(29 April 1870 – 1957)
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Herbarium (NCU) has cataloged a single specimen collected by Seraph A. Bliss, Lygodium palmatum collected in Hampden County, Massachusetts in October, 1913. The Gray Herbarium at Harvard University has a duplicate specimen.
Seraph A. Bliss was born in Holland, Hampden County, Massachusetts on 29 April 1870. She was the daughter of Rev. Daniel J. Bliss (1833-1903) and Seraph A. Bliss neé Bemis (1835-1917).1, 2, 3
Seraph Bliss entered Mount Holyoke College in 1888 and earned a A. B. and B. S. in 1895. She was a lab assistant in the Physics Department at Mount Holyoke College from 1895-1900.
Ms. Donna Albino (Mount Holyoke class of 1983) possesses letters between Seraph A. Bliss and family members.3,5
In documents at Mount Holyoke College dated in 1924 and 1937 Ms. Bliss listed her occupation as “housekeeping,” and the 1940 Census lists her as living with her brother, Rev. Charles Bliss in Warren, Worcester County, Massachusetts.3,4
Seraph Bliss died in 1957 and is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, Warren, Worcester County, Massachusetts.3
According to Ms. Albino, Seraph and mycologist Arthur Bliss Seymour (1859-1933) were second cousins having shared a great grandfather, Isaac Bliss, Sr.5 NCU curates approximately 2,555 fungal specimens collected by Arthur Bliss Seymour.
1. Seraph A. Bemis Bliss. Find A Grave memorial # 179557302. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/179557302/seraph-a-bliss accessed on 29 May 2019.
2. Seraph A. Bliss. Find A Grave memorial # 179570401. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/179570401/seraph-a-bliss accessed on 29 May 2019.
3. Personal communication, email Micha Broadnax, Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections to McCormick, 29 May 2019.
4. Year: 1940; Census Place: Warren, Worcester, Massachusetts; Roll: m-t0627-01655; Page 13A; Enumeration District: 14-292. Ancester.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives & Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls.
5. Personal communication, email Donna Albino to McCormick, 1 November 2022.
Special thanks to Micha Broadnax, Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections for providing information about Ms. Bliss’ time at Mount Holyoak and for the images of Ms. Bliss for this post. Thanks also to Donna Albino for providing link to Seraph Bliss’ family letters and Bliss family genealogical information.