Sophia (Peabody) Hawthorne
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Sophia Amelia (Peabody) Hawthorne (1809 - 1871)

Sophia Amelia Hawthorne formerly Peabody
Born in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married 9 Jul 1842 in Boston, Massachusettsmap
Descendants descendants
Died at age 61 in London, England, United Kingdommap
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Profile last modified | Created 29 Oct 2009
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Notables Project
Sophia (Peabody) Hawthorne is Notable.

Sophia Amelia Hawthorne was an American painter, illustrator, and writer.

Sophia Amelia Peabody was born in Salem, Massachusetts on 21 September 1809 to Nathaniel Peabody and Elizabeth Palmer.[1] Educated by her sister, Elizabeth, Sophia was multilingual and knowledgeable in science, literature, and history. She began formally studying drawing in 1824 and was painting regularly by 1932, though her talents were hampered Victorian social constraints.[2] She also had been a sickly child and would suffer from unknown maladies throughout her life.

Isola San Giovanni by Sophia Peabody.

It was Elizabeth who introduced Sophia to her future husband, the author Nathaniel Hawthorne. She initially did not want to marry him because of her health, but they were secretly engaged in 1839. Due to Sophia's illness, their initial wedding date had to be postponed for 2 weeks, and they married in Boston, Massachusetts in 1842.[3] They had 3 children.

Sophia illustrated one of Hawthorne's stories, The Gentle Boy, which was reissued with a dedication to her. He later asked her to illustrate a reissue of his children's book, Grandfather's Chair.[2]

Sophia was widowed in 1864, at which point she organized and edited her husband's notebooks for publication. She and her children moved to Dresden, Germany in 1868 and London the following year.[4] She died in 1871 and was buried in London; her daughter, Una, died in 1877 and was buried with her mother. However, since the upkeep on their graves was costly, it was advised that Sophia and Una's remains be moved to the family plot in Massachusetts.[2] They were reburied with Nathaniel Hawthorne in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in 2006.[5]


  1. "Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915", database, FamilySearch ( : 15 January 2020), Sophia Peabody, 1809.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Wikipedia: Sophia_Hawthorne
  3. "Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 18 October 2022), Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia A Peabody, 1842; citing Marriage, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, Boston; FHL microfilm 007011047.
  4. Salem Public Library: The Peabody Sisters. Accessed on 25 August 2023.
  5. Find a Grave, database and images ( accessed 25 August 2023), memorial page for Sophia Amelia Peabody Hawthorne (21 Sep 1809–26 Feb 1871), Find a Grave Memorial ID 14747927, citing Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA; Maintained by Find a Grave.

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Sophia Peabody
Sophia Peabody

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In Biography, "painting regularly by 1932" - think that should be "1832" ?
posted by John Mueller

Featured German connections: Sophia is 18 degrees from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 22 degrees from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 24 degrees from Lucas Cranach, 20 degrees from Stefanie Graf, 20 degrees from Wilhelm Grimm, 23 degrees from Fanny Hensel, 25 degrees from Theodor Heuss, 17 degrees from Alexander Mack, 34 degrees from Carl Miele, 17 degrees from Nathan Rothschild, 19 degrees from Hermann Friedrich Albert von Ihering and 21 degrees from Ferdinand von Zeppelin on our single family tree. Login to see how you relate to 33 million family members.