Saturday, October 31, 2009

Never Cry Witch: Our Family in Salem


I wasn't sure how many of you out there realized that we had ancestors living in Salem during the Salem Witch trials of 1692. We just have so many early colonials on our tree that it was bound to happen. Grandma Pearl had multiple ancestors in the Massachusetts, some right in Salem. Ephraim Kempton and his wife Patience Faunce were possibly there, but I'm not positive because they had moved to Plymouth sometime between 1674 and 1707. However, the Ebenezer and Hannah Dodge Woodbury family was definitely there for all the action. Here is the trace up the tree: (Me-->Dad-->Grandpa Haynes-->Pearl Drake-->Mary Jane Cheney-->Lucy Elzada Hardy-->Zachariah Hardy-->Elizabeth Thorndike-->Robert Thorndike-->Elizabeth Woodberry-->Ebenezer Woodbury.) Phew! That's ten generations ago! So, anyway, I've checked the list of the 19 that were hung and a few more that were killed, and there weren't any of these last names among them. So, I guess our family tree is witch free! The bad news is, there were dozens in the jails and hundreds that were accused in the town, so who was doing all the accusing? I don't know but I hope it wasn't them!
There were some pretty wild goings on, so I'm sure no matter the level of our ancestors' involvement, I'm sure they were familiar with the key players and had an opinion of what was just and right. Wouldn't it be interesting to know? Here is a good website to read more about the Salem Witch Trials.

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