The Boßecker Newsletter

Volume 1 Issue 3 December 1995



Merry Christmas! I am pleased to announce that the initial response to The Boßecker Newsletter has exceeded my expectations. I have had phone calls and letters from several family members offering thoughts about the photos and asking questions about the upcoming ALL-BOßECKER-DESCENDANT'S REUNION. Thank you all for your help & interest!
Scott Bosecker, 103 Meadowlark Trace, Peachtree City, GA 30269-2312; (770) 631-4855.

The Cowling Band

The Cowling, Illinois Band!

The Band!

The above picture (the original is in the possession of Adolph Kirsch of Evansville, IN) was probably taken around 1910. I am sure some of the fellows in this group are either Boseckers or have Boseckers in their family tree... but which ones?

Anyone with ideas as to who is who please contact me with your thoughts.

Boßecker Background

There are many unanswered questions regarding the immigration of our Boßecker ancestors. While I suspect that many of these questions will remain unanswered due to the passage of time, I will ask them anyway in the hope that some of my readers may have heard family stories or traditions that may yield clues to answer these questions. (See the story at the bottom of this column!)

Before the questions; some background material.

As I mentioned in Issue # 1; I am interested in all descendants of 3 Boßecker men; Peter (1802-1857) , Karl (1813-1870) & Johannes (1816-1896).

Karl & Johannes were definitely brothers while Peter's exact relationship to the others has not been identified. Peter may have been an older brother, a cousin or an uncle of Karl & Johannes.

Peter & Johannes and their families arrived in New York City aboard the Danish ship SKJOLD on June 16, 1846.

It bears noting that Karl Boßecker had arrived in the United States somewhat earlier. Karl purchased ground in Vanderburgh County, Indiana on June 15, 1846. One day BEFORE the other Boßecker men arrived in New York.

Back to the SKJOLD; Peter Boßecker arrived with his wife and 6 children (4 boys, 2 girls) ages 2 to 19. Johannes arrived with his wife and 3 children (2 girls, 1 boy) ages 2 to 5.

There are some other people accompanying this group; I have identified them as follows:
Johannes's mother-in-law, his mother and his sister and her 3 children (2 girls, 1 boy) ages 4 to 15.

So altogether at least 19 people of this family left their home near Veilsdorf, Germany in early 1846. They traveled to Hamburg, Germany and boarded a ship bound for the United States. It appears that the voyage took about 7 weeks.

Aleen (Hahn) Rankin of Evansville, IN, great-granddaughter of Karl Boßecker, wrote me on August 16, 1993. In her letter she reported the following story:

"One day I went down to our Court House where Herman Bosecker (1886-1962) was working... ...This had to be some time after... ...1957. He told me... (Johannes) ...came over in 1846 with their 3 children. Took 49 days crossing. Landed in New York and then crossed Lake Erie and down the Erie Canal to Ft. Wayne, In. Three children left Germany with them Caroline, Ludwig and a baby that died at sea..." (my italics).

While Karl had settled near Evansville, Indiana, Peter settled about 300 miles away near Fort Wayne, Indiana. Johannes initially purchased land about 20 miles south of Fort Wayne in northwest Adams County and lived there for about 25 years before moving to Cowling (near Mount Carmel) in southern Illinois around 1870.

Some Questions

Unlike many immigrant families the Boßeckers were certainly not a group to crowd one another. Were there bad feelings among the individual families or was this distance between the 3 families just a coincidence?

When & where did Karl Boßecker arrive in the United States? Discovery of this bit of information is important because it might help solve another mystery surrounding Karl.

Karl married Charlotte Koch in Germany and had a son Andreas Gustav (born:1844). I have not found any record of what became of Karl's first wife or his son.

The next record I have of Karl is the aforementioned land purchase on June 15, 1846. Karl then marries Elizabeth Sachs in Vanderburgh County, Indiana on September 21, 1847. All known descendants of Karl Boßecker are a result of this second marriage.

If I can find a record of Karl's arrival in the United States I should be able to determine if Karl's first family made it to the United States.

What became of Karl & Johannes's mother & sister? The mother and a sister of 2 of the Boßecker men appear to be on the ship that arrived in New York City in June of 1846. What happened to them? I have been unable to find any record of them after they leave the ship.

Where did Johannes's daughter, Elisabeth Friederike Boßecker die? The youngest member of the voyage on the SKJOLD was Johannes's daughter Elisabeth (born: 25 May 1845). Despite Herman Bosecker's report of a death at sea, Elisabeth was alive upon arrival in New York. However, I have found no record of her after that. No doubt she did pass away shortly after the family's arrival in the United States; but where?

Why was Karl & Johannes's father left behind in Germany? Johann Heinrich Boßecker (1771-1846) died in Germany on November 11, 1846; 5 months after his wife and son arrived in New York City. Why was he left behind? If he was too sick to travel or near death, why did the rest of the family leave him?

Thanks to all my readers for their help in this project.

This page was posted on 23 Feb 1997.

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