Susanna (—?—) (Rootes)1

b. say 1625, d. after 1692

7th great-grandmother of Ruth Minerva Fairfield.
9th great-grandmother of Laura Jane Munson.
Family Background:
Fairfield and Allied Families
Appears on charts:
Pedigree for Ruth Minerva Fairfield
     Susanna was born say 1625 (deposed in June 1678, aged about 53 years).2 She married Josiah Rootes. She died after 1692.
Additional Data
[Salem Quarterly Court] Susanah Roots, aged about fifty-three years, Mary, wife of Heugh Woodbery, aged about forty-eight years, and Sarah Roots, aged about twenty-four years, deposed that about two months ago they saw Mary, wife of Samuell Harres and Tabitha Slew carry a parcel of small linen into Samuell Harris' house. Sworn, June 25, 1678, before Daniel Denison. (Sarah was probably Susanna's daughter-in-law, the wife of her son Thomas.2

Susanna (—?—) (Rootes) was mentioned in her husband Josiah Rootes's will dated 15 May 1683 in Beverly. She was left the use and care of the estate until son Jonathan came of age, after which time, Jonathan was to provide for her care and maintenance so long as she remained a widow.3

On 26 June 1683 Susanna Roots, widow of Josiah Roots, of Beverly, deceased, renounced the executorship of her husband's will at court in Salem saying that she had "many weaknesses and infirmities of old age and and [sic] could not serve as executor." The court appointed John Hill and Nehemiah Grover to bring in an inventory as soon as possible, and the inventory was sworn to on 6 July 1683. (Andrew Elliot who would, in 1692, accuse Susanna Rootes of witchcraft, was one of the appraisers).4

On September 1683 Susanna (her mark) Rootes certified that her husband sold her son Thomas' land [in Salem] to Keyny and had not left [in the will] Enough to satisfy him for it so asks the court that he have the land givn him upon the west side of the country way beyond her house. Wit: John Hill and Roger Haskings. Sworn to in [Ipswich Quarterly] court by Roger Haskins.5

In June 1684, [Salem Quarterly] Court ordered that Mr. Ambrose Gale should have what estate was left the widow Susanna Roots by her husband, Josiah Roots, said Gale having maintained the said widow for several months at his own expense, and she and John Hill and Nehemiah Grover, administrators, also consenting, the agreement being that Gale should comfortably provide for her during the remainder of her life.6 This is curious since Susanna's late husband left his entire estate, after legacies, to his son Jonathan, charging him with his mother's care and maintenance. Perhaps the court's decision was influenced by Jonathan's appearance the same day to answer a charge levied almost a year previous, on 16 July 1683, for drunkenness and swearing.7

"His [Josiah Rootes'] wife, Susanna, was one of those accused of witchcraft and lodged in Boston gaol in 1692, where as her grandson, John Lovett testifies, he visited her. After some months her innocence was acknowledged by her discharge from prison. She was manifestly a person of independent character, who would not conform her opinions to those of some of her more illiberal neighbors, and hence came the false accusations against her; but her excellent and numerous posterity may well honor her memory."8

( John Lovet v. Dorcas Hoar )

     The depersision of John Lovet aged about 25 years this deponant tetifieth & say that he the s'd deponant sume time in June last past went into the prisan to see my gran mother then goodee hore asked me the s'd. deponant whether I knew of any witnesses that would Come in or be brought in against hear.&.I the s'd deponant told her I did not know of any and then the s'd. hore asked me whether goodman witreg would not Come in against her about his Cow I the s'd debonant tould the s'd whore I did believe he Would the s'd whore replyed she did not know that he had ara Cow, furder saith not

     Jurat in Curia
     (Reverse) Jno. Lovett

     ( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 82 ).9

Children of Susanna (—?—) (Rootes) and Josiah Rootes


  1. [S215] James Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692, on the Basis of Farmer's Register, 4 vol. (Boston:, 1860-62; reprint Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994), 3: 574.
  2. [S855] George Francis Dow, ed., Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, 9 vols. (Salem: Essex Institute, 1911-1973). Transcribed and Abstracted from the Original Manuscript by Harriet S. Tapley, VII: 51.
  3. [S855] George Francis Dow, Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, IX: 66. 67.
  4. [S855] George Francis Dow, Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, VIII: 66, 67.
  5. [S855] George Francis Dow, Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, IX: 88.
  6. [S855] George Francis Dow, Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, IX: 266.
  7. [S855] George Francis Dow, Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, IX: 265.
  8. [S854] Frederick A. Ober, "Beverly," in History of Essex County, Massachusetts. : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men. (Philadelphia: J.W. Lewis and Co., 1888), 767.
  9. [S856] Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, eds., Verbatim Transcripts of the Legal Documents of the Salem Witchcraft Outbreak of 1692, 3 vols. (online <…>: University of Virginia, 2003), II: 401, 402.
  10. [S852] Essex Institute, Vital Records of Salem, Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849 (Salem: Newcomb & Gauss, Printers, 1916-1925), citing church record, First Church.