Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Some of my ancestral homes

One of my goals for my recent trip to New England was to photograph as many of my known ancestral homes as possible. I only know of a few ancestral home sites for sure - but am gradually collecting the maps and records needed to identify the sites for other ancestors. What I've included here are the "low hanging fruit" - the ones I've known about for awhile.

The oldest Seaver ancestral home is in Westminster MA - Norman Seaver built a salt-box type house in the 1770's. At least three generations of my Seaver line lived in this house - Norman, Benjamin and Benjamin. Job Seaver, the brother of the first Benjamin was a bachelor and lived there until his death in the 1870's. The house is on Overlook Road in north Westminster, and is in the Westminster book about old houses.

Another ancestral home is in Leominster at 149 Lancaster Street. My great-great grandparents, Edward and Sophia (Newton) Hildreth) resided here from about 1890 to 1923, and my great-grandparents Frank and Hattie (Hildreth) Seaver resided here from before 1890 to their deaths. My grandparents, Fred and Bess (Richmond) Seaver lived in this house for several years after their marriage in 1900. Compared to a picture taken about 1907, this house has been remodeled extensively - perhaps because the road is much closer to the house now!

The Fred and Bess (Richmond) Seaver family moved to Fitchburg before 1905, and then moved into 290 Central Street in Leominster after 1911, and resided there until about 1927. This is the house that my father and his siblings remember. The hopuse looks pretty much like they remember it.

There are still many more ancestral homes to find and photograph. I'm going to make a list of ancestral home sites and try to find them next time I visit New England.


Jasia said...

I think these are fascinating Randy. I'd love to be able to photograph one of my ancestor's homes but that's not possible in my case. Good for you though. Houses really have a personality all their own don't they?

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. I once visited the ancestral home of one of my cousins, the Balch House in Beverly, Massachusetts. Even though Balch wasn't my ancestor, it was one of the best museum trips I ever took because I photographed the tour (a living history tour) in detail for my cousin, which made me pay more attention and in general enjoy it more. I wrote an illustrated account of the visit for her, which added to the fun. This post makes me want to go visit some old houses!