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Mary Parker (Ayer)

Birthplace: England
Death: Died in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
Cause of death: Hanged as a Salem witch
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John Ayer, Sr. and Hannah Ayer
Wife of Nathan Parker, of Andover
Mother of John Parker; James Parker; Mary Richardson; Hannah Tyler; Elizabeth Farnum and 4 others
Sister of John Ayres, II; Robert Ayer; Thomas Ayers; Rebecca Keyser; Cornet Peter Ayer and 6 others

Occupation: Accused of witchcraft, hanged on Sept 22, 1692
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Mary Parker

Mary Ayer, daughter to John and Hannah, married Nathanial Parker. Mary (Ayer) Parker was accused of witchcraft in 1692. Mary Parker refused to confess during the witchcraft trials saying, "I know nothing of it, there is another woman of the same name in Andover." She was refering to her sister-in-law, Mary Parker, the aged and senile widow of Joseph Parker" [ref Woodward, Records of Salem Witchcraft, 2:163-154]

On September 17, 1692 Margaret Scott, Wilmott Redd, Samuel Wardwell, Mary Parker, Abigail Faulkner, Rebecca Eames, Mary Lacy, Ann Foster, and Abigail Hobbs were tried and condemned.

On September 22, 1692 Martha Corey, Margaret Scott, Mary Easty, Alice Parker, Ann Pudeator, Wilmott Redd, Samuel Wardwell, and Mary Parker were hanged.

Mary (Ayer) Parker was buried in an unmarked grave, somewhere in Salem Massachusetts.


John and Hannah Ayer gave birth to their daughter Mary sometime in the early to mid 1600's. Mary and her siblings may have been born in England, and later moved to North America with their parents. The Ayers moved several times during the early stages of their settlement in America but resettled for the last time in 1647 in Haverhill.2

The family was apparently of some prominence. Tax records from 1646 showed that John Ayer possessed at least one hundred and sixty pounds, making him one of the wealthiest settlers in Haverhill.

Mary Ayer married Nathan Parker sometime before her father's death in 1657. Although no marriage record survived in the hometowns of either Nathan or Mary, the wording of her father John Ayer's will made it obvious that she was married with children when it was written.3 Nathan married his first wife Susanna Short on November 20, 1648.4 Within the next three years, the couple relocated to Andover, where she soon after died on August 26, 1651.5

Andover's Vital Records listed the birth of Nathan and Mary Parker's first son John in 1653.6 Nathan could have remarried and had children within the two years after the death of his first wife.

Mary and Nathan continued to have children for over twenty years after the birth of

  • John Parker in 1653. Mary bore four more sons:
  • James in 1655, James died on June 29, 1677, killed in an Indian skirmish at Black Point.
  • Robert in 1665, Robert died in 1688 at the age of 23.
  • Peter in 1676, and a son
  • Joseph.12 She and Nathan also had four daughters:
  • Mary, born in 1660 (or 1657)13,
  • Hannah in 1659, Hannah married John Tyler in 1682.15
  • Elizabeth in 1663, Elizabeth married John Farnum in 1684.
  • Sara in 1670. 14

Mary Ayer Parker of Andover came to trial in Salem Massachusetts, suspected of witchcraft. During her examination she was asked, "How long have ye been in the snare of the devil?" She responded, "I know nothing of it."


16 Mary Ayer, born about 1634. She married Nathan Parker and lived in Andover, Massachusetts. Nathan died in 1685. Mary (Ayers) Parker was executed on 22 September 1692, at Salem, Massachusetts, by hanging, as a result of a conviction on a charge of witch-craft


Executed for witchcraft at the Salem witch trials (see

8th great-grandmother of US President George W. Bush

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Mary Parker's Timeline

December 20, 1653
Age 19
Newbury, Essex, MA
August 14, 1655
Age 21
Andover, Essex, MA
April 14, 1657
Age 23
Andover, Essex, MA, USA
May 14, 1659
Age 25
Andover, Essex, Massachusetts
January 28, 1663
Age 29
Andover, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
February 26, 1665
Age 31
Andover, Essex, MA
April 3, 1670
Age 36
Andover, Essex, MA
Age 38
Andover, Essex, MA