Mary Barnes of Farmington, convicted witch

Is your surname Barnes?

Research the Barnes family

Mary Barnes of Farmington, convicted witch's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Mary Barnes (Unknown)

Also Known As: "Mary Needham", "Mary Brockett", "Mary Andrews", "Mary Eizabeth"
Birthdate: (32)
Birthplace: England or, Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut
Death: January 25, 1663 (28-36)
South Green, Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut (Hanging )
Immediate Family:

Wife of Thomas Barnes, of Farmington
Mother of Sarah Scoville; Joseph Barnes; Benjamin Barnes and Hannah Barnes

Occupation: Witch
Managed by: Gwyneth McNeil
Last Updated:

About Mary Barnes of Farmington, convicted witch

 Not every family can claim the dubious honor of having an ancestor executed as a witch but the many descendants of Mary Barnes, first wife of Thomas Barnes of Hartford, Connecticut can make this claim.
      In 1662 a young girl named Ann Cole began naming certain townspeople as witches.  Ann, who had suffered from epileptic or similar seizures for years, would cry out during these seizures that witches were tormenting her.  She named three people as her primary tormenters: Nathaniel Greensmith, his wife Rebecca, and Mary Barnes.
      In early January 1663/4 a trial was held to hear the various testimonies of the plaintiff and the defendants.   Rebecca Greenfield quickly confessed to being a witch and, with many ludicrous tales, implicated her husband Nathaniel.   Evidently, Mary defended herself and denied being a witch.
     On January 25, 1663/4 both of the Greensmiths and Mary Barnes were found guilty.  They were hanged that very day.  No chance for an appeal was given.  “Justice” was swift in those days.  The so-called witches had the distinction of being the last 3 persons executed in Connecticut for this crime.
     Thomas and Mary Barnes were the parents of 3 children: Sarah, Benjamin and Joseph.
     Their daughter Sarah married John Scoville and this couple was among the first to settle in Mattatuck, now Waterbury, CT. in 1674.   In 1686 they moved and, again, were among the early settlers of a new town called Haddam, CT.  John and Sarah Barnes Scoville were the parents of John Jr., William, Edward and Benjamin.
     William Scoville, born circa 1761, married Martha whose maiden name is unknown.  William was wounded while on an excursion against the Indians and it was said his wound made it impossible for him to do heavy labor.  In 1708/9 William was the schoolmaster in Haddam, CT.   He and Martha had 2 sons: William and John.
     William Scoville Jr., born June 1706, married Hannah Shailer in 1734.  He later died in 1788 and she died in 1802.  They were the parents of 14 children including Hannah Scoville who married Oliver Bailey.  This couple followed some of their children to Bradford County, PA.

(See Bailey Family.)

      Thus, today, there are many descendants of Thomas and Mary Barnes who can claim their lineage descends from a witch.


Mary Barnes was born ABT 1631 in Farmington, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA. She died 6 FEB 1662 in Hartford County, Connecticut, USA. ALT January 18, 1663.. Her maiden name has been given as Needham & Brockett. Neither are proven.Mary's daughter Sarah married John Scovel (aka Scovell, Scovill or Scoville) on March 29, 1666, in Farmington. Mary the "witch" and Thomas Barnes had at least two other kids - Joseph and Benjamin. (Thomas then married again and had more kids.)

The tragic scenes, which closed this horrible episode of our local history, can be all too clearly imagined. Mary Sanford was convicted first, and was not long detained in jail. Like some weird spectre of the spirit world, she disappeared. Goodwife Barnes was confined three weeks, for which Daniel Garret, the jailkeeper, was allowed 21s., to be paid by Goodman Barnes. The jailor was also allowed 6s. a week for keeping Nathaniel and Rebecca Greensmith, to be paid out of his estate. His inventory states that he was executed January 25, 1662-3.2 Hutchinson quotes the diary of Goffe, the regicide, under the date January 20th, as saying "three witches were condemned at Hartford."

