The Boßecker Newsletter

Volume 1 Issue 5 February 1996


Johannes Boßecker
15 Nov 1816 - 23 Sep 1896
Louisa (Thomin) Boßecker
7 Jul 1823 - 17 Feb 1898

This Month's Photos

As promised last month this issue contains the photos of the immigrants Johannes & Louisa (Thomin) Boßecker. Many thanks to Shirley (Graesh)(Ingersoll) Miller and her son Doug Ingersoll for allowing me to get copies of these to share with all of you. Most of all I am grateful that Emma (Graesch) (Smith) Marvel labeled these pictures so that we, over 100 years after these photographs were taken, know who they are!
These pictures appear to have been taken at Grayville, IL in the George R. Warren Photography Gallery. I am guessing that these pictures were taken in the 1880's.

What do we know about this couple?

We know that Johannes married Louisa when he was 24 and she was 17 years old. We know that they had 14 children, 9 of which lived to adulthood. Of these 9 children, 8 had children of their own.

We know that Johannes & Louisa had lived together as man and wife for over 56 years when Johannes died at the age of 79 years, 10 months and 8 days.

We know that they were life long members of the Lutheran Church and we know that they are both buried in the St John Lutheran Church graveyard located about 2 miles north of Cowling, IL.


The immigrant Johannes Boßecker was the youngest child of Johann Heinrich & Hennriette Karoline Marie Barbara (Della Torre) Boßecker. Johannes had at least 3 sisters and 1 brother; Christine Hedwig Eva (Boßecker) Ruckert [28 Apr 1806 - ?], Anna Katherine (Boßecker) Herpichbohm [27 Jul 1809 - ?], Karoline Susanne Marie Sophie (Boßecker) Dressel [11 Aug 1811 - 25 Jul 1857] and Karl Christian Franz Fredrich Boßecker
[21 Nov 1813 - 29 Sep 1870].

The Veilsdorf church burned in 1812 and all written records were destroyed. Based upon the handwriting in the Family Book (see footnote 1), I would guess that it was written after the middle 1850's.

The Family Book notes that Johannes's parents were married in 1792 but does not mention any children until 1806 and then children arrive fairly regularly (roughly one every 2½ years) until 1816.

While it is possible for Johannes's parents to have been childless for 14 years and then start producing children at a normal rate, I think that would be unusual. I suspect that Johannes may have other brothers and sisters not recorded in the Family Book.

The Family Book notes that Johannes and Anna Margarete Lausch (born: 29 Jul 1818) were the parents of an illegitimate girl, Marie Margarete Henriette, on
15 Jan 1838. The mother died the same day her daughter was born and little Marie died 7 years later on
18 Mar 1845.

Johannes married Louise Rahel Thomin on 2 Aug 1840. They had the following children in Germany: Antonie Karoline [6 Jul 1841 - 20 Nov 1884], Ludwig Gustav Friedrich [26 May 1843 - 18 Jul 1901] and Elisabeth Friederike [25 May 1845 - 1846].

The Journey

The Family Book notes a departure date of 5 Apr 1846 for Johannes's family. I assume that this is the date of departure from Veilsdorf.

From Veilsdorf Johannes and his extended family traveled about 350 miles to Hamburg. In Hamburg they boarded the ship SKJOLD for the voyage to the United States. This journey from Hamburg to New York is reported to have taken 49 days. The SKJOLD arrived at New York on 16 Jun 1846; 49 days earlier is 28 Apr 1846. This gives our group about three weeks to travel the (approximately) 350 miles from Veilsdorf to Hamburg.

Family tradition states that Johannes and family used the Erie Canal during their journey to Indiana. This tradition is consistent with Johannes's purchase of land in northern Adams County, IN three weeks after he arrived in New York (about 850 miles via this route).


Upon their arrival in Adams County, IN, the Boßeckers joined the Zion Lutheran Church-Friedheim. Here the following children were baptized: George Wilhelm [1847-1914], Franz Peter [1849-1921], Heinrich Conrad [1851-1851], Johann Heinrich [1852-1887], Maria Louise (Bosecker) Mohr [1854-1943], Emma Theodore (Bosecker) Otte [1856-1886], Christine Maria Margaretha [1858-1859], Johanne Friedericka Margaretha [1860-1861], Ida Margaretha (Bosecker) Graesch [1861-1943], John Georg [1864-1937] & Carl Valentine [1866-1867].

Three children were married here: Karoline Bosecker married Georg Valentine Kirsch on 25 Apr 1859; Ludwig Bosecker married Wilhelmine Louise Norwold on 5 May 1867 & Wilhelm Boseker married Sophia Louise Charlotte Norwold on 14 Dec 1869.


In 1870, Valentine Kirsch & his brother-in-law Wilhelm Boseker moved with their families to Wabash County, IL. The next year Johannes & Ludwig Bosecker also moved their families to Illinois. Here these families helped establish St. John's German Evangelical Lutheran Church. Except for Heinrich, all of Johannes & Louisa's remaining children were married in Wabash County.

Johannes suffered a stroke and died on 24 Sep 1896; Louisa died 1½ years later on 19 Feb 1898 of "stomach consumption". They were survived by 4 sons, 2 daughters, 38 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren while 3 sons, 5 daughters, 16 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren preceded them in death. Johannes & Louisa are buried side by side in the St John Lutheran Cemetery located about 2 miles north of Cowling, IL.

This page was posted on 23 Feb 1997.

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