Wends of Texas Records, 1855-1885
In September 1854, a group of 558 Wends, or Sorbs, left Slavic Germany for Texas to establish a colony. The very religious Lutherans left Germany under the guidance of Pastor Johann P. "John" Kilian to avoid official interference with their faith. Following an outbreak of cholera, which killed seventy-three, on the voyage, the Wends landed in Galveston, Texas, in December 1854. In the timbered region of Texas, they founded the town of Serbin, now in Lee County. In this colony, the Wends purchased land, established homesteads, and built log houses. The community also erected St. Paul Lutheran Church with John Kilian as pastor until his death in 1884. The colony grew under its own power, and Texans of Wendish descent live throughout the state.
The Wends of Texas Records, 1855-1885, are photocopies of account records, church regulations, obituaries, and church minutes for St. Paul Lutheran Church in Serbin, Texas. The account records list church members and their contributions.
This collection is open for research use.
Wends of Texas Records, 1855-1885, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Julia Payne, June 1983.
Subsequent revisions were made by Laurel Rozema, September 2010.
Detailed Description of the Papers