Category: Articles

Prussian or Saxon (Part 2)

Prussia It was in 1817 that the Prussian king, Friedrich Wilhelm III, decreed the creation of a single church that merged the two Protestant faiths-Lutheran and Calvinist-although participation was voluntary. Compliance was anemic, and the king did little more than make the change at the garrison church in...

Civil War Soldiers and PTSD

Walter Penk, acclaimed Veterans Administration researcher into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), will be the speaker at the 16 August 2015 General Membership meeting. Since this year marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, I have asked him to speak to us about what...

Prussian or Saxon (Part 1)

Because some of the Texas Wends originated from Prussia and some from Saxony a question could be asked if origins made a difference. Does political geography influence the way people think and act? If you were asked about your origins, would it make a difference if you said “United...

Eating the Way our Ancestors Ate

Jan Ernest Smoler and Jan Kilian were contemporaries, although not always friendly ones. As editor of a newspaper in Bautzen, Smoler published negative letters sent from the Serbin colony leading to years of tension between Smoler and Kilian. Thirteen years before the immigration to Texas, in 1841, Smoler and a...

The gorgeous sight of Saints Cyril’s interior.

The Painted Churches of Texas

One does not need to travel across the ocean to witness the beauty and craftsmanship of the old-world German churches. Driving for a few hours northwest of the Houston area will bring one to churches of the same beauty. Midway through the nineteenth century, many German immigrants fled...

Texas Country Reporter at the 26th Annual Wendish Fest

See how one woman uses her noodle to keep her culture alive. In September, 2014, Texas Country Reporter visited the Wendish Museum and St. Paul Lutheran Church in Serbin, Texas, and returned for Wendish Fest. The episode was broadcast February 21-22, 2015 and features Hattie Schaustchick and Jack...

It Pays to Advertise – and to Read Ads

Robert Wuchatsch, a researcher and writer of Australian Wends, found about a dozen notices placed in the classified section of the 1854 Budissiner Nachrichten several months prior to the departure of the Ben Nevis migrants. These little advertisements show once again that every bit of evidence, no matter...

The Last Voyage of the Brig Reform

By 1853 many Old Lutherans had left Europe for Australia and the United States. This article tells the story of thirty-five Wends who had initially planned to go to Australia, but in July of 1853, changed their minds and instead sailed to Galveston, Texas.1 The thirty-five were the...

Zombie Ideas

A working definition of the word zombie would be “the walking dead.” If such a being or beings could actually exist, I suppose there could also be zombie ideas. These would be ideas that are not valid and previously had been duly buried, but continue to emerge in...

Folklore of the German-Wends in Texas

On the morning of December 16, 1854, the immigration authorities at Galveston went out to meet the Ben Nevis, an English sailing ship, which had arrived in the harbor. On board they examined the papers and the physical condition of the five hundred some Wends who had come...