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.”
WARRANT FOR THE ARREST OF ELIZABETH PROCTOR AND SARAH CLOYCE (APRIL 4, 1692):
Aprill. 4'th 1692
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
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 http://home.att.net/rialots/dat10.htm
2. Internet Rick Ingersoll http://wwwmy-ged.com/db/page/inger/4658
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. Familytreemaker.com "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, http://members.nbci.com/XMCM/wolcott/salem.htm
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