By Henry A. Fischer
Nikolaus Muth was among the Reformed settlers from Tolna County who joined the migration into Somogy County to the village of Bonnya at the turn of the 19th century. He had been born (25th of August 1778) and raised in Gyönk where he learned his trade as a blacksmith. In his former home there is now the Heimat Museum which is a must-see for any visitors to Gyönk.
Nikolaus was the son of Johann Muth and Anna Katharina Schwarz who married on 15th of February 1763 in Gyönk. His father Johann Muth was born in Gyönk in 1738 the son of Johann Peter Muth one of the original Reformed Hessian settlers who arrived in Gyönk around 1730. He was born on 22nd of January 1708 in Ostheim a small village on the outskirts of the town of Hanau, which has since disappeared and been incorporated into the town.
Johann Peter Muth was the son of Johann Jakob Muth and Rahel Viez. His father Johann Jakob Muth was born in Hanau on 06th of October 1647 and was a shoemaker. He married Rahel Viez on 27th of August 1691 in Hanau. His wife Rahel Viez was from Frankfurt-an-Main and in all likelihood was a convert from Judaism.
Johann Jakob Muth’s father was Melchior Muth who was born in Gelnhausen in the Schwarzenfels District east of Hanau. Like his son he was also a shoemaker. His date of birth is presently unknown. He married Susan Rosina Wildenberger on 25th of January 1647 in Gelnhausen. She was the daughter of George Wildenberger the Town Clerk of Gelnhausen.
This whole area was devastated during the Thirty Years War and many of the Church Records were lost or destroyed. The greatest destruction took place in the late 1630s when Croatian mercenaries ran amok through the area. They committed some of the worst atrocities perpetrated against the Hessian population leaving only handfuls of survivors in the various villages in the Schwarzenfels District.
Many of their descendants were among the settlers who founded the Lutheran and Reformed villages in the Swabian Turkey and of course some of them including several Muths later migrated to Slavonia.
posted: March 2009