Sarah Cloyes b. 1666

Sarah Cloyes 8th great grandmother on RootsMagic tree

Sarah was born to Peter Cloyes and Hannah Littlefield probably in 1666, probably in Wells, Maine. In 1688 Sarah married John Connable in Salem, Massachusetts. Sarah and John Connable were in Boston shortly after their marriage, their children were born in Boston: 6 daughters and a son, Samuel. Sarah died young at about 36. Her burial place is unknown.

Connable, John and Sarah Cloyes 1688 marriage

John and Sarah are No. 23 at bottom of list. Massachusetts town clerk vital and town records 1626 – 2001 database at FamilySearch.org

A Google search for Sarah Cloyes will bring up Sarah’s 2nd mom (Peter Cloyes’s 2nd wife) Sarah Towne Cloyes, she and Peter married in about 1683 both widows with children. Sarah’s 2nd mom, Sarah Towne, was the youngest of the three Towne sisters accused of witchcraft in Salem. Sarah Towne’s 2 older sisters, Mary Towne Eastey 58 and Rebecca Towne Nurse 71, were hung. Sarah escaped jail, maybe with the help of husband Peter Cloyes.

Ann Putnam was 13 in 1692 when she accused 62 women in Salem. 20 of those women were hanged, several others died while in prison. In 1706 Ann was 27 and made a public apology for her part in the trials, and especially for the grief and loss she caused the Towne families. The Towne families accepted the apology. If you read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown or watch Arthur Miller’s The Crucible you’ll recognize the characters Goody Cloyse and Rebecca Nurse.

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Ancestry tree snapshot: Peter his wife Hannah, their child Sarah Cloyes her husband John and Peter’s 2nd wife Sarah Towne.

Massachusetts town clerk vital and town records 1626 – 2001 database at FamilySearch.org. John Caniball and Sarah Cloise, 13 Mar 1688; citing Marriage, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States, town clerk offices, Massachusetts. Reference ID 44 FHL 877468 Digital Folder 007009706 Image 00425 (425 of 610

A Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston 1630-1699. Volume 9 Page 184 Samuel of John and Sarah Coniball born Jan 16 [1689].

Sarah Towne’s story at Framingham History Center

Sarah Towne b. 1658

Unrelated (2nd wife of 9th great grandfather) but what a story, Sarah Towne on RootsMagic tree.

Sarah Towne Bridges Cloyes, had 2 sisters Rebecca and Mary, who were tried and  jailed during the Salem witch trials. After defending her sister Rebecca Nurse and being so frustrated by the implausibility or stupidity of the situation, she walked out of the church and purposefully slammed the door– most likely never, ever done before or since? After slamming the church door Sarah is also accused of being a witch.

All three sisters: Sarah Towne Cloyes, Rebecca Towne Nurse and Mary Towne Easty are put in jail. Rebecca, 71 and Mary, 58 were both hanged in 1692.  Ann Putnam, age 13, had accused 62 women of witchcraft. In 1706 she publicly apologized for her lies, her actions and specifically the harm she caused for the Towne sisters and their families. The Towne family forgave Ann Putnam.

Sarah’s husband Peter either helped Sarah escape from jail or he paid for Sarah’s release, details are sketchy. Sarah and Peter went southwest to Danforth’s Plantation, now Framingham. They probably knew this was a safe place and later on received land from Deputy Governor Thomas Danforth who released 800 acres to families fleeing Salem. There is so much history to the Salem witch hysteria. A person could spend years reading the surviving primary documents and research on those involved. 

Author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book Young Goodman Brown refers to Sarah Cloyes. Word is the author changed the spelling of his name so he wouldn’t be associated with John Hathorne, his great great grandfather and the only judge not to apologize or question his role in the horror of the Salem witch hysteria. screenshot.png

The home of Sarah and Peter Cloyes built ca. 1690 is still standing and currently going through majors restoration. The house is at 657 Salem End Road, Framingham, MA; visit the restoration website*update* The restoration site is still there but as of Feb 2019 this house is redone and on the market for $900,000. *update* On the outside the house looks about the same, inside it looks like any other newer home, bright and shiny, but maybe lacking character.

At Wikipedia Salem witch trials:

The episode is one of Colonial America’s most notorious cases of mass hysteria.

It has been used in political rhetoric and popular literature as a vivid cautionary tale about the dangers of isolationism, religious extremism, false accusations, and lapses in due process.