Saturday, November 19, 2016

Surname Saturday ~ HART of Watertown, Reading and Lynnfield, Massachusetts

Examination of a Witch
T.H. Matteson, 1853


There was a Samuel Hart living in Lynn, Massachusetts at the same time as Isaac Hart, but they are not known to be kin – even though Isaac Hart had a son named Samuel.

Isaac Hart, my 8th great grandfather, arrived in Watertown aboard The Rose in 1636 as the servant to Richard Carver.  In 1642 he had five acres in Watertown. He then removed to Reading by 1648 when his wife was listed as member of the church.  He had married Elizabeth Hutchinson, sometimes recorded as Hutchins, the daughter of Thomas Hutchins and Anne Browne.  Isaac bought land from his father-in-law near the border of the Saugus, Reading and Lynnfield lines, which he later left to his son Samuel.  The Isaac Hart homestead is still standing in Lynn. 

Elizabeth was brought before her church in Reading in 1652 for not harboring travelers that had requested aide.  In 1655 she was brought before the Puritan church deacons again for “contempt of authority”.   Elizabeth Hart was accused of being a witch in March of 1692.  In October her son, Thomas, petitioned for his mother’s innocence, but she was not released until December.

I descend from Isaac’s son Adam.  Adam’s sister, Deborah Hart, married my 7th great uncle, Benjamin Proctor. I descend from Benjamin’s two siblings, Abigail Proctor Varney (1639 – 1732) and John Proctor (1631 – 1692) who was hanged as a witch during the witch hysteria.

Adam Hart, my 7th great grandfather,  married Elizabeth Collston, daughter of Adam Collston and Mary Dustin.  Elizabeth, her mother, aunt, and grandmother were all accused and arrested for witchcraft in 1692.  Elizabeth, only sixteen years old, escaped imprisonment twice!  Adam married second to Abigail Deal, and third to Dorcas Brown. .  You can read more about Elizabeth and the Collston family at this link:

Adam Hart was named the father of Elizabeth Collston's illegitimate baby a short time before they married.  After marriage about 1704, he was named the baby's guardian, but the child was known in records as Mary COLLSTON not Mary Hart.  See Genealogical History of the town of Reading, Mass., by Hon. Lilley Eaton, page 85. 

Witchcraft accusations abound in this family!  In 1692 Adam Hart's mother, his wife and the women of her family were all accused of witchcraft and imprisoned.  And these families of witch trial victims tended to intermarry.  Adam and Elizabeth’s grandson, Jonathan Flint (my 5th great grandfather) married Lydia Proctor, the great granddaughter of the John Proctor, mentioned above, who was hanged in 1692.  But strangely, Jonathan’s own grandfather was William Dounton, who was infamously known as the cruel jailor of the Salem Gaol where many victims were imprisoned.  Some intermarriages cannot be explained.

Some HART resources:

Genealogical History of Samuel Hartt from London, England to Lynn, Mass., 1640 And Descendants, by James Morrison Hart, Pasadena, CA, 1903

“Isaac Hart and Samuel Hart”, The Essex Genealogist, Volume 18, pages 40 – 46.

My HART genealogy:

Generation 1:  Isaac Hart, born about 1614 in England, died 10 February 1699 in Lynnfield, Massachusetts married about 1650 to Elizabeth Hutchinson, daughter of Thomas Hutchinson and Anne Browne.  She died 28 November 1700.  Seven children.

Generation 2:  Adam Hart, born 4 February 1666 in Lynnfield, died 17 September 1745 in Reading; married about 1703 to Elizabeth Collston, daughter of Adam Collston and Mary Dustin.  She was born 9 October 1676.  Two children.

Generation 3:  Mary Collston, born 22 September 1704 in Reading; married on 18 February 1723 in Reading to Jonathan Flint, son of Thomas Flint and Mary Dounton.  He was born 8 November 1689 in Salem Village (now Danvers, Massachusetts).  Two children.

Generation 4: Jonathan Flint, born 11 August 1730 in Reading, died 1800 in Reading; married on 1 August 1751 in Salem to Lydia Proctor, daughter of John Proctor and Lydia Waters.  She was born 31 March 1730 in Salem.  Eight children.

Generation 5:  John Flint, born 3 April 1761 in North Reading, died 26 August 1836 in North Reading; married Phebe Flint as his second wife.  She was the daughter of George Flint and Hannah Phelps, born 8 March 1763 in North Reading, died December 1846 in North Reading.  Eight children.
Generation 6: Olive Flint, born 27 July 1805 in North Reading, died 26 November 1875 in Peabody, Massachusetts; married on 3 September 1826 in Reading to Luther Simonds Munroe.  He was the son of Andrew Munroe and Ruth Simonds, born 10 May 1805 in Danvers, died 23 December 1851 in Danvers.  Six children.

Generation 7: Phebe Cross Munroe m. Robert Wilson Wilson
Generation 8:  Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 9: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

UPDATE 26 October 2022 - 
Click here for a link to "My Hartt - The Descendants of Isaac and Elizabeth Hartt"  


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ HART of Watertown, Reading and Lynnfield, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted November 19, 2016, ( accessed [access date]). 

1 comment:

  1. Elizabeth (Colson) Hart did not have illegitimate daughter named Mary.

    See Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871, No. 4841.
    On 27 Nov 1702 Adam Hart, weaver, of Reading, became guardian to "David Colson, a minor of 20 years of age and upwards, and Mary Colson, a minor of 17 years of age and upwards, children of Adam Colson late of Reading." That means Elizabeth Colson married Adam Hart by that date, and Elizabeth had a sister Mary Colson born about 1685 who does not appear in the Reading birth records. I don't find David or Mary Colson after this date.

    Reading VR:
    Mary Hart, d. of Adam and Elizabeth, born Sept. 22, 1704
    Mary Hart and Jonathan Flint married Feb. 18, 1722-3