Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Summertime Fun as a Child

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans: 

 It's Saturday Night again - 
time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) It's the first day of Summer 2014, so let's talk about what we did as children (not teenagers or young adults) on our summer vacations from school.  

2)  Write about your life as a child in the summertime (say, any age between 5 and 12).  Where did you live, what did you do, how did it influence the rest of your life?

3)  Write your own blog post, or leave a comment on this post, or write something on Facebook or Google+

Here's mine:

I grew up in San Diego, California, in the Burlingame neighborhood on 30th Street just east of Balboa Park.  Other than delivering newspapers on Thursday and Saturday, I, with my brother Stan, were free as birds.  And we flew all over the city, it seemed.  We rode our bikes, we went hunting for baseball cards at grocery stores, we played bike tag with other kids in the neighborhood, we played "Stop and Go" on our Flexy Flyers (sort of a Cops and Drivers game), we played hide and seek on the block, we went to the Morley Field swimming pool, we went down to Grape Street Park (4 blocks away) on our bikes or flexies and played baseball (Three Flys Up), hunted golf balls down near the Municipal course, or created forts and paths in the brush.  

We always knew about what time it was because the carillion chimes in Balboa Park could be heard for miles.  They always chimed on the hour, so at noon we went home for lunch, and at 5 we went home for dinner.  My best friend's name was Noble Earl, and his mother's call could be heard half a mile away, it seemed.  

The scariest thing we did in the summer was on our flexies.  Ivy Street west of 29th Street was a two block long downhill run, with a barrier at the bottom of it.  The barrier had a decorative "hole" in it that was about ten feet wide and two feet high.  We had great fun racing the flexies down the hill and crossing the finish line.  One time, Stan didn't stop in time, hit the curb in front of the wall, and catapulted through the hole in the wall and landed about ten feet below the wall on the rocky ground surrounded by jacaranda trees.  It was a close call.  We never told our parents about it.  

At night, we listened to the baseball games on the radio - home and away (re-created by the announcers based on a telegraph feed).  Once in awhile, we would take the bus downtown to go to the minor league Padres games at Lane Field.  Sometimes, we played board games or word games with our parents before bedtime, or ran the Lionel model trains around the house.  

If I was bored, I would study San Diego street maps to plot my next bike adventure, or make imaginary street maps of a city, laying out the terrain, naming the streets, plotting stop signs and traffic lights, planning bus routes.  I wanted to be a city planner, I guess.  Or a baseball announcer - I made up a dice game to simulate baseball, made my own lineups (Padres vs. another PCL team), rolled the dice and somehow the Padres always won!  I announced the games to the whole house - my folks and brother probably thought I was nuts.

Our summers were pretty carefree.  We just played and competed and explored - it was a great environment to be a kid.  It was never very hot in San Diego in the summertime.  The family started taking vacations in 1954, when I was 10, and maybe next week we'll write about summer vacations.  

How did this affect my later life?  I really enjoyed the freedom and the responsibility that went with it (e.g., be home on time) and tried to instill that into my children after I married.  I love having fun at home or at an entertainment center, or at a baseball game.  I have always had hobbies or interests outside of school and work to keep my brain active and always learning new skills or subjects. 

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - POILLON (Belgium > colonial New York)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week.  

I am in the 7th great-grandmothers and I'm up to Ancestor #1007, who is Catherine POILLON (1712-????)
 [Note: the earlier great-grandmothers and 7th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through three generations in this POILLON family line is:

1.  Randall J. Seaver (1943-living)

2. Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983)
3. Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)

6.  Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1976)
7.  Emily Kemp Auble (1899-1977)

14.  Charles Auble (1849-1916)
15.  Georgianna Kemp (1868-1952)

30.  James Abraham Kemp (1831-1902)

31.  Mary Jane Sovereen (1841-1874)

62.  Alexander Sovereign (1814-1907)
63.  Elizabeth Putman (1820-1895)

124.  Frederick Sovereign (1786-1875)
125.  Mary Jane Hutchison (1792-1868)

250.  William Hutchinson (1745-1826)
251.  Catherine Lewis (1759-1845)

502.  Jonathan Lewis (1715-1785)
503.  Marie LaTourette (1734-1786)

1006.  David LaTourette, born 28 December 1699 in Fresh Kills, Richmond, New York, United States; died 20 March 1764 in Staten Island, Richmond, New York, United States.  He was the son of 2012. Jean LaTourette and 2013. Marie Mercereau.  He married before 1730 in probably New York, United States.
1007.  Catherine Poillon, born 14 July 1712 in Staten Island, Richmond, New York, United States.

