Don and Gay:
I believe I am also from the Deem/Deems/Diehm line that John Deem came from. I have a copy of an article from Wayne County, IL, written about him in 1887, when he was 71. It claims he was born in 1816 in Fayette County, PA., lost his mother at age seven, moved to Harrison County, OH, in 1836 and began teaching school(there?)in 1837, and moved to Wayne County, IL, in 1854.
Except for the 1836 date (which may not necessarily be correct), this fits very neatly with what I know of the family of my 3rd great-grandfather, Abraham Deem(s), whom I believe to be John's father. I believe that John's mother was Abraham's first wife, Nancy.
Abraham Deem b. abt 1794 was apparently a son of Lewis(Ludwig)Deem (b. 1753), and a grandson of Johannes Adam Diehm. After Ludwig's early death in 1802, the rest of this branch of the family went to Kentucky; only Abraham stayed in or came back to Fayette County (I don't have the slightest idea how or why this occurred).
Abraham married a Nancy in Fayette County in about 1815. John would have been their eldest child. Their second was also a son, probably Lewis F. Deem, b. 1818, who also went to Harrison County, Ohio, and eventually to Whitley County, IN. They also had a daughter named Eliza. Nancy died sometime before about 1825, and Abraham remarried Eliza Wilson (this is all still in Luzerne Twp., Fayette County, PA). Eliza and Abraham had six children (Robert Wilson, Dorcas Anne, Elizabeth J., Mary A., Sarah C.(my line), and William A.). The first three were born before 1830 in PA. The last three were born bet. 1831 -1836 in Harrison County, OH.
Abraham died in Harrison County, Ohio, in December, 1836 (which is why I question the date of John's move to Harrison County -- the family went there before 1831). I have located John in the 1850 census in Salem Twp., Muskingum County, OH. He is living next door to a Ruth Johnson, age 54. His wife is Elizabeth A., and there are five children living in the family.Curiously, only one of these children, Ruth Ann,age 11, is recorded with the Deem surname. All the rest (Albert A., Harriet A., Mary E., and Leander J.) are surnamed Hillier. I have no idea whose children these might be, but I think it is probably significant that John's apparent half-brother Robert Wilson Deems had married Permelia Hillier, daughter of Peter and Mary Hillier, in Tuscarawas County in 1848.
I would be overjoyed to have information confirming or expanding upon these relationships, or any other information out there on this line of the Deem family. Susan