The Italians: Came in 1497 in search of trade routes, leaving behind poverty and military service. They were noted for their musical skills and culinary talents. The population in Texas was small.
The Spanish or Latin American: Envisioned wealth, glory, adventure, and the lost souls to be saved by the missionaries. Spaniards ruled Texas for three centuries. Many Spaniards remained in Texas after Mexico gained its independence.
The English: Stephen F. Austin began to lead Anglos to Texas in 1821. Most were farmers and came to Texas as independent single families.
The Afro Americans: Arrived with the first European explorers, some as slaves and others as free blacks. They were navigators, soldiers, and merchants. Under Spanish rule in Texas, freed blacks were accepted socially and could marry whomever they chose. Under Mexican rule, a free Negro had all the rights of citizenship.
The French: Early traders with the Indians and Spanish in Texas. Many Frenchmen came after the Louisiana Purchase to escape Anglo-American domination, slave uprisings in Santo Domingo, and the French Revolution. They were farmers, businessmen, slave traders, pirates, and soldiers who came in small groups or alone. They brought education, culture, and business. The French missionaries founded churches, schools, and hospitals.
The Belgians: Were farmers desiring freedom and wealth. Most moved to Dallas and were worked in agriculture.
The Anglo Americans: Came in the 1830s, attracted by cheap land. Controlled social, political, and economic affairs. Their laws, education, and religion prevailed.
The Swedish: The first Swedish settler offered free passage to anyone who would work for him for a year. This continued for sixty years. Immigrants left Sweden because it was poor, overpopulated, and with little food.
The Wendish (Slavs living near Germany): Came to avoid ethnic and religious problems.
The Polish: Farmers and businessmen, escaping poverty, political, cultural, and religious hardships.
The Danish: Left economic hardships, overpopulation, and health issues. Were farmers and craftsmen.
The Germans: Came alone or in small groups, avoiding the political problems in Germany and seeking economic and social improvement.
The Jews: Came to escape economic and political unrest in Europe, representing many nationalities.
The Czechs and Slovaks: Were farmers in Europe and played a major part in the Texas cotton industry.
The Syrian and Lebanese: Arrived before the Civil War, when the U. S. Army attempted to develop camel transportation. Came because of overpopulation, economic, religious, political, and social hardships. Most were peddlers.
The Greek: Fishermen, sailors, and adventurers. Escaped economic depression, overpopulation, unstable government, and wars.
Source: Immigration to Texas
Copyrighted © 1996 by LoneStar Genealogy