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William Eberling - German Texan
I found something interesting while researching someone buried here at the State Cemetery and it led me down a rabbit hole in history that I knew little to nothing about, a not uncommon thing. Again it is one of our near-anonymous Confederate veterans. His name is William Martin David Eberling and is buried in Section F, or Confederate Field One, right in the middle of the Cemetery. He was a German national who moved to Texas with his parents Carl and Katherine Eberling. They were no different than thousands of other German immigrants. According to the Handbook of Texas, in 1990 about three-million Texans considered themselves at least part German.
Back to our group of Germans; the Eberlings. William and his parents moved to Texas from the Duchy of Nassau, the heart of the Adelsverein movement. The Adelsverein was established in the Duke of Nassau’s castle in 1842. The Eberlings left Germany from the port of Bremen and landed at Galveston, and like hundreds of other Germans at the time, they moved to New Braunfels. New Braunfels was named for Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels (pictured below), the head of the Adelsverein in Texas. The Eberlings made their own way from there, finding Cibolo more to their liking, a town halfway between San Antonio and New Braunfels. The Adelsverein went bankrupt by 1853 and was succeeded by another group, but the efforts to found a ‘New Germany’ in Texas was not to be.
You do not have to look far or scratch very far below the surface to find the German influence in Texas. New Braunfels and Fredericksburg are proud of their German heritage and there are still plenty of Texans who wear their German heritage on their sleeve proudly. However much they are proud of their German heritage, they always call themselves Texans first.