Thursday, January 28, 2021

Seavers In the News -- Mrs. Rachel B. Seaver Died in Boston in 1857

  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 Boston [Mass. ] Investigator newspaper dated 15 July 1857:

The transcription of the article is:


"Died -- In this city, on the 8th inst., after a painful and a lingering illness (occasioned by cancer,) Mrs. Rachel B. Seaver, widow of the late James N. Seaver, and daughter of the late Mr. Adna Bates, aged 50 -- The remembrance that departed friends have led useful and upright lives furnishes consolation to rational and reflecting minds when death removes from them the objects of their affection and regard.  In this respect, the memory of Mrs. Seaver is soothing to her relatives and friends.  Her whole live was passed in good and honest pursuits, according to her conscientious convictions of truth and duty. She practically illustrated, in a remarkable degree, the sterling virtues of integrity, kindness, and justice, and thus proved by her deeds that her "life was in the right." In respect to religious opinions, she was a Christian, and, we can safely add, in the best sense of the term. Charitable and forgiving in her creed, and pure and truthful in her disposition, her piety was sincere, unaffected, and honestly entertained in the workings of an intelligent and inquiring mind improved and disciplined by much reading and reflection. But she was not merely a passive believer.  Her religion was practical and of the Samaritan kind which went about doing good. -- Many of the poor and unfortunate in this city will henceforth look around in vain for their benefactress, and while they bless her memory, mourn the absence of her kind face and open hand,  Through all the sufferings of her sickness, and amid the intensest paid, her trust and resignation never forsook her; the patient and quiet submission to her severe lot showed a wonderful strength of mind that could thus triumph over the ravages of a most painful disease and the absolute certainty of approaching death; and when the final hour came, she met it with the calmness and tranquility of one who had always walked in the light of an unaccusing conscience and the strength of a solid character. "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold."

The source citation is:

"Obituary, Boston [Mass.] Intelligencer newspaper, Wednesday, 15 July 1857, page 3, column B, Rachel B. Seaver obituary;  GenealogyBank   ( : accessed 28 January 2021).

This obituary provides a death date and place, husband's name, father's name, and an age, plus several paragraphs of praise for this woman.

Rachel (Bates) Seaver (1807-1857) was the daughter of Adna and Rachel (Briggs) Bates of Cohasset, Massachusetts.  She married James N. Seaver (1805-????) on 21 March 1830 in Boston, Massachusetts.  They had one son that I have been able to find in the records:

*  James Thomas Seaver (1832-1895), who married Elizabeth Davis Smith (1828-1899) in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

I have been unable to place James N. Seaver as a son of a Seaver couple, although I suspect that he is the James Seaver (1804-????) who was the son of Nathaniel and Hannah (Loker) Seaver of Boston, Massachusetts.  The editor of the Boston Investigator newspaper was Horace Seaver (1810-1889), who was a famous atheist, "free thinker" and abolitionist in his day.  Horace also was a son of Nathaniel and Hannah (Loker) Seaver.  This obituary may be for his sister-in-law whom he likely knew well.  

I wrote about my search for the search for James Thomas Seaver's parents in Seavers in the News - Post 6: Almost Finding James T. Seaver's Parents back in July 2014.

Horace (and perhaps James N.) Seaver is my 5th cousin 5 times removed, with common Seaver ancestors of  my 9th great-grandparents Robert and Elizabeth (Ballard) Seaver.  

There are over 10,000 Seaver "stories" in my family tree - and this was one of them.   Life happens, accidentally and intentionally, and sometimes a person is a good Christian admired by many. I am glad that I can honor Rachel (Bates)Seaver today.  

You never know when a descendant or relative will find this blog post and learn something about their ancestors or relatives, or will provide more information about them to me.


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

Copyright (c) 2021, Randall J. Seaver

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