Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



American Journal of Botany (December 1915) II(10).


Charles Edwin Bessey, professor of botany and head of the department of botany in the University of Nebraska since 1884 and a conspicuous figure in American science and education, passed away at his home in Lincoln on February 25, 1915, after a critical illness of four weeks.

The Bessey family is of French extraction, the original form of the name being Besse. The tradition is that the early members of the family, who were Huguenots, were compelled on account of religious persecution to flee to England from the old home near Strassburg in Alsace. This exodus occurred in the latter part of the seventeenth century after which the "y" was added to the name.

The Besseys remained in England for several generations. Among the first of the family to come to America was Jacob Bessey who, about the middle of the eighteenth century, emigrated from England. Jacob Bessey married and settled near Doylestown, Pennsylvania.