Person:Joanna Blessing (6)

  1. Joanna Blessing1595 - 1675
m. 25 APR 1620
  1. Rebecca Towne1621 - 1692
  2. John Towne1624 -
  3. Susanna Towne1625 - 1664
  4. Sergeant Edmund Towne1628 - bef 1678
  5. Jacob Towne1630/31 - 1704
  6. Jacob Towne1633 -
  7. Mary Towne1634 - 1692
  8. Sarah Towne1635/36 - 1703
  9. Joseph Towne1639 - 1711/12
Facts and Events
Name Joanna Blessing
Alt Name Jone Blyssynge
Gender Female
Birth? 1595 Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
Marriage 25 APR 1620 Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, Englandto William Towne
Death? 22 Jun 1675 Topsfield, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
Alt Death? abt 1682 Topsfield, Essex, Massachusetts, United States

BIOGRAPHY: "Relations between the Gould family and the Townes and Estys had been strained ever since the quarrrel over their minister, the Reverend Mr. Gilbert, when Mary Esty's mother, old Joanna Towne, had supported him against the Goulds faction."(Currents of Malice - Persis W. McMillen)

1670; Joanna Towne figured in a series of suits brought by and against Rev. Thomas Gilbert, the Topsfield minister. Gilbert, by his own testimony and that of his wife, was a sick man and he was doubtless of erratic temperament, but some of his principal parishioners laid his acts and eccentricities to overindulgence in drink, and the court seems to have considered their suspicions credible. Most of the evidence produced dealt with a dinner at the parsonage between two Sunday services at which Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert had Capt. John Gould, Mr. Thomas Perkins, and their wives, and old Mrs. Towne as their guests. A gold cup (surely a rare treasure in seventeeth-century New England) filled with wine was passed about the table and Mr. Gould alleged that Mr. Gilbert drank too freely therefrom. Joanna Towne (her age being given at seventy-five) testified that on Sunday Mr. Gilbert had admistered the "sacrament swetly unto us" and that after the service "I was att dinner att Mter Gilberts table ... and sat next to him on his right hand, and though some report that he drank too much of the sacrament wyn ... I believe he is wronged, for I that then sat next to him saw no such matter ... And I can saifly take my oath that though our minister had the cup twyce in his hand, yet the first tyme he drank not one drop of it, but gave it out of his hand to Thomas Perkins, bidding him give it to me, for I needed it mor than he, being older. When the cup had gone about, it came into his hand the second time and I am sure ther could not be much in it then (it may be two or three spoon-ful) and that he drank." The Ancestry of Lieut. Amos Towne, by Walter Goodwin Davis.

4/24/1673; Administration granted to Joanna Towne of the estate of William Towne. She was to bring inventory to the next Ipswich court. (Salem Quarterly Court Records)

1682. At the June term of court, 1678, Joanna Towne was appointed to administer the estate of her late husband, which fixes the approximate date of William Towne's death. The property was probably retained by her until her death, and it was not divided until 1682, when Mary, widow of Edmund Towne, Jacob Towne, Joseph Towne, Francis Nourse, Mary Estey and Sarah Bridges addressed to the court "the Humbell peticion of us whos names are under wrighten in way of the seatellment of a small esteat left to us by our Honered ffather deceased about tenn yers agoo who died and leaft no will," and requested that the real estate be assigned to the sons and the personal property to the daughters.

1692; Of Joanna's daughters Mary, Sarah and Rebecca; "Apparently young John Putnam had said that it was no wonder they were witches since their mother had been a witch herself." (Currents of Malice - Persis W. McMillen)

  1.   Accused of witchcraft though never arrested or brought to trial.

    Source: 'Salem Possessed, The Social Origins of Witchcraft', 1974, Paul Boyer & Stephen Nissenbaum, p 149.