As a native Texan, I developed a love of history from an early age listening to stories told by my Great Grandparents and Grandparents. I am the third generation born here in the U.S. from when my Great Grandfather immigrated with his family from Mönchengladbach in 1898. I have another family line that came from Bielefeld in the 1860’s. As a young child, I can still remember that my Great Grandmother would often speak German to me.
Over the past 40 years I have collected and researched my family history, using government records, letters, photographs, family Bible information, and stories. I served eight years in the United States Army, beginning in 1990. In 1998 I was honorably discharged from the Army in New Mexico and returned home to Central Texas where I grew up. I have a background in Anthropology, Archaeology, and Public History from the University of New Mexico. For the last 23 years I have been fortunate and served as one of the lead researchers in the Texas General Land Office Archives and Records Program Area. During this time, I have searched the early Court of Claims files, German Collection, and archival collection to learn more about the history of Texas and discover the amazing collection of personal letters of early soldiers and pioneers who helped settle our great state.
For the last ten years or so, I have focused my attention and research on the German Collection and the early German settlers that came to Texas under the Adelsverein in the 1840’s. I have made some important discoveries using the early German Immigration Contracts, Fisher Miller Transfers, Colony Contracts, and the land grants in the Texas General Land Office.
From 2007 to 2020, I was a member of the Commemorative Air Force and acted as volunteer museum curator for the Highland Lakes Squadron in Burnet Texas. In 2019, I was fortunate to participate and support our vintage C-47 “That’s All Brother” when we flew her from Texas back to Europe. While there, I was part of the support contingent in Germany to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift. I was overwhelmed by the love and appreciation shown by the German people remembering this great humanitarian event. I spent three weeks in Germany where I traveled and researched in various archives from Wiesbaden, Dusseldorf, and visited my ancestor’s town of Mönchengladbach. I discovered that I still have distant relatives in Germany! I have a deep love and appreciation for Germany, my heritage, and enjoy learning more about our ancestors and sharing it with others.