An American Family History

The Putnam Family


John Putnam was born in 1579/80 in England, He was the, son of Nicholas Putnam and Margaret Goodspeed.

He married Priscilla Gould, or Priscilla Deacon.

Elizabeth Putnam (1612)
Thomas Putnam (1615)
John Putnam (1617, died young)
Nathaniel Putnam (1619)
Sarah Putnam (1624),
Phebe Putnam (1624),
John Putnam, Jr. (1627, married Rebecca Prince).

John died on December 30, 1662 in Salem.

Understand the Puritans better:

Thomas Putnam was born in 1615 in England. He was the son of John Putnam.

He came to New England with his parents and was a resident of Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts in 1640.

He married Ann Holyoke on October 17, 1643 in Lynn. Ann was the daughter of Edward Holyoke and Prudence Stockton.

Ann Putnam (1645, married William Trask, Jr.),
Sarah Putnam (1648)
Mary Putnam (1649)
Thomas Putnam, Jr. (1652)
Edward Putnam (1654, married Mary Hale),
Deliverance Putnam (1656, married Jonathan Walcott),
Elizabeth Putnam (1659)
Prudence Putnam (1662)

Ann died on September 1, 1665

He married Mary Veren on November 14, 1666 in Salem. Mary was the widow of Nathaniel Veren.

Joseph Putnam (1669).

Thomas died in Salem Village on May 5, 1686. Mary died on March 16 or 17, 1695.

In 1692, 19 year old, Sarah Trask, the daughter of Ann Putnam and William Trask, Jr. testified against Mary Estey, John Willard, and Mary Witheridge.

On August 4, 1692, 17 year old Mary Walcott, Deliverance Putnam's step-daughter testified that she

saw the Apparrtion of goody Eastteck come and pinch & choake me and terrified me much and she told me that she had blinded al our eyes that ware afflicted only mersy Lueies for she said that she had not power to doe itt on that day she was cleared


Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts was first settled by English Puritans in 1629 and was first incorporated in 1631 as Saugus.
King Philip’s War was a bloody and costly series of raids and skirmishes in 1675 and 1676 between the Native American people and the colonials. King Philip was the Native American leader Metacom.

Thomas Putnam was born on January 12, 1652 in Salem. He was the son of Thomas Putnam.

Thomas was a sergeant in the local militia and fought in King Phillip’s War.

In 1678 he married Ann Carr. She was the daughter of George and Elizabeth Carr.

Ann Putnam, Jr., (1679)
Thomas Putnam (1681)
Elizabeth Putnam (1683)
Ebenezer Putnam (1685) 
Deliverance Putnam (1687)
Child, (died 1689)
Timothy Putnam (1691)
Abigail Putnam (1692)
Susanna Putnam (1694)
Thomas Putnam (died aged six months)
Seth Putnam (1695)
Experience Putnam (1698).

Mercy Lewis was an orphan who was a servant in Thomas Putnam's home. Mercy was born about 1674 in Falmouth, Maine. She was the daughter of Philip Lewis and Mary Cass.

In 1675 in the Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County

Leift. Thomas Putnam v. Ed. Richards. For coming upon the ground of the plaintiff, or in his possession, and breaking open the door of the dwelling house upon said land that was left fast locked. The jury did not report on the main issue, but took the liberty of the law to present only what they found. Verdict for plaintiff, that the defendant broke open his lock. Appealed to the next Court of Assistants. Edward Richards, Robert Brimsdon and Steephen Haskett bound.

On May 23 1692, Ann Putnam, Jr. testified that

mary Estick is a most dreadfull wicth and that she hath very often afflected me and the persons af fore named by hir acts of wictchraft.

The same day Ann and her friend, Abigail Williams testified that

we saw there the apperishtions of gooddy Estick and Jno willard and mary [Buckley Proctor] witheridge afflecting and choaking mircy lewes in a most dreadfull maner which did most greviously affright us and immediatly gooddy Estick did fall upon us and tortor us allso Redy to choake us to death

Thomas died in Salem on May 24, 1699. Ann died June 8, 1699.


