One can only image what the census takers did with that name!!
Harald Bødtker (or Bödtker) (not this man) was a Norwegian architect. I believe this man bears the same name. His name is pronounced "buttker" and it means bucket/barrel maker.So Intense Guy: Try Harald Bödtker :)
While Dr. Jeff's suggestion is probably right on the money, I couldn't find anything with that spelling in records for Michigan. Iggy is most likely also right: what the census enumerator does with a name like that is anyone's guess--unless he happens to possess exactly the same ethnic background and knows better (and can spell). Even your daughter's guess about the German double "s" may be on track--that's the first thing I thought, too, since that "B" looks somewhat unusually formed--leaving the Americanized spelling of this man's name way up in the air.However, in an index of Michigan marriages at FamilySearch.org, there was someone with a surname rendered as "Bueker" or "Bucher" listed as having wed an Anna Marie Gerber in East Saginaw on November 18, 1866. Perhaps whoever transcribed that record for the index was struggling with the same handwriting issues as we see in this photograph--what do you call it??? Unfortunately, there is no digital copy of the actual document available for us to see, to make our own decision on whether it matches our mystery photo guy.
Sometimes the "ø" is spelled "oe" and there are some people named Boedtker in the US. :)
I think this actually could be the Norwegian architect Harald Bødtker. According to http://www.artemisia.no/arc/arkitekter/norge/bodtker.harald.html, "...he in the years 1880 to 1883 studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna under Theophilus Hansen. He then undertook several study trips, before he worked as an assistant at Theophilus Hansen's office in the years 1885-1889."What if his study trips took him to Michigan?If you compare the picture at the same side, he is not entirely dissimilar :)
Also: A double s (eszett) never occurs in the beginning of a word/name.
Hi, Thanks for the comments, your input on these old photos is appreciated! I don't do awards, award me a comment! English only please! This is a word verification free blog. I can no longer accept anonymous comments. Connie