My Wendish Odyssey by Dr Charles Wukasch

Odyssey is a bit of an exaggeration since my literary talents are far from those of Homer. Still, I’d like to share my love affair with my Wendish roots (on my father’s side, that is – on my mother’s side, I have no Wendish “blood”). One of the dictionary definitions of Odyssey is “a series of experiences that give knowledge or understanding to someone.”

Part One

I first learned that I was Wendish at about the age of 13 or 14. I had always thought that Wukasch was a German name, but my dad explained to me that we were actually Wends. I began to explore my Wendish roots and wrote an essay my senior year (1957-58) in high school on the Wends for a competition sponsored by Junior Historians, the youth branch of the Texas State Historical Association. I was proud when my essay won one of the prizes.

At the University of Texas at Austin, I majored in Russian for my B.A. degree. I later went on to get M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in linguistics with Slavic studies being my main area of language interest. In the fall of 1963, I took a graduate course in Old Russian from Dr. Reinhold Olesch, a visiting scholar from Germany. Dr. Olesch was a professor at the University of Cologne. He had been a professor earlier at Karl Marx University in Leipzig before leaving the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) for the greener pastures of the German Federal Republic (West Germany).

I remember with amusement that at a party one night, Dr. Olesch said in reference to the Texas Wends who were keeping up their Wendish language “we must make tips” (meaning, of course, tapes). I drove Dr. Olesch down to Serbin once or twice, also to Panna Maria since he was interested in Polish. I recall Dr. Olesch seeing an armadillo in the Serbin area and chasing it for a short distance. I also recall one rainy day when Dr. Olesch said “this is perfect fieldwork weather. On a rainy day, everyone is at home.” However, I don’t think I did drive him down to the Serbin area that day. My dislike of driving on slick roads probably overruled the “perfect fieldwork weather.”

I decided to write my M.A. thesis on Sorbian (Wendish) in the Serbin area. There had been an article in the Austin American-Statesman (probably around 1963) on Wendish in Texas and Albert Miertschin of Giddings was mentioned. I looked Albert up one day and asked him for leads on Wends who still spoke the language fluently. (I guess Albert had told me that his Wendish was rusty. I can’t recall for sure.) He gave me three names: Ben Mitschke in Winchester, Herman Bigon in Giddings, and Martin Miertschin between Winchester and Serbin. He especially recommended Martin Miertschin, saying that he read the Bible in Wendish. He also mentioned that Martin was part of a Wendish singing group. (How I wish someone had tape-recorded those singing sessions!)

I interviewed Mitschke, Bigon, and Miertschin. My interview technique was to ask how my informant said an utterance in English. For example, I would ask “how do you say in Wendish ‘I am drinking water, you are drinking water, he is drinking water’, etc.?” My informant would answer “ja wodu pijem,” etc. Interestingly, when I began my taping session with Bigon, he answered in German for the first question. I told him that I wanted him to answer in Wendish, not in German. I turned my research into an M.A. thesis at the University of Texas.

Back to Dr. Olesch, he had suggested at one point that I apply to Karl Marx University for a fellowship to study in the Sorbian Institute. I did and they offered me a fellowship for the spring semester of 1965. Unfortunately, I spoke German there instead of Sorbian. Still, it was a cultural experience. I spent Easter weekend in Radibor (Sorbian: Radwor) as the guest of a fellow Sorbian student. I attended a couple of Sorbian church services and also saw the famous Easter Riders, men on horseback riding from village to village and singing Sorbian hymns. I also later spent a week in Bautzen.


A Practical Grammar of Upper Sorbian (Wendish), 2nd Edition, by Dr Charles Wukasch


 In the preface to the first edition, I stated that I hoped the grammar would serve at least two purposes: 1) as a self-teaching grammar for those people of Sorbian (Wendish) descent who wished to learn something about the language; 2) as a grammar for a continuing education course in Upper Sorbian or for a course in Upper Sorbian given in a department of Slavic languages. I also added the caveat that my introductory grammar was not intended to substitute for any of the more detailed grammars by native speakers of Upper Sorbian.

The English equivalents which are the equivalent of the Upper Sorbian letters of the alphabet are sometimes rough equivalents. The best thing, of course, is to ask a native speaker how to pronounce a word. However, given that that is not always feasible, an approximation of a sound is better than nothing.

 I was flattered that the first edition was favorably reviewed in 1994 by the Slavic and East European Journal, one of the leading journals devoted to Slavic and Eastern European studies. I hope that this edition will also be a contribution to the field of Sorbian studies.

 If anyone has questions about the book, notices typos, etc., please feel free to contact me at or through the Texas Wendish Heritage Society Press, 1011 County Road 212, Giddings, TX 78942.

 I wish to dedicate this work to the Texas Wends with whom I did field work on various occasions years ago: Carl and Martin Miertschin, Herman Bigon, and Ben Mitschke. They had pride in their Wendish background and continued to use the Wendish language until their death.


Slavic Germans by Dr Joe Wilson

Notes on assimilation, discrimination, and self-awareness of Wends in Germany and Texas[1]

Joseph B. Wilson

The Wends, or Sorbs, of Germany are a Slavic group in what is now southeastern Germany, in the area called Lusatia (Lausitz), around the cities of Bautzen and Cottbus. They were surrounded and infiltrated by the German expansion to the east in the Middle Ages. Even in the most Wendish regions, the majority has been Germanized for centuries. The German melting pot has similarly absorbed Danes, French, and other Slavs. Originally, the Wends had a rich oral folklore, but the large number of dialects and a lack of a written language were critical disadvantages, and there was pressure from the victorious German government in the direction of Germanization. Thus the Wends mostly adopted the German language, names, and culture.

Over the centuries, the Wends were discriminated against in choice of professions and otherwise. By the mid-nineteenth century their situation had improved and was apparently little different from that of other rural Germans. At that time, many of them migrated to Texas. As can be seen from the Ben Nevis passenger list and from the baptismal records of the Texan town of Serbin, among the incoming Wends were pastors, blacksmiths, locksmiths, tanners, bakers, often with the prestigious title ‘master’ appended. In Texas, they could freely use the Wendish language in churches, schools, books and newspapers. While many were emotionally attached to Wendish, it was of little practical use, whereas German was not only the language of the majority of immigrants from Germany but also a major world language. Thus Wendish tended to be used less and less.

In Germany today, the word ‘Wends’ is felt, at least by some linguists and historians, especially in eastern Germany, to have a pejorative ring, and the word ‘Sorbs’ is often used instead. Neither term is very exact: many people are confused by the old German usage of ‘Wends’ to mean the many different Slavic nations on medieval Germany’s eastern borders, and say that the present Wends are the remnant of a mighty race that controlled a vast region. Actually, the present Wends of Germany stem from two different Slavic tribes which had settled in the north and south of Lusatia in the early Middle Ages. In Texas, the descendants of these people have always called themselves Wends,’ if not simply ‘Germans,’ and the rather artificial new term ‘Sorbs’ is unknown among them.

The Wendish language is linguistically situated between Czech and Polish, as its geographical location would suggest. Like Czech, it accents the first syllable of the word. It exhibits the Slavic case system with even more than the normal complexity, and has preserved some features that other Slavic languages have lost, such as a full range of dual forms (that is, special plural forms for two) in verbs, adjectives, and nouns, and an aorist-imperfect simple past tense. There has of course been a great deal of German influence, in word order and in loan-words like sula (Schule, school), farar (Pfarrer, clergyman), bur (Bauer, farmer), srybar (Schreiber, teacher), or such loan translations as horjewzac (aufnehmen, take up).

Wendish has a multitude of dialects which are grouped into two major divisions, ‘Upper Wendish’ (in the higher country of the south) and ‘Lower Wendish’ (in the lower country of the north). While speakers of the two major dialects can understand each other, the differences are great enough to have caused the development of two separate written languages. The Upper Wendish has been best preserved, both in Texas and in Germany.

Owing to the saturation of the Wendish area with German (and, earlier, the use of Latin in church services), written Wendish did not develop until the Reformation. Since that time, the written language has been largely in the service of religion. The first Wendish hymnbook was published in 1710, with 199 hymns; within 50 years, in its reprintings it had grown to 629 hymns. In 1838, 104 new hymns were added; in 1888, additional 84 appeared. In 1930, the hymns were rearranged and renumbered. This 1930 hymnbook was used until Wendish church services were forbidden under Hitler. As this miniature history of hymnology indicates, the Wendish cultural identity remained vigorous even in the period of Bismarck’s Kulturkampf, when the large Slavic minorities in Prussia were discriminated against in various ways.

The struggle to preserve Wendish intensified in the nineteenth century. Of the various writing systems which were tried, there remained a Lutheran one which adapted German spelling conventions to Wendish and used German (‘Fraktur‘) type, and a Catholic one which was based on Czech and used Latin type (with ‘s’ rather than ‘sch,’ for instance). Thus, two different spelling and printing systems developed, compounding the problems of the split into two major dialects.

In mid-nineteenth century, there were 150,000 people speaking Wendish among a million Germans in the area. At present, there are perhaps as few as 20,000 speakers left, but estimates vary widely and exact statistics have not been kept by authorities in East Germany or in united Germany. After World War II, the East German government supported the teaching of Wendish in some schools, but the decline in usage was not halted. Since the reunification of Germany, much of the government support for Wendish has been eliminated. There still are a few newspapers and books being published in Wendish, however. Since World War II, only the Czech-type spelling has been used.

