Fredrick SEEX, son of William SEEX and Harriet KNIBBS , was born 12 February 1876 in Cardiff, Glamorganshire, Wales. He married Elizabeth Jane JOHNS bet. 1911 and 1918 in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada. He died May 1955 in Chariton, Lucas County, Iowa, USA. Elizabeth Jane JOHNS was born 12 May 1889 in Briton Ferry, Neath, Port Talbot, Wales. She died 21 August 1974 in Chariton, Lucas County, Iowa, USA.

Notes for Fredrick SEEX:

Also known as: Fred

In 1891, we see Frederick at what I believe is a naval training establishment named "Formidable" which is described as a Training Ship for Boys (Industrial School) which was located nearly half a mile off Portishead, near Bristol.
Frederick Seex Single 14 Scholar Under Detention Glamorgan Cardiff

In 1891, there were a total of 333 "Scholars Under Detention".

It was later renamed "The National Nautical School for Homeless and Destitute Boys, Portishead".

The Training Ship Formidable came in to being in 1869 after several Bristol businessmen petitioned the Admiralty to lease them an ex Naval Vessel for the training of young boys as Seamen. They had been concerned for some time that there were a lot of Street Arabs, or Urchins who were not doing themselves (or society) any good by following the sort of lifestyle which seemed to be their lot if they remained on the streets. Eventually, HMS Formidable was leased to the group of businessmen led by a Mr. Henry Fedden. The vessel was towed around to Portishead in the Bristol Channel, and anchored about four hundred yards off the pier. When she first arrived, she was the centre of much local attention, and excursions were organised by the committee in order to raise the money (about £3.000) that had been needed to convert her for use by the boys, and to tow her to Portishead from Sheerness.

The ship was opened by the Reverend Charles Kingsley, author of "Westward Ho", and the first boys went aboard in December 1869. The school could cater for up to 350 boys at a time. Life aboard was hard, and traditional Naval Discipline was practiced.

Boys between the ages of 10 and 15 were accepted for training. Of the 3,700 boys discharged from the Formidable and the School between 1869 and December, 1909, 2,312 went into the Merchant Service and 192 into the Royal Navy.

In 1901, we see Frederick at Primrose Street, Ystradyfodwg, Glamorganshire (near Pontyridd)::
Edine Randle Head 45 Monmouth
Mary Randle Wife 43 Llantrisant, Glamorganshire
Ed J Randle Son 20Ystradyfodwg, Glamorganshire
Jos Randle Son 18 Ystradyfodwg, Glamorganshire
Moses Randle Son 16 Ystradyfodwg, Glamorganshire
Chris Randle Son 12 Ystradyfodwg, Glamorganshire
Anne M Randle Daughter 9 Ystradyfodwg, Glamorganshire
Florrie Randle Daughter 6 Ystradyfodwg, Glamorganshire
Jessie Randle Daughter 3 Ystradyfodwg, Glamorganshire
Elizabeth A Rees Servant 32 Llantrisant, Glamorganshire
Frederick Seex Boarder 25 Mariner Cardiff, Glamorganshire

On 30 Apr 1910, we can see Frederick aboard a ship called Sardinian, sailing between London and Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He seemed to be travelling alone or at least, with no other family members. He gave his occupation as "labourer" and age, 34. He gave his final destination as Portage La Prairie, Manitoba.

Fred married El;izabeth at some time before 1918 when he registered for military service. He identified that he was a Canadian citizen at the time and that he and his wife Elizabeth were living at N. Main St., Chariton, Lucas County, Iowa.

In 1920, Frederick can be seen living at Sixth Street, Lucas, Iowa:
Fred Seex Head Mar 42 Painter Wales
Elizabeth Seex Wife Mar 30 Wales

Frederick and Elizabeth both immigrated into the USA in 1913.

The next time we see him is in 1930 when he was living at Chariton, Lucas County, Iowa with his wife Elizabeth A Seex. His age was given as 54, birthplace, Wales. Elizabeth's age was given as 40, birthplace, Wales.
Fred Seex Head 54 Wales
Elizabeth A Seex Wife 40 Wales

In 1940, they were living at North Ward, Chariton, Chariton Township, Lucas, Iowa:
Fred Seex Head Mar 64 Painter Wales
Elizabeth Seex Wife Mar 50 Wales

From the Chariton Herald Patriot, April 30, 1942:
Notice to the Public!
Effective On And After May 1,1942:
We, the painting and decorating contractors of Lucas County, Iowa, owing to the high cost of brushes and increased living expenses, find that to stay in business we feel it will be necessary to raise the scale of wages from the present scale of 60 cents per hour to 75 cents per hour; and paper hanging from 35 cents per double roll to 45 cents per double roll for lap work. Fred Seex G. C. White Joe. W. Cowles J. W. Lemon C. F. Downard O. S. Randall J. A. Jennings R. B. Muffler Joe Thomas R. H. Willits Swanson Bros. Everett Bumbarger.


