Monthly Archives: February 2019

Book Review: The Familiars

If I were to ask you about witches in history, I bet one of the first things that comes to mind is the Salem Witch Trials. Between February 1692 and May 1693, more than 200 people were accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts. Nineteen were found guilty and hanged (14 women and five men), one man was crushed to death for refusing to plead, and five others died in jail.

But have you ever heard of the Pendle Witch Trials? In the Summer of 1612, 70 years before Salem, in the remote region of Pendle Hill, Lancashire, England, a dozen people—Jane Bulcock, John Bulcock, Alizon Device, Elizabeth Device, James Device, Alice Gray, Katherine Hewitt, Alice Nutter, Jennet Preston, Anne Redferne, Elizabeth Southerns, and Anne Whittle—were accused of witchcraft. (Most were just herbalists, midwives, or just plain odd ducks.) Although Alice Gray was discharged without trial, the others were charged with the murders of ten people via witchcraft. Elizabeth Southerns died in prison, and Jennet Preston was convicted and hanged at York in July 1612. The remaining nine, along with accused witches from Salmesbury—Ellen Brierley, Jennet Brierley, and Jane Southworth, who were charged with child murder and cannibalism; Margaret Pearson, who was facing her third trial for witchcraft, this time for killing a horse; and Isobel Robey of Windle, who was accused of using witchcraft to cause sickness—were tried at Lancaster Assizes.  Margaret Pearson, a woman of some means, was sentenced to four days in the pillory, while the other Salmesbury accused were acquitted. However, the accused from Pendle did not fare as well. They were convicted and hanged in August 1612.
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Categories: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hannah Anna (Layton) Marriner

On this date, 23 February 1952, Hannah Anna (Layton) Marriner James, passed away. She was my 2nd great-grandmother.

Born on 10 October 1874, Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, New Jersey, Hannah was the daughter of Augustus Layton and Rebecca Ann Moore. She joined older brother, George Augustus, who was born earlier that year.

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Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Everyday People, On This Day | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Tristram Hull

On this day, 22 February 1667, Tristram Hull (my 11th great-grandfather) passed away.

Circa 1624, Tristram Hull was born in Northleigh, Devonshire, England to the Rev. Joseph Hull and his wife Joanne (Joane). He joined older siblings Joanna, born in 1620, and brother Joseph, born circa 1622.

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Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Immigrant Ancestors, On This Day | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Matryoshkas & My Matrilineal Matriarch

Have you ever seen a set of wooden dolls, each one of decreasing size placed inside another? These nesting dolls are called matryoshkas, which means  “little matrons.”

By now, you might be asking yourself why a family historian with mostly British Isles roots is talking about Russian matryoshkas.

Well, today on Twitter, I saw a new writing prompt, #RussianDollChallenge, inquiring just how far back we genealogists have traced our matrilineal lines. This idea intrigued me, so I took a closer look at my mother’s maternal family. It turns out that on that branch, including me, there are ten generations of women whom I have documented.

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Categories: Brickwall Ancestors, Cole-Marriner Line | Tags: , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Asa Croasmun

On this day, 19 February 1864, Asa Croasmun (my spouse’s 4th great-grandfather) passed away.

Born on 15 October 1794, in either Massachusetts or in Hanover, Grafton County, New Hampshire, Asa Croasmun was the son of Asa Croasmun and Patience Oliver.

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Categories: Everyday People, Harwick-Bush Line, On This Day | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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