The Wends came to Texas in mid-nineteenth century and settled in what is now Lee County. They formed a colony where both Wendish and German were used. They were conservative ‘Old-Lutherans’ who were scattered throughout the Southern (‘Upper’) Lusatian area, politically divided between Saxony in the south and Prussia in the north. Pastor Johann (Jan in Wendish) Kilian had been serving as pastor of all the Wendish Old Lutherans in Prussian Lusatia who did not wish to become part of the Prussian state church. In Lusatia, Kilian’s headquarters were at the neighboring villages of Weigersdorf and Klitten, each of which had its own church, and from there he traveled every few weeks to the areas of Spremberg in the west and Muskau and Cottbus in the north, to serve his congregations there. Each of these branch-congregations in turn was the focal point for the Old Lutherans of the surrounding villages. Thus, Kilian was the pastor of several thousand Lutherans in Prussia. Previously, he had served congregations in Saxony, so he was well known in scores of villages in both the Prussian and Saxon part of Lusatia.

The first Texas arrivals included several Lutheran families from Kilian’s congregations. They departed from Bremen on 4 September 1853, and after many misfortunes arrived in Galveston and Houston, where they were met by one of the earlier Wends and escorted from there to the Industry-New Ulm area where they stayed temporarily.

The 1853 emigrants wrote such favorable letters about Texas that, in 1854, over 500 of their fellow Lutherans decided to leave for Texas. To this end they entered into a formal alliance, constituting their group as a new Lutheran congregation and as an emigration society (for mutual financial help), and called Kilian to accompany them as their pastor. In September 1854, they traveled by rail from Bautzen to Hamburg, then by ship to Hull, on the east coast of England, then by rail to Liverpool on the west coast, where they were to embark on the large sailing ship Ben Nevis. Kilian and his family were unable to go with the group, because he had to face charges of instigation of emigration. Luckily, he was able to clear himself and caught up with the group in Liverpool. In Liverpool they got caught up in a cholera epidemic, which caused many deaths and pursued them all the way across the Atlantic. Their sailing was delayed and when they did sail, so many still were sick and dying that the captain took the ship to Queenstown, Ireland, where they spent three weeks in quarantine aboard the Ben Nevis and another ship, the Inconstant. When they finally arrived in Galveston in December, seventy-eight people had died. They proceeded by steamer to Houston where some of the poorer ones stayed, lacking the funds to go further. Others continued, on foot and in wagons, to the Industry area, where the earlier immigrants received them. Here, again, lack of money forced some to remain, while a nucleus group, joined by some of the 1853 emigrants, continued westward to the land which became Serbin: they bought a league of land in what is now Lee County, south of the present town of Giddings. Nearly all of those who stayed at first in the Houston or Industry area proceeded to the Serbin area as soon as they could afford it, usually after a few years. Even though the Industry area was about forty miles from Serbin, the people who stayed there formed a branch of the Serbin church, and for twelve years Kilian regularly visited them, preaching and performing pastoral services.

The Wends who emigrated were bilingual. German was used for nearly all business matters, sometimes even personal letters among family members. Wendish was used in church services alongside German. Pastor Kilian taught the school in Wendish and German. The congregational meetings, which doubled up as the government of the group, were held in Wendish through 1865. The minutes of these meetings, nearly all written by Kilian himself, are the main documents we have of the Wendish language in Texas. The official church records: baptisms, confirmations, marriages, deaths, were kept in German. The grave inscriptions, often lengthy and eloquent, were also in German (with one Wendish exception at Serbin). The other major category of documents in Wendish are the handwritten, page-long obituaries, called in German ‘Lebenslauf‘. These were read in church the Sunday after the burial. About 60 of those that are preserved are in German and about 215 are in Wendish.

The Wends of Texas tended to mingle with Germans rather than with the nearby Czechs or Poles. They called their community Serbin, meaning ‘Wendland,’ from the Wendish word ‘Serbja,’ which is of course related to the word ‘Sorbs.’ It should be noted that the Wends of Germany and Texas are not the same as the ‘Windish‘ (German Windisch) Slavs of the old Austrian Empire, presently called Slovenes. The major settlement of these Windish people in the United States is in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The Wendish-German culture in Texas is a unique double heritage. It is often difficult to decide whether a given custom or saying is originally Wendish or German. The custom of the ‘birds’ wedding’ (usually called by the German term, Vogelhochzeit) was originally Wendish, but the ‘Rumplich‘ (Santa Claus), sometimes touted as specifically Wendish, was German (Knecht Ruprecht).

After 1880, it was mostly only older people that spoke Wendish on a daily basis. Wendish church services continued to be held (alongside the German ones) until 1920. From 1920 until about 1940 the world of the Texas Wends was almost exclusively German. Only after the transition to German had been completed, did English begin to make any kind of impression on the group. The final assimilation to English began slowly in the 1930s, and a bilingual German-English life began to evolve. German was the dominant language until the 1950s, and it was the language of the congregational meetings at Serbin until 1966. In the 1990s, German among the Wends is in the same situation as Wendish was in 1919: still used for church services for the elderly. Only a few old people still speak Wendish with any fluency, and even for them it was their second language, after German and before English. Some other people, whose home language was already German, know quite a few Wendish phrases and can understand quite a bit, but they are not speakers of the language.

Pastor Johann (Jan) Kilian, the leader of the Texas Wends, was a Wendish patriot but considered himself ‘just as much a German as a Wend’, as he once wrote. Thoroughly fluent in Wendish and German, he had become a figure of some importance in the development of the Wendish language and literature, translating works of Luther and other theologians, and writing religious poetry and hymns. He was a member of the Wendish scholarly society Maçica Serbskaja from 1847 until 1852, and was acquainted with the Wendish scholars Chr. Tr. Pfuhl and Johann Ernst Schmaler, with whom he corresponded from Texas. Pfuhl’s monumental Wendish dictionary of 1866 credits Kilian (pp. xvi, xxxi) with a ‘small collection of words.’

Here are some samples of Kilian’s Wendish poetry, with English translations:

Wojny Bo sapala,

Wojazy padaja,

Konz je mjer a dobycza radosz.

Wandrowski sprozny

Widzi dom wotzny,

Tam Bo spokoji styska a zadosz.

Wars will ignite,

soldiers will fall,

the end will be peace and the joy of victory;

The tired wanderer

will see his father’s house,

where his yearning will be satisfied.

In Spjewarske Wesselje [Songs of Joy, 1846], Kilian admonishes his flock to remain true to their language and faith. The refrain of the first song has become quite famous:

Sserbjo, sakhowajcze Bwjeru

Bwojich Wotzow Rycz a Wjeru.

Wends, preserve faithfully

Your fathers’ language and belief.

Kilian led the group in Texas from 1854 until his death in 1884. His oldest son, Gerhard, became schoolteacher in 1872. Another son, Hermann, succeeded him as pastor and continued the use of Wendish for church services until his own death in 1920. His successor, Pastor Hermann Schmidt, worked almost exclusively in German, although he spoke Wendish and used it in private pastoral services when necessary.

The Wends and other Germans of the Serbin area prospered after the initial difficult years. Pastor Kilian had personally joined the conservative (similarly ‘Old Lutheran’) ‘German Evangelical Lutheran Church of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States’ (now called the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod). The congregation formally joined this Synod in 1866, after being delayed, in part, by the Civil War. As the original congregation grew in the early decades, it spread for miles around the town of Serbin, and daughter congregations were formed: Fedor, Manheim, Warda, Loebau, Greens Creek, Winchester, and Lincoln. The Greens Creek congregation was too small to survive, but the others are still alive and well – especially the mother congregation, itself, St. Paul’s of Serbin, which is thriving.

Between 1900 and 1950, Serbin became so thoroughly German that its Wendish heritage was practically forgotten. Wendish was treated like the German dialect that a person’s grandparents might speak: a curious and useless relic. My parents-in-law used to say (in German), “Oh yes, the old Wends, those were the old people; my mother was Wendish. We are German.” In the 1950s, a new interest in Wendish began to develop and the Wendish heritage began to be cherished. Texas Wendish Heritage Society was founded in the 1970s and has flourished: it has about 500 members, quarterly meetings are attended by about 100 people, and it has maintained a museum (in Serbin, near the church), which has displays of old artifacts and a considerable collection of books and archival materials.


Joseph B. Wilson is a retired Professor of German at Rice University and the author of Texas and Germany: Crosscurrents (1977).

[1] The best single book on the Wends in Germany and in Texas is George Nielsen, In search of a Home: Nineteenth-Century Wendish Immigration (Texas A & M 1989). I married into the Texas Wends nearly fifty years ago, and have studied their Wendish which was already in decline fifty years ago. In particular, I have been working on the manuscripts of the church archives of Serbin’s St. Paul’s congregation including Johann Kilian’s documents of the first thirty years of the Sorbian colony in Texas (1854-1883). The documents comprise several thousand ms. pages; of these, about six hundred pages are in Wendish. There are records of births, baptisms, confirmations, marriages, deaths, as well as letters and minutes of meetings. I published a translated edition of some of these documents (Southern Historical Press 1985). Other volumes are forthcoming, including an annotated version of the Ben Nevis passenger register. Parts of this article have been adapted from materials I have previously published elsewhere.


Unusual German Lexical Items for the Lee-Fayette County Are of Texas by Dr. Joe Wilson

This article by Dr Joseph Wilson, now retired from Rice University, first appeared as Chapter 8 in Texas Studies in Bilingualism, edited by Glenn G. Gilbert.

Unusual German Lexical Items

from the Lee-Fayette County Area of Texas[1]

In a previous article[2] I gave a general description of the German spoken in the area between La Grange (Fayette Co.) and Giddings (Lee Co.), Texas. It need only be repeated here that this is one of the most important German regions in the state, although it is frequently ignored in histories of the German element. The settlements are all the more interesting in that they are composed largely of German Wends (Sorbs), so that the language situation is threefold, with many of the settlers being trilingual in Wendish (a Slavic language), German, and English. The German spoken is a modified High German with relatively few peculiarities of phonology, morphology, and lexicon. Those peculiarities which are present are usually reflections of Ostmitteldeutsch (Obersächsish-Schlesisch)[3] or English.

 The purpose of this present paper is to supplement the previously given general description by listing all the unusual German vocabulary items I have been able to find which are still in common use in the German of the area. I hope soon to be able to publish similar lists of English words used in German (e g., die Fence) and of Anglicized usage of German words (e.g., Acker ‘acre’); therefore such items will not be included here. These materials come from my own conversations over a period of many years with natives of this region.[4] Since, as mentioned, Lee-Fayette German employs relatively few dialectal or otherwise unusual words, the following list is felt to have some measure of completeness and thus to give a serviceable idea of the nature and extent of the nonstandard vocabulary used.

 Besides adding interesting items that have eluded me, further research could make more exact studies to determine, for instance, the geographical distribution of the various items. Such studies would have to be based on carefully formulated questionnaires, for which this list might serve as a beginning. Since the deviations from Standard German (and from other forms of American and Texas German) are not numerous, the questionnaires would have to be designed to elicit information on these particular points.

 Another field for further research would be the clarification of the origins of the unusual vocabulary items. This can obviously be an almost open-ended project, since a single word can become a major research topic. As a first step in this direction, the items have been checked in Grimm’s Deutsches Wörterbuch, in Karl Müller-Fraureuth’ s Wörterbuch der obersächsischen und erz gebirgischen Mundarten, 2 vols. (Leipzig, 1911-14), and in W. Mitzka’s Schlesisches Wörterbuch, 3 vols. (Berlin, 1963-65). The notations O (for Obersächsish), S (for Schlesisch), and G (for Grimm) mean that the item is found in the respective dictionary, though perhaps only as one of a number of variant forms given. If the usage is similar but not the same, the notation ‘cf. O (or S or G)’ will indicate this. It will be seen that most of the items are ostmitteldeutsch, but usually not exclusively so, as normally indicated by the listing in Grimm. Sometimes I have attempted to summarize in a word or two Grimm’s information about the occurrence of the item. The most challenging words are naturally those which are not listed in these dictionaries at all (although, of course, this may simply be due to the incompleteness of the latter). Here and there I have ventured a conjecture concerning the origin. When Wendish words are cited, they are given as in Filip Jakubaš, Obersorbisch-deutsches Wörterbuch (Bautzen, 1954).

 The items given are the common words used for the terms in question, generally to the exclusion of the more standard form (given as the translation); indeed, the latter is frequently not even understood. The gender is indicated only when it deviates from the standard. The glosses have been given in German since the items are frequently variant forms of standard words. When, in discussions of the interactions of words, the term ‘confusion’ is used, it is meant without negative value-judgement.

[1] I wish to thank the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and Rice University, which jointly made it possible for me to spend a sabbatical year in Germany, during which time I was able to work on a number of projects, including this one.

[2] “The Texas Germans of Lee and Fayette Counties,” The Rice Institute Pamphlet, XLVII, No. 1 (April, 196O), 83-98.

[3] On the German spoken by the Wends in Germany (Neulausitzisch), cf. Günter Bellman, Mundart und Umgangssprache in der Oberlautsitz, Deutsche Dialektgeographie, Vol. 62 (Marburg, 1961).

[4] Cf. footnote l of my article, footnote 2 above. Any phonetic symbols used have their standard IPA values.


du Älte ‘Alter’ (G), but Alterschwäche.

andonnern ‘anfangen zu donnern.’

angeschossen ‘betrunken.’

anstekig ‘ansteckend’ (S anstecklich).

Apfel, Äpfel, (plural of Apfel).

das or der Ast ‘der Ast.’

Aten, Aden ‘Atem’ (O).

gebaden ‘gebadet’ (O; G: rare, obsolete).

Bambel ‘Bummel’ (O Pampel). 

bechten,verbechten ‘verschwenden’ (O, S).

behacken, ‘mit der Hacke bearbeiten’ (G).

belockern ‘lockern’ (e.g., die Erde, mit der Hacke).

Beruf ‘Ruf’ (e.g., von einer Gemeinde an einen Pastor).

beschneiden also for ‘verschneiden.’

gebeten, gebetet ‘gebebet’ (gefragt substitutes as participle of bitten).

Bissel ‘Bißchen’ (O, S, G: süddeutsch, Südsachsen).

bläken [æ or ɛ] ‘blöken’ (O, S, G); bläkig ‘blökend, weinerlich’ (e. g., bläkige, Kinder, Kälber) (cf. S pläglich).

blöde [e:] ‘schüchtern’ only (G).

der Bobba, Bobbak ‘Schreckgestalt, schwarzer Mann’ (S); this Slavic word (bubak, the source of German Popanz) is widely used in Ostmitteldeutsch (cf. S), therefore it is reasonable to assume that the Lee-Fayette word stems from this usage, rather than being a recent loan from the Wendish.

brinkeln ‘krümeln’; brinklig ‘krümelig’; (cf. O, S).

Brummberre ‘Brombeere’ (O).

brühen ‘Wärme sammeln’ (e. g., die Federbetten brühen) (cf. S brühen ‘brennen’).

därf, därfen ‘darf, dürfen’ (O; G: oberdeutsch).

dawegen ‘sometimes for ‘deswegen.’

denn ‘dann’ (S; G: general).

derbe ‘sehr, schmerzhaft’ (e.g., das tut derbe weh) (G; O derb).

deshalb, deswegen ‘dennoch’ (O, G).

Deutschverderber (humorous) ‘Deutschsprecher.’

dichtig ‘tüchtig, sehr’ (G: widespread; O, S tichtig).

dienen ‘als Dienstmädchen arbeiten’ (G).

dorte ‘dort’ (O, G).

der Dummlack, ‘Dummkopf’ (O, S).

durch ‘vorüber’ (e.g., es ist schon fünf durch ‘fünf Uhr vorüber’) (O).

ei-ei childish expression used when caressing a pet or doll, like English ‘nice Kitty;’ ei Machen ‘liebkosen’ (e.g., Mach Kitty ei ‘streichle das Kätzchen’); (O, S, G).

Eichkatze ‘Eichhörnchen’ (S).

eine in plural (e.g., die haben die Sachen zu eine Leute gegeben, was sehr arm sind; so eine dumme Kinder!) (G: ahd, mhd, not nhd).

ermachen ‘schaffen’ (e.g., es ist zu spat, wir werden’s nicht mehr ermachen) (O, S, G).

etliche usually used rather than einige.

die Faulienza ‘Faulheit, vorgetäuschte Krankheit’ (punning on Influenza) (cf. O Faulenzia under Influenza).

Fenstern (pi. of Fenster) (O).

die Fliegenklietsche ‘Fliegenklatsche’ (G Klitsche), cf. klietschen.

er, ihr frägt [-ɛçt] ‘fragt’ (O, G).

der Fräß ‘Hautentzündung’ (d. S Fras).

Freischule ‘öffentliche (nicht-kirchliche) Schule’ (G).

der Früh ‘(früher) Morgen’ (e.g., den [nächsten] Früh sind wir zeitlich aufgestanden) (S, G).

fuffzig, fuchzig, fünfzig ‘fünfzig’ (O, G).

geben ‘aufgehen (von Teig)’ (G; O under Teig); das Kleid geht zu waschen ‘kann gewaschen werden’ (O, G).

genung [-ņk] ‘genug’ (also genug [-ʊx]) (O, S; G: mitteldeutsch).

ich gib [ɪ], ihr gibt [ɪ] ‘gebe, gebt’ (G: oberdeutsch, obsolete).

gramhaftig ‘geizig’ (S, G; O gramhaft).

Griewen (pl.) ‘Griefen, Grieben’ (O, S, G).

gut sein ‘bürgen’ (e.g., er wird für das Geld gut sein) (O, G).

Hausnam(e) ‘Familienname.’

Hefe, Hewe ‘Hefe’; eine Hefe is ‘ein Stück Hefe’; more generally the plural is used (cf. O).

heißen, pp. gehießen ‘heißen; befehlen’ (O, G); ausheißen ’empfehlen’ (e.g., einen Arzt); geheißen ‘befehlen.’

heita machen, gehen (childish) ‘schlafen gehen’ (cf. O Deidei ‘Bett’; S heiti gehen ‘mit dem Kind auf dem Arn spazierengehen’).

Henne, pl. Hühner; sing. Huhn seldom used except as in Sonntag gibt es Huhn zu essen; Hühner used at times as general plural, at times for ‘Hennen’ as opposed to Roosters ‘Hähne’ or Fryers ‘Brathähnchen’ (such confusion is widespread, cf. O, S, G).

herrlich ‘wählerisch im Essen’ (of persons and animals) (O, S).

heute [aɪ] ‘heute’ (O, G).

Hucke used only in the humorous answer to a request for the time of day: Viertel durch die Hucke, wenn du’s nicht glaubst, geb kucke! and not understood even there.

Hühnerfleisch ‘Huhn’ (as food) (G).