From the Chariton Leader, December 14, 1943:
Firemen Are Called To Seex Home When Car Catches Fire
A car owned by Fred Seex of Chariton was damaged by fire Monday morning, Mr. Seex was starting the car when backfire from the motor set It ablaze. The garage walls were scorched. Mr. Seex escaped Injury.


From the Chariton Herald Patriot, May 12, 1955:
Fred Seex Dies On Wednesday Fred Seex, 79, died Wednesday at the University hospital in Iowa City where he had been a patient for the past three weeks. Seex was a retired painter and decorator and had lived in Chariton for over 40 years. His home was at 30 N. 5th street. His wife, Elisabeth, survives. Funeral services Will be conducted Friday, May 15(?) at 5 o'clock at the Miley chapel by the Rev. C. P. Shepard. Interment will be in Chariton cemetery.


Fred appears in the records for Iowa, Old Age Tax Assistance Records where the record confirms his parents were William and Harriet, and that he was born on 2 Feb, 1876 in Cardiff, Wales.

Frederick died in 1955 at Chariton, Lucas Co., Iowa. His wife Elizabeth was born on 12 May 1889, and died in August 1974, also at Chariton, Lucas County, Iowa. They're both buried at Chariton Cemetery.

Our gratitude goes to the members and volunteers at Find A Grave web site for recording the details, in memory of Fred and Elizabeth.

I came across an index to an old Iowa Newspaper, the Chariton Patriot, dated 13 Jan 1921. In the index there was reference to a lady named Jennet JOHN (who I believe had died) and it referred to her as the mother of Arthur JOHN and Mrs. Fred SEEX.

There were several other references in the same newspaper index to the SEEX family:
Seex Elizabeth d-08-22-1974P-pg5 (Chariton cem)
Seex Fred d-05-12-1955P-fp (Chariton cem)
Seex Fred o-05-24-1955L-pg3 m: Elizabeth Jones (Chariton cem)
Seex Fred s-08-28-1928L-pg13 Wales – is now a citizen - court
Seex Fred, Mrs. s-01-11-1945P-pg6 hears from sister 1st time in 2 years
Seex Fred, Mrs. s-02-21-1946P-fp pictured, champion knitter for service people

The letters preceding the dates are: d-death, o=obits, s=stories.
The letters following the dates are: P=Chariton Patriot, L=Leader

Sources for Fredrick SEEX:

  1. 1881 British Census,
  2. FreeBMD, gave Cardiff District 
  3. Military Registration Card,
  4. Patriot Newspaper Archives, Chariton,
  5. 1940 US Federal Census,
  6. 1901 British Census,
  7. Obituary,

Notes for Elizabeth Jane JOHNS:

Elizabeth emigrated to Canada from Liverpool on 13 May 1910 on the ship Empress of Ireland. The passenger list had the following details:
Jennet Johns Wid 40, Housekeeper, destination Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
Elizabeth Johns 21 UnM Dressmaker
Arthur Johns 8

Historic Note: The Empress of Ireland set sail from Liverpool for the last time on 15 May 1914. On 29 May 1914, she left Quebec to make her homeward journey back to Liverpool.Tragedy struck at 2.30am. Most of the 1,057 passengers and 420 crew were asleep. In thick fog on the St Lawrence River the Norwegian collier SS Storstad collided with her. The liner sank in less than 15 minutes with the loss of more then 1,000 lives. The loss of the 'Forgotten Empress' has always been overshadowed by the Titanic and Lusitania disasters. However, more passengers (840) died on the Empress than on either Lusitania (786), or Titanic (817). 172 crew, mainly from the Liverpool area, also died. 217 passengers and 248 crew survived.In total there were 1,057 passengers on board the Empress of Ireland. This included 138 children. It also included around 170 members of the Salvation Army, on their way to London for a conference. 840 passengers died, 217 survived. Only four of the children survived, and around 124 members of the Salvation Army lost their lives.Of the 420 crew, 172 died and 248 survived.

