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This site was created so I can share the information I have found on Sebastian Rohrer of Lincoln, Illinois. My great grandmother was Catherine (Kate) Rohrer Crouse.I am descended from Catherine through my grandmother Christena Pauline Rohrer Larkins. Mrs. Helen Garton Stephansen wrote a book called ANCESTORY AND DESCENDANTS OF CATHERINE AND SEBASTIAN ROHRER OF NEW CASTLE DELAWARE. Descendants of Catherine and Sebastian were each given a copy. Iíve included information from that book. I also have included information about Sebastianís parents and grandparents in Germany which might be interesting to those who donít have it. Eddie Andrew Dirks, a genealogist in Logan County sent me information about Sebastian and Catherineís children and their grandchildren. I have tried not to include living people for the sake of identity theft and to protect their privacy.

There seems to be a wealth of information about Sebastian Rohrer origins but very little on Catherine Cedar Rohrer. I have tried to use German genealogists to find what city from which she originated. I have even tried to find in what war her brother served. I have not been successful. We only know she came from southern Wurttemberg. There was sheep herding and there were mountains. They also had grape vines and made wines. Her brother Albert became a high ranking general in her later years. She died in 1904 so perhaps her later years were from 1894 to 1904. That is just an estimation. Perhaps someone else can find more information about Catherine. I have been told that Cedar is Zeder in German if that helps. I can be reached at

The following information is the statistical information about Catherine and Sebastian. Iíve also included Sebastianís parentage.

Sebastian Rohrer Married Catherine Cedar
Born July 12, 1829
Born May 20, 1831
Westhausen, Wurttemberg, Germany
Southern Wurttemberg, Germany
Died Dec. 20, 1920
Died Feb. 27, 1904
Logan County, Lincoln, Illinois
Logan County, Lincoln, Illinois
Sebastian began life as a Catholic, I received this information from a Catholic Parish Book in Westhausen. They said he came to America in 1849. Family Histories say he came in 1851.
I believe she was a Lutheran. No information other than from family book.
Sister - Christina Cedar who married John Hegler
Brothers - Albert and John Cedar, Albert a high ranking general


His father was named Sebastian Rohrer also.
He was born on April 3, 1793 and died 
June, 1841.  

His motherís name was Creszenzia Miller
She was born on February 19, 1795, 
She died on January 7, 1858
She and his father were married on January 22, 1822

Children Listed that survived to adulthood

Mauritius born September 1827 ; Died December 1910
Sebastian was next at July 1829
Maria Anna born October 28, 1830
Came to America
Went by Mary; Married Patrick Brown 
Of Champaign, Illinois
Theresia born October 5, 1833 - Died March 1872

Other children mentioned in family history but not mentioned in the Parish History

Gretchen and Grace who were twins
John Rohrer - He mentioned them when he visited them on vacation.  
Perhaps these children were not baptized in the Catholic faith or became Lutherans

Sebastian Rohrer,
Born in Dettenroden, Rohlingen,  Ellwangen, Died on January 18, 1802
Married October 25, 1790 to Maria Anna  Haubler, She was born in February 1754 and Died December 29, 1806. 

Children out of this marriage

Franz Joseph  born July 13, 1791
SEBASTIAN  born April 3, 1793
Johann Caspar, born Janurary 1795
Franz Xaveri, born March 25, 1797, died June 20, 1799

Aloysius Miller of  Rickenback (portion of Westhausen)
April 11, 1755, died December 28, 1818

Caecilia Schlipf of  Jagsthausen (portion of Westhausen)
Born November 10, 1754, died January 5, 1817
Married on November 8, 1782

Children out of this marriage

Augustin, born July 30, 1783, died March 18, 1800
M. Anna, born November 1784
Aloysius, born August 7, 1786
Isidorus, born September 8, 1788, died September 1788
Mauritius, born November 1, 1789, died December 11, 1789
Maria Francisca, born October 9, 1790
M. Barbara, born June 3, 1792, died January 1822
Victoria, born February 19, 1795, died March 7, 1795
CRESCENTIA, born February 19, 1795
Victoria, born February 1797

The above information was sent to me by Kath. Pfarram St. Mauritius Westhausen from their parish records.  
Their address is Kirchplatz 7, 73463, Westhausen, Germany.


