Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Easty/Estes/Esty Family Bible and The Ruth Hobbs Family Record Book

From the Collection of Carolyn Hart Wood, daughter of Elizabeth Hart Marlowe Wood and Henry Wood Jr.  

Carolyn contacted me regarding her ancestor Elizabeth Hutchinson Hart (1622-1700), who was targeted in the the Salem 1692 witch hysteria. Elizabeth Hutchinson Hart was the daughter of Thomas Hutchinson and Anne Browne Hawkes and the wife of Issac Hart (1614-1699), the son of Thomas Hart and Alice Waters.  

The Family Bible was purchased in 1828 at by James Estes, a direct descendant of Isaac Estes and Mary Towne of Topsfield, Massachusetts in 1828. (NOTE Spelling Variations: Esty, Estes, Easty, Eastey, or Estye)

The family connections to the bible are direct descendants of Salem Witch Trials of 1692.
Children of William Towne and Johanna Blessing:
Rebecca Towne married Francis Nurse
Sargent Edmund Towne He was one of a committee from the town of Topsfield who in 1675 (during King Philip’s War) presented a petition to the General Court for leave to form military companies to protect the people from the Indians while at their work. He married Mary Browning daughter of Thomas Browning and Mary Hinds
John Towne never married
Susannah Towne never married 
Sergeant Edmund Towne married
Mary Browning, daughter of Thomas Browning and Mary Hinds 

Jacob Towne married Catherine Symonds, daughter of John Symonds and Ruth Foxe
Mary Towne married Isaac Eastey
son of Geoffrey Eastey and Anne Arnold
JosephTowne (1639-1713) married Phoebe Perkins, daughter of Thomas Perkins and Phebe Gould.
Sarah Towne married 1st Edmund Bridges and 2nd Peter Cloyes

Below A direct link to Mary Towne Estey/Esty. It was published in 1993 in The News Journal Wilmington Delaware.

Portrait of Mary Towne Easty was in the home of Carolyn's grandmother 

These Photo were taken by Kerry Cheever of Cheever Associates, former owner of the Benjamin Crowninshield Home. Mary Towne Eastey was arrested on this property. The lower structure and part of the cellar were the original structure of the home of Mary Towne Easty's son. Kerry Cheever is a direct descendant of Ezekiel Cheever

Photo from Book by Rev Z A Mudge Witch Hill: A History of Witchcraft Published in 1870 by Carlton & Lanahan New York Also Lots of information on this site Topsfield, Massachusetts of Easty Property and other locations connected to Salem Witch Trials and Families at Witch Caves & Salem End Road Field Investigation: 25 November 2001, 26 May 2007, & 1 June 2007 by Daniel V. Boudillion 
Further Reading:  
From "About Towne", a quarterly newsletter, Jan/Feb 1986-page 4:
"...Rev. Samuel Parris, formerly a merchant in the West Indies, had in his possession West Indian slaves, one by the name of Tituba. The girls in the winter of 1691-2 whiled away the evenings by practising palmistry and magic at the parsonage. Later as a result of the witchcraft lore voodooism teachings of Tituba and the already prevalent universal belief in witchcraft, the girls exhibited fits and convulsions in the presence of other people. The villiage physcian, Dr. Griggs, pronounced the girls bewitched. The ten young girls accused various people, including Tituba, of bewitching them. Hysteria spread rapidly and within four months hundreds were arrested and tried, nineteen hanged, and one man was pressed to death. On April 22, 1692, Mary Easty, the wife of Isaac Easty, was delivered to the jail keeper in Salem. With others she was charged with "High Suspicion of Sundry Acts of Witchcraft..." On May 18th Mary Easty was released, but two days later the girls were seized with terrible convulsions and accused Mary Easty again... After midnight she was aroused from sleep, chained and taken from her home and family, and placed in the prison in Salem... She was carried to execution with seven others on the 22nd day of September 1692.

