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Mary's mother and her sister Johannah, 11, were accused of being witches in the town of Andover, Massachusetts. Mary was the oldest sibling and probably the only one who had reached adulthood. With her mother in jail in 1692-93, there were five, maybe six other underage siblings at home who needed to be looked after. It's reasonable to think Mary took over for her mother. The Tylers were acquitted and released in January 1693. Five months later Mary married John Farnum, whose brother Ralph was one of two people who had accused her mother of bewitching them. The man who married them was one of several ministers who actively supported the witchcraft trials. This all happened within the space of a year, so it's hard to imagine that the Tylers would be on marrying terms with the Farnums, but we have no evidence to speculate how it came about. John may have been decidedly against his brother. It's also possible Ralph recanted and was forgiven. It may have been a combination of both. In any case, John and Mary stayed in the town where this happened Andover until about 1701. Mary's grandparents had moved to Mendon, Massachusetts, and her brother Moses bought land from his father there in 1700. He sold that to John on 8 July 1701, both as residents of Andover, and John settled there.
     Mary was alive when her father wrote his will on 15 May 1728 and had died by the time John married again on 30 October 1733.

children of Mary Tyler and John Farnum:1

i. Mary b. 16 March 1693/94, Andover
ii. Anne b. 18 January 1695/96, Andover (d. 20 April 1696, Andover)
iii. John b. 25 December 1697, Andover
iv. Anne b. 3 June 1701, Mendon
v. Moses b. 8 September 1705, Mendon

vital records sources: Her marriage is in Vital Records of Andover, Massachusetts, to the year 1849, vol. 2 (Topsfield Historical Society:Topsfield, MA, 1912), 119. The original town records say who performed Andover marriages at this time, Mary and John by "Mr. Barnard," presumably Rev. Thomas Barnard.

1. from Vital Records of Andover, Massachusetts, to the year 1849, vol. 1 (Topsfield Historical Society:Topsfield, MA, 1912), 136, 138, 139; Vital Records of Mendon, Massachusetts, to the year 1850, vol. 1 (Boston:1920), 75.

all text and photographs © 1998-2021 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted