Family Connections

Alden house in Duxbury, Mass., circa 1904

To honor ancestors and to help find cousins, some people have created family associations based on a specific ancestor or couple. Typically membership-based organizations, these groups may offer access to ancestor-related databases, unique library collections, digital and manuscript archives, newsletters, special events and reunions, book publication projects, DNA projects, research help, historical houses—and much more. It all depends upon the goals of that individual society.

Below, you’ll find links to ancestor-based family associations related to the witch hunt trials.

Alden: Alden Kindred of America Inc. Capt. John Alden (c. 1626-1702) was accused, jailed, and escaped imprisonment. His famous parents were Pilgrims John Alden (c. 1599-1687) and Priscilla Mullins of the Mayflower.

Cummings: Descendants of Isaac Cummings (1601-1677) of Topsfield/Ipswich, Massachusetts. Son Isaac Cummings Sr. (1633-1721) and grandson Isaac Cummings Jr. (1664-1746) and his wife Alice Howlett accused Elizabeth (Jackson) Howe (1637-1692) of witchcraft. Elizabeth was hanged.

Cogswell: Cogswell Family Association Inc. Several descendants of the immigrant, John Cogswell (1592-1669) of Ipswich, signed the Proctor petition.

Parsons: Parsons Family Association. Mary (Bliss) Parsons (1628-1712), the wife of Cornet Joseph Parsons of Northampton, Massachusetts, went to trial in 1656, 1674, and possibly again in 1679 for witchcraft.

Towne – Towne Family Association Inc. Three daughters of William Towne and Joanna Blessing were accused of witchcraft. Rebecca (Towne) Nurse (1621-1692) and Mary (Towne) Esty (1634-1692) were hanged, while Sarah (Towne) (Bridges) Cloyce (1638-c. 1703) survived.

Tyler: – Job Tyler Family Association. Job’s sons: Hopestill Tyler (c. 1645-1734) family of Andover were accused, while Moses (c. 1641-1727) family of Boxford accused people of being witches.

Related Societies

National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: descendants whose ancestors contributed to our country’s founding in a significant way.

The Winthrop Society: descendants of the first settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, with proven descent from one or more passengers of the Winthrop fleet, or of others who settled in the Bay Colony and Down East (Maine) by the end of 1640.

Informal Groups

Descendants of the Salem Witch Trials on Facebook

Descendants of Rebecca (Blake) Eames (Ames) on Facebook

Susannah (North) Martin Legacy on Facebook

Search for surname groups on Facebook

If you have more surname groups to add to this list, please contact me.

DNA, maybe?

FamilyTree DNA: Y-DNA surname projects and mt-DNA lineage projects could be useful in determining genetic relationships to witch-hunt ancestors; autosomal DNA tests also available.

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