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Robert Seaver

Birthplace: England, (Present UK)
Death: Died in Roxbury (within present Boston), Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
Place of Burial: Boston, MA, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Unknown father of Robert Seaver; Thomas Seaver and Unknown mother of Robert Seaver
Husband of Susannah Seaver; Elizabeth Seaver and Sarah Burrell Seaver
Father of Shubael Seaver; Caleb Sever; Joshua Seaver; Elizabeth Craft; Nathaniel Seaver and 2 others

Occupation: Came to Roxbury in the "Mary and John" March 24, 1633/4. Freeman 1637., arrived in Boston in the spring of 1634 on the Mary and John
Managed by: Private User
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About Robert Seaver

Seaver Name Meaning & History:

English: from medieval personal name Sefare, continuation of unattested Old Eng female name, S?faru, composed of elements s? ‘sea’ + faru ‘journey’. Name has also been established in Ire since early 17th Cent.

Source: Dictionary of Am Family Names, Oxford Univ Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4

According to tradition earliest mbr of Seaver family came in Cromwell's army into Ire. He settled in townland of Trea, near Armagh, which he led under Primate of that See, & his name was Charles Seaver. Coat of arms borne by branch of family in Ire is only 1 known...

Immigration: 3/24/1633 via "Mary & John". Wife's father also on same ship. Settled in Roxbury, MA 1634. Elected Selectman 1635.


Robert Seaver b c1608, Eng, d 13 May 1683, Roxbury, Suffolk Co, MA (VR, 635); m1 Elizabeth Ballard 10Dec1634, Roxbury, Suffolk Co, MA (VR, 360); she b Bef 1616, Eng, d 6Jun1657, Roxbury, Suffolk, MA (VR, 635 ); he m2 Sarah Burrell 4Mar1661/62, Roxbury, Suffolk, MA; she d 18Dec1669, Roxbury, Suffolk, MA (VR, 634, burial); he m3 Unk Bef 1683, prob MA.

Notes for Robert Seaver:

Robert Seaver's origins in Eng not known. There were Seaver families in several co's of Eng during 16th & 17th Cents-including Berkshire, Kent, Yorkshire, Essex & Oxfordshire. There was also lrg Seaver family in Northern Ire during 17th Cent onward. History of Robert Seaver in Roxbury. Early generations of descendants were summarized by William B Trask in "Seaver Family," in New Eng Historic Genealogical Reg, Vol 26, p 303-323, Apr 1872 ("Trask"). Many early Roxbury town records mention Robert Seaver, & were transcribed from "Minutes of Town Records of Roxbury, 1648-1846," Boston [LDS Microfilm 0,478,562]. Town records were pub by Robert J Dunkle & Ann S Lainhart in "Town Records of Roxbury, MA 1647 to 1730", Boston, New Eng Historic Genealogical Soc, 1997 ("Roxbury TR"). Since this bk is more readily available to most readers, p #'s from latter will be referenced. Robert Seaver embarked on ship "Mary & John" out of London, Robert Sayres, master, 24Mar1633/4. He took oaths of supremacy & allegiance to pass to New Eng. Ship landed in Boston, & Robert Seaver was living in Roxbury, MA June 1634. [Trask, 303] Robert Seaver m1 Elizabeth Ballard, whose family history & passage to New Eng are unk. Roxbury Town Records give Elizabeth's surname as 'Allard", [Roxbury Vital Records, 360] but Church Records, in early list of admissions, has following: "Elizabeth Ballard, a maide servant-she came in the year 1633, & soone after joined to the church-she was afterwards married to Robert Sever of this church, where she led a godly conversation." [Walter Edward Thwing, "History of 1st Church in Roxbury MA, 1630-1904," published Boston, 1908 ("Roxbury CR")]. In 1635, Gen'l Court stated "noe dwelling howse shall be built above halfe a myle from the meeteing howse, in any newe plantacion without leave from the Court (except myll howses & Ferme howses of such as have their dwelling howses in some towne)." Confirmed next yr, w/addition to order, it should extend to all towns w/in their jurisdiction. Above statement explains following grant of court to Robert Seaver & others, dated 23May1639: "Jasper Gun, Robert Seaver, Abraham Howe, John Tatman & Robert Sary, upon their petition, had leave granted them to continue in the houses which they have built, & do dwell in, though they bee above halfe a myle from their meeting house." This "halfe a myle law" was repealed in 1640. [MA Bay Colony Records ("MBCR") 1:257] Robert Seaver was made freeman 18Apr1637 [MBCR 1:373]. Name is written on town & church records as Seaver, Sever, Seavers, Civer, etc. Robert apparently wrote his name "Seaver" on petition to Gen'l Court dated 31May1647, signed by 64 freemen & soldiers of Roxbury, praying confirmation by court of Hugh Pritchard as capt of military co in Roxbury, having been chosen by these persons to act as their commanding officer. (Trask, 303) Robert Seaver's homestead was located in Roxbury at what is now (approx) intersection of Center & Amory St. His property list, taken from Roxbury town records ["Minutes of town records of Roxbury, 1648-1846, Record of houses & lands, 1659-1716", Boston, LDS Microfilm 0,478,573] c1652, includes: "Robert Seaver, his house & lot, one accre more or lesse. Butting upon John Bowels west, upon the highway & the river east, north & south; & two accres & a halfe, more or lesse, upon Phillip Elliot south & east, upon John Bowles north; & ten acres more or lesse upon John Bowles north & upon a highway south, & upon Muddy River northwest. And four accres & a halfe more or lesse upon Muddy River northwest, upon a highway east, upon William Lewis south & upon William Heath's heires north; & four & twenty accres & a halfe lying in the first & third allotments of the last division, being the nine & twenty acre lott betweene Griffin Craft & Mr Hugh Prichard & fourteen acres within the thousand accres at Deddam & four acres of salt marsh more or less lying in the iland lately Capt Hugh Prichard's, abutting upon the land of William Curtiss east, upon Daniell Ainsworth & George Brand north & upon the river south & west; & three accres more or lesse, abutting upon the land of Robert Pepper north, upon William Curtisse east, upon John Ruggles Junior south & upon the highway toward the great pond Northwest."

