Michelle Ann Kratts

The Associated Daughters of Early American Witches

In Societies, Witchcraft on December 19, 2012 at 6:27 pm

John Norman, my ninth great grandfather, Broad Street Cemetery, Salem

John Norman, my ninth great grandfather, Broad Street Cemetery, Salem

Mary Ropes Norman, my ninth great grandmother,  Broad Street Cemetery, Salem

Mary Ropes Norman, my ninth great grandmother, Broad Street Cemetery, Salem

It just may be the most unusual and fascinating American lineage society that I have ever come upon. Maybe some of you might consider yourselves prospective members.

They are the Associated Daughters of Early American Witches.

According to their website:

The PURPOSE of this Society shall be:
1. To search for and preserve the names of those accused of witchery in that portion of Colonial America now the United States of America.
2. To locate the living female descendants of all witches who were accused in the American colonies prior to published records of same.

Of course, we’re fascinated with witches and the story of one of the darkest events in American history. Are you connected by blood to this great tragedy? Maybe it’s time you find out.

I have my own Salem ancestors. Through my father’s family lines there is one branch of my family tree that reaches back into old Massachusetts. My ninth Great Grandfather, John Norman, and his wife, Mary Ropes, my ninth Great Grandmother, are just two of my direct ancestors linked to this historic period and Salem, itself.

John Norman and his wife, Mary, lived in Salem during the famous Witch Trials. I’m not sure if they were involved in any way. Perhaps, one day when I have time to research a little deeper into their stories I can find some sort of family connections. There is quite a bit of information about their lives. Oddly enough this time period is extremely well documented and records remain to this day. Regardless… they were there. And in some way, because of them, so was I.

John Norman was born in Salem on March 4, 1637, to John Norman and Arabella Baldwin. His father, also John Norman, was a carpenter and shipwright.  He shared in the first grants to Salem settlers and his first home was in the North Field on land granted to him in 1636.  He eventually settled in Manchester where he opened a house of entertainment to sell wine and beer and provide provisions and accommodations for me and horse.  He was also a constable and served on the grand jury at times.  Records say that he was a “combative” sort of man.  He was summoned to court several times for engaging in physical conflicts with neighbors.  Apparently, his wife, my grandmother, Arabella, was not a meek and mild woman, herself.  She also appeared in court for accusations such as “striking the wife of Nicholas Vinson.”  Yet another time she served as a witness against a man who was tried for “profane swearing.”  Her testimony said that the defendant had uttered: “plague take it.”

Mary Ropes was born on November 3, 1644, to George and Mary Ropes. Her father, George, had been “slain in the wars against the Indians.” Interestingly, she and John Norman both died in 1713. It was a very violent time.

There are other interesting Salem Witch related burials at Broad Street Cemetery. George Corwin, High Sheriff of Essex County, is not buried too far from my grandparents. He carried out the arrests of the accused and executions of the condemned. He was buried first in the basement of his home as his family feared any repercussions. Years later his corpse was exhumed and reinterred. Jonathon Corwin, a judge and jurist during the trials, is also buried at Broad Street.

I would love to go to Salem one day and visit with my grandparents and other family members beside their graves. My curiousity forces me to wonder and search for their personal roles in this horror, yet part of me is afraid to know the truth. Perhaps some things are meant to stay buried. Perhaps some things are meant to be found.

  1. Whom do I contact to get information on how to join this organization?

    I am descended from Esther Dutch Elwell who was arrested for witchcraft. She was not proven guilty; but her name is inscribed on the plaque on the Salem Witch Museum.

  2. I am a direct descendent to Edward Farrington and am interested in joining this society but have not found a contact for an application. If you should have some info please let me know. My e-mail is aliceperkins43@yahoo.com

  3. I just became a member of ADEAW. I found all the application information on the website. I sent an email requesting ion and received a prompt response with instructions. Alice Girod

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