Early Life

Lt. Thomas Putnam was born on March 8, 1615 in Aston Abbotts, Buckinghamshire, England to John Putnam and Priscilla Gould. The town of Salem, Massachusetts granted him 50 acres of upland and 5 acres of meadow on November 20, 1640. Thomas was admitted to the church in Salem on April 3, 1643. He married Ann Holyoke on October 17, 1643 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts.


Thomas Putnam and two others were appointed by the court in Lynn, Massachusetts on June 18, 1645 to end small cases for the town. This commission was renewed on May 20, 1648, to end small cases under 20 shillings. On September 11, 1648, Thomas was chosen to be Grand juryman in Salem and on October 10, 1655 was chosen constable. The office of constable at the time carried great authority and covered the entire local affairs. Thomas Putnam was also the first parish clerk at Salem Village and was prominent in the local military and ecclesiastical, as well as town affairs. Thomas Putnam held other offices, including "Layer out of Highways," "Inspector of Bridges," "to care for rates for the minister," and others.

On November 29, 1658, "Jefferey Massey, Thomas Putnam, Nathanial Putnam and Joseph Hutchensen are empowered, or any three of them, to join with Topsfield, Massachusetts about the Runninge and setlenge and full endinge of our sixe mile line in the extent of it in so many places as they shall see meet, for a full conclusion of the worke." On that same day, the General Court confirmed Thomas' apponitment as Lieutenant in the troop of horse.

Ann died in 1665 and so Thomas remarried to Mary Vern (Veren?) on October 14, 1666 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts.

On October 8, 1672, the General Court permitted the inhabitants of Salem Farms to become a separate parish. Thomas was made chairman of the committee chosen to carry on the affairs of the parish (November 11, 1672), and on November 25, 1680, it was voted "that Lt. Thomas Putnam and Jonathan Wolcott supply the place of deacons for ensueing;" They help the office until December 27, 1681.

In 1679, Thomas gave to the Reverend James Barley, upon his retirement from the ministry at Salem Village, three acres of meadow.

In 1682, occurs the first list of tax payers of Salem Village. Of the 94 names listed, Thomas was by far the wealthiest Besides inheriting a double portion of his father's estate, he by his marriage with Mary Veren came into possession of considerable amount of property in Jamaica and Barbados. The homestead of Thomas although much enlarged is still standing and is now known as the "General Israel Putnam house." This house is situated a little east of Hathorne's Hill in the northern part of Danvers, not far from the Asylum, and was occupied by his widow in 1692. Here also his son Joseph lived during his opposition to the witchcraft proceedings.

Thomas Putnam's will is dated February 8, 1682/83. He gave the eastern half of his land to his son Thomas, the western half to his son Joseph. Another estate on the western side of St. Peter's street, to the north of Federal, he gives to Deacon Edward. To each of his children he gives a large estate in Salem Village and a valuable piece of meadow land. To a faithful servant Joseph Stacey, he gives eleven acres. The children by his first wife attempted, unsuccessfully, to break this will, claiming that undue influence was used to obtain for Joseph more than his share of the estate.

Mr. Upham in his Salem Witchcraft thus sums up the character and position of Thomas Putnam in contrast with his brothers "Possessing a large property by inheritance, he was not quite so active in increasing it, but enjoying the society and friendship of the leading men lived a more retired life. At the same time he was always ready to serve the community when called for as he often was, when occasion arose for the aid of his superior intelligence and personal influence, " also in writing about the settlement of the "Farms" he says, "The Putnams followed up Beaver Brook to Beaver Dam, and spread out toward the north and west."

Thomas Putnam died on May 5, 1686 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. His will was proved on July 8, 1686 in Boston, Massachusetts.


Know all men by these presents, That I Thomas Putnam Senr of Salem, being Ancient & sencible of the declining of old age, & weakness & sumptoms of mortality daily atending upon me, but being of sound mind & memory blessed be Gog, doe make this my last will & testament, this 8th day of february Anno Dom. 1682/3 as followeth

Impr I give my soule into the hands of Jesus Christ in whome I hope to live forever, and my body to the earth, In hope of a Glorious resurection with him when this vild body shalbe made like unto his Glorious body and for the estate God hath given me, in his world, (my depts being paid), I dispose of as followeth.

It. I give & bequeath to my son Thomas putnam & to his hears & assignes the dwelling house he now lives in, with the Barne & oarchards, with all the land belonging there to containing by estimation, one hundred & fifty acres, be it more or lesse, according as it lyes bounded, as is heareafter exsprest, viz: from Hathorns medow as the water runs out of the medow, till it comes into Ipswich River, then from the bound by the river to the end of the Iland, to the great black oak betwixt my Cozen John Putnams land & mine, from thence to Cromwells bound tree, & from thence to a walnut tree & a Litle red oak where lyes a heape of stones, the trees being falen down, which is alsoe the bounds betixt Joshua Rens land & this land, & from thence to Reas bounds, that is a red oake where lyes stones: & from thence to another heape of stones, & from thence to the fence at Hathorns medow, where is a tree marked by the fence, & from thence with or along by the fence, all the upland & swamp, till it comes to the place where the water comes out of the medow, And from thence my Spong of medow on the other side the brooke, & the upland on Jonathan Knites his side, till it comes to a marked tree, neere the said Knights Corner of his field next Beare hill, & then Crosse the swamp, to the cart way that is at the lower end, of the flaggy meddow, & to take in all the meddow, & to run by the swamp, not over Andever waye, till it comes at the tree where is three rocks & the tree marked, & the tree is to the westward of the rockes: on the north side, where Andever high way turnes, & from thence to the bound where I Joyne to Topsfield men, & soe to the River; till I meet mr. Bayles meddow at the Spring, that runs into the River, a little above the bridg, & from the bridg, Andever Road to be the bounds to the tree, where is three stones, at the turne of the waye, & from thence to two trees marked at the ridg of Top of the hill, that lyes on the right hand of the path as wee come from the bridg Thomas Putnams house, and from the two trees to a great rock that is neere Hathorns brooke where Thomas & Edward are to make a bridge over the brook against the corner of Thomas his field by his Barne, within which bounds is included a pcell of land, containing about fifty acres lying by the River, which said fifty acres alsoe I give & bequeath to my said son Thomas his heirs & assignes together with the foresaid house Barne oarchards & about one hundred & fifty acres, upland and meddow, all which my son Thomas his heirs & assigns shall have & In joy forever, after my decease

