Thursday, January 23, 2020

Seavers in the News -- Marian M. Seaver Dies in 1918 in Santa Cruz

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  Santa Cruz [Calif.] Evening News newspaper dated 24 October 1918:

The transcription of the article is:

"Mrs. Marian Seaver, Pioneer, Passes Away
"Mrs. Marian Seaver, for half a century a well known resident of Beach hill, passed away last evening at her home on Third street after a sudden, short illness, in which her heart was fatally affected.

"Although the light had long since passed from her eyes, Mrs. Seaver had never lost that light of the heart which led her to give generously and unostentatiously, particularly to the needy.  The faithful daughter, Miss Alice Seaver, with whom Mrs. Seaver lived, has given up years of service upon her afflicted mother and feels keenly the bereavement which leaves her alone in the house.

"Mrs. Seaver was born in England seventy-nine years ago, coming to this country as a young woman.  Her husband passed on about twenty years ago.  She is survived by two daughters, Miss Alice and Mrs. Clara Edwards of New Orleans, and two sons.  John Davis, a nephew residing in San Francisco and a close and faithful friend of the dead woman, is expected in Santa Cruz today.

"The funeral will be held from Wessendorf & Son's funeral parlors tomorrow afternoon, to be followed by open air services at the grave in Odd Fellows cemetery.  Rev. M.L. Laybourn will officiate."

The source citation is:

"Mrs. Marian Seaver, Pioneer, Passes Away," Santa Cruz [Calif.] Evening News newspaper, obituary, Thursday, 24 October 1918, page 5, column 6, Marian M. Seaver   ( : accessed 23 January 2020).

Isn't that a great description of this woman - "Although the light had long since passed from her eyes, Mrs. Seaver had never lost that light of the heart which led her to give generously and unostentatiously, particularly to the needy."  Apparently, Marian was blind, and her daughter Alice was her caretaker and companion.  

The obituary names only her two daughters, Alice and Clara, and her nephew, John Davis, and notes that there are two sons.  She died 23 October 1918 in Santa Cruz, California.

Since the obituary doesn't name her husband or her sons, I wondered if I could find her in my RootsMagic family tree.  It took a bit of digging, but I found her.

Marian Maria Watling (1839-1918) was born in January 1839 in Holbeach, Lincolnshire, England, the daughter of John Hammond and Elizabeth (Gott) Watling.  She married William Harvey Seaver (1821-1895) in about 1858, perhaps in California.  I don't know the parents of William Harvey Seaver, but census records indicate that he was born in Massachusetts in about 1821.

William Harvey and Marian Maria (Watling) Seaver had six children:

*  Clara Harriet Seaver (1859-1924), married 23 July 1889 to William Sawyer Everett/Edwards (1860-1942) [a name change? - the marriage record says Everett, the census and death records say  Edwards].
*  William Seaver (1861-????).
*  Edward Hammond Seaver (1863-1926), married 1898 to Ida May Reed (1875-1945).
*  Marion Elizabeth Seaver (1867-????)
*  Charles A. Seaver (1872-1939)
*  Alice B. Seaver (1877-1961)

The two sons not named in the obituary must be Edward and Charles.

I am probably a distant cousin of William Harvey Seaver, but don't know the relationship because I don't know who his parents are at this time.

There are over 8,000 Seaver "stories" in my family tree - this was one of them.   Life happens, accidentally and intentionally, and sometimes a person is gracious and kind.  I am glad I can honor Marian Maria (Watling) Seaver today.


Disclosure:  I have a complimentary subscription to and have used it extensively to find articles about my ancestral and one-name families.

Copyright (c) 2020, Randall J. Seaver

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