Col. Nathaniel Saltonstall, Sr.

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Col. Nathaniel Saltonstall, Sr.'s Geni Profile

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Col. Nathaniel Saltonstall, Sr.

Birthdate: (68)
Birthplace: Ipswich, Massachusetts
Death: May 21, 1707 (68)
Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Major Richard Saltonstall and Muriel Saltonstall
Husband of Elizabeth Saltonstall
Father of Gurdon Saltonstall, Colonial Governor of Connecticut; Elizabeth Denison and Col. Richard Saltonstall
Brother of Jane Meriel Mosley

Occupation: town clerk, colonel in militia, judge, Colonel in Militia
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Col. Nathaniel Saltonstall, Sr.

Wikipedia says [downloaded March 2010 from]:

Col. Nathaniel Saltonstall (also spelled Nathanial Saltonstall) (c. 1639 – 1707) was selected as a judge for the special Court of Oyer and Terminer, a specific court responsible for the trial and sentence of people, mostly women, for the crime of witchcraft in Massachusetts during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. He is most famous for his resignation from the court, and though he left no indication of his feelings toward witchcraft, he is considered to be one of the more principled men of his time.

Born in Ipswich, Massachusetts, in about 1639, to Richard Saltonstall (1610 – 1694), he was the grandson of Sir Richard Saltonstall. He graduated from Harvard in 1659, beginning the family tradition of higher education at this university. On December 29, 1663, Nathaniel Saltonstall married Elizabeth Ward, who was 18 years old, and acquired from her father, John Ward, the estate later known as the Saltonstall Seat. Two of their children were Col. Richard Saltonstall (1672 – 1714), and Gurdon Saltonstall (1666 – 1724), later the governor of Connecticut.

In 1668, Nathaniel began his career in town affairs when he was appointed town clerk. Robert Moody quotes that, according to a single surviving record book, he was "firm and effective in law enforcement, and yet, where allowed discretion by law, humane and flexible." His involvement in judicial affairs and apparent good reputation made him eligible to serve in the Salem Witch Trials, and he was appointed a judge along with six other men on May 27, 1692. There is no evidence, however, of his attendance at any of the examinations. Indeed, he resigned from the Court of Oyer and Terminer around June 8, 1692, the same time as Bridget Bishop's trial and sentence for witchcraft. Presumably, he was "displeased with the handling of the Bishop case", and for some time afterward remained "very much dissatisfied with the proceedings."

In addition to town judiciary service, he was a member of the local militia, responsible in part for frontier defense against Native Americans, and he reached the rank of Colonel.

Nathaniel Saltonstall died May 21, 1707, in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

From: Geneological and family history of modern New York by Wm. Richard Cutter

"...was assistant member of the governor's council and judge;"

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Col. Nathaniel Saltonstall, Sr.'s Timeline

Ipswich, Massachusetts
March 27, 1666
Age 27
Haverhill, Massachusetts
September 17, 1668
Age 29
Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Age 33
May 21, 1707
Age 68
Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts
- 1659
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States