Tuesday, March 2, 2021

What Is the Maiden Name of Ann (--?--) Seaver (1807-????)? - Part 4

We are finally getting to the records that will help us answer the question!

In What Is the Maiden Name of Ann (--?--) Seaver (1807-????)? - Part 1, we walked through the available records for Ann's husband, Nathaniel Seaver (1803-1859), except for one set of records.  Ann was a part of the 1850 and 1855 census records, but was not mentioned in Nathaniel's birth, city directory or death records. 

 In What Is the Maiden Name of Ann (--?--) Seaver (1807-????)? - Part 2, we looked at Nathaniel Seaver's probate records in Rensselaer County, New York.  He left everything - all personal and real property - to his wife Ann.  He did not name any children as heirs.

In What Is the Maiden Name of Ann (--?--) Seaver (1807-????)? - Part 3, we looked at the 1860 U.S. Census record for Ann (--?--) Seaver.  After I published that, I looked for probate records for Ann Seaver in Rensselaer County, New York, but did not find any.  What happened to the real property she received from Nathaniel's estate?  Perhaps she deeded it to someone.  So I looked for land records in Rensselaer County for Nathaniel Seaver and found several between 1854 and 1863, and I need to review them.  I looked for land records for Ann Seaver and did not find any listings up through 1897.  Ann may have married again and there may be records in her new married name.  Ann may have died soon after 1860, or moved to another location.

In this post, I want to show the first letter written by Nathaniel Seaver to Levi Coy in 1846.  My correspondent, Patti, found this letter in a family collection, and shared it in her Ancestry Member Tree - see it here: 

My transcription of this letter is:

                                    "Troy october 25 1846

"Respeced Brother and sister I have a few moments this
Morning to devote in writing to you whitch I have neglected
For some time we are wel and may those lines reach you
Enjoying the same grate blessing we feel very anxious to
hear from you as we have not heared a word from the east
Sense Ann returned she arived safe home the next night
After she left at 12 oclock rode on the out side all the
Way found me gone & had gone to the west again but return'd
The next weak  Ann wants you to write soon on the receipt of
This all the particulars in regard to mothers helth and
Comfort [8 words crossed out].  Mr Coy I
Want you and Jane to come over this winter and make us
A visit I see nothing to hender and have Robart and lucy
Come with you when you answer this ^write^ whether you will
Come or not say yes and we will pass away a weake verry
Plesent come the first slaying please to write how Lorra
Is and Emily also and John and family I have nothing more
Of importance to write the small pox is raging hear to a grate
Extent thair is a good ^menny^ dies with it I will give you the
Price of some of the eatables hear flour is $6.50 potatoes
From 50 to 62-1/2 cents apples 75 cents evrything else in
Proportion So I must close give my best respects to mother
And the rest of the family tell them I am in good spirrits
                                                 Yours Afectionally til Death
To Levy Coy                                    Nathaniel Seaver

The other side of the paper has the address of:

"Mr. Levy Coy
                       Post Office

There is a postmark dated 27 October in Troy, N.Y.

My summary of this letter is that Levy Coy is a brother relationship of some sort to either Nathaniel and Ann.  Ann visited the Levy Coy family recently in Colrain, Franklin county, Massachusetts , and returned home.  Nathaniel asks about the health of "mother" and asks Mr. Coy and Jane, with Robart and Lucy, to come visit them for a week at the first "slaying."  He inquires about Lorra, Emily and John.  

I don't know what "slaying" is - perhaps it means "riding a sleigh?"  Or killing animals for food at a certain time of year.  

Troy, New York and Colrain, Massachusetts are about 73 miles apart by road according to Google (see map below):
We don't know what route Ann took to get home to Troy, but it was likely close to the one shown.  She "rode outside the whole way" may refer to a (stage?) coach or wagon with inside and outside (up top?) seats.  She left one day and arrived late the next night.  So perhaps she stayed overnight in Wilmington or Bennington, Vermont.

Nathaniel was in the "west" when she arrived home - he may have friends or relatives he visited in New York or even further west - his brother resided in Michigan.  The Erie Canal provided transportation out of Troy, Albany or Schenectady to western New York and the Great Lakes in 1846. 

Who are these people, and how are they related to Ann and/or Nathaniel Seaver?  At least we have some names of friends or relatives, we don't know which yet.  "Mother" kind of implies that this is family.  Nathaniel Seaver and Levy Coy may be brothers-in-law - married to sisters, or Levy may be married to a sister of Nathaniel (but Nathaniel had no known sisters!).  Or "brothers" could refer to two men of the same religious faith.  

We can't draw many conclusions yet because we haven't seen all of the evidence.  The next letter should help us work it all out.  I will also publish Patti's evaluation of the evidence that she shared with me though email, including her knowledge of the Coy family. 

Thank you to Patti for finding these letters and working to try to determine the relationship of Ann to Levy Coy and his family. 


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