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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

She did WHAT????

She Did What???

I recently posted about Margaret Stephenson Scott, the last witch to be hung in Salem, and I mentioned the other shocking thing I found out about another 10th great grandmother.  Well here's the rest of the story......

After finishing the research on Margaret, and being disappointed about her not being in my line, I moved on to the next line on my tree. 

While on ancestry I use the pedigree view (the horizontal tree icon) which only shows direct lines and it eliminates all the collateral lines for easier viewing. 

The next family in the pedigree view was John Bass and Ruth Alden (John Alden's daughter) so I quickly worked through their tree, and because they are so famous, and there are so many websites with info on them, I didn't feel like spending a lot of time on them at this time.

So off to the next family: the SUTTON/BISHOP family
William Sutton was my 9th great grandfather.  It was his great granddaughter who married into the line that ties back to the Scott family from my prior blog post. 

William married a woman named Damaris Bishop.  Such a pretty name.  She was born in 1646 in the Massachusetts colony to Richard Bishop (b. 1612 England), who arrived to the colonies around 1635, and found a wife in 1644.

2 girls from 1640s
2 girls from the 1640s
Richard's wife, Alice Martin was a recent widow with 2 small girls Abigail and Martha, by her first husband George Clark.  About two years into the marriage, Alice provides Richard with a daughter of his own, Damaris, my 9th great grandmother.

Alice is believed to have arrived in the colonies around 1620, and lost both her parents in the first winter, causing her to be orphaned. There is a lot of speculation about her parentage, which will take further research.

In 1646, Alice is around age 30, with 3 girls ages 4, 2, and a newborn.  It had to be very hard on her, but she continues caring for the 3 girls and her husband for 2 more years.  It is here that she snaps and does the unthinkable.

On 22 July 1648, Alice had a neighbor, Rachall Ramsden visiting her, when Alice asked Rachall to go and fetch some buttermilk.  Alice provided Rachall with a kettle to carry it in, so Rachall did as she was asked.  When Rachall returned, she found Alice "sad and dumpish", and she saw blood on the floor, by a ladder that led to a loft type area.  She asked Alice about the blood, and Alice pointed to the chamber area but said nothing.

 Rachall became afraid, and feared that Alice had killed her child.  She left to get help.  Later, several men arrived at the home, to discover Martha Clark, Alice's 4 year old middle child, dead from her throat being cut, and other knife wounds, and the knife was lying nearby.  

Alice admitted to killing her daughter, and apologized, but couldn't remember committing the crime.  Alice was tried and convicted of murder, and sentenced to death by hanging.  She was put to death on 4 Oct 1648, less than 3 months after her crime.  She was the first woman hung for a crime, and the 5th person to be hung in the colony.

My hear aches for:

Martha, killed by her own mother, I pray she didn't suffer.
Damaris, losing her mother at the age of 2, she probably never remembered her,
Abigail, also losing her mother at the age of 6.


Questions about this horrific event are endless:

Where were Abigail and Demaris during this time? 
What ever became of Abigail? 
Richard was her step father, and his land and property were sold to help take care of Abigail, but no mention of help for Demaris.  

We know Demaris grew up and married, but not much else is known about Abigail. 

One "cousin" has found that in 1653 Abigail Clarke registered a branding mark for a half moon in the right ear, as her branding mark on a cow she owned.  
This cousin also speculates Hannah wound up living with John and Hannah Churchill.  John was the one ordered by the courts to sell of Richard's land and property.  

More research is needed....