Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mary and Rebecca....

Mary (Towne) Estey*.....
....was born on August 24, 1634 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England.
In 1655, she was wed to Issac Estey in Topsfield, Essex, Massachusetts.
She died on September 22, 1692.
Hanged as a witch.....

The warrant for her arrest read as follows:

To the Marshall of the County of Essex or dept or Constables of Salem You are in theire Majest's names hereby required to appre- hend and forthwith bring before mee at the house of mr. Thomas Beadles in Salem the Body of Mary Easty the wife Isaac Easty of Topsfeild to be Examined Relateing to sundry acts of witchcraft by her Committed yesterday and this present day according to Com- plaint aboves'd and hereof you are not to faile

Dated Salem May 20th 1692
(Taken from Essex County Archives, Salem - Witchcraft Vol. 1, Page 117)

Mary was tried on September 9, 1692.

What follows is a copy of the petition Mary wrote to the court following her condemnation:

To the honorable judge and bench now sitting in Salem, and the Rev. Minister, this petition showeth that your humble, poor petitioner, being condemned to die, doth humbly beg of you to take it into your judicious and pious consideration that your petitioner, knowing my innocence, and blessed be the Lord for it, and seeing the wiles and subtlety of my accuser, by myself cannot but judge charitably of others who are going the same way as myself, if the Lord step not mightily in. I was confined a whole month on the same account that I am now condemned, and then cleared, as your honors know, and in two days' time I was cried out upon again and have been confined and am now condemned to die. The Lord above know my innocence then, and likewise does now, as at the great day will be known by men and angels. I petition to your honors not for my own life, for I know I must die, and the appointed time is set, but if it be possible, that no more innocent blood be shed, which undoubtedly cannot be avoided in the way and course you go in. I question not but your honors do to the utmost of your powers in the discovery and detection of witchcraft and witches and would not be guilty of innocent blood for the world, but by my own innocence, I know you are in the wrong way. The Lord in his infinite mercy direct you in this great work, that innocent blood be not shed. I humbly beg of your honors that you would be pleased to examine some of those afflicted persons and keep them a part sometime, and likewise try some of those confessing witches, I being confident several of them have belied themselves and others, as will appear, if not in this world, in the world to come, wither I am going, and I question not but your honors will see an alteration in these things. * They say myself and others have made a league with the devil. We cannot confess. I know and the Lord knows, as will shortly appear, that they belie me, and I question not but they do others. The Lord above knows, who is the searcher of all hearts, as I shall answer at the tribunal seat, that I know not the least thing of witchcraft, therefore cannot, I dare not belie my own soul. I beg your honors not to deny this my humble petition for a poor, dying and innocent person, and I question not but the Lord will give a blessing on your endeavors.
Mary Estey
Mary was executed on September 22, 1692.
 (*Note: There are historical variations in the spelling of Mary's surname: Estey, Esty, Easty, Eastie, and Eastick are but a few....)
Mary's sister, Rebecca, was also hanged as a witch on July 19, 1692....
Mary was my great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandmother.  Rebeca, my great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great aunt.

So, some might say I come from a long line of witches....

Happy Hallowe'en....from a real witch!


Cottonwood Lane Primitives said...

Hmmm so maybe that explains all the contest wins. So sorry your ancestors were caught up in this sad part of our country's history. What a honorable and humble petition by Mary. ~Roberta

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Many people read those words, and learn about the history, and it still has so little meaning to them.

Could you imagine, such a time when just being slightly different meant you might be persecuted for being a witch....sad. Very sad.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

laurie said...

wow, I'm still digesting all this,, amazing!

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

Very interesting ~ I knew you had to have some witch blood in you!!!
I wonder if any of my ancestors were witches???
Hope you have a spooktacular Halloween!!!
Prim Blessings

Nancy said...

Very interesting. Being different in the 1600's had to be very scary. Very interesting my friend. Have a wonderful bewitching hallow's eve!

outjunking said...

I enjoyed this post very much. I have always found the witch trials to be very interesting and sad. Fear and ignorance can be very dangerous. I must say your family tree is very colorful.
Have a happy and safe Halloween,

Ronda said...

Great post!! you ole witch've cast a spell on all those giveaways I'm sure!..ha! Such an intriguing family tree..


lilraggedyangie said...

So sad this post is ...shameful that such brilliant women were hanged for being wise beyond their time! But what a history you have my witchy friend!Thanks for sharing! Wishing you a wonderful week ! hugs lilraggedyangie

Lois--Huckleberry Lady said...



Raymond Homestead said...

Wow, that is very interesting! Happy Halloween to you!

Siobhan said...

Robin. Oh my gosh!!!! I can't believe that you have that connection to something that has fascinated and horrified me for so long. Such terrible things happened to these people--so sad and tragic. How amazing to have that connection, though I'm sure it's not exactly comforting. I don't know if you're big into reading, but if you like fiction, you should read Brunonia Barry's "The Lace Reader" and then Kathleen Kent's "The Wolves of Andover"/"The Traitor's Wife" and "The Heretic's Daughter". Kathleen Kent is a descendant of Martha Carrier.

Meadowbrook Cabin Primitives said...


Ah Ha !

So you really have cast a spell ( or two ) to win all these wonderful blog giveaways !

Happy Halloween !


