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A Summary from the Record of the History of Seth C. Vickery,

 Stepfather to Timothy W. Riley Jr.


The following summarizes the state of knowledge on Timothy W. Riley Jr.’s stepfather Seth C. Vickery as of Jan 31, 2004:


·         The informal record is relative consistent that Seth was the second son and seventh child of nine born to Daniel Vickery and Asenath Cushman. He was born on February 19, 1826 in Plympton, MA. Daniel Vickery had been born in Taunton, MA, and appears to have settled in Plympton, it being the hometown of his wife. The census for 1840 indicates nine children in the Daniel Vickery family, suggesting that all of the offspring were still at home at that time.


·         On December 22, 1846, Seth, aged 20, married 13 year old Mary Elizabeth White in Plympton, MA. Ms White appears to have been living at home at the time doing “family housework”. The marriage did not last and an affidavit signed by Charles H. Ripley and another signed by Lidner Shurman on July 14, 1903, both in support of Honora Riley accessing Seth’s Civil War Pension, noted that they had been acquainted with Seth’s first wife and that the marriage had been “dissolved”, presumably because of her age. No date of dissolution was provided but it appears to have been prior to 1850. In any event, Mary White later married Amos Wade, and then died in Easton, MA, of TB at an unfairly youthful age of 19 on November 26, 1853.


·         In 1850 Seth as a 24 year old was living with his sister and brother-in-law Asenath and Prince Churchill in Kingston, MA, and was working as a shoemaker. In 1853 the record shows that on March 31 the then 23 year old Seth married 26 year old Anoriah [Honora] Riley in Plympton, MA. The marriage record indicates that Honora was living in Hanson, MA and it appears the couple took up residence in that community as their first son, Hiland, was born there on January 25, 1854. Seth gave his birthplace in this record as R. Island, presumably Rhode Island.


·         Between 1854 and 1861 Seth and Honora had three other children, John Gammons on December 1, 1855 in Plympton; Mary Elizabeth on February 1, 1858; and Seth Leonard on June 20, 1860, accompanied by a stillborn female twin. The 1860 census lists Seth, Honora and the three older children as resident in Plympton. In 1855 Seth, 38, Honora, listed as "Ann O" and 30, and Highland F, 1, were living with his sister and brother-in-law and family in Kingston, MA.


·         On July 31, 1862 Seth and Henora (sic) got married a second time by the same JP, Zenas Cushman, who had married them in 1853. A note from the son of JP Cushman, himself the successor JP, indicated that his father had recalled the situation of the second marriage and that it had been done because there was some issue of the legality of the 1853 marriage due to the fact that Seth’s previous wife (Mary White) was still living at the time of his first marriage to Hanora. 


·         On August 9, 1862 Seth enlisted in the Mass 18th Volunteer Infantry for a three year term. He was mustered later that same day in Cambridge, MA, and set off on the life of an Infantryman. Some four months later, on December 13, 1862, at Fredericksburg, VA, Seth was wounded by a musket ball in the leg about three inches above the left knee. As a result of his injury Seth was discharged on surgeon’s certificate of disability from the military hospital at Portsmouth Grove, RI, on March 14, 1863 at the rank of private.


·         Our next contact with Seth is via the 1870 census wherein he was listed as a 43 year old laborer serving time in the MA State Prison in Charlestown, MA in Middlesex County. Honora, now calling herself Ann, continued to live in Plympton looking after the three youngest children. The reason for Seth’s prison time is unknown at this point.


·         Seth initially applied for his Civil War pension on April 3, 1877, at which time his residence was given as Plympton. Pension records show Seth at the age of 50 to have been relatively short of stature at 5’ 7” and somewhat on the lean side at 130lb. His pension was approved April 7, 1877, at $2/mo.


·         In the June 1880 census Seth is listed as a lodger in the Doty C Russell household in Wareham, MA, (note that George A and Bertha F Russell of East Wareham witnessed an affidavit on behalf of Seth on Sept 8, 1891) where he was again employed in the shoemaker’s trade. Honora, still going by the name of Ann, was working as a domestic in the Henry Wright household in Plympton. The children by this time were out on their own.


·         Surprisingly the next record on Seth is that of his marriage to 19 year old Wareham resident Emma Frances Badger on October 6, 1880. On the marriage certificate he listed his residence as Wareham and correctly noted that this was his third marriage. Interestingly, the record also shows that on October 26, 1884, a “single”, 24 year old Emma W Badger, a resident of Wareham and with parents with the same names of those of our Emma F, married one David Cook of Harwich, MA in South Carver, MA. It would appear that the Vickery/Badger union was at best short-lived.


·         After a significant struggle a pension increase for Seth to $12/mo, retroactive to July 22, 1890, was approved April 5, 1893. In support of the pension increase Seth had several additional interactions with the Commissioner of Pensions. The record shows his post office address at those times to have been as follows:


    • October 14, 1883                    North Sandwich, Barnstable Co, MA
    • March 22, 1884                       Monument, Barnstable Co, MA
    • March 16, 1886                       Wareham, Barnstable Co, MA
    • May 12, 1886                          East Wareham, MA
    • November 26, 1886                East Wareham, Plymouth Co, MA
    • February 1, 1887                         “                       “
    • 1889                                            “                       “
    • July 15, 1890                               “                       “
    • March 5, 1891                             “                       “
    • September 8, 1891                     “                       “
    • January 7, 1893                      South Middleborough, Plymouth Co, MA
    • January 28, 1893                        “                       “


·         The Middleborough address is interesting. Honora was shown by Directory listings to have been in Middleborough by 1890, and her pension quest records show that she initially applied for Widows pension from that community on December 31, 1894. Whether the couple had reunited in the early 1890’s is as yet unknown, but at least the coincidental addresses suggest it was possible.


·         The next non-pension record for Seth is the occurrence of his name on an 1890 list of Veterans Federal Census Record Extracts for the city of Wareham. (Remember: The 1890 US federal census records were destroyed by fire, however the bulk of the veterans schedules associated with the census were not destroyed).


·         Seth’s death is reported at 67 years of age on December 8, 1893 in Plympton, although the death record notes his residence was in Carver at the time. The death record also notes he was married but no name is provided, and the information on the record is generally skimpy suggesting the absence of the availability of anyone with close family ties.