The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #6592 Message #38549
Posted By: Joe Offer
18-Sep-98 - 04:09 PM
Thread Name: Seeger genealogy
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
Let's see what I can dig up:
Pete Seeger was born in New York May 3, 1919, the son of violinist Constance DeClyvver Edson (1886-1975) and ethnomusicologist/composer/teacher Charles Louis Seeger (1886-1978). Pete is the nephew of the poet Alan Seeger.
Charles Louis Seeger was later married to Ruth Crawford Seeger, best known for her book, American Folksongs For Children (1948). Charles and Ruth were the parents of Mike Seeger (born in New York August 15,1933) and Margaret (Peggy) Seeger (born in New York June 17, 1935). In 1957, Peggy became the second (possibly third) wife of Ewan MacColl (1915-1989).
Here's what Pete says about Toshi in his book Where Have All the Flowers Gone(1993):
Before I went overseas, though, the main event for me in 1943 was getting married to Toshi-Aline Ohta, age 21. We'd met a few years earlier in New York when square dancing, found we had much in common. Her parents were both extraordinary people. We were all very close. Her mother, descended from Old Virginny (slave owners), had declared her independence from that racist part of her tradition, moved to Greenwich Village, married a Japanese who was in political exile, as militarists were taking over his homeland. He did important and dangerous work for the U.S. Army in WWII. Nice story, isn't it?
On my first furlough Toshi and I made it legal. Daily letters flew back and forth between us for three and a half years. Hooray for the U.S. Army postal system.
Another interesting connection - Bernice Johnson Reagon (Sweet Honey in the Rock and SNCC Freedom Singers) named her daughter Toshi Reagon after Toshi Seeger.