Children of David La Tourette and Catherine Poillon are:
*  Jacques LaTourette (1731-1785), married Elizabeth Lewis (1716-1785).
*  Marie LaTourette (1734-1786), married 1756 Jonathan Lewis (1715-1785)
*  Catherine LaTourette (1737-1808), married 1766 Stephen Bedell (1735-????).
*  David LaTourette (1738-1808), married (2) Elizabeth Morgan; and (2) Marie Simonson.

2104.  Jacques Poillon, born 1681 in Staten Island, Richmond, New York, United States; died 05 March 1733 in Staten Island, Richmond, New York, United States.  He married before 1710 in Staten Island, Richmond, New York, United States.
2015.  Francoise Billiou, born about 1685 in Staten Island, Richmond, New York, United States.  She was the daughter of 4030. Jacob Billiou and 4031. Margaret.

Children of Jacques Poillon and Francoise Billiou are:
*  Mary Poillon (1710-????), married 1730 Daniel Stillwell (1709-????).
*  Catherine Poillon (1712-????), married 1730 David LaTourette (1699-1764).

4028.  Jacques Poillon, born about 1646 in Zele, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium; died 1720 in Staten Island, Richmond, New York, United States.  He married 24 October 1677 in Flatbush, Kings, New York, United States.
4029.  Adrianna Crocheron, born about 1652; died after 1720 in Staten Island, Richmond, New York, United States.  She was the daughter of 8058. Jean Crocheron and 8059. Mary.

Children of Jacques Poillon and Adrianna Crocheron are:
*  John Poillon (1678-1724), married 1704 Sarah Lake (1679-????).
*  Mary Poillon (1679-1718), married (1) 1696 Thomas Stillwell (1673-1711), (2) 1711 Valentine Duchesne (1673-????).
*  Jacques Poillon (1681-1733), married (1) 1710 Francoise Billiou; (2) 1714 Judith Bodine.
*  Catharine Poillon (1684-1718), married 1702 Samuel Osborn (1680-????).

Information on this family was obtained:

1)  The Hix file on the Rootsweb WorldConnect database created by Charlotte Hix ( on 4 August 2005.  

2)  Charlotte Louise Megill, The Crocheron Family of Staten Island, New York (Garden City, N.Y. : Charlotte Megill Hix, 1979).

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, June 20, 2014

Information From FamilySearch about FamilySearch Family Tree Record Hints

In my post Record Hints are Now Available on FamilySearch Family Tree (posted 17 June 2014), I mentioned that I would try to evaluate the quality of the Record Hints provided by FamilySearch for a specific person in the Family Tree.

Robert Kehrer of FamilySearch read that blog post, and provided additional information about the Record Hints feature via email:

"I noticed that you will be evaluating the quality of the hints in an upcoming article. I thought I’d give you a little insight to enrich that article.
  • Hints are generated by taking all the information (name, gender, event dates and places, relationships) from the ancestor and that ancestor’s one-hop-relatives (parents, spouse, children)
  • The Family Tree persons are matched against all 4.5 billion historical record personas to identify the highest confidence matches
  • Hints are being exposed incrementally. 
    • Today we deliver only hints where the matched person is primary on the record. 
    • We will shortly expose hints to secondary personas
    • New records, improved algorithms, etc will ensure there are always new hints to evaluate. 
  • The message to users is “Don’t be surprised if you find a record through searching that wasn’t exposed as a hint. Keep coming back to the site to see new hints”.
  • Part of the reason for this is the current release is a “Public Preview”. The hinting system will still be a work in progress through late in the year. We will be working on a number of key things:
    • Continuous improvement in algorithms
    • Update system systems to automatically re-hint changed tree people and newly published records (the current system uses snapshot data updated monthly)
    • Optimizations for hinting diverse language collections
  • Because it uses snapshot data, an astute researcher may notice a couple things:
    • A newly added person to the Family Tree may not get new hints for as much as a month
    • A significantly changed Family Tree person may display hints that no longer perfectly match the tree person data for as long as a month
  • As a measure of accuracy, we have been watching the rate at which users mark presented hints as Not-A-Match. That rate has been exceedingly low. 
Also, we will very soon be adding to the attach tool the ability to view record details and the image from any record. 

