Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Fellow geneablogger Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued the
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Basically, we have to post something every
week on a different ancestor, whether a story, picture, or research problem. For
this prompt I've tried to concentrate on ancestors I haven't researched as much
as I have others in my family tree. This week my subject is my 10x great grandfather
Thomas Taylor.

Up until now I had no information about Thomas Taylor ither than the fact his wife
was named Elizabeth and that they were the parents of my ancestor, the exotically
named Seabred Taylor. I took note of the anniversary Seabred's death (14Jul 1714)
yesterday as part of my daily On This Date post on Facebook. I decided to see what
I could discover on the internet about Thomas. Regrettably, most of the hits I found
on Googlebooks were "Snippet" views. I did find this, though, in a family genealogy
of another family descended from him:

Thomas1 Taylor was b. about 1620 and first appears in New England at Charlestown where his wife Elizabeth was admitted to the First Church 8 Jan. 1638/9. He lived in Watertown, 1641-1649. He purchased a house and land in Reading (the part now Wakefield) of Sara, the daughter of Ralph Roote who received it by gift from Edward Whitfield of Reading and the General Court confirmed his title to it, 19 Oct. 1649. (Massachusetts Bay Records, 2: 283 and 3: 181.) His wife Elizabeth d. at Reading, 18 Jan. 1650. He called himself 36 yrs. of age in 1655/6 and d. at Reading, 29 Jan. 1690/1. His son (1) Seabred Taylor, b. at Watertown, 11 March 1642. (2) Thomas2 Taylor, Jr., b. before 1650; d. at Reading, 4 April 1691. (3) Benoni Taylor, d. at Reading, 18 Feb. 1650. The father was made a freeman of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, 26 May 1647. His Watertown homestall he sold to Justinian Holden of Cambridge, 9 Nov. 1660.
 Descendants of Thomas Wellman of Lynn, Massachusetts  By Joshua Wyman Wellman, George Walter Chamberlain, Arthur Holbrook Wellman

So now I at least know he lived and died in Reading, Ma, and I now have a death
date that I verified at the Early Vital Records of Massachusetts website.

I discovered something else while Googling the family. As I said, I'm descended
from Seabred Taylor. I found this short entry:

According to the law establishing the Superior Court, it sat at Charlestown for Middlesex, on the 31st of January, 1693. Present, as appears by the record, all the justices.. The grand jury being sworn refused bills upon several presentments for witchcraft, and returned indictments against five only ; and these were called up and tried in the following order :—

Mary Toothaker, whose indictment has already been transcribed into these letters.

Mary Taylor, wife of Seabred Taylor of Reading. She was indicted for covenanting with the devil, and by writing her name upon a piece of birch bark in confirmation of said covenant.

Sarah Cole, wife of John Cole of Lynn ; indicted for afflicting one Mary Brown of Reading, on the 6th of September, 1692.

Lydia Dastin, of Reading. Indicted for afflicting Mary Marshall of Maiden, in May, the same year.

Sarah Dastin, of Reading ; indicted for tormenting Elizabeth Weston, a young woman of the same town.

Historical Letters on the First Charter of Massachusetts Government (Google eBook) by Abel Cushing  J. N. Bang, printer, 1839 - Massachusetts

So I have another accused witch in my family tree!

1 comment:

Pam Carter said...

That's really interesting! I have Seaborn but not a Seabred ancestor - Seabred sounds like too much information to me! I'm behind again in the 52 ancestors challenge but I will get back at it soon.