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Query Number: 1411-1 November 2014

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Requested Information:

Kari emailed me that she works for the Richard Allen Co., a jewelry and antiques dealer in Hoffman Estates, IL, a northwestern suburb of Chicago. She said that they recently were fortunate enough to come across an item belonging to Bertha Wagner Seely. Kari was hoping to learn a little more about her family history.

Requester: Kari Madden | Kari@richardallenjewelers.com

Initial Response Information:

There is a Bertha Elmira Wagner, b. 1865, in Cressona, Schuykill Co., PA, md. Lloyd Horatio Seely in 1890, had 3 children, lived in Hazelton, Luzerne, PA, divorced between 1910 and 1920. She had 3 children who lived to adulthood. Her father, Andrew Wagner, was a tinsmith.
From findagrave.com
– Bertha Elmira Wagner Seeley
– B. 1865, PA; d. 14 Jul 1920
– Wife of Horatio L. Seeley
– Parents: Andrew B. Wagner (1840 – 1917) and Emeline Berger Wagner (1843 – 1895)
– Siblings:
Charles Lincoln Wagner (1861 – 1936)
John F. Wagner (1863 – 1940)
Elmer Edward Wagner (1868 – 1957)
Robert M. Wagner (1874 – 1885)
Chester A. Wagner (1880 – 1949)
Bertha is buried at Vine Street Cemetery, Hazleton, Luzerne, PA.
However, I was a little concerned that there didn’t seem to be anything to tie Bertha to the Chicago area.
When I sent Kari this information, she responded, asking about Bertha’s being the granddaughter of George Washington, noting that she saw this on our Website. I asked her to send me the link since I wasn’t finding it myself. She sent me to http://www.seeley-society.net/bios-ly/bio-berthawarnerseely.html, and then she realized she was actually interested in Bertha Warner Seely! This is a good example of how easy it is to go down the wrong path.
Here is Bertha Warner Seely’s bio:
SEELY, Bertha Warner, 660 Lexington Av., New York City
Sec. Y.W.C.A. ; b. Cummington, Mass., Sept. 19, 1883; dau. Charles D. and Susan L. (Warner) Seely; ed. Brockport (N.Y.) State Normal School: Bryn Mawr Coll., A.B. ’05. Private sec. Bryn Mawr Coll., 1905-07; sec. Horace Mann High School, N.Y. City, 1907-12; sec. Dep’t of Conventions and Conferences of Nat. Board of Y.W.C.A., 1912-13. Mem. Woman’s Trade Union League, Caroline Club for Social Workers. Congregationalist (John William Leonard, ed., Woman’s Who’s Who of America, A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women of the United States and Canada 1914-1915, New York: The American Commonwealth Company, 1914: 729).
[Granddaughter of George Washington SGS # 2739 – Bertha Warner; Charles DeLoss; George Washington (# 2739); Loren/Lorin; Benjamin; Benjamin; Joseph; John; Nathaniel; Robert]
Of course, this isn’t THE George Washington. Bertha’s grandfather is George Washington Seely. From earlier research, we know that Bertha married George Quincey Dunlop and died by the time of the 1930 census. She had a daughter, Mavis Helen Dunlop, b. in IN. Further research led me to Bertha’s obituary, Mavis’s wedding announcement, and Mavis’s obituary. Family members lived in Rochester, NY, Cleveland, OH, and Indianapolis, IN, which makes the jewelry turning up in the Chicago area seem more plausible.
Additionally, I did some more research on the other Bertha: Bertha Wagner Seely. It turns out that she was the first wife of Lloyd Horatio Seeley, grandson of SGS# 1924 Dr. Lloyd Seeley of CT.
1900 census Hazleton, Luzerne, PA
– Seeley, Horatius L, b. Apr 1869, PA, PA, PA, confectionary salesman, md. 10 yrs. to
– Seeley, Elmira, b. Oct 1866, PA, PA, PA, 4 ch, 3 living
– Seeley, Helen, b. Jun 1891, Arthur, b. Dec 1897, Florence, b. Feb 1899, all b. PA, PA, PA (The family was also together in Hazelton in 1910: Loyd H Seely, Bertha E, Hellen J, Arthur L and Florence A.)
1920 census Hazleton, Luzerne, PA
– Seeley, Elmira B, age 54, divorced, b. PA, PA, PA
– Seeley, Helen J, age 28, ins. co. cashier, Arthur L, age 22, transit man for engineering corps, Florence A, age 20, stenographer for supply co., all single, all b. PA, PA, PA
– Wagner, John F, brother, age 56, tinsmith
We didn’t have Bertha’s name in the SGS Ancestor File nor her son Arthur nor complete information on her grandchildren.
If you would like more information on either Bertha or one of these families I’m happy to send it to you.

Responder: Query Editor

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