Frommes, etc. . .




The account of William Fromme, according to the History of Morgan County — Its Past and Present, while not entirely correct, is an interesting description of our first American Fromme ancestor:

















Catharina Rosena Donnar was born in village of Neuenheerse, which is in the region of Westfalia an area formerly known as Prussia, in Germany, August 12, 1822, to Joannes and Catharina Tegethoff Donner. A record on indicates Rosena had a son Joannes Josephus Donner on May 27, 1848.


According to the International Genealogical Index, Rosena married William Fromme in the Roman Catholic Church in Neuenheerse on November 16, 1850.


After their first child Mary was born June 14, 1851, William boarded the ship Washington in Brehmen, Germany, and arrived in New York July 31, 1851. He must have returned to Germany in 1852 or 1853, because contains a record of the birth of Joseph Wilhelm Fromme to William and Rosina Fromme in December of 1853.


William returned to America on the ship Maryland with Rosina and Mary. They arrived in Baltimore, Maryland, October 9, 1954. The 1900 census indicates that Mary immigrated to America in 1854.  No record of Joannes nor Joseph arriving with them has been found.


The family settled on a farm of 190 acres near the road now known as the Loami Road,  in the Sulphur Springs Precinct near Franklin, Morgan County, Illinois, where William worked as a farmer. There they had five more children: Joseph, Frank, John, William H., and Gertrude.


The 1870 census shows William and Rosena lived in the Sulphur Springs Precinct. William died in 1875.  Rosena stayed on the farm at least until 1880.  By 1900, she had moved to New Berlin. 


William’s headstone shows his age at the time of his death to have been 49 years, 9 months and 22 days.  That would make his birth date around March 6, 1826.  Rosena died January 10, 1905.  Both were buried St. Mary’s Cemetery near New Berlin, Illinois.



William and Rosena Donnar Fromme

FROMME, WILLIAM (deceased). During his life was a farmer in the township of Franklin. He was born April 22, 1827, in Prussia, Germany, and there lived until the years of manhood _ occupation farmer; was married in 1859 to Miss Rosina Donnar. For the space of three years lived on the farm, and to better his fortune, left the little German home across the sea for America. After a long voyage, landed at New Orleans. From there he wended his way to the fertile prairies of Illinois, settling in Morgan, where he first hired out to the neighboring farmers by the month. Two years later his wife and family joined him. He then rented a farm for a number of years, afterward purchased a good farm and owned at the time of his demise, 190 acres, well improved, which he gained by many years of honest toil and economy. For many years was extensively engaged in buying stock for home consumption. During the Spring of 1874 Mr. Fromme was attacked by dyspepsia which baffled the attempts of the skillful physician to cure, and after a long and protracted illness, he passed peacefully away Dec. 28th, 1875. He was an energetic worker, and this, perhaps, hastened his death. He left to the care of his devoted wife five children: Mary, Frank, John, William, and Gertrude.”

William H., Gertrude, Frank, Rosena, Mary and John Fromme



Did Rosena really have a son Joannes Josephus Donner? What happened to him?



What happened to their son Joseph Wilhelm? Did he come to America with them?


1870 Federal Census showing inhabitants of Sulphur Springs in Morgan County

1872 County Land Ownership Map

1875 Map of Morgan County

1880 Federal Census of Sulphur Springs in Morgan County

1900 Federal Census of New Berlin Township