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Honor Hannum (Capen)

Birthplace: Dorchester, Dorset, England
Death: Died in Westfield, Hampden, Massachusetts, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Bernard Capen and Joan Capen
Wife of William II Hannum; William Hannum and William HANNUM
Mother of John Sen. Hannum, Sr.; Abigail Sackett (Hannum); Elizabeth Hannum Bushrod; Johanna Hannum and Mary Allen
Sister of Ruth Capen; James Capen; Susanna Grant; Capt. John Capen; Hannah Capen and 3 others

Managed by: Hannelore Caulk Scheu
Last Updated:

About Honor Hannum

Honor CAPEN was born in 1614 in prob Dorchester, Dorset, England. She died in 1680 in Westfield MA. "Honor Capen -- Died 1680, Westfield, MA. Married William Hannum, 1635, Dorchester, MA, "Mary & John" passenger. William died 1 June 1677, Northampton, MA. Five children (1636-1650)."

--- Burton Spear, * ... Mary & John*, v 17, 1992, p 26

Lived in Dorchester, MA and Windsor, CT.

1/10/2015 found the following. CTC:

Birth: 1616, England Death: Dec. 1, 1680 Westfield Hampden County Massachusetts, USA

Honor Capen was born say 1616, daughter of BERNARD CAPEN {1633, Dorchester}. She married William Hannum by about 1637. [The will of Dorothy (Capen) Upsall, widow of NICHOLAS UPSALL , names, among others, sister Honor Hannum]. She died at Westfield on 1 December 1680. They had six children: John, Abigail Sackett, Joanna, Elizabeth Bushrod, Mary Allen, & Susanna. In his list of "some omitted in former records being gone yet had children born here," Mathew Grant included "William Hanum," crediting him with four children born at Windsor. The eldest son, John Hannum, would have been born at Dorchester, probably not long before the move to Windsor. If the daughter Susanna, who died at Windsor in 1647, was born in Windsor, then Matthew Grant later ignored her in his accounting for this family. William Hannum and his wife testified against Mary Bliss in her 1656 witchcraft trial, but the testimony was only half-hearted, and their apparent animus toward Parsons was denied by various other neighbors, and Hannum and his wife seem to have soon reversed their position.

Family links:

 Barnard Capen (1563 - 1638)
 Joan Purchase Capen (1578 - 1653)

 William Hannum (1612 - 1677)*

 Abigail Hannum Sacket (1640 - 1690)*
 Mary Hannum Allen (1650 - 1704)*

 James Capen (1598 - 1628)*
 Susannah Capen Rockwell Grant (1602 - 1666)*
 Dorothy Capen Upshall (1603 - 1675)*
 Elizabeth Capen Swift (1611 - 1678)*
 John Capen (1613 - 1692)*
 Honor Capen Hannum (1616 - 1680)
  • Calculated relationship

Burial: Unknown

Created by: Linda Mac Record added: May 06, 2009 Find A Grave Memorial# 36800947

1/10/2015 As part of the story that is told above, it appears Honor and William Hannum were neighbors to a Mary Bliss Parsons (Who was infamous for supposed Witchcraft). It appears that an accuser Sarah Bridgman hurled the accusations against Mary Bliss. It appears that William and Honor supported the accusation. It is famous and there on a number of websites on it as well as the story is in museums in Massachusetts including the written testimony of William and/or Honor Hannum, but they later retracted their claim. It also appears that Mary Bliss became accused of being a witch again some 20 years or so later. The following is the testimony as written by William and Honor Hannum in the 1656 slander trial. The original is in a museum and I have also attached a copy of the actual document in their picture/media page. CTC:

Transcript of Testimony of William Hannum's Wife and Testimony of William Hannum

Testimonyes taken on the behalf of Sarah the wife of James Bridgman

the 11th Day ove August 1656
the wife of William Hannum of Northwottuck at Northampton
sayth that I have been warned by some of Windsor and some of Norwottuck
to beware how I had to doe with Mary the wife of Joseph Parsons : and she
herself also told me, when she lay in of her last child, and being ill in
a strange fitt, that the occasion of her illness was, that her mother
being lately there, had brought her news that she the said Mary
was suspected to be a witch: the said Goodwife Hannum also 
sayth that this winter past I spun for the said Mary Parsons about 33
runn of yarn, & this Spring the said Mary desired me to lett her have
one of my daughters to dwell with her, and I considering wt rumores
went about of her I was loth to let her go there to dwell: but shee
havinge allured my daughter, as my daughter told me, I told my daughter
shee should not goe thither to dwell; if shee might have ten pound a yeare:
at this tyme the said Mary Parsons came to me & challenged me about
the yarne yt I spun for her, that it wanted of the tale of the threads
in the Knotts, uppon wch I went to her house & examined the yarn, and
all that I examined did want almost in every knott of the yarn, some
tymes there would be but 18 threads in a knott for 40 or 28 for 40
wch notwithstanding wn I spun it, I did my best endeavd to give a true
account of & it was not found fault with till this tyme : & for I spun
some more for her to recompence this defect & I spunn more
for her besides that, & still when the yarn came to her, it would never
hold out tale in the threads, though I did my best endeavr to deale
truly in ye thing, and I have spun for others & could have my yarn
hold out After this I spun oakum yarn for her, & sent for her
weights to weigh it & called whom I had about mee to see yt I made
weight & soe I sent it home to her & Presently shee sent me word it
wanted weight Shee the said Goodwife Hanum also saith
that my daughter though formerly healthy, yett this summer hath been
very sickly & unhelpful to mee, wch though I know it may be by
Gods owne immediate hand : yet it causeth some jealousies in me against
the said Mary, because it fell out with in 3 or 4 days after I had
given her a full denyal of my Daughters service
Testified on oath before me Elizur Holyoke
William Hannum [blott out?] testifyeth on oath that I have had
some jealousyes against this Mary Parsons, on these grounds:
First this Mary came to my house about the yarn that shee missed
and then wee had a falling out about it & some discontented words
passed on both sides: this was in an eveninge, & as I take it in
March last & that eveninge all my Cattell were well for ought
I could see by them, & the next morning One cow lay in my yard,
ready to dy as I thought: wch when I had considered I endeavored
to gett her up & at length gott her to stand: but shee languished away
& dyed about a fortnight after, though I took great care night &
day to save her, givinge her samp pease wholesome drinks eggs etc.
& this Cow beinge young was lusty before this very tyme
Secondly, the same week I remember I beinge at work at
John Webbs, I saw Joseph Parsons beatinge one of his little chil
dren, for loosinge its shoo; and to my apprehension he beat it unmer
cifully, & his wife comeinge to save it, because shee had beaten it


