H.P. Lovecraft came from a long line of New Englanders.
The primary sources for this illustration are Kenneth W. Faig, Jr.’s Some of the
Descendants of Asaph Phillips and Esther Whipple of Foster, Rhode Island (Moshassuck Press),
The Parents of Howard Phillips Lovecraft
(Necronomicon Press), and Richard D.
Squires’ Stern fathers ’neath the mould: The Lovecraft Family in Rochester
- Augusta Charlotte Allgood (1842–12 March 1884): The
younger sister by 22 years of Helen Allgood, she was adopted at age ten by Helen’s
husband, George, when her father, William Allgood, died.
- Helen Allgood (1820–1881): Lovecraft’s paternal
grandmother. Wife of George Lovecraft, whom she married in 1839. She gave birth to five
children: a stillborn, Cordelia Amanda, Emily Jane, Winfield Scott, and Mary Louisa. Her sister,
Augusta Charlotte Allgood, who was 22 years her junior, was adopted when she was 10 by George
Lovecraft upon the death of her father, making Helen her own sister’s mother.
- James Brown (1806–23 November 1889): Husband of Mary
Lovecraft, whom he married on 2 March 1854. While in Ireland, James had two sons, Isaac and
Adam, by Margaret Rountree, who died in 1836. James then moved to the United States, settling in
Rochester by 1839, and finding work with the railroads. In 1846 he married Sarah Hurlburt, with
whom he had four more children, Mary Jane, James, Saragh Anne (1851), and Saragh Anne (1853).
When he finally met Mary Lovecraft, who was twenty-two years his junior, he was raising at least
four children on his own.
- Franklin Chase Clark (26 May 1847–26
April 1915): Lovecraft’s maternal uncle and husband of Lillian Delora
Phillips, whom he married on 10 April 1902. In 1869 Franklin received an
A.B. from Brown University and in 1872 he received his M.D. from the
College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. From this point
until his death in 1915 he practiced medicine in Providence.
- Israel Cole (1807–28 January 1886):
Husband of Esther Phillips, he was a farmer in Foster, Rhode Island.
- Annie M. Davidson (b. 1841): James
Phillips’ third wife, married on 18 June 1860.
- Letitia Edgecombe (?–?): Lovecraft’s
paternal great-great-grandmother. Lovecraft claims that she gave birth to
at least six of Thomas Lovecraft’s children, among them Lovecraft’s
paternal great-grandfather, Joseph S. Lovecraft.
- Lucy Fry (1794–17 June 1884): Sister of
Richard Fry and wife of Benoni Phillips, whom she married in 1811. She
gave birth to 11 children: Almyra, Eliza L., Susan, Olney, Harley
F., Mary Ann, Asaph, Jeremiah Benoni, Esther W., James W., and Lucy E.
- Richard Fry (1789–1855): Brother of Lucy
Fry and husband of Waite Phillips, whom he married 6 October 1811.
- Mary Full? (1782–14 August 1864):
Lovecraft’s paternal great-grandmother. Mary was both the wife and cousin
of Joseph S. Lovecraft. She gave birth to six children: John Full,
William, Joseph Jr., George, Aaron, and Mary.
- Edward Francis Gamwell (22 May 1869–10
May 1936): Lovecraft’s maternal uncle through Annie Emeline Phillips,
whom Edward married 3 June 1897. After Edward and Annie married, they
moved from Providence, Rhode Island to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he
was successively employed as the city editor of the Cambridge
Chronicle, the owner and editor of the Cambridge Tribune,
and the editor of the Budget and the American Cultivator.
Sometime in or before 1916 Edward and Annie separated, although they never
- Eliza W. Gardner (1809–26 March 1846):
Wife of Whipple Phillips, whom she married 10 March 1830. She gave birth
to four children: Mary Brayton, Theodore Winthrop, William Henry, and an
unnamed infant daughter who died soon after birth.
