The obituary for his oldest son states that the family was from near Prague, in Bohemia. They would have traveled to probably Bremen or possibly Hamburg to embark on their journey to America. Most ships made stops in other ports, such as New Orleans or Havana before landing in Galveston. New Orleans records do not show them landing there, however.
From Galveston, the family took the train to Columbus, then traveled by wagon to the Cat Spring area of Austin County, where they settled. They came with little money, as they never owned any land. They were renters, giving a share of their income from their crops to their landlord.
In 1880, Lawrence married Albina Wotipka, daughter of a landowner near Cat Spring, who had immigrated from Moravia to Texas in 1855. Looking for a better situation, they moved to Brenham, where Lawrence was born in 1884, Annie in 1886 and Bessie in 1888. By 1892 they had relocated to the Schulenburg area, where Steve was born in 1892, and Julia in 1896.
By the time of the 1900 census, they were located in Burleson County, near Caldwell. They later moved to Cameron, in Milam County, where they lived until their deaths. They are buried in the City Cemetery in Cameron.
Family lore states that Lawrence Slama Sr. died shortly before his son Joseph was born in 1875. He is not present in the 1880 census, which lists his 22 year-old son, Lawrence Slama, as the head of the family. Included in the family is the mother, Anna, 45, and three more children, Franz, 11; Therese, 7; and Joseph, 5. One daughter is missing from the list.
The family was difficult to locate in the 1880 census, as Lawrence Slama was erroneously indexed as Rolends Ilama. The known daughters were Sara and Mary, but neither of those names were present. Family stories of an Uncle Frank, though, were proved to be true, with the presence of Franz. And the lone child to live to make the first Slama Family Reunion in 1949, was the five year-old Joseph. (See image of census listing below.) Joe was the only one born in Texas, in 1875.
Oddly enough, the only other Slama family in the 1880 census in Texas was also incorrectly listed. Jacob Slama was listed as Jacob Slamer in the census of Colorado County.
|1880 Census, Austin County, Texas|
Timeline notes on Slama families per written recordsWriting in italics refers to members of the Jacob Slama family
Writing in normal type refers to members of the Lawrence Slama family.
1801 Approximate date of birth of Catherine Cherna Slama, wife of Jacob Slama the elder, and mother of Jacob Slama, who immigrated to Texas. Catherine Slama died in January, 1879, and was buried on February 1, 1879, according to records of the Frelsberg Catholic Church. She was noted as being 77 years old at her death. No date of birth or death or burial record has been found for her husband, Jacob.
July, 1834 Date given on 1900 census for birth of Anna ____ Slama, wife of Lawrence Slama. The place of birth is noted as Austria. Bohemia was part of Austria at that time. On the 1880 census she is listed as being 45 years old, and born in Bohemia. These two census records are the only written documents of Anna Slama made during her lifetime that have been uncovered. Her husband was deceased by the 1880 census, and thus, was never enumerated. No date of birth or death has been found for her husband, who is thought to have been named Lawrence Slama.
1844 Year of birth given on census for Jacob Slama, II. He was born in Bohemia.
May 1855 Date of birth of Josefa Barton, wife of Jacob Slama, II. Born in Bohemia, she was listed as Josephine on the census.
|Lawrence V. Slama|
1869 Approximate date of birth of Franz Slama. Referred to as "Frank" by Slama descendants. The only record of Franz Slama so far discovered is his line on the 1880 census which indicates he is 11 years old and was born in Bohemia. Neither a Franz nor a Frank Slama has been located on any other census after 1880, and it is not known what happened to him. No grave site has been located for him, as well.
Dec, 1871 Date given on 1900 census as date of birth for Mary Slama, who has married Martin Duschinski . The census also indicates her place of birth erroneously as Poland, which was probably assumed by the enumerator since her husband was born there. Her death certificate indicates Poland as well as place of birth, with date unknown. Family history has been that Mary Slama was born on the boat shortly before reaching Galveston, which would fit with the December, 1871 date.
Dec, 1871 Naturalization papers filed by Jacob Slama in 1877 indicate that he arrived in Texas in December, 1871. Famies and friends often immigrated together, but no evidence has yet been uncovered to prove that the two families are connected. They were the only two Slama families in Texas until after 1910. Since they came at the same time and settled so close together, it seems likely that they were related, though we don't know how.
Jan 1, 1872 Date given in 1878 by Lawrence Slama on Naturalization oath, as his date of entry into Galveston. Statement indicates that he was born in Austria, (which included Bohemia and Moravia at that time), and had arrived at the Port of Galveston on or about the first day of January, 1872. Passenger lists from Galveston for this period of time are missing, presumed lost in the flood of 1900. If they are ever found, perhaps we can pinpoint the time the two Slama families arrived, the boat they were on, and whether both families were on the same boat.
