Tag Archives: Salem Massachusetts

Here’s Your Sign #19 ~ Salem Village Meeting House

For many years I have been collecting photos of and information about the various signs that have been placed in honor of some of my ancestors. These signs are a glimpse into some event and/or place where they lived. Some of the signs are small like a placard with a few poignant words, some are large and they go into great detail, and then there are those that are somewhere in between. Each one gives added life to those ancestors.

This sign is dated 1672 and states the following:

“Directly across from this site was located the original Salem Village Meeting House where civil and military meetings were held, and ministers including George Burroughs, Deodat Lawson, and Samuel Parris preached.

The infamous 1692 witchcraft hysteria began in this neighborhood on March 1accused witches Sarah Good, Sarah Osburn and Tituba were interrogated in the meeting house amidst the horrific fits of the “afflicted ones”. Thereafter numerous others were examined including Martha Cory, Rebecca Nurse, Bridget Bishop, Giles Cory, and Mary Esty, Many Dire, as well as heroic deeds transpired in the Meeting House.

In 1702 the Meeting House was abandoned, dismantled and removed to this site until the lumber “decayed and became mixed with the soil.”

In 1992 a memorial was erected here to honor the witchcraft victims, and to remind us that we must forever confront intolerance and “witch-hunts” with integrity, clear vision, and courage.”

In 1675 Sarah Hood, my 9th Great Aunt, married William Bassett Jr who was the brother of Elizabeth Bassett Proctor, wife of John Proctor. On the 23rd Day of May 1692, Sarah was accused of witchcraft and was immediately sent to prison. The month before Sarah was accused; her husband’s sister Elizabeth and brother-in-law John Proctor had also been accused, arrested, tried and convicted of witchcraft. They had been sentenced to hang. They all three spent the next few months together in the prison in Salem. On the 19th of August, despite no evidence to the charges and in spite of numerous testimonials to the character of John Proctor he was hung on Gallows Hill for the crime of being a wizard. This left Sarah and Elizabeth to care for each other. Sarah spent a total of 7 months in this prison, and she was pardoned because the charges against her could not be proven.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Strong Woman ~ Sarah Hood ~ #52 Ancestors Week #10

Sarah HoodThis weeks writing prompt is “Strong Woman”. I feel fortunate enough to have several women in my family tree that fit that category. I had a really hard time deciding which one I wanted to write about so, I would like to introduce you to my 8 times Great Aunt, Sarah Hood.

Sarah’s father Richard a was born in England in 1625, He, along with his parents, made the long voyage to the British Colonies sometime before 1650 and they settled in Salem, Lynn County, Massachusetts. He met and married Mary Newhall in 1652. Over the next several years they added 13 children to their family. Sarah was the 3rd child and their second daughter.

In 1675 Sarah Hood married William Bassett Jr who was the brother of Elizabeth Bassett Proctor, wife of Sarah Hood MLJohn Proctor who came from a very influential family. In the spring of 1692, there was an increasing rise to accusations of witchcraft in and around Salem, Massachusetts. The hysteria had actually started over in England several years earlier and spread across the sea, brought over by the ever-increasing newcomers. Several young girls of the village began having “fits”. They screamed, threw things, uttered peculiar sounds and contorted themselves into strange positions, and a local doctor blamed the supernatural. As a result over 150 people were accused of being a witch, having supposedly signed their souls over to satan to obtain power.

Salem w trialOn May 23, 1692, Sarah Hood Bassett was accused of witchcraft and was immediately sent to prison. She had to take her two-year-old daughter Ruth with her as she had no one to care for her. Her 5-year-old daughter Hannah stayed with her husband. Just being associated with Sarah was dangerous during this time. Food and clothing were brought to the prison for Sarah and Ruth on a weekly basis. It didn’t help that she was also about 2 months pregnant at this time.

The month before Sarah was accused; her husband’s sister Elizabeth and brother-in-law John Proctor had salemwitchhousealso been accused, arrested, tried and convicted of witchcraft. They were sentenced to hang. They all three spent the next few months together in the prison in Boston. Conditions were extremely harsh. On the 19th of August, despite no evidence to the charges and in spite of numerous testimonials to the character of John Proctor he was hung on Gallows Hill for the crime of being a wizard. This left Sarah and Elizabeth alone to care for each other.

