Boesen, Gormley, Seehawer

This building was the home of Rudolph Seehawer's youth in Neuhof, Zempleburg, West Prussia (now in Bydgoskie province, Poland). The photo was taken in August 2000 by a cousin.
This building was the home of Rudolph Seehawer’s youth in Neuhof, Zempleburg, West Prussia (now in Bydgoskie province, Poland). The photo was taken in August 2000 by a cousin.

My research

All of my genealogy information (data file) is now available in the Genealogies section of and in a public file on

A written history in PDF format is at Seehawer complete. Please consider downloading it and sharing it with family because this site won’t always be here.

I am looking for a place where I can post my photos online where they will be available publicly, freely and permanently. I previously attached my old photos to individuals in FamilySearch’s Family Tree, but I can’t be sure they will continue to be available there. It’s too easy and common for other users to merge these individuals into people in “their” family trees, deleting the ones I attached the photos to.

Was Mary Ellen Boesen really Charles Boesen’s daughter?

Yes! There are long pregnancies, but none long enough to stretch from the supposed death of Charles Boesen in 1878 and the birth date of April 29, 1881, in the “delayed” birth certificate Mary Ellen Boesen obtained (in 1941). A scandal? No. Both pieces of information are wrong.

First piece of evidence: Mary Ellen’s birth record recorded at the time of her birth–April 29, 1879:

BoesenMarybirthDead men don’t work as carpenters.

Second piece of evidence: Mary Ellen was a year old in the 1880 Chicago census:

IBaseyleftWe’re looking at the second, third and fourth lines from the bottom. This was the first piece of evidence I found; it was the only record in the 1880 census for a “Harvey B*” in that age range in Chicago. That, along with the names Alice and Mary and the birth places of everyone, convinced me that this is Alice Gormley Boesen and her children. It also gave me the clue that they pronounced “Boesen” as “Bason” so I was able to find the birth record above under “Basey.”

Note: Mary Ellen said she was born in 1880 when she got married and in the 1900 and 1910 censuses.

What did happen to Charles Boesen?

Many of us have been searching everywhere for a death record for husband Charles Boesen, who supposedly was run over by a team of horses and killed in 1878. But notice that Alice is listed as “married,” not “widowed.” If that’s the case, where is Charles? I have found a Charles C. Bayson/Boyson in Minneapolis, a 26-year-old painter from Denmark in the 1880 census, boarding with a family. A few years later he married a local girl and had a family there. When he died in 1938, his family said his parents’ names were Christian and Christine. I hope someday we will know if he is the same man as our ancestor. I have not been able to find anyone else close to the name of Charles Boesen about that age born in Denmark in the 1880 census.

Related sites

Pempersin photos, maps, and 1809 census images
Johann Seehawer, Anne Wiedenhoft, and their first child, Michael, are on page 4 of the census.


  • 1965: My grandmother, Gertrude Seehawer SpencerThe foundation of my Seehawer and Spencer research! Names of my Seehawer great-grandparents and second great-grandparents and of my Gormley third great-grandparents and all their children; photos.
  • 1980-present: Debbie, a cousin who is the granddaughter of my grandmother’s brother Emil SeehawerInformation on Seehawer and Boesen descendants and ancestors that she got from Seehawer letters her grandparents ended up with and from her own research; copies of Seehawer photos.
  • 1998: A descendant of John Walter GormleyJohn Walter Gormley’s descendants.
  • 1999 to present: Bert, a cousin who is a descendant of my great-great-grandfather’s brotherThe link with Johann Seehawer and Anna Wiedenhoft and the name of Rose Kottke’s mother.
  • 2001: Axel, grandson of my great-grandfather Rudolph Seehawer’s brother ReinholdPhotos of my great-great-grandfather Johann Seehawer and other German relatives.
  • 2003: Dick, a helpful stranger who is also researching Seehawer (Seehafer) ancestorsShared records he transcribed from the Vandsburg, West Prussia parish for Pempersin and Sittnow. They filled in a lot of gaps for me.
  • 2006: Marjorie, a cousin-in-law whose husband was a descendant of my great-great-grandfather Johann Seehawer’s brother Friedrich Wilhelm Seehawer—Information on the August Gustav Seehawer branch (in America).