SEELEY FAMILY Submitted by Elaine Mundt Huron County First Family Member

Submitted by Elaine Mundt
Huron County First Family Member #206


             In 1829 Job Baker Seeley and his wife Elizabeth Willis set sail from England for the United States. They came from Oxfordshire and their children were born there. Job Baker was a shoemaker and that was the trade he pursued in his new country . After the Napoleonic Wars France had renewed their manufacturing and soon flooded the European market, in particular, with shoes. This may have been a reason for his decision to leave England.

             Upon arrival in America the family settled in New Durham (now North Bergen) Hudson County, New Jersey. The family consisted of James (born 1813), Elizabeth (born 1816), John (born 1819), Job (born 1823), Edward (born 1825) and George (born 1827).

             Job Baker remained in New Durham until his death in 1848. His will named his wife Elizabeth and daughter Elizabeth Hounslow and son Job as executors of his estate.


             The eldest son of Job Baker was born April 6, 1813 in Oxford, England. He was about 16 when the family immigrated to America. He learned the shoemaking trade and may have been apprenticed or worked for someone other than his father.

            The next record of him is his marriage April 3, 1839 to Laura Sweet. She was the daughter of Benjamin Sweet and was born January 6, 1822 in Catskill (Greene) New York.

             Their son James Lewis was born December 10, 1843 while they were living in New York State. How, why or when they moved on to Ohio is another missing piece. However, a plat of Norwalk (Huron) Ohio in 1845 shows him listed as a Shoe and Boot Maker.

             The 1850 Federal Census finds them living in Clarksfield Township (Huron) Ohio with their children: James L., Ann Elizabeth (born July 12, 1847) and Mary (born September 20, 1849). Also living with them was Maria Sweet, the 13-year-old sister of Laura. She is shown as having been born in Ohio, so perhaps Benjamin Sweet had moved his family to Ohio also.

             In the succeeding years three more daughters were added to the family: Laura Ellen (born April 11, 1855), Ida Alvina (born December 27, 1860) and Alice Maria (born August 27, 1863).

             Like many other families of that era, the Seeleys were greatly affected by the Civil War. On January 26, 1864 their only son James enlisted as a Private in Co. D of the 55th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. In July of that year he was wounded in the right temple during the Battle of Peachtree Creek, which was part of the Siege of Atlanta. The wound was not particularly serious, as evidenced by the letter he wrote to his parents the day after receiving it.  One can only surmise that unsanitary conditions in the treatment of it and the lack of antibiotics allowed an infection to develop. Tragedy struck when on September 8, 1864 he died at a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 20.

             Two years later in May of 1866 Laura Sweet Seeley passed away.

             On March 10, 1869 James Seeley married a widow Caroline Benson. She was listed on the 1860 Census as a next-door neighbor. The 1870 Census shows James living in Norwalk Village and his occupation was given as a Boot and Glove Merchant.  In that Census his daughter Ann was shown to be living at Home, as well as Laura and Alice.

             Mary, in 1867 had married Marshall Lowe and had taken up residence in Norwalk also. Ida was living with or visiting her aunt Maria Sweet Derringer in Plymouth, Ohio.

             James Seeley continued to live in Norwalk, and although he died in Cleveland (Cuyahoga) Ohio August 7, 1889, he is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Norwalk, Ohio with other family members.