Mary Estey was the daughter of William Towne, of Yarmouth, Norfolk County, England, where she was baptized on August 24, 1634. Two of Estey's sisters, Rebecca Nurse, and Sarah Cloyse were also accused of Witchcraft during the Salem outbreak, although there is ample evidence that all three were innocent. At the time of her questioning, Estey was about 58 years old and was married to Isaac Estey (1655), with whom she had had eleven children. Isaac owned and lived upon a large valuable farm. Her examination followed the pattern of most in Salem: the girls had fits, and were speechless at times, and the magistrate expostulated with her for not confessing her guilt, which he deemed proven beyond doubt by the sufferings of the afflicted. Mary’s parting communications with her husband and children were said by those who were present to have been "as serious, religious, distinct, and affectionate as could be expressed, drawing tears from the eyes of almost all present." Estey was tried and condemned to death on September 9th. She was executed on September 22,1692 In Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts despite an eloquent plea to the court to reconsider and not spill any more innocent blood. The court had long since ceased to pay any attention to anything that was said by the condemned. On the gallows she prayed for a end to the witch hunt. Mary's family was compensated with 20 pounds from the government in 1711 for her wrongful execution. Carolyn Wood from Florida, found a note in an 1828 Bible of the Estes family which said, "The painting over the fireplace in the house at Fitchburg, MA is of Mary Estey." This is the photo that was taken from the painting. Together the couple had eleven children: Joseph (1657-1739), Sarah (1660-1749), John (b. 1660), Isaac (1662-1714), Hannah (b. 1667), Benjamin (b. 1669), Samuel (b. 1672), Jacob (b. 1673), Joshua (b. 1678), Jeffrey (b. ca. 1680), and Mary. Source: Wikipedia
Courtesy: Carolyn Wood
Salem, Essex County
Photos may be scaled; click on image to view full sized.