In 1911, we see the family at Portage la Prairie Sub-Districts 1-51, Manitoba:
R A Johns Head 56 England
Jannet Johns Wife 42 Englanbd
Elizabeth Johns Daur 22 Wales
Arthur Johns Son 9 Wales

I believe R A Johns is probably Jannet's brother-in-law. Her husband died in Wales before she emigrated.

Elizabeth had a brother Arthur JOHNS. She was the daughter of Jennet JOHN\S who died in Jan 1921 and is buried in Chariton Cemetery, Lucas, Iowa.
John Jennet d-01-13-1921P-fp mother of Arthur & Mrs. Fred Seex,(Chariton Cem)

From the Chariton Herald Patriot, January 20, 1921:
Mrs. Jennet Johns
Many friends were grieved to learn of the death of Mrs. Jennet Jonns, which occurred at her home In Charlton, Iowa, on Wednesday, January 21, 1921, at the age of 49 years, 2 months and 28 days, after an extended Illness with cancer. She had suffered with this trouble since December, 1919, but bore the pain with christian fortitude and never complained. Everything that medical skill and loving hands could do to restore her to health was done, but to no avail, and on Wednesday she peacefully passed away. Funeral services, conducted by Rev. Father P?????? at 2:30 o'clock, after which her remains were laid to rest in the Charlton cemetery. Jennet David was born in Neath, South Wales, on ' October 15, 1871. She was married there in 1889 to James Johns, who passed to the Great Beyond in 1900. To this union three children were born, one of whom, Gladys, died in infancy. Those surviving are Arthur Johns and Mrs. Elizabeth Seex, both of Charlton. Mrs. Johns and children came to this country in the fall of 1913, and after a residence of but a few months at Colfax, came to Chariton in December of the same year, and this place has since been their home. When a young woman deceased united with the Episcopal church, of which she remained a faithful member and died with great faith in God. She was a grand, good woman, highly regarded by all who knew her, and her demise is deplored by all.

Besides the two children mentioned above she is also survived by four sisters, Mesdames Alice Caldwell, Mary Bryant and Sarah Jones, all of South Wales, and Mrs. Leah Cox, of Winnipeg, Canada. To all these sorrowing ones the sympathy of many friends will be extended.


From the Chariton Herald Patriot, 11 January, 1945:
Hears from Sister for First Time in Two Years.
Mrs. Fred Seex, of Chariton, received a letter this week from her sister in England, from who she hadn't heard in two years. The letter, which came by air mail, carried the equivalent of 31 cents of postage, although of the ordinary size mailed in this country for eight cents.


From the Chariton Leader - November 18, 1958:
Rebekah Lodge To Meet Nov. 24— The members of Chariton Rebekah lodge No. 33 will meet Nov. 24, at 7:30 p.m., at the IOOF hall. November birthdays will be celebrated, and also the Past Noble Grands will be honored. The committee is Iris Hixson and Twila Graves, co-hostesses, Margaret Kneeland, Margaret Watson, Clara Watson, Icyl Parsons, Vera Wright, Elizabeth Seex, Alice Williamson, Estella Marshall and Betty Swanson. Program and games committee is Evelyn Williams and Marvel Shore. Each member is asked to bring a white elephant.


From the Chariton Herald Patriot, August 22, 1974:
Seex Elizabeth Jane Seex was bom on May 12, 1889, in Briton Ferry, Wales to James and Jennette Davis Johns, and passed from this life on August 21, 1974, at Lucas County Memorial Hospital, Chariton, after being a patient there for thirteen weeks. She was 85 years, 3 months, and 9 days of age. She was united in marriage to Fred Seex, who preceded her in death in 1955. She was a long-time resident of Chariton and was a member of the Episcopal Church and the Rebekah Lodge No. 33. She is survived by one brother, Arthur Johns and his wife of Woodhull, 111.; and also one nephew, Dale Johns and family of Edinburg, Ind.; other relatives and friends. Funeral services were held on Saturday, August 24, at the Fielding Funeral Home with the Rev. Robert Sauser in charge. Burial followed in the Chariton Cemetery.


Elizabeth appears in the records for Iowa, Old Age Tax Assistance Records where the record confirms her parents were James Johns and Janet David, and that she was born on 12 May, 1899 ay Britton Ferry, Wales.

Our gratitude goes to the members and volunteers at Find A Grave web site for recording the details, in memory of Elizabeth.

Sources for Elizabeth Jane JOHNS:

  1. LDS IGI Records,
  2. 1920 US Federal Census,
  3. 1930 US Federal Census,
  4. Patriot Newspaper Archives, Chariton,
  5. Passenger List,