John Hutchins

John HUTCHINS (1604 – 1685) was Alex’s 9th Great Grandfather; one of 1,024 in this generation of the Miller line.

John Hutchins – Coat of Arms

John Hutchins was born in 1604/1608 in Hampshire, England. There are at least three theories as to how he arrived from England: 1) On the “Friendship” as carpenter’s mate in 1636; 2) On the “Mary and John“, date unclear; and the most likely 3) On the “Bevis” which sailed in May, 1638.

The Passenger List of the “Bevis” 1638 includes John Hutchins(on) and Frances Alcock.

Richard Dummer….40 of Bishopstoke, Hants..gentleman…to Newbury
Mrs. Alice Dummer…35
Thomas-19; Joan-19; Jane-10; Dorthy-6; Richard-4; Thomas-2
Stephen Dummer…of Bishopstoke,Hants, husbandman…to Newbury
and with him came:
John Hutchinson…30, servant; carpenter
Francis Alcock…26..servant
Adam Mott…19..servant, tailor
William Wakefield…22 servant
Anne Wakefield…20 servant
Samuel Poor…18 servant
Daniel Poor…14..servant
Alice Poor…20 servant
Nathaniel Parker..20, servant, of London, baker
Richard Bayley..15..servant

He married Frances ALCOCK. in Haverhill, Mass.  John died on 6 Feb 1685 in Haverhill, Essex, Massachusetts.

Frances Alcock  was born in 1612 in Hampshire, England. She came to America in 1638 at age 26 on the ship Bevis as a servant to Richard Dummer. John Hutchins was another servant to the same family. The Dummers were from the Southampton area of England, so  it’s logical to assume the Alcocks and Hutchins were also.  Frances died on 5 Apr 1694 in Haverhill.

Children of John and Frances:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Elizabeth Hutchins c. 1636 prob. England Thomas Ayres (Son of John Ayre)
22 Feb 1650 or 1 Apr 1656 Haverhill
2. William Hutchins c. 1638 in Haverhill or England? Mary Edmunds
1 Sep 1657
Sarah Hardy 1 Jul 1661 Haverhill
Elizabeth Eaton Grath 30 April 1685 Bradford (Haverhill)
1 Jul 1661 Bradford, Essex, Mass
3. Ensign Samuel Hutchins 1640 or 1645 in Haverhill Hannah Johnson (Daughter of John JOHNSON)
18 Jan 1713 Haverhill
18 Jan 1713 in Haverhill, Essex, Mass.
4. Joseph HUTCHINS 15 Nov 1640 Newbury, Mass Joanna CORLISS
29 Dec 1669
19 Apr 1689 Haverhill
5. John Hutchins 10 Oct 1641
Newbury, Mass
6 Feb 1685 Haverhill
6. Benjamin Hutchins 15 May 1643
Newbury, Mass
Sarah Lampry
5 June 1694
7. Love Hutchins 16 Jul 1647
Samuel Sherburne (twin)
15 Dec 1668
Feb 1738/39
Kingston, NH
8. Thomas Hutchins 1649

John first settled in Newbury and later moved to Haverhill. His principle occupation was as a carpenter, although there are records that he also fished the Merrimack River, had a partnership in a sawmill, and did some farming. John may have been the first one in Haverhill to have servants; they included Elizabeth Shaw and an Indian named Hopewell. So this was a respectable family of some means.

John was Selectman in 1669-70; Constable in 1663-4, and built the first church in town. He married Frances. In 1692 she was arrested for being a witch, but was never tried. She was brought before the Court in 1653 for wearing a silk hood, but “upon testimony of her being brought up above the ordinary way,” she was discharged.

His heirs received a grant of land in Narragansett Township, No. 3, (now Amherst, N. H.,) for services performed in King Philip’s War. He removed to Haverhill, Mass., and died there Feb 6, 1685, aged 77. Frances died Apr 5, 1694, aged 84. His will was probated Mar 30, 1686.


1642 – John Hutchins, Newbury, brought suit in Ipswich Court

Before 1647 – Removed to Haverhill

1653 – Francis was in court. Around 1650 the General Court had passed a law prohibiting the display of finery by persons “of meane condition” defined as persons whose property was valued under £200. Francis was arrested on 17 Sep 1653 for wearing a silk hood, as was her friend, Mrs. Joseph Swett. Francis Hutchins was acquitted because “upon testimony of her being brought up above the ordinary way,” while Mrs. Swett was found guilty and had to pay ten shillings.  [Considering Frances arrived as an indentured servant, I wonder what was the basis for her “being brought up above the ordinary way”]

23 Nov. 1654 – Gave house and land at Newbury to wife Frances, and cattle to daughter Elizabeth and son William.

29 April, 1661 – Conveyed land to son Joseph

25 Sep 1658 owed to “Goodman Hutchins” 9s. 8p. by estate of Henry Fay, for a coffin and a peck of corn;

9 Jun 1658 – Will of Robert Clements mentions debt of “seavern” pounds for “repaireing the house and fencing the home loth”; 13 Oct 1668 John Hutchins sued a Portsmouth committee for £140, case withdrawn; sued Richard Cutt for £61 for work done on the Moodie house and for the seats and canopy of the meeting house, case withdrawn

6 Mar 1657 – Permitted to set a weir in the Merrimack River and to cure the fish on the island, with the condition that he sell the fish to the townspeople at a fair price.

1685 – “This Court, being informed of the inability of John Hutchins of Haverhill, by reason of his being dumbe, to mannage his estate, by impleading of his debtors & answering to any action that may be considered against him, doe grant power to Francis, his wife, to act those affaires in her own person, or by her substitute”.

Francis’ Witch Trial Arrest

1692 – Francis was arrested again 18 Aug 1692 for witchcraft as a result of a witchcraft complaint filed by Timothy Swan, Ann Putnam, Jr., and Mary Walcott.  The charge was not pressed because her son Samuel and Joseph Kingsberry (1665 – ~1695)  posted 200 pounds bond to satisfy the accusers and gain her release on 21 Dec 1692.  No trial records were found.

Warrant for Arrest of Frances Hutchins and Ruth Wilford

“Essex/ To the Constable of Haverhill
Complaint being made to me this day, by Timothy Swan of Andover: & Mary Wallcott & Anna Putnam of Salem Village, Against Mrs: frances Hutchins & Ruth Willford, of Haverhill that the s’d frances Hutchins & Ruth Willford, hath sorely afflicted them, the s’d Timothy Swan Mary Walcott & Anna Putnam in their bodies, by witchcraft Severall times Contrary to the Peace of o’r: Sovereigne Lord & Lady King William & Queen Mary, of England &c: & to their Majests Law in that Case provided: & s’d Timothy Swan having according to Law, given sufficient bond, to Prosecute s’d Complaint, before Their Majests: justices of Peace att Salem the 19th: or 20th Instant. These therefore require you in their Majests. names to Apprehend & sease the bodies of the afores’d frances Hutchins & Ruth Willford, upon sight hereof, & them safely Convey to [to] Salem afores’d, to their Majests: justices of the Peace there, to be examined & proceeded with according to law: for which this shall be yo’r warrant: Given under my hand & seal this eighteenth day of August Anno Domini 1692: In the 4th year of their Majests. Reigne. &c
*Dudley Bradstreet
Justice of Peace

(Reverse) according to this warrant I have seesed and brought don mrs frances huchins: but sought with Diligenc for Ruth Wilford and she cannot be found
August 19: 1692
by Me Wilum Strlin Constbl for haverihill”

(Note: Ruth Wilford was taken into custody on August 20, 1692.)

Recognizance for Francis Hutchins

Memorandum —

That on the Twenty one Day of Decemb’r: Anno’qe D[mbar ] : one Thousand Six hundred Ninty & two in the: fourth year of the Reigne of our Sovereigne Lord & Lady William & Mary by the Grace of God of England &c. King & Queen Defenders of the faith &c: Personally came and Appeared before me George Corwin High Shirriffe for the County of Essex of the Province of the Massathutets Bay in New England — Samuel Hutchens of Haverell and Jospeh Kingsbury of Haverell afores’d Husbandman and Acknowledged themselves Indebted Unto our Sovereigne Lord & Lady the King & Queen or the Survivors of them their Heires & Successors: in the Summe of two hundred pounds to beleaved one their Goods & Chattles Lands & Tenements for the Use of our Sovereigne Lord & Lady the King & Queen or the Successors of them if Default be made in the Performance of the Condition Underwritten

Videllisitt —

The condition of the above written Recognizance is Such That Whereas francess Hutchens Widdow of Haverell afores’d is Suspected of and Accused of Committing Divers Acts of Witchcrafts If therefore the Said frances Hutchens afores’d: Shall & do make her Personall Appearance before the Justices of our Sovereigne Lord & Lady the King & Queen at the Next Court of Assize of Oyer & Terminer Next Generall Goal Delivery to be held for & within the County of Essex afores’d; to answar what shall be objected ag’t: her on their Maj’tes: behalfe Refering to the Witchcrafts & to do & Receive that by w’ch said Court shall be then and there Injoyned & not Darpart without Licence Then the said Recognizance to be Void: or Else to abide in full force & Vertue In Wittness wherof the: above Named Persons #[have] Sam’ll: Hutchings & Joseph Kingsberry have hereunto sett our hands & seales this Twenty first Day of December in the Year of our Lord one Thousand six hundred Ninty & two, and in the fourth year of their Maj’ties Reigne


Thomas Beadle (1668 – 1735)
Joshua Conant (1657 – 1706)
John Giles (1645 – 1715)  1692

*Samuel huchins
*Joseph Kingsberry

Ann Putnam, Jr. (18 Oct – 1716), along with Elizabeth “Betty” Parris, Mary Walcott and Abigail Williams, was an important witness at the Salem Witch Trials of Massachusetts during the later portion of 17th century Colonial America. Born 1679 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, she was the eldest child of Thomas Putnam (1652–1699) and Ann Carr (1661–1699). She was friends with some of the girls who claimed to be afflicted by witchcraft and, in March 1692, proclaimed to be afflicted herself.

In 1706, Ann Putnam publicly apologized for the part she had played in the witch trials.

I desire to be humbled before God for that sad and humbling providence that befell my father’s family in the year about ninety-two; that I, then being in my childhood, should, by such a providence of God, be made an instrument for the accusing of several persons of a grievous crime, whereby their lives were taken away from them, whom, now I have just grounds and good reason to believe they were innocent persons; and that it was a great delusion of Satan that deceived me in that sad time, whereby I justly fear I have been instrumental, with others, though ignorantly and unwittingly, to bring upon myself and this land the guilt of innocent blood; though, what was said or done by me against any person, I can truly and uprightly say, before God and man, I did it not out of any anger, malice, or ill will to any person, for I had no such thing against one of them; but what I did was ignorantly, being deluded by Satan.

And particularly, as I was a chief instrument of accusing Goodwife Nurse and her two sisters [including our ancestor Mary Towne ESTEY], I desire to lie in the dust, and to be humble for it, in that I was a cause, with others, of so sad a calamity to them and their families; for which cause I desire to lie in the dust, and earnestly beg forgiveness of God, and from all those unto whom I have given just cause of sorrow and offense, whose relations were taken away or accused.

Some historians have speculated that her parents, Thomas and Ann (Carr), Sr., coerced Putnam to accuse those they were feuding with or sought revenge on. Many of the accused had some sort of relationship with the powerful Putnam family. When her parents died in 1699, Putnam was left to raise her nine siblings aged 7 months to 16 years. Putnam never married.

House of Ann Putnam, Jr. Danvers circa 1891

She was a first cousin once removed of Generals Israel Putnam and Rufus Putnam.

In Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible, her name is Ruth, to avoid confusion with her mother, Ann Putnam Sr.

Will of John Hutchins 24 Jun 1674 – 30 Mar 1686:

Be known unto all men by these presents that I, John Hutchins of Haverhill, Mass., in the county of Norfolk, Mass., New England, being through God’s mercy in indifferent health of body and of perfect memory considering mine age and mortality do here make my last will and testament, commending my soul in the hands of my blessed Redeemer And for my worldly goods I dispose as followeth:

For my eldest son William Hutchins, I formerly gave him a parcell of land when he was married and therefore give him but twenty shillings.

And to my son Joseph I also gave a parcell of land to; which he now posesseth and also give him but twenty shillings.

And also I give my daughter Elizabeth Ayres (besides what she hath had already) twenty shillings,

I also give to my daughter Love Sherburne, (besides what she hath had already) twenty shillings;

And also I give to my son Benjamin Hutchins all the land he now possesseth, and which I formerly gave him and twenty shillings also.

And further I give to my son Samuell Hutchins all the land I formerly gave to him and which he now possesseth and twenty shillings also.

And I appoint Francis my wife to be the sole executrix of this my last will and testament, And my house and land that now I do possess and enjoy, both upland and meadow with goods and chattels and all my land undisposed I give to my said wife during her natural life, that if she see cause for her own necessity rather than to suffer she shall have liberty to sell for her comfortable livelihood, And at her decease to dispose of all at her discretion among my children, my debts and funeral being discharged.

Anthony Somerby
John Hutchins
William (his mark) Titcomb

Anthony Somerby did on his oath testify that he saw John Hutchins sign, seal and declare the above written to be his last will & testament, & set his hand as a witness and also saw William Titcomb to set his hand as a witness. March 30, 1686 before me, John Woodbridge, authorized to take oaths in Newbury.

In obedience to and pursuant of an order of Ipswich Court, March 30, 1686, requiring and empowering it, I did repair to Anthony Somerby who made oath that he did see John Hutchins sign, seal and declare this will (written on the other side) to be his last will and testament and that himself and William Titcomb did also sign it as witnesses the said Hutchins being than as he judged of a disposing mind.

Sworn, April 8, 1686, before me,
Robert Pike  (son-in-law of Joseph MOYCE)  (assistant)

Will of Francis Hutchins is as follows:

“The last will and testament of Francis Hutchins of Haverhill in perfect memory and understanding but sensable of my drawing nigh the day of my death:

Do in the first place bequeath my soul to God and my body to decent burial and after my just debts being paid to will my estate as followeth and in the – –

First place I do will to my son William Hutchins one common right having his portion sufficient already this being in full.

2ndly I do will to my two daughters Elizabeth and Love my wearing apparel both lining and woolen.

3dly I do will to my daughter in law Johannah Hutchins my mortar and pestal.

4thly I do will to my son Benjamin the great brass kettle and one common right.

5thly I do will to my son Samuel the table board and the frame and great cubbard.

6thly I do will to my son joseph, his children viz: John, Francis, Mary, Samuel, Joseph twelve acres of land adjoining to the land which I have given to their mother at the west end of my land adjoining to the land of Samuel Hutchins.

7thly I do will to my son Joseph Hutchins deceased his children one common right.

8thly I do will to my daughters Elizabeth and Love and to my two sons Samuel and Benjamin all the rest of my estate of what nature and kind soever to be equally divided amongst them all that is to say the said four.

9thly If any of my above children shall lay any claim to any of my husband’s lands or other estate of my husbands or mine by verture of any former promise not given under hand in writing shall forfeit their right unto what is bequeathed and willed unto him or them except five shillings which I do will to any such person and no more provided he or they shall endeavor to make out any such claim by law.

To this will I do constitute and appoint my son samuel Hutchins and my son in law Samuel Sherburn executors – the words common right was interlined as to my son Benjamin, before assinging and hearunto I have set my hand this fourth day in March in the year of our Lord, one thousand six hundred and ninety-four.

Francis Hutchins
Robert Ford
Josiah Gage
Before Honorable Bartholemew Gedney, Exquire, May 16, 1694.

Robert Ford and Josiah Gage made oath that they were present and saw Mrs. Francis Hutchins sign this Instrument and heard her declare it to be her last will and testament and that she was then of a disposing mind to my best deserning.
Stephan Sewall (Registrar)”


1. Elizabeth Hutchins

Elizabeth’s husband Thomas Ayres (Ayer) was born about 1630 in England. His parents were John Ayers and Hannah Evered. He may have lived in Newbury in 1657. Thomas died 9 Nov 1686 in Haverhill, Essex, Mass.

Thomas’ sister  Mary (Ayer) Parker of Andover, Mass., was executed September 22, 1692, with several others, for witchcraft in the Salem witch trials. She was 55 years old and a widow. Mary’s husband, Nathan, died in 1685.     Her daughter, Sarah Parker, was also accused.

In Sep 1692, Mary Ayer Parker of Andover came to trial in Salem Massachusetts, suspected of witchcraft. During her examination she was asked, “How long have ye been in the snare of the devil?” She responded, “I know nothing of it.” Many people confessed under the pressure of the court of Oyer and Terminer, but she asserted they had the wrong woman. “There is another woman of the same name in Andover,” she proclaimed. At the time, no one paid much attention. Mary Ayer Parker was convicted and hanged by the end of the month.

Mary Parker Memorial

Modern historians have let her claim fall to the wayside as well, but what if she told the truth?  Was there another Mary Parker in Andover? Could it be possible that the wrong Mary Parker was executed?

The end of her story is recorded for every generation to see, but the identity of this woman remained shrouded in mystery for over three centuries. We still don’t know why she was accused in 1692. Puritan women were not particularly noteworthy to contemporary writers and record-keepers. They appeared occasionally in the court records as witnesses and plaintiffs but their roles were restricted to the house and family. Mary Parker was a typical Puritan wife. She appeared in the records only in birth notices and the records associated with the will of her late husband Nathan Parker. Notably, the records included no legal trouble at all, for witchcraft or anything else.

John and Hannah Ayer gave birth to their daughter Mary sometime in the early to mid 1600’s. Mary and her siblings may have been born in England, and later moved to America with their parents. The Ayers moved several times during the early stages of their settlement in America but resettled for the last time in 1647 in Haverhill.

The family was apparently of some prominence. Tax records from 1646 showed that John Ayer possessed at least one hundred and sixty pounds, making him one of the wealthiest settlers in Haverhill.

Mary Ayer married Nathan Parker sometime before her father’s death in 1657. Although no marriage record survived in the hometowns of either Nathan or Mary, the wording of her father John Ayer’s will made it obvious that she was married with children when it was written.  Nathan married his first wife Susanna Short on Nov 20, 1648. Within the next three years, the couple relocated to Andover, where she soon after died on August 26, 1651. Andover’s Vital Records listed the birth of Nathan and Mary Parker’s first son John in 1653.  Nathan could have remarried and had children within the two years after the death of his first wife.

Mary and Nathan marriage was not documented but we do know Nathan and his brother Joseph settled in Newbury, Massachusetts sometime in the early 1630’s. They settled in Andover where they were amongst its first settlers. Nathan came over from England as an indentured servant, but eventually he became rather wealthy in Andover. The original size of his house lot was four acres but the Parker’s landholdings improved significantly over the years to 213.5 acres.  His brother Joseph, a founding member of the Church, possessed even more land than his brother, increasing his wealth as a tanner. By 1660, there were forty household lots in Andover, and no more were created. The early settlers, including the Parkers, would be those of importance. By 1650, Nathan began serving as a constable in Andover. By the time he married Mary Ayer, his status was on the rise. It continued to do so during the early years of their marriage as he acquired more land.

Mary and Nathan continued to have children for over twenty years after the birth of John Parker in 1653. Mary bore four more sons: James in 1655, Robert in 1665, Peter in 1676, and a son Joseph.   She and Nathan also had four daughters: Mary, born in 1660 , Hannah in 1659, Elizabeth in 1663, and Sara in 1670. James died on June 29, 1677, killed in an Indian skirmish at Black Point. Robert died in 1688 at the age of 23. Hannah married John Tyler in 1682. Nathan and Mary’s daughter Elizabeth married John Farnum in 1684.

When Nathan died on June 25, 1685, he left an ample estate to his wife and children. Mary Ayer Parker brought an inventory of the estate to court in September of the same year, totaling 463 pounds and 4 shillings. The court awarded her one-third of the house and lands, equal shares to Robert, Joseph, Peter, Hannah, Elizabeth, and Sarah, and a double share to John.  Mary Parker widow obtained an estate of over 154 pounds-a good amount of money in the late 17th  century.

Mary Parker did not appear in Essex County records after Sep 29, 1685 when she brought the inventory to court. We know little about her interaction with her neighbors and the community after her husband’s death. The Parkers were a respectable family that continued to root itself in the community. So why, less than a decade after her husband’s death, was Mary accused as a witch? There was no documented friction with any of her neighbors, any no prior accusations. The closest tie Mary had with witchcraft was a distant cousin on her father’s side, William Ayers whose his wife Judith was accused of witchcraft in 1662.  But this was not enough to justify Mary’s accusation. What really happened in 1692 to Mary Ayer Parker?

The Salem crisis had spread to Andover when William Barker Jr. named her in his confession on Sep 1, 1692. He testified that “goode Parker went with him last Night to Afflict Martha Sprague.” He elaborated that Goody Parker “rod upon a pole & was baptized at 5 Mile pond,” a common reference to a union made with the devil. The examination of Mary Parker occurred the next day. At the examination, afflicted girls from both Salem and Andover fell into fits when her name was spoken. The girls included Mary Warren, Sarah Churchill, Hannah Post, Sara Bridges, and Mercy Wardwell. The records state that when Mary came before the justices, the girls were cured of their fits by her touch-the satisfactory result of the commonly used “touch test,” signifying a witch’s guilt.

When Mary denied being the witch they were after Martha Sprague, one of her accusers, quickly responded that is was for certain this Mary Parker, who had afflicted her. Sprague and Mary Lacy effectively fell into fits. Historian Mary Beth Norton discovered that Mary Parker was related to Sprague; she was Sprague’s step-great-aunt.  Mary Parker’s son-in-law John Tyler’s father Moses Tyler had married Martha’s mother. >Martha also lived in Andover, and the Tylers and the Parkers were friendly for sometime before their families were joined in marriage.  Still, it was a distant relation and Martha was only sixteen years old at the time of the trial, so it is doubtful she knew Mary Parker personally.

Nevertheless, Mary Parker’s defense was ignored, both by the courtroom, and most historians until now. However, Mary Ayer Parker told the truth: there was another Mary Parker living in Andover. In fact there were not one, but three other Mary Parkers in Andover. One was Mary Ayer’s sister-in-law, Mary Stevens Parker, wife of Nathan’s brother Joseph. The second was Joseph and Mary’s daughter Mary. The third was the wife of Mary and Joseph’s son, Stephen. Mary Marstone Parker married Stephen in 1680. To complicate things even further, there was yet another Mary Parker living nearby in Salem Towne.

Confusion could easily have arisen from the multitude of Mary Parkers abound in Essex County. However, similarities between Mary Ayer Parker and her sister-in-law may have instigated confusion in even her accusers. The two Mary’s married the Parker brothers by the late 1640’s, and began having children in the early 1650’s. They had children of the same name including sons named Joseph and daughters Mary and Sara (Mary, daughter of Nathan and Mary may have died soon after her father). Nathan and Mary Parker’s son James, born in 1655, and Joseph and Mary Parker’s son John born in 1656, died on June 29, 1677, killed by the Indians at Black Point  In 1692, both Mary Parker Sr.’s were reasonably wealthy widows. Joseph’s wife received their house and ample land from his will, dated Nov 4, 1678. The two women shared almost fifty years of family ties. But in September of 1692, it was only Nathan Parker’s wife who was accused, tried, and found guilty of witchcraft. Why was Mary Ayer brought to trial?

On the surface, the two Mary Parkers seemed almost interchangeable but the will of Joseph Parker revealed something important about his branch of the Parker family. Joseph made some peculiar stipulations regarding the inheritance of his son Thomas. The will described Thomas as “who by god’s providence is disenabled for providing for himself or managing an estate if committed to him by reason of distemper of mind att certain seasons.” The management of his portion of the estate was given to his mother Mary until her death, after which, Thomas would choose his own guardian.

This “distemper of mind” seemed to run in the family. Stephen Parker later petitioned in Sep 1685 that his mother be barred from the management of her own affairs for the same reason. Stephen revealed that his mother was in a “distracted condition and not capable of improving any of her estate for her owne comfort.” Whether mental illness influenced the reputation of Joseph Parker’s wife cannot be ascertained, but it is likely that if she was mentally instable, it was well known in the tight-knit community of Andover.

Mental illness was often distrusted and feared. In fact, a case in 1692 involved a woman with a history of mental illness. Rebecca Fox Jacobs confessed to witchcraft in 1692 and her mother Rebecca Fox petitioned both the Court of Oyer and Terminer and Massachusetts Governor Phips for her release on the grounds of mental illness. According to her mother, it was well known that Rebecca Jacobs had long been a “Person Craz’d Distracted & Broken in mind.”  Evidently mental illness could have made someone more vulnerable to witchcraft accusations. This does not guarantee the girls intended to accuse Mary Stevens Parker but it does make the case for Mary Ayer Parker’s misidentification stronger.

A notorious figure in Salem Towne, also named Mary Parker muddled the case further. This Mary Parker appeared multiple times in the Essex courts and made a reputation for herself beginning in 1670’s. In 1669, she was sentenced for fornication.  In 1672, the court extended her indenture to Moses Gillman for bearing a child out of wedlock. A year later, she went back to court for child support from Teague Disco of Exiter.  The court sentenced her ten stripes for fornication. She came to trial two more times for fornication in 1676.  A scandalous figure indeed, Mary from Salem further sullied the name “Mary Parker.”

Mary Ayer Parker told the truth about the other Marys, but the court ignored her. William Barker Jr. came in to speak against her. He testified “looking upon Mary Parker said to her face that she was one of his company, And that the last night she afflicted Martha Sprague in company with him.” Barker Jr. pointed Mary out in court but he may have been confused himself. In his own confession, William accused a “goode Parker,” but of course, he did not specify which Goody Parker he meant.There was a good possibility that William Barker Jr. heard gossip about one Goody Parker or another and the magistrates of the court took it upon themselves to issue a warrant for the arrest of Mary Ayer Parker without making sure they had the right woman in custody.

Mary Parker’s luck plummeted when Mary Warren suffered a violent fit in which a pin ran through her hand and blood came from her mouth during her examination. Indictments followed for the torture and other evil acts against Sarah Phelps, Hanna Bigsbee, and Martha Sprague. Martha’s indictment was rejected, returned reading “ignoramus,”  but the indictments for both Hannah Bigsbee and Sarah Phelps were returned “billa vera”, and the court held Mary Parker for trial. Sara claimed that Mary tortured her on the last day of August as well as “diverse other days and times.” Hannah said that Mary tortured her on the first day of September: the indictment stated that she had been “Tortured aflicted Consumed Pined Wasted and Tormented and also for Sundry othe[r] Acts of Witchcraft.

Capt. Thomas Chandler approved both indictments. Significantly both Sarah and Hanna were members of the Chandler family, one of the founding families in Andover. The Captain’s daughter Sarah Chandler married Samuel Phelps on May 29, 1682. Their daughter Sara Jr. testified against Mary Parker in 1692.  Hannah Chandler, also the daughter of Capt. Thomas, married Daniel Bigsbee on December 2, 1974.  Capt. Thomas Chandler’s daughter Hannah and granddaughter Sarah.gave evidence that held Mary for trial. Did the Chandler family have it out for the Parkers?

Thomas and his son William settled in Andover in the 1640s.  Elinor Abbot wrote that they originally came from Hertford, England. The revelation of strong Chandler ties to Mary’s case is peculiar because until then, the relationship between the Parkers and the Chandlers seemed friendly. Public and private ties between William, Thomas, and the Parker brothers were manifest in the public records. Nathan and William Chandler held the responsibility of laying out the land lots, and probably shared other public duties as well.  Joseph Parker’s will called Ensigne Thomas Chandler  his “loving friend”, and made him overseer of his estate. Nathan Parker’s land bordered Thomas Chandler’s and there was no evidence of neighborly disputes.  It is difficult to understand where the relationship went bad.

The only hint of any fallout between the families came more than a decade before Joseph Parker’s 1678 will. On June 6, 1662, Nathan Parker testified in an apprenticeship dispute between the Tylers and the Chandlers.48 The Chandler family may have felt Nathan Parker unfairly favored the Tyler family in the incident. Bad blood between the Chandler and Tyler families could have translated into problems between the Chandler and Parker families. This discord would have been worsened by the alliance between the Tyler and Parker families through Hannah Parker and John Tyler’s marriage in 1682.

This still does not seem enough to explain the Chandlers’ involvement 1692. Perhaps after Nathan Parker’s death in 1685, neighborly tensions arose between Mary’s inherited state and the bordering Chandler estate. The existing records betray nothing further. Perhaps these speculated neighborly problems were coupled with the desire to distract attention from an internal scandal in the Chandler family.

In 1690 Hannah and Daniel Bigsbee testified in the trial of Elizabeth Sessions, a single woman in Andover who claimed to be pregnant with the child of Hannah’s brother Joseph. The Bigsbees refuted her claim and insisted she carried the child of another man. The Chandlers were respected people in Andover; even Elizabeth referred to them as “great men,” and they surely resented the gossip. The crisis of 1692 was a perfect opportunity for them to divert attention away from the scandal. When Mary Parker was arrested, they found the ideal candidate to take advantage of: her husband and her brother-in-law were no longer around to defend her and her young sons could not counter the power of the Chandlers.

After the initial indictments, Hannah Bigsbee and Sarah Phelps dropped from documented involvement in the case. Here, the documentation gets rather sloppy and confused. Essex Institute archivists erroneously mixed much of the testimony from Alice Parker’s case in with Mary Parker’s. When the irrelevant material is extracted, there is very little left of the actual case.50

The only other testimony came from two teenage confessors: Mercy Wardwell and William Barker Jr. On Sep 16, fourteen-year-old Barker told the Grand Inquest that Mary “did in Company with him s’d Barker : afflict Martha Sprag by: witchcraft. the night before: s’d Barker Confessed: which was: the 1 of Sept’r 1692”.  Eighteen-year-old Mercy did not name Mary a witch, but did say that “she had seen: the shape of Mary Parker: When she: s’d Wardwell: afflicted: Timo Swan: also: she: s’d she saw: s’d parkers Shape: when the s’d wardwell afflicted Martha Sprage”.

Nothing else remains of Mary Parker case. It appeared that Mary’s trial was over on Sep 16, 1692. She was executed only six days later. Evidence seems lacking. In essence, Mary was convicted almost solely from the testimony from two teenage confessors. Her examination, indictment, and grand inquest all took place expediently, and within one month, Mary was accused, convicted and executed.

