Victoria Regional History Center//VC/UHV Library

German Americans in Texas:
Resources at the VC/UHV Library


Note:  The resources in this section, including abstracts, were gleaned from the book:
German-American History and Life; A Guide to Information Sources by Keresztesi, Michael.
Detroit:  Gale Research Company, 1980.
Call number: E 184.G3A2 1980.

The Germans in Texas; A Study In Immigration / by Benjamin, Gilbert Giddings. Originally published 1909
San Francisco: R and E Research Associates, 1970. 
Call number: Regional History F395.G3B4.

This is a well-documented study focusing on the period from 1815-48.  Topics highlighted are:  Cultivation of cotton, the slavery issue, relations with Indians, and cultural and social life.  The appendix lists Germans who took part in the 1836 Texas revolution, instructions to new settlers, and the Adelsverein constitution.  The work includes several maps and a 150-item bibliography.

History of the German Element in Texas from 1820-1850, and Historical Sketches of the German Texas Singers’ League and Houston Turnverein From 1853-1913/ by Tiling, Moritz Philip Georg.
Houston, Tex.:  The author, 1913.
Call number: Special Collections F395.G4T5.

This is an introductory text on a popular level to supplement the official history of Texas.  The emphasis is on the German contribution to the formation of the state of Texas.

The History of the German Settlements in Texas, 1831-1864 / Biesele, Rudolph Leopold. Austin.  Originally published 1930.
Austin: Eakin Press, 1987.
Call number:  Regional History-2nd floor F395.G3B47 1987.

Working with primary resources, Biesele reconstructs the history of German settlement in Texas focusing on the Adelsverein settlement company.  A great deal of documentary material is appended to the main body of the work, including plat maps delineating grant and settlement areas, muster rolls and various other contemporary documents.  This work is central for the study of German settlements in Texas. 

A New Land Beckoned:  German Migration to Texas, 1844-1847  / by Geue, Chester William and Geue, Ethel Hander, eds.
[Waco? Tex., 1966]. 
Call number: Regional History F395.G3G4

New Homes in a New Land; German Immigration to Texas, 1847-1861 / by Geue, Ethel Hander. Originally published 1970.
Baltimore:  Genealogical Pub. Co., 1982.  Bibliog.
Call number: Regional History F395.G3G39 1982

These two monographs are devoted to the German contribution to the early period of Texas history.  The purpose was not to produce an analytical, but a narrative or descriptive history.  While an attempt is made to trace the reasons and consequences of the failure of the Verein Zum Schutze Deutscher Einwanderer nach Texas (Adelsverein), the thrust of the work is genealogical.  The two works provide personal information on more than ten thousand settlers in the state.  The names were compiled from passenger lists and other documents.

Texas; With Particular Reference to German Immigration and the Physical Appearance of the Country; Described Through Personal Observation.  / by Roemer, Ferdinand.  Translated from the German by Oswald Mueller.    Reprint. 
Waco:  Texian Press,  1967.
Call number: Regional History F391.R715.

The timeframe of this work is the 1850s when Roemer, a trained geologist, set out to survey parts of Texas.  The work contains a thirty-four page preliminary in which the history of the German colonies in Texas, and in particular those established by the Mainzer Verein is described.  The bulk of the book is the travelogue in which considerable space is devoted to the description of the settlements at New Braunfels and Fredericksburg, and the daily life and adventures of their people.  The story is set against the politics and colonization of the area.  As an eyewitness account, Roemer’s book is an important document for the study of German immigration to Texas. 

A Journey Through Texas:  Or A Saddle-Trip On The Southwestern Frontier. / by Olmsted, Frederic Law. Originally published 1857. 
Austin:  University of Texas Press, 1978.
Call number:  Regional History F391.0512 1978.

In the course of his journey through Texas, Olmsted visited and described in his diary German settlements as well.  Therein lies the value of his work for the history of Germans in Texas.

John O. Meusebach:  German Colonizer in Texas. / by King, Irene Marschall.
Austin:  University of Texas Press, 1967.
Call number: Regional History F395.G3.

