John Putnam1

b. 17 January 1579/80, d. 30 December 1662
John Putnam|b. 17 Jan 1579/80\nd. 30 Dec 1662|p9900.htm|Nicholas Putnam|b. c 1540\nd. 1598|p9933.htm|Margaret Goodspeed|b. 16 Aug 1556|p9934.htm|||||||John Goodspeed||p9936.htm|Elizabeth (—?—) (Goodspeed)||p9937.htm|

8th great-grandfather of Ruth Minerva Fairfield.
10th great-grandfather of Laura Jane Munson.
Family Background:
Fairfield and Allied Families
Appears on charts:
Pedigree for Ruth Minerva Fairfield
     John Putnam was baptized on 17 January 1579/80 in Wingrave, Buckinghamshire, England.1,3 He was the son of Nicholas Putnam and Margaret Goodspeed.2 He married Priscilla, perhaps Priscilla Gould, in England. He died suddenly 30: 10 mo: 1662 (30 December 1662) in Salem Village, Essex County, Massachusetts. His grandson Edward wrote in 1733 that "He ate his supper, went to prayer with his family and died before he went to sleep."4,5
     John Putnam, the elder immigrant of that name, was living in Aston Abbotts as late as 1627 when his youngest child John was baptized, but exactly when he came to New England has not been established. Traditionally he arrived in 1634, but that date is questionable, and apparently unprovable, as he doesn't appear in colonial records until 1640/41 when in Salem "At a meeting the 20th of the 11th moneth" there was
Graunted to John Putnam [here 'ffiftie' is erased] one hundred acres of "land at the head of Mr. Skeltons ffarme between it & Elias "Stileman the elder his ffarme, if there be an hundred acres of "it. And it is in exchange of one hundred acres wch was "graunted to the said John Putnam formerly & if it fall out "that there be not so much there then to be made up neere "Liuetennt Dauenports hill to be layd out by the towne. And "tenne acres of meadow in the meadow called the pine meadow if it be not there formerly graunted to others."
This, the first certain record of John Putnam in New England, seems to prove that he came before 1640/41, but unfortunately a record of the earlier grant has never been found.

     The town of Salem, in 1644, voted that a patrol of two men be appointed each Lord's day to walk forth during worship and take notice of such who did not attend service and who were idle, etc., and to present such cases to the magistrates; all of those appointed were men of standing in the community. For the 9th day, John Putnam and John Hathorne were appointed.

     In 1647 John Putnam was admitted to the church in Salem, six years later than his wife. He was made a freeman the same year.

     In deeds he styles himself "Yeoman," and once, in 1655, "husbandman." The deeds on record show that he wrote in a fair hand. He was exceedingly well off for those times, but disposed of most of his estate to his sons before his death, reserving only enough for maintenance.6

Additional Data
John Putnam, oldest son and heir, was named joint executor with his mother, of his father Nicholas Putnam's will dated 1 January 1597/98.7 Click to view image

Children of John Putnam and Priscilla (—?—) (Putnam)


  1. [S901] Eben Putnam, A History of the Putnam Family in England and America, Volume I, Recording the Ancestry and Descendants of John Putnam of Danvers, Mass., Jan Poutman of Albany, N.Y., Thomas Putnam of Hartford, Conn. (Salem: The Salem Press, 1891), 3.
  2. [S901] Eben Putnam, Putnam Genealogy, xliv.
  3. [S901] Eben Putnam, Putnam Genealogy, xlvi.
  4. [S852] Essex Institute, Vital Records of Salem, Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849 (Salem: Newcomb & Gauss, Printers, 1916-1925), 6: 170.
  5. [S901] Eben Putnam, Putnam Genealogy, 3, 5.
  6. [S901] Eben Putnam, Putnam Genealogy, 3-6.
  7. [S901] Eben Putnam, Putnam Genealogy, xlv.