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John Rowen (or Rowan) info request

John Rowen (or Rowan) info request

Posted: 1321744694000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Rowen, Rowan, Rowun, Wenzell, Wenzel, Shillingsford
Looking for any info on John Rowen, born March 1845 in PA. He was the husband of Margaret L. Wenzell (or Wenzel) born 1845 in PA. I also have reason to believe he is connected to the name Shillingsford (possibly his mother's maiden name). The couple lived in Philadelphia where he was a saddle maker and later a wallpaper hanger. He died sometime after 1910.

I'm primarily interested in the possibility that he served in the Civil War and/or was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. Any information on this man would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

OBIT Bertha Rowen Everly 1919 Philadelphia PA daughter of John and Margaret Rowen

Posted: 1321823367000
Classification: Obituary
Surnames: Everly Rowen
I've read about 200 obits so far. Nothing yet for John or Margaret. I will keep looking. I will also look for Shillingsford. But, in the meantime, do you know if John and Margaret had a daughter named Bertha? I found this...

From the Philadelphia Inquirer dated 09 Jul 1919:

EVERLY. --July 5, BERTHA. Wife of Frank Everly and daughter of John and the late Margaret L. Rowen. Relatives and friends invited to funeral, Wed., 2 P.M., from the residence of her brother-in-law, Thomas McKay, 1519 N. Front st., to proceed to Palmer Vault.

OBIT John Rowen 1922 Philadelphia PA husband of Margaret Thompson

Posted: 1321824512000
Classification: Obituary
Surnames: Rowen Thompson
I suspect this is not your John, the occupation does not fit, but I will post anyway and you can figure it out...

From the Philadelphia Inquirer dated 23 Apr 1922:

ROWEN. --Suddenly, April 21. JOHN, husband of Margaret J. Rowen (nee Thompson). aged 47. Relatives and friends also officers and employees of Delta File Co., are invited to attend funeral services, Tues, 2 P.M., at his late residence, 3217 Frankford ave. Int. North Cedar Hill Cem.

Re: John Rowen (or Rowan) info request

Posted: 1321825351000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Shillingsford
Was there a George Shillingsford, born 1847 in the family? I found an obit for him in 1914. I do not time to transcribe right now, but if you think it will help you, I will post later. It is the only Shillingsford Obit in the paper.

Re: John Rowen (or Rowan) info request

Posted: 1321835207000
Classification: Query
Thanks for the info! Bertha was indeed the daughter of John Rowen and Margaret Wenzel. I'm not sure about the other two. Shillingsford is a pretty unique name so I have a feeling most of the people by that name in Philadelphia are related in some way. I discovered shortly after making my initial post several genealogies, based largely on DAR and SAR records, that John Rowen was the son of William Rowen Sr. (1817-66) and Catharine Shillingsford (1821-80). This explains the 1850 Census I found a while back that showed a 5-year-old John Rowen staying with a Shillingsford family. His brother was William Rowen Jr. who went on to become the president of the Philadelphia Board of Education.

William Rowen Sr. seems to have been a stone cutter but most of the Shillingsford family, including John's grandfather James Shillingsford, were involved in shipbuilding and ships in general. The Rowen and Shillingsford families seem to have been based in the Kensington area. On the 1860 Census, there are two PA born John Rowens, one born 1844, the other 1845. There also appear to be two Philadelphia John Rowens with that approximate birth date that fought in the Civil War. One volunteered for the 1863 Emergency Militia (I found this record through PA ARIAS) and the other seems to have served in the Navy. I had long thought my John Rowen might be the one who fought in 1863. In light of the new information, however, I'm beginning to wonder if the one in the Navy would make more sense. Can you think of any way I can sort out these John Rowens?

Re: John Rowen (or Rowan) info request

Posted: 1321846762000
Classification: Query
There was also a John Rowen (b. abt 1809) who lived just a few doors down from my John's grandfather James Shillingsford in 1850. That family was composed of fisherman and boat builders. Given the name and proximity, I'd say there's a good chance of a relation. Maybe my John Rowen's uncle? This other John Rowen lived next door to a bunch of fishermen and boat builders by the name Cramp. I wonder if there is any relation to the famous William Cramp & Sons Shipbuilders of Philadelphia.

