A Guide to the Primary Sources of the Salem Witch Trials
People Accused of Witchcraft in 1692
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For each person accused during the Salem witchcraft trials, you can access a large number (not all!) of the primary sources on-line, detailing what happened to them, as available in the original legal records and contemporary accounts. This is not an absolute definitive list, but it will get you started. The columns on the right will give you an idea of what kinds evidence exists in the case of each person as found in Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt.
Help using these primary sources
If you are trying to understand what happened to a specific person, please download this helpful guide concerning what sort of information you can find in the primary sources in each of these categories.

Accused: Sarah Wardwell, of AndoverReturn
No. 539: Examination of Sarah Wardwell, Copy                
No. 677: Petition of the Selectmen of Andover, Regarding the Children of Samuel Wardwell              
No. 679: Provision for the Support of the Children of Samuel Wardwell                  
No. 680: Placement of the Wardwell Children by the Selectmen of Andover                  
No. 780: Court Record of the Trial of Sarah Wardwell            
No. 876: Petition of Francis Faulkner et al. to Clear the Records of Rebecca Nurse, Mary Esty, Abigail Faulkner Sr., Mary Parker, John Procter, Elizabeth Procter, Elizabeth How, Samuel Wardwell, & Sarah Wardwell            
No. 877: An Act for the Reversing the Attainder of Abigail Faulkner Sr., et al.                
No. 926: Petition of Samuel Wardwell Jr. for Restitution for Sarah Wardwell & Samuel Wardwell                
No. 930: Summary of the Amounts Requested by the Victims & Their Relatives                
No. 931: An Act to Reverse the Attainders of George Burroughs et al. for Witchcraft            
No. 933: Request for Copy of Act for Restitution                
No. 934: Order for Payment of Damages by Governor Joseph Dudley                
No. 941: Order of William Wardwell et al. for Payment, Cases of Samuel Wardwell & Sarah Wardwell                
No. 957: Petition of Samuel Wardwell Jr. for Reversing Attainder and Restitution for Sarah Wardwell                
What kind of primary source evidence does a check in each column indicate?
  • Complaint or Arrest - Either a formal complaint or an arrest warrant against this person exists.
  • Examination - An account of an examination (interrogation) or confession before local magistrates or in prison exists.
  • Imprisonment - A mittimus to move this person to/from jail, a recognizance or bond to release the person from jail, a reference in a jailer's bill, or a request for compensation for time spent in jail exists.
  • Evidence Entered - At least one deposition, statement, testimony or petition from any proceeding (preliminary hearing, grand jury or trial) for or against this person exists.
  • Grand Jury or Indictment - A deposition, statement or testimony sworn before the grand jury of inquest, a physical examination of the body of this person, or an indictment brought before a grand jury exists.
  • Jury Trial - An entry in a court record book or a contemporary account of the trial exists.
  • Conviction - A death warrant indicating that the person was convicted, a notation about the case in a record book of the conviction, a statement that the person was convicted in either a request for reversal of attainder or for compensation from the Crown exists.
  • Execution - The return of an officer on a death warrant, a statement that the person was executed in a request for reversal of attainder or for compensation from the Crown, or an entry in Samuel Sewall's diary exists.
  • Restitution - Accounts submitted for restitution, orders for payment to survivors, acts for reversal of attainder or for payments of restitution, proclamations clearing the accused

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