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children of Anna Woodbury and Josiah Lovett:(1)

i. Hannah b. 1 April 1751
ii. Anna b. 21 October 1752
iii. Lucy b. 1 April 1756
iv. Mercy b. 29 April 1758
v. Josiah b. 1 January 1762, lost at sea, 1780
vi. Eleanor bap. 4 March 1764
vii. Jonathan b. 17 May 1766
viii. Samuel b. 10 June 1769

vital records sources: Anna's birth and marriage come from the Beverly vital records.(1) Her death date isn't positively known. The Beverly vital records include a First Church record of a burial on 25 January 1805 of widow Anna Lovett, who died on decline at age 81. Although the age is wrong, no other woman has been found as an alternative. Anna, wife of Josiah, would have been about 76.

1. Vital Records of Beverly, Massachusetts to the Year 1850 (Salem:1906-7).

all text and photographs © 1998-2009 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted

Just after Anna's 69th birthday, her family felt she couldn't take care of herself. She was 27 years a widow and had seen three of her children die. Declarations of "non compos mentis", Latin for mentally disturbed, were left to the selectmen of any given town to decide. On 28 May 1798, the selectmen of Beverly agreed that Anna was a "distracted" person. On the same day her son Samuel, her only surviving son, was appointed her guardian.

Her dower thirds of Josiah Lovett's real estate included part of their house: the westerly part as far east as the great doorway...from ye bottom of the cellar to ye top of the garret with a priviledge of the doorway on the front of the house and of the stairway from ye lower room into the chamber and garret, and also the one half of the arch in the eastermost (part of the house, crossed out) and allso and liberty to pass to and from it as she will have occasion and ye NWerly part of the barn to wit from the NW post southerly to ye next post 10 feet & allso liberty to improve one half of the floorway & liberty to pass to and from sd barn over the other two thirds as occasion shall serve & liberty to pass over sd 2/3 from her part of ye house to and from ye road as she shall have occasion. & Likewise liberty to fetch sea muck of the beach which belongs to the other two thirds. We have also set to sd widow one cow lease [?] peice of land called Brackenberries & also one cow lease in Snake Hill Pasture." (6 March 1775)

Customary in non compos mentis cases is taking an inventory of the estate of the person concerned. By the time this was done for Anna, her dower rights were gone except her right in Snake Hill Pasture. There is no recorded deed showing where they went. She did have other real estate: an acre of land near "Mial" Woodbury's, 24 poles of land near her son Samuel's house and an undivided third of a pew in the First Parish Meeting House.

Although it isn't apparent where she lived, her household was modest but comfortable.