I followed up by asking:

*   Does the system refer to the Sources already provided for the person that are from historical records on FS, and then not list them as Record Hints?

Robert quickly responded with:

"Yes the hinting system is fully aware of which sources have already been attached and it will not surface already attached sources as possible hints."

My thanks to Robert for offering this information about the Record Hints feature.  I think that this will be a very useful feature for all genealogical researchers.

As Geolover commented on the initial blog post - not every record for a specific person will show up in a Record Hint - many collections are not indexed and therefore won't be found in a name search.  The information can still be attached to the Family Tree by the user with a source citation and document image. 

copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

FamilySearch Family Tree "Record Hints" - Marking a Record "Not a Match"

In my post Record Hints are Now Available on FamilySearch Family Tree (posted 17 June 2014), I showed how to "Review" a Record Hint, and "Mark" the "Record Hint" as a "Match."

I went looking for a Record Hint that was "Not a Match" on other persons in the Family Tree, and found one listed for Hattie (Hildreth) Seaver's husband, Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922).  

Here is his Person Profile (top of page shown):

I looked at the second Record Hint listed (at the top of the right-hand column on the screen above) - the one for "Massachusetts, State Census, 1855."

I clicked on the link, and the comparison of the information on the record (on the left of the screen below) with the information for my great-grandfather in the Family Tree (on the right of the screen below) appeared (two screens below):

After comparing the record with the person profile, I decided that this was "Not a Match."  There were two Frank W. Seaver persons born in about 1852 in Massachusetts - one was born in Taunton, Massachusetts to Nathan and Caroline Seaver, and the other, my grandfather, was born in Medfield, Mass. to Isaac and Lucretia Seaver.

I clicked the "Not a Match" button on the screen above, and filled in the box for "Reason why this Record is Not a Match:"

I clicked on the blue "Save" button above, and was taken to the "Record Hint" page for Frank Walton Seaver.  There is now one "Possible Match" and one "Not a Match" Record Hint listed (the Not a Match screen is shown below):

The "Not a Match" screen shows the Record Name, the Reason, and the Events for this Record Hint.  I could, or some other user of the Family Tree could, click on the blue "Review" button to review this decision again, and even reverse it.

In the case above, I can't fault the system for showing me this Record Hint - the name was the same, the birth year was the same, and no relationship was entered into the indexed information because it was not entered in the record.  

I will try to look at Record Hints for a number of persons to try to assess the accuracy of the Record Hints - I haven't gotten to that task yet.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

The 1858 Murder Trial of Mortimer Seaver - Post 9: Defense Testimony About Rifles and Balls

I am transcribing a series of newspaper articles concerning the 1858 murder trial of Mortimer Seaver published in the Flint, Michigan Wolverine Citizen newspaper.  The series to date:

*  The 1858 Murder Trial of Mortimer Seaver - Post 1: Benjamin Phillips Testimony (10 June 2014)
*  The 1858 Murder Trial of Mortimer Seaver - Post 2: Jeremiah Slack's Testimony (11 June 2014)
*  The 1858 Murder Trial of Mortimer Seaver - Post 3: Testimony of 4 More Witnesses (12 June 2014)
*  The 1858 Murder Trial of Mortimer Seaver - Post 4: Testimony of 10 More Witnesses (13 June 2014)
*  The 1858 Murder Trial of Mortimer Seaver - Post 5: Testimony of the Victim's Wife (16 June 2014)
*  The 1858 Murder Trial of Mortimer Seaver - Post 6: More Testimony of Sarah Seaver (17 June 2014)

*  The 1858 Murder Trial of Mortimer Seaver - Post 7: Testimony From 11 Witnesses (18 June 2014)

*  The 1858 Murder Trial of Mortimer Seaver - Post 8: Prosecution Rests, Defense Starts (19 June 2014)

The article starts in the right-hand column of Page 1 above, continues on to most of Page 2, and then finishes in the 30 January 1858 edition of the newspaper on pages 1 and 2.  The first page of the 30 January 1858 issue is at

I am transcribing the articles in a series of blog posts - who knows how long this will take.  I hope my readers enjoy it.  Note that this is a reporter's summary of the trial, not the trial court transcript.


[from page 1, column 5, 30 January 1858, Wolverine Citizen [Flint, Mich.] newspaper]


Witness never knew Luther to have any other gun than the one witness pointed out.

Cross-examined -- Thinks his father was mowing to the east; his scythe was on his left side, -- south west of the body; his hand and feet lay on some grass that had been mowed.  Not more than a rod squared remained to be cut; thinks it would have taken him about fifteen minutes to finish it.  Mortimer was mowing 25 or 30 rods off; there was more mowing to be done there than where father was.  Mortimer had mowed but very little; there was some lying in swath.  Witness did not assist in putting the body in the wagon; it was put in by Mr. Slack, Mr. Phillips and Mr. rice.  Mortimer did not touch the body.  Mr. Slack and Mortimer had some conversation; Mr. Slack was making enquiries of Mortimer.  Mr. slack got in the wagon to assist in lifting in the body.  Witness says positively Mr. Slack rode all of the way.  Mr. Rice did not ride; Mr. Phillips did.  Last Monday evening was the time they went to examine the stump.  Mr. Slack was sent for on the morning of his father's death; they were on friendly terms.  Knows Miss Wealthy Waterous; she was at the house when he took down the rifle to shoot the sheep; did not make any remark about finding the gun not loaded, and having to load it to shoot the sheep.  Witness is married, and lived from home two years last October; went in frequently since, to get money from his father's drawer, with or without leave; the family had that privilege; took money more than once when no one was there; always told of it; on one occasion took five dollars.  Witness had heard of love affair spoken of; but heard more of it since he came into Court than he ever did before.  Is seven or eight years older than Mortimer.


Witness lives in this city; has hunted considerable in his life; Witness examined the ball taken from the body; sees the creases or ridges in the ball; from examining it with dividers, has no doubt the ball was fired from a rifle with six cuts in the barrel.

Witness examined the rifles in Court; that ball could not have been shot out of either of them, if he measured the ball correctly, because one rifle has seven creases, the other eight, and ball has only six.  Thinks the bruised end of the ball was put in the gun first, as the mark of the ram-rod is upon the other end.  Never knew a ball to change ends in its course, when shot from a rifle, unless it met with an obstacle in its progress and glanced; thinks this ball struck something to divert its course; thinks it was driven home with a hard or metal ram-rod, as the print of such a rod upon the ball leaves it concave, and a wooden rammer leaves it flat; thinks some of the ram-rods in Court drove down this ball.  Witness should judge that the bullet taken from the body was not cast in any of the molds in Court, but could not speak with certainty because the ball is not perfect.  Thinks it a different shaped balls from what the molds would make.

Cross-examined -- Witness had made rifles -- made three.  The reason the ball keeps the position in which it is shot from a cut rifle is because of the spiral motion given it by the creases in the barrel.  None of the new balls is like the one taken from the body.


Witness has hunted considerable; has examined the ball taken from the body; concludes it came from a rifle with six cuts; it could have received those marks from one gun, and been afterwards fired from another that was larger; none of the ram-rods in Court would make the impression upon this ball;  a metallic rod would make such a mark; witness has got such a rod, made of brass; has examined the new bullets; could not swear positively, but witness' impression is that the ball taken from the body could not have been cast in the same mold as any of the new ones were cast in.

Cross-examined -- Witness knows the process of manufactured guns.  Striking an object obliquely, will cause a ball to glance, and be directed from its course; striking a bone might do so.


Witness had had the ball in his possession since within about a week after the death of Mr. Seaver; got it from Silas D. Halsey; it is apparently in the same condition; witness went to the house of Mr. Seaver to see if the ball suited the guns there; witness has lived 29 years here, and has hunted a good deal since he came in; he went to Seavers' and asked them to exhibit their guns; thinks they exhibited the same guns which are now in Court; found the ends of the ram-rods square, and thought the ball was not driven by any of them; found no reluctance on their part, to show the guns; is of opinion the bruised end of the ball was put downwards in the gun.

Witness acted as Coroner at the inquest; was called to summon a jury at Mr. Seaver's; the jury was summoned in the usual manner.  Mortimer was the first witness examined.

He swore that he and his father were mowing on the marsh -- his father at some distance from him; that he started to come to the house to get a drink of water, and when he got to the bars furthest from the house, he heard a report; that he got the water, and remained ten or fifteen minutes aqt the house; that he then went back to where his father was and found him dead; and returned as quick as he could and told his mother his father was dead; that he and his mother went together to where his father lay dead; that his mother then sent him to Mr. Rice's, to tell him and get him to come over; that he went there, and then to Mr. Slack's for him, and then came back.

The ball had not been extracted from the body when the prisoner gave this testimony; the examination of witnesses and the post mortem investigation were going on at the same time.  After all the witnesses had been examined, there seemed to be an impression that the boy had not given a full and explicit explanation; there seemed a mystery hanging over the transaction, in relation to his going to where his father was, instead of returning to his own part of the work; also in regard to his going for the jug just after being to the house to drink; he was therefore recalled, and questioned on those points.  He said that he went for the jug, to carry it to the part of the field where he was mowing himself.  He was questioned as to how he should know his father was shot, but thought so because of hearing the gun; he claimed that he had not said his father was shot.  Heard the prisoner speak of his father as "dead" previous to the cause of death having been positively ascertained by the post mortem examination; after that, he spoke of him as "shot."  Witness lives about three miles from Seaver's; knows the family about forty years; has been familiarly acquainted with them since they came to Michigan; knew Mortimer to be the favorite child, he was weakly and small of his age for a number of years, and his natural weakness seemed to require more than usual parental care.  

Some time last summer, Mr. Seaver told witness that when he got through his hurry in the fall, he would come up and spend time enough to make a will; he said he intended to leave his farm to Mortimer, as his other children were well provided for, that he had been helping them along, except his daughter, Mrs. Maine, and he intended to give her $100 to make her good with the rest, and then will the farm to Mortimer, reserving the right for himself and wife, to stay while they lived.  Witness thinks the farm last year was worth $35 an acre; does not know whether Mortimer knew of the intention of his father or not.  Mr. Seaver intended that witness should make out the papers. 

Witness has seen a great deal of attachment displayed by Mortimer for his father, knew of no difficulty between them; if such existed, thinks he would be likely to know; witness considered himself Mr. Seaver's confidant.  Thinks the boy, in common with all the family, was very sad on the occasion of his father's death; thinks the questions were put to the prisoner, on the inquest, so as to lead to the idea that he was suspected.  Witness has spoken to prisoner's brothers, prior to his arrest, of the suspicions that existed that he was the person who killed his father.  It was common talk in the town of Grand Blanc and vicinity that he had a hand in the death.  Told Charles Seaver, witness thinks on Monday after the death of his father, that Mortimer was suspected.

Cross-examined -- Witness' wife is cousin to Mrs. Seaver; witness made notes, but did not take down the whole of the testimony at the inquest; a great many questions were asked by jurors, just as they pleased, without witness interference.  There is a cavity in the ball which killed Mr. Seaver, that might operate to turn the ball in its course, so as to throw the heaviest side forward.  Mr. Seaver never made any request that witness should keep secret the intended disposition of his property.  Thinks Mr. Seaver was 65 or 66 years old.


Well - we have a murder (?) of a respected man, Aaron Seaver,  in Grand Blanc, Genesee County, Michigan.

The emphasis in this part of the defense testimony is the guns and the ball markings.  Two witnesses said that the ball that killed Aaron Seaver was not fired by the rifles at the Seaver house, and that the ball fired was not made by the molds made after the event.  

Aaron Seaver (1793-1857) is a second cousin, six times removed to me.  Our common ancestors are my 7th great-grandparents, Joseph Seaver (1672-1754) and Mary Read (1680-????).

Stay tuned!!  The cross-examination of Charles Seaver is next.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 25: #32, Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825)

Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post Challenge:  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  Here is my ancestor biography for week #25:

Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) is #32 on my Ahnentafel List, and is my 3rd great-grandfather. He married Abigail Gates (1797-1867) in 1817.