Ihr (or usually Sie) polite address to one person (G: Sachsen).

immer ‘schon, doch’ (e.g., fängt immer an!) (O, G).

jackern ‘plappern’; Gejackere, ‘Geplapper’; contrasts with gackern of chickens.

jagden jaxtņ] ‘jagen, auf die Jagd gehen’ (e.g., sie sind jagden gegangen; sie haben Eichkatzen gejagdet); contrasting with jagen in other senses (sie jagt ihn aus das Haus; die Kinder jagen rum).

(o) jau jau jau! expression of astonishment.

jukeln ‘langsam fahren’; Gejukele (e.g., ach, so ein Gejukele hat der da vor uns!) (S; cf. G jucken, juckeln).

Käfer often [v] (O).

kapṹt often for ‘kaputt.’

Kauwachs, ‘Kaugummi.’

kiáutschen ‘miauen’ (loud and irritatingly) (e.g., warum kiautscht die Katze so?).

sich hinklecksen ‘sich hinsetzen’ (humorous or in vexation) (cf. S klecksen, G klecken).

der Klesel ‘Kloß.’

klietschen ‘klatschen, schlagen’ (e.g., ich hab ihn eine hingeklietscht) (O; G, S klitschen); contrasting with (in die Hände) klatschen.

Klucke ‘Glucke’ (S, G).

Knirps [œ] ‘kleines hartes Körnchen; kleiner Mensch’; the first meaning evidently derives from confusion with variant forms of Knorpel (cf. S Knorps; G Knirps).

die Knoche sometimes for ‘Knochen’ (cf. O, S Knoche ‘Fuß, Hand’).

Kochwurst ‘Sülzwurst.’

Kornstäbler, Ko(r)nstapel ‘Sheriff, Konstabel.’

Krampel often for ‘Krempel’ (O).

der Kran (Wasser-) Hahn’ (G: niederdeutsch); contrasting with Hahn ‘rooster.’

das Kräutig ‘Krautwerk’ (O, S; G: ostmitteldeutsch).

kreideweiß! ‘Potztausend!’

krimmen often for ‘jucken’ (O, S, G).

die Krippe ‘Scheune’ (G, obsolete).

Kuffer ‘Koffer’ (O, G).

kuken, usually kucken ‘gucken’ (S; O guken).

küntstlich ‘künstlerisch.’

kurz ‘schachsinnig’ (e. g., die Alte ist bissel kurz).

Kusenk, pl. –e ‘Cousin’ (O).

Kuvert, pl. –e ‘Kuvert, Umschlag.’

Landsmann, common as form of address (e.g., wie geht’s, Landsmann?), but often taken to mean ‘Landmann, Bauer.’

lang often for ‘entlang’ (O).

langkommen ‘auskommen, vertragen’ (e.g., man kann mit ihn, gut langkommen).

lappig ‘schwach, krank’ (O, S).

Lehrers (pl of Lehrer).

Liichtkäfer ‘Glühwürmchen.’

Lotsche,lotschen often for ‘Latsche, latschen’ (S, G).

lulu machen (childish) ‘harnen’ (O, S, G).

sich machen as in es macht sich zu regnen ‘anfangen, im Begriff sein’ (cf. O).

Mädel [æ] or [ɛ], pl. -s, usually for ‘Mädchen’ (whose pl. is also -s) (O, S, G).

malen, only ‘farbig malen,’ not used for ‘anstreichen.’

Madratze often for ‘Matratze’ (O, G).

Mäuserimpel (pl.) a wild plant with small black berries, cf. Rimpel (O, S, G list similarly formed names of various plants).

meestern ‘befehlen, nörgeln’ (e.g., seine Frau tut ihn immer meestern), evidently from Meester (O), which has, however, been replaced in Lee-Fayette by Meister; berummeestern,‘planlos arbeiten, pfuschen.’

mehr, ‘mehrere’ (O, G).

meinem, also for ‘bedeuten’ (G: ahd, mhd), possible influence of English.

Messern (pl. of Messer).

Millich ‘Milch’ (O, S; G: mhd).

mupsig ‘mürrisch’ (S; O, G under mopsig).

Musikant ‘Musiker’; without the niedrigen Beisinn mentioned in G.

nach ‘zu’ (e.g., nach Großmutter gehn, nach die Tür gehn) (G).

nackig ‘nackt’ (O, S, G).

Nam(e), pl. Näme(n) (O, G).

Neeche, Neege, ‘Neige, kleiner Rest’ (O, S).

ich nimm, ihr nimmt ‘nehme, nehmt’ (G: oberdeutsch, obsolete).

nischt ‘nichts’ (O, S; G under nichtsnicht).

nuscheln ‘naschen, schnüffeln’ (e.g., die Kinder sollen nicht in den Kuffer nuscheln) (G; cf. O).

der Nutsch ‘Schnuller’ (O; G: schlesisch).

nutschen ‘saugen’ (O, S, G), also ‘winseln’ (S).

panschen (intr.), aus, verpanschen (tr.) ‘vergießen’ (e.g., pansch nicht so! sie hat die Millich ausgepanscht); Panschgans ‘Person, die etwas vergießt’ (cf. O, S, G panschen, ‘naß machen, Flüssigkeiten mischen, etc.’).

(herum-)pappeln ‘planlos arbeiten, pfuschen’; Gepappele.

(auf etwas) passen ‘aufpassen’. (S, G); aufpassen, is used when the preposition is absent (e.g., paß doch auf! but ich muß auf die Kinder passen).

Pastór, but with a name Pástor (e.g., Pástor Froehlich ist unser Pastór) (cf. G).

Pate often for ‘Patin’ (O, S, G).

die Patéte, pl. -n ‘Batate, sweet potato’; possibly from English potato, confused with Batate.

die Penne ‘Stall’ (e.g., Pferdepenne, Kuhpenne); evidently from Englisb pen.

die Pfoste, often for der Pfosten (O, S, G).

pinzeln, pimpseln ‘winseln’ (O, S, G): pinslig, pimpslig ‘weinerlich’ (S).

Platz often [b-].

der Plinz, pl. –e, or der Plinzel ‘Plinse, Pfannkuchen’ (cf. G Blinz, O Blinse, S Plinze; Wendish blinc).

plumpsig ‘plump, unbeholfen’ (cf. S plumpsch).

der Pojjatz. ‘Bajazzo, Hanswurst, Schelm’ (S Pojatz).

der Popphans, Pupphans ‘Hanswurst,’ evidently a form of Popanz (cf. O, G) with a shift of meaning.

der Pumps ‘Furz; ‘pumpsen, ‘furzen’ (O, S).

Puter, Puterhenne only, not Truthahn, -henne (O, G).

pussen ‘ärgern’ (e.g., das tut er mich zu pussen) (O, S, explained as zum Possen,a variant of Posse ‘Streich, Jux’).

putzig ‘niedlich’ (O; cf. S, G).

quackern ‘plappern’ (O, S, G).

Quarksack, Quarkschniete (humorous) ‘Kind’; cf. Schniete (cf. S; O Quarkkäse).

rankern ‘wühlen’ (e. g., die Kinder rankern im Bett um); ein-, verrankern, ‘zerwühlen’ (e.g., das Bett ist verrankert) (O, S, G); verrankern also ‘mit Ranken umschlungen’ (e.g., ein verrankerter Baum) (cf. G verranken).

rechnen also for ‘rechen’ (e.g., tu die Blätter zusammenrechnen) (G: tirolisch; cf. S rechen ‘rechen, rechnen’).

der Rimpel ‘kleine Kugel aus Dreck oder Mist’; possibly a diminutive of Rumpf ‘Körper, Stück’ (cf. S Rumpen ‘dicker Körper, großes Stück Brot,’ etc. and Rümpftel ‘Brotende, Brocken’); Rimpelroller [-o:-] ‘Mistkäfer.’

Roderhacke, ‘Rodehacke’ (S).

rösseln ‘hart arbeiten’; ein guter Rößler ‘ein fleißiger Arbeitet’; apparently from English rustle and hustle; however, cf. also G rüsseln ‘wühlen, sich ereifern’; O, S ruscheln ‘schnell oder planlos arbeiten’; Wendish rozsylnić ‘erstarken,’ rozžehlić ‘erhitzen.’

der Rumpricht, Rumplicht ‘Knecht Ruprecht, der Weihnachtsmann’ (S).

ruppen, röpfen ‘rupfen.’

Sá1amander ‘(English) gopher.’

Sálat (O).

sharnieren ‘genieren’ (S).

scheechen ‘scheuchen; spuken’ (e.g., tu die Hühner bissel scheechen; in das alte Haus sheecht es ‘Gespenster gehen um’); verscheechen ‘verscheuchen, erschrecken’; Gescheeche, ‘Vogelscheuche; Gespenst; unheimlich aussehender Mensch’; Scheechstunde ‘Mitternacht, Zeit der Gespenster’ (O, S; according to S this is the falling together of two different verbs, mhd schiuhen and schëhen).

die Schichte, ‘Schicht’ (G).

der Schiewer ‘Splitter’ (S; O, G Schiefer).

Schistérne ‘Zisterne.’

schmoken ‘rauchen, räuchern’ (S; cf. O schmoochen; G schmauchen; undoubtedly also influenoed by English smoke).

Schniete ‘Schnitte, Butterbrot’ (O, S, G).

