The Kumans, also known as the Kipchaks, were a Turkic group that originated near China and joined with the Karaktai confederation, a group which had banded together to combat the growing power of the Mongols of Genghis Khan. When the confederation was destroyed by the Mongols in 1237, the Kumans fled across the Carpathians where they were welcomed by the Kingdom of Hungary, then also in conflict with the Mongols. Thus, they were settled in the Batschka after 1239. Their name, Kuman, also "Kun" (sometimes spelled "Quon") is preserved in the name Kunbaja.
In the Peasant's Rebellion of 1514, the place was devastated and no longer mentioned in the chronicles from 1520-22. We may assume there were few or perhaps no remaining inhabitants. In 1543 it reappears, now under the name Kumbaja. It paid, in that year, 39 gulden and a pair of beer steins, to the archbishop as a tithe.
Much of the succeeding known history of the town is the same as the history of the region as a whole, including conquest by the Ottoman Empire following the battle of Mohacs in 1526.
In 1580, there were 27 houses which paid tax, the inhabitants being Serbian. These inhabitants departed in 1598 for the Graner Komitat, no doubt as a result of changes being effected by the new Ottoman regime.
In 1650, it again paid 39 gulden and a pair of beer steins to the archbishop as a tithe. Apparently it had been resettled since the departure of the Serbs, probably by other Serbs.
The Batschka was conquered by the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the late 17th century. In 1699, the records show 59 farming families, making it one of the largest communities in the reconquered Batschka. In 1702 it is not mentioned and it disappeared altogether sometime during the struggle between local Hungarians and Serbian settlers, known as the War of the Kuruc. Those Serbians who were not killed in the conflict fled to Syrmia.
The uninhabited area of Kunbaja came into the ownership of the Latinovics, Guganovics and Antunovics families in 1745 on the basis of their claim that it had earlier been owned by the ancestors. Since, however, this claim could not be supported by any hard evidence, in 1815 the verdict came down that they must withdraw. The land reverted to the Hungarian court chamber, which sold it to Matthäus Rudics (Rudich) in 1817. (Note that this paragraph is reciting the official history. One finds difficult to believe that a claim could take 70 years to be reviewed and only then reversed. One wonders what untold activities and stories may underlie this one.)
Rudics ordained the creation of a new community, to be settled mostly by Germans. The first settlers came from other towns in the area including Stanisics, Gara, Vaskut, Katymár, Bácsalmás, but mainly from Csátalja and Gakowa. For this reason the proper term for Kunbaja was "daughter colony". In early 1818, the first 80 houses were laid out and 72 farming plots for 72 farming settlers designated. The remaining 8 houses were allocated to craftsmen and artisans, who received a small field and 80 gulden.
The changes fortunes of the community can be seen from its population figures over the years:
Following the First World War and the Treaty of Trianon, Kunbaja found itself still in Hungary, but just barely, as the border with the newly-created Yugoslavia was clearly within viewing distance of the south of town. In fact, some farmers found their lands were on the wrong side of the border and required passport credentials to work their lands.
Following the Second World War, many Germans left Kunbaja for Germany and in some cases for the New World.
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