"Robt Seaber" & others purchased parcel of marsh land, being island by reason of creek running thru it, in Roxbury from estate of Capt Hugh Pritchard 25Jun1651. Robert Seaver rec'd 1/8 part of marsh land lying on south of William Lyon & John Mayes. [Suffolk Co Deeds, 1:144, LDS Microfilm 0,493,932]. “Robert Sever” was constable during 1655. His acct was filed 23 12th mo 1655 for country rate of 34 pounds, 11 shillings, 3 pence. 11Feb1661, Robert Seaver & Griffin Crafts signed notice they found no hiway to Braintree. [Roxbury TR, 15]. Roxbury Church Records record Elizabeth (Ballard) Seaver's death: "1657, buryed, mo. 4, day 9, Sister Seaver, ye wife of Robert Seaver." [Roxbury VR, 635] 11Feb1661, “Robert Seauer,” w/4 others, signed notice they found no hiway to Braintree. [Roxbury TR, 32] Robert Seaver m2 Sarah Burrell 4Mar1662, but she was buried 18Dec1669. Sarah was widow of John Burrell [Suffolk Co Deeds 6:194, LDS Microfilm 0,493,933]. They had no children. “Robert Sever” was chosen as a "bayly" for yr 18Jan1663, w/his orders to be given him by selectmen. [Roxbury TR, 40] Robert Seaver was chosen as 1 of 5 selectmen of Roxbury 15Jan1665. [Roxbury TR, 53] 29Jan1666, Treasurer of county ordered by selectmen of Roxbury to pay him 34 shillings for repair of county bridges leading to Dedham & Cambridge. [Roxbury TR, 252] 9Apr1672 Robert Sever was paid 3 shillings for carting [Roxbury TR, 64]. 12Feb1673, he was paid 1 pound for 3 loads of wood for military watch, candles & his own powder distributed for town's use. [Roxbury TR, 84] 2 interesting & potentially tragic incidents concerning Robert Seaver's property occurred, as reported in Roxbury church records. 28Oct1667, about break of day, thunder & lightning occurred which fired haycock of 4 loads of hay & burned [Roxbury CR, 203]. 7Oct1673, abt 9 o'clock at night, house of Robert Seaver was fired thru carelessness of maid who went into chamber to order cheeses, her light fired thatch & house was burned down, but much of belongings were saved, as was barn. [Roxbury CR, 211] He was soldier in King Phillip's War in 1675/6. He signed petition that students of Harvard should not wear long hair. Robert Seaver d 13May1683, age abt 75 according to Roxbury town records. Roxbury Church records say: "1683, mo 4, day 6, Robert Seaver an aged Christian, buryed." [Roxbury VR, 635] Inventory for Robert Seaver says he d 5Jun1683. Robert Seaver made his will 16Jan1681, & it was proved 3Jul1683. It was recorded at Suffolk Co Probate Office [Suffolk Co Probate Records, 6:416, LDS Microfilm 0,584,128]. Will reads: "I, Robert Seavers of Roxbury, in the County of Suffolk, sick & weake of body, yet of good & perfect memory. My will is that after my decease my wide [widow] shall have halfe my Estate during her life, after the legacies hereafter mentioned are disposed out of the whole, & also my will is as long as my wife shall remain my widow she shall have liberty to continue in my house & make use of such goods as are convenient for her, & also shee shall have a quarter part of the Orchard & the use of two Cowes & the garden as long as shee shall continue in the house & remain my widow; that when shee marrieth or see good to depart from the same shee shall halfe the income of my estate paid her, legacies first disposed of, the use of my house, goods cows, garden, & quarter part of the Orchard to my wife for her use as Superfluity besides half the income of my estate as long as shee continueth, & also my will is that my wife shall have the moveables shee brought with her. "After my decease, my son Shuball all my salt marsh in the land, to them & their heirs forever, & also my sons shall have no power to sell or alienate any of said marsh from their heires; & my will is that they shall change their parts every year as it is divided by a small creeke, because one part is better than the other. That after my sone Caleb shall have that pasture land against his house upon the great hill that my son Samuel Crafts after my decease shall have the piece of swamp land that runneth from widow Heath's land straight over to the upland to the other side butting west upon the Brooks. That my executors pay to John Seavers, my grandchild, six pounds at his marriage day, but if he lives not to marry then the same to be equally divided between my four children mentioned; that the other halfe of the estate be equally divided between my four children, & after my wife's decease that all my lands & moveables bee also divided between my four children. "Son Samuel Crafts & son Caleb Seavers Executors. Wm. Carey & Joseph Grigges, Overseers, Jan 16 1681.

