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Mary Barnes the "witch"

Replies: 30

Fate of Carringtons in Wethersfield

Posted: 1265513902000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Carrington; Gilbert; Bassat; Bassett
From "The Enemy Within: A Short History of Witchhunting" by John Demos (Penguin: NY 2008), p. 106. (In case you don't know, John Demos is a professor of history at Yale and wrote a "seminal" book on witchcraft in NE entitled "Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England", which won the Bancroft prize.)

"In 1651 Wethersfield tried and convicted two more of its inhabitants, a married couple named Carrington, for 'having entertained familiarity with Satan, and by his help . . . done works above the course of nature.' Little else is known about this pair, and nothing about the trial."

If your family was living in Wethersfield then, they were neighbors of the Gilberts and others of my father's ancestors. My father's family is entirely CT with a little NH thrown in. My mother's is exclusively MA. Two of my maternal great grandmothers' families were descended from early settlers of Essex county and the whole tree is riddled with people connected somehow with the Salem/Andover event. 14 people were either hung, died in jail or were convicted but pardoned only because they were pregnant. And, I am still finding more because of the exclusive use of married namesin the transcripts.

Someone wrote a children's book called "The Witch of Blackbird Pond" which I loved as a child about the whole event. The author lived in Wethersfield.

Demos goes on to say that the 1650's were the "single most active period" for witchcraft prosecutions in New England before 1692. 27 trials, 8 convictions and 7 executions.
There were 12 in MA, 7 in CT, 2 in NH and 1 in ME. Only Rhode Island escaped.
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