THE CALL TO THE AMERICAS

This page is still under construction and is being continually updated....If anyone has any details of any American Seamons, who can be linked back to the Bucks Seamons mentioned on this site, please contact me via email with any details you would like added here. I must express my gratitude to Helen Hilliard, for the massive amount of information, letters, photos, etc that she has provided me. I am still working through these and editing this section as I go.

Prologue

While this website has concentrated on the family line in Weedon, and its extension to Australia, there were also members of the Weedon family who migrated to both the USA and Canada. The family name and descendants now abound in those countries, and this page highlights the details of some of the families that made the trek to that continent.

It should be noted, however, that the Seamons name exists in many American family websites on the internet dating from the early 1700’s. The origins of these families cannot be clearly linked to the Seamons of Bucks lines, and are more likely to have emanated from the Seamons of Suffolk lines. The Suffolk line of the Seamons name has been traced back to before the 1600’s in England, however a clear linkage to the Buckinghamshire Seamons family has not been able to be identified.

The first of the Seamons family to make the voyage to America  were the brothers William and Edmund Seamons

In the spring of 1832, these two sons of William Seamons and Anne Brooks, left Weedon for America. But before their departure there was a spate of weddings. First, Edmund took the plunge a few days after turning 24 and married a Sunday School teacher from Whitchurch, named Mary Loader. Fifteen days later, thirty three year old William followed suit, and on April 24th 1832 married Mary Judge.

William, Edmund and the two Marys, arrived at New York on 2nd June 1832 aboard the vessel “Henry Kneeland”. The ship’s register records that the four intended to inhabit Ohio.

Their stay was short lived, with different outcomes for both brothers. Scarcely had Edmund started the trek westwards when misgivings began to cloud the enterprise. In one thing he was happy. As the party penetrated the remote Midwest, far from parson, priest, church or chapel, he could pray and exhort on the first day of the week, gathering around him any who wished to join, for before he left Weedon he had been given the status of a Methodist Lay Preacher. Once or twice a comrade fell by the way, or a woman lost her babe. There was no official representative of religion at hand; burial in the summertime could not be long delayed; even the rougher men did not like a comrade to be consigned to the earth without a prayer: then it was Edmund's opportunity to bury the body without coffin or shrouds, but with a reading from the Bible he carried and a prayer which rose from his heart. Apart from these opportunities, he soon discovered the pioneer woman needed physical stamina and her man required the strength of the navvy who had cut the canals in England and would soon carve out the old country’s new railway tracks. Mary lacked the stamina and he lacked the strength. A year later they were back home at Weedon, richer in experience but poorer in purse. The life of an independent farmer was farther away now, than when they married. Like others in the family, Edmund took an inn, first at Aylesbury and then at Thame. The family then began to appear. By 1848 Mary had borne nine children, three of whom had died in infancy. Edmund's later move to Australia can be followed in the Call to Australia.

William’s story in America, however, was different. Physically and temperamentally the little man was said to be “hard as nails”. There was no turning back for him until he had enough money to set himself up as an independant farmer in England. Doggedly he cleared his plot, working often from dawn to dusk, asking nothing from life except bare necessities, hoping to then  cash in on the results of his toil and return home. One with money and less inclination to work made a deal with William; but William knew how to drive a bargain and by 1840 the wanderer had sold his fertile holding, and returned back home as the rich man of the family. His kindly mother (who died in 1842), was at Whitchurch to welcome him.  There was money to stock a rented farm at Waddesdon, only a few miles from Weedon, and enough to buy a three acre plot at Weedon, on which he might build a house for retirement, if such as he could ever retire.  He and Mary made their home together in a farm house at Waddesdon.  He was then in his early forties, and as a Seamons could hope that half of his life was still left to him. In an amazingly short time he had achieved his ambition. Good years lay ahead. The American venture had paid off handsomely for William.

While not settling permanently in America, both William and Edmund were the trailblazers for many of their relations who did make the more permanent move to the Americas.

 

The second of the Seamons family to migrate to America was Sophia Seamons, one of the daughters of Joseph Seamons and Elizabeth Brazier. Joseph was a brother to the trailblazers William and Edmund. Sophia married Edwin Griffen of Tring, in September 1866.

Edwin Griffin, decided to take his wife and their little boy to America in the late 1860's. However, the 1870's had not advanced far when disturbing news came from Sophia in America.  Edwin had died, and she was left in pioneer country with two small children, Ernest and Bertha. Her father Joseph, would have her return to England; her mother was sure there would be room at the Manor Farm for them all. But "Phi" as she was called affectionately, was adamant. She had borrowed money to go to America and she would not become more dependent. She secured work at a pioneer post in the mid west, where she had accommodation for herself and children, and work for their living. She had resource and religion.

