Sources and Resources

Though it’s impossible for me to now recall all of the sources that I’ve read while researching the history of the Wends in Texas (and elsewhere) over the last few years, a number of them have been particularly invaluable.

  • Johann Kilian, Pastor: A Wendish Lutheran In Germany and Texas [affiliate link] by Dr. George R. Nielsen – Nielsen is Wendish and grew up in Thorndale. This biography of Pr. Kilian draws from numerous primary sources and gives perhaps the most complete picture of his life available anywhere.
  • “St. Paul’s and St. Peter’s Lutheran Churches, Serbin, Texas, 1855-1905” by Arthur C. Repp – This article was originally published in five parts in the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly between 1942 and 1944. The five parts are available online on the Texas Wendish Heritage Society’s site.
  • A number of documents including call documents, sermons, and correspondence have been translated into English and are available on the Wendish Research Exchange web site.
  • The Rev. Gotthilf Birkmann, who served as the second pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Fedor, wrote a number of articles on historical topics for the Giddings Deutches Volksblatt that were subsequently translated into English by his grandson, the Rev. Dr . Ray Martens. These articles are also available on the Wendish Research Exchange web site.
  • Dr. Marten’s biography of Rev. Birkmann, Worth of Double Honor [affiliate link] is a fantastic resource. Rev. Birkmann served in Texas for his entire ministry, and all but three of those years were in Lee County at Fedor. The articles mentioned above are also available in this book.
  • Numerous congregational histories are available in the Lillie Moerbe Caldwell library at the Texas Wendish Heritage Museum in Serbin, as well as congregational records for many congregations with Wendish heritage and other books and resources.