~Madalynne~ said...

I visited Salem last year and was overwhelmed by the sadness these women had to endure. It must be such an honor to have connection to them.

Kimberly said...

So sad, what angry nasty gossip can do!!! The fear of being different, I say embrace it! Too many died from it! Great to share your history!!! So neat that you tracked it down! HAPPY HALLOWEEN! My Best ~Kimberly

BumbleBeeLane said...

So interesting.So neat that you can trace your lineage back that far.Hugs!~Amy

Cindy said...

Very interesting post! but sad at the same tme. Tolerance is truly a virtue. I saw a T-shirt yestday that said "witches rule" I am sure that wouldn't go over too well back then! Happy Halloween to you too!

Rachel said...

That's awesome you can trace your history back to so long ago & sad that the ignorance of the time happened. I hope you enjoy your Halloween ~ thanks for sharing some of your familys' history with us!

Carmen and the Primcats said...

Amazing history Robin. Sad.

They would have strung me up too I'm sure. Mostly because I would have had all the cats just like I do now... and you know witches keep all the cats. ;)

Happy Halloween to you Witchy Robin!

Carmen and the very scary Primcats

frontporchprims said...

Happy Halloween. That's a sad story but neat to have a heritage you can trace back that far. I don't think it was a long line of wicked witches though:) -Steph-

myomyohi said...

Very interesting. I enjoyed this post.

It's unfortunate people can be so ignorant and judgemental of things they don't understand.

I'm sure I would probably been in trouble also, either for disobeying the rules, or witchcraft.

I enjoyed your post.

Robin said...

Soooo COOOOL!!!! That is wonderful and it explains all of the goodes that you have won!! lol. Merry Hallowe'en friend.

Tolentreasures said...

How interesting! I am seeing also how you win everything!


tamera-country at heart said...

Happy Halloween, and I enjoyed reading the story. Back then, people didn't understand and was prosecuted from hearsay by the towns folks. What a shame. But I am sure there are still some modern day witches out there. So now, we all know how you win all the time. Is it luck or witch craft? I like your out spoken comments.
Some of my best friends have been called witches. And one older friend I had who has long since passed was called "THE OLD CROW". I was the only one who be-friended her. She would give folks a piece of her mind and she was loud in doing it. I miss her a lot. Everytime I see a crow on the barn roof, I think of her.
Country at heart

Courtney said...

Wow! I'm reading about book about the Salem witch trials and the life of Dorcas Good. How eerie! Happy Halloween you good witch, you!

Beckyjean said...

Happy Halloween Robin!! Interesting post~thanks for sharing.


Pam at Antique or Not said...

Wow, that's quite a genealogy you have there! Mine's so boring in comparison.


Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

OOOH spooky post and very interesting Robyn!
Have you been to Salem, Mass.?
Hubby and I were there and toured all the witchy places, so interesting!

Sheila said...

Hi!! this is sheila (primdolly) you won my zombie ornament on ehag :) please send me your address and i will get him right out to you!

deb said...

this is amazing...and to have all that history in writing!!!! Im so sad for her...and her sister....they must have been so scared...

Deppen homestead 1862 said...

Very interesting family ancestry~ Hmmm~ so that is what you have running in your veins~ witchy cool!!!
Now girl don't be casting any spells~ giggles~

Suzanne said...

Wow, what an interesting lineage. Reading Mary's petition, she seemed to be a woman of faith, as well as an educated person. Thanks for sharing!
Love reading the history.

Leontien said...

Haha my oh my... you know how to tell a story girl!

Big hugs and Thank you sooo much!

prims by olde lady morgan said...

Robin!!!! WOW!!! What a great part, yet sad history...So you are a witch!?!?!!?!? Love it! BOO to you! OLM

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Robin girl I still haven't gotten over here to enjoy a long look at your wonderful blog (it is on my to do list .. especially now since the big day is done and I feel I didn't even have time to enjoy it!)
Reading this made me sad .. women have been treated so badly (and still are in some countries that are so backward) .. where ever they are (your witch relatives) I hope they are at peace .. I am not religious at all but I do believe in the universe's "sliding doors" .. so they are indeed else where.
You have special blood in you .. so enjoy it .. take care of it .. and listen to it!
Joy : )

Barb said...

Hi Robin,
How fascinating!! What a tale to tell. What a sad part of history they played in.
Thank heavens for the times we live in now.

Ann said...

Never read about this time. I had heard Rebecca's name, but not Mary's. We may be related somewhere way back there - my maiden name was Estus - a close variation. Of course my dad told us his ancestors changed their name to Estus from Wheeler because they were horse thieves! Who knows. ~Ann

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Wow! So touching! That letter was so beautifully written. It makes me thankful to live in the modern times.

I like how Mary wrote that God knows her innocence and knows her heart.

Thank you for sharing, Robin!


Vicki said...

Somehow I missed this! Cracking up that everyone left comments saying this explains all the giveaways. What a story and what a part of history your family has been. Such a dangerous time though. How brave and faithful Mary was.

MJ Ornaments said...

Hi Robin,
Well that explains why your witch ornament came out so well! Thanks for sharing your family history. Take care, Martha

Shel said...

Hi - Mary was also my 9th great grandmother - I'm up in Canada - you can email me at and maybe we can share stories - very nice blog :)