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I've been working on my family's history for over 30 years now, and to date my database includes over 3400 names, covering 13 generations. This is small by some standards, but I've had some "ground rules" for my information collecting that I've often been asked about, so here it is, basically. When I first started adding names to my tree, I kept to the bearers of the family name. In other words, I would expand on the families of the sons until the family name ran out. I have begun to go back and try to fill in at least one generation of the "children of the daughters". Also, I occasionally get interested in a particular branch of the family and may follow it to the present day generation, or I get asked about someone in my tree, and start to research them more fully, then suddenly find I've added fifty or so more names!

Now, for specifics:

My father's "branch" of the family is mainly made up of the following surnames: BRITSCH, GERDES, HARTMAN(N), HEYEN, LOES(S)BERG, REITZER, SCHULTE and SENNE. These emigrants came almost exclusively from Germany (many from the Alsace-Lorraine region), with the exception of the Reitzers, who came from Haut-Rhin in France. Many came as a result of the efforts of empresario Henri Castro, and most came directly from Germany or France with the intention of settling in Castro's colonies in Central Texas, mainly the Castroville/Hondo/New Fountain/Quihi area in Medina County. I am amazed to reflect that my father, who grew up in Quihi and is at least four generations away from Germany, is still, for all intents and purposes, pretty much full-blooded German!

Although many of my ancestors undoubtedly came from Germany, a recent DNA test reveals that my bloodline is 67% Scandinavian, 19% British Isles and the rest is trace elements too small to pinpoint. Obviously, my German ancestors came to Germany from the Scandinavian area, which includes present-day Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

My mother's "branch" includes the surnames CARRIGAN, DOEHNE, FARMER, GASS, GRAY, HARRIS, JOINER, MOHRHOFF and SCHLADOER. Here are emigrants who, in addition to Germany, came from Ireland and England to Texas via the southern States. They settled mainly in Bandera, Comal, Kerr and Kendall counties. A branch of the Schladoer family dropped the "e" from their name and are now settled in California, Washington, Arizona and Oregon. I am still searching for information on the early California Schlador pioneers. Blessings on Jacque, Jan, Jennifer and Joseph for all their help with the California Branch.

I hope you enjoy your visit to my page, and to my associated pages. I'm hoping family visitors who have old photographs, records and newspaper clippings will contact me, so we can share what we have. Also, the information I have accumulated is freely available for anyone to use. I don't believe in charging for genealogical information that might be helpful to someone else. That being said, I'd also like to warn users that there are probably some errors in here, though the information is as accurate as I can make it at the time of research. If you see any errors, and have any corrections or additions, PLEASE feel free to let me know.

ALSO...I have begun to add as many records as possible to the "Find A Grave" website ( I encourage everyone to do the same with their records, BUT please check first and make sure your entry is not already there! That helps to avoid duplicate entries.

Updated December 14, 2012


Donna Schulte Loth

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  • The Whole Enchilada (3617 KB)
    This is my entire Deep Texas Roots research as of 12/14/12. Additions, corrections and comments are welcome.

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