Katherine Palmer

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Katherine Palmer (unknown)

Birthplace: Probably England
Death: after January 8, 1663
perhaps of, Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island
Immediate Family:

Wife of Henry Palmer, of Wethersfield
Mother of Deborah Champion; Hannah Stiles and Dorcas Palmer

Occupation: Accused of witchcraft
Managed by: Marilyn Jeanne Haslem
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Katherine Palmer

On multiple occasions, Katherine Palmer was accused of witchcraft in Wethersfield. In October 1648, John Rob(b)ins filed a legal complaint accusing her of tormenting his wife through witchcraft. Henry Palmer posted a "good behavior" bond on his wife's behalf, and on December the charges against Katherine were dismissed by the Particular Court at Hartford, with a warning to Katherine.[8] Demos states that in 1659 and 1660 members of the same family charged that Goody Palmer (Katherine) had caused the illnesses and deaths of three family members;[9] In 1662, a woman named Rebecca Greensmith was accused of witchcraft. At trial on 8 January 1663, she testified that she cavorted with the Devil and that she met periodically with other Hartford-area witches, including "Henry Palmer's wife of Wethersfield," at a spot "under a tree in the green" where they "danced and had a bottle of sack."[10][11] Rebecca Greensmith and two other accused witches were hanged. Henry and Katherine Palmer disappear from the Wethersfield records after 1663, and Henry Palmer appears in records in Newport, Rhode Island, suggesting that the family had left Wethersfield for Katherine's safety.[12]

Children Children of Henry and Katherine Palmer are identified from Wethersfield deeds and from John Winthrop's journal of medical treatments administered at Hartford, Connecticut. Their known children are:

  1. Deborah, born at Wethersfield on 5 February 1642[3][4]
  2. Hanah, born at Wethersfield, 14 August 1645.[3][4]
  3. Ephraim, born at Wethersfield on about 25 April 1648.[3][4]
  4. Dorcas, born at Wethersfield 7 April 1650.[3][4] She may have died before 3 July 1757, when an entry in John Winthrop's medical records shows prescriptions for four children of Henry Palmer who are identified by age, but do not include a child whose age matches Dorcas. [5]
  5. Henry, born about 1653 (age 3-1/2 on 3 July 1657 and age 5 on 17 December 1658).[6]
  6. Jonathan, born in Wethersfield about 1657 (age 1 on 22 April 1658 and 2-1/2 on 24 November 1659).[7]
  7. Joseph, born in Wethersfield about 1662 (2 years old on 8 January 1663/4 when John Winthrop supplied the family with a treatment for his "wormes").[6]
  8. Benjamin, birthdate not known, may have been born in Wethersfield or in Newport, Rhode Island; was married by 1695.[6]
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Katherine Palmer's Timeline

Probably England
February 5, 1642
Age 18
Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut Colony, Colonial America
Age 21
Wethersfield, Connecticut Colony
April 7, 1650
Age 26
Wethersfield, Hartford, Ct
January 8, 1663
Age 39
Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island