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German Texan

File:Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz portrait.jpg
Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, whose grandfather had joined the Adelsverein that settled Fredericksburg

German Texans are an ethnic category belonging to residents of the state of Texas who acknowledge German ancestry and self-identify with the term. From their first immigration to Texas in the 1830s, the Germans tended to cluster in ethnic enclaves. A majority settled in a broad, fragmented belt across the south-central part of the state.[1] In 1990, about three million Texans considered themselves at least part German.[2] German Texans form a subgroup of German Americans.


A large portion of the early settlers were Forty-Eighters, who dispersed into areas of Central Texas, where, after a period of activism during the 1850s, Civil War and Reconstruction, they lived in relative obscurity as teachers, civil servants, merchants, farmers, and ranchers.[3]

The Adelsverein, or Verein zum Schutze deutscher Einwanderer in Texas (Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas), was a group of Germans dedicated to colonizing Texas in the 1800s.[2]

German-American cultural institutions in Texas include the Sophienburg Museum in New Braunfels, the Pioneer Museum in Fredericksburg,[4] the Witte-Schmid Haus Museum in Austin County.[5] the German-Texan Heritage Society,[6] and the Texas German Society.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Germans from the Handbook of Texas Online
  2. ^ a b "William Eberling – German Texan". Texas State Cemetery. Retrieved 2013-06-02. 
  3. ^ Forty-Eighters from the Handbook of Texas Online
  4. ^ "German Texans: Curriculum for Students" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-06-02. 
  5. ^ "Witte-Schmid Haus Museum, "Das Haus"". Texas German Society. Retrieved 2013-06-02. 
  6. ^ German-Texan Heritage Society
  7. ^ Texas German Society

Further reading

  • Biesele, Rudolph Leopold, The History of the German Settlements in Texas: 1831–1861. 1930, 1964. Reprint, San Marcos: German-Texan Heritage Society, 1987.
  • Jordan, Terry G. The German Settlement of Texas after 1865. Southwestern Historical Quarterly. Vol. 73, No. 2, Oct. 1969, pp. 193–212.
  • Jordan, Terry G. German Seed in Texas Soil: Immigrant Farmers in Nineteenth-Century Texas. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1966, 1975, etc.
  • Lich, Glen E. The German Texans. San Antonio: University of Texas at San Antonio Institute of Texan Cultures, 1981; revised, 1996.
  • Lonn, Ella Foreigners in the Confederacy. First published in 1940, it remains the only work on the subject, republished February 2002
  • The German Texans. San Antonio: University of Texas Institute of Texan Cultures at San Antonio, 1970, 1987. (Pamphlet in the "Texians and Texans" series)

External links