Tag Archives: Witches

New Genealogies Added

Check out the menus above – I’ve added a few narratives on the Scheik, Tousley, Beck, and Smith surnames.

Some interesting stories uncovered already:

My 6th great grandfather, Robinson Smith, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He served for three years, including a stint in Washington’s Life Guard – a unit dedicated to protecting the life of George Washington.

My 9th great grandfather, Michael Towsley (Tousley), fought in King Philip’s War in 1676 – one of the conflicts between the Native American inhabitants of present-day New England, and the new European settlers. He was also one of the first settlers of Suffield, CT. His wife (my 9th great grandmother), Mary Hussey, was apparently quite the trouble maker. The following excerpt is from The Biography of a Town, Suffield, Connecticut 1670-1790, by Robert Hayden Alcorn

There were problems.┬áMary Tousely was one. Mary Tousely was brought before the General Court for trial. As the record shows, she was convicted of “Many visionary miscarriages: driveing a trade of wicked living, slandering, cursing, wicked scolding, murderous, threatening and dangerous languages for any neighborhood to hear and for pound breach. . . . This Court held these unavoidable fruites of original sin not restrained by the Grace of God. . . . She to be horse whipt once at Springfield on the naked back with fifteen lashes and a second time at Suffield with ten lashes on the naked back, two weekes after the first time.”
‘She learned little from the ordeal. Soon after this conviction the whole Tousely family, husband, wife and the daughter were convicted of “lying and stealing and killing creatures or some creature of their neighbors and of threatening their nabors.” Michael Tousely was made to pay twenty shillings to the King, twenty shillings each to two neighbors and he was “well whipt” with fifteen lashed on the naked back. His wife was given ten lashes on the naked back. The daughter was given eight lashes and “put to service to Ebenezer Parsons for a month’s trial.”

‘Out of all this, for the Touselys were constant disturbers of the peace, there grew the suspicion that Mary Tousely was a witch. It was the right time. There was a fever of witch lore in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the spill-over could have trickled into any town. There is no record of Mary Tousely having been openly charged with witchcraft. But the number of court appearances and the severity of her punishments would indicate that she was at least suspect. If so, Mary Tousely shall go down in history as the only witch Suffield produced. That does not necessarily mean that the years since then have not produced some recognizable variations on the theme, even to the present.’

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