Mary Kitts was born on October 7, 1776 and lived until about 1825. She made her home in Upper Penns Neck Township, Salem County, New Jersey. She was the oldest daughter of Matthias Lauterbach, a Salem County farmer, and Ann Curry Lauterbach. On March 2, 1793, at the age of 17, Mary Lauterbach married Felix Kitts, a farmer in Upper Penns Neck Township, at the Oldman’s Creek Moravian Church on the border of Gloucester and Salem Counties. Felix Kitts was the son of tavern keeper Robert Kitts, whose second wife Christiana Kitts (m.1794), is listed as a voter on the December 1800 poll list from Upper Penns Neck Township.

Together, Felix and Mary Kitts had two daughters, Sarah (b.1797) and Ann (b.1801). Felix Kitts, however, died in the spring of 1801 before the birth of Ann on August 16th. According to Felix Kitts’s will, dated April 18, 1801, Mary Kitts received the family’s furniture, a cow, a mare, food stores, and income from the family’s plantation while she remained a widow. Kitts’s children were to receive his land. Since Ann Kitts had yet to be born, Felix Kitt’s will states: “If expected child is a son he is to have 3/8 of land and my silver watch; if a daughter, 1/2 of land.” Kitts’s estate was valued at $920.08.

Photograph of Oldman's Creek Moravian Church
Mary Kitts got married on March 2, 1793 at the Oldman’s Creek Moravian Church on the border of Gloucester and Salem Counties. Photograph by Smallbones, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In October 1802, Mary Kitts, a widow for nearly two years, voted in the election held in Upper Penns Neck Township. She legally lost her eligibility to vote the following year when she married William Lawrence on June 30, 1803. William and Mary Lawrence had two children together, Mary and James. Mary Lawrence was widowed a second time when William Lawrence died in 1819 without a will. Mary Lawrence wrote a will of her own in 1825 granting her estate to three of her children, Sarah Pitman, Mary Lawrence, and James Lawrence. Her grandson David Smith McCallister and granddaughter Mary McCallister (the children of Ann Kitts McCallister) each received five dollars. It is currently unknown how long Mary Lawrence lived after writing her will. It is unclear where she is buried.

Photo of Mary Kitts's name listed on October 1802 poll list from UPN Township
Mary Kitts’s name is recorded on the October 1802 poll list from Upper Penns Neck Township. Salem County Historical Society