Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rabbit Trail - Where Was Aaron Seaver's Land in Grand Blanc, Michigan

I've been transcribing the 1858 murder trial of Mortimer Seaver reported in the Wolverine Telegram (Flint, Mich.) in a series of posts - see The 1858 Murder Trial of Mortimer Seaver - Post 11: Testimony of 12 More Defense Witnesses for the latest post.  The trial summary provides a long list of neighbors of Aaron Seaver, the man killed by a gun shot on 25 September 1858.  The neighbor names include:

*  Benjamin Phillips (resides 1/2 to 3/4 mile west of Seaver)
*  James A. Rice (resides on farm next to Seaver)
*  Henry Cook (resides over 1/2 mile east of Seaver)
*  Deborah Chappel (resides 3/4 mile west of Seaver)
*  Charles Seaver (resides 1/2 mile west of Seaver)

I wondered where Aaron Seaver's land was located in Grand Blanc, Genesee County, Michigan.  I figured that there might bee a land plat map for the township, so I looked on in the U.s. Indexed Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918 database, and found an 1870 map.  I searched for Seaver in Genesee County, Michigan.  Here is a screen capture of part of the map:

The area with the land of L.A. Seaver in 1870 is highlighted in yellow.  There is also land for Mrs. E. Seaver (west of L.A.) and E. Seaver (east of L.A.) on the map above within the yellow highlighting.

I'm very sure that L.A. Seaver is Luther A. Seaver, the son of Aaron and Sally Seaver, and the eldestl iving brother in 1870.  Charles Seaver died before 1870, and Mrs. E. Seaver is likely his wife, Emily (Main) Seaver.

Here is a zoomed in view, and now we can see some of the close neighbors:

It looks like "E. Phillips" is just to the west of L.A. Seaver, and J.A. Rice is two plots to the east of L.A. Seaver.  A Chappel family is two plots to the west of L.A. Seaver, and H. H. Cook is about half a mile east on the other side of the road.

So, I wondered, where is this land on today's maps?  I looked at Google Maps, and by comparing the major roads on the Google Map with the map above, I think I found it.  I outlined the L.A. Seaver land (in 1870) on the current map:

The land is on the south side of E. Cook Road, between Graytrax road on the west and Meadowland Drive on the east.

On the Satellite view of the map above, I zoomed in a bit more to outline the land as best I could:

It appears that the former L.A. Seaver land in 1870, which is very likely the Aaron Seaver land in 1858, still has some woodland on it in the southwest portion of it, and has a crop or grass area on the eastern half of it.

A close-up view of the Satellite view of the area near Cook Road shows a house and a barn right on East Cook Road:

The Street View of 1839 East Cook Road looks like this:

The layout of the house in the overhead view looks very much like the house described in the 1858 testimony, and the front view of the house above reflects the house in the overhead view.  It may be that the present house is the one owned by Aaron Seaver, or has been significantly improved over the past 160 years but has the same layout.

Now I wonder if there are living Seavers who are descendants of Aaron Seaver!   That's another rabbit trail to follow on a rainy day mission.  My hope is that this series of posts about the murder trial will enable descendants to identify the location of their ancestral home where these events occurred.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Grandpa Landmeier said...

Randy, Try looking at
This are was probably aerial photographed for agriculture purposes many years ago.
B patient with the site. it does not move like google maps.
Let me know if you need help.