- Elenor Gaskin (1806–13 October 1890):
Wife of John Full Lovecraft, whom she married on 8 June 1833. She gave
birth to six children: Rhoda Ellen, Joshua John, Sidney Joseph, William,
Josephine Ann, and Silas.
- Sonia Haft Greene (16 March 1883–26
December 1972): Wife of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, whom she married on 3
March 1924. Some of Sonia’s biographical details are unclear—she was
born as either Sonia Haft Shafirkin or as Sonia Shaferkin Haft in either
Ichnya, Ukraine or Konotop, Chernigov Province. She first emigrated to
England with her mother and later to New York City, arriving there in
either 1892 or 1895. On 24 December 1899, Sonia married Samuel Greene,
whose name may have originally been Samuel Seckendorff; he died sometime
around 1916, perhaps by suicide. During this marriage, Sonia gave birth
to two children: a son who died before four months of age, and Florence
Carol. Sonia met Howard Phillips Lovecraft in 1921 through their common
interest in amateur journalism. They were married in St. Paul’s Chapel in
Manhattan, and lived together in Brooklyn. After their separation, she
moved to California where, in 1936, she married Dr. Nathaniel Abraham
Davis, who died only ten years later. For much of her life, Sonia worked
in women’s fashions, at one time owning her own millinery (hat) shop.
- Isaac C. Hill (1849–1932): Lovecraft’s
paternal uncle and husband of Emily Jane Lovecraft. He was principal of
the Pelham (New York) High School.
- Daniel Howard Jr. (15 March 1787–15 July
1879): Husband of Betsey Phillips, whom he married 24 September 1809.
Daniel was, like his father before him, Town Clerk of Foster, Rhode
Island, serving in this capacity for 25 years. During this same time he
represented the town of Foster in the Rhode Island House of
Representatives, served as a justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and was
an associate justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court. After the death
of Betsey Phillips, he married Lurana Wilbur (11 March 1815–18 August
1908) on 21 April 1851.
- Aaron Lovecraft (1817–14 December
1870): Aaron arrived in Rochester from Devonshire in 1830. He began
working as a tailor and in 1841 started working with men’s clotheir B.P.
Robinson & Co., eventually becoming a foreman in 1849. He married Althea
Veazie in 1842. Aaron was acquainted with the founders of the Western
Union Telegraph Co. and was an early investor in that company. In 1861 he
purchased B.P. Robinson & Co., renaming the company Lovecraft & Goodrich,
after himself and his partner, Frederick Goodrich. In the following years
the company prospered and Aaron became one of Rochester’s best respected
and admired employers.
- Cordelia Amanda Lovecraft (25 April
1841–7 May 1841): Daughter of George Lovecraft and Helen Allgood, she
only lived to be 12 days old.
- Elizabeth Lovecraft (1812–31
October 1896): Wife and cousin of Joseph Lovecraft Jr., whom she married
on 10 October 1839. She gave birth to two children: Matilda Jane and
- Emily Jane Lovecraft (1849–1925):
Lovecraft’s paternal aunt and wife of Isaac C. Hill. She gave birth to
one child, Mary Ida Emily.
- George Lovecraft (1814–1895):
Lovecraft’s paternal grandfather. He arrived in Rochester around 1831 and
married Helen Allgood in 1839. He worked as a harness maker until at
least 1850, after which he worked as a salesman for Mt. Hope Garden and
Nursery. Some time after 1861, he moved his family to Mt. Vernon, New
- Howard Phillips Lovecraft (20 August
1890–15 March 1937): The only child of Winfield Scott Lovecraft and
Sarah Susan Phillips, Howard was born, raised in, and died in Providence,
Rhode Island. “I Am Providence” is carved on his tombstone.
- John Full Lovecraft (1806–16 April
1877): First son of Joseph S. Lovecraft, he married Elenor Gaskin on 8
June 1833. He worked in Rochester as a carpenter until he opened his own
mill on an island in the Genessee River in 1849.
