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go to Bethiah Rootes' page

John is only known to have made a mark for his signature, which looks like a modified "L."

At the time the Beverly, Massachusetts, church was being organized separate from Salem, John and Bethiah were among petitioners to be "dismissed" to Beverly on 30 May 1668, and baptized their three oldest children the next day.1 John calls himself a husbandman in his will. Aside from his cooper's tools, his father gave him two acres of land in Beverly on the east side of "dirty hole," which is said to now be an area between the first location of the First Church and the bank on the east side of Cabot Street.2

     John served as one of Beverly's constables in 1670 and 1671, and a tythingman in 1679.3 He was active at the Salem Quarterly Court as a jurer and a witness. In November 1666, three men deposed about a man brought to court for being drunk in public. One of them was John. The court abstract says he saw the man "go along the country way reeling and staggering like a drunken man."4 John was chosen to be on the Jury of Trials in 1669. 395. He served on a jury in May 1680.5 He was also a juryman during the Salem withcraft trials. The following is an account of trials in which he was involved:6

Beverly January the 2'd 1692

these are to certifie such Honor'd gentel men as may bee Concerned, that in the persuance of the within written the Inhabytance of our Towne beeing Asembled togeather on the 2'nd of this instant have made choice of John Lovit se[n]'r
[his father had died by then] and Roberd Cue for the grand Jury and Samuel Morgan and Edmong Gale for the Jury of Tryals to attend the service of the court within named.

Superior Court of Judicature: Witchcraft Trials (January-May 1693)

Cases Heard (in chronological order): Rebecca Jacobs, Margaret Jacobs, Sarah Buckley, Mary Witheridge, Job Tookey, Johanna Tyler, Candy, Mary Marston, Elizabeth Johnson, Sr., Abigail Barker, Mary Tyler, Sarah Hawkes, Mercy Wardwell, Elizabeth Johnson, Jr., Mary Bridges, Sr., Mary Post, Hannah Post, Sarah Bridges, Mary Osgood, Mary Lacey, Jr., Mary Toothaker, Mary Taylor, Sarah Cole (of Lynn), Lydia Dustin, Sarah Dustin, John Alden, Susannah Post, Eunice Fry, Mary Bridges, Jr., Mary Barker, William Barker, Jr.

Grand Jury Sworn on 3 January 1692: Robert Paine foreman, Job Swinerton, Gilbert Tapley, William Wood, Richard Read, Richard Hutton, John Lovit Sen'r, Robert Cue, Joseph Marble Sen'r, James Persons, Benja Rednap, Robert Potter Sen'r, Richard Browne, Thomas Borman, Joseph Bointon, James Dickeson, Richard Smith.

Bethiah is referred to by the married name Lovett in her fathers Josiah Roote's will.

John Lovett's will (abbreviations converted to full words):7

In the name of God amen, I John Lovit Senr of Beverly in ye County of Essex in ye Province of ye Massachusets Bay in New England husbandman, being aged & infirm in body yet (throuigh God's mercy to me) of perfect & disposing mind & memory & dayly in expectatn. of my great change hoping whosoever it shall come to obtain mercy of God [?] Jesus Christ do make & ordain this my last will & testamt.

Imprim That my body be decently interred at ye discretion of my executor hereafter named

Item, I give & bequeath to my loving son Simon Lovit that piece of land whereon his house now standeth & that he hath had in his posession sundry years past being about two or three acres unto my said son Simon during ye full term of his natural life & at his decease to his sons William & Abraham in equal share & proportion.

Item, I give to my loving son John Lovit that one acre of land or thereabouts that his house, barn & orchard standeth upon for which he formerly gave me a valuable consideration to him & his heirs for ever.

Item, I give to my loving son Samuel Lovit my two acres of fresh meadow lying in Beverly between ye meadow of Samuel Corning & William Woodbury late of Beverly deceased & a peice of meadow of about one acre & half lying all or mostly within ye wood lots said Samuel lately purchased in ye Township of Wenham to my said son Samuel & his heirs for ever.

Item, I give to my said sons John Lovit & Samuel Lovit each of him twenty five pounds currant money of ye Province to be paid by my son Benjamin within twelve months next after my decease.

Item, I give to my son John Lovit & his heirs for ever one half of my well of water in my orchard with free egress & regress to him & his heirs for ever alwaies provided he bear his
[portion?] of charge in maintaning it in all respects whatsoever.

