17th Century New England, with special emphasis on the Salem Witchcraft Trials


My Lineage to Rebecca Nurse


This is a brief summary of my line back to Rebecca (Towne) Nurse:

Rebecca Towne (1622-1692) m. 1644 Francis Nurse (1619-1697)
Francis Nurse (1661-1733) m. 1685 Sarah Craggen (?-?)
Benajamin Nurse (1690-1761) m. 1713 Elizabeth Roberts (1690-1739)
Benjamin Nurse (1716-1806) m. 1740 Martha Marble (1716-1807)
Susanna Nurse (1749-1843) m. 1772 Henry Bemis (1750/1-1833)
Susannah Bemis (1774-1865) m. 1790 Joseph Wheat Morse (1763-1842)
Nancy Morse (1791-1871) m. 1808 Obadiah Carpenter (1782-1860)
George Washington Carpenter (1815-1897) m. 1838 Mary Hildreth (1818-1884)
Eliza Abby Carpenter (1858-1876) m. 1875 John Thomas Girdler (1847-1916)
Nellie Eliza Girdler (1876-1964) m. 1894 William Magwood (1871-1951)
Ethel-Emroye Magwood (1898-1968) m. 1920 Ralph Arthur Burns (1897-1976)
William Arthur Burns (1931-living) m. 1954 Susan Sperry (1932-living)
Margo Burns (1957-living)    

I have more information on most of these people in my genealogical database which I have not posted here yet. I would love to hear from anyone else who shares some of these ancestors.


Allan Gilbertson (http://www.wizard.net/~aldonna/home.htm) has kindly pointed me to this information on Sarah Craggen, as wife of Francis Nurse, Jr. He wrote to me:

Francis Nurse Jr.'s wife was not Sarah Tarbell, as shown in a recent article: Barbara Matthews, "Francis and Sarah (Craggen) Nurse of Reading, Mass.", The American Genealogist, vol. 69 (Apr 1994), p. 82.

Excerpt from the article:

"Most published Nurse/Nourse family genealogies are based apparently on John D. Ames's article 'A Genealogy of the Nurse Family' published in Putnam's Monthly Historical Magazine.... This work incorrectly identifies the first wife of Francis2 and the second wife of Benjamin3....Even Walter Goodwin Davis...repeats the statement that Francis2 Nurse married Sarah Tarbell in Salem, Massachusetts, on 15 January 1685, a marriage not found in published Salem vital records..."

"Charles Henry Wright in 'Thomas Tarbell and Some of His Descendants' published in 1907 ...used probate information to show that Sarah2 Tarbell (Thomas1) was the wife of Cornelius Church... and (she) died in her old age without issue..."

"Mrs. Jane E. Palmer of Kensett, Iowa, brought the various inconsistencies to my attention...."

"The will of John Craggen Sr. of Woburn, (executed 30 May 1704 and proved on 29 November 1708) is quite clear in identifying Francis Nurse of Reading as his son-in-law..."


Return to 17th c. Index Page.
This page was last updated 07/03/11 by Margo Burns, My email address.