_____________ Children of THOMAS BARNES and Mary (__) w\o Thomas BARNES are:

  • 2 i. Sarah BARNES was born 1650 in Farmington, Hartford Co., Connecticut, and died AFT 1700 in Haddam, Middlesex Co., Connecticut. She married John SCOVILLE 29 MAR 1666 in Farmington, Hartford Co., Connecticut. He was born 1635.
  • + 3 ii. Joseph BARNES was born 26 MAY 1651 in Farmington, Hartford Co., Connecticut, and died 23 JAN 1740/41 in Southington, Hartford Co., Connecticut.
  • 4 iii. Benjamin BARNES was born 24 JUL 1653 in Farmington, Hartford Co., Connecticut, and died 24 APR 1731 in Waterbury, New Haven Co., Connecticut. He married Elizabeth Kimberly MALLORY. He married Sarah INGERSOLL ABT 1684 in Farmington, Hartford, CT.
  • 5 iv. Hannah BARNES was born 1657 in Farmington, Hartford Co., Connecticut, and died 1663.


She was convicted of witchcraft and executed according to records at "Particular Court of Connecticut" convened 6 Jan 1662/3. A jury found her guilty and she was one of the last persons executed for this "crime". Her husband had to pay the costs of keeping her in jail amounting to 21 shillings, per Fred BARNES of Fairfield, CA citing "The Ancestry of Fanny BARNES and her husband Thomas KNIGHT," Prestige Printers, 1989. The foregoing is confirmed by Hal & Carma FERGUSON in their e-mail which reads:

"I am a descendant of Thomas Barnes (1615) m.Mary Needham (executed for being a witch) and Mary Andrews. I have a large file and would like to compare records if you are interested. Hal" 

!BIRTH: Frederic Wayne Barnes, Thomas Barnes of Hartford, Connecticut; ; Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD 1994; Library of Congress #94-73048, pp. 4-5; ; Date: 8 Jan 2008

Change Date: 6 Nov 2007 at 21:29:05

Marriage 1 Thomas Barnes b: ABT 1615 in Hartford County, Connecticut, USA

• Married: ABT 1648 in Hertford County, Connecticut, USA 1

• Change Date: 9 Oct 2007


1. Sarah (Barnes) Scoville b: 1650 in Farmington, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA

2. Joseph Barnes b: 26 MAY 1651 in Southington, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA

3. Benjamin Barnes b: 24 JUL 1653 in Farmington, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA

4. Hannah Barnes b: ABT 1657 in Waterbury, New Haven County, Connecticut, USA


1. Title: Thomas Barnes of England (1591-1689)
Abbrev: Steingraber
Author: Stuart G. Steingraber, Esq.
Publication: Gencircles
Date: 26 Sep 2007


Mary --- the first wife of Thomas Barnes. "Before a jury of twelve men, at a Court held 6 Jan 1662/3 'Mary Barnes thou art here Indited by ye name of Mary Barnes for not hauinge the fear of God before thyne eyes Thou hast enterteined familiarity with Satan the great Enemy of God ...' The prisoner pleaded 'not guilty and referd her self to triall by ye Jury. The Jury returne that they find ye Prisoner Guilty of ye Inditement." She was hanged for witchcraft 1662/3. Thomas had to pay for her room and board while she was imprisoned awaiting execution. "On 5 Mar 1662/3 'Danl Garret is allowed for keeping Goodwife Barnes 3 weeks 21 shillings besides her fee wch Goodman Barnes is to see discharged' " [1]</ref>"Records of the Particular Court of Connecticut 1639-1663" in "Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society" vol 22 publ 1928 pg 259, 265</ref>[2]

Children of Thomas Barnes and Mary

[p 60 "McArthur-Barnes"]

   Sarah marr 26 Mar 1666 John SCOVILLE
   Benjamin b 1653 marr Sarah ---- settled in Waterbury
   Joseph b 1655 marr 8 July 1684 Abigail GIBBS
   Hannah living in 1663 

Mary is sometimes said to be Mary Brockett. Sources

   ↑ "McArthur-Barnes Ancestral Lines" by Selim Walker McARTHUR, publ 1964, p 57-8
   ↑ "The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Witchcraft Delusion In Colonial Connecticut (1647-1697)", by John M. Taylor


Direct lineage to an accused “witch” may make you eligible for membership in the Associated Daughters of Early American Witches. This is a society of women who claim lineage to one of the individuals who were accused in early America before 31 December 1699. It is a genealogical society that seeks to preserve the names of those accused. Check out their website at:

view all

Mary Barnes of Farmington, convicted witch's Timeline

Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut
Age 12
Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
May 26, 1651
Age 20
Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, United States
July 24, 1653
Age 22
Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Age 26
Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
January 25, 1663
Age 32
Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut
Age 32