Saturday, August 27, 2011

Line 9.2, Anne Walcott; Never praise a sister to a sister

As a small child of seven, Anne Walcott witnessed the hysteria of the pending Salem witchcraft trials in her own home. How this impressed her young mind as she witness the behavior of her sister and her friends that brought suffering and death to many innocent people can only be guessed at. We don’t know a lot about Anne. She is seldom in the Salem Records but she was involved in the horror just because of who her half-sister and her cousin, Anne Putnam were.

Anne Walcott was born 17 January 1685/86 in Salem, Massachusetts, the daughter of Jonathan Walcott and his second wife Deliverance Putnam
She married Joshua Felt son of Moses Felt and his wife Lydia Mains on15 January 1712/13 in Salem, Essex, MA
Died before 16 June 1736
Putnam’s children were:
1.   Moses Felt born 22 December 1714 in Boston, Suffolk, MA and died at sea 13 June 1780. He married Mary Potts Pettee
2.   Jonathan Felt born 03 June 1719 Dedham, Suffolk, MA, died 16 May 1786 in Peterborough, NH. He married Lovewell Welds.
3.   Aaron Felt born 21 June 1716 in Rummey Marsh, Lynn, MA and died 1769 in Lynn, MA. He married Mary Waite the daughter of Peter Waite and Sarah Pierce. She was born 28 April 1716 in Lynn, MA and died there 05 September 1767.
4.   Anne Felt about 1722 and died age 94 in Andover, MA. She married Robert Russell of Andover, MA.

    The Salem birth records list Anne’s birth and later her marriage to Joshua Felt. The Felt family was an adventuresome one, having been among the first Englishmen to settle in what would become the state of Maine. Joshua was probably born in Maine but by 1712/3 when he married Anne Walcott, he was living in Salem. Just by the fact that he was living in Salem, he must have known about the witchcraft trials but that did not deter him from courting and marring the sister of one of the accusing girls. Anne, like her mother, married at a rather older age then most women of her generation. She was just short of 27 years of age when she married Joshua. One, again, can wonder if the influences of the dark cloud that lead to the trial kept her segregated from the joys of courting. That she married a man not raised in the town could also be an indication of the grief that darkened her family. Her sister, Mary, the accusing girl, married at age 21 to Isaac Farrer the son of John Farrar of Woburn, Massachusetts. Why Mary seemed to move on to marriage and children at a younger age then her innocent half-sister, is only known now to God. But surely the shadow of the witchcraft trial haunted the Walcotts for their whole lives.

We can’t know the state of Anne’s faith. She was of the second generation of Massachusetts born Puritans and with the horror of the trials, her faith may have been tested more so then others of her generation. The fiery zeal of the original Puritan settlers in the New World was tempered with each generation, leading to a less vigorous display of religious passion as the younger generations took their place in society and the church. Joshua Felt came from strong Puritan stock. His grandfather George Felt emigrated with the future Governor Endicott and settled in Charlestown. Old George lived to into his eighties and seems to have been a faithful Puritan. With this background, one might think that the children and grandchildren would be strong in their faith as well, but that is not always true. We know the Felts were involved in the church as their children were baptized there but that is all we know from the records. However, the Felts in the following generations seemed to have stayed with their God so even with the shadow of the witchcraft trials looming over her, Anna may very well have been a strong woman of faith.

Anne and Joshua Felt’s children were born in different village near Boston between 1714 and about 1722. Anne Walcott Felt died sometime before 1736, when Joshua took Dorcas Gould, the widow of Anthony Buxton, as his second wife. Joshua lived at least another eight years after marring Dorcas as she was named his widow in her will made in 1747.

Several of Anne and Joshua’s grandchildren would take an active part in the American Revolution. Jonathan, Joshua and Samuel Felt were present at the battle of Lexington and Concord that started the war. Despite being involved, even just by association, in one of the biggest controversies in American History, Anne managed to raise children who gave back to their country. I can only hope that she was able to realize that God the author of the sad chapter in Salem’s history.

