Isaac Estey I

Isaac ESTEY I (1627 – 1712)  was Alex’s 9th Great Grandfather; one of 1,024 in this generation of the Miller line.

Isaac Estey [also spelled Esty, Easty, Eastey, or Estye] was born 17 Nov, 1627 in Freston, Suffolk, England and was christened on 27 Nov 1727 in St. Peter’s church.  His parents were Jeffrey ESTEY and Margaret POTT.  Isaac emigrated to Salem in 1636 with his parents when he was 9 years old. He married Mary TOWNE around 1656.  Isaac died 11 Jun 1712 in Topsfield Mass.

Isaac & Mary Estey Homestead site, Topsfield

Mary Towne was born 14 Oct 1656 (alternatively 24 Aug 1634) in  Great Yarmouth, Norfolk,  England.  Her parents were William TOWNE and Joanna BLESSING. One of eight children, she and her family moved to America around 1640. Mary was a victim of the Salem witch trials of 1692. Mary’s sisters, Rebecca Nurse and Sarah Cloyce, were also accused of witchcraft; Rebecca was executed, but Sarah was not. Mary was tried and condemned to death on September 9 1692.  She was hanged on September 22, along with Martha CoreyAnn Pudeator, Alice Parker, Mary ParkerWilmot Redd, Margaret Scott, and Samuel Wardwell. On the gallows she prayed for an end to the witch hunt.

Mary Towne Estey - Gravemarker

Children of Isaac and Mary:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Joseph Estey 2 May 1657/58
Topsfield, Mass
Jane Steward
2 Jun 1682 in Topsfield
25 Oct 1739
Stoughton, Mass
2. Sarah Estey 30 Jun 1660
Moses Gill
1685  Salisbury, Mass
29 Jun 1749
Amesbury, MA.
3. John Estey 2 Jan 1661/62 Mary Dorman
31 May 1688
Hannah [_?_]
12 Feb 1720
Topsfield, Essex, Mass
4. Isaac ESTEY II 1662 Topsfield, Mass. Abigail KIMBALL
14 Oct 1689
Topsfield, Mass
5. Hannah Estey 1667
Topsfield, Mass
George Abbot 21 Jul 1707 Topsfield, Mass 5 Nov 1741
Topsfield, Mass
6. Benjamin Estey 29 Apr 1669
Elizabeth Goodhue
9 Apr 1702 Topsfield
Mary Holland
13 Dec 1716
28 Mar 1750
Stoughton, Mass.
7. Samuel Estey 25 Mar 1672 Unmarried 1708
8. Jacob Estey 4 Jan 1673/74
Lydia Elliott
25 Mar 1709 Topsfield
3 Oct 1732
Topsfield, Mass
9. Joshua Estey 2 Jul 1678
Abigail Stanley
Bef 1701 Topsfield, Mass.
25 Apr 1718
10. Jeffery Estey c. 1680
11. Mary Estey c. 1680 19 May 1673
Salisbury, Mass

Mary Estey

Like her sister Rebecca, Mary was a pious and respected member of Salem, and her accusation came as a surprise. During the examination on April 22, 1692, when Eastey clasped her hands together, Mercy Lewis, one of the afflicted, imitated the gesture and claimed to be unable to release her hands until Eastey released her own. Again, when Mary inclined her head, the afflicted girls accused her of trying to break their necks. Mercy claimed that Eastey’s specter had climbed into her bed and laid her hand upon her breasts. When asked by magistrates John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin how far she had complied with Satan, 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.”

This statue depicts Rebecca Towne Nurse, Mary Towne Esty, and Sarah Towne Cloyse, wearing shackles, being under arrest for witchcraft. The statue is located in the Salem Wax Museum of Witches and Seafarers, Salem.

For reasons unknown, Eastey was released from prison after two months, and discharged on May 18. However, on May 20, Mercy Lewis claimed that Eastey’s specter was afflicting her, and was supported by the other girls. A second warrant was issued that night for Eastey’s arrest. She was taken from her bed and returned to the prison; Lewis’s fits ceased after Mary was chained. Eastey was tried and condemned to death on September 9. The following is Mary’s petition to the judges:

The humbl petition of mary Eastick unto his Excellencyes S’r W’m Phipps to the honour’d Judge and Bench now Sitting in Judicature in Salem and the Reverend ministers humbly sheweth

That whereas your poor and humble petitioner being condemned to die Doe humbly begg of you to take it into your Judicious and pious considerations that your Poor and humble petitioner knowing my own Innocencye Blised be the Lord for it and seeing plainly the wiles and subtility of my accusers by my Selfe can not but Judge charitably of others that are going the same way of my selfe if the Lord stepps not mightily in i was confined a whole month upon the same account that I am condemned now for and then cleared by the afflicted persons as some of your honours know and in two dayes time I was cryed out upon by them and have been confined and now am condemned to die the Lord above knows my Innocence then and Likewise does now as att the great day will be know to men and Angells—I Petition to your honours not for my own life for I know I must die and my appointed time is sett but the Lord he knowes it is that if it be possible no more Innocent blood may be shed which undoubtidly cannot be Avoyded In the way and course you goe in I question not but your honours does to the uttmost of your Powers in the discovery and detecting of witchcraft and witches and would not be gulty of Innocent blood for the world but by my own Innocency I know you are in this great work if it be his blessed you that no more Innocent blood be shed I would humbly begg of you that your honors would be plesed to examine theis Afflicted Persons strictly and keep them apart some time and Likewise to try some of these confesing wichis I being confident there is severall of them has belyed themselves and others as will appeare if not in this wor[l]d I am sure in the world to come whither I am now agoing and I Question not but youle see and alteration of thes things they my selfe and others having made a League with the Divel we cannot confesse I know and the Lord knowes as will shortly appeare they belye me and so I Question not but they doe others the Lord above who is the Searcher of all hearts knows that as I shall answer att the Tribunall seat that I know not the least thinge of witchcraft therfore I cannot I dare not belye my own soule I beg your honers not to deny this my humble petition from a poor dying Innocent person and I Question not but the Lord will give a blesing to yor endevers.

Robert Calef, in More Wonders of the Invisible World, described Eastey’s parting words to her family “as serious, religious, distinct, and affectionate as could be expressed, drawing tears from the eyes of almost all present.”

In November, after Eastey had been put to death, Mary Herrick gave testimony about Eastey. Herrick testified that she was visited by Eastey who told her she had been put to death wrongfully and was innocent of witchcraft, and that she had come to vindicate her cause. Eastey’s family was compensated with 20 pounds from the government in 1711 for her wrongful execution. Her husband Isaac lived until June 11, 1712.

Isaac Estey

Isaac Estey was a cooper. In 1661, he was one of the commoners appointed to share in the Topsfield common land on the south side of Ipswich river.  Isaac’s reaction to the arrest, trial and conviction of his wife Mary is not recorded save for his life long crusade to have her conviction reversed. He eventually won renumeration on behalf of his family for their loss.

In 1664 he was rated at 19s 6d, which was the minister’s rate for that year and entitled him to a proportionate share in the division of the common land. In the casting of lots he was given the 15th share.

In 1672, with Deacon Howlet, Lieutenant Peabody, Joseph and Edmund Towne and Thomas Baker he was granted

all the swamp meadow, lying upon Ipswich river, extending from the lower part of the Governor’s meadow down to the bridge that goes over the river below old Goodman Towne’s for a consideration of fifty pounds.

He was one of the selectmen of the town in 1680, 1682, 1686 and 1688. In 1681, 1684 and 1685, he was chosen as a juryman in Ipswich, and in 1691 and 1696, he was chosen grand juryman. He also served as tything man, surveyor of highways and fences, and was a member of different committees of the town.

After the court of Oyer and Terminer was dissolved, and all the witchcraft cases cycled through by May of 1693, the processes of petitioning for compensation and overturning the earlier verdicts began.   At the fore of this effort was Mary’s husband, Issac Estey.  It took almost 20 years, but on Oct 17, 1710, the General Court passed an act that, “the several convictions, judgments, and attainders be, and hereby are, reversed, and declared to be null and void.”  Further, on Dec 17, 1711, Governor Dudley issued a warrant awarding Isaac 20 pounds sterling in compensation for the injustice of the 1692 verdict against Mary.

Isaac died 11 Jun 1712 in Topsfield Mass.


1. Joseph Estey

Joseph’s wife Jane Steward was born Nov 1654 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass. Her parents were Duncan Stewart and Ann Winchurst (Winehurst). Jane died 1702 in Stoughton, Norfolk, Mass.

Joseph “was surveyor of highways in 1683.

About 1705 the family moved to a new settlement in Dorchester, which is now known as Stoughton. He was one of the signers of the original covenant of the church where the Reverend John Davenport was minister. In 1706 he obtained land from the Indians, some of which is now located in the town of Canton.

In 1712, when his father died, he only inherited half of his father’s clothes because of

“what I have already Done for him about building or in Cattle or in purchasing Land which hath been Considerable he shall have half of my wearing apparel at my Decease.”

2. Sarah Estey

Sarah’s husband Moses Gill was born 26 Dec 1656 in Salisbury, Essex, Mass. His parents were John Gill and Phebe Buswell. Moses died 1 Mar 1690 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass.

On her marriage she received “her full propotion out of my estate upon her marriage in Cattle bedding or otherwise

Before her father’s will was written, Sarah’s married a man named Ireland.

In 1712 when her father died she did not inherit, since she had already received her share, but her daughter Sarah received ten pounds.

3. John Estey

John’s first wife Mary Dorman was born 18 Dec 1667 – Topsfield, Essex, Mass. Her parents were Thomas Dorman and Judith Wood. Mary died 1693 in Topsfield, Essex, Mass

John’s second wife Hannah [_?_] was born

They moved to Will’s Hill from Topsfield in 1698. It was part of Salem Village that became Middleton.

When his father died in 1712, he did not inherit

“he hath already what I intended for him in full & hath signified the same by writing under his hand.”

4. Isaac ESTEY II (See his page)

5. Hannah Estey

Hannah’s husband George Abbot was born 28 Jan 1658/59 in Andover, Essex, Mass. His parents were George Abbot and Sarah Farnum. He first married 13 Sep 1689 in Andover, Essex, Mass to Elizabeth Ballard (b. 1666 in Andover, Essex, Mass. – d. 6 May 1706 in Andover, Essex, Mass.) Elizabeth’s parents were Joseph Ballard and Elizabeth Phelps. George died 24 Jan 1724 in Andover, Essex, Mass.

George was a shoemaker.

Hannah was 25 years old at the time of her mother, Mary Towne Estey’s trial for witchcraft. She stayed with the family to take her mother’s place. She did not marry George Abbot until age forty.

Elizabeth died at age forty, leaving George with young children to raise. Hannah and George did not have any children, but Hannah was step-mother to his nine children. George’s father, Joseph, charged his neighbors with witchcraft believing they caused his wife, Elizabeth’s, illness.

In 1692, more people from Andover were accused and arrested for witchcraft than from any other town in New England. 80% of the town’s residents were drawn into this witch hunt. Andover also holds the dubious distinction of having the most confessed witches, and the highest number of children arrested. Through petitions that eventually turned public opinion against the trials, Andover led the campaign that brought them to an end. Before the madness was over, however, 3 adults had been hanged and one woman perished in jail.

In 1712 when her father died, Hannah only inherited 20 pounds since she had already received her portion (7 pounds and 10 shillings) on her marriage.

As for my daughter Hannah I have on her marriage with George Abbot of Andover payed her ye full of wt I intended for her excepting twenty pounds in pay which I thought she should have at my decease payd her by my son Jacob, but inasmuch as my son Jacob hath payd her about seven pounds & ten shillings of ye twenty pounds already there remains only about twelve pounds ten shillings in pay due to her by my son Jacob at or before or within one year of my decease and in testimony of ye

Hannah became a widow when George died January 24, 1723/24. After his death, she lived with her “cousin,” John Perkins in Topsfield. John was the son of Elisha Perkins and Catherine Towne He married Mary Estey the daughter of Isaac Estey and Abigail Kimball. He was her nephew-in-law.

6. Benjamin Estey

Benjamin’s wife Elizabeth Goodhue was born 1675 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass. Her parents were Joseph Goodhue and Sarah Whipple. Elizabeth died 18 Jul 1713 in Dorchester, Mass.

Benjamin’s second wife Mary Holland was born 1673 in Topsfield, Essex, Mass

Benjamin was a bricklayer.

In 1705 they moved to Dorchester/Stoughton where he purchased land from the Indians. Elizabeth died following the birth of her last child on July 18, 1713.

In 1712 he inherited the proceeds from the sale of the house and land that had been meant for Joshua and two cows that he already had. Joshua did not inherit because his father had had to pay some debts for him.

In 1727 he settled in Sharon.

8. Jacob Estey

Jacob’s wife Lydia Elliott was born 1688 in Topsfield, Essex, Mass. Her parents were John Elliott and Naomi Tewksbury. Lydia died 1767 – Royalston, Worcester, Mass.

He was appointed by his father in 1710 to take the petition to court for damages in his mother’s death.

When his father died in 1712, he inherited the Estey homestead. That included the house, barn, other buildings, orchards, fields, pastures and meadows. It also included farming and barrel making tools and the road.

“As for my son Jacob, my will is yt he & his heirs forever have my now dwelling house, together with barn, and other buildings with my orchards, plow lands pasture lands and meadows not already otherwise disposed of together with all my Implements of husbandry, weaving or Copering also my will is yt my son Jacob have ye whole of my movable estate yt shall be left at my decease he taking off & discharging my funeral expenses whom I do appoint sole Executor of this my last will . . . also my son Jacob and his heirs forever shall have all my right in cart or drift way as expressed by deeds.”

He was selectman in 1725.

After Jacob died in 1732, Lydia moved to Vermont with her son, Isaac.

His aged mother came to town with him, rode in a chaise which it required several men to steady and help over the obstructions of the way, and was the first adult female that died in Royalston.

9. Joshua Estey

Joshua’s wife Abigail Stanley was born 6 Aug 1688 in Topsfield, Essex, Mass. Her parents were Samuel Stanley and Johanna [__?__]. Abigail died 1 Sep 1746 in Topsfield, Essex, Mass.

Joshua only inherited half of his father’s clothes when his father died in 1712. He did not inherit since his father had had to pay some debts for him.

“As for my son Joshua for whom I procured a trade and payde some debts for him, my will is yt besides what I have already done for him he have at my decease yt other half of my wearing apparel equally dividing ye same with brother Joseph which is all I can do for him.”


New Brunswick Esteys

Wikipedia – Mary Eastey

“Examination of Mary Easty” The Salem Witchcraft Papers, Verbatim Transcriptions of the Court Records.

“Petition of Mary Easty” The Salem Witchcraft Papers, Verbatim Transcriptions of the Court Records. Retrieved 2007-12-10.

Isaac Estey Sr.

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20 Responses to Isaac Estey I

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  7. kate flannery says:

    The three wrongly-accused Towne sisters are my 9th greatgreats also. Why further besmirch the sordid story by starting off with a lie??? they were NEVER burned at the stake! kf

  8. markeminer says:


    Where did you read on my site about burning at the stake? I can’t find such a reference. If I have made an error, (not a lie) I will correct it.

    Mary Towne Estey was hung on 9 Sep 1692. Contrary to being a sordid story, I thought that Mary’s petition to the judges was very moving.

    Kind Regards, Mark

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  15. david stanley says:

    Greetings and thank you for making this page. However there seems to be a flood of new information on the internet stating as fact that Joshua Estey was married to Abigail Stanley born August 6, 1688 in Topsfield and know fact or even valid speculation as to why this determination was made. To begin with, this is not Abigail’s birth date. It is her baptismal date and she was baptized on the same day as her brother Thomas several months after her parents joined the church of Reverend Capen. On 12 July 1712, she married John Towne in Topsfield. Her name is given in the record as Abigail Stanly. How could she be the wife of Joshua Estey as he didn’t die until 1718? Abigail and John Towne had 1 son Bartholomew who was baptized 4 Apr 1713. On 28 Mar 1714, John Towne died. On 11 May 1715, Abigail married John’s cousin also named John. They had 5 children: Samuel 1717, Jonathan 1719, Abigail 1721, Catherine 1725, and John in 1729. Abigail did indeed die 1 Sep 1746 in Topsfield but the record shows her to be “Abigail Towne, wife of John”. Also during the period 1702 to 1717, Abigail’s father Samuel was the town clerk and kept excellent records. I do not understand this sudden barrage of information coupling Joshua Estey to Abigail Stanley with no information or explanation to back it up when the actual records for Abigail are so clear and present. What am I missing? Where is this information coming from and how has anyone done their own research to see if this information is correct or is everyone simply repeating what others have said without doing their own research? I am confused at this point. Joshua’s wife was indeed Abigail as can be seen in the baptismal record for Marcy or Mercy in Topsfield but how does any of this tie to Abigail Stanley without giving some explanation as to why and how that is possible? I mean this post with no ill intent. I appreciate those who would make a page like this. I simply don’t understand as it relates to Abigail Stanley so far as it only appears to be a random guess regardless if it was made 200 years ago or yesterday until something of a reasonable explanation is provided.

    Best regards,


    • Peter says:

      David, have you found any new info since 2014?

      I’ve run into the same problem you did. Most people claim Abigail Stanley married Joshua Esty but cite no sources! Those that claim Abigail Stanley married John Towne can cite a Topsfield marriage record. The latter makes sense as both Abigail and John were also born in Topsfield. One person claimed w/o evidence she married both, which I think is the least likely explanation since there are two separate death records for the Abigails.

      I have a theory why people are claiming Abigail Stanley married Joshua Esty, Perhaps the confusion stems from Rochester, Plymouth, MA VR, page 123, which lists the following entries under EASTIS:
      “Elliner (Easties) d. of Joshua and Abigail, Mar 5 1704
      Jacob (Eastice) s. of Joshua and Abigail, Aug 17 1710
      Mercy (Eastice) d. of Joshua and Abigail, Jan 8 1706”
      And under ESTY, Rochester VR says “see Eastis” suggesting, perhaps incorrectly, that the names are interchangeable! Also, there is no marriage record for Joshua and Abigail, a dead end for people trying to reach farther back. Perhaps people trying to ascertain the ancestors of Elanor, Jacob and Mercy assumed Mrs Abigail Eastis was born Abigail Stanley, or perhaps there is evidence proving an Abigail Stanley married Joshua Esty, but I have not seen it. I suspect there is more to the story than just what I suggest here.

  16. Randy Cummings says:

    Mary Towne Estey is my 9th Great Grandmother also. Thank you so much for such an informative and lovely site dedicated to our ancestor. Would you be able to indicate the location of Isaac and Mary’s homestead was in Topsfield?

    Best Regards,

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