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Who is the widow Elizabeth Damon?

Peter Abbott is a fourth-generation descendant of George and Hannah Abbott (Ephraim3, John2, George1) born at Andover 8 May 1734 son of Ephraim and Sarah (Crosby) Abbott. On 22 September 1757, he married the widow Elizabeth Damon, and her identity has been something of a mystery. The 1773 will of Joseph Holt sheds light on her identity.

Joseph Holt was born at Andover on 28 November 1702 son of Henry and Martha (Marston) Holt. He was first married to Abigail Rich with whom he had five children. One of those children was Elizabeth born in Reading about 1733. A birth record was not located. On 20 September 1773, Joseph Holt wrote his will and one of his bequests was to daughter Elizabeth Abbot wife of Peter Abbot. She received a sum of £13.6.8.

From this information, it is possible to recreate that Elizabeth Holt was first married to Edmund Damon of Reading. Edmund Damon was born at Reading in 1728 son of Ebenezer and Elizabeth (-) Damon. Edmund married a woman named Elizabeth with whom he had two children, Edmund and Benjamin, before his early death 23 June 1754. Peter Abbott and his wife Elizabeth were parents of seven children. The first two children were twin boys named Peter and Edmund. From this information, it may be concluded that Elizabeth Holt widow of Edmund Damon was the wife of Peter Abbott.

Peter and Elizabeth Abbott had their first two children in Andover. Their third child was baptized at Concord, New Hampshire and the four youngest children were born at Kingston, New Hampshire. This was a family beset by tragedy. Four children, ranging in age from three years to seven years old, died between 2 March and 6 March 1765. Only one of the children, the oldest son Peter, is known to have survived to adulthood.

Peter Abbott did not leave a will, but his estate entered probate 25 May 1774 at Kingston, New Hampshire. Widow Elizabeth declined administration of the estate. David Clifford assumed the bond for the probate. There was an inventory in 1774 and an additional inventory 29 March 1777. The debts against the estate were £150 and the value of the personal estate was £106. There is nothing in the probate papers to suggest there are heirs other than the mention of the widow. (1)

1. PETER ABBOTT, b. 22 Jun 1758; d. at Chester, NH Nov 1828; m. 7 Mar 1782, PHEBE SPRATT (2) who was “of Deerfield” but parents not located; Phebe d. at Chester 16 Feb 1846. Peter and Phebe were parents of seven children.

2. EDMUND ABBOTT, b. 22 Jun 1758; d. 2 Mar 1765.

3. BENJAMIN ABBOTT, b. Sep 1760; d. 4 Mar 1765.

4. DANIEL ABBOTT, b. 7 Jun 1762; d. 6 Mar 1765.

5. BETTY ABBOTT, b. 7 Jun 1762; d. 4 Mar 1765.

6. EPHRAIM ABBOTT, b. 16 Dec 1764; no further record located.

7. BETTY ABBOTT, b. 15 Dec 1766; no further record located.


1) New Hampshire Wills and Probate Records 1643-1982, Probate of Peter Abbott, Rockingham, 25 May 1774, Case number 4103.

2) Some sources give her name as Pratt, but the marriage record and the birth records for the children give her name as Phebe Spratt.

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