John O. Meusebach was commissioner-general of the Verein Zum Schutze Deutscher Einwanderer (Adelsverein), the settlement company which prompted German immigration to Texas in the 1840s.  This biography gives insight into the reasons behind the company’s formation and the consequences of its failure.  The work is divided into three sections:  (1) Meusebach in Germany from 1812-45, (2) colonization from 1845-47, and (3) Meusebach’s return to private life, 1847-97.  The biography was written from manuscripts, correspondences, and published and unpublished archival materials found in Texas archives.  There are twenty-four portraits, photographs and facsimiles, and a map of Texas frontier settlements in 1851. 

German Pioneers in Texas:  A Brief History of Their Hardships, Struggles and Achievements. /by Biggers, Don Hampton, 1869-1957.  Originally published 1925. 
Fredericksburg, Tex.:  Fredericksburg Pub. Co., 1983. 
Call number: Regional History F395.G385 1983.

This study focuses on the city of Fredericksburg and Gillespie County, Texas, from 1828 to 1924.  The supportive material includes vital statistics, church history, and lists of office-holders of Gillespie County.  Heavy reliance was made on personal interviews in the compilation of the material.  

German Colonists and their Descendants in Houston Including Usener and Allied Families. /by Justman, Dorothy E.
Quanah, Tex.:  Nortex Offset Publications, 1974. 
Call number:  Regional History C571.U83 1974.



Victoria Advocate. Our Part of Texas: Faces and Places. / by Catherine R. McHaney and Charles D. Spurlin, eds.
Marceline, Missouri: D-Books Publishing, Inc., 1996.
Call number: Regional History F395.097 1996.
A pictorial history of the people and places of 13 Texas counties:  Victoria, Bee, Calhoun, DeWitt, Fayette, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Karnes, Lavaca, Matagorda, Refugio, and Wharton.  Photos included came from private collections, the Victoria Regional History Center Photo Collection, and the Victoria Advocate Archives.

The Runge Chronicle:  A German Saga of Success. / by Hauschild, Henry J. 
Austin:  Whitley Cp., 1990. 
Call number:  Regional History F385.R86H38

This is the story of Henry Runge, a businessman who came to Texas in 1845, and  other leading German Texans of the middle to late 19th Century, including Baron Otfried Hans Freiherr von Meusebach, Walter Tips, Col. Augustus Buchel, Emil Reiffert, William Frobese Sr., Edward Mugge, Joseph H. Reusse. 

Victoria City Directory
St. Louis, Mo.:  Scollard & Thomas, 1900-1901. 

Worley’s Directory of Victoria, Texas
[S.l.]:  John F. Worley Directory Co., 1913.

Wilder’s Directory of Victoria, Texas,
Victoria, Texas:  H. B. Wilder, 1927.

Victoria, Texas City Directory
San Antonio:  C. H. Jackson Directory Co., 1939-1956.

Polks Victoria (Victoria County, Texas) City Directory
Dallas, R. L. Polk & Co., 1957-Current.
Call number:  Special Collections F392.V52V.)  Current issues located at Library Reference-1st floor.

These city directories are listings of people and businesses of Victoria.  The directory’s names section includes occupation and spouses name.  Also included is a cross-directory from street addresses to current occupant’s name.  Unlike telephone directories, city directories attempt to include all residents’ and business’ names. 

St. John Ev. Lutheran Church, Meyersville, Texas:  Record of Church Chronicle, Congregational Report, Annual Meeting Minutes from 1850-1977; Old German Church Records.  Translated by Millie Jacob and Ruth Egg. 
Cuero, Texas:  Cuero Pub. Co., 1978.  352 pp.
Call number:  Special Collections BX8076.T4S3.

Second Fatherland:  The Life and Fortunes of a German Immigrant. /by Krueger, Max. 
College Station:  Texas A & M U Press, 1976.
Call number:  Regional History F 391.K94 1976.

The German Texans.
San Antonio, Institute of Texas Cultures, 1970.
Call number: Regional History F 395.G315.

Handbook and Registry of German-Texas Heritage. by7.Von-Maszewski, W. M. ed. 
German-Texan Heritage Society. San Marcos:   Southwest Texas State U, 1989.
Call number:  Regional History F 395.G3H36 1989.

Fisher-Miller Grant and G. E. C. Forever:  German Emigration Company Passenger Lists to Texas, July 1844-February 1846. / by Kleinecke, Charles W.
Corsicana, Tex.: C. W. Kleinecke, Jr., 1994.  .
Call number:  Regional History F 385.F5.

