns’ name. The community of Ernesthaza is part of the Gross-Beckerek district in the Torontal administrative area. Its forms a rectangle with a single through street and three cross streets.

After the Proceedings of the Parish council that was sent out by Kiss-Maria with their friendly rule, (endorsement) particularly with what of their representative was completed, the settlement/colonization contract could be signed in Gross-Becskerek in the 15 September 1821, and the development of a settlement plan then began. It states in the settlement contract that the benevolent founder of this community, who has designated himself by name to have to good fortune, Herr Ernest de Ellemer und Ittbe wishes nothing more ardently than to awaken the prosperity of this, his planting.

The settlement contract, concluded between the monorial estate and the settlers, was based on a thirty year lease agreement (PACHVERTRAG); the community would have eighty complete residences, a meeting house and twenty cottager sites. The number of cottager sites were raised to thirty-six after signing the lease agreement. To a completed residence was included 24 jochs (Jock/yoke is an old land measurement) of farmland broken into 8 jochs of winter pasture, 8 yokes of summer pasture and 8 jocks of fallow land; in addition 6 yokes of meadow and 3 yokes of pasture land. A tithe was to have been paid amounting to Metzen ( a dry measure, especially for grain) and eight Metzen of oats or Kurkuruz. The privileges of liquor-licenses, selling of meat, fishery, mill-tax, hunting,
Ziegelschlag and other crown regalia remained an exclusive right of the rulers .

The cottagers, in contrast, got only a half yoke of house ground and one yoke of pasture land. Every dweller also got a half Joch(about 1.383 acres Austria-Hungary or about .631 acres Prussia) wine and herb garden. The tenant of a whole session had to pay a rental of 29 Guldens and 30 Kreuzer per year but the cottager had to pay one Gulden per year.

Already one year after the 1822 transferred property the meadows and pastures in the valley were exchanged for arable land. Because e of this they were not suppose to pay the tithe but only a rental of 70 Kruezer per session or a total of 30 Gulden. Furthermore, because of this additional assigned arable land they were ordered to supply three reapers free of charge for the rulers of the territory instead of one reaper. All the other regulations of the settlement contract remained unchanged. According to the contract the settlers were under obligation, after each session and without any payment in return, to work on two Joch of the lordly land with their own tools or animals, to bring in the harvest and to bring the cleaned grain either into the lordly warehouse or to transport it to the shore of
the Theiss River.

The Hungarian parliament decided to abolish the system of cultivating land rights in Hungary in the new liberal constitution of April 1848. In accordance with article IX, that the cultivators of the land got the right of full property of their homesteads and their lands. The article of law did not apply to Kontraktualisten, to whom also the inhabitants of Ernesthaza were belonging, because their relationship to the rulership over land was not based on the legal order of the Living State, that was abolished by the new constitution, but based on agreements by contract. At the next meeting of the Hungarian parliament, it was planned to make a definite settlement of the affairs of the cultivators. However, in the fall of 1848 the Hungarian Revolution broke out and the discussion of the new
constitution was never held

The neighboring communities are Katalinfalva to the north, Neuzina and Szarcsa to the east, Botos to the south, and Lazarfeld to the west. The settlers of Ernesthaza were Germans of the Roman Catholic faith. In respect regarding and the parochial affiliation of these they belonged to the nearest parish of Szarcsa. The parishes in Szarcsa were: The community of Ernesthaza was founded in the year 1822. Preparatory work was probably done as early as autumn 1821, but the buildings were erected during the course of the year 1822. During the construction of the first building, several finds indicated the earlier human occupation. When in 1823 Berhard Kleisinger built stables
on his block, he found a smithy complete with tools. In 1834, Paul Wendling found in his vineyard a copper medal with an image of St. Nicholas and the cross of Jesus. Furthermore, various and other excavations brought to the light Roman coins and also human remains, all proof that the people lived there and had to escape the Turks. It could never be determined where these inhabitants came from.. I am assuming that some of them must have migrated to there from the first settlements in southern Hungary but it must be noted that residents’ names such as Heh, Kaip, Remillong, Valeri, Mayer, Degol, etc. did not exist in those districts. The remaining settlers moved to Ernsthausen from the surrounds districts and the Obertoronta: from Larzafeld, Zsigmondfalva, Katalinfalva,
Stefasnfeld, Heufeld, Truebswetter, Gottob, Stamora, Klein-Beckskerek, etc.

The written agreement for settlement of the area was executed on the 15th of September 1821. That was shortly before the start of the fall planting season, and since it took time to do the planning and surveying required for a new community, especially one as lovely as Ernesthaza would turn out to be. I can only assume that the colonists who were already committed to the settlement must have initially been allotted only a few acres of farmland apiece to plant the wheat necessary for their bread.

In late autumn the dried tobacco was sorted according to color and size, bound into bundles, and delivered when directed to the official in Gross-Betschkerek who represented the tobacco monopoly. There the tobacco was appraised, categorized (class 1 through 8), and paid for on the spot. The quantity that had already been diverted for the black market purposes brought nearly……..

