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An American Family History

John and Mary Arnold
for Mary Easty and Sarah Cloyce

  Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Volume 1 Page 128  

Many factors led to the witchcraft accusations in Salem.

Essex County, Massachusetts was created on May 10, 1643 by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when it ordered "that the whole plantation within this jurisdiction be divided into four sheires."

These may Cartify home it may Consarne that wee hous names are underritten being dasired by sum of the Realeations of Mary [estwek] and sarah Cloise to give our obsarvation how they behaved tham sales while thay Remained in Bostorn prison we dow affirme [th] at wee [torn] saw noe ill Carreg or Behavor in tham But that thare daportment wase verey sobere and Civell as wittnes our hands

this is truee copie
John Arnold [keeper of the prison]
Marey Arnold

Salem is in Essex County, Massachusetts and was a significant seaport in early America. John Endicott obtained a patent from England and arrived there in 1628. Salem originally included much of the North Shore, including Marblehead. Salem Village also included Peabody and parts of Beverly, Middleton, Topsfield, Wenham and Manchester-by-the-Sea.


In the 17th century jails were used as places to hold people accused of crimes until they were brought to trial, but not as places of punishment. A debtor could be held in jail until he paid his debts and political dissidents were also jailed. Punishments included execution, maiming, public humiliation and monetary fines.

Three daughters of William Towne and Joanna Blessing were wrongly accused of practicing witchcraft in Salem. Rebecca Towne Nurse, Mary Towne Estey, and Sarah Towne Bridges Cloyes were persecuted in 1692. The children of people in the line below are all descendants of Mary Estey.

William Towne,
Mary Towne Estey,
Isaac Estey,
Aaron Estey
,
Mary Estey Dwinnell
,
Israel Dwinnell,
Isaac Davis Dwinnell, Sr.,
Isaac Davis Dwinnell, Jr.
,
Victoria Zellena Dwinnell
,
Robert Wilson Miller, Sr
.,
Robert Wilson Miller, Jr.

The Salem witch trials were between February, 1692 and May, 1693.
Understand the Puritans better:
 

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