Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - A visit to the Rebecca Nurse Homestead

After hanging as witches, the bodies of the 19 accused victims were denied burial in consecrated ground. Their corpses were thrown into a crevice on Gallows Hill in Salem. Some of the bodies were secretly removed by family members, at great risk. Two of those bodies that were secretly reinterred were Rebecca (Towne) Nurse and George Jacobs. No one knows were Rebecca was buried, it was kept secret by the Nurse family. They later erected a cenotaph in her honor at the family burial site.

George Jacob's body was reinterred here in 1992, on the 300th anniversary of his death by hanging in Salem. His body was found on his homestead in another part of Danvers, Massachusetts. George Jacobs is my 9x great grandfather.

The back of the George Jacob's grave marker

The door of the Nurse homestead, with a beautiful sundial

click on images to enlarge

A Testimonial for Rebecca Nurse at her trial for witchcraft. Rebecca Nurse is my 9th Great Grand Aunt. This is where many brave friends and neighbors signed their names proclaiming her as innocent. I am descended from her brother, Edward Towne. In my opinion, the families of the accused victims must have been close, they shared many generations of intermarriage and fellowship after the witchcraft hysteria.

See my blog post http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2009/08/boyd-and-towne-families-of-londonderry.htmlfor more information on the Towne family members who lived in Londonderry, New Hampshire

Copyright 2010, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Thank you for sharing this story, and especially the testimonial. The sundial is wonderful. Thanks.

  2. It would be so nice to know where Rebecca Nurse was buried, but at least so many people honor her memory, even without a gravestone to visit. :)

  3. Wendy, Rebecca's descendants have installed a centograph (a "gravestone") in the family burial ground, but the exact location of her body is unknown.

  4. oops, that should be spelled CENOTAPH (a memorial to someone buried elsewhere)!

  5. So glad to have found you. I've just last night traced my heritage to Putnam...Capt. Benjamin. He and his wife were among the supporters of Rebecca. I look fwd to discovering more.