1. Felt Family Gen. Internet
2. Internet Rick Ingersoll,
3. "Al & Judy Sporny's Genealogy"
4. Colonial Families of the United States by George Norbury Mackenie, Vol. VI
5. Salem Vital Records, Vol. I, Births, Pub by the Essex Institute, 1916
6. "Yet Another 'Descendent of John Putnam'"

Friday, August 19, 2011

Line 9.1 Jonathan Walcott; Father of an Accusing Girl

Line 9.1
Jonathon Walcott
Father of an Accusing Girl

It’s hard to imagine Jonathan Walcott as anything but a grim boy and man. His father was at odds with the religious status quo of Salem, Massachusetts and his daughter was caught up in the fiery of the Salem Witchcraft Trails. But Jonathan was considered a well like man who stood by his responsibilities and faith with resolve even when it lead him down a road to hysteria.

Jonathan Walcott was the son of William Walcott and Alice Ingersoll
He married 1. Mary Sibley, born 1644 the daughter of John Sibley. She died 28 December 1683 in Salem, Mass.
     2. Deliverance Putnam the daughter of Thomas Putnam and his first wife Ann Holyoke
He died 16 December 1699 in Salem, Massachusetts
Jonathan Walcott’s children by Mary Sibley were:
   1.   John Walcott born 07 December 1666 in Salem, Mass. and married Mary ?.
2.   Hannah Walcott born 06 December 1667 in Salem, Mass
3.   Jonathan Walcott born 01 September 1670 married Priscilla Bayley
4.   Joseph Walcott born 25 September 1673 in Salem, Mass and died there 30 June 1674
5.   Mary Walcott born May 1675. She was one of the accusing girls in the Salem Witchcraft trail. She married Isaac Farrer
6.   Samuel Walcott born 12 October 1678 in Salem. He married Katherine ?
Jonathan Walcott’s children by his second wife, Deliverance Putnam were:
7.   Anne Walcott born 17 January 1685/86 and married Joshua Felt
8.   Thomas Walcott born 25 March 1688 and died 5 June of the same year
9.   Thomas Walcott born and died in 1689
10.  William Walcott born 27 March 1691 in Salem, Mass, died 13 November 1777. He married Mary Felt the sister of Joshua Felt
11.  Ebenezer Walcott born 19 April 1693 in Salem, Mass. He married Elizabeth Wiley.
12.  Benjamin Walcott born 23 April 1695 in Salem, Mass. He married Abigail Waters
13.  Prudence Walcott born 10 July 1699 in Salem, Mass. She married Edward Hircum.

Jonathan was the son of William Walcott or Wolcott and his wife Alice Ingersoll. Alice’s parents were Richard Ingersoll and his wife Agnes (Ann) Langley. A letter written by Matthew Craddock of London to Capt John Endicott in 1629 mentions Richard: “one Richard Haward and Richard Inkersall, both Bedfordshire men, hyred for the Company, with their famylis, who wee pray you will be well accomodated, not doubting but they will orderly demean themselves."7 It is possible that Richard Ingersoll and his family came over from England with Rev. John Higginson in 1629 on the Mayflower II. “Mayflower, William Peirce, Master, left Gravesend in Marsh with thirty-five passengers, mostly from Leyden, Holland, destined for Plymouth. She arrived May 15 ... Richard Ingersoll of Sandy, county Bedford to Salem; with Mrs. Anne Ingersoll, George Ingersoll, Joanna Ingersoll, John Ingersoll, Sarah Ingersoll, and Alice Ingersoll.”7 Alice Ingersoll’s brother Nathaniel, born in Salem after the family left England, also played a large role in the witchcraft trails. He ran the village inn and tavern, playing host to villagers and travelers alike and to the trial itself.

