19 May 2010

Salem Mass. and the Witch Trials

I went to Salem, Massachusetts with my mom on a nice 3 day vacation to learn and understand a little bit more about witches and the Witch Trials of 1692. I learned so much from that trip and I have a lot of fun memories. My favorite is, of course, the cemetery on Charter Street.

The stones here are simply fascinating in their simplicity and history. There is much to see in this little burial ground. I have many future entries regarding what I saw in the cemeteries I visited. However, I will focus on just one for right now.

Here is the encased tombstone of John Hathorne, one of the judges of the witchcraft pre-trials/examinations and ancestor of Nathaniel Hawthorne. John Hathorne is Nathaniel's great-great grandfather. According to Our Silent Neighbors: A study of Gravestones in the Old Salem Area, Nathaniel felt that Justice Hathorne played such a horrid and evil part of the trails, so Nathaniel added the "W" to his last name. The stone is encased in granite. It reads, "Here lyes inter'd ye body of Colo. John Hathorne Esq. Aged 76 years who died May 10th 1717."


  1. I lived in Boston for two years while my husband was in grad school. We loved to drive up to Salem and bum around....loved the town. I sure wish I could get back there now with my love of genealogy and cemeteries. I am sooo envious of your recent visit ;-) Thanks for your post.

  2. It was so much fun up there Lindalee. What sucked was the ride on I95 and the 8 hour car trip from PA to Mass. Oh, that was rough.

  3. Becky, what a wonderful trip. We are actually planning the same trip for June (well 2 days of Boston). So much history there. I cannot wait. I will have to remember to look through your posts before I post my own here.

  4. Terri, if you can, look for the book "Our Silent Neighbors: A Study of Gravestones in the Old Salem Area." I'm telling you, I wish I would've had this book when I went into Salem. I got this at a gift shop called Salemdipity on Wharf St. I hope you have so much fun up there. It was a blast in the old Charter St Cemetery. OH! And there is a big parking deck near St Peter's Episcopal Church.

  5. Thanks for the info Becky, I will look for the book!

  6. Ordered the book today. Cannot wait to read it!


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