Hi - I descended through Johanne DeWester,Jacob DeWester, Jacob H. DeWester, Lloyd DeWester and then my father Gerald M. DeWester.
It is believed that Johanne DeWester came over from Germany (possibly spending some time in Holland first - unconfirmed at this time)with his wife Marina Elizabeth Siebold around 1855 and settled in Indiana. The information that I now have indicates that Johanne and Marina may actually have had the last name Thurwachter. I have been to the German Cemetary in near Manilla Indiana where they lived. Their headstone does say Thurwachter rather than DeWester. Although no one as of yet has been able to explain why and all of their children used the last name DeWester. I just recently found the cemetary and will be in contact with a woman living in that area still whose name is DeLorma DeWester Essex. This was quite a surprise to me. My father moved here from the Alton, IL area as did his siblings when they were adults. They had little to no knowledge of the Indiana heritage of their ancestors. The German Church accross the road from the German Cemetary may have records that will be of some help. I will be trying to research that lead as well.
From what info. that I now have I believe that Johanne and Marina had 4 children: Jacob born 1840, Mary Catherine born 1844, Matthias(Matthew) born 1849 and Julia born 1854. Because I descend through Jacob, I have gathered the most info on him at this time. However, I did find the grave stone of Matthias at the German Cemetary marked Matthew DeWester. I do not know what Mary Catherine's married name was or even if she was married. However, I did not see a Mary Catherine DeWester at the cemetary. I also know very little about Julia. I do not have a date of death for her so it may be that she died as an infant or child although I don't remember seeing a headstone for Julia there at the German Cemetary. I am going to revisit there soon.
What took place in those first years in Indiana has been somewhat of a mystery. I hope to get more answers if I can speak with DeLorma. I was able to meet her son the day I visited Manilla earlier this month, but she was not home. Hopefully between her and church records, I can find much needed info.
Jacob married Martha Northam on 12/25/62 in Manilla, IN. He spent a short time in the Civil War. He and Martha had 12 children. Seven apparently lived to adulthood. There children were: Jacob H. born 1866, John Lee born 1868, Fred M. born 1870, Lizzie born 1871, Katie born 1873, Willie born 1875, Eleckie or Electa born 1876, James Frank born 1878, Hattie born 1882, Minnie born 1884, Archie dob unknown. Katie, Willie, Eleckie, Archie never made it to adulthood while Minnie died at age 30. I'm not sure if James Frank made it to adulthood or not. I do not have a date of death for him. Jacob and Martha moved west spending some time in NE, CO and WA state; ulitmately ending up in WA state and both are buried there.
My great-grandfather settled in the Benkelman,NE are and had 7 children. One of which was my grandfather Lloyd L. DeWester, Sr.
Lloyd eventually settled with his family in the St.Louis, MO area in IL, near Alton/Woodriver/Roxanna. My father and his siblings went to Roxanna High. Four of the five children ended up settling in the Indianapolis area. Lloyd L. DeWester Jr. an attorney until his death in 1989. Gerald M. DeWester MD/my father a family practice physician, Diana DeWester a nurse and Frank DeWester an attorney. Their oldest brother Bob DeWester settled outside of Marietta, GA in the Atlanta area and is now retired in Florida.
If anyone has any information on the family in any way through any line. Please contact me at:
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