John Willard - Salem Witch Trials
I am seeking information on John Willard, b. 12 Feb., 1656 to Maj. Simon Willard and Mary Dunster. John Willard is reported to have been executed by hanging as a result of the Salem Witch Trials. I would appreciate any information as to what records might be available and any other information. Thanks DanStevens@aolcom
Bunny: There is a web site I found that contains the transcripts of the Salem Witch trials. Just enter Salem Witch Trials and you can find your way to it.......Apparently, the John Willard associated with the trials was not the son of Simon Willard. The origins of the Willard in question has been discussed for 300 years. I'm sure others are far more knowledgeable than I, but you can email me directly at DanStevens@aol.com
John Willard, (Salem Witch Trials)
This John Willard was born Abt. 1658 in Probably Rehoboth, Massachusetts, and died August 19, 1692 in Salem Village, Essex County, Massachusetts. He married Margaret Wilkins, daughter of Bray Wilkins and Hannah Way. She was born 1648 in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and died November 05, 1751 in Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts. Margaret had married Phillip Knight in 1668 and William Towne in 1694.
Notes for John Willard:
John Willard's origin is not really known. He seems to be related to Major Simon Willard, but there is no known connection at this time.
John Willard was one of the nineteen victims who were hanged at Salem during the Witch Trials of 1692. He was accused by 10 members of the Bray Wilkins family as to being a witch. They said he had killed 10 people, which young Daniel Wilkins was one. (All unproven) He ran away to Groton, Massachusetts. He was later found in Nashua, New Hampshire and taken back to Salem. On August 4, 1692, he was convicted, and on August 19, 1692, he was hung with four others. George Jacobs of Salem Village, Massachusetts, Martha Carrier of Andover, Massachusetts, Reverend George Burroughs of Well, Maine, and John Proctor of Salem Village, Massachusetts. John Hathorne was a magistrate who, along with Jonathan Corwin, presided over the pre-trial examinations in Salem Village (now Danvers, Massachusetts) prior to the actual Salem witch trials. (The judge during the trials was William Stoughton, Lieutenant-Governor of the colony.) Great-great-grandfather of writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. Also, 80 year old Giles Corey was pressed to death on September 19, 1692 for not pleading innocent or guilty. 134 people were accused and jailed in Salem for being witches, but they were liberate (along with 34 others from other various jails) by Sir William Phips, Governor of Massachusetts. Several of these died later from the neglect and abuse they suffered while in the dungeon.
Children of John Willard and Margaret Wilkins are:
2 i. John Willard.
3 ii. Hannah Willard.
4 iii. Margaret Willard.
Again, this information has been taken off the web.
John Willard-Salem execution
Don't think twice about it..I have plenty of "blonde" moments! And you are correct; I didn't find that John had actually been executed; only that he was sentenced to execution.
Hi again Deborah
I obviously had a "senior moment" as I have given John Willard, in my last message, two fathers.
In the Willard Memoir it says that his father was Samuel.
Sorry about that.
Thank you for that transcript. I didn't read every word of the 25 pages but even so I couldn't see any mention of when he was executed.
In the Willard Memoir there was a Major John Willard, when a young man, at the time of the "witchcraft delusion." seems to have sympathized with his father (Major Simon Willard) in hostility to the proceedings at Salem. The paragraph goes on to say "he was "bound over upon suspicion of conveying off Mrs. Elizabeth Cary from their Majesties jail in Cambridge."
On his return from Europe in 1697, when the community had recovered its senses, "none appearing to object against him, he was acquitted of his bond by proclamation." An interesting account of this lady's imprisonment and the harsh treatment she experienced until her rescue by young Willard, will be found in "Calef."
This John Willard was the son of Samuel and Mary, born at Groton, Sept 8, 1673; went to Harvard College,1690. He m. Frances Sherburne of Jamica? in 1703/04. She survived him at least ten years and died in Kingston in 1733.
He became a merchant and travelled abroad. He seemed to have been very prosperous
So here is a John Willard that had some connection with the witch trials apparently, so perhaps this ties in?
Thanks for your letter and be glad to hear from you again.
John Willard-Salem execution
Hi Willard cousins!
Here is one of a few links to the actual trial transcript of John Willard who was executed after being falsely accused ( my opinion) of witchcraft in Salem, Mass.
I am still seeking info for my John and Mary Willard who were in NC and VA. I have no idea yet if there is any connection to this Willard.http://www.salemwitchtrials.com/willard.html
my willard info: http://dkwood.homestead.com/1.html
John Willard, son of Major Simon Willard and Mary Dunster, b. 1656/7 according to the Willard Memoir 1858 - page 376.
He was married to Mary Hayward (dau. of John Hayward and Anna White), at Concord by Rev. Mr. Joseph Estabrooke, on 31 Oct. 1698 (see Concord Vitals pg. 46, where it states that John was from Lancaster).
Their children, that I know about, all born at Concord and appear in the Concord Vitals.
David b. 09 Sept 1699 pg. 48;
Jonathan b. 28 Apr. 1701 pg. 51;
Mercy [our ancester] b. 04 June 1704 pg.61;
Simon b. 02 Aug. 1708 pg.72
On page 46 of the Concord Vitals it says "John Willard, husband to Mary his wife, died 27 Aug. 1726" . This death date is also the information in the Willard Memoir. (The Fam. Group Sheet of the Mormons showed his death as 31 Oct. 1726).
Mercy m. William Wheeler and they had six children listed in the Concord Vitals.
The Willard Memoir states that when John died his books were appraised at 20 pounds. It goes on to say, though this may appear a small sum, there may not have been libraries in the country towns of equal size, save among the ministers.
In regard to whether John was hanged or not, the Concord Vitals show many causes of death - drowning, small pox, lightning etc. and I would have expected them to state his cause of death had it been by hanging or other means of execution.
However as he was my gggggggg(8)grandfather, should you have more information on this I would be very interested.
The Willard Association have said they have little information about John. Are you in touch with them? They are very helpful.
I'm unable at this moment to confirm the dates of the witch hunts, do you have those dates handy? I would be interested.
Bunny Turner, Nova Scotia, Canada
Dear Dan Stevens,
Thank you for your letter. I have just read the excellent posting by Karen Willard of the Willard Family Association which gives us the information that is known by the Assoc. after much research and study.
I am so glad that you brought up this subject because it has
given me a whole new Chapter of History that I had not studied.
Thank you Dan.
Bunny Turner, Nova Scotia
Jn.Willard hus.of Marg.Wilkins
Thank you John Lane, I really appreciate your message. It is all so very interesting (and horrible) and I shall keep a copy of this information for my Willard file.
From the dates of Margaret's marriages it would appear she might have been quite a bit older than this John?
Are you a Willard family member? Great organization.
Bunny Turner from Nova Scotia where to-day the Sun is shining!!