Thursday, January 10, 2019

Seavers in the News -- Robert Seaver (1922-1944) Drowns in California

It's time for another edition of "Seavers in the News" - a weekly 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 Democrat and Chronicle [Rochester N.Y.] newspaper dated 19 July 1944:

The transcription of the article is:

"Soldier from Webster Drowns in California; Rites Tomorrow

"Pvt. Robert Seaver, 22 was drowned last Sunday in California, the Red Cross has informed his father, Walter Seaver, Phillips Road, Webster.  The accident occurred at Russian River near Santa Rosa, the Red Cross telegram said.  Private Seaver's wife, the former Fern Tiede of Webster, was with him at the time of the tragedy.  He was studying in an Army pre-medical course at Stanford University.

"A graduate of Webster High School, he entered service on Nov. 8, 1942 and received basic training at Cap Tyson, Tenn., before being sent to California.

"Besides his wife and father, he is survived by three sisters, Mrs. Ruth Harris, Penfield; Mrs. Lois Bristol and Mrs. Marjorie Parsons, both of Fairport, and his grandfather, Charles Seaver of Webster.

"The body has been taken to the Smith and Lotze Funeral Home, Webster, and military rites will be conducted at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow by Cottreall-Warner Post, American Legion.  Burial will be in Webster Rural Cemetery."

The source citation for the article is:

"Soldier From Webster Dies in California; Rites Tomorrow," Democrat and Chronicle [Rochester N.Y.]  newspaper, Sunday, 9 July 1944, page 49, column 3, Robert Seaver obituary;   ( : accessed 10 January 2019).

This obituary of Robert Seaver's World War II death in California names his wife, his father, his three married sisters, and his grandfather. 

 I searched my RootsMagic family tree database for all of them, and came up empty.  So I did the next best thing, which was to search for each of them on, and the family was easily found.  The great-grandparents came from Germany and settled in upstate New York.  Therefore I didn't have them in my database.  Now I will have them in my database and will be able to add life events for them in my database and in my online trees, in hopes that I can help other researchers find them too.

I am not related to this particular Seaver line to my knowledge.

This death seems very tragic to me, and i'm sure it was for the family.  Here is a young man, probably newly married, enlisted in the U.S. Army, studying to be a medical doctor at Stanford, who takes his wife on a little side trip to a river in California, and drowns in the waters.  And they notified the family by telegram, which was likely the standard method they used at the time.  


Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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