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Query Number: 1802-1 February 2018

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Requested Information:

Christina has been trying to unravel a mystery about her grandfather, Walter Clarence Grant. According to Christina’s mother, Walter was b. 22 September 1883 and moved from the Boston area to Santa Cruz, CA circa 1915. She located WC Grant’s Selective Service records online, and in the 1917/18 draft he listed his “nearest relative” as: Frank Albert Seeley of Great Barrington, Massachusetts. She also found Selective Service records for Frank Albert Seeley, born Jan. 5, 1874.  F. A. Seeley listed his “nearest relative” as Emma Seeley of Great Barrington, Massachusetts.  As Seeley was 44 at the time of this record, Christina supposes that Emma Seeley might have been his wife.  Christina’s elderly mother longs to find out anything about her father’s past. He told his California wife and children only that his father was also named Walter Clarence Grant, Sr., his mother’s name was Agatha Seeley, and that there was a possible sister named Doris. Upon his death, his widow (my mother’s mother, Hilda V. Anderson) revealed that W.C. Grant had had a wife and child in the East, both deceased before he came to California. Nothing is known of them, no names, no addresses. The trail is very cold. I am hoping that with the impressive network you seem to have involving Seeley family lore, you might be able to place Frank Albert Seeley, and help connect him to my grandfather, Walter Clarence Grant.


Requester: Christina Waters | xtina@ucsc.edu

Initial Response Information:

As with any query I first try to verify the information from the submitter.

WWI Draft record (12 Sept 1918)

  • Walter Clarence Grant, age 35, b. 22 Sept 1883, resides Boulder Creek, Santa Cruz, CA, working as a grocery clerk in Boulder Creek, nearest relative: Frank A Seeley, Boston, MA

1920 census Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

  • Grant, Walter C. age 34, b. MA, MA, MA, salesman at retail grocery
  • Grant, Hilda V age 26 b. CA, NOR, NOR
  • Grant, Virlyne F age 2 mos b. CA, MA, CA
  • Anderson, Anna, mother-in-law age 67, widow, b. NOR, NOR, NOR, to US in 1874

1930 census Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

  • Grant, Walter C. age 42, b. MA, NOR, NOR, retail merchant in grocery he owns, md 11 yr to
  • Grant, Hilda V age 36, b. CA, MA, MA
  • Grant, Virlyne F age 10, Merlyn M age 6, Walter C. Jr age 5, all b. CA, MA, CA

In Santa Cruz in 1940 the family is Walter C age 54, Hilda V age 48, Marie M age 16 and Walter C age 15


  • Walter C Grant b. 23 Sept 1884 MA, d. 14 Sep 1960 Santa Cruz

US Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists

  • Walter Grant, departed Bordeaux, France on 23 Dec 1918, arrived Newport News, Virginia on 5 Jan 1918 (1919?) on the ship Pocahontas
  • He resides Dorchester, MA and names his sister Miss M. L. Grant as next of kin
  • He is in Co. B 358 Inf. As a 2nd


1880 census Boston, Suffolk, MA (South Boston)

  • Grant, Walter C age 40 b. Nova Scotia, IRE, IRE, printer
  • Grant, Mary age 36 b. Prince Edward Island, IRE, IRE
  • Grant, William T age 16, Mary C age 14, Edward age 12, all b. PEI, NS, PEI; Gertie age 3, Chas F age 11 mos, both b. MA, NS, PEI
  • Flynn, Jos W age 23, boarder b. NS, NS, NS, printer

1900 census Boston, Suffolk, MA Ward 24

  • Grant, Walter C b. Mar 1840 CAN, CAN, CAN, printer, md 36 yr to
  • Grant, Mary b. Apr 1846 CAN, CAN, CAN, 10 ch., 5 living
  • Grant, Gertrude b. Apr1877 compositor, Charles b. July 1879, painter, both b.MA, CAN, CAN

1900 census Boston, Suffolk, MA Ward 9, Precinct 7

  • Grant, Hannah b. Jan 1854 CAN, CAN, CAN, widow, housekeeper, md 28 yr, 7 ch., 7 living
  • Grant, Mary T b. Nov 1875, MA, CAN, CAN; Everett F b. Nov 1879, grocery clerk, Hannah M b. May 1882 table girl, John J b. Apr 1885, meat store boy, Walter b. Sept 1886, all b. CAN, CAN, CAN

1910 census Boston, Suffolk, MA Ward 9, Precinct 7

  • Grant, Hannah age 58 b. NS, IRE, IRE, widow, was md 32 yr, 7 ch., 6 living
  • Grant, John J age 22, laundry washer; Walter age 24, teamster for store, both b. NS, NS, NS


  • Walter C Grant b. 12 June 1873 Boston, Suffolk, MA to Walter C Grant, printer b. NS and his wife Mary b. IRE


  • Walter C Grant, age 7 mos., d. 11 Jan 1874 of bronchitis, son of Walter C Grant, b. NS and his wife Mary b. IRE

In conclusion, we can see that the WWI Draft Registration says that relative Frank A Seeley lives in Boston (not Great Barrington which is at the other end of the state) but no specific address is given. I can’t identify a Frank Seeley in Boston that seems to have any relationship to Walter Grant. While there is a Frank Albert Seeley in Great Barrington, he also seems to have no connection to Walter. Further the only Walter C, son of Walter C Grant in Boston (or surroundings) died as an infant in the 1870’s. If anyone can shed some light on the relationship between Frank Seeley and Walter Grant, or can definitely tie Walter to his parents, contact your Query Editor.

Responder: Query Editor

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