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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

THE CASE OF SUSANNAH BUSWELL

One of the fun things about researching family history is finding new stories about
my ancestors. Lately, with all the information I've found on Google Books there's
been a lot of new stories most of which I've shared here on this blog. Some of them
have been about people who weren't my direct ancestors, but the stories were
so fascinating to me that I investigated and wrote about them anyway. The stories
of Levi Ames and of Daniel Ellingwood come to mind , for example.

The other night I was googling my Buswell ancestors and when I searched "William
Buswell", I got the following hit from the Essex County Court Records for April,
1677:

"Whereas Susannah Buswell, wife of Isaac Buswell, jr., was convicted of burglary
and lying, court ordered" that she pay to Ensign Wm. Buswell 6s. which he lost,
also to sit in the meeting house in lecture time about the middle of the alley with a
paper pinned upon her head written with these words "FOR BURGLARY & LYING"
in capital letters."
-Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex, Massachusetts volume VI 1675-1678
Essex Institute, Salem Ma. 1917 (p265)

Now William Buswell's father was Isaac Buswell, Sr. It would seem that Susannah was
married to Isaac Buswell Jr and so was William Buswell's sister in law.

So what could drive a young woman of that period of history to turn to thievery and
from her own family, no less?

We'll be investigating that mystery over the next few blog posts.

2 comments:

lindalee said...

Two thumbs way up on google books. I have been finding a wealth of interesting info on my family and others in many that are now not in print.

Apple said...

Isaac Buswell c. 1592 - 1683 was my 8th great-grandfather but I have yet to do any research on the line. I descend from daughter Phebe. Looking forward to the rest of the story.