The end of witchcraft in America came in May of 1693 when Governor William Phips ordered the release from prison of all then held on the charge of witchcraft."
From (Essex County Archives, Salem - Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 177) (Examination of Mary Easty)
"The Examination of Mary Eastie. At a Court held at Salem village 22. Apr. 1692 By the Hon. John Hathorn & Jonathan Corwin. At the bringing in of the the accused severall fell into fits. Doth this woman hurt you? Many mouths were stopt, & several other fits seized them..."
Johanna Blessing Easty was dismissed from the Salem church to that of Topsfield, Massachusetts in 1664. According to records 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. She 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." (Recorded in The Ancestry of Lieutenant Amos Towne 1737-1793, p. 5)
In 1673, Joanna Towne was appointed to administer the estate of her late husband.
The Children of Isaac Easty and Mary Towne

Isaac Easty, Jr. married Abigail Kimball, daughter of John Kimball and Mary Bradstreet (after Isaac's death Abigail married in 1718 William Poole, son of John Poole first settler and prominent land owner of Redding, Massachusetts). In 1689 and 1691 Isaac Easty appears in town records as one chosen of the surveyors of highways. In 1694, Issac was chosen constable. In 1696 he was one of the selectmen of the town. In 1699 “Ephraim Dormand and Isaac Easty JR are chosen to serve on ye Jury of trialsat ye next court to be houlden at Ipswich.”
“At a Lawfull meeting of ye Town of Topsfield the 2 day march 1702/8. . . Isaac Estey Junr and Samuel Stanley are Chosen Selectmen for the year. When his father died in 1712 Isaac JR inherited about 40 acres of upland and 4 of meadow that he was already living on. The land was on the south side of the Ipswich River.

Joseph Easty married Jane Steward in June 1692 more information is provided in Genealogical and Family History of Western New York: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation, Volume 3 by William Richard Cutter 1912 Sarah Easty married first to Moses Gill and second  __________ Ireland 

John Easty married 1st Mary Dorman and 2nd Hannah
Hannah Easty married George Abbott
Benjamin Easty
married 1st Elizabeth Goodhue and 2nd Mary Holland
Samuel Easty
Jacob Easty
married Lydia Elliot
Joshua Easty
married Abigail Stanley

Marriages Recorded 1692 Massachusetts Town Clerk
The Hobbs family married into Carolyn Hart Wood's  Easty--Hart family line
Isaac Easty (1627-1673) son of Jeffrey Easty and Margaret Plott married Mary Towne (1634-1692)  daughter of William Towne(1598/99-1661) and Johanna Blessing (1594-1682).
John Easty (1662-1720) married1st on 31 May 1688 to Mary Dorman and second Hannah?
Jonathon Easty (1707-1796) married Susanna Monroe
Nathanial Easty (1746-1807) marriedMehitable Preston William Easty (1776-) married Ruth Hobbs
James Estes (1806-1873) married Experience Wilson (1801-1872) 
Sara Kimball Estes m. Charles Nelson Hart

Note from 1888 D.H. Hurd, Vol I, page 950 "Johnathan Estey was the son of John Estey, who was the son of Isaac, whose wife Mary was hung for witchcraft in 1692. This John came here from Topsfield, a few years after the execution of his mother. The blood of the family has been quite generally diffused throughout this town, and they are well known as a long-lived race. The larger part of the family moved to Framingham, Massachusetts after the execution of the wife and mother, hoping they had escaped the laws of Massachusetts, but subsequently found that they were still in the hated State; but they had cleared away too many fields to take up stakes again, and have remained, some of them to the present day."

Death Records of Joseph Hobbs March 15, 1777 age 68, son Joseph Hobbs, JR May 2, 1782 age 38, Ruth Hobbs May 10, 1792 age 82, Eunice Hobbs June 11, 1795 age 50, Nathaniel Estes December 3, 1807 age 63, Rebecca Estes March 29, 1807 age 51, Elizabeth Hobbs February 3, 1812 age 54, John Pratt December 29, 1814.

Deaths Recorded Joseph L Hobbs, Joseph L Hobbs, Ruth Hobbs, Eunice Hobbs, Nathaniel Estes, Rebecca Estes, Elizabeth Hobbs, John Pratt, Joseph Hobbs, Rebecca Peabody, William Estes, Jason Ford Estes. 

Births recorded children of James Estes and Experience Wilson: Sarah Kimball Estes April 20 1829, James Henry Estes 12 1831, Charles Wilson Estes October 18 1832, William Abbott Estes April 1842

Marriage recorded James Estes and Experience Wilson and below is from the town records Massachusetts Marriages in Essex County Volume 5

Marriage Preformed in Ipswich, Massachusetts by Rev Robert Southgates on November 3, 1859 Charles Nelson Hart to Sara Kimball Estes

Henry Jackson Hart born in Lynnfield, Massachusetts on October 14, 1833. He was the second son born to Joseph Hart Jr. and Harriet Davis Clark. On October 14, 1858, Henry J Hart married Lois Augusta Shute, from Lynnfield, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Benjamin Shute and Lois Smith. Henry Jackson Hart lived in Ipswich, Massachusetts in his last days. He was a tanner by trade, and died of consumption on December 25, 1891. Lois, his widow, was living in Ipswich in 1900 according to town census.

Photo of Henry Jackson Hart from Family Genealogy Site "My Hart"

Photo of Frank Hart, son of Henry Jackson Hart and Lois Augusta Shute. Frank lived at the Old Hart Farm in Lynnfield Centre.
Charles Nelson Hart born in Lynnfield, Massachusetts on August 10, 1835. He was the fourth son of Joseph Hart Jr. and Harriet D. Clark. On November 3, 1859, Charles N Hart married Sarah Kimball Estes of Ipswich, Massachusetts, daughter of James Estes and Experience J. Wilson.

Photo of the Hart House in Lynnfield, Massachusetts Mr. Hart, a farmer, resided in Lynnfield. In 1884, he moved to Belleview, Florida. In the following excerpt from a letter dated January 10, 1974 and written by Mary Louise Hart Pletsch and sent to Elizabeth Hart Marlowe, we gain additional insight into the Charles Nelson Hart family. 
“Charles Hart, If I remember correctly was one of your great grandfathers brothers. I think it was his picture that hung in your mother's living room to the right just as you entered the   room. He married a Sarah Estes- who was a spiritualist- they did a bit of roaming around as I remember and she was always communing with the spirit of some relative or other. That’s our tie with the Estes family. It will tell about their children in the Hart Genealogy book- but they must all be dead by now and with no clues it would be hard to find them. The family or families we really could find are a generation later. There was a George Pierpont Hart who was a cousin of my father’s-good grief- I guess he was a son of Charles we were talking about. He said my father inherited the Lynnfield farm. George Pierpont sold his share to my father-your grandpa-because he lived in Danbury, Virginia-he ran a printing business there and had 2 sons which were your mother's cousins, one was named Parker-the other named Murray Hart. Either one or both of them could still be alive or have children.” -- Mary Louise Hart Pletsch, January 10, 1974 

Sara Kimball Estes, daughter of James Estes and Experience Wilson. 

Old Burying Ground Ipswich, Massachusetts Photo from Find A Grave submitted by John Glassford 
Death Record of Experience Wilson Estes from Ipswich Ma Town Records 

Children born to Charles Nelson Hart and Sarah Kimball Estes: Ruth Estes Hart, died in infancy July 1862. George Pierpont Estes Hart (1864-) He married Margaret Crowell Hogg at St. Myers, Florida, on Jan. 31, 1897. Margaret, born in Argyle, Nova Scotia to Nathaniel W. Hogg and Agnes Brown. Margaret's parents lived in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Charles Nelson Hart was in the military during World War I. He inherited the Hart farm In Lynnfield, MA but sold his share to his cousin, George Albert Hart. At one time, George Hart lived in Belleville, Florida area where he operated a farm. He was also editor of The Blade, among the earliest newspapers in Belleview. The paper is no longer published. Later, George worked for the Danville (Virginia) Register Bee. George is buried in the Green Hill Cemetery in Danville, Virginia.
Margaret died on January 18, 1929. She is buried at the Mountain View Cemetery in Danville. In 1925, George and Margaret's son, Murray Hart, purchased five plots in the Mountain View Cemetery. In addition to Margaret, Jessie Inez Sweatt Hart, and Helen V. L. Hart's husband, William Allie Poteat Jr., are buried there. The fourth and fifth cemetery plots are reserved for Helen V. L. Hart Poteat and Sarah Kimball Hart Moore.  
This book was owned by Ruth Hobbs, grandmother of Sarah Kimball Estes Hart. In the back there's a Post Script from Sarah when she lived in Belleview, Florida. Carolyn Hart Wood would move only miles away from the home of her ancestors.

Home of the Marlowe Family

Estate of William Towne of Topsfield Essex Probate Docket # 27923 Administration granted 24:4:1673 to Johana Towne on the estate of Wm Towne, her late husband, and she was to bring in an inventory to the next Ipswich court. Petition for settlement of a small estate left the undersigned by their father, who died ten years ago leaving no will, but left his estate in the hands of their mother who was appointed administrator and the estate remained unsettled until her death, and now they desire that the following division may be allowed: the land to be divided equally to his three sons, Edmund, Jacob, and Joseph and the moveables equally to the three daughters, Rebecka, Mary and Sarah; also the three brothers to pay all debts now due and what charges shall after arise in settlement of the estate to be equally borne by all six. Adted Jan 17, 1682. Signed by Mary Towne of Edmond Jacob Towne, Joseph Towne, Francis Nurse with the consent of Rebeka, Mary Esty, formerly Mary Towne, Sarah Bridges. Witness: John How John Pritchet Allowed by the court at Ipswich April 10, 1683 Source: Ipswich Deeds, vol 4, page 515

Mary Towne Easty, History of Martyrdom Once accused of witchcraft, Mary Towne Easty, wife of Isaac Estey and mother of seven children, stood little chance of escaping conviction. Ann Putnam, wife of the powerful Thomas Putnam, lodged the first charge against Mary calling her a witch - who was the daughter of a witch - along with Mary's sisters Rebecca Towne Nurse and Sarah Towne Cloyes. To add to Mary's vulnerability, Rebecca had already been hung on similar charges. Also to Mary's detriment, her family was involved in the ongoing Topsfield, Massachusetts Land dispute with the Putnam family. Her chance of acquittal numbered few and none. Mary was sentenced to death on Sept.9 1692. She accepted her fate with calm resignation. After her sentencing and saying her last farewells to her family, Mary addressed the court and the governor with a petition so eloquent and keenly distressing as to evoke tears from almost all present: "Your poor and humble petitioner, knowing my own innocence (blessed be the Lord for it)...and seeing clearly the wiles and subtlety of my accusers... I petition to your honors not for my own life, for I know I must die and my appointed time is set (Sept. 22). But the Lord he knows that if it is possible no more innocent blood may be shed, which undoubtedly cannot be avoided in the way and course you go in. I question not but your honors does to the utmost of your power in the discovery and selection of witchcraft and witches, and would not be guilty of innocent blood for the world. But by my own innocence I know you are in the wrong way. The Lord in his infinite mercy direct you in this great work. If it be his blessed will that no more innocent blood be shed I would humbly beg of you that your honors would be pleased to examine these afflicted persons strictly and keep them apart some time, and likewise to try some of these confessing witches, I being confident there is several of them has belied themselves and others, as well appear if not in this world, I am sure in the world to come whither I am now going. And I question not but you'll see an alteration of these things they myself and others having made a league with the Devil we cannot confess. I know and the Lord knows, as will shortly appear, they belie me and so I question not but they do others...The Lord knows that... I know not the least thing of witchcraft, therefore I cannot, I dare not belie my own soul. I beg your honors not to deny this as my humble petition from a poor dying innocent person and I question not but the Lord will give a blessing to your endeavors." Mary Estey died without knowing that her fifty-year old younger sister, Sarah, never came to trial. Sarah was reprieved at the end of the witch hunts. Mary died convicted as a witch in Salem 1692. Mary came to America with her family around 1640. On September 22, 1692, she was one of a group of eight hanged for witchcraft, reportedly called by Salem minister Nicholas Noyes, the "Eight firebrands of Hell". Like her sister Rebecca Nurse, Mary was a pious and respected member of Salem, and her accusation came as a surprise. During the examination on April 22, 1692, when Easty clasped her hands together, Mercy Lewis, one of the afflicted, imitated the gesture and claimed to be unable to release her hands until Easty released her own. Again, when Mary inclined her head, the afflicted girls accused her of trying to break their necks. When asked how far she had complied with Satan by magistrates John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin, she replied, "Sir, I never complyed but prayed against him all my dayes, I have no complyance with Satan, in this....I am clear of this sin.[1]" For a reason unknown, Easty was released from prison after two months, and discharged on May 18. However, on May 20, Mercy Lewis claimed that Easty's specter was afflicting her, and was supported by the other girls. A second warrant was issued that night for Easty's arrest. She was taken from her bed and returned to the prison; Lewis' fits ceased after Mary was chained. Easty was tried and condemned to death on September 9. Robert Calef, in More Wonders of the Invisible World, described Eastey's parting words to her family "as serious, religious, distinct, and as affectionate as could be expressed, drawing tears from the eyes of almost all present." She was hanged on September 22. On the gallows she prayed for an end to the witch hunt. In November, after Easty had been put to death, Mary Herrick gave testimony about Easty. Herrick testified that she was visited by Easty who told her she had been put to death wrongfully and was innocent of witchcraft, and that she had come to vindicate her cause. Easty's family was compensated with 20 pounds from the government in 1711 for her wrongful execution. Her husband Isaac lived until June 11, 1712. Below is a map of Salem Village 1692 which Index can be viewed at Upham Salem Map University of Virginia

