Witches and Garlick…

Time for a little more Halloween wackiness.

There is a famous witch trial in old New England, the case of Goodwife Garlick. She lived in Long Island along with our ancestor Jeremiah Vail.

The big rich guy on the island was Lion Gardiner, Jeremiah and Katherine, his wife, worked as servants in his household. Lion had a 16 year old daughter who was married and had just had a child. The birthing didn’t go well. Both the child and the daughter, Elizabeth, died. But not before Elizabeth made all kinds of crazed accusations against Goodwife Garlick, say that she had bewitched and be-spelled her and her child.

Elizabeth’s mother continued the accusations after her daughter died. Eventually there was a trial and our ancestor was called to testify.

According to the book Witchcraft Trials of Connecticut: The First Comprehensive, Documented …,  By R. G. Tomlinson, Jeremiah and his wife Katherine contradicted Goody Davis’ statements regarding the death of her own child by Garlick’s bewitchment by testifying that:

“Goody Davis spoke as if her child were bewitched…(but) Goody Davis took an Indian child to nurse and for lucre of a little wampum…let her child starve.”

The trial was eventually send to the higher court in Connecticut. All ended well for Goodwife Garlick for the court found her not guilty and she was let go. Her and her husband continued to live on in Long Island until their deaths with no apparent harm.

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