Migration stories can be success stories. Migration is often associated with people’s desire to improve their living situation. However, this wish does not always come true, and so migration stories are often marked by disappointments and failures – like that of Michael Kreutzer.
I. Michael Kreutzer – a German miller at Kölesder Mill
The story of Michael Kreutzer takes place in the second half of the 18th century in the Hungarian village of 
deu. Kelesch

The village of Kölesd is located on the right bank of the Sió River about 150 km south of Budapest. Today the village is inhabited by about 1,500 people.

hun. Tolna vármegye, deu. Komitat Tolnau, lat. Comitatus Tolnensis

Tolna County was an administrative district in the west of the former Kingdom of Hungary and existed (with an interruption of one hundred and fifty years) from the Middle Ages until the 20th century. The seat of the county was initially Tolnavár, later Szekszárd.

In today's Hungary there is again a county Tolna with a population of over 223,000 inhabitants, the seat is again Szekszárd.

 County, County County County, in Hungarian "megye", is the name for a Hungarian administrative district, of which there are 19 in present-day Hungary. Introduced by King Stephen I, counties as an institution have existed continuously since the 11th century, although their form has changed over time. where the German miller was employed at the manorial mill from 1768. Four documents, which can be found in the manorial files of the Apponyi family in the county archives in 
deu. Seksard, deu. Sechsard, deu. Sechshard

Szekszárd is a county seat in southwestern Hungary with over 33,000 inhabitants. The city is also the seat of Tolna County, an administrative district whose history - with interruptions - dates back to the 11th century.

  tell about the events that happened to Kreutzer prior to 1770: a contract from 1769, a German letter and a Hungarian letter from 1770, as well as a repair list.
The available sources only allow us to reconstruct a small part of the miller's life. It remains unclear who Michael Kreutzer was, where he came from and how long he had lived in Hungary. One fact that is certain is that he was employed as a miller in 
deu. Kelesch

The village of Kölesd is located on the right bank of the Sió River about 150 km south of Budapest. Today the village is inhabited by about 1,500 people.

 from the spring of 1768. The contract, which dates from 1769, states that "the honorable master miller Michael Kreutzer, who had already been working for about a year at the manorial mill in Köllesd, was accepted anew".
The contract lists in nine points both the rights and assistance that the miller had been granted by the lords, as well as the duties and services that he himself had to provide. The mill was a manorial water mill, that is, it belonged to the lord of the manor and was located on the river Sárvíz.  The main purpose of the mill was to grind the landlord's grain. However, for a fee, the so-called “Maut” (toll), the inhabitants of Kölesd as well as strangers could have their grain ground there:

Thirdly, he shall always grind good and enjoyable flour for the people, both local and foreign [...].

The miller had to pay attention to a number of things: He had to grind the flour fresh when people came to him and he had to collect the toll, even from friends. Naturally, he stood to be punished if he charged a toll for the landowner's grain and also if he sold flour at a lower price or accepted gifts. The miller was further obliged to do all the work on the mill himself and to make tools for it. It was also his job to look after the millstones, which he had to sharpen himself until they were worn out. Furthermore, it was stated that he should "not wait until the last hour, but indicate at the proper time" that he needed new stones. The fifth point stated that the miller should supervise his helpers in the mill at all times, since if the flour was not ground correctly, he himself would be held responsible for it:

He should keep a watchful eye on [...] servants and boys, and not rely entirely on them, but keep a good watch over everything day and night, [...]. If the flour is spoiled and not milled properly, the master himself will be brought up to testify.

