updated Feb 4, 2012
The lives of our ancestors were hard and trying. Thomas came to
America around 1655 from England. Stories of his involvement in the
English Civil War are mostly unsubstantiated, but enough "family
tales" and early documents exist to lend credence to them.
After 300 years it is hard to determine the relationship between Thomas and Martha, so all we can do is gather what information we can and each develop our own opinion. Martha's life was probably hard and turbulent, ending in her execution as a "witch" on August 19, 1692.
"It is false; and it is a shame for you to mind what these say, that are out of their wits!"
Martha Carrier at her trial August 1692.
In addition to the descendants of Thomas and Martha Carrier, I am
researching the following family lines which are included in my
Ansel Fox family from Conn. to Oneida County, NY early 1800s
The Ball family of West Springfield, Mass circa late 1700s.
Josiah Myer/Myers Oneida County, New York early 1800s
Henry Anson of Oneida County, NY, early 1800s
Ingalls family from Skirbeck, England to Mass. in the early 1600s
Anson Carrier, Town Of Floyd, Oneida County, New York early 1800s
Sexton & Morton from Conn. & Mass & NY.
Notable Carrier cousins include: Willis H. Carrier, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Admiral George Dewey
Famous and infamous cousins in my family tree include: Millard Filmore ( US president), William Babcock Hazen (Civil War General), Aaron Burr and Raquel Welch (Actress)
This interesting name is of early medieval English origin and is an
occupational name for a carrier, a porter, someone who transported
goods. The derivation is from the Old French "Car(r)ier", introduced
into England by the Normans after the events of 1066. The word is
derived from the Latin "Carrarius", itself from "Carrum" or
The development of the surname has included Roger leCariour (1332, Lancashire), John Kerrear (1379, Yorkshire) and Richarde Cariar (1559, London). The modern surname can be found as Carrier or Carryer. One Zachary Carryer was married to Elizabeth Gladdis on the 31st May 1644 at St Dunstan's, Stepney, while on the 14th of February 1659, Mabel Carrier and Adam Holland's marriage was recorded as St Mary's Hill, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Carier, which was dated 1332, in the "Cumberland Subsidy Rolls", during the reign of King Edward III, known as "The Father of Naby", 1327-1377.
I've known since childhood that I was descended from Martha Carrier, but I didn't know until last year that I had another ancestor who was also hanged as a witch 30 years before Marthas execution.
Rebecca Steele/Elsen/Mudge/Greensmith who was brought to trial and hanged for being a witch on Jan 8 1662 in Wethersfield, Connecticut. Rebecca first married Abraham Elsen who died and left her a widow with two young girls. She later married Jarvis Mudge with whom she had two sons, Amos and Micah, Micah is my direct ancestor. Jarvis Mudge died and she then married a Nathaniel Greensmith, a man described as a prosperous deviant. Rebecca Greensmith was described during her trial as a "lewd, ignorant and considerably aged woman". She had claimed that the devil and his followers had afflicted her body, spoiled her name and hindered her marriage. They were considered outcasts to the community. The gossip and rumours around town was that they were possessed by the devil. Nathaniel Greensmith, defending his wife, took his accuser to court, only to be accused of being a witch himself. The jury found them both guilty as being the Devil familiars and sentenced them both to be hung on Gallow Hills in Hartford Connecticut.