The Origin of June Meyer's
Family Recipes

Family portrait 1925

I was born in Chicago in 1934. My Mother, Theresa Rose Sehne b.1905, my Father, Frank John Wischler b.1905 and my Grandmother, Elizabeth Rose Heinz b.1881, cooked Hungarian and Transylvania dishes. The recipes I have posted as Authentic "Heirloom Hungarian Recipes" are just that. The recipes are descended from a long line of my ancestors, passed down one generation to the next. They were never written down. I learned them by example and by making them. All girls learn to cook at their Mothers elbow. I watched and helped and learned. When I married, I continued to cook the only cuisine I knew.

I do not carry Hungarian blood, but I like to think I do, because of the strong bond formed by a lifetime of cooking and eating Hungarian foods. The first lullaby I heard as a baby was a Hungarian one. The dance I loved was the Chardarsh. I used to think that my ancestral heritage was Hungarian because we cooked, baked and ate only Hungarian foods. All our family friends were from Hungary but we were all German speaking!

My father was born in Glockovatz, Translyvania. He used to tell me when I was little that his ancestors were from the Black Forest in Germany. I found out through research that in the early 1700's many Germans from the Black Forest region emigrated to Translyvania the Banat region-now part of Romania. They took advantage of a large give away of tracts of farmland. No taxes for 3 years, materials to build houses and farm buildings, some animal and beasts of burden, made these land giveaways popular. These people were mainly Catholics. They traveled to Hungary via the Danube River and are known today as Donau-Schwabin.

My Mother was born in Altkeer, Austria-Hungary, Batchka region. She always spoke of a maternal ancestor who was French and came from Alsace-Lorraine. I learned that Lutherans from Alsace-Lorraine were also offered land in Hungary, now Yugoslavia, around the mid 1700's. This information solved the puzzle of my German ancestry and Hungarian heritage.

My Mother and Father knew they were not blooded Hungarians. But through the recesses of a hundred years or two a lot of people no longer knew how they came to Hungary. They only knew things Hungarian. It had been their home for many generations. They knew no one in Germany or France. They remembered only fragments of information, shrouded by time. The two clues I had to help me reveal my ancestral past were, Black Forest and Alsace- Lorraine.

The political scene in that part of the world has been unstable since before WWI and most of the descendants of those German settlers left Hungary as Displaced Persons for America, Canada and Australia, and other parts of the world from the early 1900's to the mid 1950's.

If you are interested in learning more about these historical events, check out: