Sergt. Thomas Putnam1

b. 12 March 1651/52, d. 24 May 1699
Sergt. Thomas Putnam|b. 12 Mar 1651/52\nd. 24 May 1699|p9914.htm|Lieutenant Thomas Putnam|b. 7 Mar 1614/15\nd. 5 May 1686|p1450.htm|Ann Holyoke|d. 1 Sep 1665|p1451.htm|John Putnam|b. 17 Jan 1579/80\nd. 30 Dec 1662|p9900.htm|Priscilla (—?—) (Putnam)||p9901.htm|Edward Holyoke|||Prudence Stockton|||

1st cousin 8 times removed of Ruth Minerva Fairfield.
1st cousin 10 times removed of Laura Jane Munson.
Family Background:
Fairfield and Allied Families
     Sergt. Thomas Putnam was born 12: 1 mo: 1652 (12 March 1651/52) in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts.1 He was the son of Lieutenant Thomas Putnam and Ann Holyoke.1 He was baptized 16: 2 mo: 1652 (16 April 1652) in First Church, Salem.1 He married Ann Carr, daughter of George Carr and Elizabeth (—?—), 25: 9 mo: 1678 (25 November 1678).2 He died on 24 May 1699 in Salem at age 47.2
     The following is quoted from A History of the Putnam Family:
     Sergt. Thomas Putnam had received a liberal education for his times, but with others whom we should call more enlightened, he took a most prominent part in the witchcraft delusion of 1692, being in fact, second to none but Parris in the fury with which he scemed to ferret out the victims of his young daughter's insane desire for notoriety. His wife also took a prominent part in those proceedings. She was the sister of Mary Carr, wife of Mr. James Bayley, whose ministry at the village was the cause of so much dissension and which indirectly added to the bitterness of the witchcraft persecutions.

     By nature, Mrs. Putnam was a woman of a highly sensitive temperament, apparently easily wrought upon and deceived. The Carrs seem all to have been rather weak in that respect, although of good social position.

     Sergeant Putnam, on the contrary, was of a decisive and obstinate nature; he had great influence in the village and did not hesitate to use it; he had been in the Narragansett fight, belonged to the company of troopers and was parish clerk. Many of the records of the witchcraft proceedings are in his hand. He wrote a fine, clear and beautiful hand.

     It was in the houses of Sergt. Thomas and of Rev. Mr. Parris that the "bewitched" children first met to accomplish their pranks. In the "circle" were the daughter Ann, and a maid-servant of Mrs. Ann Putnam, Mary Lewis by name.

     Afterward, at the trials of the accused persons, Mrs. Putnam was often seized with strange attacks of imagination, evidently produced by the over-excitement and consequent strain on her brain. At these times she was a prominent witness, but after this was all over and Parris was attempting to retain his hold on the parish and to dicker with the inhabitants over terms of settlement, she seems to have refused to him her aid or encouragement.

     That Sergeant Putnam and probably his wife were firm believers in the whole matter there seems to be but little doubt. He showed a lamentable lack of common sense, but so did many others. The strain was too much for him and he died shortly after the trials; his wife followed him to the grave a few weeks later.3
     Sergt. Thomas Putnam had twelve children, all born at Salem Village.2

Child of Sergt. Thomas Putnam and Ann Carr


  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), 7.
  2. [S901] Eben Putnam, Putnam Genealogy, 38.
  3. [S901] Eben Putnam, Putnam Genealogy, 38-39.