February 18, 2015

Johan Rüe, Johan Rühe or John Roe?

The Roe family is my maternal side.  My mother, Velma Imogene Roe was a daughter of Archie and Lillian Smith Roe.  

Archie was a son of Eugene Green Roe, he a son of John Roe, born c1831 in Baden, Germany.

John is somewhat of a mystery.  Likely named Johan Rüe or Rühe, he is said to have defected shortly before 1860 from a German navy vessel anchored in the Mississippi River, near New Orleans.  Rations were running low and men were hungry enough to jump overboard and swim to shore.  John was one of the lucky ones to make it.

A family tale, repeated over the years, say he made his way north to Catahoula Parish, LA and a small town known then as Pine Woods.  By 1860, he had married and was the father of a child or two.  The 1860 census of Catahoula Parish reports differently:
1860 LA, Catahoula Parish, Pine Woods, Trinity PO, dwelling 363, family 353, F. Desh, age 32, male, shoe maker, $400, $600, Germany; Mary, age 23, female, born Germany; John, age 5, male, born LA; Jacob, age 3, born LA; John Ruhe, age 29, male, butcher, born Germany; John King, age 25, male, shoe maker, born Germany
[My Grandma Lillian repeated to me that old story about two brothers coming to America. One came south, the other disappeared. When I was in the military and being reassigned to Germany, my Grandpa Archie reminded me that I was the first to go back to the "homeland" since his grandfather left.]

There is nothing in this census record to indicate that John had children, or was even married. 

Two years later he was fighting with the 1st Louisiana Heavy Artillery in the American Civil War.
Rhue, John, Pvt. Cos. H and D, 1st La. Hvy. Arty (Regulars). En. Sept. 4, 1862, Catahoula, La. Rolls Nov., 1862, to April, 1863, Present. teamster in Q. M. Dept. On List dated Enterprise, Miss., Oct. 13, 1863, Present, in parole camp. Rolls Oct. 31, 1863, to Dec., 1863, Present. Rolls Jan., 1864, to June, 1864, Present. Rolls July, 1864, to Oct., 1864. Absent, sick, Roll March and April, 1865, Present. Roll of Prisoners of War, C. S. A., Paroled Meridian, Miss., May 14, 1865. Res. New Orleans, La.
[It should be noted that Mary Clark Thibodeaux Roe, widow of John, was denied a Civil War pension in 1929 because records for John T. Roe, the name she used on the application, was not found in any CSA military record.]

The tale continues: John made it safely back to Catahoula Parish only to discover his wife and children had perished.

No longer knowing anyone in that area, he moved to South Louisiana in an attempt to find Joseph Pullam, one of his Civil War comrades, John finally found Joseph in the small town of Deerford, located in East Baton Rouge (EBR) Parish, some 15 or 16 miles north of the capitol city of Baton Rouge. 

A problem with this part of the tale is Joseph Pullam had no Civil War record; he died in 1854.  There was a Joseph, Jr. and, he was in EBR as late as 1862 when at age 18 he married  Miss Margaret Louisa Forbes.  Civil War records have not been found for him either.

Joseph Pullam and his wife Elizabeth Tickell (sometimes found as Teekell) had a fine young daughter by the name of Elizabeth Frances, born in Deerford in about 1840.  She and Joseph were married on Jul. 27, 1869 in EBR.
State of Louisiana
Parish of East Baton Rouge
We, the undersigned John Row as Principal and J. F. Bushman as Security are held and firmly bound unto the present Governor of the State of Louisiana or his successors in office in the sum of Five Hundred Dollars current money of the United States of America
Witness, our hands and seal this 27th Day of Feby 1868.
The conditions of the above obligation is such that whereas the above bounden John Row has obtained from the Clerk of the 5th Judicial District Court for said Parish of East Baton Rouge, a License to be joined in marriage to Elizabeth Cabner* [sic] [Carpenter]
Now, if there be no lawful course of impediment to the said marriage the obligation to be will be null and void, otherwise to remain in full force and value.
In The Presence Of
W. J. Walker
Johaness Ruh
J. F. Bushman
State of Louisiana  Judicial District Court
Parish of East Baton Rouge, Clerk's Office
To any one authorized to celebrate marriage in said Parish,
You are hereby authorized to join in marriage according to law John Row and Elizabeth Cabner [sic] [Carpenter] there appearing no lawful cause of impediment to the same
Given under my hand and the Seal of said Court at Baton Rouge the 27th day of Feb 1868
 Jas Cooper,Clerk
John and Elizabeth had three children:

John & Ary Dawson Roe Family
John Roe, born 1861, died 1933.  John married Ary Odell Dawson in Clinton, East Feliciana Parish (EFP) in 1890.  Ary was born in EBR in 1873 and died in 1946 at Washington Parish, LA.  They had 11 children, all of which lived to marry and have children of their own.  Ary left John and it is said "she set the house afire before leaving."  

