08 October 2011

Genealogies of the victims of the 1692 witch hunt

Hanging of Bridget Bishop
Here's a quick genealogy of the victims of the 1692 Salem Witch Hunt. 

Bishop, Bridget (Playfer) (Wasselbee) (Oliver) (-1692). Daughter of __ Playfer. Married 1660 Samuel Wasselbee (d. 1665); m2. 1666 Thomas Oliver; m3. before 1680 Edward Bishop (d. 1705). Salem, MA. Hanged 10 June 1692.

Burroughs, Rev. George (c1650-1692). Son of Nathaniel and Rebecca (Stiles) Burroughs. Harvard College, class of 1670. Minister at Salem Village 1680-1683; minister in Wells, Maine, in 1692. Married, first, Hannah Fisher (1653-1681); m2. Sarah Ruck (d. 1689/90); m3. Mary (--). Wells, Maine. Hanged 19 August 1692.

Carrier, Martha (Allen) (-1692). Daughter of Andrew & Faith (Ingalls) Allen. Married 1674 Thomas Carrier alias Morgan (d. 1735). Andover/Billerica, MA. Hanged 19 August 1692.

Corey, Giles (1619?-1692). Married, first, Margaret (--); m2. 1664 Mary Brits/Britz (d. 1684); m3. by 1690 Martha (--) (d.1692). Salem Farms, MA. Pressed to death, 19 September 1692.

Corey, Martha (--) (-1692). Married by 1690 Giles Corey (1619?-1692). Salem Farms, MA. Hanged 22 September 1692.

Easty, Mary (Towne) (1634-1692). Daughter of William & Joanna (Blessing) Towne. Married by 1656 Isaac Easty (1627-1712). Sister of Rebecca Nurse and Sarah Cloyce. Topsfield, MA. Hanged 22 September 1692.

Good, Sarah (Solarte) (Poole) (c1654-1692). Daughter of John & Elizabeth Solart of Wenham, MA. Married, first, Daniel Poole; m2. William Good. Salem Village, MA. Hanged 19 July 1692.

Howe, Elizabeth (Jackson) (-1692). Daughter of William & Joan Jackson. Married 1658 James Howe. Ipswich, MA. Hanged 19 July 1692.

Jacobs Sr., George (1609?-1692). Married --; m2. Mary (--). Salem, MA. Hanged 19 August 1692.

Martin, Susannah (North) (1621-1692). Daughter of Richard & Joan (Bartram) North. Married 1646 George Martin (1618-1686). Amesbury, MA. Hanged 19 July 1692.

Nurse, Rebecca (Towne) (1621-1692). Daughter of William & Joanna (Blessing) Towne. Married 1644 Francis Nurse (1618-1695). Sister of Mary Easty and Sarah Cloyse. Salem Village, MA. Hanged 19 July 1692.

Parker, Alice (--) (-1692). Married John Parker. Salem, MA. Hanged 22 September 1692.

Parker, Mary (Ayer) (c1631-1692). Daughter of John & Hannah Ayer. Married c1652 Nathan Parker (d.1685). Andover, MA. Hanged 22 September 1692.

Proctor, John (c1632-1692). Son of John & Martha (Harper) Proctor. Married c1652 Martha White or Jackson; m2. 1662 Elizabeth Thorndike (d.1672); m3. 1674 Elizabeth Bassett. Salem Farms, MA. Hanged 19 August 1692.

Pudeator, Ann (Greenslade) (-1692). Married Thomas Greenslade (d.1674); m2. Jacob Pudeator (d.1682). Salem, MA. Hanged 22 September 1692.

Redd, Wilmot (--) (-1692). Married Samuel Redd/Reed (1635/40-1716). Marblehead, MA. Hanged 22 September 1692.

Scott, Margaret (Stephenson) (-1692). Daughter of __ Stephenson/Stevenson. Married 1651 Benjamin Scott (d.1671). Rowley, MA. Hanged 22 September 1692.

Wardwell, Samuel (1643-1692). Son of Thomas & Elizabeth (Woodruff) Wardwell. Married c1672 Sarah (Hooper) Hawkes. Andover, MA. Hanged 22 September 1692.

