From the Book: Franken und Schwaben in Ungarn
By: Heinrich Kéri
Translated by: Odis A. Schlösser
In the County Archives of Tolna, included with the tax collector’s documents, there are two pages with the names of the first settlers in Kalaznó. A villager who knew the people involved because his handwriting is rather rudimentary probably wrote them. The first page contains the names of the arrivals in the year 1722; amongst them even the names of the deceased are included (Nikolaus Rausch is dead, Johannes Schirmer has died, Johannes Lang also died later in the year 1722.) The second page names the settlers of the year 1723; the Latin text written in a different hand (June, in the year 1723) attempts to determine the time of their arrival more closely. But, according to the Conscription Lists of 1724, they are said to have arrived in July/August.
The County tax conscriptions begin with the year 1696 and extend up to 1752. Beginning with the 1720s, they were carried out almost annually until 1739, then only occasionally. With regard to the State and the County, the new arrivals were initially tax-free for three years, later six, but without any robot service due to the estate owners; nevertheless they were included in the register in order to be able to classify them among the tax payers in accordance with the expiry of the specified period allotted to them. Since tax collectors and tax evaders often go hand in hand, people repeatedly attempted to shroud the year of their arrival. There are therefore details in the tax registers that contradict one another. At the same time the estate owners and their stewards knew that they could hope for more for themselves if their subjects carried a lesser tax burden.
It appears, however, that the tax registration was undertaken with appropriate care. During the development of the yearly tax people would have consulted the registers of the previous year and with those from other villages. Drawing up an error free tax register is nevertheless impossible for us. Importance was not always attached to the accuracy of listing the settlers who were still not paying taxes. Various spellings of family names, confusion over proper names or their names in ordinary use as well as double forms of their names make it difficult to identify some of them with accuracy.
The Conscriptions for a certain year were, for the most part, were already being carried out towards the end of the previous year. It is obvious from the Kalaznó tax register that the current year was already being taken into account for the new arrivals in April; while with a later arrival the count only began in the following year. The regulations were often associated with the festival of Pentecost and those who arrived afterwards in a sense gained another tax-free year. Occasionally, only the arrival year is cited in the Kalaznó tax register, while in terms of the last arriving settlers it is calculated from the cited free years.
It is the register written by the hand of a settler in Kalaznó that is of particular and primary importance to us. The names that are not found in the preceding registers can be found in the other one. The names that occur in the conscription register of the relevant year are indicated with a star (☆) in the columns.
In the first year the settlers (31, 32, 33) continued to move on elsewhere or returned to their home, two further individuals only had their homes in Kalaznó for two or three years. In terms of another individual (30) he appears to have repeatedly moved from village to village (there are breaks and gaps in 1728 and can be assumed to be just approximate). The registers show a startling high death rate in the first years; in most cases they were predominantly young people. Among the first twenty-nine settlers in the Kalaznó register, three of them died in the first year; further new deaths are recorded until 1727. Probably during the conscription in the following year the facts were often entered into the register or only the name of the widow appears.
The register of 1724 does not reveal any new names. The register for 1725 lists an additional sixteen names. In the following year, “from Germany” is recorded next to their names. Two of them (41, 47) died, four of them (34, 36, 37, 49) perhaps moved on, while the rest settled permanently in the village.
The conscription register for 1726 reports thirty-five new names. Four of them (67 through to 70) arrived in the previous year but move on fairly soon afterwards. With regard to seventeen others (51, 52, 71 through to 85) the year of their arrival can be calculated from the tax-free years; this group accordingly moved into another village just outside of Kalaznó. Kalaznó was possibly also the second domicile in Hungary for another group (53 through to 66) and for many of them, not their final place of residence. There is one new name in the register of 1727. It probably is a mistake (either 53 or 52).
Five new names show up again in the register of 1728 whose bearers had arrived in that year but they do not appear again in the register of 1729. In the year 1728 the community of Kalaznó had stabilized with approximately forty resident families. Most of them had their own homes, but some were renters. In the next five years only a few changes can be noted. In 1733 three families moved away, well known family names appear in the register with new first names! In two or three cases it could be the adult son that appears in the place of the deceased father. The tax conscriptions of those years already show more secure economic conditions. They have draught cattle, other farm animals as well and they were able to live off of the yield of their cultivated fields. The rather difficult early years were now a thing of the past.