Witches and Garlick…

Time for a little more Halloween wackiness.

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

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

Elizabeth’s mother, in her grief, continued the accusations after her daughter died. All these persistent accusations eventually ended up in a trial, to which 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. Goodwife Garlick and her husband continued to live on in Long Island until their deaths with no apparent harm.

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