Thursday, January 7, 2010

Who Is Mr. Seaver? - Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I introduced the family history mystery presented to me by an email correspondent. Before I answered my correspondent the first time, I managed to find a reference to Euphemia Seaver, widow of L.B. Seaver, in an 1899 Los Angeles City Directory.

I sent the census and City Directory information to Marilyn, and she responded with more family information:

"To tell you how the Seaver name came into being with Frank. Louise (Mary Louise, but she always went by Louise or Louisa, you know how names were) married a man named Alfred McQueen about 1878 and had Frank about a year later. They had a very bitter divorce. She first moved into a rooming house and then moved in with her mother and step-father who was the Seaver who we are trying to trace. Little Frank was a toddler and became known as the 'little boy in the Seaver house.' Later the neighbors called him 'the little Seaver boy.' When he entered school Louise McQueen (who later married James Atchison) enrolled him as Frank Seaver because she so hated Al McQueen who had had nothing to do with them. (I found him on the 1880 census back living with his parents.) So on the 1880 census Louise was a McQueen and so was Frank. Then of course there is no 1890 census and it really messes things up doesn't it? Like you I couldn't find Euphemia as either a Marshall or a Seaver on the 1880 census. I don't know why. I never knew her to live anywhere but California. So the Seaver name with my cousins is a 'taken' name."

Ah, there are a wealth of clues in that information!!! Thank you, Marilyn. She found them in the 1880 census. Family information often provides more information than any census or directory record, especially about family stories and relationships -- if they are recounted and handed down accurately.

1) Back to the 1880 U.S. Census - I found that the E.L. Siever family resided at 157 Seventh in San Francisco, San Francisco County, California (1880 U.S. Census, San Francisco County, California, San Francisco District 143, Page 364D, dwelling #76, Family #91, lines 3-6, accessed on, citing National Archives Microfilm Series T9, Roll 76):

* E.L. Siever - white, female, age 39, a lodger, married, born Scotland, parents born Scotland/Scotland
* Louisa McQueen - white, female, age 22, a lodger, married, born California, parents born Massachusetts/Scotland
* Harry Siever - white, male, age 17, lodger, single, an apprentice machinist, born California, parents born Massachusetts/Scotland
* Frank McQueen - white, male, age 1, single, born California, parents born California/California

Is "E.L. Siever" really Euphemia (Kirk) (Marshall) Seaver, wife of L.B. Seaver? Everything in this census record matches what Marilyn told me, except for the name of Harry Siever. He should be Harry Marshall, right? Unfortunately, since they are lodgers in this census, there are no relationships given. The data also match the 1900 to 1920 census data I reported in Part 1, except for the surname of Frank McQueen, which was Seaver.

My opinion is that Harry was listed as a Siever because the enumerator asked E.L., or somebody in the family: "who is in this family." E.L. may well have said "there's my daughter Louisa McQueen, my son Harry, and Louisa's little boy, Frank." Note also that the birthplace of Louisa and Harry's father is listed as "Massachusetts." Perhaps they asked Euphemia where her husband was born?

But where is L.B. Seaver? Completely missing from the 1880 census - at least I cannot find him!

2) What about the 1870 US census? I did find "L.B. Seever" resided in Bullionville, Lincoln County, Nevada. The listing showed (1870 U.S. Census, Lincoln County, Nevada, Bullion Ville township, Page 180, line 7, accessed on, citing National Archives Microfilm Series M593, Roll 834):

* L.B. Seever, age 35, male, white, a laborer, $100 in real property, $500 in personal property, born MA.

There is now more information about L.B. Seaver - born about 1835 in Massachusetts. That's helpful for other searches. Still don't find him in 1880! Had he died by then? However, Euphemia is listed as "married" not "widow" in the 1880 census.

I have been unable to find any census record for William and Euphemia Marshall, or their children Louisa and Henry/Harry Marshall.

3) In the 1860 U.S. Census, the Marshall family resided in Big Bar, El Dorado County, California (Page 754, Dwelling #1027, family #1499, accessed on, citing NARA Microfilm M653, Roll 58). The household included:

* M. Marshall - age 32, male, a miner, born Scotland
* Euphemia Marshall - age 19, female, house keeper, born Scotland
* Mary Louisa Marshall - age ??, female, born California
* Minnie Marshall - age 17, female, born Scotland
* Joseph Marshall - age 13, male, born Scotland
* Robert Marshall - age 20, male, miner, born Scotland

4) I still don't have any records that show L.B. Seaver residing with Euphemia (Kirk) (Marshall) Seaver, do I? And what is L.B. Seaver's first and middle names?

Stay tuned - he was hiding in plain sight, all I had to do was find the right information sources.

1 comment:

Abba-Dad said...

Randy, I've been reading your blog for a while now and I have to say these are my favorite types of posts. I wish there were more of them. I love the genea-detective stories. Can't wait for the conclusion.