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)

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading your post. I am descended from William Walcott (1691-1777) whom is buried at the Peck Cemetery in Cumberland RI:

    Thank you,

    -Peter Sarazin

    P.S. My contact info is on findagrave