The Seger and Sterry Families
Quick navigation to:
- Letters and Documents from the Seger Family
- Newspaper clippings saved in the family of Nellie Seger Williams
- Interviews with Nellie Seger Williams about her childhood memories published in 1989 in The Kent GTD.
- Unidentified photos from a Seger family album
- The Seger Diaspora : Migration in the early nineteenth century
- Unidentified photos from the family of Nellie Seger Williams
- The Seger Witch: Elizabeth Moody Seger
- Erastus: The Peddler 1830–33
- A Signature Quilt
Segers to New England: the first generations
The Seger family was among the earliest migrants to English North America. Richard Seger [Seager](1595–1682) very likely accompanied Thomas Hooker to Boston and moved with Hooker and his followers to the new settlement of Hartford, Connecticut, in the 1630s. Seger descendants populated the Hartford/Simsbury area for many generations.
The story of the imaginatively named Joseph Seger, the fifth lineal descendant to bear the name, and that of his sons and descendants make up the bulk of the Seger family narrative on this site. Joseph V settled in Kent after his service in the Revolutionary War.
A friendly Web contact has provided links to extensive research on RootsWeb of some of the Simsbury Segers/Seagers, ancestors of the fifth Joseph, compiled and researched by Kara Seager-Segalla. I am including links for this info on each of the generations of Josephs for those who are chasing genealogical information, without pursuing or checking her research.
Joseph Seager I, son of Richard and Elizabeth Seager.
b. 1652 in Hartford, Connecticut;
d. 29 March 1740 in Suffield, Hartford County, Connecticut
Burial: Suffield, Connecticut; married Abigail Taylor 27 Sep 1680 in Suffield, Connecticut.
Occupation: Chair maker, farmer
Joseph Seager II
b. 25 September 1682 in Suffield, Connecticut;
d. some time after 6 May 1745, when his will was written, in Simsbury, Connecticut. m. (1) Mehitabel Parsons (2)Mary Brown
Occupation: Farmer and land trader
Joseph Seager III b. 18 October 1706 in Simsbury, Hartford, Connecticut, USA;
d. 9 March 1794 in Simsbury, Hartford, Connecticut, USA. Married Dorothy Alford 26 March 1730 in Simsbury, Connecticut. An active member of Wintonbury Church in Simsbury
Occupation: Farmer and land trader
Joseph Seager IV
b. 23 March 1731 in Simsbury, Connecticut;
d. 9 January 1818 in New Hartford, Connecticut;
Burial: New Hartford, Connecticut, USA
Occupation: Operated a grist mill at “Segur’s Mill.”
A Seger Family Reunion, 1931
We have some photos of a reunion of the Seger and Sterry clan. Unfortunately, the photographer didn’t have a sense of how much glare he/she was dealing with, and many of the people in the back row are washed out. With a bit of help from Photoshop, we can now see more of the participants, and with the help of some detective work by Roscoe Seger’s granddaughters, can identify some of them, and tentatively label others. Further input would be most welcome.
More information gleaned from a family Bible belonging to Marvin Myron Sterry and a quick cruise through Ancestry.com has substantiated some of the relationships. Further vital statistics have been added from the Sterry Worldwide website.
- Mr. & Mrs. Frank Seger + 4 children
- Mr. & Mrs. Marvin Sterry (Marvin Myron Sterry)
- Mr. & Mrs. James Waite (Dollie Belle Sterry), Mabel’s sister )
- Mr. & Mrs. John Sterry + 2 children + 3 visitors
- Mr. & Mrs. Vernon Woodruff + 2 children ( Dollie Belle Sterry’s son from her first marriage)
- Mr. & Mrs. Arnold Waite + 2 children
- Mr. & Mrs. Roscoe Seger + 2 children
- Mr. & Mrs. Richard Jennings
- Mrs. Clarence Jennings
- Mr. & Mrs. Clarence Brunson (Marvin and Caroline’s daughter Hulda Iverson Sterry 26 Apr 1907-2 Apr 1946)
- Mrs. Gertrude Sterry (? Middlebury, CT birth record for Gertrude Sterry, daughter of John Eugene & Jane Eliza Benham: 7 Sep 1907 [sterryworldwide.com])
- Mr. & Mrs. John Sterry Jr. + 1 child
- Mr. & Mrs. Harold Sterry (Harold Marvin Sterry, 5 Oct 1902-17 Jun 1949, son of John & Jane)
- Mr. & Mrs. John Chase
- Mrs. Clinton Seger
- Mr. & Mrs. George Seger
- Mr. & Mrs. Harry Newton + 1 child
- Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence Burr (Helen E. Seger, b. 23 Apr 1904, daughter of Clinton H. Seger and Edith Gregory) + 4 children
- Mr. & Mrs. Howard Carpenter + 7 children + 4 visitors
- Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence Spamer + 2 children + 1 visitor (Dollie’s daughter Virginia plus kids Vilmor/Velmore and Florence, and possibly father-in-law Ruben Spamer.)
