Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 1, January, 1992 Page: 43
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Excerpts from the Kirchenbuch of Louis Cachand Ervendberg
brevity, both transcriptions have been printed on a single page, with a heavy, three part
line to separate them. Ervendberg confirmed only four people in Colorado County. In
the original register, those four appear on the bottom of page 27, below a list of seven
Chicago Lutherans. The next page, 28, has a list of confirmations from New Wied. All
the Texas confirmations have been transcribed, though those from New Wied, which
Ervendberg wrote in a single column, have been rearranged. The last section, the list
of the dead, contains six names from Colorado County and a good number from Comal
County. All have been transcribed. The error in the numbering is Ervendberg's own,
Ervendberg wrote most of the register in an old German style (commonly
called Old German Script) that is unfamiliar to all but experts today.6 Occasionally,
usually when writing the name of a person of English descent, he switched to the more
familiar English style. In many cases, transcription of the German terms were made one
letter at a time. To verify transcriptions, various printed and other sources, that is, for
place names, atlases and encyclopedias, and for the names of individuals, censuses,
public records, church records etc., were consulted. Still, when it was obvious that
Ervendberg spelled a term differently than the sources did, Ervendberg's spelling was
left intact. In some cases, only parts of words could be read. Often, however, those
words appeared elsewhere in the register, usually in the same context. In those cases,
it has been assumed that the one word is the same as the other. Still, a few words could
not be deciphered. These have been replaced in the transcription with the bracketed
term illegible. All other marks and words, including, in two places, question marks (?),
were reproduced as written by Ervendberg. A black cross indicates that the person
referred to was dead when the entry was made.
A glossary, in which Ervendberg's German and Latin terms are translated
into English, and a location guide to the places Ervendberg named have been appended
to the transcription.
It should be noted that much of the information contained in Ervendberg's
Kirchenbuch appears in other sources. Some, such as the official marriage records of
Colorado County, on file at the Office of the County Clerk, Colorado County, Texas,
might even be considered more definitive. However, there are also apparently quite a
few other, less official, records of Ervendberg's activities in Comal County, some
compiled by Ervendberg himself and others the results of transcriptions into more
modern church books and other registers. For instance, there are lists of the Comal
County dead in both the Verein Collection and the Solms-Braunfels Archiv at the Barker
Texas History Center, the University of Texas at Austin. Both lists differ substantially
from that in the Kirchenbuch. And, apparently, there are quite a few differences
between the records utilized by Chester William and Ethel Hander Geue for their study
of German immigration between 1844 and 1847, A New Land Beckoned (Waco: Texian
Press, 1966) and the Kirchenbuch, for in many cases, the Geues' book contains different
dates of death, birthplaces, and even names. Though, of course, Ervendberg's initial
entries, which are seemingly contained in the Kirchenbuch transcribed herein, merit
substantial weight, genealogists and other researchers should give some consideration
to these various other records.
6 Those interested in learning the difficult art of reading such writing can get no better start than
obtaining a copy of Edna M. Bentz' publication If I Can You Can Decipher Germanic Records (1982). This
remarkably well organized and thorough book, which may be obtainable by writing Edna M. Bentz, 13139
Old West Avenue, San Diego, California 92129, was of invaluable service to this project's transcribers.
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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/m1/43/?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.