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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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Hibbins, Ann (?–19 June 1656), early and unusually prominent victim of witchcraft persecution in colonial New England, was an . Her place of birth, parents, and maiden name are unknown. She came to New England in the 1630s during the Puritan Great Migration and settled with her husband, William Hibbins, in Boston. (It is not known if the couple had children.) William quickly grew to prominence as a merchant and political figure. He was elected as a deputy to the lower house of the Massachusetts General Court in 1641–1642 and in 1643 rose as an assistant to the upper house, where he remained until his death. During this time William Hibbins also served as the colony’s agent in England. His rapid advancement in affairs of state was matched by the family’s quick acceptance into the religious community. In 1639 Hibbins and her husband were together admitted to the Boston church, presumably by demonstrating their abilities to make orthodox confessions of faith and relate convincing descriptions of the work of God’s grace on their souls....

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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....