Saturday, June 9, 2012

Surname Saturday ~ Dounton of Salem, Massachusetts

Not much is known about William Dounton.  We don’t know his English origins, nor his birth date.  He was made a freeman on 29 April 1668 in Salem, Massachusetts.  A town dungeon, or jail, was approved by the town and built in 1683.  It was made of oak timbers and was 70 by 280 feet and it was built on “Prison Lane” now St. Peter Street near the town common.  There were no bars, but prisoners were expected to pay for their food and chains.  William Dounton was the jailor during the Salem Witch hysteria in 1692. 

William Dounton’s name is in some of the documents that have survived from the witch trials.  There is a recorded deed from about this time period when Giles Cory witnessed the deed when Capt. Thomas Flint bought William Dounton’s house for 100 pounds.  Thomas Flint was William Dounton’s son-in-law.

My Dounton Ancestors:

Generation 1: William Dounton, born about 1629; married to Rebecca Unknown.  At least four children.

Generation 2: Mary Dounton, born about 1650, died 1721; married on 15 September 1674 in Salem, Massachusetts to Thomas Flint, son of Thomas Flint and Ann Unknown, born about 1645 and died on 24 May 1721.  Nine children.

Generation 3: Jonathan Flint married Mary Collston
Generation 4: Jonathan Flint married Lydia Proctor
Generation 5: John Flint married Phebe Flint
Generation 6: Olive Flint married Luther Simonds Munroe
Generation 7: Phebe Cross Munroe married Robert Wilson Wilkinson
Generaton 8: Albert Munroe Wilkinson married Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 9: Donald Munroe Wilkinson married Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. He probably knew my Salem Witch ancestor, Mary Clements Osgood. Luckily, she didn't die, only imprisoned. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Very interesting, I love hearing about Salem MA and the city's rich/dark history! Thank you for sharing.