Saturday, July 30, 2011

Line 9, William Walcott; Ties that Bind; Ties that Sever

The Walcotts were involved with the Salem Witchcraft trials as closely as the Putnams. Their problems with Salem began a few generations earlier with a Walcott who marched to a different drummer and, for the sake of his faith, caused disturbances in his own way.

William Walcott was born 1608 in Devon, England
Married Alice Ingersoll the daughter of Richard Ingersoll and his wife Agnes (Ann) Langley
Died 21 July 1644 Salem, Essex, MA
William and Alice’s children were:
1.   John Walcott born about 1632 Salem, Essex, MA married Mary Thorley and died 30 September 1690, Springfield, Hampton, MA
2.   Alice Walcott born Salem, Essex, MA married Ralph Hutchinson
3.   Abraham Walcott born Salem, Essex, MA married Ruth Hooper
4.   Jonathan Walcott born Salem, Essex, MA married 1. Mary Sibley and 2. Deliverance Putnam
5.   Elizabeth Walcott born Salem, Essex, MA, probably died young

When I first began to research the William Walcott, I thought “Oh, oh, another bad boy.” In 1642 William Walcott was whipped for his idleness by the Salem, Massachusetts Court. Their records note  " William Walcott for refusing to bring his child to the ordinance, neglecting willingly family duties, etc."  'William. Walcotts wife children & estate committed to Richard Inkersell his father in law 27:10:1643 to be disposed of according to God and the said Wm. Walcott to bee & remained as his servant.'"
Next I found William Walcott being banished from Salem. But when I learned that there was a law passed in the colony that “banished” all those who opposed infant baptism near the time that William left Salem, I began to wonder if maybe he was a part of the growing “Antinomianism” movement that Anne Hutchinson was preaching in Boston and which caused her to be banished to Rhode Island. (See Line 10.1) Antinomianism was the belief that grace and faith alone were the only things necessary for salvation; that through the acceptance of God’s grace religious law was no longer necessary. They believe in Sola Fide, faith alone. If William Walcott was indeed of the antinomianism it might explain his “idleness” was of a religious nature rather then a physical nature. It may also have been why he disappeared from Salem by 1644 when the law regarding infant baptism was passed.
My next discovery was that the “neglecting” of his family was indeed related to Antinomianism as Roger Williams, the founder of the Baptist movement, was censured and banished at the same time for advocating adult baptism among other beliefs. William’s neglect was probably in regards to his “neglect” of baptizing his children.
Roger Williams fled Salem and along with Anne Hutchinson and her family founded the colony of Rhode Island. Roger Williams had left England, as did many of the original settlers of Massachusetts, in order to preach freely. He arrived in Salem as early as 1631 as the pastor of the church in that town. He spent a short time preaching in Plymouth but returned to Salem. However, his theology troubled the people of Salem and he was forced to flee Salem and the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The local Indians in what is now called Narragansett Bay befriended him and he was able to buy land from the Narrangsett Chiefs, Canonicus and Miantonomi. He called his acreage “Providence” in gratitude to God.
William Aspinwall, the “public notary” for Boston made several references to a William Wolcott, assumed to be my ancestor.

“Valentine Hill granted a tre. of Attr. (power of attorney) to Joseph Grafton (a Salem merchant ship owner) to recover & Receive the Bills of Tristram Dodge, William Woolcot & William Davies or any other in Newfoundland with absolute power &c.” Another entry of the same year records that Ambrose Butland of Tarmond in Devonshire, mariner, gave to Nicholas Butland of Tarmond his power of attorney to collect from 'Wm Wolcot of Stoke near Tingmouth in Devonshire, sometimes mr of the ship called Goodwill and Prosper of London in the full and just summe of ten pounds sterl committed to him of trust by the said Appearer in fferry land in Newfoundland about 3/4 of yeare hence...'

A William Walcott was found in Maine in 1651 as a shoals witness. The next year Salem records declare “means were taken by the court to preserve his estate” indicating that he had not returned to Salem. In that same year Robert Goodell of Salem owned 30 acres of land that had originally been William Walcott’s. Whether William died in Maine or returned to Salem is not known. He did however, leave a troubled legacy in his heirs and certainly to his son Jonathan.

