Monday, October 31, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Six Word Story: Going too Far

She demanded his soul.  He complied.

-Stormy Peterson

Monday, October 24, 2016

Rebecca Steele

Update October 23, 2022:

I'm several years late in making corrections on this post, and I see that it continues to get hits quite regularly, and has been uploaded as a story on Ancestry(dot)com, and while I don't want to be precious, and fussy about asking permission first or anything, I haven't even shared this post in my own tree.  Allow me to explain: Rebecca Steele is a hell of a gal to pin down, and while I've made this post as factual as I possibly can with the information I had available to me six years ago, please do not treat it as gospel, and please continue to research her and gather evidence of the life she lived; we need all we can get.  The fact is, she did exist, but where exactly she fits in several of our trees is much more difficult to be precise about - her parentage is also heavily debated as several of us have her birth year recorded as 1625, which would only put her at 37 at the time of her hanging, while others have placed her birth at 1590, and that makes her about 72 years old at her time of death, which is a lot more in line with first hand accounts (Rev. John Whiting, minister of the First Church in Hartford) describing her appearance at the time of her cofession as being a, "considerably aged woman," but makes her a lot less likely to be the mother of her sons Micah, and Moses that we know she had with Jarvis Mudge, and would place her on the birthing bed at 60, and 62 years old, respectively.  The fact is, there are pieces of Rebecca's past that are still a mystery today (as far as I'm aware) so please, when you read this post just let it be a fun little tale until the appropriate corrections, and documentation can be made.  Thanks so much, and enjoy!

Hanged as a witch in January 1663, she was reportedly lewd, foul-mouthed (I like her already), emotional, and possibly mentally ill, or just really fed up with her thieving husband's (and everyone else's) sh nonsense ... But a real witch? Probably not.  She was, however, the last-ish person in Connecticut to be executed as one.

Three decades before Salem, Massachusetts put witch trials on the colonial map, Hartford, Connecticut found itself ground zero of a witchcraft frenzy all its own between 1647 and 1663 beginning with the sentencing, and execution of Alse Young, a woman whose trial we know next to nothing about.  In the next seven years, four more executions would follow: Mary Johnson, John & Joan Carrington, and Lydia Gilbert.  A fourth, and final wave of hysteria swept Hartford in early 1662, according to court documents, the fuss originally centered around a little girl in the throes of illness crying out accusations of witchcraft in her demented state.  The child subsequently died, and all hell broke loose. By the time 1662 had rolled around, my 7th Great-Grandmother, Rebecca Steele originally from Devonshire, England, and the widow of two (by all accounts I have found) upstanding men (Abraham Elsen & my 7th Great-Grandfather Jarvis Mudge) who had the misfortune of tying up for the third time with a certain Mr. Greensmith, a man that according to probate records seemed to have a difficult time with drunkenness, battery, truthfulness, and keeping his paws off other people's property, had been fully, and thoroughly dragged into the witch hunt.  The couple kept the company of a colorful motley crew comprising of blasphemers, thieves, liars, adulterers -- your basic rabble of undesirables from a Puritanical point of view.  It appears that this, and their late-night merrymaking under a tree on the green near the Greensmith's house which included drinking and dancing (gasp!) was a great jumping off point for neighborhood suspicions.  So basically they were those neighbors ... Every 'hood has that one house where they install a portable hot tub on their front lawn, get absolutely trashed, and then proceed to fight and yell loud enough so they can hear each other's insults over the constant thrum of jacuzzi jets ... Wait, what?  I can't possibly be the only person so richly blessed!  To be perfectly honest, if witchcraft accusations held the same weight as they used to, and I could get away with it, and depending on how much sleep I'd lost due to the "merrymaking" I dare say, I'd be tempted.  I mean, I get it ... And so it turns out that my grandmother, Mr. Greensmith, James Walkley, and Goodwives Ayers and Seager were those people, and the other villagers were sick of it and wanted them gone, granted, they went about it in a pretty savage way.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Starting October Off Right

A little Versailles double episode premiere on the tube for "ambiance" a pack of Crayola Super Tips, a fuzzy fleece blankie, and my fresh Edgar Allan Poe coloring book... What more could a girl want? 

Ok, so I wouldn't mind a new vial of my favorite fall scent, but the store went out of business, so there's not much I can do about that except make my own, which I very much intend to do.  Stay tuned.