A.  Mary Jane Rohrer, born September 22, 1854 in New Castle Delaware.  
      Died August 28, 1941; buried Harmony Cemetery, Beason, Illinois
      Married April 6, 1874 to Karl Frederick Fink, who was born in southern Wurttemberg, Germany
        Children of Mary Jane Rohrer Fink and Karl Frederick Fink
           1. George Fink
           2. Charles Fink 
           3. Wilhelmina (Minnie) who married   __________McDonald 
           4. Albert Fink 
           5. Henry Fink
           6. Ann Luella Fink married Clem L. Garton
           7. Frank S. Fink 

B.  Sebastian, born and died in 1855 New Castle Delaware.   
C.  Kate, born and died in 1856 in New Castle Delaware.  

D.  Caroline Rohrer, born and died in 1857 in Illinois
E.  Catherine Christine Rohrer, born August 24, 1858 in Jacksonville, Illinois
      Died October 10th, 1948
      Married John Crouse, born Dec. 19, 1849 in Lucasville, Ohio  
        Children of Catherine Christine Rohrer and John Crouse 
           1. John S. Crouse, born 1882
           2. Christena Crouse, born Dec 25,1884 married William Lee Larkins
           3. Ida May Crouse, born 1883, died April 21, 1921. Left farm to Evelyn Larkins.
           4. William Jacob/Will, married Anna Depke
           5. Ella Crouse  married twice Yutsey and Dry.   
F.  Jacob Rohrer, born 1859, Died 1860, Jacksonville, Illinois

G.  Minnie Rohrer, born 1863, Died 1867 in Jacksonville, Illinois

H.  George Rohrer, born April 4, 1865 in Jacksonville, Illinois
      Died November 13, 1944, Married twice.
        1. Leannah F. Mundy  
               1. Grace A. Rohrer, 1889-1979
               2. Nellie Rohrer, 1890-1977
               3. Jessie Rohrer 1892-1974
               4. Anna L. Rohrer 1895-1975
               5. Hester Elizabeth Rohrer 1898-1973
               6. George W. Rohrer 1910-1979
        2.  Hilda H. (Some of these children might be Hildaís children.            
I.  Andrew Rohrer, born 1867, Died when 3 months old in Lincoln, Illinois

J.  John Rohrer, born  February 14, 1869, born in Lincoln, Illinois
      Died March 19, 1955 in Lincoln,Illinois, Married twice. 
        1. Cora Mundy, died before 1928
        2. Fredoline Ruengi born 1872-1972; born in Baden Germany Married in 1928
               1. -- living son (Rohrer). 
               2. Ella Rohrer 1899-1982

K.  William Rohrer, Born May 26, 1872
      Died 1949 in Lincoln , Illinois
      Married Minnie Zurkammer
          1. Henry Rohrer married Ruth Darmarin 
               Two children. (son and daughter)   
               One of Henryís grandsons (Rohrer) farms on the original farm of Sebastian  
	           It is called a Centennial Farm.	           
          2. Elmer Rohrer, born March 2, 1908 at Beason Illinois, married Margaret Wiggers, 4 children, all girls.          
          3. Walter Rohrer, born 1910-1972, married Cletia Lodell 1932  


It was in 1851 that Sebastian Rohrer and his friend Andrew Roemer sought to see the world. They traveled up the Rhine from Westhausen, Wurttemberg Germany to Holland and then took a ship to Liverpool England. From there they decided to come to the new world the United States. They left Liverpool and came through the Port of New York on June 14, 1851. From there Sebastian and Andrew went their separate ways. Sebastian went on to Philadelphia where he worked in a box factory. Then he worked in Odessa Delaware as a farm hand. His wages at Odessa were $7.00 and fifty cents a big raise from the $3.00 a week he got from the box factory. He tried working on the Lehigh Canal but missed working on farms. He finally found employment working on the William (Billy) Cochran Plantation in New Castle Delaware where he was paid $115.00 a year with house and keep. He was an overseer of William Cochranís field hands many who were slaves. It was at Richard Cochranís home (Williamís brother) that he met his wife Catherine Cedar. He married her in 1853. She was a cook who was making a $1.00 a week. They were there three years. They had three children in New Castle, one who survived. Mary Jane Rohrer was born September 22, 1854.

