Travel Permit for Josef Günthner – Apr. 28, 1835

From: Building Blocks for the History of our German Settlements

Alfred Klug

“Bausteine zur Geschichte unserer deutschen Siedlungen”
in Deutscher Kalender für die Bukowina für das Jahr 1935
(Czernowitz: Deutscher Kulturverein für die Bukovina, 1935), pp. 51-63
Sophie A. Welisch PhD, Trans.

The colonists who had migrated from Bohemia, despite the fact that they were relocating within the same country, had to have their own travel permit; they had to report to local authorities at certain stations, at which they received information about the next station. Through the mediation of Headmaster Horn, I found one such a travel permit in the possession of one of the older inhabitants of Bori. The extant number of these travel permits is extremely rare. Since the text in the photograph is not legible, I am publishing it in unabridged form as follows:

Prachin County Recruiting District No. 25.
N. G. 661

N. P. 30


Travel Permit


Joseph Günthner

Born: Seewiesen
Residence: Kreigeritz? Nr. 1
Purpose of the trip: Seek income and sustenance by working as a day laborer
Religion: Catholic
Marital Status: married
Traveling with him on the same permit: his wife Katharina, 38 years Age: 34 years old (thick-set stature with chestnut-Stature: big and strong brown hair, gray eyes, smooth face, Countenance: long. (very pock marked) longish stub nose, usual mouth), with son Joseph 4 years old, daughter Barbara 6 years and Regina 1 year.
Trade or occupation: day wage laborer
Age: 34
Mouth: somewhat pouting lips
Nose: well-proportioned
Other Characteristics: the right index finger has been amputated to the second joint.1

The above is traveling from here via Iglau and Olmütz to Radautz in Bukovina on a travel permit valid for one year.

All civilian and military authorities are requested in the line of duty to permit the owner of this permit free and unhindered passage to the above destination and give him, if necessary, all provisions, conferred courteously and offered willingly.

Signed by the Royal Waldiwozder (?) High Office in Seewiesen [Bohemian Forest] on April 6, 1835.

L. S. Royal Waldiwozder (?) Seal of the Office of the Senior Judge.

Reviewed by the Prachin Imperial and Royal County Office

Pisek on April 28, 1835

(signature illegible)

(His own handwritten signature is illegible.)

Franz (illegible)


The back of the permit is also interesting because it reveals detailed information about the route the colonists had to take as well as about the time needed for the journey. With the exception of the signature of the mayor of Czernowitz (Lihotzky), I did not indicate their names because I could not decipher them accurately. Their route was as follows:

Budweis on May 8, Iglau on May 11, Brünn on May 14, Olmütz on 17 (month is missing), Teschen on May 19, Wadowitz on May 20, Bochnia on May 23, Iarnow (confirmation missing), Przemysl on May 29, Sambor (confirmation missing), Kolomia on June 7. Czernowitz No. 1199. Reviewed by Royal State Magistrate’s Office of Czernowitz on June 10, 1835. Lihotzky.

Josef Günthner settled in Bori, first on farmstead No. 132 in Gurahumora, then, after all colonists were settled on thirty parcels,2 on No. 8 in Bori.  Based on the Gurahumora church registries, I can relate the following about his children. Regina Günther (both Günther and Günthner are used) died as a child of eight years on December 24, 1841. On February 14, 1850 Barbara Günthner, twenty years old, married Johann Hoffmann, son of the colonists Josef and Barbara Mirwald but died shortly thereafter; Johann Hoffmannsettled on farmstead No. 125, later on No. 1. The entry in the marriage registry also reveals the maiden name of Josef Günthner’s mother: Katharina Wiesenbauer.

Josef Günthner’s son married Theresia Szafaczyk (Schafaczek) and had several children with her. The first was Maria, born on May 8, 1850, who married the colonist Peter Wellisch, followed on October 12, 1851 by Josef, who died in Bori as a colonist; on October 2, 1853 Johann Nepomuk came into the world but died the same day. The next child, born March 17, 1855, was also named Johann Nepomuk, after the patron saint of Bohemia. December 26, 1856 witnessed the birth of Stefan, who migrated to Bosnia, where he later died.Peter, born on February 24, 1859, died while in military service; and Franz Salesius, born on October 3, 1860, settled in Gurahumora and died some time ago. Of all the children, only Johann, born in 1855, still resides in Bori as a colonist; it is he who is the custodian of the above travel permit.

That is the fate of the Günthner (Günther) family based on said travel permit.

1At that time it often happened that a young man deliberately amputated his right index finger in order to avoid military conscription, since this made it impossible for him to press the trigger of a gun! However, this does not imply that in this case self mutilation had taken place.

2Some preferred to remain in Gurahumora, in particular the craftsmen.

3According to Mathias Lang.