Schwanz also used for small fish of any kind (e.g., wir haben nur paar kleine Schwänze gefangen).

schwänzeln ‘schmeicheln, herumkriegen’ (e.g., die Tochter hat so lange rum geschwänzelt, bis die Mutter getan hat, was sie wollte) (G).

schwänzig ‘ungleich’ (of the hem of a dress) (cf. G).

schwefen ‘spülen, schwenken zum Spülen’ (e.g., sich dem Mund ausschwefen; die Washmaschine tut nicht richtig schwefen) (O; S, G schweifen).

sehre often for sehr (O, G).

sein often for sind (O, S, G).

sechte schlafen ‘nicht tief schlafen’ (cf. S, G).

Sie as polite address only singular (pl. Ihr).

der Sieb often for das Sieb (G).

der Splinter ‘Splitter’ (smaller than Schiewer) (G; cf. O Splint, S Splind) possible influence of English splitter.

der Stechel ‘kleiner Stachel’ (as on roses) (G).

Stinkatze ‘Stinktier, Skunk’; modeled after Eichkatze?

strakt ‘gerade’ (e.g., ein strakter Weg, straktes Haar) (O, G).

Stück, pl. Stücken (O, G); the type fünf Stück ‘fünf Exemplare’ can refer also to persons (e.g., Wieviel Kinder sind da? Vier Stück).

tausend schlimm ‘sehr schlimm’ (humorous) (cf. O, S, G for similar usage of tausend as intensifier).

teita machen (childish) ‘Stuhlgang haben’; cf. heita machen.

telpsch, telpisch ‘tölpisch’ (S; O under tolpatschig).

tichschen ‘tückschen, schmollen’ (O, S, G); austickschen ‘seinen Dickkopf durchsetzen’; Tickschopf ‘Person, die schmollt.’

der Tiffel ‘Töffel, Dummkopf’ (cf. G Tüffel); tifflig ‘dumm’ (but cf. S tifflich ‘erfinderisch’).

Tóbak ‘Tabak’ (O, S, G; cf. Wendish tobak); Potz Tobak! ‘Potztausend!’

Tocht ‘Docht’ (O, S, G).

totgeben; totmachen ‘verenden, sterben; töten’ (of animals, for which sterben and töten are not used).

treist ‘dreist’ (S).

trmpeln ‘trampeln’ (O, S, G).

der Tschutsch ‘Schnuller’ (O under Zutsch); tschutschen ‘saugen, zutschen’ (S; O under zutschen).

tun as auxiliary (e.g., er tut fischen; tu nicht so lachen!; ich tät lieber weinen) (O, S, G: widespread).

etwas über haben ‘zu verwalten oder beaufsichtigen haben’ (e.g., er hat das Schlacten über) (O, G).

überfahren, übernehmen conjugated as separable verbs (e.g., er nimmt das Geshäft über; sie hat die Katze übergefahren) (G).

Umlauf ‘Entzündung am Fingernagel’ (S, G; O Umläufer).

verdeckt ‘verflixt’ (cf. G ‘verhüllt, böse’).

verdohlt, verdlollt ‘verflixt.’

verfrieren ‘(er-)frieren’ (e.g., die Tomaten sind verfroren) (S, G).

verpassen ‘vermissen.’

verplimpern ‘verplempern, verschwenden.’

verschwitzt also ‘beschlagen’ (of windows) (cf. S Fensterschweiß; O, G schwitzen; possible influence of English sweaty).

vor ‘bevor’ (G: rare).

vorfahren ‘überholen’ (e.g., er ist uns vorgefahren) (G).

vorübel, verübel nehmen ‘übelnehmen’ (O, S, G).

was the usual relative pronoun (e.g., der Mann, was da war) (O; G: mitteldeutsch).

Weg: in die Wege, ‘im Wege’; the standard construction evidently misunderstood as plural and reformed.

weich ‘krank, empfindlich’ (of the stomach) (cf. S).

Wellfleisch ‘gesottenes Fleisch vom eben geschlachteten Schwein’ (O, S).

wems, wem sein ‘wessen’ (O, S; G: widespread).

wenn also for ‘wann; als’ (O, S, G).

wir often [mir] (O; G: mittel-, oberdeutsch).

wissen: jemand etwas zu wissen lassen (e.g., laßt uns zu wissen, wenn ihr etwas braucht); evidently a confusion of wissen lassen and zu wissen tun (cf. O, G).

Wittfrau ‘Witwe’ (O, S; G: widespread).

geworden also for ‘worden’ (e.g., er ist beerdigt geworden) (G).

gewunken ‘gewinkt’ (O, S; G: widespread).

Wulle,wullen often for Wolle, wollen (O, S; G: widespread).

Zahnstecher ‘Zahnstocher’ (G: obsolete, rare).

zeitlich ‘früh, zeitig’ (O, S; G: widespread).

Zimmer felt to be on higher plane than the common word Stube (used for rooms of the home), thus reserved for ”better” rooms, e.g., Schulzimmer (G: obsolete).

zimmlich ‘ziemlich’ (G: various dialects).

Zimpelmütze often for Zipfelmütze (G).

zipflig, zjpplig ‘komisch, tölpisch, dumm’ (G).

zu Haus(e) gehn often for nach Haus(e) (O, S; G: widespread).

zurück: drei Wochen zurück ‘vor drei Wochen.’


The Hierarchy of Dominance Configuration in Trilingualism by Anthony Vanek

This article by Anthony Vanek first appeared in the Wendish magazine Letopis A, XIV, 2, pg. 173-179 (Bautzen, 1967).

The Hierarchy of Dominance Configuration in Trilingualism

The data on which the present paper is based were gathered among the descendants of Lusatian Sorb, settlers in Cook [should be Lee] County in central Teas. It should be emphasized that the primary target of the project[1] was the compilation of linguistic data for a study of the present day state of the Lusatian language in the United States, rather than an investigation of language contact within the community. Therefore, any observations presented in this paper should be regarded merely as preliminary steps for a deeper analysis of this phenomenon of trilingualism which shall be undertaken after additional material has been gathered.

The community of Serbin, Texas, the cultural center of the Lusatian settlement, was established in 1854 by a group of about 600 immigrants whose reasons for emigrating from their native country had been both religious and nationalistic.[2] One of their prime concerns was the perpetuation of their language. Consequently, immediately upon its establishment the community attempted to achieve an efficient linguistic isolation, and for this purpose one of the first undertakings were the establishment of both Lusatian Lutheran church parish and an eight year Lusatian school. Within 10 years, however, the settlers began to enter into communication with neighboring German settlements which slowly encroached upon Serbin; one of the principal reasons for this development was the mutual adherence of both the Lusatians and the Germans to the Lutheran Church. The question of bilingualism, already traditional in their native country, reasserted itself in their new homeland.

The Lusatian school lost its impact on the community in the latter part of the nineteenth century when English instruction in the public schools became widely accepted and available. Lusatian persisted to be used in the church until the end of World War I, when the death of pastor Herman T. Kilian terminated the use of Lusatian during religious services, although its use in church instruction was terminated already in 1906. The contact of the succeeding pastor, Hermann Schmidt (Kowar), with his Lusatian parishioners outside the church was, however, carried on in Lusatian until the middle 1930’s.

The first two generations of the Lusatian settlers did not come into an extensive or intensive contact with English and did not attain any palpable proficiency in the language. The third generation, however, was exposed to all three languages – Lusatian, German and English – within different spheres of their life. It is predominantly this generation, born between 1890 and 1910, which attracts our attention in that it was exposed to the multiple language contact. The succeeding generations experienced a marked decrease in the facility of both German and Lusatian and can be considered, for all purposes, to be monolingual.

The trilingualism of the third generation of Serbin residents should be viewed as a multiple bilingualism consisting of three sets of bilingual contact: Lusatian-German, Lusatian-English, and German-English. Since the proficiency of the informants in the respective languages varies and since the scope of the usefulness and actual use of the languages varies as well, it should be possible to establish a hierarchy of dominance configuration for the entire language contact complex. According to Weinreich,[3] the determination of dominance configuration should be based on several criteria, the most prominent of which are the following: (a) the bilingual individual’s relative proficiency in the respective languages, (b) the mode of their use, (c) the order of their acquisition and the ages at which each language was introduced and its instruction terminated, (d) the usefulness of each language in communication, (e) emotional involvement of the speakers, (f) the function of the languages in social advance, and (g) the literary and cultural value of each language.

The number of the third-generation Lusatians who had been interviewed and who have proven to be still manifestly trilingual is 42.[4] All of them had been exposed to Lusatian as their first language in the home; active instruction in the language was undertaken between the age of three and the early teens, in the Church school. This instruction consisted of reading, memorization of songs, stories, and prayers, as well as of instruction in the catechism and the Bible, but included very little in the way of writing practice and no formal study of the language structure. When the religious instruction ceased to be conducted in Lusatian at the end of World War I, the language reverted again to exclusive use in the home whence it slowly began to disappear around the middle 1930s.

The informants had come into contact with the German language uniformly during preschool years in the home and within the community, at a social level. This contact has continued without interruption until today. There had never been, however, any formal instruction in German. The informants were introduced to English at the age of six in the public school. None of them attended high school and the majority did not complete the full eight years of elementary instruction; formal instruction in English was therefore terminated in their early teens.

Whereas English had been taught at a formal level and the mode of its use extended both to the written and the spoken language; both Lusatian and German were restricted to oral use. Since the small amount of reading the informants had been exposed to in German as well as in Lusatian had been rendered in the Gothic alphabet, they have been unable to make the transfer to the Latin alphabet which was introduced in Germany before World War II, and are thus apparently unable to read modern texts in either of these languages. At the same time both German and Lusatian have lost their literary and cultural value within the community since the acculturation to their new country has been fully attained.

