SOMGEN-L ArchivesArchiver > SOMGEN > 1999-01 > 0917246684
From: "Samuel J. Bowser" <>
Subject: Buus, Buser, Boo(s,z)er, Bauser, Bowser]
Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 22:44:44 -0800
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Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 12:11:15 -0800
From: "Samuel J. Bowser" <>
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Subject: [BOWSER-L] Buus, Buser, Boo(s,z)er, Bauser, Bowser
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I'm going to express my thoughts regarding several postings
on several different mailing lists here, so some of you may
receive multiple copies. I apologize for the inconvenience,
but I thought this would be the most efficient way to reply.
Buus is a tiny village east of Liestal in Canton Basel Switzer-
According to Professor Werner Hug who wrote "Familien-
chronit Buser" this is an ancient village going back to Ro-
man times, like the 12-1300's and is the source of the sur-
name "Buser". The earliest "Busers" were known as
"von Bus", i.e. "Johannes von Bus", which over time be-
came shortened to "Johannes Buser".
Since "Buser" originated as a "place name", there is no
one common ancestor who founded the Buser family
in Switzerland, but many different, unrelated men who
became known as "Buser" simply because at one time
or another they were _from the village of Bus and had
moved to another village. They were refered to as
"Buser" to distinguish them from another (for instance)
"Johannes" who was already residing in the new com-
munity to which they moved .
Many of these Busers left Switzerland over the centuries
and scattered over the world and the surname took sever-
al different forms in different countries.
For instance in the U.S. some families retained the original
spelling, "Buser". Others became known as "Booser and
Boozer". Some stopped off in Germany and in the German
speaking areas of France and became known as "Baus(s)er,
for instance the Mathias Bausser clan who emigrated to
America in 1733.
The Swiss surname "Buser" and the German "Bauser"
_must be considered synonamous bescause Dr. Her-
bert Bauser of Stuttgart informed me in a letter sever-
al years back that his brother while on holiday in Vorl-
burg, Austria was amused that while there he was
addressed as Mr. Buser, rather than Mr.Bauser. The
difference appears only to be the difference between
the "high" and "low" German.
So it appears the Bausers in Germany _likely descended
from the Busers in Switzerland. It also seems quite likely, (to
me at least) that German Bausers and Swiss Busers settled
in England and the English form became Bowser, which
carried over to America, for _some families; certainly not all.
In America, all of the various forms mentioned above survive.
Wolf Seelentag mentioned in the Swiss Mailing List that
"Bauser is also an old Swiss name- with only a single citizen-
ship (Buix in Bern) prior to 1800". Wolf also mentions Busser
being an old Swiss name, "but they immigrated from Germany
early this century". (to Switzerland)
One has to wonder concerning the Swiss Bauser whether he
or his ancestor may have been a Swiss Buser who emigrated
to Germany and then returned to to Switzerland and retained
the "Bauser" spelling. Not having been aware of any Swiss
Bausers prior to Wolf's message, this is just a guess. At any
rate the Busers of Switzerland are the most ancient of these
Some of the better documented Buser families who came to
America in the 1700's include:
Henry Buser from the village of Ziefen, Canton Basel who
came to America in 1749- His descendants retained the
Buser spelling for the most part I think, though possibly a
branch or two went by Boozer and Booser. They settled in
eastern Pennsylvania and they're children were baptized
in the Moravian Church.
The Ulrich Buser family who came to America in 1738 and
settled in North Carolina. Some went south I think to
Alabama.; they for the most part used the "Boozer" spelling.
Ulrich was from the village of Laufelfingen, Canton Basel.
Page 47 of the 1922 "Bowser Family History" refers to the
will of a John Bowser who died in Washington County Md.
in 1792. It can be proven beyond a doubt that he was origi-
nally one Johannes Buser who was baptized in the village
of Tenniken in Canton Basel in 1714 and emigrated to Am-
erica in 1749. In the recording of his will he was refered to
as "John Bousler" twice, John Bausser 5 times and most
often "John Boozer" in the many documents related to his will.
It can also be proven that he had a 3rd cousin, once removed
named Matthys Buser who was baptized in the village of Rm-
lingen in 1670 (also Canton Basel); the same year the ships
passenger lists show the date of birth of Mathias Baussser
to have been. Circumstantial to be sure but still rather com-
pelling evidence that the two men were one and the same.)
I believe this Matthys Buser to have been the Mathias "Baus-
ser" who emigrated to America through Phila. in 1733. His
son Mathias Jr. was refered to in York County, Pa. Court re-
cords as "Mathias Booser". The record consists of a list of
men who were Constables in York County, Penn. and Ma-
thias Booser appears as Constable of Paradise Twp. be-
tween 1752-'56. Also, in the ship's passenger lists several
people thought to have been members of Mathias Baus-
ser's family are listed as "Bewser"; again evidence indi-
cating that the Bowser immigrants originated as "Buser"
I think there are approximately 110 Busers listed in Faust and
Brumbaughs "Lists of Swiss Emigants to the American Col-
onies". Possibly that many more came who were _not docu-
mented in the 1700's; and more followed later.
So the Bowser (Buser) emigration story is much more com-
plex than the picture presented in the 1922 "Bowser Family
History"; and a lack of properly kept records prior to 1800
in America makes it difficult if not impossible to trace these
people back to a _provable immigrant ancestor.
Angela wrote to rootswebs "Bowser Mailing List" concerning
her confusion regarding the John Bowser introduced on pages
254 and 255 of "The Bowser Family History" and yet another
John on page 263.
The short of it is this:
"The Bowser Family History" is _not a reliable source for
documenting your ancestors prior to 1800.
If you are seriously trying to trace these people back in time;
be prepared to spend years doing it, not weeks or months and
don't take for granted anything that has been written regarding
your ancestors; including what _I've written. I'm certain that
much remains to be discovered regarding these families and
that the internet will certainly be a great aid in pulling together
the facts as we gather them, but genealogy is a time consum-
ing project requiring great expenditures of time and effort as
well as money. Most difficult I think is trying to determine
where to look next to further what appears to be a dead end.
Be patient- and keep digging.
Samuel J. Bowser
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|Buus, Buser, Boo(s,z)er, Bauser, Bowser] by "Samuel J. Bowser" <>|