Friday, January 24, 2014

Finding Marriage Gems in Historical Newspapers - GenealogyBank Has a "Marriages" Sub-Category

I often go looking for newspaper articles in GenealogyBank ( for my Seaver, and other, one-name study surnames.  I usually transcribe these into my Notes section in my database.

I had not noticed that on GenealogyBank there is an expanded list of categories on the left sidebar of the search page (after clicking the More link):

In the "Newspaper Archives" category, there are sub-categories for:

*  Historical Obituaries
*  Birth Records
*  Marriage Records
*  Passenger Lists
*  Newspaper Articles
*  Land, Probate and Court
*  Photos and Illustrations
*  Newspaper Letters
*  Historical Maps
*  Tables and Charts
*  Poems and Songs
*  Ads and Classified
*  Commodity and Stocks
*  Political and Elections
*  Uncategorized

On the screen above, I had clicked on the "Marriages" sub-category.  There were 294 matches with a surname of "seaver."  The second one down caught my eye.  I clicked on it and was able to see the article:

The transcription of this article in the Monday, July 4, 1921, edition of The Philadelphia [Penn.] Inquirer newspaper, page 14, is:


"Missing Bridegroom Victim 
of Amnesia-- Marriage 
Will Take Place

"Special to the Inquirer.

"HAVERHILL, Mass., July 3 -- According to Harold E. Seaver who dropped out of sight on the eve of his marriage to Miss Mildred Floyd, of Plaistow, N.H., last Wednesday evening, the wedding will take place just as soon as he can arrange with Miss Floyd.

"Seaver made this announcement on returning to his home here late this afternoon.  He asserts he suffered a loss of memory and did not realize he was to have married last Wednesday until Friday.

"He was at Little Moose Lake, Me., according to his story, when he experienced a sensation similar to that of regaining consciousness after being under the influence of ether.  He hastened back to Haverhill and learned that a searching party had started for Maine ten minutes before he arrived in Haverhill.

"Mrs. James Hoke, Miss Floyd's sister, said she believes her sister will ignore the slip-up and marry Seaver.  The wedding will be private instead of public, as originally planned.  Seaver thinks, in view of what has happened, that Miss Floyd will not care for a public wedding.  He is 26 and Miss Floyd is 24."

That of course, led me to wonder if he and Miss Floyd had married after this episode.  

In the 1930 US Census, the family resided on Vestry Street in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts.  The household included:

*   Harold E. Seaver -- head, male, white, age 35, married, first at age 26, born MA, father born NH, mother born KY, assistant manager of a labor union, owns home worth $5,000
*  Pearl M. Seaver -- wife, female, white, age 32, married, first at age 23, born MA, father born ME, mother born MA
*  Phyllis Seaver - daughter, female, age 7, white, single, born MA, parents born MA.

There is a Texas Death Certificate for Pearl Mildred (Floyd) Seaver on that lists her birth date, birth place, and parents names.

Harold E. Seaver and Mildred P. Seaver are buried together in Peaceful Garden Memorial Park in Woodrow, Lubbock, Texas, United States (see the Find A Grave memorial).

So it appears that they married in 1921, probably in Plaistow, New Hampshire (or in Haverhill, Massachusetts).  I wonder if their descendants know that their ancestor missed his July 1921 wedding?  It might be a fascinating story when told years later.  

Funny how an interesting newspaper article, found at random, sends me down a Genealogy Rabbit Trail (GRT) on a Friday afternoon when I discover something new (for me, at least) on a genealogy website.

I'm struck by the difference between doing this search today versus, say, ten years ago.  I never would have found this article in two minutes, or found the census record, the death certificate, the burial information, 20 minutes as I did today.  Ten years ago, it might have taken a year or more to obtain the records and perhaps find the newspaper article.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My family seems to never have been in the right place at the right time to appear in any newspaper that got put on line. I have never found the date and/or location I need.