Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What is this Seaver family line? - Post 1

I've been trying to figure out the ancestral connections noted in this article on page 1346 in the book History of Walworth County, Wisconsin by Albert Clayton Beckwith, published the The Historical Society of Wisconsin in 1912. It is available on Google Books here. I have interspersed my comments in [brackets with red type].


"One of the best known and most successful contractors in Walworth county is William Lyman Seaver, of Walworth, a man who has led an active and useful life in every respect and therefore enjoys the esteem of a wide circle of friends.

"Mr. Seaver was born in Darien, this county, November 24, 1868. He is the son of James E. and Phoebe L. (Dodge) Seaver, the father having come from Darien, New York, in 1839, among the early settlers, being two years old when he came here with his parents, Lyman Hunt Seaver and Sallie (Woodard) Seaver. Lyman Seaver was here a year or two before bringing his family. He probably entered land from the government.

[William Lyman Seaver is the son of James E. and Phoebe L. (Dodge) Seaver.]
[James E. Seaver is the son of Lyman Hunt and Sallie (Woodard) Seaver.]

"The subject grew to manhood on the farm in Darien and lived there until he was married, on March 15, 1896, to Lydia Seaver, daughter of Horace Everett Seaver and Orinda (Lippitt) Seaver. Her father was born in Darien, New York, in 1832, and when about eight years old he came here with his parents, Joseph Warren Seaver and Mary (Long-Hastings) Seaver. Joseph Warren Seaver, Mrs. Seaver's grandfather, and Lyman Hunt Seaver, grandfather of William Lyman Seaver, were brothers. They were sons of William Seaver. The last named was born in 1763 and died-in 1828. He served in the Revolutionary war five different times. The original muster roll at Boston, Massachusetts, shows that he was a private in Colonel Greaton's regiment in the Continental army, and he was detailed as one of the guards at the execution of Major Andre, the British spy. William Seaver was in the sixth generation of the family in America and was educated in this county. The first one came on the ship "Mary and John" in 1634. He was a young Englishman named Robert Seaver, from near London. He landed at Boston and two or three months later married and began farming on ground that is now in the heart of Boston. His son Joshua was the father of Joshua. Jr., born in 1678, the latter a lieutenant in the state militia, and he fought the Indians. He was a weaver by trade, and was a slave holder; he kept a tavern, sold New England rum, and he was a church member. Lieut. Joseph Seaver had a son William, who had a son William, who was a potter, made wooden shoe heels, taught singing school, and was a major in the American army during our war for independence, from Massachusetts. He was very successful as a business man. He was a major in the Bristol county brigade. His son William was in the sixth generation, as mentioned above, the one who guarded Major Andre. He was also in the navy during the Revolution, then followed a seafaring life. He was six feet tall and weighed two hundred pounds, and excelled in athletic feats, at one time defeating the champion wrestler of Vermont. At Arlington, that state, he was captain of the local military company. He is described as a man above the average in intelligence and character. Phoebe L. Dodge, the mother of William Lyman Severance, was the daughter of Josiah and Julia (Long) Dodge. She came from near Darien, New York, coming to Walworth county, Wisconsin, with her parents.

[Lydia Seaver was the daughter of Horace Everett and Orinda (Lippitt) Seaver.]
[Horace Everett Seaver was the son of Joseph Warren and Mary (Long-Hastings) Seaver.]
[Joseph Warren Seaver and Lyman Hunt Seaver were brothers, the sons of William Seaver (1763-1828). He was in the 6th generation of Seaver's in this country. William Seaver served in the Revolutionary War.]
[Robert-1 Seaver came on the "Mary and John" in 1634 and was generation 1.]
[Joshua-2 Seaver was a son of Robert Seaver, and was generation 2.]
[Joshua-3 Seaver (born 1678) was a son of Joshua-2 Seaver, and was generation 3.]
[It is unclear if Joshua-2 or Joshua-3 was the weaver, slaveowner, tavern-keeper, rum seller, and church member.]
[It is unclear (to me) if Joshua-2 or Joshua-3 was the lieutenant in the state militia and fought the Indians. Joshua-3 was too young for King Philip's War, but Joshua-2 was just the right age.]
[William-4 Seaver was a son of Lieut. Joseph Seaver (certainly meaning Joshua-3 here), and is generation 4.]
[William-5 Seaver was a son of William-4 Seaver.]
[Was it William-4 or William-5 that was the potter, made wooden shoes, and was a Major in the Massachusetts militia in the Revolutionary War?]
[William-6 Seaver was a son of William-5 Seaver, and is the father of Lyman Hunt Seaver and Joseph Warren Seaver.]
[Was it William-6, William-5 or William-4 that was the one who guarded Major Andre, served also in the Navy during the Revolution, and was a seafarer after the war.]
[Is William-6 the one who settled in Arlington, VT, weighed 200 pounds, excelled at athletics, and was a captain in the local militia.]

