"[Ashley Leifeste's] family was one of the oldest in Llano County and lived on a vast spread of grassland near House Mountain, not far from where the Leifestes first settled in the 1840's. The earliest Methodist services in the county were held in the shade of Augustus Leifeste's live oak tree, and the Leifeste name has been ubiquitous in Llano ever since."
from "Queen of the Rodeo" by Pamela Colloff
Texas Monthly, August 2001
The name "Leifeste" was originally "Leiweste".
The only use of this word I can find online is in some transcripts of "The
Two Kings' Children", which is one of Grimm's Fairy Tales. It apparently
means something along the lines of "dearest" or "beloved".
Here's a relevant link:
Listing of emigrants of the former duchy Braunschweig,
1846-1871 (in German)
Thomas Erbe, the owner of the above website, e-mailed me a scanned image of page 47 of the emigrant list, which is the page that contains the information about the Leifeste family members. Much thanks to Thomas for this kind act!
1850 Gillespie county, Texas, census records with Leifeste(r)s
A Leifeste was the architect of the church stained glass
Mason county, Texas Gen-Web
Texas Genealogy links
A Bibliography on German Texans
UT Article with Hans Boas regarding the Texas German Dialect Project
Texas German Dialect Project