Hesse-Darmstadt Emigrants with Pastor Tonsor

Settlers emigrating from Hesse-Darmstadt

On March 13th, 1724

First documented Lutheran settlers in the Swabian Turkey
A Study by Rosina T. Schmidt 

In the archives of the parish of Wertheim in Hesse, is a document to be found, which was signed on March 13th 1724 by 21 men, all settlers on their way to Hungary, and most of them heads of their families. They state in the document, that they are of the Evangelical (Lutheran) religion and have decided in the name of God to follow the graceful invitation of the Hungarian King to settle in his Domain under his guidance and protection.

In that document they also wrote a mutual agreement between them and the young pastor Johann Marsillius Nikolaus TONSOR, whom they were engaging as their spiritual leader.

They arrived by boat in the community of Tolna on the Danube (part of the Swabian Turkey) on May 5th 1725, where they have been picked up by their future landlord’s horse wagons. Between 17h and 18h the colon arrived at the location of their future village of Kistormas, were they have been dumped into the green grass and left to fend for themselves.

That was one of the first documented Lutheran settler groups arriving in the Kingdom of Hungary, which was fiercely Roman Catholic. Many of those new arrivals are directly related to the families in Kalazno, Tolna and Varsad, Tolna, whose descendants settled 150 years later in HRASTOVAC, Slavonia and the surrounding Lutheran villages.

The twenty-one signing settlers were originating from the following localities in Hessen-Darmstadt:


Johann Georg Fey
Martin Pfost
Johann Heinrich Habel
Andreas Grim
Johann Georg Otto
Michael Mass


Georg Christoph Zintgraff
Johann Anton Duerr
Johann Michael Heber
Philipp Heinrich Lang
Franz Heller


Johann Friedrich Habel
Johann Peter Ritter
Johann Abraham Kirchner
Johann Georg Kirchner
Johann Heinrich Hansst
Johann Reinhard Werner
Johann Heinrich Mueller
Martin Sturm
Johann Peter Deull
Johann Reinhard Paut (or Paul)

There is another document listing the people who traveled with the young pastor Tonsor for his ordination:

Wilhelm Zimmer with his wife Frau from Waffenheim
Johann Heinrich Rosendecker from Delkenheim with his fiancee Maria Magdalena from Waffenheim


Johann Friedrich Wolff with his wife Maria Barbara and one son,
Johann Matthaeus (or Matthias) Wolff,
Johann Friedrich Schneider,
Johann Heinrich Wolff and his wife Maria Elisabetha,
Johann Georg Goetz with his wife (of Reformed religion),
Johann Gerg Schmalk with his wife Eva Margaretha,
Maria Barbara Steigerin with her husband, who was of Roman Catholic faith,
Maria Juliana Knoeblin.

From the communities of MOSSBACH and BIBERICH:

Johann Friedrich Wolff,
Johann Friedrich Schneider,
Johann Philipp Schmueck.


Adam Reinhard Bauerndorff.

In 1667 Herrschaft Eppstein had a Census on the following villages of their domain:

Wallau, Massenheim, Igstadt, Breckenheim, Diedenbergen, Oberliederbach, Unterliederbach, (Unterluederbach) Wildsachsen, Delkenheim, Langen Hain, Medembach, Lorshbach, Nordenstadt