Item, I give to my daughter Susannah Cole five pounds in money to be paid by my executor at my decease.

Item, I give to my said daughter Susannah one acre of land that ye dwelling house built by William Sike & herself stands upon in said Beverly to be to said Susannah her use & improvement during ye term of her natural life & at her decease to ye son & daughter of said William & Susannah Sikes to them & ye heirs for ever provided & only in case my said daughter by God's providence should become a widdow &
[?] want be neessitated thereto then I hereby give her power to sell & dispose of ye whole thereoff for her support.

Item, I give ye common right thereto belonging to her & her children in like manner & on like condition as I gave ye land.

Item, I give to my sons in law Nehemiah Howard & Thomas Cole one shilling each to be paid by my executor at my decease.

Item, I give to my loving son Simon Lovit all my wearing apparel.

Item, I give to Lydia Lovit, widdow of my grandson Thomas Lovit deceased ye use & improvement of ye whole of ye land in which ye house she now dwells in standeth lying northwesterly of ye Country Road together with the common right unto belonging during ye whole term of her widdowhood & afterward to her daughter Lydia & her heirs for ever.

Item, I give to my grandchildren Peter & Bethya Shaw each of my five pounds in money to be payd by my executor when they shall come to full age.

Item, I give to ye first Church of Christ in Beverly one pewter platter marked with ye tow first letters of my name.

Item, I give to my son Benjamin Lovit who now liveth with me my dwelling house with ye common right belonging to it, my barn & all ye land adjoyning & belonging thereto being about fourteen acres more or less lying between ye Country Road & ye sea with all ye orchard & fencing standing whereon he always allowed to my son John Lovit a causeway at ye lower end of my lot to ye
[Bass Side?] wherein it shall be no damage to corn or grass growing thereon to him & his heirs for ever.

Item, I give to me said son Benjamin that money I leave in my house at my decease with all ye money I shall leave at interest in any men's hands. Also all my moveables within doors & without not before disposed of in this my will.

Item, I do appoint my loving son Benjamin Lovit to be sole executor of this my will declare it to be my last will & testament & hereby revoking all other & former will & testaments by me made at any time whatsoever desiring my trusty firends Mr. Robert Briscoe & Mr. John Corning to be overseers of this my will.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this seventeenth day of May Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred & twenty three & in ye ninth year of his Majesty's reign over England etc.

John his "x" mark Lovit, Sr

signed, sealed & decalred to be the last will & testament of John Lovit, Senr. In presence off

John Waldren
Benjamin Cresy
Leonard his x mark Slew

children of John Lovett and Bethia Rootes:8

Simon b. abt 1663, bap. 31 May 1668
John b. abt 1665, bap. 31 May 1668
Susannah b. abt. 1667, bap. 31 May 1668
Josiah bap. 2 April 1669
Thomas b. 25 September 1671
Samuel bap. 25 February 1675 (1674/1675?)
Benjamin bap. 7 March 1679/1680
Bethiah b. 4 June 1682

vital records sources: John's birth is estimated based on his own depositions. He said he was about 32 in Nov 1669 and about 40 in June 1678, Salem Quarterly Court record, 4:217, 7:53. Vital Records of Beverly, Massachusetts to the Year 1849, vol. 2 (Topsfield:1907), 499, says he was about 91. This would make him about 2 years older. Although ages given in the depositions weren't necessarily reliable, in this case there are two that agree and were given by John himself.

1. Records of the First Church of Beverly, Massachusetts 1667-1772 (Salem:1905), 11.
2. Suffolk County probate case file #1523, see also 11:51-2 for a transcription.
3. Municipal Documents of the City of Beverly, Massachusetts (Beverly:1896), 397; Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts [hereafter RFQCEC] (Salem:1911), Nov 1670 (4:234) and March 1671 (4:331) and June 1671 (4:391). Tythingman June 1679, citation needed.
4. Ibid, 3:382.
5. Ibid, 7:420, 4 May 1680.
6. Massachusetts Archives, vol. 135 no. 89, etc.?
7. see note 2.
8. Early Records of the First Church in Beverly Massachusetts, 1667-1772 (Salem:1905), 86.

all text and photographs © 1998-2020 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted