Saturday, October 29, 2011

Society Saturday - Is there a witch in your family tree?

It's almost Halloween, when the goblins and ghouls and witches come out. 

Did you know that there were at least 316 people accused, tried or convicted of witchcraft in the colonies prior to 1700?

While the victims of the Salem witch hysteria are probably the best known "witches", there were many more episodes in our colonial history.

The first known execution for witchcraft in the colonies was that of Alice Young who was hanged in 1647 at Hartford, CT.

The majority of witchcraft accusations occurred in New England, especially Massachusetts and Connecticut.  There were other occurrences throughout the colonies, including Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. 

There was even a woman, Katherine Grady, who was hanged from a yardarm on board a ship bound for Virginia in 1654.

The Associated Daughters of Early American Witches is a lineage organization which honors the memory of these men and women who were victims of this dark period of our history.

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