Salem Witch Trials: Colonial America in 1692 Project

Started by Erica Howton on Wednesday, October 13, 2010


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  • <private> Baldwin
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10/13/2010 at 2:05 AM

I want to get a a Salem Witch Trials Project going, which will include Master Profiles of the "players" in those trials. I know, I'm having a Carrie Bradshaw/ "Sex in the City" moment. Personally I'm trying to relate myself to Mary Bliss Parsons:

and unfortunately already have Reades in my family tree, who were among the witchcraft accusers.

Who would like in? Post the URL to your "family witch or Puritan" in this discussion and contribute any useful resources.

The Wiki article looks good:

List of people of the Salem Witch Trials:

<private> Baldwin
10/13/2010 at 2:57 AM

Pull up Martha Allen Carrier on the web...she was grandmother of one of my ancestors....she also was hung as a witch during the trials and her info will direct you to other people..

10/13/2010 at 3:10 AM

Perfect, Fay! I take it you'd like to join the Project? A "collaborator" on the project has "edit and merge" rights to the profiles assembled there.

And I know I have a collaborator named Caren CARRIER, wonder if she's related too?

Martha Carrier (executed for witchcraft, 1692) has now become the Master Profile. I will start to find duplicate copies and merge them together.

General resource:

Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive

Martha Allen Carrier resources:

Is there a particular image to use as her photo?

<private> Baldwin
10/13/2010 at 3:36 AM

Thanks for the invite. But I'm working all 4 of my family trees and time is a factor. I WILL invite you into my family and you can puruse at will. Martha Allen Carrier was grandmother of Susanah Carrier (her father being Thomas Carrier). Susannah married Ephraim Brockway who was son of Wolston Brockway Jr (1667/68), son of Wolston Brockway Sr (1638).

My grandmother was Pauline Brockway, dau Fred Brockway etc.

So if I seem a little 'witchy' at times...just put it down as 'it's in her blood'

10/13/2010 at 3:59 AM


Do check out the brand new Projects tool and see if it would be useful for pursuing your family projects. I am finding it tremendously helpful and would be happy to be a "project sponsor" for any family groupings you're working on.

Projects went live last Thurs night. Anyone who wants to join an existing Project should msg the curator on the case. Projects are on the "more" menu of your "home page."

Private User
10/13/2010 at 5:23 AM

Salem witches? They weren't real witches... Now the witches of North Berwick, Scotland, those were real witches...

Eh, I can still contribute... the witch trials were an area of interest. -Ben

10/13/2010 at 5:28 AM

Excellent, Ben! Go forth and find me ID's and resources!

Oh goodie, Mary Bliss is a second cousin something now.

Mary Parsons

And my 8th great grandfather, alas.

Dr. Philip Reade

10/13/2010 at 5:29 AM

Ben, as a separate project I would love to do witches of Scotland, start a thread. I'm sure Lynne Headley would be interested as well.

Private User
10/13/2010 at 5:30 AM

I am interested in the Salem Witch Trials... my 8th great grandfather Deacon Edward Putnam was an accuser and his brother Thomas was the father of the famous accuser Ann Putnam, Jr.

Private User
10/13/2010 at 5:31 AM

9th great grandfather, that is

Private User
10/13/2010 at 5:54 AM

Hi Erica I have an odd connection with the Salem Witch Trials in that Cotton Matters who was judge at the trials was also a minister . He was the one who officiated at the marriages of a couple of my ancestors including John Cookson and Rachel Proctor. Now weather or not our Proctor is connected with the famous John proctor is another story. I don't think directly but maybe one of his brother's children or grand children. There were five proctor men who came over to this country about the same time and she was born late 1600's. in Boston and her father was also born in Boston. Their births are recorded in Boston and Both Rachel's parents are buried King's Chapel Boston. I recently went into town and located there graves.Rachel Proctor and husband John Cookson were also buried in Boston . They were buried in the North End in Copp's Hill Burial Grounds. Also been there a couple times.

Private User
10/13/2010 at 6:11 AM

North End... Copp's Hill, now you have me missing Boston... :)

10/13/2010 at 6:16 AM

Projects page is up:

Go find me geni profiles and post the URL in this discussion, everyone.

Time to find out what side of the "Salem Witch Trials" our own families were on. :) :)

10/13/2010 at 6:20 AM

North End .... Pizza ... you totally have me missing Boston now ...


Would you like to join us in on this project? Of course Cotton Mather is the most important profile figure to build out correctly.

I see that John Proctor (August 19, 1692) was "found guilty and executed." Let's see if we can find his profile in the geni database.


You're now "collaborating" and I'm sure you'll be totally seditious.

Private User
10/13/2010 at 6:52 AM

Sure, bring up North End pizza and sign me up to collaborate... of course I'll be seditious :)

Let's see, first UFO siting over Massachusetts was Jan 18 OS/28 NS 1644... nope, not witch trial material...

Gallows in Boston Commons 1644-1656, too early...

Roger Scott tried for sleeping in church Feb 28 OS/March 10 NS 1646... along the same lines as the trial, but not part of the trials.

Nov 4 OS/Nov 14 NS 1646, Winthrop in Mass Bay makes it a capital offense to deny that the Bible is the "Word of God." Possibly useful background information.