Wilds, Sarah (Averill) (1627-1692). Daughter of William & Sarah Averill. Married 1663 John Wilds (c1620-1705). Topsfield, MA. Hanged 19 July 1692.

Willard, John (-1692). Married c1687 Margaret Wilkins. Salem Village, MA. Hanged 19 August 1692.

Other Victims Who Died

Dustin, Lydia (--) (1613-1693). Married Josiah Dustin. Reading, MA. Tried, not guilty, but died in Cambridge jail March 10, 1693, before release.

Foster, Ann (Alcock?) (-1692). Daughter of __ Alcock? Married c1639 Andrew Foster Sr. Andover, MA. Died in Salem jail December 3, 1692.

Good, infant daughter (1691-1692) Daughter of William and Sarah (Solart) (Poole) Good of Salem Village, MA. Died in Boston jail previous to mother’s hanging on July 19, 1692.

Osburn, Sarah (Warren?) (Prince) (-1692). Daughter of __ Warren? Married 1662 Robert Prince; m2. Alexander Osburn (d. c1703). Salem Village, MA. Died in Boston jail May 10, 1692.

Toothaker, Roger (c1634-1692). Son of Roger & Margaret Toothaker. Married 1665 Mary Allen. Known as folk healer, witch-finder. Salem/Billerica, MA. Died in Boston jail June 1692. 


Anderson, Robert Charles, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society).

Norton, Mary Beth, In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692. 

Rosenthal, Bernard, ed., et al., Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt. 

Torrey, Clarence Almon, New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (Online 

Database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society).
Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 (Online Database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society).

05 October 2011

The Devil is in the details: a timeline of the 1692 witch hunt

Witch statue at Salem Witch Village,
Salem, Mass.
1620: Plymouth Colony settled by Pilgrims.
1626: Roger Conant founded Salem, Massachusetts.
1641: Massachusetts passed a statute making witchcraft a felony, punishable by death. According to surviving court records, more than 120 people were accused of witchcraft by 1691 in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire—and at least 10 were executed.
1672: Salem Village allowed to organize own parish church.
1675-1678: Indian wars in Massachusetts and what is now Maine.
1680-1683: Rev. George Burroughs minister at Salem Village.
1684: King Charles II revoked the Massachusetts Charter, putting the existing government of the colony in question.
1686: Sir Edmund Andros named governor of New England.
1688: Four Goodwin children are “afflicted” in Boston and accuse “Goody” Glover of being a witch; Glover is hanged. Wars began again with Wabanaki Indians in Maine.
1689: Governor Andros deposed and imprisoned by Colonists. Rev. Samuel Parris became minister in Salem Village. 
1691: Sir William Phips named governor of Massachusetts by the new English monarchs, William & Mary (who ousted King James II).
1692 January: Betty Parris, age 9, Abigail Williams, about age 11, and Ann Putnam Jr., 12, exhibit strange behavior in Salem.
1692 February: Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne are arrested as witches.
1692 May: The Court of Oyer and Terminer is established by Governor Phips to hear witchcraft cases. The court consisted of nine judges: Lt. Governor William Stoughton, Nathaniel Saltonstall, Wait-Still Winthrop, Peter Sergeant, John Richard, Samuel Sewall, Bartholomew Gedney, John Hathorne, and Jonathan Corwin. In June, Saltonstall resigned over the issue of spectral evidence; he was later accused of being a witch.
1692 June: Bridget Bishop tried, convicted, hanged. Rev. Cotton Mather and other ministers question the use of spectral evidence.
1692 July: Rebecca Nurse, Susannah Martin, Sarah Wildes, Sarah Good, and Elizabeth How hanged.
1692 August: George Jacobs, Martha Carrier, Rev. George Burroughs, John Proctor, and John Willard hanged.
1692 September: Giles Corey pressed to death for refusing to answer in court to charges of witchcraft. It took two days of piling stones on his prone body for the old man to die. Mary Easty, Alice Parker, Ann Pudeator, Margaret Scott, Wilmott Redd, Samuel Wardwell, and Mary Parker hanged.
1692 October: Rev. Increase Mather speaks against spectral evidence. Governor Phips dissolved Court of Oyer and Terminer. Some prisoners were released on bail, if they paid for their confinement, food, and the shackles they wore.
1693 January: Witch trials began again. Some guilty verdicts were reached but Governor Phips did not allow judges to hang convicted witches.
1697 January: By order of the General Court of Massachusetts, there was a day of fasting and prayer for all the calamities that had befallen the colony. Judge Stoughton signed the proclamation, but would not allow references to the witch trials as part of its wording. Judge Samuel Sewall publicly admitted his “guilt” for his part in the witchcraft trials by having a statement read at the South Church in Boston. Twelve men who had been jurors during the witch trials asked pardon of God, of “the living sufferers,” and of “all whom we have justly offended” in Salem.
1697: Rev. Joseph Green became minister at the church in Salem Village, which starts the healing process in this fractured community.
1699: War with Wabanaki Indians ended.
1703: Salem Village church rescinded excommunication of Martha Corey. Massachusetts legislature acquitted Abigail Faulkner and “sundry persons” of their convictions during the witch trials.
1706: Ann Putnam Jr. was received into full communion at the Salem Village Church after she confessed to being deluded by Satan in accusing innocent people of the crime of witchcraft.
1711: Reversal of Attainder nullified all witch trial judgments against George Burroughs, John Proctor, George Jacobs, John Willard, Giles and Martha Corey, Rebecca Nurse, Sarah Good, Elizabeth How, Mary Easty, Sarah Wildes, Abigail Hobbs, Samuel Wardwell, Mary Parker, Martha Carrier, Abigail Faulkner, Ann Foster, Rebecca Eames, Mary Post, Mary Lacy, Mary Bradbury, and Dorcas Hoar. The government also paid reparations totaling 578 pounds to the victims or their families. Money was only given to those who asked to be reimbursed for expenses related to the trials and confinement.
1712: The Salem church reversed the excommunication of Rebecca Nurse and Giles Corey.
1757: Salem Village incorporated as the town of Danvers.
1957: The Massachusetts General Court declared the innocence of Ann Pudeator “and certain other persons” for witchcraft.
1992: On the 300th anniversary of the witch trials, Salem and Danvers built memorials to the victims.
2001: Massachusetts resolution cleared the names of Bridget Bishop, Susannah Martin, Alice Parker, Wilmott Redd, and Margaret Scott, all of whom had not been specifically named in previous reversals of attainders. 

