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Query Number: 1402-1 February 2014

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Requested Information:

Carol has just started to work on her family tree and has found conflicting information on the parents of her great-grandfather, Harmon P Seely, b. 11 Oct. 1844, Rome, WI, d. 11 Jan. 1941, Centralia, IL. One source lists John D. Seely as his father and Almira (Stewart) Seely as his mother, but another source lists Elijah Davis as his father and Almira as his mother. Carol turned to SGS for help.

Requester: Carol Stanley | manleycj@netwitz.net

Initial Response Information:

The SGS Ancestor File lists the parents of Harmon P. Seely as Elijah Davis Seely and Almira Swert and shows him marrying Henrietta Norman in 1876 in Cherokee Co., IA. The sources listed include the IGI, the census and an obituary.
The obituary is also available on the SGS website:
Harmon P. Seely – January 11, 1941 – Centralia, IL

Harmon Seely Dies In Illinois
Word was received last week of the death of Harmon P. Seely on Jan. 11 at Centralia, Ill where he has been living since 1929. Mr. Seely was a Civil War veteran and had lived in Crook County some time. He was the father of John D. Seely of the Seely community.
Harmon P. Seely was born at Rome, Wisconsin on October 88, 1884** and lacked only a few years of reaching the century mark. He was the son of E.D. and Elmira Seely. When about the age of 16 he moved to Iowa with his parents and enlisted as a private in Co. D. 16th Iowa Volunteers known as Crocker’s Iowa Brigade.
Mr. Seely, always known as Dad, fought in the historic battle of Shiloh and a short time later was taken prisoner at Iuka, Miss. Months when he was exchanged for a southern soldier held in a Union camp. He stood in the front lines at Atlanta and Nashville and fought in the siege of Vicksburg.
He was married to Henrietta Norman on March 4, 1876 from which union four children were born, one girl died at two years and one son, B.E. died in May, 1911. A son, H.N. lives at Centralia where the deceased has been the last 12 years, and John D., the remaining son, lives at Seely.
Harmon Seely lived in Iowa on a farm for some years and in 1905 moved to Miller, S.D. where he followed the carpenter trade until Jan. 1910 when he moved to Crook county in the vicinity now known as Seely. He remained here until 1929 when he moved to Centralia. His wife preceded him in death, having died July 4, 1937.
In addition to his sons, he is survived by four grandsons, three granddaughters and six great grandchildren.
Published in the Crook County News, (Wyoming), January 31, 1941 front page
** Date of Birth incorrect as printed. The 1900 Census shows October 1844.
Harmon P. is the son of SGS # 3449: Harmon P.; Elijah Davis (# 3449); Daniel (# 1554); David; Charles; Samuel; Jonas; Obadiah.
There’s an Illinois death record that lists Harmon’s father as John D., but that is his son. That’s not surprising, I often see incorrect information on death certificates. Sometimes informants do not know that it asks for the father of the deceased and put the names of their own fathers, or the transcribers put the informant’s name where the father’s name should go.
1850 census Sullivan, Jefferson, WI
– Seely, Elijah D, age 35, chair maker, b. NY
– Seely, Almira D, age 35, b. NY
– Seely, Eliza, age 11, b. NY; Harmon, age 5, b. WI, Millard, age 1, b. WI
– Landeraff, George, age 17, farmer, b. Germany
In 1860 ED Seeley age 44, Almira, age 44, Eliza, age 19, Harmon, age 14, and Millard, age 11, are in Boone, Hamilton, IA.
I found a biography of Harmon’s father, Elijah Davis Seeley, at: http://ow.ly/tTeUx
It says Elijah’s wife was Almira Frink. The children include Harmon, who is listed as Harrison. I would guess that whoever wrote the book couldn’t read their notes and mis-read his name.

Clinton – Garfield Cemetery Rolfe, Pocahontas County, IA
– The cemetery is located south of Rolfe in Section 4 (SW corner) and Section 9 (NW corner), Garfield Township, Pocahontas County, IA
– Seely, ______ (father), D, 122, 2, no dates
– Seely, Almira Frink, 1891, D, 122, 4, wife of E.D., died age 79 years
– Seely, Lulu, 1881, 1882, A, 75, 4, dau of H. P. & H.

I have corrected the name of Harmon’s wife in Ancestor File, based on the biography and the cemetery record.

Responder: Query Editor

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