1. Internet Ray Parsons
2. Internet Rick Ingersoll
3. Massachusetts and Maine Families by Walter Goodwin Davis
5. Torrey Supplement Edited by Melinde Lutz Sanborn
6. New England Marriages Prior to 1700 by Clarence Almon Torrey
7. "Ancestors of Colby Heisig Tilleton"
8.  "The Walcott Family of Salem" by John B. Wolcott, internet,
9. "The Great Migration Begins" Richard Ingersoll
10.  "The Parents of Jonathan Hayens of Newbury and Havenhill, Massachusetts, and Some of their descendants" by Mrs. William C. Clark, of Elkins Park, Penn. the American Genealogist" #107, Vol. XXVII no. 3, July 1951, page 129
11.  Roger Williams Family Association

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Line 8.2 Deliverance Putnam Walcott, Caught between a Niece and a Step-Daughter

While not prominent in the records of the Salem Witchcraft Trials like her sister-in-law, Ann Carr Putnam, Deliverance Putnam had the dual role of being the aunt of one accusing girl and the stepmother of another. Her own child, Anne Walcott, was only six or seven when the Trials occurred yet I can’t help but image the dark, frightening cloud it cast over Anne, her mother Deliverance, her father Jonathan Walcott and her stepbrothers and sisters.

Deliverance Putnam was born 05 September 1656 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
Married Jonathan Walcott, 23 April 1685, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
Died 16 December 1699, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
Putnam’s children were:
1.   Anne Walcott born 17 January 1685/86 Salem, Essex, Massachusetts married Joshua Felt
2.   Thomas Walcott born 25 March 1688 and died 05 June 1688 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
3.   Thomas Walcott born and died 1689 Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
4.   William Walcott born 27 March 1691, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts married Mary Felt, sister of Anne Walcott’s husband, Joshua Felt. William died 13 November 1777, Cumberland, Providence, RI
5.   Ebenezer Walcott born 19 April 1693, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, married Elizabeth Wiley
6.   Benjamin Walcott born 23 April 1695, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts married Abigail Waters
7.   Prudence Walcott born 10 July 1699, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, married Edward Hircum

    Deliverance’s birth record was recorded in Salem, Massachusetts: “Deliverance Putnam 5: 7m: 1656, d. Thomas Putnam and Ann.” Her marriage record was recorded there 29 years later:     “Jonathan Walcutt, 2dm., and Deliverance Putnam, Apr. 23, 1685” She was a rather older bride but as her older sister Anne married at age 20 and her other two older sisters died young, she may have delayed marriage in order to take care of the children left behind when her mother died a few days short of Deliverance’s sixth birthday.

The name "Deliverance Walcott" is listed in the Salem church covenant along with other Putnams, including her brothers, John Putnam, and "Nathanell" Putnam. Also on that list were Samuel Parris and his wife, Elizabeth who played important parts in the Salem witchcraft trails as well as Nathaniel Ingersoll, the uncle of Deliverance’s husband through his mother Anne Ingersoll.

Deliverance’s older brother was Thomas Putnam, the father of one of the major players in the Salem Witchcraft Trials, Ann Putnam. It can be expected that Deliverance and Thomas’ families saw each other, if not on a daily bases then at least several times a week. What the relationship was like between Deliverance and her sister-in-law, Ann Carr Putnam, is easy to imagine, Ann’s daughter and Deliverance’s step-daughter were both part of the group of girls that later became known as the “accusing girls” in the trails. While not one of the other two women, along with Ann Carr Putnam who seemed to be an influence in the appending tragedy, Deliverance must have been drawn to her sister-in-law for no other reason then that she was her sister-in-law. There definitely was an influencing relationship between Mary Walcott and her step-cousin, Ann Putnam. The sister-in-law, Ann Carr Putnam seems to have been a woman of determination but also one easily swayed by the hysteria that came from her daughter jumping head first into witchcraft. There was also the bonding of Putnams and others in Salem Village by their bitterness towards those in Salem Town. It was easy to transfer the fear generated by the hysteria the accusing girls created to the feared and distrusted people of Salem Town.

The trials began in the spring 1692 and continued until January of 1693 when the people of Salem began to sense that the bloodbath they were creating had gone out of control. Tituba, the West India slave of the Rev. Samuel Parris, who had introduced the girls to witchcraft practices, was sold to a new master shortly afterwards. The Rev. Parris left town. Four years later in 1697, Salem had a day of fasting in regret of their part in the hysteria of the trials as well as in remembrance of those who died unjustly.

Deliverance died in 1699, three years too soon to hear the General Court had declared the Salem Witchcraft trials as unlawful. Seven years after Deliverance’s death, her niece, Ann Putnam publicly apologized for her part in the trials. Deliverance’s stepdaughter never public ally repented.

1. Felt Family Genealogy / Internet
2. Americans of Royal Descent by Charles H. Browning
3. "Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England" by James Savage
4. Salem Vital Records, Vol. I, Births
5. Salem Vital Records, Vol. II, Marriages
6. Internet
7. Salem Vital Records, Vol. III, Deaths
8. Internet
9. The History of Salem, Mass. by Sidney Perley Vol. III 1671-1716, pub. 1928
10.  "The Parents of Jonathan Hayens of Newbury and Havenhill, Massachusetts, and Some of their descendants" by Mrs. William C. Clark, of Elkins Park  Penn. the American Genealogist" #107, Vol. XXVII no. 3, July 1951, page 129
11. Salem Witchcraft: With an Account of Salem Village and A History of Opinions on Witchcraft and Kindred Subjects  by Charles W. Upham, Frederick Ungar Pushing Co., New York, fourth Printing 1969 (originally published 1867)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Line 8.1 Thomas Putnam Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble

It started with Cain and Abel. Brother against brother; neighbor against neighbor. While the Puritans had a heart for God, they also were human beings full of jealousy and bitterness. The bitterness that started between neighbors ran through brothers and their sister, setting the stage for an evil influence.

Thomas Putnam was 7 March 1615 in Ashton Abbots, Buckingham, England the son of John Putnam and his wife Priscilla (possible Deacon)
Married 1. Ann HOLYOKE and 2. the widow Mary Veren
Died and buried
Thomas and Ann Putnam’s children were:
1.   Anne Putnam born 25 June 1645 Salem, Essex, MA; died 14 November 1676, Salem, Essex, MA married William Trask
2.   Sarah Putnam born before 30 July 1648 Salem, Essex, MA
3.   Mary Putnam born 17 August 1649 Salem, Essex, MA; probably died young
4.   Thomas Putnam born 12 March 1650/51 Salem, Essex, MA; died May 24, 1699 married Anne Carr
5.   Edward Putnam born 04 July 1654 Salem, Essex, MA; died 10 March 1746/47; married Mary Hale
6.   Deliverance Putnam born 05 September 1656 Salem, Essex, MA; died 16 December 1699; married Jonathan Walcott
7.   Elizabeth Putnam born 30 August 1659 Salem, Essex, MA; died 06 August 1722; married Joshua Bailey
8.   Prudence Putnam born 28 December 1661 Salem, Essex, MA; died 20 September 1721; married 1. William Wyman and 2. Peter Tuffs (who was the brother of my ancestor Mercy Tuffs)
Thomas and Mary Putnam’s children were:
   9. Joseph Putnam born 14 September 1669 Salem, Essex, MA; died May 1724; married Elizabeth Porter

Thomas Putnam was the eldest son and child of John Putnam and his wife. He was born in Ashton Abbots, Buckingham, England and immigrated to the North American English colonies sometime before 1640 with his parents and siblings. It can be speculated that the Putnams came to Massachusetts in order to worship freely as puritans. There was little reason for them to leave England as John Putnam had a fair sized estate inherited from his father Nicholas Putnam. The Putnams certainly sound like good respected Puritans in the Salem records so the best bet on the reason for coming to the New World was to worship God in the Puritan way.

