The 30 September 1887 newspaper “the Galveston Daily News” contains the only known passenger list for a group of incoming Texas immigrants, the majority of whom were German and Czech. (located here, page 8). The arrival manifests were destroyed in the 1900 hurricane in Galveston. The Bremerhaven-Bremen departure lists only exist for the years 1920-1939 (accessible here).
We do not have the records for the various immigration agents that operated in the State of Texas. These agents operated either independently or through some private companies or corporations. They were not a part of any specific state agency of Texas. Therefore, we would not have their records. If such records still existed for any of these men, they might be found in various libraries or institutions as manuscript collections. None appear to be found in our manuscript holdings.
It seems very unlikely I would find any (if they exist) surviving records of an immigration agent working on their own, but it’s implied in the above statement that not all of these agents worked alone; that they perhaps did have a network within their private companies or corporations.
I think the first step towards tracking down any of these records would be to find more information about the companies themselves. My first thought is to look at advertisements in old newspapers, especially Czech language newspapers printed in Texas, like the Svoboda. But I really don’t know where to find physical copies of these. They are referred to in many books about Texas Czechs, as are some of the first Czech immigrants who wrote home praising Texas as a great land of opportunity. Hmmmmm hmmm.
- Contact the Galveston Historical Foundation
- Contact the Bremerhaven Emigration Museum. Maybe the people I’m researching were registered in the city records, if they had to stay there for a length of time before leaving.
- Look through my personal Texas Czech library for references to agents and other countrymen who extolled the virtues of Texas. Wasn’t there someone named Anton Bergman or something, who came here and wrote home? I read something about that…dig it up, find it, learn more.
- Find old newspapers that might contain advertisements for agents and companies.
- Galveston Daily News
- Newspapers at the Nesbitt Memorial Newspaper Archive
- Czech language newspapers, like the Svoboda. Where is it even located?!
- Contact the SPJST. They may have some records pertaining to this. They certainly have records of interest anyway! I have already tried to email them twice with no luck. Perhaps a phone call will work.