Other Reunion Photos
Click on any small photo for gallery enlargement; navigate with mouse or left and right arrows.
Frank Bloss Seger and Mabel Sterry Seger: Siblings and their Families
Seger and Sterry family gatherings, mostly undated
At Another Time
Putting it all (or at least some of it) together…
From an old family Bible of Marvin Sterry (transcription by Roscoe Seger, additional info amended):
Mabel’s siblings (children of John R. Sterry b. 6/13/1829 and Desdemona Root Sterry b. 12/21/1835):
- Estella Ida Sterry, b. 12/2/1861 (married Warren G. Pettey 10/30/1883) [spelled Petty in a document about heirs]
- Lillie Sophia Sterry, b. 2/12/1865 (married Henery [sic] Buell VanNess (11/27/1884, Washington, CT)
- Marvin Myron Sterry, b. 8/1/1867 d. 22 Feb. 1937; m. (1) 6/21/1900 Huldah E Ivarson (d. 3/10/1904, age 27); 1 daughter Myrtle Estella b. 12.13.1901 m. Linus Strickland of Ulster, PA d. 12/1983 (2) Caroline Recker Sterry who died 2/8/81; 2 daughters: Hulda Iverson Sterry b. 4/26/1907 and Anna Sterry, b. 1909 m. Vernon Raymond and 1 son: Marvin Sterry
- Mabel Addie Sterry, b. 8/1/1867 (married Frank Bloss Seger 3/25/1891)
- Dollie Belle Sterry, b. 7 Aug 1872 d. 28 May 1958
- John Eugene Sterry, b. 4/8/1874 d. 1946, Middlebury, CT
Family records do not show a marriage for Dollie Belle Sterry, but I found this on Ancestry.com (limited info for a non-subscriber):
Dollie Belle Sterry (1872 - 1958). Born in Ansonia, Connecticut, USA on 7 Jun 1872 [8 Aug 1872 according to above Bible] to John Roger Sterry and Desdemona Roots. Dollie Belle married James Waite. Dollie Belle married Woodruff. She passed away on 18 May 1958 in Ansonia, Connecticut, USA.
Ancestry.com record for Woodruff: “(1869 - Unknown)”
Ancestry.com record for James Waite: “Born in England on 8 Nov 1866. James married Dollie Belle Sterry. He passed away on 4 May 1947.”
I found Dollie’s obituary online (Bridgeport Post,5/21/1958):
Mrs. James Waite
MONROE, May 21: Services for Mrs. Dolly B. Sterry Waite, widow of James Waite of Route 111, Stepney, who died Sunday, took place today in the Stepney funeral home of Wilmot, West and Goulding. the Rev. Richard Martin, Rector, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, officiated, and burial was in Pine Grove Cemetery, Ansonia. Bearers, all grandchildren, were Charles H. Davin, Norman E. Goudreau, Vernon Woodruff, Jr., and Velmore Spamer.
According to a RootsWeb poster looking to reunite an 1894 photo of Lawrence Spamer with descendants (how nice!)
The 1920 Stratford census: Lawrence SPAMER, age 26, born CT, parents born MD/CT, a Farmer
Virginia SPAMER, wife, age 28, born CT, parents born CT
Vilmor SPAMER, son, age 3 years + 9 months, born CT
Florence SPAMER, dau, age 1 year + 9 months, born CT
Ruben SPAMER, Father, age 58 a widower, born MD, parents born Germany/MD, a Farm Laborer
So comparing all this to the list of 1931 reunion attendees, we see no Petty or VanNess, but we see Mrs. & Mrs. James Waite—so this is Dollie Belle Sterry. And we have identified the Vernon Woodruff (Dollie’s son, actually Vernon Jr.) and M/M Lawrence Spamer (Dollie ’s daughter Virginia and husband).
