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Saturday, May 31, 2014

OF WITCHES AND ANCESTORS

While researching Samuel Endicott last week I discovered this from Cyrus Felton's
family genealogy:

"At the pretended trial of John Proctor, who was executed in the year of the witchcraft delusion, 1692, Nathaniel Felton and the neighbors living near the bounds of Salem Village presented the following paper, written by Nathaniel Felton the first signer. "We, whose names are underwritten, having several years known John Proctor and his wife, do testify that we never heard or understood that they were ever suspected to be guilty of the crime now charged upon them: and several of us, being their near neighbors, do testify that, to our apprehension, they lived Christian-like in their family, and were ever ready to help such as stood in need of their help."

In the original paper, there were some, perhaps many names cut oft' by scissors, says C. W. Upham's History of Witchcraft. Below are the twenty names found on the paper.
Nathaniel Felton Sen., and Mary Felton, his wife.
Samuel Marsh, and Priscilla Marsh, his wife.
James Houlton, and Ruth Houlton, his wife.
John Felton, and Nathaniel Felton Jr.
Samuel Frayll, and Ann Frayll, his wife.
Zachariah Marsh, and Mary Marsh, his wife.
Samuel Endicott, and Hannah Endicott, his wife.
Samuel Stone, and George Locker.
Samuel Gaskill, and Revidal Gaskill, his wife.
George Smith, and Edward Gaskill.

-P5
 A Genealogical History of the Felton Family: Descendants of Lieutenant Nathaniel Felton, who Came to Salem, Mass., in 1633; with Few Supplements and Appendices of the Names of Some of the Ancestors of the Families that Have Intermarried with Them. An Index Alphabetically Arranged, of the Felton Families ... (Google eBook) Pratt Brothers, printers and publishers, 1886

Many of the same group of people signed a similar letter of support for Rebecca Nurse. Unfortunately, neither letter swayed the judges; both John Proctor and Rebecca Nurse were executed.

I have ancestors among both the accusers and the accused in the witchcraft trial hysteria. It's  nice to see My ancestors Nathaniel Felton, Mary (Skelton)Felton, Samuel Endicott and Hannah (Felton) Endicott trying to do the brave thing in these two cases.

I need to make a list of who in my family did what to whom during this dark period.
When I have it done, I'll post it here.

4 comments:

Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

I love your post. I have both Nathaniel Felton and John Proctor as ancestors. I think anyone who stood up for the accused was extremely brave. John Proctor stood up for his wife when she was accused, and he ended up being the one who was hung as a witch. Ah, the good old days!

Joy Ikelman said...

Hi Bill -- I recently published an article on the West blog about associations of a West DNA Family Group #5 ancestors with the Salem Witch Delusions. I am wondering if you have participated in the West DNA project yet? Here is my article: http://westproj.blogspot.com/2014_05_01_archive.html

Joy Ikelman said...

Check out the blog article below on the Salem Witch Delusions. I wrote it about ancestors within the West DNA Family Group #5. Are you part of FG#5? Best wishes -- Joy
http://westproj.blogspot.com/2014_05_01_archive.html

Bill West said...

Hi Joy Ikelman,
Yes I've participated in the West DNA project. Unfortunately my W309 J Haplo does not match any Family Groupm so fat.

I'll check out that article!