Margo Burns

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Margo Burns is a historian (A.B., Mount Holyoke College, 1980, M.A., University of New Hampshire, 1991) specializing in the Salem witch trials and related events, especially those in North Andover.[1] They are an Associate Editor and Project Manager of the book Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt (Bernard Rosenthal, Editor, Cambridge University Press, 2009). They reside in New Hampshire.


Although not directly related to any of those accused in North Andover, Burns is the great-x10-grandchild of Rebecca Nurse,[2] one of the foremost protagonists of the trials in Salem;[1] it was Burns's initial interest in that controversy that led them to explore its North Andover analog. They put the total accused in the 1692 event at 153.[1]

Burns appears in several history documentaries about the Salem witchcraft trials: "Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence" (2011)[3] for the Essex National Heritage Commission and the National Park Service,[4][5] and "Salem: Unmasking the Devil" (2011) with author Katherine Howe, discussing the case of Rebecca Nurse, for the National Geographic Channel.[6] It aired on the BBC under the alternate title "Salem Witch Trials Conspiracy".[7] In 2016, they appeared, along with historian Mary Beth Norton, in Season 7, Episode 2, of the TLC cable television series, "Who Do You Think You Are?" discussing actor Scott Foley's ancestor, Samuel Wardwell of Andover, MA, who was one of the 19 people hanged for witchcraft during the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692. They appeared a second time on this show, with Emerson Baker, in 2018 in Season 9, Episode 7, speaking with actress Jean Smart about their ancestor, Dorcas Hoar of Beverly, MA, who was also convicted at Salem but never executed. On June 10, 2017, Burns appeared with Emerson Baker, Marilynne K. Roach, and others at a symposium at Salem State University, in Salem, Massachusetts, commemorating the 325th anniversary of the events: "Salem’s Trials, Lessons and Legacy of 1692,"[8] which was recorded by C-SPAN 3 and aired on July 16, 2017.[9]


  1. ^ a b c Applegate, Sally (24 October 2008). "Why did witch history overlook North Andover?". North Andover Citizen.
  2. ^ "My Lineage to Rebecca Nurse". Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  3. ^ Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  4. ^ Macdonald, G. Jeffrey (8 November 2011). "Salem Witch Trials Get A Second Look". The Huffington Post.
  5. ^ "Salem Witch Hunt:Examine the Evidence Premieres Oct. 4", Salem Gazette, September 30, 2011 [1] Archived 2012-08-22 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Salem: Unmasking the Devil | National Geographic Channel". Archived from the original on 2013-01-23. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  7. ^ "Homepage". 8 November 2017. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011.
  8. ^ "Legacy". Archived from the original on September 25, 2022.
  9. ^ "Salem Witch Trials Legal Documents Project, Jun 10 2017 | Video |". Retrieved 2018-03-15.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bridgman, Pat. "Don't believe everything you read in the (Salem witchcraft) papers". Newsletter of the Rebecca Nurse Homestead Preservation Society, Summer 2006.[1]
  • Burns, Margo, and Bernard Rosenthal. "Examination of the Records of the Salem Witch Trials". William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 3 (2008). pp. 401–422.[2]
  • Chase, Elibet Moore. "Trials and Errors". University of New Hampshire Magazine, Spring 2004.[3]
  • Messenger, Brian. "Researcher unearths Andover's role in witchcraft trials." The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, 26 October 2008.[4]
  • Rosenthal, Bernard, ed., et al. Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt. Cambridge UP, 2009. ISBN 978-0-521-66166-9
  1. ^ (PDF). 14 September 2007 Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 September 2007. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Examination of the Records of the Salem Witch Trials at JStor
  3. ^ "Trials and Errors - Margo Burns". Retrieved 2012-11-27.
  4. ^ "Researcher unearths Andover's role in witchcraft trials » Merrimack Valley », North Andover, MA". Archived from the original on 2013-01-21. Retrieved 2012-11-27.