In so far as emotional involvement is concerned the third generation has experienced considerable moderation in the feelings of belonging to a national minority. The original attempt to elevate Lusatian to a monolingual status had lost ground soon after the establishment of the settlement and the traditional bilingualism was reestablished. The status of German had, however, also shifted from the official language to one of the immigrant languages, and the principle cause for resistance to the traditional bilingualism was thus eliminated. For some fifty years the Lusatian language was established as the language of religious practice but the fact that the Lutheran religion was not limited exclusively to the members of the Lusatian community in the area failed to establish a decisive bond between the language and religion, as was the case with many other immigrant groups. By the time the third generation was growing up, the cultural heritage, folklore and customs brought by the original settlers to this country were being retained only by the grandparents; they are now being remembered only with a degree of nostalgia rather than with a sense of continuity and belonging.

At the present time the language contact situation in the vicinity of Serbin can be viewed as a basically monolingual area with a large percentage of bilingual German-English population and a small percentage of trilingual population which has a degree of command of Lusatian. Consequently, the dominance configuration can be viewed as a set of classes which exhibit a mutual relation of inclusion, English being at the apex of the hierarchy, German being a subclass of English, and Lusatian being at the base of the hierarchy, a subclass of both English and German.

It appears quite improbable that one could establish experimentally the proficiency levels for the three languages. Since the area of usage for each language differs slightly, it would be difficult to arrive at a representative set of examination tests of the type of the “Cloze” model introduced by Wilson Taylor.[5] Moreover, such tests would have to be administered orally and it is doubtful whether the attention span of the older informants would permit such testing with successful results.

One of the phenomena which manifested themselves quite strikingly in a few instances was the shift in the code switching facility during the four-week period of the investigation. The investigator relied on one member of the community, J. Miertschin, an elder of the church, in his contact with the informants. Consequently he was in constant contact with him, especially since he was staying at the Miertschin home. This member of the community did not use Lusatian in his home as a result of intermarriage, but in his official capacity was in constant contact with the Lusatian members of the congregation, and used the Lusatian language with sustained frequency. The hierarchy of dominance configuration in his particular case was, upon the arrival of the investigator, English-German-Lusatian, respectively. The constant contact with the investigator, which included extensive work on linguistic questionnaires both from English and from German into Lusatian, resulted in a gradual improvement of Miertschin’s command of Lusatian in vocabulary scope and richness of syntactic construction. As a result of this his facility in code switching from English or German into Lusatian improved markedly over the period of the investigation, and at the same lime the tendency of “insertion” of German or English sequences in Lusatian utterances became less pronounced. Finally, the code switching facility shifted to a parallel sequence, with equal status;

English<---- Lusatian

English<---- German

A similar shift in code switching facility was observed during the sequence of recording sessions with a group of informants. Whereas in the beginning they had to make an evident effort to maintain the conversation in Lusatian, in time this became easier, and the scope of the subject matter discussed increased. From these observations it would appear that the code switching facility is closely related to the dominance configuration and that both are directly related to the frequency of the use of the respective languages.

With respect to language interference it is necessary to consider the three sets of bilingualism separately, since interference occurs at the point of a linguistic overlap of two languages. Interference can be classed in accordance with the degree or manner of integration on the one hand, and with grammatical level on the other hand. Taking the latter into consideration we should stress that the parallel grammatical structure of German and English have a favorable influence on the integration of loan material into the respective languages. The highly developed inflectional system of Lusatian interferes, however, with the integration of loan material into Lusatian. Loans both from English and German are subjected to a superimposition of the morphological structure of Lusatian. The loan material is eventually integrated but is less likely to become fully homologous with the native language.

This paper will refrain from considering the phonological criteria of interference. Attention will be focused instead on the morphemic interference level. In this connection it is necessary to reaffirm the fact that Lusatian has been restricted in the scope of its vocabulary and formal expression by its confinement to a rural community, by its more or less constant domination by German, to a certain degree, and by the fact that religious instruction has played an important part in the educational picture. The Bible has been considered the highest frame of reference by all the informants. These restrictions have on the one hand limited the lexical wealth of the language and, on the other hand, introduced into it a number of biblical archaisms. Moreover, the formal instruction of Lusatian was terminated during the informants’ early teens, and thereafter the usage of the language in the home declined as well. This resulted in a considerable simplification of the formal patterning; thus, for instance, the dual has been restricted to a few cases only, and the pluperfect, aorist, and supine were abandoned in favor of the simple past tense.

Interference was therefore indicated in several well defined areas:

a) in the terminology related directly to the new environment:[6] e.g.: tón bulk (bullock), ta šlanga (snake), ty pinaty (peanuts), kurjece štejbl (stable), tón inč (inch), ta bušla (bushel), spelować (to spell);

b) in new technical terminology: e. g.: parkować karu (to park a car), tón traktor (tractor), ta tajr (tire);

c) in terminology relating to many phases of adult life in a changing and expanding society: e.g.: ta stopsajna (stop sign), ta ajsboksa (ice box), tón fén (fan).

These examples show that interference in some of the areas has been from both English and German; in the former case it is, however, difficult to establish whether the interference was already present at the time of immigration or whether it took place later, especially as the cases of German interference occur mostly in non-modern words.

The most important and numerous group of items of morphemic interference are morphemic importations or loanwords. For the most part they have under gone considerable alternation both in pronunciation and morphological status, having become subject to the Lusatian inflectional system and having acquired the grammatical form of a similar native term. In assigning such loanwords the grammatical gender, in the absence of specific generic cues, the most productive and least complicated pattern of the recipient language is usually chosen. In view of the fact that the loanwords have undergone considerable integration they should be termed loan blends. Good examples are: ta kára (car), ta stopsajna (stop sign), tón inč (inch), ta Fordka (Ford car), tón cedar (cedar tree).

Loanwords are much more numerous in the nominal system than in the verbal system. Where verbs were borrowed, German was the donor language more often than English; it is likely that the majority of these loans had occurred already in Germany and had been integrated into the language by the time emigration took place: e.g.: lézować (lesen, to read), futrować, futrać (füttern, to feed cattle), rybwać (reiben, to grate).

Morphemic substitution is less noticeable than morphemic importation (loan). On the whole, it seems that it has been more acceptable to integrate a loanword than to engage in diamorphic identification of the individual morphemes; e g.: mašina na pisanjo (typewriter), mašina na myćo (washing machine).

In conclusion we can state that since the group of informants which still engage actively in trilingualism in Serbin and the surrounding area is advanced in age, and since the younger generations have lost their facility in Lusatian it is difficult to evaluate exactly the existing situation. It would require an extended study by a group of investigators versed in psycholinguistic methodology in order to be able to note the linguistic interference and code switching facility, since any other mode of testing is beyond the capabilities of the informants. Moreover, it would be necessary that the investigators were versed in both the present day Lusatian spoken in Europe and the diachronic development of the language, particularly its status at the time the emigrants left their native country.

[1] The project was supported by a Linguistic Field Research Grant from the Center for Slavic and East European Studies, University of California, Berkeley, California, in the summer of 1961.

[2] A concise and recent study of the migration from the Chośebuz district during the nineteenth century is given in Dr. Frido Mětšk, Do cuzeje zemje, Berlin, 1957. Account of the Serbin community is given by Anne Blasig, The Wends of Texas, San Antonio, 1954; George C. Engerrand, “The So-called Wends of Germany and their Colonies in Texas and in Australia,” The University of Texas Bulletin, No. 3417, Austin (May 1934).

[3] Pertinent information on the subject can be found in Einar Haugen, “Problems of Bilingualism,” Lingua (1950), 2: 271-90; Einar Haugen, “The Analysis of Linguistic Borrowing,” Language (1950), 26: 210-31; Einar Haugen, Bilingualism in the Americas: A Bibliography and Research Guide, Publ. No. 26, American Dialect Society, University of Alabama Press, 1956; Einar Haugen, “Language Contact,” Proceedings of the Eighth International Congress of Linguists (Oslo 1958), 771-785, 798-810; W. E. Lambert, “Measurement of the Linguistic Dominance of Bilinguals,” Journal of Abnormal Soc. Psychology (1955), 50: 197-200; W. E. Lambert, J. Havelka & R. Gardner, “Linguistic Manifestations of Bilingualism,” American Journa1 of Psychology (1959), 72: 77-82; Uriel Weinreich, Languages in Contact, Linguistic Circle of New York, (New York 1953); Uriel Weinreich, “Research Frontiers in Bilingualism Studies,” Proceedings of the Eighth International Congress of Linguists (Oslo 1958), 786-97.

[4] The age breakdown of the informants is as follows: over 80 – 1 person, 70-80 – 21 persons, 60-70 – 9 persons, 40-60 – 3 persons, under 40-8 persons. Twenty-three of them were 14 years or older at the time when Lusatian ceased to be taught in the church school.

[5] This test has been proposed by S. M. Ervin & C. E. Osgood, “Second Language Learning and Bilingualism,” in Psycholinguistics, Journal of Abnormal Soc. Psychology Supplement, ed. C. E. Osgood and T. A. Sebeok, 1954, 139-46.

[6] The informants often could not recall any Lusatian term for common English or German words and agreed that the respective term in English, and less often in German, is the one commonly used, and is often not at all incorporated into Lusatian with respect to gender assignation and inflection. This pertained most often to names of animals and plants which are native to the Texas area or to new concepts and objects which were not known to the original settlers.