It. I give and bequeath, to my sonn Edward Putnam & to his heires & assignes a certaine tract of land, upland & meddow, containing about eighty Acres be it more or less, with the house he now dwells in, & the barne & oarchard, upon the said land, which said pcell of land, is bounded, by the land before Specifyed given to my son Thomas aforesaid, easterly: & Ipswich River westerly: Alsoe I give unto him my son Edward one pcell more of land, lying upon the little hill soe caled, containing about sixty arces more or lesse, being bounded as followeth, viz: from a forked walnut, that is alsoe Loshua Reas & nathaniell putnams bounds, from thence to a stake & heape of stones neere the Cartwaye, from thence to Cromwells bound tree soe caled, from thence to a walnut & red oak blowed downe where lyes a heape of stones, from thence to the forked walnut, Alsoe I give to my son Edward one pcell of land more, lying upon Beare Hill, containing about sixty acres more or less: being bounded, by the three Rocks & a tree standing by them marked, from thence to the bound in the swamp, where my land Joynes to Topsfeild land, from thence to william Hobs his bounds, from thence along Knights his line till it comes to a marked tree, & from the sd marked tree, Cross the land to a red oak tree standing by a great Rock on the north easterly side of Andev Road, -Alsoe I give my sd son Edward a pcell of pcell of meddow containing fower acres more or less, lying on the west side of the River, neere his house & the upland against his sd meddow, from the upper end of ye said meddow Cross my upland, to the top of the high hill & doe Straite to my brother Nathaniels line, & then to run along the line, to his bounds, at the lower end of the meddow, which is a heap of stones, upon the topp of a hill about twenty pole from the meddow containing eight acres more or less, of upland, - Alsoe I give him my sd son Edward, all my meddow lying in Cromwells meddow soe caled, contayning fower acres more or less, Alsoe I give my sd son Edward, all that my part of meddow that lyes in Hathorns soe caled, lying bounded by Joshua Reas medow on the west, Ezekiell Cheevers meddow on the south, Jonathan Knights upland on east & Thomas Putnams Spong of medow on the north, all which said pcells of lane, boath upland & meddow I give & bequeath to my son Edward, & to his heires & assignes forever, after my decease.

It. I Give & bequeath, to mary my beloved wife, & to my son Joseph Putnam, borne by her, my said wife, all that my farme I now live upon with all the buildings & houseing theire upon with all the apprtenances thereto belonging, both upland & meddow oarchards fences & prvilidges thereto be-belonging, for them to have hold & Injoy the Same to them & their assigne after my decease, for the term of my Said wives naturall life, (they making no Strip nor waste,) either of them or theire assignes to Injoy the one halfe part thereof, who will maintaine & keep in good repaire either of them theire said part the said terme, & after my said wives decease, then my will is & doe by these prsents bequeath the whole of all said farme buildings & apprtenances to my said sonn Joseph Putnam & to his Heires & assignes, from the time of my wives said decease & for ever after, which said farme containes about one hundred & twenty Acres, be it more or les, that is to say the upland & meddow of mowing ground that is adjoyning to the house which is bounded as followeth, on the west with the land formerly Richard Hutchensons, a red oak marked neere the house where Bragg dwelt, from thence to a heape of stones & a stake standing neere my oarchards, from thence to an other heape of Stones, on the side of the hill, from thence to another heape of stones, which was the Said Hutchensons Corner bounds toward the meddow, from thence to a heape of stones, which is Reas bounds alsoe, & Hutchensons & mine, from thence to another heape of stones, that is alsoe the bounds of Joshua Reas & Thomas Putnams & mine, & from thence Crosse the upland downe to the marked tree by the meddow, soe Called (which meadow is to be understood as part of the said farm, as it now lyes fenced,) & from thence the upland on the east, to a tree fallen where is a heape of stones that is the bounds of Peeter Prescotts & mr Cheevrs land, from thence on the stump, from thence to a white oake on top of the hill, that is


Offspring of Thomas Putnam and Ann Holyoke (1621-1665)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Ann Lynn Putnam (1645-1676) 25 August 1645 Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States 14 November 1676 Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States William Traske, Jr. (1640-1689)
Sarah Putnam (1648-1705) 23 May 1648 Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
Mary Putnam (1649-1731) 17 August 1649 Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States 1731
Thomas Putnam, Jr. (1652-1699) 22 March 1652 Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States 3 June 1699 Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States Ann Carr (1661-1699)
Edward Putnam (1654-1747) 4 July 1654 Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States 10 March 1747 Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States Mary Hale (1660-1718)
Deliverance Putnam (1656-1699) 5 July 1656 Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States 1699
Elizabeth Putnam (1659-1705) 30 August 1659 Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States 12 December 1705
Prudence Putnam (1661-c1745) 28 December 1661 Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States 1745 William Wyman (1656-1705)
Joseph Putnam (1665-1665) 1665 1665

Offspring of Thomas Putnam and Mary Veren (1623-1694)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Joseph Putnam (1669-1724) 14 September 1669 Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States 1724 Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States Elizabeth Porter (1673-1746)



Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General