Lillie Sterry Van Ness
from an Ansonia studio…
Some Seger/Sterry Descendants
Reaching back: Frank Bloss Seger’s grandmother, Mabel Root Hall (b. 1816); his mother, Alzora Hall Seger; Mabel Seger’s mother, Desdemona Root Sterry (b. 1837) and other family members
Another Sterry Cousin
My great-grandfather Russell was the only child of Hannah Maria Sterry and John Wooley Russell, of Chestnut Ridge, Dutchess County, NY. But Maria, as she was known, went home to Kent, CT for his birth in July 1851.
I have never found a birth record for Hannah Maria Sterry, but her 1911 Illinois death certificate lists her birth as being in CT on June 10, 1831 and her father as "Elisiah Sterry". The 1831 date falls neatly between Elisha and Adeline Sterry's son, John Roger (1829) and their daughter Malvina (1834).
“Gene” Russell left Dutchess County for Chicago in the mid 1880’s. As he had no Russell family cousins, he most certainly would have been well acquainted with his family members in Kent. One his his daughters wrote of a visit with “Sterry Cousins in Connecticut, ” around 1920.
I have attached the only photo I have of him as a relatively young man, about age 35, where I think he resembles his cousin John Eugene Sterry in more than just name!
Fotoforensics: Identity and Self-Image
The obvious questions are, “Did Mabel Sterry have sisters? ” “ If so, which one might this be? ” “ How many pregnancies/births did this one experience? ” (If significantly fewer than eleven, this could at least partially account for the difference in girth between these two.)
I think they resemble each other, down to their taste in shoes. And their wrap-hemline cum “peplum-cuff” dresses look to be made from the same pattern, with variations. It seems to me that they also have in common an awareness of their looks and a sense of how they’d like to look in photographs: they likely have personal histories of lovely necks/décolleté areas (plus the everalabaster English complexions), which continue to be displayed by use of neckline and jewelry. However, there is excess skin on and below the jawline at the later age, which surfeit is counteracted, with varying degrees of success, by the tilting upward of the jaw and/or tensing of the mouth.
Stan, what do you recall of your grandmother and her siblings? Did Mabel (Sterry) Seger carry herself regally (even while perhaps speaking in the garbled backwoods way of other members of the clan both male and female)? Testify! Did she project vanity? I can imagine how the fair-faced Marvin and Mabel might have been greatly fawned over in youth.
I do remember your Great-Grandmother being a rather formidable appearing woman, especially from my 6 yr old physical position. When Mother took me to visit I was assigned a seat with George Seger , Alzora Hall and others with stares that seemingly were disapproving of me and all I was about and was relieved when it was time for Father to pick us up for the ride home.
Mug Shots, Process and Minutiae
I think this could be Our Kate (b. 1874).
The eyes are too different from those of [known photos of Kate Seger]—perhaps a sister?—while the nose, mouth and ear shapes are so very similar.
Does anyone notice that she has the one slightly more inwardly turned eye that Heman Seger (appears to me to have) had.
I believe the two pictures above are of the same person… Could this be a clue to the look of Alzora Hall’s deep-carve eyesockets in youth?
I think you’re right. Kate’s face is longer, her mouth falls lower, her neck is longer and her upper eyelids show, much like many other Segers. I played with the two images in Photoshop. Because of the bow in the hair figure this girl is likely a generation later, around 1900-1910.
Here is the photo we also think is Kate (from the after-quilt fotoforensics session), probably around 1890-1892?
And [at right] is the very intriguing, almost-identical-but-I’m-sure-not-the-same-girl 2nd photo— outfit appears to be the same, except a small heart button/pin on front. Did people ever put on fancy outfits at the photographer? Could a Seger girl on the farm have an outfit like this?
The eyebrows on Kate’s photo are definitely Kate’s—they’re spaced apart more than the [other] girl’s. Th[at] girl’s “sideburns” come to a point, whereas Kate’s are more rounded. Other slight difference, too. Is she Kate’s sister? Kate’s sister Lucy, 3 years older than Kate, died 20 Mar 1892. Kate’s sister Mabel, 5 years older than Kate, lived a long life. Kate’s sister Nellie, 6 years older than Kate, died in 1882. Possibly sister Lucy, 3 years older? I’m eager to hear your thoughts.