Metzenseifen (also called Nizný Medzev and Vyšný Medzev) is a little town nestled at the feet of the beautiful Carpathian Mountains in what is now present day Slovakia. The town was settled by Germans centuries ago, and the German surnames of its residents is evidence of these 'roots' today.
Metzenseifen was part of Austria-Hungary at the time my grandparents left Europe and came to America to begin a new life. Like most of the immigrants who came to America from Metzenseifen during the late 1800's and early 1900's, they settled in Cleveland, Ohio. They came to work for Theodor Kundtz, a fellow Metzenseifener who had arrived in America a pauper and became a millionaire with several wood-working factories in Cleveland.
Kundtz was most prominently known for the intricately carved wood cabinets he produced for White Sewing Machines. He helped fund ship's passage for many fellow Metzenseifeners to come to America and work for him. My grandfather, Joseph Gedeon, was one of many woodworkers who came over to work for Kundtz.
Surnames common to Metzenseifen are Gedeon (Gedeohn), Antl, Schmiedt, Tischler, Kundtz, Ballasch (Balasch), Gobl (Gobel), Orient, Eiben, Muller, Schuster, Tomasch, Pimzner, Friedl (Friedel), to name a few. There is still a sizable number of these surnames in Cleveland and it's surrounding areas today.
An interesting and informative book about the life of Theodor Kundtz and the Metzenseifen immigrants to Ohio is "Tori in Amerika" by Christopher Eiben. I highly recommend it to anyone researching ancestors from Metzenseifen to Cleveland.
The photographs below were taken May, 2000. The church in the second photo (steeple is visible in first photo also) has been a landmark of the town for more than a hundred years.
Click to view|
Map of Metzenseifen
Dr. Valeria Flachbart,
Mayor of Metzenseifen
(Also my cousin :)
If you know a Metzenseifen site that I can add to my list, or if you have a genealogy website with ancestors originating from this town, please email me.
- Metzenseifen (Medzev) Page - This website is a MUST for anyone researching Metzenseifen! Click on the American flag near the upper right to get the English version. It is a remarkable website, packed with information, pictures, history, names, the works; and is constantly being updated.
- Metzenseifen Message Board - A neat, organized message board. Be sure to check it out and post your searches, surnames, and general comments.
- FEEFHS - Federation of East European Family History Societies
- Lakewood Lore - Theodor Joseph Kundtz
- Metzenseifen Labor Camp List - Metzenseifeners taken to Russian labor camps at the close of World War II.
Medzev flag and Coat of Arms Vyšný Medzev Tourist Information - Accomodations, attractions, etc. Slovakia.com - Information about Slovakia; links, tourist info, popular destinations, etc. Radix: Genealogy Research in Hungary - Metzenseifen was a part of the old Hungarian Empire at the time our ancestors immigrated to the U.S. This website has a lot of good information for Metzi researchers. Carpathian German Homepage - A treatise about the history of the Germans in Slovakia. Very informative. Carpathian German Genealogy: Slovakia Searching in Slovakia - A good place to search for, and post, your Metzenseifen surnames. Germans in Slovakia - A FEEFS page. Eastern Slovakia Austro-Hungarian Web Site - Several links on this website provide additional information about the history of ethnic Germans to former Austria-Hungary. Also some tips for researchers.
Taub Family Tree Page (also Gedeon, Friedl, Kosman) Whitelock Family Page (Gedeon, Braun, Stark) Hoey Family Genealogy Site (Gedeon, Eiben, Friedl, Orient, Weet, Kund, Stark, more..) Tomasch Family History The Orients of Pittsburgh, Pa. (also Friedel, Eiben)
Updated April 2010
Home | Email | Guestbook