Johann Christopher Rohn (Christopher Rowen)

Born: circa 1740 - birthplace unknown
Died: May 31, 1837 - Kensington, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Buried: Palmer Cemetery, Kensington, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Service: Johann served in the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment under Captains George Humes, Peter Grub and Colonel Edward Hand. Johann also served as a recruiting officer. According to his federal pension application, he enlisted on July 3, 1777 in Reading, Pennsylvania. He participated in “the Battle of Brandywine, the Battle of Germantown (taking the Hessians at Trenton), the Battle of Long Island, the Battle of Monmouth, and the taking of Cornwallis at Yorktown.” He was 95 when he applied for a federal pension application in 1835. The application was rejected because he was receiving a pension from the State of Pennsylvania. Records show he collected a pension from the State of Pennsylvania from 1823-1837 for his service.
Family: Little is known of Christopher, and research continues in an attempt to reconstruct his life. His pension application states he was living in Philadelphia prior to the Revolutionary War and he returned to that city afterwards. He lived in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, next to the Delaware River. We know he had at least four children, but have only been able to trace the descendants of two. Philadelphia directories list him as a “labourer”. His son worked as a “caulker” and most of his grandsons worked as either ship carpenters or caulkers in the surrounding shipyards. A statement from a grandson shows he was blind at the time of his death and was also lame.  Family stories say he went by “Stoffee” and that he was six feet tall. The German surname of Rohn was eventually changed to Rowen. Newspapers reported his age as 107 or 109, upon his death. No evidence of his birth has been found to substantiate this. No headstone has been found; it is believed the body was moved to a mass grave, as the city encroached on the cemetery.