Witch Trial Ancestors

Updated/Edited: 17 Feb 2015

These are Gran’s ancestors which were, unfortunately, involved in the Salem Witch Trials between February 1692 and May 1693. Some of our ancestors gave testimony against those accused and some gave testimony in support of the people who were being falsely accused:

400px-Witchcraft_at_Salem_Village

Robert Moulton, Senior: (Pepper/Strickland Ancestor) (Gran’s 8th Great Grandfather)
Robert Moulton, Senior, as he was also known, was a witness in the Salem Witch Trials. He gave testimony which you can read here in the primary source: Testimony of Robert Moulton, Sr. Regarding Susannah Sheldon, in Support of Rebecca Nurse

Transcription:  “the testimony of Robart Moulton sener who testifith and saith that I waching with Susannah sheldon sence she was afflicted I heard her say that the witches halled her Upone her bely through the yeard like a snacke and halled her over the stone walle & presontly I heard her Controdict her former: disCource and said that she Came over the stone wall her selfe and I heard her say that she Rid Upone apoole to boston and she said the divel Caryed the poole” ¹

128_0001 Robt Moulton Witch

Source Citation:
1. Essex County Court Archives, vol. 2, no. 128, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Judicial Archives, on deposit James Duncan Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.

Thomas Putnam (1652-1699): (Gran’s 8th Great Grand Uncle)
I am sad to say that Thomas Putnam was one of the primary accusers and he influenced his 13 year old daughter, Ann Putnam (my 1st cousin 9x removed), to also accuse others of witchcraft which resulted in many executions. In later years Ann repented of her deeds:

Ann Putnam's apology

Ann Putnam’s apology

Here are a few of the records of which there are many with Thomas Putnam as an accuser!

Deposition of Thomas Putnam, aged about 40 years: Deposition of Samuel Parris, Thomas Putnam, & Ezekiel Cheever vs. Sarah Good, Sara Osburn & Tituba

Transcription: “Also Tho: Putman aged about fourty years & Ezek: Cheevers aged about thirty & six years testify to the whole of the aboves’d & all the three deponents aforesaid farther testify that after the said Indian began to confess she was her self very much afflicted & in the face of authority at the same time & openly charged the abovesaid Good & Osburne as the persons that afflicted her the aforesaid Indian”
Sworne Salem May the 23’d 1692 Before us * John Hathorne
*Jonathan. Corwin
P ord’r of the Govern’r & Councill
mr paris on his oath owned this to be the truth before the Juryars for inquest this 28 of Jun: 1692
Jurat in Curia
(Reverse) The depion of S. Parris Tho putnam & Ezek Cheevers
ag’t [unclear: ] Sarah Good
Sarah Osburne
Tituba Indian“²
( Essex County Archives, Salem — Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 11 )

Transcription: “The Deposition of Sam: Parris aged about. 39. years, & Nathan-
ael Ingersol aged about fifty & eight yeares & Thomas Putman aged
about fourty yeares all of Salem — testifyeth & saith that severall
of the bewitched persons were much afflicted at the examination of
Martha Kory, wife to Giles Kory of Salem, #[& particu] before the
honoured Magistrates. 21. March. 1961/2 & particularly that #[when]
before her hands were held severall of the afflicted were pincht,
& when said Martha bit her lip severall of them were bitten: & that
some of the afflicted said there was a black man whispering in her
ear, namely Mary Walcot and Abigail Williams both of which also
were bit & pincht by her as they said
(Reverse) The Depoon
of Sam: Parris &c ag’st Martha Kory“³
( Essex County Archives, Salem — Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 13 )

Source Citations:
2. Essex County Court Archives, vol. 1, no. 34, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Judicial Archives, on deposit James Duncan Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.

3. Essex County Court Archives, vol. 1, no. 42, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Judicial Archives, on deposit James Duncan Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.

Transcription:
(Thomas Putnam and John Putnam, Jr. v. John Proctor)
The Deposistion of Thomas putnam agged 40 years and Jno. putnam aged 36 years who testifieth and saith that we haveing ben conversant with divrs of the afflected parsons as mary walcott mercy lewes Abigail williams and Ann putnam and Elizabeth Hubbert, and have seen them most greviously tormented and often complaining of John proctor, for hurting them also on the II’th of April 1692 being the day of John proctors examination the affore named parsons ware much afflected dureing the time of his examination: also severall times sence we have seen the affore said parsons most dreadfully afflected and complaining of John proctor for hurting them and we
-688-
veryly beleve that John proctor the prisoner att the barr has many times afflected and tormented the affore said parsons by acts of witchcraft 
*Thomas putnam. *Jon Putnam. 
Jurat in Curia. 
(Reverse) Thomas Putman Jon Putman John Proctor4
( Essex County Archives, Salem — Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 15 )

Source Citation:
4. Essex County Court Archives, vol. 1, no. 48, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Judicial Archives, on deposit James Duncan Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.

MORE RESOURCES:
The Salem Witch Trials documents at the University of Virginia
Salem Witch Trials at Wikipedia

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