On Friday evening we had arranged to meet Martin Sattler for dinner. Martin is a member of the Burgenland Bunch - as I and my cousin Rick are - which has a web site devoted to researching family genealogy in Burgenland.
Martin Sattler is a common name in my genealogy, and is the name of both my great-grandfather and great-great grandfather, both born in Andau.
We were to meet at 7 PM and since we were a little early we decided to walkl through the little Illmitz cemetery that was just across the street from the restaurant. We had just entered the cemetery when Kathy heard a group of people speaking English and struck up a conversation. It turned out to be a group from Minnesota - from St. Paul no less. They were Gartners and were researching their family history in Burgenland. Al Gartner was the patriarch of the group and he is from Rice Street and knows my uncle Frank Tischler. Al's brother is Jim Gartner who ran the St. Bernard's bowling alley when I was in grade school and in a league there. Small world!
We met at the Presshaus restaurant in Illmitz, just a few doors down from our hotel (and, as noted, across the street from the cemetery). Martin brought his uncle Alfred with him. Martin spoke pretty good English but Alfed didn't speak any. Both men seemed genuinely interested in genealogy and we talked for three hours about the Sattler line and how we might be related. Unfortunately, we can't find the exact manner of how we might be related, and more work is required. I did find out that a Sattler left Burgenland for China in the 1920s and ended up farming 60,000 hectares, which is almost 150,000 acres. I may ask for more details from Martin about this since I am sure it is an interesting story.
It was a great evening. The company was wonderful as were the food and the wine at dinner. I also told Martin about Rick's probable visit next year. I have a feeling that we will meet Martin again.