Issues that Influenced the Wends to Immigrate to Texas

During the 2012 Wendish Fest, The Texas Wendish Heritage Society awarded a record 24 Scharath Wendish Scholarships to members of the Society who are currently enrolled in a college, university, community college, or trade school. The application included an essay of 1000 words or less about the issues (political, social, religious, economic) that influenced the Wends to immigrate to Texas, and applicants were asked to include issues that his/her ancestors experienced if known. While these essays are available for reading in our Genealogy Library, not all of our members have the chance to visit us in person. Therefore, beginning with this issue, we will print a few of these essays in our newsletter so that more members have a chance to enjoy the essays and gain an appreciation for the level of effort these students put into their applications.

The Scholarship Board selected four essays for printing in subsequent editions of the Society Newsletter. The first essay was written by Eli David Symm, at the time enrolled at Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas, studying Physics and Engineering Physics. The second essay was written by Jena Lynn Meuth, at the time enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin studying psychology and geography. The third essay was written by Mason Becker, at the time at Texas A&M University enrolled in the Mays Business School. The fourth essay was written by Peter Gaskamp, at the time in the School of Engineering at the University of Kansas, pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.

Issues that Influenced the Wends to Immigrate to Texas
by Eli David Symm

Wends, or Sorbs as they are known in their country of origin, are a European Slavic people who have occupied much of Eastern Germany, specifically the region called Lusatia, since the ninth century AD. Their conformity to a Christian faith was nearly complete by the 1200s primarily due to the conquest of the Germanic races over them. During the 16th century, an estimated 75% followed the lead of Dr. Martin Luther and other Reformers by adopting a Christ-centered confession of faith, known to the world today as Lutheranism. This trait, along with their changed political, social, and economic stance emerging from the post-feudalistic society, placed the Wends in a delicate situation in which some found it advantageous to expatriate themselves from the land their ancestors had occupied for over a millennium. Their 19th century migration, primarily to Australia and Texas, is a complex tale of an oppressed people seeking economic flexibility and freedom from religious persecution.

June 25, 1530 marked a very important day for the Wends who many years later were to leave their Lusatian homeland. At Augsburg, in Bavaria, the Lutheran princes presented Emperor Charles V with a confession of their faith and doctrine, the Augsburg Confession. As a result of this act and the tumultuous period that followed, the Peace of Augsburg was signed with its principle of cuius regio, eius religio [“he who governs the territory decides its religion”]. This allowed each German ruler to choose the official religion (Roman Catholic or Lutheran) of their respective territory and legitimized the practice of Lutheranism in the Holy Roman Empire. The ensuing conflict brought upon by the struggle for power, the Thirty Years War, was destructive to all the German lands including Lusatia; however, its resolution in the Peace of Prague (1635) gave the entire domain of Lusatia to the control of the Elector of Saxony (until 1815). A further extension of peace signed in Westphalia (1648) reaffirmed not only cuius regio, eius religio but also extended it to Calvinism and appropriated the right for Christians of opposed faiths to practice their beliefs in their home territories. The Sorbs, therefore, had the ability for over 150 years to practice their respective faiths free from persecution of the state. This was by no means an easy endeavor, especially with the Napoleonic Wars and the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire occurring during this time period.

 The 1810s brought about a period of rapid change for Lusatia. At the Congress of Vienna, Lower Lusatia, to the north, was awarded to Prussia and Upper Lusatia remained with Saxony. In addition, around this time period, serfdom was outlawed in both the Saxon and Prussian states. One can see that a clearer separation between church and state found today was not in existence in 19th century Germany. To aggravate the situation, King Friedrich Wil helm III, a Prussian Calvinist, in an effort to worship with his Lutheran wife, proceeded to unite the Lutheran and Reformed churches of Prussia into a comprehensive Union or Evangelical church. This regrettable approach, to a traditionally liturgical and confessional denomination, was not acceptable for the devout Wendish Lutheran conscience.

Among the chief complaints of the Union Agenda were the over-generalizations and uncontroversial content meant to appease all faiths. Although by the 1840s independent Lutheran churches in Prussia were allowed, they still faced the hindrance and close-mindedness of not being part of the accepted state church.

Concurrently, the Wends in both Upper and Lower Lusatia were being encroached upon by the ideas of Pietism and Rationalism. The reaction against these was the development of the neo-Lutheran repristination theology, a returning to the historical confession of the early Lutheran church. In fact, this movement and the political climes previously mentioned contributed significantly to the decision by a German Lutheran minority under the tutelage of Martin Stephan to leave Saxony, paralleled by the Wends a few years later. However, the immediate solution for the Upper Lusatians was the formation of prayer conventicles for laypeople to practice the “true” faith (something which was to cause trouble for the Texas Wendish settlers later on) and for the Lower Lusatians to hold secret worship at private homes. The combination of secular intrusion upon religious life, along with the widespread cognition that their traditional faith was at risk, would certainly make any Christian uneasy.

Economically, it can be said that the Sorbs were behind their German neighbors. Subject to the landowners for many generations and consequently thrust into a growing industrial society after the abolishment of serfdom with little to no land or job prospects, their future was definitely bleak. In some ways the relative independence that the peasants now enjoyed came at a terrible economic and societal price. The Wends themselves did not have the rights that other citizens of Saxony enjoyed, nor were they treated as equals of their German neighbors. Outside of Lusatia the Sorbian tradition was not well known and when Germans moved into the area they viewed the Sorbs with contempt. The state government had no interest in helping reinforce the culture of a race that they had been actively trying to squelch since the Middle Ages. The Wends, when they could get a position practicing their trade, were largely underpaid and were not allowed in trade guilds. Accordingly, a large number of the people became destitute as a result of their not being allowed to compete with the German workers.

Under these circumstances, with the Lusatians surrounded by a Germanic majority which offered them no promising future, the exodus of a few Wendish brothers to Australia and Texas and the resulting correspondence led them to believe that conditions outside their homeland, while initially daunting, offered hope. Therefore, in order to exercise their belief in the Word of God as the one true faith, provide the younger generations with economic opportunity, and maintain their culture as they saw fit, some Wends left their Lusatian homeland for better prospects.

Issues That Influenced The Wends To Immigrate To Texas
by Jena Lynn Meuth

Unlike the Germans, Czechs, Swedes, and Poles who immigrated to Texas in search of cheap land and economic opportunity, the Wends that settled in Lee County sought religious freedom and the right to speak their native tongue.

The Wends (or Sorbs, as they called themselves) are an ancient Slavic people whose ancestors were West Slavs called the Milceni and Luzici. Since the early Middle Ages, they have occupied an area east of the Oder River in East Germany known as Lusatia. The region is comprised of two different parts. The southern area, Upper Lusatia, is bordered by Czechoslovakia and is centered on the major town, Bautzen. The northern area, Lower Lusatia, is bordered by Poland and is centered on the major town, Cottbus.

The villages in which the Wends lived were sites of manors, or agricultural administrative units. The manorial system was instituted as soon as the Sorbs lost their independence in 1100, when the last Sorbian tribe, the Milceni, was completely conquered. In the years that followed, German rulers rewarded upper noblemen and military leaders with large areas of land, called a fief.

The surface surrounding these villages provided the land for manors. The nobleman, or feudal lord, lived in the largest house of the manor while our ancestors occupied huts on a small portion of land. The Wends were known as serfs, meaning people living in bondage. They could own some property, but they were subject to perform labor and pay dues and rent in accordance with the will of their lord. The lord’s land was always the first to be plowed, sowed, and harvested; hence, most peasants attended to their land at night, when they and their animals were about to collapse. Serfdom in Prussia was abolished in 1807 and in Saxony in 1832. Under the new economic system, there was an oversupply of farm laborers who also had too little land to support their families. Consequently, many were forced to seek their fortunes in the cities.

When Wends came to urban areas, they were relegated to restricted sections of the city. They faced oppression in the work force, being denied the right to do the skilled labor in which they were trained. Even if they were hired, a Wend received less pay than a German. In the part of Lusatia under Prussian control, most Wends adopted the German language, names and culture. The new system and Germanization had a huge impact on the Wends and many decided to migrate to Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the United States.

German conquerors and western missionaries have played a huge role in the Wendish history since the 9th century, when they introduced Christianity by means of the sword. By the 12th century, the Sorbs were not fully converted. They rebelled against the church’s cruelty and intolerable taxes by the bishops. The Wendish Crusade (Wendenkreuzzug) in 1147 was led by Germany to make Christians out of the Wends. Danes, Saxons, Poles, and some Bohemians also volunteered to crusade against the Wends. By 1185, Christianization of the Wends was essentially complete.

After the reformation in the 16th century, Catholicism and Lutheranism were recognized according to the religion of the ruler in whose territory you lived. Since most of Lusatia was ruled by Lutheran noblemen, the majority of churches and their congregations became Lutheran. Our ancestors were referred to as “Old Lutherans” who were scattered throughout Upper Lusatia, which was politically divided between Saxony in the south and Prussia in the north. Pastor Jan Kilian had been serving as pastor of all the Wendish Old Lutherans in the Prussian region who did not want to become part of the Prussian state church made up of Lutherans and Calvinists. He also served villages in Saxony where Wends were unhappy with the doctrinal laxity in the Lutheran church of the region and the impact of rationalism (an aspect of Protestant thought). Pastor Kilian was the pastor of several thousand Lutherans, which suggests why he was called to serve as pastor for the largest and most significant emigration group of 1854 which consisted of Wends from both Saxony and Prussia.

