In September 1854 the first group of immigrants, which included four of
Moczygemba's brothers, traveled by train to Bremen, by ship to Galveston, and
by foot and rented Mexican oxcart to San Antonio, to the waiting Father
Moczygemba, who escorted them to the site he had chosen for their colony.
Contemporary estimates of the number of these original settlers vary from 150
to 800. A few had died at sea, more on the landward trek, and some had
dropped out as they passed through Texas communities along the way; one group
chose to settle at Bandera. Three months after beginning their journey, the
much-reduced party of settlers arrived at what was soon to be called Panna
Maria, meaning "Virgin Mary."