Fedor Soder Research

Many people of Wendish descent know the name Fedor Soder, the man who gave his name to the community of Fedor, Texas. Dr. George Nielsen, Rev Gotthilf Birkmann, Rev. Robert Hartfield, and Dr. George Engerrand, among others, have mentioned him in their research.

Thought to be Jewish, he came to Texas in 1855 from Magdeburg, first settled in Cat Springs, Texas, and later moved to Paige, where he died in 1899 and is buried in the St John Lutheran cemetery. Other than being a businessman, somehow giving his name to a community, and having helped people, not much else is known about him. No information about Soder was found at the Jewish Historical Society of Texas, the Briscoe Center for American Studies at UT, the Bastrop County Museum, the German Texan Historical Society, the Rosenberg Library in Galveston, or the Paige Museum.

A survey of records online at Ancestry.com and the Portal to Texas History has resulted in more information than we knew previously, but we believe that much more information can be found on the ground through investigative research.

To this end, the Wendish Research Exchange will engage in original research and George Nielsen will use the material for an article about Fedor Soder. You are invited to help. We believe that we will be able to discover more about him and his activities by searching records at the Austin, Burleson, Lee and Bastrop county courthouses. His probate records are in the Bastrop county courthouse, and all the courthouses mentioned most likely contain his property transactions and chattel mortgages.

If you have records of your family’s interaction with Soder, or if you would like to help with the research, please contact me at Weldon@ecpi.com or call 512-635-6429 so we can coordinate an effort to exhaust all the leads and leave no stone unturned.

Weldon Mersiovsky

Weldon Mersiovsky is a noted Wendish historian; author of many papers on all subjects Wendish; and special contributor to the Texas Wendish Heritage Society Newsletter.