Deacon Edward Putnam was born on July 4, 1654 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts to Thomas Putnam and Ann Holyoke. He was described as a man much respected and loved by his neighbors. Edward married Mary Hale (Also called Holton. Essex Inst III pg 15 called her Hale.) on June 14, 1681. In 1690, Edward was made freeman. He became the second deacon for the First Church of Danvers, Massachusetts on December 3, 1690. Edward had a farm in what is now Middleton, Massachusetts.
During the Salem Witch Trials, Edward was a member of the group which brought charges against many innocent people. His course was that he believed he was doing what was right for the good of the community. When people were declared to be witches, he repaired his brother's house and it was there that he examined them in order to determine whether or not they were truthful in their declarations. After a thorough examination he was convinced that the girls were witches and then did what he considered his duty. His action, however, in the proceedings was never bitter or vehement. He merely testified as to what he had seen and to what appeared to him to be probable.
Edward was also a historian and genealogist of the family. His account written in 1733 is the basis upon future research. In his old age, Edward lived in a house nearby the church. Edward died on March 10, 1747 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. He is buried in Burying Point Cemetary in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. His will is dated March 11, 1730/1 and it was proved on April 11, 1748.
In the name of God Amen I Edward Putnam of the town of Middleton in the county of Essex Husbandman : I being oftentimes sick & weak in body But of perfect mind & menory : Blefsed be God for it And calling to mind the mortallity of my body. And that it is appointed for all men once to Die. Do make This my last Will & Testament (and do hereby revoke. And make Void & Null all former Wills & Testaments heretofore made by me) That is to say principally and first of all, I give and Recommend my Soul into the land of God, through Jesus Christ my Redeer with whom I hope to live with forever And my body I committ to the Earth. To be buried in a Christian like & Decent manner, at ye diferetion of my Executors hereafter named: Nothing doubting But at the General Refurection to Receive ye same again by the mighty power of God And as touching my worldy estate wherewith it hath pleafed God to Blefs me withall in this life. I Difpose of it in manner & form as followeth
Item I give to my son Edward To Him and his Heirs Exurs & assigns foreber Aboute Ten Acres of land Joining his own land Which he had of me by deed of Gift and being bounded with a stake and a heap of stones by the highway that goes from my house to his house, Which heap of stones is also this brother Ezra's bound Mark; and from his bound mark upon a Strait line over the Swamp & plain, till it comes where the water comes out of the Island into his Spong of meadow Then from that place upon a Strait line a crosfs ye Island To a stone Lying in Ipswich River at the place called the Indian Bridge.
Item I give and bequeath to my son Joseph To him his hears Exurs & afsigns forever. A certain peice of land Lying on the West side of Ipswich River and containing by estimation Twenty Acres be it more or less. To begin at ye River at the Lower End of the Island belonging to the sons of John Putnam Decd and from Thence to the top of the high hill and so upon the same line, till he meet with the land or line of the sons of John Putnam Then to turn North westward by Their line or land till it comes to the heap of Stones on the Top of ye hill near the river Then so down the hill to the two acres of meadow, which I bought of John Putnam Also I give to my son Joseph all that meadow that lyeth between this land and ye River I give him the whole of my land, upland & meadow Except that two acres of meadow that I bought of John Putnam which lyeth below this meadow that I have given to Joseph.
Item I give and bequeath to my son Ezra Putnam To him his heirs Execrs & assigns forever a certain peice of land called ye Island on this side of the River To begin at the upper End of his brother Edward's Spong of Meadow from thence he is to run upon a Strait line a crofs the Island To a great stone lying in the river, at the place called Indian Bridge which stone is also his brother Edward's bound Mark. Then he is to turn Southwestward by the Spong of Meadow, And then to turn Northwestward by the Spong of meadow. Till he meets with his brother Edward's Spong where he began ; Also I give to my son Ezra my share of that land that I & Edward brought of Francis Ellyott lying near to the Iron works as it lyeth Divided between him & his brother Edward.
Also I give to my son Ezra my share in ye Iron works and that New house where ye Chimney is That I & Thos Cave & my son Edward built.
Item I give and bequeath to my son Issac Putnam To him his heirs Execrs & affairs forever Aboute ten acres of land on the hill called by name of Bear Hill and lying on the south side of the hill. Being bounded at the south west corner, with a stake & a heap of Stones And from there to run up the hill, Eastward to a Walnut tree marked; Then to turn southeastward down ye hill to a White Oak Tree marked which Tree is his brother Edward's bound mark. Then to turn westward by ye land of Deacon Ebenezer Putnam. Then up ye hill to ye bound mark first mentioned.
