An American Family History

Joanna Blessing Towne

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."
Europeans who made the voyage to America faced a difficult journey of several months.

Joanna Blessing Towne was born about 1599 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England.

She married William Towne in 1620. Their children and life together are described in detail in the section on William and Joanna Towne.

She was dismissed from the Salem church to that of Topsfield in 1664.

Joanna Towne testified for the Reverend Thomas Gilbert in 1670 concerning a Sunday dinner at the parsonage. Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert had Captain and Mrs. John Gould, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Perkins, and Mrs. Towne as their guests. A rare gold cup of wine was passed. Mr. Gould alleged that Mr. Gilbert drank too freely. Joanna Towne (her age being given at seventy-five) testified that on Sunday, Mr. Gilbert had administered the "sacrament swetly unto us" and that after the service

I was att dinner att Mter Gilberts table ... and sat next to him on his right hand, and though some report that he drank too much of the sacrament wyn ... I believe he is wronged, for I that then sat next him saw no such matter ... And I can saifly take my oath that though our minister had the cup twyce in his hand, yet the first tyme he drank not one drop of it, but gave it out of his hand to Thomas Perkins, bidding him give it to me, for I needed it mor than he, being older. When the cup had gone about, it came into his hand the second time and I am sure ther could not be much in it then (it may be two or three spoon-ful) and that he drank. (The Ancestry of Lieutenant Amos Towne 1737-1793, p. 5)

In 1673, Joanna Towne was appointed to administer the estate of her late husband. 

She died about 1682 in Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts.

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.
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.
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
  • Learn more about the Towne family.

    Many factors led to the witchcraft accusations in Salem.



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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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