Karl Esselleur Seifert (c1852 – c1899) The obituary of Guy Eugene Morris, May Seifert Morris’s husband, states that her father “the late Frederick Seifert, was one of Maximilian’s soldiers in Mexico.” That statement is either a misunderstanding by the copywriter or just a family legend, as Karl Seifert didn’t arrive in Mexico early enough to serve with Maximilian. May Seifert Morris’s own obituary does not mention her parents but it does say that two brothers, Fred Seifert of San Angelo, Texas and Oscar Seifert of Guadalajara, Mexico, survived her. Her death certificate lists her father only as “Sifert” and leaves her mother’s name blank. The death certificate of her brother Fred Frank Seifert lists his parents as “Carlos Seifert” and “Louise Palmer”. Both May and Fred Frank consistently gave their father’s birthplace as Austria in censuses and other records.In 1999 Brian D. Keener, a grandson of Carlos Seifert, posted three messages at GenForum.com stating that Karl Esselleur Seifert was born in Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) in the part of Austria which later became the Czech Republic and that he emigrated to Mexico as a mining engineer. He stated that Seifert attended the University of Frieberg.
Seifert’s wife Louise (Maria Luisa in Mexico) was born about 1869 in Mexico, the daughter of an English mining engineer named Frederick O. Palmer.
According to Karl Morris, Karl Seifert died from food poisoning while on a train trip home to Zacatecas. His widow Louise then married Dr. John W. Overton in Mexico, apparently around 1900. Dr. Overton’s brother, Marvin C. Overton of Lubbock, wrote them and suggested Sweetwater as a place to settle. According to the 1920 census entries for Fred Frank Seifert and May Seifert Morris they moved to the U.S. in 1909; May Seifert Morris’s later passport application gives the immigration date as September 1909. In the 1910 census for Sweetwater, Texas Dr. John W. Overton and Louise P. Overton are listed with four Seifert children named Mary Louise (18), Fred F. (20), Oscar (15), and Charles or Carlos (12) identified as his stepchildren. All were born in Mexico. The census indicates that this was her second marriage and his first, and that they had married 10 years earlier. Also in the household was their son George Buck Overton (8). Dr. Overton and Louise are in the 1930 census
Dr. John W. Overton had operated a pharmacy in Aguascalientes, not far from Zacatecas, from 1900 to at least 1903 when it was the subject of an article in a trade journal.1 According to that article Dr. Overton was an American who had lived five years in Europe and five years in Mexico but was originally from Kentucky. Indeed, his brother Marvin C. Overton gives Kentucky as his birth state (in 1879) in censuses. Their father was George Buck Overton, a Kentuckian who also lived in Lubbock at the time.
Louise Palmer Seifert Overton (4 April 1871 – 5 September 1941) died of a heart attack while living in Sweetwater. Her death certificate lists her parents as Fred Palmer and Rosa Botmer, and her place of birth as Zacatecas, Mexico. Fred Frank Seifert, the informant, listed her father’s birthplace as England and her mother’s birthplace as Mexico, which is consistent with earlier census records. Zacatecas was the site of many silver mines, and the Mexican Mining Journal mentions Fred Palmer, as owner of the La Parroquia mine there in 1908.2
1.1. Fred Frank Seifert (15 November 1888 – 18 February 1968) His name may have been Frederick, but every record I found styled it simply as “Fred”. He was listed in his mother’s household in Lubbock in the 1910 census (which had an “as of” date of April 15) but a month later on 15 May 1910 he married Enriqueta Enriquez in El Paso. (He listed his birth date in that record as one year earlier, 15 November 1887, and the place as Oaxaca, Mexico.) He filled out his draft registration card in 1917 while living in Fombey, Kaufman County, Texas and working for Texas Power & Light as an electrician. The 1920 census found him in Houston, listed with a second wife named Allie (usually spelled “Alie”) and their three-year old daughter Emma Lucile; his occupation was listed as an electrician for a motor company. She was Allie Lee Carter (1897-1968) of Abilene, the daughter of Lee Carter and Emma Kimbrough.
In 1930 the family of three was living almost on the Oklahoma border in Quanah, Hardman County, Texas and he was listed as a communications manager for a utility company. The Texas Birth Index lists a son named Fritzir Lee born to Fred Frank Seifert and Allie Lee Carter on 16 December 1933 in Taylor County and they’re listed in the 1936 City Directory for Abilene, Taylor County. By 1938 they were living in Ft. Worth, Tarrant County, when Fred appeared in the City Directory as a partner in the firm of Jennings & Seifert.
