Thursday, May 17, 2012

Salem vs. the Witches ..... (part 1)

Growing up ..... there were three things that interested me a lot.  1: My Grandfather's adoption and my Great-grandparents dying so young.  Always wanted to know more ....   2: Salem and the Trials of Witchcraft .... and 3: I have always been drawn to Ireland.

I grew up thinking was mostly Irish ........ ehhhhhhh ......... wrong!   But I do have a good chuck of Irish blood in me. 

1: I'm starting to figure out - definitely know more now than I did last month!
3: German be damned - I am (second) mostly Irish!  HA!  Then Norwegian ....

Now, that brings me to do........

Going through my family tree get this flip of my heart when I hit the early 1700's and Salem...  late 1600's and Salem ....

::: hold my breath :::

Could I have an ancestor who was involved in some way in the Salem Witch Trials?????

I found a list of everyone accused of Witchcraft .... in Salem in 1692 ....

The one name I thought I had found - Ruth Canterlbury - actually died in 1692 ...  she had married Thomas Small - and on ancestry was linked to my relative Anna or Mary Ann Small who married Thomas Wheadon ....

Now, it might LOOK like a match, but ..... it's not.

Digging deep I found out that Ruth was married 3 times, first to Thomas Small and they had 5 children: John, William, Lidia, Ann & Hanna .... all born between 1665 and 1673 in Salem ... my Anna/Mary Ann was born in 1635/1640 .... and (according to the hints, in Connecticut not Massachusetts)  .... so I'm at this........



...... and I don't get it.

I feel my connection to Salem slipping away ...... away ...... away ............

BUT IN OTHER NEWS ...... I thought - wouldn't it be funny if Connecticut had "Witch Trials" like Salem did ... and sure enough, lesser known but happened a lot longer.  So we'll see if I have a Witchy connection that way because I have a lot of ancestors there at that time.

But here is the kicker.

I'm working on my husband's line and ...... BAM - kick in the pants.

Not only did he have ancestors in Salem during the Salem Witch Trials, but one of them was hung - and I didn't have to go digging for it.  There it was - all among the leaves on ancestry.

Dennis' 10x Great Grandmother was Susannah (North) Martin ... also known as "Goody" Martin.  Goody was a nickname often given to "Good Housewives" ...... I suspect as a sort of "Ma'am" type generality...

The text on the doll reads:

Hatred and prejudice now banished
Let love reside
Across the veil of time our ancestors call
We are still wise ones through it all

      (taken from Wikipedia)
Susannah Martin (baptized September 30, 1621 – July 19, 1692) was a woman and a victim of the Salem witch trials.

Martin was the third daughter of Richard North and Joan (Bartram) North. Her mother died when she was a child. Her stepmother was named Ursula. She was baptized in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England on September 30, 1621. Her family first moved to Salisbury, Massachusetts around 1639. 

On August 11, 1646 at Salisbury, Susannah married the widower George Martin, a blacksmith with whom she had eight children, including daughter Jane, the great-great-great-great grandmother of Chester A. Arthur.

In 1669, Susannah was first formally accused of witchcraft by William Sargent. In turn, George Martin sued Sargent for two counts of slander against Susannah. Sargent was found liable for slander in accusing Susannah of fornication and infanticide, and George received minor compensation. Sargent was acquitted of slander for accusing Susannah of witchcraft. A higher court later dismissed the witchcraft charges.

By 1671, the Martin family was again involved in legal proceedings dealing with the matter of Ursula North's inheritance, most of which Ursula had left to her granddaughter, Mary Jones Winsley. The court sided against Susannah and George, though Susannah was able to bring five further appeals, each being decided against her.

George had died by 1686, leaving Susannah an impoverished widow by the time of the second accusation of witchcraft in 1692. Inhabitants of nearby Salem Village, Massachusetts had named Susannah a witch and stated she had attempted to recruit them into witchcraft. Susannah was tried for these charges, during which process she proved by all accounts to be pious and quoted the Bible freely, something a witch was said incapable of. Cotton Mather countered Susannah's defence by stating in effect that the Devil's servants were capable of putting on a show of perfect innocence and Godliness.

Susannah was found guilty, and was hanged on July 19, 1692 in Salem.

In the 19th Century, poet John Greenleaf Whittier composed The Witch's Daughter about Martin.

I will share more of Susannah's story in time.   There is a lot out there ... 

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