Metzenseifen, Abov, Republic of Slovakia

By Duncan Gardiner, C.G., A.G.

Copyright © 1997-1999 by Duncan B. Gardiner, C.G., A.G.; all rights reserved

Metzenseifen Booklet: A 32-page historical sketch about Metzenseifen (plus maps and a photograph) is available for US$22.00 postpaid to U.S and Canadian addresses from: Duncan B. Gardiner, 12961 Lake Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio 44107-1533.

METZENSEIFEN is a town in the county of Abov in eastern Slovakia, about 22 kilometers (13 miles) west of Kosice, Slovakia. (That is Kos~ice, with a hacek over the 's'.) It also has past cultural ties with Spis. The current Slovak name of this town is Medzev. Up to 1918, the town was located in Hungary, of course, and the administrative language beginning in the late 1800s was Hungarian.

There are many Metzenseifen descended from those who came to the Cleveland and Pittsburgh areas in a chain migration beginning in the late 1870s. The first of them came to Cleveland in the mid-1870s to work in the factory of Theodor Kundtz whose workshop (later factories) made wooden cabinets for the White sewing machine. Eventually Kundtz became one of Cleveland's largest employers, making wooden auto bodies and laminated wheel rims, and thousands of Metzenseifners lived in Cleveland and Pittsburgh by 1900.

The town of Metzenseifen was founded in the 1300s by German-speaking settlers, apparently from the lower Rhine region. The German dialect, known as Mantakisch, is still spoken today by older residents of Medzev and their children (though the majority population is now Slovak speaking). The population in the two parts of town in the late 1800s (and today) was 3500 (Unter-Metzenseifen) and 1500 (Ober-Metzenseifen, a half-mile north of Unter-Metzenseifen).

The area surrounding the town had gold and silver mines, exhausted in the Middle Ages, then iron mines which were active into the 1800s. The main industry was forged agricultural hand tools of which it was the largest manufacturer in Hungary. The town at various times was known by its Hungarian name (Felso Meczenzef, Also Meczenzef) and Slovak name (Nizny Medzev, Vysny Medzev) - diacritics have been omitted here.

Surnames of German-speaking families from Metzenseifen: Gedeon (Gedeohn), Wagner, Tischler, Goebl, Broestl, Schuerger, Schuster, Ballasch, Stroempl, Tomasch, Bodenlos, Froelich, Eiben, Kundt (later Kundtz), Schmiedl, Sorger, Antl, Muellner; Stefany, Tache, Kovats, Friedl, Glosner, Imling, Koosch, Malicsky, Schmidt, Flegner, Krupitzer, Poehm, Boehm, Ruehrkraut, Schmotzer, Hennel (Hoenl), Holop, Pimzner, Ruzsbaczky, Lazar, Schenk, Filakovszky, Franz, Frint, Gallus, Hoffelder, Huebler, Klein, Kozman, Kuchar, Lengyel, Lepesch, Majer, Poser, Progner, Pukelnik, Quallich, Roob, Roth, Schmeer, Scholtz, Streidl, Szedlay.

In Ober-Metzenseifen the most frequent names were: Eiben, Schmotzer, Meder, Frindt, Gedeon, Stark, Antl, Grentzer, Zawatzky, Jalsch, Lang, Mazorlik, Mueller, Schuerger, Tohol, Tomasch.

Ancestry research The town was Roman Catholic and all the parish registers are those of the separate parishes of Ober-Metzenseifen (Kosice Diocese) and Unter-Metzenseifen (Roznava Diocese). LDS microfilms are: Nizny Medzev 1923136 and 1923137, 1923139 and 1923140; Vysny Medzev films should also be listed in the LDS catalog.

Kosice state regional archive holds the original registers plus the 1857 census of the town. Write to: Statny oblastny archiv v Kosiciach, Bacikova 1, 041 56 Kosice, Slovakia.

Metzenseifen Booklet: A 32-page historical sketch about Metzenseifen (plus maps and a photograph) is available for US$22.00 postpaid to U.S and Canadian addresses from: Duncan B. Gardiner, 12961 Lake Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio 44107-1533.

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