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Corey, Martha (1625–22 September 1692), Salem "witch", was born in England in the late 1620s and subsequently migrated to Massachusetts. Nothing is known of her parents or early life. As Martha Rich, widow, she married Giles Corey (or Cory) in Salem, probably in the 1680s. Giles Corey was a huge, bumbling, eccentric man who owned a hundred or so acres of valuable farmland near Salem. Martha joined the Salem church in 1690; because of the distance from the Corey farm to Salem Town, she attended the Salem Village church, most faithfully. In 1691 her husband joined the church and took his membership very seriously....

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Nurse, Rebecca ( February 1621–19 July 1692), victim of the Salem witchcraft trials, was born Rebecca Towne in Yarmouth, England, the daughter of William Towne and Joanna Blessing. She was baptized on 21 February 1621 in the Church of St. Nicholas. The family immigrated to the United States, settling in Topsfield, Massachusetts, when Rebecca was a young woman. At an unknown date she married Francis Nurse, a tray maker. The couple resided near the North River until they bought a 300-acre farm in Salem Village in 1678. Their eight children and their families lived on the property, and all farmed the land to make yearly mortgage payments. Rebecca Nurse contributed by tending to her productive flax garden and spinning the flax into thread....