Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

My Salem Roots

on October 21, 2013

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WITCH HOUSE — SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS

(click to enlarge)

I’ve always felt a strong pull towards Salem, Massachusetts, but I didn’t understand why until I began researching my family history. As it turns out, my 12th great-grandfather was Reverend Samuel Skelton, the first Pastor of the Puritan First Church of Salem. The church, established as part of the Anglican Church, later split off and became the Second Independent Congregational Church in New England. This split enabled the Pilgrims and Puritans to unite as one colony — the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Reverend Skelton died in 1634, so he missed the Salem Witch Trials. His daughter Mary and her husband, Nathaniel Felton, spoke out against the trials and signed petitions of innocence in favor of John Proctor, George Jacobs, and Rebecca Nurse. In spite of their efforts, nineteen people hanged, unjustly convicted of witchcraft. I think of these people every Halloween and admire the courage they showed in the face of such intense hysteria.

CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

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SALEM WITCH TRIALS (HAWTHORNE)

First Church of Salem marker

 PURITAN FIRST CHURCH OF SALEM MARKER

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PURITAN FIRST CHURCH OF SALEM – NOW A UNITARIAN CHURCH

John Proctor Petition

PETITION TO FREE JOHN PROCTOR

Rebecca Nurse Petition

PETITION TO FREE REBECCA NURSE

Text copyright 2013 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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2 responses to “My Salem Roots

  1. Angela says:

    If he is your 12th great Grandfather then I think we are related somehow. This is what my mother sent me one day.
    When the next time you visit the Witches in Salem you might feel a little diff. knowing you have a connection. Rev. Samuel Skelton, 1591-1634,First. Pastor of First Church of Salem,was married to Susanna Travis. Their dau. Susanna Skelton,1620-1695, married Rev. John Marsh. And,their daughter Elizabeth Mary Marsh bn. 1646,married John Benson Jr. a direct descendant of ours. Son of John Benson Sr. and Mary Williams who arrived here in 1638 .
    Roger Williams,founder of Rhode Island studied under Rev. Samuel Skelton.
    John Marsh was appointed by Gov. Endicott (Dedham Mansion one,ha ha) to start the First Puritan Church in Salem. Google these people,lots of History! I am sure you will find a witch somewhere in these families. Your loving mother

    Just like you I have always loved Salem and felt drawn to it. I just thought it was cool how you said you were related to him and I thought I would share.

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