Item I give to my four sons (Namely) Edward, Elisha, Ezra and Isaac Putnam That meadow that lyes behind The Island every one of them shall have an equal share of it as near as they can This meadow Lyes below that meadow, that I gave to my son Ezra in his Deed of gift (His two acres in his deed of gift Shall come down to the bounds there stated; which is a heap of stones by the Island side. And so strait to the River To another heap of stones) This meadow which I give to my four sons, Shall begin below these bounds and the bounds shall be the bounds of their meadow at the upper end. The first share of this meadow shall be for Isaac. To begin at the bounds first mentioned and so downward. And next share shall be for Elifha, and the third share shall be for Ezra, and the forth share shall be for Edward being at ye lower end. Each of their shares shall come as strait as they can from the Island to the River.
And I do hereby oblige my son Ezra by virtue of my will, that he shall sell his share of this meadow. To his brother Edward if he sees caufe to but it: and he shall lett him have it after the Rate of Ten pounds & arce of Pafsable money of New England - or Good Province Bills : And if Edward will not give him so then Ezra shall keep the meadow or sell it to any other whome he will. Only Edward shall have one years Liberty after my Decease to Buy This meadow before that Ezra shall sell it.
Item I give and bequeath To my Daughter Prudence Ten pounds in or as money (besides what Shee hath already had) and to be paid to her by my son Elisha Putnam and that in one year after my decrease.
Item I give & bequeath my daughter Abigail Ten pounds in or as money (besides what shee hath already had) and to be paid to her by my son Issac Putnam and that in one year after my decease.
Item I give and bequeath to my two Grand Daughter's (namely) Elizabeth Flint & Anna Flynt each of them five Pounds a piece; in or as money (besides what I gave to their mother) and to be paid to them by my son Edward Putnam when they come to age of eighteen years old : And if either of them Die before That age the other shall receive ye whole of the ten Pounds.-
Also my will is that my son Joseph shall pay Four Pounds to his mother in or as money within one year after my decrease end also twenty shillings to my grandson Elisha Flint within one year after my Decease
Also my will is that my wife Shall have the East end of my house to Dwell in and shee shall have the Inward Collar and the whole of the House upward above it : And One half of the Garden ;
And Also my will is that my four sons (Namely) Edward, Elisha, Joseph & Isaac Shall pay to their mother fifty shillings a year in or as money That is : That each of them pay fifty shillings a piece; To their mother yearly if shee need it & call for it for her relief, they shall surely bring it for her relief in due season And this no longer that shee remains my widow.
Item My will farther is that my son Ezra shall suitably Provide for his mother Things Comportably for her and Convenient for her support while she Remains my widowm : He shall provide & bring in those things for her In due season hereafter named and that yearly, He shall provide for her Suitable firewood & bring it into her home for her. He shall provide for her & bring her in Ten bushells of Indian Meal And two bushells of English Meal and four bushells of ground Malt and four barrills of good Cyder and find the barrils ; and as many apples as she shall see cause ; and he shall bring her in nine or ten score weight of good pork annually. and he shall Keep her two Cows Winter & Summer and no Longer than shee remains my widow
Item I give to my son Ezra my part in the great Timber chain. I also give my Cross cutt Saw to my tree sons Edward Joseph & Ezra. and the rest of my tools I leave to them to divide among themselves
I Also give my cane to my son Edward
I Also give to my son Elifha my great Bible
I Also give to my son Joseph a Book of Mr Jerenhah Burror's Works.
I Also give to my son Isaac a book of Mr Flavel's works.
And the rest of my books shall be at my wifes disposal
Also I give to my son Joseph my Girdle & Sword
Item My will farther is That I give to Mary my Beloved wife Whome I make Execx Together with my son Ezra To this my last will and Testament :
I give to my beloved wife all my moveable estate Both within Door & without Door. as to moveable estate without Dor I mean as to Cattle Sheep or Swine : Yet not with standing I give to my son Ezra My Desk & that Box where in there is so many Writings ; And what moveable estate shall be left of mine within Door after my wifes Decease (undisposed of by her) Shall Equally be divided between my two Daughters Prudence and Abigail
Item My will also is that my wife's pew in the Village Meeting house shall be long to my son Joseph
Item My will Alfo is That as to my funeral Charges My Son Ezra shall bear the One halfe of it and my other four sons Shall bear ye other halfe equally between them ; As to my Wearing Apparrill I leave it to my wife to Dispose of yt among my sons as she shall see fitt.
And now to conclude ; This my last will and Testament ; And I Now Nominate & Appoint Constitute & Ordain Mary my beloved wife and Ezra my son. To be sole Executors To this my last will & Testament ;
And In Witneis whereof I Have Hereunto Sett my hand & Seal this eleventh day of March One Thousand Seven hundred and Thirty and One
Signed Sealed published
Edward Putnam Sen.
& Declared by me Testator
Edward Putnam Sen To be
My last Will & Testament
In presence of
Thoa Fuller and Jona Fuller
Proved Approved and Allowed at Ipswich April 11th
1748 Before Honl Thoa Berry Esq Judge of Probate