Fred was living in San Angelo, Tom Green County when his mother died in 1941 and apparently remained there for the rest of his life. He and Allie are listed in the San Angelo City Directories for 1941, 1942, 1944 and 1946 as a mechanic for Gandy’s Creamery. Fred Seifert died following an automobile accident while living in San Angelo, and is buried in Lawnhaven Memorial Gardens along with his wife Allie. His death certificate gives his parents’ names as Carlos Seifert and Louise Palmer, and his place of birth as Zacatecas, Mexico.
1.2. May Seifert (14 March 1892 – 26 August 1957) Her 1921 application for a passport states that she was born at Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico. She married Guy E. Morris of Sweetwater, Texas. – See Morris Family Papers.
1.3. Oscar Victor Seifert (12 April 1894 – aft1954) According to articles in the Sweetwater (Texas) Reporter, he was born in Parral, Mexico and attended Sweetwater high school. He was still in Sweetwater, Texas on 1 June 1917 when he filled out a draft registration card giving his date of birth as above and place as Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico. He gave his occupation as mining engineer for the American Smelting & Refining Co. and his place of work as Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico. He evidently left the U.S., as he does not appear in the 1920 or 1930 censuses. The Sweetwater Reporter issue of 23 May 1948 carried a lengthy article on him, stating that he served as a major in Pancho Villa’s army and also as an artillery corporal in the U. S. Army in World War I. His name appears twice in 1933 and once in 1938 in a database of border crossings from Mexico to the U.S. These records give his wife’s name as Carmen Romo and the purpose of entry as visits to Sweetwater; the 1938 entry includes a three-year old son named Carlos. Oddly, a Texas birth record exists for a son named Oscar William Seifert to Oscar Victor and Carmen Romo in Nolan County on 27 January 1934, perhaps a child born while they were visiting. Another crossing was dated 5 December 1945 when he entered at Laredo for a planned visit to Sweetwater. He gave his occupation as mining engineer, residence as San Luis Potosi, Mexico and gave his name in the Spanish fashion as Oscar V. Seifert Palmer. The older son was evidently Carlos Luis Seifert (or Seifert Romo), born 11 December 1927 according to immigration records. Oscar Seifert was still alive in 1954 when his sister May Morris died, according to her obituary, and was living in Guadalajara, Mexico.
1.4. Carlos Esselleur Seifert (18 September 1896 – 4 December 1952) He’s listed in the 1910 census as “Chas” but doesn’t appear in any further US records. He moved to Brazil in the 1920s according to a genealogy board posting by his grandson B. D. Keener, and died in Rio de Janeiro. He married Elizabeth Whipple in Rio de Janeiro in 1928. She died in Dallas, Texas in 1982.
A grandson of Carlos Seifert named Brian D. Keener posted the following messages in GenForum.com in 1999 and 2000. [Mr. Keener is no longer reachable at that email address and I have not been able to locate him.]
Karl Esselleur Seifert b. Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) 1852. Emigrated to Mexico (Zacatecas) m. Maria Louisa Palmer 1885(?) Children: Frederick, Isabel, Oscar, Carlos. Seeking Czech relatives.
… Attended Uni. of Freiburg, Mining Engineer. Emigrated to Mexico, m. Maria Louisa Palmer 1886 in Zacatecas. Children, Frederick, Isabel, Oscar, Carlos (my grandfather). Seeking living relatives in Czech Republic, probably Karlovy Vary.
Seeking any descendants of Karl Seifert (b. Karlsbad, now Czek Rep.) and Maria Luisa Palmer (dau of Frederick O. Palmer). They lived initially Zacatecas/Aguas Calientes area. Karl was a mining engineer and owner of the Seifert mine. He died before the turn of the century and is buried in AC. Maria Luisa remarried and removed to Sweetwater, TX.
Seeking collateral descendants of Frederick Orlando Palmer, b. Callington, Cornwall 1844, d. Zacatecas Mexico 1919. Married Rosa Maria Julia Bodmer Ybarragangoitia in Zacatecas or Aguas Calientes and had issue. Frederick was one of the wave of Cornish mining engineers who left for the Mexican silver mines in the 19th century.