Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Family Witch

Most of us have a skeleton or two tucked quietly away in a closet or attic. My mother discovered that in addition to the usual skeletons we also had a "witch" resting uneasily in an unmarked grave 25 miles south of Amesbury, Massachusetts.   Susannah Martin is my 8th great-grandmother and was accused by a neighbour, William Sargent, of witchcraft in 1669 - at the height of the Salem witch hunt. Her husband, George Martin, sued Mr. Sargent of slander and the charges of witchcraft were dismissed. Unfortunately her husband,George, died in 1686 and a few years later Susannah was accused of witchcraft once more by several residents of the village of Salem, now called Danvers.

An official transcript of the court proceedings doesn't exist but a local Puritan minister kept an unofficial record of the proceedings (though I can only imagine he was rather biased against the defendants!) Here is some of what he recorded:
As soon as she came in, Marcy had fits (one of the accusers of Susannah)
Magistrate: Do you know this woman?
Abigail Williams saith it is goody Martin, she hath hurt me often.
Others by fits were hindered from speaking. (likely fits of hysteria!!)
Marcy Lewis pointed at her and fell into a little fit.
Ann Putnam threw her glove in a fit at her.

................ Susanna laughed ................

Magistrate: What! Do you laugh at it?
Martin: Well I may at such folly.
Mag: Is this folly? The hurt of persons?
Martin: I never hurt man or woman or child.
Marcy: She hath hurt me a great many times and pulls me down.

Then Martin laughed again.

(Her offences included causing a neighbour's oxen to drown themselves, calling another neighbour a liar and a thief, her spectre had followed a farm hand, she had bitten a man's hand, she had driven another man mad, and had been seen at "witch meetings". )
Marker of Susannah Martin's home

I can only imagine that Susannah's laughter at the events and accusations didn't help her case at all though I am proud that she stood up for herself and was defiant until the end.............................which involved a noose! She was hanged in 1692.

It took until 2001 (!!!) for an Act to be passed which amended a previous Act to include Susannah Martin's name and proclaim her innocence. 

The wheels of justice do move slowly.

But gee genealogy is fun!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Rain, Freezing Rain, Ice Pellets, Snow, High Winds

I suppose I shouldn't complain about getting "winter weather" at this time of year but I don't think it's fair that we are on the receiving end of a "Colorado" low, a polar vortex from the "Arctic", an "Alberta Clipper" bringing high winds and snow squalls all day today...well you get the picture!  Keep your own gol' darn weather to yourselves and stop sending it this way! doubt y'all are getting your own fair share of crappy weather...but do we have to get it all at once? Spread it around Mother Nature - we don't need rain, freezing rain, snow, ice pellets, whiteouts and crazy winds all in one day! And now I think I need a cup of tea!

There, that's better... a cuppa fixes most things. On the one hand I don't mind a couple of guilt-free days when I stay inside, read a novel, work on genealogy, watch a couple extra episodes of "Shetland", cuddle with the cats and do some baking...BUT I do miss getting out to play volleyball or power walk on the indoor track at the BMO Centre. I tried to get to volleyball on Tuesday but first I had to clear the car of several inches of snow pellets. That wasn't so bad. But after going inside for 10 minutes I came back to the car to find the doors frozen shut due to freezing rain. There was so much freezing rain buildup that by suppertime I couldn't get the front door open! Help!!

Fortunately, on Sunday, I was able to get out for a walk in Kilally Meadows. It was hard walking due to last week's freezing rain but I had a walking stick which helped me out several times. So I was able to check on the beaver-ravaged tree and found out that the BEAVER WON! I was rooting for the tree but the ending was inevitable :( 

It looks as though the tree is bending over in pain - no doubt it is!!

Can you see the alien face below? 

How about now?

Or now?

Sorry  I couldn't resist!

                                                      So how's the winter where you are? 
                                           I know that B.C., (British Columbia, Canada), is 
                                            getting  record-breaking they 
                                   are usually the TROPICS of Canada, even in the winter, 
                                                  I'm not really feeling that bad :)  

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Be Careful out There!

And by "out there" I mean the Cyber World; especially social media. I just went through a ten step program to make sure my laptop doesn't have a far so good. But I did change a bunch of passwords just in case anyone is trying to hack me - something I don't do nearly often enough.

The reason for this began at 5:30 this morning when my phone started sending me messages from Facebook Messenger ostensibly from my brother. A little hand waving in the air at me and messages saying (very briefly) "hello". Both of these are not behaviours that are usual for my brother, especially at 5:30am so I opened nothing and instead sent him an email letting him know what was going on and asking him why he was up so darned early as that isn't like him hee hee...and also I've never known him to limit himself to a one-word message LOL.... So far I haven't heard back from him (he probably really is still sleeping!)

Then I heard from my sister that they had received a message from my brother this morning asking for money from them to purchase I-tunes music for his niece!! My smart brother-in-law said what is your niece's name? Ummmm Clara? - nope, guess again :) Then "my brother" told my brother-in-law that he was on his way to Manila! That's news to me! Have a safe trip!!

So let this be a wee warning this Sunday morning....I've also had a couple other things happen online recently such as disgusting stuff in my spam folder! "SEND TO TRASH PEOPLE AND THEN EMPTY YOUR TRASH!" 

I also encountered a charity that I became suspicious of...always go with your gut - if something seems hinky it probably is! I researched the charity, made sure it was Canadian as I was planning to donate $25.00Cdn per month.  I do this with a couple of other charities and have had no issues. After taking the initial $25.00 they took an additional payment of $67.41. This was just a couple of days after taking the $25.00! I called can imagine how that went. Right, not well. So I called Mastercard who is disputing it on my behalf. Fortunately I have a letter they sent through snail mail that referred to my monthly payment of $25.00 so will send that to Mastercard.

The final online problem I've encountered (yesterday) was when I was working on my Income Tax. I was informed on the Canadian federal government website that for the next few weeks certain parts of Cdn tax info (specifically "MY ACCOUNT" )won't be available online!! Come back in a couple of weeks everyone - like that won't bog down the system at all...groan..... I thought doing things online was supposed to be faster - I thought wrong! Sigh....

At least I haven't been hacked....yet!!