Elizabeth was second born.  Her birth date was Mar., 1870 in EBR and she died before 1874 at Baywood in EBR.  My paternal grandfather pointed out to me the burial site of this child when I was about 15 years old.  He pointed out a large oak tree that then grew at the edge of a major thoroughfare from Baton Rouge to St. Helena Parish.  Today, the tree is gone and a large truck stop sits atop Elizabeth's grave.

Eugene Green Roe
The third child was Eugene Green, born 1873 at Baywood, died 1953 at Denham Springs in Livingston Parish, LA.  Eugene was married three times.  His first wife, Margaret Beatrice "Maggie" Henderson in 1893. She was on her second marriage.  Her first was to H. M. Newsom with whom she had Fanny, born in Oct., 1890. We know that Fanny married John L. Weaver c1907 and had children Henry S. and Louisa however,  the Roe family has lost contact with her descendants.

Green, as he was called, fathered five children with Maggie before her death in 1910.  First born was Lee Howard in 1894; Archie Allen in 1897; Frank Eugene in 1899; Myrtle Olivia in 1901 and Ida Mae in 1904.

Returning to John the German now, we learned that Elizabeth died in 1874 leaving him with the infant Green.  There is only circumstantial evidence to support the thought that Elizabeth died at the birth of Green.  John very quickly married Mary "Molly" Clark Thibodeaux, the 22-year old widow of Alfred who also died in c1874.  That union took place on May 26, 1874 in EBR.
State of Louisiana - - - Parish of East Baton Rouge
Fifth Judicial District Court - - Clerk's Office
To Any One Authorized to Celebrate Marriage in said Parish, Greeting:
You are hereby authorized to join in marriage according to law
John Ruh and Mary Thibodeaux
There appearing no lawful course of impediment to the same
Given under my hand and Seal of said Court at Baton Rouge this 19th day of  May, A. D., 1874
Felix Behel[?], Clerk
John and Molly's children were:

Children of Edward
and Maude Verrett Roe³
Edward Malcolm, born 1883 in EBR, died 1951 in Morgan City, St. Mary Parish, LA. Edward married Maude Cecile Verrett who was born in Bayou Chene¹ in St. Martin Parish, LA in 1898. There were five children born to this union:  Minnie E., Winnie M., Eugene Gilbert; Charles H. and John E.  All survived and raised families of their own.  Eugene Gilbert Roe was a veteran of WW2 and a member of the 101st Airborn Division which parachuted into Normandy on D-Day.  He was a medic in E Company² who along with so many others fought at Bastogne in Belgium during the "Battle of the Bulge."

Obituary, The Baton Rouge Saturday State Times/Morning Advocate, Jan. 2, 1999

A retired construction contractor and a resident of Denham Springs, he died at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30, 1998, at his home. He was 76 and a native of Bayou Chene. He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II. He served in the European Theater during World War II, participating in the D-Day invasion of Normandy as a paratrooper and medic in the "E" Company, 101st Airborne Division. He also served with allied forces defending Bastogne, Belgium, in the Battle of the Bulge. He received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and the Medal of Valor for his services to our country. Visiting was at Seale Funeral Home, Denham Springs, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday. Visiting at the funeral home chapel, 8 a.m. until religious services at 10 a.m. Saturday, conducted by the Rev. Doug DeGraffenried. Eulogy read by Louis Redden Jr. Interment in Resthaven Gardens of Memory, Baton Rouge. He is survived by wife, Myrtle H. Roe, Denham Springs; two daughters and sons-in-law, Maxine Roe and Al Tircuit and Marlene Roe and David Langlois, all of Baton Rouge; a son and daughter-in-law, Eugene G. Jr. and Betty Roe, Baton Rouge; two stepdaughters and husbands, Margaret and Robert Wendt, Denham Springs, and Melvina and Ron Timberlake, Tennessee; a stepson and wife, Danny and Phyllis Williams, Clinton; a brother, Charles H. Roe, Morgan City; six grandchildren, Kyle and Derek Tircuit, Christopher and Ryan Langlois and Greg and Michelle Roe; seven stepgrandchildren, Jay, Jodi and Jan Williams, Jill and Michael Edwards and William and Daniel Wendt; two stepgreat-grandchildren, Ashley and Logan Buckner; and numerous nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by father, Ed Roe; mother, Maud Verret Roe Green; a brother, John E. Roe; and two sisters, Winnie Smallman and Minnie Green. He was of the Methodist faith. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Baton Rouge, 8322 One Calais Ave., Suite A, Baton Rouge LA 70809-3412.
 ...perhaps to be continued.

*Elizabeth had previously married John B. Carpenter on Nov. 1, 1859 in EBR. See EBR marriage register, Book 5B, Page 260; married at the home of Mrs. E. Pullam, witnesses J. F. Glover, L. M. Carpenter and James Morgan.  John is thought to have died in the Civil War but proof has not been found.
¹See Bayou Chene The Life Story of An Atchafalaya Basin Community at http://1.usa.gov/1CI1bXv
²See "Band of Brothers" at http://bit.ly/1CI3lX3
³Roe children photograph courtesy of Eugene G. Roe, Jr.

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