Robert Seaver

"In the presence of us, Phillip Searles -- John Craft, Acknowledged July 5, 1683."

Inventory of Robert Seaver's estate totaled 430 pounds, 5 shillings, 8 pence, including 300 pounds in real estate [Suffolk Co Probate Records, 9:130, LDS Microfilm 0,584,129].

  • housing, orchard, barn & garden (90 pounds)
  • 16 acres pasture land or thereabout lying in Roxbury known by name of Huckleberry Hill (40 pounds)
  • 24 acres land in Roxbury called further lot (100 pounds)
  • 6 acres pasture land lying south side of great hill in Roxbury (24 pounds)
  • 4 acres salt marsh lying in island in Roxbury (38 pounds)
  • 2 acres fresh meadow lying at Bear Marsh in Roxbury (8 pounds)

4 children referred to in will are sons Shubael, Caleb & Joshua, & dtr Elizabeth, m Samuel Crafts. Grandson John was son of Nathaniel Seaver, killed by Indians at Sudbury in 1676 during King Phillip's War.

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Robert Seaver's Timeline

May 14, 1598
Plymouth, Plymouth co., Massachusetts
May 14, 1598
Plymouth, Plymouth co., Massachusetts
May 14, 1601
Plymouth, Plymouth, Ma
May 14, 1601
., Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts
England, (Present UK)
Age 30
Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
August 30, 1641
Age 32
Roxbury, Massachusetts Bay Colony
August 30, 1641
Age 32
Roxbury (within present Boston), Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)