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As you might have guessed by now, I have an affinity for witches. No, not the spell casting, cauldron brewing witches, but the real women and men of Colonial New England who were accused and tried for witchcraft. I am related to at least one accused witch, Mary Perkins Bradbury and to several witch accusers. What a terrifying time to live, when you believed that your neighbors, the very people you counted on for support, were giving you the evil eye, killing your children, your livestock, making you ill, and all manner of devilish acts.
The first and lesser known cases of witchcraft in the colonies occurred in Connecticut. Their were cases in other colonies as well but the brunt of the trials were in Massachusetts. Of course the best known witch trials were those that were held in 1692 in Salem. But, women, and to a lesser extent men, from all over the Colony of Massachusetts found themselves ensnared in the web of witchcraft. I can only imagine their horror, knowing they faced at best stigmatization from their peers to worst case losing all they held dear, including their lives.
I want to tell you about a great website/blog that is a super resource if you are researching your witchcraft ancestors, both accused and accuser. This site includes research, resources, genealogy links, road trip plans, notes on historic sites linked to witchcraft, the whole shebang. You can find all this and more at Witches of Massachusetts Bay Here is a link to the blog article on my book, Weave a Web of Witchcraft and an interview with the author (me).
This website, hosted by the library of Virginia is a Salem Witch lovers dream. Court records, testimony, maps, records books, and letters. This site has it all. Easy to navigate and chock a block full of fascinating information if you are into the Salem Trials. The information here is top-notch.