1873 Austin County tax rolls indicate total taxable property of 1 horse or mule ($50) and 2 cows ($25), with a combined total state and county tax of $2.29 assessed to L. Slama. The tax rolls are the only records that give the initial of the first name of the immigrant father. We know it is the father, as he was still alive in 1873, with son Joe born in 1875.
Jan 14, 1873 Date from headstone of birth of Sara Slama. Date given on death certificate for the birth date of Sarah Slama Duschinski was Jan 15, 1874. However, her age as listed on the census in 1880, 1910, and 1920 would put her birth in 1873. In 1900, her birth is noted as Feb 1874. Hers is the only death certificate of the children that lists Lawrence Slama as the father. Sadly, none of them indicate the name of their mother.
1874 Austin County tax rolls, again for L. Slama. Property listed as 2 horses or mules and 2 cows, with total tax of $2.80 on appraised value of $100.
Mar 10, 1875 Joe Leon Slama is born. Lawrence Slama, his father, is thought to have been dead at the time of birth, though exact date and cause of death is unknown. No burial location has been discovered for the father, and there is no probate record for him in Austin County.
1875 No tax roll listing for L. Slama in Austin County.
Jan 11, 1876 Marriage records of Frelsberg Catholic Church note marriage of Jacob Slama, son of Jacob Slama and Catherine Cherna to Josepha Barton, daughter of Dominici Barton and Anna Noschka. The marriage was performed by Father V. Gury. Witnesses were Joseph Koss and John Model.
1876 Again, no L. Slama noted on Austin County tax rolls, but J. Slama is taxed on value of 1 horse/mule and 3 cows. The Jacob Slama family is living appears to have settled in Colorado County, near Frelsberg, It is unclear who the J. Slama on the Austin County tax roll is. Perhaps Lawrence Slama was Jacob Lawrence Slama.
1877 No Slama noted on Austin County tax rolls.
Oct, 1878 Death of nine month old Joseph Slama, infant son of Jacob Slama and Josephine is noted on Frelsberg Catholic Church records. Burial was on October 6, 1878.
1878 Jacob Slama noted on Austin County tax rolls, with 2 horses or mules. No L. Slama.
Jan, 1879 Death of Catherine Cherna Slama, mother of Jacob , and wife of Jacob, at age 77. Information found at Catholic Archives of Texas.
1879 No Slama noted on Austin County tax rolls.
1880 Austin County tax rolls list Slama, Lorenz (by J. Leela) with taxable property of one $5 horse or mule.
Jun 1, 1880 Census of Austin County, Texas p. 17, J.P. #5
Slama, Lawrence age 22 head born in Bohemia
Slama, Anna age 45 mother born in Bohemia
Slama, Franz age 11 brother born in Bohemia
Slama, Therese age 7 sister born in Texas
Slama, Joseph age 5 brother born in Texas
Unaccountably, Lawrence is listed as "Ilama, Rolends" in the census index. The family was found by searching every page of the Austin County census sheets of 1880.
Jun 1, 1889 Census of Colorado County, Texas, p.433, Frelsberg
Slama, Jacob age 36 head born in Bohmen (Bohemia)
Slama, Josephine age 24 wife born in Bohmen
Slama, Maria age 3mo dau born in Texas
The Jacob Slama family in Texas in 1880 is indexed incorrectly as "Slamer" in the census index. There is no "Slama" in the 1880 census index in Texas.
Aug 1880 Death of infant daughter of Jacob Slama/Josephine Bartum is noted in records of Frelsberg Catholic Church, seen at the Catholic Archives of Texas. Maria Slama was 5 months old at the time of her death. Burial was on August 13, 1880.
Dec 23, 1880 Austin County Marriage number 928 in 1880 is recorded to Laurence Slama and Albina Wotipka. They were married at the courthouse by John W. Goode, J.P.A.C. (Justice of the Peace, Austin County). They have six children: Emilie (1882-1884), Lawrence Frank (1884-1946), Anna Clara (1886-1957), Bessie Agnes (1888-1968), Steve (1892-1972), and Julia (1896-1973).
abt 1882 First child of Lawrence and Albina is born. Her name has been passed down as Emilie, and is so noted by Birdie Hilscher Pech from interviews with other Slamas in the 1960s. Julia Slama Bird notes that she lived about 2 years. The 1900 census notes that Albina has had 6 children, with 5 living.
Jul 29, 1884 Lawrence Frank Slama born in Brenham. His baptism records list him as Vavzinec, which is Czech for Lawrence. He is baptized in the St. Rose-Lima Catholic Church near Schulenburg along with all his siblings on April 21, 1897. His birth date is mistakenly listed as 1886.
Jul 29, 1886 Perhaps the confusion on Lawrence's birth date arises because exactly two years late, his sister, Anna Clara "Annie," (baptized Anna), is born in Brenham.
Jul 9, 1888 Bessie Agnes (baptized Bozena) Slama is born in Brenham.
