Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 1, January, 1992 Page: 42
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
The Colorado County portion of Ervendberg's register comes to a close with
a series of baptisms on November 18, 1844. The first of the four was witnessed by
Prince Carl von Solms-Braunfels, who might have hired Ervendberg that very day to
assume the ministry of the colony of German settlers he and the society commonly
called the Adelsverein, with which the prince was associated, were in the process of
establishing on the Comal River in what is now Comal County. Ervendberg shortly
abandoned his flock in Colorado County for this presumably more lucrative and certainly
more prestigious position.5
When, in 1846, an epidemic in New Braunfels, the principle town in the
Comal County settlement, left 17 orphans, Ervendberg and others established an
orphanage in the nearby settlement of New Wied, thereby inadvertently planting the
seed of his undoing. Nine years later, in 1855, this devout missionary, then about 45
years old, abandoned his wife and ran off to Mexico with a 17 year old girl who had been
entrusted to his orphanage a few years earlier. In what Ervendberg himself might have
regarded from the pulpit as divine retribution, he paid for his sin by becoming a murder
victim some eight years later. In February 1863, bandits broke into his home and stole
a considerable sum of money he had on hand, killing Ervendberg in the process.
Ervendberg's original register measures approximately 7.5 by 9.5 inches (19
by 24 centimeters) and contains 34 pages. Page 1 describes the contents and has been
included in our transcription. Pages 16, 19, 26, and 29 are given over to title pages for
the marriage register, communion list, confirmation list, and list of the dead respectively
and have been omitted herein. The baptismal register begins on page 2 and continues
through page 15. Each entry in the baptismal register is written across two pages, that
is, part of the information about a particular baptism appears on the left hand page and
the rest of it on the right hand page. Baptisms from Ervendberg's Chicago days occupy
all of pages two through five and more than half of pages six and seven. The Frelsburg
area baptisms begin on pages eight and nine and continue through the end of the
baptismal register. All eight of the pages containing Frelsburg baptisms have been
reproduced herein. One other Texas baptism, from Ervendberg's days in Houston,
appears on pages six and seven of his register and has also been transcribed, albeit in
an altered format on a single page. The column headings for this baptism are taken from
pages 2, 3, and 5 of the original register.
The marriage register is just two pages long. The first, page 17, is filled with
entries from Illinois and has been ignored. Ervendberg squeezed seven Colorado County
marriages onto page 18. Unfortunately he has written so compactly that, because of
limited space, absolutely faithful reproduction herein has been impossible. Though
none of Ervendberg's words have been omitted, on this page, in some columns, their
arrangement on the page has been altered. Partly for that reason, and partly for
illustrative purposes, the page has been reproduced both in transcribed and xerographic
form. The communicants are listed on pages 20 through 25, with all but the last two
pages devoted to Ervendberg's Illinois activities. Pages 24 and 25, which contain the
short lists of communicants in Colorado County, are reproduced herein. Because of their
acquired from Bernhard Beaumer on May 24, 1842 (see Deed Book G, p. 109, Office of the County Clerk,
Colorado County, Texas).
5 Prince Carl was apparently not fully satisfied with Ervendberg's work for his colonists. He would
later criticize the minister's abilities and report that a major element of his character was greed (see Prince
Carl's letter to Ottfried Hans Freiherr [John O.] Meusebach, volume 59, Solms-Braunfels Archiv, Barker
Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin).
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 1, January, 1992, periodical, January 1992; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151384/m1/42/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed January 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.