Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Which Ellen/Nellie Did George William Seaver Marry?

I was reviewing my Ancestry Member Tree Hints this afternoon, and ran into a challenge.

The challenge is:  Who was the wife of George William Seaver (1844-1888), son of William George Seaver and Desire French Simons?

1)  I have a marriage record for George W. Seaver (born Stowe, Vt., age 23, son of Wm.G. and Desire F. Seaver) to Ellen G. Lathrop (born Chelsea, Vt., age 22, daughter of Chauncey and Sarah Lathrop) on 26 September 1867 in Newburyport, Massachusetts:


2)  There is an 1880 U.S. Census record for Nellie S. Seaver (age 36, born VT) with husband George W. Seaver (age 36, born VT) with children Blanche E. (age 10, born DC), Gertrude L. (age 3, born DC) and Alice B. (age 1, born DC).  

3)  There is an 1876 birth record for Gertrude (although there is no given name) in Washington D.C. that says the mother is Nellie S. Lathrop Seaver:


4)  George and Nellie had another child, William Earle Seaver, on 18 January 1889 in Newburyport, Mass.: 


However, George died on 26 July 1888 and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Washington, D.C. (there is a Find A Grave memorial).

5)  After George died, Nellie Seaver returned to Washington, D.C. and appears in City Directories from 1891 to 1921 and was in the 1900 U.S. Census (born Mar 1844 in VT) with children Blanche, Gertrude and William.

6)  There is a Find A Grave memorial for Nellie S. Lathrop Seaver which has a death date of 9 March 1925 and links to memorials for her husband and two of her children:


7)  There is a Washington, D.C. Deaths record for Nellie S. Seaver with a death date of 9 March 1925:



This record for Nellie S. Seaver gives a birth year of 1845, a date of death of 9 March 1925, a death place of Kashena, Wisconsin, and parents named Parrish Badger and Nancy Osgood.  Note that an image is available, but only at a Family History Center.

8)  A Sons of the American Revolution application was approved for William Earle Seaver, son of George and Nellie, in 1935  on Ancestry.com:


This notes William's father as George William Seaver (1844-1888), mother as Ellen (Sarah) Maria Badger (1844-1925), with parents Parish Badger and Nancy Osgood.  The birth and death dates for George William Seaver match his known dates, and the dates for Ellen Maria Badger correspond to the Ellen Lathrop birth and the Nellie Seaver death date.

One more hint - Alice B. Seaver's middle name was Badger.

9)  The challenge is:  Was George William Seaver's spouse Nellie G. Lathrop or Ellen (Sarah) Maria Badger?

10)  There is one potential scenario that would explain this challenge:  Perhaps Ellen was adopted by the Lathrops and her birth parents were the Badgers.  This is a scenario that fits all of the facts, assuming that Ellen found out her birth parents names at some point in time.

What other scenarios can you think of to fit the known facts for this family?

What conclusions can be drawn as to the identity of George William Seaver's only known spouse, and mother of his four children, Nellie G. Lathrop?

NOTE:  I haven't shown all of the records, sources or Hints for George and Ellen/Nellie due to space limitations.

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Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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