Aug 3, 1892 Steve (baptized Stephan) Slama is born in Schulenburg, Fayette County.
Jul 20, 1896 Julia Slama is born in Schulenburg. She was called Julie as a child, but was baptized Julia and went by that name during her adult life. She was also my dear grandmother and holds a special place in my heart.
Apr 27, 1897 All five living Slama children are baptized at St. Rose-Lima Catholic Church near Schulenburg. The record can be seen at the Catholic Archives of Texas in Austin. They are listed as Vavzinec, Anna, Bozena, Stephan, and Julia Slama. Parents are shown to be Vavzinec Slama and Albina Votipka. Godparents are Franz Sobotik and Anna Sobotik.
These are some of the children of Lawrence V. and Albina Slama, and other family members. From the left, Lillie Martin Slama (widow of Joe Leon Slama), ____, ____, Julia Slama Bird, Steve Slama, Annie Slama Pavlas, ____, Bessie Slama Dakel, ____, Anna Berndt Slama (widow of Lawrence F. Slama), ____, Bert Slama. Please help me fill in the blanks by sending me the missing names.
Jul 1, 1897 Both Vavrinec (Lawrence) and Albina Slama are Charter Members of Lodge No. 5 of the newly formed Slavonic Benevolent Order of the State of Texas (SPJST). Lodge 5 is in Ammannsville, Fayette County, between La Grange and Schulenburg.
Aug 21, 1897 Mary Slama and Martin Duschinski obtain marraige license in Washington County. St. Mary's Immaculate Conception Catholic Church records list Mary as Marianna Slama. Church records indicate wedding was performed Sep 20th. They have 2 daughters, Ella (Jun 1897-?) and Rose L (1924-?). If anyone has any further information on these two daughters, please contact me.
1899 Fayette County tax rolls indicate Lorenz Slama with 2 mules ($30), 2 cows ($20), 1 carriage ($10), tools ($10). Tax assessed was $2.45
Jun 1, 1900 Census for 1900 shows Joseph as head of household, living in Washington County with his sister Mary, and mother Anna. Anna indicates that she bore 7 children with 5 living. This means she either knows or believes that Franz is alive, though we cannot find him on the census. It also indicates that she has had two other children that have died. It is possible that these two were born and died in Bohemia before the family immigrated.
Jun 1, 1900 Census for 1900 shows Martin and Mary Duschinski living in Washington County, with 3 year old daughter Ella.
Jun 1, 1900 Census for 1900 shows Lawrence and Alvina Slama with their five children, Lawrence, Anna, Bozana, Steven, and Juli living in Fayette County.
1900 Lorenz Slama on tax rolls of Fayette County.
1900 Records of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Brenham, Texas, indicate the name Slama (no first name given) written as an addendum to the list of deaths of 1900. This is no doubt Anna Slama, as she was living with her children Joe and Sarah near Brenham on the 1900 census. She is not in the St. Mary's cemetery, and her grave has not been located.
Jan 19, 1901 Albert Duschinski (brother of Martin), and Sara Slama are issued a marriage license in Washington County. St. Mary's Catholic Church in Brenham records the marriage of Adabert Duschinski and Th. Helena Slama on January 21, 1901. They have five children, Will (1889-1952), Josephine K. (1908-2007), Mary Ann (1909-1998), Joe Leon (1911-1967), and Helen (1916-1967).
1902 Lorenz Slama listed on Fayette County tax rolls with 3 horses or mules ($75), 2 cows ($20), 1 carriage ($20), tools ($10), misc ($10).
1904 L. Slama listed on Fayette County tax rolls with 3 horse/mules ($60), 3 cows ($40), 3 hogs ($10), 1 dog ($5), 1 carriage ($12), tools ($20), misc ($8).
abt 1908 Annie Clara Slama marries Vinc Joseph Pavlas. Date and place unknown at this time.
Apr 15, 1910 Census for 1910 shows Lawrence and Albina Slama with children Bessie, Stephen, and Julia living in Burleson County. The next listing on the census sheet shows the family of John G. Bird, including son Jimmie (Jim Jenkins Bird) who would marry Julia Slama in 1919.
Apr 15, 1910 Census for 1910 shows Joe Slama living with sister Sarah and her husband, Albert Duschinski, and their children Will, Josie, and Mary.
1911 Joe Leon Slama marries Cora Richard Acock.
Click "Read More" below to see more photos and information on the Slama Family
Below is the Czech band led by Lawrence F. Slama (below, center) in the early 1900s.
|Lawrence F. Slama Band, circa 1910|
|1st Slama Reunion, 1949, Cameron, Texas|
|Slama Family Reunion -1950 =Austin, Texas|
Please review the names and send me any omissions or corrections that you find. You may also send stories, comments and photos of Slama family members to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send photos as an attachment. Thanks, Jimmy
|Slama Family Reunion -1968 -Austin, Texas|