George Martin

George was born ca 1660 and died April 14, 1734 at Ipswich, Massachusetts. Until recently, George of Ipswich has been confused with another George Martin who resided contemporarily in Salisbury and Amesbury. Our George was long believed to have been the son of George and Susanna (North) Martin, one of the "witches" of Salem who was executed. It is George of Salisbury who was their son. Previously published genealogies reporting the connection between our George and this family were erroneous.

George Martin, Sr. of Salisbury has been well-documented, doubtless because of his wife's notoriety. George and Susanna's son, George, was born in Salisbury on October 21, 1648. Very little is known about George, son of George and Susanna. The only other record of him found is in a writ of his father against Thomas Sargent, April 8, 1669, "for saying that his son Gorge Marttin was a bastard and that Richard Marttin was Goodwife Marttin's imp."

This record may imply that George, the son, was living in 1669, though that is not certain. Whatever the case, if he survived into young manhood and remained in Salisbury or Amesbury, one would expect his father to be called "senior" on occasion, but he was never designated as such If the younger George had left the community, he apparently did not go to Ipswich, at least immediately, as he is not listed among of male inhabitants of 1678. The records of the preliminary hearings for the 1692 witchcraft trials - the actual trial records do not survive - do not establish whether Susanna Martin's son George was alive in 1692. Unfortunately, Susanna's heirs were not among those who later petitioned the General Court for compensation. Although no explicit proof has been found that George, son of George and Susanna (North) Martin, died young, the terms of his father's will dated January 19, 1683/4 clearly indicate that he died before this date. The will mentions no son George. Since the testator was so careful to name all of his other children, it is presumed that his son George was dead by January 9, 1683/4, some fifty years before George Martin of Ipswich died.

As for our George, his records are also a bit hazy. Unfortunately, the Ipswich Vital Records do not mention the mother of George Martin's children, and there is no recorded deed in which she relinquishes her dower rights, so the name of his first wife and mother of all his children is unknown. George married secondly, at Ipswich on February 21, 1712/3, Elizabeth Durkee, and she signed a deed with him dated March 10, 1717/8 when he sold property to Moses Kimball of Ipswich. George Martin lived in that section of Ipswich called Chebacco (now the town of Essex).

George Martin of Ipswich and his first wife may well have been immigrants. In that case, a connection between the Salisbury-Amesbury Martins and the Ipswich Martins—if there were any between those of a very common surname—must be sought in England. A 1679 court case produce an intriguing passenger list. In November 1679 before Salem Quarterly Court, Mr. John Barton, "chirurgion," sued Nicholas Manning for payment of 2s. 6d. a passenger for all who came in the ship Hannah and Elizabeth, Mr. Lott Gourding, commander. The ship had sailed from Dartmouth and had arrived in Salem apparently that September. The passenger list was submitted in evidence, and it includes "George Martine and his wife." Barton's list of "Medicines expended" mentions "July 12, Goodwif Martin, Naturall Obstructions & very faint, syrup of saffron, gascons power, 3s. 6d." The passenger list includes children, usually by name but once by the statement that the passenger had a child with him. The listing fits well with George Martin and his first wife, who appear in Ipswich by the time their first known child was born in 1680. It should be emphasized, however, that no evidence has been seen that the 1679 passenger was indeed the Ipswich George Martin." The article ends with an editor's note which says, "On the other hand, it seems highly improbable that the passenger on the Hannah and Elizabeth could have been the Salisbury-Amesbury George, since he had been in America for about forty years in 1679. Dr. Greene calls the passenger list intriguing, and one of the evidences for that word lies in the medicines administered to the Goodwife Martin. One wonders whether these suggest that they were administered to a pregnant woman."

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See lineage of Martin Family

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