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Query Number: 1308-2 August 2013

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Requested Information:

Donn contacted SGS trying to locate any information on his mother, born Allie Marcelia Seeley at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, on 24 Jun 1938. On her birth certificate her father is listed as William Mearill Seeley. His birth date is not listed; instead, it says that at the time of his daughter’s birth he was 39 years old. His wife, Donn’s grandmother, was Jessie Pearl Dew. She also has no birth date listed , just her age at the time of Allie’s birth, which was 27. According to the birth certificate, William Seeley was born in New York, but it doesn’t say where. Jessie was born in Canada. William worked at the Ford Motor Company. Donn never met William Seeley, and he was really never talked about in the family.

Requester: Donn Osborn | my.dream@frontier.com

Initial Response Information:

1940 census Detroit, Wayne, MI
• Dew, Simeon J, age 56, b. CAN, steel work at auto factory
• Dew Allie M, age 46, wife b. MI
• Seeley, Jessie P, age 29, married, b. CAN, dau
• Dew, Alexander L, age 26, son, divorced, b. CAN, delivery for merchants
• Seeley, Allie M, age 2, gr-dau, b. MI

1940 census Southfield, Oakland, MI
• Boyd, Raymond, age 42, b. MD, resided Ferndale MI in 1935, hospital attendant
• Boyd, Elizabeth, wife, age 34, b. NY, parents b. NY, resided Ferndale in 1935
• Seeley, Viola, step-dau, age 16, b. MI
• Boyd, Ruth, age 11, Wallace, age 9, Warren, age 6, Donn,a age 5, Marlene, age 2, ch, all b. MI
• Seeley, Mearill, lodger age 42 b. NY, stock chaser for auto manufacturer

(In 1930 Raymond and Elizabeth Boyd are in Royal Oak, Oakland, MI, with his step-daughter Viola C Seeley, age 6, b. MI, and daughter Ruth Y Boyd, age 1 yr 10 mo, b. NY)
1920 census Detroit, Wayne, MI
• Seeley, Mearill W, age 21, b. NY, parents b. CAN automobile driver; he is a boarder with the Martin R Moorish family
• http://news.nnyln.net/potsdam-courier-freeman/potsdam-courier-freeman-1963-january-1964-april/potsdam-courier-freeman-1963-january-1964-april%20-%201399.pdf
• This shows the wedding of Mary Lang to Mearill Boyd Seeley, son of Mr and Mrs William Seeley of Canton (NY), 27 Mar 1963. The couple will reside in Michigan.
• http://news.nnyln.net/potsdam-courier-freeman/potsdam-courier-freeman-1983-april-december/potsdam-courier-freeman-1983-april-december%20-%200275.pdf
• This is the obituary of Viola LaSiege of Ogdensburg (NY), who was b. in Detroit MI, 10 Oct 1923, daughter of Mearill and Elizabeth Corlew Seeley
• http://news.nnyln.net/potsdam-courier-freeman/potsdam-courier-freeman-1959-april-1960-june/potsdam-courier-freeman-1959-april-1960-june%20-%201380.pdf
• An article dated 30 Jun 1960 about military service of Warren Albert Boyd and brother Mearill R Boyd, sons of Mr. and Mrs. William Seeley of Canton, NY.

Here is Elizabeth Corlew Seeley’s obituary : “CANTON – Elizabeth M. Seeley, 83, Hudson, Mich., formerly of the Butternut Ridge Road, Canton, widow of Merrill W. Seeley, died Tuesday at the home of her son, Merrill, in Hudson, with whom she had resided. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at the O’Leary Funeral Home, with Rev. George Sndyer, Baptist minister, officiating. Burial will be in Crary Mills Cemetery at a later date. Calling hours will be 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
“Surviving are three sons, Wallace L., Farwell, Mich., Warren A., Canton, and Merrill R., Hudson; a daughter,
Mrs. William (Donna) Kyle, Whitmore Lake, Mich., and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“Three daughters, Viola LaSiege, Ogdensburg, Mrs. James (Ruth) Machie, Clare, Mich., and Mrs. Victor (Marlene) Gardner, Canton, died previously.
“Born in East Syracuse May 15, 1905, a daughter of George and Elizabeth Ackerman Corlew, she attended East Syracuse schools. She married Merrill W. Seeley in 1939, in Detroit, Mich.
“The couple lived in Detroit after their marriage, where Mr. Seeley was associated with the Ford Motor Co. for 45 years. They came to the Canton area in 1957 and operated a dairy farm on the Butternut Ridge Road for 15 years until retiring in 1970. Mr. Seeley, also a native of East Syracuse, died in June 1979, at the age of 81.”
Published in the Watertown Daily Times (NY), 31Mar 1988, Page 24.
SS Death Index
• William Seeley, b. 29 Nov 1898, d. Jun 1979, Canton, Saint Lawrence, NY, USA, Civil: Michigan

Merrill William Seeley’s obituary: “CANTON — Funeral services for Merrill W. Seeley, 81, Butternut Ridge Road (Rt. 4), Canton, were held Tuesday, June 12, 1979, from the O’Leary Funeral Home of Canton, Rev. J. David Wolcott, pastor, Canton United Methodist Church officiating. Burial was in Crary Mills Cemetery. Mr. Seeley was pronounced dead on arrival at Potsdam Hospital 9:15 a.m. Saturday (June 9, 1979). Surviving are his wife Elizabeth; four daughters, Mrs. Viola LaSiege, Ogdensburg, Mrs. James (Ruth) Mackie, Clare, Mich., Mrs. William (Donna) Kyle, Detroit, Mich., and Mrs. Victor (Marlene) Gardner, Canton; three sons, Wallace L. and Merrill R., both of Detroit, and Warren A., Canton; 27 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
“Mr. Seeley was born in East Syracuse Nov. 29, 1897, son of George and Agnes Seeley. He attended East Syracuse schools and as a young man moved to Detroit, Mich., where he became associated with Ford Motor Co. He continued with that company for 45 years prior to retiring. He married the former Elizabeth Corlew in 1939 in a ceremony performed in Detroit. They moved to this area in 1957, where they operated a dairy farm on the Butternut Ridge Road for 15 years. Mr. Seeiey retired in 1970 from the Dairy business and the couple continued to reside on the home farm.”
That led me to:
MI Death Index
• Ruth Y MacKie, b. 14 May 1928, d. 11 Feb 1985, Midland, Midland, MI, resided Farwell, Clare, MI

1900 census DeWitt, Onondaga, NY
• Seeley, George W, b. Aug 1856, CAN, CAN, CAN, to US in 1891, farmer, md 23 yr to
• Seeley, Agness, b. Apr1858, CAN, CAN, CAN, 4 ch, 4 living
• Seeley, Norah, age 19, Fred, age 14, both b. CAN, CAN, CAN

Two houses away is the family of George and Etta Corlue, ages 38 and 32, b. NY, 7 ch, 6 living
In 1910 the Corlew family is still in DeWitt:
• Corlew, Mary, age 70, widow, b. NY, NY, NY

• Corlew, George, son, age 49, md 29 yr, b. NY, NY, NY
• Corlew, Albert, age 12, and Elizabeth age 5, grchildren, both b. NY, NY, NY
• Corlew, Charles, age 27, md 6 yr ,to Winne age 26, no ch, both b. NY

1910 census Granby, Oswego, NY
• Seeley, George, age 55, b. CAN, CAN, CAN, farmer, md 34 yr to
• Seeley, Agness, age 53, b. CAN, CAN, CAN, 4 ch, 4 living

Next family
• Seeley, Fred, age 23, b. CAN, CAN, CAN, farmer, md 4 yr to
• Seeley, Anna, age 21, b. NY, NY, NY, 2 ch, 2 living
• Seeley, Ethel age 2, Mile,s age 1 yr 2 mos, both b. NY, CAN, NY

1881 census Elizabethtown, Brockville, ONT
• Seely, Philip G, age 27, b. ONT, Peddler
• Seely, Agness, age 25, b. ONT
• Seely, Miles, age 3, b. ONT

1891 census Brockville City, Brockville, ONT
• Seeley, Philip, age 35, b. ONT, father b. ONT, mother b. US, baker
• Seeley, Agnes, age 33, b. ONT, ONT, ONT
• Seeley, Watson, age 13, b. US, ONT, ONT, Laura, age 9, Anna B, age 9, Frederick, age 5, all b. ONT, ONT, ONT

1892 NY census Syracuse, Onondaga, NY
• Seeley, Agnes, age 32, b. CAN
• Seeley, Watson, age 14, b. St Lawrence Co., NY, Anna B and Norah, both age 10, Frederick, age 6, all b. CAN

Now we have at least two myseries:
1. Mearill William/Merrill William/William Merrill obituary says he is the son of George and Agnes Seeley. They appear in both the 1900 and 1910 censuses, but Merrill is not with them, and the 4 children Agness claims to have are all accounted for in census records.
2. It looks as though William Mearill Seeley and Elizabeth Corlew were married and had Viola (or they were not md???); then she married Raymond Boyd and had 5 or 6 children; then she married (or remarried) William in 1939. But the 1940 census indicates that Elizabeth is still married to Raymond Boyd, and the children are all surnamed Boyd except for Viola. Meanwhile, William married Jessie Dew and had Allie and then left her to go back to Elizabeth. Both Elizabeth and Merrill claim all the children are theirs in both obituaries, but Merrill never mentions Allie, his dau. by Jessie Dew.

If anyone has information on Merrill Seeley and how he might be related to these children and to George and Agnes Seeley please get in touch with us.


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