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Victoria Regional History Center

German Americans in Texas:

Resources at the VC/UHV Library

Texas Immigrants

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: F395.G3B4

The Germans in Texas; A Study in Immigration / by Benjamin, Gilbert Giddings. Originally published 1901 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 185301913 / 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 Beckond: 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 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 hte 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 both published and published materials found in Texas archives. There are twenty-four portraits, photographs, and facsimiles, and a map of Texas frontier settlements in 1851.
German Pioners 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.

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, Dorthy E.
Quanah, Tex.: Nortex Offset Publications, 1974.
Call number: Regional History C571.U83 1974.