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An American Family History

William Towne

Goodman William Towne was a man of character, substance and social position. . .

Learn more about the Towne family.

Many factors led to the witchcraft accusations in Salem.

William Towne was born on March 15, 1598/99 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, England. He was christened on May 21, 1603 in Braceby, Lincolnshire, England.  

He married Joanna Blessing in 1620. Their children and life together are described in detail in the section on William and Joanna Towne. He was made a commoner of Topsfield in 1661.

“At a lawfull meeting of ye Town of Topsfield the 5 day march 1699-1700 . . .Mr. Timmothy Pirkins and William Towne are chosen Tithingmen for ye yeare ensewing."

He died in 1672 in Topsfield.

Children of William Towne
and Joanna Blessing
  • Rebecca Towne Nurse
  • John Towne
  • Susannah Towne
  • Sergeant Edmund Towne
  • Jacob Towne
  • Mary Towne Estey
  • Joseph Towne
  • Sarah Towne Bridges Cloyes
  • Old Style Calendar
    Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

    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.
    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."
    The Salem witch trials were between February, 1692 and May, 1693.
     

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