Friday, June 29, 2007

Who is George W. Seaver?

Betty on the GENMASSACHUSETTS mailing list mentioned an article from The Lowell (MA) Sun newspaper dated 19 June 2007, titled "A Very Grave Mystery."

The article describes how children found a gravestone in the yard of their home, which had the inscription "George W. Seaver, Died May 6, 1871, Aged 29 Years" and had a Masonic emblem. The writer did some good research and found that George was a civil War veteran, was actually buried in a Lowell cemetery with his wife and parents and has a gravestone there. They even found an 1870 census entry for his father, William Seaver.

My own records show:

George W. Seaver was born 8 May 1842 in Lowell, Middlesex County, MA, the eldest son of William and Sophia (Warner) Seaver.

George appears in the 1850 and 1860 US Census records with his parents in Lowell, Massachusetts.

George W. Seaver, a fireman residing in Lowell, Massachusetts, enlisted in the Union Army on 21 May 1861 at the age of 19. He was in the 7th Regiment, Independent Battery of the Massachusetts Light Artillery. He received a disability discharge on 6 November 1862 in Suffolk, Virginia. He was promoted to full Corporal (American Civil War Soldiers Database, accessed on

The unit he served with was organized at Lowell as Richardson's Light Guard, an Independent Infantry Company and mustered in May 21, 1861. The unit left the State for Fortress Monroe, Va., May 22, and garrison duty there as Infantry till December 25, 1861. Detached on Light Artillery duty December 25, 1861, and duty at Fort Monroe till May, 1862. Designated 7th Massachusetts Battery March 17, 1862. During his service, the unit participated in the occupation of Norfolk and Portsmouth, Va., May 10, 1862; Duty at Fort Monroe May 13 to June 19, and at Newport News, Va., till July 25; Moved to Yorktown, Va., and duty there till September 29; Moved to Suffolk September 29-October 2, and duty there till June, 1863 (information from The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System at

George W. Seaver (resident of Lowell, age 27, a mechanic, born in MA, parents William and Sophia, 1st marriage) married Nancy J. Dame (resident of Lowell, age 26, born MA, daughter of Dan'l B. and Betsey, first marriage) married in Lowell MA on 4 December 1869 (MA VR 218.220, available on NEHGS

In the 1870 US census, the George W. Seaver family resided in Lowell, Middlesex County, MA. The household included George W.Seaver (age 28, clerk in store, born MA, male citizen over age 21) and Nancy J. Seaver (age 27, no occupation, born MA). They lived in the home of James and Sarah Richardson (1870 US Census, Massachusetts, Middlesex County, Lowell Ward 4, Family #455, Lines 5-6, Page 75 (top left), 134 (stamped), on National Archives Microfilm Series M593, Roll 628, Page 134, Image 268, accessed on

George W. Seaver died 6 May 1871 in Lowell MA. He was 29y 1m 28d old, born in Mass., parents William (b. NH) and Sophia E. (n. MA), married, died of "veraloid" (MA VR 239.165, available on NEHGS A search at for "veraloid" did not find any definition of this cause of death.

The administration of the estate of George W. Seaver of Lowell MA, filed in 1871, is in File #9843(Middlesex County, Massachusetts Probate Index, 1871-1909 (Part A-K), accessed on

George and Nancy had no children - poor George died soon after their marriage. Nancy J. (Dame) Seaver (resident of Lowell, age 50, born Lowell, parents Daniel B. and Elizabeth Dame, second marriage) married, secondly, to Nathan J. Marshall (resident of Boston, age 53, real estate, born Merrimack NH, parents Joseph and Lucy, second marriage) on 27 July 1893 in Lowell MA (MA VR 434.211, accessed on NEHGS site

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