The Zearing family in the United States is descended from German royalty. Rosamond R. Colton of Western Springs, Illinois, said that she was startled to learn that the Zearing family can be traced to 400 A. D. The Romans built a castle in Baden, Germany, about 65 A. D. It was destroyed by the Franks or Huns. The Zearing family rebuilt the castle.
Ludwig Zearing was the first member of the family to come to the United States. He came before 1732. Ludwig purchased land from William Penn near Johnstown, Pennsylvania. A direct descendant of Ludwig, Henry Zearing, served with General Washington at Brandywine. Henry was an officer in the American Revolution.
Luelja Zearing Gross wrote an account of the Zearing family which was published by the Illinois State Historical Society in 1921. Luelja said the brothers, John and Martin, made a tour of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois in 1834. They selected Bureau county, Illinois, for their future home.
Martin Zearing, his wife, Sarah Shafer Zearing, and their seven children arrived in Princeton, Illinois, on May 9, 1836. We understand that Zearing, Illinois, was named in honor of a direct descendant of Martin Zearing.
In our history we are interested in the family of John. Zearing. John was the father of Judge William Mitchell Zearing.
John Zearing was born in Pennsylvania in 1792. He moved from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to Bureau county, Illinois, in 1842.
Margaretta Herman was born in Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, in 1793. According to Luelja, Margaretta was quiet in manner. She had pretty black eyes and hair. She spoke English, German, and Pennsylvania Dutch very fluently. She was always regarded as queenly and wore real lace caps and collars. Margaretta enjoyed her grandchildren. She often played the melodeon and sang for them.
Luelja said that John Zearing had been a power in Harrisburg. He was active in business, in the church, and in politics. John took an active part in helping to elect Van Buren, Harrison, and Governor Rittenhouse of Pennsylvania.
The John Zearing family lived on a farm in Bureau county