Thursday, August 31, 2017


There's a place in Andover, Ma. called "Pomp's Pond". It was named after was Pompey Lovejoy, but he is not one of my ancestors. Pompey Lovejoy was a "Negroe servant" to my 7x great granduncle Captain William Lovejoy.

Pomp was born in Boston around 1724 and was still a child when he moved to Andover with his master.  He married Rose Foster, a servant of another Andover resident, and in 1762 William Lovejoy granted him his freedom. Lovejoy even remembered him in his will,  stipulating that some of his land be given to Pompey where he could have a comfortable old age. The land chosen was near the pond which would eventually be named "Pomp's Pond" . Pomp Lovejoy died in 1826  at age 102. Rose was 99 years old when she died two years later.

Learning about Pomp Lovejoy prompted me to see if there were other African American "servants" owned by other of my Andover ancestors. So I went to the Andover page on Early Vital Records of Massachusetts From 1600 to 1850 website and looked at the Negroes listed in the Births, Marriages and Deaths columns:

Esther, d. Peter and Lydia, servants of Joshua Lovejoy, Nov. 19, 1788.
George, "a Molatto Boy, Servant to the Widow Farnum," bp. ––– ––, 1747.
Lydia, d. Peter and Lydia, Late Servants of Joshua Lovejoy, Aug. 20, 1787.
Nancy, "maid servant (a minor) to James Parker," bp. Feb. 8, 1756.

SMITH, Alce, and Fortune, servants of Mr. Nathaniel Lovejoy, int. May 31, 1757.
Kate [servant of Mr. Moody Bridges. int.], and Pompey [late servant of Mr. Henry Phelps. int.], free negroes, Jan. 15, 1772.
Nan, servant to Capt. Joseph Osgood, and Primas, servant to Maj. John Osgood, Oct. 23, 1755.*
Pompey, and Rose, servants to Capt. [William. int.] Lovejoy, and John Foster, Dec. 26, 1751

ABBOT, Phillip, a molatto, killed in Battle at Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775.
Primus, servant of Mr. Benjamin Stevens, jr., July 25, 1792, a. 72 y. 5 m. 16 d.
Dick, "servant of Daniel Osgood," Oct. 1, 1738.
LOVEJOY, Rose, wid. Pomp, Nov. 8, 1826, a. 99 y.
Tom, "that Lived With Ensin Ebenezer Osgood," Dec. 9, 1734.
COBURN, Titus, May 5, 1821, a. 81 y.

Titus Coburn, along with Phillip Abbot, were among  several African Americans who fought at Bunker Hill.

As you can see, there's about fifteen entries, mostly for "Negroes" owned by members of the
Lovejoy and Osgood families,  and some by other relatives, none of whom are my direct ancestors.

I always find writing about my ancestors who owned " Negroe servants" uncomfortable. But it's
part of my family history, part of New England's history, and part of American history.

It needs to be disclosed and discussed, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us feel.

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