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Mary Rouvenacht b. 29 Mar 1842 Guermange, Saarebourg, Moselle, FR d. 4 Mar 1909 Fisher, Champaign Co., IL: The Schrock-Birkey Connection

Mary Rouvenacht[1]

Female 1842 - 1909  (66 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All

  • Name Mary Rouvenacht 
    Born 29 Mar 1842  Guermange, Saarebourg, Moselle, FR Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    • headstone date is 28 March
    Gender Female 
    Immigration 1854 
    Died 4 Mar 1909  Fisher, Champaign Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Buried Fisher, Champaign Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • East Bend Mennonite Cemetery
    Person ID I288  Schrock-Birkey Connection
    Last Modified 16 Mar 2019 

    Father Christian Rouvenac,   b. 22 Dec 1806, Longeville-les-St. Avold, Moselle, FR Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Sep 1887, Roanoke, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years) 
    Mother Maria Switzer (Suisse),   b. 29 Nov 1803, Rhodes, Moselle, FR Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Oct 1883  (Age 79 years) 
    Married 6 Jun 1833  Guermange, Saarebourg, Moselle, FR Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F387  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Joseph Cender,   b. 13 Jun 1827, Niedernai, Bas-Rhin, FR Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Jan 1910, Fisher, Champaign Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years) 
    Married 13 Mar 1870  Tazewell Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Katie Cender,   bur. Roanoke, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Christian Cender,   b. 21 Feb 1873, Roanoke, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Jul 1960, Paxton, Ford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years)
     3. Joseph J. Cender, Jr.,   b. 20 Jul 1874, Roanoke, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Aug 1928, Bloomington, McLean Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 54 years)
     4. Magdalena Cender,   b. 12 Jun 1876, Roanoke, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Sep 1962, Fisher, Champaign Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 86 years)
     5. John Cender,   b. 26 Aug 1877, Roanoke, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Nov 1935, Foosland, Champaign Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 58 years)
     6. Mary Cender,   b. 11 Jun 1880, Roanoke, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Feb 1963, Gibson City, Ford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)
     7. Peter Cender,   b. 17 Dec 1881, Deer Creek, Washington Twp., Tazewell Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Jun 1907, Foosland, Champaign Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 25 years)
    Last Modified 4 Jan 2019 
    Family ID F385  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 29 Mar 1842 - Guermange, Saarebourg, Moselle, FR Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 13 Mar 1870 - Tazewell Co., IL Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 4 Mar 1909 - Fisher, Champaign Co., IL Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Fisher, Champaign Co., IL Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Obit: Herald of Truth 3/27/09
      Cender - Mary Cender (maiden name Rouvenac) was born in France, March 28, 1842; died of paralysis near Fisher, Ill., March 4, 1909; aged 66 y. 11 m. 6 d. She united with the A. M. Church in her younger years and remained a faithful member to the end. She was married to Joseph Cender and lived in this relation for nearly 39 years. To this union were born seven children. She leaves to mourn her departure an aged, mourning husband, three sons and two daughters. Funeral services were held at the house by Andrew Schrock of Metamora, Ill., in German and Samuel Gerber of Tremont, Ill., in English. Text Psa. 103; Gal. 2:20, and I Cor. 15:22.


      Read at East Bend Mennonite Church Centennial:

      “I was born in 1842 near Saarbourg, Lorraine, France. My parents were Christian and Maria Switzer Rouvenacht. They named me Maria too. My parents were Amish Mennonites and they, along with others of the same faith, experienced many hard times. Lorraine was a beautiful land, but since many families in our area, including the Oyers and the Mosimans, had already gone to America, my parents decided that it would be good for us as well. It was a long, hard trip. We were on the ocean many days. And then it was many more days until we would reach Woodford County where we made our first home. The first years in America were much different, and in some ways more difficult, than life had been in Lorraine, but we were happy with our new freedoms.

      “One day when I was almost 28 years old, a visitor came to our door. Since he was also from France we made him very welcome. It was good to visit with someone from our homeland. Joseph Zentner (Cender) had been in America a few years and was now ready to find himself a wife. Even though he was 16 years older than me, I consented to marry Joseph on March 13, 1870. We began our life together on a farm just south of Roanoke, Illinois. We attended the Roanoke Amish Mennonite Church where Joe served as a trustee for a while. It was here that our seven children were born. That was Katie, Chris, Joe, Lena, John, Mary and Peter. Katie died when she was eight years old and we buried her in the Roanoke Mennonite Cemetery.

      “It didn’t seem long until Joe had some good help as our young sons were growing up quickly. They were full of life, as Joe and I found out when we returned home to a surprise one day during hay season. It seemed the boys had been busy pulling the hay up into the haymow with a horse-drawn hayfork. All went well until they decided to send Katie up with a load of hay and left her stranded half way up the side of the barn. That is where we found her when we arrived home sooner than the boys expected us. A switchin’ was in order on that occasion. Joe decided he’d better be looking for more land to farm to keep the boys busy. And then too, they’d need their own places when they decided to get married. Land was getting scarce and prices were high in Woodford county, so Joe began looking around. He was hearing good things about Kansas, so he decided to make a trip there.

      “When he arrived in Kansas he stepped off the train and started looking the area over. He noticed piles of buffalo chips scattered about and asked someone if the land required fertilizer already. Joe was told the buffalo chips were burned for fuel, as there were no coal mines in Kansas and coal was very expensive there. Joe had already made his decision about moving to Kansas. He quickly boarded the train and sat quietly in his seat while the lady land agent walked through the train calling, “Where’s Zentner, where’s Zentner?” He didn’t answer her because he didn’t even want to discuss a Kansas land purchase! When Joe got back to Woodford County, he told the family, “Kansas is not for us.”

      “Joe said he’d heard about an Amish Mennonite settlement that had just been started near Fisher in Champaign County, Illinois. So he decided to check this out next. He took our oldest son, Chris, with him since he was almost 19 years old. When they got there Peter Zehr took them to look at some farms that were for sale. Joe decided he liked the William Swayze farm, so on February 4, 1892, he signed the papers and bought our new farm. Just in case we didn’t like this new place, Joe kept the one at Roanoke for a little while longer. Well, we made arrangements to move to our new home yet that spring. Our six children were a big help; Peter, the youngest, was ten years old. When the train reached Gibson City, we found Peter Zehr, Jacob Heiser and Charles Stormer there to meet us. They loaded our things on the wagons and tied the horses behind. The boys drove the cattle along behind the horses. The weather was cold and wet, and we were glad when that eight mile trip was over.

      “We really weren’t very happy when we reached our new home. That spring of 192 was cold and rainy, which didn’t help our attitude either! But things began to happen and there were a lot of changes in the East Bend area. That year eleven new families moved nearby, and among them were four Birkey families. After Joe built our new house, we were much more comfortable and we began to appreciate our surroundings. It was such a nice neighborhood where we lived! Our house was almost across the road from Peter Zehr, then west of us was Charles Stormer, north were Joe Beacher and John Zehr, and south was August Ingold. A little east of us were Jake Heisers and Barbara Heiser and her family.

      “As the years went by, we felt we’d made a good choice. When our children married we were happy to have them living nearby. We all attended the East Bend Mennonite Church, and as we worshipped with our family and friends, we thanked God many times through the years for His goodness and blessings. Because He was faithful in caring for us, we wanted to be faithful and live for Him.”

  • Sources 
    1. [S222] Pilgrims of the Past.

    2. [S398] Amish Mennonites in Tazewell Co., Joseph Staker, 29 Mar 1842, civil record date.

    3. [S225] East Bend Mennonite Church Records, Peter Zehr.


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