Immigrants to Texas

Germany

About the Country

The largest ethnic group in Texas derived directly from Europe was persons of German birth or descent. As early as 1850, they constituted more than 5 percent of the total Texas population, a proportion that remained constant through the remainder of the nineteenth century. Intermarriage has blurred ethnic lines, but the 1990 United States census revealed that 1,175,888 Texans claimed pure and 1,775,838 partial German ancestry, for a total of 2,951,726, or 17½ percent of the total population. By this count, Germans rank behind Hispanics and form the third-largest national-origin group in the state. Most persons of German descent do not regard themselves as ethnic Germans, however. From their first immigration to Texas in the 1830s, the Germans tended to cluster in ethnic enclaves. A majority settled in a broad, fragmented belt across the south central part of the state.

Christmas Traditions

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