Roemer, Ferdinand von (1818–1891)

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: April 21, 2016

Ferdinand von Roemer, scientist, was born in Hildesheim, Hanover, on January 5, 1818. He studied law at Göttingen from 1836 to 1839 and received his Ph.D. in paleontology in Berlin on May 10, 1842. Roemer traveled to Texas in 1845. From November 1845 to May 8, 1847, he explored from Galveston to Houston, as far west as New Braunfels and Fredericksburg, and as far north as Waco, studying the fauna and flora and the geology of the country. His book Texas (1849), published in Bonn, Germany, and translated in 1935 by Oswald Mueller, describes German immigration to Texas and the physical appearance of the state. Roemer was the author of the first monograph on Texas geology, The Cretaceous Formations of Texas and Their Organic Inclusions, published in Bonn in 1852. He was made Privat-dozent at the University of Bonn in June 1848. In 1855 he became a professor at the University of Breslau and director of the mineralogical cabinet. Roemer was elected to the scientific societies of London and Berlin in 1859 and 1869, to the Imperial Academy of Science in St. Petersburg in 1874, and to the Royal Bavarian Academy of Science in Munich in 1885. He also received the Geological Society of London's Murchison medal in 1885. He died in Breslau on December 14, 1891, having published over 350 works.

S. W. Geiser, Naturalists of the Frontier (Dallas: Southern Methodist University, 1937; 2d ed. 1948). Adele B. Looscan, "The Old Fort on the San Saba River as Seen by Dr. Ferdinand Roemer in 1847," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 5 (October 1901). Frederic W. Simonds, "Dr. Ferdinand von Roemer, the Father of the Geology of Texas; His Life and Work," American Geologist 29 (March 1902). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

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  • Authors and Writers
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  • Founders and Pioneers
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  • Science
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Roemer, Ferdinand von,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 07, 2022,

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April 21, 2016