Catherine Cedar had been born in southern Wurttemberg Germany on May 20, 1831 of Lutheran faith. Her brothers and father had been shepherds. She had one sister Christena and two brothers Albert and John. In her later years Catherine often talked of going to a higher mountain climate during the summer to be with her brothers and father while they watched their flock. The Cedar family had extensive grape orchards and sent many fine grapes to market for wine. It was in her twentieth year that Catherine decided to go with friends and neighbors to America. Her sister Christena would follow her later. Albert and John remained in Germany. Albert became a high ranking general and sent a picture of himself in army dress to Catherine in her later years. She died in 1904 so perhaps it was between 1894 and 1904. Catherine and her friends finally arrived by way of the Delaware River to New Castle which is near Wilmington. She sought work with the Richard Cochran Plantation. She met Sebastian Rohrer at that plantation.

Sebastian and Catherine had saved a little money and Catherine had inherited a little money from the sale of her parentís estate. Catherineís sister Christena had married John Heglar who had come over from Germany and settled in Morgan County near Jacksonville, Illinois. They urged Sebastian and Catherine to come to the fertile lands of Illinois and so they went to Illinois in 1857. Sebastian secured employment from a Jerry Gilbert, a farmer who owned 600 acres of land with much timber and grazing. Sebastian worked at the sawmill and on the farm and received $18.00 a month. Often after supper and in his spare time he would work for other neighbors. In 1860 he purchased twenty-eight acres from John Van Winkle at $33.00 per acre which he improved. He heard about the rich soils of Logan County so he sold his 28 acres of Morgan land for seventy-five an acre and purchased a quarter of a section of land from Lawrence Young in Logan County for $4,000 in 1866. This was willed to his youngest son William and his descendant lives on this property today. Sebastian and Catherine had eleven children but only five survived infancy: They were: Mary Jane (Fink), Catherine (Crouse), George, John and William. Mary Ann Rohrer Fink once remarked that her family once owned 1100 acres of fertile farm land, 880 acres in Logan County, 211 acres in DeWitt County and a half section in Chester, Nebraska. When each of his children married, they were given 160 acres of land. In 1903, Sebastian and Catherine retired to Lincoln Illinois and Catherine died on February 27, 1904. After Catherine died, Sebastian and his friend Andrew Roemer whose wife had also died, decided to return and visit their families in Westhausen, Wurttemberg. While in Germany, Sebastian bought Swiss-made watches to all his children as well as pearls for his daughters Mary Ann Rohrer Fink and Catherine (Kate) Rohrer Crouse. Sebastian and Andrew returned to America and Sebastian died in 1920 at the age of ninety-one sixteen years after Catherine had died. Sebastian and Catherine are both buried in Old Union Cemetery in section 3, block 4 and lot 18 in Lincoln, Illinois.

The above information came from ANCESTRY AND DESCENDANTS OF CATHERINE AND SEBASTIAN ROHRER OF NEW CASTLE DELAWARE, , by Mrs. Helen Luella Garton Stephansen, Lincoln, Illinois, 1970. Each of the descendants was given a copy.

Richard M. Sumrall, Library Director of Lincoln Public Library District, Lincoln, Illinois found the descendants of Sebastian and Catherine Rohrer in FAMILY HISTORY NOTEBOOKS FOR CENTRAL ILLINOIS, DONATED BY IRWIN FAMILY. Eddie Andrew Dirks , genealogist for Logan genealogical and history sent me that information and more from the Lincoln Public Library. Supt. Darrel White of Logan County Cemetery District sent me information on where they are buried.

Sebastian Rohrer family and grandparents were sent to me by the Catholic Church of Westhausen. St. Mauritius. Sebastian is a name of a saint in the Catholic Church. Later in his life, Sebastian went by Christian.

My mother has two large pictures of Sebastian Rohrer and Catherine Cedar Rohrer which hangs on her wall. I believe they are the originals.

Catherine (Kate) Rohrer Crouse and her husband John Crouse. Kate was the daughter of Sebastian and Catherine(Katrina)Cedar Rohrer. She was also my great grandmother.