I’m a witch!

by Jamie Sanford on May 16, 2012

First of all, how fabulous is that font in the banner? So fun.

This explains a lot about my Halloween costume choices.

I have sort of mentioned before that I’ve been on a jaunt through Ancestry.com for a while. I was inspired by the television show Who Do You Think You Are? which airs on on NBC on Fridays. I have watched multiple celebrities travel throughout the world to explore information about their family history. I was also presented with some unfortunate photographs of what appeared to be a Sanford family member attending a KKK rally, which I determined was a large gathering of KKK members in the 1920s in Washington, DC. Interested in finding out who in my family was associated with this, I started putting a family tree together. (I still have no confirmation on who it was, only that it is possible that it is one of my Dad’s uncles.)

I had known for years that Thomas Sanford was the first in my line to come to the United States from England, in the 1600s. I will have more about Thomas in a future post about my recent trip to Milford, Connecticut. However, in the meantime, I found out while reading more about Thomas’ siblings that I’m related to an accused witch!

Andrew Sanford and his wife, Mary Sanford (whose maiden name has remained a mystery) were living in Hartford, Connecticut, in the mid-1600s, and both were accused of witchcraft! Andrew was apparently never fully indicted, but his wife, my 9th great grand-aunt, was convicted and hanged. I mentioned this on Facebook, and someone said “oh that’s cool even though it wasn’t in Salem.” My response was that this took place 30ish years BEFORE the famed witch trials in Salem, so my family members are OG witches.

There is a lot of information floating around about Andrew and Mary, googling their names plus “witch” or “witchcraft” turns up quite a few results. However, I came across a journal article entitled “New England’s Other Witch Hunt” (click to download the PDF) which is all about the Connecticut witch trials that took place in the mid-1600s, before the Salem business. I highly recommend checking out the article. As I dig more up on this, I will probably write about it again. Needless to say, this is probably the best thing I have found while doing all of this family history business. While very sad for Mary and Andrew, I am impressed that my family is so strongly attached to an event in US history.

More to come soon.

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