Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Seavers in the News - Mrs. D.F. Seaver Obituary

It's time for another edition of "Seavers in the News" - a semi-regular feature from the historical newspapers about persons with the surname Seaver that are interesting, useful, fun, macabre, or add information to my family tree database.

This week's entry is from The Washington Times newspaper dated 14 February 1921:

The transcription of this obituary is:


Funeral services for Mrs. D.F. Seaver, who had she lived until November 26,  would have been one hundred years old, will be held from the chapel of W.R. Spears Company, 1208 H street northwest, this afternoon.  Interment will be in Glenwood Cemetery.

Mrs. Seaver died at the home of her grandson, Mr. J.F. Manning, in Toledo, Ohio.  She is survived by her daughter, Mrs. Mary Guyer, of Toledo, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Seaver was born in Tewksbury, Mass. She was a remarkably well-informed woman and retained her keen mentality until her death, which was caused by pneumonia.

The source citation for this record is:

"Mrs. D.F. Seaver," obituary, The Washington [D.C.] Times, 14 February 1921, page 15, column 8, Mrs. D.F.. Seaver obituary; digital image, Chronicling America: Historic  American Newspapers ( : accessed 9 August 2017). 

At first, I assumed that D.F. Seaver was the husband of this woman, and completely struck out in my RootsMagic database - I found no male D.F. Seaver that fit the time line.  

The best clue was the name of her daughter, Mrs. Mary Guyer.  I found a Mary Elizabeth Seaver who married a Hezekiah Guyer in 1867 in Newburyport, Mass.  Mary's parents were William George Seaver (1820-1853), and Desire French Simons (1821-1921).  I had Desire's birth date as 26 November 12821, and her death date in Toledo as 24 January 1921 in Toledo, Ohio.  BINGO.

So "Mrs. D.F. Seaver" was Desire French (Simons) Seaver - a female, and a widow who would normally be named as Mrs. Desire Seaver in the society columns of the 1920s, but was referred to as "Mrs. D.F." in this particular obituary.  

Why was this obituary published in a Washington, D.C. newspaper?  Her eldest son, George William Seaver (1844-1888) and his family has resided in Washington, D.C. and had died there.  His son, William Earle Seaver (1889-1953), was a draftsman in the 1920 U.S. Census in Washington, and a patent attorney in the 1930 U.S. Census in Washington.  


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