On my mother’s side of the family, my ancestry can be traced all the way back to German immigrants in the 1800s. The first member of my family in Texas, a whopping eight generations ago, was Anton Hoelscher. With him, he brought his five sons and one daughter who all developed lives in Texas during the Civil War era, several of them serving in the confederate army. From there, the family grew rapidly, eventually becoming the largest in the entire state of Texas, but my ancestors all ended up in one small town called Olfen (Near Rowena, Texas). Here, they lived on cotton farms and turned that area of Texas into an oasis of German culture.

After several generations had passed by, the Olfen area was nearly overtaken by the Hoelscher family, so my great great grandma took a small step away from her traditional home to marry into the Gerngross family of Wall, Texas. Here, life was still primarily based around cotton farming, but was very different because of the proximity with the larger city of San Angelo. Also, my ancestors in Wall are recent enough that their farm is still in the family and I am able to make real connections with their lives since I visit the city several times a year.

Although this family history is trivial to most people, a few of those in the expansive Hoelscher family have taken the liberty of researching and organizing all I ever wanted to know about my ancestry. To see what I mean, go to


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