- Joseph S. Lovecraft (1775–28 March
1850): Lovecraft’s paternal great-grandfather. Joseph left Newton-Abbot,
Devonshire, England with his wife, Mary, sometime between 1827 and 1831 to
move to the United States, eventually settling in Rochester, New York.
Joseph and two of his sons (Joseph Jr. and William) worked there as
coopers, making barrels for flour.
- Joseph Lovecraft Jr. (1811–7 November
1879): Joseph arrived in Rochester from Devonshire on 24 May 1831. After
working as a cooper, he opened a manufacturing company, W & J Lovecraft,
with his brother, William. He married his cousin, Elizabeth Lovecraft, on
10 October 1839. He began Joseph Lovecraft & Son, his own barrel
manufacturing firm, in 1856, but financial hardships pushed him to move to
Indianapolis from 1869 to 1871, when he moved back to Rochester.
- Mary Lovecraft (1828–24 February 1907):
Wife of James Brown, whom she married on 2 March 1854. She gave birth to
nine children: James Eliot, George Henry, William Lovecraft, Frederick
Joseph, Robert Bell, Henry Donovan, Frank Clifford, Edward Fulton, and
Aaron Lovecraft. All but Robert Bell died before seven years of age.
- Mary Louisa Lovecraft (1855–1916):
Lovecraft’s paternal aunt and wife of Paul Mellon.
- Thomas Lovecraft (1745–1826):
Lovecraft’s paternal great-great-grandfather. Lovecraft claims that
Thomas sold “his family seat,” Minster Hall, in 1823 due to financial
- William Lovecraft (1 February 1808–26
September 1882): William left Devonshire on 4 May 1831 and married Eliza
Ann Randall in Rochester, New York in February 1825. Like his brother,
Joseph Jr., he worked as a cooper, and the two opened a manufacturing
company, W & J Lovecraft. The company dissolved around 1869 and after
that William worked as the owner of a wood yard.
- Winfield Scott Lovecraft (26 October
1853–19 July 1898): Lovecraft’s father. Named after General Winfield
Scott, who visited Rochester, New York, on 14 October 1852. In the early
1870s he worked for the James Cunningham, Son & Company carriage factory
as a blacksmith. His whereabouts from 1874 to 1889 are not clear,
although it has been suggested that he worked in New York City for his
cousin, Frederick. In 1889 he began working as a traveling salesman for
Providence’s Gorham & Company. He married Sarah Susan Phillips on 12 June
1889 at St. Paul’s in Boston. In 1893 he began having hallucinations
while in Chicago on business, and on 25 April he was admitted to Butler
Hospital in Providence, diagnosed as having “general paresis”—the
tertiary stage of neurosyphilis.
- Gardner Lyon (11 April 1804–20 July 1849):
Husband of Anna Phillips, whom he married 17 March 1823.
- Martha Helen Mathews (22 June 1868–9
February 1916): Lovecraft’s maternal aunt through his uncle, Edwin
Everett Phillips, whom Martha married on 30 July 1894 and 23 March
- Paul Mellon (1863–1910): Lovecraft’s
paternal uncle and husband of Mary Louisa Lovecraft.
- Susan Paine: First wife of James Phillips,
whom she married on 4 November 1819. She gave birth to one child,
- Abbie E. Phillips (1839–1873): Wife
of Jeremiah E. Phillips, to whom she gave four children.
- Anna M. Phillips (19 May 1825–10
January 1829): Daughter of Jeremiah Phillips and Roby Rathbun, she only
lived to be 3 years, 7 months, and 22 days old.
- Anne Phillips (6 February 1804–30
December 1845): Wife of Gardner Lyon, whom she married 17 March 1823.
She gave birth to eight children: Annie, Albert, Jason, Alden, Hannah,
Susan, Esther, and Samantha.
- Annie Emeline Phillips (10 July 1866–29
January 1941): Lovecraft’s maternal aunt. In October 1916 Annie and
Edward were separated when she took their son, Phillips, to Roswell,
Colorado in the hopes of arresting his tuberculosis (it is possible that
they separated earlier than this). When Phillips died on 31 December 1916
Annie returned not to Edward in Cambridge, but to Providence where she
spent most of the rest of her life with her nephew, Howard Phillips
Lovecraft. Edward and Annie were never legally divorced.
- Asaph (Asa) Phillips (4 July 1764–7
July 1829): Lovecraft’s maternal great-great-grandfather and wife of
Esther Whipple, whom Asaph married on 16 August 1787.
- Benoni Phillips (19 February 1788–9
- Betsey Phillips (22 August 1789–16
- Edwin Everett Phillips (14 February
1864–14 November 1918): Lovecraft’s maternal uncle and husband of
Martha Helen Mathews, whom Edwin married on 30 July 1894 and 23
March 1903. Edwin was involved in the business of his father, Whipple Van
Buren Phillips, until Whipple’s death in 1904. After that, he worked as a
“manufacturer’s representative, real estate and mortgage agent, rent
collector, notary public...coin dealer” and “salesman and treasurer for a
refrigeration company” [Some of the Descendants..., Faig].
- Emeline Estella Phillips (15 July 1859–15
- Esther Phillips (20 June 1807–18
August 1881): Wife of Israel Cole, she gave birth to six children: Mary,
Leonard, William, Olney P., Waite Ann, and an unnamed daughter.
- James Phillips (10 March 1794–24 May
- James Wheaton Phillips (11 March 1830–9
- Jeremiah Phillips (29 January 1800–20
November 1848): Lovecraft’s maternal great-grandfather.
- Lillian Delora Phillips (20 April 1856–3
July 1932): Lovecraft’s maternal aunt.
- Mary Ann Phillips (1803–29 August
1852): James Phillips’ second wife, married ca. 1822.
- Sarah Susan Phillips (17 October 1857–24
May 1921): Lovecraft’s mother and the wife of Winfield Scott
Lovecraft, whom she married on 12 June 1889.
- Seth Phillips (29 May 1828–10 January
- Susan Esther Phillips (1827–28 July
- Waite Phillips (25 September 1791–21
- Wheaton Phillips (1823/24):
- Whipple Phillips (4 January 1797–16
- Whipple Van Buren Phillips (22 November
1833–28 March 1904): Lovecraft’s maternal grandfather. A portrait of Phillips is available, courtesy of
Tim Fitzhugh (Senior Warden) and Russell Kawa (Secretary) of the Ionic
Lodge in Greene, Rhode Island, which Phillips founded.
- Jane Ann Place (11 March 1829–24 August
- Roby Alzada Place (18 April 1827–26
January 1896): Lovecraft’s maternal grandmother.
- Eliza Ann Randall (1 July 1813–8 May
1874): Wife of William Lovecraft, whom she married in February 1825. She
gave birth to two children, Arthur Joseph and Laura Maria.
- Roby Rathbun (29 June 1797–16 July
1848): Lovecraft’s maternal great-grandmother.
- John Lovecraft Taylor (1836–28 January
1899): Lovecraft’s paternal uncle through his wife, the sister and
adopted daughter of Helen Allgood, Augusta Charlotte Allgood.
- Althea E. Veazie (1818–8 August 1905):
Wife of Aaron Lovecraft, whom she married in 1842. She gave birth to five
children: Georgia Frances, Mary Mindwell, Martha, Frederick Aaron, and
Florence Veazie. Her mother, like Lovecraft’s wife, Sonia, operated a
millinery (hat) store.
- Esther Whipple (2 April 1767–11
December 1842): Lovecraft’s maternal great-great-grandmother. Married
Asaph Phillips on 16 August 1787.