Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Seavers in the Newspapers - William A. Seaver's Will in 1883

I had some free time today, so I went searching for Seaver folks in the historical newspaper collections on GenealogyBank.  An interesting article was this one titled "William A. Seaver's Will" in the New York Herald newspaper, dated 15 February 1883, on page 8.  Here is the screen shot of the GenealogyBank article:

The image of the article is:

The transcription of this article (not the actual will) is:

             WILLIAM A. SEAVER's WILL
The will of the late William A. Seaver, editor of
Harper's Drawer, was filed yesterday in the Surro-
gate's Court at White Plains.  The estate is situ-
ated at Mount Vernon, Westchester county, and is
estimated to be worth about $200,000.  The will is
dated November 6, 1882, and appoints the Metro-
politan Trust Company as executor.  It provides
for the disposition of the estate as follows: -- To the
widow, Mrs. Harriet Seaver, is bequeathed all the
furniture, works of art, library, horses and car-
riages and other personal property.  The executors
are directed to sell all the real estate and apply the
proceeds thereof to her benefit during her life.  At
her death, in addition to an annual income which
is guaranteed to the decedent's brother David
from the date of the probate of the will, and
amounting to $1,200, he is to have the benefit of the
the proceeds of $50,000, which sum is to be invested for 
that purpose.  To his brother's children, John W.,
Ella M., and Charlotte L. Seaver, the income on
$15,000 each is to be paid; to James E. Seaver and
Ella Spencer, children of his brother James E.
Seaver, the interest upon the earnings of $10,000 is
to be paid.  Olive M. Seaver, widow of his brother
Lucas, is to receive the income upon $10,000; Mary
M. Brady, daughter of Judge John R. Brady, is to 
receive the income upon $5,000.  The income of
$10,000 is set apart for Charles B. Seaver.  Nelson
G. Rogers and Rev. James Belles are to receive the
earnings of $1,000.  For the purpose of erecting a
monument the sum of $2,000 is set apart.  The
residuary legatees are John W. Seaver, Ella M.
Seaver and Charlotte L. Seaver.

The source citation for this newspaper article is:

New York [N.Y.] Herald newspaper, digital image, GenealogyBank (, Thursday, 15 February 1883, page 8, "William A. Seaver's Will" article.

My RootsMagic database has thisi nformation about this man:  William Augustus Seaver (1815-1883) was the son of William and Naomi (McCleary) Seaver, born in Albany, New York and died in Mount Vernon, New York.  He married Harriet Hull (1817-1898) in 1836, and had three children - William Hull Seaver (1837-1866), Harriet Langhorne Seaver (1839-1842), and Elliott Seaver (1849-1851).

Since all three of his children died before he did without issue, William A. Seaver's heirs-at-law became his siblings (and their heirs).  He had six siblings, but only David Seaver (1833-1892) was still alive when William A. Seaver wrote his will.  The children of his other siblings - his nieces and nephews - included:

*  John W., Ella M. and Charlotte L. Seaver were children of Daniel McCleary Seaver (1816-1862) and Charlotte Ann Bennett (1835-1915).
*  James E. Seaver and Ella Spencer were children of James Everett Seaver (1821-1853) and Nancy Keith Follett (1824-1892).
*  Charles B. Seaver is a son of Daniel McCleary Seaver (1816-1862) and Esther Mary Bassett  (1817-1841).
*  His brother Lucas Seaver's wife Olive M. Seaver is mentioned, but their son Lucas Seaver is not mentioned.

I don't know who Mary M. Brady, Nelson G. Rogers and Rev. James Belles are - perhaps they are close family friends, business colleagues of William, or relatives of Harriet (Hull) Seaver.

The way I read this, the principal money for each legatee was to be invested and they were to receive the annual proceeds from the investment.  I don't know what became of the principal - was it left to the heirs of the legatees, or did it revert back to William A. Seaver's heirs?  This is a newspaper article, and not the original will, which may explain the legacies accurately.  I haven't searched for the actual will yet in the or FamilySearch New York Probate databases.

This was fun - it's always nice to see a wealthy Seaver family.  As with other families, a wealthy man with no living children can be a real benefit to the nieces and nephews!


Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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