  • ** More of that story from a different web site:

The Slander Case (1656)

s Sarah Bridgman's gossip about Mary Parsons spread, Joseph Parsons decided to take decisive action to stop any further damage to the reputation of his wife and family. In 1656, during the month of August, testimony was presented before commissioners at Springfield in the case of Parsons v Bridgman, and in October the case was brought before the Magistrates' Court at Cambridge. 

The testimony in the case involves various community members testifying on behalf of Mary Parsons that they had heard Sarah Bridgman abusing her character. On the other side of the case were the many individuals defending Sarah's accusations as not slander, but truth; these individuals cited various encounters with Mary that seemed to prove that she had caused them (or their property) harm.

It seems that Mary was believed to be the cause of a strange variety of problems for her neighbors. Chief among her offenses is the death of William Hannum's cow. Hannum testified that "Mary came to my house about the yarn that she missed and then we had a falling out about it and some discontented words passed on both sides: this was in an evening, and as I take it in March last and that evening all my Cattle were well for ought I could see by them, the next morning One cow lay in my yard, ready to die as I thought: which when I had considered I endeavored to get her up and at length got her to stand: but she languished away and died about a fortnight after, though I took great care night and day to save her, giving her wholesome drinks eggs etc. and this Cow being young was hefty before this very time." Such accusations, indicating that Mary was responsible for damage to livestock and property, appear frequently in the record, and were intended to "prove" that Mary was involved in witchcraft.

The focus of the case, however, was not Mary's guilt, but Sarah's. Sarah Bridgman's own testimony is perhaps the most damaging, accusing Mary of causing harm, not to her animals, but to her own child. Sarah testified that "having my child in my lap, there was something that gave a great blow on the door, and at very instant as I apprehended my child changed : and I thought with myself and told my girl I was afraid my child would die. And I sent out the girl to look who it was at the door, but she could see nobody about the house : Presently after the girl came in, I looking towards the door thorough a hole by the door, I saw to my apprehension two women pass by the door with white clothes on their heads, then I concluded my child would die indeed : and I sent out the girl to see who they were but she could see nobody : they made me think there is wickedness in the place."

As the case unfolded however, the many alliances within the community were uncovered, and it seems that some individuals who had first testified on Sarah's behalf later changed their stories. For instance, we learn that soon after testifying about Mary's curious behavior, John Matthews recanted, claiming that he "hath at present no grounds of jealousy for himself, of Mary Parsons the wife of Joseph Parsons, to be a witch, and that what he testified yesterday on oath was upon the earnest Importunity of James Bridgman and his Brother."

While the strange coincidences and incidents with livestock might be ignored by us today, members of her community, and perhaps even her own family firmly believed that Mary had supernatural powers. Curious stories of Mary had been circulating in the area for some time. For instance, "William Branch of Springfield testified on oath that when I lived at the long meadow and Joseph Parsons lived there, a certain time Joseph Parsons told me that wherever he lay the key his wife could find it : and would go out in the night and that when she went out a woman went out with her and came in with her but says Joseph Parsons God preserves his with his Angels: and further the said William Branch sayth that while they lived together in the Long Meddow; George Cotton told me that he following Mary Parsons in her fit, he followed her thorough the water where he was up to the knees and she was not wet : this thing I told to William Pynchon when he was here : who wondered at it but said he could not tell what to say to it."

But ultimately, what had to be proven was that Sarah had been spreading rumors maliciously. To this end, Mary's own mother, Margaret Bliss, "testifieth that Sarah Bridgman told her that she did hear that her daughter Parsons was suspected to be a witch." Hearing the recanting of some testimony, and finding other stories perhaps inexplicable or too wild it seemed clear that Sarah was guilty of slander.

The magistrates issued their decision in favor of the Parsonses, and ordered Sarah Bridgman to make public apology for her slander in both Northampton and Springfield, or to pay a fine. It appears that despite the financial hardship, Sarah chose to pay the fine rather than submit to the public humiliation.

The court's decision did nothing to change the opinion of Sarah or the Bridgman clan. In 1668 Sarah Bridgman died at the age of about forty-seven, but her family still held a grudge against the Parsons, and over time, the testimony from the slander case would be evidence in Mary's own trial for witchcraft.

Main Site:

as well as you can look it up further info by searching the Internet. There are a large number of sites.

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Honor Hannum's Timeline

October 29, 1616
Dorchester, Dorset, England
Age 18
Belchertown, Hampshire, MA, USA
November 22, 1640
Age 24
Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut Colony
July 24, 1642
Age 25
Westfield, Hampden, Massachusetts
March 4, 1645
Age 28
Westfield, Hampden, Massachusetts
April 5, 1650
Age 33
Windsor, Hartford Co, CT
Age 63
Westfield, Hampden, Massachusetts, USA
January 19, 1935
Age 64
January 19, 1935
Age 64