It was rather recently brought to my attention by cousin Jerry Hilton that we had an ancestor tried and condemned of witchery in Salem, Ma. There's much to be found in the records about Ann Foster which is marvelous, and it also appears that being a female descendant of an accused witch makes one eligible to become a member of the Associated Daughters of Early American Witches!
The Examination of Ann AlcockThe following is some of the Transcript of the Examination and Confession of Ann Alcock Foster at Salem Village, MA during the 1692 witch trial.
Source: Pioneers in the Settlement of America by William A. Crafts., Vol. I, Boston, Samuel Walker & Co., 1876.
16 July. 1692 . Ann Foster Examined conffesed that it was Goody Carier that made her a witch that she came to her in person about Six yeares agoe & told her if she would not be awitch the divill should tare her in peices and Cary her away at w'ch. time she promised to Serve the divill, that she had bewitched a hog of John Lovjoyes to Death & that she had hurt Some persons in Salem Vilage that goody Carier came to her & would have her bewitch two children of Andrew Allins & that she had then two popets made and stuck pins in them to bewitch the said Children by which one of them dyed the other very sick, that she was at the meeting of the witches at Salem Villiage, that Goody Carier came & told her of the meeting & would have her goe, so they gat upon Sticks & went said Jorny & being ther did see mr Burroughs the minister who spake to them all, & this was about two months agoe that ther was then twenty five persons meet together, that she tyed a knot in a Rage & thre it into the fire to hurt #[a woeman at Salem Village & that she was hurt by her & that her name is Goody Vibber ] Timo. Swan & that she did hurt the rest that complayned of her by squesing popets like them & so almost choaked them.
18 July 1692 . Ann Foster Examined confesed that the devill in shape of a #[black] man apeared to her w'th Goody carier about six yeare since when they made her awitch & that she promised to serve the divill two yeares: upon w'ch the Divill promised her prosperity & many things but never performed it, that she & martha Carier did both ride on a stick or pole when they went to the witch meeting at Salem Village & that the stick broak: as they ware caried in the aire above the tops of the trees & they fell but she did hang fast about the neck of Goody Carier & ware presently at the vilage, that she was then much hurt of her Leg, she further saith that she hard some of the witches say that their was three hundred & five in the whole Country, & that they would ruin that place the Vilige, also saith ther was present at that metting two men besides mr Buroughs the minister & one of them had gray haire, she saith that she formerly frequented the publique metting to worship god. but the divill had such power over her that she could not profit there & that was her undoeing: she saith that above three or foure yeares agoe Martha Carier told her she would bewitch James Hobbs child to death & the child dyed in twenty four howers.
21. July: 92 . Ann. Foster Examined Owned her former conffesion being Read to her and further conffesed that the discourse amongst the witches at the meeting at Salem village was that they would afflict there to set up the Divills Kingdome This conffesion is true as wittnese my hand:
*John Higginson Just'e peace
Salem 10th September 1692
(Reverse) Ann Fosters Examination And Conffession
(Source: Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 2 Page 22 )
(Indictment v. Ann Foster )
Essex in the Province of the Massachuetts Bay in New England Anno R Rs & Reginae Gulielmi & Mariae Angliae &ca Quarto.Anno'qe Domini 1692
The Juriors for our Sov'r Lord & Lady the King & Queen doe present that. Ann foster of Andivor In the County of Essex Widdow In & Upon the fifteenth Day of July In the year afores'd. and divers other days and times as well before as after Certaine Detestable arts called Witchcrafts and Sorceries wickedly and Mallitiously and felloniously hath used practised & Exercised at and in the Towne of Salem in the County of Essex-aforesaid in upon & against one Eliza Hobert of Salem in the County of Essex-aforesaid Single Woman by which Said wicked arts the Said Elizabeth Hobert the day & Yeare aforesaid and divers other days and times both before and after was and is Tortured aflicted Consumed Pined wasted and Tormented and also for sundry other acts of withcraft by the said Ann foster -- Comitted and done before and Since that time against the peace of o'r Sov'r. Lord and Lady the King and Queen theire Crowne and Dignity and the forme of the Stattute in that Case made and Provided.
(Reverse) Indictm't Agst An foster for bewitching Eliza: Hobert Billa Vera
Source: Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 2 Page 21)
Thompkins H. Matteson, 1853
Source: Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA