(ca. 1599-1666) - probably England & New Castle, Rockingham co., NH

(First Generation - Walford Family)


BIRTH Based on the estimated date of his marriage, Thomas was born circa 1599[3].
DEATH He died on Great Island (now New Castle), Rockingham co., NH in November 1666; he was 67[1,3]. Specifically, Thomas died between 15 November (when his will was written) and 21 November (when inventory was taken on his estate). He probably died of illness or "old age", since he had time to make his will, in which he declared himself "very sick & weak of body"[4].
MIGRATION Thomas had definitely migrated by 1628, I think 1623, as I state below. If he was part of the Robert Gorges plantation, he went sometime after 18 March 1623. Peter Coldham has two entries concerning this expedition: "30 December 1622. Grant to Robert, son of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, and his heirs of all that part of the mainland of New England called Messachustack on the north-east side of Messachuses Bay on payment of 160 pounds[16,17]." and "18 March 1623. Minutes of New England Council. Consideration to be given to the proposal of Edward Cox and others to join Captain Robert Gorges in his New England plantation[17,18]." According to William Bradford, this expedition "About the middle of September [1623] arrived [with] Captain Robart Gorges in the Bay of Massachusets, with sundry passengers and families, intending there to begin a plantation; and pitched upon the place Mr. Weston's people had forsaken..." Most of the settlers returned with Gorges to England "...some out of discontent and dislike of the country, others by reason of a fire that broke out and burnt the houses they lived in and all their provisions...[19,20]"

I am inclined to think that Thomas and Jane were married in England sometime before Summer 1623 and thus were one of the families who sailed with Gorges in 1623. Robert Anderson states that they were probably married before 1624, since that was when their first child, Jane, was probably born. In addition, Charles Francis Adams believed that Thomas Walford came to New England in 1623 with Robert Gorges..."[26,29]

RESIDENCE & REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS Robert Gorges (youngest son of Sir Fernando) received one of the earliest land grants by the Great Council for New England on 30 December 1622. This grant "...extended from the Charles River ten miles north toward Salem, and included Charlestown...Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop and East Boston..." He set up a settlement which "did not prosper" (actually, it failed almost immediately) and he returned to England. Supposedly, William Blackstone, Thomas Walford and Samuel Maverick (see MAVERICK) chose to remain when the other settlers returned to England and thus became the sole settlers of Boston, Charlestown & Winnisimmet (Chelsea/Revere), respectively[22].

Thomas Wyman says in his Genealogies & Estates of Charlestown that Thomas was "a very early, and sole white occupant of this peninsula [meaning Charlestown, Suffolk co., MA] in 1628; removed to Portsmouth. A detailed account of him is given in the History of the Town, pp. 10,14, 19, 23, 24. See also "Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society" for June 1878, pp. 194-206.[21]"

Thus, Thomas and Jane founded what is now Charlestown, Suffolk co., MA by 1628 and was still living there when more settlers (see SPRAGUE) arrived there in 1629. According to Robert Anderson, "...When the Sprague brothers began the settlement of Charlestown in 1629, they found there 'but one English palisadoed & thatched house, wherein lived Tho[mas] Walford, a smith, situate on the south end of the westermost hill of the East Field a little way up from Charles River side'[28]..."[26]

Thomas is on the list of the first settlers of Charlestown in 1629 and on the list of Charlestown inhabitants dated 9 January 1633/4. However, he had removed to New Hampshire and thus was not on the list of Charlestown inhabitants dated January 1635/6[26,30].

Actually, Thomas didn't choose to move out of Massachusetts per se, he was ordered out by the Puritan-dominated Court. "...On 3 May 1631 the Massachusetts Bay General Court ordered that 'Tho: Walford, of Charlton, is fined 40s, & is enjoined, he and his wife, to depart out of the limits of this patent before the 20th day of October next, under pain of confiscation of his goods, for his contempt of authority & confronting officers, &c.' [31]. On 3 September 1633 the same court ordered 'that the goods of Thomas Walford shall be sequestered, & remain in the hands of Anchient Gennison [Ensign William Jennison], to satisfy the debts he owes in the Bay to several persons'[32]..." [26] With that in mind, what he had amassed by his death is impressive.

Circa September 1633, he moved to Great Island (now New Castle), at the time a part of Strawbery Banke -- what is now Portsmouth), Rockingham co., NH and remained there. This is borne out in the deposition, in 1683, of his old friend Henry Langstaff that Thomas "lived and planted on Great Island over 50 years ago..." Thomas remained in the Portsmouth area, eventually moving first to the "Little harbor" side of the settlement and later at Sagamore Creek[1]. Specifically, "...On 16 February 1682/3 'Henry Langstar [Langstaff]' aged seventy years or thereabouts testified that: 'Thos Walford lived & planted upon the great island [now New Castle] in Portsmouth above fifty years ago & also built at Sandy Beach on the Little Harbour side & that he lived in that enjoyment in Capt. Neals [see] time without any disturbance from the said Neal, who was an agent for Capt. John Mason, the which is to the best of my knowledge, and further saith not.'..." [23,24]

On 1 January 1648/9, Thomas Walford deeded to "my daughter Hannah Walford" land which was near "her now dwelling house"[25,26] A more thorough description of this is "...On 1 January 1648[/9] Thomas Walford, planter in New England, deeded to 'my daughter Hannah Walford the tract of land lying upon the Great Island in the great harbor in Pascattaquack River with a spot of marsh adjoining to it...about four acres of upland besides the marsh, which is supposed likewise to be about two acres'; 'my wife Jane Walford' consented..." [4,25]

By 22 October 1649, Thomas Walford deeded land to Alexander Jones[26,27]. Specifically, "...On 29 June 1660 Thomas Walford of Portsmouth deeded to 'Allexsander Jones the second son of Allexsander Jones' his right in 'the grant of meadow or upland that is granted unto me from the town of Portsmouth lying upon the Great Island being two acres'..."[4,25]

OCCUPATION In Charlestown and, I presume, England, Thomas was a Blacksmith[1,4]. In New Hampshire records, he is also called "planter".
EDUCATION Thomas signed his will by mark, but this could have been due to infirmity as well as illiteracy. Regardless, he thought enough of learning that he declared in his will that his grandson and namesake Thomas Walford (son of Jeremiah) was to be sent to school. Specifically, he declared that out of his nine cattle, his wife Jane should take her thirds and pay Thomas Sr.'s debts. Whatever was left was " be employed towards the bringing up of my grandchild Thomas Walford in learning at school..."[3,4]
FREEMANSHIP & TOWN SERVICE Thomas prospered in Portsmouth. He took the Oath of Allegiance on 7 May 1657[4,7] and subsequently served on the Grand Jury at Portsmouth, Rockingham co., NH on 8 October 1650, 8 October 1652, 28 June 1654, and 26 June 1660[1,4,33] and the Petit Jury on 25 June 1656[4,34]. He also served as Selectman for Portsmouth in 1655 & 1658[1]. Since he was a Freeman, he must have been a member of the Church at Portsmouth. Also, "...In the general amnesty of 6 September 1638 it was noted that '3th May 1631, Thomas Walford being fined 2, he paid it by killing a wolf'...[8,9]"
CORRECTION TO SAVAGE Anderson notes that "...Savage[5] made two curious errors in his entry for this family. He stated that the immigrant had a son Thomas, for which there is no evidence; perhaps there is confusion with the grandson Thomas, son of Jeremiah, whose death gave rise to much of the dispute over the estate of the immigrant. Savage also said that one unnamed daughter married 'a Jones' and daughter Hannah married a 'Pease'; but it was Hannah who married Alexander Jones, and there is no evidence that any daughter married a Pease."
WILL Thomas' will is a treasure trove of genealogical information. One can discover the names of many grandchildren via it, as well as other nifty facts. One interesting note is the apparently close bond between Thomas Walford & Mr. Henry Sherburne. They served as co-executors for Thomas' son Jeremiah's estate (leading to their being co-defendants in the case brought by John Amazeen when they did not pay Jeremiah's widow her "thirds"). Thomas named Henry as co-executors of his own estate. Henry was one of three judges who ruled for Thomas' wife Jane in her many court fights about accusations of witchcraft. Finally, Thomas specified in his will to be buried near Henry...not any member of his own family.

Thomas' will was dated 15 November 1666, inventoried 21 November 1666 and proved 27 June 1667 [10]. In it, he names his wife Jane, children and many grandchildren[1]. Specifically, "...'Thomas Walford Senior...though very sick & weak of body' directed that 'my body to be buried in the burying place near Mr. Henry Shirburn's'; 'to my grandchild Thomas Walford my now dwelling house, with all the outhousing, orchard, garden & tillage ground now in use, with as much upland to it & next adjoining as will make up the whole one hundred acres with ten acres of meadow or marsh grounds, and my old mare'; 'to my grandchild his brother Jeremiah Walford fifty acres of upland & four acres of marshland'; 'to John Peverly a point of marsh about half an acre, lying before his father's door'; 'my grandchild John Westebrook twenty acres of upland'; 'Mary Hingson my grandchild all my upland lying at the head of the marsh formerly possessed by my son-in-law Thomas Hingson'; 'to my grandchild Mary Homes all my upland lying to or near the meadow or marsh that her husband John Homes possesseth'; 'to my daughter Peverly my mare colt'; 'I having nine cattle...I dispose of them thus, viz. my wife Jane Walford to have her thirds out of them, & then to pay my debts, & the remainder to be employed towards the bringing up of my grandchild Thomas Walford in learning at school'; 'nine swine I thus dispose of: I give one of the youngest sows to Martha Walford, my grandchild, one young sow to Mary Savidg my grandchild, one sow & one barrow to my daughter Westbrook, one old sow to my daughter Peverly, one young sow to my grandchild Samuell Jones, one young one to my grandchild Hester Savidg, one swine towards my burial, one young one to John Homes'; 'my corn about fifty bushels I allow towards my debts, & the remainder to be at the disposing of my executors for the benefit of the children'; 'my servant John Read I dispose of him to my son-in-law John Westbrook for the time he hath to serve'; residue to executors 'to be disposed of by them for the use & good of my children'; one third part of estate to 'my wife Jane Walford'; 'Mr. Henry Shirburne & Richard Tucker both of this town of Portsmouth' executors..."[11,12]

Thomas' estate was inventoried on 21 November 1666 and valued at 76 6s. 11d[3,13].

Nonetheless, there was ongoing dispute over Thomas' estate. "...On 27 June 1667 Jane Walford, widow, 'aged sixty-nine years or thereabouts,' deposed that her husband Thomas Walford 'did give to Elizabeth Savidg his daughter a piece of marsh...about nine years before he died...& further I myself gave my consent'...[14]" The dispute continued through Jane's death when on 6-7 September 1681 the surviving daughters "Jane Goss, Hanna Jones, Mary Brooking & Elizabeth Savage" filed a petition with the probate court[3,15].

Note that the "grandchild Mary Homes" married to "John Homes" is a bit of a puzzle. The only John Holmes marriage with the correct name/connection to the family mentioned in Charles Torrey's New England Marriages Prior to 1700. is "HOLMES, John (1637-) & Martha [WALFORD]; by 1666; Portsmouth, NH {Giles 181; Peverly Gen. 1; GDMNH 346, 544}"[36]. However, Jeremiah Walford's daughter Martha married John Moore and in order for his daughter Mary to fit these parameters, she would have married about age 10. Not impossible, but not that likely either.

Thomas had an indentured servant at the time of his death named John Read. In his will he passed John Read on to his son-in-law John Westbrook until John Read's time of servitude was up[3].

Thomas was interesting. On the one hand he deeded and left land to his daughters instead of just leaving the usual bedding, etc. after his death. He charged his wife with dispersal and education of his namesake grandson. But, on the other hand, he did not name her or any of his surviving children (all daughters) administrator of his estate. He was, however, shrewd enough to provide funds for his burial & debts via his swine & cattle in his will.

MARRIAGE Before 1624 when Thomas was 25, he married Jane [surname not known][1,35], in Charlestown, Suffolk co., MA or Portsmouth, Rockingham co., NH[3,36,37,38,39,40,41,42], according to Torrey. My personal belief is that they married in England in 1623 or before. As for the date of their marriage, Torrey simply says "before 1631", Anderson nails it down to before 1624. Jane was born circa 1598[1,3,36,43]. Her birth year is estimated from the fact that Jane deposed on 27 June 1667 that she was aged "about 69 years". She died in Great Island (New Castle), Rockingham co., NH before 7 September 1681; she was 83[1,3,44]. Her death date is estimated by the fact that on that date, her daughters petitioned the probate court.

Jane is featured in several new books on 17th century Witchcraft in New England, as "..for years trouble followed them [the Walfords] in New Hampshire through contests over land and charges of witchcraft against his [Thomas'] wife Jane..."[45] Specifically, "...Jane Walford of P ortsmouth, New Hampshire, spent decades contending with the label of "witch." Her husband, Thomas Walford, had emigrated to New England in 1623. After living in Charlestown, Massachusetts, he left the colony in 1631 because he was not sympathetic to the Puritans and became a prosperous landowner in Portsmouth. Jane faced down one of her accusers, Elizabeth Rowe, in 1648, when the court ordered Mrs. Rowe to pay damages and publicly apologize. Nicholas Rowe, husband of Elizabeth, participated in another phase of accusations in 1656. Again, however, Jane was acquitted. In 1669 she won a suit for slander against someone who called her a witch. Yet, as Carol Karlsen has pointed out, the 'stigma of witchcraft...was apparently passed on to all five of her daughters.'[56,57,58,59]..."

Several authors enumerate the court cases Jane faced. "...On 3 October 1648 'Thomas Walforde & Jane his wife' sued 'Nicholas Roe and Elizabeth his wife' for 'slander for that the said Elizabeth Roe said that the said Jane was a witch,' and the jury found for the plaintiff... "[46,47]

The court case on 1656 is discussed in some detail: "...Neighbor Susannah Trimmings of Little Harbor, Piscataqua, deposed on 18 April 1656 that '[o] the Lord's Day, 30th of March, at night, going with Goodwife Barton, she separated from her at the freshet next her house. On her return between Goodman Evans' and Robert Davis's, she heard a rustling in the woods which she at first thought was occasioned by swine, and presently after, there did appear to her a woman whom she apprehended to by old Goodwife Walford. She asked me where my consort was; I answered I had none. She said thy consort is at home by this time. Lend me a pound of cotton. I told her I had but two pounds in the house, and I would not spare any to my mother. She said I had better have done it; that my sorrow was great already, and it should be greater - for I was going a great journey, but I should never come there. She then left me, and I was struck as with a clap of fire on the back, and she vanished toward the water side, in my apprehension in the shape of a cat. She had on her head a white linen hood tied under her chin, and her waistcoat and petticoat were red, with an old green apron and a black hat on her head'[48]. Taken upon oath, April 18, 1656 before Brian Pendleton, Henry Sherburn & Renald Fernald[49].

Her husband Oliver gave the following deposition of the incident: "...[S]he came home in a sad condition. She passed by me with her child in her arms, laid her child on the bed, sat down upon the chest and leaned upon her elbow. Three times I asked her how she did -- she could not speak. I took her in my arms and held her up, and repeated the question. She forced breath, and something stopped in her throat as if it would have stopped her breath. I unlaced her clothes, and soon she spade and said, Lord have mercy upon me, this wicked woman will kill me. I asked her what woman. She said, Goodwife Walford. I tried to persuade her it was only her weakness. She told me no, and related as above, that her back was as a flame of fire, and her lower parts were as it were numb and without feeling. I pinched her and she felt [it] not. She continued that night and the day and night following very ill, and is still bad of her limbs and complains still daily of it. Sworn as above..."[50]

"A witness deposed, June 1656, that he was at Goodman Walford's 30th March 1656, at the time mentioned by Mrs. Trimmings, and that Goodwife Walford was at home till quite dark, as well as ever she was in her life..."[50]

"Nicholas Rowe testified that Jane Walford, shortly after she was accused, came to the deponent in bed in the evening and put her hand upon his breast so that he could not speak, and [he] was in great pain till the next day. By the light of the fire in the next room it appeared to be Goody Walford, but she did not speak. She repeated her visit about a week after and did as before, but said nothing.

Elisa Barton deposed that she saw Susannah Trimmings at the time she was ill, and her face was colored and spotted with several colors. She told the deponent the story, who replied, that it was nothing but her fantasy; her eyes looked as if they had been scalded..."[50]

"John Puddington deposed, that three years since Goodwife Walford came to his mother's -- She said that her own husband called her an old witch; and when she came to her cattle, her husband would bid her begone, for she did overlood the cattle, which is as much as to say in our country, bewitching..."[51]

"Agnes Puddington deposes, that on the 11th of April, 1656, the wife of W. Evans came to her house and lay there all night; and a little after sunset the deponent saw a yellowish cat; and Mrs. Evans said she was followed by a cat wherever she went. John came, and saw a cat in the garden - took down his gun to shoot her; the cat got up on a tree, and the gun would not take fire, and afterwards the cock would not stand. She afterwards saw three cats - the yellow one vanished away on the plain ground: she could not tell which way they went.

John Puddington testifies to the same effect.

Three other deponents say, they heard Elizabeth the wife of Nicholas Rowe, say, there were three men witches at Strawberry Bank, one was Thomas Turpin who was drowned; another, Old Ham, and a third should be 'nameless, because he should be blameless.'...[51]"

The court heard this testimony, and also evidence that Goodwife Walford was at home during this confrontation[52]. One 26 June 1656 'Jan[e] Walford being brought to this Court at Dover to be responsive and Jeremy Walford is bound in a bond of twenty pounds for her appearance' [53]. In June or July 1657 'Jane Walford the wife of Thomas Walford being formerly bound in bond with her son Jerimiah Walford for suspicion of witchcraft to the value of twenty pounds is discharged by three times proclamation in this Court'[7]..."[46]

Further, "...On 28 June 1670 Jane Walford sued Robert Couch 'in an action of slander for saying the said Jane was a witch and he would prove her one; Mr. Couch owned in Court that he did say so to Mr. Dering'; the court found for the plaintiff[54,55]..."[46]

CHILDREN 2. i. Jane WALFORD[1,35] Jane born circa 1624 either in Charlestown, Suffolk co., MA[3] or possibly England, depending when her parents migrated to New England. Jane died before 1681; she was 57[1,3]. He death is estimated from Anderson's contention that she married Richard Goss "after 1670 and by 1681".

She was mentioned in father Thomas' will, which was dated 15 November 1666 and inventoried 21 November 1666[1]. Jane received the following bequests from her father: "...'to my daughter Peverly my mare colt' [sic] ... [and] 'one old sow'..." He was very clear that she receive the old sow and not one of the young ones[3].

Circa 1644 when Jane was 20, she first married Thomas PEVERLY[1,60], in Kittery, York co., ME, Portsmouth, Rockingham co., NH or Weymouth, Norfolk co., MA[3,36,61,62,63,64,65]. Thomas died before 26 May 1670 in New Hampshire[1].

Thomas' will was dated 19 April 1670 and his estate was inventoried on 26 May 1670. This will names his wife Jane and children Mary, Martha, John (all of whom were "of age" -- 21 for boys and 18 for girls), Thomas, Lazarus, Samuel, Jeremiah and Sarah (all of whom were still minors)[1].

Thomas was of Portsmouth, Rockingham co., NH. He owned land there before 1651 and received a land grant form the town in 1652. His parcel of land ran from Sagamore Creek to Peverly's Hill by 1661, with his own house located at the creek, itself[1]. Thomas served as the Surveyor of Highways in Portsmouth, Rockingham co., NH in 1664-1665[1].

They had the following children (surnamed PEVERLY):
i. John PEVERLY was born before 1649[1]. This date is estimated from the fact that he was called "of age" (i.e. age 21 or more) in his father Thomas' will dated 19 April 1670. John received the following bequest in his grandfather Thomas Walford's will: "...' to John Peverly a point of marsh about half an acre, lying before his father's door'..." [4]
ii. Mary PEVERLY was born before 1652[1]. This date is estimated from the fact that she was called "of age" (i.e. age 18 or more) in her father Thomas' will dated 19 April 1670.
iii. Martha PEVERLY was born before 1652[1]. This date is estimated from the fact that she was called "of age" (i.e. age 18 or more) in her father Thomas' will dated 19 April 1670.
iv. Thomas PEVERLY was born after 1649[1]. This date is estimated from the fact that he was not yet "of age" (i.e. was under 21) in his father Thomas' will dated 19 April 1670.
v. Lazarus PEVERLY was born after 1649[1]. This date is estimated from the fact that he was not yet "of age" (i.e. was under 21) in his father Thomas' will dated 19 April 1670.
vi. Samuel PEVERLY was born after 1649[1]. This date is estimated from the fact that he was not yet "of age" (i.e. was under 21) in his father Thomas' will dated 19 April 1670.
vii. Jeremiah PEVERLY was born after 1649[1]. This date is estimated from the fact that he was not yet "of age" (i.e. was under 21) in his father Thomas' will dated 19 April 1670.
viii. Sarah PEVERLY was born after 1652[1]. This date is estimated from the fact that she was not yet "of age" (i.e. was under 18) in her father Thomas' will dated 19 April 1670.

After 30 June 1670 when Jane was 46, she second married Richard GOSS[1], in Portsmouth, Rockingham co., NH[3,36,37,66,67,68]. Anderson says they were married "after 1670 and by 1681".

3. ii. Jeremiah WALFORD Please see his own page.
4. iii. Hannah WALFORD[1] Hannah was born circa 1630 in Charlestown, Suffolk co., MA[26]. On 1 January 1648/9, Thomas Walford deeded to "my daughter Hannah Walford" [note she is as yet unmarried] land which was near "her now dwelling house"[25,26] A more thorough description of this is "...On 1 January 1648[/9] Thomas Walford, planter in New England, deeded to 'my daughter Hannah Walford the tract of land lying upon the Great Island in the great harbor in Pascattaquack River with a spot of marsh adjoining to it...about four acres of upland besides the marsh, which is supposed likewise to be about two acres'; 'my wife Jane Walford' consented..."[4,25]

In 1649 when Hannah was 19, she married Alexander JONES[1], son of Alexander JONES, in Great Island (New Castle), Rockingham co., NH[26,36,82,83,75]. As outlined the land deeds from Thomas Walford, they married sometime between January & October of that year. Alexander was born circa 1616 in England[36]. By 22 October 1649, Thomas Walford deeded land to Alenander Jones[26,27]. Specifically, "...On 29 June 1660 Thomas Walford of Portsmouth deeded to 'Allexsander Jones the second son of Allexsander Jones' his right in 'the grant of meadow or upland that is granted unto me from the town of Portsmouth lying upon the Great Island being two acres'..."[4,25]

They had one children (surnamed JONES): i. Samuel JONESis known from the bequest he received from his grandfather Thomas Walford: " young sow to my grandchild Samuell Jones..."[3]

The "Lithobolia" Stone-Throwing Incident of 1682:
Supernatural Myth vs. A Common Petty Land Squabble.

When I was a child, I used to order books of ghost stories from the ubiquitous Scholastic Books available to us in school and voraciously devoured them. I recall reading a tale of old New England in which stones apparently showered from a clear sky upon the house of a terrified colonial farmer. Thus, I thought it very cool to read the following item in the Amazeen research sent to me by Carolyn Depp:

"...Cotton Mather's account of the incident reads:
"On June 11, 1682, showers of stones were thrown by an invisible hand Upon the house of George WALTON at Portsmouth (now Newcastle)...Walton had been at his fence-gate which was between him and his neighbor, one John AMAZEEN an Italian, to view it...'

Charles Brewster adds that "John AMAZEEN an Italian" was well-known to have been an emigrant from Europe, and settled at Newcastle at an early period. The Walton property adjoins the Amazeen land, which in Brewster's time (1862) was owned by Capt. John AMAZEEN "of the 6th generation from John the Italian"..."

I have found the origin of the above story in the pages of Narratives of the New England Witchcraft Cases. edited by George Lincoln Burr (originally published by Charles Scribner's Son, New York in 1914. Reprinted verbatim by Dover Publications, Inc. of Mineola, NY in 2002). Burr not only tracked down and published verbatim Richard Chamberlain's (not Cotton Mather's) 1698 London-published pamphlet, but also provided an excellent of synopsis of the political and personal incidents which led to Chamberlain's account. In very short, it ties together the Walton (N.B.: not family related), Amazeen & Walford families. My synopsis of it all is below. I have included the entire title of Chamberlain's pamphlet because it amuses me and also gives a clue as to the sympathies of the author in the whole Walton vs. Walford (and, by extension, Amazeen) debate. Burr notes that the "...booklet is now very rare..." but it was reprinted in 1861 in the Historical Magazine, V:321-327. Enjoy!

The incidents in question concern: "Lithobolia: or, the Stone-Throwing Devil. Being an Exact and True Account (by way of Journal) of the various Actions of Infernal Spirits, or (Devils Incarnate) Witches, or both; and the great Disturbance and Amazement they gave to George Waltons Family, at a place call'd Great Island in the Province of New-Hantshire in New-England, chiefly in Throwing about (by an Invisible hand), Stone, Bricks, and Brick-bats of all Sizes, with several other things, as Hammers, Mauls, Iron-Crows, Spits, and other Domestick Utensils, as came into their Hellish Minds, and this for the space of a Quarter of a Year.

By R.C. Esq.; who was a Sojourner in the same Family the whole time, and an Ocular Witness of these Diabolick Inventions..."

To understand the players in this, one must understand the political upheavals in the Portsmouth area at the time. John Mason had been granted what is now considered the Seacoast Region of New Hampshire in 1629 and started its settlement in 1631. He died in 1635 without making legal arrangement for the administration of his grant. In the meantime, colonists other than those brought by Mason for his settlement had been carving out settlements and farms in the area often with legal titles of their own (conflicting land grants were not wholly uncommon in an area where established settlement was a more important priority in the short run to establishing whose legal claim to a piece of property was true) to the land they had been settling. Mason's widow and infant grandchildren had more pressing concerns of survival and left the settlers to their own devices. The settlers, for their part, were happy to ignore the matter.

Later, the Massachusetts government "...discovered that its own charter could be interpreted to include the territory now settled in New Hampshire..." [Burr, 56] Lands were now granted by the government in Boston or authorities set up by the Boston government in the New Hampshire area. Thus, the widow Mason and her heirs found no legal enforcement or sympathetic ear to their claims. Thus, it remained for years.

In 1660, with the Restoration in England and end of its Civil War, the Mother Country now had the time and energy to enforce treaties, grants and other legal matters in the Colonies. So, by 1680, Mason's grandson Robert "...had not only won from a venal court the rejection of the Massachusetts claim and full recognition of his proprietorship in New Hampshire, but was given a seat in the Council of the royal province in which the colony was now reconstituted and was permitted to nominate its governor and its secretary he named Richard Chamberlain..." [Burr, 56]

Mason, with Chamberlain as friend and apparent toady in the matter, soon set out to enforce his claims to the lands. He (and by association, Chamberlain, who the colonists believed to be the instigator of the actions) earned only "fear and hate" from their actions against the existing colonists. The colonists could keep any "improved lands" provided, of course, they paid "a moderate quit-rent". However, Mason claimed right to take "...all wild lands, including their pastures and their woodlands..." [Burr, 57] and he proceeded to grant them at will. To lose one's pasture and woodlands was disaster for any working farm and, except for a few Quakers, the colonists dug in their heels and refused to capitulate to Mason. [N.B.: I now understand where the New Hampshire mindset came from!]

Richard Mason cut his losses and set sail for England to press his case in English courts and left Richard Chamberlain to face the angry colonists alone. Chamberlain lived with George Walton, a Quaker whose home was "under the guns of the fort" on Great Island (now New Castle), Rockingham co., NH.

Walton's land abutted that of John Amazeen and also that of Hannah [Walford] Jones, wife of Andrew Jones and daughter of Thomas & Jane Walford. (see WALFORD). John Amazeen is described by Burr was "...the illiterate constable of Great Island, [and] one of the most stubborn in refusing to pay dues to Mason..." Also, as we know, he had married Jeremiah Walford's (Hannah's only brother) widow and had a legal case of his own pending against Thomas Walford and the other executor of Jeremiah's estate, since they were refusing to pay Mary her "thirds" of the estate.

As for Walton's relations with Hannah Jones: "...On July 4 1682, Hannah Jones begged the 'advice and relief' of the President and Council 'in regard of George Walton's dealing with her, who falsely accuseth her of what she is clear of, and hath so far prevailed that upon that account your humple petitioner is bound in a bond of the peace; since which said Walton's horse breaks into her pasture and doth her damage.'...[Burr, 60-61] Chamberlain's account of this realtes that the stone-throwing incidents "...did arise upon the account of some small quantity of Land in her Field, which she pretended was unjustly taken...and was her Right; she having been often very clamorous about that Affair, and heard to say, with much Bitterness, that her Neighbour...should never quietly injoy that piece of Ground..." [Burr, 61-2] Chamberlain, in his position as Secretary, placed her under bond in this matter, but was overruled by the Provincial Council. Goodwife Jones was ordered to complain to Captain Sileman 'if she be at any time, during her being bound to the good behavior, injured by the said Geo. Walton.'..." [Burr, 61]

Chamberlain further insinuates that Hannah Jones has been "...suspected and (I think) formerly detected" of witchcraft. This seems to be a case of "guilt by association" with these accusations. Hannah's father Thomas, the first settler in Charlestown, Suffolk co., MA, had gone head-to-head with the Puritan Authorities in the 1630s "for his Anglican tenets" amongst other issues, and finally removed to Portsmouth, Rockingham co., NH. The many tracts of land he acquired and left to his children & grandchildren in his will of 1666 were among those Mason claimed lay within his land grant. George Walton was amongst those to whom Mason granted land "reclaimed" from the settlers another source of friction between Walton & Hannah Jones. In addition, Hannah's mother, Jane, had fought and won every case that came to court accusations of witchcraft for decades. Even after her death, her reputation and that of all five of her daughters was forever linked in the community with witchcraft and was used as a convenient excuse whenever legal or land matters or just neighborly arguing arose.

In short, as is now conjectured about the 1692 Salem Witch Hysteria, these supernatural accusations against Hannah Jones were about land and nothing more.

The arguments and depositions in the case of Jones v. Walton mounted during the summer and fall of 1682. On 31 August 1682, "Elizabeth Clark, aged forty-two, made affidavit to Deputy-President Stileman 'that she heard George Walton say that he believed in his heart and conscience that Grandma Jones was a witch, and would say so to his dying day.' Bur Walton, too, had evidence to offer: on September 4 Samuel Clark testified "that he was present when Goody Jones and Geo. Walton were talking together, and he heard the said Goody Jones call the said Walton a wizard, and that she said, if he told her of her mother, she would throw stones at his head, and this was on Friday, the 25th of August, 1682.'..." [Burr, 61]

Thus, the stage is set for conflict between George Walton, who firmly believes that he and his colleagues Mason & Chamberlain are in the legal right and that Hannah Jones and other members of the Walford & Amazeen clans are, in effect, squatting on Mason's lands. On the other side was Hannah Jones, who, by virtue of her gender, social status and family history, could be perceived as an "easy mark" for a land grab, but who apparently inherited her mother's grit and tenacity in legal disputes.

According the Chamberlain, the episodes started on 11 June 1682 with stones falling seemingly out of nowhere "against the top and all sides of the House." - which is the incident related above and viewed by George Walton from the Fence-Gate to John Amazeen's house. Chamberlain describes in great detail the projectiles and damage caused by them. Incidents continued on Monday the 12th with household objects disappearing, then suddenly coming down the chimney and more stones thrown about the house and fields. Incidents of all sorts -- from tossed stones to holes in Walton's boat to moving household objects and fences & doors which were ripped from their hinges and thrown into fields with a "Noise like a great Gun"-- continued through Wednesday, 9 August 1692 and were witnessed by a great number and variety of people. As the story reads -- and it is a fascinating read -- the incidents sound very much like a case of Poltergeist activity. At any rate, the incidents at the time attracted the attention and full investigation of local authorities & churchmen (hence the attribution to Mather, since the account appears in his papers) and people came from as far as Salem, Essex co., MA to view and review the happenings for themselves. One can only imagine the part, if any, this set of incidents played in the Salem Witch Hysteria 10 years later.

We can only infer that Hannah Jones was not brought to court or punished for the Great Island Stone-Throwing of 1682, since Chamberlain remains completely mum on the matter. However, the land dispute had an interesting denouement: " December, 1682, John Amazeen, the constable, with his step-son Jeremiah Walford and others, came with a warrant from Captain Stileman and arrested George Walton and his helpers for wood-cutting on the lands granted to him by Mason; and that, though Walton carried it to the courts and offered evidence that some of the wood cut for him had been seen in John Amazeen's yard, the jury found for the defendants' cost of court. Walton appealed to the King in Council -- Walford and Amazeen, so wrote Secretary Chamberlain, claiming by a town grant of 1658 and 'the jury being all of them possessed of lands by virtue of town grants'; but, though he gave Edward Randolph power of attorney to prosecute, the appeal was in 1684 dismissed. (Provincial Records, in N.H. Hist. Soc., Collections, VIII.118, and Calendar of State Papers, America and West Indies, 1681-1685, passim.)

At home, however, John Amazeen saw himself made an example of, his live-stock levied on, and himself thrown into prison for his refusal of dues to Mason. Chamberlain lost his secretaryship with the change of government in 1686, but remained as clerk of the courts until 1689, when, with the collapse of the Andros administration, he seems to have returned to England. (Vaughan's Journal, in N.H. Hist. Soc., Collections, VIII.187; N.H. Prov. Papers, I.590,600; Mass. Hist. Soc., Proceedings, XVII.227.)..."

5. iv. Mary WALFORD[1,35] Mary was born in 1634/5 in Great Island (New Castle), Rockingham co., NH[1,26,43]. Mary's birth year is ascertained by various records, most notably her deposition of 27 June 1667, in which she claimed to be "aged 32 years" (indicating a birth year of 1635). Other depositions indicate that she was aged "about 46" in 1680 (indicating a birth year of 1634) and aged "about 72" in 1702 (indicating a birth year of 1630)[1]. 1635 is accepted by Anderson and fits with the estimated birth years of her siblings.

One source says that "Mary is mentioned in father's will, dated 15 Nov 1666 and proved 21 Nov 1666"[1]. However, Thomas estate was inventoried on 21 November 1666 and the will proved on 27 June 1667. A re-reading of Thomas' will (see above) indicates no mention of Mary Brookings, just the aforesaid mystery of the "grandchild Mary Homes".

Before 1660 when Mary was 26, she first married William BROOKINGS[1], in Portsmouth, Rockingham co., NH[26,36,84,85,86,63,87,88]. Anderson says that they were married "by about 1659". William was born circa 1629[36] and died in 1694; he was 65[36].

After 1695 when Mary was 61, she second married William WALKER[1], in Portsmouth, Rockingham co., NH[26,36,89,85,90,91]. Torrey says that the date of their married is "1695?, 1698+". Anderson says that they were married "after 26 November 1694 and before 18 February 1702/3.

6. v. Elizabeth WALFORD Elizabeth was born circa 1635 in Portsmouth, Rockingham co., NH[26]. Circa 1663 when Elizabeth was 28, she married Henry SAVAGE[1], in Portsmouth, Rockingham co., NH[26,36,75,92,93]. Torrey says they were married "by 1666?", Anderson says they were married "by about 1663".

They had the following children (surnamed SAVAGE):
i. Hester SAVAGE is known from her mention in her grandfather Thomas Walford's will of 15 November 1666[26,109]. In it she received " young one [sow] to my grandchild Hester Savidg..."[3]
ii. Mary SAVAGE is known from her mention in her grandfather Thomas Walford's will of 15 November 1666[26,109]. She received " young sow to Mary Savidg my grandchild..."[3]

7. vi. Martha WALFORD[1,35] Martha was born circa 1645 in Great Island (New Castle), Rockingham co., NH[1,26,36,94]. Her birth date is estimated from her deposition of 27 June 1667, where she was aged 22 years. Martha was mentioned in father's will, dated 15 November 1666, inventoried 21 November 1666 and proved 27 June 1667[1,26]. In it she received "...'one sow & one barrow to my daughter Westbrook'..."[3]

Before 1662 when Martha was 17, she first married Thomas HINKSON[1], in Portsmouth, Rockingham co., NH[26,36,75,95]. Thomas died in 1664[36].

They had one children (surnamed HINKSON):
i. Mary HINKSON is known only from the bequest left her by her grandfather Thomas Walford: "...Mary Hingson my grandchild all my upland lying at the head of the marsh formerly possessed by my son-in-law Thomas Hingson..."[110]

Before 1666 when Martha was 21, she second married John WESTBROOK[1], in Weymouth, Norfolk co., MA[26,36,37,63,75,96,97]. Anderson cites her father's will (where she is referred to as "Westbrook" and where various bequests are made to her husband and their son) as proof of this marriage. John, in fact, received a most interesting bequest of Thomas Walford's indentured servant: "...'my servant John Read I dispose of him to my son-in-law John Westbrook for the time he hath to serve'..."[3]

They had one children (surnamed WESTBROOK):
i. John WESTBROOK is known only from the bequest he received in his grandfather Thomas Walford's will: " grandchild John Westebrook twenty acres of upland..."[4]

GENERATION Great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great (G11) Grandfather
SOURCES 1. Amazeen.ged, received from Carolyn Depp in July 2002.

2. Noyes, Sybil, Charles Thornton Libby and Walter Goodwin David, Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, (Portland, ME: Anthosensen Press 1928-1939; rpt Baltimore: Gen. Publ. Co., 1972), [GDMNH], 712-3 (Walford).

3. Anderson, Robert Charles, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633., (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society), [GreatMig.], III:1903.

4. Ibid. III:1902.

5. Savage, James A., A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, 1860-1862., (Boston 1860-1862; rpt Baltimore 1955), [Savage], 4:392

6. [GreatMig.], III:1905-6.

7. Provincial Papers, Documents and Records Relating to the Province of New Hampshire from 1686 to 1722., 40 volumes, ed. Nathaniel Boulton, (Manchester, NH: 1867-1943), [NHPP], 40:129.

8. [GreatMig.], III:1904-5.

9. Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, 1628-1686; 5 volumes in 6, Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, ed. (Boston: 1853-1854), [MCBR], 1:243.

10. [GreatMig.], III:1902,1903.

11. [NHPP], 31:87-92.

12. [GreatMig.], III:1902-3.

13. [NHPP], 31:88.

14. Ibid. 31:89.

15. Ibid. 31:92,224.

16. Coldham, Peter Wilson, The Complete Book Of Emigrants, (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing co., Inc., 1987), [Coldham], 30.

17. Calendars of State Papers, American and Colonial Series, 1574-1660, ed., W. Noel Sainsbury, (Longman & Green: 1860), [CSPC].

18. [Coldham], 31-32.

19. [GreatMig.], II:794.

20. Bradford, William, Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647, ed., Samuel Eliot Morison, (New York: 1952), [Bradford], 133-8.

21. Wyman, Thomas Bellows, The Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown, 2 vols., (Boston: D. Clapp and Son, 1879), [Charlestown], II:990.

22. Shurtleff, Benjamin, The History of the Town of Revere, (Boston: 1937), [Shurtleff-Revere], 26.

23. New Hampshire Province Court Record, manuscript records at New Hampshire Division of Records Management and Archives, Concord, New Hampshire. 26:295.

24. [GreatMig.], I:1902.

25. New Hampshire Provincial Deeds, New Hampshire Division of Records Management & Archives, Concord, New Hampshire. [NHProvDeed]3:54a.

26. [GreatMig.], III:1904.

27. [GDMNH], 385 (Jones).

28. Charlestown Town Records (early Charlestown VRs), [ChTR], 2.

29. Adams, Charles Francis, Three Episodes of Massachusetts History, 2 volumes, (Boston & New York: 1903), [ThreeEpisodes], 161,321,336-7.

30. Charlestown Town Records (early Charlestown VRs), [ChTR], 2,10.

31. [MCBR], 1:86.

32. Ibid. 1:107.

33. [NHPP], 40:57,97,108,143.

34. Ibid. 40:118.

35. [GDMNH], 712-13 (Walford).

36. Torrey, Charles, New England Marriages Prior to 1700., (Boston: New England Historic and Genealogical Society). [Torrey].

37. Stackpole, Everett S., Old Kittery and Her Families, (Lewiston, ME: Lewiston Journal Press, 1903), [Kittery], 34.

38. Chamberlain, George Walter, History of Weymouth, Mass., 4 vols., ([Boston: Wright & Potter Co.], 1923), [Weymouth], 4:722.

39. The Genealogical Magazine, (Salem, Mass.: Salem Press, 1890+), [GenMag or Putnam's Mag.], 1:250.

40. [GDMNH], 712 (Walford).

41. New England Historic and Genealogical Register. Vols. 1+, (Boston: New England Historic and Genealogical Register, 1845+), [NEHGR], 9:220; 43:181; 51:220; 81:139; 84:401.

42. Brackett, Herbert Ierson, Brackett Genealogy: Descendants of Anthony Brackett of Portsmouth and Captain Richard Brackett of Braintree. With Biographies of the Immigrant Fathers, their Sons, and others of their Posterity, (Washington, D.C.: H.I. Brackett, 1907), [Brackett], 54.

43. [NHPP], 40:226.

44. Ibid. 31:92.

45. [GDMNH], 713 (Walford).

46. [GreatMig.], III:1905.

47. [NHPP], 40:38.

48. [NEHGR], 43:181-2.

49. Hall, David D., Witch-Hunting in Seventeenth-Century New England: A Documentary History, 1638-1693., ( 2nd edition - Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1991, 1999), [HallWitch], 95-6.

50. Ibid. 96.

51. Ibid. 97.

52. [NEHGR], 43:812.

53. [NHPP], 40:122.

54. [NEHGR], 43:182-3.

55. [NHPP], 40:258.

56. [NEHGR], 42:182-3.

57. Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, 1648-1706, ed., George L. Burr, (New York, 1914; repr. 1968), [Burr], 61.

58. Karlsen, Carol, The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England, (New York, 1987), [Karlsen], 67.

59. [HallWitch], 95.

60. [GDMNH], 713 (Walford).

61. [NEHGR], 9:9:221; 81:139; 94:353.

62. [GDMNH], 276 (Goss); 544 (Peverly); 713 (Walford).

63. [Weymouth], 4:722.

64. [Savage].

65. [Kittery].

66. [NEHGR], 9:222; 81:139.

67. [GDMNH], 713 (Walford); 276-7 (Goss).

68. [NHPP]. 31:92,115,224.

69. [GDMNH], 64 (Amazeen); 712 (Walford).

70. [NHPP], 31:42.

71. [GDMNH], 712 (Walford).

72. Direct Descendants of John AMAZEEN, Research collected by Norma Karram [], received by Carolyn Depp in Apr 2002. [alternate address =].

73. Research of Charlie Gale [], received by Carolyn Depp in April 2002. (Much of his early data is based on the research of Dana B. Cobb, a descendant of Ephraim AMAZEEN and Hannah TARLTON.)

74. [GDMNH], 64(Amazeen); 712(Walford); 80-81(Batchelder).

75. [NEHGR], 9:221.

76. Pierce, Frederick Clifton, Batchelder, Batcheller Genealogy Descendants of Rev. Stephen Bachiler of England...Who Settled the Town of New Hampton, N.H. and Joseph, Henry, Joshua, and John Batcheller, of Essex Co., Mass., (Chicago: W. B. Conkey Co., 1898), [Batchelder], 41.

77. [Weymouth], 4:732.

78. [GDMNH], 712 (Walford).

79. Harrison, Metcalf Henry and Hammond Otis Grant, New Hampshire State Papers: Probate Records of the Province of New Hampshire, [NHStatePapers], I(31):467. 80.[GDMNH], 712 (Walford); 80-81 (Batchelder).

81. Ibid. 64.

82. Ibid. 384 (Jones); 713 (Walford).

83. [Kittery], 34-6.

84. Ham, John R., Dover, New Hampshire Marriages, 1623-1823, (Dover, NH., 1880-1902), typescript, [DoverNHMar], 18.

85. [Kittery], 35.

86. [Savage], I:259

87. [GDMNH], 112 (Brookings); 713 (Walford).

88. [NEHGR], 6:232; 9:220.

89. [Savage], I:259

90.[GDMNH], 112 (Brookings); 713 (Walford); 714 (Walker).

91. [NHPP], 31:403-4.

92. [GDMNH], 609 (Savage); 713 (Walford).

93. [Kittery], 935.

94. [NHPP], 31:90; 40:226.

95. [GDMNH], 113,140,338.

96. Ibid. 339 (Hinkson); 713 (Walford); 740 (Westbrook).

97. [NHPP], NH Probate, volumes 31-39. [referred to in Torrey as "NH Prob 1:76,90"].

98. [GDMNH], 488 (Moore).

99. Ibid. 488 & 490 (Moore).

100. Ibid. 488, 712.

101. [NEHGR], 109:303.

102. [GDMNH], 107.

103. Ibid. 448 (Moore).

104. Ibid. 448 (Moore); 362 (Hunnewell).

105. Ibid. 488 (Moore); 336 (Hilton).

106. Ibid. 488 (Moore); 313 (Harris).

107. Ibid. 488 (Moore).

108. Ibid. 362 (Hunnewell).

109. Ibid. 609 (Savage).

110. [GreatMig.], III:1902-3.

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