I am descended through:

*  their son, #16, Isaac Seaver III (1823-1901), who married #17 Lucretia T. Smith (1828-1884) in 1851.
*  their son, #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922), who married #9 Hattie Louisa Hildreth (1857-1920), in 1874.
*  their son, #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942), who married #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962) in 1900.* their son, #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983), who married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002), in 1942.
*  their son, #1 Randall J. Seaver (1943-....)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Name:                     Benjamin Seaver [1–9]   
*  Alternate Name:       Benjamin Sever [12–15]
*  Sex:                        Male   
*  Father:                    Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816)   
*  Mother:                   Martha Whitney (1764-1832)   
2) INDIVIDUAL FACTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Birth:                      15 November 1791, Westminster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [1–2]
*  Military Service:      1812 (about age 21), Massachusetts, United States [10]
*  Heir:                       22 May 1817 (age 25), inherited part of father's estate; Westminster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [11]   
*  Deed:                      4 January 1818 (age 26), bought the one and a half acres his father had purchased from Josiah Kendal, for $32; Gardner, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [12]
*  Deed:                      4 January 1818 (age 26), bought the land in Westminster which was the whole of the real estate apportioned to his minor siblings Martha, Silas, Isaac, Rozilla, and Mary Jane Seaver; Westminster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [13]    
*  Census:                  1 June 1820 (age 28), Westminster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [3]
*  Deed:                     19 April 1823 (age 31), sold land in the northerly part of Westminster to Isaac Seaver for $780; Westminster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [4]
*  Deed:                     1 February 1825 (age 33), bought 15 acres and 22 rods of land in Westminster from Gilman Thurston and Moses Thurston for $300; Westminster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [5]
*  Death:                    25 May 1825 (age 33), Westminster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [6-7]
*  Burial:                    after 25 May 1825 (after age 33), Whitmanville Cemetery, Westminster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [8]   
*  Probate:                 8 June 1825 (age 33), petition of administration filed by widow; Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [9]   
2) MARRIAGES AND CHILDREN (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Spouse 1:                Abigail Gates (1797-1867)   
*  Marriage 1:              2 March 1817 (age 25), Westminster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [14–15]   

*  Child 1:                   Abigail Seaver (1817-1899)   
*  Child 2:                   Lucinda Seaver (1821-1899)   
*  Child 3:                   Isaac Seaver (1823-1901)   
*  Child 4:                   Benjamin Seaver (1825-1836)  

4) BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

 The birth record in the Westminster, Mass. Town Records, under "Benjamin Seaver and Marthy his wife family records" says:[1-2]

"November 15th 1791.  Benjamin Seaver Jun^r born " 

Benjamin Seaver lived his entire life in Westminster MA.  He apparently was a farmer or yeoman. His surname was spelled either Seaver or Sever.

He served during the War of 1812 in Captain Rice's company, Colonel Messenger's regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia.[10]

The marriage record in the Westminster, Mass. Town Records says:[14-15]

"Feb^y 15 1817; Mr. Benjamin Sever and Miss Abigail Gates both of Westminster March 2;  published for marriage as the law directs."

Benjamin Seaver inherited a 1/10th portion of his father's estate in 1817.[11]  On 22 May 12817, he received 51 acres and 132 rods of the home farm, and agreed to pay each of the minor children (of his father) $28.

As Benjamin Sever, yeoman of Gardner, he bought, for $32, the one and a half acres his father had purchased from Josiah Kendal, dated 4 January 1818.[12]

He bought, for $1,480, the land in Westminster which was the whole of the real estate apportioned to his minor siblings Martha, Silas, Isaac, Rozilla, and Mary Jane Seaver, who were represented by their guardian, Heman Ray, dated 4 January 1818.[13]  In both of these transactions, the land was auctioned to the highest bidder with 30 days notice given in Westminster, Princeton and Worcester, but the highest bidder refused to take a deed or security, and the grantor bargained with the grantee and agreed to the price.

In the 1820 US Census, the Benjamin Seaver family resided in Westminster township, Worcester County, Massachusetts.[3] The household included one male aged 26-45, one female aged 0-10, and one female aged 16 to 26.

