The Kautz Family story, as we currently understand it, begins with Peter Kautz in 1750. Peter was born in Alberndorf, Hollabrunn, Austria. Peter married Catharina Berchin on Feb. 8, 1763 and they resided at Hadres #3 in Hadres, Hollabrunn, Austria. They had four children. Their first child, Josef Kautz, was born about 1764 in Hadres.
Staying in Hadres, Josef married Anna Maria Mädl on Jan. 10, 1786. Josef and Maria had seven children while residing in Hadres. Their youngest child was Johann Kautz, born about 1803.
Johann married Anna Maria Nonning, a local girl, on June 14, 1826. Johann and Anna, residing in Hadres, had five children. Their third child, born on June 26, 1832, was named Johann Kautz.
Johann married Karolina Fischer whose parents immigrated from Castohostice, Moravia. Johann married Karolina on Aug 16, 1859 and worked as a master-shoemaker. They had five children while living at Hadres#224 in Hadres. Their second child was named Ludwig Kautz.
Ludwig was born in 1861 and left Hadres at a young age, traveling 50 miles south to pursue work in the imperial city of Vienna, Austria. Ludwig became an upholsterer and moved to Bremen, Germany; a large metropolitan city 500 miles from Vienna. Again searching for better work, Ludwig moved to the imperial city of Budapest, Hungary. While living in Budapest Ludwig met his wife Rozalia (Rosa) Meszaros. Rosa was born in Vac, Hungary in 1866 to Marton Meszaros and Maria Sztrasza. Ludwig and Rosa were married on November 22, 1886.
Ludwig and Rosa settled in a village on the Pest side of Budapest called Erzesebetfalva. It is now called Pesterzsebet. While residing at Knézits utca 23 in Erzesebetfalva they started a large family. Their first two children, Lajos and Janos, succumbed to Diptheria at a young age. Their third child, Odon (Edwin), was healthy and six more healthy children filled their house in the following years. Istvan (Stephen), Rosa (Rose), Janos (John), Victor, Imre (Emery) and Vilmos (William).
In 1902, Ludwig and Rosa, hearing of prosperity in America, began to make plans for a move to New York. Since Rosa would have an easier time finding work in New York, the decision was made for Rosa to journey alone, live with friends who had previously emigrated, find work and send money home.
In 1903, Rosa boarded a ship named Kroonland, departed from Antwerp and arrived at Ellis Island on April 8th. She lived with friends at 518 East 6th St. NY, NY. Working in a cigar factory and sorely missing her family, she earned enough money to call for her son, Edwin. Upon hearing of Rosa's sadness from separation, Ludwig wrote the following letter...
"My sweet, precious wife; My everything in this world!
Broken in body and spirit, without joy and enthusiasm I seat myself before this letter. I should like to write but I cannot find the proper words to express my thoughts; my head is so confused.
The information Mrs. Haas brought exceeded my worst expectations. So then, in return for all we have risked, yes sacrificed, we have achieved only that you, my Beloved, my sweet heart, worry, work and despair unto death! 0' my love, what have we done? And I, I alone am to blame that this happened to us, and chiefly to you, my poor Love! 0 how often have I cursed my share in this matter, for it was only my determination to hold fast to our previously formulated plan which has cast us into this sea of pain, loss and suffering; for you, my Love, even that last day would have remained here with us, your loved ones. Your sweet heart felt already what was before you.
Still my complaints profit us nothing; it is done; let us therefore gather all our strength and endure our present plight as well as we can.
My sweet Love there is this one thing that weighs heavily on my heart; that you have lost your assured, certain bread for your old age. My beloved, sweet wife, do not oppose me when I say that from now on I alone must provide for all of you; and this will double my strength for my labor; and who knows what good may result from your return. Evil seldom overcomes one without some compensating good. '
Look, even now, that I have given expression to my complaints, my mood is no longer so black, in fact I must even laugh over Vulko, these pencil marks are his, he sits on the table next to me and I have to play with him in order to be able to write a few lines. There are evenings when he simply will not fall asleep. I put him in his carriage and he cries, I pick him up and he laughs and is full of fun; so nothing is left but to get up and play with him. What good fortune is such a sweet little child! As I wrote about him the entire heavy pain lifted from my breast."
Your Faithful Ludwig
Edwin, at twelve years of age, traveled to America aboard the SS Bucher. He traveled under the care of a family friend who posed as his mother. Edwin joined his mother in New York on September 13, 1903 and they prepared for the arrival of the remaining family.
Ludwig, after recovering from Typhus, departed from Bremen Germany, with six children aboard the steamship Konig Albert. They arrived in New York on October 11th, 1904.
Soon after settling into their lives in New York, Ludwig and Rosa were blessed with two more children: American born Mary and Margaret. Our American story had begun.
The Parish Church of St. Francis of Assisi
Located in Budapest's 9th District of Ferencváros
Edwin Lucas Kautz attended this church with his Uncle Gregor on several occasions. There is no mention of Rosa attending this church, even though her brother-in-law Gregor took Edwin to services here.
It was assumed that the family attended church in the village of Erzesebetfalva, but when Jonanthan Plucker visited the church in 2017, he was told that the church wasn't built until after the Kautz's emigrated and that the church had no record of Kautz or Meszaros attendance. Therefore, we have turned our attention to the Parish Church of District IX and the churches in Vac'.
photo: Szilvia Kulcsar
First Hungarian Baptist Church
225 East 80th Street
New York, NY 10075
Rosa was the first Kautz to attend a Baptist service. Over time, Edwin became interested in the services. They eventually attended services at the Hungarian Baptist Church on 80th St. together. Helen "Rusty" Kautz was baptised there and also attended services at the church. She led the choir for many years. John Kautz lived with his family in one of the rental apartments above the church.