Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My Family Witch

I am Beth Barnes from Farmington, New Mexico.  My Many Times Great Grandmother was Mary Barnes from Farmington, Conneticut, the last witch hung in that state.
"Little is know of Mary or her parentage and childhood. She was apparently a free-thinker and not as devoted to church-going as other women in town, even though her husband was one of the church elders. 
 Mary Barnes was indicted for witchcraft on January 6, 1662. She pleaded not guilty and asked for a jury trial. Her husband, either too busy with work or believing in his wife's possession, apparently did not offer her strong support. A jury of her peers returned a verdict of guilty in early 1662 . Following this, on the same day, Elizabeth wife of Richard Seager was tried on the same charge and found not guilty. So it is unlikely the jury was caught up in witchcraft hysteria. Just a week before, a jury made up of ten of the same men, (the other two were replaced by others on the Barnes jury) had convicted Nathaniel Greensmith and his wife Rebecca of witch craft, and Rebecca had confessed her guilt in open court! [Coll. of Conn. Hist. Society, 22:259, 258]. There is no record of the actual execution of Mary Barnes, although a diary o f William Goffe, who was in hiding and under suspicion himself at the time, mad e notation in his diary ... "Jan. 20, 1662 , three witches were condemned at Hartford Feb. 24, 1662." It is believed one of these was Mary Barnes."
The Case for Witchcraft

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