Glenn intends to write about his ancestors. In order to encourage you, the reader, to research, learn about, remember, and write about yours.
Glenn, like all of us, had 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents, 16 great-great grandparents, and 32 great-great-great grandparents. 10 of Glenn’s 16 great-great grandparents are either full-blooded Wends from Lusatia or were of mixed heritage people from Lusatia. Those 10 were all born in or near Lusatia. In many cases they were not related until they intermarried at Warda, Texas, around Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Warda. In addition, 3 of Glenn’s great-grandparents were born in Lusatia before emigrating to Texas. Another 2 were born in Texas but are believed to be 100% Wendish. Wendish blood runs deep in Glenn as it did in his forebears.
Glenn’s family has been long connected to the Lutheran church, and in Texas to the congregations of the Texas District of the LCMS. Again, same as so many of you. Many of Glenn’s childhood and lifelong friends from Redeemer Lutheran Church and School in Austin, Texas have Wendish roots. They include Prellop, Knippa, Becker, Noack, and also more recently Kieschnick, Moerbe and many, many others. The Wendish families in Glenn’s own family will be delineated in a future blog.
As George Engerrand said in his seminal book on the Wends in his May 1, 1934 publication, The So-Called Wends of Germany and Their Colonies in Texas and in Australia, page 136, “Kind, friendly, brotherly, our Wend was essentially gregarious. He liked to feel around him the warmth due to the presence of other men. Social gatherings appealed to him, and every occasion for a frolic, for a singing in common, sound laughing, and the exchange of pleasantries was seized upon with eagerness. Like the Celt, the Wend is interested in his neighbor and wants to know what he is doing. The Lusatian Serb, or Wend, is industrious, honest, patient, religious, patient, and hopeful. He is lighthearted and complains little about adversity. Being essentially a peasant, our Wend is never a great spender, he accumulates little by little, always hesitating before the cost of an improvement that is not indispensible, but his generosity to his church and to his religious leader is proverbial in Texas.” If you have not read Dr. Engerrand’s book, Glenn strongly encourages you to do so.
It literally changed his life. It awakened him to who he was and where he came from. It will help you understand some of your traits and certainly your heritage. His beloved Grandfather Reinhold A. Hempel of Copperas Cove, Texas, a 100% Wend, introduced Glenn to the Engerrand book as a teenager and it set him on a lifelong quest to learn of his heritage.
Please remember that Glenn is writing to preserve some history for his beloved two daughters and four grandchildren, and many generations to follow. He wants them to know of the sturdy, faithful and steady stock and strong character of their Wendish ancestors. And if he happens to inspire anyone to learn about and write their own family remembrances and family details, his dream will have been fulfilled; to help people learn about who they are and why they have certain traits passed down through many generations of Wendish family heritage.