It was there that she met a pioneer who proposed marriage to her. She accepted, and in 1876 she married George Griffiths and then followed 2 more children, George and Alice. Joseph and Elizabeth at Manor farm were relieved, not knowing that her home was no more than a shack cut into the hillside. There she gave birth to the twins who were named Alice and George. Hazards of fire were present in summer and in 1877, in the summer season, a prairie fire swept past her dwelling. She fled before it to safety. Her daughter by the first marriage (Bertha) was home with her mother and the twins. Sophia fled before it carrying one baby, and Bertha with the other. The twins were saved, but their older sister later died as a result of burns received in the fire.  Some time later her husband fell from a loaded wagon and the effects of his injuries never completely cleared. They settled in Kansas state as soon as settlement was possible.
 

The descendants of Sophia (nee SEAMONS) and Edwin Griffin:
 
1. Ernest Joseph GRIFFIN (later changed to GRIFFITHS), (1868 - 1950), married Ida, had 2 sons and lived in Talmage, Kansas
 
2. Bertha Elizabeth GRIFFIN (1870 - 1878) Died as a result of a prairie fire.

The descendants of Sophia and George GRIFFITHS:
 
1. George GRIFFITHS, (1877 - ) married , and had 5 sons

  • David George Griffiths
  • Joseph Ernest Griffiths
  • George Irving Griffiths
  • John MIlton Griffiths
  • Walter Edward Griffiths

2. Alice GRIFFITHS (1877 - ) married Walter Mayden and had a number of children

  • Irl (?) Mayden
  • Walter Mayden
  • Colletta Mayden
  • other daughters

 

The third of the Seamons family to migrate to America was Anne Seamons, a sister to Sophia. Anne and her husband, William Sharp, along with their 3 sons, Arthur, Harry and Joseph, departed the United Kingdom on the ship "Marathon", which docked in Boston on 11 April 1870. Two months later the 1870 United States Federal Census for Indian Point Township, Knox County, Illinois includes the Sharps who are living with Ann's younger sister Sophie Griffin, nee Seamons, and her family who immigrated several years earlier. Annie's daughter, Sarah Lucy was born 4 February1878 in Kansas.
 

The descendants of Anne (nee SEAMONS) and William SHARP
 
1. Arthur William SHARP (1862 - ) married Minnie

2. Harry Seamons SHARP (1865 - 1954) married his cousin, Mina ROLLS in 1896 in Willow Springs, Montana, and moved to Tacoma, Washington State. In 1940, they were living in Brookdale, Pierce, Washington.

3. Joseph Wallace SHARP (1869 - ) married Sarah May UNKNOWN

  • Arthur Wallace Sharp
  • Laurence Andrew Sharp
  • Francis D H Sharp
  • Louis Clinton Sharp

4. Sarah Lucy SHARP (1878 -) married Al HART

  • Harry HART
  • Bill HART
  • other children

 

Anne and Sophia Seamons youngest sister Janet Bertha, died within one week of giving birth to a son in 1875. The child was Arthur George SEAMONS, who was raised by his grandparents, Joseph and Elizabeth. On 3 August 1894, Arthur George Seamons arrived in New York on the liner "Gallia" from Liverpool. In 1899, Arthur married Rose VAN SLYKE, and they resided in Pierce, Washington.  Arthur died in California on 8 October, 1952.

The descendants of Arthur and Rose Seamons:

1.Bertha SEAMONS, who married Woodard

  • Barbara Jean Woodard
  • David Arthur Woodard

2. Joseph Paul SEAMONS

  • Paul Atwater SEAMONS

3. Alice R SEAMONS

4 Mabel E SEAMONS

 

Yet another of Joseph and Elizabeth's children to make the move to America, was Martha "Patty" SEAMONS. Martha married Edward Burt in Bedfordshire in 1893, and he died before 1905. Martha Burt immigrated to the USA at age 55 on the SS “Baltic”, sailing from Liverpool on Nov 1 1905, arriving at New York on Nov 10th, 1905. The passenger list records her as a widow, last living at Waddesdon, and with an intended destination of Tecoma, Washington. It indicated she would be staying with Arthur Seamons of Tecoma.

In the 1930 US census, Martha “Pattie” Burt, aged 80, was living with Arthur George Seamons in the Washington District
In the 1920 census, however, she was living with her nephew, Harry Goss, at McNeil Island, Washington.