 Jonathan Walcott was admitted freeman and elected captain of the military company at Salem in 1690. He was a Wheelwright made the wheels for the guns for the fort at Winter Island, near Salem, which may have been why he was made captain in the Salem Militia. He served in King Philip's War 1675-6. He was a taxpayer in 1692 at Salem Village, which is now the town of Danvers, in 1692. The land he owned was next to his Uncle Nathaniel Ingersoll who served as corporal, sergeant and finally as lieutenant of the all-important militia at Salem.  The Walcott house was also near the Rev. Parris’s parsonage where the accusing girls who would be involved in the witchcraft trail meet.

Salem Village and Salem Town were at odds with each other. They were also living in a tense situation with the Indians and were always watching for signs of trouble. Jonathan married and raised his family in this stressed atmosphere and though he was known to oppose violence in other situation, was sucked into the frenzy that ensnared his daughter, niece by marriage and his neighbors. Jonathan became involved as a protective father and concerned churchman. His involvement was not as clear as his brother-in-law, Thomas Putnams but it included arresting some of the accused “witches.”


Aprill. 4'th 1692

There Being Complaint this day made (Before us) by capt Jonat Walcott, and Lt Natheniell Ingersull both of Salem Village, in Behalfe of theire Majesties for themselfes and also for severall of their Neighbours Against Sarah Cloyce the wife of peter Cloyce of Salem Village; and Elizabeth Proctor the wife of John Proctor of Salem farmes for high Suspition of Sundry acts of Witchcraft donne or Committed by them upon the bodys of Abigail Williams, and John Indian both of Mr Sam parris his family of Salem Village and mary Walcott daughter of the abovesaid Complainants, And Ann Putnam and Marcy Lewis of the famyly of Thomas Putnam of Salem Village whereby great hurt and dammage hath beene donne to the Bodys of s'd persons above named therefore Craved Justice.
You are therefore in theire Majest's names hereby required to apprehend and bring before us Sarah Cloyce the wife of peter Cloyce of Salem Village and Elizabeth proctor the wife of John Procter of Salem farmes; on Munday Morneing Next being the Eleventh day of this Instant Aprill aboute Eleven of the Clock, at the publike Meeting house in the Towne, in order to theire Examination Relateing to the premesis aboves'd and here of you are. not to faile Dated Salem Aprill 8'th 1692
To George Herick Marshall of the County of essex
John Hathorne
Jonathan Corwin   Assists

The reverberating horror of the trial and then the realization that the real victims of witchcraft were the ones falsely accused must have cast a greater sorrow over the Walcott family. They went on to lead “normal” lives but how normal a life can one lead when one realizes the horror and wrong done to their neighbors, their town, and themselves. “John Hathorne” who signed Elizabeth Proctor and Sarah Cloyce’s arrest warrant was the ancestor of Nathaniel Hawthorn who wrote “The Scarlet Letter” in penance to his ancestor’s involvement in the trials. Surely, Jonathan and his family must have felt guilt and hopefully remorse that changed their hearts toward following a gentler faith.

Jonathan died 16 December 1699 two years after Salem’s day in remembrance of those falsely accused and killed because of the hysteria generated by a group of young girls getting involved with witchcraft. We can only hope that Jonathan and Deliverance Walcott found some peace with God.

1. Felt Family Genealogy, Internet
2. Internet Rick Ingersoll
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. "Yet Another 'Descendants of John Putnam'"
7. Massachusetts and Maine Families by Walter Goodwin Davis
8. Ancestors of Dorr Eugene Felt by Alfred L. Holman, 1921
9. The History of Salem, Mass. by Sidney Perley Vol. III 1671-1716, pub. 1928
10. "The Walcott Family of Salem" by John B. Wolcott, Internet,
11. SALEM WITCHCRAFT; With an Account of Salem Village and A History of Opinions on Witchcraft and Kindred Subjects by Charles W. Upham
10.  Warrant for the Arrest of Elizabeth Proctor and Sarah Cloyce, April 4, 1692