Edward Putnam was born on July 4, 1654 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. His parents were Thomas Putnam and Ann Holyoke.

Edward married Mary Hale on June 14, 1681. She was the daughter of Thomas Hale and Mary Hutchinson.

Edward Putnam,
Holyoke Putnam,
Elisha Putnam,
Joseph Putnam,
Mary Putnam ,
Prudence Putnam,
Nehemiah Putnam,
Ezra Putnam
Isaac Putnam
Abigail Putnam

In 1690, Edward was made freeman and he became the second deacon for the First Church of Danvers, Massachusetts.

On May 18, 1692 Edward Putnam testified that Mary Towne Estey "so greviously aflicted and tortred" Marcy Lewis.

Edward died on March 10, 1747 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts.


Nathaniel Putnam, was born in 1619 in Ashton Abbotts, Buckinghamshire, England. He was the son of John Putnam

He married Elizabeth Hutchinson. She was born in Arnold, England on August 20, 1629 She was the daughter of Richard Hutchinson and Alice Bosworth.

They were admitted to the church at Salem in 1648.

Samuel Putnam (1652, married Elizabeth Leach),
Nathaniel Putnam (1655),
John Putnam (1657)
Joseph Putnam (1659)
Elizabeth Putnam (1662, married George Flint),
Benjamin Putnam
Mary Putnam (1668, married John Tufts)

Nathaniel was constable in 1656.

In 1690-91 he was deputy to the general court.

He served as as selectman.

Elizabeth died on June 24, 1688. Nathaniel died in Salem on July 23, 1700.



John Putnam was born in 1627 in England.

He married Rebecca Prince.

Rebecca Putnam (1653, married John Fuller)
Sarah Putnam (1654, married John Hutchinson)
Priscilla Putnam (1657)
Jonathan Putnam (1659, married Lydia Potter and Elizabeth Whipple)
James Putnam (1661)
Hannah Putnam (1663)
Eleazer Putnam (1665)
John Putnam (1667)
Joanna Putnam (1670)
Ruth Putnam (1673)

On May 20 1692, John, Putnam, Jr age 34 and George Herrick the marshall for the court testified that

beeing att the house of the above s'd John Puttnams both saw Mercy Lewis in a very Dreadfull and Solemn Condition So that to our aprehention shee could not continue long in this world without A mittigation of thoes Torments wee saw her # [in] which Caused us to Expediate A hasty dispacth to apprehend Mary Estick in hopes if possable it might save her Life...

Jonathan Putnam, James Darling, Benjamin Hutchinson and Samuel Braybrook testified that Mercy Lewis and Elizabeth Hubbard

these two fell into fits by turns, the one being well whilst the other was ill, & that each of them complained much of Mary Eastie, who brought the book to said Mercy severall times as we heard her say in her trances, & vexed & tortured them both by choking & seemingly breathless fits & other fits, threatning said Mercy with a winding sheet & afterwards with a Coffin if said Mercy would not signe to her book, with abundance more of vexations they both received from her.

In early New England towns policy was set by a board of 3 to 5 selectmen. They oversaw public responsibilities such as the policing, roads, and fences.




Samuel Parris was a rigid Puritan minister of Salem Village. He married Elizabeth Eldridge, and they had three children including Betty Parris.

In 1688, during the Glorious Revolution, the Protestant king and queen,William and Mary, took the English throne from Catholic King James II. The bloodless revolution profoundly impacted the American colonies.

Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts by Ellery Bicknell Crane, Lewis Publishing, 1907

Nathaniel Putnam, son of John Putnam, was born in Ashton Abbotts, Buckinghamshire, England, in 1619, and baptized October 11, that year. He died at Salem, July 23, 1700. He was a prosperous farmer, settled in what is now Danvers, Massachusetts.

He married Elizabeth Hutchinson, daughter of Richard and Alice (Bosworth) Hutchinson. She was born in Arnold, England, August 20, 1629, and baptized there August 30; died at Danvers June 24, 1688. Both were admitted to the church at Salem in 1648.

