Thursday, September 13, 2018

Seavers in the News - Florence Seaver Attacked in 1927 in Birmingham, Alabama

It's time for another edition of "Seavers in the News" - a semi-regular feature from the historical newspapers about persons with the surname Seaver that are interesting, useful, mysterious, fun, macabre, or add information to my family tree database.

This week's entry is from the The Shreveport (La.) Times newspaper dated 14 February 1927:

The transcription of the first obituary is:


"Birmingham, Ala., Feb. 13 (AP) -- Wielding an iron furnace crank, an unidentified marauder early Sunday dangerously wounded Miss Florence Seaver, 16-year-old daughter of Major and Mrs. Thomas C. Seaver, when he struck her on the face when she awakened and found the man ransacking the room.

"After attaching the girl the robber locked Mrs. Seaver in her room and set fire to a linen closet in the hallway halfway between the two rooms.  The assailant then escaped with $45 in currency and other valuables.

"Mrs. Seaver was awakened by the smell of burning clothing.  When she went to the door of her room she found it locked.  Unable to arouse her daughter, the frantic mother climbed from her second-story on to the roof of the porch and screamed for help.

"The woman's cries aroused neighbors, and when Mrs. Seaver told them her daughter was locked in the burning house they attempted to rescue the girl.  Finding smoke pouring from the building when they started to enter, an alarm was turned in.  They entered the home, but were unable to reach the injured girl, being driven back by smoke.

"Firemen made their way to the room of the mother and daughter and rescued both.  The victim was found unconscious in the smoke-filled room."

The source citation for this article is:

"Burglar Fires House, Locking Two in Rooms,The Shreveport [La.] Times newspaper, dated 14 February 1927, page 1, column 4, Florence Seaver article; digital image,   ( :  accessed 13 September 2018).

What a frightening story - as we know, "if it bleeds, it leads!"  The article raises a number of questions:

*  Did Miss Florence Seaver survive?

*  Who were Maj. and Mrs. Thomas C. Seaver?  Was the father in the military?  

*  Did Florence have any siblings?

*  Is this family in my RootsMagic database with thousands of other Seaver folks?

I answered the last question first:  No, Thomas C. Seaver, his wife, and Florence (born about 1910) were not in my RootsMagic database.

A search for "flo* seaver" born about 1910 resulted in 1910 and 1920 U.S. census records with her parents.  That led me to information about the parents and five children born to Thomas and Florence (Daighton) Seaver, and spouses and other information about the children, including birth and death dates.  The father, Thomas C. Seaver, apparently was a major in the Salvation Army.  The family moved around the country over the years.

So Florence had four siblings, and she did survive this attack and married in 1934.  From the records available on, I was able to find that:

*  Thomas Charles Seaver was born 18 May 1873, and baptized 27 July 1873  in Brighton, Sussex, England, the son of Jonathan Pockrich and Maria Nicolina (Leeson) Seaver.  He immigrated to New York on 20 May 1893 and filed a naturalization petition on 29 March 1900 in New York.  He married Florence E. Daighton in about 1898 in New York.  She was born in October 1872 in England.  

They had five children:

*  Charles Lincoln Seaver, born November 1898, died 29 June 1908 in Washington, D.C.

*  Thomas William Seaver, born 27 May 1902 in Morristown, N.J., died 24 May 1993 in Manchester, Conn.  He married 11 July 1934 in Portsmouth, N.H., to Frances J. Pike.  Frances was born 10 March 1911 in Portsmouth, N.H., and died 6 April 2003 in Mount Laurel, N.J.

*  Douglas J. Seaver, born about 1904 in New Jersey, died 6 November 1978.  He married 26 December 1941 in Camden, N.J. to Miriam Helen Goodman, born 3 November 1915 in Camden, N.J., died 2 August 2011 in Biddeford, Maine.

*  Faith Seaver, born 18 November 1905 in New Jersey, died 11 October 200 in New York City, N.Y.  She married before 1930 to Edward Carey.  Edward Carey was born 13 January 19056 in England, and died 19 June 2001 in Laconia, New Hampshire.

*  Florence A. Seaver, born 14 August 1909 in Washington, D.C., died 4 June 2011 in New York.  She married 27 August 1934 in Maine to Walter H. Squibb.  Walter Squibb was born 10 July 1904 in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and died November 1985 in Asbury Park, N.J. 

In the 1900 U.S. Census, the Thomas C. "Seaven" (as indexed) household resided in Reading, Schuyler County, New York.

In the 1910 U.S. Census, the Thomas C. "Staver" (as indexed) household resided in Lowell, Mass.

In the 1920 U.S. Census, the Thomas C. "Seaver" (as indexed) household resided in Arlington, Mass.

In the 1930 U.S. Census, the Thomas C. "Seaver" (as indexed) household resided in Kearny, N.J.

In the 1940 U.S. Census, the Thomas C. "Seaver" (as indexed) household resided in Ocean Grove, N.J.

From this newspaper article, I was able to add these persons to my database, my Ancestry Member Tree and FamilySearch Family Tree for descendants to find and perhaps add to their profiles.

I am not related to this Seaver line.


Copyright (c) 2018, Randall J. Seaver

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