The proximity of German neighbors eventually resulted in cultural assimilation and adaptation. At the time of their migration, most of the Wends spoke Wendish and German, and those who spoke only Wendish learned German after they moved to Texas. By World War I, most of the Wends had adopted German as their primary language. During World War II, they were pressured to assimilate to German culture. Though they have adopted the German language and many customs, they still retain a separate identity. Today, the mother congregation, St. Paul’s of Serbin, is thriving and the Wendish heritage is being revived and cherished.

Issues That Influenced the Wends to Immigrate to Texas
by Mason Becker

My name is Mason Becker and I am a Wend. One hundred fifty-eight years ago, several of my ancestors, along with Pastor Johann Kilian and his congregation, boarded the Ben Nevis and made the long journey to America. It was a hard trip and several of the immigrants never made it to the new world. Among those who survived the trip and eventually settled in Serbin, Texas were my ancestors: Carl Teinert, Johann Teinert, Johann Becker, Rosina Becker, Georg Becker, Hanna Kurijo, Michael Kurijo, Maria Handrick, and Hanna Hattas. If it had not been for these courageous people, I would not be able to have the life and freedoms that I enjoy today.

Why did these people give up their homes and make the journey to America? According to several sources that I have read, the main reason seems to be that they were looking for a place they could practice and preserve their religious beliefs as they saw fit. The Prussian government was forcing the Wends to join the Evangelical Reform church, which they thought would dilute their pure Lutheran faith. The government was also forcing the Wends to speak the German language and even Germanize their names. Many of the Wends were being denied the opportunity to work at jobs for which they were trained. If they were hired, they didn’t receive as much pay as the Germans received. Pastor Kilian and his congregation made the difficult decision to leave everything they had and move to a strange new land. The Wends knew that if they stayed in Germany, they would be forced to give up their Wendish heritage and their Lutheran religion. The amazing faith of these people is what led them and sustained them over their long journey. They knew that God would be with them even though the odds of survival were slim. The trip to Texas was long and hard and they did face tragedy as 58 members died during a cholera outbreak on the Ben Nevis. Once in Galveston, they encountered yellow fever and many became very sick, but they pressed on looking for a place to settle. After traveling several hundred miles inland, they were able to purchase a parcel of land, which became Serbin. Here they built a church and school, which are still in use today. It is truly amazing to me that these people, without any of our modem technologies, were able to build the beautiful church that I attend each Sunday. I cannot imagine how hard it must have been for these people to leave their homes, friends and families to travel to a strange new place, not even knowing what they would face once they got here.

The strong faith and beliefs of the Wends are still evident in my life today. Most of my extended family still live in the Serbin area and attend St. Paul. Just this morning during the service, Mr. Wiederhold stopped playing the organ in the middle of “Jesus Savior Pilot Me” and I was amazed at how beautiful the congregation sang in unison even without the music. I thank God that my parents decided to live here in Serbin and believe in the importance of a Christian education. I cannot imagine growing up and going to school anywhere else. My parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, all the way back to great-great grandparents all belonged to this wonderful congregation.

I don’t really know any of the hardships or experiences that my family in particular may have faced, but I do know that many of the traditions of the Wends have been passed down through the generations and are still practiced today. My grandma and tantes [aunts] still get together and make homemade Wendish noodles from scratch. I have helped several times and now, as these ladies get older, they have been teaching my aunts how to take over the noodle making. My family also gets together and does hog butchering. This tradition has also been passed down and now my dad and uncles are taking over and teaching my generation how to follow. Although some of the methods have changed, the main idea is that we all come together to help each other out. I guess that was one of the main reasons the Wendish people were able to survive. They came together and helped each other out.

Since I was a little boy, my parents have helped at the Wendish Fest each year in September. As I have grown up and now help out myself, I am amazed each year as our small community is invaded by hundreds of strangers that, in fact, are really all part of my family. Even though I don’t know many of them, I am still connected to them by our Wendish ancestors and the strong faith in God that these people carried with them across the ocean. God has truly blessed me, as well as this wonderful place called Serbin, Texas. I don’t know what God has in store for my future, but I do know that because of my roots, I will remain strong in the faith and will teach my children the same beliefs that have been passed down for 158 years. Serbin, Texas will always be my home and the Wends will always be my family.

What I Think It Was Like as a Wend to Emigrate from Germany to Texas
by Peter Gaskamp
Hope and Sadness

My name is Johann Vogel. I was born on February 19, 1841 in the village of Forstgen, near Oberlausitz Germany. My parents, Andreas and Agnes, along with my sister Maria and my brothers Ernst and August, lived in a small cottage on the land we farmed. I spent my early years helping my father tend the land, raising livestock and growing food for our family. It was just after my 13th birthday when my parents first mentioned their plans to relocate to Texas, in America.

I was filled with sadness at the thought of never again seeing the sun rise over the fields I had known my whole life. I was angry with them for wanting to take us from our home and friends. They explained this was to give me and my siblings a better future, while enabling us to preserve our heritage. The Prussian government had been relentlessly smothering our culture, oppressing our language and religion, while preventing economic participation. Our villagers were rarely allowed to work in the nearby town, and when they were they weren’t paid fairly. The government continued to pass decrees that prevented us from worshipping how we wanted, or in the language we wanted. The combination of economic inequality and religious oppression was not a future my parents could let their children bear. In September we were on a train headed for Hamburg.

This was the first time I had been on a train, and it was exhilarating. However; Hamburg brought frustration. Instead of the large ship we arranged to take us to America, there were two small ships waiting for us. Stories were circulating about other smaller ships getting off course and wrecking, so it was demanded that the shipping company uphold the original arrangement. After weeks of waiting, we were loaded onto the two smaller ships and taken to Hull, where we took a train across England to Liverpool. Here we met the large ship Ben Nevis, which was to carry us and almost 600 others across the Atlantic.

I hadn’t realized the trip was going to be so trying. While waiting for the Ben Nevis to be loaded in Liverpool, there was an outbreak of cholera which took 14 lives. After the ship left port, people continued to succumb to sickness. The parents of a boy I had befriended contracted the disease and died. A week later, he and his sister perished as well. I was stunned and scared by the extensive loss of life. My family prayed for us and for our fellow travelers. The disease forced us to stop in Queenstown, Ireland, so the Ben Nevis could be decontaminated. It took three weeks to cleanse the ship. The cholera ultimately claimed 31 lives. The Ben Nevis left Queenstown in late October.

The rest of the journey was less dangerous, but still continued to try our patience. Storms, as well as clear windless days, slowed travel, but the ships’ crew persisted on and we stubbornly persisted with them. The journey was punctuated by a wedding ceremony, and a number of births. Sadly, only one of the newborns survived the journey. After seven weeks we arrived in Galveston, Texas. Over 70 people had died during the journey.

My heart raced as my eyes took in the land of my new home for the first time. This was where we could live as we wanted. We would be able to learn and pursue trades, worship as we traditionally had, and speak in our own tongue. We were free from the oppressive Prussian government. As I breathed in the salty and sulfurous air of the port city, I was filled with both hope and sadness. Hope for the prospect of a new life; sadness for those who lost theirs on the journey.

Though nearing the end, our journey wasn’t over yet. We were temporarily detained in Galveston as customs searched all of our belongings in order to determine the necessary taxes. During this time there was an outbreak of yellow fever, which claimed more lives from our travel-weary group. Customs officials shortly realized that our humble belongings contained few valuables. They stopped searching and charged fifty dollars for everything. We were soon on another steamship, headed towards Houston.

When we arrived in Houston, a number of families decided they would not carry on to the new settlement. For many, they simply could not afford to travel any further. Although we were not completely broke, the remaining journey would likely deplete what little resources we had left. Prudently, my parents chose to use the remaining money to purchase a small plot of land in Houston. We cleared the land and set about farming and raising cattle. Although the soil was sandy and comparable to that of Forstgen, the heat and humidity were unfamiliar. The most difficult parts of our new life were becoming accustomed to the mosquitoes and dealing with the unrelenting summer heat. Learning how to farm in this climate was also a challenge. We quickly found that we would have to grow different crops, most notably com. Since we were able to fairly participate in trade, we also began growing cotton, solely for profit. I started working as an apprentice under a neighbor who taught me the cabinet maker’s trade. I soon began what would tum into a long career with the Houston and Texas Central Railway.

Although the journey had been long, I was thankful to be in our new home. Being able to fully participate in the community and local economy was truly a rewarding experience, as was being able to maintain our religion and language. This was an opportunity I could have never realized in Prussia. I would never forget the hardships that were encountered on the journey here, nor could I forget all the lives lost along the way. This sadness deepened my respect for the opportunities now available to me and my family, and quietly strengthened my hope for the promises of the future. 


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Blasig, Anne. The Wends of Texas. The Naylor Company. 1954. Print.

Engerrand, George C. The so-called Wends of Germany and their colonies in Texas and in Australia. University of Texas. 1934. Print.

Federal Ministry of the Interior [Germany]. National Minorities in Germany. 2010. Print.

Nielsen, George R. In Search of a Home: Nineteenth-Century Wendish Immigration. Texas A&M Press. 1989. Print.

Vogel, Edward. “Andreas Vogel and His Descendants: 1813-1983.” Personal family document. 1983. Print.

A Young Love: Murder in Texas: Helena Anna Zschech and Erwin Wilhelm Mros. Translated into English by Lillian Wilhelm and Luise Dressler. Copyright: Christine Schönerr. 2009. Print.