In the year 1831 the appearance in the villages of Ernsthausen, Sarzca, Botos, Neusin, as well as the entire country an unknown outbreak of cholera. Many people died of the illness: many children lost their parents, many parents survived their children. Even entire families died out. Ernste und letzte Seite eines Verzeichnisses,das die namen der schuldner aus einer Versteigerung des Vermoegens von Waisenkindern, deren Eltern 1831 an der Cholera starben, enthaelt. Without fear for his own safety, Pastor Gyoery administered the last sacraments. He remained with the sick in the hour of their death. Eventually he became infected as well and died of the terrible illness at the age of 33. His old school friend Andreas Dulik, the Chaplain of Neu-Besenova, came to his deathbed. He remained, was initially appointed as administrator and later as Pastor of the church in Ernsthausen. As did his predecessor, Pastor Dulik labored for the benefit of the faithful after 14 years and was buried in the East churchyard, where Pastor Gyoery rests as well. IN 1843 the Cholera epidemic returned. The first case was reported on 27 August and lasted until 9 October in which 123 people
died in that time interval. The Cholera returned in 1846 1849, 1866,1873,1883 and again in 1893 with diminished intensity.

In the Spring of 1887 the rulership of Itebes kenderes had offered a six year lease to the municipality of Ernsthausen over its property of the fields, meadows and Hunttung, that was situated in the immediate surrounds. A representative of the town accepted this offer during their meeting, which was organized on May 16, 1887, and leased the total property for six consecutive years for an annual rent in Shillings of 2,500 Fl. As the cattle of the municipality had increased very much, this lease came at a convenient time. Also the municipal treasury had a benefit from it, because the agricultural fields and meadows were subleased every year and thus important
earning flew in. The town later bought a part of the leased fields.

Presently in the late 1990s it is name is Banatski Despotovac. In Hungarian the name is Ern ohaza. Neusin is the German Name of the City were Mathias Furo was born and in Yugoslavian it is spelled Neuzina, and in Hungarian Nezseny

The mood in the village was very congenial. Neighbors very seldom had disputes. Sometimes, the young men became involved in fisticuffs; however, these were seldom taken seriously since they were usually foolish acts. The people of Ernsthausen and Sartcha were content with their lots. As soon as the children finished school, they had to go to work . Those who had no work at home apprenticed to learn a profession, or went to work for someone else. Sundays were for church; in the afternoon and evening there were dances that the parents also attended. The men (fathers) played cards in an adjoining room where they also wet their whistles. The women (mothers) sat around the dance hall and watched to see who was dancing with whom. There was a lot of singing, and if a good, new book appeared, it made the rounds of many households. A lot of crafts were done-crocheting, knitting, etc. From a certain age the girls wore long skirts, and under these, several petticoats which were hand embroidered. It was a lovely fashion then and looking back at the pictures you can see that the boys were also nicely dressed and formal.

The people of Ernsthausen and the local villages never ventured far from their homes. The town’s people were happy and satisfied in their town, but on occasion, on holidays, they would visit relatives in neighboring villages. Everyone looked forward to Sundays - the women and children went to church, and the men walked with them; however more often then not, they ended up drinking beer or local drinks at a pub where they bowled or played Hungarian or German Card Games. Then in the afternoons during Sunday. Dances were held. It was not proper during this time for a boy and girl to do any type of dating or visiting each other unless they were at the dance
dancing with each other. Let me back up for a second. The weekly dance (Tanz gehen) was held at the Wirthause in Ernsthausen. The girls would be chaperoned by their mothers and could then talk among the girls but once the dancing begin then the boys could pick out a girl and talk to her while they were dancing. During this time the boys also would be talking to their friends The houses of Ernsthausen, Neusin, Klek, Sartcha, Johanisfeld, and Sigmundfeld and other towns in Banat were generally built in a square checkerboard pattern withthe Catholic Church and surrounding square in the center of town. Each village, however, had slightly different designs for the decorative finishes on the buildings, and the differences are still visible on the buildings that are left
standing in the area villages.

The houses were built perpendicular to the street, and consisted of a series of adjoining rooms, with a sitting room or parlor at the end of the building closest to the street, and small out building at the rear of the home for their sheep, goats, horses. In the rear area of the property the backyards might have contained pigs, chickens, ducks, and geese, cows and Mathias Furo also had horses. Each backyard also had a small vegetable garden that would grow the needed produce for Spring, Summer, and Early autumn meals. In the Winter months the family would eat the canned vegetable and fruits that the women of the house had canned during late summer and early fall. The ground was packed down very tightly from the road to the cobblestone sidewalks, so that not even a blade or grass or weed could grow. My grand Aunt Mary Furo Berg, remembered that the women on the street took turns weekly scrubbing down the sidewalks in front of each home to make them clean and sparkle. Many of the homes had long covered porches that extended the full length of the house. The Swabians/Hungarians were known for keeping their houses and gardens clean and maintained.

A fence surrounded each houseplot and the courtyard within the fence contained grapevines, fruit trees and the household garden. Every year a whitewash compound was placed on the building using everyone in the family to help . According to the Banat newsgroup the term for this process was geweisselt. The streets in the village were wide, and were used as pathways for the community activities such as a baptism, wedding and funeral processions. Cattle were also led down the street to the common pasture in the surrounding area of the village."

Dippong families in Ernsthausen

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