Anne Jefferies April 1647 - now there is a story, though it takes place in Bodmin, England. (She says she saw elves, though the UFOlogists later say it was their event.)

[The miner being rescued now has a huge fan following at Copiapo waiting for him to come up... beating drums and everything. Not Salem related, but it's a happy moment.]

Ah, this wasn't what I was looking for, but it would technically apply to Salem and Witch Trials (though it predates the 1692 event by 45 years):

June 6 (May 27 Julian Calendar, Thursday), 1647: in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, at Salem, Achsah Young is executed for being a “witch,” the first woman to be so executed. At Dedham, a parcel of land is given to Daniel Fisher for a town pond. The number of freemen in Dedham reaches 50, about half the total heads of house (only freemen are allowed to vote or take part in town affairs).

Do they know it's Christmas Time at all, circa 1651/52:
January 4 (December 25 Julian Calendar, Christmas Thursday), New England: In the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the General Court under John Endicott levies a fine of 5 shillings to anyone caught “observing any such day as Christmas”.

This was it, first reference to the Witch Trial people that I have (not sure about the first one, but the second one definitely), 1662:

New England: John Solart, an innkeeper in Wenham, Massachusetts, takes his own life, leaving his daughter Sarah with an estate of 500 pounds after debts are paid. This is later divided between John’s widow and two older sons, as well as Sarah and the other six daughters of the family. Mrs. Solart quickly remarries, and the inheritance is taken by the new husband, leaving the children on their own.

December, John Proctor marries his second wife in Ipswich, Massachusetts, Elizabeth Thorndike. John and Elizabeth have three children while living in Ipswich.

BTW, all we have here is a Spanish pizza company called Telepizza. It doesn't compare at all with the North End. But then neither did Rome. Roman pizza = big (overpriced) disappointment.

Private User
10/13/2010 at 7:21 AM

Oh boy - more I didn't know
Mary Bliss is your 7th cousin 12 times removed
Dr. Philip Reade, Sr. is your 8th cousin 8 times removed

I'm not related to Martha Carrier. At this point, I'm amazed when I'm NOT related to someone...

Private User
10/13/2010 at 8:11 AM

Hi Erica, Everything you would ever want to know about the Salem Witch trials is at;
My grandkids are related to John Proctor and family. About 14 of his extended family were accused in the trails, including Rebecca Nurse and her sister.The execution of his wife was delayed because she was pregnant, but the executions were stopped before hers was carried out.
I'm so glad there are curators like you out there who can do the technical end of these projects. Thanks!

Private User
10/13/2010 at 8:59 AM

Hi Mary:

Seems like a good collection of information, particularly around the event, though I could swear there was more on Tituba out there somewhere.

I had the Proctors moving to Salem in 1666 as well, and having four more children before the trials there. But will have to save the link to this resource.

Private User
10/13/2010 at 9:06 AM

I really like the "Your Accused" page... very good explanations.

10/13/2010 at 9:16 AM

Interesting project and very appropriate for this time of the year as Halloween is lurking around the corner......

Good luck with the project!

10/13/2010 at 10:01 AM

Thanks, Joel.

I was just thinking - when you want to check someone you're "getting involved" with, instead of running a background check on them, you join geni, figure out their family tree ...

10/13/2010 at 10:04 AM

Nice site, Mary, I'm adding it to sources.

Without researchers these profiles would be dead in the water and all my merge activity for naught.

See, I'm getting myself in character for halloween.

Reminds me, we need to build a good image library for the "event" itself and the profile. And maybe tickets to see "The Crucible" and a linkage to Arthur Miller's profile, if someone wants to find it and post it.

What does anyone think of these images?

I really liked the pun goth witch, let's be hip.

10/13/2010 at 10:05 AM

Meant, "punk" goth witch. But been one of those a long time.

Private User
10/13/2010 at 10:14 AM

"Ugh! You have a cannibal pirate as your 12th great grand uncle?"

Thank heavens I'm already married...

Private User
10/13/2010 at 10:28 AM

I've got grandparents and aunts and uncles in this area (some I've added to Geni and some others not yet).

Anyway, I'm interested in this as well. I'll help work on this (probably somewhat sporadically though, since I feel that I'm becoming involved in too many projects all at once and there are still a number of other projects I'm also interested in).

10/13/2010 at 10:32 AM

Private User

Welcome to the Salem Witch Trials Project!

Your rights are "Project Collaborator," which means you can edit the profiles assembled in that group.

The first step is to get all the profiles associated with the Project, so please find as many as you can and get them posted in this discussion.

Thank you so much Andrew, this is really helpful.

10/13/2010 at 10:34 AM

Private User

You are now a "collaborating curator" on the Salem Witch Trials Project.

I know, it's like being a kid in a candy store, isn't it. Have to be careful not to overload the brains here.

But I also think mixing it up is psychologically healthy, don't you? I don't think this project is going to take the mega merging we've had to do for Mayflower (ugh) so we can proceed more directly to the fun part -- dressing up like witches LOL.

Private User
10/13/2010 at 10:41 AM

Haha! Yes.

Private User
10/13/2010 at 10:43 AM

P.S. Mary Kathleen Arnold (Butler) nice link. Thanks!

Private User
10/13/2010 at 10:45 AM

P.P.S. I love the OPUS link too Erica.

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