Martha (Allen) Carrier (1643-1692), hanged as a Salem Witch

31Oct09

My 10th great grandmother was Martha Allen, who was probably the most famous person condemned as a witch during the Salem Witch Trials.

From this distance in history, it appears that she was a much better person than her accusers, who were bitter and petty, and full of the righteous hate that seems to afflict our world into modern times.

This rampant Hag, Martha Carrier, was the person, of whom the Confessions of the Witches, and of her own children among the rest, agreed, That the Devil had promised her, she should be Queen of Heb.
– Cotton Mather

A mean and bitter man.

They even forced her children (by actual torture), including her 7 year old daughter, to admit to witchcraft and testify against their mother. But she held firm against all accusers. And spoke her mind. Which, in the end, is probably what got her into trouble.

“It is false; and it is a shame for you to mind what these say, that are out of their wits!”
– Martha Carrier testimony at the Witch Trial

In the examinations of the accused which preceded the regular trial, most made confession and thus averted the extreme penalty. Martha Carrier was the only one of all, male or female, who did not at some time or other make an admission or confession. From the first moment to the last, under all the persuasions and exhortations of friends, under denunciations and threats of the magistrates and examiners, she held firm, denying all charges, and neither overborne in mind nor shaken in nerve, met death with heroic courage.
– Historical Sketches of Andover

She was hanged as a witch on August 19, 1692.

Martha Allen Carrier Headstone

One dog was also hanged, as he was believed to be a transformed witch.

In 1711 the Massachusetts government apologized to Thomas Carrier for the hanging of his wife, paid him a settlement, and reversed the conviction.

Jerry Milo Johnson to Martha (Allen) Carrier

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11 Responses to “Martha (Allen) Carrier (1643-1692), hanged as a Salem Witch”

  1. 1 Natalie

    What a story. She was also part of our family history.

  2. 2 Jeff Hanlin

    On my Hanlin side one of my ancestors was a Jurior at the Trials Joseph Batchelor. Sorry Cousin!

  3. 3 Diana McCormack -Murphy

    Thank you for publishing this History. Marhta is my Great (9X) grandmother as well. On the Brewster, Holt branch!!

  4. 4 allison

    i have never heard of the johnsons being part of my ancestry im intrested in knowing what part of the family you stem from.

  5. We are quite often surfing the web many of the a serious amounts of so I decide to read substantially, which inturn is not typically a beneficial matter as most of the world wide web resources I find consist of useless garbage copied from a great many other websites. however I gotta say this website was in actual fact half decent and in some cases includes some authentic content, therefore appreciate splitting the pattern of just copying other peoples’ sites.

  6. 6 Cindy J Hickman (nee Elmquist)

    Martha Allen was also my 10th great-grandmother on my mother’s side through both sons ,Thomas and Andrew. The story of Martha and Thomas is very fascinating. My great-grandmother was Lima Carrier Jefferson and Her Mother was Malinda Carrier Buell.

    • 7 Ted Bates

      Martha was my 9th g aunt,with Andrew and Faith Ingalls being my 10th g grandparents. I descend from her sister Elizabeth. Ted Bates in Fort Wayne. Tedbytes@comcast.net

  7. Martha Allen was my 7th Great Grandmother or 10 generations ago, through her son Richard and his daughter Hannah Carrier who married Benjamin Johnson. This story has always fascinated me and I’ve been proud to be related to someone who stood for truth, even at the peril of her own life. Way to go Grandma!

  8. 9 Jean Garcia

    She is my 11’x great grandmother.Through her daughter Sarah Carrier married to Stallworthy Waters. My great grandmother is Catherine B. Hall. her parents are Nathan R. Hall And Emma (parker) Hall

  9. 10 Laura Schwartz

    This is very cool information. Faith Ingalls was my 8th great-grandmother. So now I learn I’m distantly related to Laura Ingalls Wilder. Incredible. Trying to figure out the right numbered cousin and removals, lol!


  1. 1 Martha (Allen) Carrier profiled on History Detectives on PBS « Jerry Milo Johnson Ancestry Project

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