Ancestral Witchcraft: Witch Bloodline Names from England, Ireland, & U.S.
If you haven’t seen the first post in the Ancestral Witchcraft series, click here. The first post includes witch bloodline names from Scotland, Salem MA, Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavia, and Italy. In this post, we continue the database of names with accused witches in other regions of the United States, England, and Ireland. If you didn’t find your familial names in the last database (Salem, Scotland, Scandinavia, Italy, etc), check over these names thoroughly! All names were pulled from public records of Witch Trials, as well as old folklore books.
Before We Start: Please READ!
Before diving into your family’s history and comparing to the witch bloodline names below, you have to discern whether your ancestors were witches or not. Many of the accused “witches” plead guilty to lessen their sentence, be freed, or they were tortured into “confessing”. Some may have had psychiatric problems misconstrued by superstition back in the day. It is possible some were witches at the most basic level as some were considered wise men or women who used herbs to heal, perform divination, etc. Do your research on witch bloodline names that match your own and determine from there whether or not you descend from a “witch”. I also recommend asking your witch ancestor to confirm or deny via signs in a dream, meditation, etc.
American Witch Bloodline Names (Other than Salem)
In the last article Ancestral Witchcraft article, we listed off the names of the Salem witches. All who were accused and found guilty, those who were executed and those who escaped or died in prison. In this database, we’ll scratch the surface of other American witch surnames from elsewhere in the United States. So if your ancestors didn’t live in Salem, but live somewhere else in the U.S., you might find it here! The names below are taken from Connecticut, Maryland, and New York witch trial documentation. Also from Appalachian and Ozark folklore books. If you have ancestors from New England, Maryland, Louisiana, the Carolinas, the Appalachians or Ozarks with any of these last names – look at your family tree to determine if your ancestor might have been a witch!
English Witch Bloodlines
I’ll reiterate, the names here are a mixture of Witch Trial documentation from England as well as what we know of English cunning men and women. I’ve also included last names of well-known twentieth century English witches. It is up to you to determine if your ancestor was a “witch” or not. Our definition of a witch today doesn’t always match what the definition of a witch was back then. Someone who uses herbs to heal, pendulums to divine messages, and practices folk magic might have been a healer, pellar, conjurer, or cunningfolk back then, but today we might label them as a “witch”.
Irish Witch Bloodline Names
The Witch Trials in Ireland were fewer than those elsewhere in Europe, but they still happened. There were also healers, herbalists, and wise men and women who were labeled as witches in the name of superstition. Some survived the accusations, while others avoided them entirely. It is up to you to decide if your ancestors were witches by your definition or not. Names were gathered from public documentation of Witch Trials and folklore books.
Ancestral Witchcraft: Facing the Facts
As exciting as it can be to find a witch ancestor in one’s family tree, it can also be a little disturbing. It might bring up some strong emotions. Questions about why your ancestor was perhaps wrong accused or falsely imprisoned or executed. Sometimes the same men and women who helped their villages and neighbors with herbal cures were then accused of witchcraft. The same people they helped turned their backs on them and threw them to the wolves, so to speak. Superstition and fear ran rampant in Medieval Times through the Early Modern Period, and people of many walks of life were accused of witchcraft.
Most of these people probably didn’t do magic at all. The poor, rich, old, young, ugly, beautiful, female or male, were all accused of maleficia (malevolent witchcraft). There are various theories as to why the Witch Trials in Europe and the U.S. took place, including everything from ergot-poisoning to doctors trying to flush out midwives and everything in between. The truth is there were plenty of reasons why each tragedy occurred, but the main reasons were fear and control.
Ancestral Witchcraft: Honoring Ancestors Year-Round
Samhain season rolls around and everyone is talking about ancestors and the thinning of the veil. But it shouldn’t just be on Samhain that we honor those who came before us. Particularly the women and men who paved the way for us to have religious freedom. Some of our own ancestors died tragically because of superstition and greed. Let’s honor them year-round by lighting a candle and saying a simple prayer of gratitude. Keep a small space on your altar for your ancestors (especially any accused witches). Or create a page for him/her in your grimoire or scrap album. When you need extra courage in the face of adversity and persecution for your beliefs, pray to your ancestors for protection and strength. They won’t let you down. And remember – they can’t burn us all.