Friday, September 16, 2016

Seavers in the News - Dolly Seaver Murdered in New Hampshire in 1845

Occasionally, I go looking for interesting newspaper articles about persons with my ancestral surnames.  I found an interesting one today on GenealogyBank:

The transcription of this article is:

"At the Court of Common Pleas in Portsmouth, N.
H., last week, Messrs. Monroe Colcord, Elihu Col-
cord, John A. Webster, Nathan Eaton, Stephen Eaton
and John Silloway, were tried for the murder of Dolly
Seaver, at East Kingston, in July last.  They went
to the house of Mr. Seaver, the husband of the de-
ceased, drove the family away with stones, and tore 
the house down.  One of the stones struck Mrs.
Seaver upon the head, and she died the next morn-
ing.  They were acquitted."

The source citation for this record is:

"Trials for Murder, &c," Boston [Mass.] Courier newspaper, Tuesday, 8 September 1845 issue, page 2; online database, GenealogyBank ( : accessed 16 September 2016),

Dolly (Carter) Seaver (1800-1845) was the wife of Elisha Seaver (1795-1855), and had two young children at the time of this event.  She died 30 July 1845 according to the New Hampshire Death Records, 1654-1947 record collection on FamilySearch.  Now I know the cause of death.

Elisha Seaver is my 4th cousin, six times removed, according to my RootsMagic family tree program.

The perpetrators were acquitted.  I often wonder how history would be changed if incidents like this had not occurred.  Dolly (Carter) Seaver might have lived a longer life, and enjoyed having grandchildren.  Her daughter, Adeline (Seaver) Davis had married in June 1845.  Did this event affect the six young men who did this offense?  Did it straighten them up, or did it lead to a life of crime?  We will likely never know.


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1 comment:

Dawn Carlile said...

It makes you wonder what would have happened if she had not died. And what was behind the perpetrators actions.

Wonderful find. I love reading old newspapers.