Cypress und Gesammelte Schriften. /by Seele, Hermann. Translated by Edward C. Breitenkamp.
Austin:  University of Texas Press, 1979. 
Call number:  Regional History F 395.G354213.

Passenger Lists for Galveston, 1850-1855/by Blaha, Albert J.  Research by Eva Lembcke; translation by Josef Bittersman and Bernard Kneuper. 
Houston, Texas:  A. J. Blaha. 

Texas County Histories 

County histories, usually compiled and written by local historical and genealogical societies are an invaluable source of information about people, families and communities.   Most published histories of the counties in the Coastal Bend region are available in the VC/UHV Library’s Regional History Center. 

A listing of these can be obtained by searching the Library’s Online Catalog.
Use the subject heading [County name], Texas – History
(example:  Victoria County, Texas – History). 

Search the Online Catalog


County Records

The VC/UHV Library is one of 25 Regional Historical Resource Depositories (RHRD) established by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to archive non-current county records of Texas.  The VC/UHV Library houses the records of seven counties: 

Many of these Texas county records have been microfilmed and are available for viewing here in the Library.  Microfilmed records for other Texas counties may be ordered through our Interlibrary Loan service. For an electronic listing of all Texas county records on microfilm and the depositories that house them, visit Texas State Library, Regional Historical Resource Depositories:  Contacts and Counties Housed.

Sidney Roper Weisiger Collection

This collection represents the records of local historian and journalist Sidney R. Weisiger (1906-1975).  Much of the collection consists of Weisiger’s own research notes, correspondence, speeches, and records of his involvement with historical and genealogical organization. Additionally, there are materials that Weisiger collected from various sources, including court records, correspondence of local people, records of businesses, photographs, brochures, maps, and other assorted items. Many of these materials have been transcribed by Victoria Regional History Center staff , and are available on the VRHC website. Visit the Sidney Roper Weisiger Collection on the Web

The Fimble Collection of Newspaper Clippings 1901-1944

Compiled by an unknown member of the Fimble family of Victoria, the Fimble Collection is three scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, primarily from the Victoria Advocate newspaper, ranging in date from 1901 to 1944.  The articles are mostly obituary notices, but there are also some clippings on marriages and other topics. The articles’ subjects are often Victoria families who, like the Fimbles, originally immigrated from Alsace-Lorraine (now part of France).  Sidney Weisiger acquired the scrapbooks from a local re-sale shop.  He spent many hours indexing every name mentioned in every clipped article.  The original index has been transcribed and enhanced by VRHC staff and is available online for searching at the VRHC website.  When available, the name of the newspaper and date the article was published is given, enabling access to the article from microfilmed newspapers in the Library’s Periodicals Department.  Search the Fimble Collection Index.

The Indianola Immigrant Database

This database contains names of immigrants who entered the United States through the port of Indianola in the 1800s.  Compiled by Patsy Hand of the Victoria County Historical Commission, additional information, including the name of the ship, date of arrival, port of entry, spouse and children’s names is also available in the database.  The Indianola Immigrant Database is searchable on this website. Search the Indianola Immigrant Database.



Photograph Collection at the VC/UHV Library

Our photographic collection is composed of more than 13,000 images from the Coastal Bend region that date from the United States Civil War era. Included among the holdings are snapshots of individuals, still photographs of homes, buildings, street scenes, events, festivals, farming, ranching, sporting events, outdoor scenery, natural disasters, military bases and personnel, coastal settings, and more. Additionally there are an undetermined number of Victoria Advocate negatives in thirty-two file cabinet drawers, spanning the years of 1950 to 1984. Over 50% of the collection is indexed. Prints are available for a nominal fee.  Staff at the VRHC are currently scanning selected photographs for web access soon to be available.

Contact : 

Bob Allen, Photographer/Department Manager
(361) 573-3291 Ext. 3380

Monday and Tuesday 8:00-5:00
Thursday 1:15-4:15. 

Sheron Barnes, Special Collections Librarian
(361) 570-4176.  Photo Collection Hours: 


Location:  Lower level:  VC/UHV Library

The original document was prepared by Sheron Barnes for presentation to the
Victoria County Genealogical Society.
It was edited for the web by Karen Locher, 11/25/2002.
Book citations do not appear in MLA or APA style format.

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