Thursday, October 7, 2010

When We Were English, Part XXI

by Glenn N. Holliman

Weddings and Witches

In the Hertfordshire Archives is a book entitled Hertfordshire Parish Registers by Phillomore's, 1907, 3 volumes. Of course out of print and I had precious few hours to review it. It is on my list to revisit some day. However, I did find several weddings of Holyman females to local males. For the record, they are listed below.

By the way, the first two marriages were from yet another village, just a few miles also from Tring - Berkhamstead. Below is a view of it's High Street in 2010.

The Berkhamstead Marriages:

Franncys Hadden to Margery Hollyman on 6 May 1601.

Henry Lawrence to Jane Hollyman (Holeman) on 7 February 1638.

Here are two Tring marriages in the same publication:

William Hollyman to Grace Neelie on 20 July 1607 (This is the son of William of Tring whose will we reviewed in When We Were English, Part XIX).

Goff Babylong to Anna Holliman on 7 May 1634

So above some more information for the Holyman history trail in England. Cousin Maxine Wright has ordered Tring Parish microfilm and hopefully may find yet our hidden John Holyman who died in Virginia in 1650. My on-site research has failed to turn him up, but I did find a host of very interesting Holymans who impacted English and American religious history. Hopefully when I return to England next spring I can collect some DNA samples from possible ancestors and search again in local archives.

Some times it is not what one finds in genealogical research, it is also what one does not find. And sometimes, one may feel bewitched and frustrated not to collect more information. That leads me to my closing historical tidbit you may enjoy.

While reading in the Tring library the 1940 work by Arthur MacDonald, That Tring Air, I found that the year 1596 must have been very stressful to our ancestors. Our John Holyman would have been 24 years old at the time, and perhaps observed the following out break of, well, witchcraft in his own community!!

Above a 16th century drawing of three English witches. Rather ugly creatures. Note the black cat.

That year in Tring, one Alice Crutch 'bewitched one Hugh Walden who languished and died'. Nor did the episode of nefarious deeds end there. Another woman, named Elizabeth, put a curse on Thomas Grace's valuable horse and it died!!

For their witchery, these two ladies were 'suspended by neck until dead'.

So this Hallowed Eve, think on all the quaint customs of England and Europe that passed through our families to our New World, which we celebrate to this day!

1 comment:

  1. Glenn (Webb School teacher), ran into your name on Facebook. Anne and I (Bob Scruggs) are in Melbourne, FL. Our e-mail is:
    By the way, in case you don't know, my middle name is Walker. I saw that you have a Walker connection.
    Would love to hear from you. I am a substitute organist for many of the Episcopal churches here.