 

Another of Joseph's daughters, Lucy Jane Seamons, married James Goss in July 1866 In Waddesdon, Bucks, England. One of their 9 children was Henry (Harry) Goss, born in 1875 in Bucks. Along with his wife, Charlotte, Harry GOSS arrived in the USA on 23 June 1910 on the "Adriatic", and settled in Tacoma, Washington state. In 1921, Harry recorded his wife’s name as Helen E, born 6th February, 1898 at Auburn, Washington. Other records show her as being Helen Edah Bartlett (1898 – 1991). Harry died 15 Oct 1934 in Washington, USA.

The youngest son of William and Ann Seamons was James ((1814 – 1878). James married Harriet Burrell in Waddesdon in 1858. Their daughter, Elizabeth Anne Seamons married Joseph Holloway in Aylesbury in March 1881. Elizabeth passed away in 1906, and Joseph re-married in December 1907 to Nellie Godfrey, and immigrated to Nova Scotia in 1910 on the "Carthaginian" along with 2 children from his marriage to Nellie (Herbert aged 2, and Dorothy aged 6 months). It is believed that some of the children from the marriage to Elizabeth Anne also immigrated to Canada.

The descendants of Joseph and Elizabeth Holloway:

1.Annie Elizabeth HOLLOWAY (b 1883), married George "Ted" Mitchell in Canada. They sailed on the "Ultonia" in 1912 to settle in Nova Scotia, Canada. Annie died in 1920 from the Spanish Flu.

  • Herbert Edmund "Ted" MITCHELL (1914 - 1986)
  • Annie "Gladys" MITCHELL (1916 - 1997)

2. Avis Ellen HOLLOWAY (b 1886 Whitchurch) married Walter Edwin ANDREWS and immigrated to Canada on the ship "Laurentic", arriving on 23 October, 1910. Avis died in 1949 of cancer of the liver.

  • Jack ANDREWS (1911 - 1979)
  • Mary ANDREWS (1914 - 2000) married George WHITEHEAD in 1936 and they had 2 children.
  • Thora Joyce "Bud" ANDREWS (1915 - 2003)
  • Lois ANDREWS (1926 - )

3. William Joseph HOLLOWAY (b 1889 Whitchurch), immigrated to Canada with his sisters Annie and Elsie (and George Mitchell) on the "Ultonia" in 1912. He married Norah Ruth ALDERMAN and they had 4 children.

4 Henry James HOLLOWAY (1890 - 1906) died of appendicitis shortly after the death of his mother, Elizabeth.

5. Elsie Sabina HOLLOWAY (b 1895, Bourton, Banbury) immigrated to Nova Scotia with her sister Annie,and brother William in 1912. Married her brother-in -law Ted Mitchell in 1922 after the death of her sister, Annie

 

Finally, while all of the above has come from William Seamons and Ann Brookes descendants, mention should also be made of William's brother, John (1758 - 1845). John Seamons married Anne King at Aylesbury in 1754, and their descendants include a number of males named "Henry King Seamons". John and Anne's first son was named Henry King Seamons, and he married Elizabeth Fincher at Whitchurch in 1811. Henry and Elizabeth's third son was Joseph, who married Rebecca Watkins at Hardwick in 1835. Rebecca died in 1837, and Joseph re-married Mary Ann  Williams in July 1838. Joseph SEAMONS and Mary Ann emmigrated to America in 1870 and settled in Manistee, Minnesota. In 1871, Joseph established a homestead claim for 164 acres in Manistee.

The descendants of Joseph and Mary Ann Seamons:

1. Mary Ann SEAMONS (1839 - 1879) married Abraham LOW in June 1858 in Middlesex, and migrated to the USA in 1869, leaving their eldest child in the care of his grandparents..

  • William J LOW (emigrated to America with his grandparents in 1870)
  • Henry S LOW
  • Mary Ann LOW
  • George E LOW
  • Ernest A LOW

2. Sophie SEAMONS (1840- )

3. Clara SEAMONS (1842 - 1911) married Henry King SEAMONS and they remained in the Bucks area in England.

4. Jane SEAMONS (1844 - ) married Daniel SWIFT, and they remained in England.

5. Joseph SEAMONS (1845 - 1916) emmigrated to America in 1866, and homesteaded a claim for 160 acres on land in Manistee, Minnesota in 1867. He returned to Shenley, England in 1870, and married Diana Hannah Elderton on 17 May 1870 in Herts, UK. They returned to America at some time after the marriage, possibly with his parents Joseph and Mary Ann.

  • Sophia SEAMONS (1874 - )
  • George Joseph SEAMONS (1875 - 1942) married Myrtle Jane Rowe and had at least 5 children, who were still residing in Michigan din the 2000's..
  • Herbert SEAMONS (1878 - )
  • Elizabeth SEAMONS (1880 - )
  • Francis Jessie SEAMONS (1888 - ) married Francis Wilkin