01 October 2011

Witch-hunting facts through the ages

There are only eight occurrences of the word “witch” in the King James Bible. However, its words are very explicit: “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” (Exodus 22:17-19).

After the Bible, one of the most popular books in 16th- and 17th-century Europe was the Malleus Maleficarum (also known in English as The Hammer of Witches), written in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer, priest of the Dominican Order who was authorized as Inquisitor of the Catholic Church to persecute witches. The book was written as a manual to help identify, prosecute, and convict witches.

Maleficium is a Latin term to describe malicious acts of magic or evildoing, such as harming another person's health, family, animals, or property.

In Europe, 12,000 people are known to have been tried and executed as witches, though estimates of deaths are as high as 100,000 during the period from 1480 to 1700.

New England Witches

In 1642, the General Court of Massachusetts passed a statute making witchcraft a felony, punishable by death. More than 40 people were accused of witchcraft before 1692 in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire—and at least 10 are executed.

During the 1692 Salem witch trials, more than 150 people were arrested and imprisoned for witchcraft; 29 were convicted by the courts and of those, 14 women and 5 men were hanged; and one man who refused to enter a plea was crushed to death.

In total, more than 200 people were accused and jailed for witchcraft in 17th-century New England; at least 30 were executed.


Before the 1692 witch hunt in Essex county, Massachusetts, other people were hanged as witches. These people include:

Margaret Jones (d. 1648)
Alice Lake (d. 1650)
Joan Carrington (d. 1651)
John Carrington (d. 1651)
Lydia Gilbert (d. 1652)
Anne Hibbens (d. 1655)
Mary Barnes (d. 1662)
Nathaniel Greensmith (d. 1662)
Rebecca Greensmith (d. 1662)
Goody Glover (d. 1688)

For victims of the 1692 witch hunt, see Genealogies of the victims of the 1692 witch hunt.