from Bill Putman
Notes for BENJAMIN PUTNAM:
Captain Benjamin Putnam married, according to Col. Perl ey Putnam, 25 Aug.,
1686, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Putnam, but on the Salem records, the
births of his children are recorded and it is there stated that they wer e by wife
Hanna. Captain married second, 1 July, 1706, Sarah Holton. Benjamin Putna m
was a prominent man in Salem, and held many town offices. He had always t he
title of Mr. unless other titles are given. He held the positions of Lieu tenant and
Captain (1706-1711). From the time he was chosen tything man at the Villa ge in
1695-6, hardly a year passed but what he was honored by his fellow townsm en.
He was constable and collector in 1700. He was constantly chosen tythin g man
and surveyor of Highways at the Village. He was one of the selectman in 1 703-
1713 and that his judgement was considered of value in shown by the frequ ency
with which he was returned to the Grand and Petit Juries. His last appear ance
on the Salem records was in 1712 when he was one of those chosen to
perambulate the bounds between Salem and Topsfield. On 30 Dec., 1709, he
was chosen deacon of the church at the Village. On 25 July, 1713, Rev. Jo seph
Green in his diary mentions the fact of his calling on Landlord Putnam an d that
he was very sick and out of his head. This was the beginning of the end , for he
died in 1714 or 1715.
In regard to his part in the witchcraft delusion it ca n be summed up thus : The
Goods were dependents in his family and when the indemnities were paid b y the
General Court to the heirs of those accused and imprisoned and murdered,
William Good through the instrumentality of Benjamin Putnam obtained a ve ry
large proportion, Mr. Upham thinks more than his share. Among the signatu res
to the certificate of character of Rebecca Nurse both those of Benjamin a nd his
wife Sarah are found. He never seems to have appeared as a witness of any
account and probably steered clear as far as he was able, of the whole af fair.
The title Landlord was one often given to the eldest living Putnam.
The following entries are as yet unexpalined, diligent search among the s tate
archives failing to reveal the reason of Benjamin Putnam's imprisonment.& #160; These
entries are also from Rev. Joseph Green's journal.1707, June 16. News of
Captain Putnam having come to Marblehead June 17. Our country in great
confusion. Some for the army, others against it. I went to Boston to ye G overnor
to release Benj. Putnam. Sept. 21. Sab. 7 baptized. Discoursed Capt. Putn am at
night. The Rev. Joseph Green often alludes to Benjamin Putnam in his diar y.
1708, July 29, I went with B. Putnam to Reading to Deacon Fitches, to spe nd ye
day in prayer for him, he being almost blind, and old Mr. Weston quite bl ind, and
other disconsolate deaf. Mr. Pierpont began, I prayed, Dea. Fitch, Landlo rd
Putnam and Dea. Bancroft then sang 146 Psalm and I concluded with a short
prayer and blessing. During the following August there was more or less a nxiety
from attacks by the Indians at Haverhill. Oct. 23. I went with Major Sewa ll and
Capt. Putnam to Haverhill. Dec. 30 (1709). Benj. Putnam chosen deacon by
every vote except his own. March 1 (1711). Ye church kept a Fast at ye ho use of
Dea. Benj. Putnam. May 4 (1711). Chh. meeting rec'vd to full communio n . . . ye
wife of Dea. Ben. Putnam. May 10. I went to Capt. Putnam's house raising . Mar.
17 (1713). I visited Dea. Ben. Putnam who is ill with a fall. July 25. Vi sited
Landlord Putnam, very sick and out of his head. At the time covered by th e
above extracts, there were several Capt. Putnams John, Jonathan, Nathanie l,
and as in the case above Benjamin, it is possible that some of the extrac ts may
refer to Jonathan, who was extremely active at this time. The will of Ben jamin
Putnam is dated 28 Oct., 1706, proved 25 April, 1715. He gives to his so n Daniel
(minister at Reading) for his learnig. Overseers, Uncle John Putnam and C apt
Jona. Putnam. All his children but Josiah are here mentioned. 30 June, 17 15.
The children of Benjamin who were of age, Tarrant, Benjamin, Robert
Hutchinson, Elizabeth Hutchinson entered into an agreement. April 1, 1717 ,
Cornelius chose his brother Nathaniel his guardian.
