Hannah Wilbor

Hannah Wilbor

1731 – 1822

Hannah Wilbor moved into the Wilbor House in 1748 after marrying her second cousin William Wilbour. Her imminent arrival, and the anticipation of the children she would bear, prompted her in-laws to double the size of their house. Hannah shared the farmhouse with them until their deaths 26 years later.

Hannah and William had ten children. Six (a disabled son and five daughters) never married and never left home. After William’s death in 1796 census takers recognized Hannah as the head of her own household living in the Wilbor House’s west rooms with her adult children while her son Jonathan and his family lived in the east rooms.

William’s will instructed two of his sons to provide every year for their mother: 15 bushels corn, 5 of barley, 1 of salt, 5 gallons molasses, 50 lbs flour, 25 of sugar, 200 lbs pork, 100 lbs beef, “sufficient suitable sauce,” 6 cords of wood cut to fit her fireplace and delivered to the door, 40 lbs flax, and 20 lbs wool. If she remarried, the support ended. Many 18th-century men made similar provisions for their widows.

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Outdoor exhibit panel from the 2020 special exhibition, The Little Compton Women’s History Project.