Benjamin Seaver, yeoman, with his wife Abigail signing, sold land in the northerly part of Westminster to his brother, Isaac Seaver for $780 on 19 April 1823.[4]  The land was bounded by land of Merari Spaulding, the heirs of Jabez Fairbanks, John Jackson, Asa Rand, Daniel Howe and Hannah Whitney 

On 1 February 1825, he bought 15 acres and 22 rods of land in Westminster from Gilman Thurston, yeoman of Westminster,  and Moses Thurston, yeoman of Cambridge VT, for $300.[5] The land was part of a farm lately owned by Benjamin Bigelow, and bounded by land of Benjamin Seaver deceased, the county road to Ashburnham, Asa Rand, Jonas Whitney and Nathan Merriam  
Benjamin Sever died in 1825, the Westminster, Mass. Town Records say:[6-7]

"Benjamin Sever, parent of the above family, died May 25th 1825 aged 33 years and 5 Months"

The gravestone inscription for Benjamin and Abigail Seaver in Whitmanville Cemetery in Westminster, Massachusetts says:[8]

"Benjamin Seaver
 May 25 1825
AE. 33
wife of
Isaac Seaver
formerly wife of
Benj. Seaver
died Jan. 4 1867
AE. 69."

Benjamin Seaver died intestate in 1825, and his probate papers are in Worcester County Probate Records, Probate Packet 52,866.[9]  Abigail Seaver petitioned the court to nominate John Jackson of Westminster as administrator of the estate on 8 June 1825, saying:

"The Petition of the Widow Abagail Seaver of Westminster in said County, humbley represents that her late Husband Benjamin Seaver of said Westminster is dead and that she is altogether unacquainted with doing business and besides she is left with four young children to take care of and that it will be impossible for her to administer upon said estate."

Bond of $10,000 was posted by Merari Spaulding and Daniel Howe, sureties.  An inventory was taken by Edward Kendall, Zebina Spaulding and Daniel Howe on 5 July 1825, showing Real estate of $1000 (the Home Farm with the buildings thereon) and Personal estate of $996.10.  A warrant was issued to Daniel Howe, Zebina Spaulding and Benjamin F. Wood to set out the widow's dower rights, and they were granted to Abigail Seaver on 4 October 1825.

On 23 March 1826, the estate was represented as insolvent, and a commission of Edward Kendall and Simeon Sanderson was formed.  A petition to sell the real estate to pay the debts was formed.  Upon the bond of John Jackson, an affidavit was filed for the sale.  An advertisement for the sale of the personal estate was printed 17 May 1827.  A list of bills and the account of Abigail Seaver of the articles she took at the appraisal and what were sold at private sale was presented.  John Jackson presented his account of the estate, which was allowed 17 May 1827, with a balance of $29.13 to be paid "to the Widow of said deceased to enable her to uphold life."

Abigail Seaver was appointed guardian of her four minor children on 1 April 1826 with Isaac Seaver, Nathan Wetherbee and Henry Collidge, Jr posting $5000 bond as sureties.  An inventory of the property belonging to the four children included 13 and a half acres of pasture and woodland and a cider mill and house, amounting to $30, filed 6 October 1827.

1. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, digital images, (, Westminster Births, Marriages and Deaths, Births, page 38 (penned), Image 116, Family of Benjamin and Marthy Seaver.

2. Systematic History Fund, Vital Records of Westminster, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Worcester, Mass.: F.P. Rice, 1908), Births, page 83: Benjamin Seaver entry.

3. 1820 United States Federal Census, Population Schedule, Worcester County, Massachusetts, Westminster town, online database, (, Page 108, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M33, Roll 54.

4. Worcester County, Mass. Registrar of  Deeds, "Worcester County (Mass.) Deeds (1722-1866) and Index to Deeds (1731-1889)", Volume 301, Page 153, recorded 28 June 1834, on US/CAN FHL Microfilm 0,848,968.

5. Worcester County, Mass. Registrar of  Deeds, "Worcester County (Mass.) Deeds (1722-1866) and Index to Deeds (1731-1889)", Volume 246, Page 43, recorded 5 July 1825, on FHL Microfilm US/CAN 0,845,760.

6. Massachusetts, Town Records, 1620-1988, digital images,, "Westminster Births, marriages and deaths", page 246 (penned), image 223, Family of Benjamin and Abigail Sever.

7. Systematic History Fund, Vital Records of Westminster, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849, Deaths, page 247: Benjamin Seaver entry.

8. Whitmanville Cemetery (Westminster, Massachusetts), Grave Markers, Benjamin Seaver gravestone.

9. "Worcester County, Massachusetts Probate Court Records" (Worcester County Probate Courthouse, Worcester, Mass.),  Probate Packet 52,866, Benjamin Seaver (1825) estate, widow's petition for administration.

10. William S. Heywood,  History of Westminster, Mass. (first named Narragansett no. 2) (Lowell, Mass. : S.W. Huse & Co., 1893), Seaver family sketch.

11. Worcester County, Massachusetts Probate Court Records, 1731-1916, volume 48, page 493, Benjamin Seaver (died 1816) estate partition;  FHL microfilm FHL Microfilm US/CAN 0,856,327).

12. Worcester County, Mass. Registrar of  Deeds, "Worcester County (Mass.) Deeds (1722-1866) and Index to Deeds (1731-1889)", Volume 246, page 48, recorded 5 July 1825, on FHL Microfilm US/CAN 0,845,760.

13. Worcester County, Mass. Registrar of  Deeds, "Worcester County (Mass.) Deeds (1722-1866) and Index to Deeds (1731-1889)", Volume 246, Page 50, recorded 5 July 1825, on FHL Microfilm US/CAN 0,845,760).

14. Massachusetts, Town Records, 1620-1988, digital images,, "Westminster Births, Marriages and Deaths", page 299 (penned), image 379, Marriage of Benjamin Sever and Abigail Gates.

15. Systematic History Fund, Vital Records of Westminster, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849, Marriages, page 186: Benjamin Sever and Abigail Gates entry.


Copyright (c) 2014, Randal;l J. Seaver

Thursday, June 19, 2014 Giveth, and Taketh Away

Now that is back online, seemingly whole, I discovered that the Side Panel in the Ancestry Member Trees is gone.  I described the Side Panel, and showed it, in Member Tree Changes (11 August 2013) last year. 

Today, when I ventured into my Ancestry Member Tree again, I was on the Pedigree Chart screen and saw:

On the screen above, with the blue background, is the message:

"The side panel is no longer available.  Please hover over the person in your family tree to view and edit the profile."

What's up with that?  Is this a product improvement, or a fallout from the unfortunate DDoS attack?  I don't know - maybe Ancestry will tell us in a future press release.

OK, I can live without it, although it was a fairly easy way to see the Hints without a lot of clicking.

If I hover over a person, then I can see the information about a person, as shown below:

From that person profile, I can click on my choice of a number of links for:

*  The name to go to the profile
*  The "Ancestry hints" link to see just the Unreviewed Hints.
*  The "View profile" link to view the profile
*  The "Quick edit" link to edit the person's vital information
*  The "Search records" link to search information about the person
*  The "View his family tree" to see his ancestry
*  The "Add relative" link to add a sibling, spouse or child to the tree.

All of those links are very useful and do exactly what they claim to do.

I clicked on the "Ancestry hints" link because I wanted to see what records have been associated with Isaac Seaver since the last time I checked.

The Ancestry Hints" page opened and showed me the six "Unreviewed Hints" for Isaac:

I do attach these records to my persons, but I also download them to my computer hard drive, since I also attach them as Media to my family tree genealogy software program.

I clicked on the first one on the list, and saw:

I reviewed the new information on the left of the screen, compared it to what I have in my tree on the right of the screen above, and clicked on the orange "Save to your tree" button.

Then I clicked on the record image thumbnail (it's in the left-hand side of the screen above) and saw the record:

I could then click on the orange "Save" button to save the record image to my computer hard drive.  
Once on my hard drive, I can rename it (I use a naming convention like "IsaacSeaver-1901-DeathRecord-LeominsterMA-MassVR1841to1915-1901-image1724of2724.jpg") and move it to my Seaver surname file folder and Isaac's family file folder.  

After I Saved the Hint, my Unreviewed Hints list was reduced by one, and my Accepted Hints list was increased by one.  

Why do I save the record to my computer files?  Well, one reason is that may go down more often.  Another reason is that I may choose to not renew my subscription with them, and would not be able to see the record in my tree.  I always say "Hints are great, but don't rely on a website to always be there when you need it."

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver