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Descendants of John Towne

Generation No. 3


3. REBECCA3 TOWNE (WILLIAM2, JOHN1)7 was born Abt. 1620 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, Engalnd7, and died July 19, 1692 in Salem, Essex Co., MA7. She married FRANCIS NOURSE7 August 24, 1644 in Salem, Essex Co., MA7. He was born January 18, 1616/17 in Yarmouth, Bristol, England, and died November 22, 1695 in Salem, Essex Co., MA8.

Notes for R
EBECCA TOWNE:
FRANCIS, Salem, in that part now Danvers, by w. Rebecca, d. of William Towne, had John; Samuel; Rebeca; Mary; Francis, b. 3 Feb. 1661; Benjamin, 26 Jan. 1666; Michael; and ano. d. who m. William Russell. Rebecca m. 15 Apr. 1669, Thomas Preston; and Mary m. 1678, John Tarbell. The unhappy mo. of these ch. suffer. death in the stupendous fanaticism of 1692, wh. began the investig. of her case, 24 Mar. tho. Twice the jury fail. to find a verdict, to wh. at last they assent. from her not giv. satisfact. answers to their questions in open Court, that from her deafness she fail. to understand. Sir William Phips the Gov. upon hearing this, prepar. a reprieve, but by solicit. of those who had less responsibility, weak. withheld it, and the dreadful sentence was execut. on 19th July; and he surv. Until 22 Nov. 1695, aged 77. Her sis. Sarah Cloyce, not less guilty, perhaps, aft. long suffer. having better hearing, escaped with life. Felt, in Ann. of Salem, I. 484, well sums up the cases. She was excommunica. bef. trial, but that opprobrious deed was cancell. 20 yrs. aft. the sufferer was hang.
from Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England Vol III, 300.

Sarah Cloyce and Rebecca Nurse, two sisters of the most exemplary lives, were next apprehended as witches. The only witnesses against them were Tituba, her half-witted Indian husband and the simple girl Abigail Williams, the niece of Parris. The victims were sent to prison protesting their innocence.
L. A. Burrough, Burroughs, Family Genealogy, (1894, The Pierce Printing Company, Garrettsville, OH) p3

The following year, (1690) Joshua and Sarah REA, with their son Daniel and his wife Hepzibah, and forty other friends and neighbors of Rebecca Nourse, the accused "witch", risked their own safety to testify to her good character but were unable to prevent her death.
Carol Clark Johnson, A Genealogical History of the Clark and Worth Families, (1970).p.393

More About R
EBECCA TOWNE:
Baptism: February 21, 1620/21, baptized at Yarmouth, England9

Notes for F
RANCIS NOURSE:
Francis Nourse distributed his estate among their children in 1694, his sons being John, Samuel, Francis and Benjamin Nourse, and his sons-in-law Michael Bowden, Thomas Preston, John Tarbell and William Russell.(*)
(*) Essex Probate, 305 : 104.
Walter Goodwin Davis, The Ancestry of Lieut. Amos Towne 1737-1793, (Southworth Press, Portland ME, 1927).5 & 6

NOURSE FAMILY. Francis Nourse (1), the immigrant ancestor of the late Benjamin Alden Nourse, of Westborough, Massachusetts, is perhaps best known as the husband of Rebecca Nourse, who was a martyr to the witchcraft delusion of Salem. The story of her life, trial and death is given elsewhere in this work. Her maiden name was Rebecca Towne, daughter of William Towne. Her sister, Sarah Towne, married Edmund Bridges and (second) Peter Clayes, and both of the sisters were involved in the witchcraft persecutions at Salem. Rebecca was hanged July 19, 1692, aged seventy years. Subsequently the jury, judges and prosecutors all acknowledged their delusion and prayed for pardon for their error. A monument to Rebecca Nourse has been recently erected.

Francis Nourse was a quiet, peaceable citizen. The first record of him is found in the Essex court files of 1639. He was a proprietor of Salem in 1647. He deposed November 26, 1666, that he was forty-five years old. He settled in Salem Village, that part of the town now Danvers. He died there November 22, 1695, aged seventy-seven years. His birth date in England is given on good authority as January 18, 1618. The children of Francis and Rebecca Nourse were: John, married Elizabeth Smith; Sarah, Rebecca, married Thomas Preston, whose daughter married Peter Clayes, Jr.; Samuel, Francis, born February 3, 1661, at Reading; Mary, married John Tarbell; Elizabeth, Benjamin, born January 26, 1666; Michale, a daughter, married William Russell.
Bicknell Crane, Genealogical & Personal Memoirs of Worchester County Vol. 2, (1907 The Lewis Publishing Company), 80.

FRANCIS, Salem, in that part now Danvers, by w. Rebecca, d. of William Towne, had John; Samuel; Rebecca; Mary; Francis, b. 3 Feb. 1661; Benjamin, 26 Jan. 1666; Michael; and ano. d. who m. William Russell. Rebecca m. 15 Apr. 1666, Thomas Preston; and Mary m. 1678, John Tarbell. The unhappy mo. of these ch. suffer. death in the stupendous fanaticism of 1692, wh. began the investig. of her case, 24 Mar. tho. twice the jury fail. to find a verdict, to wh. at last they assent. from her not giv. satisfact. answers to their questions in open Court, that from her defense she fail. to understand. Sir William Phips, the Gov. upon hearing this, prepar. a reprieve, but by solicit. of those who had less responsibility, weak. withheld it, and the dreadful sentence was execut. on 19th July; and he surv. until 22 Nov. 1695, aged 77. Her sis. Sarah Cloyce, not less guilty, perhaps, aft. long suffer. having better hearing, escaped with life. Felt, in Ann. of Salem, I. 48, well sums up the case. She was excommunica. bef. trial, but that opprobrious deed was cancell. 20 yrs. aft. the sufferer was hang. FRANCIS, Reading, s. of the preced. by w. Sarah had Francis, b. 1686, d. early; Benjamin, 28 Jan. 1690; Jonathan, 1692, d. at 25 yrs.; Josiah, 1694, d. at 24 yrs.; Joshua; Caleb; Nathaniel, 1697, who all d. bef. mid. age; and Abigail. His est. was sett. says Barry, in 1716. This name is commonly made Nourse. JOHN, Salem, br. of the first Francis, m. 1 Nov. 1672, Eliz. Smith, had John, b. 12 Oct. 1673; and he m. sec. w. 17 Aug. 1677, Eliz.
Very, had Eliz. 18 Mar. 1678; Samuel, 20 Aug. 1679; Sarah 10 Nov. 1680; Jonathan, 3 May 1682; Joseph, 20 Sept. 1683; Benjamin, 20 Feb. 1686; Hannah, 22 Jan. 1687; and Deborah; and he d. 1719. SAMUEL, Salem, br. of the preced. m. 5 Apr. 1677, Mary Smith, had Samuel, b. 7 Jan. 1678; Margaret, 24 Feb. 1680; George, 29 July 1682; Mary, 25 May 1685; Rebecca, 15 Sept. 1688; and Ebenezer. He was freem. 1690, but suffer. some disability in the Christian ch. prob. bec. he was s. of his mo.
James Savage, Savage, Vol. 3 Dict. First Settlers of NE, (1860-1862, Genealogical Publishing Company, Boston). 183

NOTE--FRANCIS, Sen., d. at Salem, 1695, his est. administered, Dec. 23d. He had by w. Rebecca, 1. JOHN, who d. 1719, f. by w. Elizabeth (Smith, m. Nov. 1, 1672, d. '73), of John, b. Oct. 12, '73; and by w. Elizabeth (Verry, m. Aug. 17, '77), of Elizabeth, m. (???) Douty; Samuel, b. 1679; Sarah, '80, m. (???) Twist; Jonathan, b. May 3, '82, m. a dr. of John Hardenden; Joseph, '83; Benjamin, Feb. 20, '86; Hannah, '87, m. (???) Verry; Deborah; 2. SAMUEL, m. Mary Smith, 1677, and f of Samuel, Mary, George, Mary, Rebecca, Ebenezer, (m. Eliz. Mitchell, 1722, and f. of Caleb, Eben., &c.); 3. FRANCIS, b. Feb. 3, 1660-1, his est. settled (of Reading), Oct. 8, 1716, leaving w. Sarah, and chil., Benjamin, b. Jan. 28, 1689-0; Jonathan, '92, d. 1717; Josiah, '94, d. 1718; Joshua, d. 1717; Caleb, d. 1727; Nathaniel, b. '97, d. 1717; Abigail; a s. Francis, b. 1686, d. '88; 4. BENJAMIN, b. Jan. 26, 1665, prob. the B. of Fram., above; 5. MICHAEL, m. (???) Bouden; 6. REBECCA, m. Tho. Preston, 1670; 7. MARY, m. John Tarbell, 1678; 8. (???), m. William Russell. Francis, the f., administered, with John How, the estate of Edmond Bridges, of Salem; his w. Rebecca was one of the victims of the Witchcraft delusion, although ample testimonials were given of her private character, and domestic virtues.--(See the preceding history; p. 32.) Rebecca was sister of Sarah, w. of Peter Clayes.
William Barry, A History of Framington, MA, (1847, Boston James Munroe and Company), 344

*) Francis Nurse, Salem Village, had chil. John, Sarah, Rebecca, Samuel, Francis, Mary, Elizabeth and Benjamin. Their mother was hung in the witchcraft delusion, July 19, 1692.--Farmer.
Andrew H. Ward, Family Register of Shrewsbury Mass, (1847, Boston; Samuel G. Drake, 56 Cornihill. J. Howe, Printer, 39 Merchants Row.), 171.

NURSE, NOURSE. 1 . Francis, was of Salem, in that part known as Salem Village (now Danvers0, where he d. Nov. 22., 1695, a. 77. He m. Rebecca Towne, dau. of William; her sis. Sarah m. (1) Edmund Bridges, and (2) Peter Clayes. Both sis. were involved in the witchcraft delusion, and Rebecca was hanged July 19, 1692, a. 70. Chil. John; Samuel; Rebecca, m. Thomas Preston whose dau. m. Peter Clayes, Jr; Mary, m. John Tarbell; Francis, b. Feb.3, 1661, sett. Reading; Benjamin, b. Jan. 26, 16666; Michael; dau. m. Wm. Russel.
     
Children of R
EBECCA TOWNE and FRANCIS NOURSE are:
10. i.   JOHN4 NURSE, b. Abt. 1645, MA.
  ii.   SAMUEL NOURSE10, b. MA.
11. iii.   SARAH NOURSE, b. Abt. 1648, Marblehead, Essex Co., MA.
  iv.   REBECCA NOURSE10, b. 1647, MA; m. THOMAS PRESTON11, April 15, 1669, MA11.
  v.   MARY NOURSE12, b. 1655, MA; m. JOHN TARBELL13, 167813.
  vi.   ELIZABETH NOURSE14, b. January 09, 1655/56, MA.
12. vii.   FRANCIS NOURSE, b. February 03, 1660/61, Salem, Essex Co., MA; d. Bet. 1715 - 1716.
13. viii.   BENJAMIN NURSE, b. January 26, 1665/66, Salem Village, Essex Co., MA; d. 1747, Framingham, Middlesex Co., MA.


4. SUSANNA3 TOWNE (WILLIAM2, JOHN1)15 was born Abt. 1625 in England, and died Bef. 1672 in MA16. She married THOMAS HAYWARD.

More About S
USANNA TOWNE:
Baptism: October 26, 1625, baptized at Yarmouth, England17
     
Children of S
USANNA TOWNE and THOMAS HAYWARD are:
  i.   THOMAS4 HAYWARD.
  ii.   JOHN HAYWARD.
  iii.   ELIZABETH HAYWARD.
  iv.   SUSAN HAYWARD.
  v.   NATHANIEL HAYWARD.
  vi.   JOSEPH HAYWARD.
  vii.   ELISHA HAYWARD.
  viii.   MARY HAYWARD.
  ix.   MARTHA HAYWARD.


5. SGT. EDMUND3 TOWNE (WILLIAM2, JOHN1)18 was born Abt. 1628 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England19, and died May 03, 1678 in Topsfield, Essex Co., MA20. He married MARY BROWNING21 March 25, 1652 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England22, daughter of THOMAS BROWNING. She was born in England, and died December 16, 1717.

Notes for S
GT. EDMUND TOWNE:
Probate Records of Essex County
Estate of Edmond Towne of Topsfield
"The intent and purpose of Edmond Towne presented by Mary his wife Conscernin his state presented to this Hounored Court now sitting Imprimis The minde of the deceased was as is mine allsoe; and is consented too by all partys conscerned that the four sonns shall have all the Lands Equally devyed amongst them. And the rest of the estate to be Equally devyed amongst the 5: garles only Sarah the second Daughter is already marryed and hath rescieved to the vallue of twelve pounds already. So leaveing my Cause to God, and your Honnors scarious Consideration I subscrybe myselfe mary Towne. Only provided the widow's thirds of the whole be taken out furst. Jacob Towne deposed that Thomas Towne, eldest son of Edmund Towne, deceased, declared himself to be satisfied with an equal share with the rest of his brethren" Sworn in court, 27: 4: 1678.
Proved by the widow, 27: 4: 1678, with the consent of all the surviving persons concerned.
Essex County Quarterly Court Files, vol 29, leaf 30

Adminstration upon the estate of Edmond Towne was granted 27: 4: 1678, to Mary, the relict, who was to dispose of the estate according to the mind of the deceased, as by mutual agreement of all surviving persons concerned, which writing was allowed. An inventory was also presented and sworn to.
Salem Quarterly Court Records, vol. 5, leaf 117

Inventory of the estate of Sargeant Edman Towne, taken at Topsfield, May 3, 1678, by Frances Pabody and Thomas Baker: Books, 1li.; wearing clothes, 7li. 14s.; linning sheetes and neckpins, 11li. 6s.; house and landes on the north of the Riuer, 220li.; upland and mado on the south side River, 72li.; five oxen and seven coues, 52li.; young Cattel, 19li. 17s.; shepe and lambes, 6li.; two horses, 6li.; swine, 8li.; iron tooles, 3li.; kittels and potes and other iron ware, 4li. 4s.; gones, 4li. 6s.; wheles and other lumbur, 6li. 3s.; a cubbard and cheastes, 2li. 10s.; bedsted and beddin, 16li. 10s.; pillin and saddel, 2li.; wooll and flax, 17s.; five barrels of sider, 2li. 10s.; woolin and linninyarne, 2li. 10s.; home spon cloath, 7li. 10s.; corne and porke, 4li.; for halfe the farme which was given to Sargent Toune in Revertion by Thomas Browning; total, 453li. 12s. Depts owing, 26li. 3s. 3d.; by the death of one cow, 3li. 10s. Allowed in Salem court 27: 4: 1678.
Essex County Quarterly Court Files, vol. 29, leaf 31.

Acknowledgment of John How, dated MAr. 5, 1679-80, of the receipt from his mother Towne, exccutrix to the estate of his father Towne, of his wife's portion.
Acknowledment of Abigaile Peabody, dated Mar. 21 1694-5, of the receipt from her mother Towne of her portion.
Acknowledgment of Rebecca Knitte, dated June 2, 1698, of the receipt from mother Towne of her portion.
Acknowledgment of John Prichett and his wife, dated July 27, 1698, of the receipt of her portion.
The widow Mary Towne of Topsfield testified in Ipswich court, Sept. 6, 1714, that as administratrix of her husband's estate, she had paid to Thomas Wilkins who married one of her daughters, her portion of the estate.
Essex County Probate Records, vol. 311, page 181
An agreement made between Thomas Towne, William ( W mark) Towne, Joseph Town and Samuel Town, all of father, Edmond Town of Topsfeild upon us, and also our mother Mr.s Mary Town hath given to us her share of land which belonged to our grandfather Thomas Browning, and we have divided all the said lands amongst ourselves as is hereafter expressed (excepting only two acres and a half of medow of said Browning's which our mother hath given by her will to our sisters); "Thomas Town hath two twenty acre lotts in the first Division where he now dwels and about six acres of medow joyning to his Land and to the Rever also about foure acres of medow Lyeing betwen Beverly medows and Wenham medows which he had of our father for Twenti and Two pounds willed to him by our grandfather Browning."
Search & Research Publishing Corp., Early Vital Records of Essex Co., MA to about 1850, "CD-ROM." pg 238 & 239, Vol. 3.

Selectman, 1673; town constable, 1675; tything-man, 1677; took oath as freeman, 1664; corpl. Topsfield mil. co., 1666; helped form mil. guard during King Philip's War. from Fredrick A. Virkus, The Compendium of American Genealogy Vol V, (1930), 206.

Volume 4
page 318
Towne, Edmund, Topsfield, was eldest s. of William, wh. prob. was s. of Richard of Braceby in Co. Lincoln, where Ann, wid. of said Richard, made her will 10 Dec. 1629, of wh. copy is in Geneal. Reg. X. 36. Braceby is 6 ms. from Grantham and 5 fro Folkenham. He came, 1637, prob. in the Rose of Yarmouth, aged 18, as apprent. to Henry Skerry of Salem, m. Mary, d. of Thomas Browning, had Thomas; William, b. 1658; Joseph, 1661; Abigail; Benjamin, 1666; Rebecca; Samuel, 1673; Mary; Sarah; Eliz.; and ano d. and he d. early in 1678. Abigail m. 12 Jan. 1686, Jacob Peabody; and next, 14 Jan. 1696, Thomas Perley. Abstr. of his will, of wh. wid. Mary had admin. is in Essex Inst. II. 277.

3. SERGT. EDMUND3 TOWNE (William2, John1) was baptized in the church of St. Nicholas, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, June 28, 1628. He came to New England when he was nine years old as an apprentice of Henry Skerry on the ship "Rose" which sailed from Great Yarmouth in 1637. Skerry settled in Salem.
Edmund Towne married Mary Browning, daughter of Thomas and Mary Browning, about the year 1652, when he was twenty-two and she fourteen years of age, and settled in Topsfield. He served on the trial jury of the County Court in 1655, was made a commoner in 1661, sat on the grand jury in 1663 and took the oath as freeman in 1664. He was appointed corporal of the Topsfield military company in June, 1666, and in 1675, during King Philip's War, he was one of the committee from the town which presented a petition to the General Court asking permission to form a military guard to protect the settlers at their work. He was a selectman in 1673, town constable in 1675, and tythingman in 1677, when he is called Sergeant Towne.(*) Records and Files, etc., I : 397; III : 84, 137, 336
Sergt. Towne died in 1678. He left no will, but his widow, Mary, proved a statement covering his "Intent and purpose," saying "The minde of the deceased was as is mine allsoe; and is consented too by all partys conscernd that the four sonns shall have all the Lands Equally devyded amongst them, And the rest of the estate to be Equally devyded amongst the 5 : garles only Sarah the second Daughter is already marryed and Hath rescieved to the vallue of twelve pounds already." Administration was granted to Mary Towne on 27 : 4 : 1678. The inventory, taken by Francis Peabody and Thomas Baker, lists real estate, exclusive of the Browning lands, worth 292, books worth 1, etc.(+) Probate Records of Essex County, III : 238
Walter Goodwin Davis, "The Ancestry of Lieut. Amos Towne 1737-1793", (Southworth Press, Portland ME, 1927), 6 & 7.

More About S
GT. EDMUND TOWNE:
Baptism: June 22, 1628, baptized at Yarmouth, England23
Will: April 24, 1678, will probated in Essex Co., MA24

Notes for M
ARY BROWNING:
The widow Mary Towne of Topsfield testified in Ipswich court, Sept. 6, 1714, that as administratrix of her husband's estate, she had paid to Thomas Wilkins who married one of her daughters, her portion of the estate.
Essex County Probate Records, vol 311, page 181.