"James Everett Seaver was born at Darien, New York, June 13, 1837. He was a son of Lyman H. and Sarah (Woodard) Seaver, the former born at Arlington, Vermont, October 26, 1796, and the latter was born at Hebron, New York, in April, 1797, and they were married on April 29, 1819. When James E. Seaver was two years old the family came west and located in Darien township, one mile west of the village, the father entering his land from the government. James E. Seaver grew up in Darien township, and on November 16, 1859, he was united in marriage with Phebe Dodge, daughter of Josiah and Julia (Long) Dodge. She was born at Darien, New York, June 20, 1841, and came here with her parents when she was two years old. They also located in Darien township.

"After James E. Seaver was married he and his wife lived in Sharon township about seven years, he having bought a farm there, then moved back to Darien and bought a farm near the village and there he continued to reside until near the end of his life. His death occurred on April 2, 1909, his wife having preceded him to the grave on October 11, 1906. They were the parents of five children, four of whom are living; Josi died when he was eighteen years old; Marcus D. lives at Los Angeles, California; Bertha is the wife of John S. Topping and lives in Delavan; William L. lives in Walworth; Clara M. is the wife of Leander Wright and lives at Los Angeles, California. Joseph Warren Seaver was a member of the state Legislature at one time.

"Orinda Lippitt was born in Cattaraugus county, New York, and came here when two years old with her parents, being among the very first settlers of Darien township. Her parents were Cyrus and Lydia (Bruce) Lippitt. The father came to this county in 1837 and settled in section 35, Darien township. Lydia (Bruce) Lippitt had two brothers, John and William Bruce, who were among the earliest settlers in Darien. Adelai Seaver, sister of Horace Everett Seaver, was one of the three earliest school teachers in Darien township.

"Henry Dodge, the first territorial governor of Wisconsin, was of the same Dodge family as the subject. He was governor in 1836, also in 1845.

"After his marriage the subject of this sketch moved to Richmond, Illinois, where he was manager of a lumber yard until the spring of 1903, when he went to Spring Grove, that state, where he was half owner of a lumber yard, remaining there three or four years. Then he sold out his interests there and took up contracting in concrete work. He moved to Walworth, this county, in October, 1908, and here he has since made his home, continuing contracting in concrete work. He has five children, Lucy, Everett, William, Kenneth and Stuart. He is a member of the Masonic order, both the blue lodge and the chapter."

Isn't this a tremendous family history record? These traditions were handed down over several centuries, and probably were retold thousands of times so that the children remembered them. There are several items in the list above, especially of the family exploits and achievements, that are not written down anywhere else that I've found.

Are the individuals that performed some of the exploits and achievements confusing to you? They are to me. Does it make sense that William-6 Seaver, born in 1763, would be the one to guard Major Andre in 1780, and was also in the Navy? Or was it is father, William-5 or his grandfather, William-4?

Likewise, I'm confused by the exploits of the two Joshua Seaver guys. Was it the father, or the son, that did all those things? Or are all of the family stories put together in one sentence and attributed to one of them?

I'll try to sort these issues out in the next post in this series, based on other resources and my own genealogy database of over 4,000 Seaver persons.


GrannyPam said...

I often think, "They knew what they were talking about when they wrote it". In the same way, some of the things I write are clear as a bell to me, because of my familiarity with a family. However, they are mud to the average reader, who has no idea what or who I am writing about. Hmmm. Perhaps this whole old biography thing is a writing lesson just for me. Hope you are able to sort our your Seavers. Oh no, sound like another genealogy video game, "Sorting the Seavers"!

Ginger Smith said...

I agree, it is a bit confusing

Geolover said...

Oh, such accounts can be so confusing. It is difficult to discern who was gleaning what from what source. Perhaps some 'family historian' looked into some pertinent New England publications in the vein of "Centennial history of . . ." or "Address on the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of . . ." Possibly the author(s) of the quoted history did some additional library explorations, and were none too certain about how many same-named persons were in what generation.

In any event it is a classic example of the pitfalls of such published beliefs.