Wednesday, March 3, 2021

What Is the Maiden Name of Ann (--?--) Seaver (1807-????)? - Part 5

 We are almost there - will the family letters 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 What Is the Maiden Name of Ann (--?--) Seaver (1807-????)? - Part 4, I posted and transcribed the first letter that my correspondent Patti found in her family's collection.  The letter from Nathaniel Seaver, Ann's husband, was to "brother" Levy Coy of Colrain, Massachusetts, and referred to Ann returning from her stay in Colrain, and mentioned a number of other family members - Jane, Robert Lucy, Lorra, Emily, John and "mother."

In this post, I want to show the second letter written by Nathaniel Seaver to Levi Coy in 1850.  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 Dec 9'th 1850

Respected brother and sister we have not heared
Enny thing from you pertickuler sense John left hear
Last Spring thairfore I have concluded to write you a
Fue lines and let you no we are alive and boath of
Us are well and in good spirrits we want to see you all
Verry mutch but would be verry thankful if we could
Hear from you we shall not be able to visit you this
Winter but we shall expect you to come and make us a
Visit this winter without fail you can come as well as
Not and you must come besure to bring Lucy Jane with
you Jane I wish you to write me on the receipt of this
All the perticulars about our folks write whair Arad has
Gone and who went with him and when he mooved also
Write whair Robert is and what he is doing likewise write
All perticulars in regard to mother whether she lives
with John yet and how her helth is write all you can
Think of Please to inform me how John is prospering as
I feel a little anxtious to no as I have had som thoughts of
Calling on him for what he owes me this winter to use
In my business but if things is all right I shall try to
Do withought it til spring you nead not mention this
To John without you think best I dont think of ennything
More to write at present Ann send her best Respects to you
All and give mine to all that inquire.
                                               Yours Afectionatly
To Levy and Jane Coy                     Nathaniel Seaver

"P.S. Tell Sister Laury we want she should write us a
Line and let us no whare she lives and how she prospers
And when she will come over and make avisit."

The cover sheet paper has the address of:

                    "Mr. Levi Coy
                  Adamsville Colrain

There is a postmark dated 10 December in Troy, N.Y.

In the left margin of the cover sheet that says:

"Nathanel Sever
Nathanel Sever Troy in the State of New"

This letter has the same tone and folksiness - and spelling errors - as the previous letter from 1846.  John made a visit in the spring of 1850 and "mother" may have moved in with him.  Laury is called a "sister" and Arad is a new name.  Robert has moved somewhere (and in 1850 it may be to gold country in California!).

My thought is that Nathaniel Seaver is writing these letters because his wife, Ann, is not literate.  The same may be true for Levi and Jane Coy.  Ann and Jane are probably helping Nathaniel and Levi write the letters back and forth.  My guess is that there were many more letters, but only these two letters have survived for 170 years. 

My working hypothesis (and Patti's working hypothesis too) is that Ann (--?--) Seaver is a biological sister to Jane (Donelson) Coy.  These letters were received by the Coy family and were in a family collection that came down to Patti who is a 2nd great-granddaughter of Levi and Jane (Donelson) Coy through their daughter Lucy Jane Coy (1839-1910).  But who is "mother" and who are all of the other persons mentioned in the letters?  Are they all related to Ann?  It seems "complicated" - as most families are!

We will look at Patti's family tree in the next post to try to identify the players in our little study, and then see if Ann is mentioned in any record for the Donelson family.

Thank you to Patti for finding these letters and working to try to determine the relationship of Ann (--?--) Seaver to Levy and Jane (Donelson) Coy and his family. 


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