Naturally the first question you might ask is, does she weigh the same as a duck? However witches in historic American narratives have a much darker past. As it stands, we have one in ours and her story is worth remembering to this day.
Her name is Ann (Alcock) Foster and she died in prison in Salem Massachusetts. She was accused of witchcraft after some people who were searching for the source of another woman’s illness “fell into fits” upon seeing her. At that time she was 72 years of age. She was “put to the question” (tortured for her confession) but refused to admit any wrong doing. It wasn’t until they threatened to charge her daughter and grand-daughter as well, that she finally accepted the charges and pled her guilt. Convicted after two and a half years, she went to prison where she died 21 weeks later.
Her Son and our ancestor Abraham petitioned the authorities after the trials were discredited and ended to recoup the money spent on her upkeep in prison. This was considered testament to her innocence.
Now for a twist on this story, the other side of the Salem witch trials was the Putnam family, amongst which we also have family members. That’s right, the great grand-daughter of Deacon Edward Putnam married the 2x great grand-son of Ann Foster. In fact, one of Ann Foster’s accusers was Ann Putnam, Edward’s niece. We can hope the reconciliation was touching.
When researching genealogy you find a very human story.