Alice Winchester

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Alice Winchester (Craft)

Also Known As: "Granny Winchester", "Alice (Craft) Lovering Lyon Greenwood Shedd"
Birthplace: Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Death: March 14, 1784
Holliston, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Lt. Samuel Craft and Elizabeth Craft
Wife of Robert Lovering; Ephraim Lyon; John Greenwood; James Shed and Capt. John Winchester
Mother of Samuel Lovering; Elizabeth Lovering; Joseph Lovering; William Lovering; Abigail Lovering and 1 other
Sister of Samuel Craft; Samuel Craft; Nathaniel Craft; Ens. Ebenezer Craft; Abigail Holbrook (Crafts) and 5 others

Managed by: Kevin Lawrence Hanit
Last Updated:

About Alice Winchester

Alice Craft (daughter of Samuel Craft & Elizabeth Seaver) had five husbands: 1st Robert Lovering, 2nd Ephraim Lyon, 3rd John Greenwood, 4th James Shed, and 5th John Winchester.

From The Crafts Family, by James M. and William F. Crafts, 1893, pp. 58-60:

Alice Craft, daughter of Samuel, and granddaughter of Lieut. Griffin Craft, baptized in Eoxbury, Mass., Feb. 19, 1681. (The records of the First Church of Roxbury record it as 12th mo., 19th day, 1681-2.) They show, also that she "Owned the Covenant" 1 March, 1702.

She married

  • in Roxbury, to Robert Loverain (or Lovering) Jan. 3, 1704-5. They had five children.
  • (2d) in Roxbury, July 4,1723, Ephraim Lyon.
  • (3d) July 24, 1729, John Greenwood of Newton, Mass. He died Aug. 29, 1737.
  • (4th) in Newton, Mass., Sept. 28, 1743, James Shedd of Roxbury. He died in Roxbury, Dec. 29, 1749.
  • (5th), probably in 1750, John Winchester of Brookline, Mass., and he died July, 1751.

These three latter husbands all had children by former marriages, so that she became stepmother to fifteen children, and we hardly know how many grandchildren. As the venerable woman advanced in years, she was widely known as "Granny Winchester," and is still so spoken of by descendants. She left a will (which however was not probated), leaving mementoes of one sort or another to all her descendants then living, and which was therefore a rather remarkable and interesting document. The records of her lineal descendants are here given in some instances for three generations. The compilers are in possession of genealogical records in many lines to the present time.

By her first marriage with Robert Loverain she had five children, as follows:

  • I. Elizabeth Loverain, b. in Roxbury 10 May, 1708, m. John Eaton of Stoughton, Mass., 23 Apr., 1729.
  • II. Robert Loverain, b. in Roxbury 2(5 Sept., 1710, m. 12 Men., 1785, Rebecca, dau. of Thomas and Rebecca (Mayo) Gardner of Roxbury. They had six ch. as follows ...
  • III. William Loverain, b. in Roxbury 1 Mich., 1713, d. 21 June, 1713.
  • IV. Samuel Loverain, b. in Boston 5 Dec. 1715. This is recorded in the Roxbury records, which say, "Said Robert Loverain was then gone from Roxbury, lived at Boston by Mr. Meares's." Samuel settled in Holliston. Mass., where he m. 8 Nov., 1739, Mary, dau. of Isaac and Mary (Hunt) Lealand. She was b. 13 June, 1723. They had eight ch. all b. in Holliston, as follows ....
  • V. Joseph Loverain, b. probably in Boston (date not ascertained. Perhaps not the youngest child.) Settled in Holliston, Mass., where he d. 14 Oct., 1771. By his wife Hannah, who d. in Mch. 1759, he had five a. all'b. in Holliston, and by second wife Mercy, fourch., as follows ....


From Winchester Notes (Google eBook) Fanny Winchester Hotchkiss Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Company, 1912 - Winchester family - 367 pages.  Page 20:

Alice Winchester survived her fifth husband thirty-two years, and died in Holliston, Mass., in 1783, in her 102d year, at the house of her grandson, Joseph Lovering.

From the Independent Chronicle, Boston, Mass., March 25, 1784:

"Died at Holliston, the 14th inst. the widow Alice Winchester, in the one hundred and fifth year of her age, has had five husbands and left posterity in the fifth generation. She was a person of exemplary piety."

This remarkable woman must have possessed great personal charms, when we reflect upon her five marriages; her husbands also seem to have been men possessed of large property. This was certainly the case with her third, fourth, and fifth husbands, therefore her dower rights must have been large. She left a will, leaving mementos to all her descendants then living, a rather remarkable and interesting document. Winchester—Suffolk Probate, Vol. 47, p. 87: John Winchester of Brookline, estate adm. by son Isaac, March 6, 1752.

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Alice Winchester's Timeline

February 19, 1681
Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
February 19, 1681
Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts
November 7, 1705
Age 24
Brookline, Norfolk, Massachusetts
March 6, 1707
Age 26
Brookline, Norfolk, Massachusetts
March 19, 1708
Age 27
Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
May 26, 1710
Age 29
Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
March 1, 1713
Age 32
Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
December 5, 1715
Age 34
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA