906 05 Sobotište, Slovakia
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Citizens and personalities of the court of Sobotište

The anabaptist court in Sobotiště was founded by an unfinished mill in 1546. It was probably only a smaller court with several tens, maximum two hundred citizens. After 1620 the situation changed radically. According to the anabaptist chronicles, about three thousand people resorted to Sobotište. The population of the court in Sobotište  declined in the next decades. In the period of recatholization, about 200 to 300 people lived in the court. Of these, at least a third refused to convert and preferred to go to Ukraine. The names of the oldest anabaptists from Sobotiště can be found in the contract of 1546, which they concluded with František Ňári. She was signed by Abraham Schneider, Hans Kampfer and Christl Stampfer. Others, named after the anabaptists in Sobotište, appear in a contract of 1613, which they concluded with the compossessorate  Branč estate after the Bočkaj uprising. Signed as brothers Sebastián Dietrich, Jozef Hauser and Daniel Hellriegel.

After 1622, when the court became the seat of Vorsteher (bishop), men were elected in Sobotište for the individual services of the community as servants of the Word or servants of emergency aid. Their names as well as their origins were recorded in the Chronicles of the Anabaptists. Vorsteher was also chosen. Among the most important Vorsteheres who worked in Sobotište were:

  • Valentín Winter – elected as Vorsteher on 22nd February 1622 in Pouzdřany, but shortly afterwards he moved to Sobotiště, where he died on 29th November 1631
  • Heinrich Hartmann (+ 1639) – 17 March 1631 elected as a servant of the Word and after the death of V. Winter on  3 December 1631 elected as Vorsteher
  • Andreas Ehrenpreis (circa 1589 – 1662 Sobotište) – the most prominent representative of the court in Sobotište and one of the last outstanding leaders of the anabaptists, who was instrumental in restoring the original ideals of the community. Even in Moravia chosen as a servant of the Word and in 1623 in Sobotište confirmed. He was elected Vorsther on October 3, 1639
  • Caspar Eglauch (1609 Württemberg – 1693 Velké Leváre). In 1647 he was elected a servant of the Word. He led the chronicle from 1647 to 1682. In 1688 he was elected as Vorsteher. In his era there was a transition to private property.
  • Zacharias Walter (circa 1690 Maulbronn – circa 1767 Sobotište) – the last anabaptist of Vorsteher before they were completely re-Catholized. In 1736 he was elected a servant of the Word in Sobotiste and in 1746 he became bishop. In 1763, after his internment in the monastery, he converted. He had several children with his wife Zuzana, of whom his son Jakub did not seem to hang in faith and went with his family to Višenky in Ukraine, where his son Jakub held the office of Vorsteher in 1824-1855.


About the citizens who lived in the courtyard of Sobotište until the mid-18th century, we have only fragmentary information that does not allow us to reconstruct family names. In 1651, Christl Adler was the chief miller of Sobotište in anabaptists, who was elected servant of the Word the same year. Adler and Odler family came from Silesia and in 1528 joined the anabaptists.

After the re-Catholicization of the 1860s, there was no longer any fluctuation of people between the courts. Habans formed a more or less closed group, made up of families whose children mostly live in Sobotište to this day.

The Haban families in Sobotiste included:

  • Albrecht – the family probably comes from Switzerland; in Albania in 1629 Hans Albrecht became a servant of the Word and in 1631 he was confirmed in this task, he died on 17 February 1648 in Vlčkovce
  • Baumgartner – appears relatively late; from Sobotište the oldest record known so far is about Abraham Baumgartner from 1782 (+ after 1793)
  • Čederle (Tschetter, Czeterle) – Abraham Tschetter was mentioned in Sobotište in 1760 and several Tschetters in the same period in Alvinec; Pavel Tschetter’s family from Sobotište left for Ukraine
  • Kleinedler – in 1752 we find them in the Sobotiště urbarium; Jozef Kleinedler was a cutter and Andrej Kleinedler was a healer
  • Müller – they come from Switzerland, they have no common ancestors, they got their name by profession; they were among the first anabaptists; the name was quite common among the anabaptists
  • Pullmann (Pollman, Pullmon, Bolman, Wolman) – originating in southern Germany; they are mentioned in the 18th century in Velké Leváre and Sobotiště, at that time the surnames were differentiated by copper Polman / Pulman and Wolman; part of the family did not take their faith from Sobotište and went to Ukraine
  • Roth – old anabaptist family; at the end of the 17th century mentioned in Sobotiste
  • Schulcz (Schultz) – surname in Sobotište since the second half of the 18th century
  • Veny (Weny) – members of this family are mentioned in the court of the Sobotište in the middle of the 18th century; Aaron Weny was a servant of the Word in 1754
  • Wirth – mentioned only from the mid-18th century