He was also obliged to deliver to everyone the grain that was due to them, even if some of it was lost, and would be punished for embezzlement. If he did not adhere to the conditions of the contract, he could be thrown out of the mill. The contract was signed on the part of the lord of the manor by István Nagy, who is called “Praefectus”. His name can be found in several sources dating from the year 1770 within the same archival stock. 
Michael Kreutzer had thus been hired as a miller in 1768, had probably performed his work conscientiously, and had therefore received a follow-up contract for 1769. In 1769, luck then seems to have run out for the miller, as evidenced by two letters from 1770: The German letter is addressed directly to the lord of the manor, whereas the Hungarian letter was addressed more generally to the Hungarian lords and must have been written after the German letter.
In the German letter, the miller tries to counter the reproach of the lord of the manor that he had not generated enough income and his demand that he therefore had to leave the mill, giving several reasons for his failure: On the one hand, he writes, he had to repair the mill, which his predecessor had probably left in a neglected state. He paid the expenses from his own savings. In case one should not believe that he and his journeymen had worked tirelessly, he stated that he could also name Hungarian witnesses who would confirm this. On the other hand, the weather had been hard on him and his servants. The summer heat had dried up the rivers, which meant that no flour could be milled. He had also not been able to find enough helpers for the mill: first due to a protracted "cattle drought" and also later in the winter and when it rained, as the people would have had no shelter for their cattle. Therefore, Kreutzer finishes the letter by asking that he and his family not be thrown out of the mill in winter and that the sentence be checked and revised.
The miller’s description of the circumstances is quite realistic. Kölesd is located right next to the Sió Canal and the Sárvíz River. The Sió Canal had been built by the Romans, originally to drain the swampy areas along the Danube. In this way, the water was diverted into Lake Balaton. Later, the course was artificially altered and repeatedly levelled in order to deliberately cause flooding and thus secure fortifications. Dams were also built in front of mills.  In the 18th century, the canal, being too shallow, could no longer regulate the water level of the Balaton. Especially during heavy rains, floods occurred again and again, causing enormous damage to buildings and fields. In summer, on the other hand, the water level dropped to such an extent that the Sárvíz did not carry enough water to drive the mill wheel, so that no flour could be milled either.
The miller's problem, however, was that these circumstances did not interest the Hungarian administrators. Kölesd, as a market town, also had to supply flour to the surrounding villages. A mill that did not grind flour was not profitable. Kreutzer therefore had to leave the mill with his family by St. George's Day (April 23, 1770), since the administrators had also already hired a new miller. However, as the miller complains in the Hungarian letter, he and his family had already been removed from the mill a month earlier. Since then, he had only been able to earn his bread by begging. Finally, in late 1769 or early 1770, Kreutzer appeared before the estate administrators with a list of all the repairs to the mill and the expenses for them, and a request that he be paid for his efforts and the work he had done. However, the estate managers could not be swayed. This is the end of the story about the German miller and his family, whose further fate is not known, as there are no records in the manor files of the Apponyi family in this regard.
II. Historical Background

Just as the settlers come from different countries and provinces, so do they also bring with them different languages and customs, various useful objects and weapons, which adorn and glorify the royal court, but frighten foreign powers. A country that has only one language and one custom is weak and frail.

Corpus Iuris Hungarici 1000–1526
This is how the first Hungarian King Stephen I formulated an admonition to his son around 1030 AD. With his wife Gisela, the first Germans had come to the Hungarian kingdom as settlers around 1000 AD. Thus began a long tradition of settlement, which Stephen's successors were to continue for centuries. In the 18th century, after the Peace of Karlowitz Peace of Karlowitz The Peace of Karlowitz, concluded on January 26, 1699, ended the 'Great Turkish War' between the Ottoman Empire on one side and the so-called 'Holy League' between the Holy Roman Empire, Poland, the Republic of Venice, the Papal States as well as Russia on the other.  The 'Great Turkish War' lasted from 1683 to 1699 and ended the tripartite division of Hungary, which had existed since 1526, in favor of the Habsburg Empire. in 1699, the Habsburgs in particular tried to repopulate the reclaimed but often depopulated territories, especially the Banat. It was not only the Viennese court that had an interest in attracting new settlers: Hungarian nobles also began to recruit or headhunt Germans independently to work on their estates. Thus, by the end of the 18th century, there were already about one million Germans living in the kingdom, "which corresponded to about 10.64% of the total Hungarian population."1   However, in certain areas, such as the 
ron. Banat, hun. Bánság, srp. Банат, hrv. Banat, deu. Banat, srp. Banat

The Banat is a historical landscape located in South-Eastern Europe, in the states of Serbia, Hungary and Romania. The region is situated between the rivers Danube, Marosh and Tisza, as well as a southern part of the Carpathian Mountains and the lowland plain of Hungary. The main city of the Banat is Timișoara in Romania.

deu. Batschka, . Бачка, slk. Báčka, hun. Bácska, srp. Бачка, srp. Bačka, hrv. Bačka

Bačka or Bácska is a geographical and historical area in the Pannonian Plain, bordered on the west and south by the River Danube and on the east by the River Tisza. It is shared between Serbia and Hungary. The larger part of the area is located in the Vojvodina region of Serbia, and Novi Sad, the capital of Vojvodina, is located on the border between Bačka and Syrmia. The smaller northern part of the geographical area lies within Bács-Kiskun county in Hungary.