WILL OF BENJAMIN PUTNAM
In the Name of God Amen I Benj Putnam of Salem in ye Co unty of Essex in ye
province of the Mass Bay in New England being in perfect health of sound
memory Blefsed be God for it. yet Considering my own mortality Doe make T his
my Last Will Testament In Forme and Manner Following Imps I Give np my So ul
to God my Body to Decent buriall hopeing for a glorious refurrection in t hro
Jesus Crist my Redeemr. and as for yt estate yt God hath bestowed upon m e I
give Bequeath in Manner following I Give to Sarah my beloved wife fifty p ounds
in or as Money to be payed within five years after my decease by my Exers
hereafter named Also ye use of ye lower room in ye west end of my house h alfe
ye Cellar under it during her widowhood.
Item I give this ffarme I now dweel upon to my Two elde st sons Nathaniel Tarrant
with all the buildings fences thereon to be equally Divided between the m only
Nathaniel shall have twenty acres above halfe They paying as is hereafter
Item I give to Benjamin, Stephen my two sons My part o f Davenports Farm ; also
my part of the meadow that belongs to said farme, also ye land adjoinin g to
the meadow yt I bought of Mr. Israel Porter to be equal ly divided between them
both land Meadow they paying as hereafter is expressed.
Item I Give to my son Israel That land which I bought o f Mr. Minziefs belongeing
to Mr Humpherys farme alfo that six acres of meadow ground which I bough t of
my brother John Putnam belongeing to Grigeles his farme.
Item I Give to my son Daniell one hundred and fifty pou nds in or as money To be
payed by my Two sons Nathaniel and Tarrant equally betweene them as he sh all
neade it in his Larning or when he comes of age If he do not take to Lare ning.
Also my sons Nathaniell and Tarant shall pay fifty pounds Willed to my wi fe as
bove said and also fourty pounds to their sister Elizabeth and also twent y
pounds to their brother Cornelius when they com of age each their part. < /div>
Item My Will is that my son Cornelius be put out to lar ne som good Trade and
that his brothers Benjamin and Stephen shall pay him Six Score pounds i n or as
mony within Three years after he comes of age That is forurty pounds a ye are
To be Equally to be payed betweene Them.
Item I Give to my Daughter Elizabeth Sixty pounds to b e payed out of my
household goods at my decees proportunalle of everything to be apprised t o Her
and the Remainder of my Household goods with my out dores Vseing Tooles I
give to my Two sons Nathaniel and Tarrant.
Item All my Stock of what Kinde soever I give to be equ ally devided amonges all
my children except my son Daniel.
Item I do appoint my two sons Nathaniel and Tarrant t o be Joynte Executors of
this my will and my will is that if any of my children dye before they co m of age
that theire parte or portion shall be equally devided between the servivo rs I Do
desire and apointe my Well beloued frinds my brother John Putnam and my
Cozen Jonathan Putnam to be the Ouerfeers of this my will and I do requir e all
my children to sett down by the advice of my overfeers whare there my ari se any
mifsunderstanding of my will
In Testemony that this is my last Will and Testemen t I have hereunto set my
hand and seale This Twenty eight day of October in the year of our Lord
Seventen hundred and six
Signed and Seeled published and declared in presence o f us Wittnesses
Hannah X Roberds
Apprais and Allowed befr Hon Jno Appleton at Court at I pswich April 25 1715
Endorsed Will of Leut Putnam
Note: There is much doubt as to the marriage of Benjami n with a daughter of
Thomas Putnam; it is more than likely his first wife was a Tarrant. His s econd
wife was the widow of Benjamin Holton, of Salem Village. (NOTE: Putnam
Leaflets, Vol. 1, No. 1, page 3.) On the Salem records, the births of hi s children
are recorded and it is there stated that they were by wife Hanna. His fir st wife
died 21 December 1705; married, second 1 July 1706, Sarah Holton. Capt.
Benjamin Putnam, Salem, Mass., B. 1664; d. curca 1715. Was Lieutenant and
Caption, 1706-11, of Salem Company. m. probably Hannah Tarrant. [From
Colonial Families in the United States, Vol. 3]1. Birth date given as 2 4 Dec.,
1664 in History of Salem Ma., Vol II, Page 109, FTM CD#117.