Texas Families

Here is some information about four families that migrated to Texas from Europe and the British Isles in the second half of the 19th century. They all settled in or near Bexar County, TX. Texas had been "settled" for over 200 hundred years when they arrived, but Texas only became a state in the US in 1845. Some of the people described here arrived before the Civil War, and at least one family had one member that was involved in it (on the Confederate side).

The blue circle centered on Bexar County in the 1891 map of Texas that follows roughly represents the area of Texas where these families lived. Bexar County, TX, was an interesting melting pot of an assortment of cultures, including Germanic, Spanish, Native Indian, Canary Islanders, Polish, British, etc. cultures. The most recent "cowboy" culture is only the latest of an assortment of cultures that are still present if you look closely enough. Much has been written about this, including a recent flood of popular writing associated with the 300th anniversary of the "founding" of San Antonio by Spanish missionaries in 1718. (Obviously, there were Native Indian cultures in the area for a long time prior to this.)

The one family with ties to the British Isles is that of John Patrick Long and Mary Gill. This was a San Antonio Family that came to Texas after the Civil War. Mary Gill probably came from Ireland (County Galway) shown on the map that follows. There is one piece of information to indicate that John Long or his family immigrated from Liverpool.

Germaninc ties are represented by John Peter Marsch and Caroline Fincke, a Hill Country family whose house in Boerne still stands. This family represents children of immigrants who left Europe before the Civil War. The Sophienburg Museum in New Branfels has more information about the general Germanic immigration to Texas. (See https://sophienburg.com/ .) There is considerable additional documentation about this ethnic group in Texas.

Finally, two families from the Silesia area of present-day Poland are those of Thomas Kozub / Anna Kokott and Alexander Mihalski / Susan Kosub. These families were part of a large contingent of Polish-speaking, Catholic families that settled in the vicinity of current day St. Hedwig, TX, prior to the Civil War. Assorted references to the immigration of this ethnic group to Texas are listed below.

The First Polish Americans: Silesian Settlements in Texas, by T. Lindsay Baker, Texas A&M University Press, 1996.

Blue circles on the following map of Germanic Europe indicate the regions where the remaining three of the four families or their immediate ancestors lived before coming to Texas. Dashed lines indicate the uncertainties regarding Marsch ancestors.

Here is a picture of a marker at the church in St. Hedwig, where many of the relatives and ancestors of the Silesian immigrants mentioned above are buried.

Hints at deeper roots come from DNA testing. An example result from such analysis is shown below. The expected links to the British Isles, Western Europe, and Eastern Europe are present, but there is a hint of a Spanish influence. This last influence is unproven and may come from an ancestor farther in the past than I have been able to research.

I have somewhat more information about the four families described in linked sections. Surnames included in a family tree are shown below in cloud and list form. Please contact me with / for additional information.

Surname List
Ackermann Anderson Bobbio Brosch Carroll Cholewin Drzymalla Fincke Gill Gorlaska Gorzell Hankammaer Javior Jonietz Kaczmarczyk Kielbassa Kokol Kokot Kokott Kosub Kozub Krain Krawiec Lipok Long Lubianski Mainka Marsch Michalski Michna Mihalski Murette Opalla Pierdolla Ploch Rakowicz Rakowitz Riedinger Robertson Schloss Scholtysik Schulmeier Sczepanik Skloss Sklosz Strzelczyk Swierc Szklarz Szkowron Szygula Wetz Wright Zoworka Zuber

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