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German Texan facts for kids

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Marker commemorating German immigration to the Texas Hill Country, located in Indianola, Texas
The Wahrenberger House in Austin served as a German-American school.

German Texan is both a term to describe immigrants arriving in the Republic of Texas from Germany beginning in the 1830s and an ethnic category which includes their descendants in today's state of Texas. Arriving Germans tended to cluster in ethnic enclaves; the majority settled in a broad, fragmented belt across the south-central part of the state, where many became farmers. As of 1990, about three million Texans considered themselves at least part ethnic German, a subgroup of German Americans.


Kitchen rural 1918
Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm

Emigration in force began during the period of the Republic of Texas (1836-1846) following the establishment of the Adelsverein (Verein zum Schutze deutscher Einwanderer, the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas) by a group of Germans dedicated to colonizing Texas in the 1800s.

A large portion of the early settlers following statehood were Forty-Eighters, emigres from the Revolutions of 1848 who dispersed into areas of Central Texas. After generations, German Texans spoke what became known as Texas German (German: Texasdeutsch), a German language dialect that was tied to the historic period of highest immigration. In Germany, the language developed differently than it did among the relatively isolated ethnic colony in the US.

After a period of ethnic activism during the 1850s, Civil War and Reconstruction, the Germans lived in relative obscurity as teachers, doctors, civil servants, politicians, musicians, farmers, and ranchers. They founded the towns of Bulverde, New Braunfels, Fredericksburg, Boerne, Walburg, and Comfort in Texas Hill Country, and Schulenburg and Weimar to the east.

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

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