From the Annuals of Salem transcribed by Joseph Barlow Felt Year 1692 records of Mary Easty, along with other relatives, neighbors, and surrounding town members:

Added Genealogy on American Revolution Soldiers From Records and DAR BOOKS
JOHN (5) TOWN(Jonathan 4, John 3, Jacob 2, William 1), b. at Oxford, December 15, 1728, m. Dorothy Pratt, April 9, 1761, and removed to Otsego County, N. Y., in 1797.  He was captain of a company of Oxford minutemen during the Revolution, and marched at their Lead to the Battle of Lexington.  He was very efficient as a recruiting officer, and raised large sums of money to secure soldiers.
SYLVANUS TOWNE (Jacob 5, Jonathan 4, John 3, Jacob 2, William 1), b. at Oxfrod, February 15, 1750, m. first, Margaret Watson, March 29, 1775; second, Ruth Hovey. He was a lieutenant in the army of the Revolution; took an active interest in military affairs after the war. He commanded a company that was engaged in the suppression of Shays’ Rebellion. Was a justice of the peace. He was faithful, methodical, exact in all matters, and respected by every one. He d. April 8, 1818.
GENERAL SALEM TOWNE (Salem 6, Jacob 5, Jonathan 4, John 3, Jacob 2, William 1) b. at Oxford, March 26, 1780, m. Sarah Spur dau. of Gen. John Spurr in 1804. He d. February 17, 1872, at Charlton, where their children all born. He was b. in the darkest days of the Revolution. He early learned to love his country, which made him the useful and helpful citizen that he was. He became prominent and a leader in the affairs of his town and in the councils of the State. He inherited his father’s native ability. He also became a major-general of State militia and helped to keep alive the martial spirit which laid the foundation of our country. He was a member of our State legislature in 1821, and was called the “man who made Bill Marcy,” who became our Secretary of War under President Polk, and Secretary of State under Franklin Pierce.