I just keep noticing these nautical connections that make me think of those Naval documents. I have no record of my John Rowen having any professional experience with ships or boats but it seems like everyone he knew growing up did. There were two enlistment documents bearing the name John Rowen (b. 1845) from the Philadelphia Navy Yard in the 1860's. Interestingly, his marriage to Margaret Wenzel in 1864 fell right in between the terms of enlistment on the docs.

Re: John Rowen (or Rowan) info request

Posted: 1321936416000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Rowen, Wenzell
It looks like John Rowen (mispelled as Rowland although son's name was spelled correctly) is living with his son Alfred in 1920 census:
1920 United States Federal Census
about John Rowland
Name: John Rowland
Age: 75
Birth Year: abt 1845
Birthplace: Pennsylvania
Home in 1920: Philadelphia Ward 17, Pennsylvania; 1432 Frankford ave
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Father
Marital Status: Widowed[Widow]
Father's Birthplace: Pennsylvania
Mother's Birthplace: Pennsylvania
Able to Read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Household Members: Name Age
Alfred Rowen 29
Sarah Rowen 20
John Rowland 75 father, wid.
Edna Vanemon 23
If so, the following might be a civil war application (index):
Civil War Pension index (from

John Rowen, filed Aug 25, 1926; application no. 1553642; K-9 Pa Inf
Certificate A –6-4-27
If John died after 1926-1927, then he would not be listed in the Phila Inquirer index (goes up to 1923). He is not living with son Alfred in 1930. That leaves the possibility that he may have died between 1926(or 1927) and 1930.
Here are some Phila city directory listings:
1911: Jno Rowen, paper hngr 1705 Fkd av; h 1519 N Front
1912: not listed
1913: Jno Rowen, paper hngr, h. 1519 N Front
1914/1915/1916/1918/1919/1920/1921: not listed
Note: in 1917: son Alfred Rowen is living at 1519 N Front.
Alfred is also listed through 1921 in city directories.
Do you have the following obit for Margaret Rowen?
Perhaps John was buried with her in Palmer Vault?

January 26, 1900 – Philadelphia Inquirer:
ROWEN-On the 22d inst., Margaret L., wife of John Rowen, and daughter of the late George C and Sarah Wenzell, in her 54th year. The relatives and friends of the family, also the members of the Frankford Avenue Baptist Church, are respectfully invited to attend the funeral, on Friday, at 2 o’clock, from her late residence, 1342 East Oxford street, formerly Lavery street. To proceed to Palmer Vault.

Re: John Rowen (or Rowan) info request

Posted: 1321994807000
Classification: Query
Thanks for the info! Ah, that tricky last name. It's not the first alternate/incorrect spelling of Rowen I've seen. On the 1850 census, it's spelled "Rone" or some such thing.

I checked into that pension index. I looks like the John Rowen of the K 9th PA died on December 20, 1932 and was buried three days later in the Philadelphia National Cemetery. I haven't been able to find a birthdate anywhere or any other biographical details, however.

I haven't seen the obit before. The Palmer Vault/Cemetery seems to have been the burial place for most of the Rowens throughout the 1800s. It also gives me Margaret's parents' names too, so thanks!

Re: John Rowen (or Rowan) info request

Posted: 1322004591000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Rowen
The John Rowen who was buried at the national cemetery in 1932 is listed as being in the Spanish American War: that would most likely be too old for your John Rowen. Since the other John Rowen was for a Civil War index, that would have been over 20 years earlier. Did you find something about the John Rowen buried in 1932 that shows he was in the Civil War? I am always looking for new sources to find info.

U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006
about John Rowen
Name: John Rowen
Death Date: 20 Dec 1932
Cemetery: Philadelphia National Cemetery
Cemetery Address: Haines Street & Limekiln Pike Philadelphia, PA 19138
Buried At: Section I Site 144

Re: John Rowen (or Rowan) info request

Posted: 1322013178000
Classification: Query
I found it on this site:

It shows the JR buried in the Philadelphia National Cemetery as matching the company and regiment in the Civil War index.
There's also this I just found. It shows a John Rowen in the Spanish American War:

"ROWEN, John, Private, Co. K; Residence: ColumbuSpecial Order ; Enrolled July 5, 1898; Mustered in July 6, 1898; Mustered out with company Oct. 29, 1898."

Could this be a case of a later John Rowen requesting that particular company in emulation of a relative? Columbus, PA is a long way from Philadelphia so maybe it's just a weird coincidence. I would imagine you don't necessarily have to live in the immediate area to be buried in that cemetery if that's where you really want to be buried.
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