Our Family History

Our Family History

by John Rodenmayer




Family Histories
























































The Family and Descendants of Georg Rodenmayer and Anna Martha Kolb

      With the assistance of a several cousins, we have had good luck tracing and putting together the family and descendants of Johan Georg RODENMAYER and Anna Martha KOLB.  Our research affirms Georg and Anna Martha were married during the year 1815 in the village of Appenheim, Kreis Bingen, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany.  Appenheim is about 15 miles west southwest of the city of Mainz on the Rhine River in central Germany.  Georg RODENMAYER was born on 6 Jan 1792 in Appenheim and passed away on 15 Dec 1874 in Fairview Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania.  On his tombstone is the surname RODENMAYER.  Anna Martha KOLB was born on 7 Mar 1795 in the state of Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany and passed away on 17 Feb 1881 in Fairview Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania.  On her tombstone the surname is RODENMOYER.  They are buried side by side in the cemetery at the Jerusalem Reformed Church of Christ on the southern edge of Otter Creek Township, a few miles north of Fredonia, Mercer County, Pennsylvania. They had seven sons (John, Georg, William, Henry, Peter, Philipp, and Jakob) and two (or three) daughters (Barbara and Magdalena [Lena]) all in Appenheim.  Peter was born on 12 Feb 1827 died 12 days after his birth on 24 Feb 1827.  We have been unable to determine what became of Elisabetha, possibly another daughter of theirs, after her birth in 1837.  In the late spring of 1844, the family left Germany for Rotterdam, emigrating to America.   

View Information on the Voyage to America

      Georg is spelled George in English.  Johann is John in English.  Wilhelm is William and Heinrich is Henry in English.  Magdalena often went simply by Lena.  Men in Germany normally used their middle name as their official name.  The New York Port records show the surname spelled ROTHEMAYER, which usually comes from their emigration documents from their home town, county, state, and country.  German officials affirmed to us during the summer of 2000 that the correct spelling in English today is RODENMEYER.  More details on the various American spellings will be discussed later.

     The ROTHEMAYER family, George, Anna Martha, seven sons, and two daughters boarded the Brig named The Proteus in Rotterdam.  It was in late June 1844 or early July 1844 that they sailed for America, with another 98 German passengers.  They arrived in New York on August 23rd, 1844.  The complete Passenger List has been microfilmed and is on file in the National Archives.  We are not sure, but they may have traveled up the Hudson River to the Great Lakes and west to Erie, Pennsylvania, or more likely, across land to Mercer County, Pennsylvania, where Georg settled into farming.  By 1850, except for Lena, Philipp, and Jakob, their children were grown, married, and moved to pursue their separate lives.  The 1850 Census reflects that Georg and Anna Martha had settled in West Salem Township, farming.  It also reveals that their son, Heinrich (Henry) had married Elizabeth KLINGENSMITH and they were living in the south central part of Salem Township in Mercer County, with her parents.  Georg and Anna’s eldest son, Johann (John) had married Mary KLINGENSCHMIDT and they to were living on a farm in the eastern part of Salem Township. Census records also indicate that Georg was firm with their sons Philipp and Jacob attending school.

     As for the spelling of the surname and the American varieties that have evolved, Census records, court records, marriage records, church records, newspapers, et al, reflect all sorts of spellings for our surname; including RODENMAYER, RODENMEYER, RODEMOYER, RODENMOYER, RODDENMEIER, ROTHEMAYER, ROTHENMEYER, ROTHENMAYER, RODAMIER, ROADMEYER, RATHMEIER, RHODYMOYER, RADAMEIER, and GROTEMEYER.  Simply stated though, Henry and Jacob lived their lives in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, adopted the spelling of the surname RODEMOYER, and took it to their graves with them.  Both Henry and Jacob, along with their wives, are buried in the same Jerusalem Reformed Church Cemetery as are their parents.  It is on the southern outskirts of Otter Creek Township, in Mercer County.   Their descendants carry on the surname RODEMOYER today.  In the event you are a RODENMEYER or a RODENMAYER and you meet a RODEMOYER, you can be confident you are related.  Naturally, vice versa.

     Henry and Elizabeth had nine children; Elizabeth, Peter, William Henry, Anna Mary, Rosa [Rose], Caroline [Carrie], Louisa, Henry F., and George Lewis.  They all lived their lives with the surname RODEMOYER, as did Jakob’ descendents.  Jakob married a lady named Leah.  We have been unable to determine what her maiden name was and who her parents were, except that she was born in Ohio.  Jakob and Leah had three children; Robert E., Sylvester James, and  Emma Doratha.  Robert E. died as an infant shortly after birth and is also buried in the Jerusalem Reformed Church Cemetery.

     In 1845, Georg and Anna Martha’s son, George RODENMEYER, moved to the area of St Louis, Missouri and Belleville, Illinois.  He joined the Army and fought in the Mexican War.  Afterward, he returned to Belleville and on November 14, 1848 he married Anna Maria HELFRICH.  She passed away in December 1849, probably as a result of the cholera plague that ravaged the area that year.  Then, on or about 21 Mar 1850 in St. Louis, Missouri, he married Elizabeth HELFRICH, a younger sister of Anna Maria’s.  They had eleven children; Valentine, Margaret, John Robert, George, Mary, Catherine, Emmerentia [Emma], Charles J., Elizabeth [Sadie], Clementine Julia, and Francis Joseph.