MRS. BLANCHE DUDLEY TOWNE MEINCKE. Daughters of the American Revolution Member # 28588
Born in Somerville, Massachusetts. Wife of Alfred McClellan Meincke. Descendant .of Israel Towne. Israel Towne, Jr., Samuel Scripture, Jr., and Col. Ebenezer Bancroft. Daughter of Cleon Dudley Towne and Helen Azuba Scripture, his wife. Granddaughter of Cleon Gardner Towne and Lucinda Bancroft Copeland, his wife; Gilman Scripture and Azubah Stevens (1808-52), his wife. Gr.-granddaughter of Gardner Towne (1765-1815) and Lucy Bancroft (1773-1849), his wife, m. 1795; Hills Scripture and Patty Parker, his wife; John Stevens and Azubah Proctor, his wife. Gr.-gr.-granddaughter of Israel Towne, Jr. and Lydia Hopkins, his wife; Ebenezer Bancroft, Sr. and Susannah Fletcher (1737-1823), his wife, m. 1763; Samuel Scripture, Jr. and Betsey Barrett, his wife. Gr.-gr.-gr.-granddaughter of Israel Towne and Grace Gardner, his wife. Israel Towne. (1705-91), signed the Association Test, 1776. He was born in Topsfield, Mass.; died in Amherst, N. H. Israel Towne, Jr., (1736-1813), served as recruiting officer. Also Nos. 23468, 24093. Samuel Scripture. Jr.. (1760-1852), was placed on the pension roll of Cheshire Co., 1831, for service of private. New Hampshire Continental Line. He was born in Nelson, N. H., where he died. Ebenezer Bancroft, (1738-1827), commanded a company at Bunker Hill where he was wounded. He was at Bennington and conducted the Hessian prisoners taken at that battle. He was promoted major, 1778, and rose to the rank of colonel. He was placed on the pension roll of Norfolk Co., 1785. He was born in Dunstable, Mass., where he died.
Photos from William Towne Genealogy:

Richard Trask, Historian and Archivist is a descendant of Mary Towne Easty 

 Lauri Cabot interviewed Salem Massachusetts 1991 Salem Witches? Puritans Thought So
  • History of the Town of Amherst, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire: (first Known as Narragansett Township Number Three, and Subsequently as Southegan West) Daniel Franklin Secomb Evans, Sleeper & Woodbury, 1883 - Amherst (N.H.)
  • The Historical Collections of the Topsfield Historical Society, Volumes 11-12
  • Mary Towne Easty Jone Johnson Lewis Women's History Expert Mary Easty Law Education Article 
  • Lineage Book - National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Volume 29 1910
  • Towne Genealogy Site
  • William Towne and his Daughters 
  • The descendants of William Towne Edwin Eugene Towne 1910
  •  A letter from Robert Pike to Judge Curwin Salem Witch Trials 1692 REF to REBECCA TOWNE NURSE 
  • The Averell-Averill-Avery Family: A Record of the Descendants of William and Abigail Averell of Ipswich, Mass. Press of Evangelical Publishing House, 1906 
  • Genealogy of the Descendants of Nathaniel Clarke of Newbury, Mass: Ten Generations, 1642-1885 Press of T.R. Marvin & Son, 1885 
  • Salem-Village Witchcraft: A Documentary Record of Local Conflict in Colonial New England Paul Boyer, Stephen Nissenbaum 2016
  • Mary Easty: The Witch’s Daughter from Rebecca Brooks History of Massachusetts 
  • "A Real Devil in 1692" Indiana Gazette April 12 1926 
  • A Brief Sketch of Thomas Fuller and His Descendants: With Historical Notes Jesse Franklin Fuller
  •  March 31, 1987 Omaha World Herald Article 


  1. I too, am a direct descendant of Mary Towne Estey. It always delights me to learn more about her and her accusers. She is an inspiration to me by being such a stalwart “lady” and yet so honest, loving and brave. I am so grateful to be a part of the the Estey family and know she contributed greatly to the history of America.

  2. My maiden name is Caci Estes and I'm also a descendant.

  3. I am also a descendant of her as well.