Saturday, June 18, 2011

Line 8 John Putnam, Toil and Trouble

The zealousness of the Puritans can be greatly admired but even holy zealousness can turn to toil and trouble. The Putnams, faithful in their belief of God, were also drawn to the dark side of their religion and it was from the Putnam Family that one of the early colonial most troubling and dark bit of history was born and bred.

John Putnam baptized 17 January 1579/80 in Ashton Abbots, Buckingham, England the son of Nicholas Putnam and his wife Margaret Goodspeed
Married Prisiclla (possibly a Deacon)
Died 30 December 1662 in Salem, MA
John and Priscilla Putnam’s children were:
1.      Thomas Putnam born in Ashton Abbots, Buckingham, Englandmarried 1. Ann Holyoke and 2. Mary
2.      Elizabeth Putnam born 20 December 1612 Ashton Abbots, Buckingham, England
3.      John Putnam born 20 December 1612 Ashton Abbots, Buckingham, England, died young
4.      Nathaniel Putnam born 11 October 1619 Ashton Abbots, Buckingham, died 23 July 1700 Salem, Essex, MA married Elizabeth Hutchinson
5.      Sara Putnam born 07 March 1620/21 Ashton Abbots, Buckingham, England
6.      Phoebe Putnam born 28 July 1624 Ashton Abbots, Buckingham, England
7.      John Putnam born 27 May 1627 Ashton Abbots, Buckingham, England, died 07 April 1710 Salem, Essex, MA married Rebecca Prince

John Putnam, son of Nicholas Putnam and his wife Margaret Goodspeed, was born and grew up Ashton Abbots, Buckingham, England. Aston Abbots is a parish on the Hertforshire border when the Putnam family’s ancestor originated. After his father’s death, John took possession of Nicholas’ house and lands in Aston Abbotts. In 1614, his mother, Margaret Goodspeed Putnam married William Huxley. John’s name appears on the license as one of the sureties.

John married a woman named Priscilla. There is some indication that she was Priscilla Deacon from Corner Hill in Hamel Hempstead. By 1610 the first of their seven known children were born. Seventeen years later, John, their youngest child was born. By 1640, when the children were grown John, Priscilla and sons Thomas, Nathaniel and John and their families were in Salem, Massachusetts.

The sense of Christian brotherhood was not one of peace and compatibility in Salem Village and Salem Town. Almost from the start feuds and complaints jabs the peace of Salem Village. In retrospect, the line between accusers and “witches” was drawn up soon after the settling of the Village.

Salem records described John as husbandman and yeoman. He was well off and as educated as any many in the town. He did not join the church until 1647 but seems to have been busy with his farm and family duties. John and Priscilla’s three sons who came to Salem produced large families so that the name of Putnam was very promenade in Salem for many years. But, of course, their name would forever be connected to with the notorious witchcraft trail that would color Salem for years to come.

John died 30 December 1662 at what was then Salem Village but is now called Danvers. He was eighty. "He ate his supper, went to prayer with his family and died before he went to sleep." Many years later a stone was erected in the Wadsworth Cemetery in honor of John and his wife and his son Capt John Putnam and his wife Rebecca.

1. New England Marriages Prior to 1700 by Clarence Almon Torrey
2. "Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England" by James Savage
3.  The Devil Discovered, Salem Witchcraft 1692 by Enders A. Robinson
4. Salem Vital Records, Vol. III, Deaths
5. Salem Vital Records, Vol. II, Marriages
6. Internet Derick Sibley Hartshorn
7. "History of the Putnam Family"
8. "England Ancestry of John Putnam of Salem, MA" by G. Andrews Moriarty Jr., The American Genealogist, Vol. 15, p. 8-15, 1938
9. Genealogical And Personal Memoirs Relating To The Families Of Boston And Eastern Massachusetts. Prepared Under The Editorial Supervision Of William Richard Cutter, A. M.
10. Find a Grave,
11. "Descendants of John Putnam" by Bill Putnam
12. "John Putnam" Familypedia,

My Putnam line:
Richard Puttenham born about 1350
John Puttenham
John Puttenham
Richard Puttenham married Joan ?
John Putnam died 1573; married Margerie ?
Nicholas Putnam married Margaret Goodspeed
John Putnam married Priscilla [Deacon?]
Thomas Putnam married Ann Holyoke
Deliverance Putnam married Jonathan Walcott
Anna Walcott married Joshua  Felt
Aaron Felt married Mary Waite
Aaron Felt married Tabitha  Upton
Abiatha  Felt married Jesse Anson Braman
Anson Amos Braman married Mary Marshall
Martha Ann (Matty) Braman married James Harvey Chubb
Otis T. Chubb married Caroline Belle Maltby

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