Wednesday, July 23, 2008

C.E. Seaver's wife was investigated by the FBI ( announced recently that they have made the NARA Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) files for 1908 to 1922 available for FREE through August 31, 2008. See Dick Eastman's report on the announcement here (Footnote's press room doesn't have this announcement posted yet for some reason).

I can't resist a free offer - so I went searching for Seaver, Carringer, Auble, Richmond, Hildreth and other family names form that time period.

There were four files specifically for the Seaver surname - one of them was for C.E. Seaver of Hampstead, NH. Here is the image saved from Footnote:

The transcription of this page reads:

Report made by: Bailey V. Emery
Place where made: Ports. Navy Yard
Date when made: June 28, 1917
Period for which made: June 26, 1917
Title of Case and Offense Alleged or Nature of matter under Investigation: In re C.E. Seaver, European Neutrality Matters
Statement of Operations, Evidence Collected, Names and Addresses of Persons Interviewed, Places Visited, etc.:

Portsmouth, N.H.
Pursuant to a report from William Emerson, Chairman of the Public Safety Committee of Hampstead, N.H., concerning an electrician, whose activities were suspicious in that he, during the last three or four months had frequently made trips to and from Haverhill, Mass and Hampstead, N.H. bringing some tools and heavy laden packages, and that his wife was a German of questionable character, I proceeded to Hampstead yesterday, which is some thirty miles from Portsmouth, and interviewed Mr. Seaver relative to the matter. Mr. Seaver said that he was an electrician by trade and that his former home was in Haverhill where he had worked with the Merrimack Wood Heel Co. He stated that the packages which he brought from Haverhill to Hampstead were various supplies of preserves, rice and sugar, etc. That the tools which he had brought were those tools which he had used as an electrician and as a worker in the Wood Heel Co. I carefully investigated Mr. Seaver's premises and found nothing in any way suspicious or out of the way. His wife has been in this country about seven years and has a brother, Hans Dikelt, by name, and unnaturalized German who is a waiter at the Crafts Hotel on Elliot St. South Boston, Mass. Mr. Seaver is a native born American and was born at 1 Payson Court, off Broadway, South Boston. Mr. Seaver gives as references Mr. Archibald Estabrook of the Estabrook Wood Heel Co., Haverhill, Mass., James Quirk, foreman of the finishing department, Merrimack Wood Heel Co., and Mr. Joseph Curtis of Marsh Ave., Haverhill, Mass.

Copy of this report furnished to: Boston Office


What a gold mine of information. We have C.E. Seaver's birthplace in south Boston, his occupation, his place of employment, his associates, and his wife's brother's name, among other items.

You can see the value of the every-name index in a database like this demonstrated - it would have provided the witnesses, the brother-in-law, etc.

Who was C.E. Seaver? And what was his wife's given name? I have no freaking clue! I can't find a C.E. Seaver in my Seaver database who lived in this area at this time, nor can I find one in the 1920 census in NH or MA (I even searched for a no-given name last-name Sea*/Sev*/Lea* born in Germany). Not in the WW I Draft Registrations, either. And I don't find a likely candidate in the 1910 census, either. Nor Hans Dikelt (with different spellings) in the 1920 census. Did they vanish into the great American wilderness? Or were they really German spies who went back to the home country?

Too bad - this would have been really interesting to a descendant! I sure wish that the FBI had investigated my grandparents and great-grandparents!

1 comment:

Lori Thornton said...

There are a few other cases in various places out (for free) on the Internet, especially for the African-Americans. I actually have one of them that I use when we are talking about evaluating Internet resources in my college courses. It's really interesting to see their reaction when they first get to the link that takes them there as they are trying to figure out what they have there. Then some of them are hooked and want to read more and more because they've never seen anything like that before!