Her death seems irresponsible at the least, and even almost outrageous. She was convicted with such little evidence, and even that seems tainted and misconstrued. Amidst the fracas of 1692, a woman died as the result of sharing the unfortunate name “Mary Parker.”

2. William Hutchins

William’s first wife Mary Edmunds

Williams’s second wife Sarah Hardy was born about 1640 in Bradford, Essex, Mass. Her parents were Thomas Hardy of Ipswich and Lydia [__?__]. Sarah died 19 Sep 1684 in Bradford.

William’s third wife Elizabeth Eaton was born 12 Dec 1650 in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts. Her parents were John Eaton (1625-1682)and Martha Rowlandson (~1623-1712). She had previously married 7 Jan 1674 to Dr. John Groth (Grath) (abt 1645, Germany – bef 1685) He was allowed by the Salisbury court to practice “physick and chyrurgerie” in 1679.

3. Ensign Samuel Hutchins

Samuel’s wife Hannah Johnson was born 1641 in Andover, Essex, Mass. Her parents were John JOHNSON and Susanna ASHERST. Hannah died in Boston, Suffolk, Mass

Samuel’s mother Francis Hutchins was arrested on the 19th August 1692 as a result of a witchcraft complaint filed by Timothy Swan, Ann Putnam, Jr., and Mary Walcott. She was imprisoned until the 21st December 1692 when she was released on bond posted by Samuel Hutchins and John Kingsbury.

4. Joseph HUTCHINS (See his page)

6. Benjamin Hutchins

Benjamin’s wife Sarah Lampry was born about 1670.  Benjamin was 51 when they married in 1694 and she was much younger.  I haven’t found more about Sarah and haven’t been able to verify if that was the right Benjamin.

7. Love Hutchins

Love’s husband Samuel Sherburne was born 4 Aug 1638 in Portsmouth, NH. His twin Elizabeth married 10 Jun 1656 in Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire to Tobias Langdon. His parents were Henry Sherburne and Rebecca Gibbons of Portsmouth. He was the chief heir of his grandfather Gibbons. In 1670, he had a 60 acre grant and ferry priveledge In 1674 he had a home and land at Little Harbor from his father. In 1678 he bought the old Tuck inn at Hampton, where he was selectman in 1683 and 1688.

9 Dec 1684 he was indicted for beating Dr. Richard Hooper in the streets of Hampton;
4 Jun 1699 Elizabeth wife of Dr. Richard Hooper, conveyed to Love Sherburne, widow of Samuel, a tract of land at Hampton (in honor of a note given for part of the cost from a suit brought to recover payment of the note on 3 Apr 1684)

He was Captain of the militia.  Samuel was killed by Indians 4 Aug 1691  in Maquoit or  Casco Bay, Cumberland, Maine.


The Tucker genealogy: a record of Gilbert Ruggles and Evelina Christina … By Tyler Seymour Morris

The Untold Story of Mary Ayer Parker: Gossip and Confusion in 1692  By Jacqueline Kelly  2005`ns

This entry was posted in 11th Generation, Immigrant - England, Line - Miller, Public Office, Storied, Veteran, Witch Trials and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to John Hutchins

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  8. took out a copy of my Grandfather’s (Edward A. Hutchins 1880-1918) his mother is listed as Mary MacDonald, born Flint, Mich. so the spelling is Mac not Mc.

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  16. Nadine Ivester/Ed Boynton says:

    I am looking for a Jerusha Hutchins, born 1710 and died 1751 (Supposedly). Mother’s name is Elizabeth. We thought her father was Joseph. But she isn’t listed anywhere and the dates do not match. Could she be the offspring of William Hutchins and his third wife?

  17. Hutchins says:

    Francis and John are my 8th great grandparents. Its interesting to read about there lives cool post! Thanks

  18. Michael Tuck says:

    I have concern on the validity of the 3rd wife of William Hutchins, son of this John Hutchins. William died in 1661, but you have the 3rd wife, Elizabeth Eaton marrying him in 1685. Can you clarify the error?

  19. Deb E Blun says:

    John and Frances Hutchins are my son in law James Hutchins’ 10th great grandparents …. i’ve been researching Frances and haven’t found any proof that her last name was Alcock, usually the nee name of the bribe is listed on the marriage license … has it been found? there has been a lot of speculation, even regarding the parents of John … this was an interesting read thank you

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