Visitors whose ancestors were involved in the Salem witch trials often ask us to point their investigations in the right direction. There are online ancestry resources, document transcripts and historic narratives that can provide clues and details of their families’ lives.
Research uncovers so many captivating human stories. In this case Peter helps a descendent of Sarah Basset:
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By Peter Murphy
Sarah Hood Bassett was born in August of 1657 in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts to Richard Hood and Mary Newhall. In her eighteenth year, on October 25, 1675 she married William Bassett, Jr., who was the brother of Elizabeth Bassett Proctor, wife of John Proctor. Both John and Elizabeth Proctor were accused and tried for witchcraft; John was hanged on August 19th, 1692, whereas Elizabeth escaped persecution due to her pregnancy. Their daughter, Sarah Proctor, was also accused of witchcraft at age 16 on the same day as her aunt Sarah Bassett. Thomas Putnam and John Putnam, Jr. issued this complaint on May 21, 1692, exactly one month after the examination of Mary Warren (John and Elizabeth Proctor’s hired girl) who claimed Elizabeth Proctor administered an ointment to her which she received from “Mrs. Bassits of Linn.”
Only two days after the Putnam’s complaint against Sarah Basset she was brought to jail in Boston on May 23, 1692, where she remained until her release on December 3, 1692. One month after her release another indictment was issued for afflicting Mary Walcott, but was returned “ignoramus,” meaning the charges were ignored due to lack of evidence.
Not long after the ordeal was over, Sarah gave birth to a daughter whom she named Deliverance as an ode to her freedom. Sarah Bassett died at age 64 in 1721.
While no burial record exists, I have theorized that she may be buried in the Western Burial Ground in Lynn, Massachusetts. This was the only operational burial ground in the town at the time of her death with the exception of a Lynnfield burial ground opened in 1720, but where the oldest inscription dates only back to 1723. Further evidence that may lend itself to my hypothesis is the fact that Lynn’s Western Burial Ground contains 19th Century graves sporting Sarah’s married name – Bassett – and her mother’s maiden name – Newhall.
Ancestry.com Connection between Proctor and Nurse Families
New England Historic Genealogical Society Hunting for Salem “Witches” in Your Family Tree
Records of the Salem Witch Hunt , Bernard Rosenthal General Editor
The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-By-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege, Marilynne K. Roach
Thanks to everyone for safety wishes, we seem to have fared Sandy with minimal damage. However, there are other places in town who lost power, so if you’re planning to visit Salem today, it’s recommended that you call to find out if your destinations are open.
Questions about visiting the Salem Witch Museum? Call 978-744-1692.
For the safety of our staff and visitors the Salem Witch Museum will be CLOSED today,
Monday, October 29, 2012.
Tips for an enjoyable visit to Salem in October
1. Check out Destination Salem’s online visitors’ brochure to help plan your trip. You’ll find a helpful walking map of the downtown and waterfront area listing major attractions, shopping, restaurants and activities. It also lists parking options and road closures (for parades) where applicable. You can pick up the print version of the Destination Salem Guide & Map once you’re here at the Salem Witch Museum, at the National Park Visitor Center, or many other places throughout the city.
2. Arrive as early as possible. The Salem Witch Museum opens every day at 10:00am. The earlier you arrive to purchase tickets, the more likely your preferred tour time will be available.
3. Be flexible. It is possible – and especially as we near Halloween very likely – for certain presentation times to be sold out. Be prepared to opt for a different tour time. Our presentations begin promptly at :00 and :30 of each hour. Presentations last approximately one hour.
4. Anticipate lines or wait-times just about everywhere in downtown Salem the nearer we get to Halloween. And, if there isn’t a line or wait, just be pleasantly surprised!
5. Expect there to be some traffic the closer we get to Halloween. Directions can be downloaded here, and it’s always possible to map out alternate routes into Salem, ie. Route 1A, Route 107 , Route 127.
Salem Witch Museum Hours for October, 2012
Day Date Open Close
Mon 1-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Tue 2-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Wed 3-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Thu 4-Oct 10:00am 8:00pm
Fri 5-Oct 10:00am 10:00pm
Sat 6-Oct 10:00am 10:00pm
Sun 7-Oct 10:00am 8:00pm
Mon 8-Oct 10:00am 7:00pm
Tue 9-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Wed 10-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Thu 11-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Fri 12-Oct 10:00am 10:00pm
Sat 13-Oct 10:00am 10:00pm
Sun 14-Oct 10:00am 7:00pm
Mon 15-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Tue 16-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Wed 17-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Thu 18-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Fri 19-Oct 10:00am 10:00pm
Sat 20-Oct 10:00am 10:00pm
Sun 21-Oct 10:00am 7:00pm
Mon 22-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Tue 23-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Wed 24-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Thu 25-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Fri 26-Oct 10:00am 12:00am
Sat 27-Oct 10:00am 12:00am
Sun 28-Oct 10:00am 7:00pm
Mon 29-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Tue 30-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Wed 31-Oct 10:00am 12:00am
Hanged as a witch in Salem on August 19th, 1692 Martha Allen Carrier was initially accused along with her children and sister, Mary Toothaker. I recently listened to the audiobook version of The Wolves of Andover (retitled The Traitor’s Wife) and am now finishing The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent. These fictional accounts are soundly researched immersing readers into the seventeenth century frontier life of these colonists, eerily capturing the seemingly mundane events that lead to their deadly outcome.
Not every victim of the Salem witch trials has much information about their lives before the tragic events, but in the case of Martha Carrier – her family being a prominent one in the founding of Andover – there are many resources for researching her fascinating case. If you’re reading either of these accounts of her life, you may find the following augmentations thought-provoking.
From the Salem Witch Museum Blog: http://www.salemwitchmuseum.com/blog/index.php/2011/08/martha-carrier/
Kathleen Kent: http://kathleenkent.com/
For descendants: http://marthacarrier.org/
Andover Historical Society: http://www.andoverhistorical.org/witchcraft.htm
Biographical sketch at University of Virginia’s Documentary Archive and Transcription Project:
The family of our own Will Parr is extending their hospitality on a very personal level by hosting a “Homestay” student in coordination with the Salem-Ota Club.
For more information about our sister city check out the City of Salem website:
The Salem Witch Museum offers our main presentation translated into Japanese as well as 7 other languages.
Gordon Hirabayashi was a student in the 1940s when he challenged the internment orders for Japanese Americans during World War II. Opposing the wartime removal of more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans and Japanese immigrants from the West Coast to detention centers, Mr. Hirabayashi involved himself in a debate that echoed throughout the remainder of the century.
In February 1942, two months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, approved the establishment of ‘military areas’ to ‘exclude therefrom any or all persons.’ In March a curfew was instituted along the West Coast for people of Japanese ancestry, and in May 1942, the West Coast military command ordered their removal to austere camps in isolated locations.
Hirabayashi was imprisoned from March to October, 1942 after refusing to obey curfew and internment orders. In the 1980s a professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, Peter Irons, found documents revealing that in presenting to the Supreme Court the federal government had held back its own assessment that Japanese-Americans on the West Coast were not dangers to national security. In September 1987the federal appeals court in San Francisco overturned Mr. Hirabayashi’s conviction. He died in January at age 93.
“We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.”
On Friday during a Skype in the Classroom “virtual museum tour,” a student at Oliver Street School in Newark, New Jersey – whose class is studying Arthur Miller’s The Crucible – asked what happened to the real Abigail Williams after the trials.
While Wikipedia can offer information on a wide array of subjects, there is no reason to accept the undocumented assertion that Abigail fled after the trials, becoming a prostitute. Reliable Salem witch trials scholars are unable to give detail about her last years with any certainty, but Marilynne Roach says in The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-By-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege, “…Abigail Williams, haunted to the end, apparently died before the end of 1697, if not sooner, no older than seventeen.” (page 518)
Even though Abigail played a major role as an accuser at the beginning of the trials, especially in March, April, and May, she gave her last testimony on June 3rd 1692. There is no historical documentation suggesting why Abigail virtually disappeared from the court hearings. In addition, there are no records indicating what happened to Abigail after the events of 1692. It is suggested that she never married and died a single woman, but without any evidence we will never be quite certain.
Definition: A morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th.
From Wikipedia: The fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia (Frigga being the name of the Norse goddess for whom “Friday” is named and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen.
Every year in January we close for business for a few days to scrub, paint and refresh. Here is our schedule, but feel free to call us with questions at (978)744-1692.
1/4/12 Wednesday CLOSED
1/5/12 Thursday CLOSED
1/6/12 Friday CLOSED
1/7/12 Saturday Open 10am – 5pm
1/8/12 Sunday Open 10am – 5pm