Friday, May 5, 2006

Isaac Seaver - A Civil War Soldier

One of my favorite ancestors is my great-great-great-grandfather, Isaac Seaver. His was a life of hardship, sorrow, service, hard work and success. Here is his biography (from my research, without the probate records):

ISAAC8 SEAVER (BENJAMIN7, BENJAMIN6, NORMAN5, ROBERT4, JOSEPH3, SHUBAEL2, ROBERT1) was born 16 October 1823 in Westminster, Worcester, MA, (VR, 83), the son of Benjamin and Abigail (Gates) Seaver, and died 12 March 1901 in Leominster, Worcester, MA, (Mass. VR).

He married (1) JULIET GLAZIER 17 September 1846 in Rutland, Worcester, MA, (VR, 190), daughter of REUBEN GLAZIER and CATHERINE PIERCE. She was born July 1826 in Rutland, Worcester, MA, and died 21 September 1847 in Westminster, Worcester, MA (VR, 248).

He married (2) LUCRETIA TOWNSEND SMITH 9 September 1851 in Walpole, Norfolk, MA, (MA VR 55.214), daughter of ALPHEUS SMITH and ELIZABETH DILL. She was born 6 September 1828 in Medfield, Norfolk, MA, (VR, 92), and died 24 March 1884 in Leominster, Worcester, MA (MA VR 357.414).

He married (3) ALVINA MATILDA BRADLEY 15 September 1888 in St. Regis Falls, NY (MA VR 390.326, in Clinton MA list), daughter of HARVEY BRADLEY and SARAH F.. She was born April 1848 in Dickinson Centre, Franklin, NY, and died 20 April 1923 in Clinton, Worcester, MA, (probate).

Isaac Seaver was called Isaac Seaver 3rd throughout his lifetime because there were two other Isaac Seavers in Westminster while he was a youth, including his uncle and step-father, Isaac Seaver 2nd, the second husband of his mother, Abigail (Gates) (Seaver) Seaver.

When he became able to choose his own guardian, he chose his uncle Jeremiah Knowlton Gates (Worcester County Probate Records, Probate Packet A-52855, Worcester County Probate Records, 205.462, LDS Microfilm 0,860,638):

"To the Hon. Ira Barton Judge of Probate for the County of Worcester. This certifies that Isaac Seaver 3d a minor above the age of 14 years and son of Benjamin Seaver late of Westminster in said county deceased this day came before me the Subscriber one of the Justices of the Peace for said County and made choice of Jeremiah K. Gates of said Westminster to be his Guardian. Dated at Westminster the 19th day of February A.D. 1838." Simeon Henderson Justice of the Peace.

Isaac Seaver's first marriage to Juliet Glazier ended in tragedy when Juliette died soon after the birth of their child, Juliette, due to "brain fever", apparently a stroke or hemorrhage.

In the 1850 U.S. census, Isaac Seaver (age 26, a hay fork maker, born MA) is found residing in the house of Mr. Richards in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA (1850 U.S. Census for Norfolk County, MA, LDS Microfilm 0,443,549, page 356, family #699). His daughter, Juliette Seaver, was listed as Juliette Glazier in the 1850 census, age 3, living with her grandparents, Reuben and Catherine Glazier, in Rutland MA.

What took him to Medfield is unknown, but he soon met and married his second wife, Lucretia Townsend Smith of Medfield, in Walpole.

In the 1860 census, Isaac Seaver 3rd (age 36, born MA, blacksmith) and his wife Lucretia Seaver (age 32, born MA) were residing in Westminster, Worcester County, MA. The children were listed as Juliette G. Seaver (age 13, born MA), Frank W. Seaver (age 8, born MA), Benjamin Seaver (age 6, born MA) and Elizabeth L. Seaver (age 1, born MA). Isaac owned real property worth $1,800 and personal property worth $600 (1850 U.S. Census for Worcester County, MA, LDS Microfilm 0,803,531, p. 44, family #386).

During the Civil War, Isaac Seaver enlisted on 10 August 1864 as a private in Company H of the 4th Regiment of Heavy Artillery of the Massachusetts Volunteers. He was honorably discharged on 17 June 1865 at Fort Richardson, VA. His personal description was "age 40 years, a blacksmith, eyes blue, complexion light, hair sandy, 5 feet 10-1/2 inches" (National Archives and Records Administration file 850,736).

In the 1870 census, Isaac Seaver (age 46, born MA, working in a fork shop) and wife Lucretia D. Seaver (age 42, born MA, keeping house) resided in Leominster, Worcester County, MA. Children listed were Frank W. Seaver (age 18, attends school, born MA), Benjamin Seaver (age 16, attends school, born MA), Elizabeth Seaver (age 11, attends school, born MA), and Ellen M. Seaver (age 8, attends school, born MA). Isaac had real property worth $2,000 and personal property worth 1,500 (1870 U.S. Census for Worcester County, MA, LDS Microfilm 0,552,153, p. 58 of Leominster, family #526).

In the 1880 census, Isaac Seaver (age 56, born MA, blacksmith) and Lucretia (age 52, born MA, keeping house) resided in Leominster MA. Only daughter Nellie Seaver (age 18, born MA) was at home with them
(1880 U.S. Census for Worcester County, MA, LDS Microfilm 1,254,565, page 533).

Isaac Seaver married, thirdly, to Alvina Matilda (Bradley) Lewis by Rev. J.P. Dunham at St. Regis Falls, NY, widow of Joseph P. Lewis, who died 5 January 1882 at Worcester MA, a carpenter; he was the son of Nathaniel and Betsey Lewis of Sterling MA. and was age 49 years 7 months at time of death (National Archives and Records Administration file 850,736).

Isaac Seaver filed a Declaration for an Invalid Pension on 11 June 1892 (National Archives and Records Administration file 850,736), appearing before a Notary Public, who declared:

"State of Massachusetts County of Worcester, SS on this 11th day of June A.D. one thousand eight hundred and ninety two personally appeared before me, a Notary Public, within and for the County and State aforesaid, Isaac Seaver 3d aged 68 years, a resident of the town of Clinton, County of Worcester State of Massachusetts, who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the identical Isaac Seaver 3d who was enrolled on the 10th day of August, 1864, in Company H (private) 4th Reg't H'y Arty, Mass. Vols in the war of the rebellion, and served at least ninety days, and was honorably discharged at Fort Richardson, Va on the 17th day of June, 1865. That he is unable to earn a support by manual labor by reason of 'Varicose veins of both legs, Rheumatism, resulting heart trouble, trouble of the urinary organs having symptoms of enlarged prostrate gland and results of carbuncle on back of neck.' That said disabilities are not due to his vicious habits, and are to the best of his knowledge and belief permanent. That he has never applied for pension. That he has not been in the military or naval service of the U.S. since the 17th day of June 1865."

He apparently received approval, since the U.S. Pension Agency in Boston, Massachusetts stopped paying $8 a month due to his reported death.

Isaac Seaver is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Leominster, MA with his second wife, Lucretia (Smith) Seaver. Isaac's third wife, Alvina Bradley, in her will, bequeathed money to the cemetery for perpetual care of Isaac's plot.

Isaac Seaver died testate, and his probate papers are in Worcester County Probate Records, Probate Packet B-27905. The inventory of his estate totalled $3,737, of which $3,000 was real property.

Isaac Seaver is my only ancestor who I've found to be a Civil War veteran. I really admire and respect him for his accomplishments in his life - he overcame being orphaned, lost two wives, served his country, worked in a difficult profession, had a family, and lived to an old age. Unfortunately, we don't have any pictures of him!

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