Samuel Martin was born 1645 in Gloucester, the only son of Mary Pindar and Solomon Martin, a shipwright. In 1648 Samuel's sister, Mary, was born and his mother died soon thereafter. A few months later his father, Solomon Martin, married Alice Farnum, widow of Ralph Farnum, 1st of Ipswich, MA. Alice was twelve years older than Solomon and already had seven children ranging in age from four to twenty. In 1653, Alice and Solomon moved to Andover. Alice's two oldest sons, Thomas Farnum and Ralph Farmun 2nd also moved to Andover. Solomon continued his career and went out on voyages in his capacity as ship carpenter. In 1662 he was reported as absent from the country seven years--presumed dead on a voyage across the seas.
Alice could barely manage the farm and meet expenses. At the age of 17, her stepson, Samuel Martin, became rebellious, and the court placed him under the guardianship of Nathan Parker, an original proprietor of Andover and a learned man. Parker was to oversee the restoration of the Martin lands, which he managed to his own profit. Nathan Parker, a strict man, angered Samuel. The resentment reappeared in 1692 when Samuel Martin was one of the consiprators who accused Nathan Parker's widow, Mary Ayer Parker, of witchcraft.
In 1676 Samuel Martin married Abigail Norton in Andover. Abigail, born in 1651, was the daughter of Mary and George Norton. After George's death, Mary married widower Phillip Fowler of Ipswich, who was the maternal grandfather of Christopher Osgood of Andover. The children of Abigail and Samuel Martin included:
son, Abraham d. 1713 at Ipswich
daughter, Abigail Martin Jr. born 1676 in Andover--md. John Safford
daughter, Mary Martin md. John Bolles
daughter, Sarah Martin, b. 1689 at Ipswich; md. Freegrace Norton 1713; d. 1785 at Suffield. (My ancestor)
at least three other children
In 1692, Samuel Martin 47, husbandman, and his wife, Abigail, and children were living in the north part of Andover. Abigail was pregnant with their seventh child. It was at this time that the Andover Witch Hunt conspiracy took place. The Andover conspiracy set three objectives:
1. In 1692 the families of the original settlers still firmly controlled the town. Those conspirators excluded from this privileged group had grown increasingly resentful. The first and fundamental objective of the conspiracy was to break the established power structure of the town. The Andover witch hunt became primarily an attack against the old proprietary families. The three Salem magistrates were interested in any land or property that could be obtained in the process.
2. The second objective of the Andover conspiracy was to discredit the Rev. Francis Dane and his family. A younger minister, Thomas Barnard, wanted Dane's position for himself, and to this end Barnard had become locked in a never-ending struggle over salary and doctrine. In the summer of 1692, the conspiracy did not dare accuse Dane directly, but instead accused a large number of his family, both immediate and extended.
3. The third objective was to use the witchcraft accusations as a means of gaining revenge and settling old grudges.
The madness of the Andover witch hunt took place over a period of about eight weeks from July 15 to September 7, 1692. Nearly fifty residents of Andover were complained of and arrested in that short period. The Andover circle of afflicted girls were as effective as their Salem Village counterparts.
The Rev. Thomas Barnard and Thomas Chandler made no legal complaints. Like the Salem Village witch hunt, the Andover witch hunt was driven not by uncontrolled mass hysteria, but by the planned and deliberate actions of a conspiracy. The following table lists the Andover conspirators and members of the afflicted circle:
The Rev. Thomas Barnard, aged 34
Thomas Chandler, aged 65
Joseph Ballard, aged 50 Elizabeth (Phelps) Ballard, aged 46
Samuel Phelps, aged 41 Sarah Phelps Jr., aged 9
Daniel Bigsby, aged 41 Hannah (Chandler) Bigsby, aged 35
Robert Swan, Jr., aged 35
Timothy Swan, aged 29
John Swan, aged 24 Timothy Swan, aged 29
Moses Tyler, aged 51
Joseph Tyler, aged 21 Martha Sprague, aged 16
Ephriam Foster, aged 35 Hannah (Eames) Foster, aged 31
Rose Foster, aged 14
Samuel Martin, aged 47 Abigail Martin, Jr. aged 16
More of the Rev. Dane's family, immediate and estended were attacked than any other family in
the entire Salem witchcraft persecution. The execution of the Rev. George Burroughs and the
accusations against the Dane family were part of the plan to make examples of tolerant and
liberal Puritan clergymen who were deviating too far from the orthodox line. The persecutors
showed no mercy to the clergy and their families. Indeed the treatment of the Dane and
Burroughs families was vicious to an unparalleled degree.
On January 8, 1692, Ralph Farnum, 2nd, who was Samuel Martin's stepbrother, died at Andover.
John Farnum and Ralph Farnum 3rd, sons of Ralph 2nd, testified against Martha (Allen) Carrier on
June 28 and again on July 30. On August 25 Samuel Martin and Moses Tyler filed a complaint
against William Barker, Sr., Mary Barker, and Mary (Osgood) Marston for afflicting Abigail
Martinm Jr., Rose Foster, and Martha sprague. Mary (Osgood) Marston was the daughter of
Christopher Osgood. (Christopher's grandfather was Phillip Fowler--second husband of Mary
Barber--who was the mother of Freegrace Norton. Freegrace md. Samuel Martin's daughter,
Sarah and they were parents of Abigail Norton, wife of Nehemiah Harmon.)
On August 29 Samuel Martin and Moses Tyler filed a complaint against Elizabeth (Dane)
Johnson and her daughter Abigail Johnson for afflicting Abigail Martin, Jr. and Martha Sprague.
On August 30, Elizabeth (Dane) Johnson confessed that she afflicted Sarah Phelps and three of
Samuel Martin's children and that her sister Abigail (Dane) Faulkner and Sarah Parker joined
in afflicting them. About August 31 Sarah Wardwell, Sarah Hawkes, Mercy Wardwell, William
Barker, Jr., and Mary (Ayer) Parker (who was widow of the Nathan Parker who had been given
guardianship over the rebellious 17 year old Samuel Martin) were complained of for afflicting
Abigail Martin, Jr., Rose Foster, and Martha Sprague.
On September 7, 1692, Abigail Martin, Jr., and Ralph Farnum 3rd were members of the afflicted
circle at the Andover touch test. Abigail (Wheeler) Barker and Mary (Lovett) Tyler were
indicted for practicing and exercising witchcraft against Ralph Farnum 3rd .
On September 22, 1692, Mary (Ayer) Parker, widow of Nathan Parker, was hanged at Salem.
Her daughter Sarah had been imprisoned on August 19. Another daughter, Hannah Parker had
married in 1682, John Tyler, brother of Moses Tyler. A third daughter, Elizabeth Parker, had
married in 1684 John Farnum--brother of the afflicted Ralph 3rd.
Abigail Martin was afflicted by 13 persons. At the grand jury she testified against Samuel
Wardwell. She signed three indictments--those of William Barker Sr., Mary Barker, and Mary
(Osgood) Marston. This Abigail grew up and married John Safford. Her sister, Sarah, married
Freegrace Norton and is our ancestor. Sarah and Freegrace named one of their daughters
Abigail--probably after this Aunt. Abigail Norton, the daughter, married Nehemiah Harmon.
In 1696, Ensign Samuel Martin died at Andover, aged 51.
SOURCES: Salem Witchcraftand Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables by Enders A.
Salem Witchcraft Genealogy
The Ancestral File lists two possible wives for George Norton, father of Freegrace. One is Mary
Barber and the other is Mary Barker. In light of the witchcraft conspiracy, I feel inclined to
research the Barker family to see if there is a connection.