    Thomas Putnam’s first wife, Anne Holyoke was the daughter of Edward Holyoke and his wife Prudence Stockton, daughter of Rev. John Stockton, was rector of the Kimcote and Walton parish for nearly 35 years. Thomas and Anne Putnam had eight. When Anne died, Thomas married his second wife Mary the widow of Nathaniel Veren and trouble began to brew.

After coming to Massachusetts, Lt. Thomas Putnam and his first family first lived in Lynn, Massachusetts, although Salem granted him "fifty acres [of upland] and five acres of meddow." In 1640 His father, John received a one hundred acres grant at this time.

Thomas was admitted to the church in 1643 but still had dealings in Lynn when the General Court declared: "Mr. Thomas Layghton, Edward Burcham, & Thomas Puttman are appointed by this Courte to end smale causes for ye towne of Lynne for ye yeere ensewing" 18 June, 1645. 

Unlike his father, Thomas stayed busy in the town’s affairs. He became a Lieutenant on Oct 8, 1662. He was a grand-Juryman in Salem and later a constable. He was the first parish clerk of Salem. He was “Layer out of Highways”, “Inspector of Bridges.” He shared an office with his son-in-law Jonathan Wolcott (Jonathan and Deliverance Putnam Wolcott were my ancestors):  "… Lt. Thomas Putnam and Jonathan Wolcott supply the place of deacons for ensueing;" However, from the beginning there was a divide in Salem between “Salem Village” and “Salem Town.” The relationship with Thomas and his children of his first marriage became estranged in 1666 when he married as his second wife, the wealthy and influential widow of  Nathaniel Veren. This marriage made him a very wealthy man, bringing in property from far away Jamaica and Barbados. He enlarged his house and this was where is son and only child by Mary was raised. In 1682 Lt. Thomas Putnam is the wealthiest person in Salem Village. Mary had connection to Salem Town, which divided the strongly religious Putnams further because of the more worldly nature of the inhabitance of Salem Town.

Thomas wrote his will in February of 1682/3. It was proved in Boston three years later on 8 July 1686. Thomas gave estates to each of his children, Thomas Jr., his oldest son and young Joseph, his only child by Mary Veren, received the greatest shares.  The children of Anne Holyoke, while receiving an inheritance felt slighted that their young half-brother had received an unfair amount of the inheritance. The eastern half of his property was left to Thomas, and the western half to Joseph. Edward got a smaller estate in the town, on the western side of St. Peter's Street, to the north of Federal Street. There wasn’t much love lost between the children of Anne Holyoke and their stepmother as they felt she and her friends had pressured Thomas Sr. into giving the youngest of his children a larger share of the estate then what was normally given a youngest child.

The children by his first wife attempted, unsuccessfully, to break this will, claiming that undue influence was used to obtain for Joseph more than his share of the estate.  Mr. Charles Upham in his Salem Witchcraft thus sums up the character and position of Thomas Putnam in contrast with his brothers "Possessing a large property by inheritance, he was not quite so active in increasing it, but enjoying the society and friendship of the leading men lived a more retired life.  At the same time he was always ready to serve the community when called for as he often was, when occasion arose for the aid of his superior intelligence and personal influence,"

Thomas Putnam died 5 May 1686, leaving in his wake the unfolding story that haunts Salem, Massachusetts to this day.

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. A Register of the Ancestors of Door Eugene Felt and Agnes McNulty Felt compiled by Alfred L. Holman
7. "England Ancestry of John Putnam of Salem, MA" by G. Andrews Moriarty Jr., The American Genealogist, Vol. 15, p. 8-15, 1938
8. Genealogical And Personal Memoirs Relating To The Families Of Boston And Eastern Massachusetts. Prepared Under The Editorial Supervision Of William Richard Cutter, A. M.
9. Find a Grave,
10. Salem Witchcraft: With an Account of Salem Village and A History of Opinions on Witchcraft and Kindred Subjects  by Charles W. Upham, Frederick Ungar Pushing Co., New York, fourth Printing 1969 (originally published 1867)
11. The Will of Thomas Putnam (Sr.)