Their children, born at Salem Village, were:
Samuel, February 18, 1652;
Nathaniel, April 24, 1655;
John, March 26, 1657;
Joseph, October 29, 1659;
Elizabeth, August 11, 1662, married Sergeant George Flint;
Benjamin, of whom later;
Mary, September 15, 1668, married John Tufts.

John, Benjamin and Mary alone survived their youth. Part of the original homestead of Nathaniel Putnam at Danvers is still known as the Judge Putnam place. Nathaniel was constable in 1656 and deputy to the general court in 1690-91. He was prominent in the church and town, serving for some years as selectman. He had great business ability and activity and was a man of unusual powers of mind,

of great energy and skill in the management of affairs and of singular sagacity, acumen and quickness of perception. He left a large estate.

He was involved in a lawsuit over the ownership of the Bishop farm, so-called, and his side of the controversy was successful in 1683. During the trouble over the pastorate of Rev. Mr. Bayley he was an opponent, but when Mr. Bayley was dismissed he was one of those who contributed land May 6, 1680, to make a farm for him. He had the rank of lieutenant. He was one of the four messengers to Rev. Samuel Parris to obtain his reply to their call. As the head of the large and influential Putnam family he was known for years as "Landlord" Putnam.

He was a leader in the witchcraft delusion which had its centre in Salem and Salem Village where he lived. Upham says of him:

Entire confidence was felt by all in his judgment and deservedly. But he was a strong religionist, a life long member of the church and extremely strenuous and zealous in his ecclesiastical relations. He was getting to be an old man (at the time of the Delusion) and Mr. Parris had wholly succeeded in obtaining for the time possession of his feelings, sympathies and zeal in the management of the church and secured his full co-operation in the witchcraft prosecutions. He had been led by Parris to take the very front of the proceedings. But even Nathaniel Putnam could not stand by in silence and see Rebecca Nurse sacrificed.

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.
Mister ( Mr.) was derived from master and Mrs. and Miss were derived from mistress. They indicated people of superior social status in colonial America.

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.

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

Many factors led to the witchcraft accusations in Salem.


from New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, Volume 2, edited by William Richard Cutter

Sergeant Thomas Putnam, son of Lieutenant Thomas Putnam, was born at Salem, March 24, 1652, and baptized at the First Church, April 16, 1652.

He died in Salem, May 24, 1699.

He received a good education for the times.

His wife was the sister of Mary Carr, wife of Mr. James Bayley, the minister of the church, who was the cause of much dissension in the church and indirectly aggravated the bitterness of the witchcraft persecutions. 

Ann Putnam, daughter of Sergeant Thomas Putnam, was the most prominent child in the affair and she was the cause of more of the imprisonments than was any other one person. The "bewitched" children met at the houses of Sergeant Thomas Putnam and of Rev. Mr. Parris and with them was a servant of Mrs. Ann Putnam, Mary Lewis by name. Mrs. Putnam was evidently weak and excitable, for at trials she often gave strange evidence, undoubtedly produced from her imagination under the excitement. She and her husband were firm believers in the delusion, and easily influenced by their daughter. Ann Putnam made a public confession which was read August 25, 1706, showing that she had completely deceived many prominent members of the colony

Both Sergeant Putnam and his wife died shortly after the trials were over.

He married, November 25, 1678, Ann, daughter of George and Elizabeth Carr, of Salisbury, born June 15, 1661, died at Salem Village, June 8, 1699.

Children, born in Salem Village:
 Ann, October 18, 1679;
Thomas, February 9, 1681;
Elizabeth, May 29, 1683;
Ebenezer, July 25, 1685; 
Deliverance, September 11, 1687;
Child, died December 17, 1689, less than four months old;
Timothy, baptized in Salem Village, April 26, 1691;
Abigail, baptized October 30, 1692;
Susanna, 1694, baptized November 20, 1698;
perhaps another daughter, for August 23, 1694, Sarah, daughter of Thomas Putnam, died aged six months;
Seth, [1695]
Experience, baptized November 20, 1698.

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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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