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Re: Kraus and Roth families from Transylvania
Posted by: Robert T. (ID *****5817) Date: January 04, 2010 at 00:07:47
In Reply to: Re: Kraus and Roth families from Transylvania by Richard Kraus of 20061

Richard, no, I have no Roth ancestors at all, and I have no personal connection to Transylvania at all. My family is from western Germany. As I told you in my first reply, my background includes six years studying history at the University of Munich, and Transylvania is simply one of my areas of interest.

In my last reply, I told you that Transylvania's population was composed of various nationalities, and I mentioned Romanians, Hungarians (or Magyars, as the Hungarians call themselves), Germans, Armenians, and Jews. Somehow, I failed to mention Gypsies, also always an important component of Transylvania's population.

I mentioned before that there are two villages in Transylvania called in German Scharosch. To differentiate between the two, the "other" Scharosch is referred to in German in full as Scharosch bei Fogarasch (Scharosch near Fogarasch), and "your" Scharosch is referred to in German in full as SCHAROSCH AN DER KOKEL (Scharosch on the Kokel).

It wasn't all that many years ago that Elisabethstadt (Romanian: Dumbraveni) annexed the nearby villages of Scharosch (Romanian: Saros pe Tarnave) and Ehrgang (Romanian: Ernea), so that has no bearing on your family history at all. Scharosch was always an independent village.

I don't know if you're aware of this or not, but Elisabethstadt was NOT a predominantly Saxon (German) town. Elisabethstadt was one of the two major centers of Armenian culture in Transylvania, although in the course of the 19th century, the Armenians became for the most part magyarized. Back when your Kraus and Roth families emigrated, Elisabethstadt was a town of about 4800 people, of whom only about 425 (or about 9% of the population) were Saxons. There were also about 500 Gypsies (or just over 10% of population) in Elisabethstadt. Elisabethstadt was predominantly Hungarian (Magyars and magyarized Armenians).

Today, Elisabethstadt's population is predominantly Romanian. The Gypsies form the largest minority today, followed by Hungarians (Magyars). There may still be about 50 or so Saxons left in Elisabethstadt.

Back when your Kraus and Roth families emigrated, Scharosch was a village of about 1550 people, of whom about 1000 (or 65% of the population) were Saxons. I don't know if there are any Saxons still left in Scharosch at all. If there are, it would be no more than maybe about 20.

As I told you, quite sadly, over the course of the past 30 or so years, almost all of the Transylvanian Saxons have emigrated to Germany, the land their ancestors left almost 900 years ago. Their numbers in Transylvania have dwindled from about 300,000 to about 15,000.

The former Saxon residents of Scharosch hold a big reunion every September in Bad Kissingen, Germany. Bad Kissingen is a famous spa, located in the Lower Franconia region of northwestern Bavaria.

The Transylvanian Saxons as a whole hold a large reunion and folk festival every May (Pentecost or Whitsun weekend) in the beautiful Bavarian town of Dinkelsbühl -- or if written without the "Umlaut" (two dots) over the "u", Dinkelsbuehl.

You mention "documents from the region". Church records are THE primary source of family information in German genealogy. If you live near a Mormon Family History Center, you can obtain and view there on microfilm Scharosch's Evangelical Lutheran church records covering the years 1728 to 1944. Those should contain all the Kraus and Roth family information you would want. (Elisabethstadt's Lutherans are included in these records.)


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