     Sometime in the late 1840s, William RODENMEYER moved to Mt Cory in Hancock County in northwestern Ohio.  In the late 1850s he married Elizabeth KENNEDY and they lived their lives our there.  We are still researching to determine if they had any children, but we have confirmed that they kept the surname Rodenmeyer, as did George and most of his descendants.

       In 1853, Philipp moved to Belleville, Illinois and on 16 Nov 1856 he married Margaretha Helfrich, a younger sister of Anna Maria’s and Elizabeth’s.  The HELFRICH girls were all daughters of Nicholaus HELFRICH and Anna Maria MEHLER.  They were a Catholic family from Biblis, Starkenburg, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany.  It is about twenty-five miles south southwest of the city of Darmstadt and about fifty miles southeast of Appenheim.  The HELFRICH family arrived in America in 1848 on board the ship, Maria Cleares at New Orleans and traveled up the Mississippi River to the St Louis area.  They settled into farming south of Belleville, Illinois.  Good solid information indicates the HELFRICH family had lived in the area around Biblis for five hundred years.  

     Philipp and Margaretha bore and raised four sons (John H., Phillip, Ferdinand, and William) and four daughters (Elizabeth [Lizzie], Anna [Annie], Augusta [Gussie], and Katherine [Kate]).  Various documents show they signed their name Rodenmeyer sometimes and then signed it Rodenmayer at other times.  Their death certificates and tombstones show the name Rodenmayer.  Their son, John’s death certificate shows RODENMEYER.  But their grandson’s; Alfred, Waldo, and Hubert all adopted RODENMAYER as the spelling of the surname.  It has been carried on since. 

     Georg and Anna Martha’s eldest son, John had married Catherine KLINGENSCHMIDT, in 1844, while living in Mercer County, Pennsylvania.  They had five daughters (Catherine, Elizabeth, Anna, and Barbara) and one son (Peter), all born in Mercer County.  In 1865 they all moved to Belleville, Illinois, where they lived their lives out.  On John and his wife, Catherine’s tombstone the name is spelled RODENMAYER.

     As mentioned earlier, Georg and Anna Martha’s son Peter died twelve days after his birth in 1827. German officials gave us that information.  But . . ., the Brig The Proteus Passenger List, on its’ arrival in New York, shows a son of George and Anna Martha’s named Peter, age 19, or born about 1825.  Research to determine exactly who this second Peter Rothemayer was, indicates strongly that he was probably a Rodenmeyer nephew they brought with them.  The 1850 census shows him living in a boarding house in Greenville, Mercer County, PA.  The 1870 census reflects P. Rodeymoyer and his wife, Emma residing in Linesville Boro, Crawford County, PA.  It records he was a 44 year old, white, male, shoemaker, who’s birthplace was “Ducha by Rhine” in Germany, and he fathered a son who was a U.S. citizen more than 21 years old.  The 1880 Census recorded P. Rodemoyer (a shoemaker) and his wife, E. Rodemoyer living in Linesville, Crawford County, Pennsylvania, and it reflects that he and his parents were born in Prussia.  The 1900 census recorded Peter Rodemoyer and his wife, Emmiline residing in Linesville Boro, Crawford County, PA.  That census also records that he was born in October 1826 and arrived in America in 1844.  A stained glass window in the Jerusalem Reformed Church has Peter Rodemoyer, Linesville, PA – Oct. 11, 1825, probably donated to the Church by Peter.

     Additional research affirms that Barbara RODENMEYER married Philipp HUTH, who was also a passenger on the Brig, The Proteus.  They had two sons, William HUTH and Louis Philipp HUTH.  The latter, Louis P. and his wife, Mary had a daughter, Mary A. HUTH, and a son, Frederich A. HUTH.  Early 20th Century records of the Jerusalem Reformed Church reveal the Huth family were still members of the church.  Barbara, William, and Louis are also buried in the Jerusalem Reformed Church Cemetery. 

     We have positive indications that Magdalena (Lena) RODENMEYER married Benjamin KLINGENSMITH and they raised their family in Mercer County, Pennsylvania.  They had four daughters (Elizabeth, Margaret, Mary, and Leah) and three sons (George, Philip, and Levi).  Magdalena and Benjamin, along with their son Levi, were buried in the Salem Evangelist Reformed Cemetery, located at the intersection of unpaved Straub Road and Pilgrim Road on the southeastern side of Otter Creek Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania.

     Our research has identified nearly 1100 individuals fitting into the RODENMEYER / RODEMOYER / RODENMAYER family tree.  Many members of this family are living today.  Some are in Mercer County and other parts of Pennsylvania.  There are many others living throughout the United States; including Florida, Texas, California, Oregon, Wyoming, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Georgia.  We have traced the family back to Christian RODENMEYER, born About 1645 and his wife, Anna N. N., also born About 1645.  We would like to contact anyone doing research on the KOLB family and is aware of Anna Martha KOLB. This synopsis will be expanded as further documentary evidence is gathered and we can print it with a reasonable degree of assurance it is accurate.

February 2, 2002             

John Rodenmayer 

7389 Sabre Avenue 

Reynoldsburg, OH 43068                               

E-mail:   [email protected]




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