 or in the county of Tolna, the size of the German population was significantly larger.
Confessional interests also played a role in settlement: Count Sándor Károlyi, for example, the largest landowner in Szatmár County in northeastern Hungary, decided to settle predominantly Catholic peasant families from Swabia and Franconia in order to strengthen the Catholic population in his area. Although Hungary was "a majority Protestant country"2  by the end of the 16th century, the wealthier nobles, seeking to enhance their position with the Habsburgs, switched back to Catholicism in the 17th century. Their subjects, however, often remained Protestant, which led to many conflicts.
Other nobles, on the other hand, sought settlers who could be easily incorporated into the existing villages because of their confession, such as Count Claudius Florimund de Mercy in Tolna County in southern Transdanubia. There, the population had declined sharply, as the county had been a transit area for Ottoman troops heading toward 
deu. Ofen

Ofen (Hungarian Buda), today part of the Hungarian capital Budapest, was an independent city until 1873. It formed from the 13th century on the right bank of the Danube at the crossroads of important trade routes. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary until the Ottoman Empire conquered it in 1541.

eng. Vienna

Vienna is the federal capital and the political, cultural and economic center of Austria. Around 1.9 million people live in the city alone, which is one-fifth of the country's population, and as many as one-third of all Austrians live in the metropolitan area. Historically, Vienna is particularly important as the capital and by far the most important residential city of the former Habsburg monarchy.

 for more than a century after the defeat of the Hungarian crown at Móhacs in 1526. Count Mercy had finally acquired the area in 1722 and given his adopted son Antoine Mercy d'Argenteau, as his heir, the task of resettling the lands in Tolna. He therefore began his own settlement policy in 1724, sending his agents to Hesse Nassau and Darmstadt in the Roman Empire, among other places, to recruit Protestant settlers.
The settlers were attracted mainly by the assurance of religious freedom and the safe location of the county, which, unlike the Banat, did not share a border with the 
Ottoman Empire
tur. Osmanlı İmparatorluğu, deu. Osmanisches Reich, deu. Ottomanisches Reich

The Ottoman Empire was the state of the Ottoman dynasty from about 1299 to 1922. The name derives from the founder of the dynasty, Osman I. The successor state of the Ottoman Empire is the Republic of Turkey.

  It was also helpful that the Danube flowed through the county and the areas of Mercy. Thus, berths for river boats were constructed in Dunaföldvár and Paks, where the families were intercepted on their way to the Banat and then brought to the Hungarian settlements. However, the settlement process did not always go smoothly: the predominantly Lutheran settlers who arrived in 1724 did not want to live with the local Hungarian Reformed population, so they moved to neighboring 
deu. Kleindarmisch, deu. Klaadarmisch

Kistormás is a village in Tolna County in southwestern Hungary. In the early modern period, German-speaking populations were deliberately settled here, coming from the Hessian region. Today the village has a little more than 300 inhabitants.

 to live in a homogeneous Lutheran-German community. Later, however, other Lutheran settlers succeeded in settling in Kölesd, so that a linguistically as well as religiously heterogeneous community developed there. While, according to a census of the landowner, only 30 people lived in Kölesd in 1720, this number had already increased to 598 by 1752.3  As a result, the village experienced an economic boom, and now even had the status of a market town. In the 1760s, Count Mercy d'Argenteau then also had the settlers' taxes increased by contract, which led to uprisings. His son Florimund Claude, to whom the German letter by Michael Kreutzer is also addressed, was working as an ambassador and could no longer take care of the estate. Therefore, in 1778, he sold twenty villages, including Kölesd, to the Hungarian count Antal György Apponyi. As a result, not only the villages came into his possession, but also the manor records of his predecessor, which tell numerous small migration stories.
III. Conclusion
The rise of Kölesd from a depopulated village to a thriving market town can only be explained in connection with the repopulation efforts and was certainly not an isolated case. On the contrary, it can be assumed that the influx of new inhabitants led to an economic upswing in many villages and towns, a trend that lasted into the 19th century. The landowners therefore had a great interest in ensuring that settlement went smoothly and that no empty promises were made. For if the settlers were not satisfied in one village, they simply moved a few kilometers away to the next. However, although it can be assumed that the circumstances around these settlements improved greatly from the 1720s onwards4, the case of Michael Kreutzer is not atypical, as evidenced by numerous documents in the Herrenstuhl files – and not only those of the Apponyis and their predecessors, but in a number of different nobility and church archives. Many promises that were made to attract settlers were simply not kept. While problems with estate managers were more typical of settlement on private estates, documents on disputes between settlers can be found in all areas, whereas incursions by Ottoman troops affected only the inhabitants of the Banat. The effects of climate and disease should also not be underestimated: Many settlers did not survive their first years, which in turn led to new problems (mainly inheritance disputes).5 Nevertheless, from the point of view of the landowners and the Viennese court, who were not interested in individual fates, as Michael Kreutzer's story clearly shows, it is possible to speak of a successful settlement policy that shaped whole countries and cultures and is still visible today.
English translation: William Connor

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