Category Archives: Religious fervor

Before there was the Salem witch hysteria there was….

IMG_4905And yes, these are our great grandparents.

Well, John is. He’s our 13th great grandfather. We are descended from John’s son John Carrington, JR.  and his first wife, Mary.  Joan Carrington is our 13th great grand stepmother. They were hanged 6 April 1651.


John Jr.’s daughter Hannah Carrington is the mother of Joshua Holcomb. Joshua is the father of Capt. Hezekiah Holcomb. Capt. is the father of Timothy Holcomb. Timothy is the father of Matilda Holcomb. Matilda is the mother of Jacob Gumm.  Jacob is the father of Jacob Gumm, Jr.  Jr. is the father of Lydia Gumm. Lydia Gumm is the mother of Ailsey Jones. Ailsey is the mother of Elijah Jones Armstrong. Elijah is the father of our great grandfather Ryal Armstrong.

When Lydia Gumm was widowed she married Shadrack Skaggs. Shaddrack was the son of Henry Longhunter Skaggs, our 6th great uncle, so who knows what additional relationship Lydia Gumm Jones Skaggs is to us.

Why have we never heard any witch stories?


The Salem witch trial were held  between February 1692 and May 1693. Connecticutt witch trials started in the mid-1600’s.  “The Witchcraft Delusion in Connecticut 1647-1697”, John M. Taylor lists thirty-five cases between 1647 and 1697, as well as two more in the 18th Century, of which a total of eleven resulted in executions.


The Faith of Our Foremothers and Fathers

Martha Ann Skaggs Armstrong has not only given us our Native American blood. She has provided us with ancestors of remarkably strong religious faith. The Skaggs had a number of marriages with Native American women through the generations. Charles Skaggs, Martha’s grandfather, of mixed blood married Native American/French Huguenot  “Sally” Choudoin. The old census records were hand written. I can’t tell if Sally’s name was Yaratilda or Zaratilda. She was known as Sally.

The strong religious faith comes from Martha’s  maternal grandmother, Louisa Wightman Ogden. Louisa descends from a long line of fiery Baptist ministers and from religious rebels and in two cases outright martyrs. There were two Reverend Daniel Wightmans and a Rev. George Wightman, early ministers to the Second Baptist Church (Newport, Rhode Island) seconded only to Roger Williams‘ First Baptist Church. Roger was married to a Wightman cousin of ours. We are also related to John Clarke, though I haven’t worked this out yet.

2BaptSecond Baptist Church, Newport Rhode Island

John Wightman was the last heretic to be burned at the stake in England is part of  our direct lineage. Click here for a representation. The Rev. Valentine Wightman is a collateral line to ours. He brought the Baptist Church to Connecticut.

There was also the martyrdom of Mary Dyer in the Boston Colony. Mary suffered through torture and humiliation before she was finally hanged for her religious convictions. Wikipedia has this entry for Mary Dyer. This book makes the claim of Mary’s royal birth. For further reading about Mary Dyer, The Quaker Martyr.

Mary’s son married the daughter of Anne Marbury Hutchinson. After a rigorous trial, Anne left the Boston Colony to live in religious freedom. Unfortunately the Native Americans in Pelham Bay were not in a friendly mood: The Hutchinson massacre.


The Anne Hutchinson Trial