Mary (Browning) Towne made her will February 1, 1709/10. She confirmed her gift of the land at Topsfield, over which she had power of disposal by the will of her father, to her four sons Thomas, William, Joseph and Samuel, left personal property to her five daughters Mary, Sarah, Abigail, Rebecca and Elizabeth, and appointed Joseph her executor. On the same date as the will, stating that "our mother Mrs. Mary Towne hath given to us her share of Land which did belong to our Grandfather Thomas Browning," the four sons divided this property and the large farm inherited from their father.?? Mrs. Towne survived her son Joseph and her will was probated December 16, 1717, Thomas and William being appointed executors c.t.a. The inventory of personal belongings included a silver cup and spoon. Essex Probate, 312 : 136, 165
Walter Goodwin Davis, "The Ancestry of Lieut. Amos Towne 1737-1793", (Southworth Press, Portland ME, 1927), 7.

More About M
ARY BROWNING:
Baptism: November 07, 1637, Salem, Essex Co., MA25
     
Children of E
DMUND TOWNE and MARY BROWNING are:
  i.   MARY4 TOWNE26, b. 1653, Topsfield, Essex Co., MA; d. March 05, 1730/31, Topsfield, Essex Co., MA27; m. JOHN PRITCHARD28, March 01, 1680/81, Topsfield, Essex Co., MA29; b. 1653; d. February 07, 1730/31, Topsfield, Essex Co., MA30.
  Notes for MARY TOWNE:
Acknowledgment of John Prichett and his wife, dated July 27, 1698, of the receipt of her portion.
Essex County Probate Records, vol 311, page 181

14. ii.   THOMAS TOWNE, b. Abt. 1655, Topsfield, Essex Co., MA; d. Abt. 1720.
  iii.   SARAH TOWNE31, b. April 26, 1657, Topsfield, Essex Co., MA32; d. Bef. 170632; m. CAPT. JOHN HOWE32, Bef. 168632.
  Notes for SARAH TOWNE:
iii. SARAH, b. April 26, 1657; m. Capt. John Howe before 1686 as his second wife; five children; she d. before 1706, when he made a prenuptial agreement with Mrs. Sarah Dennis.
Walter Goodwin Davis, "The Ancestry of Lieut. Amos Towne 1737-1793", (Southworth Press, Portland ME, 1927), 8.

15. iv.   WILLIAM TOWNE, b. March 13, 1658/59, Topsfield, Essex Co., MA; d. January 30, 1749/50, Topsfield, Essex Co., MA.
16. v.   JOSEPH TOWNE, b. September 02, 1661, Topsfield, Essex Co., MA; d. 1717, Topsfield, Essex Co., MA.
  vi.   TOWNE32, b. March 07, 1662/63, Topsfield, Essex Co., MA32; d. March 07, 1662/63, Topsfield, Essex Co., MA32.
17. vii.   ABIGAIL TOWNE, b. August 06, 1664, Topsfield, Essex Co., MA; d. February 14, 1711/12.
  viii.   BENJAMIN TOWNE33, b. May 26, 1666, Topsfield, Essex Co., MA34; d. Bef. 167834.
  ix.   REBECCA TOWNE35, b. February 02, 1668/69, Topsfield, Essex Co., MA36; m. (1) PHILIP KNIGHT36, Bef. August 20, 1693, Topsfield, Essex Co., MA37; d. August 19, 1696, Topsfield, Essex Co., MA38; m. (2) JOSEPH HUTCHINSON39, January 30, 1700/01, MA39.
  Notes for REBECCA TOWNE:
Acknowledgement of Rebecca Knitte, dated June 2, 1698, of the recept from mother Towne of her portion. Essex County Probate Records, vol. 311, page 181.

x. REBECCA, b. Feb. 2, 1668; m. (1) Philip Knight, son of Philip and Margery Knight of Topsfield, before Aug. 20, 1693; two children; he d. Aug. 19, 1696, and she was appointed to administer his estate March 22, 1696/7;( Essex Probate, 305 : 132) m. (2) Joseph Hutchinson of Salem, Jan. 30, 1701.
Walter Goodwin Davis, "The Ancestry of Lieut. Amos Towne 1737-1793", (Southworth Press, Portland ME, 1927), 8.

18. x.   ELIZABETH TOWNE, b. November 02, 1669, Topsfield, Essex Co., MA.
19. xi.   SAMUEL TOWNE, b. February 11, 1672/73, Topsfield, Essex Co., MA.
  xii.   TOWNE40, b. Abt. 1675; d. Abt. 167840.


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