It is impossible to say that I know how she felt. Here she was married into one of the best families in the region. Her husband and she attended church every week. Then she had to endure being falsely accused, sentenced, thrown into prison along with her child and being pregnant. She had to watch her brothers-in-law be hanged even though he was innocent. I can imagine that she spent a lot of sleepless nights thinking about her situation and praying for freedom. I am sure she also feared for the child she carried.

SalemStreetSarah spent a total of 7 months in this prison and she was pardoned because the charges against her could not be proven. Elizabeth Proctor was also pardoned and released. Within 2 weeks after being released she gave birth to a son which they named Joseph. She was later granted payment of 9 pounds by way of compensation and her next child, a daughter, was named Deliverance. At the time of her death in 1721, she and William had been married for 46 years. She was an extremely strong woman to survive this ordeal and to carry on with life

 

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I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

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A Tale Of Sarah Hood And The Salem Witch Trials

 

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Richard Hood was born in England in 1625. He, along with his parents, made the long voyage to the Americas sometime before 1650 and they settled in Lynn County, Massachusetts. He met and married Mary Newhall here in 1652. Over the next several years they added 13 children to their family. Among these were 2 girls by the name of Rebecca and Sarah. Rebecca is my 8th Great Grandmother and the younger of these two girls. This story is not about her, but about my 8 times Grand Aunt.

In the spring of 1692 there was an increasing rise to accusations of Witchcraft in and around Salem, Massachusetts. The hysteria had actually started over in England several years earlier and spread across the sea, brought over by ever increasing newcomers. Several young girls of the village began having “fits”. They screamed, threw things, uttered peculiar sounds and contorted themselves into strange positions, and a local doctor blamed the supernatural. As a result over 150 people were accused of being a witch, having supposedly signed their souls over to Satan to obtain power.

In 1675 Sarah Hood married William Bassett Jr who was the brother of Elizabeth Bassett Proctor, wife of John Proctor.  On the 23rd Day of May 1692, Sarah Hood Bassett was accused of witchcraft and was immediately sent to prison. She had to take her two year old daughter Ruth with her as she had no one to care for her. Just being associated with Sarah was dangerous during this time. Sarah was also about 2 months pregnant at this time.

(Indictment v. Sarah Bassett )

Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England Essex ss          Ano RRs & Reginae Gulielmi & Mariae Angliae &c Quarto Anoq’e Dom 1692

The Juro’rs for o’r Sov’r lord & lady the King & Queen p’rsent

That Sarah Bassett wife of William Basett of lyn in the County

of Essex aforesaid upon or about the 23’d day of May last Anno: 1692 aforsaid

And Divers other days & Times as well before #[and] as after Certaine

detestable Arts Called Witchcraft & Sorceries wickedly mallitiously

& felloniously hath used practised & Exercised at & in the Towne

of Salem in the County of Essex aforesaid upon & Against One

Mary [“M” written over “El”] Walcott of Salem Single Woman By which Wicked Arts The

Said Mary Walcott is Tortured aflicted Tormented Consumed wasted

& pined the day & yeare aforesaid & divers other days & times as

well before as after Contrary to the peace of o’r Sov’r lord & lady the King

& Queen their Crowne & dignity & the Laws in that Case made

& provided

Wittness

An Putnam

Marcy lewis

(Reverse) Sarah Bassett

Ignoramus

*Robert: Payne foreman

Salem Court 3’d Janu’a 1692/3

( Suffolk Court Records, Vol. 32, Case No. 2701 Page 24 )

The month before Sarah was accused; her husband’s sister Elizabeth and brother-in-law John Proctor had also been accused, arrested, tried and convicted of witchcraft. They had been sentenced to hang. They all three spent the next few months together in the prison in Salem. On the 19th of August, despite no evidence to the charges and in spite of numerous testimonials to the character of John Proctor he was hung on Gallows Hill for the crime of being a wizard. This left Sarah and Elizabeth to care for each other. Sarah spent a total of 7 months in this prison and she was pardoned because the charges against her could not be proven. Within 2 weeks after being released she gave birth to a son which they named Joseph. She was later granted payment of 9 pounds by way of compensation and her next child, a daughter, was named Deliverance. Elizabeth Proctor was also pardoned and released.

 

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